Wednesday, 29 December 2010

post or no post?

everything postal is still delayed - partly down to the bad weather over the last few weeks (not only here, there was mayhem at airports all over europe), but also because of the odd habit of making up for public holidays that fall on weekends on the following workdays. no postal delivery from last friday until tomorrow! unfortunately most of my christmas parcels didn't arrive before the big day - but I guess there's nobody to blame but the weather... I did take photos of some finished things though - the table mat/napkin ring/egg cosy for my MIL is one:
 it's knitted in herringbone pattern (B. Walker pattern book series) for the set (over 2 stitches) and linen stitch (essentially the same, but only over 1 stitch) for the cosy/ring and the green border of the mat. it's a blend of linen and cotton, so everything is fully machine washable - apart from the egg cosy. I thought about it for a while, but decided that a machine washable cosy doesn't make much sense, if it doesn't keep the egg warm:)) that's why I lined it with a knitted insert in wool... I don't think egg cosies need to be washed very often or very hot!

a close-up of the flowers/leaves on the cosy... with small beads for the centre of the flowers - from the stash.

in hindsight - I would have liked it better if the colours were brighter - but DH thought those colours will go better with the dishes.... it's just that brighter colours would have made using the items more fun, esp. when you eat by yourself? or maybe that's just me....

this is the first stage of another gift project. personally I am  not really  not at all a collector of knitted toys, but a friend of mine loves all kinds of mice. so a mouse it had to be... after a lot of searching I decided to follow a ravelry pattern for a mouse called "marisol"... this is marisol in all her parts:)) it's not difficult, just fiddly - one of those patterns, where it takes longer to put all the parts together than the actual knitting of them!
may I introduce you to my Marisol (or whatever the new owner will name her)! this is her, wearing a pink ribbon with a small silver bell -  and making my friend nearly cry with delight.... whatever it takes to make people happy:))
the biggest problem wasn't the making of the mouse - but finding a suitable yarn in light pink! now, purple is there in many shades, cardinal red, bright red, dark rosewood... but nothing that suited a mouse tail and ears. eventually I found a small sample of ingeo fibre dyed with madder some years ago. good thing that ingeo doesn't take natural dyes well:))

I also made her a "snack box" with filling: homemade elderberry cognac (good against cold - but it also tastes nice:)), chocolate stirrers (a mix of melted chocolate, icing sugar, cocoa and spices - with a wooden "stick" to put into hot milk) - and a first: milk jam! I tried it and it tastes yummeh.... you just boil milk with sugar or honey, a vanilla pod, some soda or baking powder and a pinch of salt, until it changes into a creamy light caramel of sorts. it takes a bit of patience and a lot of stirring - but is simple to make otherwise. unfortunately I gave all of it (it was barely a jar full, all that was left from 1 l of milk!) away, so I'll have to make a new batch for us to eat soon.... sometimes it's not easy to find ideas for homemade gifts - but thanks to the internet I usually find something new.


Nina said...

I agree that bright colours might be more fun, but the set is quite lovely as it is. The mouse however is totally adorable! No wonder your friend was so appreciative. It is so very cute! I'll have to check out the Ravelry pattern because if I get the urge to make adorable little animals, that is where I'll start!

Woolly Bits said...

Nina, I think I lack a gene for knitted toys (or maybe toys altogether?:)). but I agree that it was fun to make, though I found shaping the head to make it look cute was the most difficult thing. if you know how to knit stockinette and on sock needles - the knitting is really simple. of course - next I should probably make a tea cosy with mice on:))

Delighted Hands said...

You did an excellent job on the matt set-the colors are perfect! I don't see the point in making the knitted toys but I have to admit; this mouse is adorable! You outdid yourself! The milk jam sounds like pudding...wonderful comfort food!

Ash said...

A toy maker you may not think you are but what a wonderful little mouse. To knit on such a small scale is no mean feat - well done and I am afraid, its sooo cute!!
I am attempting to finish a pair of mittens for my son to go back to college with. A merino and green alpaca blend that was spun many moons ago, glad it is now finding a use! I have yet to master more than two needles so I find myself restricted on patterns, maybe I should make that a goal for the new year - knitting in the round. All the best for 2011..

Anonymous said...

Hallo Bettina,
sehr schöne Sachen hast du gemacht.
Gruß und ich wünsch dir und deiner Familie noch alles Gute fürs Neue Jahr!

Leigh said...

I hope you haven't been waiting on anything in the post. :)

The knitted mouse is so cute! I have a first grandbaby coming next spring, so I'm beginning to think about things like that.

The table set is really pretty too. I do like the colors you chose though, probably better than anything brighter.

Happy New Year Bettina!

Woolly Bits said...

Leigh - I think you're going to have fun knitting for a new baby - at first things are so small, that you can make loads of different things. I do think that for a new baby something with stronger colours might be more exciting though - there is a very cute toy pattern that I am working on - like one of those "stacking rods" with rings around, couldn't resist that one.... and no, I wasn't waiting for things to arrive here, but vice versa: I'd have been happier if all the recipients had received their presents before christmas:((
Ash - just give knitting in the round a try - if not with 4/5 dpn, use two circulars or the magic loop! it will open so many more possibilities for you - and you'll still only be knitting with 2 needles at a time:)) plenty of videos on youtube about it to learn!
Cindy - the milk jam is something for people with a very sweet tooth:)) a bit like thicker custard really...
thanks for all the good wishes - 2011 has to be good:))

Helen said...

I love the mouse! I hope your parcels have arrived by now we also we had quite a few after the event.