Thursday, August 11, 2011

Easy appliance labels (a how-to)

Today I'm running around labelling appliance cords!  Here's the background:

In our paid jobs, the Cyclist and I both work helping people to save energy (gas and electricity, not the human kind!).  About a year ago, after hearing about the difference switching your appliances off at the power point can make, we started turning off our TVs, DVD players (two of each) and computer equipment at the power point each night, and only turning them on when they're in use.  I can honestly say that we saw an instant 10% drop in our electricity bills.

Having to have the cords accessible though resulted in the need for more power boards (so we can actually get to the plugs), and often we're trying to work out which plug is which, so that we turn off the TV not the hard drive when its recording something.  I have resorted to writing on the power board in the study, but have since rearranged things, and at least once have found that my mobile's flat because I have turned on the stereo rather than the phone charger, etc.

All of this is why I was attracted to this idea:

I'm not sure that bread tags would fit around most of our power cords though, and the bread we usually buy comes with twist ties instead.  What I needed was some sort of fabric that wouldn't fray and I could write on.

Well, the Cyclist came home on the weekend with a new pair of shoes and yet another polypropylene bag, and now I have the answer (my apologies for the lack of progress shots - I have managed to blur the lot!):

  1. Cut strips of a polypropylene bag (I cut mine about 1/2" x 4" using quilting tools, but you could use scissors or adjust the size).  You'll need a bag that's reasonably light in colour.
  2. Write on the labels with a laundry marker, making sure you leave around 3/4" blank at one end
  3. Fold over the blank end, and cut a slit around 1/4" long down the centre of the strip (when you open it up the slit will be about 1/2" long
  4. Wrap the label around the relevant power cord, thread the long end through the slit and pull tight.
  5. You're done!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The tealeaves are ready!

I've finished my tealeaves cardigan!  I am pretty excited, because I really need something warm to wear and most of my clothes don't fit any more.  This'll keep most of me warm for the rest of winter, and I think I'll still like it this time next year as well.

I used "Naturally Sensation", a 10 ply merino/angora blend from New Zealand, which's given the cardigan a bit of a fuzzy look.

I made a few alterations to the pattern:

  • I decided that knitting the sleeves in the round was too fiddly, and knitted them straight - I figured that I could handle stitching an underarm seam if I didn't have to worry about any side/shoulder ones!
  • After knitting one sleeve I decided it was a little too close-fitting for my liking that they were too thin (or my arms weren't thin enough!), and re-did it with an extra four stitches in each;
  • After I'd taken the whole lot down to Darn Cheap Fabrics to buy buttons yesterday I decided that I liked it best with 1"/25mm buttons (the holes in the pattern fitted 18mm buttons), so I bought them, then redid the button holes with 5 cast-off stitches rather than the k2tog/YO2 buttonhole the pattern recommended.  I also realigned them so that they matched the bands on the yoke a little better.

Monday, August 8, 2011

I'm pinterested...

After spending way too much blog time today looking for an idea I'd seen for a baby cardigan about a month ago, I finally got around to signing up to Pinterest.  First thing to go onto my boards?  This lovely turtle from makeit-loveit:

Source: via Jackie on Pinterest

Ashley has kindly put a free pattern dowload on her blog, which I've printed and had sitting beside me on the desk for way too long now.  The plan is to make one for the baby, so I've got a while to go at least (might need to print a new one by then though, as it's already looking a little dog-eared)!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I finished something!

I've been working and crafting away, but with not much to show, so this project from yesterday was a welcome change!

About the same time as I upcycled the 'let's fly' top for the Kinderboy, I bought the Schoolboy a plain navy top from Target.  Comfy, but a little boring was the declaration.  "I want you to decorate it for me before I wear it".  "No problems" say I, putting it in the 'fix it' drawer while I work out what an appropriate motif might be.  "What's this?" say I several months later when rummaging through the drawer for something else.  Oops.  Luckily he loves it, and the delay's already forgiven.

My apologies for the headless photo - its the only one that's in focus, but has him scowling because I made him stop for photos before letting him watch ABC kids!

In the end the inspiration came from a Lego owl he made yesterday morning.  Here's a close-up - easy peasy use of a couple of spare bits of Japanese print quilting fabrics.


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