I am a spontaneous gift-giver. There's usually no rhyme or reason to the care packages I send out. It's just, surprise!, it's August, but I made you mittens because it will be cold one day. It's not the most practicable way to be, but I find that life is more fun that way.
My co-workers won't adopt my system. Bummer. Like clockwork, the week before Xmas, the bottles of booze start piling up on my desk to the point where it seems like I might have a drinking problem. I don't; I can't get through 7 bottles of Scotch this year, that's all. I've tried to politely hint "please stop" by just keeping these bottles around to gather dust, but it just seems to give people the idea that I love this Scotch so much and oh, here's another bottle. Granted, I do love the stuff. The rocky romanticism of the Scottish isles come alive on the palate- it's really quite transporting and one of the most reassuring taste I could imagine. I'm just a sipper though- I'll have a wee dram watered down before bedtime in the cold dark winter, and that's about it. It's really hard to finish a bottle. It might take years.
In return for their generosity, I usually run home, paw through my stash, and cast on for a hat. The next day, my co-worker of choice will have a nice warm hat to keep their ears warm when they choose to wear a hat, which is usually not often since their is a vanity issue with the hair gel and styled spikes and whatnot. It's the most non-corporate gift ever, and they really don't know what to do with it, but they are usually tickled to death to get one.
First up (and for my only female co-worker) is the Odessa hat:
I used yarn leftover from my Eastlake pullover. Actually, I tried to make a frilly pair of beaded wristwarmers with it, but they came out so sloppy and weird that I frogged it and re-purposed the yarn. It's Berroco Inca Gold merino and silk blend, and it held up fine through the entire process and looks fantastic. The hat is a free pattern (I do love spirals) and it took me a bit of the afternoon to make.
The second hat was the exact replica of another hat I made this past fall- the Fortnight. I used leftover Shelter from the Grove mittens. The color is "Soot".
It's simple and fun- tons of garter stitch with a slip-stitch cable pattern at the crown. Another hat I could turn around in a day. That's exactly what is needed as I'm fairly certain that both of these hats will end up in the wash cycle on hot, and a nice hot spin in the drier as well, and then re-gifted to a newly-born sprogling. I leave instructions on pretty custom gift tags. They are usually ignored. Maybe this is why I need a barrel of Scotch in my office.