Sunday 18 August 2019. #56

Hello! This Sunday I’m posting from sunny but hazy Sydney. We are moving through winter quite quickly now and, for us down under, it will be Spring in exactly 14 days. I’m not expecting it to get very warm too quickly though today is supposed to be about 23 degrees Celcius!

This week has been very relaxing as I try to settle into a routine. I have managed to get a few things done but I also found that I have been knitting less, getting into different activities during the days. I am moving back into my exercise routine and had three lovely mornings running along one of our local beaches. I say running but it’s more like a shuffle as I get back to where I was previously. It’s amazing how good I feel after a session on the beach. You can see the lovely views I get to take in while I’m out there.

On Friday night, we went to our local Golf Club for a birthday celebration – there were four birthdays we celebrated but one was a special 60th.

Yesterday was an early start and I had a lovely visit with my son and his wife and, especially, baby Evie. We had such fun playing together before I finished my journey to Sydney. On the way through to my mum and dad’s place, I made a couple of stops. Firstly to Skein Sisters as I needed a new cable for my Chiaogoo interchangeables and then to the button shop in Newtown – All Buttons Great and Small for some buttons for my Preparer son Arrivee cardigan. I think I have the right ones now but it was still hard to match anything.

During the afternoon with my mum and dad, I went for a walk up the main street to see what was happening in my old neighborhood. I took some pics of the local old buildings that I was happy to see are being looked after and maintained for posterity. I also walked through the local markets that I’d forgotten were on every Saturday. These markets have been famous for a long time, attracting visitors from far and wide.

Knitting

I have continued to concentrate on the same four projects this week, but mainly 2 of these. Firstly, I’m making reasonable ground on my Humulus sweater. I picked up the sleeves and started knitting with a larger size needle. I remember on my Feather and Fern that knitting the sleeves two at a time made them very tight. I knitted the Humulus body with 4.0 mm and am using 4.5 mm needles on the sleeves. The stitches seem to blend with the other stitches so I think it’s working well. I’m hoping to have this finished for Stash Dash, which ends at midnight on the 24th. I think that gives me a little bit more time as that means 25th August here – I’ll just need to check what time exactly.

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The other main project this week was my Millie sweater. This one is also on sleeve island but, unlike the Humulus, the decision to use larger needles was not a good idea. I think this is because of the difference in the weight of the yarn. The fingering weight was already using a whopping 4.5 mm needles so using 5.0 mm tipped it over the scale of being a very loose stitch. I got several rows into the sleeves when I finally made the call to rip them out and start again with the 4.5 mm needles. To avoid the tightness from knitting two at a time, I decided to decrease to the second size rather than the first so that there are more stitches. I am all but finished the sleeves but just had to call it a night last night. Once the smallest ball is finished, then I will be done. The first photo shows how I’d split the balls for two at a time and helical knitting. I managed some TV knitting with this one while watching the Cady Jax podcast. You may be able to see how the stitches look very messy in the top section of the middle picture.

The only other knitting project I’ve worked on this week is my socks. That is because they are portable and I needed portable knitting. The first was when I was waiting at the doctor’s office for two hours and the second when I had breakfast in town after an annual fasting blood test. I managed to find a toe-up pattern that uses a heel flap – it’s the How I Roll socks that I already had in my library. I probably have another inch or so to do before I start the heel. I like how the stripes are moving along and it’s quite addictive to get to the next colour all the time.

I haven’t done much on my Tuileries pullover, mainly to get the Humulus and Millie done for Stash Dash, so it’s not worth showing what will look the same as last week. I did, however, get out one of my languishing WIPs. I’ve had it in mind to make another shawl but thought that it would be good to finish my Rugby shawl before starting any others. I only spent some time working out where I was, what needles I had stolen from the project and I knitted 2 rows to get the feel of it. It’s a very simple pattern but has a beautiful applied border. This will be in my knitting rotation starting next week.

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Spinning

I really got into my spinning wheel this week. I started with some fibre that I had dyed some time ago, more specifically for using when felting. I’m pretty sure that it is merino as I don’t think I’ve had much else. I do have a stash of Corriedale but I’m not sure what I will do with it as it is a very short staple and not smooth. This could be improved with blending so I’ll give that a go at some point. With this merino, I decided to use my carding combs to prep them into fauxlags and this worked very well. I spun up all the blue fluff and then started a new spindle with some rusty orange. I then managed to ply the two together. It is purposefully barber-poled as I thought it would be a good exercise to see how the plying went. I find that plying is awkward because the lazy kate doesn’t have any tension and the yarn is plying itself together as it rolls loosely off the bobbins. I’m seriously thinking about getting a tensioned lazy kate to help with this. This spin will help add 139.5 m to my Stash Dash total. The meterage for spinning is worked out at the length x 3, one length for each of the single spins and one length for the plying.

I went to my first local Spinners and Weavers group on Thursday. This one is called The Wool Road Spinners and Weavers for my local area and the ladies are lovely. I actually knew one of the ladies there, though not very well but having a common friend made it like we’d known each other well. It was a great first class to go to because they had a talk about using and caring for our wheels. It helped consolidate some of the information that I’ve assimilated from YouTube and books. At this meeting, I started on some more of my own dyed merino fibre and I hope for that and one other amount to be spun together for another amount for Stash Dash. I should be able to get them done this week. The wheel is sooooo much faster than the spindle.

I’m still working on my spindle spin and have very little left to do. I know that the wheel is much faster but there is definitely something therapeutic in spindle spinning. I’ve been using the half-hour of the Million Dollar Hot Seat before dinner to spin each weekday. I only have five more bits to spin so that will be a maximum of five more days. Then I will ply the whole lot – the first two spindles which is probably about 150 grams and this latest twos spindle’s worth which will be up close to 100 grams. Again, I hope for these to add to my Stash Dash total.

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Patchwork

Last week, I mentioned that I’d found some cut patchwork pieces and decided to use them for a baby quilt. The pieces were 9 x 20 inch and 3 x 20 inch but, without a pattern, I was at a loss. I started by stitching the skinny bits onto the wider bits and then cut them into blocks. That was fine, but I needed to take some sides off to join them with other blocks and also to get the fabric pieces to match. It took some working out to get a pattern that looked decent and, in the end, I went with an L shape getting smaller to the other diagonal. Is that description confusing? You can see the blocks laid out on our spare bed. The photos probably aren’t very clear either as there are only three strips sewn up. The sashing can’t be finalised until I add another fabric as what I have left can’t be used as posts because they would butt up against themselves. I’ll have to dig into stash to see if I can add something there.

The Snow Days quilt now has a backing. I purchased this fabric from Spotlight the other day and had to piece a bit down one side to get to the size to fit. I have scheduled the sandwiching of the quilt for next week so then I can start quilting it. That is something I’ll need to work out too – how am I going to quilt this?

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I didn’t get to any stitching on my Round The Garden quilt or any dressmaking-type sewing this week. I have come to realise that I may not actually be able to do absolutely everything I want to do now that I’m retired. My list of projects and activities are way too long, especially with some socialising thrown in!

Acquisitions

As I mentioned, I purchased some fabric from Spotlight for the Snow Days baby quilt backing and a trip to Spotlight would not be normal if I didn’t leave with some remnants! This week’s remnant additions are, clockwise from top left:

  • PTD Sateen Dual Spot, rust – 127 cm x 2 m
  • Animal Print Jaguar, multi – 112 cm x 1.45 m
  • PTD Cotton Drill M/Reaux Spots, black – 114 cm x 0.9 m
  • Eclipse Crepe, Black – 147cm x 0.85 m

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I called in at Skein Sisters on my way to Sydney yesterday as I needed a cable for my Chiaogoo interchangeables. It seems that the size I need is always on another project. While I was there, I found the beautiful Julie Asselin yarns that I hadn’t actually seen in person. Of course, I didn’t leave without a couple of those in my possession. I picked up some Leizu Fingering in the Folk colourway (left) and Fall River (right). These are 90% superwash merino and 10% silk. I think these could be good candidates for the Stephen West Exploration Station shawl that I’ve been wanting to make for some time now. I’m pretty sure I have a few other candidates possibly hiding in my stash to go with them. I’ll definitely check that out when I’m home. Otherwise, I know that they will be very good for something sooner or later.

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Paraphernalia

I haven’t watched the finale of the Handmaid’s Tale yet and I’m keeping that for when I get home on Monday. I did finish watching the final season of Suits, though I’m not sure that it’s actually the final but I can’t imagine that Meghan Markle will be featuring in any future seasons. I finished the book I was listening to – Death in a Strange Country by Donna Leon, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I really liked the main character and the storyline did keep me guessing. That was a Book Club book and we have another one, The Binding by Bridget Collins, that I have just started. This one is totally different from the previous one being more of a magical type genre, but that’s my initial impression. It may be nothing like that. We have our next Book Club meeting on Tuesday night so I hope I can get this one finished by then.

I think this coming week will be another relaxing one, once I’m home tomorrow. I’ll be spending today with my daughter, then tomorrow morning will have a quick visit with my parents and then on to Wollongong on my way home for a visit with Kim and Evie. Apart from Book Club, I’ll also be catching up with a couple of girlfriends on Wednesday afternoon.

There are lots of crafting plans for me for the coming week and I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

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Sunday 11 August 2019. #55

Welcome to my little crafting corner of the internet! Today I’m posting from a very windy south coast of New South Wales. It has been windy since Thursday, and I don’t mean just a strong breeze but more like a constant gale. Unfortunately, it was also garbage night on Thursday night and there were many casualties. Today started quite bleak but the sun has come out again so hopefully it won’t be as bad as I thought.

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Our retreat was a resounding success again this year. In the patchwork section down below I’ve put a collage of the beautiful quilts that were worked on. Some were started, some were finished and some were started and finished during the week! There was a lot of hand stitching, knitting and crochet going on too. And we ate very well! These are some shots of our group in action. Spoiler alert – this is going to be a picture heavy post!

