Thing 1: Slowly, in baby steps we are getting closer to having a functioning fireplace. We now are the proud owners of these bars and ash pan cover. The good people at the fireplace reclamation yard are trying very hard to find us a grate, ash pan and, most elusively, a hood. We have tried and rejected two hoods. One was too floral in its mouldings and the other too flat. I am hoping that my next visit will produce something perfect. They are in the centre of Newcastle, about an hour and a half from here so I have to combine my visits with other reasons to go.
Thing 2: Luckily at the moment I have a regular reason to go. I have started a ten week course to improve my dressmaking skills and it happens that the college is a mile from the fireplace shop. First up a simple shift dress, but I am aiming for a more clean and professional finish than I usually manage.
In these pictures it is only pinned together but you get the general idea. As always, I am incapable of following a pattern to the letter. I have
* lengthened it -when it is finished it should be just above the knee
* removed the false pocket flaps and added patch pockets with a pretty lining
* used a heavy upholstery fabric with the wrong side showing instead of the light cotton called for
* Used a longer zip in the back because that is what I had
Once I have finished this I am planning to have a go at sewing jersey. I bought a real and actual new pattern that you don't have to print yourself! It is for a shirt dress. Watch this space...
Thing 3: I have given myself a firm kick up the backside and have managed to spend a couple of hours in the garden each week for the last couple of weeks. It really should be a no-brainer. I enjoy it a lot and it makes me feel good, so why why why is it so hard to make myself get out there? And look at the rewards... quince blossom. A sight to make your heart sing!
Big Trouble and Little Man came to help last weekend and had a great time too.
Thing 4: The very lovely Lisa over at Bobo Bun has been the brains behind the most perfect project. She has organised 40 or so crafters to make granny squares that will be put together to make a blanket in memory of Vanessa, our friend who died before Christmas. The blanket will be auctioned on Ebay in aid of the Mental Health Foundation, a charity chosen by Vanessa's parents. I sent off my squares last week. Hooking them felt like a really positive thing to do in the face of the tragedy of her death.
Thing 5: I needed one more ball of pale yellow for my Persian Sweetie Shop blanket. I am using Annell Cotton 8 which I can only find at Ida Yarn Shop,which is in the Netherlands I think, so delivery is quite dear. The yarn itself is extremely good value so if you buy quite a bit it works out great, but for one ball... The solution? Buy more yarn! They also stock this 100% wool dk called Malmedy.
I chose the pinks and cream, not sure what for yet, and Tall Girl chose the blue tones. I have already whipped them up into the most delicious hat which I will show you next time...
Thing 6: I have a new job! It is quite a shock to the system because I stopped working when Big Trouble came to join the party. The job is very part time which suits me perfectly. I am managing a project to record and archive some of the traditional music of the town and the surrounding area. So far it has ben interesting and fun. Long may that continue!
Back with the hat when I have persuaded Tall Girl to model it for me...