Sunday 26 January 2020. #79

Hello friends. Happy Australia Day!! Today I celebrated with friends, something that has become an annual event hosted by our friends Pam and Rod. We are so lucky to live in such a wonderful country.

The week began on Sunday in Sydney with a relaxing day at home with my daughter, Erin. The boys were at Shaun’s golf competition and the girls took the time to chill. I had a lovely walk in the afternoon through the beautiful area around the Harbour near Balmain.

The rest of the week was constant packing and moving, relieved only by two days when I was babysitting Evie. I took Evie to the Discovery Space at Wollongong Uni which she enjoys. It was my first visit and it was a difficult place to find but I know where it is now! They have so many wonderful learning experiences; different settings for children to learn in. In the photo below, Evie is heading off at full speed with the junior-sized trolley to go “shopping”. There are all sorts of small items they can shop for and a till to pay for it all. They also have a puppet theatre, a train station and so many other great interactive experiences. On Thursday, we had a huge hail storm which was quite frightening, though I can’t imagine how much worse it was in Canberra with their golf ball-sized hailstones! That did so much damage to cars and property. I was fortunate that our hail was small as my car was out in the middle of it all. The storm was followed by an amazing rainbow.

We finally had access to our storage space on Monday and you can see the first load and then after Thursday’s load, which was followed by a well deserved cold drink at the brewery. It was 41 degrees Celcius that day and I know it didn’t drop very much during that night.

Yesterday was another hot day, though only in the mid-30s and we had some very helpful friends come and assist with moving all our big furniture and appliances. Many hands certainly make light work, and it was all moved by midday. That doesn’t mean the work is over! Now that the big stuff is gone, the rest of the minor items will be easier to move and it should be easier to fill the storage space in the most economical way as it is getting close to full.

We did another load over to the storage space today before we went to our Australia Day party and saw so many people celebrating at Moona Moona Creek. There was little space left for any new arrivals and the kids were lined up on the bridge to jump into the water. There was nowhere to stop the car but I managed to take a few snaps as we were driving along the bridge.

Last Sunday I had some spare time and actually sat down to think about goals for 2020. I have had some goals floating around in my head and decided I would like to put them down on paper so that they don’t get lost/forgotten. I have set some personal goals and focussed on Knitting and Sewing as they are my main crafting categories. One general crafting goal that I’ve set is to work on at least one craft each week that is not sewing or knitting.

This week’s crafting content will be quite short as there was not much time for a lot of it.

Knitting

There was plenty of progress on my Turtle Dove sweater despite the temperatures. I had to try it on several times for sleeve length, including the 41-degree day.  That took a super effort and I didn’t leave it on for very long! The pattern has three quarter length sleeves but I went for the full length. I may have gone a little longer than necessary but it will be nice and cosy. I don’t have too long to knit on the body now and I’m hoping to get it done by Friday so that it qualifies as a finished object for the #blamedunderknitalong. The temperatures are going to be high again so trying it on will be a chore.

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I’m almost up to the heel on my Mina’s Vanilla socks. I have a template that I made for my dad and it works for my foot as well as he has small feet. The pattern has a German short row heel and has an option for a mini heel flap adjustment. I think I’ll just go for the heel without the adjustment.

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The only other project I worked on this week was my Lunae shawl. It probably looks very similar to what I posted last week but I did add a few more rows. I’m struggling to follow the lines on the chart as it’s a wide chart and it’s hard to mark where you’re up to. The good thing is that the pattern is easy to remember once you get a few repeats into the row and it’s just reversed on the second half. I know that the Knit Companion app is supposed to be really good on apple devices but I haven’t been able to work it out on my android.

