This post is incredibly delayed, and far less structured than I originally planned. I really want to share these online tutorials and resources with you and if I don’t publish this post soon, it will get lost in my cluttered crafter’s brain.
Over the last two years, these are the handmade gifts I have given and the links to the relevant tutorials:
“We Want a Shrubbery!” Fingerless Gloves
This free Ravelry pattern is called “Hedgerow mitts” and was designed by Amy Ripton. [Note, if you do not have a Ravelry account you may not be able to view the pattern.] I selected it because the design was both subtle and intricate. I already had a green Knit Picks yarn I wanted to use. This my was first attempt at knitting gloves in the round. I was particularly scared of the thumb gusset, but everything turned out ok. This was the second project I have done that called for Double Pointed Needles (dpn), and I think I am in love with the little guys.
Toothless Amigurumi (from How to Train Your Dragon)
I am really loving amigurumi projects. Given my love of cute & cuddly critters, this should not be surprising. Moreover, the crochet stitches are usually straightforward and the projects are small enough to fit in my purse. I worked on this project on the bus and during lunch breaks. I found a few different “Toothless” patterns on Ravelry, but the compact size of Toothless Amigurimi by Sarselgurumi won me over. Her instructions can be found on her blog, no log-in required: sarselgurumi.blogspot.com
This project was mostly self-drafted, with the exception of the tie pattern (via purlbee.com). I wrote in detail about the project here.
Zig Zag Lace Scarf
Free pattern by Jocelyn Prasad via Ravelry. My aunt generally what she wanted in a scarf, so that helped me narrow down the pattern search. She wanted something she could use for multiple seasons, was not scratchy, and was not too bulky under her coats. This was my first experience with fingering yarn, and I learned that it takes a while to knit with such think yarn. I started in July and finished in October. The diagonal lace pattern required frequent counting. I had to be careful about engaging in conversation when I was knitting. More than once I needed to undo a couple rows to fix mistakes.
Crochet Cats for Baby
As soon as my friend announced she was pregnant, and I saw yarn in my stash that matched her kitties, I knew what my first gift to the baby would be. Toy cats until she is old enough to play with the real cats. Around the same time I had started using Craftsy.com (similar to Ravelry and Burdastyle) where designers can sell patterns and crafters can share their projects. Amy Gaines is one of hundreds of Craftsy Designers (she is also on Ravelry) and has dozens of adorable crochet and knitting patterns for little stuffies. She provides very clear instructions and most of her patterns are only $2-$4 for individual critters or $5-$6 for pattern sets, but the cat pattern was free.
Camera bag (based on three tutorials)
I made this for my Secret Santa last year. I got the idea after perusing tipnut.com and seeing a variety of DIY camera bags. I particularly liked the camera containers that were inserted inside existing bags. I referenced three tutorials for this project, mostly following the instructions laid out by Allie at LiveLaughEat.com and Abi at VanillaandLace.blogspot.com. I referred to the tutorial by Ashley Hackshaw of Lil Blue Boo for the individual inserts, because it included the greatest number of photos for each step. I used a bedsheet I bought from Goodwill and 1/2 inch thick foam. The fabric store only sold the foam in large rolls (not by the yard), so I have to find more projects like this to use it up.
There is not much more to add about this project that I did not already say here. I used the tutorial provided by Dixie Mango. I found this project in Tip Nut’s list of 40+ DIY iPad and Kindle cases. Note that the link that Tipnut originally provided is Dixie Mango’s older blog, the link I provided connects you to her new blog, which seems to have most of the older content.
As you can see, many of my projects over the past two years have been inspired by others and made for others. I hope something in this highlight reel introduced you to a new blog or inspires your next project. If you want to make a handmade gift, check out tipnut.com for ideas, but also do a google search for those project types that interest you. No one blog can keep up with all the awesome DIY and craft tutorials being published every day.