Sunday, 2 November 2014

A lot of stuff

I had Friday off as I have to use up my leave before the end of the year, and I spent part of the morning in my future sewing room, labouring to rationalise the fabric storage and sort out endless bags of velcro, zippers, small tools, haberdashery etc.  The painter came down to find me to tell me he was almost finished, and surveying the chaos, he exclaimed in wonder: "You do have a lot of stuff!!"

Yes I do. In fact the more I unpack, the more I am wondering how we ever fit it all into our considerably smaller old house.  I think I must have had a Tardis instead of a sewing closet in my old bedroom, because the quantities of 'stuff' that I am attempting to find homes for just seem like they would never have fit in the old house.  I've got all the pretty storage boxes out that I bought a few weeks ago, with post-it notes temporarily identifying their contents.  Sometimes I've had to upsize the box as I find I just have too much fusible interfacing products to fit into the smaller box, or too many cross-stitch kits.  I've also got post-it notes on the fabric shelves:  upholstery fabric, canvas, pre-cuts, backing yardage, etc. etc.  The fabric was relatively easy to sort out as most of it was bagged in collections or projects already, what the Americans call PIGS (projects in grocery sacks).

"You're a hoarder", observed the painter, nodding his head in satisfaction that he had identified my problem.  Well, yes, I am a hoarder, but unfortunately I am also a completist, a sucker for a bargain, fond of free craft stuff other people are giving away, delight in buying craft souvenirs on holiday, and paranoid that if I don't buy everything I need for a project right away, I won't be able to later on.  I am also in competitive running for the She Who Dies With The Most Stash Wins competition in multiple hobbies.  Sigh.

Friday was also Halloween, our first in the new house.  Halloween is more of a thing here in the UK than it used to be, but I was still nervous about 'setting up shop' in case I got labelled a satanist by our new neighbours, or had a bunch of drunks roll up to the door on their way to the nearby pubs.  In the end I decided I owed it to my Canadian roots and the spirit of the holiday to try it at least once.  So I decorated the windows and our front porch and lit it all up by dusk in late afternoon, and started eating the Halloween candy to get into the spirit of things.

We didn't get any drunks, but we only had about four sets of small trick or treaters, plus one group of older boys trying their luck without any costume or anything.  I don't think many children live near us.  So we both made ourselves sick eating leftover candy and DH is going to take the rest to work to get it away from us.


My sis-i-l had a holiday to Iceland a while back and I asked her to look out for the famous Lettlopi yarn and get me some if she could.  She kindly sent me through two balls of purple and a contrast yarn of grey this week.  It is quite 'woolly' yarn, and as I am sensitive to scratchiness, I wouldn't be able to wear this near my neck.  But it will be fine for a hat or gloves/mitts.  My Icelandic cardigan that I knit last year from the Craftsy class was supposed to be knit in Lettlopi but I had read on Ravelry that it was pretty scratchy (although apparently it softens a bit with washing) so that's why I substituted the DROPS Nepal yarn.

I also fell to temptation in my LYS, when they got in Sirdar's new yarn 'Ophelia'.  It's a fur yarn with a touch of glitter, both being aspects which normally wouldn't tempt me at all.  But it is as soft as silk and has some lovely colourways, and it is quite cheap.  I succumbed to two balls and I am knitting myself a basic tam in the dark blue.  I got as far as the decreases but had to pull it back to the band when I found it wasn't going to be floppy enough.  So now I am increasing a lot, to make the tam part bigger.  It is suprisingly easy to knit with, considering how fluffy it looks.  It would be lovely for a short sleeve top, so soft and silky.

The LYS has asked the knitting group for contributions to the knitting display, and handed out some sample patterns.  I have knitted four mini dolls that I think are Jean Greenhowe designs.  I've sewn up the snowman, and have still to sew up a Santa, toy soldier and an elf.

I also finished a Barbie Princess beanie hat to go with the mitts I finished last week.

I've obviously hit some milestone in Craftsy because they emailed me a code for a free class, anything I wanted as long as it wasn't knitting.  In the end, I chose a class on converting a dress form to match my figure, because I've wanted a mannequin for a long time to fit my knitting and occasional sewn garments on.  I'd already asked for Christmas for a cheap mannequin on a stand that I saw on Amazon, which I had planned to pad up to fit my measurements, but now I will get some expert advice (hopefully) on how best to do that.

House stuff

The painter is completely finished now, his last job being to paint the wainscoting in the hallway in a nice soft green.  He has singlehandedly painted seven rooms and two hallways, plus re-painted all the Victorian doors which had been hideously stripped by the former owners.  He said he's really enjoyed it because he did his apprenticeship 40 years ago on period houses like ours.  He's done a fairly good job, certainly much better than we could have done and I would never have had the stamina.  There are a few things where we need to go back and make good the underlying fabric before repainting, but that will be much easier now that most of it's done.

Very annoying thing yesterday.  Lovely sunny day, work on house finally finished, we stood back outside the front to look up and revel in the improvements...  only to spot (far too late as scaffolding all gone now) that the roofer put the guttering brackets in different places, so now there are unpainted gaps along the fascia where he removed the old brackets that had been painted around.  If he had just mentioned that, we could have slapped some paint on before the scaffolding came down.  Now they are inaccessible unless we find a house painter prepared to go up a very long ladder.  A task for next year I think.

On the work front, there is still no news.  They are going through a Process, so we have to have regular documented consultation meetings but there is no real news yet on when we will find out our individual outcomes, when we will leave the business etc.  I'm trying not to think about it, but it is stressful.  I'm typing this in a room with no blinds and I don't know whether to go ahead and order the blinds and add to the credit card debt, or continue to be on show to the neighbours and save the money.  I will probably order them and hope for the best.

Bonfire Night on Wednesday - we were supposed to go to the local fireworks tonight but it's pouring rain so we are staying in.  There will be more displays in the week so we might still see some.


Mairead Hardy said...

How nice that the final workman has left your home (for the time being at least!). I'll keep my fingers crossed for you with your work 'Process'!

Daisy said...

Glad to hear that's hopefully the last of the workman for a while at least!

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