Some clever carpentry by a clever granddaughter

This lovely little table was made by our granddaughter.  She made it at school and it was being kept secretly so that she could give it to her mother as a surprise for Christmas.  It is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship made with beautiful wood.  This granddaughter is the one that made me the lovely flower vase containers.

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It is so good to see girls being given the opportunity to pursue these crafts at school.  I often wish that I had been given the chance to do woodwork when at school but I guess I wouldn’t have gained all the needlework skills I now have.

A bit of the island of Harris in a Christmas wreath

When we were in the outer Hebrides in Scotland one of the craft shops we visited had these wreaths which made use of the off cuts of Harris Tweed.  The wreaths are very simply made by knotting the scraps onto a wire ring.

In Stornaway I purchased some Harris Tweed off cuts to make such a wreath for Christmas but didn’t quite get around to it this year so I will need to make sure I make it next year.

This year’s wreath was a simple Australian one featuring penny gumleaves and baby’s breath.

It has taken a year. . .is that procrastinating?

I wrote a blog post in October 2017 saying that I wanted to redecorate our bedroom.

This is how our bedroom looked then.I have almost finished the redecoration and it has taken longer than I anticipated. The reason for the delay in starting was summoning up the courage to tackle using chalk paint.  I checked out several videos on YouTube and spoke to the retailer in Paint n’ Paper in Bairnsdale and decided I would give it a go.  It didn’t seem to be as terrifying as I thought.

I purchased a 1 litre can of chalk paint in Irish Linen and a tub of wax for the finishing off.  I ended up buying a second can of paint as I thought I wouldn’t have enough.  As it was I only used about 5 or 6 dips of paint from the second can but I did need it.

I started with the bedside cabinets.  This is is a before and after picture.  I only painted the front of the drawers and the actual cabinet frame.  I didn’t bother with the back as no one is going to see the back.  This is before the wax had been applied and the handles bronzed. The next picture is the finished cabinet.

The bed was a tedious job as there were so many railings to paint.  Two coats were applied and then the sanding to distress the piece before the wax was applied to seal the finish.The dresser required more care as I had to get my husband to dismantle the mirror from its frame before I could start painting the surround.  Again it all went well and the mirror was returned to its rightful place after everything was waxed.The wall colours are Taubman’s Rendezvous for the feature wall and Taubman’s Silky blue for the other walls.The colours are truer on the photos rather than the colour samples.

Now I just need to get some art work on the walls.  I have put up some family photos but we need artwork on the feature wall.Strange how the wall colours look grey in this photo.

Some garden activity

We demolished some concrete at the back of our back shed and we were going to take it to the recycling centre but the cost of depositing the concrete was over $200 so we thought there must be some other means of disposal.  We came up with the idea of creating a mounded garden bed at the edge of our front garden.  It is part of the nature strip but our nature strip is about four metres wide and we have a dirt road in front of that.

We covered the rubble with soil and we will plant some ground cover over that.  It is a less expensive method of disposal.

 

Further developments in my “skull project”.

Further to our working on pattern ideas for the skull jumper we visited Stitches ‘n’ Things in Lakes Entrance to choose wool that would be suitable for the project.  Initially we were going to use Cleckheaton Country 8 ply and I did a swatch in some left over wool I had.

We were happy with the motif and the cable extending into the cuff but the wool felt a bit scratchy and we figured if we were going to all this trouble it would be better to spend more money on soft wool so we bought some Bellissimo 8 ply to do a swatch.

I did a swatch first to check gauge and then I started with a practice front panel.

I then skipped up to just below the nose in the actual skull part to see how that looked.

This is the first attempt.

You can see that the cables are not correct as they should be twisted at the beginning of the eye sockets.  The nose is also too high up beside the eye sockets.  I then unravelled and tried again.

I am happier with this version although I think the nose needs to be longer.

I then went ahead and ordered the wool. I received an email saying that they didn’t have the number of balls I wanted and would have to see if their wholesaler could get me the required number.  Since then I received notice that the wholesaler did have the wool and would send it directly to me so it should arrive sometime this week.

I have done a bit more trialing of several aspects of the pattern.

I tried the crossovers on the back panel and I think I prefer the top crossovers rather than the bottom ones.  I also am happy with the extension of the cable into the cuff.  My daughter came up with that idea and I really like it.

I also trialed what we called the big chain.

It is a bit tricky to see here but on either side of the chain is a single brioche stitch and on the right hand side is a double moss stitch. I wasn’t happy with the way the brioche stitch was sitting so I did another sample of just the chain and the chain extending into the cuff.

I tried the small cable first and then the big chain.  I will go with the big chain into the cuff not the small cable.  The brioche works much better with an extra stitch on either side of the big chain.

When the wool arrives I will be able to start work on the back as I have now worked out where in the rib section the extended cables fit.  It took a fair bit of working out as there are so many increases in the last row of rib.  It was satisfying when it all worked out on the practice piece.  It is all squashed up here on the needle but it looks good when extended.

 

Now I have a challenging project to get my teeth into.

On Pinterest there are so many ideas for things to make and do.  My younger daughter found a picture of an Alexander McQueen jumper and thought that I might be able to make it for her as the jumper is no longer available and if it was the cost was excessively high.

I was delighted to be asked to make something similar for her.  We have no pattern so I will be making it by looking at this image and then translating it into the jumper that she wants.  There are a few modifications that she wants me to do so we are going to base the pattern on a cardigan I knitted for my husband many, many years ago.

This pattern will give me a base to work on size.  The front of the jumper will be much the same as the McQueen one and the back will also be similar.

Originally we were going to make the back panel based on one she had seen on Ravelry, called Viking Central Park Hoodie but since our initial discussions we have found another panel that we prefer.

She would also like the cables to continue down into the bands so I will incorporate that into the pattern.

These scribbled notes give you some idea of our thought processes.

There were other pages but this gives you an idea of what we were trying to do. We have come up with a final plan which I will write out neatly.