Saturday, 23 April 2011


The UK is having two four-day weekends in a row, one for Easter and one for a certain VIP wedding.  Lots of adventurous people have used the opportunity to book an 11-day holiday to jet off to foreign parts while only using up three days of their holiday allowance.  As we are going to New England later in the year, we don't have enough holiday left to book the time off. 

So I decided to have a 'stay-cation' instead at home.  We went shopping for ready meals so I wouldn't have to cook or plan meals and I have made a determined effort yesterday and today to a) not do anything chore-like, b) not to think about work and c) to just relax and chill out.  The weather is absolutely glorious, up to 25 degrees C or in that region, blue skies, yet with a light refreshing breeze. 

Yesterday I woke up and did a few hours of dollshousing, breakfasted and had a nap, then we took a tea tray out to the shady corner of the garden and lazed around for a few hours.  I was crocheting borders around my Learn to Knit Afghan Squares - I'm using a navy pure wool aran mystery yarn that I picked up a cheap load of, from Riverside Yarns (Riverford? can't remember what they are called) at a machine knitting show long ago.  They used to have cardboard boxes of unballed, unlabelled yarn at very cheap prices.  I'm having to guess how many stitches to do around each one - I've settled on 30 stitches to a side and a triple stitch in each corner, but of course some of the squares are bigger than that, so I am wavering a bit on pulling it out and going for 35.

After a tasty lunch in the garden, I had a nap in the shade before moving into the shed to work on my machine knit felted bag.
My first felted bag, using the Fiona Morris felted bag pattern that I mentioned last week, came out absolutely brilliantly.  I didn't take a 'before' photo but basically I had this floppy  loopy mess of oiled Shetland wool in a thin ply, that didn't look like it would ever be anything usable.  The pattern uses the knit side as the right side, and tucks in both directions on the wrong side to build up a thickness of layers.  But it is knit on T10 so very open and loose.  I threw it into the washing machine when I went to bed, on a 60 degree wash and was absolutely thrilled in the morning to find this charming bag.  It's like a magic trick.

So yesterday I knit another one, adapting the pattern to make the bag wider and bigger inside, added a flap and switched the twin handles for one long one.  This time I took a 'before' photo.  You can see how floppy it is, and the handle is so long that I had to knot it to keep the bag in shot.

And here is the finished result - another magic trick, producing a lovely felted messenger bag.  I might put a stiff base in to help it keep its shape.  I was guessing on how deep to knit the flap and on rounding the corners but it's come out fairly well.  Could have been a bit longer but it will work.

I still have about a third of a cone of yarn left so I could probably manage one more bag.

I came in for some sewing then, and added the parrot borders to my Hawaiaan Kaffe Fassett Potpourri Quilt. It's pretty wild, isn't it?

After a late supper of ready meals, I caught up on some telly and then watched some machine quilting shows on YouTube and QNNTV before retiring to bed with a machine knitting magazine.  The perfect day?

Today we headed off to Richmond-upon-Thames in the morning, for a little shopping, a stroll along the Thames, an icecream, and then we took over a table in a garden cafe in the park for a few hours.  I was knitting on my Cookie A Sunshine Sock - again.  Remember I ripped this out because the cast on wasn't stretchy enough?  Well, I got on quite well and was near the end of my second pattern repeat when I realised I had crossed a whole row of cables the wrong way in the first repeat.  So I ripped out again and reknit.  But then I realised that my sock didn't look like the one in the pattern picture.  I studied the pattern again and again and couldn't see what I was doing wrong.  So onto the lovely Ravelry to find that there are unpublished errata for this pattern and the cable crosses on the leg and foot pattern are reversed.  So I ripped out again and today finished the first repeat.  It finally looks like the picture but I have to say I am getting a bit sick of it.

And I think now I am going to go and do a little quilting...  The Stay-cation will be interrupted tomorrow as the in-laws are coming for Easter, so I will need to shovel out the ground floor so it looks less like we are living amid mountains of clutter, but I should be back on holiday on Monday!

Hope you are enjoying some sunshine and good weather, and lots of crafting, where you are.

1 comment:

Daisy said...

Problem here is that it's too hot for us so we've not had the greatest weekend! You have way more patience than me re the sock...

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