Scrap Sunday: Leaving Presents

I know, I know I promised to show you something you will need sunglasses for but as it is already Sunday I will have to talk about the latest scrap project first, the potential eye hurting post will have to wait.

My daughter had her last day in nursery on Friday, she will start big school in January so the pressure was quite high to produce some good gifts as unfortunately she has really a few great teachers and assistants in that stupid nursery!

She has a reputation of a …. ahem…. very creative style and some of the cloths I had made for her had been complimented a lot and are definitely recognisable so I really wanted to use some of these fabrics for the gifts.Β  The plan was to make make up bags for the 4 main persons in her nursery life and necklaces to hold the keys/badges or whatever they keep carrying around their necks for all the others. I was a little unsure if I should just use the same fabric for everyone (cute little strawberries on yellowish background – she had a dress and a skirt made out of it) or different ones and I actually got the answer just on Thursday (I always knew my last minute approach to get things done will eventually pay off) when one of the teachers mentioned that she really loved one of her dresses and she that she wished she could wear it herself. On my way home I decided to make different ones… if I could find that particular fabric the teacher had been talking about. I knew there was only a tiny amount left and that I had not thrown it away because it was really pretty. At first I did not find it, only when I eventually gave up and looked for something else instead (classic, I know). I decided to actually put a mini pocket on the bag rather than making all those boxed pleats the other bags will feature, as this particular detail had been pointed out by the teacher.

I think the idea is brilliant, the execution wasn’t really (good enough for the occasion, the amount of fabric left and the pressure I was under). I have lined all bags with cotton plus interface which makes the inner rather stiff and in the case of the jersey fabric outside, this was just not great as the jersey is almost glued to the inner. It is looks like a jersey dress that shows of all your rather not so great bumps and rolls πŸ™‚ I should have cut out the exterior bigger or keep a softer inner. Anyway, it looks funny and it will definitely always remind her of the little person wearing the same kind of dress.

For the other bags I used the pattydoo pattern that I have previously used to use up some of my own skirts left over (I am just realising, that idea isn’t exactly new).

I have to apologise for the quality of the pictures, we were quite in a rush. I had to finish the last bag Friday morning and then the whole family, visiting mother in law included, had to help me getting everything together. Present wrapping, card writing, picture taking in the darkness of London 8.30am…. But we made it.

Strawberry skirt:

Corduroy dungarees:

Rainbow skirt:

For everybody else, I made the key holder necklace out of the strawberry fabric – I can proudly say that this is a great scrap fabric use up as I am sure you will always know lots of people who have to wear these kind of things. So it is a quick little fun present and not at all over the top. Unfortunately, I have no picture of the strawberry version (rush, remember), so I took one of the trial version out of a different material.


I made a trial first to see if I can cut the material straight or if I have to cut it on the bias. To be honest it would probably lie around the neck better if cut on the bias but the straight version seemed good enough for me. Especially, if you overlap the ends before bringing them both through the ring bit and stitching them together.


And in case if you were wondering where I got the clasps from – ebay is full of them.

So to sum it up, both bags and key holder thingy are excellent scrap use up projects and with the choice of fabrics you can actually create some fairly simpleΒ  and yet very personal gifts who will be very appreciated… although probably not as much asΒ  cards written by a 5 year old (for the “lanch pipl”) πŸ™‚ – you can’t compete with that.







You deserve it – choosing the right gift

As all crafters, I often give people handmade (mainly knitted) items. But I find it hard to choose what to make, especially as I have started to knit for almost random people to fulfil my knitting needs πŸ™‚

So, I would be happily knit a lot for lots of people but I also don’t want to make people feel uncomfortable because they might consider it too much or too big (or because they wonder who on earth I actually am). And then they will make me feel uncomfortable because I really don’t like it if people admire my things too much, give me even compliments or are too thankful…. which happens about every single time when a person from the cold Austrian region of Vorarlberg moves to a polite and thank you – obsessed England πŸ™‚

And what about local customs? I always feel very unsure about that. Do teachers in nursery and primary school get gifts at the end of the year as they would in Austria (well, as far as I remember)? At the end of each term? Christmas? What if they don’t celebrate Christmas? And who? Just the key worker? And maybe the class teacher? What about the head teacher? And actually the child is really fond of those other two teachers, so I really would want to give them something. But that might upset others. As they would be on the same level of hierarchy.

And not to forget the time issue, obviously. So I have become a big fan of small gifts. You can make them in a reasonable time and no one will get hurt.

After just a few smallish gifts for the main people in nursery in the first year and having offended at least one who didn’t get anything (receptionist, in my defence),


I have decided to make a tiny thing for each and every single one last year. The care taker seemed rather pleased with his knitted butterfly badge I have to say (He does have a small daughter, so it will get used) πŸ™‚


I feel really confident with the appropriateness of those tiny gifts for the end of year occasion but I guess I will have to step up a gear for the final gifts when child No1 is leaving nursery.

On another very recent occasion I might have gone a bit over the top. I forgot to pay a friend of my sister a bread delivery worth a couple of euros. She might not even remember, but I am not happy about it, especially as I keep forgetting it since many many months. So I guess, an apology on a fancy glittery English card and the money would do it but on the other side, it is a really lovely person and I wanted to knit a Camino Bubbles by Kieran Foley since over a year and also finally make something out of a Zauberball as I had seen so many lovely projects on ravelry. So an apology scarf seemed to tick all the boxes.


I am a big fan of dropping stitches – after years of worrying to accidentally drop one, it is just so much fun to let them drop on purpose and even pull and stretch to open up those bubbles.


I love the airiness and fluffiness of this scarf – I made a small version for appropriateness reasons πŸ˜‰ but I think now that this pattern really calls for something big to show those bubbles off rather than hiding them in a wrapped – around – your – neck – mess.


On my current gifts to make – list, there is a dress for a newborn baby of another mum in nursery. Should I now make something for the two other pregnant mothers too? One of them might actually not even know my name, she might get a bit scared of the weird lady following her around with her knitting needles πŸ™‚

How do you decide on what to make for whom? How do you decide? Any advice? I clearly need help.