It’s 90 Degrees in the Shade

It’s 90 Degrees in the Shade

I found myself humming Christmas songs yesterday while it was literally 90 degrees in the shade. I was camped out on the picnic table, watching the kids playing on the swings, until a sudden downpour sent up scrambling into the house. While I am not really ready for the fall and the onset of the holidays, frankly it has just recently started to feel like summer in these parts, my holiday crafting has begun.

Project number one is this beautiful Fishtail Scarf (pattern available free from Knitpicks) made from hand spun alpaca wool I received as a Christmas gift last year and since I have animal fiber allergies (so sad) I knew it had to be gifted. I think it turned out lovely and plan to make a few more scarves from this pattern.




One gift down…. oh… about twenty more to go.

Have you started your holiday crafting yet? What are you working on or plan to work on?

Michelle ~ Wee Folk Art


  1. First off, I really can’t believe she was able to knit outside yesterday. It was soooo humid! But that’s my girl… a die hard crafter!

    I think the first thing I’ll probably start on are some wooden animals for the kiddos. Tim has the saws out while working on our kitchen redo, so I’ll cut to the front of the line and ask him to cut a few things out for me, then I’ll do the finishing. And I’m always working a stuffing stuffers!  

    1. If you think the scarf looks pretty in the picture, you should see it up close and personal… it is beautiful!!! 

  2. It’s funny because a few people think I’m nuts for already planning my Christmas gifts. They don’t do the arts/crafts thing so they don’t get it takes time to make gifts! I’ve been making a list of what I want to make…I see lots of pillows, pouches, and picture frames this holiday season.

  3. Very pretty! I also love the fabric in your skirt and your yarn bag. For Christmas I’m plan on making lots for the things on your site. Thanks!

  4. ugh! why can’t i get the hang of knitting?! looks so much better than crochet sometimes!

  5. I am super excited as I am getting a sewing machine next week and plan on making laods of stuff for folks for Christmas this year. The MIL and FIL are getting lap quilts (they just don’t NEED anything really) and my daughter is getting baby stuff (she is due in March).

  6. Hi – i’m a new reader and love the stuff here! Do you make all homemade gifts for your children? If so, could you post your ideas? I’ve been toying with making most of my kids gifts this year (i have 5 daughters so it would be an ambitious undertaking).


    1. The answer is a big YES! We make most of the gifts for our grandbabies. (I still make gifts for my grown children including sweaters, mitts, hats, quilts, afghans, bookmarks, etc.) I will let Michelle speak to the gifts she’s made, but if you scroll through our patterns on toys and apparel, we’ve made all those things for the children. One of the things I do every year for the girls, is make them a "fancy" dress. They only wear the dress for special occasions, like holidays, bday parties and weddings. Although it is the same dress, seen over and over in photos, it is very special to them because they only get to wear it on special days. I make them sleeves, since homes are heated in the winter, but they can run around outside in them for summer events. These saves money, and is something they’ve come to anticipate with great excitement. Last year their big gift from us was the hobby horses I made… which come to think of it, I never turned into a pattern… hmmm!

      You’ll find lots of stocking stuffers here. The barrettes and bookmarks are great little gifts. If you have younger children, the building blocks get tons of play time. In a couple of weeks I’ll be showing how to turn our nubby doll pattern into a larger doll. My DH is very crafty, and makes many of their wooden toys.  

      I applaud every one’s efforts to make gifts for their children. I so believe we’ve gotten so commercialized with the holidays, and MORE seems to have become the norm. I think we all need to back up, chose a few well chosen gifts, and make the holidays extra special by baking with our children, reading classic Christmas stories, and focusing on your family’s spiritual beliefs. Good luck with your efforts. If we can help, just ask. We often take suggestions from our readers when designing patterns.   

    2. Hi Laura,
      I don’t make all my children’s gifts, several but not all. What I do buy is often homemade or made from natural materials, the only exception being legos. I do make most of the other gifts I give. A lot of the patterns we have on the site here are great for stocking stuffers (gnomes and fairies especially) and are pretty quick to make.

      One of things I have done though is really reduced the amount of gifts they receive… they get so much stuff from so many people. They only get one thing from Santa (a lot of times a big share gift… toy kitchen/play hut) and a stocking. I also insist that anything they get from Santa looks like elves could have made it. The hardest part is hiding the homemade stuff from them AND materials; they are so aware of anything I make (or Gammy makes) in terms of yarn/fabric stash. I am lucky too because the kids have some wood working grandpas that have built, assembled or finished things like their Play Hut, Rocking Horse, and wood kitchen. And of course their Gammy (Kimara) always gives homemade too. Last year she made beautiful hobby horses.

      What I’m making this year….
      I’ve made each of my kids, even my son, Waldorf dolls a couple years ago and plan to make a bunch of clothes for the dolls as gifts this year. I just got the book Sew Baby Doll Clothes. I really like it because all the patterns come in several dolls sizes… the smallest will fit their 12" Waldorf dolls, the medium will fit the girl’s American Girl Bitty Babies.

      My six year old son loves chess and I am thinking of making a homemade chess set this year… or at least a checkers set… maybe backgammon too. My soon to be five year old daughter loves crafting and I’m thinking about a loom for her. My youngest loves playing farm and I’m thinking about making her cutout and painted wood accessory pieces for her farm mat I made (you can the farm mat in this post)… like fences, trees and crops (kinda like these farm animals we made as a family).

      I always make them a new set of mittens and a hat. Hmm… not sure what else I’m making yet this year. I’m still finalizing my Christmas list.

      Be sure to browse our toy patterns here… we have lots of things like the Waldorf Babies or the "Building" Blocks would make nice gifts and aren’t too complicated.

      I think the biggest thing about going homemade is starting early enough. I shoot for being done by Thanksgiving so that I’ve given my self several weeks for last minute add ons (amazing how you always forget someone or think of something you have to have at the last minute).

      Good luck!

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