Well, this year I again decided to make Christmas presents. But, unlike last Christmas when I made snoods, headbands, teddies, hats and dresses, I was a little lighter on the workload this year. Partly because I’ve been researching my family history and partly because I don’t know why. So I only made seven presents this year – two crocheted flower hair slides (one for L1, one for PBM’s cousin’s daughter Akua), one cardigan (for L2), and four hats (one each for OKBK, L3, L4 and DK Hannah). Here are all but the hat for Hannah – I’m especially proud of L2’s cardigan.
It’s been a while since I last blogged on knitting and craft. In my last two posts I took time out to talk about the state of racism in Denmark and some songs I was enjoying listening to. Shamefully, the last knitting I blogged about was back in January when I showed you pictures of my friend Emma in her Christmas knits.
Compared to my craft successes of 2010, being creative this year is slow going. But I have my excuse – wedding planning and wedding crafting. I have made save the date cards and am finishing off our official invitations while knitting and sewing lengthy projects which won’t be posted either till they’re finished or until we’re wed.
But luckily I today have some knitting to share with you, thanks to the lucky recipient being born yesterday. I’m very chuffed with these items; this was the first time I did some more frequent cabling and the first time I took on repetitive lace work, which set me up nicely for my wedding knitting.
All three patterns are from Sirdar Tiny Tots Essentials, knitted in Debbie Bliss eco baby cotton yarn (I don’t like Sirdar’s range). I do like Sirdar patterns though as I find them nicely easy to follow but, as always, too big for brand new babies, despite choosing the size for newborns and doing a swatch. But hey ho. It’s spring now, so by the time autumn comes round the hat and booties will feet perfectly.
Here they are:
Another post on some Christmas presents for you. This time snoods.
I made four snoods in December, based on this pattern from the Guardian:
- 1 made from Twilley’s Freedom Spirit Chunky yarn in ocean aqua/blue. I made this smaller than I wanted it to be. Luckily PBM really liked it so took it off my rather than letting me unravel it and use the yarn for something else.
- 1 made from Twilley’s Freedom Spirit Chunky yarn in moorland as a Christmas present for Lizzi along with a turquoise merino wool headband
- 1 made from Twilley’s Freedom Spirit Chunky yarn in autumn orange as a Christmas present for Emma along with a maroon and purple double knitted headband
- 1 made from a chunky wool Rowan yarn I can’t recall in maroon for my Dad for his days fishing.
Here’s a photo of Emma modelling hers in January this year. I think she likes them:
A couple of weeks ago I was thinking of what I’ve made in the past year. No wonder I at times thought I was developing RSI in my right hand. I was knitting like crazy. Here’s what I’ve knitted/crocheted/sewn/beaded between December 2009 and January 2011 (a total of 13 months), complete with links to the relevant posts:
- 2 strings of personalised bunting for L1 and L2
- crocheted coasters and heat protector/oven gripper thingymabobs
- 3 bunny teddies – 1 for newborn Zeph, 2 for newborn twins L3 and L4
- 2 adult berets – one white, one purple
- 1 adult cardigan
- 4 snoods – for my Dad, Jeff, Lizzi and Emma
- 2 baby beanies
- 4 pairs of baby booties – 2 for the new twins, and 2 for Corinne’s friends’ expectants
- 5 baby/children’s berets – 1 for L1, 1 for L2, 1 for Ida-Maria, 2 for Corinne’s friends
- 6 headbands – 1 for Lizzi, 1 for Emma, 1 for Nina, 1 for me, 1 for my Mum, 2 for sale
- 4 dresses for me from West African print cloth – 1 purple shift, 1 red dress, 1 blue v-neck, 1 wrap dress
- 20 or so oyster card holders – some as gifts – Lisa, Emma and Nina – and some for sale
- 1 string West African print bunting for the hallway
- 1 column of leaves scarf for my Mum
- 7 cushions – 3 for the bed, 1 for a chair, 3 for the settee
- 2 skirts – 1 pink brown and blue, the other pink, yellow and blue
- 2 girls dresses – 1 for L2 and 1 for Hannah
- 11 birds – 5 for my bird mobile, 3 for my parents’ mobile, and 3 for Mie and Dennis’ mobile
- Christmas decorations – bunting, hanging beads, heart pouches and pompoms
- 1 crocheted recycling basket
- and a whole heap of jewellery – bracelets, earrings, necklaces – some for sale on Folksy; some for gifts for Emma, Han, Lizzi, Lisa, PBM, Mie, my Mum, my Auntie; and a commission for Mike
And, that’s about as much as I can recall right now. But I think that may do for 13 months of knitting, sewing, crocheting and beading – at the very least 100 individual items. If I remember anything else, or if you think I’ve missed something off, let me know. But I’m rather proud of that!
Here are a few pictures:
Today it’s time for another blog post on gifts that I made for Christmas.
As I said a couple of weeks ago, I forgot to take photos of some of the gifts I made for Christmas 2010 before I packed them off to whoever the (may I say lucky) recipient. However, I did have some photos of the gifts I sent to Denmark (albeit some incomplete) and have since taken photos of the presents I made PBM. But that’s about as far as I’d got. Until New Years Day when, at PBM’s Mum’s house after a five meat roast (yes you read that right), I at last got some more photos for you to feast your eyes over. The gifts I made the nieces and nephew-in-law.
