Stuff You Should Be Stitching: The Holidays

December is upon us, which means if you’re like me, you’re frantically knitting last minute gifts for the holidays. The ones you knew you were going to make back in, like, April. But you waited until now. Because you make bad choices.

Luckily for you we’re here with some last minute gift ideas, holiday décor and just plain fun patterns to work on if (unlike me) you planned well and have time to spend crafting for yourself.

If you have some bulky weight yarn on hand you might want to try making this Braided Cable Hug. This pattern is free on Ravelry, and it reminds me a little bit of the big chunky cowl Claire wore in the first season of Outlander.

A woman wears a green cabled shrug that wraps around the upper portion of her body like a big cowl.

If you’re into big chunky patterns that work up quickly, but you prefer to crochet, check out this Tartan Crochet Scarf. Again, it has a vaguely Outlander-y feel to it and the plaid effect is super cute.

A woman in a super cute hat is all snuggled up in a giant tartan scarf. The main color is cream with contrasting stripes of brown, black and grayThis pattern is also free and calls for a size K hook and takes about ten balls of yarn.

Another view of the tartan scarf. This time its draped over a hanger against a white background.

I really love the colors used in this sample, but I think this scarf would also be adorable in Christmas red, green and white.

Speaking of colorwork, I found the pattern for this Alaska hat on Ravelry and I love it so much. Learning colorwork is one of my goals for 2019, and this hat is chilling out in my queue waiting for me.

A beanie style hat that has a brown brim with the outline of fir trees in the same brown. The background is made with an ombre yarn so it looks like the trees are silhouetted against a sunset.You’ll need ombre yarn to complete this project and the pattern calls for Knit Picks Chroma.

Another version of the Alaska hat with a dark blue brim and trees and a pink and violet background.If you’re looking for a Christmas gift that works up fast, you might want to try making some crochet Christmas ornaments.

This Little Christmas Mouse is just about the cutest thing ever, and I’m super tempted to bust out my crochet hooks and try making one. This pattern is also free!

A tiny mouse wearing a red and green sweater hangs from a Christmas tree. And OMG is it cute.

I also love crochet garlands for the holidays. Twin Dragonfly Designs offers several free Christmas garland patterns to crochet.

A garland of crocheted Christmas ornaments in teals with red and white accents.There’s also a free pattern for a Hanukkah garland!

A garland of the Star of David crocheted in white and blue is hung over a table set with a menorah, gifts and candies.

If you’re looking for a last minute gift but can’t knit or crochet, you can try these Homemade Hand Warmers. You can use a sewing machine or hand sew these pouches. Filled with rice, they’re microwavable and perfect for slipping into your coat pockets in the winter.

Three handwarmers stacked on each other. Two have a yellow check pattern and one is blue and white striped.

Sarah: This month, we’re not just talking knitting and crocheting! Reader Phyl sent me some suggestions for anyone who is looking to get into quilting – now or any time.

Phyl:  There are so many wonderful projects out there, but I limited myself to just a few.  Basically these ideas are for crafters comfortable with their sewing machines; they aren’t necessarily for quilters only.

First, I recently ran across this nifty blog post for people interested in learning to make a quilt. It explains the steps in quilting, with links to free tutorials. It’s not related to the holidays, but if you think anyone would be interested in it, here’s the link.

1. Make your own ornaments. These pinwheel ornaments can be made with pre-cut 2.5 inch squares from a mini-charm pack, or from your own stash of scraps.

Fat Quarter Shop image of pinwheel quilted ornament

The free pattern and tutorial is here from Fat Quarter Shop.

2. Decorate your holiday table with fun table runners.

Primrose Cottages christmas present table runner quilted with quilted presents in green and red

This Christmas Present table runner pattern is available for $5.50 on Etsy, from Primrose Cottages.

Also on Etsy for $7.50 is this Hanukkah Dreidel table runner pattern from Fabric Creations Fran:

Hanukkah Dreidel table runner in green blue orange an red with four dreidels across the top


3. I love this modern minimalist Christmas Tree pattern! The pattern is throw-sized (58″ x 71″) or modify it to make something smaller.

Those Christmas Trees pattern by zen chic: A white quilt with grey and light blue christmas trees in a vertical pattern on one side, with rows of evergreen trees quilted into the white fabric.

The pattern is $11.95 here.

4. If you want to stitch up some soft toys, there is a great selection of patterns at While She Naps.

I hope one or more of these ideas will work with your next stitching post. I really appreciate all you do for readers (and crafters!).

Sarah: Thank you, Phyllis! I LOVE that quilt and wish I knew how to make something like that. Perhaps that’s a future resolution.

And fear not, cross stitching friends, if you need Things to Stab and Make Into Pretty Pictures With Stabbing, I have some projects for you!

First, there is no shortage of Christmas Ornament Cross Stitch patterns available on Etsy. And ornament-sized projects stitch up quickly and are easy to mount in a small hoop or frame (perfect for those weekly coupons for your local craft store. I think I could Make a Craft out of the coupons alone!).

