My offering this month is a pair of jeans bought from a charity shop (thrift store) which were comfy and a good make but very plain. So I patched them with small pieces of scrap fabric and some crochet thread I was given.
It is time to join Kate and the others to show what we have made from scrap and hopefully inspire you to have a go too.
First off I would like to ask you for feedback. Now that all 6 chairs for Mrs Snail’s shop (follow the link to Jan in the list at the end of this post to meet the Snail of Happiness) I wonder which is your favourite?
Jan very kindly put them all out in the shop and took photos from different angles. I have started on the curtains for the upstairs store room / teaching room but those will take a while before being ready to show you.
I didn’t just take stuff to her – I bought as well. Her table of fabric offcuts was just too tempting to ignore! Apart from small pieces my stash is now down to the tatty and the sludgy colours. I wanted to make a new bag to replace one which had disintegrated and there was nothing suitable in any of my boxes so I indulged. The royal blue cord is for the outside but I couldn’t choose between the others for the lining, pockets and trim so I bought them all! Some of the pieces are quite big so there was plenty for other things as well.
The last few days have been hot so I have stayed indoors in the cool and decided to use the time to play with my new purchases. I didn’t have the interfacing I need for the bag so I chose to start with a Japanese crossover apron using a pattern from the book ‘Sashiko’ by Jill Clary which I had borowed from the library. Once I started I discovered how rusty my dressmaking skills are – then realised it is about 40 years since I sewed any clothes! It is wearable and I will just have to practice but probably on things like more aprons which don’t have to be perfect!
For more ideas for scrap follow the links below. Not everyone posts every month but all the blogs are worth looking at for inspiration, education and amusement.
It is the 15th of the month and time to join Kate, Gun and the rest of the group for posts about things made from scrap.
My contribution is the last of the chairs for Mrs Snail’s shop. This one is the third made with fabric and is a small proddy rag rug. I worked it on a piece of hessian left over from making a rug to go beside the spare bed and the tufts are from some old duvet covers and sheets my neighbour gave me a few years ago. They had been on her children’s beds so were rather pilled and marked but used like this none of that matters.
Do go and see what the others have done – there will be plenty of inspiration for using our own scrap pile.
It’s the 15th of the month so time to join Kate, Gun and the crew for Scrap Happy, a collection of posts where we show things we have made from scrap, any kind of scrap but, at the moment, mainly textiles.
My makes this month are chair covers for 3, 4, and 5 for Mrs Snail’s shop (see the link to Jan below).
Number 3 used the squares I wove on the pin loom and showed you last month. I wish I had had brighter colours but these were the scrap I had.
Number 4 is crazy patch – the quickest of all of them to do.
Looking at the photo I can see I misjudged the size (or placed it wrongly on the chair) and there are a couple of raw edges showing. Maybe I will retrieve it next time I visit and correct that. They are made oversize and stapled to the underside so taking them off is not a huge job.
And finally for this post Number 5 is Paper Pieced Hexies.
I’m not sure how well this one will wear as the hexies are light weight cotton. If it falls apart or become holey I will replace it. Now that I only have Roo I took her with me and she enjoyed meeting up with Daisy again and exploring the shop. She was, however, determined to supervise me as I fixed the covers on in the stockroom upstairs!
One more cover to go! Actually I have come up with so many more ideas I may have to persuade Jan she will need more chairs!
Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at).
Not a chair cover this time – as you may have realised I have been rather busy lately! But I have not stopped working on the chairs. I have been exploring the possibilities of the peg loom I bought for the third yarn based cover.
Following the instructions that came with it I used Aran weight yarn and diagonal weaving but thought the fabric was not dense enough to make seat cover which would last.
So then I used the yarn doubled which gave a better result but was quite tough on the fingers. I will probably use these.
Now I am experimenting with what my book calls ‘flat weaving’ which is much more fun because I can play around with stripes, checks, different weaves, even possibly ‘tapestry’ type stuff. Again the weave is quite loose so maybe I still need to use heavier yarn (not much left in my scrap box now!) or double it. More experimenting to be done.
