Sofa so good

National Recycle Week – Day 6

If we are to believe the advertising, we would all be buying a new sofa in time for Christmas, or the summer holidays or Easter… Easter, for goodness sake? Well, no, really the companies who make and sell sofas would like us to buy a new sofa for all these occasions, but real people don’t. Real people can’t afford to. And real people often like their familiar, comfy furniture and don’t want to replace it. However, we might like a change of colour or to sort out damage, maybe even to replace squished cushions… or covers that a certain dog has decided to eat the zips off… yes, Sam, I’m talking about you:

DO NOT believe that look of innocence

DO NOT believe that look of innocence

When we last left my sofa, the five back cushions had nice new covers and I had bought a secondhand pure wool blanket to put over the seat cushions and anchor them in place. This latter solution was going to be a temporary fix, but actually it works so well, that it might remain a permanent feature:


Five cushions and a blanket

And so things had remained. But in this week of recycling, upcycling, mending and generally making things last longer, I have been inspired to pick up my crochet hook again for the next stage of this project – namely a cover for the back of the sofa.

I wanted to make something simple, but with the same yarn colours, so I’ve decided on a striped blanket alternating two rows of even treble stitches with two rows of trebles in clusters of three (like a traditional granny square). This design is Lucy’s ‘Cosy Stripe Blanket‘ over at Attic 24, although I’ve had to make it 1/3 wider than in her original pattern. The increased width means I’m working across 264 stitches, which is a long way to crochet back and forth and means that I’ve only managed three stripes so far:

A long way to go yet!

A long way to go yet!

However it’s easy and doesn’t require much thought, so is perfect to do whilst watching a film. If I’m honest, I’m pretty sure that I could have bought a whole new sofa for the same cost as all the yarn I’m going to need, but where would be the fun in that? In addition, I am trying to make the parts of the cover such that they can be used for other purposes when the main body of the sofa finally gives up the ghost.

Maybe in another year we will have a completely revamped sofa, but at least now there are no exposed zips for Sam to consume. There is never going to be another sofa like it.

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  1. I love the very uniqueness of your sofa too – I am inspired every time you post about it and just may, one day, throw all caution to the wind and invest a small fortune in enough yarn to cover my two slightly grubby looking white cotton covered chairs………

  2. You just hit the nail on the head “There is never going to be another sofa like it.” I went with Stevie-boy to the tip yesterday and picked up more from the tip shop than we dropped off (predominately recycling). I got an almost new leather jacket, a pair of wonderful corduroy trousers (womens) and two wine glasses for the princely sum of $2. I also noted that the pile of clothing in the tip shop consisted of a good proportion of woolen jackets etc. I am thinking that I could take advantage of the incredibly cheap nature of the tip shop to get hold of some seriously good quality woolen cloth to make some long lasting rag rugs with. I will keep you posted. I don’t envy you that starting position of that rug. I made Stevie-boy a strange pouffe seating thingo for his floor in his music room in single crochet and it took me a month of Sunday’s and my eyes are still not quite right. I can’t wait to see your amazing “new” sofa. MUCH nicer than a generic plastic accouterment from China methinks 🙂

  3. I love how it looks, and visualising how it’s *going* to look when the back is done… It’s a solution which would never work for me, mostly because I don’t crochet, but also because in our climate, covering a sofa in wool would be madness. My sofa is now 11 years old, and the (washable) loose covers mean that at some stage I’ll be able to take them off, take them apart and make new ones using the bit as pattern pieces. Fortunately we have no zip-eating monster…

    • I did wonder whether we’d be able to sit on it in the summer even here or whether that would be too hot, but it seems to be ok so far… not that we’ve had much hot weather. If I was in the tropics like you I’d probably have used cotton or bamboo yarn!

  4. I think this is going to be really neat when you finish. I am a slipcover person, myself, because I don’t crochet or knit. It’s nice to pull off one cover and put on another. And of course it HAS to have a cover because a friend whose decor accommodated cherry red plaid (atop a braided rug with some of the same colors) gave me the little couch. It’s a marvelous guest bed, but, like you, I knew something had to be done with it, even without dogs chewing up the zippers….

    • Ooh – cherry red plaid – that mush have been striking!!
      We had two identical sets of covers for this sofa originally, but over the years they’ve got rather battered and worn. However, I haven’t thrown them out and I’m wondering whether to get someone to put new zips in the cushion covers. I am not a good enough seamstress to do it myself, but there are one or two local ladies who do repairs. Then I could spruce them up with some applique or embroidery so that I have spare covers when the wool ones need washing.

      • Yes, it’s always good to have spares or rotate for a change. I bet someone would be happy to put the new zippers in. Good luck!

  5. Finding a good COMFY sofa is hard to do. Mine you can’t sit on long or it will make the entire body hurt. Can’t buy another so I don’t sit long. 🙂 Keeps me moving. I love all your blue and white pillows. I think I’ve said that before. The face on you dog, Priceless. Just pure love there… with a little orneriness. :)))

    • Sam is indeed ornery… it’s not a word we use much in the UK, but it suits her down to the ground.

      • It’s not a word used much in the Pacific Northwest either. Mostly from the southern and mid west areas. Since I’m a gypsy, I pick up language from everywhere. 🙂 He does look like a love though.

  6. What a great photo of that naughty Sam! I hope he never develops a taste for crochet . . .

    • Fortunately neither Sam not Max have showed any interest in yarn – mind you they have had it drummed into them that any balls of yarn or knitting or crochet are completely off-limits. I have no idea where the taste for zips came from – it’s only appeared in the last couple of years.

  7. it is going to be lovely!

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