Saturday, 22 February 2014

A mini-er me

I'm feeling chuffed (pleased) because this week I wore two blouses to work that I couldn't even get into three weeks ago because they were so skin tight around my middle.  I've lost 5.5 pounds now which doesn't sound like much but it seems to have already trimmed down my abdomen.  Still a long way to go though, as the mirror sadly informs me.  But it feels like having part of a new wardrobe to be able to wear some of my thinner clothes again.

Today I had the treat of visiting Unravel, the fibre festival in Farnham.  It's quite a drive from our new house but we had to go down to Maidenhead anyway to return the saxophone that DS rented while he was in school, to the music shop.  When I saw in my diary that it was the same weekend as Unravel, I put my bid in with my chauffeur husband to visit.  He kindly passed a few hours in town having tea with his parents who drove up from Hampshire, while I whizzed around the show.  It's a complete labyrinth, sited in many smallish rooms up and down staircases in a restored malthouse, but this was my third or fourth time there so I knew where all the rooms were more or less.

I was very pleased to bump into Needlemum from my former knitting group, and catch up with her about our sons at university and how her house had fared during the flooding (it stayed dry thankfully).  She had already bought some gorgeous yarn from Fyberspates and beads to go with it. I didn't actually buy any yarn myself. I very much enjoyed visiting all the stands and patting the yarn, but it just seemed that every time something caught my eye, it was from a vendor whom I knew I had already bought stuff from in the past that was now sitting in storage.

One vendor I always enjoy (and I'm sorry but I've forgotten their trader name) sells a range of vintage needlecraft accessories, old needles, antique swifts and other goodies.   I was very taken with a vintage knitting needle display stand sitting on the floor in front of their table.  When I enquired the  price, it was low enough that I decided this should come home with me to hold all my needles and be an ornament to my new knitting room whenever I get one.

Isn't it great?  And it's double sided as well.  So I can put in all my long straights, and shorter dpns, all ranked by size.  At the moment I've got my straights in a homemade binder and they are always falling out, and my circs in zippered pouches.  I might be able to get my circs in on the other side probably, and even stand my blocking wires up in one of the channels.

The only other things I bought were two patterns from Tin Can Knits:  Low Tide and the Lush cardigan.

They both look great and while I was tempted to rush back into the marketplace to buy yarn for them, I didn't do it because I have several projects lined up at home already AND I have yarn in my stash I could use (once I get my stash back).

On the way there and back I was knitting on my bargain buy Sirdar Folksong Chunky yarn which was pimped to me by my online dealer, Black Sheep Yarns who send me an email every week trying to tempt me.  This stuff was 51% wool 49% acrylic for £1.29 a ball or something so I fell off the wagon and ordered enough for a sleeveless gilet that I had in my pattern stash.  On arrival the yarn turned out to knit up at the clown barf end of the spectrum plus it's a bit splitty, but I think the gilet will be fine to wear around the house and it's knitting up quickly. It's nice to have something mindless to knit on.  But I couldn't get gauge so I had to re-write the pattern to fit the gauge I am getting. As there are no sleeves to worry about, it wasn't too hard to recalculate even with my primitive math skills. I'm sure I would have paid more attention in school if they could have explained how useful math was going to be for knitting and quilting.

I'm also working on the next square for the Great American Aran Afghan, this is the Dana Hurt square and it's a bit boring to knit but is looking good.

Also this week I did a bit of sewing and finished off all the pieces for the centre of my Sara's Roses Stack n Whack quilt.  Then I laid it out on the bed to see what it looked like and to distribute the designs evenly.  All of the hexagon designs were cut from the same floral fabric.

I'm pretty pleased with it.  I love the hexagons and my colour choices there, I'm not quite as keen on the blue setting triangles but the blue does contrast well and picks up the blue that is in the floral print.  I have to say that it's smaller than I was expecting, it just seems like after all the work I've put in, that it should be bigger!  But there will be a plain border all the way round which will bring it up to a small double size.  I haven't got the border fabric yet.  I will piece the top then take it with me to the fabric shop to see what might work.  A great thing about our new location is that I have two quilting shops within an easy drive, Bramble Patch in Daventry and Poppy Patch in Great Doddington.

On the way back to the car park in Farnham, I picked up a remnant of laminated cotton oilcloth from Laura Ashley at 50% off to make a new apron for DH who is managing the washing up while we are temporarily without a dishwasher and without a son to do it for us.  I'll use his old apron for a pattern and I'm hoping my Featherweight will sew through the plasticised cloth ok.


swooze said...

Great restraint! I am clearing out Dad's house in NY and packing him up then moving him to TX. I'm trying so hard to not keep everything. Selling lots and sharing with my brother and his oldest son.

I did buy a couple yards of fabric and 4 skeins of yarn since I didn't grab any projects but one when I came here. I finished that but have to tie in ends. I have sewn up half the fabric so far. I'm trying to be good!

Mairead Hardy said...

Well done on the weight loss. It must feel so good to be able to wear more items from your wardrobe. I was at Unravel yesterday too - shame we didn't bump into one another, but it was very crowded! I did see Rachel (who was in the bunk under mine at Skipnorth last year) and Katie from Hilltop Cloud though!

Daisy said...

Wow, I don't think I could have shown that much restraint!

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