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Perfect presents; There's nothing more thoughtful than a homemade gift.

Lovely lavender Bring an element of calm into the festive season with these scented presents


Add this to a warm bath or massage into your pulse points


75g dried lavender

300ml carrier oil such as almond or jojoba

Glass jar and lid

Square of cheese cloth

Glass bottle or container Lightly crush the lavender and place it in a clean jar.

1 2 Pour oil over the flowers, fully covering them, but leaving 1-2 inches of space at the top to allow for expansion.

Screw the lid on the jar and leave the mixture in a warm place for at least 48 hours.

3 4 Strain the oil. Lay a piece of cheesecloth over a bowl and pour the oil and lavender mix over it. Discard the flowers, then pour the oil into a bottle. The oil can be kept for up to eight months.

LAVENDER-FILLED 'RAVIOLI' For drawers or wardrobes or just to look pretty Makes: 10 Size: 21/2 x 21/2in (6.5 x 6.5cm) YOU WILL NEED:

10 x 21/2in (6.5cm) squares of patterned fabric

10 x 21/2in (6.5cm) squares of strong linen fabric for the backing

Sewing machine

Bold thread for stitching

Jeans sewing needle, for thicker thread

Dried lavender: approximately 2 tsp per ravioli

Pinking shears 1 Thread up the sewing machine with the bold thread and suitable needle. Adjust the stitch length to something smaller than you usually work with. This is so that when you stitch and then trim, the stitches will not unravel.

2 Sandwich each fabric square with a backing square, wrong sides together, and stitch along three of the edges. Repeat for all the squares.

3 Use two teaspoons of dried lavender to fill each pocket. Then stitch along the fourth side.

4 Finally trim each side with the pinking shears, taking off a fraction so as to neaten but do not trim away too much seam allowance.

FROM THE JOY OF JELLY ROLLS BY CAROLYN FORSTER, PS12.99, SEARCH PRESS (SEARCHPRESS.COM) TREAT CHEATS Make showstopping delights with these edible craft sets Gingerbread House Cutter Set, PS5, Lakeland You provide the dough and the decoration, they provide the cutters to make the perfect shaped house Christmas Tree Crispy Pop Kit, PS2,75, Tesco All you need to add is water!

Christmas Pudding Mud Mix, PS3.80, Hobbycraft Enough to make three easy puds.

MELT-IN-THE MOUTH DARK CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES Delicious gifts - if you don't eat them all yourself before Christmas!


300g dark chocolate (60% cocoa solids or above)

150ml double cream

Decorations of your choice, such as chopped nuts, cocoa powder, icing sugar, desiccated coconut 1 Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a large glass bowl.

2 Heat the cream in the microwave for a couple of minutes until hot but not boiling.

3 Pour the cream over the chocolate and loosely stir to combine, then let it sit for a couple of minutes while the cream melts the chocolate, then whisk the mixture until smooth and shiny, forming a ganache.

4 Pour the ganache into a shallow pan/tray to cool in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Scoop dessert spoon-sized balls out of the mixture and roll 5 in cool hands to form neat truffles. Place them back in the fridge for 5 minutes while you prepare your edible decorations.

6 Pour your chosen decorations into small dishes, and roll each truffle in them.

Keep in the fridge and remove 30 minutes before eating.

7 FROSTY WRIST WARMERS Keep the chill at bay with these YOU WILL NEED:

1 ball each of light worsted (DK/ 8-ply) merino yarn in red (A), white (B) and black (C); 100g/273yd/250m

4mm (UK 8) knitting needles Make two. The black yarn is used double throughout to accentuate the snowman's hat and buttons. Using yarn A, cast on 40 sts, then ktbl to form a neat edge.

Rows 1-16: *k1, p1*, rep from * to * to end of row.

Rows 17 and 18: st st.

Row 19: k2A, *k1B, k4A*, rep from * to * to last pattern rep, k2A.

Row 20: p1A, *p3B, p2A*, rep from * to * to last pattern rep, p1A.

Row 21: *k2B, k1A, k2B*, rep from * to * to end of row.

Row 22: as row 20. Row 23: as row 19. Cut off yarn B. Rows 24-26: using yarn A, st st.

Row 27: work row 1 of the chart, placing the two snowmen motifs as follows: k7A, k7B, k12A, k7B, k7A to set the spacing, then continue to work rows 2-26 from chart. Cut off yarns B and C. Next 2 rows: using yarn A, st st. Next 2 rows: *k1, p1*, rep to end of row. Cast off.

MAKING UP With RS facing, use mattress stitch to join the side seams, 10cm (4in) from the wrist end and 5cm (2in) from the finger end. This will leave a gap for your thumb to go through. Weave in all loose ends.


1 ball of light worsted (DK/8-ply) yarn in white; 50g/137yd/125m

1 ball of light worsted (DK/8-ply) yarn in red

1 fancy matching button

4mm (UK 8) knitting needles Finished size: 93/4 x 23/4in (25 x 7cm) Using white yarn, cast on 53 sts.

Work 4 rows in GS. Join in red yarn and knit 2 rows in st st. Join in white yarn and work 9 rows in Fair Isle pattern, working from the chart. Read right-side rows from right to left and strand yarn not in use loosely across back of work. Pulling the yarn too tightly will cause the work to pucker. When Fair Isle pattern is complete, Colour chart continue in red yarn as follows: Next row: purl.

Work 2 rows in st st. Join in white yarn and work 4 rows in GS.

Cast off.

Button and buttonhole edges: With RS facing and using white yarn, pick up and knit 17 sts evenly along one short edge.

Knit 1 row. Working in GS, dec 1 st at each of next and every alt row until 7 sts rem.

Cast off. Work along other short edge in same way until 11 sts rem.

Next row: to make the buttonhole, k2tog, k3, yrn twice, k2tog, k2, k2tog. Next row: knit, dropping the yarn of the previous row and knitting into the loops. Continue to dec as before until 7 sts rem.

Cast off.

MAKING UP Work in all ends neatly and then sew on the button to correspond with the buttonhole at the other end.

? FROM 100 LITTLE CHRISTMAS GIFTS TO MAKE BY SEARCH PRESS STUDIO, PS12.99, SEARCHPRESS.COM.All you knit is love Needles at the ready to make these cosy presents
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Dec 2, 2018
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