ScrapHappy March 2023

This month most of my scrap use was related to a new window display for the shop, to celebrate St David’s Day. The window was a joint effort and you can read about Mr Snail’s contributions here.

Our aim was to make a cosy scene including a whole range of items that you might find in a Welsh home. We already had blankets made from Cambrian wool, some sheep and dragon-themed bits and bobs and an ancient Welsh wool rug, but we wanted to add cushions and pictures, amongst other things.

I dug out some uninspiring bits of fabric – two were scraps of furnishing fabric, and one was a half-finished skirt that had arrived at the shop from goodness knows where. I used these to make cushion covers with a Welsh words theme. The two beige ones (Hiraeth and Cwtch) are pillow case style and the green one (Hwyl) has a zip – also rescued from an abandoned project. The cushion inners are old and had been lurking up in our loft for about two decades.

Then to a picture for Mr Snail’s mantlepiece. When we acquired the shop, it contained some random items. Some went to the charity shop down the road and some were put to one side for us to use (possibly). One of these was a faded print in a very battered frame. The print was removed and I used my (secondhand) die-cutter and dies and some pre-loved paper to cut out letters and mount them on to spell out a corruption of part of the Welsh national anthem:

The original is “Gwlad” (country), but “Gwlân” means wool… hence the tiny bit of knitting (cocktail stick and old beads for the needles; scrap yarn for the knitting). So, we are pledging loyalty to our wool! We also wanted a nod to St David and so I found an old frame in the loft at home, removed the tatty picture from that and used more scrap paper to create a very relevant quote attributed to Wales’ patron saint:

It means ‘Do the small things’ in the original context, but from our perspective it can also mean ‘Make the small things’.

You may have also noticed the crocheted daffodils – those were made from scrap cotton yarn, some random flower wires that were in a box of unwanted bits and some green paper tape from the same source. Of course we also had to make a suitable bollard cover for outdoors. Mr Snail made the cover from an unwanted ball that arrived in the shop and I made the flowers from scraps left over from a recent commission. I embroidered the stems from more scrap yarn.

So, all in all, a very scrappy window display.


I’ve been inspired to write this (and future) ScrapHappy posts by Kate,  Tall Tales from Chiconia. On the fifteenth of every month lots of folk often publish a ScrapHappy post, do check them out:

Kate,  Gun, Eva,  Sue, Lynda, Birthe, Turid, Edi, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jan (me), Moira, SandraChrisAlys, ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Carol, Preeti, DebbieroseNóilin and Viv

If you fancy joining, contact Kate and she’ll add you to the list. It would be lovely to see more non-sewing posts, but any use of scraps is welcome.

Still hooking

Recently I have written little about yarn, but this does not mean that I have not been busy with my hook (no knitting recently, although I am about to start a pair of socks). So, as a nice relaxing post for a Sunday evening, I thought I would share the progress on the sofa cushions. This is not the only crochet that I have been working on, but two completed pieces are yet to reach their intended recipients and I don’t want to spoil the surprise in either case.

Like Wild Daffodil I have been having fun with African Flower crochet squares this week (thanks to Mollie and Claire for the inspiration). Eventually I decided that seven was enough to include in my final cushion and had to make myself stop. I used the blues and grey in a variety of combinations so every one looks different:

Sam gave the squares a final inspection - she thinks they are ok

Sam gave the squares a final inspection – she thinks they are ok

These and all the others now need to be edged in dark blue and stitched together (16 per side) to make the final cushion. Then I just have to wait for the buttons (they are being hand made for me) so that I can finish them off. For the time being, here is what all the work so far looks like:

The yarn is 100% wool from New Lanark Mill, it’s all DK and the colours are navy, denim, blueberry (not much of this – only in the small squares), iris, sky and limestone.

Now, excuse me whilst I retire with a glass of wine and a needle to weave about a million ends into the small squares!

Sprucing things up

Looking around our house the other day I realised that you would never know about my obsession with fibre… other than all the work bags and baskets. You may be surprised to know that the place is not awash with afghans, covered with crochet cushions nor festooned with felt. There are a few things around… felt tea cosy and camera case, lots of knitted socks and a variety of hats and gloves, but not much that’s showy or obvious. Around my office, you can see a knitted Nessie, crochet snail, mushrooms and bacteria, but they are quite discreet. Much of my work has been given away, swapped or sold. Soon, however, the masterpiece will adorn our bed and I will start on my Bavarian crochet afghan.

It's all too easy to lose a dog in our sofa

It’s all too easy to lose a dog in our sofa…

But right now I have embarked on a big new project. Our sofa is nearly 14 years old. It’s still comfy and we don’t want to get rid of it (despite the fact that it eats hair grips, crochet hooks, scissors and, occasionally, dogs), but it is looking rather tired and Sam has decided in recent years that all the zippers on the cushions are especially yummy and should be eaten. We have a spare set of covers, but we are fast running out of covers that have functioning zippers for the big square cushions (five of them) that go along the back. Fortunately, Sam has not noticed the large zipper up one side at the back of the sofa, so the two big covers are ok. In theory, I could replace the zippers, but I don’t want to for two reasons: (1) I hate putting in new zippers, and these are right along the top of each cushion, so are fiddly to replace, and (2) Sam would probably just eat them again (sigh). Anyway, it seems like a great excuse to yarnstorm my own home.

... but it's still comfy

… but it’s still comfy

And so, blue yarn has arrived and crochet fun has commenced. I’m making the first cushion cover with Attic24’s Neat Ripple pattern as this was so successful for the cushion I made for my sis. Originally my intention was to make them all the same, but I’m tempted to use the same palette for them all, but different designs (would this be too much?) I have chosen five colours from the New Lanark range of double knitting wool: sky haze, iris, limestone, navy and denim. It’s going to require rather a lot of yarn and many hours of work, but I think that it will look great when it’s done. So often people throw away perfectly good furniture because it’s got a bit worn, so it feels good to put some work into reinvigorating  this sofa.

The first cover is progressing

The first cover is progressing

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