The Christmas Crunch

Each year, the very second the leaves start falling to the ground, I quickly dream up a gigantic list of knit gifts for the holidays. (In my defense some are on there by request.) My husband and kids are always baffled and chastise me for making myself frantic: “Why do you DO this to yourself every year?!” The answer is I love to make things, and when the holidays approach that love reaches an insane level that I can’t control. It’s compulsive.

This year feels less rushed, however. Today is November 29th, and already I’ve completed all the small gifts I aimed to make. (That doesn’t mean I won’t make more.) The most tedious craft this year was not knitting but rather, sewing–by hand–and embroidering with beads, to make 33 Heirloom Wool Ornaments, a kit from Purl Soho. I went with the new Wineberry colors, but the kit is also available in Mistletoe (greens), Lusterware (corals) and Milk Glass (ecru).


For my next small gift project I knit with scrap yarn a handful of stars (be they ornaments or coasters or whatever the recipients designate them to be), which came from the Luxury Holiday Garland pattern by Kristen Ashbaugh-Helmreich. With the lace edging along each arm they look like little snowflake star hybrids–adorable.


The final project that I chose for small gifts this year is another from Purl Soho: Soft Cotton Knit Dishtowels. I had intended to make more of these garter stitch beauties, but after three I got worn out on this pattern. Regardless of my early defeat, it’s definitely a pattern that I will return to again.


I highly recommend all of the patterns included in this post. Happy gift making, fellow Christmas crunchers!

*The Christmas tree cards from the top pic are from the Etsy shop AnastasiaMarieShop. The stack of potholders shown are additional small gifts that I completed earlier and that are made from my own pattern. (See previous post here.)


Chunky Potholders with a Pattern


Last Christmas I was dazzled by the yarn of Knit Collage as I frantically knit up gifts for my family and friends. (I had used Knit Collage Pixie Dust yarn to make a total of four throws!) This year, after finding nothing to jump at on Ravelry, I decided to use Knit Collage to make some small gifts–potholders!


The potholders are little more than a large-sized swatch, but these little squares explode with color and texture. Since wool is naturally fire resistant, these potholders have great functionality, but they can also be used as mats for plants or other home decor. One day I would even like to make a bunch of squares to sew together to form a blanket.

Below is my potholder pattern, or click here to download it.


Easy Chunky Potholder


  • Knit Collage Cast Away yarn, 2 skeins (Blue potholders shown are knit with the colorways Lagoon and Nomad; others are knit with Prism and Oak.)
  • Size 17 needles


1.5 sts/inch, 6 sts and 9 rows equals 4”

Dimensions and Yield:

Each potholder measures 8 by 8 inches. Two skeins of Cast Away yarn make 4 potholders.


Holding together 2 strands of yarn, cast on 12 sts somewhat loosely using the long tail method. (You should have no more than 6” of tail left over to weave in.)

Knit in stockinette st for 17 rows, beginning and ending with a purl row.

Bind off loosely knitwise.

Weave in yarn ends by hand.

Dampen and block to roughly 8 by 8 inches.

© 2016 Jamie Hoffman