Sunday, 7 May 2017

Use it or lose it

I just did a quick Google on my title to make sure it didn't have an off-colour meaning, and a whole bunch of sites came up linked to 'cognitive decline'. Yup, that would about sum it up, lol.  I've had two examples this week where I tried to use a skill after a long break and found the skill wasn't there any more.  Go figure.  It is annoying though when you used to know how to do something, and put a lot of work in to acquire that level of skill, and then find it was all for nought and your cognitive has declined.

I sat down to machine-knit a baby dress last Bank Holiday Monday, for a work colleague. The pattern is cute but not overly difficult, although it does contain some errors which tripped me up. Then I made several rookie mistakes like using waste yarn too similar in colour to my main yarn - making it extremely difficult to pick up stitches for hems and waistbands, dropping stitches while decreasing/increasing, losing track of my rows, etc. etc.  I eventually managed to achieve a front and back which are fairly similar in size - thank goodness knitting is stretchy.  I still need to do the sleeves, hopefully they will go better.

Then yesterday I attended a small lace day where I was working on my Bucks Point bookmark. I'm near the end and I am having to decrease pairs for the tapered point, and it wasn't going very well, so after a few hours I decided to park that project and instead work on my Bucks Point gimp finger sample that I had started in Scarborough and hadn't touched since.  I got it out, undid the bobbin holders and then just sat looking at it and realised I had no clue where to even start.  There are no written instructions, just a diagram.  I made a tentative start on some of the easier parts like the ground stitch, and then started trying to puzzle out what was happening with the gimp.  Why didn't I write down what I was doing??? Probably because at the time it seemed obvious. After an hour I realised something was wrong and I had an extra pair in the wrong place but I couldn't figure out where they should be. I may well have to undo everything I did. I felt clueless which made me depressed, I thought I was progressing and now it seems that I am not.

Nevertheless, I was off to the Makit Lace and Needlework Fair in Peterborough today, which is a lovely fair - mostly bobbin lace but there were also several quilting stalls, some knitting stalls, and a few other crafts like cross stitch or silk ribbon embroidery, plus guild stand and displays.  I went with a shopping list and managed to get everything on it: two more cheap styrofoam pillows because I've worn out the two I started with, threads, a couple of pretty painted bobbins, a pretty divider pin which wasn't on the list but I liked it, some spangling wire, a plastic bookmark sleeve for when I finish my bookmark, and a secondhand book of Bucks Point patterns. From one of the knitting stalls I got a little kit for a knitted headband in furry yarn to keep my ears warm, in a navy yarn.

I had lots of fun looking, plus I bumped into several people I knew from previous Lace days or courses. I found out that there is a Northampton lace group, the Nene Lacemakers who in addition to a weekday meeting, meet on a Saturday once a month so I might try going to that and see what it's like.

Other crafts this week have included turning the heel on my second Fair Isle sock, reknitting the incorrect cuff on my Outlander socks which just need decorative buttons sewn on now, getting distracted by a new slipper project the Reaverse Slippers, and building/painting a wooden frame which is going to hold the Edwardian stained glass panel we bought at Newark last year when I get the leading refurbished. I've also been piecing triangular setting blocks for my William Morris grid quilt - I can just squeeze one triangle out of the scraps left from each colourway, albeit with the directional prints not all orientated the same.

The knitting shop Knit One in Leicester, which used to be inaccessibly located out of the town centre, has now re-located to a position very near to where I work. So I popped up on my lunchtime this week to see what they're like.  They have a good range of basics in acrylic plus some nicer wool yarns, and a good range of notions including Knit Pro interchangeables which will come in handy as I have a long history of losing or breaking mine. The display system is somewhat idiosyncratic - usually shops display yarn either by weight, fibre content or brand. Her yarn is all jumbled up into broad categories such as 'baby yarn' to include all weights and fibre contents, and the cubbies aren't labelled with the brand name, just the gauge and price, so it took a bit of exploring to find what I wanted for my slippers.  There is no knitting group at present but she said she might try to find a nearby venue (the shop isn't big enough to host one). It's good news to have a shop I can get to so easily.  There are shops near where I live but they only stock lower end acrylic yarns.

This afternoon after the fair, we spent a couple of hours painting various bits of pergola with wood stain.  There are still two huge pieces of trellis to do, and then they will all need a second coat. This is a picture of the wood pieces drying in the garden.

Patio guy did eventually turn up (see last week's post) and seemed nice enough.  He said he would get a quote to me in two or three days and of course I haven't heard from him all week.  Perhaps 'builder time' passes much more slowly than real world time.

1 comment:

swooze said...

Sounds like a productive week. I've been dragging my feet a bit making that transition to my next project. I'll get there.

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