I can’t post this blog without photos of the beautiful views from the house. The sunrises and sunsets were glorious. Our walks each morning were shared with some horses training on the beach and they were beautiful animals.

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Knitting.

I didn’t do as much knitting as I normally would this week as there were many other crafts and activities happening. I managed to finish the body of my Humulus sweater and will start on sleeve island this week. I’m so glad to have picked this one up again and I hope to have it finished before the end of Stash Dash on the 24th of this month. I have not made any modifications on this project and the fit is lovely. I can’t wait to finish it as I may still get to wear it before Spring settles in properly next month. Though the weather at the moment is more glacial than normal!

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Another project that got plenty of love this week is my Millie sweater. I finished the body of this yesterday while watching some podcasts (Mina’s Knitting Expat podcast shown here) and the football was on in the background. The fire was on right next to me so it was nice and cosy. The ribbing seemed to go on for ever. I’m sure I was at 3 inches for way too long. Every time I measured it, it was still 3 inches! I finally finished casting off last night after watching the latest Handmaid’s Tale and halfway through the Eldenwood Craft podcast. I’ll start the sleeves this week and I’m not expecting them to take too long as they are three quarter length. I have been alternating the two balls shown and there is 28 grams and 21 grams left of each, respectively. I’ll halve them today and will work the two sleeves at a time but with separate balls, and I intend to knit as far as the yarn lets me. I don’t mind if the sleeves are elbow length; sitting in the crook of the arm length.

I nearly forgot to mention my Tuileries sweater. There is slow progress on this one because it is twisted rib and I’m only doing a couple of rows a day. I do like how it’s coming along though!

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Spinning

Yesterday I tried to do some plying with the yarn I’d spun up on my wheel. They are my first and second bobbins and the first was well overspun. I’m not having much luck plying the two together as it seems the bobbin is not taking the yarn in. It works if I don’t hold the singles but then they just wind themselves and become a mess. I think I’ll need to go to the Spinners and Weavers for some more help before I try to ply my spindle yarn. I’ll start off some new bobbins now that I’m able to control the draw better.

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I have made considerable progress on my spindle spin. I’m still getting the dropsies but I’ve worked out now that it means I haven’t spun enough. I think I move up too quickly and need to spin more and move slowly. Since working that out, I have had better progress but still need to stop and think to go slower once I’ve been spinning for a little bit. The photo shows the three bobbins ready to ply. My first spindle spin is on the left, the second in the middle and the third I started a new spindle as the second one kept breaking. The latest spindle only has the fibre attached and the three slivers on the left to go and I’ll then start the last one, fibre showing at the bottom. That fibre is equal to the amount for this latest spindle.

Sewing

I showed last week that I had cut out the fabric for the Ashton top by Helen’s Closet and here it is finished. It was an easy sew; the hardest part was pinning and sewing the bias facings but I can’t really say they were hard, just lots of pins. There are no actions shots for this one as, though I can get it on, it’s a little too tight to be comfortable. I’ll make the next one the next size up. There are several hacks up for this one now so maybe the next one will be one of those.

Patchwork

Most of my days this week were spent at the machine so I made considerable progress on the patchwork projects I need to get done. The first one, here, is my nautical quilt using lots of different fabrics from a series called Anchors Aweigh, a 2011 RJR Fabrics. That means I probably bought these in 2012 and they have been waiting patiently since. I made it up as I went along but had always wanted to start with the Mariner’s Compass block int he centre This quilt will be for my dad for his birthday in October. He loves anything nautical so he should like it. I have lots of fabric left over so the next step will be to piece those bits together for the backing, then sandwiching and quilting. First, I want to add an “N” “S” “W” “E” to the borders around the compass.

Before I move onto the next part of my dad’s quilt, I’ll need to finish this one for a friend’s new granddaughter. I had forgotten the due date so when I got news that she’d arrived, I quickly galvanised into action and found some disappearing nine patch blocks that I’d made a year or two ago that I had intended for baby gifting. I put the patches together this week at the retreat and added a border. Now for sandwiching and quilting.  This quilt is using some Snow Days fabric by Moda that I bought a good while ago. This one is the girl version – I have some blocks done with a majority of blues so I’ll have those for a boy at some point. Since this arrival, there has been another baby girl arrive and yesterday I found some blocks I had cut ready for stitching that I’ll be able to use. Unfortunately, there is no pattern with that project so I’ll have to be a little bit creative!

Here is the collage that I mentioned earlier. These patchwork projects were worked on by my lovely friends. Everyone is sooooo talented!

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Stitching

Well, finally, I have made some decent progress on my Round the Garden quilt. The pattern is by Wendy Williams but I have changed some of the centre sections. I have seen some wonderful versions of this quilt. My friend Jenny was also working on hers at the retreat this week. The bottom left quadrant is about complete now (centre picture). I only had to finish the leaves and I now just need to add bird’s eyes and the rooster needs legs. The top left quadrant is divided into two sections and I’ve made the larger part into a view of Jervis Bay from my deck/window. I can’t actually see sand, towels and umbrellas from there but that adds to the story. You can see the sun at the top, clouds, Point Perpendicular and a RAN ship, a whale, sailboats and fish, and on the beach a couple of towels and an umbrella and what will be Pied Oystercatchers, a local bird. There is a two inch circle that goes around the whole centre section (you can see the green stitching defining the circle) which will need to be filled with flowers. That is going to take a lot of circles so it was a great time saver that Jenny brought her Sizzix machine and I was able to cut out circles from all the colours in my felt stash. The photo at bottom left shows the pieces that I haven’t yet removed the circles from. That should keep me going for some time. If I don’t fill the circle, I have a couple of friends now with the die required to cut these so I’ll pay a visit and cut more. I’m not sure what I’ll put into the final small section. The pattern has garden pots with lots of flowers so I may just go with that. The piece de resistance will be the final section of houses, trees and lighthouses around the whole thing. I have about one third of that ready to go on.

Acquisitions

Apart from my walks on the beach each morning and afternoon, I did not leave the retreat, choosing to keep crafting instead of shopping but I did manage to pick up a couple of lovely bits and pieces. My friend Cathie had some lovely undyed yarn from a friend who is From Ewe to You. This yarn is 100% grown and spun Australian wool. The label describes that the yarn has been created from soft lamb’s fleece using gentle processes. I have two skeins, one is an 8 ply (DK) and the other 4 ply (fingering). I’ll be saving these super soft skeins for something special so I will know how I’ll dye them when I made that decision. The other acquisition is three bags of Ashford fibre; two are merino/silk slivers in peppercorns and storm colourways and the third is alpaca merino in the seamist colourway. These will be great for spinning, either on the wheel or spindle! My friend Vicki picked these out for me – she was calling in at the Glenora Weaving and Wool shop and I asked if she could pick me up some fluff while she was there.

Paraphernalia

I was too busy this week being social and enjoying everyone’s company so I have a lot of podcasts to catch up on. I did watch this week’s Handmaid’s Tale last night and I think the season finale is next week. And I’m still listening to Death in a Strange Country by Donna Leon. This and The Binding by Bridget Collins are my Book Club books for this month and I need to finish them by the 20th. I’ve also started getting into the book shown below, Yarnitecture by Jillian Moreno. I purchased this some time last year and I recently saw Jillian interviewed by Fruity Knitting which spurred me to get the book out. It discusses everything to do with fibres from fluff to yarn and how to design your spin to suit the product you are trying to achieve. I’m not ready for some of the more technical sections but this will be good to grow my experience with spinning and more of it will become more relevant as I get more experience.

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This week will be the first of my new life without work. The retreat last week doesn’t qualify as I have been attending every year for so many years that it was a normal part of life. Now I’ll need to structure my time so that I am productive but still get time to chill. I’ll be able to spend more time with already-retired friends, and more time with family – my children and their partners, granddaughter, and my parents. One project I have is to help my parents de-clutter and, at the same time, do the same for myself in the lead up to the demolish and rebuild of our home scheduled for February. We’ll be looking at all the inclusions we need to pick for the new house. I don’t think I’ll get bored!

I hope this long post wasn’t too much but it’s been a big and fun-filled week. I definitely needed to share all of this. So, in closing today, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

My Creative Obsession Logo Concepts FINAL-MCO

Sunday 4 August 2019. #54

Hello friends! Welcome from retreat HQ. This photo is just as we started to get set up.

What a roller coaster of a week I’ve had. I finally ended my working life on Thursday and, I must say, it took a lot of paperwork, stress to get it all done and mixed feelings. I had two lunches and a morning tea and now I can sleep in every single day! The best part is that I don’t have to drive to Canberra and back every week. Everyone said lovely things about me and I got a beautiful bunch of flowers and a gift card to Spotlight – perfect! I don’t think I’ll notice the difference yet as today I start my week at our sewing group retreat in Gerroa, south coast of NSW. The week ended with an amazing massage and facial. What a way to start my new life.

Knitting

I haven’t done a great deal of knitting this week – at least, not as much as I normally would have. That’s because of the hectic week and also because my finger hasn’t healed properly yet. I’m still poking a hole in it! I did get some good driving time for knitting though so took turns on the two main projects. One was the Humulus sweater and I think I’m now ready for the rib. I’ll try it on today to see. I tried it on the other day and it’s fitting really well.

The other project that saw some good driving knitting was my Millie sweater. I tried it on the other day and I’m really happy with this one too. I’ve got about an inch to go before I start the ribbing.

New cast-on: As this was such a special week, I thought it deserved a new cast on. This is my new project – the Tuileries sweater by Julie Knits in Paris. It’s a bit tricky at this size; it starts at the neck and goes down in one piece. I’m using a fingering weight yarn for a sport weight pattern and I swatched to work out what I need to do. As I had intended to do the neck smaller, I started that in the smallest size and I think I know how I will increase as I get further down, still keeping the twisted rib pattern. So far this needs a bit of attention so is not very vanilla yet.

