December Diaries – last minute gifts

chocolate - orange- cosy- emma -varnam

This should be the ultimate making month don’t you think? Yet time again I rush headlong in crazed list creating and catching up.

I imagine myself curled up on the sofa … fire blazing and carols faintly heard in the distance. The perfume of the Christmas tree catching the air in waves.

More likely I finish work – later than planned. Despair at my lack of menu planning and scrabble to make something half decent for tea. When all is scoffed – plates are left aside while I hide on the spare room floor wrestling with sticky tape and paper. This year we have the extra frisson of wondering if parcels will be delivered on time. My word what a pickle.

So while December should really be the key making month of Winter. In reality November and January seem far more productive.

If you are a seasoned maker and sickeningly organised, then your gift making might start in August. Seriously?! Yes seriously. Nowadays I don’t always make crochet or knit gifts. But there are a few patterns that are a good standby.

Chocolate Orange Cosy

Every year I say I won’t make more of these. Yet every year I am tickled by the idea and remember what a great mini-gift they are.

The Chocolate Orange is a stalwart of the UK festive season. Zingy little segments of zesty infused milk chocolate. Classically you were taught to ‘tap and unwrap’ the solid ball in order to prise free the first segment. In our house the chocolate orange is a MUST in the Christmas stocking. A revolt would ensue if it were not there.

First segments are eaten before breakfast. Cheeky, sickly traditions. In the old days, after all the segments were eaten a central core of chocolate would remain. We christened it ‘the bark’. This added bonus was seen as the final eating honour. Whilst you might have generously offered others one or two segments. The ‘bark’ belonged to the orange owner. Stealing such revered chocolate would be criminal.

Don’t ask me why – but this welcome design fault has now disappeared. Shame I say.

The milk chocolate chocolate orange is adored by the boys and I prefer the plain chocolate version. I drop heavy hints to Santa in the run up to the big day to ensure he hasn’t forgotten.

A few years ago I saw a chocolate orange covered in a crochet cosy – disguised as a Christmas Pudding. This idea appealed to my sense of humour. I created my own pattern and for more years than I care to count have made them as teachers gifts and small gifts for friends and colleagues.

I always use oddments from my stash. Sometimes I purchase red buttons to create a holly berry other times I make a bobble using yarn.

This is my link to the jotted down yarn recipe. Use it if it is helpful. But get a wiggle on… I can hear sleigh bells

emma-varnam-chocolate-orange-cosy