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Christmas making 2013

Here are the presents I made for Christmas this year, in reverse order of completion:

Zion's PowPow with his stocking and teddy

Zion's PowPow with his stocking and teddy

This is one of the PowPow teddies I made on Christmas Eve. Zion and Harvey helped me make the little stockings sometime during Advent, but it was only the day before that it sunk in I might have to make something to put IN the stockings. I used this online pattern for the teddies. Even I am not dumb enough to free-hand a softie pattern the day before Christmas.

Harvey said on Christmas morning: "Who made this little teddy? You did? I love him!" Of course, now his is lost...

Then there was the play house I made TWO DAYS before Christmas:

a shot of the play tent from the outside

a shot of the play tent from the outside

I made this felt house to fit over my desk, which the kids were playing under anyway. First, they pushed the chair away from the desk so often that I donated the chair because I was tired of seeing it in the middle of the room. Then they started playing house under there, asking me to take the covering off the couch and tuck it in on all sides. This irritated me, because I like the covering on the couch where it can catch Rascal hair. So I designed this custom-fitting play house desk cover as a solution.

close-up of the working mailbox

close-up of the working mailbox

The mailbox fits a regular sized letter, which Harvey discovered immediately. The fence can also hold a stuffed animal prisoner, but they haven't figured that out yet and I want to see if they come up with it on their own.

The flaps behind the windows were Dan's idea. I had a mind to make curtains, but Dan said they would be too hard to open and close. The boys would mostly want them closed anyway, with the ability to peak out quickly to check for intruders. So flaps sewn at the top was the best solution, plus they were far easier to sew than curtains. The whole house was easy to sew, in fact. I cut everything freehand without measuring and I finished the whole project within a 24-hour period, a personal record made possible by two hours of work before the kids woke up and two hours after they went to sleep. Plus it only cost me $10 in brown felt (the colors were left over from other projects.)

Here's a peak into their house from the side window. They requested not one but TWO inside lights.

inside the playhouse

inside their lair

You can see Zion brought in a blanket and a pillow. He likes to be cozy.

Of course, after the house has been up for a few days and I see how much the boys are playing in there, I realize this might mean the permanent loss off my desk for desk purposes. Already I'm typing this blog post from my bedroom, and I've moved my charger and camera cords up here. Sigh. If I realized I was ceding ground, I might not have had so much fun making this thing.

Four days before Christmas I sewed up the last ends of their bunny sweaters.

both boys in their christmas sweaters by Grandma's tree

This is the first time I've tried a knitting project with the intarsia color-blocking technique. It was not at all difficult, either to figure out or to accomplish, but all the same it's not my favorite technique because it means you have to knit a sweater back and forth over knit and purl instead of just knitting in the round. But it is the way to get a giant bunny onto a sweater, and Harvey like his so much that he wore it for two days straight and slept in it in between. (Zion took his off after an hour because he hates sweaters.)

Now for a color-work technique I like, here are some fair isles hats I finished at least a week before Christmas.

harvey, zion, and dan in their new hats

three frozen peas in a pod.

Harvey had asked for a hat to match his Dada's, and then Zion asked for a hat to match Harvey's. Here they all are playing kick the snowball down the street. The hats are made from Drumlin Farm undyled wool, and the pattern is made up out of my head.

ready for an expedition

ready to go out in the cold

Here the boys are ready to go out on an expedition in their new hats and new backpacks (not a homemade gift but packed with awesome factory-features, including a built-in whistle!) The backpack is a good example of something that's good to buy from a store. Look how well PowPow peaks out of the mesh pocket.

harvey with powpow in his backpack

peaking out from behind

I made some more things but I see now that I'll have to split this blog post into two parts to save on reading fatigue. So that's all the exhaustion inspiration you get for now. Next up will be: hand woven dish towels, waldorf doll, and baby blocks.


Wow, I love their bunny sweaters! Leah, you are so awesome!

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