Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Yarn Along--Christmas gift edition

Merry Christmas, everyone!  I am joining Ginny for her Yarn Along this week, and thought it would be just the time and place to post about my Christmas knitting and book-giving.

I made two pairs of felted slippers in the last weeks before Christmas using this pattern, one for my little niece and another for one of her brothers.  I used a chunky yarn I ordered from eBay a few years back.  It's too itchy for much of anything, but fine for slippers, and it felts up nice and thick.  I made the soles from scrap suede I had in my stash of leather (I'm a craft pack-rat with WAY too many stashes!).

Those for my nephew were made from two strands of Paton's something-or-other.  I found the cute monkey buttons at Wal-Mart.  For both pairs I followed the instructions for making the infant size, but working with the bulky yarn and size 10 needles, it was more like a toddler size.

The very last thing I made, finishing it only 3 days before Christmas, was a neck warmer, made from this pattern.  I used two strands of Knit Picks City Tweed HW held together and size 10 needles (if I do it again, I will use size 13).  The yarn is so soft and lovely, the color and texture nice and masculine.

I have Adrian's Henley to finish, but being a bit burned out from all the last-minute knitting madness, I have given it a break.  I hope to get the sleeves started this week.

On to books:  I myself am still reading John Holt's How Children Learn.  It is an immensely enjoyable book.  But I thought I might share with you the books that my kids received for Christmas.  I always make a concerted effort trying to find books that each child will enjoy.

Una received Eragon's Guide to Alagaesia.  She has Piratology and Egyptology from the same publisher.  They are lavishly illustrated, interactive books

I was really excited about this book.  Sebastian, feeling the heft of it in its wrapping, was worried.  "Did you get me a dictionary?"  The book has about 5 hundred pages, but over three hundred of them are full-page illustrations, and Sebastian has been moving through the story rather quickly.  The film, done in 3-D and directed by Martin Scorsese, just came out last month, I think.

Gabriel is still not a very strong reader, and therefore it is hard to get him to read willingly.  For Christmas I let him off the hook and just got a book with pictures--cross-sections of some of the space ships in the Star Wars movies.  He can spend ages pouring over the details.

Dominic, in spite of being teased by his older and more "sophisticated" brothers (meaning that they like robots and Star Wars and ninjas instead of cute, fuzzy animals) still loves Winnie the Pooh.  We have the Milne stories, but Dominic, being Dominic, has trouble sitting still for stories without lots of illustrations, so, although I am not a big fan of Disney interpretations of literature, I bought The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

Adrian loves Gnomes, and we already have this book and this one, so I ordered A Gnome's Christmas for him.  He was so excited when he saw it!

The illustrations are every bit as beautiful in this book as in the others.

Gemma received three board books, as she is still a bit tough on the paper variety (she loves them, but isn't too gentle in her page-turning).  I seem to have a recollection of having had I Am a Bunny as a child--it seems so familiar to me.  Let's Play is another wonderful book by Gyo Fujikawa, filled with delightful illustrations of little ones at play.  And I gave her Gerda Mueller's Winter to complete her set of the four seasons.

I'll be finishing off the week with a post tomorrow about the gifts we purchased for the children, and on Friday with what we made, and that should round out my Christmas gift-giving posts.  I'm looking forward to seeing what you've been reading and knitting!


  1. The slippers are absolutely adorable! The neck warmer is very nice as well... such talent! We are a book-giving family, too. John's older brother gave him a book on building catapults, which came with a small wooden one to put together... we've had Lego men flying all over the place (also, a piece of ham :)). Have a nice day. Love, Annita +JMJ+

  2. I know exactly the knitting-burn-out feeling you're talking about; although I swore I wouldn't do it, I was up at 1 am on Christmas morning finishing the last touches on my gifts. Haven't touched my needles since!
    LOVED Hugo husband and I both devoured it. All lovely books you chose! Have a wonderful beginning to your new year!

  3. Hi Nadja, lovely post. The felted slippers are so cute! do you need to use pure wool for felting? I've never tryed - yet.
    Great looking books.

  4. I love the Gnome books. There were some of my favourites as a child!! Very cute slippers.

  5. Cute slippers! My oldest son and I read Hugo a few years ago. He loved it. I am not sure if we will be watching the movie as it may be a bit intense. It may require a pre-viewing! Love the books your family received.

  6. Love your slippers! Do you mind me asking how your applied the suede soles? Did you sew them on with your sewing machine or by hand? They look so perfect and professional.
    And what a great selection of books! I love the oh so charming illustration from "A Gnome's Christmas"!

  7. Love the slippers. I love it when I finally find a use for some yarn that I could not find a use for but did not want to get rid of. Love all the books and we had 4 out of 8 kids ask for Legos for Christmas this year. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Gigi, I used an awl to pierce the suede and then used linen thread (which I have, being a bookbinder) to sew them on by hand. It was a bit fiddly, but not too hard.

  9. oh felted slippers have been on my list for a while. i'm just always afraid not to get the sizing right.
    and we love the seasons books by Gerda Muller over here too! :)

  10. The audio recording of Hugo is wonderful! Our librarian recommended it and I'm so glad she did!

    I love the felted slippers, maybe I should try something like that...

  11. Those slippers are adorable! I will have to check out that pattern.


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