Sunday, 28 May 2017

Pergola time

This week has been mostly about the pergola.  If you prefer to read about needlecrafts then skip further down the post, I don't mind :)  Last weekend we managed to get all six main posts concreted into the ground, more or less level, and spaced to allow for the trellis panels to be fitted at a future date. We gave up trying to be clever about the sloping ground and just leveled every post to the first post we put in.  The consequence of this is that we now have to manually dig out the slope to level the site.  As it is almost a foot higher at one end, this is going to be a lot of bags of dirt going to the dump.  This weekend is a long weekend, so we got the main beams installed yesterday, and started on a production line of cutting the rafters to size and screwing them in place with four brackets each.  Each bracket has four holes and we have settled on having 11 rafters so that is 176 holes to be drilled and screwed while balancing on a rickety stepladder on the uneven ground.  We've done eight so far and it's looking surprisingly good considering our lack of expertise.

Last night we christened the future patio by setting up our little barbecue underneath the pergola and cooking dinner out there, but it was too windy to actually eat under it.  I never heard back from patio guy so the patio is still a mythical concept.

Meanwhile, on the knitting front, I finished my Reaverse slippers.

They're cute and fit well, but the finishing looks sloppier than the ones in the pattern picture. Now that I've made them once and understand the somewhat sketchy pattern, I know I could do a better job if I ever made them again.  The pattern calls for making 2-stitch I-cord in aran yarn for 1m 40cm for each shoelace. I decided life was too short and dug out my Magicord machine and cranked off two lengths in a crepe machine knitting yarn.  Meanwhile the weather has turned warm and sunny and temperatures have shot up to almost 30 degrees on some days, so I don't actually need slippers any longer until next autumn probably.

I also finished off my Fair isle Socks from Folk Knitting in Estonia by Nancy Bush.  I haven't blocked them yet  - blocking will help even out the stitches. They fit well, although you can feel the difference from having stranded yarn for fair isle in terms of reducing stretch, even though I was careful about not pulling too tightly. These are in Lion Brand Sock Ease that somehow found its way into my stash.

I managed to finish the machine knit baby dress in four-ply acrylic.  Basically I made a pig's ear of this but managed to camouflage the many mistakes so I think the non-knitting recipients will be happy with it.  I took it into work on Friday and handed it over to the husband. I was disappointed that he just thanked me warmly and didn't take it out of the bag to look at it but DH said that's a man thing and doesn't mean he didn't appreciate receiving it.

On the bobbin lace front, I started over on the silver snowflake decoration and it's going ok.  The thread I am working with, which is a DMC metallic embroidery cotton for the workers, is probably not the best choice as it is very stiff and a bit rough so it's hard to tension. But the colouring is effective.This is an earlier pic and I am about 3/4s around the snowflake now.

I've sewn most of the diagonal rows together for the William Morris grid quilt but not all of them.  I've also printed off descriptive labels for all my dollshouse collection and mounted these on card, ready to display for the club visit.  It looks like around a dozen people may be coming, which will be easier to deal with than all 20 or so members while still making it feel like my effort is worthwhile.  DS has announced he is coming back from uni prior to the visit so I've had a discussion with him about a) keeping the house tidier than normal once I've cleaned up for the visit and b) assisting on the day.

Yesterday I got my summer clothes out from under the bed, and swapped them over with my heavy winter clothes and jumpers.  Does anyone else do this?  It's not that I have a huge number of clothes as I'm not much into fashion, but I never have enough room to have a full four season's worth of clothes out at once, plus I don't like having things in the way that I won't be wearing for several months. I want to be able to grab things quickly and get on to more interesting things like crafting.

The cat is still under the weather.  We had an interesting few days where the cat bite on her back, which got infected, was 'weeping' which was pretty disgusting.  Particularly as she thought she would do me a favour by keeping me company at my sewing machine and rolling around winsomely on her back so I would pet her stomach - leaving behind disgusting smears which I had to immediately wipe up before anything got on my fabric.  And the last few days she has started sneezing and snuffling like she has a cold and her eye is watering so it's back to the vet she goes this afternoon. I like having a cat round the house but sometimes I do feel a bit ambivalent because of the expense, the maintenance, the paperwork, the cat hair, having to keep all the internal doors shut, not to mention trying to get pills into her etc. I feel like most of this sort of responsibility falls on me, although DH does more of the day to day work like feeding and cleaning up after her. In theory she is DS's cat, and he loves her dearly, but of course he's not here most of the year.

1 comment:

swooze said...

Your pergola is coming along nicely. Where is the slope? From front to back toward the house? You need to have a slight slope for drainage don't you?

All your needlework looks lovely. I think gifts for baby are typically handed over to the mother for opening. I'm sure she'll love it!

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