I’ve been a very poor blogger lately. In the 3 years since this blog started, I’ve never had such a long gap between posts. The fact is, for the last few weeks I’ve been so busy with work and redecorating a bedroom that I’ve had no time, energy or enthusiasm for anything else.
The redecoration project is nearly done, but there’s been something of a hiccup. It appears that the company I ordered the wallpaper from over a month ago is experiencing financial difficulties and has stopped answering the phone and responding to emails. And, more importantly, sending wallpaper to customers who have paid for it. I’ve had to initiate a debit card chargeback via my bank – a first for me – and we’ll see how that goes. If the supplier is going to go “belly up”, I wish it would get on and do so, then both I and my bank will know where we stand. At the moment I’m in limbo, not knowing whether the company will pull itself round and send me the wallpaper, or whether my bank will be able to obtain a refund for me from the bank of a company which is, supposedly, still trading and therefore should be responsible for its own debts.
In the end I bit the bullet and bought some more wallpaper from a different supplier so that we could make progress with the decorating. With my luck, I’ll end up with twice as much paper as needed. And it is quite expensive. It’s the ‘paste the wall’ type, which we’ve never used before, and hanging it on our lumpy-bumpy walls was nerve-wracking because it doesn’t stretch like a traditional wallpaper that’s been allowed to soak after being pasted. But we got it on the chimney breast over the weekend and it doesn’t look too bad. Now all we have to do is gloss paint a built-in cupboard and a radiator and clean the carpet. Oh, and I have 4 curtains to finish making.
Before we painted the ceiling I had to deal with some nasty looking cracks. (After the plastering course I took last year, my dear husband now leaves all such tasks to me.) I used mesh tape that we already had, bedded it into a thin layer of one-coat plaster and then skimmed over the top when it was dry, feathering out to some distance from the tape. You can tell it’s there if you look for it hard enough, but it is so much better than the ugly cracks that we’ve lived with for years that I don’t care.
Until the wallpaper arrived, we couldn’t choose a colour for the other walls. Then, when it did arrive I couldn’t find the right match, despite going along to the local paint mixing centre where they claim to be able to blend tens of thousands of different shades of emulsion. Using their clever colour analysis tool on a sample of the wallpaper was a non-starter because the paper is mottled and the sensor apparently just picks a tiny sample – which may or may not have been the colour I was aiming for – rather than being capable of averaging over a larger area.
In the end, having got a test pot mixed of the likeliest-looking colour and deciding it wasn’t right once I got it on the walls, I bought 4 more test pots of standard, ready-mixed paint from a DIY store and painted squares of them on several different spots too.
Who would believe that a colour that is basically a beigey, mushroomy shade of stone would be so hard to match? I never thought I was so fussy about colour, but all I can say in my defence is that when it’s wrong, it’s wrong. I plumped for one of the standard colours, thereby saving a fortune, and just got a gloss mixed to match it for the woodwork and the radiator.
My knitting has slowed to a crawl while all this has been going on, partly because I’m completely exhausted by the time the light finally fades and I have an excuse to stop filling holes – or sanding down, or washing walls, or painting, or whatever – and partly because my hands are so rough that they catch on the fine viscose yarn unless I take great care. I’ve just started the edging section of this little shawl.
The Gail / Nightsongs pattern is not clearly written, at least for a knitter like me who is not particularly experienced in lace work. So many other people have struggled with it that there’s a huge amount of advice on Ravelry on how best to tackle it, some of which is equally unclear and/or contradictory. I’ve been glad of my lifelines on more than one occasion. But I’m nearly there now, it should be done by the end of the week.