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Sunday, January 22, 2017

A temporary change in direction.

Although I've been spinning a little and getting things ready to sew and knitting my main focus has been on furniture and redecorating.
I've got some woodworking to do on my 8-shaft loom as well, the bit the reed fits in doesn't fit it, I need to make it wider by 2mm so once my current project is finished in the garage I'll be taking the beater out in order to attack it with a chisel.

What I've been working on of late though is a piece of furniture that was going to end up as firewood if I hadn't taken it on.  A friend was clearing out his office and had a 1970's Post Office locker.  I've been paint stripping (well, varnish stripping), sanding, replacing the backing board and varnishing.  Not finished yet, but the first coat of varnish is on and it looks much, much better!
On left is how it looked when it arrived, 2 layers of varnish, the second done really really badly.  On right is how it looks after 1 coat of the water based varnish, it's not perfect but then you can't really get all the old stuff off even with sanding etc.
Once this is done and the loom then I have another assignment which is to redo youngest's room.  At the moment it's butter on 3 walls and denim on 1 which would look great if it wasn't for the wallpaper stripping he did in 2 areas a few years back.  I now need to strip the remaining wallpaper, fill holes, prime and then do topcoat.  We're lucky in some ways, I have the primer already and our neighbours had some leftover greyed/blue paint that they've given to us which should look really good in there.
This is the right time of year to get it done and I wasn't feeling up to it last summer.

I've done some cutting out too, drafted a pattern for undies and the trial pair are cut out, but I can't sew them yet.  Ellie (my overlocker) is in the shop as her cutting blade started chewing and when I replaced it the new one was just as bad, the old one has nicks in it but the new one is fine, obviously it needs some adjustment.  She's not been serviced for 10 years though so it was time anyway.   I'll show you the undies when they turn into more than just flat cut-outs, and no, I won't be modelling them!

For spinning I've just received my final Ambassadorial spin for Heavenly Wools and I've started spinning it fine.
Speargrass on the left and Blackberry on the right.  I'll be plying them together

Speargrass about halfway through I'm spinning this fine.
I've also done some knitting.  Finished those socks I showed you last time, knitted the first sock in my next travel pair, made a soft toy and started back on my very old shawl project.
See, finished!  2.5 years after starting but I'm looking forward to winter (almost) so I can wear them.

This sock is actually finished, but I can't find a finished photo, the pattern is Jaywalker and the yarn is Opal Harmonie which is discontinued.

And this is Cooper, aka Copper Moose (pattern is Squooshy Moose on Ravelry), the yarn is Skeinz Heritage Kid Mohair.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

2016 in review

This year's been a difficult one in many ways, a friend lost her son, my health has been up and down, we have teenage boys and Dh has been stressed due to the above and work pressure.  All the celebs dying didn't impact that badly for us, yes we're sad they've gone for the loss of future creations and for their families but all in all that's not a reason to hate 2016, all years lose people of that ilk.  

I've decided I'll post photos of the good things about this year to end on a positive note, after all I dont' want to go into 2017 thinking negatively.  This year I'm sure my middle issues will get sorted with the myofascial release and the herbs I'm on, the boys will get closer to being human again (they're not that bad really, just hard work sometimes) and work will settle for Dh as well, it's already improved a little.  So here's the good 2016 memories.
I got my first teatowels off the loom, got another loom which is now warped up and just waiting for me to change a bit of the tie up.  That will happen very soon, once George gets back from Scout Jamboree I'll be on that instead of the Xbox.

A Questionnaire I stole from Wandering Cat

She got it from KathyB and I liked it so thought I'd use it as well.  If you want to read Valerie's blog  it's a good one if you love handknits and ginger kitty cats.

I'll do a proper year in review post later, but this fun one seemed a good one to break the drought since I've not posted for a while, sorry about that.

1. Name your best FO of 2016.

This one is hard, I love all the jerseys I knit this year, but the handspun one has shaping issues, so I'm going to go with the one I've not yet worn cos summer...

It's my Bay Haven yarn (that I won) knit into the Pravda pattern which can be found on Ravelry.

  1. Ask someone in your family to name something you’ve knit for them.

Didn't have to ask, this is the only thing I've knit that's worked out for my family, Great Falls Ribbed Socks for Dh, the socks I knit for youngest were too small due to him growing.
  1. Did you get any yarn gifts this holiday?
No, I got some Liberty of London fabric though, not much else as we're on a tight budget this year and last year too.
  1. Did your pets get any gifts?
They got a good grooming, does that count?  Ray loved hers, serious dribble cat and I came away with what looked like most of a cat in my hand!
  1. What is a great tip  or idea you got this year?
 Free shipping is only a bargain if you were going to spend that much anyway.
  1. How did you surprise yourself in 2016?
Surviving it despite the health issues and remaining positive (mostly)
  1. Name a favorite book you read in 2016.
Anything by D E Stevenson, wish her books were still in publication even if some of them contain sentences that make you pause.  "Working like a black" is one that comes up from time to time, published in a different time when that was appropriate.
  1. What is The latest you stayed up in 2016?
  You mean intentionally or when I couldn't sleep?  Intentionally just after midnight (I was knitting), otherwise, about 4am.
  1. Name a play, show  or concert you went to in 2016.
  1. Name a new drink, dish or dessert you found in 2016.
I'm sure there was one, can't think of anything right now though.  Whatever it was it's probably bad for me.

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