Wednesday, December 22, 2010

22nd of Advent

It's not even a year since I completed this sweater from some yarn left over from a different project. It got a good lot of wear until the warmer weather, not to mention a bit of abuse when P, teenager style, pushed his thumb through one of the sleeves just below the cuff. Going through yet another as-yet-unpacked box the other day, searching in vain for lost Christmas stockings, I found it, along with the remains of the leftover yarn. I wasn't quite ready to give up seeing him wearing it, since it had turned out to be one of those charmed unplanned projects that turn out really well, so I decided it was time for a bit of 'make do and mend'- something quite refreshing in this season of spending and excess.
When I originally made this sweater, the difficulties of measuring a wriggly toddler meant I made the body and arms too short. I discovered this fact after I'd finished it and tried it on him, but then also discovered that the advantage of 'top down' sweaters is that you can undo the bottom edges, pick up the stitches and add some more. This came to mind when I found that P has grown a good few inches in arms and body over the summer, so I needed the sweater to 'grow' with him this season.

Here you can see the hole where P had stuck his thumb through the sleeve.

I inserted a circular needle into an unbroken row of stitches below the hole, then frogged the sleeve down to that point.

Then it was just a case of joining in the new yarn and adding a few more stripes and a new ribbed border.

Hole mended and inches added, it should last another season at least. Wonder how many years I can get away with it?!?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

21st of Advent

Given that we're at Winter Solstice, it's probably appropriate that we've had some loooong nights around here. A nasty cold bug continues to make the littles miserable, and today C is in bed with it. So far I've escaped, which may well mean I'm due for a dose on Christmas Day! Still, despite this, I managed to get the last of my 'elving' done last night, with these doll nappies and change mat. They are heading for P's little friend, who is about to become a big sister for the first time. P had some play nappies for his doll when M was born and I thought it was a lovely idea. I used the pattern from Anna Maria Horner's Handmade Beginnings for the nappies, using terry towelling for the inside and some left over babycord from M's dresses for the outside. The change mat is simply a rectangle of cotton print with a rectangle of wool/cotton quilt batting and a rectangle of brushed cotton. I had a bit of fun with the embroidery foot on my sewing machine to doodle on it, having earlier threatened my machine with the sack when it wouldn't work properly for some reason. I believe my threats included "I'll get rid of you and get an antique hand sewing machine, then you'll be sorry." Maybe this is a sign that I could really do with more sleep, but it seemed to work!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

20th of Advent

After a weekend of equal parts yuck- two children and a husband with nasty colds, disastrous attempt at fudge making, snow stopping friends and vital parcel deliveries arriving- and yum- a sister who made it over for Sunday lunch, fence panels mended and some rather good brownies made from salvaged fudge mixture- we are on the final march to the big day. Despite feeling the effects of rather a lot of missed sleep, I have got some 'elving' done and all the presents are sewn, blocked, finished off and wrapped with the exception of those still in the post (aargh!) and one more thing that I really, really will finish tonight. Other than that and a whole load of dull domestic chores, all we can really do now is wait and hope that the weather doesn't scupper our plans.
I have also (somehow! I don't know how!) managed to finish M's winter woolly outfit. It's a sort of dungarees that will hopefully solve the cold toes/ankles problem as it has integral socks. I made it using a free pattern called 'Pepita' on Ravelry by Martina Behm. I knitted it on slightly larger needles than the pattern specified, using Araucania Ranco Multy sock yarn (two different shades for a number of reasons, but it doesn't really show or matter much) as M is at the upper end of the age range. As it turns out, the whole thing was in danger of being so huge she wouldn't have fitted it until next winter, but a few reductions here and there means it's roomy but not ridiculous. There's a little more detail about that on my Ravelry notes. This weather is enough to make me wish they did one in my size!