When you’re writing a factum assignment on a first-degree murder fact pattern, a blog post about holiday gift crafts is the perfect “break”. This Christmas was a particularly handmade one since funds were low and time to think hard about perfect gifts was at a premium, considering my last assignment was finished on Dec 21st. That being said, I was impressed by my knitting speed.
First off was an idea that, in my opinion, was a direct result of the influence of marthastewart.com in my life since I left home and have had to feed myself. No seriously, look out for the book I may or may not write: Martha and Martina: How Stewart Fed Me Through Law School. (You should have been there the day I realized our names started with the same four letters.) These are jars of super simple Celery Seed Dressing from Joy of Cooking made for my two sets of aunts and uncles. It’s good on crunchy romaine or baby greens or apparently, just about everything else (my cousins started dipping prawns and raw carrots into it as well!) The jars I used were recycled from some fancy artichokes or red peppers my parents had already eaten. After a good wash, the fabric was glue-gunned around the rim of the jar’s cap. This reduced the fussiness of tying the fabric on just right, and the jar still looks pretty in the fridge after the twine/ribbon/crepe has been done away with. It also avoids having to worry about peeling off any of the labels on the jar top before reusing it. Add finishing touches of a bow and a gift tag with ingredients and storage instructions. Remember, these weren’t properly canned/jarred so I added a note to refrigerate, and to eat within 1-2 weeks. I think I spent a grand total of 7 bucks on the ingredients and fabric for both of these?
For my Nonna (that’s grandmother in Italian, if you haven’t already figured this out) I made a set of three knit washcloths in pink and brown cotton. These were knit in a frenzy. The cotton was meant for baby sweaters but the nice lady at Victoria’s Beehive Wool Shop told me most knitters use it for dishcloths too. I wasn’t too concerned because, not unlike their upstairs kitchens, pretty handmade things by grandchildren do not actually get used by Italian old women. Anyways, SHE LOVED THEM. As usual, she pet them over and over saying “che punto!” (what stitches!) and then proceeded to tell me how she likes things that are simple and inexpensive. The next day on Christmas, she tried her best to convince her three kids to return the entirety of a huge gift basket they had assembled for her and my Nonno (who was already curiously unwrapping it in the background.) MEANWHILE, my dishtowels were already hanging in her kitchen. She’s a peach.
NB: patterns were all from Ravelry– all brown: Waffle Knit Dishcloth by Debbie Andriulli; all pink: old school Grandmother’s Favourite; and brown and pink: Ballband Dishcloth by Pisgah Yarn & Dyeing Co., Inc (this one could have probably done with a nicer border around the edges: maybe 2-3 stitches of garter like in the waffle one).
Thus ends part one! Fear not! Knits and embroidery to follow!