I’m back to school tomorrow – probably minus a few colleagues and pupils who will be stuck on their holidays due to the volcanic ash! So I thought it was time to share my holiday crafting.
During the first few days I had a bit of a crafting marathon, and my main goal was to finish the Clothkits skirt I started, ahem, nearly two years ago. And I am delighted to report that it is, at last, finished!
Apologies for the lack of head in the photo. It wasn’t a very flattering picture! Finishing the skirt wasn’t that hard, after all – the side seams are a bit wonky, but a bit of judicious pressing took care of that. I’m particularly pleased with my hand-sewn blind hem. I’m now torn between ordering another Clothkits skirt, or making a trip through to Edinburgh or Glasgow to investigate proper patterns and fabric at John Lewis. Incidentally, that’s my Wicked sweater in the photo above – the sweater was originally knit to go with this skirt, but it’s been finished for so long it’s gone a big baggy and pilly in the meantime!
I have also resolved my Manu dilemma. I realised (with help from various commenters, thank you!) that I was never going to get a practical gauge with the Cashcotton. So I caved, went out and bought some Felted Tweed in a lovely pale green. And a 3mm needle gets me, after washing, a gauge that should work if I make the smallest size (why is my tension so loose? It’s crazy! But at least it’s consistent). And I’ve now finished the body and am about to cast on for the sleeves:
Quite a few people have commented on the 16.5 inches of plain stocking stitch, but I didn’t find it dull. I’ve recently discovered that I can quite happily knit garter or stocking stitch while reading (it has to be something that stays open by itself, but that makes newspapers and magazines quite handy) so I happily knit away while perusing the paper or watching TV of an evening.
A few days ago I decided to wash some of my most-worn winter woollens, and I managed to prise Chris’s birdwatching gloves away from him for long enough to wash them too. I knit them for him in November 2008, and he has worn them almost constantly except for at the height of summer! And I realised that they were starting to fall apart:
The thumb and index finger on both gloves was coming apart. Upon closer inspection, it looked as if the yarn had quite simply worn out from heavy use – the strands were weak, and broke easily, and it looked as if the cast-on edge had just worn away. So I decided to fix them. Luckily, my refusal to throw away any yarn meant that I still had a tiny ball of leftover Felted Tweed from when I made them in the first place.
I snipped one of the stitches a row or two beneath the worn part of each thumb/finger. I carefully unpicked that strand, effectively “unzipping” the top few rows from the rest of the glove. I picked up the resulting stitches onto a magic loop, and knit up until the digit was back to its original length.
Observant readers will notice that the thumb and forefinger don’t exactly match the original fingers. This is because the gloves were knitted fingers-down, while the repairs were knitted glove-up (if you see what I mean). So the new cast-off edge doesn’t match the original cast-on edges. I did try Elizabeth Zimmerman’s “cast-on cast-off” from the Knitter’s Almanac, but I think I did it wrong or maybe didn’t pull it tight enough, because it looked a bit weird.
I’m quite proud of myself nevertheless and Chris is pleased to have a new lease of life for his gloves!