Every year I exchange small gifts with my co-workers at Yarnivore, and this year was no different. But early on I got to thinking about making something *myself* for my coworkers. There’s just so much stuff in the world–I wanted to make something useful but fun, something they’d enjoy.
I spent a long Sunday (off!) making these crochet-covered tape measures, and I absolutely love them. I may write up a pattern for these later, but the basic idea is to crochet 2 circles that are roughly the size of your measuring tape and whip stitch them together over the tape, leaving about 3 stitches un-sewn where the tape spits out. Then, crochet a flower and sew it to the cover along with a button. Actually, if you’re smart, you’ll embellish the cover BEFORE you sew it to the tape, ask me how I know! No matter, it’s just a bit more fussy but totally doable. I also made tiny leaves to sew to the end of the measuring tape for extra cutenes, and to prevent the end from ever sliding under the cover. I was totally inspired by the adorable measuring tapes from Lantern Moon, but by making them myself using yarn and buttons I already had kept the costs very low. I used Amy Butler’s Belle Organic DK for the yarn, in case you’re wondering. It’s a great wool cotton blend, and of course I like the colors.
I also flexed my beading muscle (long languishing, that one!) by making stitch markers using flexible stringing wire from Beadalon. Fold the strand in half over a knitting needle (I used size 10.5) to size the loop and slide on a crimp bead. Crimp the bead to secure the loop, then add some light weight beads and another crimp bead. Trim the tails and voila! Simple, but time consuming. A perfect project for sitting in front of the TV, I think. I love these markers for knitting (and had the foresight to make some for moi!) because they won’t snag. As lovely as many stitch markers are, I worry about them snagging my work, and I don’t think these will. It was much fun to put colors together that I might even whip up a few sets for the store…right after I write the tape measure pattern, finish the deadlines swirling around in my head, relax for the holidays and take the dog for a walk.
I think the coolest thing about our swap is that without saying anything to each other about it, many of us decided to make our gifts this year. I got a beautiful tatted bracelet from Wendy and a hand woven spa cloth and handmade soap from Debbi. I love that we all used our special skills–it is SO rare that I get a handmade gift, and I neither tat nor weave (though I hope to one day!), so it was extra cool to get gifts made using those techniques. Thanks ladies!