cafe mama

entering the mind of the married mom

An update on my crafty plans - November 30, 2004

I've been plotting and scheming for Christmas (and Hannukah, and birthday) gifts for December production. I've made a list of (1) all the Martha Stewart projects and do-it-yourself ideas I've been cooking up and (2) all the people who theoretically may receive gifts from me. Today that list got expanded by one when I received a birth announcement from one of my husband's best buddies in Chicago! Another new wonderful.

That expands my list to something like 10 babies, five pregnant women, and 16 non-baby children. Among others.

So what to make for all these babies and mamas and other good people? I'll let you into a few of my ideas...I clearly won't be knitting separate gifts for each member of my list (though a few special ones will get hand-knitted gifts this year). Here are a few of my assembly-line projects:

1. The Doll

The Doll is straight from Martha's fall Kids' issue. (You'll want to click the more link for complete pics) It looks like a great project for a good number of the babies, and the children, on my list. It's sweet, it's soft, it's pretty easy, and it can be made to look a little bit like the child in question.

We'll be having a doll-making party/assembly line here at the house on Saturday Dec. 4, complete with sisters and crafty friends. If I've invited you, or I haven't and you want to come anyway, email me at mama @ We'll be starting around noon, and you should bring some supplies, especially needles and embroidery thread. I have oodles of batting, lots of fabric of all kinds, but not much cotton knit fabric in "skin" colors. If you have a sewing machine you'd like to cart along, please do - although we should be able to share mine for the most part. If anyone has cool hair-colored yarn scraps, please bring them along - I'm covered on orange, pink, and black but don't have much brown or other "natural" colors. And, without further ado, the photos (click on the photo for the high-high res version)

page one

page two

page three

page four

2. The Hat

The hat is stolen straight from wooly wooly, who can't possibly mind having me steal from them, as I never would have had the money to purchase their outrageously cute, outrageously expensive recycled hats in the first place.

Yep, you heard me right, "recycled." In other words, Bins sweaters (or whatever the Bay Area's equivalent to the Bins is), cut into pieces, sewn back together, with bells and pompoms added in for good measure. One Bins sweater, costing me approximately $0.25, will make me two hats worth $36 each. My time is certainly worth...let's see...$75 an hour.

This gift will be kindly bestowed on children near and far, and maybe a few adults. Like it? Think you're on my list - or should be? I'd be happy to take requests.

3. The Organizer

I have lots of knitters on my list. I found a fabulous knitting needle organizer pattern (well, idea, I didn't really follow the pattern) in THE knitting book. I'm going to (hopefully) improve on it vastly, adding pockets for scissors, stitch markers, yarn needles, a ruler, and a few circular needles, and make a few for my favorite knitting buddies. I'll report back on my progress...

4. The Mix

Hot Chocolate, how do I love thee? Especially peppermint hot chocolate, my current obsession. Thanks to Martha's tip and a great sale on top-of-the-line cocoa, I'll be making mostly organic peppermint hot chocolate mix for some of my mama friends. Yumm....

5. The Rest of the List

I have a huge list of Martha projects that I may or may not get to, including some cute baby laundry bags, an activity mat painted on a 6'x7' canvas, some beaded animals, handtowel bibs, and a vast variety of things made from felt. These will depend on my free (?) time between now and then. Cross your finger, recipients, this could be a fabulously creative, or largely Bins-fueled, gift year.