Sunday, 20 November 2016

Getting back to normal

We've been home a full week now, and already Japan is starting to seem like it was a while ago.  I'm still trying to weed out photos, I have probably eliminated about 100 so far but that still leaves far too many.  By Friday, work was starting to feel like "oh, so this is my life huh?" so the weekend has been a welcome respite.

I hope some of you checked out my extra posts this past week about Japan.  I have one more photo of stuff I bought which didn't fit in the previous posts:

These are all paper items.  Six cards of classic Japanese woodblock prints which I am having framed into two sets of three.  Two sets of woodblock coasters, two reels of pretty printed washi tape (good for decorating envelopes etc) and a pack of indigo printed washi paper which I'm sure I'll find a use for.  I got more coasters and more washi paper as gifts for my bobbin lace ladies as we seem to have gotten into the habit of bringing each other gifts from our holidays.

Catching up a bit, just before we left for Japan I managed to hotwire my broken overlocker footpedal and finish off my One-Hour top, a free online pattern from Fancy Tiger Crafts.  I wore it to work after I got back.  I don't normally like dolman sleeves but the fabric is so drapey that the excess under the arms didn't bother me, and I quite like this £2/m fabric I got off the market in Birmingham.

I also finished the winter cottage tea cosy I was knitting before we left. This was a pattern 
from Let's Knit magazine but I couldn't find the colour of Aran
yarn they used for the cottage. So I experimented with holding two colours of
DK yarn together but I'm not entirely happy with the
mottled effect this created. Although I suppose it looks brick-like.

 This week I've done some more work on the applique houses tea cosy I started before we went to Japan. (You may be wondering why I need so many tea cosies, lol. I just like making them.).  I've now moved on to embellishing the fusible applique with free motion stitching in black thread.  It's a good refresher on free motion quilting.  This is the first side embellished and I'm working on the second side currently.  Then the background of both sides gets quilted in toning thread to create a textured effect before making it up into a cosy with a padded lining.

We've watched a fair bit of TV this week, catching up on what taped while we were away.  I'm still working on the Drops top-down yoked sweater and have just about finished the yoke now.  I went to get more yarn from my 11-ball stash and realised that I had already used four balls just on the yoke. I panicked a bit and have now ordered a safety margin of more Drops Karisma yarn from Wool Warehouse.  It won't be the same dyelot but I feel better knowing I will have some more in case I need it.

DH had a big finish this week by finally completing the cross stitch blue and white picture that he started several months ago.  I bought the pattern from someone selling off their mother's cross stitch stash, just because I thought it was pretty. I didn't think I would ever make it because it is so big and complicated. DH had done a bit of cross stitch before and having studied the pattern, volunteered to have a go at it. I was sceptical because he didn't really enjoy what he had made before although he likes the end products.  He persisted so I pulled together the supplies for him and ordered some linen evenweave cloth.  He did a brilliant job, painstakingly unpicking anything he wasn't happy  with, and soldiering on through multiple complex charts. He was pretty much hating it by the end but he completed every stitch. The 'white' background of the plate and tea set is all individually stitched, and there was a ton of intricate back-stitch. Doesn't it look great?  I will get it framed and it will go on display in pride of place on our living room wall.  He says he is never doing any cross stitch ever again. :)

It's turned quite cold here so I've been enjoying wearing the Baa-bles hat and mitten set that I knitted last winter, nice and warm.  We went to Oxford on Saturday to visit DS and take him his obligatory souvenir t-shirt (and a few other things). It was great to see him and Oxford is already starting to look quite festive with lights and christmas-sy things.  We had a lovely cup of tea and some very nice cakes and cream scones in the Vaults in Radcliffe Square.  All three of us are feeling sad that this is his last year in such a lovely city.

Hope you are staying warm in your hand knits or under your handmade quilts!

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