Sunday, January 9, 2011

more wool gifts

While most of my holiday giving was happily handmade, not much was really original, either, so I haven't been dying to share it. Plus, I switched photo editors (not by choice) and I'm kind of cranky about it. And didn't take grand-o photos anyway. So: not that motivated.

I tried to work through some of my wool stash (or is it a hoard? nope--I was willing to CUT and USE, so...hope for me? I'm very suspicious of self-as-hoarder lately and trying to be self aware), but used others' ideas to do so.

(1) Wool slipper socks for the kiddos. I intended these as solstice gifts, and they got them a couple of days later. I never took photos, so here is a weird nighttime photo (opening Christmas Eve jammies) I found that shows them sort of.I used the draft-your-own pattern instructions here:

and was happy with them...mostly. For the girls' slippers, I used light cashmere and cashmere-blend sweaters, and they were really too loose. Since they had so much stretch, I could have seamed 'em up much more. The sizing was better for Reuben's, for whom I used thicker sweaters. I think so, anyway; I've only forced them on his feet once (he is very--and mysteriously--opposed).

Recommended adjustments:
*I didn't want interior scratchy seams, so chose to machine zig-zag my pieces together, holding the cut edges just right next to each other and they turned out lovely and flat and quite secure, as long as I held them correctly.
* I did seam the soles in the usual way, and this made them too narrow when I used a straight foot-tracing, like I did for my oldest. Also, the sole kind of rolled up so she would be stepping on the seams. I widened the sole pieces for my littler ones, and added thick insoles (layers of heavy felted wool and a cotton or bamboo fleece for softness/absorbancy) to each of the slippers to make them more comfortable, and to keep the sole from curling up. They sort of stay in place. I stitched Marian's all around the edges, and that was also an improvement.

(2) A wool petal scarf for my sister-in-law. I used several reds and one very soft dark gray (which I imagined to be nicest against the skin), and found the idea on the lovely annekata's blog here:
The borrowed idea of stamping on lots of circles (from maya*made was really a better idea than I originally thought.Marian modeled it for me & it does look fine with her red beret :).
I hoped she liked it. She is very much more stylish than me, but also very polite :). Loves black and red, though, so maybe...

(3) Four pair of felted wool slippers for some of the older feet on my Christmas list, using a pattern from Martha described here:

There is a cuter felt slipper idea, but these looked warmer. I did all of the seams externally, which might not be the prettiest way, but it is very comfortable and nicely structured. I needle-felted in a few details, which turned out okay. The wild flowering on the green slippers owes full credit to the original sweater. I like them. I don't know if my recipients loved them or not (some people are really difficult to gift!), but I'm taking a lesson from my Grandma F (who still gives to 5 children and spouses, 20+ grandchildren and piles of greats each year with great grace), who wisely advised my mother once that she gives what she can and it is up to them to like it or not.

How's that for a cheery ending? I did love making with so much wool. It was very warm. I really should have made some for myself. We are not very good adults and ran out of heating oil this weekend. The girls are sleeping in front of the fire and Reuben's/our room has a space heater and it was really kind of fun to be forced to be in the same (one warm!) room together this weekend. But this lovely office this evening? Ay, the heels be a bit numb. To bed with me! I need a warm body to cuddle with.

PS: my favorite mom-crafted holiday gift is showcased here:
Do peek.


sallyavena said...

Thanks for the shout out. Love your wool crafting. I have some wool crafting on my to-do list, but it's more turning a felted sweater into a sweater vest to go with a skirt that I'm making for Sophia. Still wish we lived closer together...

Meghan said...

I DO love it! Have to say Marian looks much cuter sporting it than I do though... :) Thanks again!

Amanda said...

I've been thinking about these slippers since you posted this entry. I was planning to purchase crocs for us to wear as our "house shoes" but more and more I think felted slippers may be a better option, only they may become swiffers with our hardwood floors...hmmm, will have to show me a pair in person so I can examine up close!!!