The greenist Merman

Monday, June 26, 2017
In terms of creativity, one of the major points of difference between Michelle and myself is how we decide on our next project.

Michelle will be inspired by something she has seen, she will then start devising a plan for executing the object and, once she is sure she can achieve the look she is after, she will buy the yarn. Creative and logical. 

I, however, tend to find myself holding a single skein/cake/ball of yarn and wondering what I can make with it. I then trawl Ravelry trying to find a pattern that works with my yardage or is striped so I can use a contrast yarn to bump up my yardage. I then spend the whole of my knitting time fretting that  I don't have the necessary yardage. Sometimes it all works out OK, other times I have to wing it. 

One of my recent finished objects started out a little like this too. The yarn is from La Bien Aimee and the colourway is called Stephen the Mermaid. 

 It was a gift from my Mother-in-Law from a trip to Europe. Apparently she went into a parisian yarn store and announced that she was seeking 'the greenest green'. This is clearly a winning shopping technique. 

And so it was, that I found myself caressing the yarn (in a very creepy manner) when I realised that yarn called Stephen the Merman could only be used for a Stephen West pattern. My Ravelry trawl began. Typically, I didn't have enough yarn to make one of his bigger designs but I had quickly fallen in love with Batad which I thought would be perfect with the Ghost colourway from Bendigo Woollen Mills that was also sat stewing away in stash. 

It was a delight to knit up and the mini model was keen to help show it off

Readers with sharp eyesight may notice that the bottom section is smaller than the others. I ran out of yarn. I decided that rather than rip back to the last grey section and finishing it short. I just knit as much as I could with the green yarn and then rather than following the pattern and doing a icord bind off. I started another grey pleat, following the instructions for the previous pleats and when I got to a place where a wrap and turn should have been, I instead did a double YO with the grey (This last paragraph only makes sense if you have the pattern, sorry)

The one on the left is my fudged version and the one on the right is as per the pattern. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and it meant I got to use every last scrap of the green.

I bound off with a three needle bind off.

This was also another stash down project. Its kind of remarkable that in 6 weeks time I will have been a year since I took the original photo.

Bedside Table Upcycle

Sunday, June 11, 2017
Some time ago I mentioned to my Mother in law that I was thinking of getting the kids some bedside tables and that I had been keeping my eye out during council clean-up; for our foreign readers this is an amazing twice yearly service provided by the local Council (Michelle lives in the boondocks so she probably doesn't have one). Basically, the local Council invites you to put all your unwanted stuff out on the kerb and they pick it up and take it to the tip. The best thing about this is that everybody else prowls around and picks stuff out of your pile that they can re-use.

Anyway, I didn't find what I was looking for but my MIL had decided that she was going to update her bedroom and had two solid timber bedside tables that she no longer needed.

They were clearly so ugly that I couldn't bring myself to take any photos of it and then after posting it on Instagram I promptly deleted it. Anyway, as the hashtag says 'sturdy but ugly' and those brass effect handles ewww! They were the first thing to go, well when I say go, I mean removed and hoarded in the shed for future reuse.

Although I know I can use coverstain to paint directly over the existing finished I've never liked the finish it gives you and I don't believe it stands up to the abuse it gets in a kids bedroom. So instead I busted out the sander.

This was not one of my cleverer moments. No toes were lost in the making of this bedside table.

At first I thought the natural grain was pretty cool but then I realised it was looking at me. Creepy. 

A layer of undercoat was quickly applied.

The first bedside table was destined for Master F's room. He is a big fan of blue. Michelle helped devise a plan for the handles which were made by screwing hoops into the existing holes though which the rope was inserted and then knotted.

I wanted Miss K's bedside table to look completely different from Flynn's so I filled the existing draw handle holes and choose a different colour scheme. White on top, blue on the base and drilled new holes for the single central glass handles.

 I'm so pleased with them both and happily the kids love them. Apparently kids do like home-wares!

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