Gift from the heart
Tiffany Francis reveals a love of handmade gift-giving and the heartfelt joy it brings…
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.
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!