Friday, 19 July 2013

mmmmm summer....

Pinks and purples in the garden, in my dinner and on new linen colours being dyed as we speak....

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Weekend in the country

Finally summer, and suddenly living in the country feels like being on holiday. It's been nearly two years since we moved here from London, yet I still pinch myself every day and even more so when I can come home from work and sit in a quiet, shady garden, slurp watermelon and watch the cats bounce around in the grass.

This weekend was also the Machen Agricultural Show in our village. I've been looking forward to it as last summer, our first in Wales, the weather was so atrocious that the show had to be cancelled for the first time in 75 years. But what a difference a year makes - families all in their lightest summer clothes all coming out to watch the dog and horse shows, enjoy the bouncy castles and meet some more or less usual animals. There may have been meerkats and owls and chickens of all shapes and sizes, but my heart belongs solely to the pygmy goats.

And also a little bit to this stunner: if I could style my house, my kitchen and my car after it, I would.
Feeling very much like that last sleepy goat after a morning in the sun, we retreated to our garden for the rest of the day. Progress on my rag rug was made:
In fact, that loom makes a lot more sense to me for rag rugs. I couldn't really see myself weaving lengths and lengths of scarfs and wraps - I feel that I achieve more wearable things by knitting, and knitting is much more portable and easy to just pick up whenever you feel like it. Warping and threading the loom still bores me to death, I absolutely hate it, but the quick progress you make weaving rags goes some of the distance to make up for that. Since looking into it, I have also discovered how addictive rag rugs are. There is a huge tradition of rag rugs in Sweden and once you start looking at them, they are mesmerising in their variations. I will assemble a few inspirational pictures for my next post to show you all.
I am still knitting! It may seem like I'm distracted by all kinds of other things, but really, all along, I still keep a project by my side! My current one is just...not all that exciting to show off. In a stash-busting effort, I pulled out a couple of my big cones of DK linen from Texere Yarns - they used to come in many more colours than they do now, which is a shame because at £6.50 for 400gr, they are incredible value for money - this loose tunic in a plus size is not even going to use up two of those!(just watch out for the variations in thickness) .
Top-down tunic with a tunisian neck with hopefully an interesting graduation between the grey and the brown. Main body is nearly finished, just sleeves left after that - hoping to have it ready for my summer holiday as all my cotton sweaters are so incredibly heavy to travel with!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Getting distracted

First of all, my sincerest apologies for the quality of the following pictures. Time seems to be hopelessly running away from me and I just seem to be gaining new timeconsuming hobbies that I really don't need!
Having safely shipped off the embroidery yarns to Belgium (where they seem to have been a roaring success) , I set about ironing and preparing all the vintage fabrics for the Vintage Bazaar in Frome...and boy did I not realise quite how many there were in the house!

In the end, this was our rather well-filled stall:

It was a lovely day out, and the hall at the Cheese and Grain looked fab and colourful. I kept sneaking off to have a look at the other stalls a couple of times over, finding some really useful french linen sheets to make clothes out of - I've done this before as antique linen wears like nothing on earth, but I've had to bring the sheets back on the plane and they are incredibly heavy and eat in to my luggage allowance usually reserved for cheese!

This was my favourite buy of the day - I'd spotted it on the stall behind us first thing in the morning but thought I would pace myself a little and see how the day went....that was until someone else looked like they were about to buy it and my heart leapt....I realised how much really I wanted it and pounced on it as soon as the customer had left!

 (really, these photos are shocking...)

I've also finally started tackling one of my Ercol armchairs.....and if I ever make a move to buy a dark stained piece of furniture with lots of spindles on that require sanding back, please talk me out of it!

Here it is before I started on it - I've now done most of it with a tiny little powersander.

And this is what I am trying to achieve, except in cherry red - I really like the smaller spindles being left natural wood:

picture from

My other great distraction? A weaving loom. Specifically, a 4shaft table loom that someone generously gave me. Well, when I say "gave", I really mean " dumped on me because she got bored of it", but a great gift it is nonetheless. I've always pondered weaving - when I was little, we had a full size floorloom in our textile classroom that we were allowed a go on if we'd finished our tasks and I loved the weaving itself- but setting the loom up in the first place always seemed incredibly daunting to me and I don't think I would ever have invested the money in the equipment just to have a go.
So far I've only produced this really pathetic little effort ( it is that small because I can't count properly) but I've nearly got it set up for a rag-rug runner now, so hopefully I will have something slightly more impressive to show after the weekend :)