Sunday, November 28, 2010

Some other things I've been up to...

The odds and ends of my craftiness...

This sweater started out as a baby ended up almost big enough for me to wear. (Yet another lesson in the importance of knitting a gauge swatch...but since it wasn't intended for anyone in particular, I just left it). The yarn is nice and fluffy, though!

Some tiny socks for a friend having a baby!
And, to use up the last of that yarn, some tiny Christmas ornaments :)

I donated the sweater and ornaments, among other things, to my church's annual fair. It's the biggest fundraiser of the year for us, and I'm always amazed at the incredible stuff people make and donate!
I just love these little bags shaped like fruit!And personalized marshmallow roasters...Keith and I are in charge of the book room (I always take home boxes of them...which I mostly read and then give away or donate back the next year). Isn't he cute?
So many books...

The fair is, for me, the beginning of the holiday season, and one of my favorite parts of getting ready for Christmas. Anybody else out there in blogland have any fun, crafty pre-Christmas traditions?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Today, I want to share a little bit about my crafty roots!

This is my nana in her studio.
Since 1984, she has been making and selling Nantucket baskets, as well as offering classes through her home studio, known as Peg Hall Studios. The name of her studio comes from her mother-in-law, Margaret (Peg) Hall, an accomplished author and artist in her own right (I'll have to blog about her another time).

Nantucket lightship baskets originated in the 1860s, when "light ships" were commissioned to warn ships of the dangerous shoals off the southern coast of Nantucket. Life on a lightship was tedious, so the men on the ships took up basketmaking to relieve the boredom. The resulting baskets are strong and beautiful, and are now made in a wide variety of styles and colors, including purses, often known as "friendship" purses. Nantucket baskets last so long that they are often described by the rhyme:
"I was made on Nantucket, I'm strong and I'm stout, don't lose me or burn me and I'll never wear out!"

I recently decided that I wanted to learn how to make baskets like my grandmother, and have been impressed by how detailed the work is and how strong the finished product is. I just finished my first basket! (Actually, I made one when I was a kid...I started it when I was 8, and finished when I was I don't really count that one :)

Here are some of my Nana's designs:

And here's the plug: Peg Hall Studios has joined the 21st century by setting up an Etsy shop! Please check it out here - Nantucket baskets make beautiful, timeless gifts for the holiday season!

Friday, November 12, 2010


Since lots of people I know are having babies this year, it's time to busy making presents!

These were easy to make, and all out of things I had in the house - a towel I no longer use, and some cute jungle fabric I picked up in the bargain bin at JoAnn's awhile back. Baby can never have too many burp cloths!