I finished the Christmas sweaters for my niece and nephew last weekend. I count this as a win because I am not even a whole month late yet. The idea of these sweaters is that while they are Christmassy together, they can be worn at any time, really. I just hope that they fit. I used basic sizing from the internet and sort of made up the pattern as I went. This method, which I use so often, does not always turn out as I hope. I honestly have no idea whether these sweaters will fit – I can only hope at this point!
I made the red baby sweater first, from the top down, and added little pockets because it seemed cute. I don’t know what a baby would actually put in pockets. My niece is one year old and just learned to walk so she isn’t exactly used to strolling about with her hands in her pockets. I was not quite halfway through the green kid sweater when I stumbled upon some tiny dinosaurs at the Chicago Field Museum. I came up with the [brilliant] idea to put little presents in the pockets, so I bought a few dinosaurs for my nephew (he knows more about dinosaurs than anybody – except paleontologists, or so he tells me) and set out to find something to stuff into his little sister’s pockets.
The problem I encountered was that while the pockets of the baby sweater are smaller, the toys required for a baby are bigger. By this I mean that any items small enough to fit into her little pockets would inevitably be a choking hazard. Although I don’t think she is old enough to start keeping score, I didn’t want to do the pocket gift thing for only one kid. Fortunately, I came up with a solution – socks. I know that socks are a lame Christmas present but baby socks are so darn cute, they have to count as a gift. I looked at pink and purple and ruffly socks but I ended up buying her socks with dinosaurs on them. While I don’t want to inflict stereotypical gender roles upon small children, I don’t think “girly” things are actually bad for girls as long as they don’t make up all of the options. I figured though that she probably has ruffly socks and ones with dinosaurs might make her brother jealous. If she’s anything like I was as a little kid, she thinks her big brother hung the moon (proverbially speaking of course, even as I child I had a basic understanding of astronomy) and will want to like whatever he does.
All of the tiny dinosaurs fit easily into one pocket of the green sweater though, so I decided to put something else in the other one. I decided upon a squirrel made of felt, which I had made at the five-year-old’s request but had yet to mail across the country. I think it turned out pretty well although I have never been particularly good at hand sewing.
I made several little animals from Nuno Runo although the lighting in my room isn’t good and my execution is a bit lacking. I printed the patterns as large as I could on a standard letter size sheet of paper. My fingers are way too fat to deal with anything as small as the designer made! If you like tiny sewing projects and / or felt is on sale at your local craft store, you should check out her patterns. I did a few with my 11 & 12 year old cousins over Thanksgiving. Although there were a few small stabbings, the craft went over pretty well.
Anyway, the box is all packed and taped up, so I hope I didn’t forget anything, and I plan to send it at the Post Office on my way to the gym (which I am actually going to today after work). I know the USPS has been through some hard times but I like them. Jon Stewart did a thing on The Daily Show years ago where he pointed out that the Post Office is amazing. For less than fifty cents, they will take a letter from your house (actually, not my house, I don’t have an outgoing mail box) to someone else’s house anywhere in the country in just a couple of days. It is pretty cool when you think about it. Of course, a box with two sweaters costs more than fifty cents to send but it’s still great. I can feel a little bit closer to my family all the way on the west coast by mailing them sweaters that they may not actually need due to the difference in climate.