Tag Archives: Christmas Crochet

A time to contemplate the season…


am2010hats

Originally uploaded by HoosierLadyB

After the post Thanksgiving consumer fest that is Black Friday thru today Cyber Monday, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of shopping bags and receipts. The news will tell you it’s you helping the economy, and the commercials tell you that you have to have it…that you can’t live without it…but how much of what is bought is personal?

In these very difficult economic times with huge amounts of joblessness so many families around the country are being impacted in tragic ways. It’s not about stuff, it’s about simply not having enough to live. It’s not about how much we have, it’s about having enough to survive cold winters, with full tummies and warm hands are feet. As much as it is a strain on parents and grandparents, imagine being a child; imagine being a hungry and cold child…

That is exactly what our dear CLF Member HoosierLady did; Then  thinking of her community has crocheted (at last count) 55 original hats in child to adult small sizes and five hat/scarf sets to be donated to a local charity in her home town. You can read her story in the project notes posted on Ravelry.

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/HoosierLady/50-hats-for-kids

If you’re not on Ravelry, let me just sum up how bad the situation is in her area, Elkhart , Indiana.

* 60% of the children in the school district qualify for the free lunch program
*30% of them qualify for the reduced lunch program

When she found out about this in August, she put her hook into action, When I read through her project notes, I couldn’t help but swell with pride to have such a wonderful member in our group. After all, this is the season of giving, of showing love and compassion for our fellow humans.

She isn’t alone, so many of our crocheters make hats, scarves, blankets and more for so many charities. We know how important it is to give just a little (or a lot) of our time and love to help someone else make it through their holiday season, or heck even just their day.

If you know of any great charities in your area, please list them here in the comment section.

BTW I think my favorite hat is the pupppy dog one! Who ever gets that hat will be one lucky kid!

Advertisements

The Art of Gifting

So, I have this cousin, whom I love dearly and for whom the holidays are always a hard time, why? Because her in laws never seem to take into consideration the needs of her family during the season, they always arrange for the other son’s family. Even after addressing the issue with them, nothing much changed, and every year to add salt to the wounds she is gifted something that is completely not her style, to her taste or even something in which she expressed dislike. I am completely dumbfounded by this family’s complete lack of comprehension on the art of interacting and gift giving.

Of course that same family also does not appreciate handmade gifts of any kind, and rebuked her early in her marriage after she made them all quilts…BY HAND mind you (she refuses to machine quilt and her work is phenomenal!)…Did I mention that her husband is kinda of the odd duck in his family? He loves hand crafted items, and is one of the most considerate people on the planet? Yeah, they don’t get him either. It’s not personal against my cousin, it’s just how these people are, but it still hurts.

So, this is why I write about gifting every year, for both gifters and giftees there is an art. So first things first…Not everyone appreciates handwork, I haven’t met very many people who don’t like mine personally, but I know these people exist. For them? Don’t waste your time, energy or precious yarn, buy them a gift card.  There is no point in making people things if they don’t appreciate the fact you made it for them, that being said there is an art to making gifts people will like and possible use, if not treasure!

So, to be a devil’s advocate I have recieved many handcrafted gifts in my life time, some are treasures and some I keep as mementos because of who made it, and some were just down right, “WHA????”  I love to give gifts, I love picking out things whether I buy them or make them, that suit the individual that is being gifted.

Here are some of my gift giving tips:

  • Pay attention to the person’s house, style of dress, life style.  How busy are they? Do they like to handwash items? Do they have cats & dogs in the house? Do they have young children? What are the colors in the kitchen, living room, dining room, bathroom, bedroom? Do they wear accessories like hats and scarves? Do they ski or snowboard? Do they like the out of doors or are they couch potatoes? What are their hobbies?
  • 

  • Ask them what their favorite colors are!  My cousin hates the color orange, she has told her Mother in Law she hates the color orange, and yet what does she get from her? Orange. Seriously. And no her Mother in Law doesn’t hate her, really I have met the woman she’s just not aware.  I try to make sure I don’t automatically use pink for girls, and blue for boys, I find out what the kids like! I ask parents of babies what they want before I make something. Don’t assume you know.

