Sunday, February 5, 2012

Christmas with Violet

Just last week, I finally had the chance to celebrate Christmas with my good friend Violet. With my work schedule and family obligations, and Violet's school schedule and travel plans, we simply didn't have a chance to get together until the very end of January to exchange gifts. As usual, we went to the Good Earth and I got to enjoy Good Earth Original iced tea, which is one of my very favorite beverages ever.

Throughout the holiday season, I worked hard to make a Christmas present for Violet. Violet is a very dear friend who I first met in 2003, when we were working together at Summer Camp. That summer, we both came down with strep and were taken to the hospital together to get medication. We bonded and have been friends ever since. When she moved to the Twin Cities in 2009 to attend grad school, I couldn't have been happier. She has also been my partner-in-crime for a number of visits back to Summer Camp and the Lake Country surrounding it. Several years ago, we found ourselves shopping together and we discovered one of our favorite little shops was carrying Vera Bradley. Violet fell in love with a pattern similar to this one:

Ever since, when I see these colors combined together, I think of her. One advantage of our delayed Christmas celebration was that it gave me the chance to make her a bunch of different little accessories. I think you'll see a theme!

First, I decided to make a scarf. The yarn I used is the Charisma collection from Michaels, in a color called Sunny Day. I've never knit with a yarn this chunky before, but the fiber is soft and knit up super quickly. I also love the self striping - it makes it look much more complicated than it actually is!

I had some yarn left over after I finished the scarf, and thought nothing of it. I then came across a pattern to crochet a hat. I am learning how to crochet, but what really got my attention was the way the hat was to be constructed: the sheath is created flat, the top part is shaped and then the whole thing is sewn together with a yarn needle. No fancy techniques required! I figured if it could be done with crochet, it could almost certainly be done with knitting. I turned to my knitting bible, and, voila! There was a pattern for the Hot Head Hat. The pattern is for a little cap that's more for fashion than for warmth, but I figured I could give it a try. The pattern was very simple and the piece knit up super quick!

And while the pattern called for the knitter to use different colored yarn to make stripes, my handy self-striping yarn just did it without my input. It's so cute! Here's the set:

Right around Christmas time, I also decided I wanted to learn how to make my own jewelry. I've sort of fiddled around in that area for a long time, but I wanted to make nicer pieces and knew I needed to learn more. I bought a book at Joann's, which has turned out to be perfect! It is filled with good, close-up pictures and has lots of interesting ideas that you can either use as straight up patterns or as inspirations for your own design. I saw some beads in the same color family as above and decided I had to have them for Violet. She isn't someone who wears a lot of jewelry regularly, but I thought she would enjoy having something simple to wear especially when she's dressing up.

This is the finished product!

Once all these crafts were done and ready to go, I packed them all up!

Stay tuned for another post about what Violet made for me! 

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