Sunday, 21 July 2013

Cloudy skies, I love you

After a week of unpleasant heat (air con is not common in the UK apart from bigger stores) it finally cooled down to the high 20s for the weekend, and has actually been overcast.  After being more or less trapped in my house for the week, since I can't tolerate heat and burn very easily, I felt like a prisoner out on day release this weekend.

 DH and I headed over to Richmond yesterday and walked along the Thames on the towpath as far as Teddington.  It was lovely, relatively cool and even shady under the trees.  And we saw boats, and swimmers (insane people who either don't know or don't care about the diseases and sharp things in the river) and people having parties in their gardens, and I had an icecream.  All much better than sitting cooped up in the house.

Due to said cooping, there is a veritable tidemark of crafts around my place on the sofa where I have been passing my days.

I'm halfway through stitching my 1/12th scale petit point bell pull from Janet Granger.  This will probably end up in my Georgian room box.  It will have ten acanthus leaves and be about 4.5" long when it's done.

I'm not doing the back very neatly because there are so many colours in each row.  I decided that rather than starting and stopping threads all the time, I would just leave the threads out of work until the next time I need them.  It makes for a certain amount of travelling thread on the back, but is much quicker and better for me as I've always had trouble getting a needle through the back of stitches to finish off/start.

I'm almost halfway through my Bucilla Baltimore Album Latchhook Rug kit.  I'm still finding it a bit tedious, but I've become more accomplished at making the stitch so I can complete a row relatively quickly now.  It's satisfying to see the pattern take shape.

 I finished my Noble Cowl which is a free Ravelry download.  It's supposed to have enough slack to be able to pin it to one side with an attractive pin.  I have a really big head so on me it almost doesn't need pinning.  It was a satisfying knit in shield lace using my Mean Girls Yarn Club Ep IV DK yarn.

And I've been plugging on with the Top Down Icelandic Sweater.  This has been un-knit almost as much as it has been knit, due to my 'suck it and see' design process.  The first sleeve went up and down like a stop-motion animation until I perfected the design.  I've now left it as a straight tube until the elbow, which felt best over my bicep.  Then I have fit in several decreases from the elbow to the cuff (although I realised later that I could have done these more tidily if I had reversed the K2tog/SSK sequence), and added the mod where you repeat some of the Yoke chart to put colourwork on the wrists.  I tried a white cuff and decided I didn't like it, changed it to blue, had to rip back and lengthen a bit etc. etc.  The second sleeve went a lot quicker because I could just knit it.  On the body, I have inserted a few decreases on the back to my waist curve, then a few increases on the front and back for my 'mature' lower half.

I'm cautiously pleased with the result so far.  I'm worried that the torso is too fitted, but I know the yarn will relax a little once washed, and that I will be inserting some ease when I cut apart the steek.  I'm not going to do the fancy deep rib from the pattern, as I know from my Amy Herzog 'Knit to Flatter' class that I am bottom heavy and should avoid details calling attention to that area.  So I'm just going to knit a bit more length and do 10 rows of K1, P1 rib, and see how that looks.

I feel that repeated trying on of a heavy cardigan in 30+ degree heat shows my true dedication as a knitter.

The final bit of craftwork littering the living room is my Hawaiian applique quilt.  I've done what feels like a lot of stitching, moving along relatively quickly on the long straight stems and bigger leaves.  Yet when I laid it out on the carpet to see my progress, I almost couldn't tell what I had done as it was so miniscule compared to the overall design.  It's going to be a long haul.

On the house front, we had a brief flurry of activity at the beginning of the week with two more viewings.  There was supposed to be a third viewing but they cancelled 10 minutes ahead when I had spent the hot afternoon cleaning and getting ready for them.  Grrrr.  One of the others has made an extremely nebulous offer, along the lines of "We would be interested in offering you 'x' for your house in the event that we get a buyer for our own house".  I made the recommended stock answer of "oh, I think we were hoping for more than that", and haven't heard anything back from the estate agent since.  The agent is supposed to be calling me tomorrow to discuss our contract because we could give notice to terminate it now and we're wondering if we should.  Trouble is, I'm not sure any of the other local agents would be any better.

Meanwhile, we've responded to the feedback from some buyers that they love the house but think the garden is too small by ripping up our lavender hedge that used to separate the house from the lawn.  It had become very leggy and sprawled about four feet wide, so pulling it up has immediately opened up the lawn more.  But it's left us with an unsightly patch of dirt, so we're going to go to the garden centre today and see if you can still buy turf this time of year.  I'm also going to have to turn plumber again as one of our toilets won't stop running so I think I need to replace the float arm. Hopefully I won't get it all apart and then get a phone call from someone wanting a viewing!


Daisy said...

LOL, well, I've survived swimming in the Thames - I fell out of a canoe and then decided I might as well have a swim as I was already in by then!
This place was still selling turf when I was there a couple of weeks ago:

swooze said...

Good luck with the house! All your crafting looks great.

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