My knitting goals for 2020 are, in no particular order:

  1. Follow my 20in20 list in the Fibernymph Dyeworks challenge. This shouldn’t be too difficult as the lists can be updated and changed every three months. That makes it more manageable and allows for change of mind or something new and exciting, either in patterns or yarn.
  2. Shop stash yarn and patterns. This may seem like I’m going against number (1) above but I think they actually go hand in hand. The 20in20 is actually to use stash yarn and stash patterns but I don’t want to limit myself to that exclusively, just minimise new purchases.
  3. Clear WIPs. This is self-explanatory though I will not be focussing exclusively on WIPs but clearing one or more at a time as I work through my 20in20. I like to have a variety of projects on the go as I find it minimises project fatigue. Also, some WIPs are actually on my 20in20 list.

Sewing

I have set my sewing goals but they come with a caveat. As I’m moving into very, very temporary accommodation, very temporary accommodation and finally temporary accommodation, some of my goals will be dependent on my ability to set up my sewing area. Obviously, my best set up will be after I move into my new home. My goals are as follows:

  1. Clear WIPs. I have several sewing WIPs and I want to finish them off.
  2. Shop stash fabric and patterns. I have accumulated a sizeable fabric and pattern stash and I’m looking forward to using what I can.
  3. #Make3in3. This is a new challenge that is more achievable than the #Make9 challenge. You set yourself three things that you want to make and try to get them done in three months. If you don’t, you can let any ride for the next 3 months or change up the ones that don’t appeal anymore. It also allows for that shiny new project that you really need to make.
  4. Sew 15 minutes a day (min). This is dependent on being home, and on how I’m set up for that particular stage of my accommodation journey.

Unfortunately, no sewing happened this week but I have my WIPs ready to pack and they’ll be travelling with me.

Paraphernalia

I’ve been far too busy to listen to my book this week aside from my trip up to Wollongong. I did manage a few episodes of Call the Midwife but more often I’ve watched the Australian Open tennis. I’m looking forward to the next season of Outlander which starts about the 15th of February but I won’t be on wifi at that time. I hope that we can sort out some wifi when we move into our permanent temporary accommodation. This week’s post has been more chatting than crafting so I think it’s time to close. I hope I get more opportunities for my knitting this week but it will be all systems go to get everything out of the house so that we can leave next Sunday. Until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

My Creative Obsession Logo Concepts FINAL-MCO

Sunday 19 January 2020. #78

Hello friends. Happy birthday to me! Yesterday was my birthday and I got to celebrate my “solar return” in Sydney with my family. We were also celebrating our son’s birthday which is tomorrow (Monday) so we all went out for dinner at Chinatown followed by ice cream at Messina. I love it when we are all together!

The week started last Sunday with a day out at the Jervis Bay Brewing Co. at a fundraising day for the fires. Though it was a dull day weather-wise, it was a fun day with bands playing and raffles, and good friends. The rest of the week was particularly boring with my view mainly in cardboard cartons. We have packed a good deal and the boxes are cluttering the house in nearly every room. Fortunately, that is going to change tomorrow when we start moving them all into storage. It will certainly make the rest of the packing much easier.

Knitting

This was another week where knitting was the only craft. The packing has been very physical and quite tiring so relaxing in the afternoons with some knitting has been therapeutic. I had so many things brought back into rotation last week that I totally forgot about my Lunae shawl. This one was quite a slog. I’m not saying that I’m not enjoying it but the star stitch rows were very slow going. On one row I had to pass over a stitch every three stitches and the next row was making a stitch every two stitches. The rows are very long at the moment and now that I’ve started on the slipped stitch section it will go much more quickly. The top and middle left pics show where I was last week and the bottom one is where I am now. The middle right photo shows how I did nearly a whole row slipping incorrectly. The return row on a mosaic pattern requires an almost rib-like backwards and forwards of the yarn and I hadn’t done that. That meant fixing every burgundy stitch as I went along. I was able to drop the two rows and fix each stitch without having to frog bag two whole rows. I had obviously lost concentration at that point. The difference is a little difficult to see but you may notice the white yarn cutting the bottom of each burgundy stitch where it shouldn’t, as you can see in the correct pattern in the section below it. Hopefully, I only have a couple of more weeks to finish this one. I’d like to get all these projects off the needles asap so that I can move onto some new cast-ons and some languishing WIPs.

