Quick Gift Guide – Arctic Sea Mitts

Someone very dear to me works in an office that must be extremely cold. In fact, she recently confessed that she cut the fingertips off of some cheap, store-bought gloves and wears them to keep warm while she is typing.

Arctic Sea MittsAs a crocheter, this was simply not acceptable to me. Why should my beloved sister sport crummy, chopped up gloves when I can make her a pair of gorgeous fingerless mitts in a flash? I immediately began my hunt for the perfect pattern, and stopped as soon as I saw the Arctic Sea Mitts from the Holiday 2012 Issue of Love of Crochet.

These mitts will be the perfect gift for her!

I found a fun, self-striping purple yarn that is a mixture of several of her favorite shades. The only trouble was that the yarn I chose for the project is worsted weight instead of DK like the pattern calls for. This problem was easy enough to solve, and I whipped up a pair of these fun mitts in no time. If you would like to use worsted weight yarn, here are the slight adjustments I made.

  • Ribbing – Chain 4 for the ribbing at the beginning of the pattern, and work the rest of the ribbed section as stated. After you fold the ribbed piece and seam it, work 22 (or any multiple of 2) sc evenly around.
  • Lace – Work the lace section as is.
  • Thumb opening – After you work the first row of the thumb opening, repeat it until the open section is about 3″ long before working the joining round. For the last row of the thumb opening section, work the same number of sc evenly around as you did after your ribbing.
  • Cuff – For your cuff, chain 11, skip one chain, and work across 10 sts to create the ribbing at the wrist.

I loved how easy this pattern was to customize, and I may make a few more pairs to give as gifts. Do you know someone who is always cold at the office? These stylish mitts will keep them toasty and bring a smile to their face when they think of the thought you put into this clever gift idea!

Gift Guide – Adorable bird ornaments

I’ve been smitten with the Four Calling Birds ever since the first time I laid eyes on them. The details really make these designs, and their cute plastic safety eyes and branches really put the perfect finishing touches on them. As soon as I saw them, I determined that my friends and family MUST get these cute ornaments for Christmas. I happened to have some Cascade Ultra Pima in the rich Wine color used on the cardinals, so this is the birdie I decided to crochet for everyone. Plus, I think the red really pops when they are hung in the tree!

Bird partsI made six birds total. At first, I planned on making all the parts before sewing any of the birds together, but my project bag soon became a mess of tangled up bird parts because of the long tails I left for sewing. After making three or four sets of parts, I decided it was time to sew them together before making any more.

BirdsI used some orange scrap yarn to make the beaks and feet, and my daughter and I went on a hunt for nicely sized sticks for these birdies to perch on. I didn’t have any ribbon that I liked, so I used a simple strand of yarn to hang them.

I am thrilled with how these cute cardinals turned out! The felt on their little faces and the points on their heads make them look adorably realistic, and I know they are going to be a big hit.

Here is a close up of one cardinal, as well as a side and back view. The tail is attached at the back of each bird’s neck, and the wings are attached directly next to the tail.

If you’re searching for a quick gift that will be enjoyed every holiday season, the Four Calling Birds definitely fit the bill. I might have to go yarn shopping and get the colors to make the other three darling patterns. We also have a set of Four Calling Birds for knitters, and I am tempted to give them a shot too!

Which one of the Four Calling Birds is your favorite? Tell us what you think here on our blog, or visit us on Facebook to share your thoughts! We can’t wait to hear from you!

Quick Crocheted Gift Guide – Billy and Belinda Buttons

bearAny young child would love to receive a handmade teddy bear, and Lesley Bousbaine’s Billy and Belinda Buttons from our Summer 2012 Issue are simply adorable. I made one of these cuties for my daughter and completed the crocheting in about a day. The finishing work took one more day because all of the pieces are crocheted separately.

bear and jasmine

I decided to sew the arms and legs to this teddy’s body and attach decorative buttons instead of functional ones. As you can see, my little girl LOVES her new bear!

You still have time to make one for a special kiddo in your life, so grab your crafting supplies and get started this weekend! Are all of your other handmade gifts finished? We’d love to see pictures of your finished projects, so share them with us on Facebook or email them to us at mail@loveofcrochet.com. Happy holidays!

Quick Crocheted Gift Guide – Classic Christmas

I had so much fun making Sue Perez’s Classic Christmas ornament from our Holiday 2013 Issue! It’s worked with size 10 cotton thread, but I finished it in an afternoon because of its small size. If you’ve never worked with thread before, have no fear! Once you grow accustomed to holding the miniature hook, it really is no different than crocheting with any other type of yarn. You can see that I didn’t have any spare ornament hangers, so I simply crocheted a loop of thread to the top of the star.

Classic Christmas gift guide

When I finished the crocheting and I pinned my project in place, my daughter helped me finger paint glitter glue onto it to hold its shape. There is something extra fun about a messy craft that gets your fingers all gluey and sparkly! However, if you aren’t in the mood for a mess (I totally understand!), simply spray your ornament with fabric starch or use a brush to paint on watered down glue.

