Finally, finally Spring has remembered its lines and the thickest of woollies can be put away for a few months. But first: a little maintenance.
These days the three of us wear mostly handmade winter woollies. A lot. Especially the 3-year-old; This being Scandinavia, severe weather is not an excuse for staying indoors and so after a whole, long winter his woollies were looking pretty, well, worn.
After a whole, long (did I mention it was long?) winter of being stuffed under bike helmets, dragged through rain and snow, and dipped (rubbed, probably) in wet sand, the pompoms weren't very pommy anymore. The brims had been stretched down their hu-LA-rious owner's chin a few too many times. Some straggly ends were poking out, what with weaving them in properly not being my strong point...
So this morning, with the sunlight finally streaming in, I sat down to do some Maker's Maintenance. I picked the dry leaves out and snipped off the sad little poms. I made new, properly smooshy pompoms. I re-wove the ends.
I added a couple of rows to the brims to bring them back in from their flappy state. This is so easy to do - just take a smaller hook than the pattern originally called for and work the same stitch (front and back post TC, in this case) into the foundation row or starting chain.
You're basically working upside down and changing the stitch direction, but I don't think it matters. Because, fast-moving 3-year-old.
Finally, I soaked them in some lukewarm soapy water to get rid of the worst of the grime, left them out to dry on the balcony, and attached the new pompoms. Smoosh.
They don't look fresh of the hook. It wouldn't have been a big deal to make a couple more hats, even - the pattern (details below) is really easy and fun. Also, maintenance is a bit boring compared to the excitement of making something new. But that is not point, I think.
High quality, responsibly-produced yarn is expensive. As a natural resource, it is also finite. By giving these little hats an hour or so of TLC, they'll last another winter. I won't be sending anything to landfill. And I'll have a bit more money left over for good materials for another make (it turns out I've made hats for everyone but myself, so far!).
These little hats are ready to be stored away now, and over the next few weeks I'll be washing, darning, re-weaving and otherwise squeezing the rest of our handmade woollies.
What do you do to ensure your makes last longer? Any tips?