Saturday, 2 July 2016

Autumn in July

Ever since we got back from Yorkshire it has been raining. And also quite windy, and on some days, quite chilly. I've even gone back to wearing a light woolly hat and fingerless gloves for my walk to the station in the morning, which is ridiculous in late June. We all joke about how rubbish the British summers are but it seems to be outdoing itself this year.  If this was a Shakespeare play, the bad weather would be seen as a physical sign of the political turmoil going on since the EU referendum. Every day the news gets more incredible. Today there was a protest of thousands in London against leaving the EU on such a slim majority vote.

Thankfully we have hobbies to focus on. Thursday on my day off I got the train to Market Harborough then joined a friend for a 2.5 hour drive over to Mablethorpe on the east coast where the local dollshouse club had organised a workshop with teacher Jane Harrop. I had chosen to do a work-in-progress table for a dollshouse builder, while my friend was doing an artist's table.  A few other people were doing a potting bench, so there was lots going on. The hosting club was extremely friendly, which was good because due to limited tables we were having to work very closely together like eating dinner on an economy airline.  I had taken everything I thought I might need but had to leave my box on a chair behind me and work on my lap part of the time. Jane is a very dedicated teacher and absolutely determined that everyone learns how to do every aspect of their kit so they can achieve a good result. So the day was very teacher-led and we had to do things at the same time, and I felt pressured to work fast all day to keep up. So I was knackered by the end of it, thankfully my friend had more stamina as she was driving us all the way back again afterwards.  I did get the majority of the tools and accessories made on the day, and the table and house built, and then today I finished up the remaining details and assembled the project with some additions from my own stash. Here's a pic of what I made on the course. Jane's kits come with instructions and materials to make all these accessories.
Below: a close up of the paintbrushes and pencils we made

Here is my finished table set up. The only thing missing is the front of the dollshouse which is still drying.  I used Glue 'n Glaze to make 'glass' for the window panes so those still have to dry.

I'm quite pleased with it. I don't know where it will go yet but I'm sure I'll find a home for it. DH looked at it and said 'yes, that looks like exactly the kind of mess you work in'.

When I got home Thursday night I felt like a palate cleanser from miniatures so I pulled out my two-inch scrap squares that I cut a while back, and laid out 70 of them to sew together into a little bag for my travel iron. Up until now it's been living in a basic black bag but I realised last time I was out at the sit and sew day that I should be ashamed as a quilter to be using such an ugly covering. So today I sewed the squares together and turned them into a pretty little drawstring bag. Much better.

TV knitting this week has been the Multiway Wrap and also on the drive to Mablethorpe I started a free kit to knit several farmyard toys because everything else I'm knitting requires me to look at a chart and I would get travel sick. I like knitting toys.  Commuter knitting is now and feels like it shall forever be the Lallybroch sock.  I'm doing the Moss Stitch folded cuff, only I realised after I had knit about an inch of it that although the pattern says moss stitch, the written directions (which I hadn't bothered to read) are for Double Moss Stitch. So I pulled the cuff back and started over.  I think part of the problem is that the gauge is that little bit finer and my eyesight is that little bit worse now so it doesn't make great commuter knitting.

Today we took delivery of, and then I later installed, a little garden water feature to go in the new garden corner area that I posted about last week.  I haven't taken a picture of ours yet but this is what it looks like on Amazon. It's about 30 inches high and makes a lovely trickling noise now that I've wired it in. I've put it just to one side of the new metal arch so we can watch it from the bench and enjoy the sound.

Tomorrow my bobbin lace ladies are coming over so I will be doing more work on the Idrija lace mat that I've started.  I'm working directly from a photograph I found online instead of a pricking so I don't know how it's going to turn out but I'm giving it a go.

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