Tag Archives: christmas gifts

Merry Chrismas – From me to you: A free pattern!

Merry Christmas everyone!

 

MariaDenmark Christmas Dress. Made from Birgitte Basic Tee Pattern

Merry Christmas!

I am so happy about the reception of my newest pattern – the drape top, and I’m going to reply to comments and especially the lovely reviews and blogposts as soon as my small Christmas holiday is over. I am celebrating Christmas in Sweden with my husband’s family and am going off line – the internet connection is horrible – as soon as this is posted. I’ll be back on the 28th!

In the meantime here’s my Christmas gift to you: A free pattern!

Have a look at MariaDenmark Super Socks! (Also make a brilliant last minute gift!) My gift to you – it’s completely FREE until January 1st!

 

{The Free Christmas Pattern Gift. To all of you from me!}

{The Free Christmas Pattern Gift. To all of you from me!}

The gifts for women.. Christmas crafting part 3

This is part 3 of the handmade christmas (or homemade christmas.. which do you prefer?) series I am doing. I already took a look at gifts for men.

Now lets take a look at gifts for the women on my list..

- Mitts: I am knitting a lot of handwarmers/fingerless mittens and mittens for gifts. Mittens are relatively fast to knit and you can make them from small amounts of yarn and in a luxury yarn that suits the recipient. I have written about how I make one-skein-mitts HERE. But there are also my popular – and free – Mobile Mittens Knitting Pattern. You can easely adjust this and add a design to the back of the hand.

Mobile Mittens. Great for all sexes and ages.

- Project bags. I am making quite a few project (knitting) bags this year – I taught both my mom and my sister to knit socks, so they need proper way to store their knitting. I included stitchmarkers and measuring tape in the pouch. I also wrote a kind of basic pattern for the kind of toe-up-socks I do, and am adding this to the package. The project bags are either box bags or square-bottom-bags (without handles).

square bottom project bag

- Make-up bags or wash bags. Made as the project bags – for the non-knitters. I am actually only doing on of those this year. But in earlier years I have done bags and included homemade lipbalm or homemade lotions and soaps. You could also knit a wash-cloth to go with the fabric of the bag, and then maybe include a nice soap (homemade or not).

- Kitchen-stuff: All of the kitchen stuff mentioned in the gifts-for-men post could be great gifts for some women. If you personalize the theme and the fabric to the person in mind. But you need to be carefull. I have given apron + potholders sets (to my mom, for instance, but she had asked me to make a set) but I know some women would be offended to get gifts that ties them to the kitchen.

- Slippers and fleece socks. The fleece socks would also be a good present for women with a cold house, but what I really love, are the French Press Felted Slippers (ravelry link) that I had planned on making as a gift this year – but I haven’t started them yet, so I don’t know if I’ll get to it in time…

This is my gift list. If you need more ideas – take a look at The Ultimate Handmade Gift Guide at SewMamaSew.

How are you doing on the gifts? I am almost there, but I am happy that I still have 13 days (remember – we celebrate on the 24th) to complete all the things I need to finish!

The gifts.. for men: Christmas crafting part 2

Edited to add: I have added a few more ideas from the comments (continue to add to the list – we will all appreciate it nect year :-)).I am just adding them real fast, but might elaborate later.

Do you have your gift-list ready?

I don’t. I never do in time. Also – there is always some unexpected gift that I have to get at the very last minute.

But the main reason that the list isn’t done is the men.

Yes. I don’t know why, but the men in my life are so hard to get presents. They either don’t wish for anything, or the thing they want is some technical feature that cost more than my entire gift budget. Is it the same for you?

The Tree at my In-laws two years ago. Might be a few homemade things in the packages..

I thought I would go through some of the handmade christmas presents I have made and gifted, as an inspiration to you all :-) And also I might mention some that I would like to make (hypothetically, of course, since family members might read here..)

For Men (young and old):

- Placemats and napkins. A few years ago, I made a set of these (4 of each) for my then bachelor brother (who was in his mid-twenties at the time). I made them in black cotton and embroidered with silver thread on the placemats. I simply cut two pieces of cotton for each placemat (the size I wanted + 1 cm seam allowance all around), interfaced one of the pieces with black iron on interfacing, and embroidered using my machine. I did some chinese or japanese signs  (which went with the decor he had). I then placed the pieces right sides together, stitched around the edge (but leavin a hole to turn through) before I clipped corners, turned and pressed. I then edgestitched (topstitched) around and closed the hole in the process. I did not quilt them!!
The napkins were cut (40 cm x 40 cm)  and then hemmed using the rolled hem on my serger (with black thread.). They were were well recieved and he used them a lot.  You don’t need a pattern for this project (but google for one, and you will find!). And embridory isn’t necessary either.

- Fleece socks. I make a lot of these every year. Mostly because we live in an old house and guests need to wear them to not get cold. And I don’t want to waist my knitting on slipper socks:-) There are so many patterns out there – including  free tutorials. I have also made them as gifts – Once packaged with a matching fleece blanket (a large fleece piece, edges with overlock stitches) and some tea (for my brother, again). Once with several pairs of socks in different sizes – pakced in a drawstring back labelled “guests” – the idea being that the recipient could use the socks for their guests, like we do. This was not for a man, but could have been (if he had a cold house:-))

- Soap and shaving soap. I realise this is not for everyone – but I have enjoyed making soap for years (and it’s really easy!) and many years ago (before I met Dennis, even) I cooked old fashioned shaving soap for all the men on my gift-list. (I have the recipe somewhere, should you be interested, but there are several on-line) I put the shaving soap in a personalised cup and added a shaving brush to the package (but no razor, all though I guess I could have). The recipients (my dads and one of my brothers) all liked the gift and came back asking for more, when they had used it. They liked it better than the store bought kind. (The same year I also made a home made saddle soap for my sister – and she wanted more, too!)

