Friday, December 28, 2007

Post Christmas Recap

Phew! The Christmas rush is behind us, I am endlessly surprised by how much work one little holiday can be. It was a very handmade Christmas around here and I want to offer one last recap.

I finished the hat - I actually made two simple 2x2 rib hats out of Noro Silk Garden. The first was much too small, I think I'll send it to Afghanistan. The second was perfect and since it's a little chilly here, by his standards, he's wearing it all the time. It's beautiful, and I'm glad it's appreciated. I never did finish the felted clogs and the scarf is still a wip, but I'll get them done eventually.

In addition to making many gifts, I did a fair amount of handmade shopping mostly on Etsy. I'd like to share some of finds with you here - they are each worthy of your attention. There was a great silk screened organic cotton tee from Vital. An artist book or two from the talented Nikki Thompson. Some fun Letterpress Printing from The Rarrarpress, and the Sherwood Press. Some zines from Heroes and Criminals. A well drawn indie comic from Joe Havasy. And the funniest dang Gocco printed library pockets from Papermenagerie. Really, take some time to browse these shops, you won't sorry you did.

Now that Christmas is done, all the gifts are giving, and the lines at the post office are gone, it's time for the New Year. New Year, new goals, new ideas, and new projects. Happy New Year Everyone.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Finished Objects for Christmas 2007

As I mentioned in the previous post I've had the Holiday Crafting Spirit, do in large part I'm sure to my pledge to buy or give handmade this year. Here's the highlight reel...

A Trio of Sock Monkeys - I love these guys! My man and I worked on them together, I have tons of patiences for knitting but only a small amount for sewing, so his sewing expertise was much appreciated. I got these as kits from Spinning Monkeys - I used the socks, and the instruction that came with the kits, but changed out the buttons and a few other details.

The Headline News News Boy Hat - You've seen it before, I've blogged it before. This one is for my niece and yes, it's exactly the same as mine. For a reason - the pattern calls for a two skeins, and in reality you only use the tiniest bit of that second skein. You can easily get two hats from three skeins. Mathematically it made sense to make hers the same as mine.

Felted Clogs - I love these also. They are so easy and fast to knit up. The pattern is from Fiber Trends. I used an incredible pallette of Nashua Creative Focus Worsted.

This is pairs one and two of four. The plain pair is for my Nephew - they match the dogs in his house so that the inevitable dog hair won't be as noticible, he hates the dog hair. I experimented a little with adding a fringe to the second pair. It only sort of worked - when I was finished felting them the fringe had become dreads, but with much futsing and brushing and trimming I got them to a place I liked. They are for my Dad's wife and I'm pretty sure she'll love them. At least I hope she will.

I've got two more pairs to make, but they are for my man and myself, so no rush. I also stil have to finish a journal for my niece, a felted bag for my man's mother, and a hat and scarf for my man. That means I've got some knitting to do, and there will be another finished objects post soon.

Monday, December 10, 2007

That Holiday Spirit

I'll be frank - it's no small task to muster that holiday spirit when you're a Minnesota girl in Texas. I've always been a bit of a scrooge when it comes to Christmas trees and decorating, it seems like a lot of work - you drag all that stuff out of storage, you dust it all off, put it all up, and then turn around and take it all down again. Too much for my lazy bones.

My book group had our monthly meeting on Friday night. In the spirit of the holidays we read "Holidays on Ice" by David Sadarias, drank champagne, and had a little ornament exchange. I sat that part out, not being one to ever put up a tree or hang stuff about the house, I have no real use for ornaments, and thought it best to sit it out. I didn't really love this book either, I kept finding myself feeling offended, rather than humored. The champagne was good.

Despite my distaste for indoor decorations, I have always been a fan of lights, the outdoor variety - I love how they twinkle in the snow and get all reflective and defused, it's pretty. But here in Texas we have no snow. There is the Trail of Lights - a 1 mile loop through Zilker Park here in Austin with a pretty extraordinary light display. It's the annual tradition here in Austin, a town that loves to run, to have the Trail of Lights 5k the night before the light show officially opens to the public. It's a sort of sneak preview for those that sign up to do the 5k. In my attempts to muster that seemingly allusive Holiday Spirit, I registered and ran the Trail of Lights 5k on Saturday night. It was 85 degrees at the finish line at 7:30 PM - it was not feeling one tiny bit like Christmas for this cold weather runner.

Meanwhile back at the workshop... I'm not a complete Grinch and I do like to give gifts. This year, as I've mentioned I have taken the pledge to buy or give handmade, and that means knitting, and lots of it. And because the Etsy shop has had more sales then I can seem to keep up with, it has also meant journal making, and lots of it. Even the baby has tried to get in on the act.

bad puppy

The only holiday spirit I have been able to muster so far this year has been of the crafting variety, and I suppose there's nothing wrong with that.

Coming soon .... Pictures of the finished objects for Christmas 2007 - felted clogs for many, a felted messenger bag, a second Headline News newsboy hat, and Sock Monkeys.