Sunday, 14 September 2008

Back to school

Ds is now back at school, and we are returning to our normal, more structured, term-time routine. I have convinced my team leader to let me work two days at home, Fridays and Mondays, so I am feeling in a much better place about my work/life balance. I actually asked if I could go back to working four days, but they wouldn't agree to that. But at least having two days at home gives me a lot more time to run the household, deal with paperwork, deliveries, cook some meals that take longer than 30 minutes to prepare, and even sneak in a few minutes here and there on crafts. I am still not thrilled about the job but I feel more in a steady state than I did a few months ago where I seemed to be in permanent crisis mode.

Last weekend I had a few friends over to work on dollshouse stuff on Sunday morning, and I put together this kit for an Indian elbow basket, which my friend Andrea gave me when I sat next to her on Rik Pierce's course in Chicago back in April. It was pretty tricky to make, but I got there in the end, and I filled it with some paper flowers left over from something else I made. I am hanging this in the quilt shop as another bit of Americana decoration. It's about 1.5 inches high. I am still making miniature fabric bolts for the quilt shop, only about another 75 to go (actually, I haven't counted, I just keep making a few here and there and eventually the shelves will be stocked).

I got about 8 inches knitted in the round on the new sweater in Rowan Summer Tweed that I started on holiday, enough so that I could try it on. I immediately realised that this design, in this yarn, would make me look like a Teletubby (think Goodyear tire man). The yarn is not soft enough or drapey enough for a close fitting sweater. So I ripped it out (aaaaak). I have now started on plan B, 'Bianca's Jacket' from Fall 2006 Interweave Knits. I have modified the pattern to knit it in one piece to the armholes, so far I have about 1.5 inches done and the curved fronts are slowly starting to emerge. I think I will knit it longer than the cropped pattern as I am not a stick insect and my tummy needs to be hidden, not flaunted.

I was on a one-day course up in London on Friday, and my key agenda item for the day was to nip out at lunchtime to visit nearby 'Loop', a knitting shop in Islington. I had a nice browse around the store, and eventually decided upon a skein of Noro Kureyon sock yarn. It feels a bit scratchy on the ball, I am hoping it will soften with washing. I am thinking about a pair of gloves in it, rather than socks. I have to confess I don't get a good vibe in Loop, the two sales people were very busy talking to each other which made me feel like an intruder, and after waiting several minutes at the till with cash visible in my hand while one of them did stuff on the computer, I had to ask her if she would mind terribly if I paid for my item. Hmmm.

On the sewing front I had to make a sample block for my BOM for the September class last week, and now I need to tackle the block for October's meeting. I have put myself into a spot of bother on a few of these blocks as I designed the quilt in EQ6 to work on multiples of 2-inch measurements, e.g. 8 inch blocks, 12 inches, 16 inches, all fit together like a puzzle. What I hadn't thought about (duh, math challenged here), is that if those blocks are 9-patch variations, like a double nine-patch, that 3 doesn't go into 2 very well. This has led to some unusual instructions for some blocks and I am stuck on the next one trying to figure out a way to avoid telling people to cut squares that are 1 and 13/16th inches. I can't just substitute another block as they all have a line diagram of the finished quilt so are expecting this block. Good thing I am a volunteer and no one is paying me for this, lol. I will work out something.

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