Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Handmade November– January Gifts

Now that Yogic Knitter has opened her birthday present (Happy 40th Mel!), I can show off my November – December making efforts! My apologies in advance but this is a very heavy picture heavy show-and-tell post. My images are a bit uneven as I took the majority of them a big rush (in the hour before we left for the airport to catch a plane to the UK)!

With one exception, my November-January birthday and Christmas gifts were sewn rather than knitted. The inspiration for all of my sewn gifts came from the fantastic Bernina Sewing Club that I attended in 2009. In two cases, I gifted the original items that I made in class as they were perfect fit for two people on my gift list. Otherwise, I made duplicates or tweaked and rescaled the original project patterns to create things that I hoped my gift recipients would like.

Just as an aside, the good news is that the lovely people who own Bernina Corner are developing a website for their business. Shortly, you will be able to find out more about them, the services and classes that they offer at this link!

1) Beaded Notebooks

I gave beaded notebooks to my sister-in-law (lilac, green and pink), mother-in-law (blue and red) and my stepmother (red and gold). Here are two close ups of my sister-in-law's gift:



Here is a group shot showing all three notebooks together:


Truth be told, it was a bit difficult to tell whether my mother-in-law liked her notebook but my sister-in-law and my stepmother both loved theirs - so two out of three isn't bad?! I plan to make another one of these, probably in blues, for my sister who lives in Bangalore.

2) Small Embellished Bags

I made this little brown bag in class. I filled it with 3 walnut whips (for fun) and gifted it to my brother's very long term girlfriend for Christmas:

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Please click to enlarge!

Here it is again together with a little pink bag that I made for Mel's daughter, E. The pink bag is based on the same design:



However, I gave E's bag a robust snap to help the contents of her bag safe and sound from prying eyes.

The great thing is that both bags were well received which is lovely to know!

3) Project Pods, Stitch Marker Holder and Camera Pouch

Back in September, I made a little drawstring bag. I modified the pattern for this little bag to create a number of different things.

First up was a DSLR camera pouch that I made for my friend K. who blogs here and is 365 photoblogging here. K. is a fabulous photographer who also happens to knit and sew:

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Please click to enlarge!

The true colour of this bag is a bit more teal than it shows on my screen (it looks quite blue) but despite playing with these images in Photoshop, I cannot quite get the colour right. So I have opted to leave them just as they fell out of my camera.

The reason that I made this for K. is that there are times when I do not want to lug a purpuse built camera bag around. I simply want to pop my camera into my handbag. Yet I need to keep it clean, as dust-lint free as possible and protected. As K. has as at least as many hobbies as me, I thought that there might be times when she would value having something like this on hand for her camera! Actually, I got a little note from K. recently to say that her camera pouch was proving to be useful - I love it when things work out and are used!

Next up are two knitting project pods I made as joint Christmas/Birthday presents for my mother and one of my sisters who lives in the UK:



This blue bag containing two skeins of yarn (complementary dyed merino and kidsilk style mohair in greeny-teal) went to my mother. Now I realise that my mother likes green. However, I have also noticed that she loves indigo dyeing and did a lot of fabric work in blue before she started her plant dyeing again. So I compromised: blue bag and greeny-teal yarn.



So this black, white and pink bag containing a mad selection of bright pink yarns in different weights went to my sister. I chose her bag colours to match her vibrant personality and gave her some bright pink yarns of differing weights in order to present her with a 2010 knitting project challenge. My sister has a fabulous and quite individual fashion sense (which is just as well as she teaches fashion-textiles!) so I will be interested to see what she does with her package (nudge, nudge sis').

Last, but certainly not least, of my sewn gifts is a fibre bag and stitch marker pouch that I made for Mel's birthday:


I know that Mel likes pink and when I saw this wool-silk fibre, I thought of her instantly:


I chose her fabrics to coordinate with her fibre. Now I hope that the bag is useful as I find (when I am spinning with pre-prepared fibre) that I want a bag that will sit on the floor at my feet.

This is my first attempt at a bag that is big enough to hold fibre, robust enough not to flop over all the time yet small enough not to be in the way - just to keep Mel's fibre handy, clean and contained. I hope that it works out.

I made the stitch marker pouch in purple cotton fabric and gave it a lilac silk lining. The outside fabric has the same print as the fibre bag. However, it is purple to go with the spinning wheel stitch markers that I made for Mel:


You see, I am hoping that Mel will knit her yarn into something cool once she has spun her fibre and I wanted her stitch markers to show up against her yarn. So I used some amethyst beads (which are the same as the ones that I used in my Semi-Precious Scarf project). I found the little sterling silver spinning wheel charms when I was green bead hunting for Kelli in a shop in Covent Garden. I had the feeling that they might come in handy one day!

So here's the family group shot of my project pods all together (the camera pouch had gone to its new home by the time that I took this picture):


Well, this just leaves me to tell you about the knitted gift. Hmm. Well, I made a 'Turn the Square' hat (Designer: Jared Flood) for my brother-in-law's birthday:

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The pattern is great and the yarn I used was lovely (Dream in Colour Classy - Black Parade and Cocoa Bean) – lots of bounce. However, as you can see below, the gauge fairies are still not on my side:


I added just over an inch to the length of this hat because the Fella's family have enormous heads. Really - they are huge, we measured them all last Christmas for a laugh. I even tested this hat on the Kid while it was in progress and it looked like it would be perfect.

Nope - it was massive on its gift recipient:


As a result, I doubt that my brother-in-law will ever wear it. Although he was very kind about and said that he thought that it might be good to play football in. I will report back if I ever spot it on his head!

Phew, I think that catches up my recent making efforts - I hope that all of your making went well over the holiday season and that your gifts were all well received too!


Kelli said...

Hey, I got an oblique mention. lol I like those quilty drawsting bags. Very cute.

centerlightpop said...

I still LOVE my bag! It's been so handy for doing this 365, as I have my camera with me daily now. Fits so nicely in my purse. Of course, my physiotherapist advises against such a heavy purse, but it can't be avoided...

(Also, it must be a monitor issue, because the photo looks quite teal on my monitor and is pretty much exactly as it appears in front of me!)

I'm jealous of your productiveness!

Julie said...

wow, those are a lot of amazing bags!! I'm seriously impressed by your sewing prowess.

Suemoon said...

Gorgeous bags!

I find the face de-recognition rather disturbing!

Susanne said...

Wow, your notebook covers and bags are gorgeous - very well done, Gabrielle. I especially like the beads on the notebook covers very much - so neat!!!
And thank you so much for your nice comment on my blog.

Roobeedoo said...

Lots of lovely sewing there! I especially like the rectangular bags - could be adapted for all sorts of things - phones, books, ipods...