We couldn't spend all our time with him (we would like it but he wouldn't) so we did some self-guided walks around Oxford using some walking books we had bought. It's such a lovely and historic city. We kept running across bookstores and in one charity bookshop I picked up a cheap copy of The Miniature Costumier, Removable clothing for dolls' house people by Catriona Hall, which is full of sensible advice and patterns for making garments that really look in scale (unlike many dolls house clothing). I also found a cheap copy of an Angie Scarr book for making miniature FIMO food for market stalls which has made me want to have a go. We also stopped into the Fibreworks yarn store on Cowley Street which is a very pleasant store. They had some Jamieson & Smith 2 ply jumper weight and I bought some blue hoping it was the match for the fair isle glove that I lost, but sadly when I got it home it wasn't. I'm sure I can use it for something else though. It was a fun weekend and we will do it again next term.
I blogged last week about visiting Unravel. The very next day I had another treat because we had to drive down to Kent to visit friends. On the way back it occurred to me that we would be passing close by to Maple Street in Wendy, near Royston, which I think is one of the better dollshouse shops I've been to in the UK. So many other shops are just Dollshouse Emporium outlets, but Maple Street runs the whole spectrum from DHE through Bespaq right up to high level artisan furniture (which I couldn't afford) plus they've got a lot of DIY materials and accessories. And almost everything in the shop is reduced by 15% from full price plus there are loads of other special buys. All of their Phoenix white metal kits in 1/24th scale were on sale for 99p each so I bought about 14 of those including a Regency dining table and six chairs, another table and four chairs, a pair of gilt tables, a welsh dresser and some accessories.
When I went up to the counter to pay for those, I spotted a kit for a 1/12 wraparound porch on sale for just £25 (It's in the Hobby's catalogue for £93). I've always wanted a wraparound porch in real life, which obviously isn't going to happen, so I snapped the kit up in the hopes that it will fit retrospectively onto my Canadian house (currently in storage so I can't try it yet). I think it will fit, the Canadian house is just an open-backed box the same as the Simplicity house the porch kit is designed to fit onto.
I had a very enjoyable evening this week putting my knitting needles into the display stand that I bought at Unravel. This side has my straights in two lengths up to 7mm plus my crochet hooks:
I finished the back of my Sirdar Folklore gilet and blocked it. I've also knit the two fronts but haven't blocked them yet.
And there are finally some signs of spring in our rented garden. I was suprised to look out and see a clump of snowdrops has suddenly appeared, and there is some flowering heather as well.