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One can give only so many scarves as holiday gifts. One gets tired of knitting scarves over and over again…

crafting

So this year I’ve created knitted jewelery for the ladies in my life. It’s been a really fun project and I thought I’d share it here with you first. (It will also be available on Ravelry later today if you like to keep track of your projects there.) Hemp cording was used in place of yarn, but I’m also using jewelery wire and embroidery floss to create some more delicate looking pieces.

floss

Enjoy!

owl

Needles and Yarn: Choose your needle size and “yarn” gauge according to how tightly you’d like the finish project knit. A larger needle will result in larger holes between stitches. I used hemp jewelery cording; the black was knit with a size 3 needle, the tan with a size 7.

Slip on clasp for closure as you would beads.

Co2 leaving plenty of lead for jewel or charm.

row 1: k1, M1, M1, k1

row 2 :K1, yo, k2, yo, k1

rows 3,4,5 : k1, yo, knit to last stitch, yo, k1

row 6 : k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, yo, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1

row 7,8 : k2tog, yo, knit to last 2, yo, k2tog

row 9 : k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, yo, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1

row 10 : make stitches to continue row to the back of neck. Make last stitch extra loose to make closure for the necklace.

row 11: knit across, binding off in process. When you come to the end of the pattern, make the same number of stitches as you did on the right side. Allow closure clasp to remain on last stitch before continuing down to next row.

row 12 : (this row will bring you back down to row 11) k1, binding  off until you come to end of row.  Bind off last stitch by sewing through one stitch of original pattern.

Wrap extra CO lead to tie onto charm and pull through to make a knot. Add a dab of glue if you think it’s necessary.

tan hemp

Et Voila! A simple and pretty necklace great for any gift-giving opportunity.

Jennifer can be found over at Unearthing this Life where she blargs about living life in the slow lane.

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The other day I was making an egg in my cast iron skillet and thought about how I’ve always wanted to make myself a little hot handle holder for it. I had a few minutes to spare, so I grabbed by scrap basket and pulled out some felted wool sweater scraps. You don’t need a ton of fabric, so all those little bits that aren’t enough for other projects are perfect for this.

I cut out 2 pieces a little larger than my skillet handle and selected some thick blue thread. I wanted it to have that folky handmade look, so I hand sewed the word “eat” on the top and used the blanket stitch for the sides. This project only took me about 15 minutes from start to finish. This is a quick and easy gift you can make in the evenings while watching TV. Felted wool is perfect because of it’s insulation value and it’s fire resistant nature, although you can use other fabric just make sure you add enough padding to make it heat proof. I’m making up a bunch of these for all the ladies on my gift list, perfect for everyone because I don’t know anyone that doesn’t own a cast iron skillet! Just make sure the receiver knows they shouldn’t leave this on the handle while it’s on the lit burner.

I also decided to make a little felted wool cat for my pets. I cut out 2 triangles and two half teardrops and a long skinny piece for a tail (roll this between hands to make it kind of felt together so it doesn’t come apart). I sewed them together and stuffed them with those teeny tiny pieces of scrap wool that aren’t big enough for anything.


This project took me about 15 minutes as well. The cats loved it so much I could barely get a photo of it, they kept stealing it. These would be fabulous gifts for the cat lover on your list, make them a dozen little felted wool mice for their furry friends. You could also stuff with catnip or catmint from the garden if you have some for a little extra fun.

What are some great handmade gifts you’re making this year? Do you have any great ideas for using up little bits of scrap fabric?

I can also be found at Chiot’s Run where I blog daily about gardening, cooking, local eating, beekeeping, and all kinds of stuff. You can also find me at Simple, Green, Frugal, Co-op, and you can follow me on Twitter.

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I love love love receiving and giving handmade/homemade gifts. There’s nothing more wonderful than the beauty of something that someone took the time and the effort to make for me. I also love taking the time to think of the perfect gift to make for someone else. With my family we celebrate “homemade” holidays. My sister often will give me jams/jellies or frozen corn for the holidays. Every time Mr Chiots and I enjoy some corn with our meals we are very appreciative of the time she spent doing this for us. My mom also gives jams and jellies which Mr Chiots LOVES on toast and freshly baked bread. This past year my nieces & nephew made me these wonderful stepping stones for my garden. Normally I’m not a garden ornament kind of person, but these are truly lovely and I love seeing them peeking out from between the plants.

I also love to make gifts. I know that I can make something that’s personalized to the tastes of my friends and family. This past year for Christmas I made our best friends a Frand Lloyd Wright mission style tree skirt to go with their mission inspired home. They have always had a very country kind of quilted tree skirt that they got for their wedding and I knew they would love something a little more in tune with their grown-up tastes. After searching around I found an image of an octagonal stained glass lamp that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for one of his clients. I knew it would be a perfect design for a tree skirt. I bought some velvet and some ribbon and set to work.

I even customized the tag so they would know where the design came from. They loved the gift and they love knowing that it’s a one of a kind piece that fits beautifully into their lovely home. I always like to include a tag that lets people know the gift was handmade. I do this to hopefully inspire them to make homemade gifts as well, and nothing sets off a homemade gift like a beautiful thoughtful card explaining the gift.

This past year for Christmas I made doll bedding for my nieces doll bed (which my sister found a garage sale for a few dollars and was giving them for Christmas). Mr Chiots even got involved by knitting little matching afghans for their doll beds. He learned to knit just for this project. They certainly loved seeing the photo of their uncle Brian knitting!

