Posts Tagged With: reusing

ScrapHappy January 2023: It’s Time to Cro(chet) or A (Slip) Stitch in Time

The dodgy Crochet Clock says it's after midnight - and time to get a new clock

The dodgy Crochet Clock says it’s after midnight – and time to get a new clock

First off, a Happy New Year to my reader, I do hope the next revolution of our flaming star gives you what you want and need.

“What”, I hear you mutter to yourself, “is going on here? Mr Snail has gone soft in the Scrappy department*? Has the Universe lost all sense of up or down? Where’s my wine?”

The answers to the last two questions are “there is no up or down in space” (see The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy for clarification) and “So, you think it’s your wine, eh?”

The answer to the first question is slightly more involved.

A couple of months ago, the Snail and I decided that it would be good if I opened the shop (see here for details) on a Friday to give the Snail a well-deserved break after the rigours of Thursdays which include Knit Knight, er, Night after the shop has closed. It soon became apparent that having me open the shop meant that the Snail had a rest and I got to give dubious crafting advice to unsuspecting customers (“no, wool makes a perfect addition to a soufflé”). Armed with some notes for the novel I have managed not to publish (something that I have been greatly helped by agents’ complete lack of interest in it), I decided that I needed another procrastination activity to prevent me from actually accidently publishing it when I wasn’t looking. So I decided to teach myself crochet.

The Snail has, in the past, attempted to teach me but it has never really stuck and I have always ended up splitting the yarn, hooking my finger or accidently setting fire to the sofa. This time would be different, because we don’t have a sofa in the shop. I took** a second-hand crochet hook and some string-like yarn that we had acquired from someone’s stash, and found a book in our pre-loved book section that purported to teach you everything about crochet. It wasn’t very good if you didn’t already know exactly how to crochet so I struggled on for a bit. My plan was to make something, nothing specific, but something and present it to the Snail as a surprise. I needed another guide…

As luck would have it, a customer brought in a Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amigurumi. This book spoke to me because a) I had slightly overdone it on the sugar that morning and b) because I am a complete amigurumi. No wait, idiot.

I started again and by the end of the day, I had crocheted a thing which I decided was enough to show off to the Snail. Also, there was a term used in the book that I couldn’t find the definition of and I wanted to know. The Snail was indeed surprised, although that may have been due to the wine which I had plied her with beforehand. She explained some more things about crochet and I was away again, the following Friday.

It's a thing, you know, a THING

It’s a thing, you know, a THING

I found some different yarn from someone’s old stash, and made another thing, this time whilst practising a variety of stiches. The internet decided it was a thimble, a cyan raspberry, a tiny todger cover. I decided it was just a thing, It’s now in the shop, on a shelf, defying classification.


It’s another thing, you know, ANOTHER THING

Next, I decided to teach myself how to read patterns, and then follow one. The first thing I made was this:


What could this be? Is it a beret for a hamster?

This seemed to work, although it was supposed to be a hamster. Just kidding. The other part of the pattern has gotten me this far:


Another beret? For, say, I don’t know, an octopus, perhaps?

I am betting you may know what it is! I will post when I have completed the beret-wearing hamster, er, I mean, the thing.


* Oooh errr Missus…

** Perks of running a craft shop, and not theft from my employer in any way, shape or form.

Many other people contribute to Kate and Gun’s wonderful ScrapHappy every month – check out what they have been up to too!


KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, 
Jill, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,
Claire, Jean, Jon, Dawn, Jule, Gwen,
Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue L, Vera,
Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2, Carol,
Preeti, Debbierose, Nóilin, Viv and Edi


Categories: Crochet, recycling, ScrapHappy | Tags: , , | 21 Comments

ScrapHappy July 2020: Threading the Needle


So, what’s this pile of old scrap for?

It’s a rare thing when the two sides of the same coin can be bridged but this is one of those times – I give you the Hard ScrapHappy needle threader for Soft Scraphappyness.

The wire has to be thin enough to pass through the eye of a needle (oh, the irony if camel hair worked) but thick enough to hold its shape. The handle just has to be, you know, handleable.

The two bits needed come from an old hard disk drive – the handle in this case is a memory chip and the wire is from the sense coil of the read/write head. In English, these are a funny rectangular bit with tiny legs and a bit of wire from something that looks like it belongs in a juke box. There are plenty other leggy quadrilaterals and bits of wire that can be used from a single hard drive to make needle threaders and, while I don’t think you could run a business making threaders from hard drives and thus help save the planet, well, every little helps as at least one supermarket with a sense of irony likes to state.



