Sustainable Gift Giving – and Sew What! Holiday Edition Week One

Sustainable Gift Giving.  No, I don’t mean sustainable as in giving or receiving a gift every single day, though that could be fun!  Rather, I mean sustainable as in

 a) affordable; b)meaningful; and c)thoughtful. 

Affordable – Yes, I am well employed, and so is the husband.  We make a decent living.  We are also raising four children who consume tons of food, wear lots of clothing and require an education.  Because of this, we choose not to live on the edge, and spend our money very carefully.  Gift giving is wonderful and I love doing it.  As much as I would like to shower everyone with extravagant luxuries, I choose not to damage our family budget.

Meaningful – Think about who is receiving the gift!  Do they really need more clutter in their lives? More stuff?  What small thing would make them smile?

Thoughtful – Nope. Not about the recipient here.  The thoughts are all about Mother Earth.  How can we introduce our friends to sustainable living, especially those friends who thrive in their throw-away households? By gently leading through example, of course!

So, with these thoughts in mind, I intend to entering this holiday season with a mind set towards affordable, meaningful and thoughtful gifts, which means homemade, consumable, affordable and sustainable!  I’ll blog through the season and post tutorials. 
To kick off, I’ll start with the Sew Along Holiday Edition Week One Challenge:  a Gift for Him.  The Him in this case is Teen Son#1.  He commented that I had never knitted him anything. Actually, I had, but he doesn’t remember wearing those darling baby booties, sweaters and caps.  I haven’t knitted him anything since he became old enough to be aware of the fact that Mom Knits.  So!  Here it is, with instructions to make one yourself.


Teen Son#1’s Scarf
1 skein, 60 grams, approx. 270 yards bamboo wool blend* fingering weight yarn in a solid color, 3-ply
1 skein, 60 grams approx. 270 yards wool varigated sock yarn, fingering weight, 3-ply
Size 4 knitting needles


Using one strand of each yarn held together, cast on 40 stitches.
Knit ten rows of garter stitch.
Row 1: knit across.
Row 2: knit 3, purl to last three stitches, knit 3.
Continue alternating Rows 1 and 2 until you get to the last seven yards of yarn. Knit 10 rows in garter stitch. Bind off, weave in loose ends. Hand wash in cold water and block square.
Finished scarf is about 6 inches wide and 5′ long,
*I choose organic yarns when possible, especially when working with cotton. Why?  Because fiber agriculture, especially cotton, is one of the biggest contributors to pesticide contamination of our natural waters!  I look for manufacturers who offer naturally colored yarns or who use less toxic methods to make yarns with a smaller environmental impact.  Bamboo is a naturally sustainable product.  It grows prolifically without the use of fertilizers or pesticides.  And it’s incredibly soft!

EMail Anglea Pea


Ran out of Steam – and a New Challenge!

Well – Self Stitched September sort of petered out, didn’t it?  The temperatures stayed in the upper nineties until the bitter end of the month, and I just ran out of self made clothing to post about.  I have oodles of winter clothes that are hand made, as well as scarves, gloves and sweaters – just not that many summer things any more. So what now? 
Onward and Upward!
It’s October now, which means time to start thinking about Christmas presents for family and friends.  As per our family’s norm, I like to keep presents simple, meaningful, and as home made as possible – with natural materials, recycled and reclaimed if possible.  Sounds ratty, doesn’t it?  It’s not!
To keep myself motivated – and to have fabulous ideas at my disposable – I’ve teamed up with Melissa at Until Wednesday Calls and with the fabulous Ms. C. at The Sewing Dork for another Sew/Craft Along.

It’s the Sew What Holiday Edition! At the beginning of each week Melissa and C post a challenge for themselves, and they invite Blog World to craft along with them.

Here are the Categories for the Sew What Holiday Edition.
Week One : A gift for him *bonus craft: holiday garland

Week Two : A holiday Outfit for anyone

Week Three: A stocking or toy or both!

Week Four: An ornament for the tree

If you’d like to play along, visit The Sewing Dork or Until Wednesday Calls for the details.

EMail Anglea Pea


SSSeptember 20

 Orange Linen Safari Jacket – Coldwater CreekIvory Lace Trimmed Tee – Coldwater CreekBrown Linen Skirt – self made, then remade!Carnelian and Jade Bracelet – Self Made 

Linen?  Yes, we’re still wearing linen here in Texas, because it’s still summer time hot. I love this brown skirt; the brown linen is oversewn with black squiggly lines that sort of merge into flowers and leaves.  Fun! Texture! Fun!


The carnelian bracelet is is comprised of carnelian flat beads with double drilled holes, jade beads and tiny copper spacers. 

The entire outfit is rounded out with these terriffic earrings – also self made.  Carnelian and jade beads on copper findings.