Saturday, 6 July 2013

Feeling grumpy

I'm feeling very grumpy tonight because a) summer has finally arrived and it was almost 30 degrees today and our house is still really hot at 8:45pm, and b) we had a third viewing today from a couple who I am now suspecting are just time-wasters, and no other interest this week at all.

This was the couple who viewed twice on the open day, so when the estate agent called on Monday to request a third viewing for the coming Saturday (today), I was very hopeful that they were seriously thinking about putting in a offer.  So I spent about three hours, again, getting the house spotless and turfed out the DH and DS for the morning.  They came, they spent 10 minutes looking around, and then left.  They had no questions at all.  I wasn't sure what that meant, but I was hopeful that the brief visit meant that they had now made their mind up.

A few hours later we were in town so I dropped into the estate agents to ask if they had heard anything.  Turns out these viewers also did a second or third viewing on another house right after ours, then went to look at property in a completely different area.  And the agent says that she doesn't think they are settled on any particular house yet.  I think it is really cheeky to put us out three times to look at our house if they aren't even serious about making a decision.  I fully support thorough viewing before you make up your mind to spend the most money you'll likely ever spend in your life.  But personally I would not inconvenience vendors with second or third viewings unless I was genuinely serious about their property.  And I would use the second viewing to ask all the detailed questions about the boiler, the utility bills etc.  DH says that I can't assume that other people will behave [sensibly] in the same way that I would.

The market seems to be really dead, perhaps a result of sunshine finally arriving and schools breaking up shortly.  The estate agents say it isn't just our house, they've had less than half the amount of viewings booked that they had three or four weeks ago.  I was really hoping that we would get an offer in the first few weeks because after that it's just a long slog and I've been there/done that with the last house.  And August is traditionally a dead month for the housing market so I'm beginning to wonder if we will still be on the market in September.  Bleah.

On Thursday, before it got hot, I had the house to myself as DS was off on an overnight school trip.  I carried down all my sewing stuff and got set up on the kitchen table.  I also let down the ladder to my personal fabric storage mezzanine (the attic) so I could get at my raw materials.

The first project I tackled was to make some polar fleece liners for my Quilt Sampler mittens.  I find mittens knit in smooth sock yarn aren't nearly as warm as those knit in a hairy yarn, so I thought some lovely fleece linings would be just the thing.  I had to experiment a bit to come up with a pattern as the mittens have a thumb gusset so the thumb isn't just sticking out the side.  At first I had planned to stitch the fleece liner into the mitten, but then I realised that if I left it free, I could use the liners in some of my other mittens as well.

This is what I ended up with - a bit like an oven glove.  It fits snugly into the mitten. They feel toasty warm now - just what you want in July  :)

I can pull my hand out without the liner coming free, but I could pull the liner out if I wanted to use it in a different pair of mittens.

The next project I tackled was my carpet bag project that I've been making blocks for at my guild.  This is going to be a knitting bag, so my blocks are all knitting related. I bought a 16" carpet bag frame a while ago from but I didn't have a pattern.  So the first step was to mock up a bag in scrap curtain fabric and try the frame on it.  I also dug out my collection of handles and found some pleather handles to use on it.  This is a picture of the first mockup, but after this I decided it needed to be two inches taller so I adjusted the pattern accordingly.

Then I needed to work out how my blocks would fit onto my bag.  I found some red webbing which I am going to use around the bag for reinforcement, so I worked out what space I would have left for blocks.  Then I had to start either trimming or adding to the blocks to get them to fit.

The silhouette pattern on paper was a self-portrait in progress.  The faux fair-isle fabric was purchased to use in this bag, but I had to work out how I wanted to use it.  I decided to separate my blocks with a fussy cut knitted stripe, and use the main fair-isle fabric for the frame and the sides.

Sewing continued Friday morning and this is what I ended up with.

Then I had to put all my sewing stuff back into its hidey holes to start getting ready for the viewing by the timewasters.

Another project I've been working on this week is a very old UFO which I excavated from the attic. This is a Bucilla latchhook rug kit that I bought in the sales at Liberty's about 15 years ago because I liked the Baltimore Album pattern.  At the time, I did about six rows and gave up in disgust because it was so boring and because the pattern stamped on the canvas bears no relation to the actual charted pattern.

This time round I am working directly from the chart and ignoring the stamped pattern.  I drew a grid onto the canvas with permanent marker to match the grid on the chart which is helping a lot.  It's still a fairly tedious project because there are so many colours in each row, but it's gradually taking shape.

Of course our cat Lucy, who has the entire house to sleep in, thinks that the best place to sleep is on top of my plastic bags of coloured rug yarn.

This week I also finished sewing the binding down on my Vintage String Star top, the final quilt that I quilted on the last session of my Next Generation quilting frame at Christmas.  This was a vintage top that I bought in America, and I added the borders then quilted it.

Earlier in the week I did a lot of knitting on my Icelandic Top Down Cardigan.  As discussed in the previous post, I pulled back to the colourwork and knit it again, omitting the final two increase rows.  Then I cast on for the underarms, knit a few inches, and tried it on again.  While the colourwork was sitting really nicely around my shoulders, the cardigan was too snug on my arms and body.  So I pulled it back again part way, and added one increase row about midway between the shoulders and the underarm (I'm getting my money's worth out of this yarn).

Then I knit it to the underarms again, and knit about four inches on the body.  Then I picked up for the sleeve and knit several inches.  Following my Knit to Flatter measurements, I decreased the sleeve down to my bicep measurement and started decreasing towards the wrist.  Then I tried it on again.  Turns out the sleeve was narrowing too quickly so I've had to pull that back to the bicep, but I'm fairly pleased with the shoulder/chest fit.  It's definitely a snugger fit than the voluminous original in the pattern, but I think it suits me better.  Now it is just a straightforward knit to knit the body down to the hem, and the sleeves down to the cuff.  Needless to say, I've now lost interest  :)  but I might knit some more tomorrow on the drive as we are going to see more houses.

Hope you are staying cool where you are.


Linda W said...

I hope your home sells quickly, as it definitely puts a cramp on one's lifestyle. I'm afraid we're going to be in the same situation soon, and I'm not looking forward to it. Best of luck!

Love your projects-especially the quilt!

Daisy said...

OH no! Maybe they're genuinely interested buyers but a bit indecisive?! Or maybe one of them wants to live in one place, and the other somewhere else?!

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