Saturday, 12 September 2015

House progress

I don't feel like I've done a lot of craft this week, between job interviews and mundane life interfering: boiler service, kitchen fitter sorting plinth out, brickie and labourer outside, and of course work.

However it does feel like there has been progress on the house front.  The brickie is really doing a great job of rescuing a wall that some of the builders quoting on it just wanted to tear down and start over.  Crumbling buttresses have been straightened, ancient ivy roots removed, and friable frost damaged bricks removed and replaced with reclaimed substitutes in better shape. A lot of repointing has taken the place of what was essentially dirt and gravel in between courses of brick.  He's done the lower half of the wall, up to about five feet high, and this coming week there will be scaffolding to boost him up to tackle the upper six to eight feet.

The kitchen fitter sent his fitting partner around who did a brilliant job cutting up a decor panel into superwide skinny polygons to create plinth which could cope with the sloping floor.  The dollshouse room is essential finished now (apart from I still haven't sorted the desk issue out and I need to scrub the floor). One day I will possibly get carpet laid but for now I put back down some grotty carpet that came with the house (after I took this pic).

So I've started unpacking my final dollshouse, the biggest one, which I've nicknamed the Vic-war-gency house because it is rather a muddle of eras inside.  As you can see, there is a lot of tissue paper to fish out!

I haven't had simultaneous time and energy to actually do anything on miniatures this week, but looking forward to getting back into it.


Remember this?

Well, now it looks like this:

Yes, I frogged the gradient shawl.  I realised I would be too embarrassed to wear it in public where a knitter might see the horribly wobbly stitches my erratic tension produced in this unforgiving and not that nice to knit with yarn.  Also, it had turned out to be a wide shallow crescent, a shape that I find least useful in a shawl because it doesn't drape around my neck very attractively and doesn't cover much other than my shoulders if I drape it across my back.  I've had a few furtive looks on Ravelry at work for an alternative use for 425m of gradient fingerweight yarn, and meanwhile I have dampened it and weighted it to take out some of the kinks while it dries.

Meanwhile, I've started knitting a witch's hat for Halloween, using a pattern from Let's Knit magazine.  For commuter knitting, I had finished all the daisies...

... so I've started a pair of fingerless gloves riffing off a pattern from Ann Budd's Handy Book of Knitting Patterns and some Opal Harry Potter Yarn in the colourway Ron and Harry.  Love knitting with this stuff and seeing the patterns emerge.  It's not soft enough for my sensitive neck for a shawl for example, but fine for socks or gloves and it's quite hardwearing.

I'm also still knitting occasionally on the Rowan Summer Tweed Cardigan, I'm just finishing the second front then will start knitting up the back from the armholes.

Other crafts

Not a lot this week.  I have progressed the second sample of  Bucks Point bobbin lace. I'm having trouble seeing what I'm doing clearly enough with the finer thread.  I definitely notice that just over this year (since I started doing bobbin lace, hmmmm) my ability to focus on things within 50cm seems to have disappeared.  I'm getting my eyes checked on Monday and bracing myself for new glasses.

I did select fabrics for the next applique block in my 25 block applique quilt, marked up the background square for placement, and created templates to draw around for each required shape.  So that's all in my carry-around project case for the next time I feel like doing some applique.  Never did get to do any cross-stitch this week.


I discovered today that for almost two years in my new abode I have been unknowingly living within reach of the Aladdin's cave known to muggles as Coleman's Craft Warehouse.  It's like a Hobbycraft where everything is tidy, good quality, and reasonably priced.  DH took one look and immediately suggested that he carry the money while we were in there.

The retail area extends around the corner from  what you can see in this picture.  Towards the back left there was a long table with about 15 ladies having a scrapbooking class and they run a programme of demos and classes.  I would say the shop is about 65% scrapbooking but that encompasses a huge amount of things I can use in my hobbies like various flavours of Mod Podge, crackle glaze, esoteric glues, cutters, punches, fancy wallpapers, papier mache and MDF boxes and shapes, charms etc etc.  Other useful things are a selection of jewellery making tools like needlenose pliers and soft wire  (useful for dollshouses, spangling lace bobbins etc.), a small selection of quilting fabric on the bolt, some yarn and haberdashery, lots of stamping suppliers (useful motifs, stamping inks etc. for dollshousing), and various other treasures and gift items. Definitely a shop to go back to and to take any crafty friends/relations that might visit us.

And of course I had my job interview earlier in the week.  I would say it went alright: for some of the questions my memorised answers were very apt, for others I had to bend the script to try to make it fit, and for a few questions I had no clue and ended up waffling.  I think they are probably interviewing quite a few people, probably in the double digits, and they said they would let me know in a couple of weeks with successful candidates looking at a mid-November start date.  I'm still feeling ambivalent about whether leaving my current job to go for this one will be the right choice, but I don't have to worry about a decision until I find out if I made it through the selection process.

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