Tuesday, November 2, 2010

DIY Gifting: Part 3, Knitting Hits and Misses with Dorothy Wisnewski

Not sure how everyone else's gift making for the holiday season is coming along, but so far I have yet to make ornaments- although I have bought some of the materials.  I have made quite a few cards.  Baking does not commence until December.  Right now my biggest obstacles are keeping the cat off of my dining room table (a.k.a. crafting table) and not losing momentum.
It is November, however, and whether you celebrate Christmas, Solstice, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, if you are making your own gifts, then it's time to get going!
Just to get you started, here is some inspiration from crafty lady Dorothy Wisnewski .  Dorothy has created many knitted gifts in the past for friends and family and dishes the dirt to BBAC on past gifting hits and misses:

"Now, past gifts. I have given some stuffed animals that I knitted and were received well.  A few years back there was a monkey I made for a little girl, who named it Daffodil Moons. 

More recently I've done two little lambs (not from my original pattern, though), which also were a hit. It helps that I figured out how to embroider the faces properly! And I made Audrey a bat, which she quite liked, and also is loved by Lucian.

But there have definitely been some comical misses. The first sweater I made for Jeremy (Dorothy's husband) was not quite the right fit or size, so he wore it a few times and then stopped. But he never told me why. Finally, he insisted that we keep it around anyway, because it was the first full-size sweater I had made, which is kind of momentous in the career of a knitter. I, on the other hand, had intended to knit a useful thing, and did not appreciate this monstrosity sitting in my house mocking my inadequacies as a designer and tailor. So I ripped out every stitch, balled up all the yarn again, and have begun knitting it into a different sweater for him. There's still a chance this one won't work either, becuase of different design choices on my part, in which case it will become a vest and I will wash my hands of it.

The other funny failure that comes to mind also happens to be a sweater. (They're so conducive to imperfection!) When I was pregnant with Lucian, I wanted to make something special for Audrey, so that her baby brother wouldn't be the only one benefitting from people's generosity. So I made her a big sister hoodie, out of a lovely soft cotton blend, very comfy, with pretty cables all over. Since it was to be a surprise, I couldn't have her try it on as I knitted, but I knew that I didn't want her to outgrow such a labor-intensive sweater right away, so I sized it generously. Well, that was a year and a half ago, and we think she probably has another year or two before she can wear it. Oops."

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