beck's blog

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Batty For Nora - Nora Batty Crocheted, Felted Vest

I made a tribute vest to the late Kathy Staff who portrayed Nora Batty from the British comedy " Last of the Summer Wine"

I used a stencil I found on the web which was made from this  photo of Kathy Staff  in character as Nora Batty.

Here's the stencil...

I uploaded the stencil to the knitPro websight to make it into a graph.

I decided to use 100% all wool yarn and felt it after I was done crocheting it.
I used Cascade wool yarn in Heather and White. Also, lighthouse brand of Ocean Sunset Ombre Orange and some old Rochelle  labeled yarn in eggshell. For her curlers I used Persian wool tapestry yarns from left-over needlepoint kits, (in strands of three to equal that of the thicker yarns mentioned above).

So, here's the front and back after I tunisian crocheted the picture and made the front panels. (These are pre-felted.

Front panels. I just used all four yarns alternating them row by row. Since one is an ombre it gave the panels a random look.

Here's the back. I decided to create eyes because the stencil above only shows shadow. She looks a bit scary and quirky too. I also drew in on the graph where I thought curlers would be. I wanted her curlers to really stand out because that is how I most remember her character. She mostly wore those, (unless she was at tea with the ladies at Edith's home. Then she wore those ridiculously wonderful turban-type hats!)

Here's the back of the front pannels. I really liked how this looked and had a hard time deciding which side, front or back, to use for the front of the vest. But, in the end, this became the inside of the front of the vest. Hope that makes sense.

I crocheted the pieces together to form the vest and went around the whole thing with the ombre yarn.

So then, just to make sure people could tell who this was, I free-handed the name "Nora Batty" onto the back just next to her portrait with a needle and tapestry wool thread. (I did this after my husband saw my Nora picture and thought it was a man). LOL!!!!!!

Then, I put it into the wash and then dryer and it shrunk up to the final shape.
So, here's the vest now.

The back. It feels like all one solid piece of thick felt but you can still see the stitches. The name I sewed in kind of shrunk up too and it's not as legible as it was when I first added it. But I still think you can read it.

Here's the front. The red and purple bled a little bit but not too badly. It's so soft and thick.

And if you open the vest, here is the insides. Remember, this is the beck of the back of the vest. (The reverse side). I'm not going to line it. It's already warm and soft. 

Finally, I put on the vest and had my son take some photos.

The back.

A side view. 

And the front.

Here in Indiana I have only been able to catch a few Last of the Summer Wine episodes sporadically on our local PBS station. But, thanks to You Tube and the internet, I've been able to watch most of the episodes.

What a great show with a fantastic cast! No wonder it is Britain's longest-running comedy show ever with over 30 years of episodes! It's sad that most of the original actors have passed on. (I cried my eyes out when Compo, (Bill Owen) died and they had that wonderful few episodes dedicated to his passing.).

I've also fallen in love with the beautiful scenery that is Holmfirth, England, (where Last of the Summer Wine was filmed.) It's like a silent cast member always appearing with the rest of the crew and keeping you amazed at it's beauty!

I'm hoping some kind folks will upload the last couple of seasons so I'll be able to finally see them all.

In the meantime, I'll wear my Nora Batty vest proudly in honor of the show!