Design notebook: Gift season

I know it’s spring when all I want to do is get my hands dirty in the garden… but come fall, I find myself stockpiling patterns, yarns and fabrics — while dreading the clean-up that awaits me outside. This is where I find myself right in this early (and beautiful) autumn – inspired by everything textile!

Right now I am working on a pair of “wristers” based on a pattern from Lion Brand (altered to fit my wide hands) – using some lovely variegated sock yarn that I picked up at Baaad Anna’s last week. I’ve got one done and now I am attempting to replicate my changes to the pattern from memory on the second one. It’s a pretty straight-forward pattern, and it’s a first in terms of working in the round, and using sock yarn. I’m digging the yarn so much that I think a matching scarf might be in order.

But before I start in on that, I’ve got to get a few more Christmas and birthday presents finished – the gift season officially begins!

Since my mother’s birthday is soon and I have some beautiful squares left over from this quilt, I am going to start a lap quilt in the same theme as my next sewing project:

Then onto a quilt for my nephew in the “Grinch Who Stole Christmas II” Kaufmann prints:

I’m all kinds of inspired to make small gifts  out of the book Zakka Style – which has 24 super-cute, easy-to-make projects. I’m also feeling a bit reckless about handsewing and so I’m going to start my first hexagon project which will culminate in a pillow for my niece’s birthday in January (I see a trip to Spool of Thread in my near future).

My focus for this gift season is *practice* – since I feel like my skills are improving these days – I want to focus on getting my work to the next level. With crochet that means following increasingly complex patterns. With sewing it means better finishing and attention to detail overall. I’m also interested in portable sewing – ie hexagons – as a way to incorporate projects into my daily routine.

To keep the inspiration on – I am attempting a balance between gifts for other people with items for my own home and wardrobe. I have my eye on a few garments to construct as well as some accessories that have been sitting in the pattern-pile taunting me. Now that school is back in session, I am worried about time! But still, by starting in September I’m giving myself lots of room – and I hope to have a very fruitful autumn!

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