One of my favourite parts of this whole series of blogposts has been reading about what people knit and sew for others.. I do like a homemade gift, though only certain people are deemed to be knit-worthy!
Throughout the year I'll usually have a pair of plain socks on the go. The men of my family are rather partial to a hand knit wool sock, my brother ensured his place on the knit worthy list by presenting a pair from a previous Christmas and asking for them to be mended! I tend to use commercial yarn for my socks, I like a good plain, super sturdy 75% Superwash wool, 25% nylon blend, something like Regia or Opal. They wash and wear so well, I finally admitted that my very first socks had become worn out this year, I made them in 2008, so they'd had a good innings!
Very occasionally this homemade plan does catch me out, though I've never handed over a half knitted pair! This pair for my Dad were the closest... Finished on the 23rd December
These were made 9 years ago, and the last time we were away as a family for Christmas. Mum booked us a cottage on the Isle of Mull, I arrived home from my first teaching job full of cold, that turned in to full blown flu the following morning. I was bundled in to the front of the car, wrapped in blanket, and didn't move until we arrived at the ferry... Turns out I was also carrying Noro virus that had been sweeping through the school just before Christmas, and one by one the whole family succumbed. The cottage had a delightful view over the strait to Iona, but was a, mostly unheated, pre-fab, with no TV reception... not the ideal spot to be confined to a sofa!
The following year Mum and Dad moved to Wales, which was an equally cold Christmas!
The cottage was lacking in insulation, and was rather damp as it hadn't been lived in. The wood burner that provided the heating and hot water wasn't working well. We did a lot of work out in the garden cleaning trees that year, mostly because it was the only time we got warm!
The most last minute present I've ever made was this hat for Mum...
It was the Woolly Wormhead Mystery Hat Pattern that year, but had been put aside whilst I made socks and other gifts. The day before Christmas we'd been out walking, and Mum forgot to take a hat....
Which then led to me pulling this out, realising it could be finished with a few more hours work. I cast of at around 10pm. Gave it a quick wash, then dried it over the top of the woodburner overnight. I then snuck it away and wrapped it the same morning. all without anyone realising what I was up to!