Saturday, January 3, 2009

Stuff I Made

Despite everything else going on this holiday season, I did manage to get a few things made. Here's the gallery of my handy crafting:

This is my version of the Starbucks yarn wreath. I saw lots of beautiful variations of this on the Internet. It's built on a styrofoam wreath with yarn-covered styrofoam balls and the ornaments were from Big Lots. Lots of hot glue, lots of fun.

The kindergarten girls' gifts were easy -- I had been collecting cheap fluffy yarns (some from my Halloween pal!) to knit them scarves, all in garter stitch. 12 scarves for the girls, and 4 extra for the mitten tree at school.
The boys were not so easy -- I didn't think they would want scarves or something else knitted. After lots of thought and searching, I decided to make them duct tape wallets. There are lots of good patterns on the internet, and I ended up taking ideas from several. One time-saving tip I would add to the duct tape world is to use a quilter's ruler and cutting mat -- very helpful in cranking out 12 wallets -- the brown one was for my friend Boone. Duct tape is a little expensive, but a got 11 blue wallets out of one roll with enough left over for a couple more, I would guess. I personalized them with the boys' initials, and slipped a dollar into each one. I think they were more thrilled with the dollar than the wallet!

Will and Clay had helped Grandma clean out Grandpa Dale's closet this summer, and we ended up with lots of his things that Will didn't want to part with -- hats, jackets, socks, sweaters and a rack full of wide ties from '70's that mom had made for him. With Will's permission, I cut the ties up and made them into pillows (with velvet backing) for mom, Corinne and Leslie. I think I have enough tie material to make one for each of my kids, as well. Dad must have been one hip professor dude in his stripes, florals and paisleys.
This little bookbag was actually planned for Claire's birthday last year --I think she will appreciate it more now that she is 2! (Guess what? Not only has WMart stopped carrying embroidery floss, they don't stock fabric paint any longer. There are rumors that the whole craft/material department will be gone soon.) Can you tell that's Caillou? He's Claire's favorite.

I worked on the Yarn Harlot's One Row Scarf (pattern here) on the way to Ohio while listening to podcasts of Wait Wait and This American Life. I picked up this fluffy acrylic at Hobby Lobby for $1.99. I think I might keep one of these scarves going all the time -- great TV knitting.

Finally, my friend Michelle came to Knit Night with a beautiful crocheted scarf a friend had given her. The company (Garnet Hill) also offered an afghan and pillow covers in the same pattern (picture over there on the left), and she asked if I could make the pillows. She offered to get the yarn, and I suggested Knit Picks Palette; she went on line and ordered 24 beautiful colors and I went to the library and figured out how to crochet a hexagon. Because of all the excitement, I only had one completed before Christmas, but Michelle was lovely and understanding.
From the company, each of the pillow covers would have been $90, and that's not including the pillow inserts, which were another $9 apiece. Michelle only paid $50 for all that yarn, and there is enough for many more pillows. In fact, I think I am going to start a couple for our couches, as she let me keep the leftovers!
Here is the second pillow top, almost completed; it's not a perfect match to the original, but a reasonable facsimile:
In the cookie arena, I made Espresso Chocolate Drops, Soft Molasses, Coconut Drops, Sugar Cookies, Noodle Nests and dipped pretzels. I tried Lemon Squares and Buckeyes, but they were both failures -- I used to be really good at both of those. Too much stress in the kitchen, I guess. No one missed them, and I bought buckeyes for Leslie at Cracker Barrel.

I have something to finish for Clay, but luckily, his birthday is in a few days so he will get it then; I also need to finish something for Will, which he will get on his birthday in February.
Before I start something new, I want to finish up a few projects that have been smoldering in the basement. I also want to keep clearing out my craft/sewing area -- I've given lots of stuff away lately, but there is still a lot I don't need. Why in the world did I think I needed all that stuff? I'd take a picture, but it would be far too embarrassing.

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