Sunday, 4 May 2014

Happy May Day

It's a Bank Holiday (long) weekend here in the UK and for once the weather gods have co-operated and provided some sunny and fairly warm (15-17 degrees Celsius) weather. We've had a lovely couple of days and still have another holiday tomorrow - yay!  If it stays nice, we are going to a nearby village where they will be dancing around a May Pole, which is something I've never actually seen.  We are also planning to go to an open garden which is promising cream teas, yum.

Saturday we picked up another Billy bookcase cheaply in Northampton - I've been gradually collecting them from eBay in preparation for my new sewing room.  We also stopped into the new knitting store that just opened there: Get Knitting.  It's attractively laid out with friendly staff, and stocks Auracania, Debbie Bliss, some Noro, Sirdar and has a small stock of haberdashery.  I didn't buy anything.  I was looking for buttons for a baby cardigan I am knitting for a work colleague but couldn't see anything appropriate.

This cardigan is knit using a slubby yarn that I found several balls of in a charity shop for .50p each.  I am undecided if the cardigan looks summery, or if a non-knitter is just going to think it looks like a dog has been chewing on it.  What do you think?  Do young mothers today like this kind of novelty yarn?  Maybe I should start over in a plain yarn.

On the way home we stopped at B&Q and I bought supplies to repaint my Victorian metal bed frame.  I bought it in Canada about 30 years ago and I've never painted it before so it was quite banged up and chipped.  Today I spent several hours brushing it down with a wire brush, washing it, and then painting it with two coats of metal paint.  It looks much better and when I polish the brass it will look all ready for our new house.

While the first coat of paint was drying, we went over to a sort of County Fair in Rushden, which was quite fun in the sunshine.  It reminded me of the agricultural shows I used to go to as a child in Canada apart from there wasn't any actual livestock.  There were all sorts of steam traction engines, vintage vehicles, WWII displays, military vehicles, fire engines, market stalls, a fun fair, and most importantly, cotton candy (candy floss).  There were also quite a few weird stalls, like a ferret racing tent, an animal rescue association with a sort of mini zoo including a nine-foot python, a mule society with several mules, an owl sanctuary with owls, a chap demonstrating how to take care of parrots, a society of people who build and decorate little painted wooden carts, and all sorts of charities and tombolas and mini-exhibitions.  We were exhausted after a couple of hours and a big lunch.  It's annual so we will definitely go back next year. Several of the people who live on the adjacent road were taking advantage of the crowds and holding yard sales, and I found a swivel office chair for DS's new room for only £5.

I saw this vintage poster on one of the WWII displays:

I'm a quilter?

I've actually done some quilting this week, which to be honest felt rather odd.  Quilting used to be one of my main hobbies yet I've hardly done any the past year.  I'm using up my pre-cuts and some batik yardage to make this quilt from the Jelly Roll Sampler book.

The book calls for you to use a speciality ruler to cut the half square triangles from the 2.5" pre-cut strips.  I don't have that ruler, and the rulers I do have that would work, are all in storage.  So I drew out on paper what I needed to cut, and put a piece of masking tape on a normal ruler as a substitute.  This is my quilt's centre.  I'm rather out of practice so there are a few wobbly seam lines as I endeavour not to cut off, or overly-float, any of the star points.  It's been fun.  The advantage of pre-cuts is that the fabrics all co-ordinate, yet at the same time it imposes restrictions such as a limited fabric palette.  I probably wouldn't normally have used the red stripe for a star, and yet it really pops.

Before I started the quilt, I sewed up a cute little knitting bag to fit a snap purse frame.  I actually made two, because the first time I didn't realise I needed to add some slack by angling the top of the bag, and the bag I made was so tight that I could barely get my hand in when the purse was open.  I have added a temporary handle from a bit of twill tape I had around. This is the fabric I bought on the SkipNorth weekend and it has a sewing theme: the outside is buttons and the inside is various sewing tools.  The bag is stiffened with interfacing and padded with wadding.  The frame is about 13 inches wide and is sewn on. I've taken it to work and it was really useful on the train because unlike a tote bag it holds its shape.

Other stuff

I finished the Jay Campbell square for the GAA Afghan.  I modified the pattern slightly and only included one bobble because I thought the original cluster in each triangle looked a bit messy.

I've done a few more inches on the Sirdar Summery T-shirt but to be honest it is a pig to knit and I'm not really enjoying it.

I've started a ribbed wristwarmer just to have something to knit that doesn't need a chart.

At the same charity shop where I bought the slubby yarn, I spotted a 3-D puzzle of London's Tower Bridge and the box said that it had all the pieces.  I gambled and bought it for DH who has spent the last four days happily putting it together (apart from the times when he wasn't very happy because of the vague instructions).  It's huge, and he's been very clever to work it all out.  It's incredibly detailed, it even has pictures of cars driving along the roadway, and has all the coats of arms and carving detail.

1 comment:

Daisy said...

I can't believe how big that model is!

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