 

  • Before making a large project, ask if the recipient wants one. Before making that huge king sized afghan you might want to ask the recipient if they want an afghan. It’s a lot of work, time, and yarn to spend on something someone doesn’t want. You don’t have to tell them what style, and it’s the perfect time to ask what colors 😀

 

  • If you have a lot of gifts to make think small. Ornaments, toys etc are great gifts.

 

  • Offer coupons for your handwork where the person has a menu of options and you can work on it at another time besides the holidays 😀  You could make a little card that gave options for hat/scarf set, hooded scarf or cowl, fingerless gloves, blanket and then list colors and yarn choices for people to circle. That way you know exactly what will please them!

Like I said there is an art to gifting, and in an ideal world most people would just be tickled to know that you put effort into thinking of them; but sadly there are the inconsiderate schmucks out there. And really, you can’t please everyone…but paying attention and checking in can help not have hurt holiday feelings.

Now for some really cute gifting ideas for the kiddos in your life….

FRUIT! Kids love toy fruits and veggies! These are great ideas for the little ones in your life! Click on the picture and it takes you to the awesome tv show Knit and Crochet Now! You can find this and many other cool gift ideas there! These cute strawberries designed by Rose Langlitz from the book  Tasty Crochet A Pantry Full of Patterns for 33 tasty treats!http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/tasty-crochet-a-pantry-full-of-patterns-for-33-tasty-treats

 Monkeys…who doesn’t love ’em? And SOCK MONKEYS too cute!  Click on the picture and it will take you to the Red Heart Website that has tons of fun patterns for quick and easy gifts! This monkey and hat was designed by Linda Cyr.

Doll Clothes…for those large twin and “American Girl” dolls…I know they make my cousin’s daughter delighted! This cute little peacoat design  by Deborah Cooper can be yours for only $2.75 on Ravelry.com…That’s a great price! Click on the picture to get to the pattern!

What? You’re not on Ravelry.com yet? WHAT??? Ok can I tell you that the pattern search alone is worth it! Let alone communities where you can get questions answered, find out about books and other websites, and look and drool at yarns! Organize your projects! Join TODAY and find the CLF under Groups!! http://www.ravelry.com

Stay tuned for more gifting ideas…

Holiday Crochet: 4 days

4 days left, well actually 3 and maybe a few more if you are like me and have several “after Christmas-Christmas get togethers”. I will more than likely be crocheting on Christmas day, since I’m meeting up with family and friends on the 27th, and then on the 29th.

What do I have to finish? Fingerless glove covers…Yes, they are fingerless and go over the top of stretchy gloves. But those can be done after Christmas because we’re meeting that part of the family after New Years. Right now there is a cravat to be done a set of wash cloths, more wash cloths, a scarf and hat, a cravat, and another cravat, and doll cloths. The bunny slippers are complete other than the embroidery for the eyeballs. I do have to complete another scarf and hat set, or maybe just a hooded scarf. We’ll see what else needs to be done 😉

I still need to think of something to make for my son who really really really wants Mom to make him something for Christmas. I’m thinking about a mesh bag for his Tae Kwon Do stuff. That won’t take long and is cool 🙂

Anyway, that’s my list, and I’ll post pics maybe tomorrow or Wednesday. I’m rather proud of the cute little bunny slippers I made for my little neice’s American Girl Doll 😉 They are too much fun, now I have to make the matching bath robe, and hat, scarf belt and sweater 🙂 A hooker’s work is truly never done.

No stress though, it is now into the crochet zen time 😉 I am one with my hook, and it is one with me…and making the doll clothes brought the magic back. What did I say, I knew it could come back, it always does!

Holiday Crochet: Wine Bottle Gift Bag

Originally uploaded by Drew – The Crochet Dude

For the wine lover’s in our lives! These quick and easy crocheted gift bags add a little je ne sais quois to the holiday gift giving process!

This pattern is by none other than The Crochet Dude, Drew Emborsky. I like this kind of gift because it multi-tasks in a variety of ways.

So, if you have family like mine that likes a nice bottle of vino here and again what a perfect way to wrap up the gift they love best!