Maybe a laundry bag like this – but with an applique on front?

- Laundry Bags. This would be perfect for brothers just moving out or something like that – big canvas bags to haul to the laundrette, or to hang on hooks in the bathroom (I used to have some (in my first appartment) with program settings appliqued on (90*, 40*, wool), so I could sort directly into the bags. I still do that (all though I use baskets now I have more space). I found this tute and this, and there are many more!

- Aprons etc. Everybody cooks from time to time. But it seems like most men prefer to cook on special occasions – and they can talk for hours about special ingredients and processes etc. For those people I might consider making a set of apron, potholders, and french press cozy. All in appropiate design. Modern and that goes with their taste and style. Most men would prefer gray or black, perhaps even ecru and brown – but i don’t know any who would like flowers on their potholders. Google for patterns, if you like. There are so many to chose from.

I knit this for Dennis 2 years ago. The pattern is very versatile!

-Hats and mittens. This is going to be my big thing this year. I noticed that especially one of my dads use a very old acrylig knit hat – and he is going to get a new one knit in luxury camel yarn from the shop. I really enjoy knitting this pattern, but for my dads it will get a cuff. My brothers will get it as it is.

ETA:

- Knitted socks. I didn’t mention those the first time around, even though I am actually making some this year. Only for men, who really appreciate a woollen sock – as they are very time consuming and often incredibly boring to knit (most men like one colour, no patterns!)

- Pyjamas or lounge pants. Great for the yonger men or boys – but also, I could see myself making these for my son and my husband in a fun print.

- Cookies. Tini mentioned cookies. I don’t like to bake, butif you do, it’s a brilliant idea. Also I could imagine doing homemade cookie-in-a-jar gifts for the cooking guys (along with an apron or something like that). Or what about Soup-in-a-jar… Or cocoa.. there are plenty of ideas out there (google “homemade gifts in a jar”)!

I am settled on hats for the dads and brothers this year. Now I’m looking forward to hearing your ideas for homemade gifts for men – there are birthdays coming up,too ! Share share :-) I’ll be back with Christmas crafting part 3 in a few days – with fast homemade gift ideas for the women (much,much easier!) and perhaps even the kids (that is difficult, though!).

Christmas crafting part 1

Well. Whether we like it or not - the holidays (in my case, Christmas), is getting nearer.

This year I am actually looking forward to it – I get to spend Christmas at home and host the Christmas dinner on Christmas eve (which is when we celebrate in Denmark).

The Christmas Tree from 3 years ago.

I haven’t tried it before. 3 years ago, we celebrated “Little Christmas” on the 23rd with the kids and my mother and bonus-dad (I wrote about it on my old blog), and that is as close as we ever got. Every other year the kids are with the other parents, and the other years, Dennis has been very keen on going to celebrate with his mother. So this the first time. I am a Christmas virgin

Naturally, Christmas gives plenty of opportunities to be creative and create stuff.

The HomeDec and Ornaments:

As soon as it was decided and confirmed that my brother, sister-in-law and little nephew would be here as well, I decided I needed to make a real tablecloth and some napkins. I hurried to the computer and ordered some christmas fabric at Stof2000.

christmas fabric

The fabric I got for our christmas table.

The red fabric with hearts will be the tablecloth (I bought it in the right length, and I’ll just turn over the hem), and the striped fabric will be napkins, which I will embroider our names and 2010 on. They will double as placecards, and the guests get to take their napkin home and use again and again.

A few years ago, while at work, I came up with some crocheted hearts to decorate the tree with.

Since I had no tree that year, the hearts decorated the rosemary plant.

They were simple and fast to make and I plan to make lots more this year (bonus: The cats can’t break them!). They’d also be great for decorating presents and as small gifts.

I might also do some embroidery ornaments, but otherwise, I’ll leave it to the kids to decorate the house.

Do you want to make the hearts, too?

Here is the pattern – note that I’m using the British terms for the stitches – see them and how they translate to US terms HERE:

  1.  With DK weight cotton yarn and 3 mm crochet hook, chain st. 6.
  2. Turn and beginning in 2nd st from the hook, DC  5.
  3. Turn with chain 1,  DC 5.
  4. Turn with chain 1, DC 5.
  5. Turn with chain1, DC 5.
  6. Turn. Make 9 TR in 3rd st from the hook, SC in the corner. Make 9 TR in the center “stitch”, SC in the corner. DC in each stitch till the corner (4 DC st total), ch 1, DC in each stitch till the corner (4 DC st total), SC in the first arc stitch.
  7. Make another heart, chain stitch a string to join them, weave in ends, and hang them on the tree (or the rosemary bush:-).

Lots of hearts. Will make more, though..

So that’s the house and tree taken care of. Now the gifts. Oh the gifts.. Especially for the men.. I’ll write about those tomorrow!