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  • November 2011
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Get Crafty 2 – Handmade Holidays

Last spring, I blogged about getting crafty, and shared some of my favorite sources of inspiration.  Since we’re headed into that winter holiday season that seems to get longer every year, I thought I’d talk about how a crafty hobby can take care of your gift-giving needs.

For example, I crochet, which means I’ll never have to worry about shopping for a present ever again.  I mean, yarn isn’t exactly free, and you still have to decide on a pattern and you know, sit down and actually make something.   But I enjoy crocheting so much I’d be doing it anyway, and I can only wear so many hats in one winter.  So there’s no reason not to make things that save me a trip to the mall and make my friends feel special.

Right now I’m about halfway through a sixteen foot scarf for my friend who’s a Dr. Who fan.  She sent me the scarf’s official website, and asked if I thought I could make one.  Despite being ridiculously huge, it’s actually a pretty simple pattern, and it’s going really quickly.

Dr. Who Scarf

If you don’t have the patience for a project like that, you’re not alone!  There are plenty of projects on the other end of the spectrum, like amigurumi – small stuffed creatures that only require a basic single crochet stitch.  Some of them are totally easy enough for beginners, but look very impressive.  A book like this can get you started –

Creepy Cute Crochet: Zombies, Ninjas, Robots, and More!
by Christen Haden

But as you can see on the cover, a standard head and body can be adapted to look like pretty much anything.  Here’s a Devil Doll I made for another friend –


It was based on two patterns I found on Ravelry – the head and body of one amigurumi, and just the horns from another.

Maybe you love this idea, but you just can’t get into yarn.  Of course, there are plenty of other crafts in the sea.  If you’re fishing for inspiration, here are a few of the latest, greatest, and most interesting crafty titles to catch my eye –

Craft Wisdom & Know-How: Everything You Need to Know to Stitch, Sculpt, Bead and Build
, from the editors of Lark Crafts

polymer clay halloween accessories
(Creepy polymer clay accessories made at the
Main Library’s October Hands-On Workshop)
Polymer Clay 101: A Workshop in a Book
, by Angela Mabray and Kim Otterbein

Recyclo-gami: 40 Crafts to Make Your Friends Green With Envy
! by Laurie Goldrich Wolf

The Repurposed Library: 33 Craft Projects that Give Old Books New Life by Lisa Occhipinti

World of Geekcraft: Step-By-Step Instructions For 25 Super-Cool Craft Projects
by Susan Beal

Of course, let’s be realistic – maybe you just don’t consider yourself crafty, or maybe you do but you still can’t make every gift you need.  You can also consider buying handmade instead of hitting Amazon or the mall.

Do you have plans to make any of your holiday gifts, or have you ever given handmade gifts before?  Feel free to share your ideas in the comments.


First official Hunger Games trailer!

I know you’re not expecting a post from me today, but I was so excited to share this with everyone I just couldn’t wait!


So, what do you think?

Haven’t read The Hunger Games trilogy? There’s still time to catch up before the movie is released!

-Julie, CLP Beechview

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