Thursday, July 30, 2009

Yarn Leftovers - Free Coaster/Flower Crochet Pattern

Don't throw away your yarn scraps as the previous owner of this lot did! Though maybe the (presumably a) lady gave up her (knitting) hobby altogether as she threw out her cable needle as well, I think it's more likely she just forgot that was still in the plastic bag too that I picked up from the curb about two months ago.

Search the internet and you will find lots of free patterns for flowers, coasters, appliques and such. Tiny projects to use up your leftovers or otherwise keep them for little accents in larger projects.
In the first picture I can't even show all the yarn I found because I've used up some of it already. I made this set of reusable face scrubbies from one of the larger balls of cotton yarn that came with it. This set is currently for sale in my Etsy shop. You can make your own and save money on cotton pads by crocheting flat rounds of dc with a trim in any fantasy stitch you like.

If you don't want to look further here's a crochet pattern for a flat flower shaped round that I like a lot and takes only a few grams of yarn each. The design is not my own, but I translated it in English from a crochet book I had as a child and is at least forty years old. These two are part of a set with a larger variation for sale in my Etsy shop.

You can use them as coasters in a thicker cotton yarn, but thin cotton thread will make great appliques. Or, done in seasonal colours or sparkly shiny material even hang them in your Christmas tree! Weave a ribbon through if you like (imagine that here) and starch if necessary.

My abbreviations (in universal terminology; BE readers pls look up conversion charts USA>>BE):

ch - chain stitch (Dutch: losse)
ss - slip stitch (Dutch: halve vaste)
sc - single crochet (Dutch: vaste)
dc - double crochet (Dutch: stokje)

Start: 6 ch, close as a ring with a ss.

Row 1: 2 ch, 23 dc under the starting ch, close with a ss in the 2nd ch of the beginning of this row.

Tip: Find it difficult to fit 23 dc in? Make about 6 at a time then pull them back tightly between thumb an index finger, make the next 6 and repeat.

Row 2: 4 ch, 1 dc in the closing ss of the previous row; 1 ch. *skip 2 st; in the next st: 1 dc, 2 ch, 1 dc; 1 ch*. Repeat 7x from *to*. Close row with a ss in 2nd ch (of 4) of the start.

Row 3: 2 ch; 1 dc, 2 ch, 2 dc under the 2 ch of the previous row; 1 sc under the 1 ch. *2 dc, 2 ch, 2 dc as before; 1 sc as before*. Repeat 7x from *to*. Close row with a ss in 2nd ch (of 2) of the start.

Row 4: No build up with ch as before; directly 3 dc, 1 ch, 3 dc under the 2 ch of the previous row; 1 sc to the left and right of the sc of the previous row. Repeat 8x and close with a ss in the first st of the row. Bind off or crochet a loop if you want to hang it up, then bind off.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Simple Pull Up Curtain

This is my front window. As it faces the street directly (we have no front yard) I want it covered completely with a non see through material that still lets in enough light. But I also had a construction problem. The bow shape, the central heating pipes and a plasterboard placed in front of the stone wall (which they probably did for isolation and to be able to construct a windowsill, not present before the renovation), make it very difficult to hang up any kind of normal curtain rail or rod. Sorry it's not a great picture and now that it finally hangs maybe I will get inspired to paint that wall and window pane too.

The solution is a simple white thin cotton pull up curtain. I just screwed two small hooks in the ceiling borders to hang it up on. Not even electricity required; a hand drill was enough to make the two tiny holes in the thin planks.

The solution was offered by IKEA. Well, sort off. The nearest shop for me would be a long bus and metro ride away and take me at least an hour. Luckily my neighbours like to shop there and just buy and buy and then just cast out what in the end they didn't need or didn't fit after all... Yes this curtain just came brand new from the curb to me and had never even been out of its packaging. I only had to make it a bit longer which shows in the slightly darker colour at the bottom for which I used another but used curb found piece of curtain.

It's not the first time. I have IKEA slat blinds on my hallway door that had never been unpacked and (this is a very old post) that picture frame with plastic 'glass'. Just recently put a curb found Dali repro in it. Looks cool!

So what is it with IKEA? Are they really that cheap that people just take home things to try out and don't care to bring back? For me they have changed from a cool company that offers affordable modern design in honest products to a monster multinational that exploits people in poor countries and sells mass products that people don't care to keep if they don't need them for a certain moment. I'd think the crisis would change that, but I don't see much effect on the curbs yet. Don't even want to start about the pile of IKEA duvets, pillows and covers for those and towels I found.

Eh, what I really want to say is, thank you IKEA for being so cheap so I can get the stuff for nothing at all, but really, when are we going to stop wasting? Me alone I can only rescue so much, you know.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Swine

This has nothing to do with trash but I had to think of the incident when I was talking about my 'funny' neighbours a while ago in The Hand And The Doll.

It was last summer when I came home from work and found a little black swine happily routing in the hedges along the path behind my house.

By the time I came back with my camera the girl had come to try to bring the escaped animal home. She is not the owner but another neighbour who thought she knew where the hog belonged. It looks like she managed to get it moving!

To this day I haven't found out who the owner is and where exactly they live. Or still do live here for that matter.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

The Handbag

I found a handbag made by 'Kenneth Cole New York'. I wondered who would have ever fancied this baby blue fake croc design. All I saw were the pretty steel rings that attached the handles and so before I even Googled the brand I had started cutting them off. Well it turns out these bags go for up to around 400 dollars! Take a look here:

Not that I care. The bag was really used and this is what the rings end up in.
If you want to see the listing in my shop look here.
And perhaps you remember that garden table I photographed the bag on! Look here.