Monday, 15 September 2014

Progress, and I have a sewing desk

We’re back in our kitchen, hurrah! It still feels exciting to open the big fridge after nine months of using the small temporary fridge, and to be able to cook in an oven. Our back-ordered doors should be installed today or tomorrow (at which time I will raise the issue of our cupboard knobs which are falling off their stems one by one). So far I am very happy with the appliances I chose, and the layout is working really well.

For a brief couple of days we also had a very elegant dining room, when our refurbished furniture arrived. Sadly the dining room and lounge are now full of the contents of the study, which is being painted this week. 


  So I am typing this on my PC set up temporarily on a garden table squeezed into the corner of the dining room, and I won’t be able to post it online until the painter is done for the day and I can connect the router up again in that room he is working in. Meanwhile the lounge has a little path leading through the boxes to the TV and to the sofa, and otherwise looks like a charity shop.  Once the study is painted, the kitchen fitter is coming back to do a job on the side for us and fit the secondhand IKEA bookcases I have been collecting for some time.  I have planned out a way to fit the motley collection in around the study windows and chimney breast to give the appearance of fitted bookcases, and we bought some pine moulding on the weekend to enhance the effect.  I’ve seen similar IKEA bookcase hacks online, although in America apparently you can buy something called ‘crown moulding’ fairly cheaply to give an elegant protruding effect at the top of the bookcase and that doesn’t seem to exist here in the UK.  I’ve had to settled for architrave, which is normally used to go around doorways.

And once the bookcases are fitted, we can move back into the study and also unpack lots of boxes of books which are currently in the cellar.  I don’t think they are all going to fit into the study, so priority will go to DH’s books as in theory it is his study even though my office is in the corner.  And in any case, my craft books are being dispersed to the various craft rooms around the house so that only leaves my shabby collection of Georgette Heyer novels, some childhood favourites like Swallows and Amazons, and various lurid urban fantasy series that I read nowadays, to go on the study shelves (probably hidden behind the door so they don’t lower the tone from DH’s serious books).

The electrician has been to fit various lights around the house, replacing the bare bulbs on a flex left behind by the previous owners.  This is one of the lights in my bedroom which gives an ‘edwardian’ effect.



And we picked up my ‘chaise longue’ although it is really more of a ‘chaise short’ because it is a mini size.  I’ve always wanted a chaise longue but it would make the bedroom feel really crowded, so when I spotted this mini version in a shop window that we drove past, I made DH turn the car around.  The original I spotted was in an awful modern purple fabric but they made me my own version using a more subtle chenille pattern.



We also have a new boiler, fitted by a very nice young man who left the utility room very tidy.  He was barely out the door on the second afternoon when I had DS helping me cart dozens of boxes out of the sewing room and into the utility room.  That freed up enough space in the sewing room to put together my flat pack sewing table with help from DH and DS.



Yes, I know it’s green, and very twee with the gingerbread trim.  But it was on sale (probably due to the colour) and way cheaper than a Horn cabinet.  I just need to get a Plexiglas insert cut to fit round my machine.  As well as being cheaper, I chose this desk because my sewing machine will be out all the time, so I don’t need a cabinet that folds away.  Also I can store my serger/overlocker inside one of the open pedestals, ready for use.  You can see my two charity shop bargain folding tables set up in front of the machine table (they need a clean). I can fold them down when I don’t need them, or put them up when I am machine quilting or working on a bigger piece, for extra support.

I had a delivery last week all the way from Hancock’s in America, after I was once again suckered by their amazing sale bargains.  The thing is, by the time I pay shipping and VAT (sales tax) and the handling charge the Post Office imposes, it works out to about a similar cost per yard as I would pay here.  I got three RJR jelly rolls, two different batiks for backgrounds in scrappy quilts, and some home dec fabric for cushions.



Commuter knitting this week continues to be the Low Tide Cardigan which is now back up to around four inches in the body for the third time.  I need to try it on again properly by threading half the stitches onto a spare needle, but I think it is a lot better with the extra stitches cast on under the arm.  TV knitting has been the Aran Sampler Sweater, which also suffered a few inches of un-knitting when I realised I hadn’t done enough chart repeats on the first set of patterns. 


