Monday, 9 May 2016

Bobbin Lace weekend (with fabric shopping)

This weekend was all about bobbin lace as I attended the UK Lace Guild's weekend in Peterborough. It was quite fun and felt like a mini-holiday surrounded by like-minded crafty people.

On Saturday there were several full day workshops being held at the hotel and I learned a type of Russian lace called Idrija (pronounced Eh-dree-ya) from Slovenia. It's a narrow tape lace which progresses quite quickly and is suitable for beginners so I quite enjoyed the class taught by Jacquie Tinch. There were around a dozen people with four of us doing Idrija and the rest doing Russian lace, so Jacquie found it a bit challenging to give time to everyone and occasionally we had to wait for her. But she was a great teacher and I feel confident I can complete the motif we started on my own at home. I've also ordered a recommended book by Bridget Cook which has more patterns.

Jacquie making the rounds

My work in progress - this is how far I got by the morning after the workshop.

After class I nipped over to the nearby Queensgate Mall to visit the Hotter shoe shop that other lacemakers had been raving about for comfortable shoes, and picked up two pairs. As usual all the 'pretty' summer shoes weren't sized for wide feet - apparently once you have wide feet you only want to wear items that look orthopaedic... Then back to the hotel to get ready for the lace dinner which was attended by 70 members.  There was supposed to be a 'Lace In' evening after dinner but the hotel service, while very friendly, was so slow that dinner stretched out to three hours and most people were too tired by the time it finally finished.  Me and some others on our table did get our pillows out and do some lace making for 40 minutes or so, plus I was knitting on the Lallybroch Sock while waiting for the tea and coffee service to finish (60 minutes to make sure all 70 people had a drink, unbelievable. I wonder what it's like when they do weddings...).

Everyone I met was really friendly and it's so enjoyable to spend time with a group who are passionate about what they do.  As well as bobbin lace, there were people tatting, others were making beaded bracelets, and a fair amount of lace on display in the form of collars, brooches, ruffs etc. I have to say that it was for the most part a rather elderly crowd with quite a few people in their 70s, 80s, and even 90s, so I felt very young and thin which is always a nice delusion.

I stayed over at the hotel and met up with lace people again this morning for breakfast, then did a bit more Idrija in my room before rejoining the group for a shared taxi over to the Peterborough Arena for the Makit Lace, Quilting and Needlework fair.  This is quite a good fair for lacemakers but there were also several good quilting stalls this year. I had no intention of buying any fabric but I had been thinking I need to make a bigger bag to carry my lace pillows in and fell victim to a roll of ten haberdashery-themed fat quarters which will be perfect.  Having started down that slippery slope, a William Morris jelly roll and layercake, and a Moda charm pack soon joined my purchases.  I also picked up a Ruby anniversary commemorative lace guild bobbin and cover cloth, some secondhand bobbins, and a cool book of coloured lace which is in German which I don't actually read.  There is a glossary converting key terms to English, Italian and French but I see a lot of Google translate in my future.  At 11:30 I took time out from shopping to attend the Lace Guild AGM, which lasted an hour and was surprisingly well attended with probably well over 100 people there. I did some more knitting on my sock and reached the heel turn. I actually did too many increase rows and had to pull out a few of them. After a bit more shopping, DH picked me and my bags up from the fair.  I was so worn out when I got home that I had to have a nap. Fun weekend.

Suddenly summer

Only a week or so after the snow, it has soared to 23 degrees Celsius this weekend. So we spent much of the rest of Sunday afternoon and early evening out in the garden. We've installed a temporary privacy screen of split bamboo cane while we think about what the permanent solution might be for our very overlooked garden. Possibly a pergola but not until next year. This year's big expensive project will be getting the shower installed in the main bathroom which we've been waiting over a year for. The builder thinks he may finally be here to do it in September.  I also planted out some of my seedlings that I've been clumsily raising. I don't know if I have hardened them off sufficiently so I hope they survive.  I've got another 30 or so that are too small to go out yet.  The rhubarb had re-sprouted through the week so I cut another crop for our third batch of rhubarb crumble.  I used to hate rhubarb when I was little but I think it was the way my mum cooked it, and also I didn't like tart things much when I was a youngster.

On my day off last week I was cutting up more fabric scraps: I've done all the strips now and am starting to iron the odd shaped pieces for cutting into squares.  I also started blocking my 20 GAA knitted squares.  I don't have room to do them all at once so blocked eight to begin with.

TV knitting this week has continued to be the Que Sera cardigan. I have now reached the armholes and divided for the fronts and back, and am continuing up the left front.

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