Thursday, December 23, 2010

Itty Bitty Christmas Swap 2010

It's the week of Christmas and I'm finally able to publish this post...  I had this swap mostly completed back at the same time I sent out my swap package for the Secret Santa Swap.  Unfortunately, I was not able to mail out a complete package as some of the items I intended to include were backordered and would not make it on time for the mailing deadline.  But finally, everything arrived, and now that my swap partner has received her parcels, I can share with everyone else.

Unlike the Secret Santa Swap, the Itty Bitty Christmas Swap 2010 had a couple requirements.  The idea was to keep this swap fun and simple since the previous swap (Teddy Bear Picnic) was quite involved.  There had to be either a knit Snowman Hat or a knit Christmas Set, designed by Susan B. Anderson.  We were also instructed to include a recipe we liked during the holiday season, accompanied by some kind of yummy treat.

I chose to make my swap package penguin themed.  Penguins are cute and waddle-y and represent winter well.  (It didn't hurt to learn that my swap recipient, Mary Rose, collects penguins!) :)    This little gem is a Christmas ornament.  I love the scarves adorning these cheery penguins' necks, as well as their Christmas stockings.
Then I found this really neat hot cocoa and mug set.  I like to think that this penguins' sweater and hat are hand knit.  I can't remember and it's hard to tell in the picture, but I believe the mug says, "Bundle Up It's Sweater Weather."  :)
I wanted to include some handmade stitch markers, but didn't have a chance to get to Hobby Lobby to look at charms.  So instead I decided to make my own out of polymer clay.  Mary Rose received a penguin, Christmas Tree, snowman and candy cane.  These were really fun to make!
Now we come to the knit requirements.  I chose to knit the Snowman Hat for a little boy in Mary Rose's life.  After I was all done, I thought about whether I should have gone outside the box a little, but I finally decided that I really like the way this hat turned out.
I made this hat last year for X and had trouble with the scarf, so I reworked out how I tacked down the knot.
I also had no orange yarn last year so X's hat got a button nose (like Frosty), but this guy got a cute little carrot nose.
(Baby Bee Hushabye Solid in Angel, Knit Picks Comfy Worsted in Black, Knit Picks Shine Worsted in Marmalade and in Claret)
And since Mary Rose wasn't planning on keeping the Snowman hat, I opted to also knit her a piece of the Christmas Set.  I knew I wouldn't have time for all 3 pieces, but I did have plenty of time for this little mouse.  
He knit up in a couple days, but only because work got in the way.  He'd easily be finished in an evening.  He really had fun during his photo shoot.  His favorite movie is Cinderella (for obvious reasons), and he remembered Jaq getting stuck in the teacup while trying to retrieve the key for Cinderella.  Thus his inspiration for this shot.

My favorite part of this little mouse are his ears.  I used KnitPicks Comfy Worsted in Cypress.  This dark green is just right.  (Also used Knit Picks Shine Sport in White and in Claret.)
I also learned that the Christmas Mouse has made a new friend in Santa Clause, also from the Christmas Set, but knit by Mary Rose.

As I like to do, I included something that would remind the recipient of Iowa, this time, a set of John Deere playing cards.  Also note the assorted chocolates I hear didn't last long.... :)
Mary Rose also mentioned she likes peppermint, so I included these peppermint stick cremes.  I'm interested to know how she likes them!  You will also see a recipe card for Red Velvet Cupcakes.  Very small and yummy and perfect for this holiday season.
I wrapped up all of the above and filled up this Christmas stocking.  Well, not the mug and hot cocoa, but everything else.  I thought it would be a fun way to open all the goodies, just like Christmas morning!
I was disappointed I couldn't include everything in the first package, but sometimes that's what the way life happens.  I had a very understanding swap partner, which was great.  I had 2 things I still wanted to send her way, and although I already had the pattern, I held it back to keep the other items company on the trip.  I selected the Grove pattern by Jared Flood.  I think this pattern is lovely.  I believe I even mentioned it on a Friday Favorites.
Photo by Jared Flood
And I think they would look lovely knit in Shelter, in the Almanac colorway!  Yes, I was one of those people who waited too long to order (even though I was ahead of the game compared to usual) and was disappointed when I heard the yarn was backordered.  And as it turns out, Almanac is a very popular color.  Luckily, all arrived safe and sound before Christmas!  (And if she chooses to make the pattern out of different yarn or use the Shelter for another project, I'm okay with that too - but it's always nice to have options!)
I had a lot of fun putting this package together.  Especially since I've seen the packages Mary Rose can put together - I was the swap recipient of her Springtime in Paris parcel, after all!  


  1. wonderful treats!!
    Merry Christmas!

  2. The gloves turned out beautifully! What an awesome swap gift you gave. Penguins are always a favorite for wintertime.