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Post by Chilli-head on 17th February 2019, 8:39 pm

I spent most of Saturday repairing a laundry basket.  Why ? Good question. It fits perfectly in C-H Jnr's wardrobe - which is not coincidental as it was part of the design of the wardrobe shelving. Can we find a new one of a similar size ? No chance.

So, repaired the broken framework of the lid, rewove the basketry where it had all come unravelled because of the broken frame.  That was the easy bit.  Then to replace the cloth liner.  I found an old cotton sheet with enough good fabric to do the job, then hauled out my old adversary - the Riccar sewing machine - preparing myself for the inevitable battle starwars But this time, I'm afraid I lost.  Sewing completed by hand, and Riccar machine thrown in the tip pile.  Can't make it go.  The belt is slipping, which I could fix, but the dratted thing won't sew whatever I do. All lubricated and moving freely, but it keeps breaking the thread where it goes through the needle, and no stitches are being made - seems like it is not catching the top thread with the shuttle. I tried all sorts of four letter words, none of them helped.  Enough ! time for a new one.

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Post by Ploshkin on 18th February 2019, 10:47 am

Funny you should have been doing a laundry basket CH.  For ages now I have been wanting to learn how to make a skep and a week or so ago I went on a skep making day.  It was a really good day with a group of 12 people and the tutor was excellent.  I a slow doer so I didn't get as far as some people but we all went home with the tools, straw and knowhow to complete the skep.  The tool is a ropemaker's fid.  I didn't know that this type of construction is known as lipwork.  The straw we used is Triticale.  I will get it finished but as you end up splashing water around and getting straw everywhere it's not really an indoor job so I will get it out when the weather warms up a bit.  It doesn't look particularly impressive but here it is.
What arts and craft things have you been making lately? - Page 5 P1020610
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Post by FloBear on 18th February 2019, 12:22 pm

Well, I'm impressed, Ploshkin!
Looking forward to seeing the finished article though I presume there is a way to go if a skep is what I think it is.
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Post by Chilli-head on 18th February 2019, 12:55 pm

That looks rather a nice job Ploshkin. What is the stuff used to bind round the straw ? I presume that is the bit that needs soaking. Do you just add new lengths of straw to the bundle when you come to the end of the existing ones, so as to keep the bundle the same thickness ?
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Post by Ploshkin on 18th February 2019, 1:46 pm

The binding is rattan cane (I think) used for basket making and does need wetting to keep it pliable. Traditionally, bramble is used for binding and the tutor showed us how to strip and cut brambles for the job - rather laborious. I learnt something though - I didn't know that bramble is pentagonal in section.
All of the straw passes through a feeder, traditionally a section of cow horn but we used a piece of plastic pipe, I've also seen sections of plastic bottle top used. You keep poking straw into the centre of the bundle to keep the feeder filled. We started off with less but increased the thickness of the bundle once the first couple of tight rounds were complete. Also, traditionally, a goose leg bone with the end pared to a point is used as a fid.
If / when I get this one completed I may have a go with rushes which are plentiful round here. I didn't think they would be long enough but although the straw used is long, by the time you've stripped off the leaves and heads it's considerably shorter.

It was a fact finding mission really, I would like to have a small group of people in the beekeeping Association who know how to do it so that we can have our own workshops as it's difficult and expensive to find someone to come and do a day. One of our members has a brother in law who is a thatcher so we have a source of suitable straw.
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Post by Dandelion on 18th February 2019, 7:08 pm

It looks good Ploshkin - keep us up to date with your progress. Was it hard on the hands?

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Ploshkin on 18th February 2019, 8:00 pm

Ooh yes, Dandelion, it was hard on my crappy hands.
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Post by freebird on 20th February 2019, 10:17 am

It looks really good, Ploshkin ...... but, straw? I thought that was the cause of your health problems last winter.
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Post by Ploshkin on 20th February 2019, 10:33 am

A few handfuls of clean straw are no problem. Spreading a big round bale every day for 6 months, when the straw contains / may contain mould spores, is to be avoided. We're using straw in the sheep shed and I keep well out of the way when the pens are strawed down but in the couple of months the sheep are in the shed we will probably use less than 10 big bales. For the cows we would have used over 200. This year, the straw is very clean because of the good summer. Last year the straw was very dusty because of the excessively wet summer in 2017.
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Post by Dandelion on 31st March 2019, 1:16 pm

What arts and craft things have you been making lately? - Page 5 P1010510
One of the benefits of being at home is that I have finished the blanket I started for my new grand daughter. (I think I've done the image thing wrong as it has 'img' each side, but you can see the picture anyway!!)


