During the month of January for the past few years, I’ve found myself newly unemployed after coming off of working on a Christmas show. Having missed most of the Christmas celebrations with my family due to work, I usually feel a mix of what I’ll call post seasonal Christmas spirit along with a vivid sense of the stress that came with having to gather gifts for everyone in our family. So I’m that crazy person who works on Christmas gifts starting in January and I’m always grateful to my past self come December. Here is a roundup of what I made everyone in our family for Christmas 2019.
I tried to be as low waste as possible when it came to wrapping our gifts due to the fear of impending doom caused by Climate Change and also laziness. I bought these Furoshiki wraps while we were in Japan to wrap the gifts for our female family members and I wish I had bought them for all of our gifts because they’re so pretty and easy to use! All of the other wrapping supplies I used were leftover or recycled from previous gifts.
More attempts at being greener with our gift giving. We gave my aunts and uncles reusable bamboo utensil sets along with these Stowe bags.
Every year my extended family on my mom’s side does a Secret Santa exchange with a theme. We decided 2019 would be the year of the hat and the online name generator I used drew my own father’s name for me. We like to make it funny when we can and when I came across this print on Spoonflower I knew it was perfect because my dad is known for making an expression that my sister affectionately refers to as “Trout Mouth.” He also blessedly passed this facial expression down to all three of his children.
I love this backpack I self-drafted for our niece using this corgi drawn by my sister. You can check out her Etsy shop here.
This year was also my first time participating in an online gift exchange. Jessica of Shop La Mercerie organized it through Instagram and I sent my partner a skein of Early Grey Fiber Co. yarn along with a project bag I made.
And the final Christmas gift I made wasn’t completed until today. But that’s OK because it’s for my husband and I live with him so I could just hand it to him when I was done. It’s a mash-up of the Negroni shirt by Colette patterns and the Fairfield Button-up by Thread Theory Designs.
I’ve never understood the point of short sleeved sweaters. Weren’t sweaters supposed to keep you warm? But then I came across Jacqueline Cieslak’s Rift Tee pattern and my life changed. I saw the sneak peaks on Instagram and I knew I had to make it. I had just made her Ursa Sweater and really enjoyed it. It had given me a little bit of difficulty at first because I didn’t understand the half brioche stitch but overall it was such an addicting project I couldn’t put it down. In comparison, the Rift Tee went much smoother for me and was a really easy project to complete fairly quickly. It contained a decent amount of stockinette stitching that kept me occupied on my commute to work for a few days, which is always nice. And knitting in the round is especially good for commute knitting. This sweater also doesn’t take much yarn which my wallet always appreciates. I bought two skeins of Amano Awa yarn in 1108- Cochineal and still had enough left over afterwards to make my nephew a hat. Whoo!
Here I have it styled over a Metamorphic Dress by Sew Liberated to show it off. I actually entered this into Mockingbird Fiber Co’s Sweater Knit Along and won! It was a pretty general knit along, with entrants able to make any sweater of their choice in any yarn just as long as it was a finished object. I received my prize in the mail and it is the most gorgeous yarn!
I also recently made a new project bag using this canvas fabric from Fabrics Wholesale Direct and the best part about it is that it’s waterproof! So I know whatever project I store in here will be safe.
I carried it around for the first time paired with my Rift Tee and Ogden Cami Dress. It was the perfect outfit to roam around the NJ Sheep and Fiber Festival in during a warm, late summer’s day. Just a side note though, I thought I’d save myself the trouble of carrying my purse by throwing my wallet in my project bag and the shawl I had in there got snagged on it when I went to pay for some of the yarn I bought. I was so frustrated with myself but thankfully was able to fix the snag. Never again will I put my wallet in my project bag though. Anyways, I now understand the point of short sleeved sweaters!
The tutorial can be found here and the free pattern can be downloaded below:
I was looking for a simple, long term knitting project that I could easily unwind with at the end of a long day of work. I discovered Lost and Fawn‘s designs after stumbling upon an Instagram post last year about a sock knit along she was hosting along with Mockingbird Fiber Co. for her Slacktide Socks. I was a little confused by the supplies needed and sent her a DM on Instgram with a question. She answered immediately and we went on to have a nice, healthy sized conversation about sock knitting after that. Hooray for (sort of) human interaction! I still have yet to finish those socks, but I’ve been a big fan of hers and her designs ever since.
I had been admiring her Bennet Sister Shawl for a few months and Mockingbird Fiber Co. had announced they were taking pre-orders for kits to make it. I love kits because I am so bad (and lazy) when it comes to determining how much yarn is needed for projects on my own. The price tag was a little too steep for me at $85 including shipping, so I held off for a long time. But then I received some vacation pay money from my last job and finally bit the bullet. Knitting can be considered taking a vacation, right?
At first, I hit the ground running and was about a third of the way through before I knew it. Then I started to slow down because I didn’t want it to end, working on a few rows a night after work. I’d say this project is about 50/50 garter stitch and stockinette stitch. So a lot of knitting and purling! I did mess up a little towards the end. I’m not sure how. So I had to pull out a few rows and then wasn’t even sure where I was at that point, but the pattern is simple enough that I was able to guesstimate without it ruining the look of the shawl. I think altogether, it took about a month to complete. I also think I’m a shawl knitting addict now. I have my fingers crossed for more vacation money in my future to be spent on making beautiful shawls like this 🤞.
Since I didn’t finish this until the end of April, I thought I’d just tuck it away to wear when it got cold again the Fall. Unfortunately (or fortunately for the sake of wearing this shawl?), we have had a pretty chilly May but this shawl has been the perfect solution to keeping warm without having to put on too many layers because I refuse! It’s May for goodness sake! But I’m sort of thankful I didn’t have to wait six months to wear this beauty.