Holiday Startitis

Thanksgiving has come and gone and suddenly there is a cold bite to the air. There is absolutely no denying that fall has arrived. The heater is on, the windows are closed and I’m reaching for my hand knitted socks and sweaters. The shift has happened in my store, too. I’m noticing that the chunky yarns that were being ignored in favour of cotton, bamboo and linen are now getting a lot more attention. Customers are dropping off their winter gear for repairs.

I’ve always been partial to fall. I love the changing leaves, the nip in the air and that I can bake again without it making our home unbearably hot. Along with a sense of urgency to get all my outdoor chores finished up before the snow arrives, I find myself wanting to take time to cozy up my home. The days are already noticeably shorter and the nights are definitely colder. In the evenings I want to curl up in a comfy chair with a knitting project. Although I already started thinking about projects to make for holiday gifts, it’s now that I start really getting serious about actually completing those items.


I’ve never been all that great with organizing the lists in my head. I designed a project organizer that I hand out to customers for free each year to help with this. Not everyone wants or needs a notebook for this purpose, but I did find that last year it helped me to be realistic about the number of handmade projects I could actually complete for the holidays without losing my mind.

So this year, I’m using that holiday gift organizer booklet so I can minimize the stress of the upcoming season. I really believe that crafting projects should be about the fun and creativity. I get bored if the projects are too similar. I also have to be careful that I don’t bite off more than I can chew. It’s really great to imagine that I can knit a lace shawl for each of my daughters but between mine, my husband’s and son’s partner, that would be 7 lace shawls. Hey, I’m pretty good, but there is just no way that I have the time or the perseverance to make 7 lace shawls for Christmas gifts!

Some of my family members love hand made socks, others… well not so much. So I was trying to make a list of realistic projects.

One of the really cool things I’m seeing lots of patterns for is throw cushions.

You can make them as fancy or as simple as you like. Use a simple yarn and make it interesting with cables. Or, use a really funky and textured yarn and keep the design super simple. Pillow forms are available in a lot of different sizes, so if your tension isn’t exact, you can fudge it a little if you have to. Then there are the little mug sweaters. Knitted or crocheted buttoned sleeves that fit around your coffee or tea mug. Those would be really fun and quick to make. Headbands, wrist-warmers, mittens or toques are relatively quick to make. I’ve seen place-mats made up out of random leftover sock yarn in linen stitch. They look amazing and the more random the colour combinations the better. They would be a great project to practice doing an i-cord edge on. Knitted or crocheted stuffed toys are really nice. They are so cuddly. There are a lot of patterns available for those and they are fun to make. Another thing I like to do is make special holiday ornaments as gifts. There are so many wonderful ideas on the internet that it’s almost overwhelming.

All this talk of projects has given me a very bad case of “start-itis”! So many possibilities. Ooh I love it when those creative juices start flowing!



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