Feelings About Garms

Posted by Eleanor Burke on

Ahhhh, with the last blog out the way I can start talking about what I want to talk about! And that is FEELINGS!! (This makes no sense anymore because I wrote it in February and it's now September and I'm posting it but I've got no other intro to write so it's staying). 

I made a jumper just before Christmas and I've been feeling some feelings about it. I've had a version of it in my mind for a really long time but when an event was coming up and my originally planned garment didn't work out I decided to just get it crocheted. I did it in a weekend, I used yarn that had been hanging around looking a bit dishevelled in the shop (Luxury Merino in cream) so it wasn't selling and I pushed myself to make it faster than I should have done. I did the same for a cardigan for my dad's funeral (also, strangely, in Luxury Merino DK) but I literally damaged my shoulder making that which, thankfully, I didn't do that for this one. I finished the crochet in a matter of hours and then I brought it into the shop on my day off and I dyed it. I was really pleased with the end result:

Eleanor, a fat, white, woman, with short, brown hair stands in front of a bike in front of a messy garden. She's wearing bright pink tights, a black skirt and a multi coloured crochet jumper. Hand on her hip and smiling.

Something about looking forward to a thing - not the right word for the funeral but I don't know what else to put - puts me right on edge and I get that nervous energy out by making. All my excitement and hope, maybe my fears, the plans, the potential, memories, thoughts - they all go into that garment. I'm sure there's also a little bit of control in there too - if I can just wear the perfect garment that I made then everything will go fantastically because I'll look and feel great and everybody will admire me. Or maybe, it'll be so fantastic that people will look at that and not me, it's something else to talk about at least as either a distraction or a way into a conversation. 

Which is great if it works out well, like my dad's funeral did. He had a great send off, I felt some peace, it was a relief after a difficult few years. It wasn't exactly enjoyable but it was a good full stop and it was the right thing to have happen. I've worn that cardigan loads and will continue to do so. 

But this garment was different - it had a fantastic first outing, was appreciated by all involved, I had a great time and I felt great in it but then I had a follow up to that special event and it all went to shit. That was around November last year and I didn't want to wear it again so it languished. Which is so sad. It's not the jumpers fault that some people are arseholes but really, your heart and soul goes into a garment doesn't it? Even if you're a good and quick maker with lots of experience. I think that's the thing that non-crafters don't get, so much of yourself goes into what you're making it's like a little piece of you. In many ways I feel sorry for them, not having that connection to the things that they wear but when you're also a nutter, like I am, things take on a deeper significance which sometimes means that beautiful sweaters lay about not being loved. So sad. 

I have no conclusions - only ramblings. Let me tell you about about the deets. 

I did with this garment something I tell people in the shop never to do! I remade a garment. 

Eleanor, a fat, white, woman wears a multi coloured, crochet jumper in front of a brick house. She's got a black skirt on and a blue necklace and she has her arms spread wide.

This is my original garment - made in a yarn we don't stock anymore with Zoë Halstead's King Cole pattern 5115. I left off the flared sleeves, never loved them (sorry Zoë, they were definitely in fashion at the time), made the sleeves a little slimmer and carried the stitch pattern all the way down the sleeves. It's a top down design worked all in one as a cardigan really and then sewn together at the back with a little keyhole which is just the cutest design feature in the world. 

The back of a fat, white, woman with short brown hair. She's wearing a green leopard-ish print tight skirt and a tie dye effect, crochet jumper with keyhole detail by the neck.

I can confirm it looks super cute as a cardi too, if you don't want to sew it up at the back. 

Presumably I did some social media when I made the first version so you may have seen it, I certainly wore it a lot and called it my unicorn jumper. I loved it! Then I felted it. Or maybe Chris did. Yes, let's blame him. I knew I wanted to remake it from the first second I saw it was ruined but I really recommend not trying to remake things because you can't get back all the feelings that I talked about above, can you? It'll never be quite right. These aren't just garm's remember, they're little pieces of you and I tell you, I felt conflicted about remaking it! 

But then this event was coming up, and the doughnut ball Luxury Merinos were a mess and it all just came together. I told myself I'd make it different by dyeing deeper colours so it's still unicorn-y but this time perhaps, more me. I took loads of photos and videos of me doing it and then... did nothing with them... So. The only thing I can really tell you about the dyeing process is that I put a layer of cling film in between the front and back which mean that the dye didn't go through like it had on my original one. Then I just went wild. I used the same dyes as I use on my workshops - incidentally, there's another one on sale here

There's honestly not a lot else I can tell you. I followed the pattern, it's written really well of course. Instead of doing the flared sleeves I didn't and this time I didn't carry the holes down the sleeves. It's made for a fantastically wearable garment and I keep thinking this would look incredible and smooshy and autumnal in one of the plain colours of Homespun DK. Somebody stop me starting something else, please Lord! 

A lot, lot, lot of love. Especially if you're the sort of person who has this many feelings about garments - I hope you're in therapy. ;) 

Love Eleanor. xxx

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  • We miss your shop updates over on you tube

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