Make New and Mend

Sometimes the things I make don’t work out…I mean they are really not good. I see a pattern, an image and I think… ‘Oooo that would look lovely!’. My little brain starts whirring and before you know it, the hook or the needle are out and I have ferreted in the stash to find some appropriate yarn.

It tends not to happen with toy making. The projects are small enough that I can make alterations as I go. But more frequently when I am making clothing… I can fall in love with a look and a shape and right near the end I have that little niggle in the back to my mind…’is this going to look dreadful?’

pink-granny-square-emma-varnam

We can all make a fashion mistake – entranced by a look that is very now. But when we try it on realise it does our body shape no favours at all. Don’t get me wrong…we must wear what we like…but let’s not feel uncomfortable or self conscious. In the past few weeks I have been making pastel shade granny squares. Soft hues with a pop of yellow. I have a fetching mustard coloured skirt and I thought it might be fun to match this with a little Granny Square Bolero. Pretty.

All well and good until I had sewn all the squares together, slip-stitched the seams, made the edging and sewn in all the pesky ends. As soon as I slipped the new cardigan on over a t-shirt, it wasn’t such a Tadah! moment but rather Na Naah! moment. The hems hit my figure in all the wrong places and instead of looking funky and cute, I looked quite uncomfortable and a little unhinged.

I was so unimpressed with the final garment that I cannot find even one of photo of it in its finished state. There are choices. I can either throw it away in a fit of peak. Or let it lie there languishing in a pile (that’ll teach it…or me) or … see the value of what is already there.

I cannot lie, this project really foxed me. I was so close to throwing the whole thing in the bin. But I loved the colours so much it pained me to do so. On Friday night I decided to grasp the nettle and unravel the joins and make the majority of the squares into a 6 x 6 square blanket. This needed patient work, re-stitching seams, weaving in new ends. But I so love the tones that it has been worth the dedication. Something rescued, restored and repurposed. That it the work of the artisan. Not make do and mend – but make new and mend.

Having reset the squares I am delighted that they will have a much longer life as a blanket. In fact I have decided to set them as a central motif in a much larger blanket that will fit a single bed. A happy joyful outcome from a frustrating jolly mess. I often think – my yarn hobbies teach me quite a bit about life. You can intend to make one thing, an ideal vision. But circumstances mean that the result isn’t quite right – you can throw it away – all of it – but if something can be rescued, mended, and lovingly repurposed…perhaps a new beautiful thing can be created. Worth a try don’t you think?

If you are looking for the colour recipe – many of the yarns I have used were in my stash. I am a Stylecraft Blogstar and so have access to many the Stylecraft yarns as a gift. The yarns I used are – Stylecraft Special DK – Pale Rose, Powder Pink, Denim, Cloud Blue, Cream, Duck Egg and Mustard.

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