Critters for Christmas

Knitting has turned me into "one of THOSE people" - the ones who are planning for Christmas in October. Well, to be honest, I bought the patterns in July but I'm just now casting on.

I miss the days when I didn't think about Christmas until, say, the week of Christmas. It was an awesome thing to realize that I had seven days or so to balance my checkbook and scour the stores in a fast, but satisfying, buying frenzy. There was just something more festive about it.

Planning for Christmas makes it seem like a chore.

On the other hand, I love giving hand-made gifts to my family and friends. Not everyone appreciates them, but I like the process of picking out something I think the person might like and creating it from scratch. I think it has more value than some mass-produced piece of plastic that a gajillion other people are also going to own on December 26th.

This year, for the first time, my niece and nephew are getting hand-made gifts for Christmas. It's tricky with kids. They could be really bummed out with the present (think about Ralphie in the bunny suit) because it's NOT that mass-produced piece of plastic. However, I hedged my bets and had the kids pick out the patterns that they wanted.

Enter my very best resource for knitted items for kids: Morehouse Farm Merino.

Morehouse Farm makes some of the loftiest, loveliest merino yarn you've ever seen. You know it's from the farm because, occasionally, there'll be a bit of hay or something stuck in the fiber. But even better than their yarn are their patterns and kits. Sure, they have the traditional hats, scarves, sweaters, etc. but where the real treasure lies is in their Critter Knits.

Pretty much any animal you can imagine has been made into a Morehouse Critter - dogs, dragons, chicks, and geckos abound. They might be scarves or purses or hats but, however they're knitted up, the one thing they all are is CUTE.

My niece chose the pink poodle scarf and my nephew the gecko. While I love the merino wool, it's not really practical for two little, messy children so they're getting theirs made from lovely, washable acrylic. I picked the loftiest acrylic I could find because I was worried that the pattern would lose it's shape so the gecko is being made with Vanna's Choice and the poodle will be made from Waverly by Bernat.

So far the gecko is coming out beautifully. I'm actually surprised at how well the acrylic is knitting up and how much I like the hand of the finished fabric.  I'm really looking forward to seeing their faces when the open their presents on Christmas day. I'm sure they'll be happier than Ralphie was.(At least I hope so!)

- Alex


  1. I think getting the recipient to choose the pattern is an excellent way to mitigate against disappointment! I wanted to knit a present for my mum, knowing we have very different taste I made her choose the yarn and pattern (which was good as it wasn't something I would have picked out!)

    I think casting on in October is a sensible plan to avoid the stress of deadline knitting - shopping in the last week before Christmas is one thing, but trying to knit something...!

  2. @pinkundine - I'm a super slow knitter too so it's now or never. LOL! If I even tried to start on December 1, I'd never get both scarves done in time.