Friday, December 12, 2014

Catching my breath

I haven't done much knitting/crochet/embroidery or running this week as I felt in need of a bit of a break. Of course, when I say I haven't done much running that is relative and I have still run 4 days this week already.

In the meantime I've been looking at all the things I've been meaning to write about on my blog but haven't had the time so the next few posts will probably appear to be completely random and unrelated.

A quick fix

I made this cabled-yoke cardigan from Vogue Knitting magazine 2009 several years ago and I absolutely adore it.

One of my favourite cardigans

The colours were chosen to match this old blouse form Boden and I bought the mohair yarn in a sale so it cost very little to make.

But, and it's one of those really annoying 'buts', the placement of the 2 button closure means that unless your chest is flat as a pancake, which mine is not, it gapes when worn (not exactly like this but it sort of juts out from the bust which is not attractive!):

Simulation of the annoying gape!

I also regretted my choice of the 2 vintage buttons I used.  Although they are lovely and have sentimental value, as they came from knitwear my mum made in the 1930s, I think they are too small and round.

Tilly and I went rummaging around in my button collection and we found 3 of these large flat rust-coloured buttons which we both agreed were ideal.

Tilly inspects my choice of buttons

The next thing I did was cut the existing buttons off very carefully and looked at where the new buttons should sit to avoid any gape. This involved the use of safety pins in different places until I was happy with how it closed.

The existing buttonholes were grafted together and I created new buttonholes by snipping into the knitting exactly where I wanted them.  Eek, that was a bit scary! No worries though as mohair is so hairy and sticky that no stitches came undone in the process. Next I sewed all around the new openings using buttonhole stitch to strengthen them and prevent fraying.

Mike wasn't around when I took this photo and it looks as if the buttonholes aren't spaced evenly 
because my arm is lifted, but they are!

I really like the new buttons and think they look much better.

Darn it

OK, why am I showing photos of what looks like a heart-shaped box with tulips on top?……..

View from above

View from the side

……Because this little box has been with us about 20 years now. It was originally just a plain box, made of compressed cardboard, which I decorated with a yellow glaze and then stencilled to match the decor in the downstairs cloakroom in our previous home. It was just the right size to hold 3 spare toilet rolls and it sat on top of the wood panelling Mike made to enclose the cistern.

Now being a lover of anything heart-shaped I certainly wasn't going to get rid of it when we moved to our present home and found it didn't fit in with our current decor. No siree! My little box was re-purposed or up-cycled or whatever re-using something called nowadays and lives in the craft area of my office.

This is what I use him for:

My darning materials

Each time I make a pair of socks, a cardigan or something that will inevitably need darning at some stage I put a small amount of the yarn inside the box so it's easy to find when needed.

As we started to get ready for the colder months I amassed a huge pile of socks that needed some TLC together with Mike's favourite cardigan which needs an annual overhaul. I made Mike this cosy 'Morrigan' cardigan back in 2009 and it quickly became his favourite. This of course meant that it has suffered wear in all the stress points notably elbows and cuffs.

In this next photo you can see evidence of previous repairs, all nice and neatly woven in but this year it required a huge patch as his elbow was hanging out of a massive hole! I usually like to disguise repairs but I had a limited amount of the yarn left anyway and it was alway going to show so I opted for a crocheted patch which I sewed in place.

The cuffs had almost completely worn away and I hadn't got enough yarn to re-knit them and so I opted for a border of double crochet (UK term) which served its purpose well enough. As the cardigan is now confined to use around the house it doesn't really matter that it has wavy cuffs.

Several pairs of my socks needed attention around the heels and I quite enjoyed using my darning mushroom (which you can see in my box above) to make them wearable again.

Holey heels

There's loads more to write about but I don't want to make this post too long so there may be a few more posts coming up soon.

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