Sunday, 30 September 2012

My future sewing studio?

As part of our whole research thing in anticipation of moving house next year, I took DH up to London to the National Home Improvement Show at Olympia yesterday.  I had secured free tickets online, so if it had been terrible then we would only have been out the travel costs.

But it turned out to be really good and we spent several hours there.  It was basically a big marketplace full of companies that want to help you extend or improve your home.  There was also a programme of free lectures that were full of really useful information about Permitted Development rights, how to hire a builder, how to finance a renovation project etc.

So I present to you... my future sewing studio (possibly).  Ta Da!!!  I don't know if you can make it out, but this is a slide of a Garden Room.  A garden room is a house-standard building you are permitted to construct in your garden (yard) without planning permission, and it can cover up to 50% of your garden.  The cost is about £900-£1200 per square metre.  Most homes have Permitted Development rights (although I know our current home doesn't as it was an infill new build and has restrictive covenants)  so a giant sucker like this one could spring up like a mushroom in your neighbour's garden any day now.  So while I have been spending a lot of energy hunting online for a property that already has a converted garage to use as my studio, perhaps instead I should be looking for a cheaper property that has a big lot with room to build one of these instead? And then I could design exactly what I want.

We also came across the coolest diner furniture which I Simply Must Have as soon as possible. Although apparently imported from Canada, it is straight out of American 'Happy Days' and really well made and really comfortable.  We will definitely hope that our new house has a breakfast corner where we can have one of these sets, they were so colourful and cool and I loved them the moment I clapped eyes on them.  Luckily DH loves them too.

In other gallivanting news this week, I walked down to Sloane Square on my lunch hour and came across this dollshouse on display in a costume jewellery shop window. It was labelled as a Fairy House and yours at a mere snip of £2,800.  I suppose in the Sloane Square area, some yummy mummy might even pay that.  Although attractive, it was definitely play scale rather than a fine collector's item.










In other exciting news this week, I finally finished my first Annemor #12 Selbuvotter Glove, which I have been calling my Wedgewood Gloves.  Not only did I finish the first glove, but in an absolute spurt of productivity, I have roared through the second glove in just one week as far as the fingers.


I started these gloves in December 2010 but got very bogged down due to the pattern being incorrect, and the first Errata for the pattern also being incorrect.  Annoyingly, although at that point there were loads of people on Ravelry complaining about the pattern or who gave up and made fingerless gloves, there now seem to be lots of completed gloves so presumably they have issued even more Errata to fix the problems.  Meanwhile I went off piste and developed my own solution to the problems, involving decreasing the number of stitches above the thumb, re-centring the finger stitches to align with the centre of the snowflake, and altering the finger charts to fit the new stitch count as well as fitting my fingers.  And of course the notes I took of all my mods are absolute pants so now I need to work out what I did so that I can knit the fingers on the second glove.  But it's all part of my plan to knit down my number of UFOs which so far is going very well.  Amazing how much more productive you are when you knit on one project at a time.  Does the world know this surprising fact???

So commuter knitting has been the gloves, but I've still done some  more Gingko Shawl units and was surprised to find that I have 18 completed units and number 19 is on the needles.  I need to knit 21 in total and then seven partial units and then I can sew them together.

I also finished my Town Square badge display wallhanging, and loaded it up with all the badges and even some brooches that have been kicking around in drawers for decades.  I'm not saying it is a thing of beauty (DH doesn't think so) but it is satisfying to give them all a home and be able to see them on display, instead of just finding them here and there and wondering whether I should throw them out.  Some of them date back to when I was a teenager, others are from much enjoyed quilting trips to the States or from craft organisations I have belonged to.

I haven't done anything further on my Cityscape jumper but today I marked out the button hole positions.  Here is a picture of what it looks like so far.  It's a bit wrinkled from being stuffed into my project bag and I haven't blocked the buttonband yet.



I also finished the first sleeve on my Eyelet Lace sweater so only one more sleeve to go and this ancient project will be FINISHED!.










I will finish off with a picture of this pocket castle which we went to see on the Open Days Heritage Weekend a few weeks ago.  It is called Queen Anne's Summerhouse and is owned by The Landmark Trust and you can hire it as a holiday cottage (very expensive!!).  Inside is just one big room with a tiny kitchenette in one turret.  Downstairs is a luxurious bathing suite and toilet, while another turret holds a spiral stair that takes you up to the roof terrace where you can survey your domain in all directions.  So cute!!  Although there was a note cautioning renters to keep the door locked as passersby through the woodland will try the door and just walk right in to see what it looks like inside.









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