knit | sew

Small things: Christmas things

December 19, 2015

Despite the searing heat withering the leaves outside, my thoughts are turning to Christmas. There has been some baking, sewing and making of small things.

As my children insist upon growing, they have new aprons this year. These are drawn entirely from stash I am pleased to recount. Our Dear Boy has a brown corduroy one (destashed by Adelaidian friends) with a flour bag pocket and strings from an Operation Manshirt shirt.

IMG_2164Our Dear Girl has strawberries and bees on a lovely Japanese cotton/linen blend (destashed by a dear neighbour) and a gingham heart applique and strings. Our Dear Girl has specifically requested the liberal use of love hearts, unicorns, rainbows and fairies on well, pretty much everything.

IMG_2165I also managed a couple of pairs of shorts for Our Dear Boy, one in a khaki linen from a shop where I meet up with my oldest sewing friend of almost 30 summers and one in a fabulous vintage bark cloth, again from those lovely Adelaidian friends. They even have pockets, as all children prefer.

IMG_2161Much of that wee frenzy was sewn on a weekend in November organised by mum at our children’s school for other mums. It was my first craft weekend, indeed, my first time away from my little family.

IMG_2167There has been the making of tea towels from more destashed cotton/linen.

IMG_2166And the filling of gifted seed packets with Russian Kale seeds from our garden.

There has also been some modest Christmas decoration making inspired by FiberTrek’s lovely felt ornaments.

IMG_2036The embroidery floss was from a birthday gift twenty years ago and the button is from the collection of a friend from the UK, sent to me in the post. The heart is stuffed with some Shropshire fleece given to me by one of the lovely farmers at Collingwood Children’s Farm a when she found out I was a spinner.

Here is a knitted bauble inspired by elizabethstreeter21’s advent baubles that I have been watching pop up every day on Instagram. She knits them on the train whilst commuting to work.

IMG_2032I used some leftover undyed Finnsheep handspun and some that was dyed with indigo at a Guild summer school class run by the friend of the Finnsheep farmer. I photocopied the pattern from the copy of Arne and Carlo’s, 55 Christmas Balls to Knit that lives in the Handweavers and Spinners Guild of Victoria library. This library is a marvellous repository of all things textile and wool-related, funded and staffed entirely by volunteers. It is ball number 12, the ‘Handcraft Border’, taken from a booklet of old patterns by the Norwegian Handcraft Association.

So, as I made my gifts, I found myself surrounded by the gifts and kindness of others. I am reminded of David Gauntlett’s assertion that ‘making IS connecting’, to others, to the earth, to ourselves, to something beyond the catalog or the list, to an interwoven, interconnected thing that pulses with kindness, generousity and love. Christmas can feel sad, stressful and lonely. I think that is why holiday films projecting that perfect, mythical Christmas are so beguiling to us. I wish you all, some small act or token of making this season that binds you back to the goodness and the light.

Merry Christmas Dear Readers and a Happy New Year!

IMG_2031Needle and Spindle will take a short break over the holiday period and be back in the New Year. Thank you for your loyal readership, companionship on the adventures and your unstinting encouragement.