Thursday, 7 July 2016

Bunny Was Here

Look at this!
(with a disgruntled expression)
There's a big hole in my lounge room throw rug.


This is what it once looked like (back in 2007):

This throw rug and cushion set adorns my couch.

This was the first throw rug I ever crocheted, taken from a Panda Yarns pattern book, Throws & Cushions in 8ply. (Pattern details appear at the end of this blog entry). 

The throw rug consists of 96 square motifs and the cushion 18 (9 on each side), bordered by a double crochet and crab stitch border.

'Crab stitch' is also known as 'reverse double crochet' stitch.  The last round in crab stitch curls towards the right side of the work and gives an effect similar to sewn piping found on the edges of cushions and linen.

This pattern 'crochets first, joins later'; no JAYGo (Join-As-You-Go) technique here. As it was my first ever motif blanket, it didn't occur to me to investigate JAYGo techniques. The throw rug is very large so JAYGo could have been impractical for handling. In this pattern, squares are joined into strips which are then joined to make the throw.

I discovered that it took about the same amount of time to join all the motifs together as it did to crochet the motifs themselves!  I have adopted this as a rule of thumb for estimating the time required to finish motif/modular projects; e.g., if it takes 10 minutes to make the motif, expect to spend 10 minutes joining it later.  

What is your experience?  I am slow at sewing: you may have a different experience if you are adept at stitching.

Panda rates this pattern as 'Advanced Crochet'* but that didn't stop 'beginner me' from trying. The best advice I received from my early crochet mentors (Val and Laurel) was to "choose a project that you love or that excites you; don't worry about the difficulty rating because if you love the project, you will be motivated to learn what you need to create it. What is difficult for one person may be easy for another, so just give it a try."

This is how the squares should look.

I use my couch regularly and handle the throw rug frequently during the daily tidying. The throw and cushion are about 10 years old now so the no-name-brand 8 ply acrylic from the local discount shop is a little aged and shaggy. 

There are pills here and there and some of the joins between motifs need re-stitching after 10 years of pulling, tugging, stretching and general punishment that only 3 children and their friends can give.

After this experience I can say that cheap acrylic was a good fibre choice for this purpose because it stood up to frequent washing, was light on the line when wet and it kept its colours well. There was no stress about ruining some expensive luxury yarn either.

The damage is near the bottom edge where it has been sat on and pulled;
also in reach of young explorer bunny's teeth!

I can see from the gaps in the corners around the damaged square that this one has been tugged by bunny.  I don't think Max intended to have a good chew or feed but, like young children or a puppy he likes to investigate the world with his mouth. He is still a kitten after all but his teeth are razor sharp and will cut through many items with ease!

How do I mend this? One of the beautiful things about granny square motifs that are sewn in is that is easy to remove the damaged square and replace it with a new one. 

Fortunately, I kept the yarn leftovers just in case, knowing the abuse this throw would receive from a busy family.  This is also a good reason to keep sample squares: either have ready-made 'spares' or, if the tension is incorrect, they can be frogged as a source of matching yarn.

Unfortunately, this mending job is not as simple as undoing a seam.  The complication is that the damaged square is an edge square and has the border rounds worked directly into it. I am not prepared to undo the entire border!
Can I mend this square without removing it or the border?

The plan is to undo some of the square, join in new yarn and re-work it. That will take some thought and special tricks. I have some ideas to try and will  let you know how I go!
 
Have you ever mended crocheted fabric?
How did you go about it?



Here's a 10-second video of Max, happily playing on the couch today:
video



*Advanced Knitting/Crochet (according to Panda Yarns):
  • For knitters and crocheters with experience
  • Fair Isle
  • Aran
  • Lace patterns

 

Pattern Details

 
Name: Throw & Cushion in Squares (Pattern no. 8)
Source:  Panda pattern book 210 (code PB5555) Throws & Cushions in 8ply
Hook: 4 mm
Recommended yarns
Panda Magnum 8 ply (100 g balls)
Panda Woolbale 8 ply (50 g balls)
Panda Woolblend Crepe 8 ply (50 g balls)
I used a generic yarn: 100% acrylic "Knitting Yarn" made in China with a purple label, no yardage or dye lot listed. The bar code lists "Item no. 21421".
I used at least 12 x 100g balls. 

