You know how it’s scorchingly hot at the moment?
Well, in a moment of topical genius, I’ve chosen today to talk about cold weather. About draughts, to be specific. Remember them? The whistling cold wind burrowing its way under your doors to negate any good your central heating is doing…
Sounds quite pleasant right now, in this sticky, muggy weather, but, no, dragging my brain back to wintertime I can just, just, remember that draughts are no fun whatsoever.
Draught excluders, on the other hand, are very huge amounts of fun.
Always one to overstretch myself, when I learnt to knit three years ago, one of the first things I made was not the obligatory scarf, but a dog draught excluder for my dog-obsessed sister. Did her doors have draughts? I neither knew nor cared when I came across the knitting pattern.
Project details on Ravelry, for anyone interested: Dog draught excluder.
She has since got a real dog, but the draught excluder still has pride of place on her bed (he was never allowed onto the floor, he was too nice for that, she said…)
Then, a few months later, I found that my flat had a genuine draught under the door of my sitting room. It was like the arctic was entering the room under that door and the little tiny radiator could do nothing in defence.
The draught excluder had, of course, taken me a very, very, very long time to knit. (I think this was my introduction to all my homemade presents always being late.) So I decided to have a crack at sewing for the first time since I was a teenager.
I bought what I believed to be a legitimate vintage sewing pattern on eBay, which arrived and turned out to be an illegally photocopied pattern, with some greaseproof paper pattern pieces drawn in pencil. I would complain, but boy oh boy did I love the dog it made…
His body is from some gorgeous V&A quilts exhibition fabric (sadly no longer seems to be available online). Then I used an old red top to make the underside of his ears. It took me an hour or so and I couldn’t believe how quickly and easily I could rustle something up compared to the hours needed for a knit project.
The little dog got lots of compliments, including one from a friend who had always been tempted by a Cath Kidston version but never wanted to pay the money for it. When she got married last year, I made another dog as a wedding present, just the same as this one, but with the bride and groom’s initials in felt stitched under one ear and the date of the wedding under the other…
And I’ve just completed a third doggy too, this time for my niece, another fan of the original mutt. This one is made from a different pattern from the same V&A quilting fabrics collection (this brown leaf design). He looks a little more genuinely doggy with the brown fabric, but I’ve put that lovely red under his ears as well.
Here he is snuggling up to a radiator.
Here is a glimpse of his ears:
And here he is with his older, wiser friend…
They’re cute aren’t they? I don’t think he’ll be my last one…
I wish I could even point you in the direction of the genuine pattern, but my photocopy is so bad I can’t tell where it is from. If by any weird and wonderful chance someone knows the answer, please do post a comment!
- I’ve got to say, I think this is my favourite sewn thing ever, but if you want to take a look at some others, there’s a whole bunch of things in my sewing category