Friday, 14 February 2014

A Few Days Later

Hello Friends and Curious Anonymous Readers,

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope you're all doing well out there and are avoiding both the flu and the absolutely dreadful weather mercilessly battering and flooding the UK and this part of Europe to a lesser extent.

I'm happy to report that my irritations have been greatly reduced and my crankiness is abating.

I've now got my new plant lights which were delivered yesterday and it's all good.  I'm grateful that my memory is in pretty good working order enough to remember about US/EU lamps and these ones from the USA are working perfectly.  I love, so efficient and so fast.  I was expecting a wait of a couple of weeks but 5 days later and it's all sorted out.  I can proceed with my seed sowing pretty much on schedule now. grin

As I mentioned in my previous posts I found a new source for ordering my yarn on-line,

The yarn is Catania by Schachenmayr.  It's 100% cotton and a soft pleasure to work with.heart

I'm liking the colour combination of purples and greens of various shades.  I have something in the planning stages to be made  in these colours but wanted to play around with them a bit so I made this with Valentine's Day in mind.

I occasionally use other people's patterns and saw this on Ravelry. I couldn't quite figure this one out by sight so I had no other choice than to use the pattern.  This is what it looked like when I first finished it.

 The instructions call for making two of each piece and then joining them together in order to get a piece with some body and weight.  I didn't really want to commit that much time to it since I've got a couple of other projects on the go.  So I did this:

First I steam blocked and then applied the Paverpol

As you can see my ironing board often doubles as a work surface. A dedicated craft room is still a fantasy but I make do with my dining table and ironing board.

 When I first applied the Paverpol to the back of the piece it looked like this:

But after two hours of drying it turns clear and looks like this.

Different to the pattern I added a silver bead in the middle just to add a bit of sparkly-ness to it and a tassel to the bottom.  It's now hanging on my front door. It's got enough "holey-ness" to it that it might end up on a window in the future.

A note about Paverpol: It's great stuff and made right here in Holland. I bought this large size which could last me a lifetime but decanted some to a smaller jar to work from.   I've used it before to stiffen crocheted pieces and it also waterproofs them very well if applied to both sides of the piece. I've got a flower garland on my balcony that was treated with the Paverpol and has lasted through 2 winters. (It's only threat is a parakeet who often mistakes the yellow flower for lunch.)  For general stiffening often just putting it on the back side of the piece as I did on this one is sufficient. It cleans up with water too and my only complaint is the smell which isn't pleasant.  But it's a lot better than the smell from my glue gun.

Because I'm trying different yarns out and also because the brands I often use keep discontinuing colours I started making these swatch charts a few months ago. Under each swatch (is that the correct word when using yarn instead of fabric?)  I wrote the colour name or number.  It comes in handy especially if I'm trying to find a replacement colour in a different brand. So far I've made them for Phildar Cotton 3, Schachenmayr SMC Catania, Drops Paris,which are available from Hobbydoos and Rico Creative Cotton Aran which I need to find a new source for.  These charts are really coming in very handy.

I also ordered this book from Amazon UK.  I had one book but it was for North American birds that I've had for about 40 years.  (Some of those birds may be extinct or close to it by now. frown) I kept meaning to get a new one the whole time I lived in Ireland but never got around to it. This one is for Britain and Europe in case you can't see it very well in the photo.

It's right beside my favourite chair and now I can identify the occasional rare birds that visit my feeder.

Here's a little titchy bird that's not so rare but hard to capture on my crappy point and shoot camera.  I'm also shooting from my favourite chair and through the window which isn't very clean due to the recent awful weather. I'm also using the telephoto feature, such as it is. Whenever I get up to get a closer shot of them they fly away. Sometimes there a half dozen or more of them here at a time.

To keep me from getting completely giddy about the turn about from my previous few days' funk I'm still having trouble with the comments gadget and my fonts seem to change from post to post.  I'm working on it and have been reading up on all sorts of blog creation sites for information.  I like learning new things and seeing the results of it but this is proving to be a source of ongoing frustration.  Life is never perfect is it?!

That's all for now.

 PS: Two more posts and I will surpass my total posts for 2013.  I hope to keep the momentum going.

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