Sunday, 21 August 2016

Autumn skies

I'm looking out the window at yet another grey overcast day.  I should think British sunlovers are in despair at the summer we've had.  It suits me fine as I have to stay out of the sun and overheat easily, but even I can agree it's been fairly dismal.  It's also been very windy the last several days, and some of our trees are already shedding a lot of leaves even though it's still only August.  It feels more like late September.

We were out in the garden yesterday installing our latest addition, which DH has deemed 'interesting' as he's not sure he likes it.  I think it's a bit of fun.

This is the Victorian cast iron fire surround that we bought on our antiques outing to Weedon a few months ago.  On Thursday I finally got around to wire brushing it to remove copious amounts of rust, then sprayed it with primer. On the 'show' side I finished it with a stone effect spray, and I protected the back with some normal metal paint.  It makes a little gothic-style picture frame to look through.  I did investigate buying some acrylic mirror to turn it into a mirror frame but shipping was too expensive.  It's supported by a couple of stakes driven into the ground behind it.  This is probably a temporary location because if we ever get the patio built then I think it might look nicer over there.

Nearby is the obelisk that we bought at the Newark antiques fair. I planted a clematis under it which has obligingly grown up to the top and we might have some flowers soon.

I spent a couple of hours out in the garden on Thursday hacking back weeds and overgrown shrubs, it's all looking a bit rough this late in the season.  We still have some blooms: roses, phlox, rudbeckia, crocosmia, day lilies, salvia, Japanese anemones, fuschia and begonias, but there is more green than bloom.

This week I finished my sleeveless summer top and wore it to work.  I'm fairly pleased with it. My altered facings fitted their destinations which was a relief, and my understitching worked fine so the facings stay inside during wear. However they tend to poke out when putting the garment on, so I have to spend a few minutes faffing about and poking them all back inside which is annoying.  I'm tempted to run a line of top stitching around to keep them in permanently.  The fit is fairly good.  I found when wearing it that the armholes were a little too closely fitted so I've adjusted the pattern for the next time. Also I think the back darts should extend further down at the back so I've drawn that on the pattern for next time.  Anyway, nobody said anything at work so it probably  just looks like a top and doesn't scream 'home-made'.  Quilters will recognise the fabric as an Aunt Grace feedsack print but I don't think there are any quilters on my team.

I've bought some more of the blue fabric so I will make a second top in that.

I've finished sewing all the rows on my Whirligig Trip Around the World and have started sewing them together. The upper panel in this picture is the sewn-together part.

On the knitting front, I've been trying to get the Que Sera cardigan finished during TV knitting and am nearing the end of the second sleeve which is the final piece.  Then it will be blocking and perhaps picking up for a neck band, I can't remember.  I'm just starting the lacy border on the Raindrop Shawl after a bit of jiggerypokery with stitch count. For some reason I ended up with three extra stitches after the final garter border even though I started out with the right number. Not sure what happened there so I had to hide them into some K3togs in place of K2togs. It may have happened during some trauma with a disintegrating KnitPro Symfonie interchangeable wooden tip.  It started de-laminating and catching the yarn on every stitch which was incredibly annoying.  I tried rubbing it down with fine grade sandpaper which seemed to help but soon it was doing it again. Then when I tried to unscrew the needle so I could swap it with the good needle tip, instead of unscrewing, the bad tip just split completely across one of the laminations lower down the needle and came apart.  This happened on the train at the beginning of my trip home.  I spent half an hour knitting 20 stitches at a time onto the broken stub, then feeding them onto the jagged bit still attached to the cable before deciding I wasn't that desperate to knit.  I've had several problems with Symfonie tips and cables, I don't know if it is a quality control issue or if my needles have reached the end of their lifespan after 3 or 4 years.  I had a cable break just at the join the other day, and in the past have had a couple of issues with brand new metal joints arriving mis-threaded so you can't screw on a tip.  And the acrylic Trendz needles seem really fragile, I wouldn't say I knit with a death grip but I've snapped several of the acrylic needles 4mm and under just knitting with them, and also a 3.25mm or 3mm wooden one too. Some of the cables seem to be becoming very stiff as well, when originally they were pleasantly flexible. Annoying because these sets are not cheap and to begin with I was really happy with them.

I've finished the first round on my Idrija Lace doiley and am contemplating whether I have enough thread still on my bobbins to tackle the smaller inner round, or whether I should rewind the bobbins. It's tempting to keep going with the old bobbins but then I will have to deal with the knots as well.

That's about it this week - thanks for stopping by!


swooze said...

I'm trying to get caught up in blog reading. See you are getting lots done in many areas. Your display case looks great. I bought one for my Snowbaby collection but it's been too hot to retrieve them from the attic. It's cooling off now so hopefully I'll get them soon.

Hope everything is going well otherwise. Hugs!

Daisy said...

I think the summer top looks really good. Hope you get some wear out of it before the weather turns cold again!

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