Finished Object: I finally finished the Olilia advent shawl! The ends haven’t been woven in and it will definitely need blocking, but that will have to wait until I get home and find some time and space to do it. There is very little yarn left from the 12 mini skeins that I’d dyed up (only 3.5gms of each purple and red as shown) and I even calculated the amount for the picot bind off without having much leftover and not running out along the way. I worked out that I needed about 4 times the amount of each row and I had a little bit more than that as I wanted to cast off on a knit row. You can’t really see the picot at the moment without me pinning them back so I’m hoping that the blocking will resolve that.

The Songbird shawl is moving on with still more than a quarter of the second skein left. I have transitioned from the extra slanted stitch section into a garter stripes section and I’ll be able to add another slipped stitches section before I cast off. I will need to leave some for the tassels too.

There has been a little bit of progress on my Mina’s Vanilla socks. On the drive up on Friday, I noticed that I’d dropped a stitch but it was at least 10 rows down. At the gauge that these are knitted it would be too hard to pick up so I just added a safety pin and I’ll anchor it later. I seem to drop one stitch on most pairs of socks that I’ve knitted! It’s never noticeable but it’s very annoying.

At long last, my Turtle Dove is again underway! I tried it on the other day and decided to decrease again on the sleeves. Since then, I’ve added another decrease within about another 6 inches of knitting and I need to try it on again to see if any further decreases are required. The pattern has the sleeves finished with a ribbed cuff so I need to see where to start this. I have not yet decided on the bottom of the body. I have actually knit to further than where the pattern says I should start the ribbing for a high low split hem so I thought I would just knit the simple rolled hem. But, looking at my photo of where I’m up to on the body, I think I could still do the high low split hem. This project was cast on for Knitting Vicariously’s #blamedunderknitalong and I have until the end of January to finish it for it to qualify. It has been sitting waiting since the end of November, I think. I should be able to get it done! I have left the body on two needles to make it easier to try on, rather than adding the needle and taking it away each time.

Finally, I had intended to do a birthday cast-on but I didn’t plan well enough. During my stash sorting for the packing, I noticed several skeins that I would like to start working on, one being the Stranded Dyeworks Yesterday’s Bouquet in fingering and silk/mohair. I also have another fingering and silk/mohair combo and I was wondering what I could do with such a small amount of yarn. When I knitted my Millie top, I decided to use two different skeins that had overlaps of colour and the combo came out very nicely. As the Yesterday’s Bouquet skein has some undyed sections, I wondered whether I could alternate with an undyed skein and another silk/mohair. I did have a small amount of beige silk/mohair but not enough that would do the job. I thought I could use the Stranded mohair with the undyed fingering and the beige mohair with the Stranded fingering but firstly, of course, there’s not enough of the beige silk/mohair and secondly, it may be too plain, looking at how pale the Stranded mohair skeined up. I do have quite a lot of burgundy silk/mohair and I’ve decided to try that combination – the two stranded colourways together and the plain undyed fingering with the burgundy mohair. The Stranded fingering skeined up quite dark so the undyed fingering would lighten it up and the burgundy would match the burgundy in the Yesterday’s Bouquet colourway. Anyway, it is yet to be seen whether the combo will work well as I didn’t bring the right length cable to knit the rib neck in the round. I actually don’t think I have anything short enough with 6.0mm tips that would do the job. My Chiaogoo shorties only go up to 5.0mm. The pattern I’d chosen to do with this yarn is the Ranunculus. I already made one in a cotton/linen blend and I’ve been wearing it but I wanted a woollen one also. The one I’d knitted already was done with 5.0mm needles but I want a looser gauge with this one. It certainly doesn’t need a lot of yarn though I’m hoping to get long sleeves – or as long as they will go. I think I’ll use the 5.0mm shorties for the rib, adding some extra stitches and will then change to 6.0mm at the increase row. This project would qualify for the #2ndsweatherKAL being run by Cady Jax.

