Three Things Thursday: 17 November 2016

As usual I’m joining with Emily of Ms Emily’s Home for Full-Grown Nerds (note her new blog) and others for Three Things Thursday. As she says…

*three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy*

First, African flowers. I’m very fond of this granny square pattern and I’m greatly enjoying making these for my latest Sixty Million Trebles blanket; they are also using up lots of oddments.

Second, the magic of putting green tomatoes in a box with apples and them coming out ripe a couple of weeks later. I hate green tomato chutney, so turning green tomatoes red at this time of the year means they will actually get used; indeed the ones from the box are those pictured in the roasting dish, which is currently in the oven.

Third, Sugru. This magic creation has saved many items in our household from the dustbin. This week I’ve made a fourth mend (the one in pink) to my favourite headphones. Obviously, it would be better if such things were built to last, but since that is not the case, Sugru will always have a place in our house.

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Can you spot all four mends?

 

So, those are three things making me smile this week – what about you?

Bags, beans and ebay

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A repair like a carrot!

I realise a whole week has gone by without a post… a combination of being busy and having a computer problem. The latter was related to an overheating power input, which was rectified with a new cable with replacement plug secured with Sugru – a cheap and simple solution, but one that took a little time because of the logistics of finding the replacement and then having to wait 24 hours for the Sugru to dry. The current obsession with excessively replacing electronic equipment is a real issue environmentally, and so I’m delighted with any solution that allows me to keep using my computer… I fully support the Restart Code, which you can check out here.

Away from the computer, the declutter continues, with five successful sales on ebay this week. I find the whole process of sorting out online auctions somewhat tedious, but it’s a good way to make sure unwanted items go to homes where they will get some use, so every now and then I grit my teeth and do a few listings. This time I sold five out of six items listed, which seems like quite a success to me.

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Drawstring bags for vegetables

Reducing clutter is also taking the form of turning some of the “I’m keeping this because it might be useful” things into things that really are useful.So, I spent a while cutting up an old sheet to make cleaning cloths (more on this in a later post when I’ve finished experimenting). In addition, I made four drawstring bags from off-cuts of very thin curtain fabric to use when we go shopping. We always take our own shopping bags, but rarely remember to take individual bags to put vegetables in. I used scrap fabric and some cotton tape that had been around some clothes I bought (rather than plastic packaging), so the resulting bags really are something for nothing. So far I’ve made two large ones and two small ones, but I’ll dig out some more fabric soon and make a few more. I’ve also been working on a crochet bag using yarn oddments… more on that when it’s finished.

And then there has been the garden. Two of our raised beds have been mulched over the winter, but the other day we took the mulch (Mypex) up from one of them, netted it and sent the chickens in to clear our any pests and weed seeds.

They spent a few hours in there on two days and then the bed was ready for planting… just a few roots of docks, dandelions and buttercups had to be dug out first. This afternoon I planted it up with broadbeans and potatoes… fingers crossed for a good harvest.

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Plants in – scarlet-flowered runner beans and potatoes

Mend-day

Want to save the world today? I do, so I’m mending.

There is such a lot of waste in the UK and such profligate consumption, that one of the best things we can do to reduce our impact on the environment is to buy less. This means that we need to make the things that we already have last longer. So, buy good quality things that can be repaired… and learn how to repair them.

My first job today involved a pair of fingerless mittens… both of which have worn around the thumb. The mend is simple – just a few stitches – if undertaken now as soon as I have noticed it, but it would be a much bigger job if I left it. If I’d knitted these mitts in sock yarn, it wouldn’t have worn nearly as quickly (although I made them about 4 years ago). They were knitted in some left-over 100% wool yarn, which was going spare, so I don’t feel they’ve done badly and this repair should extend their life somewhat.

Then I moved on to a new material: Sugru. This is a mouldable glue that sets to the consistency of silicone in 24 hours. I had two repairs that I thought might be suitable – the first, involved providing some reinforcement to the point where the jack plug joins the cable of my earphones. This mend was quick and easy and I know it will work.

The second mend may not be successful. In this case I needed to re-attach the winding handle to the body of one of our wind-up torches. I think it was originally glued on, but the glue was not sufficient and so the handle has come adrift. The problem is that it’s not simply a case of fixing the handle in place – it must only be fixed to the point in the centre, so that it can continue to rotate. If the glue attaches itself to the surroundings, it won’t be possible to wind the torch to charge the battery and so it won’t work. There is an alternative, more complicated fix for this – Mr Snail could construct an external way to charge the battery (there is a socket to charge from the mains) for example by solar or a separate winder, but I’m hoping that the Sugru will work and it won’t be necessary.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the Sugru works – it comes highly recommended.

So, remember, you don’t need to be a super-hero to save the world, you can do it with glue and a darning needle!

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