Saturday, 18 May 2013

Old dog

I spent the first part of the week trapped in my kitchen as workmen took over the house.  Monday I was literally barricaded into one small corner of the kitchen in front of my PC, as the entire contents of the living room and conservatory were piled in the rest of the kitchen.  So no TV to watch, no sofa to sit on, no table to eat at.  Two carpet fitters laid new carpet downstairs and in the master bedroom that day while I spent the day watching stuff on the PC and knitting on UFOs.  Monday night we shifted everything back into the living room, and shifted the contents of the other two bedrooms into the master bedroom (cue much cursing as we struggled to dismantle IKEA furniture or move it without making marks on our newly decorated walls).

So Tuesday I could at least sit on the sofa and knit while the fitters were working upstairs and recarpeting the landing and stairs.  I was bored with my UFOs by then so I sorted out my knitting collection and found a pattern for a cute simple top down baby cardigan, the 'Pop!' Baby Cardigan' by Rachel Atkinson, which was in Knit Now magazine. I am using the Sirdar Snuggly Crofter Baby Fair Isle Effect DK that I got on sale at Hobbycraft.  It's knitting up fairly quickly.

I did find however, perhaps because I was distracted by workmen banging away or moving around the house, that my usual problem with looser purl rows, or 'rowing', was even worse.  I decided this was a low-risk opportunity to try Combination Knitting so I looked up a video on on how to do the purl stitch.  It was a bit of a case of 'old dog new tricks' but I found the purl stitch actually easier to do than how I usually do Continental purling and it really worked to tighten up my purl stitch.  In fact it worked so well that I began to see the opposite problems, with my knit rows being a bit looser than my purl rows.  However, I wasn't so keen on the Combination knit stitch as you have to knit into the back of the loop due to how the stitch is placed on the needle.  I found that harder to do and I was tending to split my yarn occasionally.  In this picture I tried to show the 'before' and 'after':  the six rows nearest the cable (beyond the white row) are in Combination knitting and are much flatter than the earlier knitting. It's an interesting experiment. I finished the sweater later in the week but as I packed my button box, it remains buttonless.

Now that I'm finished the Marina pullover, I'm back on the final clue of the Unexpected Journey Mystery KAL shawl which is a densely knitted on border.  I'm adding a bead to each point (they will be pointier once blocked).  It's easy enough to knit but a bit boring and I have to do something like 56 repeats of the chart, groan.

During my hours in front of the PC I was doing some thinking about my Hawaiian quilt.  I really do prefer the white applique on a blue background, so I was researching how to prevent the seam allowances shadowing through.  Some people seem to think that you can fuse on lightweight interfacing to prevent the shadowing but still be able to needleturn the fabric.  I'm sceptical because I think the fabric will be too crisp for needleturn applique once interfaced but I've ordered the lightest fusible I could find online to give it a go.  Unfortunately it's got to come from America as I couldn't find a UK source, so that's going to take a few weeks and let's hope it doesn't get stopped for Customs duty.  I've ordered some sharp scissors from Cotton Patch in Birmingham that purport to cut through eight layers of fabric at a time - I'm sure they will be sharper anyway that my collection of dull scissors.

I'm starting to lose the will to live with regards to the house. It just seems like it's been going on forever (I'm sure you feel that way too!) and it seems no sooner do I get something looking nice than it gets a mark on it from someone or something.  Even the nice new carpet got christened this morning when the cat threw up on it - probably on purpose.  Next week the leaky panes in the conservatory are getting replaced, and I'm having the EPC report done (Energy Performance Certificate, a requirement now for selling a house in the UK).  Next weekend we will go to Dunelm Mills and see if we can find a few finishing touches, like poncey artwork and silly glass vases that we would never buy in our real life but which seem to be required now to make one's house look like an interiors magazine.


Teresa said...

I do sympathize with you in the construction/renovation/aggravation process. We went through that a couple years ago, and I thought I would never get those workmen out of my house. Hang in there, it will be so beautiful when everything is done and your home is a refuge again.

Daisy said...

I know how you feel - the 5 weeks it took to do our kitchen nearly drove me insane!

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