Paraphernalia

As mentioned, there’s only been knitting this week but I’ve got a stash of different projects that will be following me during our 3 weeks before moving into our temporary accommodation. During those 3 weeks, we will be staying at two different places, gratefully offered by family and friends. We will be moving into the first one in two weeks exactly today.

I had an opportunity to listen to my book the other day as I had a quick trip to Sydney on Wednesday if you call a 6 hour round trip a quick trip! No crafting at all on that day but I managed a good chunk of listening. I’m listening to The Godmother by Hannelore Cayre. It’s actually quite a quick read/listen so I hope I have some opportunities this week too. I’m not sure I mentioned it last week but my evenings are filled with binge-watching Call The Midwife on Foxtel Go. It’s such a heart-warming and also a heart-wrenching show! I also love it as it’s set in the time when I was only a few years old and, though it’s set in the east end of London, I can correlate it with my own neighbourhood, to a certain extent.

This week will again be very busy, more so because I’ll be spending a couple of days with Miss Evie and I’m so looking forward to that part of the week. Other than that, I’ll be lugging furniture and boxes into storage, as much as we can move by ourselves, and the rest will require some help next weekend. It’s Australia day next Sunday so there could be some festivities thrown in as well. I have the rest of the day in Sydney with my daughter today but it will be a relaxing one. So, until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

My Creative Obsession Logo Concepts FINAL-MCO

Sunday 12 January 2020. #77

Hi friends! Things are starting to settle down around here now as the fires have calmed down, in some cases are properly out. We’ve also had a little bit of rain here and there – nothing major but enough to dampen things. As far as long term goes, we’ll need a lot more rain to get the greenery back because, as it is at the moment, there is a lot of dry tinder out there. We are looking at some high temperatures later this week but yesterday and today have been quite cool. Definitely requires more than short sleeves type cool. You can see below what it’s been like around here lately. The photo on the left is just smoke, taken earlier in the week, and the one on the right was taken this morning and it’s smokey and drizzly. The photo at the bottom shows what our view normally looks like.

At this time of year, I always have photos of my times at the beach but we’ve only really had one day that has been worth a visit so far. The other days have been cool or smokey or very windy. I’m hoping that I can get some beach time in soon. This week started with a breakfast catch up at Huskisson which is currently a ghost town. The tourists were either sent home or decided not to come, and the area is suffering. This is a tourist destination and, if there are no tourists, there are a lot of businesses that are going to struggle to make ends meet. I was not very good at taking pictures this week! We also went to the Brewery for a drink on Tuesday evening but there is no photographic evidence. My week has been mostly consumed with packing. As of today, we have 20 days left till we leave the house so I’ve been hard at it. There is so much still to do but I think I have broken the back of it, though we’re still in a mess with boxes everywhere! You can see the photos on the left below. The top one has been cleared but I’m working through more. On Friday night we had a big dinner at the Golf Club – there were 19 of us, and it was a fun night. I’m a bit later with the blog today because we went over to Hyam’s Beach for breakfast with some of the Friday night crew. Again, both places were very quiet. At this time of year, we try to avoid these places as it’s hard to get a table and the wait is long. The all-clear has been given now, so I hope that the tourists come back. The air quality is definitely improving, especially when we get the normal northeasterly winds most days.

Knitting

This week has been all about the knitting. I have been spending all the mornings packing and, by lunchtime, I’m exhausted and my back requires some TLC. The easiest thing to do is to sit and knit. Before I get into the “knitty-gritty”, I realised the other day that I totally did achieve my goal with the Ravelry Challenge – I had not yet updated Ravelry and found that I had yet to add a project for the Golf Club Covers! That took me to 34 projects exactly.

