Home from the wilds

I have just spent a glorious week, along with my lovely man and our little Ted, in the wilds of Norfolk, which was bracing but for the most part rather lovely and sunny. We even managed to sit outside for an afternoon of photographing my mother-in-law’s gorgeous knitwear collection. (Go and have a look at what she’s up to over here).

She spoilt us thoroughly and we came home with considerably less give in our clothes than when we left.

I didn’t get much knitting or crocheting done, though I did learn a new skill or two, as I shall explain.

First of all, this is my (rather slow) progress with the beautiful crocheted cowl. I’m really happy with it, but a little anxious that my initial stitches are too tight and the shape may be a little off as a result.

A Little More Progress
A Little More Progress

But what Susan did teach me is one of the simplest things in the world, if you know how… knitted rope. She taught me the double pointed needle method. 6 stitches only, and a beautiful result (which reminds me – I’ve run off with her needles… Better get them in the post!)

Knitted rope
Knitted rope

A while ago, I made Teddy a jacket. Outside one of the charity shops in our nearest town, I found a ladies’ cardigan for £2.99 and I bought it, largely because it was 100% wool, and you can’t buy a ball of yarn for that price, let alone a whole cardigan! I put it through the wash twice to get it properly shrunk and felted, appliqued a tree and leaves on the back, and found a tutorial on line to learn how to make and attach a hood, which I fashioned out of the same fleece as the tree.

Jacket with hood and tree
Jacket with hood and tree

I was really pleased with it. Apart from one small, but very irritating thing. It flared out in a sort of misshapen way around the bottom and along the button line. I might have known fabulous Susan would have a solution. And a classy one at that! She kindly donated a few strips of the most beautiful William Morris fabric, and showed me how to attach it to the inside of the jacket. We began by removing the buttons and poppers, stitching a line of wool, the same colour as the cardi, along the flared parts to pull them into a straight line. Then we ironed the fabric to those perimeters using Bondaweb, and I hand-stitched them along the outer edges to prevent any peeling away. Just look how beautifully it turned out:

Willam Morris - nothing but the best for Ted!
Willam Morris – nothing but the best for Ted!

The whole thing looks so much more finished now, as Ted is happily demonstrating here (though I may just applique a couple of leaves on the little front pockets, and perhaps fasten the cuffs back rather than just folding them…):

The jacket in action
The jacket in action

Susan also kindly donated her purpose-made french knitting dollies – made from old wooden cotton reels and nails – to continue the knitted rope experiment. My second biggest boy snaffled the largest before I had a chance to try it:

progress! Apparently, he’s making a snake… 🙂

First, though, I showed him the presents she sent back with me for him – the products of one of her regular morning walks with her dogs:

Granny's grisly finds
Granny’s grisly finds

She knows the way to a boy’s heart 🙂

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