I'm not doing much gift knitting this year. A few small things, really. But a friend and I decided to trade crafts this winter. So I made a bunch of bracelet bags, and I got a supply of handpainted gourd Santas, snowmen, and ornaments. This idea came about when she saw my little black bracelet bag that I use for going out when my big giant purse isn't needed. But several of her gift recipients live in Florida, where a heavy felted bag isn't exactly the thing, so I came up with a pattern using smaller needles, cotton/linen yarn in a nice stitch pattern, and thin bangles. I made them the exact size to hold an iPhone, your ID and money, and maybe a key.
Here is the full array:
And the felted bags:
And the not-felted bags:
I was really pleased all around. The bracelets came primarily from eBay, an awesome source for mismatched/vintage bangle bracelets. The thin bangles for the cotton/linen bags came from amazon.com.
Felted Bracelet Bags Details:
Pattern: From Crazy Aunt Purl
Needles: Size 13
Yarn: Mostly Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky leftovers (the pink is Worsted, held doubled) with KFI Dazzle (sadly discontinued)
Notes: These work up in maybe two hours. Less, probably. Lamb's Pride goes crazy furry when it's felted, so I trimmed the excess with sharp scissors. The bracelets are from eBay, and I like the fun, mismatched look. I love this pattern, and the bags are fun and unique. I really love Laurie's patterns, which she calls recipes. This would be an easy felting project for a beginner because she spells out every step (with pictures!) and makes everything very clear.
Cotton/Linen Bags Details:
Pattern: My own. I used the idea of a bag on bracelets from the felted version, but changed the stitch pattern, gauge, direction of knitting, etc. It is right here!
Needles: Size 4
Yarn: Knitpicks CotLin (I think I could get two bags out of each ball, but it could be close.
Notes: I was really happy with how this turned out. It's a lighter version of the felted bag, nice for summer. I think this would be a really fun gift for the girls on your list. Each took about 2-3 hours.
Other knitting: I have some little things to finish before Christmas. Hjalte is clicking along on the front, which surprises me. It seems to be going faster than the back.
Reading: I just started Room With A Clue by Kate Kingsbury, the first in her Pennyfoot Hotel series, and it's a blast. Very Upstairs/Downstairs or Gosford Park.
Cooking: Lots of fall cooking, and lots of Lilah Bug Bakes products. I have apple butter, Pears in Bittersweet Chocolate, and Pears in Pinot Noir available.