We have this little friend for whom I love to make stuff. I’m not sure why I always get inspired by her birthday, but I totally do. One year it was the Pointy Kitty, the next year it was a felt cupcake. It’s always something I’ve been wanting to make and then suddenly the time is right!
This year, I was told our little friend loved animals and I suddenly had this incredible urge to make a birdcage similar to one I saw once upon a time in a kid’s catalog somewhere. (Apologies for the terrible photos. Combination of taking photos at night plus just wierdly shaped birdcage!) This is what I came up with:
The bird itself is the pattern out of Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts. For reasons that made sense at the time I decided to use wool felt for the brown part, which I never remember until I’m trying to sew it, does not really sew all that well as the seams are so thick. But oh well, it worked out okay. I love the pink rick rack for the hanger, should our little friend wish to use the bird as an ornament. Or hang it in a tree? Or carry it on her wrist? Who knows?!
The cage itself was trickier. I ended up using two stems of floral wire twisted around and then sewn into a fabric tube. I connected the stems by winding them around each other, going in between every intersection with random yarn, and then sewing over all of THAT with some more felt. That was sort of hard and complicated and messy. And way more hand sewing than I generally do.
The final touch was a very fancy ornament hook that I happened to find at the bottom of our ornament box. Initially I was going to glue it on then I thought, eh, it’s okay if it moves around! If you pull up on it the bird is secured (if, for example, you are carrying the cage around or it’s hanging somewhere) but you can also pull it down to take out the bird. So it’s not too bad.
All in all I really liked this project. It’s pretty big, although I didn’t measure it, but I’d say around 5″ across. It would be fun to do some smaller versions for ornaments. It would also be fun to do a much bigger cage and more birds, maybe even with wire claws so they could hang onto various birdcage accoutrements. Of course I’ll probably never get around to that, but is fun to consider!
And then I finished another gift recently. This is a baby sweater for our neighbor who has a baby girl (plus two older boys around my boys’ ages). The picture is AWFUL (I don’t know why my pictures have been so horrible lately?) but the sweater is cute. You’ll have to trust me on that.
The pattern is the February Baby Sweater by Elizabeth Zimmermann and the yarn is totally random stashed sock yarn. It took just over one skein. I’ve decided to start making more sock yarn projects because apparently it takes me a year to make a pair of socks and at that rate I have more than enough yarn for the next decade!!
ANYWAY. I screwed up a couple times. For one thing I put the buttonholes outside the button band. I know. Wha…?!? Rectified that by sewing the buttons into the buttonholes and crocheting tiny loops to go over then that were attached to the other side. I also completely and utterly inexplicably did the button band down the lace section as moss stitch. Why on earth did I do that? I have no idea. I hate moss stitch so evidently I subconsciously wanted to torture myself. As if knitting a garment out of sock yarn isn’t torture enough. And then I had to rip back the body once when I was quite close to being done because I realized I hadn’t added additional stitches under the armholes and that was why it was looking so small. Whoops.
So as it is, a project that should have taken at most a couple weeks has instead taken a month! I hope it fits, that’s all I can say.
There are a few other knitting projects coming down the pike.. my vest just needs buttons (although I’m fairly disappointed with it in general) and my tulips cardigan just needs to be sewn up. I’m on the yoke of Boo’s sweater and currently plotting hat and mitten projects for the boys. And a bigger baby sweater.. you know, in case that one doesn’t fit. Insert eyeroll here!