  I’ve made a start on the Bergere de France slippers that will fit on the fleecy soles I blogged last week, using some Icelandic yarn that I bought in Paducah, Kentucky of all places, when I was last at the AQS show back c. 2009.  I would love to go again one day, but holidays seem a rather distant prospect while we are pouring all our money into this house.


It’s drizzling rain as I type this, it definitely feels like Autumn now and our two little trees in front of the house are starting to lose their leaves.  Although the temperature in London has gone up to highs in the low 20s, it is decidedly chilly as I walk to the station early in the morning.  I like this time of year, and am enjoying wearing a  lightweight knitted beanie hat and my fingerless gloves on my walk. Of course, there are still people on the platform wearing white shoes, bare legs with summer skirts, and no jackets, but then I am a total wuss

Monday, 8 September 2014

What a difference a paint job makes

This past Monday our painter started work on our kitchen and adjoining dining room.  Right from the start, just getting a coat of primer onto the many scars and patches and onto the new walls made the kitchen look better.  Then on Tuesday, when he put the first coat of wall paint onto both rooms, it was a total transformation.

The horrible dark green kitchen, full of scars from the rip-out and construction process, has suddenly transformed into a light-filled comfortable country kitchen.

And the poor dining room, which has been used for everything from a carpenter's workshop complete with 18-inch pile of shavings, through to a chimney fitters storeroom, is now an elegant room with a feature fireplace.

He finished on Friday and I snapped these pictures Friday night, before we moved our stuff back in on Saturday.






We've now been using the rooms for a few days, and it still feels strange to be able to go into them because they've been 'no go' zones belonging to builders and tradesmen almost since we moved in.  It's like suddenly the house got bigger by an extra two rooms.  It's surprisingly hard to choose homes for all our kitchen stuff, as the configuration is quite different from the kitchen we moved from, and the kitchen in the rental house. But it's been nice to unpack some of the kitchen stuff from storage even if some of it is still mysteriously missing (where are my cookie baking sheets and my rolling pin?)


Today the electrician has come to hang some nice lights around the house which should really start amping up the 'Victorian' feel.  And the heating company is downstairs for the next couple of days taking out our condemned boiler and fitting a new one.  The pointing work on the outside is finished, and I've successfully spliced the ethernet cable to my PC that he cut through with his grinder. And yesterday we picked up three more IKEA bookcases for my sewing room, so once the boiler installation is finished, we will use the utility room to stack all the boxes in from my sewing room.  Then I can start constructing my fabric storage/design wall nook.  But first we need to go and buy an electric drill because we cannot for the life of us find the box that has our own electric drill in it - it has obviously been put somewhere it shouldn't have been and right at the back / underneath something else.

Crafty stuff

I blocked my Shetland lace stitches shawl and I'm pretty pleased with it.  It's a nice size for wrapping around my neck as a neck warmer, and the gradiations of blue colour really show up now that it's blocked. I like this Zitron Filigram yarn, it's the second shawl I've knit with it and it has excellent stitch definition.  I did take some pics of the scarf round my neck but they came out too fuzzy to use. You can see in the picture I was also blocking my Ruched and Ruffled scarf at the same time.




The shawl is knit as a standard triangular shawl, increasing with a yarn over on either side of the centre stitch and at each end on RS rows, and a three stitch garter tab and three stitch garter top edge.  I started out in stockinette divided by a row of yarn overs, then switched to 'Mrs Hunter's Pattern' for about three inches (p57 of 'The magic of Shetland Lace Knitting' by Elizabeth Lovick) then switched to 'Broken Acre' (p 78) with a stockinette ground for a while, then finished up with several repeats of the border pattern from the Holden Shawlette (previously a free pattern) until it seemed big enough.

The fleece lined slipper soles I ordered from Bergere de France showed up along with the free offer of their pattern book which has several slipper and slipper sock patterns in it.  I just need to find something in my stash that is the equivalent weight and these will be very cosy for the winter.


