It' s no surprise that money was tight last year...and it doesn't look to improve in 2009.
So last September, I set out to hand knit the majority of the Christmas presents we gave out this year. My original idea was to make felted wool slippers for everyone that I could hand dye with Kool Aid...cuz I LOVE doing that so much! Unfortunately, some recipients preferred non-wool items due to wool sensitivities. So I had to get creative :)
Here's what I ended up making this year:
The largest one was this scrap-ghan for my aunt.
This was something I had big plans for...several years ago. But had since put it away and lost interest. When my aunt requested a lap blanket instead of a "foot item" I thought it would be perfect! Especially since it's acrylic & she was the one I knew ahead of time would not want wool. I just had to make a few squares to complete the "pattern" and weave in the zillions of ends = DONE!
Another one that did not take much time was this pair of socks for my mom.
These were originally for me. I thought they were great...except that when I test wore them I ended up with horrible indents from the constriction :( These were the second pair of socks I ever made. Because my first pair had been so loose, I had intentionally tightened up on the gauge and had calculated a 10% negative ease to try to get a better fitting pair of socks. If I had only done one of these adjustments...I might have been able to wear them. However, I measured them & it seemed like they'd be a perfect fit for mom. This way I wouldn't have to frog 'em...after all that work...YAY!
Next was the the felted slippers using the Fuzzy Feet pattern from Knitty. I had at least 3 pairs I wanted to make. I had some issues with running out of yarn, mis-measured feet & scouring the internet for discontinued yarn for FIL. I also had read that some people had worn holes thru the bottoms pretty quickly...I did NOT want that to happen so I scoured ebay for some decent leather to use as slipper bottoms. Results? Four pairs of slippers (only one of which I dyed...after felting...the burgundy ones).
Then there were acrylic slippers for the nephews (improvised)...and had to make one for dd too. I chose nylon yarn for the cuffs so I could do some more Kool Aid dyeing. They both started out as silver/gray...
Then it was HUG scarves for the BIL & SIL visiting from Montana...got to do more dyeing for them too :)
Yes, SIL arranged her scarf like that on purpose :) LOL
Also made some cotton wash cloths for the kiddos with the first letter of their names knitted in a garter stitch relief pattern. I'll spare you pics of those wash cloths...but I will add one of a double-side spa-cloth I made for the other SIL that has cotton chenille on one side (another improvised pattern).
And let's not forget the soap bars with knitted sweaters on them :)LOL I used this pattern as a starting point, but really just made it up as I went along...super easy!
For my brother it was a Shrek pillow...cuz let's face it, he's an ogre and proud of it!
I surprised dh by making him a log tote (sewn, not knit) while theoretically taking too long to make pillow shams for the in-laws...the shams were a bit too small :(
Didn't save these for Christmas day but ds got a couple of knit items in December too. A pair of awesome BFL longies & a pair of wool mittens (improvised).
DD also got another hand knit item. She wanted "ear muffs" after she saw my headband/ear warmers. So I knit up something similar for her.
I will probably end up sitting down and making her a hat with ear flaps as a more practical solution.
And finally, the one project I was secretly afraid of cuz they were gonna be so HUGE...my dad's birthday socks made with the yarn I dyed here.
Well, that's all the projects I finished. Yes, I'm still working on one...a scarf for dh. It won't be a surprise but he knows how much I don't enjoy making it...yet I keep going cuz he likes it & I love him :) I'm ~10" from being done so it'll probably take me another week since I only work on it for about an hour a day.