In my Giveaway Day post the other day (go check it out, there’s still a few days to enter!), I promised to tell you about the gifts I’m making for Christmas this year. Other than one friend, I really only exchange gifts with my immediate family members: Mother, Father, Brother. Because there’s just the three people for each of us to shop for, we used to go all out on each other. For the last few years though, with the world being the way it is at the moment, and us all freely admitting we can barely get to all the stuff we already have, we’ve gone for a more low-budget handmade-or-thrifted approach.
I blogged about it last year, but the rules are that we can spend about £15 on each person, maximum. Last year I did fine with that part, but started working on my handmade presents way too late and panicked towards the end. Seriously, people, there were tears. It wasn’t pretty. I was smarter this year and although I’m not finished yet, I’m not really freaking out. Um. Mostly.
For Mom, I knit Brooklyn Tweed’s amazing Hemlock Ring lap blanket. It’s a classic. I made it actually lap-sized – perfect for when you’re sitting at a desk and catch a little chill. I didn’t want it to be too big and unwieldy for that purpose. I actually got this one done pretty early – according to my Ravelry project page, I finished it on September 20th. Hey, well done, self! Too bad I didn’t get the more difficult presents started right then. I could be taking a nap right now. But I digress.
Anyway, I couldn’t find any decent yarn that could do the job within the budget, so I had to spin it myself. This is undyed, navajo-plied bulky Corriedale wool, 500g / 550m (and I knitted up every last inch, just about) from World Of Wool* for about £8 or so. I thought it would take me ages to spin all the wool, but I enjoyed the process a little more than usual for some reason and it was spun, skeined and washed in under two weeks. Corriedale is a lovely wool – it feels very cuddly and woolly, but its slight sheen makes it feel a little fancy. As for the knitting itself, anyone who’s knit this pattern will tell you that it both knits up freakishly fast and is strangely addictive. That makes for a fast enough project that I kind of feel like Mom’s getting robbed!
So I’m also making up a jar of Vanilla Lavender Sugar Scrub (mostly using stuff found around the house), bought a vintage book from a charity bookshop (a couple of pounds), and still have to knit a hot water bottle cozy (from stash yarn). Of course I decided this morning that none of the available hot water bottle cozy patterns suit my mother or my yarn, so I have to make one up. You know, because I don’t quite have enough to get done in the next week and a half.
* It’s a WORLD of Wool. I want to go to there.