 

References


Panda Yarns, Throws & Cushions in 8ply, book no. 210, code PB5555, Australian Country Spinners Pty Ltd, 314–320 Albert Street, Brunswick, Victoria, 3056, Australia, 2006.
The book quotes the web site as: www.pandayarns.biz
Pattern help service (for Australian residents): 1800 337  032

The book is balanced with 5 crochet and 5 knit designs:
  • 1 x beginner knit
  • 4 x easy knit / crochet
  • 3 x intermediate knit / crochet
  • 2 x advanced knit / crochet


Related Posts on Lupey Loops


"Messy to the Max", 29 September 2015: http://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2015/09/messy-to-max.html





16 comments:

  1. Could be worse Jodie... When my eldest had a rabbit - a harlequin giant Japanese bunny called Cena (Italian for 'dinner' - he's a little twisted...) he didn't keep the eye on her he should have when she was having loose inside time, and she chewed all the TV and VCR cables... He never did that again, after saving pocket money to pay for the replacements!

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    1. That's a familiar story! It took my youngest three lots of charging cable replacements to convince her to keep equipment up high on the desk instead of on the floor. Pocket money was the source of funding for these replacements too!

      Cords dangling down look like underground plant roots or vines and bunnies can't help themselves - they are compelled to have a taste.

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  2. I shall be interested to see how you manage it without undoing the border.

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    1. Me too! hehehe! The current idea is to use lifelines and make a bigger hole to close the smaller hole. Prayers and deep breathing might also be necessary. Wish me luck, Lorraine!

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  3. Misty ate all the cables for our surround-sound system, when it was a week old! She was only 3 months old at the time. Apparently puppies like to chew things! Who knew?

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    1. As long as they leave our knitting and crochet alone... ;-)

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  4. I had a forty year old crocheted throw that had a few squares like what you pictured. So I took it all apart, discarded the damaged squares and crocheted it all back together minus about 8 squares. I have faith that you can make a fix without removing that square - good for you for having kept some yarn for such fixes.
    Naughty bunny! lol

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    1. Wow! That is some feat, Mary-Anne, but you put so much work into the throw in the first place, it is worth the effort to mend it into a new blanket. That was probably the simplest way to fix it even though it's a big job. I worry that I'm making my job more complicated by *not* pulling my border apart. I suppose that is the last resort if the single square repair doesn't go to plan.

      As for bunny Max, he is not so much naughty as inquisitive BUT he is more wilful than our previous bunny, Smokey. They all have their own personalities, as we humans all do. :-)

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  5. Hah, I don't even try to sew things together!
    (It's why I make so many shawls and hats.)

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    1. Hehe! That was me too once upon a time and then I became a mum and my frugality meant that I had better learn to sew! I like crocheting better than knitting because seams can be crocheted instead of sewn. My clumsy fingers and tiny needles are not the best of partners and not one sewing session has ever ended without me saying "OUCH!"

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  6. I bet Max thought the balnket was very yummy, notice he ate the chocolate portion of the balnket. Good luck with the correction. I have done it myself several times when stitches have gotten loose and the square has started to unravel, but I have no idea how I did it.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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    1. Hahaha! Love it, Meredith. Chocolate squares! ;-)
      When there are jobs that only come up once a year (or less frequently), I can never remember how to do them either.
      Still, you made me laugh with your choice of words. :-)

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  7. Hello Jodie,

    First of all, thanks for all your blog comments on my blog, I did miss your visits!

    It's a shame this happened, but then again you got 10 years service out of it already, so that is very good.

    Hope you can fix it up again, good luck with it. :)

    Have a nice weekend!
    Ingrid xx
    Myfunkycrochet.blogspot.be

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    1. Hi Ingrid,
      I always look forward to your posts and then I didn't see any on my newsfeed for a while so I figured you were away and busy with your multiple projects. I think you returned to the blogosphere just as I was taking a break. 'Sometimes life gets in the way' :-)
      Thanks for the reminder about 10 years of service. One damaged square is not that bad when you put it that way.
      I *am* having a nice weekend, thank you, having caught up with some dear friends who are visiting Australia from Europe.
      I hope your weekend is equally pleasant.
      Hugs, Jodie xx

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  8. What a wonderful blanket! 10 years is a long time and I bet there were many good cuddly hours with it!

    Michelle and her mum fixed damages like this when I lived in Australia, so Michelle might help you with some advice!

    Take care
    Anne
    Crochet Between Worlds!

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    1. Hi Anne,

      Sorry to be so late in replying to you! I had accidentally overlooked it... I think I must have replied to you in my head instead of typing a reply when I first read your comment.

      You are right to point out how much good service that blanket has already given my family and even though it is a very cheap acrylic, it still adds charm to the room and has been very handy for extra warmth, especially those necessary daytime naps.

      After having the pleasure of meeting Michelle and her mum, I have every confidence they could fix any crochet problem - they are clever ladies, aren't they?

      I hear you have finished a new project - I will be across shortly to inspect your latest post on Crochet Between Worlds.

      Have a happy day, Anne! :-)

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