Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Back to the Pumpkin Sweater

Here we go again! Is this the silliest craft project you've ever seen?
Any of you who sew on a regular basis and have working brains, will know what I did wrong last time. Care to hazard a guess?  Yep -- I pinned the sweater right-side-out.  Sigh. (For those who don't sew, you have to do things wrong-side-out, so you can turn it right-side-out, and all the sewing will be on the INSIDE. Unless you like wearing your seams on the outside. I wanted the knit on the outside, and the purl hidden....) So, the first thing I had to do was remove ALL the pins, turn and reshape the sweater around the pumpkin, and re-pin it.  Then came the fun part:  leaving one seam open, and trying to slip the real pumpkin out of the sweater pumpkin.  It felt vaguely like my sweater was giving birth. Hmm. It was a tight fit.
By the time I got to the sewing machine this afternoon, I was running behind. I had successfully made brownies and shipped a care package to my college son.  My laundry downstairs was to that chaotic point where there are socks and underwear strewn across the floor. I had only barely begun supper (lasagna), and was feeling frazzled. As you see, my sewing machine is O-L-D.  It was my grandmother's machine, from the 1950s.  It weighs about 300 lbs. and makes terrible noises, but it never quits. When it came time to thread the needle, for the first time ever, I had to break down and go get the granny glasses I bought at WalMart.

Young women, let me tell you -- when you reach 40, your eyes start to go. You can't see thing that are close, and you can't see things that are far away, and each day that in-between distance of good vision dwindles ever so slightly.  Mine is now about 4 feet. It's amazing how SEEING the needle hole is useful when threading it.
Once I actually get the machine out and set everything up, I do enjoy sewing. This happens about once a year.
After every seam, I had to dash into the kitchen and work on the spaghetti sauce. We do not DO store-bought sauce in this house. So, I had to make sauce before I could construct lasagna. Being in a hurry, of course, I turned up the sauce too high, it bubbled wildly, and burned my finger. After I got it simmering nicely, I had to dash to the shower and wash my hair, since I have community chorus rehearsal tonight.  Such is the life of a busy housewife.
When I got all the side seams done, this was the result.  It looks rather like a deflated balloon. My idea is this: to sew a type of feather stitch on the side seams with yarn, including some lines down the side where there aren't any seams, to give the effect of the ribs on the side of the pumpkin. This yarn work I can do while sitting on the couch, and we all know that couch-work of any kind is preferable to non-couch-work.
I pulled out various remnant pieces of yarn.  Here are four colors I'm considering. I prefer the darker ones, but I may do a selection of them.
"And what will you DO with this pumpkin-shaped sweater, MK?"  you ask.  Well, I want to stuff it full of something that will not rot and smell bad, will generally take the shape of a pumpkin, and then I'll set it out on the front porch, and hope it looks vaguely like a pumpkin from the road.  I'll need to finish off the top with something green that looks like a stem.  I may also need to run a nice hefty string, taut from the top to the bottom (through the center of it), to make the stem and the bottom tuck in, as they should.  I'm thinking of stuffing it full of plastic WalMart bags, because they're not good for anything else and presently have about 2000 of them wadded up on my pantry floor.  I'm too much of a guilty greeny to through them into the trash, but too forgetful to take them to WalMart each week to recycle. Then my sweater pumpkin with plastic innards will probably be blown from the porch by the wind, and bounce happily down the street.


  1. You are right about Wal-Mart bags - good for nothing. Our local garbage service now takes plastic bags for recycling so I can get rid of them that way.

    I love the picture of the pot of sauce bubbling. That pot looks like it belongs over an old-fashioned hearth.

    Your pumpkin-to-be? You are very persevering, so I don't think you'll abandon the project this far along. But I would have!

  2. Oh, I wish I could recycle mine on the curb!

    I do love cooking with cast iron. I use it for so many things. That particular pot is a chicken fryer my mom gave me when I married. Mine has the little tab on the back of the pot that makes it easier to pick up; my mom's doesn't have that.

    And I'm wondering about this "pumpkin." I think it's gonna look like a round sweater :)


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