Make a Knitted Pillow (without knitting a stitch)

I love knitted pillow covers, and have been thinking of ways to make one for awhile.  I don’t knit and I really don’t have room for a big pillow.  I just wanted a medium sized pillow to give my room some cozy ambiance.

A few months ago I found this wool scarf at a thrift store for $3. It was in good shape, in a good neutral color and for $3 I had nothing to lose.

The materials you will need for this project are:
pillow insert 
sewing machine
fabric and thread

My pillow insert measured 12″ x 17″.  I chose dark fabric to sew the scarf to, in case it showed through the knitted stitches.  I cut this fabric to 13″ x 18″ to provide extra  room for the seams.

Without cutting the scarf, I laid it on this rectangle and pinned it.  The width of the scarf was exactly one half of the width of the fabric.

The first time I do a project I always learn something.  This time I learned that it is best to start sewing on the side of the scarf that is in the middle of the fabric.  My scarf had a lot of give to it and by starting in the middle, you can smooth that extra give to the outer edges.
I did not do this and my knitted rows are a little slanted.
After all 4 sides are sewn, cut the scarf with your scissors and do the same thing on the vacant side of the rectangle.
Now you have your pillow cover.  ( I forgot to take pictures of this step.)
For the back of the cover, I always make an envelope fold.
I cut two pieces of fabric which is the height of my insert and which will overlap on the back.  For my insert which is 12 x 17, I cut one fabric piece that is 13″ x 8″ and one 13″ x 14″.
I ironed one side of the 8″ side and hemmed it.

Then I did the same on the 14″ side of the other piece of fabric.

I then pinned the two pieces of fabric to the knitted side of the pillow cover.

It is important that the two pieces of fabric overlap.  Then with your sewing machine sew all around the edges.  Before I sew, I measure my insert and my pinned project to be sure all is pinned correctly.  Then I sew.

Turn your cover right side out.

As you see there is bunching in the middle of the knitted top.  Sewing this side down first will help with that.

It’s not perfect, but I am pretty happy with the result.

See how to make a knitted pillow from a sweater here.

This was a good project for the snow day we had this week.
We were just starting to look forward to spring around here when we were plunged back into coldest winter!

Has spring arrived in your area yet?

Spring Decorating

The wonderful spring weather has put me in the mood to bring out my Easter decor.

I bought this pretty celadon bunny many years ago. He’s crouching on a bed of Spanish moss with a few dried flowers added.
The dyed eggs were made by my children.  Putting them in egg cartons helps keep them safe from year to year.
Even as I am thinking about spring there’s a prediction of (light) snow this weekend!

Have you done any spring decorating yet?

Why I Quit my Housekeeper

When Tom and I talked about getting a housekeeper, I was conflicted  because there are only two of us and how dirty can things get with two adults?  Since it isn’t cheap (my housekeeper made more per hour than I do) I had to really think about it.
Tom was all for it, so I decided to give it a try.  After all, someone else to scrub toilets and the bathtub?  What’s not to love?

I was surprised to find that my cleaning lady and I  had different cleaning styles.  I didn’t even know I had a cleaning style.  I mean, no one has ever exclaimed about how clean my house is.  But, it seems that I do have my preferences for products and some methods.  She, understandably prefers stronger (i.e. more chemical-type) products, while I try to go for the less toxic, but also effective ones. Both of us were flexible.  She ended up liking some of my cleaners and I liked how hers made my bathroom sparkle.

Also I slowly realized that I felt distanced from my house.  Cleaning makes me notice the little things that need repairing or replacing.  For example, when I clean the bathroom, I put out fresh hand towels, refill soap dispensers.  When I wasn’t the one cleaning the bathroom these things were not done on a regular basis.  I know, I could re-train myself, but somehow it just didn’t happen. 

When I clean I throw out and get rid of stuff.  You come across things you had forgotten about, realize you haven’t used it in years and right into the thrift store bag it goes.  Or into the trash, in the case of those bottles of lotion with a quarter inch in them.  

Having someone else do my cleaning made me lazy.  Lazy about cleaning up after myself, about taking care of something right away.  Yes, I would clean up the kitchen after cooking, but not completely.  I left the stovetop for Florrie, even though it might be a week before she came again.  I know.

Ultimately, it just seemed wasteful to have someone do what I am capable of doing and have the time to do.
Tom loves to vacuum and clean mirrors.  He also does toilets.  Between the two of us, it’s not so onerous a job.

My house probably isn’t as clean as it was when I had a cleaning lady, but we are more attuned to each other.  And basically I am a DIYer at heart.