Friday, December 28, 2012

Holiday handmade wrap up...

Whew, it's been ages. So long that I came to blogger and it took me a few minutes to figure out how to start a new post. Yikes.

I have been feeling nostalgic as the season comes to a close. I took down the holiday decorations and as I was putting the ornaments away, I thought about which ones would hang on my children's trees one day - as I was wrapping carefully the ones from my own's mother's childhood tree, and even one from my mother-in-laws tree. I have the lucky gift of collecting history - somehow, people tell me stories. Mostly elderly people will tell me a story. I think because I am interested - in history in general, but real and personal history is always so interesting. So anyways, I kind of know the stories behind the ornaments I have been entrusted to curate. Tucking them all away made me think about that, the stories that need to stay with the ornaments. Stories that I hope my children are interested to hear one day.

Okay where was I going with all of that? I think I have been feeling nostalgic in general - figuring out what needs to be done, what is important. And truly, those handmade gifts that I give and sometimes even get, are the most special. So I wanted to share what I have been up to leading up to Christmas.

Lacey Anklets made from The Plucky Knitter Feet in Edwardian

These were given to my mom. I always labor over what to make for her (it's kind of expected) and each year, end up with a pair of socks. I am not sure if it is by coincidence or on purpose (though knowing the cunning of my mom, it's the latter) she will leave socks I have handknit for her handily laying over the laundry basket, or this year on the mantel of the fireplace(!) so I can see them as a reminder of how much she enjoys and wears them. She is a careful caretaker - so each year, a new pair to the collection.

The island of misfit cowls...I think I'll wrap them together and let my sister pick.
a stack of cowls - Avery in Yarntini, Gaptastic in Malabrigo, and Gaptastic in Lion Brand (?)

I had a stack of homeless cowls. There were three and now there is just two. I wrapped them all up for my sister with the caveat that she had to choose one. It's hard to pick for someone else, so I gave the job to her. She picked the gray Gaptastic, which I totally expected - it really is a good fit for her, and her warmest winter jacket. Now I have two homeless cowls - I am sure someone has a birthday coming, or I'll need one to go with something. I made the blue one with myself in mind but then, my knitting penpal, Christine made me a much nicer, bigger one in a more perfect blue.

A reading pillow made of Mendocino Fabrics by Heather Ross...

We drew names at my parents house, for a $15 thoughtful gift, I chose my own child. Well, I blew the budget if I count the project but I figure it was from my stash, so I don't have to count it. It is based on a tutorial here. It as fun to make and right under my daughter's nose. She said that it matched a quilt I had made her - which was so funny since I was "making it for a baby at work". Of course, my oldest daughter didn't miss a beat to point out that she has never received a quilt - so that may well be the next project of 2013. I have 5 blocks done so far to share at another time.

Lastly, I made moonshine - why yes, I did. It is so good and potent - you need to be careful, I am not a big drinker but could see a whole mason jar going down the hatch if I am not careful.

Tastes just like Apple need to be careful.
Based on this recipe - I added a cup of Salted Karmel Stoli Vodka for good measure (since I did not have vanilla vodka) and you can really taste the little depth it adds. I gave small jars away, and once people my dear friends stopped complaining about how stingy I was and had a kick, they understood why it's best to start small.

Apple Pie Moonshine is a good time to remind everyone that the next season of Justified premieres on January 8.