Garden- and Homecrafts

At the moment everything is kind of okay here despite the continuous rain. My allotment is pretty much overgrown and I am frightened to go there because there are so many weeds waiting for me and a lot of raspberries and red currents to pick, whilst the tomatoes, peppers and aubergines did not seem to have really survived this summer’s weather in a productive state and the beans are staying embarrassingly small. So, in a desperately intelligent moment, I decided that the only category I could possibly show off in this year’s FEDEGA flower and vegetable show are the house and home craft categories. The slight disadvantage is that my cooker is limited to one ring burning on full power, something wrong with the electrics I couldn’t sort out yet and that the last time I knitted something must have been about at least twenty or so years ago in primary school.

Never mind, so I went round to the local library and Baba’s Cave to get instructions, wool and a knitting needle to put last year’s master of the house- and home crafts to shame. I tried to follow the instructions, but could only really understand how to do one stitch, and have been continuing it for two wool balls. However, there is at least one relaxing thought: home crafts don’t seem to save you any more money nor are at all geared towards creating something practical that isn’t available cheaper in shops.
First, how to wash all these knitted woolly items? There is absolutely no special washing powder in our local supermarket for wool products. Although Stiftung Warentest recommended using shampoo instead about some decades ago, that was only really aimed at 100% sheep wool items, as the microstructure is similar to our hair. Unfortunately most wools today are either acrylic or polyester or made of cotton, and this advice is therefore not applicable. Then I really don’t like handwashing. Too time intensive, too wet and takes up too much space. I’ll try the special wool category on my friend’s washing machine, and if it shrinks, well then it has to be donated to the kids or to charities. I really try my best to avoid wool items in future, so why should I knit these? So, if they get dirty, it’s relatively complicated to clean, often they are made out of scratchy, expensive wool and it takes so much time to do the knitting, too.

So I thought about embroidery, especially as my aunt makes the most beautiful items, specialising in table clothes. But most things in magazines and catalogues are actually pictures, and somehow I really don’t think of hanging up self-made cross-stitchery as pictures. And I really can’t make sense of most cartoon-like cross-stitchery motives. Well, somehow it makes sense to have the pictures of the Grand Union Canal in a houseboat and to continue to do medieval tapestry and motives to keep the history alive. So I quite like this pattern. But if I would want to start out with something, I would like to do this Green Man. But, unfortunately, that’s a US website. They also have nice Art Nouveau and MacKintosh patterns and offer even some possibilities in transforming the result into something useful, like coasters or keyrings or purses.

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