A Crafty Catch-up.

Be patient, please. This is the post where I show you pictures of my creative endeavors and ask for reassurance that I am not the only nutter who gets a kick out of making things from next to nothing and re-making things which others would throw away.

Do we all remember the haul of Doon? (There were two posts, one about the convent of Doon and one about the stuff I brought home from the auction.) Here is a reminder of Husband trying to configure everything, tetris-style, into his hatchback.

loot from Doon.

We’ve been putting the loot to good use. The flask has been to the beach and all that cutlery has been a boon to my sanity. You’d be surprised what a luxury it it to have soup spoons and never need to dispense sugar with a fork.

My ten euros bid on the tea trolley may have been the best impulse splurge of my life.

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A quick lick of blue (Colourtrend eggshell) paint was all it needed.

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I have romantic notions of wheeling this, laden with tinkling cocktail glasses, out to the patio for parties. For now it is the repository of all the stuff I’m forced to clear on a daily basis from the kitchen counter. IMG_0835

The chair, you might recall, was included in the same lot as the trolley. You could say I got it for nothing or paid five euros for each. There’s not much in it either way. I hoped to find some crazy fabric to cover this. I wanted skulls and crossbones or goldfish, something ridiculous that would declare, ‘this is definitely not a nun’s chair’. I failed utterly and ended up with a piece of good quality, well-behaved velvet. The very convincing lady in Galligan’s of Cork sold this colour to me as chartreuse, dahling. When I brought it home it took on a decided hue of baby poo. IMG_0682

Husband helped me to fit new canvas straps, tuck in lots of new padding and tack on the poo/chartreuse fabric. My grandfather spent years upholstering cinema seats in Dublin but it seems that upholstery is not necessarily an hereditary skill. We struggled with this, we bickered and hammered each others thumbs, but the resulting neat and comfortable chair is precisely what was needed for our tiny sitting-room. The universe does not always tend towards chaos.

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I spent my very first Bookwitty pay-cheque on a new sewing machine. Wait until you see the colour of it. Ta-daaah:

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Isn’t that hilarious? This was pure indulgence but Teenage Daughter and I have both got a huge kick out of it. It makes me smile just to look at it. The very first thing I made was a cover to go over it. Nothing fancy, I just copied the plastic cover that came with it.

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I lined it and used interfacing for the first time.IMG_0628

It’s more like a sewing machine-cosy than a cover but it means that I’m happy to leave the machine sitting in the corner of the kitchen, ready for the day I am suddenly overwhelmed with the inspiration to whip up something fabulous. Let me dream.

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Last Christmas Husband gave me two skeins of gorgeous lace weight Merino yarn from Irish Fairytale Yarns. I crocheted a shrug from the first skein. I felt even then that I was unlikely to wear this thing and it turns out I was right. Right in being wrong to make it in the first place so not much satisfaction there. Never mind, I can revel in how much the garden has grown since I took this photo.IMG_9925

With stubborn determination to make something useful from the second skein, I embarked on a knitted infinity scarf. I cast on several hundred (enough to lose count) stitches to 5mm circular needles and started knitting. After spending a fortnight trying in vain to complete a single round, it dawned on me that several hundred was far too many stitches so I ripped back and began again with 250 (I think).  And on I knit, and on, and on in endless stocking stitch with no rows to count and no end in sight. The plan was to keep going until the ball ran out but it never did. I swear to God, this ball of yarn has no end. IMG_0883

Endless stocking stitch was relaxing. For the first month. The second month was tedious. The third month was downright aggravating. The fourth month was fine because I left it in the bottom of the bag and went out to pick flowers instead. At the end of the fifth month I broke off the endless ball of yarn and declared it done. I give you The Infinitely Boring Infinity Scarf….ta-daaaah:IMG_1394

I know, that was under-whelming in the extreme, right? Look, it’s very soft and it won’t hang down in the dog’s face when I’m putting his collar on.

I’m taking a break from the expensive yarns for a while. They put me under pressure to make something more beautiful than I am capable of. I get wound up (groan).

I’m moving on to something cheap and cheerful. When I finished this blanket I started making Granny squares from the leftover scraps. I stowed them in a drawer and added more whenever I found any odds and ends of Stylecraft special DK. A  lovely friend recently up-ended her scrap basket into my lap and gave me enough yarn to finish 63 six-round squares. The plan is to add a seventh round of pink (fondant, to be exact) and put them all together. Can anyone advise me on how many 7-round squares would make a bedspread for a single bed. Also, how much yarn might be required to make a wide granny border (at least five rows? Small Girl is beside herself with excitement about this. She has been counting the squares every day and sorting them into stacks and generally egging me on.

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Can you blame her?

23 thoughts on “A Crafty Catch-up.

  1. Oh what creative fun you’ve been having and such beautiful things!!! Way to go Lynda. And that infinity scarf is not boring at all – quite beautiful!

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  2. What great makes. Love, love, love your trolley update. That would make a fab craft organiser 😉 your infinity cowl looks so soft and warm. Just the right size too, all my cowls are far too long and thin. And those granny squares….I miss Style craft DK so much, the colours are so bright. PS your sewing machine is stunning, w congrats on your first book witty pay cheque.

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    1. Thank You. Stylecraft DK is hard to beat. I have to order it by post which increases the cost a little, though obviously not so much as it would for you! What’s the crafty scene like over there?

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      1. I hear people living in Canada order it from the UK as its such a bargain. The crafty scene is pretty good here, indie yarn dyers, spinners, yarn shops etc. The only thing missing is a knit and natter group so I’ve suggested starting one up here in Chase and have had a good response. We will prob meet mid September for the first time so that will be interesting. There are lots of quilters and groups for them but I have far too many yarn projects lined up to start another hobby!

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      2. I play with the idea of quilting but it seems to be the hard drug of crafting. People who do it are SO committed to it! It scares me off! I”l stick to the soft gateway drug of Granny squares for now! I’d love a knit and natter but I would be embarrassed to show my efforts to the pro’s!

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  3. Love the trolley….one of my favorite colors….that is what the walls are in my office in Californina….so soothing….love the chair…and really love the new sewing machine…good for you…it will bring you joy just to sew on it….the covers is also one of my favorite rose patterns…the scarf is soft and will look beautiful on you…..I love seeing the befores and afters …. xxxkat

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      1. I have found that my kids are not the “lets keep everything mom, grandma or great grandma made” like mys sisters and I are…..they only want just a little something…they all have homemade quilts, afghans, pillows that they are trying to give back all the time…LOL it seems that generation are about less is best, and downsizing….I know if my son could live in a box he would…the smaller the better….LOL as it is he is in a tiny house that he built out of a garage….so he has no room….LOL I am betting that you will have them all fighting over what mom made…..LOL the colors are beautiful…I have a granny square throw with bright flowers and black background….and one in white….they are so striking…..don’t stop creating….kat

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      2. I’m a bit worried that the pink background I let Small Girl choose may be a tad too bright! I’d love to do one with a navy background for my own bed but Teenage Daughter is demanding hers first!

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