In an effort to stave off the materialistic side of the holidays, and to have an opportunity to devote time to making special items for each of my side of the family, I again made my gifts for the holidays. Now that they've been gifted, I can share the spoils.
First up, felted clogs for my dad. [Ravelry pattern link]
And coordinating ones for his new wife.
For my new step-brother, I made a Norwegian Star Hat with Earflaps [Ravelry link]. Rumor has it his head (and hair) are both large, so I made a pretty substantial hat, which I then felted because it was pretty floppy and huge when all was said and done. It's still pretty roomy on me, so I'm trusting it will work.
The sisters received bags I sewed; I liked the results so much that I am in the process of picking up the same fabric to make an identical one for myself. I made two cross-body bags and one shoulder bag, following the directions. I personally prefer the shoulder bag, pictured below, but each sister was given a bag well-suited to their needs. [Margaret Sling Bag link]
My brother-in-law received a ribbed wool hat, although he doesn't have to roll the brim like I did for my posterity shot. [Ravelry link]
Even Eric was gifted a new pair of socks, here being modeled by my youngest sister, who happens to have smaller feet, thus the bagginess around the ankles.
The best part about his gift is that I worked on them in his presence repeatedly in the weeks leading up to Christmas, including the car trip to Iowa, and the bind-off was accomplished after Eric plopped himself next to me on Christmas Eve. With all that, he was oblivious (he's so used to me knitting that he doesn't take much notice as to what I'm actually making unless I point it out to him). I was glad he didn't take note, because I wanted them to be a surprise but was running out of time.
My mom received some homemade candles (more on that later), and some knit washcloths.
Now time to share the gifts for my nieces. They're both artistic, so I made portable art cases for them [Portable Art Case link]. Here is one closed.
And here is what it looks like once opened.
There's room for a dozen colored pencils, a drawing pad, and a couple activity books. In the small pocket, I threw in Old Maid and Go Fish in their respective pouches. As an aside, I waited to pick up a blank drawing pad until a few days before Christmas, and it was actually pretty difficult to find one. Apparently drawing materials are in short supply for the holidays.
My nephew was the proud new recipient of a dinosaur play mat [Dinosaur Play Mat link]. When folded up, it's not anything impressive.
But when you unfold it, it transforms into a play mat, complete with a movable tree, volcano, and cave, along with boulders and a lake.
For other family members, co-workers and friends, I made candles. I repurposed orphaned teacups and other containers, melted down wax, added dye and aroma, and waited for them to set so I could trim the wicks. I don't have any finished photos, so here's a progress shot.
I also whipped up small tote bags to hold the gifts for the office ladies, although at the last minute, I had to switch patterns once I realized I didn't have enough of the contrasting fabric for this pattern.
And that finally concludes Homemade Christmas for another year. I didn't get things going until Thanksgiving time, but I'm pleased with the outcome.