Saturday, 27 June 2015

Like-minded people

It seems to be a thing, in my new area, for groups to organise Craft Days - there's one almost every month somewhere within a half hour's drive. I had previously been to the Lace Day organised by the Olney Lace Group (but actually held in a village hall I forget the name of), and there I heard about several others including the one I went to today.

It was in Castlethorpe, a little village down towards Milton Keynes, and about 50 ladies attended from 10-4pm, bringing along all kinds of crafts.  I took my bobbin lace and there were about a dozen other lacemakers, there were knitters, crocheters, cross-stitchers, a scrapbooker, a few people stitching on patchwork, tapestry. In other words, it was a room of like-minded people.  All different ages but mostly late-middle-aged onwards, all very friendly and enjoying the day.  Admission is by pre-booked ticket, which got you tea/coffee/biscuits on arrival, and afternoon tea with cake in the late afternoon.  For an additional low sum, I was treated to a lunchtime feast, so I've eaten very well today. There was a raffle, a bric-a-brac table, and two traders so I was able to buy both some grey quilting fabric for my latest project, and some more lace threads for trying out some of the dollshouse lace patterns.

I spent the morning happily chatting and working on my Torchon lace mat, and managed to complete the first quarter and turn the corner to start on the next one.  It's going fairly well apart from some 'reverse lacing' as the ladies at my table described it, when we made a mistake and had to unpick. I had a few experienced lacemakers come to inspect my work and they thought it looked pretty good, so I think I am getting better.

By about 2pm my eyes were going funny from staring at the lace pillow for so long, so I got out my knitting.  I've finished all the 'wicker' pieces for the Completely Useless Handbag and have now started on the daisies to decorate it.  I need to knit 22 daisies and each one has 12 petals for which you cast on/cast off each time.  So it's going to take a while - I'm on my second one.

I also took my new Rowan Summer Tweed Cardigan project, using the yarn that I so laboriously untangled a few weeks ago.  I've chosen a Kim Hargreaves pattern for a cardigan with a simple lace border, which was in Simply Knitting magazine but was originally published in Rowan magazine as 'Dune' apparently.  I've modified it to knit it in the round up to the armholes.

Other knitting this week has been the 'Hewitt' square for the GAA Afghan, which has some very odd cables like 4/3/4 (crossing four stitches over four, but over a middle portion of two purls behind the cable, and a knit stitch which comes up in front of the cable) and 5/2/5.  I normally cable without a cable needle but I've had to dig the cable needles out of hibernation for those ones.  I've also done a few more rows on the Que Sera Cardigan.  Obviously, by knitting two summer cardigans at once, it pretty much guarantees that I won't finish either until it's winter again but there you go.

I also knit up a free kit for a fairly ridiculous baby hat designed to look like a bumble bee. I wouldn't have bothered normally but it was a free kit on Let's Knit magazine to support the RNIB charity, so I've sent it in to them and apparently the RNIB will sell the 'RNIBee' hats to raise funds. Look out for babies in strange hats in your area coming soon...

We had our first barbecue of the year tonight, and for once my steaks came out lovely and tender instead of like old shoe leather.  I did some sausages as well so DS was very happy with the meal. DH wasn't quite as happy as he likes his steak to be shoe-leather-coloured through and through, no pink allowed. We've been picking our strawberries this week and there are still loads to come.  They aren't as sweet as some I've had but have a lovely fresh strawberry flavour and it feels really good to be picking something from my own garden. DS has had a go at making a meringue tonight, if it turns out then we will have that with the strawberries tomorrow.

The garden arches have arrived so we have given the pieces two coats of brown wood preservative and tonight we started assembling them.  Tomorrow hopefully we will finish putting them together and perhaps start digging the post holes to install them.  They will give some valuable vertical elements to the garden and be something else to add interest when we look down from the house.


Mairead Hardy said...

Ooo, that hat does look a little strange! But I am very impressed with your lace - it's coming along beautifully. And how lovely to haven strawberries in the garden. There's nothing quite so delicious as home grown produce. And the strawberries may get sweeter as the season progresses.

swooze said...

I love that you found a group to craft with. I have several little groups and get so much from them.

All your projects look wonderful. I especially like your cardigan that you're starting from your formerly tangled yarn.

Start of my second week of work. So far so good!

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