Holly Jolly

Sometimes, it’s easy to get bogged down this time of year, especially if you’ve had to recently deal with anything like we have such as deaths of close family members and of pets, or having dealt with thieves stealing your Christmas decorations off of your lawn! However, in spite of all of that, I am going to choose to dwell on the good this season has to offer. I thought some of you may need a few photographical pick-me-ups as well, maybe you just need your inspiration sparked or your interest piqued. So, here are a few festive photos as of recently.

We’ve been busy making a few fiber goodies.

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Winter knits and crochets Out of the Thistle  christmas2

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And, I spent a weekend with my family in one of my favorite places, Prescott, dubbed “Arizona’s Christmas Town,” and for good reason. We saw dozens of the most intricate gingerbread houses. We went to the town square for the Christmas parade where my kids waved to everyone and made new friends. We participated in the lighting of the Courthouse where they read the story of Jesus’ birth and we all sang Christmas carols and ate too many sweets. A little reindeer sat outside a local bakery and sang about the coffee, cookies, and hot chocolate inside. Every corner was decked-out. Everyone was jolly. It was perfect.

Out of the Thistle® Blog, dwell on the good this holiday.

Out of the Thistle® Blog, dwell on the good this holiday.

Out of the Thistle® Blog, dwell on the good this holiday.

Out of the Thistle, dwell on the good this holiday.

Out of the Thistle® Blog, dwell on the good this holiday.

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So, just dwell on the good, share it with others, and just look to all the joyous moments to be found this season, no matter how small they may seem.

 

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A tisket, a tasket, bunnies in a basket!

Out of the Thistle friends of fall, knitted bunnies

These three little cuties are now available on our website! They are the perfect size for being toted around by your little one. I hand-knit them with 100% American wool (from Quince & Co), then I put them through a process to shrink ’em up! The result: a more durable, fuzzy knit that holds its shape. I can’t even fully explain how much of a difference there is in just the feel of shrunken (felted) knitted dolls compared to regularly knitted ones. They just feel more substantial, yet… light-weight.

They are jointed (buttons are decorative) so they can sit on a shelf with ease.

Knitted wool jointed bunnies Out of the Thistle®

They have shapely features such as curved paws and feet and a perfectly puckered nose. Each little bunny is wearing a hand knitted alpaca, flutter-sleeve vest that ties in the front, and each one has a coordinating 100% cotton skirt (made from Liberty of London fabric). The outfits are completely removable for ease of cleaning. Standing at about 12.5″ tall, they are the perfect size for squeezing. xx

Out of the Thistle® Knitted wool bunny dollsIMG_3312

Keep an eye out for more of these one-of-a-kind softies on our website! Thanks for looking!

–Rhonda Potteet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homage to Honesty.

Have you ever had one of those weeks?

You know, the ones where you have a ton of friends and family in town, doing renovations for the elders and celebrating birthdays. And there’s a giant waterslide/bounce house in your driveway with a dozen kids running in and out, leaving puddles everywhere. It is loud, yet wonderful. And in the slivers of quiet moments, you work on your knitting–trying to meet a deadline… a deadline you told everyone to “mark the calendars” for. And you’ve been practicing shrinking wool for like eight months now, and you’re so excited that you THINK you’ve perfected it. Your mom (the master at it) offers to help finish shrinking a couple of dolls that you still have left to do. And she super-shrinks it (which is what you wanted!), but you realize that the waist is a good inch smaller than your other dolls (which may as well be a mile). And that’s fine and dandy. But, you’ve already jointed all your other dolls, which now must be cut apart and shrunken more. Oh, and don’t forget that you made 27 dresses for them. TWENTY SEVEN. And it won’t work, because you wanted to give people an option to purchase different outfits for the dolls–which means that they’d all have to be the same size. And so here you are, a 29-year-old woman, crying into doll dresses…

Homage to Honesty The Out of the Thistle Blog

… and you’re cursing your ambition and praying for sanity. And you’re thinking that working in customer service at the bank doesn’t seem so bad now. That maybe, handling dental insurance claims was just a walk in the park.

