I came bought this humorous cartoon at a car boot sale earlier in the year. It dates from the beginning of the First World War (1914), but anyone who has struggled with a knitting pattern will recognise the sometimes strange results that stem from ambitious intentions!
“That looks easy enough…”
“I’m sure tension doesn’t really matter…”
“Well, I suppose that it’s the thought that counts!”
“I can honestly say that I did wear them…”
After accidentally slightly shrinking some wool socks in the wash, I thought I’d give them a new life as a pair of fingerless mittens.
This easy upcycling project would also work using the sleeves from a wool jumper.
All you need is a pair of wool socks (or a pair of jumper sleeves), a needle and thread, and a pair of scissors.
First cut your socks to the desired size- you will be using the leg section, not the foot section.
I thought I’d take advantage of the length of these socks, and make cosy mittens with a long wrist/arm section- they can be worn long, or bunched up at the wrist. The original cuff of the socks will form the cuff of the mittens.
Next, using your hand as a template, cut a small horizontal slit where you would like the thumb hole to be.
Now try the mitten on, and enlarge the thumb slit if necessary. Decide how long you want the hand section to be and trim accordingly, allowing approximately 1cm extra to turn under for the hem. Take the mitten off, and sew the turned-under hem in place.
At this stage you could just hem the thumb hole using a blanket stitch, but I chose to add a thumb section using a piece cut from the foot of the socks. I sewed a small tube that comfortably fit my thumb, and then attached the tube to the mitten.
Now the mittens are ready to be worn… probably ensuring the swift arrival of warm spring weather!
This lovely wooden box of letter (and number) stamps was a lucky find at a car boot sale last year- the set only cost 50 pence and didn’t appear to have even been used!
So far I have only used the stamps to label a couple of Christmas gift tags, so hope to come up with a few more uses for them, starting with a spot of printing on fabric.
One advantage of only having my current craft stash to use this year (see my crafty New Year’s Resolution for 2016) is that I have started taking a good look at what I already have, rather than being distracted by shiny new purchases. I have actually felt a little uncomfortable coming across a few lovely items (like this one) that I have hardly used, and hope that I will be able to rectify this over the coming year.
I’m looking forward to stamping my mark on some new projects…!
I can’t believe that 2016 is already underway! After a busy Christmas I have started to think a bit about New Year’s Resolutions, and future plans of the creative type.
First of all I plan to repeat a resolution I followed in 2014:
Not to buy any craft materials/supplies during 2016!
Unlike 2014 I will not allow myself to buy or acquire any second-hand materials either (I find a lot of my craft supplies at car boot sales), in an attempt to make a serious dent on my craft stash over the course of the year. In order to make this resolution slightly easier to keep, I will still be allowed to buy glue if required.
I hope that this resolution will help me to be more creative with the materials that I have, and encourage me to complete projects that I have been planning for a while. I expect to engage in a fair bit of upcycling and Make do and Mend as well. I am looking forward to a creative 2016, and a smaller craft stash by the end of the year!
Pompoms can make great decorations, but are ideal for topping presents too…
Big or small, and whether you buy them in a shop or make your own, pompoms can be used to add a bit of colour and fluffiness to any present! And if you make your own, then pompoms are an ideal stash-busting project: a way to use up lengths of yarn left over from knitting/crocheting projects. You could even upcycle yarn unraveled from an old scarf or jumper.
I’m off to add these beauties to a few more Christmas presents…
I do love vintage haberdashery, both to admire the lovely packaging, and to use the (generally) good quality products. I also have a vintage leather suitcase full of hand-embroidered linens, which I have been saving to use in a future craft project (or several projects!).
I stumbled across a second-hand loom at a jumble sale recently, so have been experimenting with weaving. The loom is a small table-top one, so I have started by weaving a couple of scarves.
The loom was really easy to get to grips with, and I enjoyed the weaving process. It was definitely quicker to weave a scarf than to knit one, although I think I still find knitting a more engaging process. The woven scarves felt finer and more ‘fluid’ than a knitted scarf, with a nice, smooth finish.
The blue and white scarf is a slightly looser weave than the green and purple one, and is woven using cotton and wool yarns. The green and purple scarf is woven from wool yarns.
The ease with which you can change colours (and neatly too) means that this is a great way of using up leftover lengths of yarn. I am now thinking of other potential weaving projects..!