Yes, it’s August, but far off in the distance lurk…the holidays. If you’re thinking of knitting or crocheting your presents this year, it’s time to get started. [We’re not trying to make your summer more miserable; we’re just reminding you about the slight panic you had last winter, when you had to pull three all-nighters to finish that fisherman’s sweater for your mother.]
This month, you should be deciding who among your family and friends is worthy of a handmade item as a gift, and what you’d like to make them. Knitters and crocheters are great recipients, because they know how much work went into that afghan. It’s up to you which non-stitchers deserve your work; think about folks who will appreciate what you give them (for example, Franklin Habit reminds us that someone who actually wants roller skates is not a good candidate for a cabled scarf).
Kids are always good handmade item recipients, in part because most kids are mightily impressed by knitting and crocheting. Plus, anything you make for a kid is bound to be smaller than something you make for an adult. So why not start out your holiday knitting with Susan B. Anderson’s amazing book Spud & Chloë at the Farm?
Susan B. Anderson writes Spud & Chloë’s blog, Spud Says, and her stuffed animal patterns for the yarn company are wildly popular. In Spud & Chloë at the Farm, she offers patterns to knit an entire farm, including hay bales, a barn, a mother chicken with her brood, and even the famous Spud the Sheep and Chloë the red-haired girl. This is one-stop shopping for your holiday knitting: you can make barn cats for cat-lovers, sheep for your favorite yarn addicts, and Chloë for your favorite small child.
If you’ve never made knit toys before, the Spud Says! blog will help you along the way. Susan offers a tutorial on the twisted loop stitch that forms Spud the Sheep’s wooly coat (above) and on how to embroider a face on a toy (the video is for Spud’s face, but the information therein will help you with all the animals in the book!). The blog is a knitters’ treasure trove in itself, with lots of free patterns and tutorials.
If you’re feeling generous as well as adventurous, you can knit the entire farm for some lucky person. Here’s what you’ll need to make a kid’s dreams come true:
- 7 skins of Ice Cream
- 3 skeins each of Toast, Firecracker, and Root Beer
- 2 skeins each of Splash, Firefly, and Pollen
- 1 skein each of Watermelon, Grass, Popsicle, and Moonlight
- 1 skein in Tutu and 1 in Sassafras
- 2 skeins of Cornsilk
Come on over to the shop for help and encouragement – we can’t wait to see what you make for your nearest and dearest!