Last Minute Shenanigans II

S0011201.JPGThe apron for my friends vertically challenged mother in law that I made 2 years ago was such a big hit that this year she asked for another one, in olive green. My friend gave me a bag with some lovely fabric that she’d bought and co-ordinating green webbing. (I no some people never sew for others but I have no qualms sewing for this particular friend as she does so much for me and others, for instance she just looked  after our dog for 2 days so we could all go cuddle a baby).

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So the morning of Christmas Eve I set to work (before it was too late!). With grey thread because I had nothing appropriate in green and my non-sewing friend hadn’t thought to buy any. I made the neckband adjustable again, like before, and I was a little worried there wasn’t quite enough webbing left for the straps, so I raided my box of bits salvaged from defunct rucksacks and added an adjustable clip there too (takes less strap as you don’t need to tie a bow).

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I mainly followed this tutorial to make a slightly fancier pocket on the front, it all got a bit rushed at this point so I may not have followed it exactly. It’s lined in some pinkish fabric from my scrapbox.

All safely delivered to my friend after lunch on Christmas Eve, I have yet to hear if her Mother in Law approves.

 

Leopards don’t change their spots

You know how I was pleased that I finished the Birthday Girl’s dress more than 24 hours before needed. So I didn’t need to be finishing anything the night before her birthday then?

Wrong. I sat around finishing some fingerless mittens (as well as doing some birthday related sorting out out), that are a bit like the ones I made myself that a certain little girl had been eyeing up. I made them with some Sidir Folk Song Chunky, a varigated yarn that’s got a lovely silky feel. I bought 2 balls in the after Christmas sales from John Lewis (our John Lewis is still quite shiny and new and I only recently discovered that it has a tiny haberdashery department). I went there pretending I was like Susan Crowe who always seems to get bargin yarn in the John Lewis sale, but I failed to remember to go until about 10 days into the sales so there wasn’t much left, which is probably for the best as I am no way up to her standards in knitting. The biggest thing I’ve ever managed to knit was a cardy for a 3 year old and it was a struggle to finish it (mind you I did have a 2 1/3 year old and a 4 year old to look after at the same time). I used a nice rib stitch for the mitts that I discovered when I made that cardy.

Fingerless mitt

Fingerless mitt

I’m not quite sure what it’s called – my mum thinks it might be a broken rib. It has alternate columns of moss stitch and in between them are alternating columns of knits and purls, maybe a diagramish kind of thing showing you what it looks like from the right side would make more sense…

PKPPPKPPPKP
KKKPKKKPKKK
PKPPPKPPPKP
KKKPKKKPKKK

Does that help? It has a lovely appearence and texture and sort of concertinas up, with the column of knits as the mountain top and the purls as the valleys. After disovering it I made a scarf in it for my brother and then the sides of a matching hat in it too. To knit it, you cast on a multiple of 4 (other numbers are possible but require more headscratching to work out the pattern for the even rows), every odd row you knit [K,K,K,P] – repeat to end and every even row knit [K,K,P,K] – repeat to end. Hope that makes sense. If anyone knows what this stitch is called, please let me know.

How to wear

How to wear

When she opened them she wasn’t sure what they were, but once I explained she was pleased and has worn them to school and even brought them back again. They are a little baggy as I guestimated the number of stitches, but she doesn’t seem to mind.

Her Dad was a little confused by what to do with them ….

How not to wear

How not to wear

After finishing the mitts I had a break from making for less than 24 hours. On her birthday I remembered that I wanted to make her an apron to wear when she was playing cafe’s. So whilst she was playing with her new presents I took an unwanted pillow case (continental size), some scrap fabric and a fabric pen and made an apron.

The Woman and the Helpful Lizard

The Woman and the Helpful Lizard

The writing on the pocket doesn’t show up that well in the photo, it says “The Woman and the Helpful Lizard” which is the name of her cafe. The lizard in question is one she purloined off her brother when he got a set of glow in the dark ones. I’m not overly proud of my lizard (the legs aren’t quite right) but I think you can tell who the woman is meant to be…

The cafe owner and her baby

The cafe owner and her baby

(I’ve drawn her hair down and scraggly, which it usually is, rather than with a hairband in). I copied the strap design from an apron my mum made for my neice (which she copied from an apron that she’d made at school). The straps cross at the back and don’t need tying, so I managed another garment that she can get on and off herself and it has a pocket for her notebook and pen too. As it was made in a hurry the ties are a little long, I left the ends hanging down rather than shortening them so that it could be adjusted to fit a bigger girl if needed.

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Once the small excited people were in bed and we’d tidied up my poor long suffering husband was amazed to see me getting scrap fabric out for my next project. I got it cut out that night and then the next night (which just happened to be our wedding anniversary, I know how to be romantic) I sewed up 11 party bags for the next day. Well, it was just past midnight when I finished so it was for the same day really. I did manage to take a quick photo….

PAP-RLN-HEE-BA

PAP-RLN-HEE-BA

But it never occured to me until my husband asked to think about what the bags spelled out (luckily it’s nothing rude). They’re all made out of scrap fabric and in a bit of a hurry, so they vary slightly in size and strap length. They all have the owners initial on and where possible I matched the fabric to something I’d already made them or their personality. It was certainly a scrap buster (most of these bits of fabric were too small to do much else with but too big to throw away) and they went down well with the party guests.

Phew, that was a big post, well done if you read to the end, but then it was a lot of making squeezed into 3 days.