Monday, 1 April 2013

Happy Easter

Happy Easter and here's hoping the Easter Bunny brought you lots of chocolate.  DS did the traditional 'chocolate for breakfast' on Sunday but that's partly because he didn't get up until midday (he's now on school holidays).

We've had a busy Easter weekend:  Friday was van hire day and we spent eight hours loading and unloading the van over five trips to the storage unit.  The van held about seven handcarts worth of boxes, and there are only three of us so it meant two trips between the van and the unit each time.  We managed to completely fill a 75 sq ft unit right to the door - there's only a little bit of air space left near the top which I am planning to fill with bags of machine knitting cones once I get them packed.  I kind of wish now that I'd booked the 100 sq ft unit instead, as we still have more stuff to store/hide but I guess it's going to have to go into the attic instead.

Our house now feels enormous:  the living room actually echoes to the point where it was making it hard for me to talk on the telephone to a friend.  I had to move back into the kitchen because I found the echo too distracting. And we've gained an extra room:  the conservatory which has been DS's wargaming room for all these years is now suddenly empty.  We keep going in there and swinging our arms around in all the new space that we have, and I finally have a good place to put the laundry airer.

The long job of decorating now stretches before us, or rather before me because as the Jobless One it will fall to me as the person with the most time on their hands.  I can't believe how many holes we have managed to make in the walls over the past 10 years - not to mention the two big dents we managed to put into the stairwell walls on Friday when we were wrestling a cabinet down the stairs. Most of the walls need either touching up or repainting completely, and some of the woodwork ditto. I've made a start in my bedroom closet, filling in the holes left from the sewing shelves, touching up with paint and then re-inserting the closet shelf and hanging rail which have been in the attic since I took them down when we moved in in 2003.

Then Saturday we put together the new replacement garden arch and Sunday I dug the trenches so we could stand the arch up and bury it in.  It looks good, like it's been there a while.  Saturday I also emptied out the incredible clutter from our little tool shed, and DH made two trips to the dump with all the broken pots, netting, bits of board we were saving, broken down tools etc.  I demanded a medal when he got back, because my theory that there would be no spiders in there when we are having such a cold winter turned out to be false, and I disturbed not one but two ugly big spiders - yuk!

Today we went to two DIY stores and stocked up on copious amounts of decorating supplies and paint, so that I will have no excuse not to get on with it this week while DH is at work.  I need to do some paint jobs outside as well but I think it is still too cold for that, I don't think you are supposed to paint when there is a danger of frost.

No sewing again this week, and probably not for a while because my sewing table has gone into storage so now I will have to set up on the dining table.  But last week, before things got packed up, I sewed myself an apron out of some Laura Ashley willow home dec fabric I found in the attic (leftover from our previous house).  I used an old apron as the pattern, but the design is based on one shown in Craftseller magazine this month.  I used some striped linen home dec as the contrast.

On the knitting front, I have finished two squares from the Great American Aran Afghan (GAAA).  I finished the second one last week and then raced through the third one in just a few evenings.  The top one is   Levy and the bottom one is Selesnick.  This is one of the knitting projects I am keeping out, so perhaps if I keep going then I will complete all twenty squares.  I've started the fourth one now.  I'm enjoying them because there isn't much counting involved, I can just follow the visual shape of the charts.

I also finished the front of the Alice Starmore Marina Pullover that I was machine knitting.  I brought all the yarn colours inside the house then swiss darned over the hole I'd made.  In order to darn across thin air, I wrapped the first row of stitches around a cable needle until I could pick them up on the next row.  I also realised that I had knit the wrong contrast colour for four rows, so I swiss-darned across those also.  The great thing about Jamieson & Smith jumper weight yarn is that it is really hairy, so the additions immediately clung to the original knitting and now that it's washed and blocked, even I can hardly tell what I added.

Since taking this picture, I have cut&sewed the loose strands across the v-neck to neaten the opening.  So now I just have to seam the front and back and then start picking up and knitting the bands.  And now I can pack up the machine knitting shed - hopefully I can get to that this week.

I had a delivery last week: a box of pool noodles (or woggles as some people call them).  These are intended as flotation devices for people learning to swim, but I'm going to use them to wrap quilts around for storage to minimise wrinkling.  I got this idea from an American friend - you wrap the noodle in spare fabric, then roll the quilt onto it, then cover the quilt with more fabric or a specially sewn bag.  I've picked up a bunch of sheets and duvet covers from charity shops (and washed them) to use for the coverings.

This is the small mountain of quilts formerly in my quilt cupboard and now dwarfing my queen size bed.  I had to dismantle the quilt cupboard so it could go into storage, and now I need to tidy away the quilts.  They are a mix of ones I've made myself, antiques that I've bought, and a few gifts and family heirlooms.
Another knitting project last week was a cowl made from Sirdar Salsa! scarf yarn which I bought on the Skipnorth weekend at Texere.  I didn't want the usual skinny scarf as I find them annoying, so I made a long cowl loop that hangs to my waist, so that I can loop it twice around my neck as a cosy cowl.

And that's about it this week. If you are in the UK, hope you are staying warm in this endless freezing spell. Spring is trying to come:  the daffodils are up in our lawn and there are lambs in the pastures near the dual carriageway - so cute.


swooze said...

Good to see everyone survived the move to storage. You will really get used to having more space and will probably rid yourself of even more that is in storage when you move it out.

Glad you can still work on crafty things. It will help your sanity! I hope the housing market in your area is good and you get a quick sale as well as finding a new place that meets all your needs.

Sandra said...

I think I could probably come close to the number of quilts you have, but mine are mainly just tops at the moment, not completed (story of my life in miniatures and quilting) and they too are stored in my quilting cupboards. You are certainly a bundle of energy and determination with all your sorting and clearing, packing and disposing of unwanted or un-needed items. Well done! I need to do the same, even though we're not moving house. Hugs, Sandie

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