It’s been wet and cold for the last three months or so, normal for this time of year, and there have been no changes in my lampwork space conditions, making beads has been less of a joy and more of a fight with the elements, as well as battling with glass that doesn’t want to behave below 5ºC. I don’t mind dressing in mad layers that make me look like a Wildling extra from Game of Thrones and giving the radiator leg hugs under the table, but this year I thought I’d stay warm indoors and make soft, cat shaped objects out of knitted fabric. Whenever I find myself in shops, I see items of clothing that I want to cut up and make into something else, so this gives me the opportunity to do just that.
There’s something deliciously naughty about taking a pair of scissors to a newly washed and slightly felted jumper, (especially when it bears the name of a known designer) chopping the sleeves off, spreading them out and seeing how much one has to work with. Of course there have been failures, I’ve found that even washed at 90ºC some wool won’t felt, it stays exactly as it is, and there’s no way to tell if a jumper will shrink, it really does seem to be hit and miss. The label, look and feel of an item of knitwear only holds so many clues. Anyway, it’s ok, that’s how it goes, and having to rethink is part of the fun. It works the other way too, sometimes I have over felted and been left with something from which I could only make a good sturdy doormat (now there’s an idea…). I have so many lovely pieces of knitwear sourced from a variety of places that I had to buy big containers to store them in, my husband, bless him, asked if I’d used them all up yet when he spotted me coveting some cashmere, I don’t think he gets how huge a palette can be, and that there probably isn’t a limit, except the size of the room I work in, and I reckon I could stack a few more giant boxes yet.