Monday, 28 November 2011

Making Monday: Christmas is coming...

Winter vomiting disease has been and - hopefully - gone in our house now, so normal service is resumed. I'll spare you the details, but suffice to say the washing machine got quite a work out....

Despite it all, there has been plenty of Christmas crafting this year. I don't know why I've started so early, or been so organised about it. Who knows? But - without wishing to boast - the christmas basket is starting to brim with handcrafted goodies all made from stuff I was hoarding  the stash. So far I have made:
  • three pairs of socks (one adult; two child);
  • two men's hankies (upcycled from an old shirt);
  • three quilts for a dolls bed (also upcycled from various shirts and sheets);
  • and one pair of handwarmers.
Here are a few shots of these projects...

In the midst of all this I have also made a pair of socks for my brother's birthday (happy birthday boy!), a cowboy/Woody style waistcoat for a 5 yr old's birthday (happy birthday Digby!) and a baby hat for a newly hatched sister belonging to one of the bean's friends.

Here are the birthday socks...

pattern: generic top down
yarn: German sock yarn, bought at Peebles show in 2010.

You'll have to wait for pics of the other things. The baby hat and socks for the jelly bean will be worth waiting for - they are knit in that fab Berocco sock yarn I had for my birthday. It's gorgeous stuff and I'm just hoping there will be enough left to make some socks for me!

But, now all that's finished, I'm not quite sure what to do next. Someone at work is expecting twins in the new year and I was thinking about making some weeny jackets for them; I've got a Clothkits dress for the jelly bean languishing somewhere, and various plans for dressing up clothes to add to our dressing up basket, plus a friend that I owe a hat .... Any suggestions? Perhaps a glass of sloe gin will help? It can't hurt, can it?

Thursday, 24 November 2011


No blogging here at the mo because we are struggling with various bugs and illnesses... back soon (I hope), there are lots of FOs and Christmas crafting to report....

Friday, 18 November 2011

Something old, something new (FO)

Some French friends of ours were married over the summer; announcing the nuptials only after the event. We saw them recently, and thought we should give them a little something to mark their new life together.

We looked in a local craft gallery for a suitable present, but nothing was quite right. So, I set to with my sewing machine instead, and made two placemats, two coasters and two napkins.

I used linen (a charity shop bargain) plus some scraps of vintage fabric from my grandmothers house. Since both bride and groom are tree geneticists, the leafy motifs of the fabric seemed to fit perfectly. In addition, I quilted a leaf motif onto the back of the placemats,which you can just see here ...

You never quite know how such gifts will be received - (I have a relative who never acknowledges the handmade things I send) - but I am pleased to report that the happy couple were happy, and so was I! Another gift gifted, and made entirely from the stash.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Hats off... (FO)

I like to knit hats. It's one of the things that I have made consistently over the years. Jumpers, cardigans and socks all come and go, but hats just keep on.

A few years ago I devised a hat recipe which I have reknit many times. I've lost count now, but I think there are at least a dozen of these 'scrap' hats as I call them, wandering the hills and streets and places of this fair isle, and beyond (one lives in the US).

Occasionally a friend will place a kindly request for such a hat, and they will lodge in an ethereal queue until the urge to make a hat comes upon me. I was met with such an urge in the summer some time, and I made this lovely thing, with yarns carefully selected to complement the hair and beard of the intended recipient.

Unfortunately, for some unfathomable reason it came out too small for a large manly head.

Fortunately for the bean it was just right for him; so, it's now tucked neatly into one of our cupboards, waiting for the snow and ice to come...

I'll post the recipe some time, and you can make your own.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Quick, quick, sloe

We went furtling at the week-end. Furtling and rootling and rustling the leaves and hedgerows for sloes. Searching for treasure.

We had seen them last winter, in the depths of the snow and ice - and made a mental note about the location. Sloes are a bit like hen's teeth in Scotland. And, if you know anyone that has a supply, they usually won't tell you where they get them from. Not like my native Herefordshire, where every hedgerow and every lane and every winding path has sloes and rosehips and blackberries/brambles in plentiful supply.

Anyway, we were in luck - the birds and other sloe hunters hadn't yet stripped the bushes bare. So we picked enough for our needs and left the rest for the birds. I'm looking forward to sloshing them around with sugar and gin and waiting for the delicious rosy red colour to emerge. I'm not sure it will be ready in time for Christmas, but perhaps in the new year?

As for this - it's hard to believe this was the scene in our street at the end of November last year. The bean keeps asking when it's going to snow....

Soon I tell him, soon...
At least this year we'll have the sloe gin to keep the grown ups warm!