Saturday, 27 July 2013

Yield not to temptation

... and I didn't yield to temptation, even though I travelled up to Fibre East in Ampthill today for a yarny day release from my house arrest.  I wasn't sure what to expect as their website is pretty uninformative, but it turned out to be a really good natured fibre fair set in and around a school (Redborne Community College).  There were over 100 traders and exhibitors, including the Sheer Sheep experience where you could see real live sheep being sheared and even point to the one whose fleece you wanted to buy and they would shear it for you there and then.

So I think it is bigger even than Unravel but the focus is definitely on fleece, fibre, spinning and weaving equipment etc.  There is a generous sprinkling of knitting yarn and equipment as well, so lots to look at even though I don't spin or weave.  Although I have to say that ever since visiting the weaving loom kiosk at Wingham Woolworks with the SkipNorth tour, my 'gadget girl' lust for mechanical marvels has been flaring up.  I've never been that interested in weaving which looks a bit tedious, but having seen the beautiful intricacies of a four-harness table loom with levers you can push and lots of cranks to turn, I feel a definite tidal pull in that direction.  There was a 'have a go' marquee at Fibre East with various guilds offering the chance to try spinning or inkle looms or weaving, so I was able to touch and play with rigid heddle looms which seem to be the most recommended for beginners.  But what I really liked was the four harness table loom on the mid-Herts Spinning & Weaving Guild stall.  The very informative woman let me have a go on it, it seemed easy enough but a bit like machine knitting in terms of the potential for operator error.  It's too big to buy now while our accommodation is so up in the air, but perhaps there will be a corner in my knitting room in the new house for a sweet little table loom.

I bumped into Greensideknits and Quitecontrary while shopping, so was able to show off my Unexpected Journey shawl which I had taken with me but didn't need at all due to the absence of the predicted rain.

I was really hoping to get buttons for my Top Down Icelandic Cardigan but there were very few people selling buttons and I just didn't see anything I wanted.  This week I crocheted around the steek and cut it, having first run a line of machine stitching just along the colourwork yoke to secure the ends.  Then I sewed on some pretty spotty ribbon to hide the cut ends, as recommended in the Craftsy class.  The edge has turned out pretty well, even though I still don't think this is the best method for a steek in a smoother yarn than Lopi.  I crocheted really tightly to avoid the flaring and waving that I saw on so many other project pages on Ravelry.  Usually when I'm crocheting an edge, I would pick up in a ratio of two stitches out of three.  But as it was a steek and you are doing it to secure the cut edge, you have to crochet into every row.

The fit has turned out to be really great.  Washing it did relax the knitting as I had expected from the swatch, and it feels cosy without being baggy.  This is the first time I've put shaping into the back waist, after taking Amy Herzog's Knit to Flatter course.  I always thought I couldn't do waist shaping, due to the lack of an actual waist.  But in her class she points out that although you may have a belly (which I do), you may still curve in at the sides and in your back.  So on the back I decreased twice to take in some fabric for the waist, then increased three times to make room for my hips, and it has really made a difference in the fit.  On the way home I stopped at the LYS and picked up some blue plastic buttons that look like wood, which I will try on it to see if I like them.

On the train home I finished my first Lacy Sock, which is the Sherbet Shades pattern by Rhian Drinkwater.  It's been my portable project for a while, but slow going as the easy to memorise 4-row lace repeat was a bit tedious for the leg portion.  I had to reduce the stitch count quite a bit due to my loose knitting, but have ended up with a pretty snug fit for once.  This yarn is Dream in Colour Smooshie which I really don't like, it feels a bit harsh in the hands and it's a bit splitty.





Otherwise crafts this week have included a few more rows on the Latchhook rug and the petit point bell pull, and I started the Yukimi Hat with some yarn I bought in New England.  I've also been using up leftover Drops Alpaca from my Icelandic Cardigan by knitting some booties and a baby hat.  I also took my Featherduster Shawl along to knitting group and finished pulling out the cast off and putting it back on the needles for knitting another repeat.

As for the house, it's been dead all week, not a single call or viewing.  The people who made the sort-of offer on our house were supposed to be having two second viewings this week but as we haven't heard from them, I'm presuming they haven't had an offer yet.  I'm getting so fed up with constantly hoovering and picking up cheerios and being afraid to get my sewing machine out in case the phone rings. I had a chat with the estate agent at the beginning of the week, he has no insights to offer.  He thinks it's a great house in a good location, and certainly the feedback from those who've come to view it has been very positive.  So he doesn't really understand why so few people are showing an interest apart from the sunshine may mean people aren't househunting as much.  He said we could consider lowering the price, even though noone has complained about the price, but we shouldn't do that until we find out whether the people who've sort-of offered are actually going to buy it.

 I did have a go at fixing my toilet, I disconnected the float arm and took it to the plumbing store where they gave me some new washers for it.  But I think it's actually the main valve that is failing and I really don't want to have to take the cistern off to replace that the way I had to for the downstairs toilet.  Not fun.  We did get some turf for the patch of dirt but I'm struggling to keep it alive in this hot weather.  It doesn't seem to be rooting at all even thought it's been down for almost a week now.

Meanwhile I've got a job interview on Tuesday which I'm absolutely terrified about.  I think I am equally afraid of doing badly AND of doing so well that they actually offer me the job and I have to prove myself back in the workplace.  I've been out of work now for over four months and it feels more like 10 months.  I've been reading over case studies of what I've done in the past to remind myself, but I have an awful feeling that my mind will just go blank when they ask me a question.  I've also been practicing for some of the stupid questions  like "tell me about your biggest failure" and "tell me about a time when you had to deal with a conflict" but who knows what will happen on the day.  I just hope it's not 35 degrees or I am going to die in my interview suit.  Wish me luck.

3 comments:

Mairead Hardy said...

Hello, don't worry too much about the lack of viewers for your house. This time of year people are too busy with the summer to think about house hunting. It will pick up come September. It took us 10 months from putting our old house on the market to moving to the new one! Good luck!

Daisy said...

Good luck for the interview!

Sue Schoch said...

Good luck, I think??

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