Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas in Oakland.

Here is my first vintage-style sock monkey, made from a pair of red heeled socks! He's rather homely, but I am quite fond of him and his thick unibrow.

That's our Christmas tree. I covered it with various bird ornaments and berry and pine cone garlands. I wanted it to look like a bunch of colorful tropical birds were flying over Oakland, minding their own business, then saw my Christmas tree, and decided to perch on it and and gnaw on berries. You know, just like it would happen in nature.

There are no presents underneath because there is only so much temptation our dogs can resist. The feathery ornaments are more than enough. Note the lack of ornaments on the lower sixth of the tree.

Some sock monkey marvelousness for you (apparently I am not the only one having sock monkey dreams!) -

Also, for those of you who have never seen Crouton doing his dancing bear begging trick -

But don't be fooled. These are a couple of very bad dogs. We had family over on Sunday, and they took advantage of the ensuing chaos to escape and run at top speed across busy 14th Avenue in traffic. Needless to say, they were safely retrieved and returned (tails wagging and tongues lolling happily) to the house, but not before I burst into tears. Baaaaaaadddd dooooogggs!

I've been knitting up a storm lately, so stay tuned for knitting posts.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sock Monkey Dreams.

I'm almost done with my next sock monkey, and I am actually having sock monkey dreams (since I am struggling to sleep through an unmedicated cold, some of the dreams have been quite sinister). Pictures of the completed monkey to follow. This one uses vintage-style red-heeled Redford socks. (Thanks to Will for the link, I wasted no time shelling out for both the blue and the brown versions! I think I'm going to make a bunny with one pair of blue socks, and Steve is delighting me by wearing the other pair around the house. Loud red heels on my husband!). I planned to use the vintage pattern, but unfortunately, I am very bad at following even basic directions, so mine is pretty different, closer to the monkey in this book. More like the last sock monkey I sewed up. But it still looks like a vintage sock monkey to the untrained eye.

By the way, I am seriously lusting after this book. And this one. (Hint, hint.)

Did you know? According to Wikipedia, "The genesis of the sock monkey came about when the craze of stuffed animals swept across Europe and into America, where it met the burgeoning arts and crafts movement in the United States. Mothers there took to sewing sock monkeys as toys for their children, and sock monkeys soon became a fixture of American nurseries." Redford started manufacturing red-heeled socks in 1932, making sock monkeys a great example of Depression-era ingenuity and craftiness. And we all know how much Inder loves Depression-era ingenuity and craftiness.

I also made a flannel receiving blanket (my sole act of nesting and I'm already five months pregnant!) from fabric printed with sock monkeys. I promise to take some photos of that too. I'm not organized enough to have a themed nursery, but if I was, I think we can all guess what the theme would be ...

In other news, I was more than halfway through knitting a gorgeous (if I may say so) lacy scarf, using golden 100% silk yarn, when I lost the whole project at the Oakland Airport. Nooooooooooo!!!! I'm trying to numb my grief with sock monkeys. Someone please send me a pattern for cute fingerless gloves? Nothing too complicated - I'm still a beginner.