The countdown to December 25, 2019 is underway– but If you get started crafting now, you still have time left to make handmade Christmas gifts for at least some of the main players on your gift list this year.
If you can’t wait for Christmas, and you’ve already started making Christmas projects, you’ll be able to crank out zillions of these between now and December 25, 2019.
If you aren’t in the mood to get started on Christmas crafts yet, no worries — you can grab this pattern now, file it away in your pattern stash, and you’ll have it handy when you are ready to fire up and get going on your Christmas projects.
For those of you who celebrate Christmas, I think this is an ideal pattern to have on hand:
It doesn’t require much yarn.
If you used green yarn for any other projects lately, you may even be able to use up your green yarn scraps using this pattern.
This pattern is great for making ornaments for ornament swaps.
You can personalize the decorations you put on the wreath — try adding charms, beads, sequins, buttons, bows, pompoms or embroidery. Or keep it simple and go with the decorations suggested in the pattern — whichever you prefer.
For just a moment, let’s briefly discuss the uncomfortable topic of unwanted Christmas gifts. All too often, it happens that people inadvertently end up giving their loved ones gifts they neither want nor need.
In my “real job” as a freelance writer, decluttering and organizing are two of the topics I write about most frequently. I’ve had to research these activities thoroughly and write dozens of articles about them. As it turns out, holiday gifts are one of the major culprits responsible for causing massive quantities of clutter — at least, in North America and in Australia, the two major markets I write for.
As far as I can tell, there are 3 easy solutions for avoiding wasting money on unwanted gifts and creating clutter for your gift recipients in the process. Solution #1 is to ASK your gift recipients what they might like to receive as gifts. Solution #2 is to give a gift certificate to a store you know your gift recipient patronizes. Solution #3 is to give a zero-waste gift that is intended to be consumed by the recipient instead of lingering in his or her home to create clutter: organic nuts, brownies, soaps, candles, lotions, lip balms and personal care products all qualify (unless your gift recipient is a teacher — in which case, s/he will be getting zillions of each of these items — so choose things like pencils, craft papers, glue, erasers and stickers s/he will be able to use in the classroom so s/he won’t have to buy these items out of pocket. This pro tip comes to you complements of Mike’s sister, who is a teacher).
This holiday season, I invite you to give some serious consideration to applying these clutter-free solutions to your own holiday shopping.
Since this is a craft website, let’s take a look at a few resources you can use for clutter-free holiday crafting, with the intention of making your own clutter-free gifts. If you’re interested in the possibility of making your own candles, soaps and similar craft projects as gifts for your loved ones, I have suggestions for some excellent resources you might find useful:
The “Make & Give” Series of Books by Leisure Arts:
Make & Give Home Apothecary gives you recipes and giftwrap ideas for making all-natural body care products such as sugar scrubs, lip balm and bath bombs.
Make & Give Home Candle Making offers you step-by-step instructions and gift presentation ideas for making delightfully beautiful candles and wax melts.
Make & Give Home Soap Making empowers you to make luxurious and useful soaps in a tempting variety of styles and fragrances (or you can opt for unscented if you suspect your gift recipient may have sensitivities to fragrance).
One of the best things about these books: There are step-by-step photos and instructions for making each project. The projects are all beginner friendly, and the giftwrap and presentation ideas are outstanding!
Soaps, personal care products and candles are all useful items your gift recipient is likely to have a genuine need for. Out of these, I think soaps are one of the items that would be least likely to morph into clutter — because everyone would be likely to eventually use soaps. But I think all of these ideas have the potential to be truly useful ones.
I wish you and yours a blessed holiday season this year. Happy holidays, and happy crafting
‘Tis the season for toy shopping, but shopping for toys isn’t your only option. Have you given any thought to the possibility of making the dolls or toys you’ll give to the children on your gift list? It’s totally do-able considering there are many, many patterns available for sewing,knitting and crocheting adorable toys.
You aren’t limited to these craft techniques, by any means. Lately my daughter has been begging me for tiny, cute needle felted toy animals (which I don’t know how to make — so I have no recommendations for needle felting patterns. Yet.) Right now, knitting and crocheting are my top craft techniques, so this post will focus primarily on pattern recommendations for crocheted and knitted toys.
