The moving house saga – Part 2

A lot of progress has been made on the house over the past few weeks, and now we’re almost ready to move in. Even once we have moved in, the job isn’t finished. I want to change the door handles, reupholster the sofas and armchair and paint the shelving so it all looks like it actually matches. There’s also the garden, which needs a lot of work. But that’s for the future. For now, here is the house so far. (I should mention that the photos were all quickly taken with my phone mid work, so they’re not the best, sorry).

One of the first things we tackled in the house was mould. Then we cleaned everything (it was disgusting), took up the carpets, sanded everything, and repainted everything, then had the new carpets fitted last Wednesday. It looks and smells so much fresher now. Today the kitchen appliances arrived and by next weekend we hope to be moving in. I should also mention that it now smells significantly better!

The front bedroom, which will be the office, was the first area we tackled. We turned thisFront Bedroom Before

into this.Front bedroom after

The back bedroom came next. It started like thisBack bedroom before

and currently looks like this.Back bedroom after

The living room has also greatly improved. It did look like thisLiving room before

but now looks like this.Living room after

We had some help along the way from this friendly cat, that lives next door but seems to love our overgrown garden.Friendly cat

The bathroom and kitchen aren’t yet ready for a finished picture, but that will come very soon. This afternoon we get to buy some of the smaller things for the house. It’s very exciting to finally be at a point where we can move in. I can’t wait to get started with modifying all the furniture so it fits with the colour schemes. The windows will eventually be replaced too, but we have to wait a while for the builders to be able to do that.

The moving house saga – Part 1

At this point in time I was hoping to be moved in to our new house. As you can probably guess from the title, it hasn’t happened yet.

We moved out of our house in Southampton on Tuesday 24th of June, and now it’s Thursday 3rd July, so over a week has passed. We knew it would be a few days until we could move in, so I went to visit my parents in Bristol and Nick stayed with his in Wimborne. On Saturday I came to join him, and I’m still here.

Problem number one is that the tenants of our new house didn’t move out when they were supposed to and delayed until yesterday. Problem number two made itself apparent yesterday. Nick’s mum and I went to look at the house (Nick’s parents are the landlords). We weren’t expecting it to be perfect as Nick and I had had a previous look. We were expecting a bit of mould, a bit of required cleaning and maybe a few paint touch ups.

Upon entering the living room we immediately noticed an unpleasant, musty smell. Then we noticed the dirt,and an obvious need to redecorate. We went through tomthe kitchen, and it was obvious the oven hadn’t seen a cleaner for ages. More dirt, missing curtains, nothing too bad.the garden looked as a neglected garden could be expected to look, but that’s fine, I was planning on doing some gardening anyway.

We went upstairs and had a look at the bathroom. Black mould was all over the ceiling, around the bath, and of course there was a lot of dirt. Then there was the toilet. It was brown. It was so grimy and horrible, I have no idea how someone could have lived there and happily used it. On the landing, the loft hatch was mouldy. The back bedroom was ok, just dirt. The front bedroom was horrid. The previous tenant had obviously been smoking in there. Then there was the mould. I’ll leave it atnthat as I don’t think anything but a picture, which I’ll take next time I visit, will do it justice.

So, we’re living at Nick’s larents for probably another week. Most of my things are in storage, but luckily I have plenty of knitting to do. It’s quite hard to do any work though.

On the knitting front, I’m knitting a jumper for some money and doing a mystery knit a long, which is fun. Pictures of that can’t really happen right now for various reasons, but I’ll see what I can do soon.

Look out for part 2 and onward soon, as I plan on keeping a record here of the transformation of horrible house to lovely house.

Work in Progress Wednesday 11th June

Quite a few updates this Work in Progress Wednesday!

I finished my Tonight socks and got through to Round 6 of Sock Madness. I’m pretty happy with how they came out, although I do have to lengthen them a little in the foot to fit me properly, and make the toe more rounded as usual. They’re fully reversible which is pretty cool.

