Tuesday, March 09, 2010

bum mats

When we came to Japan, we brought with us some Ikea flat pack furniture. It wasn't that we realised that you cannot easily find adult-sized furniture in Japan, but rather that, as we were shipping a crate with our bicycles in, we thought we may as well throw in some versatile solutions for modern living. This included 2 little stools, which we have used as dining chairs ever since. Some years later Ikea came to Japan, and in need of a new sofa, we finally visited recently. We bought a third stool.

And then I had an idea of using up fabric scraps.

I started with what is perhaps an Amish knot rug, using a large eyed leather needle I happened to have. It was made from a piece of fabric I bought with good intentions but then washed with something unfortunate, which turned the white bits of the pattern an unpleasant pale blue. Gosh was it slow and boring work. Took a week or so. Used 1 inch strips folded neatly using a bias-tape maker.

Then, after a visit to Okadaya in Shinjuku, I became the happy owner of a double-ended crochet hook, as well as a more suitable needle. It didn't take long to remember how to crochet - I used to enjoy it and did quite a lot of it when I was 10 years old...so much quicker than knitting. As it turns out, also much much faster than Amish knotting. This one, a spiral, took about a day. Used 1.25cm wide un-ironed strips from an old sheet.

Then I looked on the internets about how to crochet in rounds kind of properly, and made a third bum mat. This time used double 1.25cm thick strips (single 1 inch strips wouldn't work on the hook properly). This one was a little quicker even than the second one, I think.

James helped tremendously by ripping and de-threading the fabric strips. Every few strips I steam ironed and flattened the mat quite hard.

But - I still have loads of fabric scraps left - and to be quite honest, this was very very boring compared to the exciting variety and challenge of clothing construction. Nevertheless the result seems quite nice, and it is good to have a bit of padding on our versatile solutions tor modern living.

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