Monday, 1 June 2015

If this is summer then why do I need my woolly hat and gloves?

First of June today, and when I went out this morning I had to combat the icy wind with a double layer of jacket/jumper, a woolly hat and gloves.  Summer, yay.  Summer in Siberia perhaps. Even Canada was warmer than this on 1 June.  Still, at least it's been raining after the long dry spell so my transplanted garden plants are looking happier. Some of my inherited flowers are blooming now, gorgeous paeonies, roses, geraniums, and I am still discovering plants popping out of nowhere and having to move a few things.  The transplanted 'lawn bricks' have been enjoying the damper weather, and the seed I planted on the future patio area is sprouting a green fuzz so the birds didn't get all of it.

We bought a few more plants for the garden last weekend, including a hydrangea for the central planter.  Also the baby hedging plants arrived and are now planted out - you can barely see them in this photo but one day hopefully they will be a trimmed hedge about two feet high.


Sewing

Bit late blogging this week as we had the in-laws staying for the weekend. That went off fine, they liked my cooking and enjoyed the pretty Northamptonshire countryside.  We stopped in at a quilting shop as my m-i-l is also a quilter, and I bought a metre of fabric for the border of my Stack and Whack Sara's Stars quilt.  The first time I've bought fabric for a very long time, it felt a bit weird.

As it turns out, although the fabric was a good match, I've decide not to use it because it was 'shouting' at me when I put it on the design wall.  I've added a blue inner border which really helps calm the quilt down, and I've calculated that I have just enough of the Stack and Whack main fabric to add an outer border which I think is going to look better than plain red.


I felt a bit coldish on the bank holiday weekend so I spent a morning nesting in front of my computer,catching up on episodes of Outlander (not very good) and Youtube videos while I knitted and then did some stitching on my hand applique block for my Grandmother's Last Quilt applique quilt.  I've done the four flowers and now I am stitching on 20 leaves around the circle.


On Tuesday, my friend drove up from where I used to live for a visit and to see our new house.  She brought me this lovely handmade shoe bag with applique on it, which would make a good knitting project bag also. It is especially welcome as it is made from fabric from the stash of our mutual older friend whom we sadly lost last year. Isn't it nice that our stash can live on after us and bring happy memories?

Knitting

Commuter knitting continues to be the pointless handbag but while the in-laws were here I started a new easy project which is another baby teddy bear toy. This is about the fourth time I've made it, but this time I am using brown as my young colleague at work doesn't want to know if she is having a boy or girl so I can't pick the usual blue or pink. I was knitting on this project while we played a couple of games of Scrabble last night. As well as calming down the impulse to kill people, it turned out to be a good strategy because I didn't look at the board until it was my turn each time. Then I just put down the needles and laid out the highest scoring word I could see to fit onto the grid.  Not only did I remain much calmer, I won the first game and tied for winner on the second - not bad when I haven't played for years and my in-laws are fairly keen players.

Just before they came, I finally finished sewing together the Cabled Cardigan in Eco cotton. I  had to press the seams and sew on the buttons but had been procrastinating.  I wore it on the first day of their visit, it's comfortable but surprisingly heavy. So it had a tendency to want to slide backwards on my shoulders leaving an increasing gap at the back of my neck.  Other than that it was fine and will be good for wearing to the office in this transitional weather. It probably could have benefited from being a tad longer, but being cotton it will probably droop with time anyway (just like me)  :)




Other stuff

My strip of bobbin lace is getting longer.  My f-i-l wanted to see how it was done so I did a bit while he was watching.  Partway through I realised that in the stress of being watched I had done some of the stitches completely wrong, but to preserve my image of skilled lacemaker I had to press on regardless.  So this afternoon when the bobbin lace group comes along, I will start out by unpicking that area! I've also started preparing the pricking for my first attempt at miniature lace for the dollshouse. I've chosen a Rosetta Stone-like pattern which is a largish towel edging (for a mini towel) which is given in two sizes.  I will try the larger size first and if I can do that, then I will downsize to the (microscopic) smaller size in finer thread. I've had to put my glasses on just to prick the holes in the pattern though which doesn't bode well for actually working the lace!

When is a new house not 'new' any more?

Tomorrow is our one year anniversary of getting the keys to our 'new' house. On the one hand, it still feels very new as there is still so much I would like to do, and add, and change. On the other hand, a year is a long time: we've been through four seasons here now, two redundancy scares, DS has been in and out for his first and second years of university, we've made major transformations in its appearance, we've celebrated holidays and birthdays.  But I still feel grateful almost every day for it, for the space, for the craft rooms, for the sunlit rooms, for the period features.  Not so much for the people yodelling down the street at 2am going home from the pub, but you can't have everything and that's part of being right in the town centre.  So happy birthday to our new house - one year and counting and hopefully with many many more to come.

1 comment:

swooze said...

Wow a year already? You've really accomplished a lot in that time. I enjoy seeing your progress on both your home and craft projects. I can't wait to see your tiny torch on lace!

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