Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Christmas Makes, A Retrospective

Despite having had highly creative intentions for January 2012, it seems all I have actually accomplished so far is getting the car serviced (and other boring, but very grown up household stuff) and repeatedly writing list after list of Things To Do, Things To Make, Things To Find, Trips To Plan, and the lists go on...  I do love me a good list writing session.

But these days list writing is the only action my hands have seen since the last minute speed-knitting and power-cookathon that was Christmas Eve.  But I'm ok with that.  I've been savouring these last days of the Christmas Holidays, doing some light home reorganisation, falling even deeper in love with my sweet little boy (as if I didn't love him enough already!) and bonding with our new little Whippet pup, Mr. WhippoorWill.  Trying, and succeeding for now, to take the pressure off and really slow things down and keep myself firmly rooted in the now.  You know, Mindfulness and such.  Noticing, appreciating and absorbing, not only in relation to my son - who even at the age of 3 is growing up way too fast - but everything else from enjoying these calm and cosy white skied days, to remembering to acknowledge myself and being grateful for (and doing my best to maintain) my own health and youth, and spending as much time as I can with my family and friends whom I love so very much.  Especially two of my favourite girls who will soon be a lot less available to me as this month will see my incredibly talented sister move to Venice for 6 months to teach Art at our Grandmother's school, La Scuola Internazionale Di Grafica, and my best friend start a very fabulous but very full-time job.

So anyway, coming back from the tangent... I had just wanted to gather and share some of the things I made as Christmas presents, which for obvious reasons I couldn't document before they were given.  Some of these things came out so well that I'd definitely like to do a couple of remakes for myself and share some patterns with y'all.  Marie, are you ready to give DPN's a go?  Surprisingly easy and very profesh-looking!

This Elfin pompom hat and snood set was probably my favourite present I made.  The hat is based on a hat of my Mum's that she's been asking me to copy for ages - she got one too in red - and the snood is largely inspired by the flawlessly simple design made so famous by Karen, only with a series of yo, k2tog buttonholes through which I inserted a crochet chain drawstring with pompoms hanging off the ends.  Not for shy or retiring types, this set is pretty whimsical, possibly even comical, but unbelievably cosy knit up in Rowan's Big Wool.  The only reason I was even able to hand this over to my sister was thanks to the burnt orange colour choice - very her, not so me.

Another success using Rowan's Big Wool: a sort of decorative cabled neckwarmer held in place by a kilt pin, made for my Paternal Grandmother.

This Christmas Hamper was made for my last contribution to the Oxfam Fashion Blog, using a thrifted suitcase, but this never actually made it under the tree...

Supersoft cabled wristwarmers as seen above on my gorgeous little cousin.  My stepmum and brother also got wristwarmers similar to these.

The grown ups got little bottles of my homemade Limoncello which went down very well.  

These chunky red socks I made for my best friend, which although you can't see completely in the picture, have an intarsia heart on the heel, inspired by this free pattern.

My littlest sister got a skirt very similar to this one made using a paisley rayon and 2 layers of cherry coloured netting and there were a few hot water bottles given based on this tutorial, also put together for Oxfam.

So that's pretty much it (a few gifts still have to be made... The Colette Negroni for my stepdad and a silk dressing gown to be made from a 70s pattern for my Dad) - this retrospective has mainly just been for my own reflection and documentation but also to officially move on from 2011, saying a big Thank You not only to my family for the BEST Christmas and New Year EVER, but to everyone who has taken the time to read, comment, and generally support and encourage me on this blog.  I certainly wasn't prepared for the amazing journey it would take me on, and the wealth of inspirational bloggers I have discovered as a result.  I could gush some more about the creative/parenting blogging community, but I think anyone who writes a blog will know what I want to say, so instead: onwards and upwards to 2012!


  1. That Elfin Pompom.. <3

  2. Beautiful gifts and a lovely retrospective. Here's to 2012 :)

  3. Amazing makes, you've been a very busy bee! I really can't wait to see what 2012 holds for you, I've really enjoyed discovering your blog!

    I'm being incredibly slow here...DPN's? Please tell me more, I'm hungry for as many achievable projects as possible ;o)

  4. Girl, you are welcome to my Christmas Day any year! All of these presents are so thoughtful and really professionally made. Look at that hat? It's legit! I'd be so honoured to receive something like that!

    Also, I went to Venice on a research trip last year and I never wanted to leave. Now you just have an excuse to visit her :) xx

  5. Marie: DPNs are basically just Double Pointed Needles - for knitting in the round. I personally prefer DPNs than circular needles (a pair of needles joined by a wire), mainly because you can go from knitting something wide that narrows (like a hat) which you can't do on a circular because the length of the wire stops you from smallening the opening (oh my GOD am I making any sense???)... Anyway... have a look at this tutorial - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqI7w43GE4g - it's pretty easy when you get the feel for it and it opens up a world of knitted possibilities! x

  6. Thanks so much for this, sorry for being slow on the uptake! I'll be watching that YouTube tutorial closely as I can't get enough of knitting at the moment!


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