Sometimes, I think I take on over-ambitious projects. Things that I think up and go “Yeah, that’ll be AWESOME. I can so do that. Yea…”
So I buy all the necessary materials, get cracking, realise how long it’s going to take, and give up.
I think this attitude runs through a lot of the aspects in my life, not just crafting: I’m a starter, not a finisher. I like the novel and the exciting, and I detest boredom or monotony. Big projects require perseverance and an ability to barrel on through the repetitiveness in order to see the bigger picture, and reap the rewards at the “end”.
Which is why it’s so refreshing to start a big project, and push through those daunting periods, watching the project slowly come together.
The project in question is a Firestarter jumper for Mr Fox, as seen worn by dear Keith from the Prodigy:
Doesn’t he look like a charming chappy? I realise this picture is in B&W, but then so is the video. But there are some rare promotional images of the jumper in colour. That’s right: red & white stripes, and white stars on a blue background.
So it began. Mr Fox requested a cotton jumper (heavy, but not as sweat-inducing as wool!), so this was by no means a cheap project. I talk about it in the past tense, but I haven’t finished it yet – I’ve one sleeve yet to do, and then assembly. I had hoped it would have been done before the holiday, but we’re leaving TOMORROW, and that second sleeve hasn’t even been started yet.
Anyway, I went out and bought white & red first (pattern works from the bottom up, as is quite common with jumpers). The white was no problem: white cotton is cheap and readily available. Not, however, in the right thickness, but as it was (as I said) cheap, I knitted two threads as one. £1.50 a ball, and the jumper uses just under 8 balls of white. Next, the red. The red was harder to find. There are LOTS of reds, but none which were “quite right” (you have a Feeling about these things, trust me). So I ended up buying red BAMBOO yarn. Lovely stuff, but less cheap. About £4 a ball. And the jumper used 6 (well, 3 doubled).
Blue, however, was impossible to find in the right shade. Mama suggested I buy more white and dye it. She’s always full of bright, problem solving ideas 🙂
So… six more £1.50 balls, and a £6.50 box of Dylon in ocean blue. Mistake! Colour was too light. Plus, I thought “machine dye will be much easier – I’ll put the yarn into a pillow case to stop it getting too tangled”. Madness!! All six balls (unwound) escaped the case, and ended up in an enormous, tangley blue mess. Mama and I painstakingly detangled and rewound all six balls, and planned the next step. Ahha! Wind them into SKEINS and hand dye them. Much more wise. Well done mum. Another £6.50 box of Dylon (in Navy this time) and we were THERE. The end result colour is gorgeously rich.
And here we are so far 🙂
Seeing as I started this project OVER A YEAR AGO and I’m still going, I am so pleased with my newfound ability to persevere. Maybe it’s because it will be a well loved gift. Mr Fox actually requested this, and is very, very grateful for anything handmade (madman!)
But at hours and hours and hours of labour (I only came to knitting a couple of years ago, and have made about half a dozen things – it’s not my forté!) and about £60 of materials, this is not a thing I will be making for sale.
My big bro has already requested his own one. And he’s going to see the Prodigy in concert in July.
Much as I would LOVE to help, bro….Not going to happen 😉 Over a year, I tell you!!