How about a little round up of some last minute Christmas gifts I've been elving away at? (Thanks SouleMama for the great new verb).
3 Hats, the Hat most likely to succeed, the Marsan Watchcap, and the Hurricane respectively. My favourite, the black one, was the most complicated, with a new style of cable I hadn't tried before (a kind of plait/braid affair). Although saying that, they were all pretty easy knits. The hurricane hat went the fastest, with the stockinette stitch just zip-zipping along. The marsan watchcap was the slowest, and probably my least favourite. It came out a little bit too small, so I have spritzed, steamed and soaked it into relative submission.
Also, this weekend I decided to make some potholder/hotpads for extended family members. I made 6 in total all on Sunday afternoon, so they were just perfect last minute ideas. I will write up a tutorial for y'all in the new year because I think they make awesome gifts, and can look really professional with not a lot of effort. (Although its pretty easy to work out what I did from these pics)...
The brown fabrics just came from a stash pack I bought on ebay, no particular brand, but all the others are from the Charisma line by Gail Kessler for Andover Fabrics . I bought a fat quarter bundle from the fat quarter shop last month and pulled these (about half of the total prints) because they were just so bright and cheerful. I thought they would be perfect for brightening up the room as we head out of winter (if and when that actually happens...).
I used these pads as a chance to practice some different quilting stitches. I was really interested in trying the cathedral windows design and I think I came up with a pretty nifty way of doing it. Instead of circling around the squares (which I tried, and it came out really wonky), you do a sort of wavy line, working from the top to the bottom of the piece. Then pivot at the end and work your way back. Its ingenious really. Maybe this is how it's meant to be done? I couldn't find any videos or tutorials for it. Maybe that should be my next write up?
Also, I did some simple straight line quilting on these brown ones for my grandparents. Which although doesn't look as fancy, I'm actually most proud of. I used like, 5 layers of batting in these ones to protect their hands and surfaces so my lil' old machine did me well. She did chug a bit going through the joins but she did good, and theres not even a hint of a pucker on the back. Great success!
Oh and since everyone else is doing it, heres a picture of my tree:
2010 will be remembered as the year of the great tree surgery. But the less said about that the better (4 words: small stand, giant trunk).
Sending out fun and festive wishes to you and yours over the Holiday season! Catch you next year,