What a week for wombling in Wimborne!

An excellent haul…

For a long time, we’ve needed a pair of bi-fold doors to fit across the opening from our tiny living room into our rather large conservatory. Single doors would have taken up too much living space, whichever way they opened. But I’d found it very hard to find readymade doors that fitted in with the style of the house, and bespoke doors were horrendously expensive. But bless their cotton socks, those fine gentlemen at Wimborne Household Recycling centre have done it again! There, before my very eyes on Monday, were a matched pair of sturdy pine bifold doors, with glassed-in uppers so we won’t lose too much light. I’m not too struck on the pattern on the glass, but it’s liveable and the girls actually like it. And it might be removeable, or we could just replace it altogether if it really grates. So all we need now is the hanging kit, which is a little more than £20 at B&Q – much more manageable than the £400 we thought we were going to have to save up. They need painting, to blend in with our decor and add to the (entirely theoretical) impression of space; I will post a pic when they’re done & up. Next cold snap, we’ll be laughing…

As I was clucking happily over the doors, someone offloaded a tent and drove off. Recognising the colours and the style of the bag, I inspected more closely; it was a Khyam Ultradome. Probably a couple of years younger than our old, much-loved Megadome but not as hard-used, it looked to be in decent shape so was popped into the capacious back of my Toyota Emina along with the lovely convertible (treadle/electric) Singer 201K in its oak cabinet. The Singer will be going off to Africa with TWAM, as will the almost-identical one picked up from a goodhearted Freecycler earlier on today. The Khyam will be going off to Devon with us inside! It’s a whole lot smaller & lighter than our big Gelert tunnel tent to transport, without being much smaller inside, and very much easier to pitch.

I have had it up in the garden for a closer look today, and apart from a small, easily mended rip on the porch, it’s in pretty good shape. The original guy ropes are gone, but we have a set of proper Khyam guys & pegs from our faithful old friend the Megadome. I shan’t feel so bad about taking that  apart now, as it will be helping this one give many more years of service, and since one leg strut got snapped by someone who didn’t understand how to pop them down, it really is past it now.  I’ll use some fabric from it to mend that rip, and take the integral groundsheet out to use in the living area of the Ultradome, which didn’t come with one. That’s one reason why we bought the Mega rather than the Ultradome, 13 years ago – you had to buy it seperately if you wanted one, and the tent cost well over £400 to start with…

So I’m happy with that, and with the biggish enamel saucepan (with lid) I kidnapped for dyeing in, the two little mesh windows from someone’s larder which will make fabulous deckles for papermaking & the little old ratchet screwdriver that ought to go off to Africa but which seems to have slipped somehow into my sewing machine tool box and obviously feels quite at home.

And I’m definitely beginning to get the hang of spinning now, and am turning out skeins of yarn that I actually want to work with. The dyeing & spinning experiments are going to be made into a “Granny Square” jumper – will I have it finshed in time to wear it next winter? Or will I be distracted by 101 other irresistible projects, like making myself a charkha out of a small, rescued box and parts from an old Saxonia sewing machine that really was at the end of its useful life? Watch this space for regular updates…

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