Handmade Holiday

It was close, but Christmas gifts all got finished, mailed, and delivered on time. It was so close, in fact, that until I finished the last three gifts I didn’t take time to photograph anything. But here’s a quick look at those three.

Netted scarf by Donna Kallner

The last thing done was the first thing started. Does that sound familiar? I started this scarf for Mimi’s birthday last winter, but didn’t have time to finish it. It went with me to the Midwest Weavers Conference last summer as an example for my Patterned Diamond Mesh Netting class. I only needed to add some length from the center and work the pattern on the second end. With it mostly finished in my head, this gift kept getting bumped to the end of the list while things I didn’t have figured out got done. When I finally did get it finished, there was no time to block it the way I normally would. I made do with a good steam (cautiously, because of the nylon in the Berroco Seduce yarn — a mixture of silk, linen, rayon and nylon). I prefer to block netting by wetting it and pinning it out to dry. I’m sure there must be a holiday carol about cutting corners to get to the post office on time.

Hobby horse from recycled sock.

We made a hobby horse for ourĀ one-year-old godson, who looks just like his grandpa Wayne, who passed away in November. At Thanksgiving, Bill’s sister was sorting through some of Wayne’s things to make T-shirt quilts for the kids. She gave Bill some of Wayne’s socks, and I took a pair for the hobby horse. I indigo dyed the socks — one for the horse’s head and the other to pad the top of a peeled willow stick. The mane is from some felted thick-and-thin handspun. The ears are naturally dyed wool felt. This only got in the mail on time because Bill got on the stick (figuratively) and found a box this horse would fit it.

Felt bag.

For Gus’ big sister, I made a bag that I hope is large enough for her cell phone. One side is from wool yarn I crocheted, felted in the washer, then needle felted with yarn in a contrasting color. The flip side is just two layers of black felted wool fabric quilted together with embroidery floss that matches the blue on the front. I stitched the pieces together with the sewing machine, then worked cross-knit looping on the edge. (That’s a technique I teach in the online class.) For the sake of time, I worked the strap in knit I-Cord, some of it during a fire department training session scheduled for the last night before in-state gifts had to be in the mail. There might be a Dr. Seuss book in that:

I cannot knit and walk these halls / it’s only I-cord, but duty calls. / I know this should be done and wrapped / But I’ll put it away, or I’ll be lapped.

There was one other handmade gift this Christmas.

Warping board made for me by my husband.

Months ago, I told Bill I’d like to have a warping board. On Christmas morning, he brought it in from wherever he’s been hiding it and completely took me by surprise.

I hope your holiday was also filled with handmade delights and wonderful memories!

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Donna Kallner

fiber artist, teacher and explorer, inspired by ancient fiber techniques and all the ways contemporary fiber artists give old ideas a new spin