Sunday, 26 December 2010

Some Christmas Presents I can now blog about...

It's hard finding things to make for men, isn't it?  I'm afraid that I used the 'one present fits all' approach and spent many a summer evening this year knitting very warm, woolly scarves from Jade Sapphire's booklet: 7 Manly Scarves.  Note to self: summer possibly isn't the best time to be knitting really warm stuff!

On the left is a lovely chevron pattern knitted in a wool / angora blend for my Dad; in the middle, my brother-in-law received the burgundy cashmere scarf (love that pattern) and on the right, the blue number for my father-in-law is merino scarf with an off-set rib pattern.  The easiest to knit was definitely the burgundy one ... the other two both involved some swearing and frogging.  Here's hoping the recipients don't start looking for the odd mistake that I overlooked / discovered too far past to unpick and fix!!  

As I don't have any more ideas on the subject of what to make for men, I'm back to buying them presents next year (I can hear the sighs of relief even at this distance!).

This almost made it into my closet instead of my mother-in-law's... but I'm unfortunately allergic to wool (not on my hands apparently - but I couldn't put this anywhere near my neck!)   This is a merino / alpaca / silk blend and is oh-so-very-warm.  The pattern is from a great blog ... the author had seen a Burberry cowl on sale for the 'bargain' price of $750 and baulked at paying so much for something she thought she could recreate .. . and she kindly shared her pattern online (which I would link to it if I could find the link again in my long list of favourites - watch this space; it'll appear here eventually).  This was an absolute pleasure to knit - although it's a cable scarf, it isn't a traditional cable pattern by any means.  Love it - will be making myself one soon as soon as I find that blasted link :-)

So, my mother-in-law did quite well this year as the cowl above wasn't her original pressie.  I started by making her a specs case from a Nicole Mallalieu pattern ... if I'm honest it didn't quite work out as well as I expected / hoped, but having binned one attempt completely I was determined to make this one work.  I persevered and got a half-way decent effort - but I wasn't entirely happy.  

Hence present number two.  As she seemed happy with both, maybe I just worry too much!?!

If I'm honest, I think the problem with the specs case was partly down to the skill level of the pattern - this is really quite advanced sewing - but also my very old sewing machine has a very clunky, large free arm and it didn't make sewing anything this small in diameter at all easy.  That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.  Alright?!!

Last, but by no means least, my sisters-in-law also got similar presents!  Two matching purses using Nicole Mallalieu's 200mm purse pattern and some gorgeous Japanese fabric.  This fabric is just the best - wish I could have bought some more before my supplier ran out.  I love it and only have a very small amount left.

I think that's about it for the presents you haven't already seen.  I made pencil cases in the summer for the kids and various pouches which could be used as make-up bags or just bags to transfer handbag contents between handbags ...

And this teal scarf was something I unwrapped yesterday - made for me by my sister-in-law:

Isn't it beautiful?!  And so warm too!  


  1. Hi Fiona, your scarves are beautiful...great texture and colours for men and your purses look so professional...can't see anything wrong with the specs case either!
    Thanks for the up to date weather report, it put my mind at ease as I had visions of snowdrifts and ice! She is staying Hamilton, they met online and he came out here for a month recently..he is a really lovely boy...but she can come back anytime if needs be, hopefully they'll be ok.

  2. Thanks Fiona...yes we've got the way I do love your sisters present to you too! I can't see anywhere to follow you on your site.

  3. Lovely scarves!!!!

    SO sorry to hear that you're having problems with the spec case. Wish I could come and watch over your shoulder and give you some pointers. (You really need strong presser-foot pressure and lots of fabric manipulation skills to get around the curve with the topstiching... is that where the problem is?)

  4. Hi Carol ... after looking at your blog I've worked out how to add the Friends Connect gadget finally!! Now you can follow me!

    Hi Nikki - wish I could have a master class too ... maybe one day well get to Melbourne and can arrange a lesson! It was the top edge that caused problems. The first time I was using quite a slippy lining fabric and I just didn't manage it well at all. That one went in the bin!! Second time round I'd learned some lessons - different fabric and better control, but still a few issues. I'll try increasing the presser-foot pressure more next time and see if that helps!

  5. Hi Fiona. I saw your comment on Melissa Goodsell's blog, and thought I'd pop over and say Hi. I'm so glad I did. I love the scarves and little purses. And now I can't wait to check out your other crafty posts.


  6. Something for men!!! I had thought of having a linky for 'Everything Men', but I thought there's be no one linking up. Now I know there'd be one. Your scarves are fabulous, Fiona! My favourite is the burgundy cashmere... I love the pattern, but I also love the feel of cashmere. $750 for a cowl.... eeeekkkk!!!! Your purses are always so professionally made... gorgeous red Japanese fabric.