Makes a great hostess gift too! I can see edging a lovely red bag with gold or silver sparkly yarn for a little bit of extra holiday flair!

Also don’t forget you can still get the CLF First Ever Book on Amazon.com, or as a pdf download for only $9.99 on the CLF Website!

Holiday Crochet:For the coffee lover in your life!


IMG_2232

Originally uploaded by Robbisaurus

These adorable coffee cup sleeves are too cute, quick & easy! These were made by RobbieRobbie on Ravelry.com, but there are 21 OTHER version available to look at for ideas.

The pattern was designed by Vickie Blizzard for Coats & Clark.

Last minute gift? This could be it…Especially if you live in Coffee Country like I do!

Holiday Crochet: A few tips on gifting.

I’ll get back to my regular schedule programming of putting up cool crochet ideas for the holiday mad crafting season, but I thought I should take a moment and give some gifting advice.

So often in forums and in email groups I hear the sad tale of hard working crocheters who lovingly make gifts for family and friends only to have them unappreciated by the recipients. I have to say I have not had that experience, my family actually has no problem over loading me with requests, and I’ve had to get very serious about stating what I can have done by when etc…such as, “Yes, you will all get blankets, however not all of them will be done right away. Throughout the year and into 2011 I will be making these. I love you all, the order they are made are not in order of preference.”

But, I hear the lonely voice out there saying, “I wish my family did that…”

Well here’s the deal folks, in any gift giving whether it is handmade or store bought a few simple rules apply:

 Know your audience. ~ What are their interests? Do they like the out of doors, are they computer geeks? Are they forever attached to a cell phone or hand held gaming device? Do they have allergies? What is their lifestyle like? Are they super busy? Can they afford dry cleaning? Would they bother to wash something by hand and air dry it? Do they have babies? What are their ideas about resource use? Do they want natural fibers? Do they care?

And here’s a big one: What is their favorite color?

I’ll give you a totally non crafting related example: My cousin hates, and I mean, HATES orange. Her mother in law of almost 20 years consistently buys her house hold decor and plates etc in what color? Orange.

Ok, do it once, it’s cause you didn’t know. Do it again and again after being informed that someone doesn’t care for that color (my cousin has not informed her mother in law in a rude way, but she has let her know…) and sheesh it seems like you the giver, doesn’t really care.

When I make items I spend almost as much time thinking about the person and what they like/dislike, what they enjoy doing, their life style, interests, and what or how the item might be used as I do making the thing!

Which is why my handcrafted gifts are most welcome, and why my lovely nieces and nephews  give me their gift  requests. They know I hear what they want, and do my best to make it happen. Effort is appreciated, and it doesn’t take much effort to ask: What’s your favorite color.

If they don’t like it after all of that? Well screw ’em, they are just ungrateful (EVIL GRIN).

Holiday Crochet: Doll Clothes & Accessories


AG Bunny Slipper

Originally uploaded by Cobblers Cabin

My beloved Gwennie is a girl of her own mind! My 9 year old niece desperately wanted an American Girl Doll for her birthday, and so all of the family pitched into the “Gwennie needs this doll or else fund”…

Well, here’s the sad thing, “Molly” (The doll) has cold feet. I am charged with making slippers, a robe, and hair decorations, a hat, maybe a blanket (and what ever else Princess Gwennie comes up with for Aunty Laurie…yes, I’m a sucker for a pretty face and puppy dog eyes!)…

Some of my favorite Christmas presents ever were the doll clothes my Aunty Gloria made me when I was about 8 years old. She crocheted them, and they were fabulous! I didn’t even like playing with dolls, but I sure liked to dress the dolls in those fashion items made because MY AUNTY loved me so!

So if you are searching you brain for a kids gift, remember that boys like blankies for their toys too, or horse blankets, or duffle bags to hold their stuff or their action figures in! Especially if you can find glow in the dark yarn…(that’s another blog post!)

I found this really cute pattern on Ravelry! These were made by Cobblerscabin, and it has a free download, but while we’re at it, check out the THREE PAGES of cool doll clothes that fit 18″ dolls, such as the American Girl series, or other fun companions of kids (and big kids) everywhere!