Sunday, 8 October 2017

As I was going to St Ives

Well, no, I didn't meet a man with seven wives.  But I did enjoy the Makit Fenland Lace Fair at St Ives in Cambridgeshire yesterday which DH kindly drove me to.  It's a smaller fair than Peterborough and as this is my third visit I did wonder if I would be less engaged.  But there seemed even more traders this year and they had rearranged the layout in the main room, plus there were some interesting exhibits, so I ended up quite enjoying my visit.  Here is my loot:

The pretty hand embroidered Victorian tablerunner is from an antique textiles stall that I can't see in the programme so don't know their name.  I bought a pair of spangles from one trader for £1 each because he showed me how to neatly attach them to a bobbin, but I found another trader selling spangles six for £2.25 so bought six more there plus some spangling wire.  I got some more pins and a pin vice for pricking patterns from the Makit stand plus a kit to make a Christmas decoration and an ergonomic plastic thimble; a pretty painted bobbin from Margaret Wall, and another Margaret Wall bobbin which I bought from the Lace Society stand as I am a member and wanted to support them.  I found an interesting secondhand book on making flowers from lace on the Lace Guild stand.  I looked a lot at Bucks Points patterns to see if I could find an interesting mat edging but nothing caught my eye.  Although in theory I guess you can make almost anything from lace, in practice the available patterns seem largely confined to bookmarks, motifs for cards, small mats, wedding garters/cake ruffles, and hankerchief edgings.  I suppose because lace is such a slow labour intensive craft, which isn't portable (at least, not in the sense that knitting is where you can knit on a bus or a train), and isn't as useful in every day life, it hasn't attracted as much innovation as, say, knitting has in its current ascendancy.

Afterwards, we had a nice lunch in St Ives on a terrace overlooking the river and ancient bridge (tasty food but rather chilly sitting outside) and visited the antiques mall where we had fun looking and came away with three little Edwardian sherry glasses.

On the home front, there has been a lot more gardening.  I've been planting up the new borders around the patio, with a planting scheme dictated largely by what plants I have found on the end-of-season sales tables that might survive in partly-shaded well-drained soil.  We also invested a chunk of DH's recent long service award from work in a water feature.  The water feature isn't plumbed in yet as I have asked our shower plumber to drill a hole through the shed wall to feed the pump wire through. We also got a couple of garden sofas in the end-of-season sales so we feel very posh.  It's all starting to look much more like it's always been that way, and hopefully everything will survive the winter.

I worked late all week trying to build up my flexi-time, so not a lot of crafting this week.  I've done a bit more quilting on my Hawaiian wallhanging.  To be honest this is not my best work, I threw the wallhanging together after we got back from our trip, trying to incorporate all the things that we saw, and I'm not doing a great job on the quilting.  But it feels good to be finally getting it done and to have nice memories of the trip.

My cross-stitch has been languishing because TV knitting time has been working on a little girl baby set for a younger colleague at work.  I'm copying a set I saw on Facebook which used free patterns, starting with this All-in-One Baby top by Marianna.

Next I'm going to knit the Tegan Hat by Julie Taylor and the Hug Boots also by Marianna.

When we got back from St Ives yesterday, I happened to be looking out the window just in time to see our little cat getting into a brawl with a larger orange cat in the churchyard next door.  I thought I had seen cat fights before, where they have a sort of stand off and the occasional swat, but this was more like something from a children's cartoon:  a literal ball of orange and white turning over and over while they both screamed.  With the vet bills from the last infected bite looming large in my mind, I started banging on the window then opened it and shouted.  Both cats just looked at me like 'yeah, and what are you going to do about it?' as they were some distance off in the garden.  By the time I had got downstairs and unlocked the door to the garden, the orange cat had run off and our cat came stumbling back into our garden looking rather shaken.  We shut her in the rest of the day and she seems fine today with no obvious tender places, so hopefully no trips to the vet this time.

The shower project stumbles on.  Not a lot happened this past week because two shower trays in a row were delivered with damage, so the plumber wasn't able to get on with very much.  A third tray turned up on Friday but the plumber didn't.  I hope to see much more progress this week.  Meanwhile we are still vacuuming dust off every surface and the cat still looks pink a lot of the time because she loves sitting up on the windowsill in the bathroom looking out at the garden - usually she can't because the blinds would be blocking the view.  On the bright side, the electrician came twice and is now mostly finished so I have my knitting room back and am gradually moving back the furniture.  Unfortunately I managed to smash a surface-mounted electrical box off the wall when I was pushing in my big bookcase, so I had to do some repair work yesterday.  I've brought most of the yarn bags back into the room but it's going to be a big job to get all the yarn back onto the shelves in the right order (I had it sorted by weight/thickness).  I've also got my quilt frame back in place and set up again, although I haven't actually had time to use it yet.

Today DH is kindly driving me to Desborough to visit three of the ladies who came on the club visit to my house in July, they all offered to show me their houses so we decided to make an afternoon of it.  Should be interesting for me (not so much for DH!).


swooze said...

Your Hawaiian quilt is not what I imagined but such a great idea. I had issues with things broken and reordering. Seems a normal thing. Let’s hope your plumber gets back at it soon.

Good luck with your planting’s through winter. We cover things with sheets here sometimes. You just have to be careful not to cook them if it gets too warm.

Hope you enjoyed your outing seeing others houses. Hugs!’

Daisy said...

Your garden is looking lovely! Sympathy for DH, I cannot imagine N being prepared to wait whilst I visited fairs and people!

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