And when you pull it together after going through the seven stages of grief with your tiny knitted dolls, you begin to amputate those limbs and get back to work. Because, it’s what you truly love to do.

Homage to Honest The Out of the Thistle Blog

Then you pour yourself another cup of coffee, eat birthday cake for breakfast, and pray that it won’t be another year before you get these done. And you share your experience and honesty with other ‘Purveyors of Perfection’ and hope that they’ll have a good laugh, maybe even sympathize. That they’ll understand the strife in striving for better, in knowing that settling is not an option. And now you’re truly understanding that being a ‘maker’ is so much more than just “making.”

Sincerely, Rhonda

 

A Shrunken Wool Trio.

Like many of you, we have been enjoying being outdoors in the warm sunshine. In the (less) amount of time we’ve spent indoors, we have continued to keep our creating hands busy. We’ve had inquiries as to when we are going to be offering some new items, so we are here to announce to everyone that our target date for launching the new website will be July 1st! Mark your calendar!

In the meantime, here’s a couple of items you can keep an eye out for ahead of time–created by the hands of Sue Aucoin! And be sure to check back soon for some fun blog posts as well!

Shrunken wool trio crocheted artist dolls and bears Out of the Thistle Blog outofthethistle

Shrunken wool duo crocheted artist dolls and bears Out of the Thistle Blog outofthethistle

 

 

A Pair of Hares.

If you are like me you are probably shocked that Easter has somehow snuck up on you, that it is in TWO WEEKS. I’m pretty sure that it was January last week, so how did this happen??

Lucky for you, we’re giving you a heads up! If you knit and like giving one-of-a-kind gifts, then our “Claire the Hare” PDF knitting pattern is right up your alley. It’s available on our website, on Ravelry, and on Etsy (all of these links can be found to the right of this post).

If knitting isn’t your thing and you still love giving one-of-a-kind gifts, then these are for you! I have created a few rabbits using my pattern and they are available for purchase!

Instead of wearing the knitted overall dress, they are dressed in a couple of short-and-shirt outfits I created specifically for them. These took some time to make, especially sewing these tiny little shorts! But I just love the way they turned out.

Rhonda Potteet "Claire the Hare" doll

This first little bunny is wearing cotton, jade-colored high-waist shorts with a crisp floral, lace-trimmed tank top tucked in.

IMG_1294 Rhonda Potteet Claire the Hare doll

The shirt was sewn using a high-quality Liberty of London cotton. She was hand knitted from 100% wool and has a wool embroidered face.

This second little rabbit was also hand knitted from 100% wool, with a wool embroidered face.

Rhonda Potteet Claire the Hare doll

Rhonda Potteet Claire the Hare dollI designed and knitted her flutter-sleeve tank using 100% pure virgin wool. She is also wearing bubble shorts that were sewn using a high-quality Liberty of London cotton.

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If you are interested in purchasing one of these bunnies, please feel free to contact me privately for details via email. rhondapotteet[at]gmail[dot]com

Happy Easter!
Rhonda Potteet

Wooly, wooly.

A few weeks ago we shared some teaser photos of a few fiber projects we’ve been working on. In what miniscule amount of free time we’ve had in-between helping care for new grandbabies, and renovating/landscaping our homes, we have made some progress on our handmade projects. We are so excited to show off the final products for some of our new patterns! We have been daydreaming of new designs for Thread Bears®, and it is so satisfying to hold the final products in our hands!

These new patterns will be for knitted items, and even felted friends! I have offered felted bears and rabbits for a few years now, and I am so excited to share my techniques with you!

trio for Thread Bears®

New Patterns for Thread Bears®Some of these patterns will be made available tomorrow, while the others are getting a once-over. I hope you enjoy making these items as much as we have had designing them.

Hugs, Sue