Saturday, 11 February 2017
It's very chilly outside
We're having a wave of Siberian cold air so it was actually snowing yesterday most of the day, although not settling at all. It's very cold and damp outside today, hovering about 1 degree celsius. So inside in our old house it really isn't that warm either. I'm sitting here with a heavy handknit sweater over my fleece over a long-sleeve tee shirt, and I've got legwarmers on under my trousers, and I can still feel cold drafts swirling around my legs. The plan was to go outside and take down the Christmas lights from the trees but I think I will stay inside in the semi-warm, thank you very much.
So I'm pottering around today. I've knit the front of my machine knit denim t-shirt but there are still two sleeves to go. I've made a couple of templates to trace around for the flowers on my Hawaiian applique quilt, because last night I finally finished stitching down the stems and leaves (which has only taken me about five years, lol). Ignore the red patches, they were just markers to show me which stems I have finished. One day when I finish appliquing all of this, there is a border to add around the edge as well.
I promised pictures of my 20-year-old hooked rug now finished. It doesn't look very big, does it? How could that take 20 years? ...Because there are a kazillion strands, it's tedious to work, and it hurt my hands to do, that's why. But it's finally done, hurrah. I'm enjoying walking on it every morning on the way into the ensuite.
I've done some dollshousing, and knit some more on my Frisee shawl which I had to pull partly out because I went wrong on the mesh section. I don't really understand the mesh pattern, I think I will need to graph it out to work out what is supposed to be happening.
I finished my second Raindrops Shawl that I worked on in Japan, and it's blocking now. The wingspan is about 52". I like this pattern, it looks nice but it's simple enough to be a commuter project.
On the bobbin lace front, I've embarked on a crash course to learn Bucks Point lace before I go on a workshop at the end of March. I'm working through samples from the Jean Leader book she wrote for the Lace Guild. I tried unsuccessfully to learn Bucks Point a few years ago and found it too hard to learn from a book, but at the time I produced some decent enough samples. This time round, after having been doing a relatively coarse tape lace for the last eight months, I am finding it really difficult to pick up the Bucks. For one thing, it seems impossibly fine and the multitude of pins ends up hiding what is going on with the pattern. I'm making loads of mistakes which is discouraging but I suppose it's better to get through this stage at home and not waste time on the actual course. I'm trying to do some almost every day and it's going a bit better now.
This week's dabbling: upholstery
Last week it was scrapbooking, this week it is upholstery. A couple of years ago I bought an antique needlework table on eBay for the living room so I would have somewhere to stash my stuff. (That's the theory anyway, normally it is too full and my stuff ends up on the floor around my chair anyway). I always meant to recover the hanging storage box because it was in poor shape and only bare cardboard on the inside. I even bought some lining fabric and braid a year or so ago, from the Mill Shop in Northampton.
So I decided to finally tackle this on my day off this week. I pulled out all the staples that were crudely holding on the red damask cover and looked at how my predecessors had attached it. Once the modern repair staples were removed, I could see that originally the cover had been stapled at the top from the inside, so that the staples were hidden when the cover folded down over them. As it happened I had a remnant of our living room blind fabric which was just the right size to recover the box.
It was a bit fiddly but I managed to staple all around underneath the rim of the box, then pull the fabric taut to fold it over and staple it onto the bottom of the box (where the staples will be hidden). However, as the box is tapered, I ran into trouble with pleats and had to re-work the final seam a few times to try to pull as much excess fabric as I could towards the back panel. Eventually I managed to achieve a fairly smooth result.
Then I covered up the staples on the final seam with a bit of braid (you can see the bias created some folds here at the back where they won't be seen.)
I used the lining fabric I had bought to sew a tapered liner for the inside. I stapled the seam allowance to the base of the box to hold the liner in place, before pulling the fabric upwards and folding it over to staple it at the top.
Then I covered up the staples with some braid, carefully hot gluing it on. Carefully because I find hot glue very hard to manage and keep tidy, and I have also burnt myself many times in the past. It went ok this time and the braid looks good.
The finished result, in place in the living room. It looks a lot better. I wonder who used my table in the past and what needlework they were making? The eBay page described it as Sheraton but I doubt that because that would make it well over 200 years old and it seems in too good shape for that (plus it wasn't ridiculously expensive). Victorian in the style of Sheraton perhaps? Anyway, it's in a good home now and is being used for its original purpose. The top hinges upwards as well so you can reach in the drawer from the top, but I never do that because I've always got stuff on top of the table.
This site is owned by
Want to join a