Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Sew Time!

I think it's high time I did some sewing, don't you?  All this time blogging and I don't think I've actually sewn anything (other than stitching cushions together).  Thankfully, the Spring Cleaning bug came and went fairly quickly and all of a sudden I felt like I needed to sew.  But what to sew?  I was thinking about embarking on a quilt, but as I'm half way through crocheting a ripple blanket, it seemed a bit of a big undertaking.  I cast my eyes around the house for inspiration and there, on the boy's bed, was the answer!  A very dull and boring cream cushion crying out for someone to come along and give it the covering it deserves.

I was tempted to whip up a quick cover there and then. But then I thought about the time I'd taken to make the other two covers and I thought perhaps a bit of time and love was in order.  And as I was already thinking about quilting, and as I already had a few hexagons on the go from ages ago, well, sometimes these things just come together.

Some nice hand-sewing, slowly but surely, piece by piece.

Being thrifty by using up some old threads for the tacking, not to mention working my way through my big bin of scraps - some from the patchwork quilt I made for him about 4 years ago!

It's amazing how quickly they come together really :-)

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Spring Cleaning!!!

Sorry about the brief absence - I have being suffering from an urge to clean!  Got slightly bored with the rows and rows of rippling and my mind - thanks to the lovely weather we've had of late - started thinking Spring, then naturally straight into Spring Cleaning!  Yes, such is the way my mind works!

First thing I did was stock up on the cleaning cloths.  This is my under-sink stash with lots of cloths, scrubbers, wipes and a spray bottle of water and white vinegar.  I got the bottle from the garden section of a supermarket - completely impossible to find them anywhere else.  I've got a similar stash in the bathroom.

I am trying to wean myself off using so  many disposable wipes.  The reason I got hooked on them is that I never really knew what to do with the wet cloth you would end up with after wiping round the sink, or shower, or whatever.  But then it occurred to me that all I really need is a "wet cloth" container to dump my wet cloths in during the week and then just launder them on a hot wash once a week with my towels/bedding.  But to do this I needed more cloths, so off I went to the pound store and stocked up on dishcloths and microfiber cloths and all sort of goodies in that department (small pleasures!).  I also sorted out some old tea towels to use as dry cloths for shining up things and drying off wet surfaces.  I was rather pleased with these two ideas which will hopefully pay off by saving me money on the wet wipes (which aren't really that good for proper cleaning anyhow) and - of course - I'm saving the environment too :-)

So yesterday I spent 3 solid hours in our (tiny) bathroom cleaning like crazy.  And I thought it was pretty clean to start off with - wrong! - the amount of gunge in the shower cubicle was quite staggering :-(((  But boy, how it sparkles now - loving the white vinegar and water sprayer which could probably benefit from a few drops of lemon essential oil, if I'm honest, but gives a lovely (chemical free) shine.

What a total joy it was to use the bathroom this morning, especially after all my hard graft :-)  I even cleaned the windows, every tile, the ceiling (vacuumed every minute cobweb) and behind the pipework!  It's amazing how you don't notice the dirt until you start cleaning!

So the bathroom is done and I've started on the kitchen (cooker - done).  Thought I'd tackle the nasties first before I run out of enthusiasm.  The rest will be plain sailing, surely?

Friday, 7 March 2014

Picture Problems

Well you might notice that I've changed the look of the blog - not through choice really, it's an attempt to sort out the awful picture quality issues I was having.  As you can imagine, I've wasted hours of my life on Google trying to figure out the problem, but I think it's because the old style blog layout didn't let me enlarge the pictures. I won't bore you with the details, but fingers crossed now we shall have some nice crisp photos.  And they're LARGE - HURRAH!!!!

So - here's my ripple cushion completed! This was really a test for the ripple blanket which I've just started (with the fabulous Stylecraft bag of goodness!).  I used this to gauge how big to do the blanked, by measuring the size of the ripple.

Here's how it's coming on - talk about bright and cheerful!  I guess the colours are so bright because it's Acrylic yarn.  Hopefully this means they won't fade with washing (or time).  You would never know that this is a synthetic fibre - okay, it's not got the feel of real wool, but it's very soft and tactile to work with and I don't think it looks particularly synthetic - apart from the colours!

(Hopefully, these are better pictures?)  Just to check, here is a re-posted picture of that yarn I got ...

The old picture (from my last post) was atrocious.  Phew!  Problem sorted :-)))

Tuesday, 4 March 2014



Oh My Goodness - what is this?  Could it be a very large bag of yarn?  Ordered one (very late) night in a fit of yarny lust?

By Jove, it is!!!  17 balls of the most glorious colours you ever did see.  It is my shiny new, very first ever pack of Stylecraft Special DK, one in every colour - a pack put together by Attic24 and available from Deramores for an utter bargain price of less than £30 AND they are 100g balls!!  How about that for value?  The only downside here is that it is 100% Acrylic yarn - something I have always avoided like the plague, but spurred on my the praise heaped upon it by Lucy, and also wanting to attempt my very first blanket and not want to spend loads on expensive yarn, I decided to give it a go.

It's a shame that these pictures do not do it justice - again, I don't know why it looks like it's a bobbly yarn - it isn't, in fact it's lovely and soft and smooth.  Hopefully, you'll get an idea of the lovely colours though.

My only problem now is deciding on what combination of colours to choose to turn them into a gorgeous ripple blanket.  I sense a totally wasted afternoon looming ;-)

This idea helps - at least to keep a tab on what's what.  Obviously, the colours are readable, not blurred like these pictures (grrrrrrrr!).

AWFUL picture quality - I don't know why (I have a very expensive Olympus camera!!!).  Anyways.  Breathe.  Focus. 


Monday, 3 March 2014

Ripple Effect

Aaah, here I am, back after half term (week late in Wales), and I'm still on my cushion mission.  Actually, I'm working myself up to a crochet blanket but I decided to take Lucy's advice and try a 'test' piece for the ripple pattern which she so brilliantly (as always) describes how to construct on her blog.

I did once try this before but ended up with very wonky edges - probably because I didn't read the pattern properly.  This time, however, I got very nice straight edges (the sides, that is). Obviously, you get a wavy edge on the top and bottom, so I used this tutorial to make them straight again.  It isn't perfect (mine, that is) but I'm going to now work a border all the way round of probably triple crochet, perhaps twice, so that it's nice and straight and will fit my cushion pad, which is about a 20".

In fact, it's bigger than I wanted it and won't now be right for the lounge, but I think I'll give it to my son, who already has this, which I made for him a few years ago

This is a cushion made from knitted squares, stitched together. 

Looking at it, I even worked a grey and yellow border (sometimes I surprise myself), and then I backed it with a bit of red fleece blanket - you know those really cheap ones you can get in supermarkets? They are great for chopping up and using like this.  I think I'll use the same idea for the back of the ripple cushion, so they match. 

Then I'll put it in his bedroom and see if he even notices ;-)