I delivered a workshop to my dollshouse club one evening this week, so had to spend time the past week putting together 30 kits, writing instructions and making a sample. I was worried because of the wide range of skill level but people seem to enjoy themselves on the day. I'm glad it's over with though.
I've put a lot of time in on my project to build a travelling lace pillow. I've now got a complete central box holding the roller pillow with two lidded storage compartments flanking it. It's extraordinary how long it took to get this far, there are multiple layers of matboard glued together so it's fairly sturdy. But my hat goes off to people practicing the art of cartonnage (box making) because it's really difficult to accurately cut all the box pieces and think about how they are going to fit together and be covered with the finished layer of fabric. I've used up quite a lot of my only jar of Aline's Designer Thick Tacky Glue which appears to be either discontinued or just not available in the UK, but it's the best thing I've found for gluing fabric to cardboard. I've ordered a replacement jar of Aline's Super Thick Tacky Glue from America which I gather is not the same product and is a bit runnier, but we'll see. I've been trying to decide what I want to do for the working apron surface that the bobbins will rest on. I was originally following the French example I posted about last week until I realised that unfolded it was going to be wider than my lace pillow currently, and since the whole point is to come up with something more portable, that didn't make sense. I've done a mock up of an apron using old sheeting fabric to experiment with how I will close the sides in, I think I'm going to stiffen the front and back aprons with card but have floppy sides so I can tuck them out of the way when using the pillow. Here is the main box and roller so far:
The main evening project this week has been my knitted doll. I finished all the body pieces and steam blocked them, and I've been assembling them according to the directions in the book. This is the first time I've knit a toy in cotton yarn. It's more difficult to knit with (for me anyway) but the finished knitting feels and looks much nicer, it's firmer than acrylic yarn so holds the stuffing shape better without stretching so much. In commuter knitting I am now tackling her clothes, starting with her dress.
On the way back to the station I stopped into Loop knitting, in Camden Passage. I wanted some metal straight needles for knitting the doll clothes but they didn't have any, only wooden straights or dpns. I did pick up a few balls of yarn for a future project, but I've had trouble with their service before and it was much the same this time. Although I didn't have to stand there with money in my hand while two shopclerks had a nice chat about their weekend like on one of my past visits. But I did stand there with my wallet in my hand and my basket on the cash desk for several minutes while the woman faffed about with her computer till and ignored me. Eventually she looked at me and asked if I needed any help? I suppressed my immediate sarcastic impulse relating to why else would I be standing there with my basket on the counter, and just asked if I could pay now please. Guess I'll have to try local charity shops for metal needles in the 2.5mm size I want. Afterwards I walked along Camden Passage and was a bit sad at how gentrified it is now. I visited several times in the 90s to pick up bits of vintage crochet from amongst the many antique stalls and shops, but those are almost all gone now. They've been replaced by lots of upmarket cafes, a sushi bar, a sofa shop and the building that used to have lots of dealers in it is now a Reiss clothing shop. There were still a few shops and outdoor stands clinging on - perhaps there are more on another day that isn't Sunday afternoon? Anyway, it was nice being back in London, it seems so long since I used to work there and it's such an amazing city.