I soldered the wire onto the top few legs that were still attached to the chip, and cut the other legs off flush with the body so that there weren’t any pointy bits. The wire can be made more pointy to taste by just squeezing the end with pliers.

I made some earlier using connecting wire (from an old reel of wire I bought as part of my electronics hobby), sugru and old buttons.


One I made out of (slightly) more conventional materials


Ready to thread…

Eh, voila! Hard and soft scraphappiness in perfect harmony!


This is a wonderful idea from the equally wonderful Kate and Gun. Lots of other people now join in, so check their sites too for more ScrapHappyness!

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin and Vera


Categories: computers, recycling, ScrapHappy, Sewing | Tags: , , | 17 Comments

Mend it Monday: On the phone(s)

Mend it Monday is an occasional post inspired by thesnailofhappiness


Headphones – comfortable but broken

I have had these headphones for about 15 years now – they were quite expensive in their day and I have used them in what I lovingly (and slightly inaccurately) called my “recording studio”. They are great headphones and, when the rubber earpiece things disintegrated, the Snail made me new coverings that are largely acoustically transparent (that is, sound goes through them like they aren’t there).

Like all these things with moulded plugs on the ends of their wires, something starts to break/come loose in the plug. I have spent the better part of the last three years carefully bending the wire near the plug just enough to get the headphones to work properly.

Well, even that stopped working yesterday, so I was forced to mend them. The wires on headphones are always thin and pretty difficult to work with, and these were no exception. Fortunately, I had an old working plug (from a broken something-or-other) to use, and it all seems to have worked!

Mended and back in action – now back to doing important things such as watching this (which just makes me laugh and cheers me up every time I see it):



Categories: repair, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

ScrapHappy October 2019:


Deconstructed guitar

Some scrappy projects seem to last a very, very long time. This one stretches back to a time before the internet – I kid you not – when surfing meant getting wet and web pages were books about spiders*.

My first guitar, when I was 13, was a Jedson Telecaster, which was a cheap knock-off (I mean copyright-ignoring) of the Fender with the same name. I loved it, even though it was rubbish. Many years on, and I decided to rebuild it so that it actually worked properly. Where I was working at the time (as part of my uni course), someone brought me a piece of a Land Rover body panel to form the new frontplate, on which would be mounted a new pickup and controls.

And so, with the energy that one has in one’s youth, I launched myself into the project. I sprayed the original body black and the frontplate gold. I scavenged switches (from the same source as those used on the two-minute timer) and a volume control and knob from a radio someone left in a skip.

Thirty-five years later and I have since acquired a new neck (for the guitar, not for me) – actually, also technically a scrap that was sold off when the Shergold guitar factory closed. The new tremolo arm and assembly is, in fact, salvaged from another guitar by a nice man in Denmark Street in London, who sold it to me for twenty-five quid.

A ScrapHappy guitar, just waiting for that moment when I put it all together.

One day.


[If you want to see guitars that are actually made from scrap, as opposed to one that is currently a pile of scrap, have a look at this WordPress site: Grot Guitars. There are some amazing instruments built out of all sorts of scrappy things.]


* Sorry, couldn’t resist that.

These ScrapHappy posts are curated by Kate, who provides links to other (mostly sewing) ScrapHappy bloggers at Tall Tales from Chiconia on the fifteenth of every month. I have sneaked a non-fabric-based ScrapHappy in when no one was looking!

Lots of other happy scrappers contribute too, so check them out: KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon (me), HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie and Bekki

Categories: recycling, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , | 10 Comments

ScrapHappy January 2019


My wallet – in a previous life, it was a…?

First, a Scrappy New Year to everyone – I hope 2019 sees you more ScrapHappy than you thought possible!

This month, my non-fabric-based (“soft scrapping”) offering (so-called “hard scrapping”) is: my wallet.

The moths were relocated especially for the occasion. Actually, they haven’t had a lot of time to settle in as this is a very new wallet, replacing my old one of 300 years. So, why am I mentioning my new wallet here?

Well, I was in a local shop (the Risc World Shop) to me in my other life in Reading (Chez Snail, where I rest my shell, is nowhere near there) that sells many excellent things made in faraway places by people trying to survive against some pretty tall odds. Hiding in these treasures, I discovered this wallet, made in Cambodia for the Lost in Samsara group. Have a look at what it is made of:


I know, inner tubes! Now that’s a cool piece of ScrapHappiness!


These ScrapHappy posts are curated by Kate, who provides links to other (mostly sewing) ScrapHappy bloggers at Tall Tales from Chiconia on the fifteenth of every month. I have sneaked a non-fabric-based ScrapHappy in when no one was looking!


Categories: recycling, ScrapHappy | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

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