I took a week off work in December to make Christmas presents for our family. We took the decision to do only handmade gifts for our adult relatives a few years ago. In part because it cost us a small fortune to get anything useful or pleasant for our family. But also because it didn’t really live up to our ethics of trying to live a bit more sustainably. Thankfully we don’t seem to have offended anyone in our home-made challenges. Partly because I think my husband tends to give alcohol he’s brewed which keeps them in merry spirits. So the breakdown of this year’s gifts
Scotty Dog Door Stops
I found this free pattern here but I’ve also seen these scotty dog door stops EVERYWHERE. In fact Edinburgh Airport has them for sale for £45!! For a door stop! I felt faint when I saw the price. Anyway I had some tweed-esque fabric in my stash and decided to funk up my dogs with some contrasting fabric in the tummy and head piece. Filling them was a whole other challenge. I went for a combo of rice and soft toy stuffing. The result is a bit different from the picture in the pattern but kind of charming in a flopping kind of way. My daughter seems to like them though.
Scotty Dog Keyrings
I was at a village fair in the autumn when I was quite taken with a table full of scotty dog keyrings. Again I almost fell off my perch when I saw the price tag of £7. I figured they must have cost tuppence to make with such a tiny amount of fabric. I know people are trying to make a few extra quid with these stalls but I also could see they weren’t worth £7. Anyhoo following on the Scotty dog theme I made a pack of Scotty dog keyrings. I drafted the pattern myself and went for 2D rather than 3D like the door stops. I bought a job log of keyrings on e-bay as well – enough for about another 45 keyrings!
They’re very cute though and I kind of wish I’d made myself one too.
Knitting Needle Rolls
My mother does a lot of knitting for her various grandchildren. As they get older she moves to the next youngest. I think she likes doing the smaller garments rather than the larger ones. Her hands give her a lot of jip so perhaps the bigger ones are just too much of an arse. Anyway I love the jumpers and cardigans she does my daughter and want to encourage her at all costs.
My mother in law is a less voracious knitter but has ambitions to make my daughter a blanket like her cousins so she shall also be encouraged at all costs!
I found a free tutorial on-line here and adapted it since I was running out of time (and fabric). I’ve made a simple one pocket wrap with plenty space for needles.
I also made a mini one for crochet hooks for myself. For once I’m quite chuffed with the final product. I reckon I’d have happily (or as happily as a cheapo like me could be) buy these for my mother and mother-in-law.
Crochet hat and cowl
I started to crochet this year to stop me falling asleep on the sofa in the evenings and to keep me entertained in the various airports and train stations I seem to frequent with work. In this regard it is working a treat. In terms of my actual outputs they are probably a bit more questionable on effectiveness. So with that in mind I’ve made a hat and cowl for my sister.
Just hope she realises the time I put into them is the message and not what they actually look like. i.e. ‘I love you enough I made you something’ rather than ‘You’re only worth a weird hat and a nice-ish cowl to me’. Ach my sister is the most positive person in the world. She’ll be nice.
The Hills are Alive Dress
Ok this wasn’t meant to be a Christmas present. I made this dress for myself earlier this year but it looked awful on me. It was the wrong colour, length, size etc. My darling husband suggested I looked a bit like Mother Theresa wearing this dress. Not a look I was going for. However on my mum this dress looked great. We’re very different shapes and all the things that were wrong on me looked good on her. So this was about February when all I needed to do was re-fit the collar and hem it. Oops. Instead its going to my Mum as a Christmas present. I’m sure she won’t mind??
I had a bit of stuffing left over from the Scotty Dogs and fancied trying my hand at a soft toy for my youngest nephew. This little fella is made of soft flannel so hopefully will be nice and snuggly against his face. Of course with 2 older brothers I hope he lasts more than a day without being subjected to physical abuse?
Yup you heard it. I made Reindeer poo for my Mother-in-law and Sister-in-law. You can think I’m a meanie or you can make them yourself and then judge. Dare you??