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A Review of Holiday Gifts by Sean Riley

I think it’s a pretty well known fact that I don’t knit for Christmas. There’s too much other stuff like cooking and baking and entertaining cutting into my knitting time and I just don’t see the need to put that kind of extra stress on myself. However, every rule has an exception and I think this year I may have found the inspiration for the exception to my rule in Sean Riley’s digital book Holiday Gifts.


Sean, a talented knitter and designer and all around great guy, has pulled together 6 designs for the holidays. There are Christmas stockings that are classic and elegant, there is a Challah cover which, for my purposes would be great for the cardamom bread on Christmas morning, there are a couple of cowls and a pair of mittens. I have to admit, the mittens – appropriately called Solstice Mittens – are my favorite design in the collection. They are knit up in  Madeline Tosh Pashmina so you know they will be wicked soft and they have a really unique two color cuff design that I love. If I’m being totally honest these mittens probably won’t be a Christmas gift at all but rather a lovely winter accessory for my own hands.

You can purchase the designs separately but honestly, for $15 it’s more economical – and fun! –  to buy the entire collection. The photographs are beautiful, the patterns are well written and there are several variations on some of the patterns, too. And now – here’s the most fun part – Sean has generously offered to send a digital copy of this book to one lucky reader of today’s blog post. To enter, just leave a comment telling me what your plans are for Christmas knitting. The contest will be open until midnight on Friday, October 25th.

It’s not even Halloween yet –  there’s till plenty of time to get your Christmas knitting done! Start with Sean’s book, Holiday Gifts.


This Post Has 33 Comments

  1. My Christmas knitting started in July. I am dressing ten Springfield dolls for Charity with a handknit sweater and hat plus a purchased outfit; hats and mittens for all the grandkids; socks for Sis; and shawlettes for 3 coworkers.

  2. I’m not a Christmas knitter either, but…… I am going to knit a relative’s toddler a Fawn Hoodie & Legwarmers by Carrie Bostick Hoge.

  3. Tempting. But, no. I have finally given up on the Christmas knitting. I will not be doing it any more. (But that is a really great collection!)

  4. My Christmas knitting plans are small this year – finish a pair of socks I’ve started for my husband. They were originally gonna be for his BD in November, but I’ll never make that deadline!

  5. I’ve never knit much for Christmas either but there are some people that are deserving of such nice projects! Thanks for the review Carole…I think! 😉

  6. I always start knitting for christmas right after the holidays. So this year, I already have hats and mittens for all the kids done!

    This is my first time to you blog, Thanks, it’s very nice! C-

  7. I’ve actually completed the knitting I had planned for Christmas–infinity scarves for the 9 ladies in my group at church.

  8. What a lovely set of designs. This year, any Christmas knitting will be for my enjoyment. It has been a weird and difficult year. I am aiming to not add ‘weird and difficult holidays’ to the end of it. But I could see me in that great cowl. How generous of the designer to offer up a copy of the designs.

  9. For Christmas I am knitting a pair of socks for my niece, another for my nephew. A couple of pairs of the Pleated Ballerina Flats and a sweater for my husband – which everyone laughs at since I haven’t started it yet. But it’s the same one I knit for myself, which took me four weeks. And my hubby is half my size, so it shouldn’t take long at all, right? Oh – and I want a pair of self striping socks for myself in Christmas colors.

  10. I’m hoping to knit each of my kids a hat for Christmas, and now I have to add those mittens and the challah cover to my list of things to be knitted!

  11. I don’t knit for Christmas that often. This year I am knitting a baby blanket for a December baby. Not really a Christmas gift.

  12. I am extremely embarrassed to say that I am knitting mittens that were supposed to be done LAST Christmas. I guess it’s just the way life goes sometimes…

  13. Cool Yule stuff…but not likely that I’ll start holiday knitting…although perhaps not out of the questions? Dunno 😉

  14. No Christmas knitting for me! Just like you, I have way too much other “stuff” to do. I do, however, knit for other occasions like birthdays and “just because” days! Thanks for the chance to enter the giveaway!

  15. Like others, I don’t too lots of Christmas knitting. However, th mittens sound fascinating and a nice cowl would be a great gift for a very special friend! Thanks for the drawing!

  16. I have been busy already. One LittleSister dress done for newest granddaughter, half way on her 2 yr old sister version. Doing baby sweaters now 2late mov babies. Do those count?

  17. The idea of Solstice mittens for my beloved SIL is too delicious! My brother (her husband) is born on the eve of Winter Solstice, they were engaged on the Winter Solstice, and were married on the Summer Solstice. What gift could be better? (Did I mention her hands are ALWAYS cold?)

  18. I don’t plan on doing any Christmas knitting this year – but I normally catch the bug and knit something. We’ll see if I can hold back this year. I agree it can be stressful!

  19. I don’t have any plans for Christmas knitting. I work retail at a very large toy store and I’m working lots. No time for any knitting.

  20. Already started doing a small amount of knitting for Christmas. But the book does look interesting. Those mittens are beautiful.

  21. I’ve been requested to knit a minion (of the “Despicable Me” persuasion) for my younger nephew. Dresses for my little cousin’s American Girl dolls, a fun hat for my other little cousin …

    Little stuff for “the littles” in the family. I can do little stuff. I think I still have time… *sigh*

  22. Carole you are a bad influence 🙂 I love your reviews and have ended up buying a few new books because of them!

    No particular Christmas knitting here. I do have a daughter who steals a lot of what i’m working on so there may be something that comes up for her, but no plans yet!

    I’m also in love with the solstice mittens…think they will be very popular this winter.

  23. The book looks great, I love the cabled stocking on the cover.
    My Christmas knitting began last weekend. Every year I knit a new winter toque for my nieces. A colleague of mine has a baby due during the holidays, so I started a sweater and hat to keep her warm during her first Northern Canadian winter. I have a list that I am hoping is achievable this year 🙂

  24. I did most of my Christmas knitting this spring. I made dishcloths and mittens for my mom and a stocking cap for my dad. I want to knit a hat for my mom, and then I will be done.

  25. I am knitting afghans for each of my sons and their significant others. The pattern is VERY easy, but there’s no way around the fact that it’s a LOT of rows!! I’m well on my way with the first one, though, so I think it’s do-able. By the time I’m finished, though, I think I’ll be ready for something quicker, and some of the patterns in this book sound perfect!. I’d love to win it. Thanks for the opportunity.

  26. I am making handwarmers (fingerless mitts) for the guys in the family this year. Younger daughter and niece are getting rainbow socks!

  27. I started a pair of socks for my mom last year, so maybe I’ll finish them in time for Christmas this year. And I’m considering a French press cover for my partner. Other than that, probably no Christmas knitting for me.

  28. It’s nice to have a collection of special Christmas knits on hand, just in case one has need to knit one up. Looks like a wonderful collection.

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