Monday, 30 March 2015

knitted dishcloths

Nimble-fingered crocheters know that do-it-yourself dishcloths are fun and easy to make. I always fancied making some, but just cannot make it beyond the long chain stage with a crochet hook.

Having noticed how simple they are, I thought about some sturdy, textured knit stitches that could emulate crocheting. I picked moss stitch - it seemed like the best candidate. It's chunky, it's bumpy, and the fabric edges don't roll like other types of knitting. So I sought out suitable cotton yarn on my thrifty rounds - each ball for a few cents - and cast on.

I was aiming to produce something like a swatch square, so I tried out 20 stitches by about 24 rows (then less as I decided to go smaller). The first square in turquoise shows that years spent without knitting a single row made me forget how moss stitch is done... I ended up with a mystery pattern that's like a strange version of garter stitch. Not the kind of texture I was looking for at all.

After I refreshed my memory by looking here, I did knit two squares in moss stitch in white cotton. I find them quite pleasing, especially the smaller one, which I might give to the baby to wash and play with at bath time.

I crochet-chained a hanging loop in one corner to each dishcloth square to hide the cast-off end of the yarn. Can't say that knowing as little as this simple beginner's step of crocheting wouldn't prove useful every now and then. I can only imagine what I could do if I could progress beyond that stage...

These quick-to-make knitted dishcloths were inspired by the Domestic theme in my monthly challenge.

By the way, anybody else out there who learned to knit first and can't seem to learn how to crochet?

Friday, 20 March 2015

flea friday: old tea towels and linen cloths

It's one of those emerging collections. I noticed that I've stopped picking up Zik plates (I've got so many...) but lately nice old linen towels or kitchen cloths started to sneak into my thrifting basket more and more often.

This new collection is fairly quick to build, and it certainly doesn't break the bank. The tea towels tend to be cheap and crop up often in the thrifts, which is already two things in common with the Zik plates. For yet another, the good old tea towels get to be just as useful in the kitchen.

I try not to use them too heavily though, they are so pretty! 

Certain ones - like the plain cloth with the red edges - look more like sauna cloths. These look lovely in a freshly laundered, neatly folded pile but I'm not sure I'll be putting them to use for us. In the case of sauna things it's best to have your very own.

Sometimes I wish I was a stylist of some sort, it'd be nice to use them in pictures rather than just piling them high in cupboards - I'd love to photograph these old things with a good camera to examine their beauty properly.

I almost wrote it down but it wouldn't be entirely true: they don't make tea towels like these any more - in fact they do. Yet I'm so certain I'd never use the expensive gorgeous ones in our messy kitchen. So let me have an armful of old ones for the same cost and I won't cry if I ruin them. I love their designs though, so maybe I'd cry a little...

Look at these two chunky linen twill cloths below - they look like they had a hardworking life, but not a stain on them... I admire people who can look after their kitchen textiles in such preservative ways! One day I'd love to be able to move into an old cottage flanked by a lake in the middle of the forest, to match these two rustic towels...

This post about thrifty old tea towels was inspired by my monthly challenge and its current theme.

I'm also sharing my tea towels via
Thrifter Share
Vintage Bliss Tuesdays

Friday, 13 March 2015

flea friday: a dose of kitchenalia

I knew I'm going to have an easy task finding items in the Domestic theme. In general, it's the most common type of thrifty thing that comes home with me: stuff for the kitchen. That, and baby clothes.

I've got a healthy dose of enamel, glass and - finally!- wicker in this bundle.

I'm sure I've seen these enamel napkin rings before on somebody else's blog - aren't they the epitome of shabby chic? They are charming but also fairly useless in our home; we don't usually throw dinner parties, and the only person we entertain at the moment is the baby. So they will just decorate a shelf for now.

More practical finds are the blue enamel Hackman wok and the yellow Finel bowl. The latter is rather precious, so actually it won't be used in the kitchen much. At the minute it's holding soft yarn for a little knitting project I'm doing.

I couldn't quite believe it when I came across yet another jadeite bowl, and what more, it had a little Fire King two tone bowl with a gilded rim nestling in it! Fire King might be a bit like buses - for a while nothing, then two comes in the same time.

For absolute ages I have been after a proper good wicker basket. Finally, I snagged one that was not overpriced, is not broken and is clean and sturdy. Its weave and shape takes me right back to my grandma's and the summer holidays we spent there as kids - she had a basket just like this one, carrying home in it fresh groceries and a few small pots of strawberry ice cream for us.

And to top off the post, I cannot resist including a couple of representatives from a large bag of little plastic figures we picked up for a coin or two. Can you get more domestic than a farmer's wife feeding a goose?

Linking up to:
Thrifter Share
Vintage Bliss Tuesdays

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

February highlights | Make, Thrift & Tell

February was a quiet one here on the blog. I'd still like to pick the one entry for the Letters highlights post - it fulfills both the make and thrift aspects of the challenge.

via Mini Matriarchin
Steph crafted a very nifty window display using the pages of old books. She made vases, flowers and blocks and after a bit of thinking, even a bunting to top it all off. The display was needed to show off the new Unicef greeting cards - it looked great! Comprised of aged white pages and about a zillion tiny printed letters, in my opinion it was the perfect neutral yet interesting background for the cards. See the display here (with the bunting here).

Keeping this nice upcycling idea company in February's line-up, there was a cute crocheted heart card and an enviable collection of vintage journals.

The current theme running for March is Domestic - I hope people are finding this theme easier to link up to with the home/kitchen/family connection. I've got quite a few bits from the thrifting rounds already (mainly kitchenalia), just need to find an uninterrupted half an hour somewhere to take pictures. And just to remind about the rule removed - now old posts are welcome too in the link-up!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Domestic in March | Make, Thrift & Tell

I have to admit that last month's Letters theme turned out to be a bit tricky to thrift for. It was the case of the harder I look the less I see... I found all manners and genres of cool and interesting items in the thrifts (which i did not have time to snap pictures of, but will catch up this month) all very far from having anything to do with letters, be it ABC or enveloped ones... Hey never mind, this month's theme hopefully should be much easier to relate things to.

Anything to do with the home, the kitchen, the garden, family, pets, chores, spring cleaning, cake baking, soup making, do it yourself-ing - just to mention a few possible associations - will fit the bill very nicely.

To make things even more relatable, I decided to do away with the rule against linking up with old posts. There's no reason why we couldn't enjoy seeing something interesting that is bang on topic but was written some time ago. So if you would like to feature an old blog post of yours that's in theme, then just grab the badge from the side bar and join us below!

So roll up, roll up - let's see what you make & thrift during the first month of spring!

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