The Great Birthday Gift Season is almost over. One more sister to go, and then it’s on to new baby gifts, outfits for my girls (I am determined that they will happen before it snows!) and Christmas (ack!).
My mom’s birthday is only 4 days after mine, so she was next in line for a handmade gift. It’s hard to make things for my mom because I know that she could probably do it better. However, she doesn’t have a lot of time to do things for herself, so that was to my advantage. I settled on stash baskets for her yarn/knitting projects (you can find the tutorial over here, at Purl Bee).
Of course, I didn’t actually follow the directions – or at least, I modified them a bit. I don’t know what the width of the linen they used was, but the 1/2 yard of home decor fabric I bought did not allow me to cut out the circle for the bottom. But a yard of the cotton left me plenty of room to do two circles, so the thicker fabric ended up only being on the outside wall of the basket. I also didn’t have any interfacing and really didn’t want to buy any. I didn’t use anything on the basket I made myself (of course I was going to slip one for myself in there – I may or may not have quite the growing stash of yarn). I thought it turned out fine – once the yarn is in the basket, it stands up nicely – but for my mom’s, I did use a layer of flannel to give it just a little more structure. I also didn’t hand-sew the baskets. I really hate hand-sewing if the project is bigger than a Christmas ornament. I just put a denim needle on my machine and shoved the layers in there, going slowly when needed.
I think they turned out fantastic.
(The two on the left were for my mom, I kept the one on the right – check out flickr for more detailed pictures)
Yes, all that yarn is mine. Yikes. I have a wire basket that holds most of it….almost. But once Christmas is done, I’ll have a lot less. I promise, Tom.
After I sent these off, I started in on my sister Kari’s present. But then in the middle of it, I got a message from my sister-in-law that she really wanted some skirts for her two girls. Except instead of a Portie, she wanted a German Shepherd and a Dachshund (the two breeds they have in their house). I usually send my nieces and nephew on the Wisconsin side cash (except the baby – she gets clothes). I know – my excuse is that this way they get something they really want. Anyway, I figured instead of her paying me to make the skirts, I’d just substitute them for the cash this year.
The dog appliques were a pain in the butt to finish – the advantage of Porties is their fluffy coat – it turns their legs into big, thick, rectangles. It was worth the extra time though – I was really happy with the end result.
I managed to finish them in two days, so once they were in the mail, it was time to get back to Kari’s gift. I had asked her early on in the year if she had any interest in a knitted gift. She said yes, but wasn’t really sure what. I sent her a few ideas for scarfs that featured leaves, and we ended up with a pattern that she liked – she just wanted it a little less BIG (the original is incredibly wide). I did start that damn thing 3 times, ripping it out after about 3 leaves each time, before I found a yarn weight and gauge that I liked. Once that was all worked out, it went very smoothly. I made it thin and long enough that she could wrap it around her neck several times, but thick enough that it would actually keep her warm.
Add all of these projects with the whole business of putting my skirts in a shop (I’m currently taking a break from working on 3 adult sizes) and I’ve been a busy bee. Keeley – you’re next – I may even get it to you on time. Maybe.