I decided that my three carers, Jacky, Joan and Hayley, should have mitts. These would keep them warm and allow them to smoke, as they walk between clients, without taking their gloves off... I am an ex-smoker, and I know what it's like!
I used the excellent and very quick (3 hours per pair!) Ysolda Teague Garter Stitch Mitts pattern. They're constructed side-to-side, so I made them in Quaker rib for a little extra stretch (it's a mock rib for when you are working side-to-side: row 1 knit, row 2 purl, row 3 purl, row 4 knit.).
Joan got Stylecraft Baby Velvet chenille:
Hayley got Jarol Hyde Park DK:
and Jacky got purple Sirdar Denim Tweed DK:
...which I packaged up with something else, and they got left in the paper and thrown away.
Richard's grandfather and my brother both got Moebius neckwarmers, one in Sirdar Denim Tweed DK held double:
and one using the reversible cables of the Palindrome scarf pattern by Kristin Bellehumeur. I made this one in Rowan Tapestry held together with some unlabelled cream acrylic:
The shading shows up well in this photo, but not the clever reversible cables. They're much more visible on the actual piece.
One of my friends loves turquoise, so she got the Storm Cloud Shawlette by Hanna Breetz, in a glorious, clear turquoise from Woolcraft New Fashion DK:
Mine was a little smaller than the original pattern, but it tucks in nicely under her coat collar!
For Mum I had a load of small presents, and her only handmade item was a washcloth - the Christmas Dishcloth by the talented Kristen Patay. Because it was in white, it didn't photograph well, but you can see the design clearly on the linked page.
Richard also got a stocking-stuffer washcloth - the Transformers cloth by Enid Danforth. He hasn't photographed this yet - so follow the link and imagine it in red :)
Finally I made two lined cotton handbags. For Richard's grandmother I made the Rowan International 2006/2007 members' kit, the Dolly Bag, in green Rowan Handknit Cotton:
It's meant to have bobbles, but I found them too hard to do in cotton, so I substituted eyelets! I lined it with Barefoot Roses fabric by Free Spirit at Get Knitted:
The second bag, for my dear friend Linda, was the Square Cake bag, a Knitty.com pattern from Jairlyn Mason. This was a repurposed bag kit: Rowan Handknit Cotton again, in shocking pink:
with vibrant matching Kaffe Fassett fabric to line it:
Everyone seemed to like what they got, and it was such good fun making them all. I got to try out several patterns I would probably not have made otherwise, as well as using up some of my stash. I'm already planning this Christmas - the carers are getting cowls, for a start. And Jacky's will be too big to get tangled up with the wrapping paper.....