Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Gifts, the Second

Aha!  A week has fled by and completely unbeknownst to me.

Well, almost.  I am, please hold your disbelief for a moment, yet again recovering from a cold. Say what??  Yes, that's three nasty colds in as many months.  Yes, I'm taking my vitamins, eating right, and getting enough sleep.  Yes, I'm aunt to a toddler who is building an immune system and a substitute teacher who gets the majority of her assignments covering for teachers who have been stricken by illness in various classrooms all over the city. I figure, by the end of 2013, I'll be immune to everything! Mwahaha! [Rubs hands together.] [With Purell.]

Anyways, I have stopped coughing intensely (sorry to the Saskatoon Modern Quilt Guild ladies who endured the very onset of my coughing during our meeting this weekend.... Yikes!) and can return to blogging without fear that a bronchial spasm will cause premature publication.

Here is second half of the gifts I made this Christmas.

A scarf for my dad using this pattern from The Purl Bee.  I splurged for the specified yarn and was very glad I did so - it's soft, knit beautifully! and is as warm as it looks.  It even held up to six different starts without separating into raggedly plies on me.  (The pattern isn't at all difficult but it took me a while to a) cast-on the correct number of stitches and b) read properly. Once I managed to do both those things at the same time, it was quick and smooth sailing.)  One thing to mention is that because the yarn is naturally hand-dyed, it turned my hands all sorts of black.  Luckily, it washed off easily but I made sure to soak the finished scarf in a vinegar bath before blocking to try and set the colour.  Dad has been warned not to wear it with a white shirt for the foreseeable future.  Luckily, he wears a lot of dark colours.


Mum requested a bag for taking on vacation. She wanted something that would hold a little bit of shopping and could double as a beach-taking bag - something that wouldn't show too much dirt.  She also was pretty specific about the pattern, too,  so I used Amy Butler's Birdie Sling.  I followed the instructions to the letter and took my time with it so I'm very happy with how it turned out.  However, I think I'm now addicted to the good-quality interfacing.  Yep, can't go back to the 99cent/yard crappy non-woven fusibles now...  Stupid Amy Butler, raising my expectations of everyday sewing notions! (Ok, I'm not really mad, but it does change my sewing budget.)


And since a certain auntie gave a certain nephew a train set, she also felt he should have a bag to put all his train pieces in.  I found a paper-piecing pattern on Etsy and then built the panels into a box bag using some fabric from my stash.  It was a last-minute project, but took the better part of a day since I had to take a simple idea and tweak it until it was no longer simple...  It's not the best sewing job but it has the choo-choos required and, perspective, the recipient is 2.  He's happy, I'm happy.

So that's the rest of my Christmas makes.  I have been doing some other sewing but that will come later.  I've rambled enough for one post!

Although..... if I squeak in one more ramble, I am overjoyed that the NHL lockout is finally over.  :D Seriously, I've been watching KHL highlights from Russia.  Still trying to decide how petulant a fan I'll be and for how long.  Mostly, I'm just scared that my beloved Leafs will trade for Luongo. If you've talked to me at all about hockey, then you already know that's my hockey nightmare....

22 comments:

  1. My hockey nightmare is that hockey exists at all ;D Well, not quite. But I work at a grocery story - Safeway - which does this Score and Win game through the season and in cities with a hockey team, every time that team scores a goal, a name gets drawn to win a prize. ANYWAY, it generates a lot of work for me because we have to use special paper and signs and blah blah blah. I thought we'd escaped this year! But no dice.

    Kristel (from the Simply Solid Bee)

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  2. Gorgeous makes! I'm about to embark on my first AB bag pattern, and I was thinking the same thing - take it slow :o) Your train bag is awesome - both my boys were Thomas obsessed at that age too (although in fairness, I guess a lot of small boys are!)

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  3. These are all so lovely, especially the scarf (very interesting about the dye bleeding onto your hands -- I've never used that yarn before). I'm sorry you've been sick again, but I'm glad you had the good news about the end of the lockout to speed your recovery ;)

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  4. 'Beloved Leafs' - me too! And holy crap do I ever get slack for it out here. But in all honesty I only cheer for them because they're my dad's favourite team.
    You gifts are so great. I can totally relate to the bag for your mom at least. I could imagine making something like that. I'm intrigued at your interfacing comment! And I've eyed that Purl Bee pattern - so great for men.

