Saturday, 21 May 2016

A girl and her power tools

I spent the morning surrounded by power drills, of which we have four for some reason. One is knackered and every time we do DIY I promise myself to ditch it and yet somehow it ends up back on the shelf. Two are ancient hand-me-downs from relatives, and one is my lovely lightweight Ryobi with rechargeable powerpack.  Today we built the corner gazebo for the garden, so I was using three of them: one for drilling, one for countersinking, and one as a power screwdriver. Having three made the work go much faster as we didn't have to faff around changing over bits except when I needed to change drill sizes.  DH did the heavy lifting and held things in place while I attached them together.  We also did production line drilling and countersinking when we needed to, for example, drill six holes into the sides of each of eight roof pieces.

Surprisingly (given some past DIY cock ups) it all went quite smoothly. The panels are not exactly watertight as there are some fairly large gaps in the joins due to some rough and ready construction by the manufacturer, but it is all attached pretty sturdily and the part I was really worried about - the complicated looking roof - went together quite straightforwardly. Although having no upper body strength, by the time I had screwed home 48 attachments on the roof panels while holding the drill above my head, I had pretty sore arms.  We love the colours we've painted on the walls and roof, and are just thoroughly pleased with how it looks both from the garden and from the house. It adds height to the garden, acts as an interesting focal point, and gives the 'snowman' shaped lawn diagonal something to point to at long last. There is plenty of room inside for a table and two chairs, and you could probably squeeze in a third chair at a pinch. It is also quite private as the roof and back walls block out all the overlooking windows.  It will be a nice place to knit in the summer.

And I am really getting rid of that knackered drill! It let me down too many times this morning.

It's turned cold and rainy again this weekend but once we get some warmer weather we will touch up the paint on the gazebo, paint the inside of the roof, install a stone slab doorstep, and then landscape around the gazebo with the plants that we dug up last week.  The weeds are romping away now with the warm wet weather so the garden needs a major tidy up. I put in an hour or so in the front garden when I got home early on Friday and filled two big trugs with both weeds and over-enthusiastic self-seeded plants that were swamping other plants.


I haven't done too much in the way of crafts since last posting on Tuesday.  Knitting of course: I have fumbled my way to the final wedge of the Now in a Minute Shawl although I pulled most of it back last night when I realised that it wasn't looking like the picture and therefore I probably shouldn't have been knitting the increase section even though the confusing instructions don't say not to for the final wedge.  The yarn I ordered from Black Sheep Wool turned up, it's a chunky wool/cotton/acrylic blend by Sirdar called Faroe Chunky in the Moorlands colourway..  I'm going to knit this free pattern from Let's Knit magazine for a multiway wrap with it.  We're going camping this summer and this will be a good holiday project I think.  And I've turned the heel of my toe-up Lallybroch Sock and am heading up the leg now. I've wasted a lot of time picking up stitches because my new pointy addi metal DPNs are too short and very slippery and I keep losing stitches off the other end. I added some Knit Pro Zing DPNs to my Black Sheep order so hopefully they will be the right combination of pointiness but not too slippery and they are longer at 20cm.

I have also cut my way to the end of my first box of quilting fabric scraps at long last. I ended up with a pretty full bin of 2.5" strips and squares, as well as 1.5", 2" and 3.5" bins and the start of a collection of 10.5" squares for backing.  I have a couple more bags of yardage and fat quarters that are destined to be backing so I will cut them up into 10.5" squares as well because I think it will be a lot easier to join together squares than my previous method of trying to join up odd sized bits.  So my sewing table is finally freed up and I am planning to start on my jelly roll tote bag for my lace pillows using the Missouri Star YouTube pattern that I used a couple of years ago.  I won't be using a jelly roll this time, I'll be cutting strips from the haberdashery-themed fat quarters that I bought at the Makit lace fair a few weeks ago. I'm going to make a new bag that is deeper and wider so I can squeeze two pillows into it, my bag of accessories, and hopefully secure it all with a zip closure at the top.

I've virtually finished my Idrija bobbin lace motif, I just need to do the final sewings to secure the ends.  I will do that tomorrow afternoon when my lace friends come over for our monthly meeting. I need to think what my next project will be in this new type of lace, possibly a mat.  I've kept going on my practice machine knitted t-shirt and have knit the front now and one sleeve. So I just need to do the second sleeve and then I can block the four pieces in preparation for partial seaming and knitting on the neck band.  It's a round neck so it will depend on the length needed as to whether I can knit it all in one go on the machine or have to knit it in two pieces as the machine needlebed is only so long. Hopefully I can just seam one shoulder and hang the entire neckline onto the machine needles and knit the band directly onto the t-shirt.  It will be a picot edged hem to match the sleeves and garment lower edge.


swooze said...

Love your gazebo. It's a lovely setting with all the planting seeds, bird feeder and bath.

I hope you'll show some of your knitting and lace in progress. If you do manage to get the entire tshirt on the machine to knit the neck I'd live to see that!

Daisy said...

You're a lot better at DIY than we are! Our skills are non-existent! The garden is looking fantastic.

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