It has been totally brilliant, not to mention ridiculously exciting, to watch all your #stitchingsanta parcels coming together over the last couple of months.
I’ve loved seeing how thoughtful and creative everyone has been, really getting to know their recipient through their blog and sending the most appropriate gifts possible.
For those of you new to this concept, and for anyone considering joining in next year (yes, I’m going to organise another one!), here’s the link to show you what it’s all about – #stitchingsanta 2015.
I took part in both the knitting/crochet swap and the sewing swap but, before I show you all the amazing things I received, I thought I’d show you the final handmade gift that I included in my sewing swap parcel.
A hexagonal French ‘Cartonnage’ sewing box (pattern by Tialys on Etsy) which nearly didn’t get sent as I only finished it an hour before the deadline for Christmas post!
It took quite a few hours of construction over a week or so to complete, the glued parts needing overnight to dry before moving on to the next bit.
It’s a lovely pattern though, and I thoroughly enjoyed making it – I first saw it on Lucie’s blog as she was a tester for the pattern before its release and it is designed by the talented Lynn who blogs over at Tialys.
The box made it into the parcel along with the other things which I blogged about here and was posted to the loopy-but-lovely Ali, better known by many of you as THIMBERLINA.
The first I knew of Pippa was when she signed up for the swap, so I spent some time looking through her blog to see what kind of things she might like before deciding on a few. There are fewer handmade items obviously, as knitting takes so much longer than sewing.
I took a chance by not adding sender’s details on either parcel so they would be a surprise until the last moment, as I had blogged in detail about all the handmade elements in the run up to Christmas.
Ali, bless her, hadn’t even received my parcel but had already sent me these lush quilted coasters as a ‘thank you’ for organising the swap!
The fabric she used was ace and had funny, and perfectly apt, little quotes in speech bubbles all over it. Thanks Ali – I love them!!!
Now, onto the myriad of gorgeous things that I was gifted.
As the organiser, two people had to draw the short straw and have me as their swap partner, so neither were able to blog about their parcels.
I chose Joey, from Littleblackdogsa, to be my knitting partner as she lives in South Africa and the post can be notoriously unpredictable. It wouldn’t matter if her parcel didn’t reach me for a few months but, in fact, it arrived in plenty of time!
The outer bag was quite badly damaged when it arrived, but the contents were intact so I put everything in the bright red bag that she sent with it and it stayed under the tree until yesterday.
Yes, you read that correctly, yesterday – Boxing night to be exact. Why? Well, it certainly wasn’t because I have masses of will power or patience (quite the opposite, in fact) but because we host Christmas for the family and I spend two days cooking, tidying and making sure everyone is having a good time. I wanted to wait until lunch was over and they were all watching a festive film in the lounge so I could open and photograph my parcels at leisure.
And this is what Joey sent me!
Would you like to see them in more detail?
Firstly, there are two Indian cotton tea towels onto both of which Joey had crocheted a beautiful border. Far too nice to use, really, but I will.
A pretty pin cushion in the shape of a pear. Can you believe I only have one pin cushion which I keep in my sewing room? This one will be used on a daily basis by the children in my sewing classes – I think they’re going to love it.
Four fab cakes of organic cotton yarn, local to South Africa, which I am thrilled with and can’t wait to use – crochet hooks included!
A length of festive cotton tape featuring the music of “Jingle Bells”, some hand sewing needles and an atmospheric South African sunset disguised as a fridge magnet.
I love the little rustic angel that she included, too – I am guessing it is handmade from recycled materials?
Finally, there were some sweets, a project bag and a card with a lovely message inside. Thank you so much Joey – I am thrilled with all the thoughtful gifts that you obviously spent a lot of time putting together for me!
By the time I had finished opening and photographing Joey’s parcel, I was dying to open the one from my sewing swap gifter and almost forgot to take a picture of the parcels themselves!
Teresa, the smiley one who blogs over at Navybluethreads, sent her gifts in two separate packages which arrived a day apart – I only knew there was going to be another parcel when the first one arrived labelled ‘Part 2’!
Look at all this!
There were Christmas cards and a letter – Teresa, you should be a doctor with writing like that, beautiful but illegible!!! No.1 Son and I worked it out in the end though!
With the help of the newly-translated letter, this is what Teresa sent: –
Loads of amethyst-coloured knit fabric which WILL be made into the dress on the pattern that she included. She knows that I like strong colours and, being a lady of ample bosom herself, obviously knows that the wrap dress is perfect for that. I will make the long sleeved version and wear it with long boots during the Winter.
I simply cannot resist any pretty vintage lace, fabric or doilies that I come across in charity shops, so when I opened these I was beside myself with excitement! I believe most of these came from Teresa’s stash so I am doubly grateful – I wouldn’t be able to part with any of mine!
With my new sewing school, The Stitch Academy, in mind, she kindly sent me a publication that would be ideal for the children to use as their skills improve. The stocking pattern is brilliant, too, but I already have it so I hope she won’t mind if I pass it forward to somebody else to enjoy?
Teresa even thought of The Boys – they will absolutely LOVE making these fox brooches and fishy keyrings!!
So many generous and thoughtful gifts but my favourite from Teresa has to be this one – a beautifully soft infinity scarf, handknitted by the lovely lady herself, in a self-striping yarn of various jewel shades which looks exactly like it does in the photo. I just love it!
What more can I say, except a huge ‘Thank You’ to Joey and Teresa for all the fabulous gifts, and a massive pat on the back to all the #stitchingsantas that signed up for this swap and made it so successful and enjoyable.
I hope you all had as much fun as I did – judging by the blog posts I have seen so far, you did and I wasn’t the only one who was more excited about this present under my tree than any of the others!
Look out for the swap again next year when I get the feeling we’ll have an even longer list of participants than the thirty-five that took part this time.
Happy New Year to you all!