Sunday, 11 June 2017

I'll huff and I'll puff

It's been a week of very strong winds which have wreaked some minor havoc in the garden but the important thing is that our pergola did not fall down!  The trellis acts as a bit of a sail so I have always been a bit worried because our garden is generally a windy site, which is why we did our best to make the pergola quite strong with diagonal bracing and lots of rafters.  This week I've been watching our apple tree tossing back and forth, our pear tree shed some pear sprigs, the delphiniums have mostly bitten the dust because they weren't adequately supported, I've had to support the hollyhocks and some alliums and irises, and tie back in some wayward roses.  The clematis at the front which was just coming in to bloom has basically had those blooms shredded.  But the pergola is still standing which is a relief.  I've done some more digging out underneath to level the patio area but there is still lots more earth to shift.

As you will have gathered, housework is never high on my agenda, but I've spent some evenings this week doing some major tidying and cleaning to lay the foundations for some visitors over the next month including the dollshouse club and my in-laws.  So less crafting took place this week.

I did finish the Bucks Point bookmark. Mainly because I just got sick of lacing and un-lacing trying to get the tapered point to work out.  I just couldn't and still ended up with about 10 pairs at the point when I should only have had half that, but I  decided that life was too short, it's only a bookmark, I don't even use bookmarks, so I just did a different finish where you roll the pairs to one side or the other and fasten them in place out of sight.  It means the reverse isn't as neat as it should be but it's finished.  It was a bit discouraging but I guess this is where actually having a teacher to show you how to do things would help, you can't always work things out from a book. The main part of the bookmark turned out rather well and I'm pleased with it.  I took it along to the Saturday lace group yesterday to show people and it was complimented by some of the experienced lacemakers which was nice.


Now I need to decide what to work next. I think it's time to go large and actually make something I can use. It's a bit intimidating because anything larger is going to take many more pairs of bobbins which equals many more hours of work, and it could easily turn into a project which takes me a couple of years to finish. However, I have many such projects :) so that shouldn't be an issue.

One example would be my 25-block applique quilt which has been going on for about 10 years now.  I've finally started what I think is the 25th and final block (that's if I've counted properly, never a certainty) so I may soon be able to move onto the next step which will be attempting to trim all the blocks to the same size.  I think they were all meant to be 17 inches square but I'm pretty sure there is an assortment of sizes in reality. Which reminds me of my 20-block GAAA Afghan  which is currently hibernating waiting for me to join all the knitted squares together.  We're going on a short holiday in the summer so joining the blanket squares might be my takealong project.

A fun thing I did this week was to make this basket:

This is made from the Pumpkin Basket pattern by Beth Studley which is the pattern I bought on sale last weekend.  She is also the designer of the Honeycomb Basket which I made a few months ago, and this pattern is quite similar so I was already familiar with the principles and how to make it more efficiently than how the instructions tell you to do it. The William Morris print is a teatowel I bought in the V&A gift shop, and the lining is leftover quilt fabric from my William Morris grid quilt. I enjoyed making it so much that I am now making a second one out of Japanese prints which will be a birthday present for m-i-l.  I might make a third one out of fabric to match the Tilly fabric brooches that I made last week, then I can sew the brooches on for decoration.

Yesterday we went to a church fete and I snapped up this handcrafted tote bag from the jumble table.  Somebody has cut squares out of vintage and new embroidered linens and sewn them together in a patchwork onto a calico backing, quite a clever idea which I thought was worth sharing with you.



TV knitting this week has mainly been the purple lace shawl from Victorian Lace Today, which I started quite a while ago and then it got pushed to the bottom of my workbasket and I forgot about it.  I found it a few weeks ago when I was having a tidy up.  I've also picked up for the sleeves of my top-down leaf yoke jumper so I can knit a few inches on each of them then I can test the fit before going any further.  In commuter knitting I have started the Portsmouth Beanie hat from the Spring 2017 issue of Interweave knits, which is a solid colour beanie hat featuring a wave pattern created from twisted rib and moss stitch.

I had an email from a Canadian friend this week which started out with "Craziness in the world these days" which is certainly feeling true.  Some awful events here in the UK, but equally so many tales of heroism and compassion.  And now of course the election chaos with looming Brexit.  It all makes the future seem very uncertain but I suppose all's we can do is keep carrying on with our daily lives and hope for the best.

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