    Soooo are you starting on this Christmas' gifts now or do you really whip everything up in two months?

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  5. oh you poor thing!! colds are stinky.
    i am, as always, totally in awe looking over all your gifts. LOVE how your mom's bag turned out. and the train bag!! seriously, what an auntie.

    hope your new year is going great and you are feeling better!!

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  6. I am sorry for your cold but I have to say your writing always makes me smile. Petulant isn't a word I hear often but it's good in combo with hockey these days.

    With Burke gone, do you think that increases or decreases the likelihood of a Leafs trade for Luongo (which I agree would be a terrible move - what a disappointment that guy has been for poor Vancouver fans!)?

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  7. Sorry to hear you have not been yourself again! But LOVE your projects! I do understand the sway in sewing budgets. They get you every time, don't they? LOVE the scarf, bag and train...but the bag....ooooo.....I may have to get that pattern....

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  8. If you haven't ever had a flu shot, you may want to consider it. It helps with colds too. That scarf is gorgeous! I can just about feel the lovely yarn. The bag is so pretty. I need to get over my phobia and make one. I hope to work on my hexies if hockey comes back. We don't really want Luongo either ; ) perhaps he might consider an early retirement.....

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  9. I hope you are on the mend for good! You've been very productive for being sick though. That scarf is beautiful! Learning to knit is on my list of things to learn this year... without swearing too much. ;)

    Jennifer :)

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  10. Love your. Finishes. The train bag is fantastic!

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  11. I love all your projects and am in love with your Birdie Sling...... wondering if it is a difficult to make?

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  12. I'm working on that same scarf for my hubby! I love the herringbone knit, but it's slow going. :)

    Lovely gifts!

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  13. "a bronchial spasm will cause premature publication" made me laugh out loud :) You have an awesome way with words!

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  14. omg...premature publication! It took me a full 5 mins to quit laughing and carry on reading your blog. Love the scarf and bags. I've got the Birdie Sling pattern (and fabric including fancy-schmancy interfacing)and have been having approach-avoidance issues with it. You've inspired me to get going on it. Thanks for another great blog post!

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  15. colds are definately not nice at all, that's why I don't let anyone under 18 in my house (actually no one of that age comes here anyway - no grandkids for me) and really you should consider a flu shot... Love both those bags, especially the train block, I probably like trains as much as you like hockey and I am sure neither of us understands the other in this case...

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  16. I agree with the other comments about how hilarious some of your writing is--love it! But then maybe that--along with exposure to all sorts of nasty viruses--comes with being a teacher (ahem, I'm one too). Our school sent out this link to a YouTube video about how to deal with the upcoming plagues and hordes of sneezy-coughy people. One of my friends told me that HER friend bakes all the papers she receives so as to eliminate germs. I, too, carry Purell and use it right after class, PLUS go and wash my hands a lot. I'm hoping I avoid a bad cold this next few months--I'll hope that for you, too!

    Fabulous finishes, all. I love the bag. Really really love it, esp the fabrics. I need to make about 400 bags if I want to use up all those fabrics that I bought because "they'd make a nice tote bag." Better get going on it!

    Elizabeth

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  17. A masterful post, Carly! Love that scarf, the pattern is quite beautiful and unique.

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  18. Beautiful, Carly! And that Purell line made me chuckle!

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  19. You're such a comedian. I love reading your posts!

    How I wish I had it in me to learn to knit. I just don't despite my so loving handknit things, such as this scarf you made. I always admire the knitting shown at Purl Bee.

    I laughed at your notion of taking a simple idea and making it complicated. I have a knack for that, too! I tell myself I'll "stick to the plan" next time but I usually end up making things difficult again. Sigh.

    I've had a cold since boxing day. Only today do I feel like I might be cold-free any day now! It's been a nasty hanger-onner. I hope you're over yours sooner than later.

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  20. That scarf is just gorgeous! And I really like the style of that first bag as well. You do beautiful work!

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  21. All the gifts are amazing! I am use to getting colds now. It seems part of the job.

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  22. You are a gift making machine!!! Love the colours in the Amy Butler bag, and the scarf - well, I love the charcoal and am trying to see if my knitting friend will trade her knitting services for my quilting services. :-)

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