Saturday, 11 March 2017


Spring has sprung and the garden is slowly coming to life.  Suddenly we have daffodils, loads of crocuses, and today I noticed the forsythia is bursting into yellow bloom.  I have a long list of 'things to do in the garden in Spring' so I spent a couple of hours working on that on my day off, and today we went to the garden centre to acquire compost, manure and rose fertiliser so I can tackle more items on the list.

Today we also spent a hard couple of hours digging with the help of DS, who is home for the weekend, filling in the enormous holes we had dug in the future patio when we were mining for topsoil.  We've leveled out the surface and also lowered it by about six inches.  So if I ever find someone to do the patio, the surface is much more prepared. Plus it doesn't look like we are planning to bury anyone now.  We still need to smash up a little concrete plinth in the corner because I want to plant some bamboo in its place.

It's been lovely and warm the last few days, I've even shifted into my spring-weight coat and my fingerless gloves. But I did get to wear my newly reconstituted pair of Selbuvotter gloves before it got too warm. The one on the right side of the picture is the replacement.

Last Sunday DH kindly drove me down to the Duxford Quilt show at the Imperial War Museum. I went last year for the first time and really liked it, and it was good again this year. I'm assuming the stand rental must be reasonable, because unlike many other shows a lot of the traders have quite large stands and bring along loads of actual bolts of fabric rather than just precuts etc.  Fabric prices are also fairly reasonable with lots at £5m, £6m and £7m.  I had a good time looking but only bought a Japanese-style pale batik (in the background of the photo below) to back my Japanese wallhanging.  I also got a couple of pincushion kits from The Lavender Patch - one for me and one for m-i-l for Christmas, and some jewellery findings for the dollshouse.

Today I made up my pincushion kit, which I will use on my lace pillow.  All the fabric was in the kit except the denim blue print which I contributed from my stash for contrast. I also found the bow button in my button box which I thought looked cute on my fussy cut toile sheep.

The other big sewing exercise this week was designing and then making up a little toadstool sewing kit, using the materials left in the kit which were intended for a large toadstool thread container. I didn't think I would use a thread container, so I thought about what I would like to include in a sewing pouch: scissors, seam ripper, needle threader, needles, thread reels and a pocket for packets and sundries.  It doesn't need a place for pins as those go in the toadstool pincushion.  I decided to curve the top to make it look more like a toadstool although admittedly it is a bit lopsided in order to let the zipper close smoothly.  I think it makes quite a cute set with the little pincushion, and I enjoyed all the embellishing with beads and flower buttons. I stiffened the case with a double layer of pelmet interfacing.

On my day  off, I finally finished my club shed project.  I cut down the whitewood bookcase I bought at the Tower of London dollshouse festival to make it shorter, then gave it a crackleglaze finish.  I stocked it with some books and the box of rose food I had also bought, put up the map I had bought and made up a picture for the wall using a magazine print. The show is coming up soon, at the beginning of April, so it's good to get this finished and off my list.

On the bobbin lace front, I finished sample six which is called the Peacock's Eye edging.  I quite like the look of it, I think it would make a nice edging to go round a hankie for example. And I didn't make too many mistakes in it, apart from going off piste on the footing for a half inch before I got back on track.  Now I've started a little hexagon motif which is fairly easy in terms of the lace, but difficult in terms of logistics as you are working in a circle and constantly turning your work, with the resulting snags of thread on previous pins, jumbled bobbins etc.

On my day off I also knit the two sleeves for my denim machine knit tee, so I now have the four main pieces knit.  But I need to wet block them before I can join them together and knit the V-neck, which I am procrastinating about because it is such a fiddly job to get all the measurements right.  TV knitting is now a combination of the Outlander socks, in which I am not enjoying knitting the second sock but am persevering; and the top down leaf yoke jumper.  I still can't decide if the jumper fits me or not, I am beginning to believe that I will actually have to block the leaf yoke out so it lies flat because at the moment it is so puffy that it is impossible to tell how the jumper is fitting in the shoulders even with a few inches knitted on the sleeve. It seems like it is really baggy in the body so I am decreasing instead of increasing as the pattern directs.  Commuter knitting is a new pair of fair isle socks from Folk Knitting in Estonia by Nancy Bush.  The pattern is Laila's Socks, and I am using Lion Brand Sock Ease in Grape and White which I found in my sock yarn  stash  (absolutely no idea how it got there but it seems fine to knit with).

1 comment:

swooze said...

Love the zipper pouch. Were your ears burning today? I was talking about you to the lace society at the quilt show in Dallas today.

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