I try not to knit every gift. Especially now that my children and their friends are getting older and don’t necessarily appreciate hand knits. But some kids do. We’ll be attending a Princess Tea in a few weeks, and having knitted for the birthday girl’s mother and had those gifts stolen (a bat and a ghost), I figured she’d be the kind of kid who liked knitted gifts. So I checked in with mom about her current favorite animals (my own kids like list and have first, second, and third favorite animals. For one that is Panda, Koala, Seahorse and Dolphin & the other is Snow Seal, Penguin, Fox). This little girl likes cats. Perfect! I’ve knit a cat before.
And while the pattern was cute, knitting toys, I’ll have to admit, is not my favorite. So I turned to crochet. I followed a super cute little pattern for a bunny, planning on making the ears shorter and more pointed.
Objectively, it’s not terrible, right? But my husband says it looks like a bear. And it’s just not…quite. Right?
Besides, I was hoping to fit it into a mint container similar to the bears I’d made before.
So back to the drawing board.
And I’m so glad I did. This time, the crochet went much better. I hailed back to the basic shape of the Dumpling Kitty.
But smaller. And I added some accessories. And I LURVE IT!
I knit a female Tomten/Gnome character for a friend for BlogHer. I love the idea of these protective little sprites. And this year I was, once again, faced with what the heck to give my father for Christmas. I decided to embark on yet another Gnome. I love the ones by Alan Dart…but the “I can do that” spirit is strong in me.
Getting started took forever and the little boot/socks sat on my desk for weeks before I made progress.
Then the rest of him came together in a day! I stuffed his body with rocks in a sock so that his little legs could hang off the edge of a shelf and he (hopfully) won’t fall over.
The original plan was to just do the nose and beard and sew the hat down so you couldn’t tell I hadn’t done any face. But as I got going, I just loved the idea of some little eyebrows.
& I gave him a little fringe all the way ’round his little head.
I did a gifting post awhile ago. Knitters are notorious gift givers. Even the most hard core selfish crafter among us occasionally gets overtaken with the desire to give away some of our carefully made goodies.
But sometimes that doesn’t cut it. Not only is not everyone knit worthy, some are not knit receptive (Thank you, Rox! She did a fantastic video about gift knitting). My father falls into a blurry area of not quite knit receptive. He is, but he also lives in a place where wearing wool isn’t entirely necessary, and he doesn’t run cold. I also have a girlfriend who is knit worthy but is reluctantly knit receptive; I always check with her before I knit her something.
So my sister and I have been racking our brains for upcoming birthdays. While not minimalists, we are both struggling with an overabundance of stuff. Stuff for us, stuff for the kids, stuff for the dogs, even stuff for our crafts. It’s just everywhere. And while we want to honor and celebrate our loved ones far away, we didn’t really want to burden them with more un-needed, un-wanted stuff.
So we narrowed the field to food. Then to subscriptions, ruled out “fix your own” meals as they put a burden on the receiver, and came across…Love with Food. (This is informational only, these guys don’t even know me, but if you click the link and subscribe, I do get points, for what it’s worth).
We decided on a monthly delivery of snacks, and the company, in turn, donates to several organizations working to end hunger nationally & internationally. Snacks for me at my door and a donation for a hungry person?! I’m in.
People on ravelry often talk about what they’ll trade for knitting time. Often it is “if you’ll clean my house, I’ll knit you that sweater.” And that seems unbalanced to me. Unless someone really enjoys scrubbing houses, or perhaps enjoys handknit socks more than they dislike scrubbing houses. Because while knitting is a skill, it is also one a lot of us do happily. I always found it more, for lack of a better term, fair, to trade another craft/art/something someone enjoys doing. Like a painting, a sculpture, a well turned wood nostepinne or ceramic bowl.
Lucky for me, my girlfriend agreed. This time I didn’t trade for her artistic talents, she makes beautiful glass beads, but for her more well-traveled life. She was heading to Switzerland to visit family and I asked for Nutella in a decorative glass in exchange for a pair of socks. We have one such glass from when my sister & her husband did a big European tour and it is the prized drinking glass, the one every fights over. A glass, not even a handmade one, may seem like a small prize in comparison to the hours in a sock, but I figure the distance traveled made up for the discrepancy.
Unfortunately for me, Nutella is now using plastic jars. But my girlfriend rocked it and found, as she said, “a very Swiss” pattern on a pair of Dijon Mustard jars. Not only are the jars adorable, but the mustard is good, too! Now that’s what I call a fair trade.
Anyone else got some trade-able skills want a pair of handknit, custom socks or hat? For now the only ones for others on my docket are likely to be donated to the kids’ school.
Way back in March I reviewed a few books from the library. Specifically, I looked at the Reader’s Digest Complete Book of Embroidery. After thinking about it, checking it out, thinking, needing to reference it, I finally bought it from Amazon.
And usually after I do that the books sit on the shelf untouched. Not this one!
First I referenced it to add an embellishment to the required class project in my 3 week sewing course. Day one was mostly listening plus starting this bag, identical to everyone else’s. My little trio of flowers should help distinguish my finished project. Plus, so cute!
Then, because every knitter feels a compulsion in their DNA to clothe babies, I had to make a baby beanie for a blogging acquaintance. After frogging a baby hat knit on the wrong yarn, I knit up a simple grey beanie. And after searching Pinterest for line drawings, referring to my new favorite book, and pulling out the floss – Ta Da! Adorable baby boy gift.
Well, would you look at that. I wasn’t suffering from ennui. I was just regular ol’ sick. Struck down with a fever. The only hobby I participated in was shivering under some blankets. Bleh!
As I started to feel better I began work on my linen socks, which aren’t going that well. Turns out where I thought linen would have little stretch, there’s about 20% less stretch than that.
Couldn’t even get that sucker over my foot. That hasn’t happened with a sock in years. I’ve got fluffy ankles (11″ ankle, and that widest part from heel to top of foot is 14″), and I know that, so I usually have it compensated for. But linen’s lack of stretch. Whew!
Try #2 is going to involve something a little more like the infamous “Grandmother’s slipper” shape. So more of an envelope over the foot and then closing down where you can feel the toe bones separating out into toes. I’m playing with it. I’d like to keep it in stockinette and fairly smooth rather than floppy since the goal is to wear these in some sort of shoe.
I’ve also been working on some gift crocheting for BlogHer in August! Not sure how many knitters/crocheters I’ll meet there, but I’m excited to learn things about blogging. And I’m giving my friends who are going a little care package. This secret is going in one.
I’m also trying out some new podcasts as I work. This one is LegacyKnitz. I’m not committed yet, but the ladies are pretty funny. And it’s nice to have some fiber in the background while I knit or crochet.
I don’t consider myself a toy knitter, though my Ravelry page is scattered with toys. I’d rather knit socks, shawls, cowls, or even sweaters but the toys are so damn cute.
This undertaking is in prep for BlogHer 2016. I’m hoping to have a couple mini gift bags for friends. This one is for the sister of a friend. So my group, but sort of extended group 🙂 I admit the name is a bit of nostalgia from when the Great Space Coaster would say “No Gnus is Good Gnus.”
This little lady is a Tomte, it’s sort of a Christmas spirit or sprite. Usually they are shown as male, but Alan Dart made a great pattern and I couldn’t help producing a little female.