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It is a beautiful sunny day, and in a little bit, I am going off to Pippi’s so that she can help me put a new bulb in my burnt out headlight.  However, in the meantime, I believe I promised you a look at some of the things I’ve been working on.  The first is actually the box above, which also has hints to some of the other things I’ve been working on.  This is a box I picked up for $5 at an antiques store a while back.  I loved the latch, and the sturdy leather carry strap, and decided that it would make a great sewing box.  However, it was missing the pincushion/equipment strap that a lot of sewing boxes have in the lid.  So I made my own.  (Inspiration here)  Some readers might recognize the fabric I used – it’s from a scrap left over from the Cursed Bridesmaid Dress.  Also, the slightly wonky heart pinned on the right is the first one Fleur sewed last weekend .  I think I’ll treasure it forever!

Once my sewing box was all set, I got tired of stray bits of thread getting tangled around the pins in my pincushion, and I realized I needed a needle book.  So I made one of those too. (Inspiration 1, Inspiration 2)

It’s felt cover & pages, with lace & embroidery embellishments.  The little heart is actually part of the closure -I have a string attached to the back cover that winds around it and keeps everything tidy.

I think I am most proud of the appliqued lace motifs on top of the embroidered silk leaves & bow.  That turned out very pretty.  🙂

It’s been very handy to have these on hand as I’ve been working on my more recent projects.  For example, this is one of a pair of house slippers that are in progress (I’m following this tutorial).  The uppers are cut from the scraps of Shetland wool left over from the skirt I talked about a few days ago, and the soles are felt.  The lining will be flannel, possibly lined with cotton batting (I want these to be very warm).

But the best part is on the bottom!  I quilted together multiple layers of felt (for extra comfort/protection from cold floors), and since I can never do anything without adding a little something extra to it, I decided that the slippers needed my initials on them.  So there’s a B on this one, and there will be an S on the other.  And they will be awesome.  And hopefully I’ll get them done while it’s still cold enough to wear them.

Speaking of embroidery, this is the tiny Alabama Chanin style t-shirt I’m making for Fleur’s Christmas doll.  (You can see the pattern pieces for it pinned to the lid of my sewing box in most of the pictures above.)  I’m pretty pleased with how it’s turning out.  I just need to sew that one seam, and then I can go try it on the doll and see if it fits.

The really big project I’ve been working on, however, is a sweater vest I’m knitting for Uncle S.  I drew his name in the Extended Family Gift Exchange this year (ironically, he drew mine as well).  He and Aunt S have been enormously good to me, so I wanted to make him something extra special.  And for a knitter, that means either lace or sweaters.  He’s a computer engineer, so lace was out.  However, he does wear quite a few sweater vests.  So I inquired deeply into what, exactly, does he look for in a sweater, we looked at several patterns and yarn options, and in the end came up with this: Dr. G’s Memory Vest knit from KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Worsted in Onyx Heather.

What you’re looking at above is the back of the sweater, which is almost ready to bind off.  I think I have about an inch or so more, and then I can bind off the back of the neck and do the final shoulder decreases.  So you never know, it might actually be done in time for Christmas.