Tonight Socks 2 Tonight Socks 1

I was all prepared for Round 6. I had tv queued up to watch, yarn and needles at the ready. The pattern arrived on Sunday, Chill Thrill, and I liked the look of it. I then spent 12 hours straight just getting to the heel flap on the first sock. As pretty as the pattern is, I wasn’t enjoying knitting it and it had some errors that were putting me off. My wrists were already aching a little, so I decided to sleep, rather than stay up until they were done. Overnight, I realised that there was no point in me continuing. Not only did I have the above problems to content with, but it was another heel flap sock, and they just don’t fit me very well, plus I wasn’t that happy with my yarn choice. I decided that it would be best to drop out. Even if I got the single place on my team to get to the next round, I couldn’t guarantee being able to spend the time solidly knitting to even attempt to win the overall competition. Someone else on the team had also already finished their first sock, and would have much more of a chance in the next round too.

The sock so far was frogged, and I’m still pretty happy with my decision.

Chill Thrill

I found it difficult to decide what to knit next. I decided some summery socks were a good idea. I chose some bamboo yarn (Wendy Happy) that I previously tried to knit into a cardigan back when I first started knitting. Because of tendency to stretch and stay that way, bamboo yarn doesn’t generally work well for socks, yet is a wonderfully cool fabric perfect for summer. I thought if I knit them fairly tightly on my smallest needles (2.25mm) the lack of stretch could be overcome. I’m using the pattern Seasonal Socks and am going to use my favourite Fish Lips Kiss heel, so hopefully I’ll end up with a pair of socks I’m happy with.

Seasonal Socks

I’ve won two knitting related prizes recently. The first was a pattern from PolarBears (on Ravelry) which I won as I dyed my own yarn for Sock Madness Round 3. There wasn’t a great deal I’d knit from the selection, but I chose Playtime Colors because it looked like a fun knit and I’m sure I’ll find someone who wants to knit it. The second was a random prize from a group in Ravelry, where there is a monthly sock challenge. I happened to be one of seven lucky winners for May. I won two skeins of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock and I’ve never used it before so I’m looking forward to that.

Finally, some sad news. Beshley’s Wool Shop, which I wrote about a while ago, is closing. Apparently it’s because Beshley has an opportunity she can’t pass on, but it unfortunately means she won’t be able to run the shop anymore.

It’s just under two weeks until we move house and we’ve barely started packing, so I doubt I’ll have a huge amount of knitting time for the next few weeks. However it does mean that once we’ve moved, I finally have a bit more freedom to make the house and garden look nice so hopefully I’ll be able to post a lot more crafty projects other than knitting!

Sock Madness Round 5

A really really quick post as I’m right in the middle of round 5 of Sock Madness. My socks so far:Sock Madness Round 5

I’m competing to get one of the seven places available, so knitting is all I’m doing really. I’ll update more once I’ve finished!

Work in Progress Wednesday – 21st May

This Work in Progress Wednesday it’s back to normal. You may have noticed that I only got up to Thursday on Knitting and Crochet Blog Week. I ran out of ideas and then got busy, so I didn’t finish it. I hope you found the posts I did write interesting and something a bit different.

I haven’t done a great deal of knitting this week. I don’t think I’ve written about my new Sock Madness socks though. These are Shakertown Fences. They’re way too small for me so they may be a gift for my mum, if she likes them. The next round isn’t out yet. Only seven people from each team can get through that one though so I’m not holding out much hope of getting through unless the pattern happens to be released when I have nothing to do, which is highly unlikely as we’re moving in a month and currently don’t actually have a house to move to.Shakertown Fences

I may have not done much knitting, but I did do some sewing over the weekend. I’m on a mission to create the perfect knitting storage set (large bag, small project bag, notions pouch(es), needle cases etc.) and decided that a weekend to myself was the perfect time to begin. Once I’ve done one for me and ironed out all the problems I hope to make more.

