A reindeer, last-century mohair and Scandinavian-style tree decorations

Fluffy cushion cover

Cushion cover 1Continuing with my theme of finishing projects and using up my stash, I came across a half-finished cushion cover last weekend that I started knitting two years ago. That has been my project for the week and I soon got the other half knitted, although I could have done with another 25m or so of yarn. I scoured the house but couldn’t find any oddments of the brushed mohair/alpaca, so I am wet-blocking my knitting fiercely to make it as long as possible. My new welding rod blocking wires are working a treat.

I bought the yarn in a remainder bin in Texere some years ago, very cheaply – I think it was only £1 per ball. I used most of it to make a fluffy over-sweater that wasn’t a great success, mainly because it made me sneeze a lot. That sweater departed to the charity shop after a few wearings and I decided to make a little cushion cover with what was left. It should go nicely on my brown leather sofa, I like the contrast of soft-and-fluffy with the more masculine leather.

Mohair pet blanket

turquoise mohair sleeveAnother blast-from-the-past that came to light during my recent cupboard clear-out was this turquoise/green mohair sleeve. I began knitting a jumper for myself back in the 1980s, when mohair was highly fashionable – hard to believe now, isn’t it? Unfortunately, when I’d finished the first sleeve it became obvious that there wouldn’t be enough yarn to knit the second one, by which time mohair’s heyday had passed and the yarn had been discontinued. Pulling it out and knitting something less yarn-hungry wasn’t an option, because a heavily brushed yarn like this is too “sticky” to be undo-able. Instead, I made the best of a bad lot by making the sweater sleeveless and putting the single sleeve to one side. Now that it has turned up, I can’t think of what I can do with it other than use it for a pet blanket. I expect I’ll end up with a cat covered in turquoise fluff, but at least he’ll be warm.

Reindeer head trophy

Rudi the reindeer trophy is finished. The pattern says to attach the ears (but not the antlers) before felting the head in the washing machine, but the ears flopped during the process and needed some remedial work involving wire. I think I’d attach them after felting if I were to knit this again. The antlers too, although very stiff and firm after being washed, responded to gravity once I’d sewn them on and hung down limply. They have had the wire treatment too. As you can see from the before and after photos below, wire-reinforced Rudi looks much more perky.  He casts a very deer-like shadow.

Wireless Rudi

Wireless Rudi

After wiring

After wiring

I needle-felted on ovals cut from a square of white felt for the eyes, and then added irises made from the same dark brown yarn as the antlers and nose. It’s amazing how a stuffed animal starts to look more realistic once you give it eyes. The final touch was a red ribbon and bell, although I may yet add a red nose. I have a ready supply of colourful little bells because I remove them from new collars bought for the cat, so that his rodent-killing duties aren’t hampered, and he loses collars at the rate of at least one a month.

StockingI used some of the bells to good effect in the run-up to Christmas a year or two ago, making Scandinavian-style felt tree ornaments.

About yorkshirecrafter

I live and work in West Yorkshire.  I've always enjoyed crafts of all types, from woodwork to lace-making.  I also enjoy anything mathematical, which makes knitting a favourite pastime, especially complicated designs.  I've been advising businesses and industry on environmental matters for 30 years and also have an interest in green living, especially where it saves me money. I live with my husband and our Maine Coon in a 100-year-old cottage that constantly needs something doing to it.  Fortunately, I enjoy DIY too.
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