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.

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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