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A Very Happy Handmade Christmas to You

December 2, 2009


One recent cozy afternoon, lulled into submission by gingerbread pancakes and the lure of Hobby Lobby’s excellent sales, I temporarily lost my mind and proclaimed, “I”m going to hand-make all my Christmas gifts this year!”

I heard myself say it, felt juiced about it momentarily and then realized, about 3 seconds later, that my skills are limited to knitting scarves and cooking.

Pretty much everyone in my family has received a scarf from me at some point.
How am I supposed to wrap up a batch of my beloved enchiladas for someone?


Well, as they say, I knitted this bed and now I have to sleep in it. So I am going one leap over the Handmade Pledge above and am hand-making every darn Christmas present. This means that I have been frequenting Hobby Lobby and getting very inspired by really cute artsy blogs like this one and this one. It gives me confidence that I too can be saucy and creative.

STATUS: Two scarfs down, umpteen more various items to go.

So tonight, I made my staple favorite dinner (black beans and rice) and have spent the past hour watching knitting tutorials on YouTube (I will master a Stockinette stitch before I go to sleep!…maybe). The first one I tried was a blur, the woman knitted so flippin’ fast I couldn’t follow anything. The second was better and offered much slower examples. I tried not to laugh at the “Hey, knitting is hip and hoppin’ for teens, look, even some confused-looking teenage boys are doin’ it!” tone of the video. Now, popping around to different tutorials, I realize that, in my six years of knitting very mediocre scarves, I have been casting on stitches the wrong way the whole time. That explains why the one end of my scarves is always sort of scraggly and pathetic-looking. Amazing what I learn at the temple of YouTube.

So here are some examples of my handmade items so far:

A yarn wreath that was super-simple, took maybe an hour or two and cost less than $10 to make!


Super-cute tins that will soon hold homemade hot chocolate mix.

The Beatles just popped up in iTunes, reminding me of a simple piece of advice: “Let it be.” I take this to mean if any of these projects fall apart and I find myself on the verge of weeping or drinking too much wine, just let it be. Let my scarves be imperfect or my hot chocolate mix clump up. Christmas will still happen and be wonderful; Advent will still bring the light of Christ and remind me I am loved.

So let it be…let it be a handmade Christmas for us all! (Or at least those as bonkers as me.)

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Kimpot permalink
    December 6, 2009 11:46 pm

    Caroline, I’m loving this handmade spree you’re going on! And I love that yarn wreath too! Very very snazzy. I wish you the best of luck with the rest of your projects!

    Oh yeah, that bit of advice from the Beatles? I got it tattooed on my side to remind me everyday not to get so worked up over every little thing that happens. So here’s to hoping you’ll stick to your projects and will remember to let it be when they get too frustrating.

    I love and miss you dearly! xx

  2. Amanda permalink
    December 7, 2009 9:21 pm

    OHHH I can’t wait!!! hehehe

  3. Caroline permalink*
    December 7, 2009 9:47 pm

    @ Kim!

    I am also loving my handmade spree! I think maybe I’ll do it next year too (perhaps to a lesser degree), but now I know: start way, way earlier.

    You would get a tattoo of the Beatles, you Brit-lover. 🙂 I miss you so and love you lots. Enjoy your Christmas down in OK!

  4. Caroline permalink*
    December 7, 2009 9:48 pm

    @ Amanda!

    To be yours: one yarn wreath! They are seriously super-fun to make. I would make them for everyone on the planet if Hobby Lobby stocked enough wreath forms.

    Love love to you, my dear friend.

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