A very short post today, I have a long list of sewing jobs waiting to be done. Carrying on from yesterday’s post, the first glove is finished and one finger of the second started. As can be seen it looks rather like a crocheted thimble.
I wasn’t so much bothered with the pattern, it is just a simple chain loop with a shell border. I really wanted to just concentrate on the form – having said that it was difficult to see how the yellow glove was started, on looking at the picture again it is quite obvious!! The shell patterns on the back goes from the fingers down – a clear give-away really, duh! I must have seen that when I first started making these. I forgot to say that when I found the yellow glove in my clear out that I found four fingers [gruesome!] already done, so I just had to join them up in the round. Now back to my sewing. The background to these pictures is the fabric for Harri’s top, cut out and started, so back to the grind.
I can amuse myself for quite a while thinking up these mad titles to my posts. At first glance perhaps the title doesn’t quite fit, but stick with it. I once knew someone who when they saw something remarkable would say “the things you see when you haven’t got your gun!” I thought I sort of knew what he meant, but I know what I mean when I say “the things you see…” in this case it is the things you see when you’re supposed to be clearing out. The time before last [i.e.not yesterday] I came across this sad lost soul;
Just one glove, a remnant of my childhood probably, and probably crocheted for me by my Mum. I really can’t be sure, but it looks the sort of thing I had. It is definitely old, and sad. Curiosity led me to looking to see how it was done – cuff up or fingers down? Hard to tell, but when I decided to make a pair for myself -one being no good, [although I often complain of having to do everything single-handed] I decided to start from the tips of the fingers.
I made four fingers, measuring them for length as I went around, a bit like trying on a thimble. When I decided they were all the right length, I joined them up into the palm/hand part. Looking at the yellow glove more closely I could see that the thumb was actually done differently [left picture above], being left until crocheted in the round. The result was this;-
As you can see, I left the hole for the thumb to do last. I just have to finish the cuff and then the thumb – and then do the other one, if I can remember how I did it. The trouble with gloves and socks is that they will insist on coming in pairs. You can’t get that nice feeling of accomplishment and ‘ta-da’ moment when you have done one, no matter how tricky or how nice the result. You have to do it all over again or else it is no good. I could always keep one hand in my pocket I suppose. Yet again I apologise for the photos, the light wasn’t good and I seem to have shadows everywhere, but then I am always grateful just to get a recognisable image!
Even quicker update – Abigail has just rung to say Gnome Day has been cancelled!!** and I have just made two pairs of baggy blue trousers. Never mind it gave me something new to think about, I can now stop thinking about beards and go and clear up the mess I made sorting through appropriate ‘gnome fabric’. It’s an ill wind probably – I have realised that I have been saving crummy bits of fabric that I would never use in a month of Sundays. A lot donated, true, so it is time to donate them elsewhere I think.
** apparently they needed 570 to beat the record and only 500 showed interest. Still – 500 gnomes in one place makes the mind boggle doesn’t it? I wonder who holds the record?
Just a very quick update – I am busy making gnome costumes for Jacob and Carrie – seemingly for the Great British GnomeFest [no, I made that up]. It is for their school, who are going to take a picture of all the children who turn up in gnome costumes for the record for “the most garden gnomes in a picture”. I ask myself, is this what retirement means? I answer – yes please. Perhaps I can grab a picture eventually, at the moment I am wondering how do you make beards?
I have been busy making a little shirt for my great grandson Jude, who is a gorgeous red head and just two years old. He is a busy little lad with bundles of energy. This is the plaid fabric I bought in Fabricland, Reading on my last,[and only visit there this year, it is a winceyette type of fabric with a plain backing, that unfortunately laminates if you're not careful. Because of the weight of the fabric I couldn't do a double yoke, but I finished all the seams by top stitching them down, rather than felling them. The trouble with making small things is there is less margin for error. At 1.30a.m. I decided I wasn't happy with the buttonholes on the cuffs, so at 7.45.a.m. I was up cutting out new cuffs and setting them. It is now [hopefully] with Royal Mail on its way to East Sussex and Jude’s Granny ready to take to Kent on Saturday – all being well!
We are always told to listen to our Mothers, and as a Mother of five girls I am not about to dispute that. However, sometimes we have to modify that advice based on experience. Always “to buy the best you can afford” holds good in many cases – in the ‘Case of The Red Coat’, it hasn’t. Let me explain; I’ve been hunting for good quality wool fabric in nice cheery child friendly colours for a good while, as I wanted to make my four great grandchildren Burda 2534 -as in this toile for Phoebe,my youngest grand-daughter. I eventually found some truly beautiful pillar box red wool with cashmere. It was a gorgeous colour, and as soft as thistle down. I was extremely pleased. Then on my hunting trip to Reading for fabric I asked for black velvet for the collars and cuffs. I was shown two bolts of velvet, One a firm, fairly soft pile and one with beautiful sheen and soft as silk – at twice the price of the first. Got the picture?
Now for the experience. The red wool was soft as only cashmere and wool can be, and as all true aristocrats, it had to be treated gently, that was O.K. I didn’t mind that at all, I bound or overlocked all the seams and all went reasonably and carefully well until it came to buttonholes! I wanted to do bound buttonholes. ‘Oh No!,’ said the red wool ‘not on me you don’t’. Practice piece after practice piece hit the bin, the results looking like the pillar boxes the colour represented. Never mind, we’ll use Plan B .My daughter Abigail has a super duper Pfaff that can do all kinds of buttonholes as beautifully as you would wish. What my red wool did to her machines still wakes me up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat – we won’t go there. We did eventually manage to do three nice buttonholes, but at what a price!
The velvet collars [ I use the plural] suffered a similar fate. The velvet was clearly designed to look and feel good, but not to be used for collars with curves that can’t be bound.
This was the result time after time; [you can see the back of the interlining here]. I finally gave in and made a final decision to go red – and made a self-coloured collar instead.
Now just in case you think the whole thing was an unmitigated disaster, let me show you the finished coat.
I put black piping round the cuffs as clearly the black velvet wouldn’t wear well on a child’s coat cuffs, [I also added seam pockets, lined with wool and ladybirds] and with these black buttons and the bright lining, the whole thing came together and looks very nice indeed thankyou! Whew!
From [a] to [b] in three weeks! It may have been a long time coming but the I do believe that the Summer is finally here.
Now I may be wrong, I often am, but the sun is shining, it is almost warm today – but it is Bank Holiday weekend after all, so we can’t expect too much. To be fair we have had a couple of quite warm days this week and that is why I say I am feeling good, how can you not be optimistic when the sun shines?
I always said I never minded Winter and I don’t, when it keeps to its allotted time, but when it rudely intrudes into other times and Seasons then I do object. My poor plants have been in and out of the house like yoyo’s. The one time I left some out on what I thought was a warm Spring day – we had a frost and they bit the dust. But you can’t argue with this can you?
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I have been sewing the cheerful pillar-box red cashmere and wool coat for India – but I will save that for when I get the photos done. Enjoy your day.