Friday, March 22, 2024

Make and mend

We got a new oil tank this week. Our old one was 28 years old and they do decay over time, and we didn’t want to be in the position in the next ten years of a sudden catastrophe of losing oil and contaminating the soil, both of which would have been difficult and expensive. So we decided to swap it now: we’re trying to make things easy for ourselves in the future, in view of our advancing age. Ahem.

The plumbing firm would have taken the old tank away as part of the deal, but Dave had one of his bright ideas. He would make it into two logstores. We still have four mountains of logs in the back garden with no home to go (remember the tree he cut down in December?) so we certainly need more storage.

First stage, cut the tank in half:

Second stage, consider a jacuzzi

Third stage, start stacking…

Meanwhile, I have been doing some make do and mending inside the house. I’ve been darning hiking socks which have a habit of wearing through near the heel, and I’ve been mending a jumper I knitted twenty years ago. It’s knitted in Aran wool and has worn well, but the elbow on one side developed a small hole. Have you seen those online videos of magic darning where the craftswoman makes an invisible mend? Those women (the only ones I have seen are women)  are my gods, but I can’t do it. As I still had a ball of wool and the pattern in the drawer from the original knit, I decided to unpick and unravel the sleeve with the hole and re-knit it. It’s almost done. Then I realised that if I swapped the sleeves round, the patch that was wearing thin on the other sleeve would be sited INSIDE the elbow, and wouldn’t wear though. All of this is a work in progress.

Meanwhile the two white cotton sheets I use on the bed have been needing attention. I bought them on Bakewell market for £20 each 20 years ago. They were sold as Egyptian cotton, hotel quality, with a gazillion thread count, and they have been in constant use. They’ve been fantastic but are getting a little thin in the middle while the edges are as thick as ever, and I remembered what my mother and my gran used to do: cut them down the middle and sew the two edges together to make a new middle. I ripped one down the middle and then pressed the hems on the new raw edges and stitched them. 

Then I placed the two selvedge edges together in a flat seam for the middle. It was all going swimmingly, but I did not pin these two edges together, partly because my pins are blunt and the selvedges are thick and partly because I am a lazy sewer. I stitched and stitched and got to the end of the seam and found this.

Hey ho. I am not a skilled seamstress. The fabric had stretched because I had not pinned it. At least I know when I fix the next sheet that pinning is a must. 🙄

Last item in the make-do list is this: my brother’s sweet peas, which he sows in rolled up newspaper. I think they look so much classier than mine do in yoghurt cartons.


marmee said...

All so so impressive!!

Sue Hepworth said...

Thanks, Marmee.

Anonymous said...

Love Dave’s ingenuity! And my mother also gave new life to sheets in this way ! Your brother’s sweet peas look lovely but seem about as hearty as yours The newsprint idea is great and also very photogenic!!!
Ana x

Sue Hepworth said...

Yes, Ana, that’s what I meant to say - Pete’s sweet peas are more photogenic in their newspaper pots.