(Join along with me any time if you need a head start or moral support for your holiday crafting. You can read more details here.)
Recently, I’ve been reading a lot of panicked blog posts and Ravelry discussions about holiday crafting. As we get closer to the winter holidays, more crafters are starting to think about making gifts.
I’ve been working on my Holiday Stashdown Challenge since May, and if you are just starting to think about holiday crafting, you’ve probably missed some of the posts, so I’m sharing a roundup today. The main message is don’t panic!
I started the Holiday Stashdown Challenge back in May with the dual goal of slowly making holiday gifts all year (to reduce last minute anxiety and exhaustion) and of working through my stash (to move through older yarn to make room for the new stuff!).
For the first weeks of the Holiday Stashdown Challenge, I shared a prompt at the end of each post for other bloggers who joined in the Challenge with me. If you’d like to get in on the holiday crafting action but just need a little inspiration, you may want to check these out to help you get organized quickly.
- Creating a list and deciding who is crochet- and/or knit-worthy
- Shopping the stash for suitable yarns
- Searching for patterns
- Matching projects and yarns to people on the list
- Tips for making the right gift for everyone on the list (and my response, including my holiday survey)
- Celebrating holiday crafting successes
- Favorite last minute holiday gifts to make
- Lessons learned from the most memorable handmade gifts we’ve received
- Reassessing and updating the list
- “Christmas in July” promotions and holiday crafting
- Impact of changing seasons on holiday crafting
It has been great to cross so many things off of my holiday list while also working through my stash.
Of course, there have been times where I actually bought yarn (egads!) because I didn’t have anything suitable for the recipient in my own stash.
There are still a few projects on my WIP list, like the stocking I’m working on for my grandfather, made with 17 hexagons.
I’m currently working on a cabled hat for my dad’s partner, but haven’t gotten very far.
Overall, I’d say the Challenge has been a great success for me so far. I’ve used a lot of my stash and, in a way, I’ve saved money. My handmade gifts cost more in labor than I could afford to spend in cash on most people on my list. By working primarily from stash and using patterns I already own, freebies, and my own designs, I haven’t had to buy much.
I should note that I didn’t put any restrictions on the meaning of “stash.” Any yarn that I already owned and didn’t buy for a gift was considered stash – it didn’t have to be sitting in my stash for a set amount of time.
And now for my progress to date…
The Finished List! (~1,746 yds from stash)
8 ) Bruges lace infinity scarf/cowl for one of the ladies in my dad’s family –Austermann Step (from stash) – 276 yds – my own design
How is your holiday crafting coming? Feel free to share your progress on your personal holiday gift making journey in the comments!