Gift from the heart

Tif­fany Fran­cis re­veals a love of hand­made gift-giv­ing and the heart­felt joy it brings…

Simply Knitting - - Relax And Knit -

This sea­son I’ve been knit­ting a toy horse for my niece, Mered­ith, who is ob­sessed with ev­ery­thing eques­trian. I’ve al­ready spent sev­eral cosy evenings work­ing on it, just as I did for the rain­bow bunny rab­bit I knit­ted when she was born. Both of bunny’s legs were sewn on wonky, and in the end it looked so much like a kan­ga­roo that it was a ec­tion­ately named Kanga-bun, but he still be­came one of my niece’s favourite com­pan­ions.

A present to cher­ish

I know Mered­ith will re­ceive a num­ber of other horse-themed gifts this Christ­mas, but in a world of cheap, break­able toys, I’m hop­ing mine will sur­vive the test of time. As crafters, we are mind­fully choos­ing to give pre­sents bought with time, rather than money. In­stead of buy­ing lots and lots of mass-pro­duced items for each other, we are bring­ing back the true mean­ing of the fes­tive sea­son - to show our love for one an­other with thought­ful, hand­made trea­sures that will hold more value than any­thing bought on the high street. An over-con­sum­ing so­ci­ety is not a happy one, and when we choose in­stead to cre­ate beau­ti­ful gifts for our friends and fam­ily, we free our­selves from the en­trap­ments of ma­te­ri­al­ism.

Time well spent

As a work-from-home free­lance writer and artist, I of­ten find it di cult to switch o in the evenings, eye­ing up my desk and lap­top with the guilty sen­sa­tion that I should be work­ing. Knit­ting al­lows me to block out un­help­ful thoughts and fo­cus on the sim­ple joy of cre­at­ing some­thing by hand. Hours can pass by, bliss­fully free of in­voices, to-do lists and unchecked emails, and sud­denly there is noth­ing more vi­tal than fin­ish­ing a row or not drop­ping that stitch (again). I find my thoughts drift­ing to the more im­por­tant things in life - fam­ily plans at the week­end, de­li­cious aro­mas from the kitchen, and mem­o­ries of yes­ter­day’s dog walk.

Vin­tage shades

The stormi­est of my au­tumn nights have been spent curled up with a warm pot of tea, pour­ing my time and love into Mered­ith’s new horse. I’ve opted for muted, vin­tage colours to bal­ance out the louder hues of modern toys.Work­ing in acrylic for a softer, less scratchy tex­ture, I’ve cho­sen light and dark greys for the body, mane and tail, the most for­giv­ing colours for a child who loves get­ting ev­ery­thing grubby. The felt de­tails will be a cosy se­lec­tion of au­tum­nal shades from mink pink to moss green and rich auburn, and with ev­ery limb knit­ted and stu ed, ev­ery stitch sewn onto the sad­dle, my gift will take shape un­til it’s ready to pass onto Mered­ith on Christ­mas morn­ing.

Turn over for the sec­ond pat­tern in our new se­ries, in beau­ti­ful yarn byWest York­shire Spin­ners, www.wyspin­ners. com. We hope you love our cowl!

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