Saturday, 14 February 2015

decopatching a Roberts radio

Decopatched Wireless
In 2006 when we were all beginning to ride the retro wave I was given a beautiful Roberts kitchen radio. It looked like this, all shiny and new:
After 9 years in the kitchen something had happened to the false leather casing. Just light pressure was causing it to shear off and it was in a very sorry state. Must have been all the fry-ups degrading the material.

All was not lost, however. Last week I discovered a new craft: Decopatch. All you need is deco patch paper (I used 3 sheets) and the proper glue and a stiff brush.

First clean off all the faux leather casing (using the side edge of a darning needle, it just scraped away like frosting). Then wipe it with surgical spirits to remove any residual grease.

Then for the fun part:

  • Tear the paper into small strips. 
  • Paint the decopatch glue onto the surface to be covered and the strips and just like paper mache, cover the entire thing. 
  • Care needs to be taken at edges to ensure a neat result (I used strips of the edges of the deco patch paper). 
  • Paint a layer of glue over the strips as you apply it.
  • It dries in hours    
  • Or watch the video tutorial:

The results are so pleasingly professional, I guarantee once you try this craft you will be looking around at familiar objects through decopatch-tinted glasses. There are so many possibilities.... 

My deco patch Roberts radio - better than new

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Throwing out the gauntlets or how not to wash wool

Hat, cowl and gauntlet ensemble in merino and silk
For a while I have been meaning to blog about this merino/silk ensemble I made last winter. I seem to recall adapting the patterns and all 3 were knitted in the round. I think the hat was based on a Ravelry pattern but as I have forgotten my password and username and locked myself out of that website I can't check.

The hat almost but didn't quite work, though I was delighted to find such a close colour match in this beautiful handmade ceramic button. I think it would have been perfect but I didn't quite make it tall enough for my long thin head.
Hat band with handmade button
The yarn is beautifully soft and warm - Manos Silk blend - I recommend it and would definitely use it again. The variegated colour way means it co-ordinates with quite a few outfits.
Manos Silk Blend 30% silk 70% merino
More often than not I don't really like the end results of my knitting, which might be because I am so much better at it in my imagination. So it was an unexpected delight to make something I actually liked and would wear. I have worn the cowl and gauntlets many many times over the last year, so much so I feel I have really experienced the practical rewards of knitting for a change...

....which is just as well given last week's wash cycle disaster or I would have cried.... 

Behold 2 gauntlets. The one on the left was washed at 40 degrees on the wool wash cycle. Let's call that the CONTROL. The one on the right was washed at 30 degrees on the synthetics cycle. Apparently it is not the water temperature that matters but the amount of agitation in the wash cycle. The CONTROL gauntlet still fits perfectly. The tiny gauntlet does not. 

The sheepish perpetrator of this mishap tried to pitch this to me as a scientific phenomenon of wondrous intrigue . He had invented felt and the secret is agitation. We had both learned some useful lessons. 
Tiny felt gauntlet
Gauntlets - wool wash and synthetic wash