It's not long now until the Great London Yarn Crawl, a one day tour of London's yarn and haberdashery shops on 20th September 2014.  There are several routes, I've chosen one with some longer travel times to get to some shops I haven't visited before.  I went on the inaugural Crawl last year and quite enjoyed it, and the after-party this year is very convenient for me as it's in a pub in the station I use to get home.

My last crafty news this week is that I've found a secondhand Proxxom FET Table Saw to buy, we will pick it up when we take DS back to Oxford as the owner lives near there.  I have seen them used on dollshouse courses I've been on, and although normal-sized table saws scare the bejeesus out of me (childhood trauma from having to hold up one end of a giant sheet of plywood while my Dad was feeding it though his monster machine), I am hoping this small modeller's saw will be of great use for my dollshouse hobby and indeed for lightweight DIY tasks like picture framing.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

The kitchen that refuses to die

Twice this week I triumphantly thought, with huge relief: "We're done, the kitchen company is out of our lives forever!" (apart from the components on back order).

Both times I was cruelly disappointed as we continue to find issues.  They did come and sort out the extractor fan wiring and plastering, and spliced in a power point for the dishwasher.  However, when I made my second attempt to plumb in the dishwasher, I discovered that the gap between the back of the sink cabinet and the wall/skirting is too narrow to pass through the dishwasher hoses and plug wire.  Then when we attempted to lift up the loose shelf left in the bottom of the sink cupboard, to see if we could drill a hole in the base, we found that a) the shelf is now impossible to remove as it is below the hinges of the doors and can't be lifted; and b) the shelf will never fit anyhow because it needs to be cut out to fit around all the sink pipes.

Luckily I have the fitter's mobile number so I just called him directly and he is coming tomorrow to drill the hole and cut the shelf.  I could tell when he answered his phone with a total lack of enthusiasm that he is just as fed up with this job as we are.

Today I spent a long time attempting to improve the mess they've left on the walls, to get it ready for painting next week. I used a lot of filler, and sized some of the bare plaster to fit lining paper over it tomorrow.  I also used filler and a lot of bits of wood jammed in with No More Nails to fill a very deep and awkward void left to one side of our new door when they hung it.  I hope I am making things better and not worse.  The painter was not impressed with the paint job I did on my fireplace so will probably not be impressed with my filling attempts either.

But we have metaphorically raised the drawbridge against the kitchen company by changing the lock on the front door today.  Although they gave us back the set of keys, they had them for a month and passed them around many different trades so I just feel better knowing the lock is different now.

Chalk painting

Last holiday Monday, I spent a couple of hours painting our linen cupboard and a little table I bought at an antiques fair with Annie Sloan Chalk paint in 'Old Ochre'.  Then I gave them a second coat on Tuesday, and today I spent a couple of hours sealing the paint with wax.  This is the first time I've painted anything apart from the table I did on the chalk painting course I took a few months ago.

The chalk paint goes on very easily, you don't have to prepare the surface at all, and you can dilute the paint with water if it's too thick for your purposes. The paint goes a long way - I had a one litre can and only used about 2/3rds of it to do two coats on both items. I used a little foam roller for the big surfaces on the linen cupboard, so that I wouldn't have lots of brush strokes showing. Clean up is also easy as the paint is water-based.  The painting was quite easy although it took a long time because the cupboard was so big.  The waxing was much more labour-intensive and was really quite hard work.  The Annie Sloan course teaches you to 'wax on, wax off': in other words you rub in the wax with a cloth or a special brush, then you wipe away the excess.  One of the instructors suggested rubbing the wax vigorously with a soft shoe brush, so I did that also after the first wipe.  Then after letting the wax set for a while, you buff with a soft cloth - a microfibre cloth from the pound shop works great.  If you do it properly, the item has a soft gleam and doesn't feel waxy or sticky - a lot of the chalk painted items I've seen in antiques stores haven't been waxed properly and still feel sticky.