Scrap Happy is a collection of posts curated by Kate and Gun (see their links below) to celebrate making things entirely from scrap. Not everyone posts every month but all are inspiring.
It has been a busy couple of weeks packed with adventures of various kinds.
My son came down to look at a cottage (read about it here https://goingbattyinwales.wordpress.com/2022/04/21/a-day-out/ ) and stayed on to work on his campervan. He wanted to build some big drawrers on heavy duty runners to slide under the bed and make the storage there more accessible. I helped and his Savannah cat supervised,
Next up was the culmination of a process which began last Autumn. In a newsletter, my bank, Triodos, asked if any customers were willing to share why they had chosen that bank for their savings. It would involve an interview and having some photos taken. They would reward me with vouchers to spend or a donation to charity. Since I was very clear why I had chosen to bank with them it sounded easy and something that would be fun to do. Because of my hearing the ‘interview’ consisted of a series of questions in an email to which I sent in answers. Their PR chap, Joe, then edited them into a piece which was emailed back to me for approval. I mentioned in the answers that I was treasurer at Dyfed Permnaculture Farm and Joe looked up their instagram feed (I had no idea we had one!) and asked if the photos could be taken there. The management committee were happy with that, he chose a photographer and we found a date that suited everybody. So I spent a day being photographed; digging out weeds, tickling sheep, carrying hay and then logs, admiring Phil’s garlic and just generally standing around. Tess, the photographer, also took some shots of the roundhouse and barn as a gift to the Trust for our own publicity. She was such a lovely young woman and I really enjoyed meeting her. A few days ago the photos came through – an awful lot of them and sent via a file sharing site I had never heard of. Another new experience! So for those of you who like to know what other bloggers look like here are 2 of the ones she took. I have no idea which ones Triodos will pick for their use.
Barley saturday ia an annual event in Cardigan, a show involving competitions for horses and vintage vehicles in the morning and they are then all paraded along the High Street in the afternoon, which involves closing the roads in the middle of the town. I have been to it a few times – it is quite a spectacle when the stallions are run to show off their paces! When I discovered that my friend Lindy had never even heard of it I decided to take her to this year’s event. You can read more about it here (https://www.cardigan-bay.com/whats-on/events/barley-saturday/ ). Because I knew that town would be very busy and all the car parks full I chose to start our outing in Cilgerran, a village 2 or 3 miles from Cardigan and walk to town through the Teifi Marshes Wildlife Reserve which includes part of the track of the now defunct Cardi Bach railway making a good, level, tarmaced path. Find out more including pictures here (https://www.welshwildlife.org/nature-reserves/teifi-marshes ). Just as the horses started to pass where we were waiting at the end of the old bridge into town a wedding car came over the bridge on its way to a reception in the Castle and had to wait quite a while until a pause between the horses and tractors allowed them through- the happy couple and their guests got a huge cheer from the assembled crowds!
Then I went to visit my daughter who lives in Basingstoke and since it was a Bank Holiday weekend and there is very little parking available near her I decided to go by train. I bought my ticket online and discovered it was an e-ticket to use on my phone! I was chicken and printed it out onto paper just in case! However it all worked fine and was much easier on my brain than driving. On the Monday she, her new partner and I went to London for the day, again by train. We had coffee in Covent Garden, explored China Town and had a delicious lunch there, then walked to Tower Bridge, over the river and back along the other bank to Waterloo for the train home. Both of them had pedometers on their phones – one said we walked 9.5 miles, the other that it was 10 miles! With stops for coffe, lunch and a glass of wine on the way back we all managed it with no ill effects. On the Wednesday evening my son was supposed to join us and take us out for a meal but the M3 was completely closed by an accident. He realised that if he came he would arrive just as we were all going to bed! So I took us out instead and my daughter suggested a restaurant recommended by some friends of hers – The Olive House (picture below right) and it was excellent – Turkish food, family run and packed out on a weekday night. A lovely end to my stay.
