Saturday, 24 September 2011

Work hard, play hard

Crafting has not been on the radar much this week, as I had to work late four days out of five and I've either been too tired or too crowded to do much commuter knitting.  But today I took my hard-earned money up to Miniatura, one of the UK's biggest dollshouse and miniatures fairs at the NEC in Birmingham, and had a very enjoyable shopping spree and got several things for my Fairfield and Willowcrest dollshouses, as well as a few extras pictured below.

  • the Dee-Daw Designs box of cigars was a free gift they were giving away to subscribers of Dolls House and Miniature Scene magazine, it's an opening box with cigars wrapped in tissue inside.  Great free gift! I will put that in my Vic-war-gency period house, probably in the gentleman's study.
  • The leather bound aged books are for my Gamekeepers Cottage, and the pumpkin is hopefully going to look like a large pumpkin on the porch of my 1:48th scale Hallowe'en house.
  • The lovely pillows have handpainted designs augmented with a bit of embroidery and were amazingly cheap, only about £1.25 each.  I will probably put the lavender pillow in my French Tower House, and the others might go there too or in my Canadian modern house.
  • The two teapots, one shaped like a thatched cottage and the other like the Little Old Woman who lived in a Shoe, are my annual treat from Sally Meekin Miniatures and will join my growing collection of house-shaped teapots.

In the car on the way up and back, I was working on my Drop Stitch Shawl, I'm still decreasing for the second tip.

Haven't really done any TV knitting this week as I have been sewing down the binding on my Sunflower Quilt. I also got the binding machined onto the Stars over England quilt but haven't started the hand-sewing yet.

I've tried to do a few passes on the panto each night on my Vintage Lone Star quilt on the frame, and have now reached the halfway point.  It's going quite well apart from one of the 70-year-old seams coming apart on the Lone Star and trapping my hopping foot.  I did some emergency triage by just machining down the loose flap so I could keep quilting the panto pattern.  I will have to unpick that and fix it properly once it is off the frame. Obviously I am going to have to treat this quilt gently but the close quilting should help to hold it all together.

I also spent a few hours trying to decide what knitting project to take with me on our holiday to New England next month.  Yes folks, I haven't finished all the holiday arrangements yet as I've been too busy, my house is a mess, my desk is covered in paperwork, but I did find the time to identify a knitting project!  Just shows where my real priorities lie.  I am thinking of going with the Fan Stitch Half-Circle Shawl  (Rav link) by Martha Waterman from 'Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls' and using a pure merino laceweight in lovely acqua.  It looks interesting enough to keep me going but simple enough to do in the car or at a restaurant.

Kudos to the lurkers who came out briefly to introduce themselves:  Loulee, Tee2, and LindaWMarthaaMay pointed out that some people read blogs at work and don't get the chance to comment, and I've certainly been guilty of that myself in previous jobs.  My current job is too busy for doing much surfing unfortunately, plus I am open-plan.

My love affair with my Ipad is deep and evolving, to the point where I have even started to dream about it and my DH is getting a bit worried.  It just does what it does so incredibly well.  That's probably another reason why I haven't done as much crafting, as I have been frittering away my free time learning how to use the Ipad.  I went to a couple of excellent free classes at the Apple shop on Tuesday night, and today I was practicing with the Maps app by tracking our progress in the car on the way to Miniatura.  I also managed to read the Deep Fall Knitty online magazine on the way back - hurray for 3G!

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