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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Last-Minute DIY Gifts For Your Holiday

Kassandra's "Word to your mother" cross stitch. (WBUR/Robin Lubbock)Purl Bee's Super Soft Merino Handwarmers. (Photo Courtesy of Purl Soho)Purl Bee's Bandanna Cowl. (Photo Courtesy of Purl Soho)Purl Bee's 11th Hour Blanket. (Photo Courtesy of Purl Soho)Marisa's "Sherlock" cross stitch. (WBUR/Robin Lubbock)French Press Felted Slippers (evilsciencechick/Flickr)French Press Felted Slippers with Patons Wool in Dark Grey Marle (TraceyNicole/Flickr)Crocheted iPhone cover (Sonja Hall/Pinterest)Crochet owl cell phone cover. (Patricia Moura/Pinterest)

Rushing to buy last-minute gifts for your loved ones? Why not DIY, or Do It Yourself, instead? Handmade gifts are often cherished for years – though the process of making them can be time consuming.

Purl Bee's 11th Hour Blanket. (Photo Courtesy of Purl Soho)

Purl Bee’s 11th Hour Blanket. (Photo Courtesy of Purl Soho)

With less than a week before Christmas, we’re joined by two crafty women who share their tips on the best projects to fill out your gift list.

Boston-area crafter Marisa LaManquais enjoys all kinds of crafts, from knitting to cross-stitching to canning.

LaManquais told Here & Now’s Robin Young that the process of making gifts is “soothing” and that a little part of her is embedded into each stitch.

Joelle Hoverson, founder of Purl Soho, a yarn shop and DIY space in New York City, agrees and shared some patterns for last minute gifts like “the 11th hour blanket” and the “bandana cowl.” (See more ideas on the store’s craft blog The Purl Bee.)

Cross-stitching and embroidery are enjoying a comeback, Hoverson said.

“It’s a beautiful and very old fashioned thing to do, but it’s a very, very simple craft and anyone can do it,” Hoverson said. “And then if you contribute a modern sensibility or sense of humor to it, it makes it all the more fun for everyone.”

A great example is the “Word To Your Mother” cross-stitch that Here & Now producer Kassandra Sundt is making for her mother this year (see slideshow above). The pattern is sold online by Subversive Cross Stitch for $5.

Purl Bee's Bandanna Cowl. (Photo Courtesy of Purl Soho)

Purl Bee’s Bandanna Cowl. (Photo Courtesy of Purl Soho)

Another growing trend is crocheting iPhone cases, Hoverson said.

Robin gave a shout-out to her cousin’s daughter Meg, whose craft blog “Barefoot Crafting” details projects like DIY Christmas cards and  T-shirt produce bags.

Marisa’s Suggestions:

Joelle’s Suggestions:


  • Joelle Hoverson, founder of Purl Soho in New York City and author of “Last Minute Knitted Gifts.”
  • Marisa LeManquais, Boston-based crafter who cross-stitches, embroiders, knits and makes her own jam.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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