Saturday, 31 January 2015

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but inside it's so delightful

Yes, we've actually had snow the last couple of days. Not very much, about a half-inch crust on Friday here in the Midlands, but that's enough to cause a certain amount of chaos on the roads because most people down here don't know how to drive in it. It's also been hovering around zero degrees Celsius which by southern UK standards is very cold. Having survived several years in eastern Canada, it doesn't seem too cold to me, but I'm still happy to stay inside my warm house.

This was the view from my train station on Friday, when I was on my way to work.

This week I took advantage of my 'free' train travel to London courtesy of my season ticket, and paid a visit to the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green to visit the 'Small Stories: At home in a dollshouse' exhibition.  As this is primarily of interest to miniaturists, I've blogged about the visit on one of my dollshouse blogs here.

On the trip I was working on my Mixalot Socks, which are a great way to use up scrap yarn but makes for a rather heavy project as you have to carry around all the small balls of said yarn. Each of these colours is from a previous pair of socks or shawl, and you can choose from four different simple lace patterns each time you knit a stripe.

This week I've also finished the right front of my Cabled Cardigan and I've started on the sleeve.

I also sewed buttons on the Machine Knit Baby Cardigan in fuschia, and am 2/3rds of the way through knitting a second one in denim blue cotton Panama yarn.  The second one is going much quicker now that I sort of know the pattern and how to knit it.  Another colleague has just announced she is also pregnant but she doesn't know what it is yet.  She's not due until the summer so no rush.

I've spent a lot of time this week trying to get to grips with my next bobbin lace class assignment.  It's a circle with leaf-shaped 'tallies', and I started it in class with the thread I had which was too thick, just so the teacher could show me how to do it.  At home I wound 10 more pairs of bobbins (20) in thinner thread, and started over again. That thread turned out to be also too thick plus I realised I had no clue what I was doing.

I wound 10 more pairs of bobbins in 50-weight sewing cotton thread, and spent about an hour and a half analysing the pattern diagram, looking up things I didn't understand online, and writing out step by step idiot instructions.  Today I started over again for the third time, and am now getting on fairly well apart from the fact that I'm still not very good at it so the tension isn't great. Also it's not brilliant for visibility to be using white thread on a white photocopy - I am going to order some coloured self-adhesive film to cover the pattern to give a bit more contrast.  In the meantime I'm using my glasses, a magnifying stand, and a daylight lamp in an attempt to fight back against my ageing eyesight deficiencies.

On the quilting front, I went back to work on my Christmas Table Topper, fusing on the 'ribbons' and finishing the raw edges with zig-zag, and now I'm adding the first of two red/white borders which are separated by a green stripe.

Not much noise from the studio next door this week, but I have now raised queries with the Council as to whether they have planning for their operating hours, and about the noise.

And no more news yet at work, although the rumour is that they are going to create one big team instead of all the dispersed current units around the UK.  We have a briefing scheduled for Monday to update us so perhaps there will be more news then on what's happening and what the timescale is.

Hope you are staying warm.


ShinyNewThing said...

A comment for Norma Dennis, because your Blogger profile wouldn't let me reply to you directly. Welcome to the blog and thanks for drawing my attention to 'Machine Knitting is my Life' which I hadn't come across before. As you can see, the fuschia pink sausages turned into a satisfactory cardigan in the end. Best wishes, Sharon

Daisy said...

Hmm, I think I'm going to have to have a go at the Mixalot socks.

Sue said...

Your bobbin lace is fantastic! It kind of looks like magic to me. I see no direction in that pattern. (I know there's probably more). Nice work!

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