There’s a hole in my sweater

So I have a small assemblage of house sweaters.  What can I say.  The house is old and drafty, and I work from home.  Warmth often wins out over fashion.

One of my very favorite house sweaters (a gray cashmere cardigan with pockets) seems to have sprung a leak.  Let me be more specific.  It’s sprung several leaks.  It’s got a good sized hole on the back of the shoulder (snagged on a dead tree while climbing on rocks), two little holes on the front near the bottom (embers from a camp fire if the char marks are any indicator), and a spot or two on the wrist (kittens are the likely culprits here).

But cashmere.  And pockets.  And gray.  And oh so cozy.  You can’t possibly expect me to just throw it away.  That would be no fun at all.  But by the same token, the holes are numerous enough (and the yarn fine enough) that trying to mend them invisibly would be frustrating at best (doable, but frustrating).  So instead?

DSC_2776 copyWe’ll take another route entirely!


The very day I showed you The Tattoo Coloring Book and confessed my plans to make use of its lovely images for a fit of napkin making, I happened to find myself in a store that sells embroidery stuff.  Funny how that happens.  Let me pause for a moment and emphasize just how many colors this stuff comes in.  Enough colors that my simple plan (grab a dozen or so colors that work well together, it will only take a moment) suddenly seemed daunting.  I started to feel that little prickle I get when confronted with too many choices.  The one that says ‘if you don’t pick the very very very best option, you and everyone you love will be pitched into a fiery volcano in a dramatic but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to stave off the end of the world…choose wisely.’

I decided this was ridiculous.  Thread is cheap, the stakes are low.  I was going to make myself do this in 5 minutes or less.  I declared that a system was in order.  I’m going to use six different butterfly patterns, so I started by buying six of the variegated colors, one per butterfly.  Then I grabbed a sort of muddy rainbow of other colors, making sure that there were at least two that looked good with each of the variegated ones.  The plan is to have one multi per butterfly and to have the other colors carry over between them, two to three per critter, and hopefully end up with some cohesion that way.  Then I grabbed a light and a dark brown for anything that needs a neutral and called it done.  I can always go back for more, but if I waited till I was confident I had the one true set of perfect colors, I’d still be standing there. Butterfly Embroidery Supplies

Other supplies included needles, wee bobbin things, a hoop, and some fancy tracing paper.  Then of course, I needed some fabric.  I went with 2.25 yards of a neutral linen.  I loathe synthetic fibers in napkins (napkins are meant to be absorbent, polyester is not) and linen stands up better to repeated washing than just about anything else (if I’m going to go to the trouble of making these, we will damn well be using them, so they’ll get washed a lot).  It seemed the way to go.  It should be enough for 6 napkins at 22 inches square with nice deep hems.  Yes, this is large for a napkin.  But again, I have strong feelings on these things, and if I’m going to make them myself, they’re going to be exactly what I like.  Next up, the dreaded washing and ironing stage.  Let’s see if my enthusiasm flags or if I can maintain this pace.

Unexpected Development

I’m accustomed to falling prey to random fits of yarn lust.  That’s pretty normal at this point.  But my final purchase of the trip was something rather more unexpected.  I bought a coloring book.  More specifically, I bought The Tattoo Coloring Book, and it is astonishingly awesome.  I highly recommend clicking on the picture to go see it in its full glory.  I’ll wait.

The Tattoo Coloring Book coverNow, this sort of behavior isn’t without precedent.  I have a handy little collection of coloring books (and have since college) plus a giant bucket of colored pencils, and I turn to them in times of stress.  But this, this I don’t intend to actually use for coloring.  At least not right away.  Instead, I’m going to do something much cooler.  I’m going to get some of these images onto napkins (those moth/butterfly pics are my first plan) and embroider them.  Because embroidered napkins are marvelous, that’s why.  Please do not try to convince me otherwise.  I am quite firm in my conviction.

And yes, yes I will be reporting frequently as this project progresses.  First step, go find colors.  I’m awfully glad embroidery floss is cheaper than yarn, I feel a rainbow coming on.

(The image is not mine.  It is from Megamunden’s website and is used here with permission.)