Saturday, 22 November 2014

Long live the pay cheque!

Yes, my Director took me to one side on Wednesday to deliver the welcome news that I am continuing in employment, and staying in the same job.  Whew! A big relief and we celebrated with some half-price champagne that night.  It removes the immediate worry of no pay cheque at all, leaving us with the ongoing worries of how to pay off our credit card balances while also paying for my outrageously expensive season train ticket renewal next month, DS's university living costs, Christmas, and the new shower we wanted to have installed in the spring. I think the shower might have to wait.

The trendy youngsters I work with asked the ritual question on Friday of 'what's everyone up to on the weekend?'  They of course were variously going out clubbing, drinking etc. and their faces were a picture when I delightedly rattled off all the craft fairs and vintage fairs that I had scheduled for Saturday.  Isn't it great being middle-aged, you can do what you like without worrying about being 'cool'.

Our first stop today was  the Post Office depot to pick up my final shipment from KnitCrate (sob). I've really enjoyed receiving them but it's a luxury which has to be cut while we are digging ourselves out of our credit hole.  The final shipment has two skeins of totally luscious Madeline Tosh Merino Light in exclusive colourway 'Cotton Candy', a Needle Keeper to hold circular needles safely, and some fruit sweets, along with a pattern by Amy Hendrix for 'Catherine's Shawl',

Then we were off to the DIY store to pick up a new fluorescent tube for the dollshouse workroom, as the existing light was flicking on and off every few seconds.  I've never had to buy a fluorescent light fixture before, what a palaver. This was our second attempt, the first bulb we bought was too short, this time we took the old bulb along. The old bulb is quite fat and now obsolete, but we found a skinnier tube that also fits the fixture. Sadly it too is flickering so now I need to try replacing the little spark plug thingie to see if that fixes the problem.

Then we headed off to Bedford, about a half hour drive, to the nearest place where I was able to source pegboard.  I ordered by telephone, and checked at least three times that he was ordering board with one-inch spaced holes because that's the size I need for the hooks I had already bought.  "yes, yes yes, it's one inch" etc.  Only it wasn't.  When we got it home, the hooks don't fit because the holes are 2cm apart rather than 2.54cm.  It's already been cut to size and I can't face driving all the way back there again, so I'm just going to drill a second hole where I need it for each hook.  A nuisance and removing the flexibility that pegboard is supposed to give you, but it will still work.  So I screwed a bunch of battens on the back and started painting it white.  This will go on the wall of the sewing room over my big ironing surface, and will hold lots of tools, quilting rulers etc. It's 90cm x 2m (about 3' x 6').

Heading back home, we stopped at a church craft fair which had about 20 tables (some of which were rather loosely interpreting the word 'craft'). In my previous post I talked briefly about people underpricing themselves at craft fairs.  Look what I picked up for £2.

These are handwoven, I think using wire, and are just so adorable.  They were also selling little christmas trees, little reindeer, and many exquisite necklaces.  Even if you are a total whiz at beadweaving, these earrings must still take, what, at least an hour each?

We also hit a Christmas street market (didn't buy anything but enjoyed looking at the continental food stalls) before ending up at a local shopping precinct where they were having a vintage fair that included a lot of crafty things.  I enjoyed looking but with the tight purse strings in mind, I managed to avoid temptation but we did have lunch from a gourmet burger and sausage stand (very nice) and tour around the newly expanded antique store there.

On the way home we hit one more church Christmas bazaar, which had a stall of sewn and patchwork crafts including this adorable little sewing kit that looks like a miniature handbag.  I've not seen one like this before.  It is stiffened with card, and held together by hair elastics secured onto buttons.  Inside is a little needle keeper, a little pin cushion, two elastics to hold scissors etc., and a little pocket.  I bought it for my m-i-l as a Christmas present for £7 (again, ridiculous price considering how long it must have taken to make this) and because I think she will enjoy showing it to her quilt group.

My crafty week

I'm getting on fairly well with the Itineris Shawl in my Socks that Rock yarn.  The stripes are pretty subtle - alternating six fat stripes with six thin stripes - but I think will show better once it is blocked and stretched out a bit.  I'm almost finished knitting the centre triangle, the next section is a vertical rectangle joined up along one side of the triangle.

I've finished the first Sirdar Ophelia Fingerless Mitt, I took them right out to the tips of the fingers because I usually find I am trying to tuck my fingers inside my fingerless mitts anyway for warmth. This way I can stay warm but still have my hands free for fishing out train tickets etc.

I started a really fun project from the Colourworks knitting book by Susan Anderson-Freed that I bought a while back at the discount book store.  It's a lovely fair-isle tam and I am once again using Jamieson & Smith 2ply jumperweight from my stash.  Love knitting fair isle with this tweedy yarn and seeing the colours blend and come together.

However, somewhat worryingly, I am getting a lot of soreness in my finger joints, particularly in my right hand.  I notice it most in the mornings when I wake up, when my hands are quite stiff and sore for a few minutes.  My mother suffered a lot with rheumatoid arthritis so I feel worried about my future when I use my hands for so many crafty things.  It may just be over-use with so many knitting projects on the go at the moment.  I need to do some research into remedies.  Any suggestions?


swooze said...

Great news on the job front!

Love all your crafty projects you have going.

Daisy said...

Hooray for the job news!

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