Friday, 21 October 2011

Turn up the heat...

...or perhaps not.

Dad rescued the Minton encaustic tiles  from a local Victorian monastery while it was being demolished in the early '70s - but that's another story

The temperature has certainly dropped in these here parts this week and I'm resisting the temptation to turn the heating on until its absolutely necessary. This means adding extra layers, not only of clothing but bedding too. I've dusted off mine and Monkeychild's hot water bottles and have brought out the eiderdown for my side of the bed (Husband doesn't like to feel weighted down with extra bedding). I've noticed that blankets are now making an appearance in my local charity shops and yesterday brought this Brentford Nylons single blanket in the obligatory shade of pink for Monkeychild's bed; after a long, hot wash its come out like new. This, added to her duvet and the quilt that I made for her a while ago, should keep the chill out.

Luckily, we have open fires in the house (including the bathroom, but I've yet to light one in there) and our trusty woodburner, which warms the place up and is handy for drying clothes.

From the same charity shop that I brought the blanket from, I also brought this 1950s jug. I was quite surprised to see it on the shelf as its a Fiesta Ware jug originally made in America and although I've seen it in a pottery book, have never come across any actual Fiesta Ware before. Perhaps someone brought it back from the States as a present or as a memento of their visit.

On the knitting front, I've started to have a go at my first ever Fair Isle:

I thought I'd start on something simple, but I'm finding it difficult holding both yarns and although the stranding across the back looks okay to me, I don't know whether I'm doing it properly. The tension does seem to be okay though and I'll block it before sewing up, which should sort out any pulling. If the arm-warmers turn out fine, I'm thinking of knitting a pair in red and black for a friend's Christmas present.

I'm sending out a plea for help to end on!

After many warnings about not using felt tip pens on the only new piece of furniture Husband and I have ever brought together, a leather sofa, Monkeychild actually drew on the arm in said pens. After a swift smack on the offending hand and confiscation of pens, I attempted to use a damp cloth to clean the marks off, but to no avail. Does anyone have any ideas how I can remove the pen marks?

Not happy


  1. Your fairisle looks great and those arm warmers will be so cosy when they're done. That Fiesta Ware jug is also stunning, what an amazing shape.

    Am afraid I don't have any tips about felt tip pens on a leather - hope you get it removed!

  2. My partner's policy on the heating is "not until November", although there have been mutterings of "do it in December" which I'm ignoring, needless to say. Drooling over your quilt and fairisle. Good find on the jug - beautiful.

    Sorry to hear about the pen incident. Have you googled it? WD 40? That gets rid of lots of things. My daughter left her slime on our red woollen sofa. It left a most hideous and indelible stain. Fortunately (I suppose) it was on the base cushion, so we can turn it over and not see it. I still fume about it even now!!

    Have a wonderful weekend. xx

  3. Thanks for the tip, Loo, I might have a try with the WD 40. I love the smell of that stuff - it reminds me of my old Beetle!

  4. Sorry no tips about the felt tip! Our Daughter did the same to the wallpaper in the lounge behind the door when she was small and it's still there. In the Summer I don't see it as the door is left open. In the Winter the door is closed - you get to where I'm going with this - I see it and it annoys! Hope the WD40 works!

  5. Baby wipes remove biro; not sure about felt tip, though. (It goes without saying, that you'd test it on an inconspicuous spot first.... Why do we say "it goes without saying" when we know we're going to say it?)

  6. I know that the cheaper baby wipes will remove permanent marker from a white board, suffice to say I would NOT use them for a baby now I know that though!!! Love the jug by the way! X

  7. Thanks Attila & Paperdoll - baby wipes are also on the list now.

  8. What a brilliant shape to the pink jug. It looks very art deco to me. The fair isle arm warmers look just the ticket. Nothing wrong with your technique there. The pattern is fabulous.
    There seem to be many ways to remove felt tip pen from leather - just googled it. Good luck.
    Love from Mum

  9. Your wood burner looks so cosy and inviting. We've yet to light ours.
    Brentford Nylons takes me back a bit. I always snaffle their stuff but I had no idea they did blankets. That pink one's so pretty.
    Have you tried nail varnish remover on the leather? Jon did the Beetle seats with it and they came up a treat. x

  10. Thanks Mum & Vix, looks like I've got plenty of ideas to try. I'll have to update everyone after I've tried them!

  11. I've been lighting the wood burner and the eiderdowns are on the beds.
    I would love to try fair isle but it scares me too much, you are doing a lovely job by the look of it!
    As for the pen I got felt tip off by using mayo (I read it online) but if that doesn't work the Flash and JML magic eraser blocks work great on all surfaces.
    Yes I would love to meet up sometime.I'll PM you in Rav.

  12. The quilt you made is adorable !!!
    We love your new pink blanket too :)
    Sorry for not knowing how to removed pen from leather :(

    love from London Wishes

  13. Looks like you've got lots of suggestions for removing the pen marks - hope something works.

    I would love to have a woodburner - they look so much nicer than radiators. Love the blanket and the jug. The patchwork is very pretty as well. Good luck with the Fairisle - I'm working on a shrug at the moment and the shaping is a nightmare!

  14. Is WD40 not quite greasy? You might just end up with greasy patches on the sofa!

  15. your fair isle looks really really great, i love this purple and grey. can´t wait to see the finished arm warmers;)

  16. Your fair isle looks pretty impressive to me and my wonky grasp of knit and purl! I see I'm a bit late to this post - have you sorted your sofa yet? I'm another devotee of baby wipes for any kind of cleaning job - whether pen on sofas or dusty skirting boards!

  17. Great fairisle and its not puckering up so it looks good to me. I thought of you when I picked up a couple of hundred vintage knitting patterns at the car boot yesterday. Let me know if there is anything you are looking for in particular!

  18. I wish I could help you on the felt tip front. I feel your frustration, I really do!

    As for the fair isle 'first attempt'; WOW! I am so impressed. I would be quite incapable for now to do anything that good. The colours are pretty too.

    Have a good week and I hope you get the sofa sorted out.

  19. Loving your woodburner - I'd really like to have one myself - and that gorgeous jug you found - stunning.

    I'm wondering if surgical spirit dabbed on with cotton wool would shift the pen marks - it seems to shift quite a lot of marks and is easily available in any chemist. (Probably best to try it somewhere not visible first in case it takes the colour from the leather.)


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