Before: bare pine - nice but not the look we wanted


After: gleaming softly in the afternoon sun, wax over 'Old Ochre' chalk paint
I like that it looks visually smaller now, and more unobtrusive

This is the little antique washstand - I didn't take a 'before' picture but it had been stripped at some point.


Knitting


I tried on the Low Tide Cardigan after knitting about five inches in sock-weight Regia Silk yarn.  Sadly, the armholes were really tight and it was also quite a tight fit across the chest.  So I had to pull the body out again and pick up more stitches from the bodice.  I've increased the number of underarm stitches cast on from 8 to 20 on both sides.  I will knit a few inches and try it on again to see if that is any better.

I've now knit all three sides of the Red Telephone Box and the top and base.  I ran out of red yarn but was able to find something very similar at my LYS.  I'm just knitting the back piece and then I will be ready to assemble but I need to find a piece of foam that will fit inside to give it the required shape.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the kitchen...

Still waiting to hear from 'M' who was the winner of my 500th blog post give away - please get in touch so I can send your prize!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -


I was planning to blog about how the kitchen saga was finally almost over after four weeks.  But this afternoon I was getting ready to plumb in our dishwasher and discovered the [insert expletive here] kitchen company hasn't provided anywhere to plug the darn thing in.  There is provision for the waste, and for water connection, but no plug point.  I sincerely hope they don't have to rip the kitchen apart  or carve up the walls AGAIN to get a cable through neatly to the dishwasher alcove.  Honestly.

Apart from that, and from a bit of plastering around the extractor fan, and a few doors and brackets on back order, the kitchen is mostly finished.  The floor in the dining room and kitchen is as finished as it is going to get - it is not in any way perfect as the kitchen fitter, however well meaning, did not have the skill set to make the floor look very good. So there are plenty of blemishes, cracks, gaps and outright holes, and some pretty big variations in colour, but it is done for now.  Perhaps in a few years we might get somebody in who can do it better - but who am I kidding, that's probably it until we sell the house in 15 years  :)  I spent two evenings this week crawling around on my knees on the floor - first painting in all the lighter coloured spots of filler with some Games Workshop acrylic paints to blend them in, and then painting a final coat of floor varnish over both floors.  I like the colour in the dining room, it looks good with the fireplace.


It's a little darker than I had originally imagined for the kitchen floor, but I'm getting used to it and it has a sort of country vibe going.




So today we did a massive clean up in the dining room, wiping thick layers of builder's dust off of every level surface, to get it all ready for painting when the painter gets back from holiday week after next. We need to do the same in the kitchen but now I don't know if we should bother, with the plasterer and the electrician needing to come back.

The kitchen company in their wisdom left the extractor fan until last, so drilling the hole for that through our massively thick solid walls left a thick coating of red brick dust over the entire kitchen, vertical as well as horizontal surfaces.  It took the guy about an hour to drill through then he went outside to finish cutting the hole through from outside.  I could hear him pounding away with a chisel and mallet while I was talking to the carpenter who was hanging the door in the dining room.  But as I walked down the hallway towards him, it seemed oddly like the sound was coming from the right side of the hallway (the study) and not the left side (the kitchen).  I looked out the hall way window, and danged if he wasn't merrily cutting a hole through our study wall.  I waved frantically through the window and he looked but kept banging away while I feverishly located the key and unlocked the window before shrieking "What are you doing???!!!!!"

"Cutting the hole for your extractor fan."

"Do I look like I'm standing in a kitchen????"

"Uuh. Hmmm.  I wondered why I wasn't finding the hole..."

Luckily he hadn't damaged the actual brick, just chiselled the mortar away all around it.  We've now got people up on the scaffolding doing re-pointing anyway so they can scoop that up in their work.

As you can see in the picture, our fridge-freezer is finally out of the hallway and in the kitchen where it belongs, although it still needs some trim added above it.  Sadly while it was in the hallway for a month, its weight caused two more severe cracks to appear in our lovely but quite damaged Victorian tiled hallway.  But after having a pint-sized fridge since December, it was amazing to go shopping today and actually buy quantities of food for more than just the next couple of days. One day if we win the lottery, we will have the tiled floor restored.

