Saturday, 9 July 2016

I'm too young to go grey

I spent the early part of the week looking a bit like a Klingon after having an allergic reaction to something - probably the hair dye applied on Saturday at the salon. My eyelids puffed up so much that the inside corners of my eyes were almost closed, giving an odd leonine look to my face and making my nose look really wide.  It wasn't itchy but it felt peculiar, like I had masking tape stuck on my face. A course of antihistamines reduced it back to normal by Friday, by which time three different people at work had regaled me with tales of someone they knew who mysteriously developed an allergy to all forms of hair colouring and were forced to go grey.  I've been having the same product applied for years, and it's a semi permanent because I am sensitive to some ingredients in permanent colour. I talked to the hairdresser today and she wants me to come in and do a sensitivity test (which I haven't had a problem with in the past) before my next appointment.  I don't know what I'm worried about more: having a more extreme reaction next time, or having to go prematurely grey before I'm ready.


I had ordered a stretcher frame from the same place I used before, as they will cut bars to bespoke sizes with a clever mitre joint at each corner that doesn't need any glue. The bars cost pennies but they sting you on the postage so the frame for my Venice picture cost about £10 in total - but then I'm saving on the cost of wadding, backing fabric and binding.  I fused on a few more leaves in a lighter green to lighten the foliage effect, then stretched the picture over the frame and stapled it on the back.  It looks good, I'm pleased with the effect.  I emailed one of the women who contributed a panel back in 2007 to let her know I'd finally finished it and sent her a picture, she couldn't even remember which panel she'd done, lol.

The back, showing the staples

I've now only got three old UFOs on my list: the Hawaiian applique quilt, the Bear's Paw quilt, and the 25-block hand applique quilt. So I am moving onto the 'projects in grocery sacks' which are non-started projects, some of them also quite ancient.

I've started out with three packs of charm squares in red, white and green which I picked up very cheaply at some long ago American quilt show.  They are a bit wishy-washy in colour value - actually they look better in this photo than they do in real life..  I'm sewing together 11x11 squares in a Trip Round the World layout. Then I am going to try the spinning pinwheel effect which I did on a small scale several years ago, where you cut smaller squares from the panel at an angle then re-piece into pinwheels.


I've continued to stick on shingles, and have almost completed the gazebo roof now.  It's slow going because of having to cut all the angled shingles. I'm a bit worried about painting these flimsy shingles in case they warp so I'm considering spraying with sealer first (after masking off all the white areas).

I put together a little kit for a 1/24th scale knitting bag which I sent off, along with a printie, for an online swap. I hope they like it.

I've been dealing with some of my recent miniatures purchases to get them into their intended residences.  I added some accessories to the little vintage tinplate cooker and have installed it in the French gatehouse. It looks interestingly foreign and not obviously blocking access routes although someone coming in the (non-working) door would be in the way of the cook.


From time to time I go through a toy-knitting phase, and I seem to be in one again. I started a free magazine kit for oddly-shaped farm animals on the drive to Mablethorpe last week, and I've spent this week knitting all five and putting them together. I can't decide if they are cute or just weird but hopefully some child will like them. I think I've got some printed farm fabric somewhere, so if I can find that I might sew a drawstring bag for them to go in.

I still feel like toy knitting so I'm going to start a striped bunny pattern that was in Let's Knit magazine, as someone at work is going on maternity leave in September.

I've given up on the Lallybroch socks as commuter knitting and have demoted/promoted them to TV knitting. I went wrong on the sequence of the double moss stitch again and spent 20 minutes of my train journey unraveling stitches and peering nearsightedly at my knitting trying to work out where I had gone wrong, and realised that I just wasn't having fun any more. I don't know if it is the fine gauge of the yarn, the mottled colour, or just the morning light on a train, but I can't see the stitches clearly enough to knit with 2.0mm needles accurately.  So I've started a new shawl in some heavier fingering that I got through my KnitCrate membership a few years ago, in a tonal pink colourway. The pattern is Rainwater Mint by Sally Oakley Designs and I chose it with commuter knitting in mind, so it's not too hard but not too boring either. And it starts from the back neck which I prefer.

Other stuff

I'm getting along fine on my Idrija bobbin lace mat and it seems to be working using a photograph instead of a pricking.  I had a brainwave and started using a soft plastic sheet protector with a hole cut out of it to cover up the pin heads, instead of the three cover cloths that the Lace Guild instructor told us to use.  It's much quicker to reposition the plastic sheet and I can see the pattern which helps with 'steering'. You  need the cover because you are constantly rotating the work and the threads will catch on the pinheads if they aren't covered.

I played around with the practice machine knitted tee which had come out too large. I decided that the sleeves and shoulders fit me fine, I just needed to take two inches of width out of the front and back. That was easily done by moving the centre line of my Knitleader pattern over by one inch (it's a half-pattern). So I've knit a tension swatch in the Yeoman Panama yarn that I bought, using T7 which is what I used to knit Panama on back in the day. I've washed it and it's drying, then I will measure it. Hopefully I might even get the summer tee knitted while it is still summer ... :)

I picked a handful of cherries off our baby cherry tree today, and our apple tree is laden down with toddler apples.  However all the pears that were growing on the pear tree have vanished, apart from four around the back of the tree.  I google'd a bit and apparently it might be due to all the cold and wet weather, the tree decides it won't be able to nurture the fruit so it drops it. We've had three lots of strawberries out of the strawberry patch but picking them is killing my back. I'm considering installing a raised bed to make it easier to pick them next year.  And the rhubarb has done very well, I was picking about a kilo every weekend through June but I'm giving it a rest this weekend and will stop altogether soon so it can build its strength up for next year. I never thought I liked rhubarb but I think it's probably because my mother didn't use much sugar with hers as she doesn't have a sweet tooth. I make a nice recipe for Rhubarb Crumble out of the baking book 'Saved by Cake' by Marian Keyes, she adds some ginger to bring out the flavour, and a decent amount of sugar (and I add a bit more as well, hee hee).

1 comment:

Daisy said...

I've probably got more grey than you now! Motherhood has produced a streak of grey to one side of my forehead, where previously there were just two or three grey hairs!

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