Sunday, 20 September 2015

At last, something that's not falling apart in middle age

I had my eye test this week, bracing myself for more depressing news about how everything is breaking down and getting worse with middle age. To my astonishment, he said the reason I've had trouble seeing things clearly is that my eyes have actually gotten better! This means my glasses are now too strong, which is why they weren't really helping me to see my bobbin lace etc. So I need new lenses. The only downside is I will have to do without glasses altogether for 7-10 days  while they re-glaze my frames.

On the bobbin lace, I finished my second sample of Bucks Point lace. I feel I am grasping the principles but still making mistakes, and my picots are still pretty mediocre.  I've now started a third sample which is like a small bookmark.  I started it on Saturday while attending a Lace Day near Olney. These are quite fun: a whole day doing bobbin lace (or knitting or whatever else people bring along), with two lace suppliers, a big secondhand stall, refreshments, a raffle, and friendly company.  I bought a little book on Bucks Point lace, some more blue film for covering prickings, a pin pusher, and some finer pins which are making it much easier to see what I am doing on this finer lace.

Commuter knitting has been the Fingerless Gloves.  There has been a certain amount of un-knitting as I work out a pattern to suit my hand, but I'm almost finished the first glove. I wound off some yarn to break the colour sequence, so that the fingers will all be blue. I started the second glove already and am almost up to the fingers. I was able to start in pretty much the same place in the colour sequence so the gloves will be quite similar. I'm making the fingers quite long for extra warmth.

I've knit the witch's hat - this is just pinned together for a picture as I still need to embroider the spider's web on it before I sew it up.  I am planning to wear this on Halloween.

In the dollshouse room, I've started renovating the battered French scene that I bought at an antiques fair a few years ago.  It's pretty grimy, and is missing various chimneys and people. I think it must have once been on display rather than part of a railway set up. It's been designed so that the light will shine through the rooms from one side to the other, and all the shops and restaurants are furnished inside with a lot of detail.  You can hardly see inside now because the plastic they used for glass on the ground floor has become very dark with age - I'm considering replacing it so you can see the interiors but I don't want to cause more damage trying to break it out.

The dark film over everything didn't yield to water, nor to white spirit. But I tried sugar soap wipes which claim to contain a powerful degreaser, and they started making inroads on the grime.  I can't rub too hard or the paint starts coming off, but you can see on the right that it is a lighter colour on the yellow base than on the left.

The wipes also worked on the green and white awnings which look a lot brighter now.  I've used a cotton bud dipped in sugar soap to clean into the nooks and crannies, and to wipe down windows. I'm going to take one of the broken people to the railway shop and see if they sell the same scale - I think they are Prieser figures or similar. I am planning to make replacement chimneys as well.

Earlier in the week on my days off, I finished piecing the chains of Friendship Braid segments and have joined together the first small table runner / mat.  These aren't really my colours but I think my m-i-l will like hers. I need to sew together the other two runners and put a narrow border around them all.  I don't want to buy anything as this is a stashbusting exercise, so the borders will likely be brown rather than anything exciting.

Today we did loads of digging in the garden: uprooting a six-foot bay tree and a seven-foot weeping cherry tree to make room for the Photinia tree I've ordered. And before we could dig up the trees, we had to dig up and temporarily pot about  ten perennial plants that were growing underneath them. We also had to dig up a patch of Rudbeckia (michaelmas daisy) to make a hole to replant the bay tree, and cut down three sunflower plants to dig a hole to replant the cherry tree.  Altogether including cleanup it took about 2.5 hours and I was absolutely knackered afterwards - I'm still feeling stiff now. But now we are all ready to plant the new tree when it arrives in a few weeks, and hopefully the transplanted trees will get sufficiently established before the winter (and not die).

1 comment:

Daisy said...

Hope you got the glasses back reasonably quickly - I have a spare pair as I'm so paranoid about them breaking and not being able to drive anywhere.

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