We also have an oven now, so for the first time since we moved I am roasting a chicken - not something I could do on a two-burner hot plate - so we will have a roast dinner tonight, yummy.  I'm also trying out the new hob to make sure it works, although it's a bit awkward cooking across two floors.  It will be so nice to finally just have one kitchen that is all finished.

The furniture-moving game also continues.  Friday night we emptied out the lounge and one of the bedrooms, and part of the study, to make room for the kitchen fitter and his mate to come in on Saturday and do some extra jobs for us.  They fitted picture rail in the lounge and bedroom, to match the picture rail already in the dining room and other bedroom.  They did a great job, really neatly, apart from they have installed the rail at 'true level' which makes it very clear how very not-level the rooms themselves are.  The doors are suddenly obviously wonky, and the gap between the rail and one corner of the lounge ceiling must be at least three inches wider at one end than the other.  I'm trying to ignore it and hopefully it will be less obvious when the rooms are painted a nice neutral light colour. The joys of an old house.

The bedroom and boxroom are all painted now and they look so incredibly better, we're really pleased with them and can't wait for the rest of the house to catch up.  Hopefully week after next the kitchen and dining room will be done, then the study, then the other bedroom, lounge and finally the upper and lower hallways.  Lots more furniture moving in my future then.

And one special night, after the floors were sanded for the final time so no more dust was going to be generated, I unpacked my yarn stash (or at least the part of it that I have found - there is more in some of the other boxes not opened yet I think).  It was really lovely to uncover lots of treasures including some I had forgotten about. I went to B&Q and got them to cut up some white furniture board into squares so I could divide the shelves diagonally - just like my own yarn shop!  The main unit is roughly sorted by weight of yarn, and the lower unit will be my sock yarn stash.




Did I do any crafts this week?

Yes, I did manage some knitting, although some nights I was so tired and stressed that I didn't get much done really.

I did finish darning in the ends and sewing together the Colourwork Baby Jumper, and sewed on the buttons in green, pink and lavender to match the stripes.  I just need to flatten the seams a little then this is done.  It is a six month size and the yarn has a nice sparkle running through it.



I did a bit more on my current GAA Afghan square, this is the Marian Tabler square and is complicated enough that I am having to keep track of the charts using Goodreader on my iPad.


And when I was unpacking my stash, I came across a book I had forgotten I owned: Knit London - 10 iconic projects by Emma King.  Since I had just unpacked my DK yarn and knew exactly where it was, I grabbed red, black and white and started knitting this:


Unfortunately there are mistakes in the pattern around the domed top area, so I had to pull that out and reknit it to look more like the picture in the book, but it's been a fun knit.  I have to knit two more of these, and a back, top and base, and then stuff it - and I will have my own little red telephone box.

The other thing I did this week was to knit the rosette for the Ruffled and Ruched scarf but it needs to have a back and pin sewn on to it at some time, and the scarf still needs to be blocked.  I liked it though.

Now that the main dirty work is done inside the house (don't get me started on the dust outside now that the repointing is going on), I could even start unpacking my machine knitting room so I might do that this week.  The sewing room is still a no-go area, although I did snap up a couple of small folding tables at the charity shop today, to put behind my machine table when I am machine quilting.  I am trying to buy some more IKEA Billy bookcases for fabric storage on eBay but keep getting outbid.


Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Lucky number 7 - 500th Blog Post Winner!

Thank you to the eleven people who commented on my 500th post to enter the draw for a prize.  I assigned you all a number based on your order in posting and used an online random number generator to pick the winner.

And the winner was lucky number 7:


M


M, your Blogger profile is set to 'no reply' and is also blocked to viewers so I have no way of getting in touch with you.  Please get in touch so I can send you your prize.

M asked for a quilting or knitting prize, so is a  multi-crafter like me!

Congratulations!


Saturday, 16 August 2014

It will all look lovely when it's finished...

