Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Handmade Man Gifting and a Bit of Sadness

For all my happy Christmas babble, a small part of me is filled with sadness. I spent hours and hours knitting and never took pictures of the finished products! ::sniff::sniff:: What was I thinking??? Well, some of the reason is that I had some things I was working on until the last minute and I was distracted getting ready for all of it. And it was joyous, so I won't dwell on my sadness. Just needed to wallow for a tiny moment.

One of my "distractions" was figuring out a manly gift that I could make. I sometimes struggle with handmade for a man. If I could do woodworking, or something equally exciting, I feel like I would have a bunch of ideas. But sewing and limited knitting skills always leave me searching when it comes to a guy. We were meeting my SIL's boyfriend for the first time and, while I've "known" him through Laurie for 2 years or so, I had no real idea of what would make a good handmade gift. And they live where it's hot, so knitting doesn't go too far. Then lo-and-behold, doesn't Whip Up send me an email with a guide for mens gifts?? I was inspired by a whole lot of things! My boys would LOVE this beanie!! This pillow is also a fantastic idea. And I have been planning to try this tie pattern since they posted the little boys' version. In the end, this checkerboard, really caught my eye. I didn't wind up using any of the instructions; it was more of a picture inspiration.

I made my own plans for size and wooden checkers

for storage

and compactness

and ended up with something that is wholly mine! I am so pleased with how it turned out and am mulling over in my head whether it is something that others might want to buy. But that would be for another time.....

The piecing went so quickly and easily. My only struggle was, even with a mat and rotary cutter, getting the squares to come out the same size! (I have only a small mat and straight edge and wonder if a larger version would have helped not having to slide the straight edge to finish the cut?) There are a whole lot of places where the squares do not line up properly. I was very frustrated by that, but the overall result was good so I tried not to fuss.

The best part? Doug is an avid checkers player and I had no idea :-) Well, truly the best part was really enjoying our meeting and visit, but the checkers bit was pretty fantastic too.


nicola@which name? said...

awesome, elissa! what a great idea! thanks, also, for the link list.
tell us what else you made, even if you can't post photos!

Patty T said...

Cute! I like my larger cutting mat for making the strips for squares. I found a basic quilting book a great source of information when learning how to cut and estimate sizes and such. They usually have good tips in them. I waste a lot less fabric now!

beemahoney said...


joanie said...

Elissa, what a gorgeous gift. I love how you made it your own, brilliant! A big healthy, happy New Year to you and your family.
Joanie x

Feather said...

very impressive, my dear. and without knowing he's a checker-player? *applause* well done!

brown robin said...

This is my first time over for a visit! I know what you mean about the "sadness." I always do that... oh, well. Your checkerboard and storage rocks! I have some vintage wood checkers from a yard sale find. I've been meaning to make one of those. I like yours the best of all I've seen!