Pros & Cons of a Handmade Christmas (& a little thrifting…)

Last year my two sisters & I agreed that, seeing as we were all fairly broke, we would do our best to stick to handmade gifts for Christmas. It worked really well – I’m still wearing the knitted scarf that S gave me, M got a great knitting needle case from S and some sketchbooks from me for college, and S leads me to believe she wears the crochet collar I made her 😉 – and so we’ve decided to do the same this year. Unfortunately they both read this blog, so I can’t let anything slip about what I have planned, but suffice to say that a couple more weeks to work on everything would be welcome..! :-/

I can tell you that I’ve crocheted this cowl for my best friend (who thankfully doesn’t know this blog exists yet):

It’s made from Debbie Bliss Cashmerino wool in aran weight, which is such a gorgeous yarn – really warm & soft, with no itchiness at all. Plus the colour is fantastic. She’ll be getting a journal or two as well. (It helps that she’s a great writer, so I can actually justify using my bookbinding skills to give her things to write in..!)

I can also tell you that I’ll be attempting an embroidered coin purse for my Mom, together with a nice flowery crocheted tea cosy from this pattern. Dad is always notoriously difficult to buy for so if anyone has good father-friendly gift ideas, please let me know!

So yes, it does tend to work out cheaper, but it takes a lot more time than hitting the shops (online or real-world). A scarf you made yourself from good-quality wool in a unique colour & pattern will always be worth more to the receiver than something shop-bought, though, right? Luckily my sisters, mother & I are all crafter-types, so we all appreciate the time it takes to make things – maybe that helps. Either way, there are 27 days ’til Christmas, and I have to move across the country, prepare for & play a big gig in December with SlowPlaceLikeHome, have two of my close friends stay over two separate weekends and make all the things I’ve planned to make for everyone… better get things rolling :-/

Are you working on something handmade for Christmas? Or do you have a treasured gift a friend or family member made for you in the past? What do you think makes a good handmade gift?

PS: Another thing I can share is this lucky charity shop find: a Singer 507 from the late 70s! (Of course I needed more old stuff from charity shops, especially a fortnight before the big move…)

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