Sunday, 8 November 2015

Employment gap

As of Monday I will be officially unemployed.  The new job starts the following Monday so I get a week off. I'm hoping to do lots of crafts plus cross some DIY jobs off my lists.  I felt quite grumpy on my final day, I'd handed over everything and had virtually nothing to do, and since I had mentally left the building it just seemed like a complete waste of time to put in eight more hours.  Well, seven, as they let me go early.  Plus I had another irritating journey to work - it feels good to know that I won't have to face the London Underground sardine squeeze any longer. The general feeling amongst colleagues seemed to be envy that I was escaping the sinking chaotic ship for somewhere new. I have followed several colleagues out the door, and I think more will be following me as at least three of them are actively job hunting.

But I had a treat to look forward to which was DH driving me over to St Ives in Cambridgeshire for the Makit Fenlands Lace Fair the next day. It was quite a nice mix of lace suppliers, quilting suppliers and even a few knitting shops.
The bigger of the two rooms of the Lace fair

I enjoyed looking around and also bumped into a few of my lace friends. I was particularly looking at patterns, hoping to find something that I really wanted to make as I am getting bored aimlessly making samples of lace, but I didn't really spot anything.  I did get some fabric stiffener for the Christmas Star I have started to make using this free pattern.  I also found a stall selling secondhand bobbins quite cheaply and picked up a couple of nice ones.


Quilting

Earlier this week I finished off my Christmas tablerunner with bias binding.  It looks quite nice on our coffee table although it won't be going out on show until December.


I've also started piecing my design for a cushion cover using the fabrics I bought at Malvern and my EQ6 design.  I've just got to sew up four more blocks. The colours look nicer than this, the photo has come out a bit weird under artificial light.


I am looking at what to tackle next and I pulled out a kit for McKenna Ryan's 'In Full Bloom' applique quilt that I bought before we moved house. The rationale was that it was fusible applique so I would be able to do it without a sewing machine while we were in the rental house. However, in the event I never touched it.  I unpacked Block One and read through the instructions, it looks insanely complicated to cut out and I have no idea what I was thinking when I thought I would make it. (fighting urge to go back in time and smack head of younger self before she presses the 'Buy' button).

Knitting

I've done up to the thumb on the Latvian Mitten. It's quite complicated as you are knitting four colours in a row and there are some very long floats.  I'm using a finger stranding tool but it's still slow going.  I'm also knitting it inside out so that I can scoop up the longest floats occasionally rather than try to weave them in when there are four strands of yarn to deal with.

Commuter knitting has been the Now in a Minute Shawl. There's something about this pattern that I find very non-intuitive.  The actual shawl is not that complicated but I find the pattern hard to understand in the way it is written. So I made a bit of a dog's breakfast of the beginning of the shawl but have persevered. I think I understand the sequence now, and I'm on the third colour of the six colours of sock wool that I chose.


One of my friends, DaisyDaisyDaisy, is expecting so I did a bit of machine knitting for her over the last few weeks but that's a surprise so I can't put a picture in yet. I'm also giving her the Baby Surprise Jacket which she knows about and which is all done now with collar and buttons.



As I think I have previously demonstrated, I am very susceptible to advertising and this week fell victim to a Katia ad in Let's Knit magazine where a model was wearing a luscious-looking cowl knit in Katia Velvet Loop yarn. It just looked so warm and soft and you can knit the cowl from just one ball.  A few clicks of the mouse and the yarn was mine and I've almost finished the cowl which is just a strip of garter stitch.  The yarn is a chenille with regular loopy bits and is easy enough to knit with on 9mm needles.



In a similar vein, an article about Arne and Carlos, the Scandinavian knitters, included several pictures of cosy warm-looking felted slippers.  A quick trip to Amazon to find that it is a book and then it was mine, bwah ha ha.  The recommended Rauma yarn isn't available in the UK but I've got some Lett Lopi from Iceland that my s-i-l brought back for me, and I've felted a trial swatch which felted well. So I'm going to knit some slippers in Lett Lopi and hope I have enough.


Other stuff

Investigation of the mirror I bought last weekend revealed that it was cast plaster and probably modern. It seemed too fragile to try to remove the old paint so I repainted it in some Mylands emulsion in a stony-white colour. I also removed the mirror and gave it a very good clean as it was covered in old paint and dirt.  It looks nice now in the ensuite, adding a touch of period flavour but unfortunately showing up the hideous wall light that came with the house.


I've been getting the garden ready for the winter over the last few weeks: mulching around tenderish plants like the fuschias, clearing dead leaves, planting the last of the bulbs, and today I cleared away the rhubarb leaves and mulched around the crowns with manure.  We've still got some colour in the garden from plants that are hanging on to their flowers but then I don't think we've had a really heavy frost yet. In fact it's been rather ridiculously warm the last week, up to 18 degrees C in London, even though it is typically wet and blustery weather.  Today we got the stepladder out and attempted to string fairy lights in one of our trees at the front of the house.  I had a 50% chance to pick the correct string of lights from two identical strings. It wasn't until we were just finishing off an hour of reaching up into branches and tying lights on to them that I discovered I'd picked the string with the faulty repair so the end section wasn't lighting up.  Grrrrrr.  Fun and games trying to pick off the electrical tape and re-do the repair while standing on a ladder on the pavement/sidewalk.  I've got most of the bulbs lit again but I've had to wind duct tape around the repair and hope that's enough waterproofing to keep it dry for the next few months.  It feels a bit too early to put them on every night but we will go out and admire our handiwork tonight.

1 comment:

Daisy said...

Enjoy your week of being between jobs! I loved that carefree feeling. And I love the BSJ!

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