Christmas Presents – have you made a list?

I couldn’t find the energy for Secret Santa this year, but I am making Christmas presents!

Mainly socks.

Hand knitted yellow sock (unfinished)
Making socks

It is possible that close family members will all end up with a pair. I am finding that socks take quite a lot of time although they can easily be combined with watching TV or listening to podcasts. At the moment we are watching Bordertown on Netflix. I got two large balls of this bright yellow yarn in the Salvation Army shop for 50p. There is quite a lot of sock yarn (4 ply 75% wool, 25% nylon) out there if you look. I got some grey stuff on eBay too.

What about making a covered book or two? This is a nice way to use up precious fabrics that are too small to use for garments but too nice to throw away. I like using African fabrics or small samples that I have been given. Here are my instructions for  covered books.

Note books covered in Linton tweed
Note books covered in Linton tweed

Also I made some small leather purses with leather samples. I loved using my plastic poppers in bright colours to finish them off. These are useful for all those plastic cards we seem to need to carry these days, or for your ear phones which get tangled and crummy in your rucksack.

Home made Leather purse
Ideal for in-ear headphones – earbuds

Two other nice ideas for making presents which I have never done but meant to are the oven glove or the longer thing for getting stuff out of the oven. 

Again – this is a great way of using up scraps of fabric. You can stitch smaller pieces together to make a patchwork effect. Last year Esme and I used up Christmas fabrics to make stockings for the children. This involved stitching strips to backing fabric, cut into a stocking shape, then joining the two sides together with bias binding. It was quick and fun.

The other knitting project that is quicker than socks is vintage slippers.

Vintage slipper
Brown and orange slippers


Special Christmas Offer on Making Life More Beautiful

Finally you could send your friends or family a copy of my book, Making Life more Beautiful. I know lots of you have enjoyed it and I so grateful for the positive reviews that you have written. Here is what Aggie MacKenzie said:

“This book sings with vibrancy, richness and excitement. It’s jam packed full of brilliant ideas, practical advice and gorgeous colour. An inspiration and friend to every woman interested in clothes, whether you are a maker or not”

Aggie MacKenzie
Aggie MacKenzie


The book includes the pattern for the vintage slippers, details on how to make trousers, skirts, jumpers and a hat. It also has lots of advice and ideas on colour, style and life.

I don’t have many left but I do have a special Christmas offer! I will

  • wrap the book in hand printed paper with a gift tag OR
  • include a piece of fabric, a pattern or haberdashery (lucky dip) OR
  • add a free note book, worth £3.50

I am also still offering free postage and packaging in the UK, and reduced postage for the rest of the world. Please indicate if you want gift wrap, lucky dip or note book on the “order notes” (comes up before you pay), and state if you would like a dedication or something written on the gift tag. I will dispatch the next day.  My last posting date are 8th December for South America, 10th December for Australia and New Zealand, 14th December for the USA and 18th December for the UK.

Thank you for your support – I really appreciate it, and it makes all the work I put into the blog and the book worthwhile.

Order Now!

7 Responses

  1. Cynthia Read

    Dear Kate, I would like to order your book with a notebook too, but how do I do it, I could not find anywhere in your site to email you.

  2. Cynthia

    Another quick idea, I saw fingerless mitts in Marks and Spencer this week, just a stocking stitch tube with rib at either end and a space in the side seam for the thumb. Ideal for using up cashmere oddments. See a picture and measurments on their website. I would knit at aran thickness.

    Love your tweed book covers, I might even rigid heddle weave some fabric for one.


  3. Christine

    I received your lovely book plus a most delicious piece of fabric and a pattern. Thank you. I can recommend the book wholeheartedly

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