Friday, February 07, 2014


I've addressed my moth problem somewhat before, and how it caused me to do some drastic repairs to a handknit sweater. Those pernicious moths also attacked my collection of well-worn lightweight store-bought sweaters. I have quite a few of these. They are close to literally being a dime a dozen, since they are partially shrunken, mass-market brand sweaters in neutral, inconspicuous colors, and I easily mistake one of them for the other. So I don't blame anyone who thinks I don't change my sweater from day to day. But now they will not be indistinguishable: they will have names even. Today, I introduce the Butterfly Sweater.

It began sadly enough. Witness below.
I gave up on the hoop after a while.
Moths took a few bites out of this heathery brown sweater at just about my left shoulder blade. I happen to have wool felt so I got the grand idea of appliqueing something over the holes after I mended them. (Not Godzilla. He needs to be on the front of a sweater.) I decided on butterflies. I have really no idea why. I tried to improvise the first couple butterflies that went over the holes, and then I submitted to the potato chip principle: you can never have just one. Or two. Aw, shucks, let's have a swarm!
I looked up images of butterflies on my smartphone for better verisimilitude, did some quick sketches, then made templates to guide me in cutting the felt. Took me about ten minutes, if that. I think I spent most of the time trying to find a working pen. (Four year olds are not known for their felt pen conservation skills.)
Took me a while to find the pencil sharpener, too.
I grabbed some gaudy fingering weight wool yarn and set to it. I didn't bother with a pretense of making it look professional. I like the homey look.

Left shoulder blade
The light blue and lilac butterflies in the above photo are on the moth hole damaged area of the sweater. All the others are just for company. My skill at making butterflies really improved by the time I had a dozen done; the copper and yellow one on the top of the photo was one of the last stitched, as was the yellow butterfly.

Back of sweater
I was intending to put all the butterflies only on the left side of the sweater, but the lilac one on the right got away.

Front of sweater
Some of the butterflies are dramatically different than others. I like the whimsical effect they lend an otherwise eminently practical and blah sweater.
Front shoulder
When I made the templates I traced them from these quickie ink drawings I made. If this project looks like a fun idea to you, and you need some butterflies for your moth holes, too, feel free to print the ink drawing below and cut it up and resize it and whatnot for your own templates. Go crazy!
Click on photo to enlarge.

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