If I had £5 for every time someone has told me "it will all look lovely when it's finished", or some variation thereof, I would have a substantial downpayment on a new boiler. At some points it is feeling to me more like "It will be a series of compromises which you will eventually recover from"

Yes, the week started off on a low point when a heating engineer came to inspect the boiler (as a prerequisite to taking out insurance) and promptly condemned as dangerous and shut it down.  Luckily it's August so we don't need heating, and we have an immersion for hot water.  I'm getting quotes on a new boiler and the first quote back is twice as much as I was hoping.

A positive flood of tradesmen poured through the house during the week, leaving us progressively fewer and fewer rooms that were actually usable.  This is how the dining room and lounge looked for two days as the fireplaces were refitted:

And meanwhile my bedroom and the boxroom both looked like this:


The painter was supposed to take three days and hasn't finished yet after five days, partly due to a technical malfunction with the wood paint I had purchased.  Meanwhile all my toiletries etc. were crammed into the ensuite which I was using as a sort of dressing room, and all my clothes were trapped in the wardrobe in the picture so I had to extract each evening what I wanted to wear the next day. I kept forgetting to get my jewellery box out of the wardrobe so ended up wearing the same pair of earrings all week and no watch.

But the bedroom is looking hugely better with its new coat of neutral stone-beige matt paint, and fresh soft white woodwork in eggshell finish.

And the previously broken lounge fireplace is back in place, good as new, and the replacement fireplace in the dining room (genuine Victorian mantle and insert) is a triumph compared to what we started with.


The brass fender isn't fixed yet, it needs to be cut to size and given a good polish.

Meanwhile the kitchen has lurched onwards.  Still no plumber, but the electrician has been twice, the tiler has been (he needs to come back because the electrician had to move some tiles), and the fitter has put all the knobs on the cupboards and mostly finished up.


The kitchen has now been underway for three weeks and I think will hopefully be finished this coming week.  The fitter is supposed to come Monday to finish the floors, and I'm waiting for a call from the kitchen company on when the rest of it is going to be done.  We've bought a new four-panel door (the upper two panels are glazed) which they will hang on the opening between the kitchen and dining room.

On the outside, the scaffolders came back three more days (they ran over by a day) and our house is now completely cradled in scaffolding.  It's weird because we can now walk around it at a high level.  We've been able to pick the dead ivy off the neighbour's wall, which is three stories up in the air, so I won't have to look at that out my bedroom window any more - yay!  This is the view from most of the windows for the next eight weeks:


The outside painter has started painting from the scaffolding already, the roofer has been up to have a look and I'm waiting for his quote, and the brickmason starts repointing in a few weeks.  So it is all coming together, we just need to hang in there and keep hoovering up the dust.

The electrician also did an extra job for me and hung the two hall lights that I purchased optimistically several weeks ago. They look really nice, way better than bare bulbs. That's our fridge freezer waiting patiently in the hallway, and you can see the plastic covers we've taped over the lounge and study doors to try to keep out the dust.


Today we spent the day running around Northamptonshire - first of all to reclamation yards to buy two floorboards to be used hopefully for patching the broken boards in the dining room.  Then to fabric shops looking for upholstery fabric for our dining set and a few other chairs.  We went to a fabulous shop in Northampton called The Mill Shop, who also sell online.  A real Aladdin's cave for furnishing and upholstery fabrics, we will definitely be going back there for more and for curtaining because their prices are amazing.  They had roll ends of upholstery fabric for as little as £2.95 a metre.  They also have a room of lower end craft and quilting fabric but it is pretty normally priced.  I got three metres of upholstery fabric for a chair but couldn't find anything for the other chairs.  I think my taste is out of sync with modern trends, I want something that looks a bit Victorian and a bit faded, probably with a smaller pattern or stripe. The modern taste seems to be all glitz and metallics and loud bold patterns and colours.

Commuter knitting this week was a change in pace because I got so bored knitting the Low Tide Cardigan which is all stockinette in sock weight yarn now. I did a search on Ravelry and purchased the Ruffled and Ruched Scarf pattern by Pam Powers, she was having a 3 for 2 sale. I'm using the Dream in Colour Classy yarn that came in the latest Knitcrate and I've finished the scarf part and now I'm working on the rosette. The pattern is easy but looks great, and I've enjoyed knitting with the thicker yarn.


