11 Wonderful Gift Tags For Your Wonderful Hand Knits

Christmas is just 5 days away! If you’re still stitching away, I hope all your patterns are error free, you’ve got plenty of yarn, you’re binding off before 1 AM on Christmas morning. To wrap all that wonderful knitted and crafted goodness up right, here are 10 printable and DIY tags. 

And may all your gifts be met with just the right OOH’s and AAH’s!

Labels for Handmade Items from Little Monkey Crochet

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Colorful Gift and Care Tags from First Pancake Studio

Fair Isle Bookmark Tags from Eat Drink Chic

Minimalist Typographic Gift Tags from Montgomery Fest 

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12 Days of Christmas Gift Tags from Year of Creative Habits

’Tis the Season Gift Tags from Abigail Halpin

Warm Wishes Knit Tags from 100% Rain

Up for a little cross stitch? Make these cross-stitch mitten tags from Design*Sponge.

Ugly Sweater Gift Tags from Love vs. Design

Keep it simple with my own Make A Bow Gift Tags

P.S. If you don’t want to stay up till the wee hours of Christmas morning binding off, here are some IOU tags to put under the tree instead. 

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Things are rapidly disappearing into boxes as The Bearded One and I prep to move home base to our new home. My spinning wheel is packed and ready to go but I still need to decide what knitting is going to stay in arm’s reach. See you on the other side when I have internet again. 

Inspiring, fun, thought-provoking, and crafty links to round out the week and jumpstart your brain.

Sheep to Sweater - I’ve wasted way too much time playing this game. It’s awesome. 

Frozen Almond Chai

Weaving on a metal rack - Fun idea!

How to Tie-Die Tissue Paper - Looks like an easy project but creates an amazing result. I wonder how this would work with fabric.

Urban Farming Classroom by Colorado Building Workshop

Simple Yarn Garland - A cute idea fro what to do with all those little leftover bits of yarn. 

What A Soldier Carries - Bristith military kit from the Battle of Hastings to Helmand.

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Inspiring, fun, thought-provoking, and crafty links to round out the week and jumpstart your brain.

I’ve been sneaking in bits of spinning and knitting into my day to help keep my sane. The last few days have been the most I’ve spun since Tour de Fleece. It’s nice to see the bobbin slowly fill up and do something with my hands besides from clicking buttons.

How to turn a file folder into a book. Why have I not made this yet?

How hiring a handyman is like buying a crochet (or knitting) pattern.

And a little deeper, thoughts on (knitting) pattern pricing from Ysolda Teague

NASA developed origami style solar panels.

The Shape of Ideas by Grant Snider

Nina Lindgren’s Sprawling Cardboard Cities

Wish I’d been able to read this article when I first unboxed my spinning wheel

On Comparison 

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A collection of fun and interesting links from the week.

glowing paper forest by Orproject

The Amazing 18th Century Mechanical Furniture of Abraham and David Roentgen

Erik Aberg’s Ghost Cubes. Watching these things move is mesmerizing. 

Beautiful Flower Mandalas by Kathy Klein

Infinite Architectural Patterns by Alexandre Jacques

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A collection of fun and interesting links from the week.

I took the plunge and joined Instagram this week. Check out my profile. So far spinning and dinosaurs are the dominant theme. 

I’ll be keeping these tips for knitting a better button band when I knit my next sweater.

Roadsworth paints the town. 

Lemon Ginger Salmon Patties

How to knit the Picot Cast On

How to Draw Hearts with Circles: A Geometric Love Story by Justina Yang

Li Hongbo’s Flexible Sculptures. Cool and just a little creepy. 

Wander the Web 5: Link Love Edition

In this week’s special edition of Wandering the Web, the focus is on sharing five favorite topics along with Crafty Pod and Link Love. It’s more than just knitting and spinning around here.

Knitting: I enjoy making things and knitting fits the bill well since it’s useful, portable, uses wonderful materials, and is easy to fix. Also important is that knitting can be as simple or complex as I want it to be. Too tired for anything complicated? Knit some stockinette in the round. Want something complex. Bring on the Fair Isle. 

  • How to Evenly Pick Up Stitches from Juniper Moon Farms - This tutorial has some great tips for those rare occurrences when you need to even pick up a few hundred stitches.

Spinning Yarn: I probably would never had started spinning my own yarn if I hadn’t started knitting. Seeing all the other amazing hand spun yarn people made was enough to make me want to try making and knitting with my own.

  • Checking Spinning Consistency from KnittyBlog - The usual method for checking consistently is letting a short length of the singles ply back on itself to check that the amount of twist is same. This method, illustrated by Jillian, wraps the singles around a piece of card stock.

Architecture and Design: I am fascinated by what people make and design to improve the world and daily life. I’m drawn to how changes in space and environment can create something profound or disastrous for the people who live in those places.

  • Dezeen.com - News, project showcases, and product design from around the world. 

Dairy Free Dessert: Not being able to eat dairy makes it hard to eat out and finding sweet treats that don’t involve milk is even harder. So, I’m always on the lookout for tasty recipes that fill that void.

  • Chai Popsicles from La Spelonca Vegetariana - A blend of coconut milk, chai tea, and spices, these popsicles sound quite tasty and don’t need a blender to mix everything together. 

Bookbinding: I’m a sucker for nice paper and beautiful books. Making books just helps me appreciate them a little bit more and replenish my collection of sketchbooks. 

  • Basic Stab Stitch Bookbinding from Tuts+Hub - A tutorial for a simple binding method that covers all the details for making a quick book. No need to worry about glue or presses. 

