Make this holiday season extra-special with handmade gifts, but without stressing yourself out unnecessarily. Come plan your holiday crochet & knitting projects with me with these eight easy tips.
It’s never too early to begin planning for the upcoming holiday season. That is especially true if you are planning on crocheting and knitting gifts for family and friends.
Whether you are crocheting something for every person on your list or you’re only knitting one or two special gifts, these eight tips will help you achieve your handmade holiday goals.
Get Your Holiday Planner
To plan your holiday crochet & knitting projects, it helps to have a physical planner. At least, that’s what I’ve discovered in my own life.
When you can write out what you have to do and when it needs to be done by, you’re already halfway to achieving your goal!
You can get my FREE Handmade Holiday Planner and Calendar to help you plan your holiday crochet & knitting projects!
Make a List of the Recipients
Crocheting or knitting a handmade gift takes a lot of time, effort and money, and it’s nice to know the recipient will appreciate it. When making your list, include only those who will truly recognize the worth of your gift.
For example, if you know your sister-in-law, Debbie doesn’t grasp the uniqueness of handmade items, buy her something from Target and focus on those who will love your makes.
Also, make sure you’re realistic about the effort and time it is going to take you to knit or crochet each one of these gifts. You don’t have to make every single person a handmade gift every single year.
Maybe this year only a few of your family members receive something made with your own two hands. That’s ok. You’re human, not an elf in a toy factory.
Watch the Plan Your Holiday Crochet & Knitting Projects Video!
Choose the Pattern(s)
Once you know who you are making gifts for, the next step is to choose the pattern(s).
Choosing the right patterns will make or break your holiday season. If your list of recipients is a small one, you will have more time for complicated or larger projects.
“Choosing the right patterns will make or break your holiday season.”
But if you have a long list, make life easier on yourself and choose a pattern that you already know how to make and can whip up fairly quickly.
This year I decided to make everyone on my list the same simple knitted project. I am making teeny tiny Christmas sweater ornaments and I know everyone is going to love them.
These two patterns have been nothing but a delight to make. I can complete one whole sweater in an evening while watching TV with my family. I’m having so much fun knitting these that I cannot wait to choose new designs to make even more.
- Seasons Stocking & Sweater Ornaments: This collection of stockings and ornaments have six different holiday seasons represented on them. There are design motifs for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- Santa’s Tradition Stocking & Sweater Ornaments: In this collection you will find all the traditional Christmas motifs for miniature stockings and sweaters like a reindeer, gift wrapped box, Santa hat, and stocking.
What’s really fun about these adorable designs by Handmade Mary Ellen is that she has so many different designs for everyone’s interests.
You will find nine different categories of ornaments to choose from:
- Red and Green Ornaments
- Dog Ornaments
- Cat Ornaments
- Other Holiday Ornaments
- Halloween Ornaments
- Bunny Ornaments
- Animal Ornaments
- Hobby, Sport, Job Ornaments
- Music Ornaments
In addition to all the different designs you will also find tiny little sweater ornament hangers that look just like wire coat hangers. How adorable is that?
You could make on ornament for each person in your family or make an entire collection of ornaments for yourself or as a special gift for a loved one.
Pick Your Color Palette
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For my handmade holiday gifts this year, I chose a simple color palette. Each of the sweater ornaments are being knit with one of my favorite yarns in four beautiful Christmasy colors.
I’m using Berroco Vintage in the colors:
To streamline your handmade holiday projects, choosing a color palette will make life that much easier. First you can purchase all the yarn and supplies you need at one time. Instead of needing lots of different colors, you only need a handful to complete your projects.
Having a color palette saves time, money and most importantly mental energy. Plus it will all look so beautiful together when you are handing out your wonderful crocheted and knitted gifts.
Keep Your Materials in One Place
Keeping your materials all in one place has been a game changer for me. I used to store my projects all over the house, and it always took me time to find exactly what I needed.
Now, I keep my current projects in my cabinet in my living room. I have a small little cubby where I can store all the things I need to knit my Christmas projects.
I’m able to store my yarn, needles, neck light, and notions all in one place. By keeping them in the actual room where I am making them also cuts down on time spent hunting down each supply, but also it’s a good reminder that I need to work on my Christmas gifts.
For this project I used the Addi Turbo Rocket 3 mm needles. They are my favorite knitting needles and I use them for so many different projects.
Manage Your Time
Managing our time, is likely everyone’s Achilles heel. Most of us have grand ambitions and limited free time to accomplish everything we envision.
First of all be realistic about the amount of time you will have to work on your holiday projects. Ask yourself these questions:
- How much time can I devote to crocheting or knitting handmade gifts for the holidays?
- Will I also be making other projects in addition to my holiday crocheting and knitting?
- Have I bitten off more than I can chew (and then will be miserable and disappointed in myself?)
- Will those receiving my gifts appreciate the time, effort and resources spent making this item for them? Will it bother me if they don’t?
- What time of day will I dedicate to working on my holiday gifts? Will I work on it daily? Weekly? In the evenings? Mornings?
Plan Your Holiday Crochet & Knitting Projects: Time Yourself
If you are like me and are going to make multiples of the same item, time yourself making one of them. When you know how long it will take you to crochet or knit your handmade gift, then you can be more realistic about your goals.
Guess what? There’s an app for that.
Toggl Track is a great app that lets you track time so that you can keep track of how long it takes for you to complete a project.
I did a little digging around and the first 30 days are free for their Premium Service. After that it automatically enrolls you in the FREE version. You don’t have to put any payment information in, even when you sign up.
The free version looks perfect for those of us who just need a way to track time.
What I like is that it records the time (as long as you press the start/stop button) and then you can place that time into one project folder. That way you can record multiple time slots and place them in the correct folder. And if you’re working on multiple projects you can sort the time accordingly.
One of the most important things to consider when making your plan for your holiday crochet & knitting projects, is to calculate your deadlines.
Make sure to check with your local post office to see when the last date is to ship your handmade items. If you’re shipping internationally make sure to give yourself even more time, especially if it’s important that the gift arrives in time.
Adjust and Pivot?
Getting a plan in place is a great way to set yourself up for success when it comes to handmade holiday gifts.
But sometimes you need to adjust your expectations and pivot your plan.
Maybe you bit off a little more than you could chew and now it’s December 1st and you are nowhere near your goal. Instead of beating yourself up or working yourself to the bone to complete your projects, find a different way to achieve your goal.
- First, you could chaulk up the whole experience to a life lesson. Take what you’ve learned and use it to help yourself and others in the future. Maybe you put too many people on your list. Or maybe you chose the wrong pattern. But maybe life just got in the way and time simply ran out. Either way, don’t beat yourself up. It’s ok for those people in your life to receive a raincheck on that handmade gift and a store bought present in its stead.
- Next, if you can’t finish your crocheted or knitted holiday gifts, maybe you can still give them something handmade, just not from your two hands. Look for handmade sellers that already have stock to sell. There will be no shortage of artisans selling their handmade wares on Etsy and just in time for Christmas.
Plan Your Holiday Crochet & Knitting Projects
Make this season your best by getting started early and plan your holiday crochet & knitting. But don’t be afraid to adjust and pivot your plan when necessary!
Let me know what you’ll be crocheting or knitting this season!