February 10, 2010

Birthday Presents for a Friend

My friend and I have had several conversations recently about the feeling that we are losing our minds - that our memories are slipping away, especially from our university years, whole chunks are missing. So for her birthday, I decided to make her a unique present: a memory journal. And I would start it for her. I emailed her friends, asking for fun/embarrassing/adventurous memories. They could be a single sentence or several pages long. I printed them out on different types of paper - blank white, cream, lined, graphed - and bound the paper into a little book. I also scattered a few illustrations of birds and branches. The idea was that the memories would be ordered randomly between the blank pages of the journal, because that is how our minds work - we have random access to all our memories (that we haven't yet forgotten), and there is no real rhyme or reason to the order in which we recall past events.

I bound the book by folding the papers into bunches of four or five sheets, and sewing them down the middle. I created the cover out of two pieces of cardboard, and covered it with some pretty hand-made paper. Then I glued it all together.

The second present I made was a scarf. I've known how to knit since I was a child, but I had never done cable knitting before (the braid pattern in the middle). I never learned how, because whenever I looked up knitting patterns, they seem to be written in a secret code that is impossible to crack. So I turned to youtube, and quickly learned the basic concept to the "twist" look: skip two stitches, knit two stitches, then go back and knit the stitches that you skipped. I had no idea it was so incredibly simple. Once I understood the basic concept, I was able to make up my own pattern, which you can see in these pictures.

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