It may be a bit late for Hanukkah since it’s already in progress, but if you need a quick project:

Get Lit Hanukkah Menorah cross stitch patternGet Lit Hanukkah cross stitch pattern, Stitching With Zeal, $2.60

Or, if you need more loving and potato-filled sentiments:

I love you a Latke cross stitch pattern with a small latke with a smiley face and outstretched arms I <3 You a Latke pattern, Stitch Twins, $5.95

This is stunning – get your backstitching muscles ready:

pagan yule cross stitch pattern with a star, a cardinal, a candle, greenery and snowYule Cross Stitch Pattern, kixstitches, $3.00

Buffalo red and black plaid mitten cross stitch patternPlaid mitten cross stitch pattern, smallandstitchy, $2.99

Snowflake ornament patterns of six different snowflake shapesSnowflake patterns, NikkiPattern, $5.20

What projects are you making for the holidays, for yourself or for someone else? Any patterns you just love and would like to share? Happy Stitchery Holidays, y’all!

Comments are Closed

  1. Steffi says:

    These are delightful! I’m afraid I’m much too new at knitting to attempt that hat but I will pin it for next year (hopefully).

  2. SandyL says:

    I am finishing a shawl for the woman who cuts my hair and my daughter’s. I also purchased the yarn to knit the Hundred Acres Wood shawl. I hope to cast on around Christmas. FYI Knitter’s Nightmare will be posting her finally set of yarns sometime soon. I will be sad to see her stop dyeing. She has interesting names and some beautiful colors.

  3. ms bookjunkie says:

    I’m taking part in the Knitmoregirls’s Grinchalong (no gift knitting for this holiday season in December!), so I’m knitting a pair of workhorse boot socks for myself. I’m also considering making some Arne & Carlos Christmas Balls. Or not.

    That hat is awesome, but as its effect relies so much on the yarn used for the main color, I believe I’ll stick with the Lilletind I have in my queue, and just two colors.

    And I need to get back to my mitten knitting. Though it’s rainy and dreary right now, it will eventually be mitten season again.

  4. Critterbee says:

    Those Alaska Hats are incredible!

  5. SB Sarah says:

    Aren’t they? They are nearly enough to make me want to try knitting again so I can learn how to make something that beautiful!

  6. Lisa says:

    I’m trying to finish a baby hat
    For a coworker. I’m stuck at whether or not to duplicate stitch a snowflake onto it or if I should just knit it.

  7. DonnaMarie says:

    You are killing me!! Stop with the cute already. I have too many UFOs as it is.

  8. Naomi says:

    Oh, that hat! Queued for later.

    I’m making star-shaped sachets (conceivably usable as ornaments; Scintillation on Ravelry) this year, after three years of progressively fancier knitted snowflakes (Paper Snowflake on Ravelry, plus picot variations; note that I’m not the Naomi who wrote that pattern).

  9. EC Spurlock says:

    My Etsy shop isn’t excessively Christmasy, but I do offer some quick-to-stitch patterns. I currently offer Dr Who bookmarks, and I will have Harry Potter bookmarks up later this week. I also have Harry Potter chibis which would make good ornaments or finger puppets for the Hogwarts-inclined. And if you’re a fast stitcher and know someone having a first Christmas together or baby’s first Christmas I have fannish and literary wedding and birth samplers, most of which are geared for beginner-to-intermediate level stitchers. And I’m offering free shipping on all vintage pattern books right now, so you can grab some holiday cheer there as I have several holiday-themed pattern books available. Come check it out:

    You’re also welcome to browse my free patterns available at my DeviantArt page; I do a bunch for all holidays throughout the year:

  10. Chris Alexander says:

    I’m in the middle of hooking my second to last project. I love that Alaska hat and wish I could knit, but I don’t have enough bandwidth to teach myself to. I just go find some difficult crochet projects.

  11. Alex says:

    That Alaska hat is stunning!

    I’ve just made this scarf which I can definitely recommend – I’m not a particularly fast knitter and it only took me a couple of evenings.

  12. Alexandra says:

    I Decided last week that I was going to make quilts as Christmas presents, which was probably not very smart. I bought the patterns and have started cutting and sewing though, so I think at a minimum I can get the tops done, and there’s a quilter’s shop here that will do the binding and quilting for you. I’m making a black/grey/white bargello quilt for my brother and SIL and one of those bookshelf quilts for my mom.

    And, if I had a mantle I would definitely get those snowflake patterns and make enough to have a sweet little garland that went all the way across. They’re so cute!!

  13. Rhoda Baxter says:

    That crochet mouse is ADORABLE. I’ll be trying that out.

  14. Sherry Dennis says:

    I’m just learning to crochet and have been making Granny Stars, tiny crochet bells and trying to make snowflakes. I’m also making some chunky winter scarves.
    I love the Alaska hats, too, but they look like for Intermediate/Advanced hookers. I’m going to try the night sky hat if I can find that yarn in the picture.

  15. Sarah says:

    I totally just renamed my Pinterest board from Cross Stitch to Pictures to Make While Stabbing.

  16. Kris Bock says:

    I’m not very crafty but I could manage those hand warmers, and they might make a good gift for my in-laws who live up north where it’s cold! It’s always hard to find presents for people who really don’t need anything AND shouldn’t be eating sweets according to their doctors.

  17. catcatscats says:

    I have a friend who has just learnt to knit, and I’ve bought her a kit to knit Ross from Poldark. The seller has other characters too (and Mr Darcy)and you can buy them as patterns if you prefer.

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