A couple of weekends ago we were in Winchester and C&H Fabrics were having a 20% off everything sale. This was my opportunity to buy some fabric I liked. There was still a little of my birthday present from Nick left (go to craft shop, buy some things I really wanted) so this was the perfect time to spend it. Seeing as I love knitting socks so much, for my storage set I chose a fabric with socks all over it!Sock Fabric

And Nick pointed out this lovely fabric for a dress for me, which I’ll make when I’ve found the perfect pattern.Dress Fabric

I got a third fabric, but that one’s a secret.

Nick mentioned the other day that I had stored up a lot of old jeans to re-purpose but have never touched them. Turns out the various colours of the denim went brilliantly with my sock fabric. As did a pale blue fabric I bought a while ago for something I never got around to. The only thick denim-suitable thread I have is bright red, but that goes fantastically too.

So I started planning, cutting, ironing and finally sewing a little notions case to start with. All went well for a while, until I broke a needle. Typical. I gave up for the day and went back to it the next, finishing it off. I need to sew on the buttons though. (I have some bright ones that are perfect that I had in my Christmas stocking). It doesn’t look like it because of the angles in the image, but the buttonholes are the same length.Notions Case

I continued on to the DPN case. All went well for quite a while. Surprisingly so actually, as usually something goes wrong quite often when I’m sewing. Then I broke another needle trying to top stitch around the edge. My machine just doesn’t like thick fabric, even though I was being really careful. It’s almost finished though and I think with a little more careful sewing I’ll be done.DPN Case InsideDPN Case Outside

Obviously there are some things I could improve, but I’m pretty happy so far.

To see more from Work in Progress Wednesday visit Tami’s Amis

Conversations Between Workers – 5KCBWDAY4

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week

Day Four (Thursday 15th May): Conversations Between Workers – 5KCBWDAY4

Start by writing a few short paragraphs from the point of view of one of the tools you use for your craft. Then, write a dialogue between yourself and this item.

My 2.5mm DPNs

2.5mm DPNs

We’re the second set of 2.5mm double pointed needles that my owner has. The first came as a kit for her first pair of socks. She favours us though as we are pointier and are very nice and shiny. We’re a set of five KnitPro Novas (and she hasn’t lost any of us yet, unlike the poor 2.25mm that got lost down the back of her parents’ sofa). We’re mainly used in the creation of socks. We’ve seen many socks in many styles, and I think we’re her favourite size to use. We’re not bitter when she picks a different size though.

So, why are we your favourite needle size?
Because you create the perfect balance between socks that knit up at a bearable speed and a nice tough fabric that won’t wear out quickly.

Why are you so good at losing one of us, (luckily not permanently…yet).
It’s not my fault. When I put one of you down for only a moment you seem to get bored really quickly and wander off and hide somewhere. I put you somewhere safe, then the next minute when I need you again you aren’t there any more. Luckily I usually catch you before you get too far.

We don’t tend to wander far, but I guess we do get bored easily. Anyway, it’s not just one of us, sometimes you lose us all!
I’ll admit that probably is my fault. I like putting you in safe places, and sometimes when I’m travelling that means inside a ball of yarn. It’s not my fault if you then hide your points and can’t be seen any more! Surely, as this is my blog, I should be asking the questions?

What did you want to ask?
Well. What’s your favourite socks I’ve knitted with you?

Probably the Gimli Socks for Nick. You used gorgeous yarn (it was from Solstice Yarns) and the pattern was really interesting.
I enjoyed knitting them too. I have something to admit though. I just looked through my projects and I seem to use the 2.25mm set more than you. Do you mind?

Not too much. You’ve lost one of them but you haven’t lost one of us, and you tend to use us quite a lot anyway!
I’m glad you don’t take it personally. I think I’ll take my blog back now if you don’t mind…

Go ahead. Just remember we’re waiting for you to start something new!

So, that was a bit of an odd post but I wasn’t totally sure what to do with the brief. If you want to see more from this challenge, Google 5KCBWDAY4.