Handmade Holidays

Oh boy, could I use a break from holiday goings-on. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with different people every day but right around now I usually want nothing more than just to settle back into routine, nest a little, have some alone time. I like to prepare for the new year with a clean house, an organized life, and a list of goals for the upcoming year and I just haven’t had a chance to do any of that yet! (I’m insanely jealous of those who have off from work for the whole holiday period, I am not one of the lucky ones.) I can’t complain, though, as I was thoroughly spoiled in many fiber-y ways this Christmas.

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Yes, that is a veritable boat-load of yarn.

These are nearly all of my stash enhancements (not pictured is 15 oz of Romney wool roving). Clockwise from top left: unknown wool from a farm in New Hampshire, Cephalopod Yarns Traveller in Kalamazoo and Peaks of Otter, Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Mediumweight in Joy to the World, Blue Moon Fiber Arts Yaksi (a new yarn!) in Shoqua, Loop! Bullseye Bump in Kermit Coordinate, Black Trillium Pebble Sock Gradient Kit in Pease, Freia Yarns Ombre Worsted in Blue Velvet, and Countess Ablaze BFL/silk fiber in Petrol. I also received the light box that they’re pictured in, so the lighting in my blog photos should be much improved now! Oh, and my dear Fiasco totally surprised me with stitch markers he made, as well.

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Aren’t they pretty? Totally spoiled.

In addition to receiving many fiber-y gifts, all of the handknit gifts I gave were a big success. I finished most gifts just in time for them to be received. My cousin’s socks were given with needles still in the toe (my uncle got a kick out of that) and two project plans were scrapped entirely and replaced with purchased gifts (rainbow handwarmers and a not-even-started hat). Would you believe that after all that rushing around to finish, I actually forgot to bring NOT ONE, but TWO of the gifts with me? I forgot the vest for little Logan and the hat for my future father-in-law. No worries, though, the vest was mailed off and the hat is now accompanied by a matching cowl (photos soon), so I think I made up for it. The only people who got a little shafted with unfinished handknits this Christmas were the Fiasco (of course) and my mom, who really didn’t get that shafted since the Fiasco made her a beautiful quilt.

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Some knits in action!

I love love love knitting for my little cousins because as soon as they open their gifts, they put them right on and wear them for the rest of the night. Pictured here are the stripey socks on Megan, a hat for Austin, and some cuffs on Olivia. The baby in the bottom right is Lyra, my friends’ little girl. Her gifts haven’t been on the blog yet, I made her a Little Flower Hat by Ewelina Murich and finagled some toddler-sized mittens to coordinate.

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Handmade solid lotion bars.

I also made some lotion bars to give out with gifts. These consist of equal parts beeswax, coconut oil, and cocoa butter with some fragrance oil added. Since I’ve made these bars, I’ve acquired deoderized cocoa butter, mango butter, sweet almond oil, additional fragrances, and lanolin. I see lots of lotion experimenting in my future and when I find a recipe I really, really love, I’m planning to sell them in an etsy shop. All told (counting the lotion bars as one), I finished 16 projects for holiday gifts this year. Not too shabby!

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The Fiasco and our nephew Logan, me with my wonderful mom, and me with my nephews Liam and Logan and my sister-in-law Alyse.

I hope all of your holidays went well and that you are making the most of the end of 2013. Did you give or receive any handmade or fiber-y gifts this year?

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12 thoughts on “Handmade Holidays

  1. I gave my sister a lovely Malabrigo scarf and she loved it 🙂 I didn’t receive any fibery gifts because I am yarned out right now. I did get a couple knitting magazines. But anyways, it looks like you had an amazing holiday! I hope 2014 goes well 🙂

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  2. Now that’s a great holiday haul of fiber-y goodness. Looks like you’re off to a good start for the New Year! The light box is great too – I’m planning on going the DIY route and trying to make one… Christmas brought a good number of cardboard boxes to play with.
    I gave my mom a handknit hat this year, that she says fits great. I also made hats for my nephews… but still haven’t mailed them yet. Oops.
    And lotion bars… hmm, I’ve never used one. But they look lovely, and I love the snowflakes on them!

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