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.)


Knit Layette with Cables

If you visit the Purl Soho website eight to ten times a day as I do, then you know what I mean when I say Purl Soho is magical. I want to make all of their crafts! I want to own all of their supplies!


For this project I wanted something special for a special friend, who shares my name. Yep, her name is Jamie, and that’s cool. More importantly, Jamie is a kind and wise expectant friend (the two best traits), so I simply had to knit something for her baby to be. You know I can’t help myself! Jamie is also super classy, so when I saw the Knit Layette pattern kit on Purl Soho, I didn’t think twice before dumping it into the cart so I could knit it for her. (You can view the kit here.)

Here are some fancy filtered images of the cardigan in its early stages, which I posted on Instagram. (Those succulents died. I don’t know why, but I am a baby succulent murderer. I do better with the big ones.)



The cardigan took what felt like light years to complete, and it’s no wonder given that it has…let me count…eight cables! The hat took less time but still a surprisingly massive chunk of time given that it’s only a newborn hat. (The hat has four cables.) For these reasons I omitted the socks. I had had enough cabling for the year.

Here’s another Instagram pic from back when I was all excited to be finishing the sleeves.

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The Purl Soho yarn in the kit is among the softest with which I’ve ever worked and ideal for a newborn knit. It’s called Line Weight and is 100% merino wool. Just try to resist rubbing your face in it. The pattern is written for sizes 0-3 and 3-6 months, and the kit comes with two skeins of Line Weight yarn, as well as Mother of Pearl buttons for the cardigan. (Purl Soho’s buttons are magical!)


I chose the 0-3 months size. The hat looks a bit big for that age, but it has been years since my children were newborns, so what do I know. Since I didn’t knit the socks I ended up with a fully unused skein of Line Weight, which I’m happy to have for future knitting, but if you are interested in following my route keep in mind that you can purchase the pattern, yarn and buttons separately and save money by omitting that second skein.


Here’s a shot of the back of the cardigan, which I just had to show since three of the cables are hidden there. This baby girl will be cuddled all around with cables. So so precious!