Monday, 8 August 2016

Finding my tribe

This week I kidnapped a complete stranger off the street and forced her to look at my craft rooms and sit in my living room talking about knitting.

OK, perhaps 'kidnap' is a bit strong.  I was babysitting a parcel which had been left with us by a very inexperienced My Hermes delivery woman, who insisted it was for an office across the road when it clearly wasn't. The intriguing factor for me was that it was from Deramores, a UK online yarn supplier, and was temptingly squishy (I had both DH and DS telling me that no, I couldn't open it to see what this unknown knitter was missing out on). After a few days I thought perhaps the recipient wasn't coming at all, but my doorbell rang on Thursday and there was a woman tentatively asking if I had a parcel for her.  After exchanging our views on the hapless delivery woman, who hadn't even left a delivery card so my neighbour had to track down the parcel online, I said that I had known it was yarn. This led to a brief exchange where we found out we had both been to Fibre East on the weekend so I said she had better come in for a cup of tea.  Which she did, and I found out she is BlueHydrangea on Ravelry and we ended up talking for an hour and a half and supper was very late that night but luckily the family didn't mind.  It's just so nice to talk to someone who understands about yarn and sewing and sewing machines and gadgets and circulars vs straights.  I've met other local knitters in the past but they aren't on Ravelry and are mainly acrylic yarn adherents so not really in my tribe, whereas my neighbour really is.  This week I get to go round her house to see her knitting - which judging by her projects page is much more technically advanced than mine. I'm looking forward to it.

It's been a bitty week for crafts, just some snatched time here and there.  I did get a lot done on the Raindrops Shawl as I went on an all day coach trip with my gardening club on Saturday and there was a lot of waiting around or sitting on the coach.  We went to Wightwick Manor in the morning which was an absolutely brilliant Victorian house full of William Morris wallpaper and Pre-Raphaelite artwork, but built to look like an old Tudor house.

I'm stalled on the sleeveless top because it is just so daunting trying to get the toile to fit me properly.  I knit a tension sample on the machine for a second machine knitted sleeveless tee but haven't managed to start it yet.  My bobbin lace friends came over  so I did do a couple of hours on my Idrija lace mat which is slowly coming along.  I've also had to spend time out in the garden watering so it doesn't all die, and pulling out the bindweed I discovered was swarming amongst the shrubbery.

I brought the finished Victorian gazebo porch and my Canadian dollshouse back into the dollshouse room.  I was sorting out the things that had fallen over inside the house in transit and was puzzled to find a puddle in the bedroom underneath a Chrysnbon plastic rocking chair.  I couldn't work out where it had come from, and was looking up stupidly at the ceiling of my room wondering about leaks, when I happened to touch the handmade patchwork cushion on the rocking chair. It was sopping wet! Not only sopping wet, but sitting in its own puddle on the sodden crochet mat on the rocking chair, which itself was starting to suffer and lose paint.  That's when I remembered that many years ago, I had stuffed the cushion with table salt for a realistic look and weight. It had never caused any problems before but obviously sitting in an unfinished damp cellar for several weeks had proved too much. I had to throw the cushion and mat out, I'm lucky it didn't cause any more damage than it did.  I won't be using salt as a cushion filler again!

I've started trying out furniture to fit on the porch. I have some wire sofas which I will spray paint and make cushions for, and a pretty little pink wicker set which I think I got on sale a while ago.


I got out the Windolene and cleaned my new glass cabinet in my dollshouse room, and ordered some plastic strips for the front corners to dust proof them.  I've brought down the smaller houses which were upstairs in a dark cabinet, and also installed some of the items which have previously lived under cling film dust covers.  It's lovely to be able to see them all now, safe from most of the dust anyway.  I can display my 1:48 New Orleans house open for the first time, and some of my 144th scale houses.  And I finished the 'secret book' kit. I've got a friend in France who owns a miniatures museum (Hi Anita!) and this cabinet makes me feel like I've got a little museum of my own.



I've been doing some 1:1 scale decorating as well.  I bought a little table for £5 from a secondhand shop, and I've given it a couple of coats of chalk paint (not Annie Sloan).  I'm pleased with how it is turning out, after I give it a coat of wax then it will go up on the upstairs landing.  Perhaps decorated with a cloth from my vintage linen collection although that is just asking for trouble from our cat...




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