Saturday, December 15, 2012

A very Midwestern thing.

Sometimes I think that I'm actually a 70-year-old woman. My favorite thing to do it knit, I have a kitty, staying home to sew usually sounds better than going to parties, and... I started a crafting circle with my mom, sister, and sister-in-law. The premise is that we have a theme and a time constraint, and each of us makes three copies of whatever we've come up with to fit into the theme, and mail them to each other. Example: the theme is stuff that is found in the kitchen, and we've got one month. My mom uses her embroidery machine to make some tea towels, my sister cross-stitches a little wall hanging with a fork and a spoon, my sister-in-law knits some washcloths, and I made oven mitts. Because I can't stop making oven mitts. Then we each mail them to each other on the agreed upon date, and yay! New kitchen stuff. 

I just mailed off my first round of boxes. We did Christmas ornaments for the first exchange. Figured it was seasonally appropriate. It was way, way harder than I thought it would be. I tried out four different ideas before I finally made something I liked. I guess I was worried that the others would put in more time than me, or make something that was technically more well-made, or that my ornaments would be ugly... I did a lot of fretting. If this is going to work I realize I need to let go of the fret, but it was the first time. I wanted to make something good! Here's what I finally landed on.

I used someone else's pattern. It kind of felt like cheating, but I knew that I wanted to make little birds, and that figuring it out myself was possible, but time consuming. So I just sucked it up and bought the pattern. I like to support independent artists like myself.

Cute, right? They have little hanging loops on top for the tree. I think the pattern's intent is that you make them as decorative things for your sideboard or something, but I think they will work as ornaments. 

Can't wait to see what everyone else made! I think this will double the number of ornaments we own. Still working on that aspect of grown-up-hood: not having a bare Christmas tree. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


My fox stole. Made from this pattern a few months ago- maybe October? September? I have forgotten. Right now he lives on the bottom shelf of my credenza, but some day I will have the courage to wear him in public. After I move his eyes back, because they're kind of awkwardly close together now. I made him in a couple of evenings from stash yarn- I think it was super cheapo Vanna's Choice, left over from my early knitting days. I had a tough Monday, and nothing makes a bad day better like allowing yourself to knit whatever the heck you want. Hence, a fox stole.

Speaking of stash yarn, I find myself with a large amount of acrylic that I don't think I will do much, if anything, with. What do you do with it? Donate it? Go on a toy-knitting spree? It's taking up a large amount of storage space in my craft room. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas gifts!

I decided that this is the year that I won't be frantically knitting on Christmas Eve, trying to get it all done. Nope. Not doing that stress again. So I started making gifts in October. It seemed so silly at the time, but now that we're already more than a week into December, I really love my past self. I am so on top of gifts this year, it's ridiculous. I'm hoping that I actually AM on top of things, and not just thinking that I am, because I spent the last 4 nights knitting myself a hat, and I was definitely thinking of trying to whip up another sweater before we journey to the motherland of North Dakota for Christmas. A sweater might be pushing it. I don't know. I feel like there's time. Ask me again when I'm blearily knitting a sleeve the night before we fly out.

I have a friend who knows a lot about and really enjoys drinking wine. I mean, I also enjoy drinking wine, but my knowledge goes about as far as, "I like it." This friend often brings a bottle of wine over to my house, and by "often," I mean, "a couple times a week," and by "a bottle," I mean "several." So I made her this wine tote. I found the tutorial from Needle and Spatula on the interwebs when I was just randomly searching for things that I could quilt that aren't actual quilts. I love the way it turned out. I used some tan-ish material I had in my stash- no idea what it's made of, but it's definitely flammable, that I much I know... don't ask me how I know that. Ahem. I quilted it with my free-motion foot in a manner I like to think of as "viney." The green binding is some Micheal Miller I ordered on Etsy when I was having a bad day a few weeks ago, and that little leaf charm is made from a silk shirt I rescued from the thrift store a few years ago and have been using inch by inch for random crafting projects. In fact, I liked this tote so much that I made a little bag just like it.

It's a good size for a knitting project travel bag, and it will go live with my future sister-in-law at Christmas. I also made a hot pad with the same fabric and quilting pattern, but I'm a little hesitant to use it, because flammable. Which is too bad. Pretty sure I'm going to make at least a little bag like this for myself, but I might also make a bigger bag, and several wine totes. I am in love with the tan-viney-green binding combo. So cute. Anyway. So that's two gifts down in one delightful afternoon.