It's another handmade Christmas in these parts. It's of course not the first. Those of you who have been following along on this blog will remember that last year it was felted clogs for the big kids, and sock monkeys for the little ones. Those of you who don't follow along can read the archives.
This year I was way pressed for time - I've had four shows in the last month and was really focused on having lots of work done for those. So, I only actually made two gifts this year (well, it will be three but that person reads the blog so mums the word, and I haven't technically even started yet).
For my Dad who claims his head is freezing, and I don't doubt it since he's in northern Minnesota where it's reported to be well below zero, I made a simple ribbed beanie from Noro Silk Garden. It's the same improvised, I-don't-need-a-pattern-for-this hat I made for My Man last year. I'm pretty sure my Dad will love it, it's colorful and warm.
For my niece I made a pair of fingerless gloves. The pattern is one I modified a bunch - did the math and converted it to a worsted weight yarn, that way they knit up quicker and they're a little chunkier. They're also purple, her favorite color.
The rest of my Handmade gifts came from various vendors on 1,000 Markets. I really felt strongly about supporting this new on-line sales venue (see earlier post). For my sister and my Amy I got artisan soaps - some were from Besem Natural Scents and the others were from A Breath of French Air . My sisters were sent directly and I haven't heard yet, but Amy's came here first to be packaged with my Dad's hat and they were lovely! Really!
For my other niece and her family I ordered the ding-dang cutest cookies you've ever seen from Cakebox Cookies. I received a sample cookie for myself from the generous folks at Cakebox Cookies, and I can assure you it wasn't just cute, it was darn good! I'm a huge fan of old school short bread, and this cookie was rich, and lemony, and delicious. In fact I loved it so much I order another big box to be delivered to My Man's parents. Yum! I also ordered some artisan caramels from Have it Sweet Caramels - they were sent to my Mom, and again I haven't heard the reviews yet, although I'm sure they'll be rave.
So Holy Handmade Christmas! I always feel so much more enthusiastic about the gift giving when I do it the handmade way - You get a much better value, you get something unique and original, you get to support an independent business and craftsman, you get to avoid the mall, and you get to feel good about yourself. Well at least I do. Everyone wins.
Have yourselves some Happy Holidays, and make 'em at least a little Handmade!