Monday, May 11, 2009

Hand-Made Hostess Gift

Hand-Made Hostess Gifts:
Sometimes coming up with an appropriate Hostess Gift is difficult at best. If they drink wine I can make some of those adorable wine glass charms with a theme to match a home or if it is a single woman I can make some sort of jewelry. If however, it is a couple and they don’t drink wine, as is the case with my brother and sister-in-law then those gifts are not appropriate. I wanted to come up with something for the home and I wanted it to be hand-made.
My sister-in-law is big on Victorian so has lots of pinks, creams and such in her d├ęcor. I make knitted hats and fulled bags in addition to my jewelry and had recently made a piece of fabric using some wool left-overs to cut flowers out of for my bags. This sparked an idea for the Hostess Gift I wanted to make.
When I got home I went to the yarn store and found some really pretty vintage rose colored wool and knit up a large piece and fulled it. I bought some creamy natural roving (unspun wool) for the needle-felting portion of the project. I thought about putting a little jeweled charm on the corner of each but decided against it because I was afraid it might scratch the wood on the tables. While the large piece was still damp I cut into 4" squares then let it dry completely.
I wanted to make them match but not exactly as is the Victorian era theme so I needle-felted hearts on each one with the cream roving making them each a little different. Then i just tied it up with a pretty satin voila!
I hope you like the outcome.
If you are going to make items such as these remember when you are knitting to allow for shrinkage. Generally speaking you are going to lose about 25%. The formula for that is to divide your finished size by .75. For example I wanted 4" square so I knit the fabric about 10 2/3 X 10 2/3. That gave me enough to get my coasters and trim them square. Or you could knit them at 5 1/3 each. I use a rotary cutter, which was a little pricey. If I did not have one of these I would probably make them one at a time, as scissors don’t really do a very good job.

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