I think this post should really be called "Something for the Ladies" as the colours and nature of these gifts mean they are unlikely to be well received by my brother in law. I finally finished something on my Christmas gift list - six cotton washcloths. I'm really, really pleased with how these turned out. The colours are dreamy and the yarn is smooth and soft. The cotton gives them such a pleasing weight and substantial feel in the hand.
They were a delight to work up, each one taking only a couple of hours at most (and that's with my slow hooking skills) and a pattern easy enough to memorise and do a little of here and there, or an solid hour in front of an episode of Homeland.
They are basically a sort of granny square, working out from a central circle. The pattern is from here, via Ravelry.
I used Debbie Bliss Eco Baby yarn, bought from my local yarn shop, and used a 3.5 mm hook. Each cloth measures 18 cm or 7 inches square and cost about £1.70 each to make. They would certainly be cheaper if I'd used less expensive cotton yarn, but I love this organic, un-mercerised yarn and think it was worth the extra money.
Look at them, so neat and pretty in a pile. I want to keep them all.
But they are not for me, and will be packaged up in twos with a jar of homemade sugar scrub and some other bits and bobs into boxes of pampering goodness.