Floor repairs and a finished hat

Fairy Leaves baby hat

Fairy Leaves hat finishedThe hat I’ve been making, based on the Fairy Leaves baby dress, seems to have worked. It’s turned out the right size anyway.

If I’m being picky, I’d say the crown is a little too pointy. I increased over seven rounds from the 4 cast-on stitches to the number needed to start the lace pattern, and with hindsight it would have been better to have increased every round for five rounds. That way, the crown would have come out smoother. Had this hat been knitted in wool, I’m sure blocking would have eliminated the slight Prussian helmet appearance, but the yarn I used, Drops Cotton Light, is a cotton/polyester mix which has zero blockability. (Is that a word? It ought to be.)

It should look good with the matching dress.

Fairy Leaves Hat and DressFixing the floor

So, what’s next? Well, we have a major house DIY project underway, which is eating into valuable knitting/crafting time. We’ve ripped off the skirting boards and lifted the carpets downstairs for the first time – we bought the carpets with the house – to investigate some bounciness in the floorboards. It turns out that a number of the joists are unsupported for substantial lengths where a brick or two has been removed by a plumber or electrician in the past to make it easier to install a pipe or cable. There are no “sleeper walls” beneath our suspended floor, just individual bricks placed a few feet apart under each joist to support it along its length. The bricks are packed out where necessary with slate or stone, to allow for unevenness in the ground below, and several of these packing pieces had also been displaced.

Unsupported joist

Joist resting on thin air

Packed joist

Joist properly supported

We were a couple of bricks short, but I found a builder’s skip full of old bricks while out on my bike one day. The builder was kind enough to give me an empty plaster sack and some twine, so I could fasten the bundle safely on the rear rack for the ride home. I can tell you, you don’t realise how heavy a house brick is until you try cycling uphill with two of them. It’s a good job we didn’t need any more.

While we had floorboards up to allow access to the underfloor void, we took the opportunity to clear out a lot of rubble, rodent nests and the like, give the airbricks a good cleaning out, and insulate all the heating and drinking water pipework within reach. With the missing bricks replaced and slates knocked in on top of them to make everything tight (and rising damp-proof), we fitted a handful of new floorboards where the old ones were damaged. Now the floor is as firm again as it undoubtedly was when the house was first built in the early years of the 20th Century.

The plan is to put down oak flooring instead of a new carpet. We will get a carpenter/ joiner to lay it – we’ve done tongue-and-groove laminate and bamboo boards before, but this floor needs to be perfect and the rooms in question have all sort of issues, including changes in level, fireplaces, rough stone-faced walls and electrical sockets in the floor. Definitely a job for an expert.

Sand Art socks

The sock pattern I test-knitted recently is now available on Ravelry: Sand Art Socks.

Sand Art Socks

About yorkshirecrafter

I live and work in West Yorkshire.  I've always enjoyed crafts of all types, from woodwork to lace-making.  I also enjoy anything mathematical, which makes knitting a favourite pastime, especially complicated designs.  I've been advising businesses and industry on environmental matters for 30 years and also have an interest in green living, especially where it saves me money. I live with my husband and our Maine Coon in a 100-year-old cottage that constantly needs something doing to it.  Fortunately, I enjoy DIY too.
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