Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How to do Christmas on a (very) tight budget: Guest Post!

The following is a guest post by my sister, Laura. Enjoy!

If you’re like me, there are some people in your life that are just difficult to shop for. You could get them a book or a TV show, but they just have so many! A hand-crafted gift is awesome, but what if you’re not particularly hand-crafty?

This is where I like to fall back on the old standby: yarn crafts. I worked at a fabric store for three years when I was in high school, which exposed me to the world of crafting--sewing, knitting, quilting, the whole nine yards. Now, I’m not a great crafter, but I can handle knitting and crocheting just fine.

This is why I decided to give two of my more, shall we say, earthy-crunch friends... (drum roll please) knitted coasters!!
Pictured: An awesome gift idea.

The directions are ridiculously simple, ready?
Cast on 24. Knit until it reaches the desired size. Cast off.
Stick your gorgeous, finished product on your coffee table and let people stick their cups on it. Tada!
I used a size 5 needle because I wanted the stitches to be small and tight. I also used a wooden coaster I had around the house as a template and I consulted with my (avid knitter) best friend to determine the gauge before I set off.
Depending on how tight or loose your stitches are you should check your work against a template coaster sure you’re on track. After you make your first coaster, I would use that as your template so that your set is all the same size.
I chose my yarn based on two things: price and color. Caro’s favorite color is bright yellow, and Aubrey’s is green, so I knew which colors to get. I also knew that I was making coasters, not a sweater or a scarf or gloves, so when you get to the yarn store don’t get seduced by the 17 dollar skein of malabrigo yarn. I know, it’s hard, but resist! It will not respect you in the morning. Instead, allow yourself to fall in love with the simple, uncomplicated nylon-acrylic blend. I got two 1.75 oz skeins for eight bucks. For those keeping up with the math, that’s a four dollar present (plus the labor, of course).

The coasters don’t look perfect, but I don’t mind and neither do my friends, because they know I worked hard to show them how much I care.

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