Round Rug

Last Christmas I made a rug for my sister, to match the colours of things she and her husband already had in their sitting room. I thought a round rug would be nice so I used the pattern I had already used for the round cushion to make the rug and just kept on knitting until it seemed big enough for a rug (though it’s not massive). When it got a few rows bigger than the cushion was, I transferred it onto a round needle (though it’s not knitted in the round) because it would no longer fit onto straight needles.

Round, stripy rug

 

I backed it with some quite thick fabric (though I don’t remember exactly what it was) to make it stronger and help it keep its shape.

I backed it with some quite thick fabric (though I don't remember exactly what it was) to make it stronger and help it keep its shape.
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Round Cushion

When I first got back into knitting a couple of years ago, I tried to make as many Christmas presents as possible. Since I had no life that Winter, I managed to make 2 scarves (which you can see here) and 2 cushions, both of which were stripy and used mostly the same wool (partly to save money) but with one or two differences (you can see the other cushion here). This round cushion was for my friend Chloe as she likes red circles. I won’t type out the entire pattern as you can find it here and I’m pretty sure it would be a breach of copyright or something.

When I was knitting the back of this cushion, I seemed to forget how to do purling so the back was done in garter stitch and not stocking stitch as it was meant to be.

Round-Cushion-1-PS-medium

The lovely fat cushion!

Round-Cushion-4-PS-medium

The back, with a big red button in the middle.

Round-Cushion-5-PS-medium

Tip: I used this pattern again to make a rug for my sister and since they hole in the middle of each side of the cushion was quite big, instead of casting on 14 stitches, I cast on 8 stitches and did the first row twice to get up to the right number of stitches.

Tip 2: I waited until I had made both sides of the cushion until I ordered the cushion pad to go inside it as I seem to never be able to knit to the size patterns expect me to and I’m too lazy to check my tension so the cushion might be bigger or smaller than you expect it to be.

Make It: Pin Board

When we moved I bought a new desk from Argos (terrible quality, I know, but it was cheap), which came in quite a lot of packaging. I was looking at the box and all the polystyrene and wondering whether there was something I could make out of it when it hit me that it would be nice to have a pin board – partly to put things on and partly as something to fill up the large white blank walls in the new flat.

I made the actual pin board a little while ago but have only just got round to fixing it to the wall so I can finally write this post about it!

The polystyrene was all in strips to I had to fit all the pieces I had together like a jigsaw. Some of the pieces were thinner that other bits so I put some cardboard underneath to make the surface as even as I could.

Pin-board-9b

I had an old pillow case (from a set of single bedding) which I cut up to cover the pin board. Annoyingly it wasn’t quite big enough to cover it in one piece so I covered it in 2 pieces. If I was to do this again, I would measure my fabric first and make the pinboard fit it (rather than the other way round), unless I had a really big piece of old fabric or bought some specially.

I had an old pillow case (from a set of single bedding) which I cut up to cover the pin board. Annoyingly it wasn't quite big enough to cover it in one piece so I covered it in 2 pieces. If I was to do this again, I would measure my fabric first and make the pinboard fit it (rather than the other way round), unless I had a really big piece of old fabric or bought some specially.

If I had a staple gun, I would have stapled the fabric on, but since I don’t and I was trying to make this completely for free, I used some tack which I had anyway (for fixing our broken chest of drawers) and tried to make the back look as neat as possible, though it doesn’t really matter too much.

If I had a staple gun, I would have stapled the fabric on, but since I don't and I was trying to make this completely for free, I used some tack which I had anyway (for fixing our broken chest of drawers) and tried to make the back look as neat as possible, though it doesn't really matter too much.

This is it finished. I wish the fabric was a bit more straight on both sides, but we can’t all be perfect.

This is it finished. I wish the fabric was a bit more straight on both sides, but we can't all be perfect.

And this is it (finally) on the wall. I’m pretty pleased with it, considering it didn’t cost me anything! And it even works! There are things pinned on it!

And this is it (finally) on the wall. I'm pretty pleased with it, considering it didn't cost me anything! And it even works! There are things pinned on it!

So there we have it: some packaging I would have thrown out, an old pillow case, some glue, some tacks and voila, a pin board!

This is what it looks like now, with a few more things on it and some lights!

Yay, more twinkle lights!

 

Make It: Vinyl Record Bowl

I’ve seen on loads of TV programmes and blogs the idea of making a bowl out of a vinyl record so I thought I would give it a go as a Christmas present for my brother-in-law who is very into music, as I thought he could keep all his plecs and assorted music stuff in it.

I spent ages trawling through all of the records in my local charity shops (of which there are many!) but in the end I found a record with a blank white middle, as I couldn’t find anything that was suitable for the kind of music he likes.

Once you’ve found your record, you just put it in the oven at 100 Celsius or about 215 Fahrenheit. You have to put a bowl upside down on a baking tray (to make it easier to get out) and put the record on top of that. Once the record starts to sag, take it out and then you can mold it into the shape you would like. I tried several things to help me mold the bowl including a too small pyrex dish, a large tumbler (to give it more height), the outside of our colander and finally the inside of our colander:

Vinyl Bowl a

I must have put the bowl in and out of the oven about 20 times until I got it right. I gave up trying to mold it around the outside of something so instead pushed it into the colander, which gave me the best shape (after a couple of tries). The beauty of this craft is you can heat it 100 times until you get it right, it’s not done until you’re happy with it.

Vinyl Bowl b

Vinyl Bowl c

Sewing Machine

I finally got my deposit back from my old flat last week (the cheque cleared last Wednesday) so I bought a sewing machine! I’d been planning to get one for a while so I had time to do some research and had pretty much decided on which one to get before I went to John Lewis. I decided to go to a shop so that I would get a guarantee and a bit of advice about which one was good. It was between a Singer and  a John Lewis brand one and I got the John Lewis one as the man said it was  a better machine for the money (I guess because you’re not paying for the brand). Although I’ve been sewing with sewing machines on and off for many years, I suddenly felt really stupid being in the shop and buying a machine. I think I was scared they would think I was an idiot or something. I don’t know why I cared about what the people in the shop thought – they just want the sale I would think – but I felt a bit out-of-place all the same. I think I was also nervous to be spending so much money in one go!

I haven’t played with it yet – my weekend has completely disappeared but I plan to make many things, hopefully for Christmas – I enjoy knitting a lot but it’s just too slow to make very many presents and with about 15 people to get gifts for, I am going to try to make as many as I can.  Now I just need to decide what to make and find somewhere that sells reasonably priced fabric……..

John Lewis sewing machine