Friday, 21 May 2010

Summer days

The weather has finally gotten warmer here, although still a bit erratic, and this weekend is supposed to be wonderful. Our garden is looking at its best, with the clematis covering the shed in full bloom, and the weigela likewise covered in bloom. They are both pink so look very nice together. The apple blossom is finished and hopefully the tree will be healthier this year, we had terrible apple scab in the last wet summer but I have sprayed it twice and tried to get rid of all the old leaves from underneath it.  We tried to enjoy our garden after work tonight, but unfortunately the neighbour's grandkids (who all have improbable names like Willow and Summer) spent two hours screaming and crying and running around to the sound of their various parents yelling "It's not nice to hit, Summer", "Don't do that, Willow" whereupon the chastised child bursts into loud tearful howls.   Grrrr.

I’ve actually done a little bit of sewing this week. By fitting in 30-40 minutes on a few evenings, I have got most of the pieces cut out for the Sewing Basket in the Art to Heart book that I bought at Malvern last weekend. The pattern calls for the basket to be stiffened with Peltex 71F fusible interfacing. I tried fusing on my heaviest interfacing, the heaviest one that my local store does, and it still felt very flimsy. Then I tried using fusible web to bond an additional layer of home dec fabric to the bottom, but it really didn’t do much. A bit of Google research revealed that Peltex 71F is not available online here, but that the UK equivalent is Vilene S520 Firm Fusible. Not many places even do that online, but I found one place and have ordered one metre of it. I don’t think there is much point in having a floppy basket, things will just spill out of it when I try to carry it. I am assuming that the specified interfacing must give a very stiff finish.

I’ve been playing around with the blocks for my Garden BOM on my design wall. Unlike some of the other participants, I made each block on its own merits rather than compressing it into a frame, or into a certain size. I have therefore ended up with a random assortment of sizes and shapes which don’t bear much relation to each other. I think I am just going to ‘set’ them all against a  bushy-shrubby background fabric and add the large floral border that I have ordered from America (which hopefully will make it here in between bursts of volcanic ash). So I am trying to arrange them to look like they belong in the same quilt. My DH has had a look and recommended helpfully (NOT) that they look like two different quilts and I should split them up.

I continue to progress on my Pi Shawl. Touch wood, the last few rows have gone alright, and the end is in sight after just a couple more rows. The border pattern I am using recommends using a particular stretchy bind-off, which I don’t understand how to do, but I have some lace books that I will look in to see what they recommend. Speaking of lace books, I ordered some genuine Estonian lace yarn from Hobipunkt in Estonia, because I am so in love with the pictures in my two Estonian Lace books. In the pictures, the yarn weight looked to be like a heavy laceweight or skinny sock yarn. But what has actually arrived in the post is more like sewing thread! After struggling with the cobweb yarn on my Pi Shawl, I am not that keen to tackle a potentially complicated project in sewing thread. I might try knitting up a sample to see what it is like to knit with, and to see what it looks like once washed.

I’ve started knitting the Rhapsody Hat, a white hat with a fair-isle design in two colours of blue. The pattern was in my Knitting Pattern Calendar 2010 but is luckily also available as a download from Ravelry. I say luckily, because I remember having the pattern in my hand as I ordered the yarn online from Get Knitted (using my Christmas gift certificate), and that was the last I saw of it. When the yarn turned up, I looked for the pattern so I could put it with the yarn, and do you think I could find it??? So I had to look for it on Ravelry and pay $5 to download it. Isn’t getting older wonderful... The yarn I ordered is Patons Diploma Gold DK, which is an affordable wool blend so that the total came in under the amount of my gift certificate. The Patons is a little thicker than the yarn used in the pattern, so I have had to start three times, reducing the number of stitches each time. I have a big head but am now knitting on one repeat less than the Adult Small size. I’ll see how it goes. The wool seems to be knitting up nicely, slightly splitty but easy to correct, and with good stitch definition.

1 comment:

swooze said...

How large a piece of peltex do you need? We have 71 which is fusible on one side then 72 which is two sided fusible. I have some to make postcards just havent gotten to it just yet. You know how that goes.

As always you have wonderful things on your blog that you are working on. I am not sure if you have been watching my progress but I am about to wrap up my third top while visiting my parents.

It has been a very nice visit this go around. Hope to see you in chat soon.

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