Monthly Archives: November 2010

13 years ago..

This little angel (on the right! :-)) was born!

He was a lot smaller then (thank g*d!) – we’ve both grown a lot since then.

We celebrated with the family (us, my sister, his father and bonus-mom and most of the grandparents) Saturday, and this morning we made a birthday breakfast for him at home. He took cinnamon buns to pass out to his classmates at school and will have a disco party in January for the 20 kids in his class.

He is a good person and very bright and I’m proud of him every day!

Is he to count as a Finished Object yet? :-)

Congratulations Rasmus!

P.S. We have all had the flu in the last weeks, and have been to a zillion birthdays (half my family was born in November) but I haven’t forgotten about the gift post – Also I am almost done (2 rows left) with my Raspberry jumper and a new mitten is on the way as well!

The gifts.. for men: Christmas crafting part 2

Edited to add: I have added a few more ideas from the comments (continue to add to the list – we will all appreciate it nect year :-)).I am just adding them real fast, but might elaborate later.

Do you have your gift-list ready?

I don’t. I never do in time. Also – there is always some unexpected gift that I have to get at the very last minute.

But the main reason that the list isn’t done is the men.

Yes. I don’t know why, but the men in my life are so hard to get presents. They either don’t wish for anything, or the thing they want is some technical feature that cost more than my entire gift budget. Is it the same for you?

The Tree at my In-laws two years ago. Might be a few homemade things in the packages..

I thought I would go through some of the handmade christmas presents I have made and gifted, as an inspiration to you all :-) And also I might mention some that I would like to make (hypothetically, of course, since family members might read here..)

For Men (young and old):

Placemats and napkins. A few years ago, I made a set of these (4 of each) for my then bachelor brother (who was in his mid-twenties at the time). I made them in black cotton and embroidered with silver thread on the placemats. I simply cut two pieces of cotton for each placemat (the size I wanted + 1 cm seam allowance all around), interfaced one of the pieces with black iron on interfacing, and embroidered using my machine. I did some chinese or japanese signs  (which went with the decor he had). I then placed the pieces right sides together, stitched around the edge (but leavin a hole to turn through) before I clipped corners, turned and pressed. I then edgestitched (topstitched) around and closed the hole in the process. I did not quilt them!!
The napkins were cut (40 cm x 40 cm)  and then hemmed using the rolled hem on my serger (with black thread.). They were were well recieved and he used them a lot.  You don’t need a pattern for this project (but google for one, and you will find!). And embridory isn’t necessary either.

Fleece socks. I make a lot of these every year. Mostly because we live in an old house and guests need to wear them to not get cold. And I don’t want to waist my knitting on slipper socks:-) There are so many patterns out there – including  free tutorials. I have also made them as gifts – Once packaged with a matching fleece blanket (a large fleece piece, edges with overlock stitches) and some tea (for my brother, again). Once with several pairs of socks in different sizes – pakced in a drawstring back labelled “guests” – the idea being that the recipient could use the socks for their guests, like we do. This was not for a man, but could have been (if he had a cold house:-))

Soap and shaving soap. I realise this is not for everyone – but I have enjoyed making soap for years (and it’s really easy!) and many years ago (before I met Dennis, even) I cooked old fashioned shaving soap for all the men on my gift-list. (I have the recipe somewhere, should you be interested, but there are several on-line) I put the shaving soap in a personalised cup and added a shaving brush to the package (but no razor, all though I guess I could have). The recipients (my dads and one of my brothers) all liked the gift and came back asking for more, when they had used it. They liked it better than the store bought kind. (The same year I also made a home made saddle soap for my sister – and she wanted more, too!)

Maybe a laundry bag like this – but with an applique on front?

- Laundry Bags. This would be perfect for brothers just moving out or something like that – big canvas bags to haul to the laundrette, or to hang on hooks in the bathroom (I used to have some (in my first appartment) with program settings appliqued on (90*, 40*, wool), so I could sort directly into the bags. I still do that (all though I use baskets now I have more space). I found this tute and this, and there are many more!

Aprons etc. Everybody cooks from time to time. But it seems like most men prefer to cook on special occasions – and they can talk for hours about special ingredients and processes etc. For those people I might consider making a set of apron, potholders, and french press cozy. All in appropiate design. Modern and that goes with their taste and style. Most men would prefer gray or black, perhaps even ecru and brown – but i don’t know any who would like flowers on their potholders. Google for patterns, if you like. There are so many to chose from.

I knit this for Dennis 2 years ago. The pattern is very versatile!

-Hats and mittens. This is going to be my big thing this year. I noticed that especially one of my dads use a very old acrylig knit hat – and he is going to get a new one knit in luxury camel yarn from the shop. I really enjoy knitting this pattern, but for my dads it will get a cuff. My brothers will get it as it is.


- Knitted socks. I didn’t mention those the first time around, even though I am actually making some this year. Only for men, who really appreciate a woollen sock – as they are very time consuming and often incredibly boring to knit (most men like one colour, no patterns!)

