Another exhausting week has come to an end, partly, but not entirely, due to work. The weather has been fairly clement for the time of year, with some days that were actually hot, and it suddenly occurred to us that this was an opportunity to do a few outdoor jobs that would otherwise have to wait until next summer. We also remembered that friends are coming to stay tomorrow for a few days and we really must get the decorating finished before they arrive. Added to that, the carpenter who has been promising to fit a new side door to the garage for months finally turned up and did the job, meaning that we needed to get it painted while the weather was dry.
Evenings have therefore been spent pruning trees, trimming hedges, painting preservative onto fences and weatherproofing the new door until darkness falls, then painting interior walls until we can face no more. At last it is all done, except that we ran out of emulsion with one wall to go and will need to get some more mixed. And then probably repaint the other wall which is that colour because it’s doubtful that the match will be perfect. Ah well, the house looks reasonably respectable to greet our friends tomorrow. And we have freed up lots of cupboard space by using up numerous half-full tins of primer, undercoat, emulsion, gloss, timber treatment, you name it.
I have managed to do some knitting during all of this, and even took a few hours off mid-week to go to a yarn shop with friends. We went to Arcadia Textiles in Elland, which is supposedly a Drops warehouse store (Drops is a good-value Norwegian brand) as well as stocking three other brands. None of us had been to Arcadia before and we found it rather disappointing. Although two of the four of us came away with some yarn that we were more than pleased with, I for one would have bought more had they only had more in stock. When we asked about the noticeable gaps on the shelves, we were told that stocks are being run down because the shop is going to concentrate on their other line, made-to-measure blinds, instead.
The yarn I bought was Drops Nepal, an Aran weight yarn in a 70/30 wool/alpaca mix. I will use it to knit Nanook, a gorgeous open-fronted cardigan with a lace collar. It’s a wonder we found the shop, because it occupies part of an old mill but there’s no signage whatsoever outside. After wandering around and asking a few passers-by we were eventually approached by a woman who had just come from Arcadia and knew a group of fellow yarnophiles when she saw one.
I completed the first of my Christmas tree decorations, a tiny sock. The leg was knitted on 4 needles, which was an incredibly fiddly process for such a small thing, especially with the Fair Isle patterning. A couple of errors in the pattern instructions didn’t help. I am now knitting a spherical bauble from the same magazine pattern, which should be simpler.
After the all too brief spell of good weather, it has now turned cool and autumnal. At least I can get into the garage, where the tumble dryer is kept, without having to walk through a gate and then open the main, car access door. The old door warped thanks to all the rain we had during 2012 and last winter. It got to the point in mid February where it would no longer open. We normally dry all of our laundry on the washing line unless it is impossible – which it often is in the winter – but what has surprised me is that the tumble dryer has only had to be used once in the 7 months since access to it became more difficult. It just shows how little it is actually needed once the worst of the winter is over.
My gansey is still under a rug blocking itself. I’ve been too busy to finish it off with an iron and a damp cloth, but I did fish it out and take a photo in its semi-blocked state. My aim was to complete it by Propagansey, which is underway at present. I reckon I achieved it, even if it isn’t fully blocked yet.