Crafting an Organized Holiday Season

When Halloween decorations are still in the stores, it’s hard to start thinking about the gift-giving holidays – “too early” is what most say! But if you like to make handmade gifts, then it’s time to start planning – and in some cases making! Here are some tips, timelines, and free patterns to help you prep for the holidays this year!

Make a List & Check It Twice

Who are you creating for this year? While it can be tempting to aim for a 100% handmade holiday, the cold hard fact is that not everyone appreciates handmade gifts, and your time and talents are precious!

Make sure you are crocheting and knitting for those who will honor your time and talents. And make sure you know about any allergies – not everyone can handle all natural fibers!

GIFT IDEA: Care Package Throw by Moogly – This crochet blanket pattern works up in just hours with Red Heart With Love – which makes it easy care and non-allergenic too!

Care Package Throw by Moogly

Create a Countdown Calendar

Whether you’re a paper person or a digital devotee, it’s time to break open your calendar and start thinking about how much time you have to devote to making your gifts this year. While Christmas might be “months away,” it really breaks down to only a few weeks!

Depending on the length of your list and the amount of free time you have to devote to making, you will want to make sure you have enough time to make each project, without turning your own holiday into a stressful rush.

Try printing out a few free online calendar pages and planning out a deadline for each project to keep yourself on track – and to make sure you’re being realistic too!

GIFT IDEA: Dragon Wing Cowl by Jessie At Home – Knitting for the holidays doesn’t have to take forever – try a beautiful one skein accessory like this pattern featuring just one ball of Red Heart Sparkle Soft!

Dragon Wing Cowl by Jessie At Home

Plan Your Projects & Get Organized

After you’ve got your gift list made, it’s time to think about supplies! Do you have the yarn you need to make the projects on your list? Have you bookmarked or printed out the patterns you want to make?

One thing that can be very helpful, when you have a lot of projects lined up, is to make yourself a bunch of “kits.” Using project bags, bins, plastic baggies, sections of the spare bed – whatever works for you! – put the yarn, supplies, and pattern for each project in its own pile or container.

This has 3 great benefits – you’ll see exactly what you still need to purchase or gather together, so you can organize your shopping list, and you’ll also see exactly how big a “job” you are setting yourself up for – and if that schedule is realistic!

And finally, when you’re ready to get started with each project, you’ll have everything you need right there – grab and go!

GIFT IDEA: Hygge Stripe Socks by Marly Bird – Knit socks are a classic gift for a reason – and these beginner house socks include video tutorials, as well as Chic Sheep by Marly Bird yarn!

Hygge Stripe Socks by Marly Bird

Get Making

All the planning in the world won’t help if you don’t start crocheting in time! But the race to the holiday can take its toll on your muscles – be sure to stop, stretch, and relax on nights you’re yarning. Nothing will slow you down more than an injury!

In addition to the muscle strain, holiday prep can affect our mental health as well. Be sure to take deep breathes during those stretches, and remember that handmade takes time.

If you find yourself stressing out about gift projects, go back to your schedule or calendar and see if you can mix up the order a bit – try alternating between complicated patterns and simple patterns that can be made while you relax and watch your favorite holiday movies!

GIFT IDEA: Cozy Time Fringe Throw by Salena Baca for Red Heart – Relax with a cup of cocoa (or maybe some mulled wine?) and this ultra easy, relaxing, and supremely comfy throw made with Red Heart Hygge!

Cozy Time Fringe Throw by Salena Baca for Red Heart

Have a Backup Plan

Sometimes, despite our best intentions and efforts, the handmade gift just isn’t going to get made in time. It’s happened to just about every crafter!

So what will you do? You have lots of options – from gifting an “IOU,” to making something smaller/faster, to setting the project aside for next year and purchasing something for this year instead.

After all, part of the value of handmade is that it takes time – something we all run short of sometimes. So it doesn’t hurt to always have a few “quick gift” patterns in your back pocket for emergencies – and then we’ll start earlier next year, right?

GIFT IDEA: Hanging Gift Card Holder by Moogly – This super quick pattern is perfect for last-minute gift emergencies – or when you need to make a bunch of quick gifts in bulk – with just 25 yards of Red Heart Scrubby Smoothie!

Hanging Gift Card Holder - Moogly

Good luck all – and Happy Holidays!

Tips for Crafting an Organized Holiday Season

Welcome to the 12 Weeks of Christmas CAL 2017

by guest blogger Maria Bittner of Pattern Paradise

This year I’ll be partnering with SIX super-talented blogger friends and Red Heart Yarn to sponsor the CAL!

We are in our third year of the #12WeeksChristmasCAL event and I’m even more excited than I was the first year! This year I’ve added two more super talented designers, for a total of 6 guest bloggers! Like past events, this one will focus on having fun! Along the way we hope you learn some new techniques, play with some new yarns as well as old favorites and most of all make some like minded friends! The added bonus is that when you are all done, you’ll have some holiday decorations and gifts too! Thank you to Red Heart Yarns for sponsoring this CAL and the weekly and grand prize raffles once again! Continue reading “Welcome to the 12 Weeks of Christmas CAL 2017”

A Sashay Christmas Tree

by guest blogger Karen Freeman

My mother always told me if invited to someone’s house for an event, never go empty handed. Well, I have been invited to a friend’s house throughout the year and have brought different gifts such as wine and chocolate. For the holidays I wanted to bring something that my very crafty friend could not have purchased or made herself. This Sashay tree is the special gift I made for her.

Continue reading “A Sashay Christmas Tree”

Make it Merry – Red Heart Holiday Pattern eBook

Make It Merry Free Knit & Crochet Pattern eBookNeed inspiration for your Holiday project list? You have found it with the Make It Merry free eBook from Red Heart. Download the Make It Merry eBook with 34 knit and crochet ideas to delight this holiday season. It begins with a wide range of wonderful ideas for giving your home an enchanted hand-crafted holiday feel including Red & White or Heart-Warming themes. It goes on to ideas for kids and special accessories to give or make ahead for holiday photos with Santa!

With so many projects you are sure to find something to help you plan your gift list with your knit and crochet projects. And don’t forget yourself this holiday season, as this eBook contains ideas for your own holiday or winter wardrobe!

Download the Make It Merry eBook

 

Sampling of the free projects inside the eBook:

Make It Merry eBook