Wander the Web 4: Link Love Edition

Trying something a little different and joining up with CraftyPod for Link Love for the remainder of August. Instead of random goodness from across the web, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite tutorials. No crafty goodness or Pinterest board of mine is off limits. This week, I’m sharing five of my favorite tutorials from across the web. 

Transparent Bookmarks from Two Bee - A cute, little tutorial for making transparent bookmarks with a sheet of overhead. The tutorial is in Portuguese but the photos are self-explanatory.

Invisibly Seam Stockinette from Anonyknits - An oldie but a goodie from 2006. Invisibly seam two knit edges together without fooling around with any pesky, live stitches. Tapestry needle and yarn to the rescue.

Delicious Salt Scrub Recipe from Deliciously Organized - Salt scrubs are amazing for your skin and so easy to make. This recipe only calls for a handful of ingredients.

8-Bit Popup Cards from Minieco - How to cut your own pop-up cards. A great minimal design using Space Invaders and skulls but you can use the tutorial to cut any design you please. All you need is colorful paper, a craft knife, metal ruler, and a cutting matt.

Home Made Gift Boxes from Creative in Chicago - I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve used this tutorial for simple, origami gift boxes folded from scrapbook paper. Customize the box to match your gift or any holiday you can find the paper for.

To join in on the fun, check out CraftyPod for all the details.

 

Origami Stars

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Now that my Christmas cards are in the mail and winging their ways across the States, it’s time to show off the goodness inside: origami ornaments. I like to make ornaments every year for the tree and add them as special touches with friends’ gifts. This year, I’m taking a break from knitted leaves, birds, stockings, mittens, and pom-poms for origami. There’s no lack of holiday knitting around here and origami is a nice change. The ornaments are much faster to fold than to knit, easy to make, and just the right size to mail to friends across the country.

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There are tons of instructions for origami stars across the internet and I fell for the Robin Star by Maria Sinayskaya. This video helped clear up some of the more complicated parts of the folding and assembly. I used 3” foil origami paper and the completed stars came out 4” across. The only thing I changed was to tuck the “triangle”, that is normally folded behind all layers, under the last layer to hide the paper’s wrong side.  Once all the stars were folded, a hole punch (an awl would work too) and some craft thread quickly turned the bunch into ornaments. 

After folding 20 of these stars I have a few tips :

  1. Don’t wait to the last minute. The stars are quick to make but won’t just appear in your hands. I made mine over the course of a week. 
  2. Assembly line the process. Once I’d picked the paper for a particular star, I worked the same fold on all the pieces before moving to the next step. Seemed to make the whole process go a lot faster.
  3. Practice first. Before I started using the small, foil squares, I practiced making the stars from larger paper. I was able to memorize the steps and make sure the process wasn’t too finicky before making the real thing.
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Origami for Plying

Since I started seriously learning to spin, I have been monogamous spinner. Just one bump of fiber on the spindles at a time, thank you. I don’t want to confuse my hands with wildly different fibers and jump between lace and worsted weight all in the same day. So when I pick some fiber to spin, I see it through to the end and don’t start something new until the yarn is drying on the rack. For the past few weeks my default spinning project has been a lovely bunch of lace weight singles which are be chain plied for some self-striping goodness. The time had finally come to ply the first singles a few days ago but I only had one plying ball and two singles. I didn’t want to wrap both singles around the same ball since I wouldn’t know where one ended and another began. One single went on the ball and I wrapped the second around a box of sewing pins. That box kept the singles orderly but it wasn’t quiet about it. “Oh, you need more singles? I shall play you the song of my people.”

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Until I get around to knitting up a few more plying balls, origami to rescue. I love making modular origami where a bunch of simple folded pieces combine to create something wonderful and complex. Stars are a particular favorite. In the rare moments of silent plying, I remembered the Gudrun Star over on GoOrigami.com. I’ve made them before and they seemed perfect for holding bits of handspun. The stars are simple to make, easy to memorize, and don't take up much space. I made these units listening to podcasts and watching movies.

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I know I could have just cut out a few squares of card board instead of folding stars but there is a method to my madness. The extra points make it easier to wrap and secure the yarn. Plus, I’m going to be using these stars a lot and I’d rather look at them than a drab piece of cardboard or an advertisement on the back of a cereal box.

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To make your own stars, you’ll need the Gudrun Star diagram from GoOrigami.com and a sheet of scrapbook paper cut into 2 x 3” rectangles. Scrapbook paper is thicker than origami paper but still easy to fold and makes a sturdy star too. One sheet is enough to make 3 stars 3.25” across. FYI, the diagram is in German but the illustrations are clear without the words. Don’t forget that Google Translate is your friend if you need it. 

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Once you’ve made your stars, they’re ready for yarn. Hold the end in a valley and wrap the yarn around the opposite side of the star 3 or 4 times. Rotate and repeat. When you can’t see the points anymore, you can wrap the yarn just like on any other ball.

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Wrapped and ready to go! Time for some plying that won’t outdo the television speakers. 

Merry Christmas

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I got the idea for these fun little cards from a tutorial on Crafty Leftovers.com and couldn’t resist making making a special few to give away for Christmas. Once I got all the cutting done, the weaving went fairly quickly. It was a lot of fun to create different patterns and I like the back just as much as the front. These cards veer off from the tutorial just a bit which only goes to show how much variation can be achieved.

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Whatever holiday you celebrate, enjoy the season and have fun with the rest of 2009.

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