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Posts Tagged ‘thrift’

Sometimes commercial jumpers are not fit for frogging. I don’t know whether they come like this or become like this in the wash but some yarns just disintegrate when you try to unravel them. That is pretty annoying but being me I can’t throw them away but have to put them with all those jumpers that found an accidental shrink in the washing machine (I get my wool cycle a bit wrong sometimes). In my unfathomable depth of positivity I tell myself that something will become of them one day…

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Second test

It seems this ‘one day…’ has come, I am making something. I stumbled upon this modular felt trivet on How about Orange and thought, that’s it!

Because the trivets are made from commercial felt whereas I have just shrunk knitwear, I made a few tests. My first test I seriously don’t want to show anyone. The felted pieces are not stiff enough to be cut properly. They give way, especially when I cut them with the scalpel. I used my little sharp embroidery scissors whenever possible. For the second test, and in the hope that the resulting fabric would be denser, I shrunk them again with another wash at 60 degrees . My second test looks very encouraging. I first enlarged the template to about 13 cm square because I didn’t like the look of the little squares. Cutting  bigger squares was easier, but I still had to be careful.

I’m pretty chuffed with my second test. I think I will make some wall art with the rest of the pile. More on this next weekend.

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So true

I  currently read Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitter’s Almanac. Well I only started March. But for February she describes how to make Baby stuff. What she says about the leggins (longies) I find especially interesting. She says she knows them from when she was a child staying in Germany.

“Longies take the place, in one fell swoop, of all manner of dresses, soakers, and booties, and let the child wriggle to its heart’s content, unimpeded, and without uncovering itself.”

I can only agree. My mother (German) made lots of leggins for my son. He loved them. They kept him warm and he was indeed able to move about ‘unimpeded’. The difference in movability was quite apparent every time we went to the playground. He was happily climbing to every height while his peers were sometimes almost shackled by their demim trousers. I will never understand why parents put their little ones in denim. It must be stiff and heavy to wear for little bodies. I know there is this trend to put your little ones into adult type clothing, but why? What’s wrong with comfy baby and toddler stuff? My son was so fond of his granny-made leggins he continued wearing them right into primary school reception class.

“Our favourite longies are those on which we used up odd remnants of wool. A green pair has a cute grey color-pattern at the calf, and then becomes steel-grey for the feet. A navy pair has a white pattern at the knees and scarlet calves and feet. They must be actually seen on young legs for their true charm to become apparent.

“Thrift and conservation are in the wind: how delightful to find that usuing up wool-remains improves the appearance of finished product”.

My mother always used oddments for my son’s leggins. They came in all colourways and patterns. Something my son absolutely loved. Now, I don’t want to say it’s something German to be thrifty or to make colourful leggins. It’s just that my mother is a war-child and hence thrift was a necessity not a choice. And because there were adult times in her life when she had to count every penny, thrift developed from a necessity into a habit.

Something else Elizabeth Zimmermann says in the same chapter is  interesting:  “You know, if our ancestors had thrown out their furniture every decade, as we do, where would we go for antiques? Let us give some thought to the well-being and enjoyment of our descendants, patch up our lares and panates, and hang on to them, so that the future will inherit at least some relics of our heedless and wasteful age. Working over something, and repairing it, -wheather we re-finish furniture, fix over an old house, or put new cuffs on a sweater – not only gives things new life and makes them look cared-for, but embeds them still deeper in our affections.”*

So true!

* Elizabeth Zimmermann (1981), Knitter’s Almanac. Projects for each month of the year. Dover Publications, Inc, New York.

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