Make Do and Mend, part 1

When I was little I loved watching old news reel footage on the TV (they were edited into programs, often with a theme), especially the ones from the early forties which were sometimes about how to care for one’s things and clothes in order for them to last longer. This was of course during World War II, and even though Sweden wasn’t actually in the war, rationing was severe and buying new things was often not possible.

My interest in how to get by in times of austerity has increased over the years. Most people in the western world live in relative luxuary today, and we do not need to be moderate in our consumer habits, but at the same time most of us are aware of that this is not a sustainable way of life.

Sustainability and quality is someting we all need to consider and how we can contribute to a more sustainable world.

One way is of course by consuming less. Taking care of one’s things and clothes in order for them to last longer. Mending what can be mended. Questioning whether you actually need that thing that you want.

I try to think about these things and I want to contribute to a more sustainable society to the best of my ability. It’s not easy, of course. One way is by mending what you already have.

I have a pair of woolen gloves I knitted in 2007. I have mended these several times before, but last week they neeeded some TLC again.

Stitches worn thin

I reinforced the stitches:

mending 2
Mended finger

I reinforced some other stitches that weren’t as badly off to prevent them from getting worse.

mending 1
Preventing new holes

They looked much worse a few years ago:

Almost worn out

The tips of the fingers were so badly worn, I simply cut them off:

unravelled yarn
Unravelled yarn and cut off fingertips

And then knit new ones:

new finger on mitten
Knitting new fingertips


mended mitten and cat
Almost brand new!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on making do and mending. Do you mend your knits? If not, why?

Brenda, who produces my favourite knitting pod cast, Cast On, dedicated a whole series to the Make Do and Mend concept back in 2009. I recommend that you check out her audio archive and download series 8 if you haven’t listened to it already.

Happy knitting!

First podcast on knitting in Swedish. And some knit spotting.

The first Swedish podcast on knitting has seen the light of day! And I’m using the word first because I believe that more of them will surface. It’s called Stickpodden and is produced by two young women, Karin and Elin, who met each other at a knitting club a couple of years ago and decided to start a podcast.

Stickpodden is an easygoing and chatty podcast and in their first episode Karin and Elin talk about Ravelry, knitting during meetings and if and how much one should charge when knitting for others. They already have another episode out, but I’ve only listened to the first one yet. I like it so far and look forward to more episodes. An extra bonus is their choice of music, a bit different and really good.

Now over to some knit spotting. I had a late afternoon meeting down town and happened by an H&M. I’m normally not a patron of H&M for various reasons, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t produce nice items from time to time. Two very nice looking male sweaters caught my eye as I walked past:

Knit spotting II
A very nice cabled sweater

Knit spotting I
And an intricate Fair Isle inspired sweater

I did not go inside to scrutinize the garments so I do not know their fibre content. One can only hope that they are knit from wool.

That is all.

Second mitt is quicker

For some reason knitting the second mitt is a lot quicker. Probably because I already know what to do with it. I made a lot of modifications to the original pattern, and figuring these out and making notes on them obviously slowed my knitting progress on the first mitt.

Second mitt
Progress on second mitt

I’ve even begun the flap that will cover the fingers. Another reason why this is going fairly quickly is that I’ve spent a good portion of the post-New Year holiday knitting. Knitting and listening to old episodes of Cast On. I never get tired of Brenda, she’s so smart and witty and and funny! The production of the podcast is really fantastic. If you haven’t discovered her podcast yet – I strongly urge you to check it out! And listen to the them in the correct order – that makes it even more enjoyable. I’m so glad that she’s still doing it after over six years of podcasting. I have some favourite episodes and themes, I’ll probably get back to you on that later.

Another way to make my knitting run smoothly is to have a snoring cat on my lap. And belive me – he snores loudly!

Snoring cat
Laban asleep – and snoring – on my lap
I really hope to finish these mittens this week so I can get back to some of my other projects. And perhaps start a new one.