Knitting, Sewing, Soaping

Secret Project reveal: Christmas gifts!

As I’ve mentioned in some past posts, I decided to make a few Christmas gifts this year. Here’s what I came up with!

Last year I started my Christmas gift crafting WAY early. We’re talking August (early for me! Maybe not for some). And I successfully finished a total of 8 pairs of socks for my mom, dad, Mr. 5, sister, bro-in-law, nephew, cousin, and cousin’s boyfriend.

Most of them

They seemed like they went over pretty well…who doesn’t like a nice pair of toasty socks? However, I decided this year that knitting on a fairly tight schedule for 4 months straight didn’t seem so appealing.

So, this year I decided to do something a little different – I made one thing for the ladies and another thing for the guys.

Here are the cardis I ended up with for my mom, sister and cousin:


It was a little tricky to figure out how I should get measurements for these…wouldn’t they all know what I was up to? In my attempt throw everyone off, I measured their chest, bicep and head, regardless of whether they were getting a hat or a cardigan. Once I got to the head, they were all pretty much “WTF?” so I’m thinking that tactic was fairly successful.

I made everyone Jalie 2919, because, well, I love mine. And even if they decide they don’t feel it’s quite their style (AKA don’t want to wear it out of the house), it’s a great cardi to lounge in.

Mom’s in charcoal

K’s in purple

A’s in light gray

These were a little bit of a struggle to get done, but only because I am just not a fan of pattern tracing and the cutting process is always a chore. But, really, they all didn’t take that long.

For the guys, I started the first hat on December 2nd…which is a little later than I intended, but I used large enough yarn that I was able to get them each done in just a few days. Whew!

Here they are!


Mr. 5’s


I also decided to make some soap as part of my Christmas crafting, which I do the ol’ fashioned way with sodium hydroxide (LYE!) and oils.  I have a standard recipe that I’ve cultivated through some trial and error, which I combine with fragrance or essential oils and colorants, but I decided I wanted to create a new soap that could stand alone.


I’m calling this completely unadorned (no scents or colors) wonder “Just Soap.”  It was inspired by my boss, who is sensitive to scents, and a coworker’s wife, who is allergic to many foods.

I use shea butter (which comes from the shea nut – who knew?) in my normal soap recipe, and I read online that people with nut allergies can have problems with shea butter, even with topical products such as soap.  I just wanted to try my hand at making a soap that people with all sorts of sensitivities could use without worry.  :)

Last, but not least, I made this sweater for a special little bear. :)


How about you? Gift anything handmade this year?


8 thoughts on “Secret Project reveal: Christmas gifts!”

  1. Hi Jess! I just found you, through a Pattern Review you did on the wardrobe jacket. I like your blog, I’m getting some good ideas. I also make soap and gave that away to coworkers this year.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Your projects came out awesome! I especially like the sweaters. They look very comfy.
    I made 7 aprons for Christmas gifts, and posted the blog last week. You were smart to do different gifts. I got pretty tired of aprons by the end of it.

  3. Oh my you have been busy! WHat great gifts! I love the socks… I’m hoping to learn to knit this year and making socks is one of my main motivations. With a new baby coming in March though I’m not sure it’s so realistic, but a worthwhile goal none the less. I love your tactic for getting measurements while keeping the final project a surprise! Brilliant!!

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