Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011

Last day to squeeze in one more blog post!  I haven't been around here much this December.  That's because I rather overbooked myself with handmade Christmas.  Then we traveled to GA for the Holiday (lots of fun, despite the cold I brought home with me--boo).  And to top it all off, I got a last minute commission from Knit One Crochet Too for a new pattern they want to weekend.  Been a little busy--as you can imagine.  At least it's better than being bored, right?

My current test knit project hasn't been released yet (how cool is that) so I can't show it to you just yet--that and I'm not quite finished with it.  Guess how I'm spending my New Year's Eve.  Not that I would want to be anywhere other than parked on my couch with a knitting project and a glass of wine :)

So, here is a crash course of all the handmade gifts I've neglected to show you over the last couple of weeks.  I promise a more in-depth post once I've finished this next test knit.  I am on a deadline ;)

First the knits:

A couple of ornaments for an online ornament exchange, courtesy of Knit Picks and Karolina Eckerdal,both in Palette:
Some gloves for Dad, from Never Knit Your Man a Sweater* in Swish Worsted:
And a scarf for FIL, Cerus Scarf by Hillary Smith Callis:
I wasn't planning on making anything for him, but was having a really, really, really hard time coming up with something for him for Christmas.  Turns out he's going to be taking some depositions in northern cities and very specifically wanted a *cardinal red* scarf to go with it.   I thought I wouldn't have time to finish it, but I managed to squeak this one in about 2 days before we left!

The time it took to knit it could have something to do with the pattern--it is lovely and very masculine, but it makes for a very thick fabric and one that doesn't knit up very quickly.  I recommend it highly, but not for projects that you need quickly.  

Also, if you get the chance, give Knit Picks Full Circle a try.  It's made from recycled wool and merino fibers and comes in some really beautiful, vibrant colors.  It is a bit splitty, so it wasn't really the best choice for so thick a fabric, but it's airy, warm, and super soft.  I plan on ordering myself more as a belated Christmas gift to myself :)

And now a bunch of non-knits:

I mentioned in my previous post that I am trying to enhance my sewing skills (up from nil).  I decided to give this quilted oven mitt pattern a try.  I think it came out well!
I made one for each of our mothers and they really seemed to like them!

I also tried this etching tutorial (really, it's amazing what you can find on Pinterest!) to make some personalized wine glasses for friends and family--look how pretty!
It was a little tough to cut those shapes out of masking tape, but totally worth it.  I think that etching cream was one of the best investments I made this season!  Definitely making one of these for me in the future.

Did you get any fun crafty gifts this year?

I hope you all have a very Happy New Year.  Hope 2012 treats you even better than 2011!



Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Few Christmas Presents

Oh Boy, there is some hardcore holiday knitting going on in the Matthews residence.  I think I overcommitted myself this year.  I finished so early last year, I got overexcited.  The just couple of weeks will just be full of busy fingers and Christmas movies :)

Here are a couple of projects I've already finished.  Some felted slippers for our sisters:
The pattern is called Duffers by Mindie Tallack.  It was so, so easy.  19 rounds of knitting in bulky yarn, sewing up the bottom, and picking up the button flap.  I got the suggestion for the button flap from PurlDiva's notes
Maybe not a first knitting project, but this could definitely be a second.  After I finished knitting them, I ran them twice through the washing machine on hot, put them out to dry, and sewed on the button.  Maybe an hour and a half of work per slipper.  Cute, easy, and comfortable--my favorite kind of project!

I also dug out the old sewing machine and took it for a proverbial spin:
I made sunglasses cases!  Aren't they cute?
I found this tutorial on Pinterest and thought it would be good practice for the amateur seamstress (me).  Definitely saw improvement in my ability to sew a straight line by the last one.  These were another really quick and easy project.  I ended up making a total of 7--the 5 you see above, plus 2 more not pictured--in just 2 sittings!  These will make great stocking stuffers :)

What's left?  Oh lots: 2 more big knitting projects, 2 more sewing projects, and a few miscellaneous etchings--plus baking.  Busy, busy, busy!  But I wouldn't have it any other way.  You know what they say about idle hands...

...they climb up Christmas trees.  Or maybe that's kitty feet.  Anyway, we've got ours up and the apartment nice and decorated, complete with naughty, climbing critters.  I can tell he's been up there by how flat the middle branches are.  Tsk tsk.

So pretty:
Honestly, how can you blame him?  He's just so darn cute!

What are you making for Christmas presents this year?