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My socks are coming along nicely thought I’ve not given them terribly much attention. I’ve manged to do each of the different stripe colours and now into the blue , starting the stripe repeat again. Please excuse the shadowy photo – it was still very early when I took this picture.

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Sewing

There was little time to do any sewing this week but I did manage to cut out an Ashton top using some sateen that was a remnant purchase from Spotlight. That’s now ready for this week.

Spinning

I didn’t finish anything for Tour de Fleece but I managed to spin a bit every day, except for one day. I now have two bobbins though I didn’t manage to get as much weight on the second bobbin. I found that the yarn kept breaking because of the weight. The first spindle was 77 grams and I got to 64 grams with the second one. I think I’ll keep it to 50 grams in future. I hope to get most of this done by the end of this week, though I know that’s a bit optimistic!

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Acquisitions

I have a few acquisitions this week. Firstly, last week I forgot to show the two Vogue patterns I got at Spotlight during the 2 for $12 sale. I think I paid less than that, actually. I  bought a new hook for my spinning wheel. You can see the one that came with it is just a loop which was too difficult to use to catch any fibre with so I got a proper hook for it. There’s some new fibre in very different preps that I got from Wren & Ollie. They are sooooo gorgeous. I don’t remember the fibres but there’s merino and silk and a few others. There are batts, mini bumps, rolags and who know what else! I purchased a new set of Chiagoos, this time the Twist Shortie Lace interchangeable set which contains 2 inch and 3 inch tips from 3.5 mm to 5 mm. Finally, I purchased a Batik Kit from Kraftkolour for a particular project – more on that later.

Paraphernalia

I think the only normal thing this week was watching the latest Handmaid’s Tale episode and that was certainly worth it! It is really building up to a tumultuous ending. Apart from working, I spent all of Saturday getting ready for this week’s retreat. I started with an enormous butter chicken and then I made this yummy orange and almond cake. The food is the easy part, and packing clothes is relatively easy but the hardest part was packing projects and tools for the week. I have two quilting type projects, my knitting projects, spindle and fibre, two sewing machines (one for someone who flew in) and all the bits and pieces that are absolutely necessary for this event.

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The retirement feeling hasn’t yet kicked in and I’m not really expecting to feel anything at least until this week is over. I’ll have lots to report on next week! Now, I really need to get into the my crafting with my 13 buddies so, until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

My Creative Obsession Logo Concepts FINAL-MCO

Sunday 28 July 2019. #53

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Happy birthday to the My Creative Obsessions blog! It’s hard to believe that a whole year has passed since my very first blog. I’ve learned a little bit about blogging but not as much as I would have liked. Maybe now that I’ll have more time I can delve deeper. I went back through the very early posts and realised that I’d lost the pictures there, trying to save room on the free website. At least the text is still there and I may try to relocate those pics at some point. Looking through the posts to see how the year went, I only got into about 22 and realised that it would take a good couple of weeks to see them all! Of note, there are two projects in my very first post that have not been finished. One is my Kettle Valley Poncho which is waiting patiently and the other is a sewing project for some Claudia pants by Style Arc. These have hibernated mainly because I doubt very much that they’d fit now! A recurring theme has also been that I’ve wanted to get back to my Comfort Fade cardi. That hasn’t happened yet, but I keep talking about it! And I’ve wracked my brain to decide on the highlight of my year of blogging and I must say that it is being featured on the Knitting Vicariously podcast. The year has documented so many life events – birth, illness and marriage being the most important ones for the year. I can’t really say I had a favourite project – they all have their good points and challenges but I think that the Graphica sweater is probably at the top, being quite an achievement. I would have to say that the most drawn-out project would have to have been the Texture Time KAL by Steven West – it was never-ending! My daughter in law’s favourites are my Blaise shawl and the baby Strange Brew. Let’s hope the next year of blogging is as good or even better!

And now back to the present! This week has been hectic. It was my second last week of work and I ran a workshop, which is always full on. Aside from that, the attendees and I were all at the same hotel so we shared dinner and drinks both nights, the second night is shown here – the Duck’s Nuts restaurant in Canberra, and it was excellent.

The moon continued to put on a show early in the week. Today is quite miserable, but we haven’t had any rain for some time so we really need it. It’s only a drizzle though, which is just annoying and doesn’t allow anything to warm up.

Knitting

Finished Object No. 1: My Bell Sleeved top is finally finished! I didn’t think this one would ever get done as I kept needing to add more and more on every section of the pattern. That started with when to do the first garter section on the body, to the length of the body, then the garter on the sleeves and the sleeves themselves. If I’d kept to the pattern instructions it would have been cropped with elbow-length sleeves which is not how it’s photographed. This photo shows the top having just been blocked and I’ve yet to sew in the ends. Action shot coming up soon!

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Finished Object No. 2: The My Boy Lollipop top is finished. The modifications I made is to add an extra inch before the body ribbing and then about an inch on the sleeves. This is hot off the needles so hasn’t been blocked and has lots of ends to sew in. It’s not my normal style so I think this qualifies for Voolenvine’s Uncomfort Zone KAL! It was a very quick knit though the pattern was a little confusing.

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Since the last lot of socks had been finished I had to cast on some more. Last week I showed this yarn and it was caked up and cast on! The yarn has a seven stripe repeat and I’m up to the sixth at the moment. I’m just using my normal toe-up cast on to get to 64 stitches on 2.5mm needles. I really need to look at different toes as these are not the one that I was aiming for. Also, I’m going to look at my sock patterns to see which heels I’ll put in.

My Millie sweater is still moving along with a few rows here and there. I didn’t get as much opportunity for knitting this week as I usually do but I have now separated for the sleeves. I haven’t tried it on yet but that’s next, while I have the two needles on it.

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Blast From the Past: I have mentioned my Comfort Fade cardi as the hibernating project that I want to get back to very soon but it’s going to take some brain space to get going on the sleeve fade. So, when I needed something quick and easy to pick up, I grabbed my Humulus sweater. I only had 4 rows of the colourwork to go so it was easy to start knitting, and now I’ve separated for the sleeves, moving into easy vanilla stocking stitch. I have about 12 or so inches of this to do. Let’s see if I can get this one done for Stash Dash which is finishing on 24th August.

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Finally, a good picture of the Fish hat post blocking. My husband really likes it and says it’s much warmer than the bought ones he has been wearing. It’s just a bit big though and I’ve machine washed it and also dried it in the drier. The label says gentle machine wash and do not tumble dry so I was hopeful for a little bit of shrinkage. That’s OK, he’s still wearing it. I also did some surgery on my Sunday sweater as I add more rib at the bottom of the body. I used the yarn that I took off the sleeves and almost got to the end of the bind-off but lost at yarn chicken. Lucky I had a couple of balls left.

Spinning

Today is the final day of Tour de Fleece, in line with the Tour de France. I haven’t actually completed anything yet but only had one “rest” day. I’m becoming more comfortable with the spinning wheel and hope to ply my first two bobbins, maybe today. I don’t know how that will go as the first bobbin will probably be considerably shorter than this one because it was very chunky in parts. The spindle is becoming very natural now though I’m still getting the “dropsies” in each session. That is usually when I’m about to finish the quota I prepared for myself. The bobbin, below right, has 77 grams of single and the spindle is currently at 56 grams. The fibre shown with the spindle and bobbin is enough to get the spindle to 77 grams. I also have another 76 grams of this fibre that I will split over two spindles. I’m hoping to finish these before the end of Stash Dash on 24th August.

Technically, this should probably be in a “crochet” category but it’s all about the spinning. Part of the Babbles Travelling Yarns and Knitting Expat’s SMAL (spinning and make-a-long) is that you spin first then make something intentionally. I had decided straight up that I would be making a table mat of some shape and, due to the small amount from this first-ever spin, I decided on a spiral. It’s about 7 inches (18 cm)  in diameter and I’ll probably block it to flatten it out a bit more.

Acquisitions

I had noticed this fabulous yarn from IxCHeL Yarns and Fibres’ facebook page and had to have it. Charly had posted this as part of her inventory for the Bendigo Sheep Show and she was kind enough to let me buy some as I couldn’t attend. The Bendigo Sheep Show is the Australian Sheep and Wool Show and I think it equates as the Australian version of Rheinbeck – the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival. I have told my friend Mary that we are going there next year. The Bendigo Sheep Show, that is – it’s much closer than New York!

I had another trip to Spotlight this week to buy a large crochet hook to make the table mat with my first spindle yarn and, of course, purchased a few remnants. There is never a great amount of information on their tags but, starting from the top left:

  • Loose weave yarn in a blue and white – 0.90m of 135 cm wide.
  • PTD Rayon double stripes in navy and white (looks black to me!) – 1.4 m of 140 cm wide.
  • PTD Poly Crepe in Blush peonies rose – 0.75m of 148 cm wide. (Ogden cami?)
  • DGTL PTD Cotton linen in pink – 0.70m of 148 cm wide. (Ashton top?)

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Only a couple of other acquisitions this week. I had ordered a Dell 2-in-1 laptop and it arrived this week. It’s only small but very compact and portable and it turns itself almost inside out, so it can be a laptop or a tablet. I purchased two more patterns in the Helen’s Closet sale this week – the Ashton top and Avery leggings.

Paraphernalia

There is so much happening at the moment that I feel a little overwhelmed. This is my last week at work and I have a lot to do including heaps of paperwork, removing files from my work laptop, finishing a couple of jobs that need to be done and also have a couple of farewell lunches! Once I make it through that, I need to get organised for our sewing group’s annual retreat at Gerroa, NSW. I know which I’d rather be doing! For Gerroa, I have my major project which I discussed last week (the mariner’s compass) and now a minor project of a baby quilt for a close friend’s new granddaughter. The spindle will be coming with me but I’m not sure about the wheel. I’ll also have my knitting and maybe a small dressmaking sewing project, like the Ashton top. And I’ve started my first book club book – Death in a Strange Country by Donna Leon.

