Friday, August 26, 2011

Crafty Christmas: Knit Scarves (and why we make our own Christmas gifts)

Christmas Countdown! There's just 120 days to Christmas.

With many family members and friends, Jason and I had found our Christmas costs were rapidly increasing, but our love for Christmas decreasing. Since we've both been cultivating our craftiness, we decided about three years ago to begin making our Christmas presents. Now, we make the majority of the Christmas gifts we share with friends and family. It almost always saves money, but even more importantly, our love for Christmas has come surging back even more powerful than before!

Every January, we sit down together with a nice cup of cocoa, craft books, craft magazines and our laptop. We go through our list of people we exchange gifts with and choose a gift to make. If we can't decide on a gift for someone just yet, we just think on it for awhile and usually something comes to us. Then we make a crafts schedule for each of us. On average, we have two gifts to complete each month, and gifts can range from 40+ hours (a large cross stitched item) to 15 minutes (a pair of beaded earrings). We assemble a crafting supplies list after consulting with what we already have and make the first of many trips to Joann's.

Here's me - modeling a scarf!
Is he the cutest or what?!?!

In January, all of the yarn at Joann's is on sale, which makes it the perfect time to stock up on all the yarn I think I'll need for the year. I don't know how to knit much, but for the past few years, I've made scarves for nearly everyone we exchange gifts with. The best part of making your own Christmas gifts is the love and care you put into it. Even if the gift only takes 15 minutes, it's 15 minutes you almost inevitably spend thinking about the person you're making the gift for. Each time I craft, I spend the first five minutes or so to pray for the person the gift I'm working on is intended for. It's such a special time for me to send prayers up to Heaven and to just bless the present with my love.

Even if you haven't ever knit before, basic knitting is super easy to learn. Classes are available at Joann's for about $30, and to make one scarf, you could probably expect to spend about $15 (this would include the cost of my favorite knitting needles, which are the bamboo kind). Each scarf costs (once you already have needles), in materials, about $3. I made 10 or 11 scarves this winter in about 2 months - I made several for children, and those typically only took one weekend. You still have plenty of time to learn to knit to make scarves for those on your gift list!

And the other best thing about making your own Christmas gift: the Christmas spirit truly stays alive in you for the whole year. You'll decide in April that you want to listen to Christmas music, in August, you'll be planning your Christmas baking, and in October, you'll be itching to put up the tree and bust out all of your lovely ornaments (most of which will be homemade of course!).

Share with us: Are you making Christmas gifts this year?


Anonymous said...

Way to go you guys, homemade gifts are my favorite! I usually knit a few things. My other go-to projects are baked goods and rice bags. I haven't given it much thought yet this year but the list of people we gift to is pretty small so there is still time... right? ;)

Jess and Jason said...

I would LOVE for you to blog about the rice bags. And you absolutely still have time! :) We're just... well, we're planners. If we could, we would plan for everything in life. Even though, "we plan, God laughs." ;)