Here's one that I'm so, so pleased with. I only took up knitting a few weeks ago, and really, I only took up crafting a year ago, so the fact that I was able to make this and it turned out so well makes me so happy and proud.
I was looking around for a cable coffee cozy when I found the Hugs and Kisses pattern from Twisted Fibers Design (the link goes to the etsy shop, as the website went down last week). Unfortunately, the cup I picked out for my friend is much larger than a regular coffee cup, so through trial and error, I set about enlarging the pattern. If anyone's interested, let me know and I'll write up the pattern for you!
As I mentioned, I was looking for cables and when looking at the finished product, I didn't notice that it wasn't cable like I was expecting, but an XOXO pattern. How perfect to give to one of my friends!
Here's a better shot of the finished pattern:
I shrugged it off and bought some overpriced buttons, only to discover that the color looked awful with my orange yarn. So I painted them. You can see the original color on the bottom right:
After securing the buttons, I made cords to secure the cozy to the cup. There was a bit of a design flaw in my pattern because the bottom of the mug was narrower than the top. I made up for that by making the second cord smaller than the top, which helped secure the cozy in place.
But you can't just give an empty mug to someone!
I couldn't find cellophane paper, so I cut up a sandwich bag to make it stand on end like cellophane would. I added enough hot chocolate mix for the mug and marshmallows and secured it with twine. Just so there was no confusion, I cut out a cardboard gingerbread person and wrote instructions on the back.
And there you go! I think it's just perfect!