Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas giving

Here are a few of the Christmas crafts that adorned the holiday this year...

Handmade ornament books.

I used techniques I learned in a book arts course and sewed these little guys out of some scrap papers. I glued the decorative rick rack and ribbon, added a little glitter, and then wrote out Christmas quotes and poems in each one. We used these on our Christmas dinner table, and had guests read from the poem books for our Christmas blessing. It was really special and fun!

Poems used:

Let me not wrap, stack, box, bag, tie, tag, bundle, seal, keep Christmas.
Christmas kept is liable to mold.
Let me give Christmas away, unwrapped, by exuberant armfuls.
Let me share, dance, live Christmas unpretentiously, merrily, responsibly with overflowing hands, tireless steps and sparkling eyes.
Christmas given away will stay fresh—even until it comes again."

-- Let Me Not Keep Christmas . . . . . . . . Linda Felver, A Book of Christmas

I will Light Candles this Christmas
by Howard Thurman

I will light Candles this Christmas;
Candles of joy despite all sadness,
Candles of hope where despair keeps watch,
Candles of courage for fears ever present,

Candles of peace for the tempest-tossed days,
Candles of grace to ease heavy burdens,
Candles of love to inspire all my living,
Candles that will burn all the year long.

Somehow, not only for Christmas
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892)

Somehow, not only for Christmas,
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others,
Is the joy that comes back to you.
And the more you spend in blessing,
The poor and lonely and sad,
The more of your heart's possessing,
Returns to you glad.


I made a few potholders for the grandparents, with AJ's handprint. They are kind of huge, so they might make better placemats or hot pads... I embroidered his name and the year on them too (did this after taking the photo).


New Sweater

AJ got a new sweater for Christmas... I started this one over the summer I think! I finally finished it and it is big enough that it should fit him through this summer and into next fall/winter. The color is so close to his eye color, I can't believe it. I used really cute fishbowl buttons from Jimmy Beans Wool. I only had three, so I am ordering a fourth one. Great pattern -- the Aran Pullover from Knitting for Baby by Melanie Falick and Kristin Nicholas.

new sweater

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Handmade hats

purple hat for MEM
Originally uploaded by stellesky
I made this hat for my niece's one year birthday -- this was knit almost entirely during the final presidential debate, with finishing and embellishments added in late November before giving it to my niece.

I used a variety of yarns, all in shades of purple and lavender. Most of the yarn came from the yarn tour event in NH I attended in October, and most of the fibers are hand spun and hand dyed wool. I don't work with hand spun too often, but it sure is nice! I also added a little leftover Morehouse Farms merino. I did a little bit of crochet around the earflaps and along the edge to help make it lie flat, and added a flower with some french knots. No real pattern used for this one...

I also bought some nice alpaca yarn and made AJ a new winter hat, which is already not quite long enough! I should always overestimate with his huge head :) I really like the yellow/chartreuse/grey combination, and this hat is so soft... again, no real pattern used...


The end of November was not an easy time, and I have had little energy for crafting, blogging and all of that, although I have a long list of things I want to do. Now that the holidays are here I am feeling a bit more energy and have been knitting again at night, and even did some sewing during AJ's Saturday naptime this past weekend. Stay tuned for a few holiday items coming up.