Knitted Dolls and Teddy Bears
If you want to knit truly wonderful holiday gifts for anyone in your inner circle, my top pattern book recommendation of the moment would be Arne & Carlos Favorite Designs. This book isn’t specifically intended to be a toy pattern book, but it does have some fantastic options for fun toys you can make — including a vibrant and colorful teddy bear, bunches of different dolls and doll clothes, plus assorted other toys. The book also includes patterns for slippers, socks, and all kinds of other gift-worthy items.
There are a whole lot of outstanding amigurumi crochet patterns available for making toys and dolls. If you were to ask my opinion about the absolute best choice for a pattern book for Christmas 2019, the book pictured above would be my pick.
Bunches of reasons:
So far, this book offers you the best value out of any of the choices I’m aware of; it has the best per-pattern price out of any of the amigurumi pattern books I’ve reviewed.
These patterns are super fun, super cool and super cute. Well, OK, not all of these designs are cute, but most of them are.
There are designs suitable for both boys and girls, so the boys are not left out of the fun.
The book format is totally logical and user-friendly, with gorgeous full-color photography and readable fonts.
If these ideas aren’t quite what you had in mind, I invite you to check out our page of knitting and crochet patterns for dolls and toys to find even more suggestions. Happy crafting, and happy holidays to you and yours. I hope your family will have a delightful holiday season this year.
Winter is fast approaching. In the northern hemisphere, the first official day of winter will fall on Saturday, December 21, 2019 this year. But for many of us, the weather is already starting to turn cold and wintry. I’m currently living up in the mountains — and in my neighborhood, we’ve already had to break out the warm knitted socks for winter. And I’m also thinking of turning my attention to knitting some new wooly socks for myself and my family.
Need some warm socks to wear under your winter boots or sneakers? Or maybe even to wear to bed at night if your bedroom gets cold or drafty? If you think you might enjoy knitting some new socks, too, I invite you to consider the following winter-friendly sock patterns and knitting pattern books:
Colorful Knit Soxx is a unique and wonderful book featuring nothing but sophisticated sock knitting patterns. These patterns are all unisex designs, and they are sized for adult men and women. If you want to keep your feet warm while also making a unique fashion statement, this is definitely a book worth considering for your pattern collection.
There are a lot of cold places around the world. Out of all of them, Norway ranks high at the top of the list of countries where residents endure some of the coldest wintertime temperatures on earth. So,if you’re interested in knitting some ultra-warm winter socks, Norwegian knitting pattern books offer you an excellent starting point; knitted Norwegian accessories are typically designed for wearing in the coldest of cold temperatures.
The Norwegians have mastered the art of keeping warm while also looking chic and stylish. Their hand-knitted socks tend to be really interesting designs. And, so far, some of the most interesting sock knitting patterns I’ve found are the ones designed by Jorid Linvik and published in her Big Book of Knitted Socks.
Jorid’s sock knitting patterns draw heavily on Scandinavian style knitting traditions, yet they are also thoroughly contemporary and unique. I’ve never seen anything quite like them. They are super impressive knitting projects — so if you’re looking to show off your knitting skills while making socks to keep your feet warm, Jorid’s sock knitting book is one you’ll want to keep foremost in mind when you’re shopping for sock knitting patterns.
This sock knitting pattern book by Nina Granlund Sæther features numerous examples of innovative Norwegian sock designs that have all been inspired by historic patterns of past. Of all the sock knitting pattern books I’ve reviewed, this one has the broadest diversity of different sock patterns and techniques. It’s a truly lovely book featuring sock patterns for everyone ranging from babies through adults; patterns are included for people of both genders.
In my opinion, all the books I’ve included on this particular list offer you a substantial value for the money you’d spend on them. Value is a subjective thing — but in this reviewer’s opinion, Socks From Around Norway offers the best value I’ve yet found on a sock knitting pattern book, assuming you plan to do a lot of sock knitting.
If you aren’t sure whether or not you’ll like sock knitting, this affordable booklet gives you the opportunity to try it out without making a sizable financial commitment in sock knitting patterns. The patterns you get are all appealing ones, and this book is a great value for the money you spend on it.
As of right now, these are my top recommendations for sock knitting pattern books. If you’d like more information about sock making, I invite you to check out my page on the topic of sock knitting and crochet patterns, which is posted online at KnittingandCrochet.net.
