Saturday, 27 February 2010

My new favourite blog…

…and it doesn’t involve sewing or knitting. Knock-off Wood is an amazing blog dedicated to helping regular people build versions of expensive furniture for low prices. And what’s more, Ana gives us the full plans and step by step projects for every piece of furniture she makes. You can even suggest projects to her by sending an image or link via facebook and she’ll do her best to work it out for you and publish the plans.


Can you believe this was actually made by a normal, everyday person (as opposed to a professional joiner-type)?Michaela from The Gardener’s Eden made this bench/table/kitchen island using Ana’s plans.

Yes, you too can make that $1500 Pottery Barn table you’ve had your eye on for less than $100. Yum!

The best bit is seeing the things people make with her plans, often with no prior woody experience. It really gives you confidence. Yes! I can do that too. Actually, the real best bit is realising you don’t have to settle for cheap plywood boxes when that’s all your cash flow will allow.

With the workshop built but workbench funds (ha, and clothing funds, food funds…) at an all-time low, Knock-off Wood is going to be an invaluable resource over the next few months – I’ve even bought a circular saw (the big whirring blade looks slightly scary, even though I have a certificate to prove I can use one!) Is it weird to be more excited because it has a laser?


Thursday, 25 February 2010

I need sewing help!

Right chaps, I’m in need of suggestions. I bought this calf length skirt for a couple of pounds from a charity shop the other day, mostly because the fabric is awesomesauce, but when I tried it on it sits so low on my hips it’s obscene. It’s also bias cut, grr.


But those aren’t the main problems, I mean, it’s easy peasy to take in a skirt. The thing I really hate is the fact that the boats are upside down and at a stupid angle! What idiot (BHS if you’re interested) would use this fabric on this skirt in this way? If the boats were even the right way up I could live with the angle.


So, my question is, what would you do with it? How would you fix it’s many problems? Would you even try? I really love the fabric so I’m reluctant to relegate it to the ‘what the hell do I do with this?’ pile but that bias leaves me with so little fabric to play with, and I’d love something wearable from it. Please help! I know you crafty folks will come up with some good ideas :)


While I was out, I also found a boxfull of wooden cotton reels. I love wooden cotton reels. They were 35p each so I grabbed and ran for the till, dropping half of them on the way (with a little charity shop lady following behind, scooping them up and re-wrapping the thread). They’ll go with the others I have, strictly for decoration purposes you understand, I couldn’t bring myself to use them!


Thursday, 18 February 2010

Workshop update…


Because it’s half term (and the drugs have kicked in) the workshop is coming along. The weeks of snow, rain and freezing temperatures have stopped us getting out there and getting it finished but it’s a little warmer now so the outside has been painted and the inside is getting an undercoat.


It’s hard work, but it’s going on fairly fast. The undercoat is just some bog standard emulsion watered down. I expected it to go on very badly because new plaster is like a sponge but all that means is that it dries very quickly and I can put another coat on within minutes. I’ve painted two and a half walls and should get the others done tomorrow morning.


As usual, Molly isn’t too far away. I think she thinks we’re her babies and she needs to keep an eye on us – if only she had opposable thumbs, then she might be able to help.


Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Today’s vintage finds…

I mentioned yesterday that I was at the doctors this morning? Well it all went fine (does it hurt when I do this? Ye-aahhhhrrrrgh!) and it turns out I have tendonitis in my shoulder. The doc gave me some heavy duty anti-inflammatory drugs and now I have full movement pain free, but I can’t do any heavy lifting for a few weeks and it will take even longer to heal :(

The great thing is that my doctor is just down the road from one of the best charity shops in the world. Ok, so today I failed to find the holy grail or that map to Atlantis, but I did find this to cheer me up:


An Alfred Meakin carver for £2. I love orange and black on plates! It’s going on the wall though, I’d hate to use it and it accidentally get broken.

I also found this scarf – I’ve decided I don’t have enough scarves and since charity shops seem to be bursting at the seams with them, I’m keeping my eye out for good ones.


This one has orangey yellow poppies printed on it and it will go great with loads of outfits.


I also got this top for summer (as if I need more clothes!) The buttons are cute and it’ll be great to sling on over jeans. Don’t you love tops with yokes? Ok, so I could make this in about 5 minutes (alright, ten plus an hour) but this way I have the idea sitting in my wardrobe. I think I’ll copy the idea in other colours, using old plain t-shirts or vests as the base and my fancy scraps for the yoke.

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So, a few finds for a chilly doctor-day and I’m muchly cheered up!


Monday, 15 February 2010

Wardrobe Refashion sign-ups now open…

For those of you that have been under a rock and haven’t visited Wardrobe Refashion, get yourselves over there and have a look!


If you like what you see (and you will, oh yes those folks have some amazing refashions to show you!) sign up for a month or two and get that stash of old clothes/vintage sheets made into something wearable.

Of course you don’t have to sign up to see all the refashions, but if you’re like me you might just need the challenge and the encouragement to actually do any.

I’m not lacking in stash/challenge/encouragement, but I am also brimful with probable-pinched-shoulder-nerve, erm, -itis. This has put paid to my half hols plans to paint the workshop by day and sew/knit a spring wardrobe by night. I’m at the docs tomorrow, so hopefully he can do something to stop the night-time agony thus making my waking hours less zombified and ache free.

God bless the NHS :)


Thursday, 11 February 2010

A little puffy crochet beret…

Because I’m in between WIPs right now, I decided to make another hat. This is Creativeyarn’s Puff stitch beret (here on Ravelry) and although mine isn’t as neat as hers, I love it all the same. I wish it were a warmer colour but it’s just a random ball of stash baby DK I’ve had kicking around since I was about 12.
Lots of people said the pattern was hard but I found it easy and quick for such a slow stitch. I also made it up a bit, stopping the rounds when I thought it was big enough and adding a wider band to make it snug.
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I’m not sure about the bow, I like that it looks a wee bit vintage though.
If any of you are also on Ravelry, pop by my page and say hello!

Monday, 8 February 2010

Finished WIP – November sweater…

Yay me, I finished something!
This is Allergic to Wool’s November sweater that I started just over a month ago (according to my Ravelry page)
I love this pattern, it’s a simple shape but the lace pattern makes it interesting (to knit and to look at). It took ages to make because I had so little free time – the front took a few days but I was only doing a few pattern repeats a night for the back. But, it’s done! And I’m on a hunt for another pattern to keep my idle evening hands busy…

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Life, sorry work, gets in the way again…

… Why do I often get those two mixed up?! I’ve been really frustrated this week, I have a pile of potentially lovely clothes to refashion, a bag of jumpers to unravel, the newly finished workshop badly needs painting and my November sweater is looking like it’s going to be a March sweater.

This week has been paperwork hell (or heaven, if you like that sort of thing). If any of you are of the teaching persuasion, I’m going to say the dreaded words “External Verification” and “standardisation” (oh yes, they require capital letters) add that to a line manager who really wants your work to be the best ever and your mountain of clothes becomes a mountain of paper :(

Still, it’s all over now bar the feedback/scary report so I’m going to leave you with a picture that surely can cheer the most overworked of hearts…


Hahahahaha… lawks, I must be tired. Still, it’s only one week to half term and the sleepy/sewy/unravely/painty goodness that comes with it.