Because my daughter was working from home during the day I got a lot of knitting done and finished a pair of socks from Kate Davies’s book ‘Bluestockings’. I learned how to cast on at the toe, turn the heel in a new way and do stretchy cast off! It was also the first time I had done pattern stitches on a sock.
I have enjoyed it all immensly but I think I could do with a few days (weeks?) of being quiet now! However today the installation of my new woodstove is beginning, Ted has been to see his bees and Openreach are trying to fix the fault on Laura’s internet!
My Scrap offering this month is the second cover for a chair seat for Mrs Snail (see the link to Jan below) for her new shop. This one was knitted using a base colour of oatmeal with flashes of green, lilac and brown, stripes of a novelty purple yarn – think tinsel in red green and blue with lots of soft purple strands mixed in – and several small balls of other plummy colours.
Scrap Happy is curated by Kate and Gun (links below) on the 15th of each month – a glorious collection of posts about making things from all kinds of scrap. Do have a look – inspiration may strike!
When I visited Mrs Snail (Use the link for Jan to find her blog) in her new shop she showed me a set of 6 dining chairs which had been left by the previous occupants. They are perfectly good chairs and she will need some in the shop especially when she starts to run courses, but the seat covers are very boring and rather stained.
So I offered to make new covers for them. And as the shop will be all about mending and using scrap I have set myself the challenge of doing all the covers entirely from scrap but each using a different technique. You may be rather tired of these chairs by the time I have finished!
I have finished the top for the first one using granny squares made entirely from bits of yarn from my stash. The piece needs to be attached to a backing of furnishing fabric big enough to go over the edges and be stapled to the underside. I have some old curtains given me by a neighbour which should do the trick.
The next one is begun but you will have to wait until April to see that!
One of the things which has gladdened my heart since joining the blogosphere is the generosity of this community. Comments are full of empathy and encouragement, practical tips, information and answers to questions. There are posts which are tutorials, links to other blogs or ‘how to’ videos, suggestions of places to visit or books to read. I see small gifts sent and received by fellow bloggers and others for many reasons and none. I have learned so much and come to realise that if I need to know something or have a dilemma I only have to ask and I can tap into a huge collective experience and wisdom. I never thought that writing about my simple life in this rural backwater would result in my having wonderful friends all over the world.
A while back I made a comment on Jeans blog (http://www.onesmallstitch.wordpress.com) about her hand spun and dyed yarn. The result was a parcel in the post. Inside were 4 hanks of her yarn, each beautifully labelled wih its composition and the dye used.
Aren’t those colours gorgeous? The brown one is dyed with lichen (Purmelia Saxatilis) and smells of woods which Jean says will never fade. And you all know I am a woodland lover! I am taking my time deciding what to use them for – they are very precious so it has to be something special.
Jean’s blog has taught me a lot about Japanese textile art and design and also about weaving, which I had a go at once as a teenager on a simple table loom belonging to my Mother’s eldest sister. As a possible use of her gift I have bought myself a 5 inch pin loom from Etsy (Treneyn Crafts – a husband and wife team who sell stuff to do with wool) and am learning to use it.
My first square is rather wibbly wobbly but I hope to improve!
Tucked in with the yarn was an extra gift – one of the pebbles decorated by her Daughter-in-law. It sits on my desk as a paperweight and as a reminder of the love there is in the world.
So a big thank you to Jean but also to all of you for being the lovely, kind, caring, generous people you are.
Some of you will know that Mrs Snail (The Snail of Happiness) is opening a shop which will specialise in mending supplies and pre-loved craft materials and equipment. In a recent post she requested colourful items made from scrap to decorate the shop and show what could be done with left over materials. So before I went to see her and help her get the shop ready I quickly finished a small blanket I have been working on for ages so I could take it with me as a gift for her new adventure. A collection of orphan blocks, ‘have a go at a new pattern’ squares and other such odd bits of crochet all made using the small balls of yarn left from bigger projects. I deliberately made it super random trying to do each round in a different colour!