Today’s post is to share with you the remainder of the Advent Swap package I sent to Nina. I really had fun finding little things to include and send to her!
December 9: Christmas mice. Yes, I said mice, not mouse. This little couple comes from the mouse pattern in the Christmas Set of Itty Bitty Toys by Susan B. Anderson. I had hoped to make the santa and bag to send as well but I just ran out of time.
The first mouse I made was brown. A nice reddish brown, in fact. I imagined it a him, for reasons I’ll explain in a minute. He got a little red scarf and minty green ears. He’s very “smart” looking to me. (Smart as in handsome, not as in book-smart…) Made with Cascade 220 Superwash in Cordovan, with Berroco Vintage in Kiwi for the ears and pom-poms and NaturallyCaron.com in Claret for the nose and scarf.
Before he was really a mouse, he had whispered a notion in my ear that I couldn’t let go. And once he was fully whole, his idea really took hold of me. He had told me he needed a companion. Another mousey companion. It really is better when you have someone to share things with. So another mousie came to life. This time, a she. A creamy white, Miss Mousie compliments Mr. Mouse well. They have matching ears to indicate they’re companions, as well as “matching” scarves. I say matching because hers is mint green with green and red pom-poms, while his are opposite that. She’s made with Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton in White, Berroco Vintage in Kiwi and NaturallyCaron.com in Claret.
I love these two and they were very hard to part with. Especially Mr. Mouse. But from what I hear, Nina’s daughter took an instant liking to them, which is all the thanks I need to hear!!
December 10: (something green) Pancake mix kit. I really enjoy pancakes. We don’t have them very often which probably makes them even better. I found this little green bag with a penguin on the front. Inside is pancake mix and a tiny whisk. Certainly something festive for the holidays!
December 11: Puzzles. I found a couple Christmas puzzles while shopping at Target with Squishy one day. He wanted to open them up and put them together himself, so these had to go into hiding until they could be mailed. A good activity to get little minds moving!
December 12: Reindeer salt & pepper shakers. I actually found these right after I got my swap partner’s name. My mom has many different sets of fun salt & pepper shaker sets. They’re great for the holidays to give a little oomph to the table.
December 13: Cookie cutters for the win! I’m only speaking for our family but Christmas time usually means sweets of all kinds. Mom is the master at all things awesome and we always eat way too many cookies and chocolates, etc. But it wouldn’t be Christmas without them and they’re SO good! Sugar cookies fit right into that mix!
December 14: Spatulas. Nina mentioned in her questionnaire that she enjoys cooking. I took this to mean she also enjoys baking. I found a couple sets of spatulas with cute little pictures in silicone portion of the spatula. I’d not seen this kind of thing before and thought they were unique. Who knew I could find something so neat at Kmart?
December 15: One skein of Spud & Chloe Sweater in Watermelon. I love Spud and Chloe. I would love to use it more often but unfortunately my budget doesn’t allow it. They always have such fresh, inspiring colors.
December 16: Pattern: Playful Stripes Cardigan by Alana Dakos. Alana has the most beautiful patterns available. And many of her designs are for little girls, which is terrific. This pattern could go either way. I’d like to make one of these for Lovebug in the future. Nina had it on her wish list – her little girl will look so cute in this sweater!
Photo by Alana Dakos
December 17: (knitting accessory) Stitch markers made by me. I looked for gnome stitch markers but I couldn’t find any I was happy with. So instead Nina got some Christmas inspired markers. Hopefully they’re not too heavy (a couple turned out a bit large). There are 2 penguins, a snowman and a Christmas tree.
December 18: Gnome project bag. Nina likes and collects lawn gnomes. I had wanted to incorporate this into a previous swap where I had her name but didn’t get the chance. This time I found a really cute, well made gnome project bag. I hope she gets a lot of use out of it!
December 19: So following the gnomey theme, I sent her Gnomeo & Juliet. Such a cute movie. The flamingo is the same person who did the voice for Ray Ray in The Princess & the Frog.
December 20: (knit/crocheted cloth) I just recently picked up on the crocheted dishcloth bug. When I was working on the items for this swap I hadn’t gotten that far yet. I found a pattern set called Winter Wonder Cloths by Kris Knits on Ravelry. There are 6 patterns in the set. I had hoped to knit all 6 but only had time for 4. Nina received the snowman, Christmas trees, stocking cap and snowflake. The other 2 patterns were a mitten and a cottage. These were knit with Lily Sugar’n’Cream in White and Spinrite Peaches and Crème Solids in Soft Blue.
December 21: Tiny Elf by Susan B. Anderson. Another swap requirement. This fun fellow was knit with NaturallyCaron.com in Claret, Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton in White and my own handdyed superwash wool in what I call Woodland Fairies. The green is my favorite part of him. It gives him spunk and a bit of personality. I’ve been so very pleased with how this yarn came out. The original dye job I did was not good, but when I chose to overdye my mistake, the result was wonderful!
December 22: Christmas sticky notes – you can never have too many!
December 23: Candy Cane by Susan B. Anderson. I wanted to include one more thing for Nina’s daughter so I knit this hat. Using Cascade 220 Superwash in Christmas Red Heather and Shire (forest green heather), this hat was a quick knit. I like the way the green and red play off each other. A little different than the traditional colors, but I’ve never been one to do things by the book.
December 24: Flavored coffee – Nina mentioned she has a French Press at work that she uses instead of stopping off for coffee on her way to work. With that in mind, I sent her 4 small one-pot servings in 3 different flavors.
December 25: The gift for Christmas was supposed to be something we thought our partner would really enjoy, made or gifted specifically with that person in mind. The last swap I had Nina’s name, I gifted her a coffee mug, which she apparently uses a lot. But she did mention that sometimes it gets too hot and she needed a coffee mug cozy. And as mentioned above, she has a French Press at work which she also mentioned needed a cozy.
I couldn’t resist knitting these items up. The mug cozy is called Plaited Coffee Cozy by Evan Straub and is a really easy pattern. I did some of my own modifications to ensure the cozy was big enough and followed some other knitters’ mods. More information on my project page.
The French Press Cozy by Derek & Lauren is very simple. So simple in fact, I needed to add in some flair. So I got out my Super Stitches Knitting Dictionary and picked out a pattern that would fit well. The stitch is the daisy stitch (I'll have to look up the page number). I think it gives it a little bit something extra.
For both patterns I used HandPaintedYarn.com in a red/pink colorway. This yarn is discontinued now, but I really enjoyed knitting with it. From what I’ve been told, it’s much like Malabrigo worsted, if you’re interested in something similar.
I also included a bag of flavored coffee just for good measure.
Nina – I hope you enjoyed this swap as much as I did! It will certainly be something fun to repeat next Christmas!
And readers, if you've made it this far, thanks for sticking with me, I know it was a long post today and lots of pictures - but I wanted to finish up sharing all the swap details.