In the months after she left, I spent quite a long time staring at a pile of old linen tablecloths she left behind.
She's a lover of charity shops, like me, and over many years had built up quite a collection of old linens, some of which she used, and most of which sat in a pile waiting to be made into something. When she was packing to move to Belgium, she was considering sending them all back to the charity shop.
Needless to say, I rescued a few. Not all of them, but a few, and I promised to make her something out of them.
Well, I stared, and stared. I didn't want to cut them up, but I couldn't very well send them back to her whole. So I stared a bit more, and hoped inspiration would strike.
Eventually it did, in the form of this post over at Soulemama.
Now, I'm not much of a one for following instructions. And I'm afraid I don't have a copy of Carefree Clothes for Girls. But I did have a huge roll of bright red fleece, and I quite fancied having paring it with the old linen to make a scarf.
Of course, lots more staring and head scratching followed. Cutting a scarf shape out of the fleece was fairly painless, but the linens got moved around, folded and unfolded, placed and replaced for quite a long time, until even I was fed up of stepping over them.
Finally, I took a deep breath, winced, and cut into the first one. And it was quite fun! I sat on the living room floor, watching the snow swirling past the window, and cut, patched and sewed (the sewing picture of the blog title is this scarf in progress).
I must admit I wasn't sure at first. I wasn't entirely convinced the different shades of linen wouldn't just look like the whole thing needed a good wash. But I stuck with it, and I'm glad I did.
Mindful that I had a list of people I'd promised hand made Christmas presents to, I decided that I'd make this scarf for my auntie, who does lots of sewing herself, and is far more proficient than I'll ever be (she's also very kind, and I hoped she'd overlook the slightly wonky hand stitching).
Not long after I finished the scarf, exceptionally pleased with myself for having finished a family Christmas present before Christmas I got a call from my friend, the one who moved to Belgium, to say she was coming back, and asking if she could pop round for a cup of tea.
Of course, I couldn't resist giving her the finished scarf, since the original idea was for her, and I was going to get around to making her one in the end anyway...
So, she had the first one, and I had to cut into all the linens again (much easier the second time) and make another scarf. They weren't that different, since I used the same pile of fabric, and neither of them looked anything like the original picture that inspired me to make them in the first place.
But all those tablecloths got put to good use, I enjoyed sitting and doing a bit of hand sewing for a change, and I think the end result was pretty good. And very warm.