Monday, 7 February 2011

back to normal?

well, not quite, but the damage wasn't quite as bad as we first thought. it's a lot of work and will cost a lot of money too, but it looks as if we're able to repair the damage - without having to move etc. after all. puh, what a relief. I know that a lot of work is still to come, but we don't have to do it all in one day - as a matter of fact, we'll have to wait a few days until we have certain materials before we can do anything more under the roof.

time to catch up with blogging! I managed to work a few presents in time - but as it was "just in time" - I forgot to take pix of everything. I did however take one of a piece of embroidery, which I made as part of a book cover. the book was a coffee-table book about ireland and I thought a three-leaf clover is just the right motif for this. I didn't design this myself - I used a picture I found on a postcard for st. patrick's day, but changed it to suit my embroidery. the original had loads of tiny dots, which would have been total overload in beads, so I only put a few on here and there:
the lines are embroidered in Oliver Twists handdyed silk, some single colour, some multi-colour. I like to use these, they are fine, but well defined and keep their shape well. most lines are done in stem stitch, some coral stitch and the circles are done in back stitch. the beads are from my stash - and the base is natural white wool felt, which was lovely to stitch on - definitely a base I'll use more of. I added a velvety fabric for the back and the two flaps, though my head was slightly addled, when I started to sew it all together! it was rather late at night and with my medicated brain I first cut the lining too short (which I only noticed after I finished sewing...). I undid every seam, did it all again - only to find that I put the wrong sides together, so that when turned properly - the motiv was inside:(( I decided to stop this and - third time lucky - managed to put it together properly the next morning:))  and the book made it in time for the recipient's birthday - yay!:))

I also finished the yarn from fluff - by plying it with some fine natural white wool yarn, commercially spun. I was told that it felts easily, so the plan to use it for socks was scrapped. I'll keep it for now, maybe it will be used for a hat or mittens? it's not a huge amount but should be enough if I use a bit more from the white yarn as well.

as I said january wasn't our best month! not only did we discover the roof problems, my teeth gave me trouble (still do:(() - I also managed a total yarn disaster! I had spun a blend from 70 % cotton and 30 % wool. superwash wool I thought (would have made sense, because the other blends used superwash wool and I expected that this would certainly be the case in a blend with cotton!) I plied it with fine cotton and dyed it with procion mx dyes. the plan was to make a baby blanket like a meadow with daisies. the base was supposed to be green, with big fat yellow dots around which I'd sew i-cords in white for the flowers. white, no problem. yellow - great. green worked well too, but when I rinsed it a lot of dye came out... I decided to put it all into the washing machine for a quick cycle on low temperature. when the machine had finished and the door opened - I discovered 5 of those Bob Marley skeins like the one above:(( for a few minutes I wasn't sure whether to laugh at my stupidity or to cry because I managed to destroy 750 g of lovely material.... eventually I decided that I have no use for 5 green door wreaths, so I started to entangle the first small skein a bit. to my surprise the strands were quite easily separated and off I went. it took me quite a few hours to turn the felt into yarn again - but I managed to and I am glad I did, because the yarn feels very nice and soft and knits up well, too!

this is the yellow (unfelted) yarn and the green (felted and separated again). there is a visible difference, the green yarn looks a bit like boucle, but it's usable and feels nice to the touch - and is not likely to felt again, when the blanket has to be washed:))
it was a relief to be able to use the yarn after all - I am not easily depressed, but when nothing works as planned even I can get a bit down. I nearly finished a few other projects as well, but I have to wait for a few bits and pieces I need to complete them. 

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

can we start again, please?

what a mess this year has been so far:(( before people start to think I am gone altogether - I am still here, it's just that blogging isn't the most important thing just now. the old year left me with toothache just before christmas - which turned out to be a major job as I had to have a buried, but moving wisdom tooth extracted. well, extracted isn't the right word, more like excavated:(( after two weeks it's still painful and I have come to the conclusion that the dentist, who foresaw some trouble with a crown right beside it was right. that crown probably has to go, too:(( unfortunately I haven't married a dentist and the bills are hefty - and of course more or less unplanned. well, nothing to be done about it - but it annoys me that I have to pay a small fortune and still am left with the pain!

on the other hand just yesterday we discovered a major disaster with the house. we thought the frost might have damaged a roof tile or two, because drops of water leaked through the kitchen ceiling along the back wall - but that's the least of our worries. when we opened the low attic over the kitchen to see if there's water up there, we discovered major rat damage on the wiring! the way it looks now it seems we either abandon the cottage altogether (but where to go??) or have to do a major job to repair it. well, not repair so much - really it would be a replacement of everything, the cables, the kitchen ceiling, pretty much all door frames to the adjoining rooms, the heating etc... you'll get the drift - blogging isn't really important just now:((

sorry about the doom and gloom, but when you're faced with facts like this, which might end in leaving a country altogether and having to start all over again elsewhere out of the blue - it's hard to be more positive:((

I hope to find a solution - and to get back to blogging soon... until then, fingers crossed that it'll all work out somehow! or is there a time switch, where we can move on to end up in 2012 with all problems solved? if so, please let me know by pm - and soon:))