Wednesday, December 29, 2010
In praise of things handmade
I must post about all the lovely homemade goodies we received and gave this holiday season. We did not make cookies this year. Thank goodness everyone else did. We got cookies from Mom, Sharon, and Chere, and blackberry preserves from Angie. Yum is right. Instead Robb baked pumpkin cranberry bread for our friends and neighbors. We took loaves of pumpkin bread with chocolate chips in it (we ran out of cranberries on the last batch) to our OB's office and to the main office at the marina, too.
My sister Angie made me a beautiful tweed stitch scarf (on Ravelry here). Her commentary on Ravelry is funny, though, because she thinks I am "a fall." I enjoy orange as much as the next person and brown perhaps more than most, but greens and blues are my staples. Check me out this morning looking super tired in my new scarf, favorite blue wool sweater, blue down vest, green mittens, and green eyes. Although I do wear the green eyes every day. Robb is in the background pumping gas.
While we're on knitting Christine made a pair of booties for our baby. She gave them to Mom for me several months ago, but I didn't get them until Christmas. Christine works at Dr. Fenlon's office, but I went to high school with her nephews, and we bonded more when she caught me knitting in the waiting room one day. So it's not as random as it might seem at first glance that my dental hygienist gave me a handmade baby gift.
I made a pair of mittens in this wool/alpaca blend for Mom but forgot to photograph the finished product. The alpaca should make them super warm. Of course she broke her thumb at work last week and can't really wear a mitten over her brace yet. All of my Christmas knitting got off track this year. I still need to make a pair of mittens for Aunt Genny and for Great Aunt Sissy and get them in the mail. I gave each of the veterinarians at the office an Eleventh Hour Scarf (Raveled here), and accidentally over-scarfed my mother-in-law Charlene by giving her the rose colored one she mentioned liking after she had already bought a green one from me at Beach Fest. I know Jen got her one, too. She's going to have the warmest neck in Maryland this winter.
Theresa made me an owl pincushion so cute that it's found a place among the pine branches on the mantle until we put away the Christmas decorations. I almost hugged it and impaled myself before realizing my name is spelled out in straight pins. We sent her and Rick a set of ceramic crabs (in which to bake crab imperial and other bounty of the sea) made by some local potter, but we were dismayed to learn that one broke fully in transit and two arrived chipped. We thought we had them properly insulated for shipping and are actively kicking ourselves now.
I hope that our gift to my brother Joey arrived in one piece. I matted and framed this sketch of dented old horns from a drawing class a few (9!!!) years ago. I've always liked how it turned out, so it seemed like a good gift for the family brass enthusiast. Jenny and Angie received raw materials. For Jenny we chose a sock kit from Knit Picks (not this one exactly but sort of close to it) that came with 4 skeins of yarn in woodsy colors and 12 patterns. And for Angie we picked this cardigan pattern and supplied her with enough blue and brown Shamrock Yarn to cast on immediately if she is so inclined.
We did not forget our favorite causes this holiday season. Rick and Theresa made donations to KIVA and to Dave Thomas Foundation for us. We made donations to Grace Church in honor of Aunt Sandy, Uncle Bill, and Aunt Linda, and we sent off a little check of our own to Dave Thomas Foundation for Mom.
I also want to show off the fleece blanket that Leigh made for our baby.
When we were unpacking Christmas decorations we stumbled across another bag of stuff from when I was a baby. Grandma Julie made this nursery rhyme quilt for me. It's far less complicated than the stamp quilt she made but darling nonetheless.
And there seems to be some debate over whether this bonnet was knit by Great Aunt Sissy or Barbara Streaker (my namesake). Either way it is a woolly tribute to Glenelg High School where both Robb and Mom attended. And baby it's cold outside, so our baby will be showing off his/her Glenelg spirit.
Other goodies worth mentioning... I finally bought Alicia Paulson's Walk in the Woods ornament kit, and Robb is totally in love with it. I am hoping to get my tree, cottage, and deer made by next Christmas. My SIL Kate gave me The Little Box of Knits for Baby, and we dug through the patterns on Christmas day. I think we agree that the yarn colors in the illustrations are hideous, but the finished products (imagined in less radioactive shades) will be pretty nice. I have my eye on hoodie and the cardigan. You know, to make in all my free time. Theresa sent me the Doodle Stitching motif collection by Aimee Ray which I've sort of had my eye on for a while. (If you recall I got Aimee's other embroidery book about two years ago.) The motif collection gives me all kinds of ideas for decorating the plain white baby onesies. And I also ordered Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing for Baby--she has some super cute patterns.
Wow. I think I've covered everything here. I better get back to knitting if I want to finish these mittens before childbirth gets me really off track. Thank you to all of the knitters, sewers, bakers, donors, inspire-ers, and otherwise crafty folk who made this a very creative holiday season!