Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tie up your tights

My father banned me from wearing stockings when I was a teenager. The poor man had seen far too many lumpy white legs bulging in his time, thought the idea of his young daughter in a suspender belt was far too much for him. Thank goodness that in the late sixties we saw the first stay up stockings, then came the revolution of panty hose.
Once we used to darn our stockings and glue them to our legs with nail polish when they laddered, now tights are so cheap to buy (and so much easier to wear) they have almost become a throw away item. It can get cold here and the extra warmth a pair of tights can give is often necessary.  At the beginning of each winter, I am thrilled when it turns out my drawer has pairs of cobwebbed with snags, sags, holes and runs.

It's exciting as a retired pair of tights is a great resource that can stretch to a long list of uses!

Classic use is to create ‘grass heads’ for children to grow.
To do this, cut the foot plus about 10 cm from the leg of the tights.
Place 1 tablespoon off grass seed in the toe and cover with cup of potting mix or sand.
Tie the open end into a knot that sits up tight to the filling.
Roll in your hands until round or oval in shape.
Add stick on or embroidered eyes at this stage if you like.
Fill a cup or glass with water and sit the head in it, so it rests on the rim while the tail hangs in the water.
Keep moist and watch grow.
I have experimented with filling these completely with wheat. In the hope I could hang them in the chicken pen for green feed. It didn’t work...the tights are too fine for the hearty wheat shoots and they get very congested.  Worth trying again with smaller seeds though.
Toe bags are useful to protect individual fruits from bird attack
They will simply slide over the larger fruits and their elasticity will hold them in place.To protect smaller fruit tie gently above the stem to secure.
You can also tie paper bags with thin ties. After all, you only get two feet per pair!

My fave!
Begin by cutting the legs off the pant. Leave enough leg attached to tie a knot in.
Cut across the legs in 2 cm strips create a collection of useful rubber band type thingies that you can use to tie up your hair.
Cutting them into strips makes the most excellent garden ties. They will stretch for miles and are very gentle on the stems of plants. They are strong and durable and will survive a whole summer of intense heat before they lose their elasticity. Best of all, thgey stay put if you tie them in a bow so you can remove them easily!
If you need longer and wider strips for heavier jobs, cut each leg down the sides into two pieces.

Tie a knot at each leg hole.
Stretch the waistband over the sides of the basket. Pin in place with pegs while filling with potting mix, remove after adding your plants.
Again, tie off the leg holes.
Slip the tights over a plank that is cut to the size of the backing board you require that has a predrilled hole in it for hanging.
Pull the pants up from the bottom over the timber.
While flat fill firmly with damp peat moss or sphagnum moss.
Tuck the fern pup into the waist line, leaving the shoots free, and tie with a long leg tie to secure if needed.
I also have a very nice clump of Spanish Moss (tillandsia usneoides) that has been growing nicely tucked into one of these ‘bags’ for two or three years.

Absolutely essential for making scarecrows
The pant tops make great heads if you don’t want to use tights for the can leave the legs on and create pony tails or twist them up into little topknots.
Take three pairs of tights.
Cut the legs from one pair and tie off the pant legs to make a sack.
Stuff with straw and insert a broom handle or long stake.
Tie off the excess to secure tightly to the stick or wind around with gaffer tape. 
Body: Take the other two pairs.
Stuff fairly firmly with straw, including the legs.
One pair will be top of body and arms, the other will be hips and legs.
Tie knots at the ends of the ‘arms’ to shorten. You can knot again if you wish to create hands as well, remember to push some straw down so they are not ‘empty.’
Lay your body pieces on the ground and tuck one into the other to form the waist.
With a sacking needle and string or a bodkin with wool, sew together around the middle, rolling him over as you go. 
Dress your scarecrow .
Fix a crossbeam just below the head to support the arms then secure your scarecrow to his support.
If you would like him or her to pose on a chair or perch in a tree, cut the centre pole to the length of the body before dressing.

1 comment:

  1. I find it best to use / cut up Thick Black opaque Tights for everything I only wear sheer tan nylons , I have to ask the local charity shop to save me all the Thick Black Tights that get donated....I get quite a lot ..have 52 pairs bagged up right now...Rose


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