Sunday, 11 September 2016

Wavering progress

This week seems to have been a succession of do-overs.

For example, last week I reported that I had finished my Rainwater Mint shawl.  The pattern calls for a decreasing bind off after the lace edging. I was sceptical that this would make too tight an edge but none of the other projects on Ravelry reported any difficulty so I had faith and followed the instructions.  It did block nice and flat, but when I went to put it on, I found the firm edging with no give caused the entire shawl to 'cup' unattractively either upwards or downwards.  In the end I pulled out the entire castoff, and cast off again using a Frilled bind off which has a lot more give to it. I had to do a spit splice to add on more yarn (which luckily I have lots of). Then I wet the edge of the shawl and did a reblock just of the edge, pulling it out into small points.  I'm glad I did all that because now the shawl drapes much better.

Next do-over was the Que Sera cardigan.  I chose eight buttons and sewed them on with matching embroidery floss one night then put the cardigan on and looked in the mirror.  It looked like a drunk had sewn them on at random, they were wavering all over the place. (Admittedly I was drinking a glass of Prosecco at the time for my wedding anniversary, lol).  So they all had to be cut off the next night (and I had triple knotted them for security) and resewn in a more conventional vertical line.  Although the pattern doesn't call for it, I think the cardigan would have benefited from the top button being higher up to the neckline.  I'm wearing a white sleeveless vest under the cardigan in these pictures which is showing through a lot. I'm quite pleased with the fit.

Continuing my theme, I sewed an armhole facing onto my blue summer sleeveless top.  It didn't seem to fit as well as when I sewed the first top, but I put that down to cutting error.  After grading (trimming) the seam, clipping and doing the understitching, I moved onto the other armhole. I couldn't get that facing to fit at all, which is when I belatedly realised that I had accidentally switched the facings and sewn the first one on reversed (back of facing sewn to front of top).  I couldn't face taking it apart with all the understitching etc, so I stupidly thought I would try bodging in the second facing.  Needless to say that didn't work at all, so TV knitting time one night was actually seam ripper time as I unpicked all the stitching from my poor abused garment armholes.  I had to throw out the facings and make new ones, but then faced the challenge of sewing an intact facing into a trimmed and clipped armhole. I've managed more or less with the first armhole but haven't tackled the second one yet.  I wrote in pencil to label the back pieces and underarm seam of the facings so I can get it right this time!


I did manage to finish the shingling on the roof of my Victorian shed without having to backtrack.  I gave them a couple of coats of brown paint then distressed them a little with some mid-brown paint then with a mix of grey and brown. I still don't think the colour is quite what I want yet but I'm thinking about it. I might do a green wash on some of the shingles.

Meanwhile I started work on some finishing touches, like gingerbread trim for along the underside of the porch roof, and I cut a larger base.

I've done a bit more work on my Idrija Lace doiley this week because I've left it on the dining table where I can easily sit down and do a few minutes on it.  TV and commuter knitting (when I haven't been re-doing things) has been the Sirdar Crofter baby dress which is almost down to the hem now. I've also been experimenting with some Thrummed Slippers.  I took part in a Learn to Thrum workshop at Skip North the last time I attended, and I bought some yarn and roving to make slippers at one of the shops we visited.  Thrums are little loops of wool roving inserted to the inside of knitting for added warmth.  I couldn't find a pattern for the thickness of wool I have, so I am adapting a not-very-good Drops slipper pattern and it's turned into a bit of a bodge job.  Not sure these are going to be viable slippers but I am persevering with the first one.

Today we visited a couple of gardens open under the National Garden Scheme.  The second one was Coton Manor Gardens, which is quite big at 10 acres and based around a lovely old manor house.  There's a tea room where we had quite a nice lunch, and a big plant nursery. The gardens were extensive and quite impressive even at this time of year.  We plan to go back next year to see the bluebell wood in spring and then again in summer to see the borders at the height of their glory.  And they had a small flock of pink flamingoes which was just so incongruous against the traditional English landscape. The birds didn't seem fazed at all by the visitors staring, but they weren't so keen when a little boy started running enthusiastically around them. Highly recommended if you are in the area.

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