I hope you and yours will stay toasty warm this winter season.
If you enjoy creating gifts to give to your family, friends, and colleagues, you might enjoy Mags Kandis’ colorful, creative craft pattern book called Gifted: Lovely Little Things to Knit and Crochet. Interweave publishes this book, which features a wide variety of craft patterns. Most of the included items are reasonably quick to make, and there are items that will suit many different recipients. The majority of patterns featured are knitting patterns, but there are a few crochet patterns included; there are also ideas for felting, needle felting, sewing, and even a few recipes.
My three favorite projects in the book are a pair of knitted socks, a simple but elegant crocheted scarf and a colorful felted granny square tote bag. I think the granny square bag is especially clever. If you crochet a lot of granny squares, I think you’re going to enjoy seeing how this bag is put together. It is soooo simple, yet the finished results are totally fabulous.
Happy Thanksgiving to all our Canadian friends! Canadian Thanksgiving is tomorrow — October 14th, 2019. And this year, in the USA, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 28, 2019. Maybe you celebrate this holiday, and maybe you don’t…Either way, I’d like to point you in the direction of some free, crafty ideas and instructions for setting a lovely table.
This page features a whole bunch of different napkin rings you could make for your holiday table settings — Thanksgiving or otherwise. Some of these ideas are so super simple that you’ll barely need the tutorials. Others are so complex that your dinner guests will be dazzled by your creativity. Whether you’re looking for quick, easy ideas or projects that or more in-depth, either way, you can’ go wrong with this list.
Crocheted placemats are ideal for Thanksgiving and other holidays. To make a placemat, crochet a rectangle of any stitch — perhaps half double crochet stitch — and then add a fancy crocheted edging. To make them extra special, you could also add gorgeous ribbon embellishments in holiday-friendly colors.
Autumn is the time of year that many knitters and crocheters most look forward to. We can’t wait to savor pumpkin spice lattes, and we’re excited to cheer for our favorite college football teams. But, best of all, we love to get out our handmade sweaters and flaunt them — and fall is definitely the best season for that.
When the trees decide it’s time to transform from green to rich hues of orange and gold and red, we’re there with our cameras in hand, ready to snap selfies showing off every intricate cable or colorwork motif in our handiwork.
Fashion trends come and go, but sweaters are eternal. And, if you knit or crochet, you can never have too many sweater patterns.
Are you thinking of knitting or crocheting a new fall sweater any time soon? If so, there are some outstanding sweater pattern books you should be aware of.
If you’re interested in knitting warm wool sweaters featuring classic Scandinavian motifs and styling, you’ll definitely want to take a look at a brand new book called Traditional Danish Sweaters. This book is a unique combination of history book, design workbook, sweater knitting pattern book and knitting stitch dictionary. The designs included in this book are all wearable ones that I think will be of interest to knitters who are interested in working sweater patterns.
In the Northern Hemisphere, today — Monday, September 23, 2019 — is the first day of fall. You know what that means: If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to put away your shorts and t-shirts, and start getting out your ponchos, mittens, hats, scarves and sweaters to prepare for the chillier days ahead.
If you don’t already own any lovely ponchos, perhaps you’d enjoy knitting yourself a new one. There are bunches of gorgeous poncho patterns to consider. Check out this one:
Knitting for the Fun of It! is one of my all-time favorite knitting books. In addition to poncho patterns, the book also includes patterns for making shawls, fingerless gloves, sweaters and bunches of other lovely items that are suitable for wearing in fall. It also has some interesting articles on topics like how to dye your own yarn. I find the book highly inspiring — and if you knit, I bet you’ll love it, too.
If you’d rather knit a shawl or a wrap than a poncho, another fabulous book to consider is Vogue Knitting Shawls & Wraps 2. The entire book is dedicated to giving you knitting patterns for making pretty, feminine shawls and wraps that will ward off the chill on crisp fall days.
If ponchos and shawls aren’t what you feel like working on right now, no worries. We have bunches of other craft ideas you might enjoy. You’re invited to check out this list of fall patterns to discover ideas for crocheting or knitting just about any type of knitwear you might want to get started on making this fall. Happy crafting!