It’s been a while. . .

I have just been told by WordPress that it is nine years since I started this blog.

I used to publish each weekday for quite a while but now I am at the stage where I only post now and again. I first started to blog as I needed some purpose to my retirement and a routine in my day but now I have many other things I do in my retirement so blogging has eased off considerably.

So, to the topic of today’s post. . . .Victorians will all have to wear facemasks from midnight on Sunday 2nd August as a result of another day of very high COVID count.  This announcement prompted me to make a couple of masks in readiness.

This was one I made a couple of weeks ago and was happy with the pattern so decided to go with this mask pattern to make a couple for my husband.

I am off on a bike riding weekend but one of the ladies is taking her sewing machine and I am providing fabric, (plenty of spare fabric in my stash), and we are all going to be helping make masks for those of us who don’t have them.  The evenings will be productive, along with a few gins and tonic.

An adult baby surprise

If you are a serious knitter you will probably know immediately what I am talking about and for the non-knitters I am not talking about an unexpected pregnancy!

Elizabeth Zimmermann is the guru of knitting.  The first article I knitted using her instructions was a Baby Surprise Jacket.  If you link to this Pinterest page you will see various versions of this jacket which is knitted in one piece and joined with a woven seam across the shoulders. The next image is from Pinterest.

I have used Zimmerman’s book The Knitting Workshop which I bought when I knitted a baby surprise jacket for our grandson. I also have a copy of Knitting Without Tears.

The Adult Baby Surprise Jacket I have just completed was knitted as a request from my elder daughter.  She knew I had loads of scrap wool in my stash and she selected a few colours she wanted to include in her jacket and I set about my next project.  I bought the pattern from Schoolhouse press.

The two markers show where the decreases have taken place up to the point of the underarms then the increases happen.  Unfortunately I didn’t start the increases correctly and ended up with a bit of a hole.

I decided I really should unravel what I had done and so I undid the couple of hundred stitches and started the increases again, this time correctly.

This is at the point where the front flap stitches are put on holders and then you knit backwards and forwards on the bottom stitches.

Once the bottom section is knitted then a border is knitted around the edge before the single piece is assembled into a jacket.

At this stage the sleeves have not been joined and the collar hasn’t been added.

To join the sleeves I used two stitch bind off for the first sleeve but was not happy with the result as the colours showed through in the middle so I tried three stitch bind off for the second sleeve and it was much better. You can see the difference in the next picture.

The front sleeve is the two stitch bind off.  I undid that sleeve join and redid it with three stitch bind off.The dummy is bigger than my daughter but it gives you some idea of how it will look.

Working on the collar.

This was an absolute joy to work as I was getting rid of some of my stash and it was all garter stitch, the easiest of all. I sewed in the many ends and searched for some suitable buttons.  No luck with the buttons so I have sent it off to my daughter so she can choose buttons to finish it off.

A thoroughly enjoyable project.

I have since found the post of the original jacket I made.

 

Some renovation required

I forgot to take a picture before I started taking off the old brushwood on this archway but now that I have, you can see where paint is required before I put on new brushwood.  When I painted originally the brushwood was attached to the wood so I could only paint up as far as the brushwood, now I have the opportunity to paint the whole thing.

The photo above lets you see how little of the brushwood was left on the arch.  It has gradually worn away and now it is certainly time for some new brushwood.

The blind on the righthand side is to screen out the late afternoon sun when we are sitting at the outdoor dining table in summer.

It will be great to get the new brushwood up.  I have done the painting, now I just need to cut the brushwood to fit and then install it.  Hopefully I will be able to show you a finished project fairly soon.

Something I haven’t tried before

I have embarked on what I think will turn out to be a real challenge for me.  Intarsia knitting.  I have knitted a fair bit of fair isle in my time but have never before tried intarsia. For those of you who are not acquainted with intarsia this link will give you an idea of what it involves.  Intarsia for dummies   I used this site to get a general idea of what to expect.

The project I am working on is this.  The character is Animal from the Muppets.

That is him on a tee shirt.

My daughter asked me if I would like another project and I am always happy to be knitting something that someone would like.

This is the progress so far.  I am a bit daunted by the number of strands on the back but have been assured by the lady in the wool shop that once you weave the strands in it will look fine.

I am happy with the progress so far.

An update since I last drafted this post.

I think the stitches will look more even when all the ends are woven in.  That is what I am hoping.

Trouble at mill. . . . .

This is in our driveway.

We are not sure what has caused it but we thought it might have something to do with some plumbing repairs we had done last year.

We thought it could be that or it was underground drainage.  Strange that it is the first time this has happened in the twelve years we have lived here.

We have had the visit from the plumber and because there is no tick over on the water meter that rules out a plumbing leak so it must be ground water.  We will need to do some digging to find the source of the problem.

This is how it looks since last night’s rain. The ground is soft for a depth of about 85 cms.

Fixing the ceiling on the portico.

The ceiling on the portico in front of our house was replaced a few years ago.  When it was replaced the new ceiling looked terrific and we were delighted with the result. Move on a couple of years and a few heavy rainstorms over time and the ceiling was beginning to look a bit suspect.

I thought the stain looked similar to mould so decided to give it a go with some bathroom mould remover spray.  I got out the ladder and set to work.  Sure enough after leaving the spray on for ten minutes I then wiped it off and the ceiling was back as good as new.

Well worth the effort.  It will be interesting to see what happens in the next heavy rainstorm.That is sun reflection in the centre of the ceiling.