Behind the scenes: of gingerbread houses, photoshoots, and socks

Handknit socks and skeins of yarn in a flat lay with gingerbread houses and skeins of yarn

The Gingerbread House Socks were one of two Knitvent patterns released this week (the other was the Marzipan Mouse Hat). As I looked at the photos again, I was reminded of all the fun we had getting ready for the photoshoot. Because to prepare, I didn’t just need to finish the sock sample, I needed to find a gingerbread house or two as photo props!

The thing with producing patterns is that it all has to happen months in advance of the design actually coming out. And in early September, if you want a gingerbread house, you’re probably going to have to make it yourself.

In the pattern description, I mention that I’d never had a whole lot of success making gingerbread houses:

“My girls love baking gingerbread cookies at Christmastime, but every time we attempted houses they were always very wonky. I think it adds to the charm!”

But I was determined. In my quest for a photogenic result, I even bought a food processor! Commitment.

Even better than a brand new food processer, though, is a talented and enthusiastic daughter willing to help. (And who’s big enough now to actually help!)

Helen's daughter Sophie smiles at the camera while working on gingerbread houses.

If I’m honest, Sophie probably did most of it.

Well, I did most of the baking, and she did most of the decorating.

Helen's daughter Sophie concentrating on decorating a gingerbread house with icing.

It was a really fun project to work on together. And I managed to find a recipe and some templates that made it all work.

This super-simple recipe was great, and produced structurally sound walls and roofs.

And having a great template to follow took a lot of the guesswork out of the project.

These free templates even came with helpful instructions!

A pair of folded handknit socks with a gingerbread lace motif, sitting in between small gingerbread houses and skeins of yarn.

Of course, assembly is the hardest part, but with a bit of teamwork, we managed it! I think the secret might be staying small. And I have to say, I was very pleased with how they turned out. Charming, cosy, and still a teeny bit wonky…just enough to warm my heart with lots of happy memories of past gingerbread house attempts, with little faces and fingers dusted with flour and smeared with icing many Christmasses ago.

If you’d like to knit the Gingerbread House Socks yourself, grab the Knitvent 2023 pattern ebook here.

A photo of pastel coloured merengue sweets in a bowl. Overlaid is a burgundy banner with white lettering, reading Knitvent 2023. At the bottom is another banner reading #knitvent2023

Happy knitting (and baking!)

More To Explore


Learn all the essential skills you need to start knitting stunning handmade shawls with the FREE Spindrift Shawl Pattern and Online Workshop

Magazine Covers with Helen Stewart on it and a knitted shawl wrapped around her neck and shoulders