The cats are out of the bags

Or at least out of their gift wrap, so I can finally show some of the things I made for Christmas gifts this year.  Can you bear with me for a little show and tell?

First, several people got framed photos–I won’t show these off, since they’re all over on my flickr site. Click here or over in the flickr widget on the right if you want to see some representative samples.

For my 16 year old niece, a blue bucket bag, knitted and felted according to this excellent pattern from Mags Kandis and available as a free PDF download from her blog.  Simple and quick and wonderful. I think I’m going to make several more, perhaps scaling them down a bit (as we’ve discussed, I’m a small purse gal myself).  Since I was deeply pressed for time, I substituted a woven cotton strap for the knitted and felted handle on the original. And I lined the bag with blue and white flannel.

Her brother, my nephew, got fingerless gloves. He is a freshman at my own alma mater, and unless things have changed radically (and it’s likely that they have) since my days there, it’s pretty chilly in some of those venerable old classrooms. Having fingerless gloves may save him from having to do what we used to do–wear knitted mittens and poke our pens through from the back of the hand and out through the palm side such that we could still grasp the pen properly (we also used to take hardboiled eggs off the steam table at breakfast and keep them in our coat pockets to warm our hands). Am I the only one here old enough to remember the energy crisis of the lat 1970s?  Anyway, mitts (and, sweetie, if you don’t like them, send them back–we were practically fighting over them here), modeled briefly by me:

Onward to a baby felted Jordie puppy for a dear friend whose real Jordie dog recently died after a long and happy life. The photo could be a little sharper, but I only got him finished just in time to whisk him off to present to his new owner at a holiday lunch.

Finally–and here the lighting failed me utterly when I had time only to get a few shots before sending them off by mail to my mom and my sister–a pair of Santas with needle-felted heads and faces, boots of handmade (by me) felt, and coats made by me of not-handmade felt, tiny gauntlet-style mittens and wool hats I knitted on size 1 needles. Each carried a big felt bag containing tiny hand-bound books, a felt baby doll (my sister’s) or a needle-felted and jointed teddy bear (Mom’s), a little wooden yo-yo, a scroll of sheet music, and something else that I’m damned if I can remember.

The moral of the story is that I should start earlier, take more photos along the way, and use a better tripod (which I have now, thanks to my own personal Santa) for the close-ups.  But perhaps you can get a sense of what they were like from these few photos (I wish in particular that I’d gotten better photos of the buttons, which came out looking like real deer horn). Et voila:

Good of the coat, bad of the face

Good of the coat, bad of the face

Better faces, but still in their long johns

Better faces, but still in their long johns

Santas in their coats and mufflers

Santas in their coats and mufflers

Moms Santa

Mom's Santa

My sisters Santa

My sister's Santa

And now, having exhausted both photos and words, I’m going to go and get out some paint and other fun messy things, having given myself all of the time between Christmas and New Year’s to play.

2 responses to “The cats are out of the bags

  1. I wore my gifts out for the first time today, and I regret to inform you that you will not be getting them back.

  2. i love your santas, i didn’t leave myself time to make any this year. ha!

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