Autumn is upon us and, although the sunshine has been glorious, the cool mornings are the giveaway that the season has now turned. Maybe it's the change in weather, or the start of the new academic year at work (university rather than school), but I've been clearing out a few things. One of my current projects is to do with food cupboards and freezer. I'm trying to use things up, so menu planning is getting interesting. Last weekend I defrosted puff pastry and some salmon fillets and cobbled together a simple salmon en croute. There is more salmon and mackerel in the freezer, so I think it might be time for a fish pie soon. It's as much about clearing and cleaning as it is about thrift (and the run up to Christmas) I've been feeling a bit uninspired about meals lately, so this is an attempt to jolt myself out of a rut, and rediscover the dark recesses of my cupboards!
My knitting mojo has been lying low for a while. Not completely awol, just kicking its heels and skulking around the corner. The last time it went awol I was pregnant, and that's definitely not the case this time. Anywayz. Since the Rugby World Cup 2015 started, I've been making myself do some knitting while I watch grown men bash into each other whilst trying to get an oddly shaped ball over a white line. I picked up a sock of my own unvention, which I started earlier in the year. Things have been going very S L O W L Y with it since the heel flap. I love the look of the sock, but something about knitting it is really annoying me. Last night, I sat down with my husband for an hour or two and we caught up on the last episode of Bake Off some serious documentaries. I picked up the sock, and managed finally to start the toe shaping. The end was in sight. I put the sock aside, happy and relieved. I was looking forward to the Kitchener stitching to come, and went to bed. This morning, on my way to the shower, I noticed a tangle of yarn on the carpet. It was a bit like - oh, b*gger, it was the sock yarn. All 4 DPNs were scattered to the wind, and the yarn tangled and stretched from one side of the room to the other. I found the needles. I picked up the yarn, and the sock, and I stuffed it in my bag. I didnt inspect the damage - my first glance was enough to confirm some serious damage to the toe, and quite a lot of squiggly frogged yarn. I glowered at the culprit. He gave me his winningest smile.
When I was pregnant with the little bean I stole borrowed a couple of my husband's merino wool sweaters. They were warm and comfy and roomy enough for a growing bump. Perfect to throw on over pyjamas, or with work clothes, or any time I needed a cozy layer to keep me warm. My fondness for these sweaters has not abated and we have now perfected our system for sharing these fine garments. The man wears them first, and when an elbow hole appears (as verily it shall), he willingly gives the sweater to his wife. Sometimes she mends the hole and wears the sweater herself. Sometimes she just wears it without mending the hole. Yes dear readers, I am a Bad Woman. Elbow repairs were needed recently, and couldn't be put off any longer, so I found some suitable sock wool and a needle and set to work. I love the whole visible mending thing that Tom of Holland has perfected, so I went for a circle on one elbow, and a square on the other.
I started with the outline of the shape in running stitch, and then worked a basic darning stitch across the hole. The circle darn is a bit less tidy than the square one, but I don't think anyone will be checking for consistency. I'm not quite sure why I haven't tried to persuade my other half to wear a darned jumper - I have offered to sew on elbow patches for him. So far he has declined my offers. Funny that.
A different sort of mending is going on here at the moment. Its nothing to do with sewing, and all to do with repairing flesh. I fell on Saturday and shredded the palms of my hands - along with nose and chin - on a gravel path. I was doing some running, as you do - and suddenly I wasn't running but flying. And, then I landed. O U C H. It wasn't pretty.
Crafting has taken a back seat. Excuse me while I put my feet up. I might be here a while, okay. Just talk amongst yourselves... [I am okay btw, just flesh wounds and severe bashing of pride and confidence]
My active children, who love climbing trees and doing sliding tackles on the lawn and lots of other rough and tumble things, can be quite hard on their clothes. The jelly bean in particular seems to have an ability to shred the knees of a pair of leggings in no time at all. I don't mind at all (and feel a little bit proud when I am shown a hole that happened during whilst climbing a tree) - but I do seem to have a never ending mending pile. I have thusly declared that Mondays will henceforth be Mending Monday, when I dedicate whatever small portion of the day remains after everything else is done, to the activity of mending.
Some recent casualties, here awaiting triage.
Today, then is about patches. These trousers belong to the bean - but need a swift repair before 8 year old fingers make that wee hole a lot bigger and turn the trousers from mendable to binnable.
As the trousers are lined (see that blue lining peeking out?), I didn't want to sew patches on with my machine. The potential for wonky/twisted and uncomfortable results was too high, so out came the bondaweb. I went for a patch on each knee, rather than just the one that was holey - and used a cute cotton fabric I picked up in a remnants bin last year sometime. I eyeballed a suitable shape, and then whizzed around with the overlocker to finish the edges.
I might have slightly overlooked the fact that the overlocking would affect the stick at the edges of the patches. However, after ironing the patches onto the trousers, I hand-stitched the edges of the patches down. It was a bit quick and dirty, but I figured the stitches would be lost in the overlocking and noone will ever know.
The bean put them back on at the first opportunity, and tested the newly restored knees/patches by slide tackling his way across the lawn. Those cute patches stood up well to the rough and tumble, but who knows if the grass stains will ever come out... sigh. Feel free to join in with the mending thing y'all. What are you mending today?