Sunday, 31 May 2009

My "Argyll Vest"

In my family, the words "Argyll Vest" have a very specific meaning. Yes, in a literal sense, they mean the beautiful green and white vest, in a traditional Scottish diamond pattern, that my mum knitted for my dad ... over a period of years.

However, "Argyll Vest" is also a euphemism, for a project that seemed like a good idea at the time, but turned out to be difficult, irritating, fiddly, time-consuming and down-right painful.

A project that is put down, picked up, dropped again, and returned to many times over a period of years. It is eventually only finished due to a deep abiding love for the intended recipient, and a dogged determination not to let the darned thing get the better of you.

Do you see these sweet little 'puffs', made in pretty green gingham and cupcake print?

Don't be fooled by their innocent appearance. They are the most fiddly, irritating, time-consuming craft project I have ever contemplated, let alone actually started. The concept is called "puffy quilting". You make all the puffs, then hand stitch them together. I have seen them used to make very soft linings for baby capsules, prams etc. When I saw the kit at Spotlight, with the words "quick and easy" printed in big letters, I couldn't resist the chance to make something for Ryan, and at the same time test it out for the possibility of adding some lovely baby items to my market stall, or SashaSews.

I spent about 3 hours on this yesterday. Do you see how many there are? Yep ... a grand total of 7 puffs. And they still have to be hand-stitched closed (the hole where you stuff the filling in), and eventually stitched together. I estimate that to make a small lining for a baby bouncer, I will need at least 70 of them.

The good news is that I think I know what Ryan will be getting for his 21st birthday!


Melody said...

This is where I would cheat and use the sewing machine - I'm not one for having patience when it comes to sewing, hand or machine wise. I have a X-Stitch I look at constantly which needs finishing. I've had it since about 1992. No word of a lie.

Nikki said...

I have several of those projects, too. I guess all of us who do things by hand do. The worst thing is that they haunt us.