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#Stitching Santa Progress

I’m taking part in both Stitching Santa swaps again this year and thought I’d share my progress so far and perhaps provide a little inspiration for others taking part or, indeed, anyone wishing to make some handmade gifts this Christmas.

I’ve already spent my £10 budget for the yarn swap, so am now able to concentrate on making a few small items to include in my parcel. As knitting takes far longer than sewing does, I looked for some quick makes which could be whipped up in an evening.

This first one is a mini stocking and is a free pattern by Julie Williams (aka Little Cotton Rabbits) on Ravelry. 

The charts are clear and easy to follow – a great introduction to stranded colourwork if you haven’t tried it before.

The finished stocking measures about five inches plus the hanging loop and took just a couple of hours all in.

Next up was a project from Wooly Woofers, a book by Debbie Bliss.

I bought it two years ago, more for the wonderful way the dog models were integrated into the brilliant illustrations – pure genius.

I cast on one night…..

…..and made good progress.

By the second night, and a total of about three hours knitting, the bandana was complete. Here it is after blocking.

I chose the distinctive ‘paw print’ design which was fun to watch taking shape.

Tess was a reluctant model, but I managed to get this photo of her wearing it.

There is also a ‘Scottie’ motif, if you prefer. This image is taken from the book, of a much more cooperative Yorkie. Looks like she’s being bribed with treats!

Another photo from the book showing that one size fits all dogs.

I think this one is going to be next on the list of doggy makes – perfect for Fifi.

I will share more ideas with you as I make things, so watch this space!


Sunday Sevens 108

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series where you share some moments from outside your blog. You can find out more about how to join in at Threads & Bobbins.

1. My niece is at University so I sent her some money for her birthday (seeing as she is now a poor student!). I wanted to give her an actual present to open as well, so I knitted this bobble hat.


2. I’ve been working on Christmas gifts this week and have started (and finished) quite a few. This will become a pointless-but-fun dog bandana. Because all dogs should have one.


3. A couple of hours were spent on a bit of fair isle knitting in Christmassy red and white.


4. This is the finished thing – a cute little stocking which will go into my #stitchingsanta parcel, the first thing I’ve made as yet. The pattern is a free one by Julie Williams on Ravelry and one I wanted to make last year but didn’t have time. Hopefully, I’ll have time to make some more because they are a joy to knit and quick, too.


5. Talking of #stitchingsanta, this skein of lace weight baby merino wool is also destined for my recipient. 470 yards should be enough to knit a shawl. I was drawn in by the lovely Autumnal colours and can’t wait to see it made up.


6. My Winter “selfish knitting” project – a Sunday jumper, for lazy days at home. (I’ve practically lived in my Stag’s head dress since I made it!)


7. I borrowed this pattern from my sister in law and am substituting with Drops Nepal, 65% wool, 35% alpaca for softness as the recommended Debbie Bliss Cashmerino was too expensive!


8. I waved goodbye to Mr H-L at 8am this morning, as he is off to London with a 7.5 tonne truck to clear his parent’s flat which has now sold. Sad times, but time to move on.


9. Ending on a cheerful note – Fifi turned 14 and had a birthday haircut. She didn’t stop shivering the first day, so I nipped out and bought her a festive jumper to keep her warm. She loves it and hasn’t shivered since. And looks totally adorable, to boot!



#stitchingsanta Sewing Update

I’ve been making steady progress with the handmade items that I’m including in the parcel to my #stitchingsanta recipient and it’s about time I showed you.

I’m taking part in the knitting/crochet swap as well and have already given you a glimpse of the things I’ve made for that – you can have a look here.

As soon as the latest issue of Love Sewing dropped through the letterbox, I knew I was going to make this cute tree decoration, so that’s going into the parcel – although I’m going to have to make another one for our tree ‘cos I’ve rather fallen in love with it myself:)

tree decoration

Having bought these colourful stork embroidery scissors, I added a needle-keeper to one of its handles.

needle keeper

I embroidered an image of a sewing machine on one side together with the word ‘needles’. The other side is kept plain with a tiny floral print cotton.

needle keeper back

Not a very Christmassy make, I know, but this daisy print ‘Ikea’ bag can be used all year round. I wrote a tutorial on this which you can find here.

Flowery Ikea Bag

I had a few hours fun covering some buttons with tiny cross stitched motifs. My eyes could barely see to sew such minute stitches!

Stag head cross stitch button

covered button4

covered button6

I had a small amount of leftover Rose & Hubble fabric in my stash which was just enough to make a coin purse and matching tissue holder, both handbag size.

Coin Purse tissue holder

These bright orange gloves are made from the softest cashmere sweater and, although I’ve never seen her wear orange, I think they suit her bubbly personality.


I snapped up this unused Simplicity pattern from a charity shop for just a pound – I can see her looking good in all of these!

sewing pattern

There are a few other bought bits and pieces to go in and the main handmade gift – if I can finish it in time!