Project challenge

I have now resumed most of my normal knitting from before the Christmas advents and gift knitting. The main one I haven’t started on is my Turtle Dove because it has been quite warm and bulky knitting is not exactly comfortable at the moment – it also needs to be tried on. I don’t remember where my sleeves are at with decreases as I’m doing them as I go. Today is quite cool so it may be a good day to try this on. I think this would only take a week or so when I get back onto it.

Finished Objects: In the meantime, I finished the Bitty booties I started on New Year’s Day and the Garter Ear Flap hat the day after. The booties are done minus the buttons required as it will be a week or two before I can get to a button shop of any description. I think they are looking quite cute as a set which will be even better with the next project below. See how the colour changes from day to day, or different times of day, with different light?

New Cast-on: Early on this week I cast on a new baby item. I was originally going to make the Kimono Nur that I’d tried out at the end of last year but I wasn’t quite convinced at the construction of that one. Firstly, it requires seaming and that hasn’t happened yet on the trial project. Secondly, the decreases on the front section that shows are quite tight. I do have another baby kimono pattern by Joji Locatelli but I preferred the lower angle on the cross over front sections of the Kimono Nur. In the end, I decided to wing it and work out my own construction. It’s only a small project so I wouldn’t consider it a waste of time if I have to frog it back. You can see my construction notes below – or at least the part that I’ve actually done. If it all works out, the finished garment will have a button on each side of the bottom front. You can just see the button holes showing on the right-hand side section which, if I’m honest, could be the wrong side. As it’s all garter, it looks the same either side but button placement depends on whether it’s a boy or girl. As I won’t know that till it’s born and my intention is to gift it before, I will make the call when I pick up for the sleeves. I can’t imagine it would be something that people would notice.

I totally forgot to include my completed Outline scarf in last week’s post! I was able to finish it on New Year’s Eve – finished minus the ends sewn in and not blocked. I’m taking the status as complete due to finishing the actual knitting. I have not had an opportunity to block this yet because floor space is at a premium at present during the packing process and outside is not a great idea due to smoke and some rain. It’s not urgent that it is blocked at the moment and once we start moving the boxes out to the storage area there will be plenty of room, and maybe a bit more opportunity. Hmm, did I pack my blocking wires? Quite possible!

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There’s been some good progress on the Olilia shawl but I still have a fair bit to go, mainly due to the number of stitches now. I have no idea how many there are but I’m guessing upwards of 300. When I finished the main section I decided to do the border in stocking stitch -I didn’t want the contrasting purl bumps on the right side and I want to use as much of the yarn as I can. Having said that, as I move onto the last couple of colourways (or should I say the first couple?) there is a lot more yarn left so I’m trying to keep the amounts similar to the other sections I’ve done. I really want to finish this quickly but, as I mentioned, the rows are so long now and I’m enjoying mixing up the knitting amongst the other projects. I’m glad I’m using the speckled yarn as I love how they look transitioning through the different colours. It wasn’t so noticeable in the first section of the shawl.

My Mina’s Vanilla socks are not moving too quickly but I enjoy adding a few rows on them here and there. They will be good portable knitting in the future but I took the Olilia to breakfast on Monday instead, trying to get that one done.

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Another project that has been re-introduced into rotation is my Songbird shawl. I have actually finished the pattern as written but I’m now working through more repeats to use up my hand-dyed yarn. This is actually a good thing because the pattern seems to increase quite narrowly and is only just getting to a decent width now. I think I have more than a quarter of the total yarn to go.

Due to the fires around at the moment, there is a lot of wildlife that needs some tender care from injuries etc. Facebook is inundated with different causes to get pouches, etc. for these animals and I’ve been following the Animal Rescue Craft Guild. I have started a medium joey pouch but realised that knitting is the slowest form of any of the items they have requested. During my packing, I found some yarn that I thought I could get rid of and then realised it would be perfect for these pouches. Anyway, I’m persisting with this knitting as I’m about halfway, but the next one will be crochet. That will move so much more quickly. These pouches also require cotton liners so I’ll be able to whip up a few of those on the machine quite quickly. That’s a project for next week perhaps.