Thanks for joining me for my Blogaversary and crafting/life update. I know a couple of people who have been with me since the very first- my best friend, Mary and my beautiful daughter-in-law, Kimberley. They wait faithfully for each instalment! I look forward to sharing my adventures with you all for another year and, until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

My Creative Obsession Logo Concepts FINAL-MCO

Sunday 21 July 2019. #52

Hello friends! This post marks a year of blogging and my “blogaversary” is next Sunday. Who would have thought! It has made me so happy doing this every week, I think I’ll keep on doing it.

The moon featured a lot this week. It started with a stunning moon setting at almost 6 am on Tuesday on the way to pick up the car for the drive to Canberra. The photo at bottom left shows the beginning of the partial lunar eclipse on Wednesday morning but I was unable to see the full effect as it had slipped over the hill. The next eclipse is not due until 2023. The final moon picture was a beautiful orange moonrise on Thursday night. Of course, I had to include a beautiful sunrise, or just before sunrise on Friday morning. The only non-astronomy photo here shows the view from one of my workplaces. It looks straight down to Parliament House. I really enjoy this view but won’t be seeing it for much longer.

I got to wear my new skirt and tried the baby Strange Brew Sweater on Evie. The skirt is a smidge tight but still very wearable. That, I realised is because I was sewing five-eighth inch seams instead of the one-centimetre seams that I added to the pattern. On the other hand, Evie’s sweater has plenty of grow room. She’s wearing it here over a jumper and a couple of other layers. The sleeves are also folded up and you can see how much bulk there is. I’m thinking of re-doing the bind off on the sleeves next time I’m up there.

Knitting

Finished Object No. 1: I finally finished Mina’s Vanilla socks for my dad. They are shown here not yet blocked and the ends haven’t been sewing in. They came off the needles last night just before I went to bed. I’m hoping they will fit – I’m quietly confident as I have a template of his foot that I used. Also, his feet are very similar to mine and they are good on me. I still haven’t decided which heel I like best but these German short row heels aren’t a bad fit. I do like the look of slipped stitch heels on some socks though so maybe my next will be those heels again. There are so many different types. I have the Fish Lips Kiss heel pattern but haven’t yet tried them. I think the hardest part of doing heels is knowing exactly when to start them and that’s why I haven’t tried them yet. Another popular heel at the moment is the OMG heel. I haven’t looked into those yet.

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Finished Object No. 2: I finished the Fish hat yesterday afternoon and have balloon blocked it. It is looking quite large, even for my husband’s huge head but we’ll see when it dries today. When I got to the decrease crown section, I didn’t read the pattern properly. To start the decreases, the first couple of rounds had a plain knit row in between and I thought that was for the whole crown. I was wondering why it looked like it was getting pointy. I had to frog back quite a few rows.

I’m nearly finished the My Boy Lollipop, having completed the body. I now have the sleeves to do which will be very quick even though I am going to add some rows. I got into a good rhythm with the twisted rib but found I had to think about the knit stitch on all my other projects so that I didn’t twist them. This should be a finished object this week but I’ll have to wait until Spring to wear it. I also need to work out what I can wear it with. The best look is over a sundress and I have plans to make a white one to go with it – probably the Jessica Dress by Mimi G.

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The Millie sweater is moving along at a reasonable pace. I’m only doing a few rows here and there as I was concentrating on finishing some bits and pieces. I’m at the point I wanted to stop increasing and divide for the sleeves so that it isn’t too dolman-like but I’m trying to decide if the sleeve stitches are enough for my arms. Going by the pattern, you need to decrease about 10 stitches on the sleeves once you divide so I think it should work without having to do the decreases or many of them. I have it on two needles here but I may need to add a third to try this one on. Maybe not, the body is quite roomy so that’s possibly why it’s not able to lay flat on the two needles. These two needles are normally fine for trying on.

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Since I’m finishing all these projects, I’m going to need to pick up a few more! Of course, I’ll be taking my Comfort Fade cardigan out of hibernation and hopefully finishing that before the winter is over. But I’ve also started to swatch for the Vicarious Knitting podcast Gold-a-long. I have balled up a skein of my Tosh Merino Light and started to swatch for the Tuileries pullover by Julie Knits in Paris. The pattern calls for sport weight and I’d like to use this fingering weight. The needles used in the pattern for the main part are 3.5mm so I swatched, starting from the bottom, with 3.0mm, 3.25mm and 3.5mm. I think the 3.25mm fabric is the best. I’ll work out the number of stitches for my bust and will pick one of the larger sizes that equals that number at the sleeve divide. The pattern calls for 7 inches of positive ease. I’ll be aiming for about 3 inches.

And now I need to start a new pair of socks. I have been dying to cast on the beautiful Fibernymph Dye Works yarn I purchased early this year. This is on the Bedazzled base which has a beautiful silver sparkle. The colourway is Dyer’s Favourites 2018 – Alt. Stripes and has 7 stripes. I will be casting this on today after I ball up the yarn – into two balls each as, of course, I’m doing toe-up, two at a time. Maybe one ball will be enough for the mini as I can go from each end.

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Spinning

Tour de Fleece has continued for week 2. I have continued to spin on my spindle and also got to use the wheel a bit. The spindle is growing well. I had just been spinning and found that people were recording how much they’d spun each day. I don’t know how much the spindle weighs yet but I was at 131 grams on Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, I added another 16 grams to a total of 147 grams. I think I may take the single off the spindle today and start the next one. I’ll be doing this yarn two-ply. I found a lazy Kate in my stash of spinning supplies that I got with my wheel and thought this one will be great for putting my spindle yarn on while I do the next one and then also for plying. I’ll have to weigh down the base so it doesn’t tip.

I have only been spinning on the wheel on the weekends because I’m still trying to work out what is what and how to do absolutely everything. It’s not possible for 10 minutes here and there and, obviously, I can’t take it to Canberra with me where I would still have the time issue. But that will change in 13 sleeps. I’ll have much more time to experiment with the wheel. I’m more proficient at drawing the fibre now but have a long way to go yet. I tried the cross-lacing that Mina Philipp does for some spins but I don’t think I’m advanced enough to cope with it. It just means going through one hook then going through the opposite hook as well before going through the oracle. It’s supposed to make the yarn finer. I just found it broke much more than the many breaks I’m already dealing with. Anyway, yesterday I managed to get a bit more even, with less over spinning so I’ll do some more today. As I found with the spindle, and is the same for everything, at first it feels really awkward and everything goes wrong but you improve with each attempt.

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Sewing

I had a session at my sewing machine Friday and whipped up an Adrienne Blouse by the Friday Pattern Co. If it was warmer, I may have worn it on Friday night when I went out for dinner with my local friends. I actually finished it yesterday but probably only took 2 hours for the whole thing. It’s such an easy make and is stunning. The hanging picture doesn’t look like much but the floor pic shows it better. I may be able to get an action shot next week. I used the knit rayon I purchased at Spotlight in June. It was earmarked for this project and I was hoping to get to it much earlier. It will be great for Spring. I had a little accident when I was trimming the side seam. The fabric is very thin and I managed to snip the front (or back) as well. I used a bit of fusible tape to try to join it but that wasn’t perfect so I did a zig zag over the two little sections. It’s totally not noticeable unless it’s pointed out so I have no issues wearing it. And I  love the colours in the fabric.

Patchwork

At least a couple of years ago, I attended one of Lisa Walton’s classes (I have attended most!) and made the Cityscapes quilt. I can’t easily find a proper photo of the quilt but you can see it below. Lisa was invited to feature on The Quilt Show in the US. Before she left, she rang and asked if she could borrow my quilt because hers had been damaged by a paint spill. I was quite chuffed that my quilt will be shown on The Quilt Show! This morning there was a link to a trailer for the episode and it included my quilt. I can’t wait to see the episode!

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There will be more patchwork coming to my blog soon. I haven’t done any patchwork sewing since the New Year week, I think, but there are not enough hours in the days to do all that I want to do. Fortunately, that will be remedied in less than 2 weeks. Below you can see my next project (yes, I do have some not finished) that will be my major project for our sewing group retreat coming up in exactly 2 weeks today. I’ve had this fabric for several years and have been wanting to make my Dad a mariner’s quilt. So finally it will happen. I will be making this up as I go along but it will start with a large mariner’s compass in the middle. You can see a small version that I glued onto a piece of paper so that I can colour in but I think I’ve decided on the colours anyway; you can see them in the top right photo. The main compass points (eg N) will be dark blue and the brighter blue (there are two sections of each point), the next level of points (eg NE) will be teal and lighter teal, and the smallest points (eg NNE) will be dark red and a lighter red. The mariner’s compass will be done by English paper piecing and feature as the centre panel. Around that, I’ll be appliqueing the main compass points, N E S W. The rest of the quilt from there is a mystery and I’ll be working it out as I go. I have more than enough fabric, probably to make two of these! There are some border fabrics and feature panels that I’ll be positioning around the centre panel and there is also some light blue and beige almost self patterned fabric that I can use to break it all up. Whatever remains, I’ll put together for the backing.

Acquisitions

Yes, I had to go to Spotlight for more unsuitable buttons and managed to get another remnant. This is a large piece of embroidered ticking that will be perfect for maybe another Stevie for the summer. After I purchased it, I realised that it’s the same fabric my friend Mari used to make her Stevie when we were in Kangaroo Valley in May. I’ve also bought some patterns but I can’t keep up with what I have shown here. I know my latest was the Jessica Dress by Mimi G.

Paraphernalia.