Our little nephew Orin requested a cape, and I knew right away that a store bought one would not fit his personality. So a reversible custom cape was made complete with wristlets and a mask to disguise himself. I don’t know if his reaction would have been as good had his cape not had his name on it. My sister said the next morning he was up early running around in his cape, and nothing else.



Now’s the time of year to start thinking about your homemade Christmas gifts. When you’re making homemade gifts you sometimes need a little extra time to come up with ideas and time to make them. I’ve started working on a few of mine already and I’m still trying to come up with good ideas for others. There’s nothing worse than realizing two weeks before Christmas that you haven’t thought of anything to make yet for a specific person. (I think one of Kim’s purses made from a sweater would be a great gift idea)

Do you appreciate handmade/homemade gifts? Do you have a favorite handmade/homemade gift you’ve recieved?

I can also be found at Chiot’s Run where I blog daily about gardening, cooking, local eating, beekeeping, and all kinds of stuff. You can also find me at Simple, Green, Frugal, Co-op, and you can follow me on Twitter.

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Well we are in the full swing of the holiday gift giving season.  It is so easy to get caught up in the feeding frenzy that is this shopping season!  We thought we would share photos of some of the homemade gifts that we are giving or have been given to us.  Nothing says I love you like something that you have taken the time to make for someone special.

At Roberts Roost the kids have been busy making gifts.  RR built some bird houses,

JJ wove some scarves,

and helped mom make wreaths.

And they built a new crèche for to help celebrate the season.

Here at Chiot’s Run we celebrate a “homemade” Christmas each year. Gifts have to be homemade/handmade or something using your talents. We set a limit of $20 for supplies/ingredients. It’s always fun coming up with fun ideas. Since I love to sew, I made cloth shopping bags for all the ladies in my family last year. I plan on making more this year since I’ve received numerous requests. I usually use old curtains as the main fabric and cloth ribbon (100 yds for $5) so they’re very inexpensive. These cost me pennies each to make.

I also make homemade cinnamon rolls for everyone in both of our families. They’re a HUGE hit. I like giving gifts that get consumed so they don’t take up space, and who doesn’t love cinnamon rolls. I found these great tree shaped pans at a bakery supply place on-line. They cost me less than a dollar each!

I make tons of canned jams/jellies/chutneys as gifts as well. These are given to our professional/work friends. It makes a great gift since most people enjoy jams & jellies, especially the homemade kind!


I am famous for one Christmas specialty: chocolate covered cherries. I have people come out of the woodwork and drive hundreds of miles to get theirs during the holidays. I must say, they are good, I eat my share as I’m making them!

This year I made a calendar featuring a few of my photos for most of my family. I had them printed up at Lulu, but since I took all the photos myself I figure it counts as handmade? It was much cheaper to get them professionally printed than to try to do that part myself. They’re a huge hit with the few people that have received them already.

This year for me it is all about knitting…after years of not picking up my knitting needles I have taken it up again with a vengence.  Everyone is getting a scarf…or two!

 

White Grape Peach Jelly is the flavor this year in the Christmas baskets…yum!

There will be banana bread…

And apple raisin sticky buns…

And photo books all around!

So what handmade gifts are you giving this year?  What handmade gift have you been given in the past that is dear to your heart?

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Handmade Holidays

I have been noticing that with the economy the way it is that there is a push for frugal gifts focusing on homemade.  There are ‘buy handmade’ pledges all over the blogs.  I think this is a worthy goal to be sure.

But I have decided that I do not want to buy homemade this but want to make it myself.  I have enlisted the help of one of my big boys and my little girl.

We have come up with a list of what we like to do, what we do well and how that can translate into gifts for our loved ones.

My 21 year old son is a great baker.  He and I are going to bake and fill baskets with goodies for our friends.  We are including artisan breads, cookies, quick breads, tarts and biscotti.  To this we will add homemade jams, jellies, preserves and dried fruits.

He and I are also knitting a variety of scarves and hats to give away.

Sweet Girl and I have already made sets of marble magnets for everyone and will include this in decorative tins with varies photos I have taken of the family and the garden.  She is adding to this a specially drawn picture for the recipient to hang on their frig with the magnets.

I am also using my photos to have photo books printed for my mom, sister, and mother in law.  I took pics of my neices and am having those photos framed for my sister in law.  I am making a scrapbook for hubby with pictures I’ve taken of the progress we have been making remodeling our cabin.

For my best girlfriends I am making felt pillows in each of their favorite colors.

The hard group of people to stick to handmade for is my college age sons…they really just want cash, lol!

For the one leaving for college this spring I have made a recipe book of all his very favorite things to eat.  For my second son who is being a ski bum this winter I am making a scarf.  My oldest who is graduating and getting ready for his first real job I am still thinking of how to incorporate something homemade for his first house…

So I have my job cut out for me over the next couple of months. The housework may suffer and the laundry my multiply…but I’m sure it will be well worth it.

Besides I figure what I spend in effort I will save big time in money…which isn’t exactly the point but it doesn’t hurt either!

So, do you have any interesting handmade gifts planned for you love ones this year and if so would you like to share?

And any handmade ideas for my 23 year old heading out into the real world and setting up his first home?


Kim can be found at the inadvertent farmer raising organic fruits, veggies, critter, kids…and a camel!

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