Saturday, 9 August 2014

Project management skills

After the past few weeks, I think I could legitimately add 'Project Manager' to my employment CV.  Particularly on the kitchen where I seem to be doing most of the supervising because the company doesn't seem to be doing much at all.  There's been a good fitter working on the cabinets all week but I've still had to intervene or consult on many issues, including preventing the sink from going in the wrong way round, an extractor fan hole being punched through the wrong wall, the wrong tap being installed, the breakfast bar going in at the wrong height and so forth.  Luckily I was able to be home an extra day this week because my boss let me work from home on Friday for when the scaffolders started work.

But gradually this week, the kitchen that I designed using an Excel spreadsheet (with the cells fixed to act like graph paper) has been taking shape and we're pretty pleased with it.  It was an awkward room particularly as I wanted to fit in a side-by-side American-style fridge freezer which could only go in two locations.  The walls aren't finished yet, nor the floor (although it has been resanded) and the faux-dresser glass doors are on back order until September.  But it's going to look nice. I went to the showroom today and picked out some medium size white porcelain knobs for the cupboards.

Looking from the dining room through the new doorway opening, into the kitchen at the faux-dresser.


Standing in the kitchen doorway, looking past the peninsula at the gap where the fridge-freezer will go



The dining room still looks pretty rough, and behind the camera is the huge pile of discarded kitchen cardboard and scraps of cut-offs etc. At least the fitter hoovered up the giant pile of sawdust from all the cutting he's been doing.

The interior painter is going to start on Monday, painting the only two rooms that are ready which is my bedroom and the box room.  We should have a couple more rooms ready in a few weeks because the fitters have agreed to do some extra jobs putting up picture rail and window trim for me.  But it means more moving of boxes and furniture out of those rooms and squeezing them into other rooms. But once the kitchen is finished then we can move the appliances back in, that are currently sitting in the lounge and the study.  It's all good exercise and even though I've been eating more, I've actually lost another pound this week which is good.

This is our study - currently home to the dishwasher, the hall lights, some dining room furniture, a new mail box, parts for fitting the stove that hasn't been delivered yet, some wood trim for going on windows, tool boxes, and some boxes of files that I don't have anywhere to put yet.


Commuter knitting this week was finishing off the Shetland Lace Stitches Shawl but I can't block it until the home renovations are over.  After that I switched to knitting on the stockinette body of the Low Tide Cardigan but  I'm finding that really dull, it's in sock weight (Regia Silk) and will take forever.

I also finished the Monsieur Bearnard kit that came with Simply Knitting magazine.  To be honest, I didn't really do a good job on him. My tension is never great and the cheap acrylic yarn in the kit made it worse, and I was feeling stressed and distracted which obviously contributed to me not reading the pattern correctly. As a result, Monsieur Bearnard has two right arms instead of a right and left, but I'd already stuffed them both when I realised so I just bent the right arm to make it look more like a left arm.  I gave him away almost immediately he was finished because a few hours later my kitchen fitter got a call from his mate who had just his first child.  Monsieur Bearnard has nothing on him dangerous for babies although his yarn-jointed limbs wouldn't stand up to really rough handling, but it will be several months before the baby can even grasp him so I handed him over to the fitter. The fitter appreciated the gesture but I'm not sure he was that keen on the bear, but hopefully the new parents will like it.


In between making cups of tea for plasterers, fitters, scaffolders etc and project managing, I have managed to finish (finally!) changing addresses following our house move with all and sundry.  There will be a few more to mop up as they arrive in the post via our mail redirection, but it's pretty much done at last.  Amazing how many mailing lists, loyalty schemes, charities, memberships etc. you accumulate in life.  I also fitted a Pulleymaid old fashioned hanging clothes airer in our bathroom for hanging towels on, it looks very appropriate there. Sadly a lot of the stuff from the rooms to be painted will have to be piled in the bathroom for a while, spoiling the look.  One day everything will be back where it belongs!

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