handmade cloth valentine

Sunday was valentine’s day. Although I don’t really get into the whole hallmark aspect of the day, I do like that it gives me an excuse to make a sweet heart-themed project. This year I made a pretty intricate card- needle felted heart on the front, sewn to a back with an embroidered message. I messed up the centering a little when I cut the heart, so I added a little star to balance it out a bit. I’m getting better at embroidery lately- not that you can tell from the star, but take my word for it, the message on the back is pretty well done. I tied the card to a wooden backgammon set that I ordered online. It took a while for me to find a set that I wanted to give Chris. This one still isn’t right, but it was the closest so far: hinged box, with an inlaid wood board. Sets like this make me want to add wood-working to my repertoire…

This weekend is our real Valentine’s- we’re going ice fishing in Wisconsin! Hopefully I’ll have lots of photos and some fish to cook when we get back. I’m pretty excited about it. Plus it was a good excuse to buy myself some new smartwool :-)


I’ve been dying to share these projects, but I’ve had to wait until they were gifted.

Sneaky Snakes Hat

First up: a super soft, rather luxurious hat made for Alexis. And then me, then Lou, Tina, and soon Michelle (that one’s in progress right now). I fell in love with this yarn (Ella Rae bamboo silk), and when Alexis asked me to make her a hat, I knew I had found the perfect project for it. And now I can’t stop making them. After wearing mine, I think the yarn is a bit too slippery for this pattern… it gets stretched slouchy pretty quickly. But on the hats after that I used smaller needles for the first half of the band, so they should stay a little tighter around the ears. I didn’t photograph any of the other ones I made, but Tina’s was fun and stripes (my first striped anything!) and Lou’s was a lovely icy blue color.

embroidery for the glasses case

Next: a glasses case for Tom. I got some fusible fleece that I accidentally melted the first time around (that was no fun to get of the iron, let me tell you!) Once I got the fleece part figured out, it was a relatively simple stitch-job. Though I complicated the whole thing by embroidering his initials… I think my embroidery has much improved from the Christmas stockings I made for me and Chris a few years ago! Perhaps I’m just more patient with it. The embroidery hoop I now use probably helps a lot, too! I was worried it would be a little too small, since I did a bit of a miscalculation with my seam allowance, but his glasses fit perfectly.

Woven scarf

Third project: Mom’s woven scarf. I saw a girl with a nice loose woven scarf when Chris and I were out at breakfast about a month before Christmas, and thought “I could do that. Mom would love it!” Once that seed was planted, I just had to follow through. I found some instructions online, and got mom to bring me a huge piece of cardboard when we went fabric shopping for the yet-to-be-finished window blanket. I didn’t tell her what it was for, because I wasn’t sure how the whole thing would end up. I used some of the sparkly Noro that we rescued from that strange three-holed-shawl purchased at the VNA, red yarn that I bought for Chris’ scarf but ended up not using and a cool sparkly fabric ribbon from Nangellini. I’m overjoyed with how it came out. I lent her a broach that Tina gave me way back at Pennsic… she looks like she’s straight out of a fairy tale. (Send me a photo of you wearing it that way, mom!)

LED bracelet

Last up, another present for Mom… this one is another LED bracelet, made using the instructions from the last one, but all my own materials. Mom likes the way it sort of shimmers, and I agree that it looks pretty cool, but it wasn’t supposed to, so I have some troubleshooting to do. Alexis gave me a great book (Switch Craft) which should help me actually understand what I’m doing with soft circuitry.

So this year I made: (1) hand woven scarf, (1) embroidered glasses case, (3) sneaky snakes hats, (1) LED bracelet with snap switch, (1) holiday mix, and I have 2 hats left to finish… a second for Alexis (warmer than the sneaky snakes, but not as silky soft) and one for Michelle. Also Chris’ scarf, but that I have some time for, it wasn’t really a Christmas present anyway. Not a bad holiday craftacular list!