BY HAND

There’s still time to stitch holidays gifts

Posted Nov. 01, 2013, at 5:56 a.m.
Cover shot of &quotKnit Christmas Stockings" by Gwen W. Steege
Cover shot of "Knit Christmas Stockings" by Gwen W. Steege

Here it is — the first day of November. Even though Halloween is barely over and Thanksgiving is on the horizon, there is still time to get a grip on the things you want to knit, crochet and craft as holiday gifts.

To aid that endeavor, here are four books containing lots of ideas, information and designs:

— “Knit Christmas Stockings” by Gwen W. Steege will give you what you need when looking for something to hang by the fireplace with care. Her book offers a dozen stocking designs that conjure up a winter wonderland, a rustic lodge or the Victorian age. Themed designs focus on cats and dogs. And as the author states in her introduction, these stockings don’t have to be knit in pairs — knit one and you’re done.

In general, the stockings are knit on circular needles, though some of the projects call for double-pointed needles.

In addition, for those who enjoy knitting smaller projects, the book contains designs for mini-socks; heart, star and a tree; mini-mittens and mini-sweater, all of which can serve as tree or wreath ornaments or be strung together to serve as a garland.

Formatted in a handy 6-inch by 9-inch size, the book can be conveniently carried around in a knitting bag.

For information about obtaining the book, check with your local bookstore or public library, or visit storey.com.

— “Mollie Makes Christmas” incorporates a small compendium of crochet, knit, paper, felted and sewing projects.

This book offers designs for sewing Christmas stockings and a Santa themed totebag; crocheted reindeer, granny square garland; felted door wreath and Christmas cottages ornaments; a garland of paper stars, paper fold Christmas tree and a Scandinavian-style cut paper ornament; and knit Fair Isle fingerless gloves and knit with beads baby booties. Many of the projects can be completed in one sitting.

Several pages of “Christmas Inspirations and Festive Ideas” give readers impetus to adapt ideas in the book to their own purposes or come up with ideas of their own.

The book is amply illustrated with clear instructions, making it easy for beginners to tackle and complete projects.

— Although “Mollie Makes Feathered Friends” is not themed for the holidays, it’s definitely a book that can help feather your Christmas gift-giving list. It offers bird and bird-themed projects that are knit, sewn, crocheted, stamped, cut from paper and embroidered. Knit a family of chickens, use scissors to cut from paper a crane design, embroider and applique swallows on a clothespin bag or make and embroider a birdie sewing set of felt.

Other birds featured in the book are owls, parrot, lovebirds, dancing birds, penguin, chicks and woodpecker.

The designs in the book are charming, and any of the projects would make a great holiday gift for a special someone.

— “Mollie Makes Crochet,” with a focus on the home, marries a section of crochet techniques and how-to steps with a roster of projects that includes placemats, flowers, doilies potholders, a cushion, blankets and other designs that will appeal to beginners and those of more advanced skills.

Some of the projects call for cotton yarns in various weights and many would lend themselves to portability should one be obliged to sit for any length of time in a waiting room.

The designs in the book also lend themselves to gift-giving.

To learn more about the “Mollie Makes” series of books, go to interweave.com or molliemakes.com.

Call Ardeana Hamlin at 990-8153 or email ahamlin@bangordailynews.com. Don’t forget to visit her blog at byhand.bangordailynews.com.

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