This week I have been listening to my audio podcasts as they land rather than trying to catch up. I’ve also been listening to my current book, Broken by Karin Slaughter. I realised that I have Book Club coming up in a couple of weeks so I’ll need to get onto those books next. On video, I’ve been watching my normal knitting and sewing podcast. I’d like to mention a great UK sewing podcast called the Stitch Sisters that I’ve been following now for a while. They are a lot of fun and highly inspirational. They just made the Adrienne blouse and did a review just as I was cutting mine out. I am still drip feeding myself the Handmaid’s Tale and I watched episode 9 last night. I hope there are several more to come this season. On other nights, I’ve been watching Jack Taylor – these episodes go for an hour and a half. I was a little disconcerted the other night to find that one of the main characters has been replaced. After so many episodes, characters become friends and it’s hard to see someone else. I’ve stopped watching Jessica Jones as it’s getting a bit silly for me. Maybe I’ll watch more when I’m caught up on what I want to watch. In the meantime, there is a new season of Suits and also Janet King that I need to binge on next.

Coming Up!

As I mentioned in the patchwork section, I will be heading to my sewing group’s retreat in exactly two weeks today. We are all very excited and planning all the projects that we’ll be packing. The packing is always a logistical nightmare and I’m glad that I drive by myself and have plenty of room in the car. There will be 13 of us this time. We are staying at the same place as the last few years – this is a Jesuit seminary that is rented out during all months except summer. It has 8 bedrooms with two single beds each, two large bathrooms (4 showers and 4 toilets + an extra small bathroom), a large dining area that becomes our “sweatshop” with sewing machines set up on the large dining tables, and a large lounge area with a view onto the beach and up the creek. That lounge area is perfect for everyone to relax at, doing some stitching, etc. There is a huge kitchen with 2 large stoves and several fridges/freezer and some storage/pantry rooms as well. It will also be a great way to end my working life!

As usual, I am surprised at how much I have to talk about here! And I tend to be surprised at what I’ve achieved when I see it all together in one spot. I had in mind to do some dyeing and some stamping but maybe next week! Thanks for joining me for my crafting and life update. Until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

My Creative Obsession Logo Concepts FINAL-MCO

Sunday 14 July 2019. #51

Happy Bastille Day! Here’s a bit of history for you. In 1879, the medieval prison, known as La Bastille, was stormed, resulting in the death of more than 200, and this day marks the beginning of the French Revolution. King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette both lost their heads by guillotine months later. Since 1880, apart from during WWII, this day has been a national celebration for the French.

This week I spent a lot of time travelling for work. On Tuesday, I drove from home in NSW to the airport in the ACT, flew to Melbourne and waited for my delayed plane, finally landing in Adelaide. That means 4 states, and I drove 3 cars on Tuesday, then the same 3 cars and 4 states in reverse on Thursday. I had a lot of airport and aeroplane knitting time. Does anyone else wait for their luggage wondering if it is actually going to turn up?

I started the week with a catch-up breakfast and during my stay in Adelaide, the team went out to dinner at a lovely restaurant called Jarmer’s Kitchen in Bowden. It was a lovely setup and the food was great. The weather has turned very windy, from the nice, calm sunrise on Friday morning to the choppy bay shown here, though it doesn’t look as windy as it was. It’s still blowing hard and that is making the apparent temperature even lower.

Knitting

My Millie sweater came along for my trip to Adelaide this week. I got to knit on it both in the airport and on one plane each way. It’s an easy knit but I had to restart it when I’d knitted a couple of inches as I’d confused myself with the increases. It’s not a raglan where you increase every second round. It’s going very well now and I’m not far from separating for the sleeves. I was hoping to stop increasing earlier to get a lesser dolman effect but I’ll need to make sure I have enough stitches on the sleeves for my arms. I’m still loving this colour! It has all the colours in a fire.

My Boy Lollipop came along for the trip too. This is such an easy knit and absolutely mindless. I tried it on when the pattern indicated that the ribbing should start but I needed another inch and decrease to get to the under-bust point for me. I think this one will be done next week as I only have about another 2 inches of rib left, though I  may keep going to the end of the skeins.

The third knitting project that came on the trip with me were my Dad’s Mina’s Vanilla socks. This part is very vanilla as I’m working up the leg. I think I need to do another half an inch before I start the rib. I have decided to do 2 x 2 ribbing for the cuff. Will these be done by next week?

I’ve made progress on the Fish hat, now at nearly two-thirds of the colourwork section. Once the colourwork is done, it will take no time to finish the crown. A good soak and block will ensure the stitches sit nicely together. Another one to finish this week? Perhaps.

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Finished object: The baby Strange Brew sweater is finished. It didn’t take too long to get through the sleeves on this even though it didn’t come on the trip with me. I bound off the sleeves using a larger needle as I didn’t want the end to flare with a looser bind off but I’m thinking it’s a bit tight. I’ll try it on Evie today and make the call. I can always re-do the bind off.

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This is now an almost finished object. My Lanesplitter skirt no. 2 is now ready to be sewn up at the sides after it gets a soak and a block to even the ends off. Then I can pick up the waistband stitches. I’m wondering if I can attach a wide band of elastic straight to the skirt instead. I’ll see what I can find in the way of wide elastic and maybe give it a try.

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This week I was playing around with some stitches to do a slip stich shawl. I had some great ideas to use the Drover and Classer yarn that I’d purchased at Fiberex last month. The concept was good with the swatch but when I tried it with an actual pattern, the increase and decrease ends played havoc with the slip stitch pattern. So this is getting frogged. I have seen a pattern that will be perfect for this yarn so I’ll wait for that instead. It’s a Joji Locatelli pattern but it hasn’t yet been released.

These projects are all about finished, apart from Millie, so I think it may be time to re-introduce my Comfort Fade cardigan. It’s halfway down the sleeves and then all that’s required is the shawl collar. I hope to get that done in the next few weeks and maybe re-introduce some more WIPs to boost my Stash Dash numbers. My Bell Sleeved top is all but complete, just needing the garter edge on the sleeves. Speaking of Stash Dash 2019, I’ve managed to accumulate 5,981.28m on my race for the 10K finish line. I think I will be able to manage this by the 28th August. These are the finished objects so far.

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Sewing

I have a finished sewing object and I’m so impressed with myself at how well it’s turned out. This is a skirt I’d cut out in May and procrastinated over because of the zipper. I’d followed a YouTube video on putting the zipper in and I think it helped. It also helped that I used an invisible zipper this time. The pattern was from a Bernina magazine a friend gave me, thanks Cathie! The pattern and video used a facing but I decided to add a lining, using the same pattern pieces and adding it as I would have added a facing. I hand stitched the lining down at the zipper and I’ve attached one section of the split of top and lining layers. It fits perfectly and I want to make several of these! I’ll be wearing this to work this week

Spinning

Tour de Fleece continues, now entering week two. I have spun on my single every day, taking it with me to Adelaide for hotel spinning. I’m really happy with how this is going but it’s far from perfect. And it’s a slow process though I’ve only been able to squeeze some in every now and then. Today I’m off to Wollongong and I won’t be able to get any done. I’ll take this as a rest day. It’s a very portable activity but not something I want to dangle I’n front of a 9 month old!

Acquisitions

It seems I can’t go into Spotlight without checking out the remnants bin! I got some buttons for the Preparer soon Arrivee cardigan and picked up these great bits. Clockwise from top left:

  • PTD Micro Fleece in the Spaceplace colourway, 1 metre of 148cm wide.
  • Black Manhattan crepe knit 1.15cm of 150cm wide.
  • White Charlotte lace, 1 metre of 90cm wide.
  • PTD Poly crepe in the mustard flower colourway, 1.20cm of 148cm wide.
  • PTD Sateen Cheeta in the dark mustard colourway, 1.05cm of 122cm wide.

I already have plans for some of these and ideas for the rest.

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A couple of weeks ago I ordered a piece of carding cloth in order to make myself a blending board. I managed to find a supplier who sells replacement cloth for blending boards and this arrived during the week. I just need to get a bread board at the correct size and attach it with a staple gun. Then I’ll be able to blend fibre and make rolags. Watch this space!

This week I caught up with all my podcasts and moved on to my book. I finished The Retreat by Mark Edwards and I enjoyed it. I’ve now started Broken by Karin Slaughter which is the next novel in the Will Trent series. These are always entertaining. I’m looking for a good series to watch as I’m up to date on the ones I’ve been watching. I believe the next season of Suits is due out soon.

Another week of successful crafting! Thanks for joining me for my crafting and life update. Until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

My Creative Obsession Logo Concepts FINAL-MCO

Sunday 7 July 2019. #50

And so begins the second half of 2019! Welcome. This week has been very uneventful – apart from work, there’s been hairdresser knitting, some foot love where I forgot my knitting and a morning run on Collingwood Beach. The middle part of the beach had some considerable weed concentration; you can see the wave churning up the weed. The last couple of days have been slow knitting due to a small cut on my left forefinger. That’s the finger that does the most work. It’s not pleasant having the pointy end of a needle poke into the cut. I’ve managed a bit with the middle finger and a bandaid has been helpful but not ideal. It definitely won’t stop me! Our daughter and her husband have been down for the weekend so it’s been wonderful relaxing together.

This week I was blown away to have my Graphica sweater featured on the Knitting Vicariously podcast! Caroline absolutely loves it. Dunderknit, as she is known, is a very popular British knitting podcaster so I feel I now have international celebrity status!

Graphic on KV

Knitting

The Preparer son Arrivee cardigan is complete, albeit the buttons and a few ends. It did block nicely. This may be a little big for Evie but she’ll grow into it. It may just need the sleeves rolled up for wearing now. I’ll get to try it on her next week so I hope I can find some buttons. The yarn feels nice but had a few bits where the spinning was a bit uneven. It may need a glean before even wearing. It’s a Bendigo yarn called Ready For Winter (RFW) made up mainly of merino with other fibres such as alpaca and bamboo.

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I’ve made some progress on the Fish Hat, now about 1/3 of the way into the colourwork. I first thought it would be a difficult colourwork to follow but it’s proving much easier. It’s looking quite good but will obviously improve with blocking to get the stitches even for more pattern definition.

