Saturday, 27 March 2010

Not at all happy!

I've been making slow progress with my sock, having turned the heel and knitted the gusset, but I was dismayed to discover this...

A knot! In my self striping sock yarn!

Which means it's going to disrupt my stripes.

The sudden jump from white to pink, when that pink repeats in two patterns would be difficult to match up for the second sock and the fact that I only have a single ball of the yarn means I don't have much leeway for maneuvering.

This means this pair of socks will be fraternal rather than identical twins; the stripes will not match up at all. Those who know me, know how I love my stripes to match on both socks so will know this is something of a blow.

For future reference, the yarn in question is Wendy Happy (Ravelry Link). It's a pretty bamboo sock yarn and I fell for it a while back, buying several different colourways. At the moment I'm finding the name rather ironic. Knots in self striping sock yarn do not make me 'happy'... In fact they are very frustrating!

Ah well... Rant over.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Two steps forward and one back

Progress has stalled again on the decorating front, with a new problem uncovered this week...

You're looking at the top of the door frame which Dave began stripping the paint from earlier this week. If you look carefully you can see horizontal tracks running across it and rather than having a nice crisp door frame shape, the whole thing is rather crumbly.

We're thinking woodworm. Ancient woodworm, which was probably there before the many, many layers of paint were applied directly over the top, covering the exit holes the adult beetles would have escaped through. Oddly, the woodworm only seems to have affected a four foot section of the upright and only certain bits of it, leaving the majority of the frame untouched.

I've contacted our usual handyman who in turn has put out a call to his woodworking mate... we're waiting on a visit for a verdict, but I suspect that we'll need to replace the entire frame. Can you hear me sighing?

In other news, there has been some very slow crafting going on. For example, I'm close to finishing this cardigan.


This is my version of Doris Chan's Cinnabar cardigan, which has been waiting for sleeves for the past couple of weeks. I've added button holes to the top (hence the markers) of the band running up the front, so I'm hoping it will work as a maternity cardi rather than having to wait until I return to my more usual dimensions before I can wear it.

Naturally, since I need to concentrate on making sleeves... I cast on a sock.


These are intended to be something pretty for me and are plain socks, knit up in Wendy Happy, which is bamboo with the usual 25% nylon you'd expect in a sock yarn. So far I'm enjoying knitting this first sock, watching the colours play out is captivating me in the usual way and not having to really think about the pattern is a serious bonus.

So who knows, maybe I'll get it finished fairly quickly?

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Decorating - slow progress

Still not much happening on the craft front, although it's only in part due to my ongoing exhaustion and lack of mojo. Instead, we seem to have spent most of our 'free' time working on decorating the spare room. Or rather, initially it was getting the room in a state where we could think about decorating it which is very difficult to do when it's full of miscellaneous stuff.

The first chore was to sort the stuff into stuff to keep and stuff to go out, then the latter into stuff for the bin and stuff to pass on. This took a long time. Not that we were delaying, but when you only really have weekends free to work on the clearing progress is slow.

Over the past week we've passed on redundant furniture via Freegle, with other bits and pieces to follow over the next week or two. On Saturday I took four boxes of some 250 books and another box of sci/fi magazines (some bagged and in mint condition) to the local Oxfam bookshop. Dave pre-warned the manager - who's eyes apparently lit up - and we gift aided the lot, so hopefully Oxfam will make a tidy sum out of them.

Books that I decided to keep either went into the attic or temporarily into the shed, pending movement to a more permanent location. This left us with a nearly empty spare room and so now the decorating has started in earnest.

Dave has discovered how easy it is to remove paint from woodwork using a heat gun and over the past two weekends, we've both attacked the multiple layers of wallpaper with gusto.

Dave in an action shot, up a ladder...

Ladders are out for me, so I concentrated on getting the wallpaper I could easily reach while Dave followed behind working either the more difficult spots or those that were high up.

On the wall pictured, the blue stuff is wall that I stripped back to a single layer of very well attached lining paper which has been painted. We both agree that we like the blue but that it's very dark for such a small room and would shrink the space considerably. On the wall above it you can see the original yucky brown wall paper which is rather like corduroy fabric to look at or touch. Under that was some floral stuff with dubious stains which we decided not to speculate on the origin of too much. The brown stuff came off easily. The floral stuff, not very easily at all. On two walls there's also a pale blue/grey layer which was also very difficult to get off, but we persevered with lots of water and elbow grease finally shifting it.

The blue layer we're left with is very well laid and on top of the plaster on most of the walls, so we've decided that it will probably do as our base layer for papering ontop of. Of course it will need tidying up, holes will need filling and several layers of PVA solution applied, but hopefully it will give us a sound base for our own layer of lining paper which we then intend to paint.

So progress is being made... Just very, very slow progress.