Sunday, 14 May 2017

Dial-a-builder advice line - why doesn't this exist?

I've spent a lot of time this week researching online trying to figure out how to put up our pergola posts and I'm still not there yet. I need some kind of dial-a-builder advice line that I can call. The problem is basically how do you install metal post supports into concrete-filled holes resulting in three posts that are all vertical, in a line so the slot-tops all line up to accept the top beam, spaced accurately within 1cm so the trellis panels will fit in between the posts, while at the same time achieving an appropriate height for each post on sloping ground so that the top beam comes out level - and I can't just chop off the tops of the posts to achieve level because they have slotted tops.  Added to that is the question of whether the metal sockets should be flush with the future patio surface or sitting above the future patio surface [which would result in having to pour concrete in mid-air which isn't going to work, duh]. Sigh...

Meanwhile we continue to paint the second coat of dark brown stain onto the components, which is a form of productive procrastination I guess.  DH is just off to buy the fourth can of stain from Screwfix and that will be the last one we need.

Crafts are so much simpler.

I've sewn all the triangular setting blocks for the William Morris grid quilt and have begun sewing diagonal rows together.  Once the middle is all sewn together then I will work out how to do the four corner block and which fabrics to use.

Last week I did some research online on how to restore a stained glass panel.  Cutting glass to replace the broken bits is outside my technical abilities (and comfort zone) but I did watch a useful video on how to secure the glass inside the leading with 'stained glass cement' so I sent off for some of that and the accompanying 'whiting' which helps the cement to set.  On my day off I cleaned up the panel, brushing down the lead and scraping off old paint and putty. Then I applied the cement which is basically oily black goo that you force into all the cracks and crannies between the lead and the glass.  You let it set for several hours and then you clean up by scraping along each lead line to neaten the result.  I've done both sides and now it needs to lie flat for a week to finish hardening before I can mount it.  Already it feels much more like a solid panel, instead of a wobbly framework of rattling glass pieces, and it looks a lot tidier.

I knit up the faux fur headband kit earlier in the week, and have worn it a few times on the days where it's too warm for a full hat but there's still a biting wind making for cold ears.  It's knitted in Wendy Eider and creates a convincing and extremely soft faux fur.  The yarn was easier to knit with than I expected, I just had to keep the stitches well separated so I didn't accidentally k2tog, but inevitably I dropped a stitch which just vanished into the pelt and took some doing to recover.  This yarn might make a nice cowl as well.  It is rather static-y, I usually get a few sparks when I take off the headband.  I can see this yarn used as a trim for a collar on a garment knitted in some other yarn.

After the headband was finished, TV knitting went back to the Reaverse Slippers.  I've knit both soles and knit the first sock but haven't done the laces yet.  You can start to see what they will look like if I pin the sole on. These are knit in Aran merino wool.

I had another go at the machine knit baby dress and to my relief the sleeves were fairly straightforward.  I've blocked the pieces then will need to press out the hems, button bands and waistband to 'kill' the acrylic so it lies flat.  Then there is a two piece white collar to knit.

Also to my relief, when I got out the super-duper illuminated magnifying lamp and sat down with my Bucks Point gimp finger sample of lace where I thought I had gone wrong, it turns out that I hadn't and things were ok. So that was good.  Less good is trying to work out how to do the tapered end on my bookmark.  I've made several attempts at puzzling it out and keep having to undo.  I was sort of getting it on one side but that's gone wrong as well.  This is where a teacher might come in handy.  I know I need to throw out pairs as the bookmark tapers, it's just working out which pairs that is the problem. I shall persevere. I think you learn more if you try to work it out yourself, within reason. I've met lacemakers that just obediently wait to be told what to do next by their teacher and wouldn't dream of tackling things on their own in case they make a mistake.

I've spent some time this week typing up short explanatory notes to accompany my dollshouses, in preparation for the club visit. I am thinking I will print them out onto either cards or, for the bigger houses, A4 sheets in plastic sleeves, to go with each house. DH has accused me of over-preparing for this visit.

Remember patio guy?  He did actually come back after a week or so with two quotes. Unfortunately neither of them is what I asked for.  I had showed him pictures of patios  in aged pinkish brick, laid in various patterns and edged in black brick - the idea being that it would match our existing Victorian brickwork and look a bit interesting and vintage.  He has now quoted for a patio in modern black sandstone (???) and for a patio all done in one colour of terracotta paver with a border around the edge in black.   It's a bit like dealing with Baby Groot if you've seen the sequel to Guardians.


Teresa said...

My goodness, you have a variety of things to work on and they all look so interesting. Sometimes these contractors think they know best and only quote what they think is best for you, not what you asked for!

swooze said...

You lay a 2x4 or some other length of wood on the ground. Put a level on it then build up your supports until that board USC level. You could actually make a frame (square) and level all around. Hope that makes sense

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