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New cast-on: During this week I noticed that Nice and Knit were having a Millie KAL so I thought I’d get on the bandwagon. The Millie pattern has been in my Ravelry queue since 4th June 2018, so it was a good opportunity to finally get it onto the needles. I’d been thinking about combining some of the skeins I’d purchased on the Sydney Quilt Show/Fiberex weekend and these two were the main contenders. I thought they would combine well but I’m absolutely loving the colour they have created – it’s even nicer in real life. There’s the Hedgehog Fibres Sock Yarn (90/10 merino/nylon) in the Guppy colourway (the lighter colour yarn) and the Fiber Lily Super Soft Sock Yarn (75/25) in the Gold Fusion colourway. The HHF yarn seems considerably thinner than the other (see in the picture) but the meterage in comparison for 100g is 400m:390m so there should really be little difference. I’m using the helical knitting method hence it is essentially striped but because there is a considerable overlap of gold/orange colours it doesn’t look striped. The pattern calls for 2 skeins for the small size so I’m going for it with these two. There are only 3 sizes (S-M-L) but they cover a wide range, being a boxy fit. It is a three-quarter sleeved so I’ll finish the body and then use the remainder for the sleeves until it runs out. If they end up a bit shorter than the pattern, I’ll be happy with just above the elbow. The fabric is quite open as the fingering weight is knit on 4.5mm needles but it’s looking just fine. It has dolman sleeves which I may make not quite as dolman as the pattern calls for so I’ll stop the increasing and separate for the sleeves a little earlier.

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Mina’s Vanilla socks are coming up the leg now so shouldn’t take much longer to finish. I’m enjoying the Arne & Carlos Regia colourway and I think they’ll be perfect for my dad. I haven’t decided on what type of rib I’ll do for the cuff.

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My Lanesplitter No. 2 skirt is on the downhill run now as I decrease both ends of the row to complete the right angle. I should get this finished this week. From my experience with the previous one, it’s not hard to sew up the side seam but then I need to pick up the waistband stitches. ETA not too far away.

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After finishing Preparer (above) I was able to use the same circular needle to pick up the sleeve stitches on the Baby Strange Brew sweater. This should be finished this week and there are no buttons required! I ended up with a strange situation on the left shoulder where it looked like I may have gone backwards at one particular point. Because it was in the yoke part, I could not rip back to it as the whole body is complete. I’ve ended up with a little hole but I’ll be able to join the stitches on either side once I sew in the ends.

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My Boy Lollipop got a bit of action while watching some Wimbledon highlights. It’s very vanilla and I don’t need to look at it at all so I’m able to focus on the tennis. I’m coming up to the decrease section again, so will soon be at the point where I frogged it before. It’s probably worth a try on at this point. The pattern is quite basic and the instructions, particularly the number of repeats, is confusing. It says “repeat these two rounds a total of …..” but the “total” includes the first two rounds, not just the total of repeats. Anyway, I was able to work that out because the number of stitches is listed.

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Spinning

Well, I’ve certainly taken off with the spindle. You can see how chunky my initial spindle quantity is – it’s the left one (top left). For this, I’ve only used the fibre that I prepared at the class with Sukrita at Fiberex (information in the previous blog). I was a little concerned that I may not have enough in the second spindle to ply with the first one so I prepared some orange fleece that I’d dyed myself some time ago (bottom right). But I had plenty as I found when I plied the two singles together and didn’t need to use it. The plying was quite easy in comparison to spinning the singles. I had fun winding the skein onto the niddy noddy as I kept getting tangled up and the yarn kept falling off the sides. I finally achieve a skein and soaked it for a while. Apparently, you need to soak for at least 20 mins. I don’t know what the fibre is as it was supplied at the class but it feels as if it could be merino. The skein is 37gms and 13.5m. This qualifies as an entry in the Knitting Expat and Babbles Travelling yarn SMAL – Spinning and Make A-Long, for the spinning part. For the making part, I intend to crochet a small table mat with the extent of the yarn. If I just do a spiral it doesn’t matter where the yarn runs out.

I’m so on a roll now and I have started my next project. This one is for the Tour de Fleece which started yesterday along with the Tour de France. It is intended to use spinning along with the spinning of the athletes on their bikes. This fibre is from deep stash and I think was intended for felting (along with all the fibre I already have). It is a blend of merino and silk though it doesn’t indicate quantities. My spinning has improved out of sight. I can get a fine single now, for the most part. I learnt that fibre prep has everything to do with being able to draft the fibre easily. In the photo below, I have some fibre prepped next to the single on my spindle. There’s a total of 250 grams here so let’s see what I end up with. The Tour de Fleece goes to 28th July, so I’ll see how much I’m able to spin by then. As I can’t take my spinning wheel to Canberra or to Adelaide this week (I doubt transporting on a plane would be fantastic!), I will instead take my spindle for “competing” in Tour de Fleece while I’m there. I believe there are some Tour de Fleece teams that take this competition very seriously, matching the Tour de France for the different stages, eg sprints, hills, and have jerseys awarded. I’m in a very casual team called #BabblingPurls, a mash-up of two podcasters – Babbles Travelling Yarns and Sew Perfect Purls.

As well as using the spindle, my intention is to get comfortable with the spinning wheel. Yesterday, for the start of Tour de Fleece, I used my Wee Peggy for the third time. I prepped some fibre, shown in the photo on the right, and it made a lot of difference. I also found that the single was being overspun so I moved the drive band onto the larger whorl. I hope I’m getting these terms right! I did find I had to restart many times and that was a pain each time as I don’t have a good hook to get the yarn through the orifice. I’ll have another go this afternoon, continuing my participation in Tour de Fleece.

Sewing

As I’ve been occupied with my daughter and her husband, I haven’t had too many opportunities to sit at the sewing machine but I did finish the Simplicity 1565 Baby Romper. I did not like sewing on the press stud tape as I needed to get very close to the edge, and near the stud it was difficult. I ended up buying some different press stud tape from Spotlight as the tape I got initially had the studs very close together which was totally ridiculous (centre photo). The finished romper has 8 press studs and the other tape would have made it more than double that number to do up. Let’s see how this romper fits – it’s probably going to be too big but I had a vague height measurement to go by. The only other bit of sewing I did was to reattach the handle on my daughter’s duffle bag.

Paraphernalia.

Apart from my weekly Handmaid’s Tale and The Miniaturist, this week I started watching an Australia show, also on SBS, called “Every Family has a Secret“. This is a weekly episode which has Noni Hazelhurst tracing family members of two different people. It’s very interesting to see what these secrets are and it’s usually a tear jerker.

This week I have my final work trip to Adelaide so there will be airport and flying knitting time. I have to decide which projects to take with me – I imagine my new Millie sweater will be one, and I’ll take my spindle for hotel spinning for Tour de Fleece. I will definitely take another 2 projects, probably the socks and maybe the Fish hat or My Boy Lollipop, or both! These are all compact projects and have plenty of knitting left to go.

So that’s this week in a nutshell! Thanks for joining me for my crafting and life update. Until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

My Creative Obsession Logo Concepts FINAL-MCO

Sunday 30 June 2019. #49

Happy end of the Australian financial year everybody and welcome to a sunny and blustery cold winter day! It’s getting so close to the end of my very first year of blogging. That has totally amazed me! This week started with the fortnight girlfriend breakfast catch up. I thought I was going to have to catch up with myself until my friend Marg arrived. It was a cold wet winter morning so I don’t blame the others for enjoying a little sleep in. I, on the other hand, was dressed and on my way to work so had little choice. It was a normal week of work. On my return from Canberra on Thursday afternoon, I arrived a bit early for an appointment so took the opportunity of a few rows on my socks sitting in the last rays of the sun of the afternoon at Huskisson wharf. On Friday, we went up to Wollongong to visit the kids there and I had some quality time with Evie, and yesterday we had breakfast down near the Wollongong wharf. I must say, I’m impressed with the drape of my Graphica sweater. I thought it might be a stiff fabric but it’s very soft and drapey.

Knitting

Finished Object: Yesterday I finished the Blaise shawl, just in time for the Ravelry The Colorwork KALs, KAL 15 challenge in their Rainbow category. I was taking my time with this one as it wasn’t urgent – until I realised I only had two weeks of the three months to go and half yet to knit. It was really a quick knit and I stitched in all the ends on Thursday night. It blocked overnight on Friday and I made and added the tassels yesterday.

New Cast On: I’ve had the Scuba Fair Isle hat in my mental queue for ages now and finally cast it on for my husband. I call it the Fish Fair Isle hat as, though he used to scuba, he’s an avid fisherman and also fishes in the cold winter months at night. It’s a free download and I’m using leftover Cleckheaton Country 8 ply that I used for my Graphica sweater. I’ve modified the graph so that there are waves on both sides instead of waves on one side and the word scuba on the other. I’ve only managed 3 rows of the colourwork so far – the rib took more than a night of knitting! The colourwork needs to be followed very carefully as there is no pattern to it, just the fish design. That means it’s not a project that can be done too easily whilst watching shows.

Take two on My Boy Lollipop! I finally got some 4.0mm needles free and was able to re-cast on this sweater. The 4.5mm needles were giving me positive ease so I hope the new needles will be enough to get it to the correct gauge as still haven’t swatched. I consider the first attempt to be my swatch. I only cast this on yesterday and could have been much further but I got my numbers mixed up. The first repeats were supposed to be 2 rows a total of 5 times adding to 10 rows but my brain said 10 repeats. I had to tink back 5 rows before going on with the next repeats. I tinked back because I didn’t feel like ripping it back and having to put the stitches back on the needles. I would estimate tinking back would take at least twice as long as knitting so I would have had about 15 or more rows done further than this. It doesn’t normally worry me but I feel like this one has been two steps forward, two steps backwards, one step forward, half a step backwards. I’m looking forward to keeping in the forward direction!

