30 December 2008

Brandied Fruits And Felted Ponchos

Not because of the economy, but because of an inborn general frugality coupled with a crafty urge, I managed to purchase very few Christmas presents this year. There were a number of things culled out of the cellar (yes, I regift!), there were things I found at the thrift shop when I was donating some stuff we no longer needed, and there were things I made.

The two little girls of my acquaintance (Miss M. and her six year old cousin) both got ponchos. Months ago, I'd seen a poncho for sale on the website of an Atlanta based craft cooperative, and I said "I can do that". I felted a couple of shetland wool sweaters, cut them out freehand, blanket-stitched the edges, and added some appliques made from scrap felted wool (from last year's projects).

Here's one of the sweaters, showing how it was cut. I also cut the neckhole just along the transition to the collar ribbing, though if it had been a v-neck sweater, that would have been completely unnecessary. The V at the bottom starts just above the ribbing along the lower edge of the sweater, and the indent under the arms is at the point where the sleeve meets the body.

The blue sweater had been a cable-knit, but once it was felted, I decided I liked the inside better - it had a more interesting appearance. The points of the star are plain pearly shirt buttons, and both ponchos are blanket-stitched along the edge with black wool. Miss M. got the one with the star, and her cousin got the one with the heart.

Funnily enough, that same Atlanta craft cooperative has just opened a shop in the next town over from us. I went in there before Christmas and found a rack of the ponchos, and felt oh so smug for having made my own.

For grown-ups who needed gifts, I started some brandied fruits in June, with 13 ounces of perfect strawberries.

By mid-July, I'd added sour cherries, blueberries, apricots and plums. And in August, peaches and nectarines went into the jar.

Last week, I decanted it into seven assorted jars and gussied them up as gifts with scraps of ribbon and tags made from last year's Christmas cards received. I kept one for myself, and I'm looking forward to spooning some of it over a dish of vanilla ice-cream.

21 comments:

Indigo Virgo said...

I want one of those ponchos. Once the kids are back in school, I'll be able to troll the thrift shop.

Woman in a Window said...

And here I am, all I made I kept. Greedy, greedy me. All I made we can eat though. That's where my greed (unfortunately) resides.

phd in yogurtry said...

Yay! Score zero for Team Consumerism!

Mental P Mama said...

I think I need a poncho. Can you do a nice martini glass applique? Hope your birthday was nice;)

slouching mom said...

You are one talented woman.

Vodka Mom said...

yeah, I am bowing to you right now. DAMN i wish I could think ahead.

alejna said...

You are an excellent role model for me.

I love the ponchos. I'm not sure I understand what felting is, though.

Aurelia said...

Yum to the brandied fruits. Mmmmmmm

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

You are good.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

Those ponchos look like so much fun!

Last year I made nearly all my gifts to adults but this year, I don't know, I just couldn't get inspired. (I was going to give my sisters the spices I'd dried, but I kept them! They're too precious!)

Angeline said...

to you and your talented hands
*Champagne Held High*
Cheers to a wonderful 2009!

Maggie, Dammit said...

AWE-SOMMMMMMMME.

Awesome.

Happy birthday again, and happy new year!

Aunt Becky said...

You're super crafty, chick-a-dee! I'm impressed (and also jealous).

i am very mary said...

I love handmade gifts, and regifting, and thrift shop gifting! We should shop together. It's only a 13-hour drive. he he

flutter said...

look at all that craftiness!

cactus petunia said...

I love those ponchos... Looking forward to Miss M modeling hers!

Happy New Year!

cold spaghetti said...

What was that sound? Oh, right. It was the sound of you, kicking Martha Stewart's ass.

You rock it!

formerly fun said...

I am totally jealous of your crafing abilities.

Mamalang said...

I actually managed a crafty Christmas this year as well, and damn it felt good!

Very nice panchos. I've never had brandied fruit...sounds yummy though!

Mad said...

I don't know how I didn't see this before but WAY COOL!

Le laquet said...

They are lovely