I store all kinds of things about cooking, knitting and some surprises in my cupboard. Check it out.

Theme Gifts for Christmas

My daughters are both very skilled at putting together theme gifts for me and for each other. They pick out something that is interesting or sentimental and pack a container with items to match the theme. They each gave me a theme box for Christmas.

My older daughter filled a beautiful Christmas box with items to commemorate one of our favorite Christmas stories, The Christmas Memory by Truman Capote. This is a memoir of Truman Capote’s Christmas when he was seven years old and living with an elderly aunt. They were “best friends” and spent the year saving pennies so they could make fruitcakes to send to people they liked (such as President Roosevelt) and to buy something for each other as Christmas gifts.

My box was filled with pecans which the boy and his aunt gathered from freefalls in the woods, a bottle of bourbon such as they bought from a local bootlegger, and a fruitcake. There was also a box of chocolate covered cherries, the kind that Buddy, the boy, longed to give to his aunt but could never afford, along with a slingshot which they did make and give to each other one year.

There was also a beautiful, delicate cup with a bird decoration similar to what the aunt used and a bag of “AM Coffee – amen” to remember a coffee-naming contest they entered.

My daughter made up a small 4×6 shadow box containing miniature versions of the gifts Buddy really wanted to give his aunt: a radio, a pearl-handled jack-knife and chocolate covered cherries, along with the gift she hoped to get for him one day – a bike. Also, shown are the actual gifts they could manage: a slingshot and a kite.

This a wonderful book and the TV version is available on YouTube.  Be sure to watch the old one with Geraldine Page – a treasure.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQGEUCLqg0U

My younger daughter knows I’m sentimental about the WW II days and also interested in the women’s movement, so she combined these interests in a big box covered with reprints of old WW II posters.

Her gifts included a pair of slippers handmade from a 1942 knitting pattern, a book, Lipstick Brigade, The Untold True Story of Washington’s World War II Government  Girls …

…a 1942 issue of Life magazine with an article on knitting, an interest we share…

…a framed picture of modern women of all types and abilities speaking up for their rights …

…and Rosie the Riveter on a pin with a modern slogan.

These gifts are so much fun to open and I appreciate the extra time, thought and effort it takes to assemble them.  I’m already looking forward to the next one.

Knitting – Gift Idea – Slippers

I made the slippers pictured above (one of each pictured) for my two daughters last year and liked the pattern so much, I made many, many slippers in various sizes throughout the year for the children of Pine Ridge in South Dakota. This is the basic pattern:

http://www.needlebeetle.com/free/aadb.html

This pattern is very easy to adapt to other sizes using your preferred yarn/needles by changing the size of the sole of the slipper. The length of the slipper leg can also be changed.

In the past month, I’ve made 5 different sizes for children …

I even made a pair of moccasins for my American Girl-type doll which my daughter had dressed for Thanksgiving…

This is an easy pattern and easily adapted using your stitches per inch gauge and the measurement of the foot. I also made a change to make the toe less pointy and impish. In my design, when doing the decreases in the foot, I stop 4 stitches before the center marker, knit two together, knit two, move marker, knit two and SSK (slip/slip/knit). This makes a rounded toe.

Depending on your busy schedule, there may still be time to knit up a pair of slippers before Christmas.

Well, at least the pies are ready ….

Happy Thanksgiving

Knitting – Gift Idea – Jolly Old Elves

This is a really cute, free pattern I used last Christmas with less than a year’s experience in knitting. I had no problems and thought they turned out well – something a little different from the usual holiday decorations.  Here is the link:  https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/jolly-old-elves

I used two difference sizes of yarn and needles to get two different sizes from the same pattern.

The larger elf (about 8 inches tall) was made with #4 worsted yarn and #5 circular needles.


The smaller elf (about 6 inches tall) was made with DK or sport weight yarn #3 and #3 circular needles.

I gave one to each of my daughters along with a gift card for a special Christmas morning gift.

Toggle Button Closure for Shawls – Tutorial Link

I have a lot of beautiful shawls which my younger daughter has made for me and I struggle a bit with shawl pins which tend to get caught in the knitting and snag.  I happened upon a YouTube tutorial which shows how to sew two buttons back-to-back and make a button toggle closure which will slip in and out of existing spaces in a shawl without any snagging.  The  shawl can also be worn open and the button is a pretty accessory.
The button that goes on the outside of the shawl can be any size you like.  I have a great assortment of vintage buttons and picked out four to demonstrate.  The button underneath needs to be small enough to pass through an opening in the edge of the shawl but big enough to hold it in place.  This can be any kind of plain small button.  The buttons are sewn together with strong thread, leaving a small amount of “give” in the center.
I asked the daughter who has made these gorgeous shawls to pose for photos to give an idea of how the buttons look, installed.  First, a dark pink shawl …
…a lovely blue one …
…a maroon version …
…and a big, comfy orange one.  (I think daughter was getting tired of posing by this time.)
This tutorial gives clear instructions of making these closures which would be nice additions to any holiday shawls and scarves being gifted this year.

 

 

Knitting for the Children at Pine Ridge

Finally!  A summer’s worth of knitting has been washed, dried, tagged and is ready to mail to the children of Pine Ridge.  Every fall, there is a special drive to gather enough items to give each of the K-12 school children a warm hat, scarf and mittens.  This year, I made 5 large teenage scarves, 9 children’s scarves …
…4 hoods with neckwarmers …
…3 large teenage hats, 1 child’s hat, 2 ear warmers, and 2 pair of mittens
Now, they’re on the way to the Pine Ridge children for the long cold winter in South Dakota.
https://www.ravelry.com/groups/for-the-children-of-pine-ridge

A Cat and a Knitting Box

A few years ago, I made a fabric box, quilted and embroidered, for my daughter who is an avid knitter, cat lover and Chicago Cubs fan.  Her old cat, Snickers, has grown more eccentric as she ages (as we all have) and now insists on positioning herself on the box.

 

The box has suffered a bit …

…but Snickers shows absolutely no shame.