Handmade and other goodies

Leading up to Christmas, I took some time out from working on my son’s quilt to work on presents — specifically, sweaters for both kids.

Variegated sweater with butterflies

Crocheted sweater for 4-year-old. Butterflies crocheted from embroidery floss and stitched on with thread.

I have more butterflies to add to the girl’s sweater. Maybe I’ll add a couple each time it goes into the wash. By the end of winter, it should have a whole flock of them.
Knitted sweater front in variegated blues.

Knitted sweater for 10-year-old -- front, back, and neck. Note that the yarn knits up in stripes; they do match front and back.

Trickiest part of the boy’s sweater is getting the stripes to match. I’ve taken most of this week to make sure I’m starting with both sleeves such that the stripes will be the same on both arms. With luck, he’ll have the sweater to wear when he goes back to school next week.

Princess tow truck

I can't take credit for this one. The girl wanted a "princess tow truck car" for Christmas, and Santa obliged. Snow White is on the other side of the truck, and Belle and Aurora are inside the doors. Jasmine was on the front, but fell off.

Summer projects for the road

When our family goes on vacation, we almost always drive, no matter how far we’re going — a couple years ago, we drove from Pennsylvania up to British Columbia, down the Pacific coast, then back across the country to go home. This gives us ample time to listen to audiobooks (seems to be the only time my husband and I listen to Tess Gerritsen), although some books are too complex for anything but routine driving conditions (Oryx and Crake, Blue). The other thing it gives me time for is creating something with my hands.

On previous trips, I’ve knitted sweaters, crocheted and knitted bookmarks, even crocheted doilies (not that I keep any out on our tables). It keeps me busy, and it also helps recharge my muse because I’m indulging in a form of creation that doesn’t require words.

I’ve decided to do something different for our next trip: circular patchwork (see Carol Britts program for pictures to give you an idea). I’ll have to prep all the materials ahead of time — circles, batting, squares — but as I create each block, it’s already quilted. Single blocks can be readily held on my lap, and even joining finished squares into strips should be feasible in the car.

I’m not a hand pieced or quilter — it takes too long. I’d rather use a machine and have a finished product. So many calls on my time! On a trip, though, I’ll have time. I’ll also be developing a new skill. Will I be able to finish a quilt on a trip? No idea, but I can at least start and see how far I get.

The hardest part? May be going through my fabric stash and deciding what to work with!