Back to December

No, I haven’t forgotten the posts I had been promising you back in December (my December not everybody else’s) Remember? I owe you two posts about choosing the perfect gift. And ta da, today you’ll get the first as I finally had to edit all the pictures involved for another exciting project. (which means that this blog and its readers were apparently not important enough for me to sit down and get it done. Sorry.

Prepare for some self-praise and braging as I am really rather impressed by my own cleverness in this one.

So, the task was to find a gift, that shows on one side how grateful I am for what the team in question has done without, on the other side, ignoring the fact that I am not actually special for them, just one out of many. Whatever gift I can come up with won’t be kept, realistically. So a cheap and non bragging item that can ideally be used up or is a useful item in everydays life without taking up any space. But still having a personal touch. Obviously.

So, what could tick more boxes than an individual cotton tote bag with goodies for all sorts of situations: mandalas, sudokus and cross words (including a personal one) to kill too much waiting time, a bit of coffee and tea for keeping awake and relaxing (whatever is needed), a piece of chocolate for comfort and a silly joke for when you need a laugh. And a card with a few personal words. So, the content doesn’t cost much and will get used up. Nothing embarrasing will take away space on someones shelf. The individual cotton bag will remind people of the crazy sewing lady and her family. In Austria, cotton bags are a huge thing. You know, recycling and sustainability and all that stuff. Plus it can be used as a stylish accessory. But if people choose not to use their gift bag, then never mind, it is just a cotton bag. So, I can honestly say, I could not have come up with a better idea than that. Really. I did underestimate the workload a little bit and I do have to admit that the rather monotone work did get a bit boring at some point. But it was well worth it, that’s for sure. But enough talking, here they are:

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I know, that one picture is rubbish, you can’t really recognise anything.

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Do you want to see another one? Yes? Ok.

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Another one? Really? Okaay.

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Ok, I just show you the whole lot.

“Technical” details:

I have used a mix of classic application (secure zig zag) and freestyle machine embroidery.

I have chosen the fabrics for the “2A” for particular reasons, some as a reminder of my family, some because I knew of a particular interest or hobby of the future owner, some just because I thought the person might find it pretty.

The pictures in the top left hand are symbols for the profession of the presentee.

As I said, I am for once totally happy with the outcome of the whole project. It ticked all the boxes and I think, it was also very appreciated.

For the last remaining “perfect gift” post, I can not yet give you any details, pictures have not yet been taken so it might take forever a while. It is very likely that I’ll show you other exciting projects first. For example the secret of this box:

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aaaand another one

Guess what, Elaine is not alone!

As my children needed new hats, I have also been busy knitting hats. As every previous year it was a bit of trial and error, as I couldn’t find any useful information in my ravelry notes about hats from previous years. Just pictures but nothing about stitch numbers, yarn or needle size used.  So, I meant to do it slightly differently this year. And I wrote down all numbers. And made a chart. Only to discover sort of a pattern. And as the kick in the derriere I had already mentioned in my Elaine post was still fresh, I decided to write down this pattern, too and extend it to a range of sizes, one of them I even test knitted for a small baby head. I was too lazy to look for someone older to verify the missing bigger sizes.

Anyway, here comes Frederick – a not so glamorous but warm woolly hat with ear flaps. Just right for the ending season.

You’ll find the pattern on ravelry. It might be a little late for this season but the next winter will be coming at some point so you better get ready soon.

What you all have been waiting for. Or haven’t you?

Right, this is a knitting blog, remember? No? Well, at least I do remember. When I spent my 4 weeks no sewing machine detox rehab  I started a new knitting project, a scarf for my mum.  As I had high ambitions, I meant to write down everything I did to release a new pattern. Well, I started writing everything down from about the middle so I meant to think hard and write down everything I had done from the beginning to the middle at a later stage. And I can proudly say, the scarf is still not handed over. Finished and blocked since Christmas but still not handed over. Because I meant to write down everything, remember. And even more proudly I can tell you that I finally got the a kick in the derriere to sit down and think and calculate and reknit the beginning and wonder about funny numbers in the original half written down pattern and recalculate and say “i knew that can’t be right” and type up everything and add some wise and clever thoughts and really rubbish pictures and voila, here it is, the latest addition to my wide range of easy patterns.

Elaine – a simple scarf with a slip stitch selvedge edge and eyelets for a touch of glamour.

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If you want to knit this scarf too, hop over to ravelry and download the pattern for free.

And you know what, this is not the only thing I have been up to.

 

Scrap Sunday: Luckily I know all sorts of people

I think I have already mentioned the Lillestoff Glueckspakete – 1kg of surprise fabrics for 15 to 18 Euro. You don’t know what you’re getting, so the wait is quite exciting, almost like Christmas. Plus, it is often a challenge because you will get fabrics you would never have chosen. Sometimes, those are the most interesting makes with surprising results.

When I discovered a huge piece of ice hockey fabric in my last boys packet, I wasn’t happy. My sons are not interested in ice hockey. I am not sure if they even know it exists. And I do not seem to know any other boys who are interested in ice hockey. Clearly, I had to broaden my horizon.  And all of a sudden, I actually remembered three female friends who are totally into ice hockey. Or rather in one particular player. I  think they have even officially founded a fan club. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure he used to be an excellent ice hockey player and he is certainly a nice guy, I just personally don’t get this kind of fan obsession. They have pictures of him everywhere, know everything about him, make him birthday presents and cakes and write him letters. I suppose in case of the two younger ones it is still ok, a kind of sweet and innocent admiration for a father figure. Well, if you happen to have an ice hockey playing father, I guess. But when it comes to the oldest one of the three! I mean, she even knows where he lives and frequently hangs out there! Is that still appropriate for a woman in her extremely late 30s?

But back to my project. Making three tops out of that one piece of fabric was a bit of a challenge. So I decided to start with the shirts for the two younger ones. Simply because I like them more than the older one. She seems to think she is the boss of the three and wants to make all decisions. As if she was their mother! (Please don’t tell her, I don’t want to offend her).

I used the Pia pattern by pattydoo, a loose fitting sleeveless shirt with drop shoulders. I intended to make two similar ones, just with different colours for neckline and armholes. DSC_0011pattern: Pia by pattydoo, fabric by Lillestoff

I struggled to get them both out of one length of the  fabric  – it was about one or two inches too short and I stupidly sacrificed the smaller sized top. Oh the anger when I realised it would be too short – especially for someone who is still growing ! I had to save it somehow so I opened the hem again and added a (waist) band. I do like the look of it. More than the oversized style of the first one.

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After cutting the two smaller shirts I only had a very narrow and long stripe of the fabric left. Big piece but too narrow to make at least one side for the third shirt. I really felt the need to make one for the third crazy fan, too. I didn’t want to provoke her. I told you, she can be a bit bossy at times so who knows how she would have treated the two other girls in her jealousy. So, I decided to go crazy, too and to make just one half of the front with the hockey fabric and combine it with some stripes I found in my stash.

To enhance the centre front seam, I overlocked it on the right side of the fabric with a narrow stitch and black thread (for a cool look). The result didn’t look like I had expected it. There was no link between the two sides. The obvious idea would have been a heart application or a pocket with the hockey fabric on the stripy side. But I think such an element on the chest “has to” be on the left side. Unfortunately I had put the hockey fabric on the left side. So, I ended up with a star at hip level, overlapping the side seam.

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Overall I am very pleased with the outcome. A huge piece of fabric that had seemed to be a total waste has found its purpose. Even if it is just for a laugh.

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