Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for December, 2012

How to Plan (and Make!) Last Minute Gifts

December 4th, 2012

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How to Plan and Make Last Minute GiftsIt’s holiday crafting crunch time, but I’m here to tell you that everything will be okay. You can finish all of your gift crocheting and knitting with a bit of planning. Here are some easy tips to help you achieve all of your holiday crafting goals.

Step 1: Make a list of what you want to achieve. Choose the patterns, the yarn, and the gift recipients.

Step 2: Be realistic. Do you have enough time to make all of these items? If you have to buy yarn, will you have it in time? Can you really knit 5 Aran sweaters with heavy cabling in 3 days? Consider what you can reasonably accomplish, then edit down your list. Try using thicker yarns for fast-finish gifts. Being realistic is the best way to eliminate handmade gifting stress.

Step 3: Prioritize. Figure out which items are your must-finish projects, and start those first. If you won’t see your aunt until New Year’s Eve, you can probably start her gift after you finish Mom’s holiday shawl.

Step 4: Edit once more. Once you get working on your gifts, you might find that cowl you thought would take a day really took five. That’s totally fine! Revisit your list and adjust accordingly. Remember, it’s absolutely okay not to craft for every single person on your holiday list.

Step 5: Plan for the unfinished gifts. Even with the best of plans and intentions, sometimes life gets in the way. Set yourself a deadline, and if you find yourself getting a little too close for comfort, consider alternate plans. You can give an IOU card if your gift will be finished shortly, or consider gifting some handmade items from a local store or market.

By staying organized, you can relax and enjoy your crafting instead of stressing about deadlines. Good luck with your gift projects!

Pictured above: Amigurumi Christmas Mouse Ornament

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Just in Time for the Holidays: 12 Fast-Finish Toys to Knit & Crochet

December 3rd, 2012

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Growing up, my grandmothers would both make me doll clothes for my American Girls and Barbies. I loved each little outfit, crafted with care. I still have most of those clothes tucked away in storage for my future kids to enjoy, along with beloved stuffed animals.

This holiday season, make a child in your life smile at the sight of a handmade gift. Here are 12 patterns for stuffed animals, toys, and doll clothes. Find many more patterns on!

Image of Martha Stewart Doll with Poncho and Dog Image of Leo The Lion Image of Olivia Doll Outfit: Dress, Jacket, & Hat
Crochet Martha Doll
with Poncho & Dog
Crochet Leo the Lion Knit Olivia Doll Outfit