xmlns:fb='http://ogp.me/ns/fb#' OriginalStitch: Gift Horse

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Gift Horse

But don't look this one too closely in the mouth. Really. This doleful dobbin is very nearly an unmitigated disaster. It's a horrific horse. A night mare. Horsey horsey not hot to trot, let me tell you.
It's all entirely my fault. I bought a nice hobby horse tutorial from a seller on Etsy (if you're checking that out, check out the British equivalent, Folksy too) and since I appear to be a little too big for my boots, I just changed things here and there. I didn't get the right materials, thinking I could make do with some stuffing from an old cushion instead of plush fleecy toy stuffing; used a Husband's Old Ski Sock instead of purchasing a new large Man's Sock; thought I'd dispense entirely with some parts of the instructions and just wing it.
And ended up right in the manure.
One of the first things you do is make the mane. Brilliantly, the tutorial says wind lots of wool round a rectangular piece of cardboard and then very sensibly stick a piece of masking tape over it. Ingenious - holds it gently in place when you peel the wool away from the cardboard. Stays there while you sew some stitching right through it - is then all neatly perforated by said stitching so you can tear off one side of the masking tape after you've easily inserted your nice, staying-together, neat and tidy mane into the sock and sewn in place. What a clever lady, the tutorial writer. She really thought it through so people like me would find it nice and easy.
But did I?
Because I didn't follow the instructions, did I.
I couldn't find any masking tape. (In my local ironmonger, the person behind the counter looked at me blankly when I asked for masking tape. Shrugged. Shook head; almost said, never heard of it. Not being funny, but is that an unusual thing to expect to find in an ironmongers, hm?)
Gross Error No.1.
I blithely slipped my nicely-wound-round-wool off its cardboard and carried it gently like a wedding veil over to the sewing machine, whereupon it all rebelled in its full loopiness and boinged around and hooked itself onto things and unravelled and got caught on the foot and the dogs and the needle, and other daftly named sewing machine parts, and I was a-cursin' and a-swearin' like a particularly foul-mouthed medieval stable lad.
Eventually I tamed it enough to sew through it, and stuff it into the sock. It took me 15 minutes. Would have taken approximately one and a half had I followed the instructions. And actually it looked ok.
You can see the stitching, and the blue bits of his mane sit a bit weirdly only on one side of it, but you know, it's, well, it's a mane.
Gross Error. No.2.
In the ironmongers I had been able to purchase the broom handle. We trundled into the garage with our toolkits (I with a real one, the daughters with toy ones) and began to saw it in half. Sawing is great fun when you're two and a half or three and three quarters or thirty five and a half, and nobody's fingers got cut off. We did however saw the broom handle in half.
Which made it too short. You'd think I'd have checked the tutorial measurements first wouldn't you...
Did I?
Course not.
So then we raided the garage for a far less attractive old beaten up and battered but perfectly useable broom, which I sawed to pieces. Very ugly it is. And now totally unuseable as a broom unless I masking-tape the old broom-head to the new, completely wasted half length broom handles and make a back-breaking short broom for heaven only knows what.

And now:
Gross Error No.3.
From the garage I also dragged a huge and revolting old cushion, thinking to use its stuffing to stuff my Husband's Old Ski Sock horse, and herein lies our greatest mistake.
It's not nice fleecy stuff; it contained nasty old tiny chewed-up bits of greasy pink and yellow foam, shredded into tiny flyaway, static laden bits of fluffy foaminess, which stuck to absolutely everything in sight. They crawled everywhere and stuck to your hand and clothes and your eyelashes and it was like some massive comedy foam raspberry trifle with custard had been calcified and shot from a cannon. Blasted to smithereens all over my dining room.
In a very short space of time Dobbin was smothered in fluff. If he'd had nostrils yet he'd have been a-snortin' and a-puffin' and whinnying for air.
Isla ran off to get a brush from the Doll's Dressing Toys Box (we have been making labels with our new laminator....mmm....laminators....) and then ran off to get the hoover so we could try and kind of fluff off the trifle and then hoover it up. Previous Ski-Sock Owner came in, thinking we were hoovering the house nice and tidy for him to enjoy of a Saturday morning; took one look, and quickly retreated. So there we were trying to hoover fluff off a sock. We even changed to the Upholstery Head. Made no difference.
Then in a rare moment of genius we all availed ourselves of some sticky tape and wrapped it round our hands and spent, I am not joking, twenty five minutes patting and peeling and patting and peeling and pat and peel and pat and peel. All over him, to remove the fluff. It worked, I have to say. Eventually. For photography's sake I have left some for you to see. Now imagine this all over the poor creature -
At this point, their Father took the girls off to do something less toxic involving outdoor space and climbing, or something, and I was left attaching buttons and trying to sew a smile onto poor beaten Dobbin's chops, which I did whilst watching a programme on Darwin.
Not far removed from the single cell amoebas plopping onto the beach, me, I was thinking.
Although I suppose I can claim use of tools, though wielded no better than a chimpanzee, who can delicately handle sticks with far more aplomb than I can broom handles, that's for sure.

Anyway, having somewhat maligned poor Neddy, I think it's time we found him a name and a home don't you think? He is too prototypean to give as a present, but he has a certain surf dude quality, and his too-long fringe falls teenage-like over one eye, and his ears are way too big and flop a bit...but still, he does need love and attention.

I shall announce a giveaway in the next post! So, stay posted, if you want to win him, you lucky, lucky readers.

1 comment:

FullertonRegan said...

AAAAAAAAAAAAaahahahahahahahahahaahah! Now I see what you mean! That was an Odyssian effort my friend.