Sunday, 18 September 2016

Back to school (but not for me)

We took DS back to uni today for his final and fourth year.  This year he is sharing for the first time with two other boys, having had his own room for the first three years.  I'm glad he will get the experience of sharing now.  I didn't share with anyone until my late 20s and found it mildly traumatising having to tolerate other people's habits and noises. He's more easygoing than I ever was but I expect there will still be a bit of a learning curve.

Not much crafting this week as I seem to have been buried under a sea of paperwork at home and at work.. And my 'day off', although I am very grateful to have it, seems increasingly taken up with chores, errands, deliveries, paperwork and routine service visits for the boiler, the chimneys, etc. It's also apple season so I've been making apple pies from our tree.

I did manage to finish my second sleeveless top, the one in blue cotton that I blogged an in-progress photo of a few weeks ago.  I thought I had taken pics of the finished top but I can't find them so I must be imagining it. I wore the top to gardening club on Thursday night and to work on Friday.  It's fine. After the facings debacle, the armholes are gaping a bit but not unacceptably. The fabric itself is crisper than my first top so it doesn't drape as comfortably but it's wearable.  I'm attending Sew Brum for the first time this coming weekend, which is a jaunt around some of Birmingham's fabric shops. So I may be inspired to sew something else to wear if I find some nice fabric/patterns. Wish I were better at it though...

I've finished the knitting on my Sirdar Baby Crofter Baby Dress but haven't sewn it up yet.  This is a picture when I had done the first pocket then I knit a second pocket the next night. This is a one year old size made using a pattern called Caesia by Georgie Nicolson, which I found on Ravelry.

Yesterday I spent a pleasant day at the Lavendon Lace Day, which is organised by a lace group in Olney.  It was held in the village hall and had a healthy attendance of likely in excess of 50 ladies, mostly older but there were a few younger people. Most people this year were working bobbin lace and there were some very impressive projects going on, not too mention impressive pillows with dozens of decorative bobbins dangling from them.  I took my Idrija lace doiley and finished working the inner circle, then wound fresh bobbins and started on the outer circle.  Although it is quite a simple lace, I had several admiring comments as it is something a bit different from the more usual Torchon lace.

The ladies at my table were quite friendly, and I spent some money at the lacemaking supplier on threads but also on this vintage, part-worked stamped table cloth which was originally purchased in 1957. It was going for a bargain price from a clear-out by a lady in her 80s who must have decided she was never going to finish it. I don't know if I will either since I don't do embroidery, but I like it.

And there was a raffle in which amazingly mine was the first ticket pulled. So I had my choice of items - I was tempted by a bottle of prosecco and a cross-stitch book but in the end I went for yet another project which is this Dimensions kit for embroidered sewing-themed ornaments. Perhaps in my retirement I will open a museum of unopened craft kits and part-finished projects, lol. The packaging looks dated and it has an American price tag on it, so I strongly suspect that this has been sitting in some other lady's stash for some time. Now it can live in mine.

Commuter knitting has been the purple Victorian Lace Today shawl which I started a while ago. I also took it to gardening club to knit on during the lecture, but was dismayed when they turned out the lights for the slide show. After fidgeting for 10 minutes I found my eyes had adjusted just enough that I could make out the pattern chart, and the shapes of the stitches if I held them up against the lit-up screen. I managed to knit several rows of leaf lace largely by feel and counting the 12 stitch repeat, and as far as I can tell now, without any mistakes or dropped stitches which is amazing. I can't manage that in daylight some days, lol!

I've done a bit of work on my Victorian dollshouse shed project.  I've been fashioning and painting some scrollwork trim for the porch, and I made and painted five window boxes. I've also primed and painted two hanging baskets (from plastic caps) for the shed, and five more baskets (from wine drink bottle tops) to go on the gazebo porch.  I need to pull out all my greenery and dollshouse gardening stash so that I can make plants to fill the boxes and hanging baskets.

It's time to turn DS's room back into a guest room, which we will do this week. I actually have a guest coming over from France in a few weeks which I am looking forward to.

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