This classic ornament would look beautiful as an applique, or you could crochet a bunch and create a stunning holiday garland! The possibilities are endless.

Quick Crocheted Gift Guide – Skater Beanie

I love digging into our past issues to find timeless projects for stylish, quick gifts. Debbie Tomkies’s Skater Beanie, from our Spring 2012 Issue, is a classic unisex hat that works up in an afternoon. It’s perfect for new crocheters because it is made entirely in simple single crochet stitches. The best part is that the pattern has instructions for a wide range of sizes, so you can stitch one up for everyone in your family from toddlers to adults!

skater beanie

As you can see, this easy project is the one that did in my poor H hook, so you have to believe me when I tell you I wasn’t abusing it! It had served me well for many years and I have been keeping it very busy lately, so I can’t blame it for finally giving in.

How is your holiday crocheting coming along? I promise I’m not trying to stress you out, but can you believe Christmas is less than two weeks away?!?

Free printable gift tags!

Don’t you love giving handmade gifts? I truly feel that the recipients appreciate the extra time and thought that goes into making something just for them. We have something that will make your knit or crocheted gifts even more special – cute and clever gift tags from Love of Knitting and Love of Crochet!

one gift tag

Our talented Art Director, Kathy, created these tags just for you. They are the perfect, crafty complement to your handmade gifts, and they are sure to make your loved ones smile at the extra attention you put into packaging their presents. Download them today, and get a head start on wrapping your gifts this year!

Quick Crocheted Gift Guide – Winter Wonderland Hat

redhatMarly Bird’s Winter Wonderland Hat from the Holiday 2012 Issue of Love of Crochet is a wonderful gift idea. The lacy stitch pattern combines with the bulky yarn for a quick project that is sure to impress. The fabric is substantial enough to keep you warm, yet airy enough to ensure you don’t overheat. The small brim truly sets off the design and gives it the perfect finishing touch.

Everyone needs a stylish hat in the wintertime, and this beauty definitely fits the bill! I chose yarn in the lucky recipient’s favorite color for a personalized gift.

How is your holiday crocheting coming along? We’d love to hear some of your favorite quick handmade gift ideas, so feel free to share your thoughts here on our blog or on our Facebook page. Happy crafting!

Quick Crocheted Gift Guide – Chocolate neck warmer

For this week’s quick crocheted gift idea, we are excited to share a beautiful free pattern from our website. The Chocolate neck warmer is worked using post stitches, and the result is a thick ribbed fabric that almost looks knitted! You can crochet this versatile accessory in one day, then add unique buttons to put the finishing touch on the project and personalize it for the lucky recipient.

neck warmerYou can wear this neck warmer with the buttons in the front or on the side, and it is the perfect size way to stay cozy without adding a lot of bulk. The best part is, this beauty stitches up fast enough that you can make one for several of your favorite people.

What are some of your favorite projects to gift? Stop by our blog again soon because you can look forward to a new crocheted gift idea from us every week throughout the holiday season!

Quick Crocheted Gift Guide – Wine Cozy

We are excited to share our first quick crocheted gift idea with you this holiday season! A bottle of wine or cider is always a welcome gift, but we crocheters want to add a thoughtful, handmade touch to our presents. Marly Bird’s Wine Cozy from our Holiday 2013 Issue of Love of Crochet works up in a flash and instantly transforms any bottle into a beautiful centerpiece for the table.

Wine cozy

I used a small amount of yarn from my stash and crocheted this beauty in one afternoon, so I can truly say that this project is the perfect last minute gift idea. The best part is that the recipient can keep the cozy and use it the next time they give a bottled gift.

How is your holiday crocheting coming along? We’d love to hear some of your favorite quick crocheted gift ideas, and we’ll be sharing more fun, fast projects like this one every week this holiday season.

Coming soon: Handmade gift guide

We know you love giving handmade gifts during the holidays, but it can be difficult to find time to make the perfect present for everyone on your list. We here at Love of Knitting and Love of Crochet are here to help! Beginning next week, we will be featuring one knit and one crocheted gift idea per week throughout the holiday season. We’ve chosen stylish designs that work up quickly, so you and your loved ones will all have something to smile about.

handmade with cat and yarn

From Love of Knitting, we will feature one fabulous hat pattern per week. Hats knit up in a flash and are always a hit when given as a gift. The best part is, with a simple color change you can easily personalize any of our fun hat patterns!

From Love of Crochet, we will highlight a variety of quick gift ideas. We have creative projects in store that are sure to please men, women, and even the kids.

With all of the fast, easy patterns we’ll be sharing, the only tough part will be resisting the urge to keep these projects for yourself! We can’t wait to get started, so keep an eye here on our blog for gift ideas you’ll love to give.