The first part of this week I had no sewing machine set up so I dug out a little kit I bought on our first trip to Japan. This is one of those 'easy tuck patchwork' kits where you tuck fabric into lines cut into foam. I bought two of these kits and made the one with the thatch houses last year. This one is really cute, and only about 6 inches wide.
It's the long Easter holiday here in the UK, and with my day off I have scored a five day weekend - result! As DS was going to be away for part of it visiting his girlfriend, we planned ahead to spend as much time on hobbies and relaxing as possible, even laying in ready meals for supper so nobody had to cook. Here we are on day 3, Sunday, and although it's been fun, I haven't got as much done as I optimistically thought. Although we have wasted time on going out to lunch yesterday and having a cream tea in the garden today... :)
- my Janome sewing machine came back, but only temporarily as they've ordered a part so it will need to go back AGAIN in a month to have that fitted. I haven't tried it yet but hopefully otherwise it is better. Meanwhile I've been using my Featherweight for the first time since I did all the maintenance on it, it seems to be working fine and it's so cute!
- I spent several hours sewing a snap purse from one of my Japanese books and using some of my Japanese fabrics, only to fall at the last hurdle when I discovered it was too small to sew into the metal snap frame I had. I've ordered a smaller frame but it won't come until next week now. I combined a shape from the book, with an applique pattern from another larger bag in the same book, and on the reverse panel I used a piece of cross stitch I bought a few years ago at a jumble sale. It was really lovely to feel I had several hours to just sew without interruptions. Normally I can't because either I actually get interrupted, or I interrupt myself to go and do chores. I also cut out another block for the 30s sampler.
- I did a bit more work on my floral bucks lace sample, making a start on the next repeat. So I can look back at the hash I made of the first repeat and try to do better. I also finished the pattern for the little brooch design I am making, so just need to do the joining on that one now.
- I actually used one of my knitting machines! I had a free pattern from online to knit a Christmas stocking so had a go at that. Some of the motions felt familiar and others were rediscoveries like 'oh yeah, that happens'. While I was knitting, I tried to decide if I was enjoying myself but I wasn't really. Partly because based on bitter experience, I was constantly stressed that something would go wrong. I felt like I had to monitor all the stitches like a hawk to rescue stitches dropping on the end (several times), moving the weights up (which is supposed to prevent the stitches dropping on the end), monitoring the yarn feed for tangles (I was re-using some prewound balls from a long ago project), etc. etc. So no, it isn't restful like hand knitting. I suppose with practice I would re-gain confidence and it wouldn't be as stressful. Also the stocking has come out absolutely enormous, it would fit Hagrid,, it didn't look nearly so big in the picture but I guess it was deceptive. I used a random fair isle card which, as it turns out, has some longer floats which means the stocking wouldn't be suitable for use as a stocking without a fabric lining to stop things catching on the floats. I've spent some time sewing it up anyway, but still need to darn in the ends and block it before I take a photo.
- I finished stitching my needlepoint house and seamed it up then stuffed it. It's actually been seamed and unseamed a few times because I struggled with the three-legged cross stitch recommended to close up the seams, and also found there was far too much canvas left over to get a neat result on the roof. So I need to unpick the roof now and try trimming and clipping the canvas before another attempt.
- Although I do not class it as a hobby, more like a necessary chore to achieve a desired end, I have done a lot of gardening this weekend as well. We made a trip to a garden centre on Friday and picked up a bunch of plants to replace the ones that didn't make it through the winter, so I've been planting those up, watering, weeding etc. The garden is growing visibly overnight now, and just over the last few days both the apple and edible cherry tree have blossomed, they are so pretty. On Friday we also planted a little weeping cherry tree into a new hole in our lawn, which I ordered when we got back from holiday as I was so inspired by the sakura blossom we saw in Japan. Two of the branches were cracked - not sure whether it happened in transit or when I was wrestling it out of the ridiculous 12 foot high box - so I've splinted them with bracing and duct tape in the hopes they will knit back together.