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Earlier this week I started on one of the sleeves for Preparer son Arrivee but I wasn’t happy with the stitch gauge in comparison to the rest of the cardigan. I used a 4.0mm 9 inch circular needle and it appears that I knit very tightly with those, as you can see in the photo below. I pondered on the situation for a few days wondering whether to keep going or frog it. If I frogged it, then what would I use? I settled on frogging and using 4.5mm needles on magic loop. That seems to have been the right move. I’m usually tighter when doing magic loop, which is balancing the difference between the 4.0 and 4.5mm needles, and I’m now halfway down the two sleeves at once. I could probably finish the sleeves by tomorrow night but I still need buttons! I’ll have a look at Spotlight after work tomorrow and see what they have. I’d really love to go to the button shop in Enmore, Sydney, but I doubt I’ll be able to get there for a few weeks, at least.

There’s not a lot to report on the baby Strange Brew sweater. This week I finished the ribbing on the body and I will be starting the sleeves in the next couple of days. I’ll take a lesson from the Prepare son Arrivee experience, above, and go up to the 4.5mm. I’ll just have to wait until the other one is done and then start these sleeves. The ribbing took longer than I anticpated.

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Sewing

Last week I cut out the Simplicity 1565 baby romper and yesterday I got to spend some time at my sewing machine. Like a professional, I basted the zipper this time, though I’m not sure it was a total success. I definitely need more practice on zippers but I tend to baulk at them. I’ll probably finish this today. I need to sew down the neck binding, add the snap tape and do the sleeve and leg hems. I’m thinking it could be good to put some light elastic in the hems so that there is no air gap. The pattern doesn’t call for it so maybe it won’t be necessary. Then I hope to get to put the zipper in on a skirt I have cut out and started – just waiting for me to do the zipper and move on.

Stash Acquisitions

After my session with the drop spindle last week, I really wanted to continue with it. I searched everywhere for my one and couldn’t find it so I ordered one from Feltfine. I did end up finding my spindle but it turns out that it’s a bottom spinner rather than a top spinner, so now I have one of each. While I was searching for this I only found one of my carding combs so I had a set of those included in my order. One comb is useless and they come in pairs. The parcel only arrived on Thursday so I’ve had little time to do anything with them yet. Feltfine has some fabulous fibres so I may need to get my hands on some. There are some very unusual breeds.

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Make9 Update

So far, I’ve managed to complete (or just about complete) five projects from my Make9 for 2019, shown with a green tick. The Bell Sleeved top (top right) is all but done, I just need to add another inch or two to the sleeves as I felt they were a bit shorter than I’d like them. Of the remaining four I still want to make the Carbeth cardigan (top centre) and the Garland sweater (bottom left). The Booth Bay cardigan (centre) was included as a base for a cardigan I want to make but I think I’ve found a better base to work from. I’ll be replacing that one with the Sevrine cardigan by Vanessa Smith, though I’ll be omitting the cables. Of the lot, the only one I’ve gone off is the Kagerou vest and I won’t be going very far to replace it, selecting another one from the same collection by michiyo, the Mori cardigan. There are also a few others still at the top of my queue though, the highest priority being the Koivua by Caitlin Hunter.

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Paraphernalia

I’m still enjoying my drip feed of The Handmaid’s Tale though I must admit it can certainly get me very angry. Can’t wait for the next one! I’ve finished Seasons 2 and 3 of Cardinal on SBS. It’s a very enjoyable murder mystery type show – imdb.com is showing that there could be a 4th Season. I’ll have a couple of The Miniaturist episodes to watch this week as Cardinal has been keeping me occupied. I’m clearing the backlog of audio podcasts but I’m getting quite behind with the video podcasts, again blaming Cardinal. I’m still listening to the same book, The Retreat by Mark Edwards, but I’ve been holding off on that, trying to catch up on audio podcasts instead.

I only have 24 days of work left; time seems to be moving slowly but at the same time quickly! This week should be quite normal with three days in Canberra but I’m really looking forward to next weekend when my daughter and her husband are coming for a visit.

Thanks for joining me for my crafting and life update. Until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

My Creative Obsession Logo Concepts FINAL-MCO

Sunday 23 June 2019. #48

Hello friends! Apologies for the late post today but what a busy week and weekend I’ve had. It all started with work in Canberra and a minus 2 start to the morning there. I was so glad that I took my heated blanket with me this week as the room was so hard to heat. I ended up laying on the bed with my knitting and the heated blanket. I also took the opportunity to give blood because the mobile van was at work. It had been a while since my last deposit as I don’t give well but I’m very appreciative of the help my son got in hospital last year so I wanted to make an effort. I almost managed to give a full load.

On Thursday afternoon, my three girlfriends and I drove up to the Central Coast to our Air BnB for the weekend. We had dinner at the local Bowling Club where they had these copper tank beer vats. Then on Friday, we started very early and drove to Gosford train station and jumped on a train to Central Station in Sydney. We had breakfast in the cafe in the renovated Booking Hall. It’s a beautiful old station and it’s great to see that they kept the fabulous stained glass windows, marble and sandstone. We spent the rest of the day at the Sydney Quilt Show. The Show seems to be smaller this year but we did enjoy looking at all the wonderful wares, with a few little purchases.

On Saturday, we were booked in for some classes at Fiberex at the Newcastle Uni Campus at Ourimbah, not far from where we were staying. We managed a little look around the marketplace before we started our classes. It was a very cold day and the heating seemed to struggle a bit. The photos show the marketplace as being quite bare but it was full of yarny goodies and the expo had just opened. There were many more people there later in the day. This was the first of this expo so I’m looking forward to it growing in the future. Our first class was Weaving a Wall Hanging with Sky Carter. We had a wonderful time putting together our small wall hangings, though mine seems to be a bit over the top. I may need to trim some of the hanging bits. After lunch, I attended a Fibre Prep and Spindling class with Sukrita. I found that I enjoyed spindling on this, my second try, and feel that I may actually try for a reasonable spin now. You can see the two little makeshift bobbins of blue singles that I spun. I had separate the yarn into two as we were going to ply them but ran out of time. I’m sure I’ll be able to do it myself now. The fibre prep was a lot of fun. We used two carding combs to make imitation rolags (fauxlags) and they are light clouds of fluff. I think they’ll be so easy to draw and spin and I intend to prep my fibre in this manner for some future spinning. I will spin these cloud puffs on my spindle – when I locate it. It was a great day and we had a relaxing start this morning before our drive home, after a quick stop at Shelley Beach for a photo.

Knitting

During the week, I worked on the sleeves of my Bell Sleeved top. I have finished the 5 1/2 inches that the pattern indicated before doing the garter edge but I’ve not had an opportunity to try it on yet. I will try it on in the morning and, if the length is suitable, I can finish it off and block it tomorrow night. I’ll be so glad to cast it off as the two at a time sleeve knitting is now quite tangled. It’s amazing the different colour in bad lighting.

I also reached the bottom band on the baby Strange Brew sweater. I need to change the needles now and do the ribbing, then the sleeves.

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Before leaving for our adventure, I pulled out the socks that I started for my cruise in February. I’m using Mina’s Vanilla Sock Recipe. I had been waiting for a foot measurement so that I could work out when to start the German short row heels. I took this one with me and got the heels done last night. These socks are now vanilla knitting again and shouldn’t take very long to finish. They are for my dad so I hope they fit and I’ll have them done for my next visit in a few weeks.

Another project that came away with me was the Blaise shawl. I want to finish this for a KAL that ends on the 30th June which is next Sunday. I got a fair bit done and the rows have decreased considerably so it should be quick to finish now. You can see how I packed up the colours to keep them in order – I used a short cable with ends. I’m onto the last purple before the light purple and pinks. The last colour will be done across 4 to 10 stitches so this end is going to be quick.

The last project that hitched a ride to Shelley Beach for the weekend was the Prepare son Arrivee cardigan. Unfortunately, the colour is not showing well here. I did most of this knitting on the train to and from Sydney on Friday and then finished off the body on Friday night. I used a looser bind off so that the bottom button will be able to be done up. It looks very loose here but I think blocking will sort that out. If not, I’ll just undo the bind off and do it less loosely. Tonight I’ll start on the sleeves as I want this one done for Friday next week when we head to Wollongong to see the kids, big and little. I doubt that I’ll have buttons for it yet – there’s a sad lack of button shops around these days but I’ll see what I can find.

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Sewing

This was another weekend away from my sewing machine but last Sunday I managed to cut out the romper that I want to whip up. It’s the Simplicity 1565 Baby Romper pattern but I graded up a size from the largest which is an S. It would be good to have that done for next Friday but I doubt that will happen. I have the zipper and button snaps read to go. Again, the lighting wasn’t great this evening but I love this fleecy bug fabric.

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Stash Acquisitions

Of course, I have a few acquisitions to mention here from our escapades on the weekend but, firstly, I did get some happy mail before I left. I was really impressed with the Knitpicks Swish I used recently for Evie’s cardigan that I ordered more for future projects. The problem with that is that it seems to be pilling a lot. That’s OK, I’ll use it for something like a Soldotna for me as it may perform better for an adult garment. The other happy mail was some 100% merino sock minis and a sweater quantity of 70% merino, 20% yak and 10% nylon for some dyeing. The yak grey base will make a very interesting colour when I decide what I’m doing with it.

