Cyber Monday = FREE SHIPPING

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Warm, soft goodies at the Etsy shop.

As some of you many have noticed I do have an Etsy shop where my handmade items are available for purchase. And you also probably know tomorrow is “cyber Monday”. To get you in the shopping mood I am offering FREE SHIPPING on all orders from now until 12/10.

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One of my new favorites, the Vermont Cold Weather Cowl.

 

Sadly we will be leaving Vermont soon so my Etsy shop will be CLOSED after 12/10. I plan on being back up and running in the new year with great new finished items and PATTERNS!!

So head on over to my Etsy shop, and use the code “MERRY100” when checking out.  And don’t forget; today is the LAST DAY to enter the Wooly Wednesday contest. Information on that HERE.

Happy Shopping!!

-Christy

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Wooly Wednesday: Crochet Christmas Cowl Free Pattern

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A few days ago  I shared my tips on how to have a handmade Christmas and with those tips in mind I created this pattern. It takes me two days at most to finish one of these cowls and that is with running errands, doing laundry, making dinner etc. The high quality but not too expensive yarn makes this project great for gift giving. The size makes is perfect for everyday wear but it is long enough it can be worn doubled on a bitter cold day.

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Crochet has a tendency to be stiff so the choice of yarn for this pattern is important. I picked Cascades Cloud/Eco Cloud. The chain-like construction helps the piece drape and keep from becoming stiff. The yarn is a lovely mix of merino and baby alpaca and it runs around $15 a skein. $30 for a handmade Christmas gift is a steal! Rowan’s Lima would also be another great choice.  If you google “chainette yarn” you will find other options as well. Some are listed as bulky but they would still work well with this pattern if you increase your hook size.

The pattern is simple and straightforward. There are pictures after the pattern to make a few of the directions clearer. Please post any questions regarding the pattern in the comments. If crocheting isn’t your thing check out my Etsy shop where these cowls are for sale.

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Crochet Christmas Cowl

Materials:

2 Skeins Cascade Cloud or Eco Cloud (Worsted/Aran Weight, 164 yards per skein)

Size K/10.5 6.5mm Crochet Hook

Tapestry Needle

Finished Size: 9.5 inches wide, 50 inches around (approximately)

Abbreviations:

CH=Chain

SC= Single Crochet

DC=Double Crochet

Directions:

Chain 28.

SC into 2nd CH from hook. DC into same CH. (#1.) Skip next CH. SC, then DC into the next CH. Repeat this until the end.

Work a SC/DC in the last chain. CH 1, then turn.

SC into the hole created by the SC/DC from the previous row. DC into same space. Repeat this all the way across.

The last SC/DC is worked into the turning chain from the previous row. (#2.& #3.) CH 1, then turn.

Continue the SC/DC in the holes then CH 1 before you turn your work. (#4.)

Keep this going until you have used almost all of the yarn from both skeins. (#5.) Remember to leave yourself plenty of yarn to sew the ends together. If you would rather have a scarf with fringe on the ends then you will need an additional skein of yarn.

Use your tapestry needle to weave in the yarn tails. Then hold both ends of the finished piece together and sew. When the cowl is flipped inside out the seam is hardly noticeable. You are DONE!

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I hope you enjoy this pattern and it helps with your holiday gift giving.

-Christy

Favorite Five: A Handmade Christmas

Making those Christmas gifts.

Halloween is almost here, Thanksgiving menu planning is on my mind and preliminary gift giving lists are starting to make an appearance. Yes, Christmas will be here before you know it.

Since I have re-discovered my crafty side I have really tried to push the handmade gift envelope. However, like many others, I ended up staying up all hours of the night trying to finish something, or having to hand someone a card that says “hey your gift is coming…”. Being tired and stressed out or not having a real gift to give someone is not the best way to enjoy your holidays. Here are my five favorite tips for having a handmade Christmas

1. MAKE A LIST AND NARROW IT DOWN. Write out who you are planning on giving a gift to. Then think long and hard about who would appreciate a handmade gift and put them on a separate list.  Your time is precious- don’t waste it on someone who won’t completely love what you have made.

2. CHECK YOUR LIST TWICE. Just like Santa. After you initially narrow it down you might find that you still have a lot of people on your handmade gift list. Ask yourself some  more questions. Did you make them a handmade gift last year?  If yes then maybe they are off the handmade list this year. Did the person already indicate something specific they are hoping for? If someone asks for books or gift cards or whatever then that’s what you should get them. They will be happy and you will have more time.

3. BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF. I am guilty of violating this one. In the daze of Christmastime joy, fueled with too many peppermint mochas, I convince myself I can do it all!! Then, inevitably, there I am frantically knitting a scarf in a bar on our way to a New Years Eve party. Look at your calendar and honestly ask yourself what are your commitments? How much free time do you have in a normal week? How long does it normally take you to make whatever it is you are planning on making? And when you are done estimating give yourself even less time because things always come up during the holidays.

4. PICK YOUR PATTERN WISELY. Now is not the time to try that complicated pattern with the fancy stitches you have been eyeing. Nor is it time to knit your Aunt that lace-weight shawl she has asked for. If you create things often you probably some patterns you have done before that you know are fairly straight forward and quick. If you are looking a new pattern you need to read through the whole thing. Are there stitches or instructions you don’t understand? Is it calling for anything less than DK weight yarn? Do not pick something outside of your skill set or you will be frustrated and end up with an unfinished gift. Sometimes I’ve seen a pattern rated “easy” or “beginner” and knew for me it was more in the “advanced” area. You know what you can do better than anyone else.

5. HAVE FUN. I know, that sounds super dorky but often in the craziness of trying to make or find the perfect gift all of the fun gets sucked right out of Christmas. Maybe you have several small kids at home or a demanding job. Christmas craftiness might not be for you. You can always designate your handmade gifts for birthdays. A throw pillow or blanket would be a great wedding or anniversary gift for a couple. When a friend has a baby that would be a great time for to make something special for her since most gifts are geared towards the new infant. And if you don’t have the time but still want to give something handmade check out sites like Etsy or Zibbet.

I hope this list helps you make your Christmas gift giving go a bit smoother. Happy Halloween everyone!

-Christy