- Pyjamas or lounge pants. Great for the yonger men or boys – but also, I could see myself making these for my son and my husband in a fun print.

- Cookies. Tini mentioned cookies. I don’t like to bake, butif you do, it’s a brilliant idea. Also I could imagine doing homemade cookie-in-a-jar gifts for the cooking guys (along with an apron or something like that). Or what about Soup-in-a-jar… Or cocoa.. there are plenty of ideas out there (google “homemade gifts in a jar”)!

I am settled on hats for the dads and brothers this year. Now I’m looking forward to hearing your ideas for homemade gifts for men – there are birthdays coming up,too ! Share share :-) I’ll be back with Christmas crafting part 3 in a few days – with fast homemade gift ideas for the women (much,much easier!) and perhaps even the kids (that is difficult, though!).

Christmas crafting part 1

Well. Whether we like it or not - the holidays (in my case, Christmas), is getting nearer.

This year I am actually looking forward to it – I get to spend Christmas at home and host the Christmas dinner on Christmas eve (which is when we celebrate in Denmark).

The Christmas Tree from 3 years ago.

I haven’t tried it before. 3 years ago, we celebrated “Little Christmas” on the 23rd with the kids and my mother and bonus-dad (I wrote about it on my old blog), and that is as close as we ever got. Every other year the kids are with the other parents, and the other years, Dennis has been very keen on going to celebrate with his mother. So this the first time. I am a Christmas virgin

Naturally, Christmas gives plenty of opportunities to be creative and create stuff.

The HomeDec and Ornaments:

As soon as it was decided and confirmed that my brother, sister-in-law and little nephew would be here as well, I decided I needed to make a real tablecloth and some napkins. I hurried to the computer and ordered some christmas fabric at Stof2000.

christmas fabric

The fabric I got for our christmas table.

The red fabric with hearts will be the tablecloth (I bought it in the right length, and I’ll just turn over the hem), and the striped fabric will be napkins, which I will embroider our names and 2010 on. They will double as placecards, and the guests get to take their napkin home and use again and again.

A few years ago, while at work, I came up with some crocheted hearts to decorate the tree with.

Since I had no tree that year, the hearts decorated the rosemary plant.

They were simple and fast to make and I plan to make lots more this year (bonus: The cats can’t break them!). They’d also be great for decorating presents and as small gifts.

I might also do some embroidery ornaments, but otherwise, I’ll leave it to the kids to decorate the house.

Do you want to make the hearts, too?

Here is the pattern – note that I’m using the British terms for the stitches – see them and how they translate to US terms HERE:

  1.  With DK weight cotton yarn and 3 mm crochet hook, chain st. 6.
  2. Turn and beginning in 2nd st from the hook, DC  5.
  3. Turn with chain 1,  DC 5.
  4. Turn with chain 1, DC 5.
  5. Turn with chain1, DC 5.
  6. Turn. Make 9 TR in 3rd st from the hook, SC in the corner. Make 9 TR in the center “stitch”, SC in the corner. DC in each stitch till the corner (4 DC st total), ch 1, DC in each stitch till the corner (4 DC st total), SC in the first arc stitch.
  7. Make another heart, chain stitch a string to join them, weave in ends, and hang them on the tree (or the rosemary bush:-).

Lots of hearts. Will make more, though..

So that’s the house and tree taken care of. Now the gifts. Oh the gifts.. Especially for the men.. I’ll write about those tomorrow!

My creative week-end

(doesn’t that sound like something out of a magazine?)

After a couple of weeks with very little creative outlet (I’m working on some knit designs, that I can’t really show you – but I’ve only actually been knitting very little), I got a lot done this week-end:

On Saturday my friend Karen (whom I’ve known since we were 6 and been friends with since we were 14) came to visit me because she needed help in altering some patterns to create some maternity clothing. She is having a surprise baby in April – and she just gave all of her old maternity clothing to charity… 

Karen standing, me drawing.. My dining table is right next to my small sewing room...

Anyway. We spent the entire day chatting and measuring and tracing and altering patterns before cutting. We used ONION 2007 (a knit dress with raglan sleeves) as a starting point, and created t-shirts, tunics and of course a dress.  I’ll tell you how in a later post.

And from a different angle. Please excuse the no make-up look. The photos were taken by Dennis

We then had a nice evening chatting some more and then on Sunday I went to Copenhagen to meet up with Lisbeth and others to participate in a knitting workshop by Helga Isager (who is the daughter of Marianne Isager, that I wrote about some time ago).

Action shot. Everybody is trying techniques or touching yarn (I was behind the camera)

We did some swatches and talked about designing and touched yarn  a bit (like you do when you are at a very nice yarnstore and get a 10 % discount…). We had a very inspirering session and I left with a lot of new ideas jumping around inside my head.

Helga Isager is the second from the left. Very nice! And a super talented designer! I love her stuff!

What a lovely week-end!