My acquisitions on Friday were the two patterns below – Over the Hill by Wendy Williams (Flying Fish Kits) and the linen pack to go with it. I have plenty of the coloured fabrics and felts needed already, and Lilly’s Quilt pattern. I also bought the two skeins on the left of the four skein photo. They were Yarn (is cheaper than) Therapy in the teal colour (no colourway indicated), an 80/20 superwash superfine merino and nylon, and the Hedgehogs Fibre sock yarn in the Guppy colourway, a 90/10 merino and nylon. At Fiberex on Saturday I purchased some Drover and Classer hand dyed wool, a Bellevue Park Drover Australian Superfine merino, two cakes in the Waterhole colourway (100g each) and three small cakes (25g each) in colourways Gooseberry Jam, Fox and Harvest. It’s a sport weight yarn that I’m thinking will make a fabulous scarf. I also purchased 180g of beautiful rolags from an indie dyer called Willow and the Wisp. There’s a contrasting set, one a blend of merino, silk, flax and Corriedale and the other a blend of merino, silk, flax, bamboo and rose fibre. I will probably do them all together in some way when I’m up to spinning such fine stuff. The pics show each side of the pack – I don’t want to take them out as I’ll never get them back into the bag. The other two skeins, from centre right, a beautiful Qing fibre Donegal sock yarn in the Cave colourway, an 85/15 superwash merino with beautiful black and grey neps, purchased from Convent and Chapel, and the last one is a Super Soft Sock from another Australian indie dyer called Fiber Lily in the Gold Fusion colourway, a 75/25 superfine Australian SW merino and nylon. The four skeins could easily go together to make a beautiful sweater but I’m not sure about the Donegal neps being out of place.

It’s been a fantastic weekend with my girlfriends and I now need to recover! I have 39 days of work left which I’m sure will fly. I have a catch-up breakfast tomorrow morning and this coming week will be fairly normal for work with three days in Canberra. On Friday, my husband and I will be heading up to Wollongong for the night to catch up with those kids. I’m really looking forward to that as I haven’t seen Evie (in person) for about a month now and she changes so quickly. It’s been a while since we’ve seen the Sydney kids but they’ll be down the following weekend – something else to look forward to!

Until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

My Creative Obsession Logo Concepts FINAL-MCO

Sunday 16 June 2019. #47

Hello friends! Another week has gone by in what seems to be a flash, though I’m sure it felt that it took much longer as it was happening. The week started with a public holiday Monday which was very much appreciated. It was also catch-up breakfast Monday and a beautiful day. Even Canberra was mild this week and I didn’t have to remove any ice, though I was only there for one night this time. On Friday night, we went out to celebrate a friend’s retirement and belated 60th birthday. I don’t have any pics from that night as I had unfortunately left home without my phone which was charging. I finished the week with a morning beach run yesterday (they happen so infrequently these days!) and we are expecting a lot of rain today.

On Wednesday night in Canberra, I met a good friend for dinner and we had our first Teppanyaki experiences. It was great catching up over a fun dinner. Those eggs were thrown at us, which we caught in bowls, then the omelette pieces came flying into (or close to) our mouths. We also caught flying bowls of fried rice into our bowls and didn’t wear any!

Knitting

There’s been lots happening in the knitting area this week. Let’s start with My Boy Lollipop. It’s such a quick knit but it’s way off gauge so I will probably be frogging and starting again. I didn’t swatch (bad girl!) but it seemed so unnecessary. To knit this, you pick a size 2 inches smaller than your bust size. The pattern comes in increments of 2 inches so I chose 3 inches smaller; 37 being an uneven number I went for 34 inches. That’s why I thought I was safe but, after trying it on, it seems I’ve ended up with positive ease rather than negative ease. The gauge indicated is 20 stitches over 4 inches and mine is 21.5 with an unwashed swatch. I will start again, with 4.0mm needles instead of the 4.5mm needles I’m using. Unfortunately, I’d already done the sleeve bands as I wanted to be able to knit until I needed without worrying that I had enough left to do them.

Finished object: (Spoiler alert) The You Win or You Die (Game of Thrones) Leftovers Cowl KAL is complete! I finished episode 6 and then did a 3-needle bind-off to join the beginning to the end. Laying flat doubled it measures 43 inches (109cm) so would be a total length of 83 inches (2.18m). I’m not sure how it will go as a cowl but the process was worth the effort. As you can see, I did episode 6 with full colourwork patterns for each of the remaining characters, with the yellow stripe for Danaerys’s death and the larger maroon stripe for Gilly, who was still alive but did not appear in the final show – she ended up being an uneven number so I had no other character to pair her with.

The baby Strange Brew is coming along nicely and also a very quick knit, considering I had about 10 rounds done last blog. The colourwork section flew and I only have about 4 inches to go before I start the sleeves. The size options for this were 6-12 months or 1-2 years so I opted for the latter. Even if it’s not worn until next year, I think it will get more wear being the larger size. Evie is now 8 months old, and maybe it’s on the smaller side and can be worn straight away. I didn’t swatch for this either knowing that she would grow into it if it’s too big and if it ends up smaller it can be worn now.

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The yarn for the Preparer son Arrivee arrived early this week and I’m well underway. Before I started, I was concerned at how confusing the pattern was but it’s actually easy when you work out what it is trying to say. It’s one of those “do this while doing this and while doing this” type patterns. I have to keep track of rows for the raglan increases, the pattern of the cable and bobbles and also the buttonholes. All will different numbers! I actually had forgotten totally about the second buttonhole but remembered before I reached the third so I was able to drop those two stitches down 6 rows and add the buttonhole. The yarn is lovely – a blend of merino, alpaca and bamboo, and it comes in 200gm balls, which are almost the size of Evie’s head. I ordered 5 but I know I’ll finish this cardigan with leftovers on the first ball. I hope the yarn performs well as it appears that the Swish yarn I used on the previous cardigan is pilling quite considerably.

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The Lanesplitter skirt (No.2) has grown a little bit though I only worked on it briefly at the beginning of this week.

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The Bell Sleeved top is coming along nicely though it’s highly unlikely I’ll be wearing it next weekend. I have done the purl ridge and increase row, now working down the final 5.5 inches of the sleeves. You can see lots of strands of yarn because I’m working the sleeves with helical knitting, two-at-a-time with three balls, meaning that one of the balls is attached to both sleeves. I don’t think this will be travel knitting as keeping the yarn under control is challenging enough while sitting at home.

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Yesterday, I unravelled the ends of the sleeves on my Sunday Sweater and removed the last increase repeat, about 5 cms. You can see the shorter sleeves on the top, the bottom picture showing the original finish. It looks much better, even if I haven’t yet tried it on. The sleeve bind-off edge was hard to rip back but it was smooth sailing once that round was gone. I was concerned that the yarn may stick together more than it did.

It took a good couple of hours on Friday afternoon but I finally got all the ends sewn in on the Graphica sweater. I then gave her a decent soak (overnight) and laid her out to block. She’s now dry and ready to wear!

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Sewing

Last Sunday and Monday I worked on the Mabel skirt that I’d cut out. I actually used the overlocker which is working well. It started a bit awkwardly as I kept breaking a thread until I realised that it was twisted on the very top guide. I used a beige light knit for the waistband interfacing as I needed something light there and learned about trimming the interfacing so that it gives a waistband shell which rolls slightly to the inside so that you are sure that the interfacing will not be seen. I only needed to use my normal machine for some bits and had so much trouble with skipping stitches that I gave up on the skirt until yesterday. I do need to use the overlocker more to get used to how it should work. I also need to ensure my notch clipping is smaller. The overlocker seam didn’t reach beyond the notch, which you can see in the bottom left picture. I wanted to use the normal machine to widen the seam but it just didn’t work. I tried several different needles because the ballpoints weren’t performing but didn’t get any to work properly. I even tried my old sewing machine which gave me a better result – the two bottom pics show on the left several large skipped stitches and on the right only one large skipped stitch. I think that one was with a normal needle, not ballpoint. I persisted because I didn’t want to go over the seam with the overlocker as it would end up with a lot of stitching. I may have to just unpick those two sections and redo them. I think the problem is that the fabric is quite thick, though my Blackwood Cardigan fabric was at least as thick and I had no issues.

The only other sewing related task this weekend was to grade a baby romper pattern up one size. I wanted to purchase some tracing paper on Friday but Spotlight only had the McCall’s Traise and Toile which was probably an even better choice. The Simplicity baby pattern only indicates length measurements and not sizes. I think I’ll need a longer length. In retrospect, I may have only needed to lengthen the pattern but I can always take it in if necessary. I may cut out the pattern today. 

Stash Acquisitions

This week’s happy mail was some fabric that was on special at Tessuti. I got some designer white/gold 50% cotton embroidery 50% nylon organza – a 1.8m piece for $13.05 and a natural/black piano striped 92% Viscose 8% Spandex jersey knit – 1 metre for $11.00. Even with the $10 postage, this is quite a bargain, particularly the organza. I also bought some snap ribbon fastener tape from eBay for the baby romper. Other than that, I was able to have my patterns printed and am now ready to make the Suzy dress, the Adrienne blouse and the Winslow culottes. I just need more time at my sewing machine!

Paraphernalia.

My digital entertainment this week consisted of only one episode of the Handmaid’s Tale – after three being released last week, I was a bit disappointed to only have one. Also, I’m enjoying my current book – The Retreat by Mark Edwards, and finished the latest season of Designated Survivor on Netflix. Though it could never live up to The West Wing, I find that Designated Survivor has the same flavour and I’m enjoying it.

Next week, three girlfriends and I are off for an adventure. We’re staying a couple of nights at Shelley Beach, on the Central Coast north of Sydney, and attending the Quilt Show in Sydney on the Friday and then the Fiberex event at the Newcastle Uni Campus at Ourimbah on the Saturday. We are looking forward to catching up after a considerable hiatus and also the events. At Fiberex we are booked into morning and afternoon classes. All four of us are doing the “Weave a Wall Hanging with Sky Carter” class in the morning. I had enrolled for this class at Skein Sisters last November but it was cancelled. In the afternoon, the other girls are doing the “Arty Crafty Rope and Basket Making with Sky Carter” class while I’ll be doing the “Fibre Prep and Dop Spindling with Sukrita” class. My main aim with this class is the fibre prep, not so much the drop spindling though I may be able to get some tips on drop spindling that makes me like it a bit more. It’s always better when you get face to face instructions than trying to figure it out for yourself. I’m also looking forward to the Marketplace so may have some acquisitions to show next week. I will report back on this adventure, and the blog may be a bit late on Sunday when we are on the return journey.

I have a lot to look forward to this week! Until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

My Creative Obsession Logo Concepts FINAL-MCO