Sunday, December 16, 2007

"Ετέλειωσα!", φωνάζει...

Another two items were added to the finished list today. L was here, playing in his 'play room', and it was nice to have someone to share the process with. In fact, he helped with a great idea for this book cover:

It is for a specific book, and I got the measurements briefly, but I haven't had it with me to fit accordingly. So, instead of my usual pattern I came up with two bands, so that the covers can be slipped through and be more flexible with the size.

When I showed it to L, he suggested that I add the corners, to keep it on more securely. As they were added later, it made the cover slightly smaller, but as a pattern I am quite pleased with the result, and very proud of L, who came up with the idea. It does give the whole thing an old-world look, doesn't it?

I also finished the first project I made, brother's hat. After searching frantically everywhere, I found the hat, cut a strip of flannel and added the lining.

I am finally done with the sewing projects I was planning to make. There are still a few knit items, namely two more hats, but these are easy, and I can do them on the subway. My problem with the sewn projects was that I need day light and with the days being so short I can only work on them during the weekends.

So, after a hard day's work, I had a last cup of coffee with the sewing machine, before she went to sleep for a while:

Τώρα μπορώ να παίξω!

(Yes, these are Oreos on the side. What can I say, I am a recent convert!)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Almost done!

Some more things were added to the pile in the last few days, some were bought, some made. I would have finished a while ago with the original list, but I keep adding things to it as inspiration strikes, or as I remember someone that I would rather have a handmade gift for. And it seems that all my near and dear would, after all, appreciate a handmade gift!

Twin bags

Pillow case

After I was done, my room looked like a fabric bomb had exploded:

So I put on Bach Variations and went on a cleaning spree. I even pulled out one dishcloth from the pile (cheeky me!) and now my spotless sink has matching gloves and dishcloth!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Making and learning

My gifts list is getting smaller and smaller, while the proud pile of finished items is growing.
I have enjoyed every step of making these gifts, and this is much more to say than frantically trying to shop for something appropriate for everyone (I am not a great fan of shopping, have I mentioned that?).

Here is what was made in the last couple of days:

pot holder no. 1

pot holder no. 2

A new computer deserves a new padded sleeve

Yep, it is a good idea

Gravity-defying bag holder

Hat 1 of 3

I tried to learn a new trick or technique in every project. O.k., the wooly hats had nothing to teach me, but they are done with doubled worsted-weight yarn on 7mm circular needles, so they are really good comfort knitting. I have one more to make, and each took 2-3 hours from start to finish.

I have always wanted to play with log cabin design, and the pot holders were a good start. I was pretty careless about measuring things, so I 'd cut 2 pieces, sew them, measure the result, cut the next... Tedious. Consequently, these two took the longest to make compared to any of the rest of the pieces.

For the computer case I used my snap pliers for the first time. I need more practice, I kind of messed up this part! I also tried to figure out the most convenient (for me) way of making pen holders, and although I am very happy with today's end result, I haven't found the ultimate pattern (yet). As for the bag holder, I like the method I used, a slightly modified version of this lovely tutorial.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


November was a very scattered month, with little progress in crafting. This year, however, I am determined to give a few handmade gifts to friends and family. December seems to have got on a good start. Here 's what I made on Saturday:

Sleeping mask for brother

Drawstring bags, to give wristwarmers in

Zipper pouches with luxurious Chinese fabrics (one is for me, as I burned the zipper a bit and isn't working very well...)

Here is one with its mouth open

I also finished a woolly hat and did some other stuff, but haven't taken pictures yet. It has been very dark all day today. And it was the first snow of the year. O.k., of the winter, as it is still 2007...

I think the biggest surprise of making handmade gifts is how much I have been enjoying making them. Each one takes from under half an hour to several hours. All the while, I tend to think of the person for whom the present is intended, and trying to personalise it for them in each step. My colour choices, the very objects themselves, they are all an indication of how I interpret their tastes and preferences, their needs and whims.

The gifts are not ordered, some are even going to be surprises. It is a tricky path, I know. There is always the risk of making something with lots of enthusiasm and affection, only to be tossed aside by the recipient. I tend to be quite sensitive about my gifts anyway, and I know that this year as they 're all so special to me I will have even higher expectations of myself. It will be a learning experience in giving, then. I am not sure what I will learn from it, and if next year I will be even more inspired to give handmade gifts or I will find it too nerve-wrecking and will give up. For now, making presents is the only idea that makes sense, and I am having a lot of fun in the process. Whatever their reception, at least I will have enjoyed myself!
Blog Widget by LinkWithin