Last edited by Chilli-head on 31st March 2019, 6:07 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Improve picture)

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Dandelion on 31st March 2019, 1:18 pm

I used random dyed wool, but seperated the colours so that each square had similar shades in it, and tied it all together with white as the background colour. I'm quite pleased with the way it reminds me of the colours of some early settler quilts from the US - soft colours which look natural.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Ploshkin on 31st March 2019, 1:59 pm

That looks lovely Dandelion, is it crocheted or knitted?
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Post by FloBear on 31st March 2019, 4:48 pm

A very nice job, Dandelion. And how satisfying to get it finished.
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Post by Chilli-head on 31st March 2019, 6:10 pm

Just had a quick tweak to get the picture better. That looks like quite a bit of work - how long did it take you ?
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Post by Ploshkin on 31st March 2019, 6:34 pm

I can see now that it is crocheted. The colours are lovely.
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Post by Dandelion on 1st April 2019, 11:33 am

Thank you for tidying the picture up CH, and thank you for all your kind comments.
I think I started the blanket just before Christmas, so to get it finished at the end of March is unheard of speed for me!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Dandelion on 1st April 2019, 11:40 am

What arts and craft things have you been making lately? - Page 5 P1010512

If you knit with the yarn (it's Sirdar Crofter) you get this sort of effect, so I've used it in a way it wasn't designed for, but I have had fun doing it!

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Dandelion on 1st April 2019, 11:45 am

I originally bought the yarn because I loved the colours and thought I would make myself a jumper. I had forgotten/ignored the fact that knitting (especially large items) gives me a headache, and the wool lay in the cupboard unused. But now this baby has arrived, she has had hats, cardigans, bootees and now a blanket, so it hasn't been wasted!!

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Chilli-head on 1st April 2019, 8:23 pm

Dandelion wrote:But now this baby has arrived, she has had hats, cardigans, bootees and now a blanket, so it hasn't been wasted!!

What a lucky little girl to have such a wonderful Granny loveshower
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Post by Dandelion on 2nd April 2019, 9:54 am

loveflag

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by freebird on 5th April 2019, 9:44 am

Missed all this due to massive house cleaning, and a house hunting trip to Wales.

Your blanket is lovely Dandelion - actually I think the way you have used the colours in the blanket is nicer than the effect when knitted. They are my kinds of colours too - a bit muted.
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Post by Dandelion on 5th April 2019, 4:51 pm

Thank you FB. I must admit I'm not one for traditional baby colours

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Dandelion on 9th May 2019, 3:32 pm

What arts and craft things have you been making lately? - Page 5 P1010513

I was inspired by the recycing programme of The Great British Sewing Bee to see if I could make a dress for my grand daughter without spending any money. Here it is - the product of two pillow cases and thread which I already had. (I did have to buy the pattern though!)

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Ploshkin on 9th May 2019, 3:56 pm

That's lovely Dandelion. It's great to be able to make small things that don't use much fabric. Having g to buy fabric online I invariably end up with more than I need as I often have to buy in half metres but the leftover bits are not always big enough to make something else but too big to be classed as scraps.
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Post by Dandelion on 9th May 2019, 4:40 pm

That was a conversation I was having with my daughter last night - there are no decent fabric shops near her so she buys online too. She has just made a lovely top in stretch fabric, but has a lot left over but not large pieces. We were saying that there is a limit to the number of little bags you can make from scraps (well, you could make loads, but what would you do with them all??)

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by freebird on 11th May 2019, 2:04 pm

Lovely job Dandelion. Maybe little pieces of leftover fabric could be made into articles that could be sold - by a charity shop, school fair or some other fund-raising activity.
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