Saturday, 14 April 2012

Life goes on

Thank you for the sympathy expressed after my woe-is-me post last week.  I felt better after relaxing over the four-day weekend, although I had to work at not brooding. Not much has happened this week at work, and a general air of misery pervades the building as more and more tales unfold of people being disrespected, overlooked, facing redundancy, and generally kept uninformed as to what is going on.  There were a couple of mornings where I really struggled to get up and go to work - leaving my nice warm bed to make the 90-minute trudge in the cold up to London to spend the day not knowing what was coming next just seemed like the daftest idea in the world.  One amusing moment on Friday came after three managers met to discuss what to do with part of my Acting Up responsibilities (I wasn't invited).  Completely predictably, the most junior one approached me afterwards to ask what exactly I have been doing for the past year and could I put it in an email for them.  Honestly.

It has been quite cold some mornings, with strange days of sudden heavy rain, thunder and even a lightning strike on my train line which caused delays for a few days.  Luckily I finished my Debbie Bliss Wrist Warmers and started wearing them even before I had darned in all of the ends.  Despite not being pure wool (Baby Cashmerino is about 30% microfibre and 15% cashmere I think), they are quite snuggly.  I don't think it was the best choice of yarn for fair isle as it is quite smooth, so the stitches don't grip each other.  But they fit well and have been perfect for the weather this week.

I also finished and blocked out my Fan Stitch Half Circle Shawl with knitted on Willow border.  I am really pleased with how this turned out, and the Zitron Filigran yarn blocked out beautifully.  I'm glad I didn't knit the full set of rows in the pattern, because this has come out fairly large (to my elbows almost) and I didn't have much yarn left over.

I finally got some photos taken of my Garden Sampler BOM quilt, which I sewed the binding onto a few weeks ago.  This is the one I made last year and then quilted on the frame in the summer. 

I'm still only about halfway through the pile of quilts waiting for binding, after my big frame quilting marathon last summer.

I also finished my Georgian Room Box, applying the scrapbooking paper to the outside that I bought in Holland, and painting the exposed edges brown.  The Mulvanys paint their exposed edges black, but I thought that looked a little harsh, and the brown edges tone in with the floor.  After some thought, I applied the paper to the outside in such a way that the box can still be unscrewed, since we went to so much trouble to maintain that possibility during the construction.  I glued the paper on with Mod Podge Matt, and then applied a coat of DecoArt Sealer afterwards to protect it.  I also glued on the course certificate that we given, onto the base of the box.  I've also made a dust cover out of two pieces of plexiglas cut down from a cheap poster clip frame that I salvaged from work (it was going to be thrown out).

One of the best things I did this week was to convert the charts for two of my oldest knitting UFOs for use on the Ipad, and already I have knit more on one of them in a few nights than I have in the past several months.  The Ipad is the greatest knitting gadget ever.  Both these projects have big charts that I tried to keep my place on using magnets that kept getting knocked off, or Post-It notes that kept losing their stickiness, and it was all too difficult.  So I took photographs of the charts and pertinent instructions using my Iphone, emailed them to myself so I could download them to the Camera Roll on my Ipad, and then turned them into PDFs that I could use in GoodReader.  GoodReader is a brilliant app that lets you highlight chart lines, move the highlighted line up or down, add typed notes, make marks to indicate increases etc etc.  So my Eyelet Lace Jumper and my Haapsalu Shawl are now brought into the 21st Century and will hopefully get a lot more done on them.  Speaking of the Haapsalu shawl, I discovered that the Estonian authors have brought out a sequel called the 'Haapsalu Scarf'.  I was astounded to find this was selling on Amazon for about £92!!!  And it was still about £60 or £70 everywhere else.  After a bit of Googling, I found it for sale from an Estonian online bookstore for only 24 Euros, and even with postage it is only about 30 Euros.  So that is winging its way to me now.

I've done well for books this week.  I picked up 'Top This!' by Nona Davis for £3.99 at the discount book store up at Waterloo.  It has several cute quilting projects for Table Toppers, wall hangings, runners, aprons etc..

I succumbed to buying 'Knits for Nerds: 30 Projects, Science Fiction, Comic Books, Fantasy" by joan of Dark, a.k.a. Toni Carr, after hearing about it on various podcasts.  It is full of geeky projects inspired by everything from Firefly to Star Wars, and even a couple of vests from Big Bang Theory, Star Trek dresses, etc. etc.  Very amusing to read through, and while there are a lot of things I would probably never make, there are a few I like and it just generally made me smile.

Much more serious is 'Knitting with Two Colours: Techniques for Stranded Knitting and Designing Color-Patterned Garments' by Meg Swansen & Amy Detjen. I would say that this isn't really a beginners book.  It focuses on techniques and doesn't have any patterns as such although there are a few charts used in the examples. It's probably more for Improvers who have tried Fair Isle and know what their own particular challenges were, so that you could look up the appropriate solution in this book.  It's a good addition to my library, although I did find that some of the explanations weren't very clear and would likely need to be supplemented by additional online research.  It did make me want to get started on the Alice Starmore 'Marina' pattern that I bought wool for a year or so ago, but I need to finish at least one of the charted UFOs mentioned above first.

I'm going to finish with some pictures of tulips in my garden.  These came from bulbs purchased in the Autumn with some gardening vouchers gifted to me by my sewing group for my significant birthday, and some of them have colourings I've never seen before.  Really pretty and brightening up an otherwise not very interesting at this time of year garden.

Hope you had a Happy Easter!

1 comment:

Mizmiffy said...

I have finally caught up with all my blog reading. I cannot believe how work are treating you. Its unfair and the not being able to complain properly always makes things worse. On a positive not I love love love your shawl and your blankets are amazing as always. xx

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