For those of you who don’t know, the nieces and nephew-in-law are PBM’s eldest sister’s family. All six of them now since the twins, L3 and L4, were born in November (see here for them at 2 days old). Last year I made L1 and L2 personalised bunting for their room, and for L2’s birthday in October I knitted her a beret with crocheted flowers.
However, the question was what to make them all for Christmas. And here’s what I came up with:
- pink beret with large pink and purple crocheted flower, in Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo, for 4-year-old L1;
- pink dress using Ghanaian ntoma for 2-year-old L2;
- bunny teddy made from pink baby corduroy for 6-week-old L3; and
- bunny teddy made from one of PBM’s old blue and white striped work shirts for 6-week-old L4 (much like this I made for baby Z when he was born back in February 2010).
And who better to model these items than the cutest of cute kids ever and the recipients of the gifts:
Note how L1 is also modelling L2’s dress as it is as yet slightly too big for her. This made L2 cry and proclaim “it’s mine”. I think she wants her own, original wardrobe like any reasonable 2-year-old would.
Projectbrownman has been an avid follower of The Sartorialist for some time now and can often be found swooning over some of the outfits featured. In more recent months PBM stumbled upon Street Etiquette, my favourite of the two.
The owners of Street Etiquette “provide the vision [of menswear] from an urban perspective and look to connect with individuals worldwide.” The guys, Joshua and Travis, are apparently influenced by a variety of boundaries and eras. So it’s probably inevitable that PBM should enjoy poring over what the (rather handsome) boys of Street Etiquette offer us on the style front. As, to me, a similar style is evident in PBM’s wardrobe. He is a recently self-confessed slight dandy. He has always enjoyed a good hat or two and has in the past year added a variety of silk handkerchiefs to his wardrobe which consists of beauties such as Uniqlo moleskin skinny trousers, TM Lewin skinny shirts, a plethora of ties from the heady heights of Tom Ford and Kenzo down to Pierre Cardin, second-hand Greenwich Market waistcoats, Topman tweed jackets, Zara blazers, Muji trench coats, Sophie Kingo scarves and Fred Perry shoes. In the summer PBM had also commented that he needed more accessories and elements of his background in his wardrobe and asked me to make a bracelet from him from leather thong and wooden beads. I did.
In November PBM started reminding me how much he’d like a quilted jacket. No wonder. He’d seen the boys of Street Etiquette looking fly in Ralph Lauren. So I made it my mission to buy him a quilted jacket for Christmas. But Barbour just couldn’t deliver, and my budget wouldn’t stretch to £400 for RL Polo. However, on the same blog post I came across a wicked idea for one of PBM’s Christmas presents, which also happened to fit with his desire to have more accessories and links to his Ghanaian heritage. And this is the photo that spurred it:
The present idea – watch with a Ghanaian cloth strap and beads. Not fallen leaves.
For the bracelets I already had the wooden beads from my jewellery making stash, and just had to order some elastic. However, for the watch I had absolutely zilch of what was required. This required some thought. eBay was the most obvious choice for a watch face as I couldn’t be doing with a December trip down Portobello Road. Buying a watch off eBay wasn’t too easy – many of the watches were either seriously nice and pricey vintage watches, brand new H Samuel types, or metal bracelet watches. I came across a few suitable specimens but kept either missing the boat or being massively outbid. Nice looking gold plated watches which wouldn’t break the bank were apparently not so easy to come by. I had managed to beg some proper woven kente cloth for the strap from Ma Mary, PBM’s Mum, but was massively failing on the watch face front. Eventually, a week or so before Christmas I got lucky and won a gold USSR Sekonda from an eBay seller in Hessle, East Yorkshire. I received just in time to cut off the new black leather strap and replace with the kente strip. And here’s the outcome, below. PBM likes it.
On 9 January 2010 I published the blog post D’oh where I listed all that I made for Christmas presents and mention that I forgot to take photos of them. Well, I’ve only gone and done it again this year. The problem is that I make Christmas presents and, as I don’t wear them, I forget to take photos, wrap them up, et voila it’s left to those who receive the presents to kindly take photos and send me them. Also, what with the days being short and the nights long, I complete many of the presents when it’s dark out and, as you’ll see from some of the following pictures, it’s not easy to photograph them in the dark.
This blog post lists what I made for my cousin Mie, her husband Dennis and their two daughters Ida-Maria (4) and Hannah (2) in Denmark.
- Beige/golden bracelet for Mie, made with a selection of glass foil beads from Spoilt Rotten Beads and a variety of stone beads
- Striped beret for Ida-Maria, made from purple and wine merino wool yarn
- Purple dress for Hannah made from Ghanaian wax print (here’s the grown up version)
- Bird mobile from a mixture of Liberty and Ghanaian cotton for Mie and Dennis
I remembered to take photos of these items, though the beret is incomplete – the crocheted flower is missing – and Mie’s bracelet was shot in the dark. But hopefully you can make them out.
And apologies to Mie and Co. if this is the first time you’ve seen these items. I posted the parcel 8 days before Christmas so I’m hoping they got to Åsum in time for Julaften.