Saturday, 2 May 2015

We have a path

We got up nice and early today ready for the gravel delivery at 8am. DH even put on his gardening clothes and went to wait outside.  He came back about 8:45 because he was getting cold, and at 9:15am I started contacting the landscaping centre trying to find out where our gravel was.  They said they were running late and it would come around 10am, but it didn't actually turn up until almost 10:30 by which time we were both a bit grumpy at all the hanging around.  So I wasn't that sympathetic as the driver tried to get his massively long lorry close enough to our driveway  (now hemmed in by parked cars on either side which wouldn't have been there if he had come at 8am) to crane off the bulk bag of 900kg of Breedon self-binding gravel.

Earlier in the week I spent 4.5 hours crawling around on my knees digging in and placing edging bricks (reclaimed from the former patio we dug up) and levelling them, and laying the weedproof membrane in the centre patio. Then last night I laid membrane down the path itself ready for gravel.  So this is what it looked like first thing this morning.

The driver inquired if we knew how to lay self-binding gravel, and gave us a brief lesson.  That sent me upstairs to the computer where I googled and found out that self-binding gravel is different from normal gravel, and we should have put the weedproof membrane under the hardcore instead of on top of it.  Too late now with the edging stones all laid.!  Hopefully it will be alright.

Cue a couple of hours of shoveling, wheelbarrowing, raking and tamping down, and we now have a lovely golden path! This type of gravel is supposed to clump together into a hard surface rather than stay loose and get kicked around.

That's our octagonal planter in the centre, waiting for some feature plants. And obviously the circular bed will look better once it has the hedge planted in it. I have ordered some lawn edging which is coming on Tuesday.  We can't afford the good stuff (Everedge) but I didn't want to waste money on plastic, so we've gone for corrugated galvanised metal edging by Gardman which should last a long time. So the next big job will be to edge all the lawns and at the same time we can cut lawn bricks and fill in the last bits of lawn on the lefthand side of the circular patio.

Meanwhile I am stalking used kitchens on eBay for the dollshouse room, having given up on the kitchen fitter producing any cabinets.  I've come close to winning on a few of them but haven't been successful yet. Still haven't had the third builders quote for the boundary walls, even though I chased him.  I suspect he doesn't want to do the work but I will try him again next week.


I finished the basketweave socks in lovely silky Mirasol Tupa, which I bought in Vermont four years ago.  This is a picture before I blocked them and they are very cosy.

I finished the body of the miniature Aran jumper for the GAA Afghan and have started the first sleeve.  Eventually this will be appliqued onto the plain square I knit earlier.

I continue to trudge onwards with the BotFA MKAL Shawl and have started a little striped baby hat that came as a free kit with Let's Knit magazine to be my new commuter knitting.

For my summer sleep eye visor, I took apart my old eye visor and salvaged its cool-feeling inner nylon lining, and re-used it in a new visor.  I haven't put the binding on yet which will be cut out of the purple fabric. I chose the daisy fabric because it seemed suitably summery.

I have mastered pricking number six of my bobbin lace on my third attempt, and am getting on fairly well with it now, although I am still painfully slow.  I'm trying to think of a project where I could use a longer piece of this lace because I quite like the sample I am working on.  And m-i-l phoned to say she loves her Torchon lace bookmark, she's very impressed and can't see the mistakes at all.  She's taking it to her quilting group to show them, so let's hope none of them do bobbin lace either  :)

I've started cutting the borders for my Lone Star Quilt, although with limited yardage I am having to invisibly applique short sections to create the top and bottom borders in this directional fabric.  I do the applique by cutting the first segment to the correct width, pressing under a c. half-inch seam allowance on the short end, giving the seam allowance a quick squirt with 505 temporary adhesive and then pressing it down onto the uncut fabric main piece until it exactly lines up with the pattern.  Then I flip over the cut piece and take it to the sewing machine and stitch along the trough of the press mark for an almost invisible join.  I press the join, then take it to the cutting table and cut the just-joined fabric to continue on the 8.5" width of the border.  I have to join three pieces for each border.  (Turns out that when you put a partly empty can of 505 spray into storage for two years then try to use it, what you actually produce is extensive bubble blowing of sticky half-set gel - luckily I had an unused can as well).

It's traditional in the UK to have rotten weather for any bank holiday (long) weekend, and this one is no exception: it's grey, clouded over, cold and windy, and threatening rain.  But it can go ahead and rain because our new path is all laid!


Mairead Hardy said...

I am very impressed with the path - it looks very professional. It must be worth all the hard work you have out into it.

Daisy said...

Had never heard of self-binding gravel, but looks like a clever idea! Hope the bank holiday weekend has been a bit more relaxed!

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