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With all this packing I had a good sorting of my yarn and realised how lovely it is! It may be something to do with the new year as it’s happened before but I have a really strong urge to finish stuff. Along with that, I now have an urge to not buy anything and to use up what I have. In that vein, I’m joining in with a couple of Ravelry KALs for using up pre-2020 yarn and patterns. The Crazy Sock Lady Podcast has a #stashbusters2020 KAL and Fybrenymph Dyeworks is having a 20in20 KAL. I’m not sure of the hashtag for that one as there are quite a few on Instagram. The Stashbusters KAL is to use yarn from before 1 January this year. That will not be hard at all, and there are themes for each quarter. The 20in20 requires you state lists of 20 in whichever categories you wish, or all of them – yarn, pattern and fibre, of what you will use. I’m going to try for all though I don’t have 20 separate fibre packs. The requirement for each is that you acquired them before 1 January this year, so same scenario. Let’s see how I go! I’m itching to cast on a couple of new things, and they qualify) but I’m hanging off until I finish a couple of things. One is the Le Pouf cardigan by Hedgehog fibres. I have the yarn for this one but just need to dye a couple of them to suit the colour scheme I’m going for.

Spinning

I did want to do some spinning this week but where my wheel is set up has become overcrowded by boxes. As I’m mid-ply on my black (grey), red and white spin, I don’t want to move it and there’s probably nowhere else for it to be at the moment. I did sort out my fibre stash this week – partly for the 20 in 20 challenge I mentioned earlier, but also because I’m packing that to go with us to our temporary accommodation rather than into storage. We’ll be able to access the storage unit whenever we need but I know what needs to come with me. My non-current knitting WIPs will be on top of this pile.

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Crochet

I did attempt to continue with my Inka the Little Llama security blanket project this week but the stars were obviously not aligned. Firstly, I realised that the hook is no longer with the project and I have no idea where it might be. Secondly, I realised that I probably crocheted the head in the wrong size hook but I have no way of knowing this. And lastly, the crochet hook I need to proceed has gone AWOL also! Needless to say, this project has been put back into time out until I can find/get another hook. Looking at the size of the head I crocheted and the blanket I can see that it’s probably out of proportion and I’ll just have to do another head before moving onto the ears, nose and arms. There is definitely something to be said about reading patterns carefully!

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Sewing

It was nearly another week without any sewing projects but I managed to squeeze in a little time, and a little floor space, to cut out my next project. As I mentioned last week, I wanted to cut out a short-sleeved top from the navy crepe jersey I have. My indecision rested with whether to cut out the top from the Sheona pattern that I have already used or cut out a new pattern that I have called Neenah. In the end, I went with the path of least resistance and used the Sheona pattern. Let’s see when I’ll be able to start stitching on this. If you look at the top photo of the two of my packing chaos early in this post, you may see right at the back I have a pile of, mainly, sewing/quilting items that I’ll be taking with me to our temporary accommodation. That pile is currently either next to or on top of my machine, or on the chair in front of my machine. I have to pack up that pile ready for transport.

Paraphernalia

I had intended to work on my goals for 2020, and also my word for 2020 but that hasn’t really happened. My word for 2019 was “settled” and I may just stay with that one for 2020 because of the house build. We thought it would start mid-2019 but we were delayed and that was one of the reasons I selected the word. Let’s just go with that. As far as goals go, I’m looking at getting my fitness back and losing a couple of kilos. Christmas and visitors slowed down the fitness regime which I’m now getting back into properly. I would say my major goal for 2020 is getting settled into the new house and that has kind of started with the packing cull. Living in the same house for 30 years has seen a build-up of stuff that is no longer needed and I’m enjoying the cleaning out process during the packing. I must say there’s a non-enjoyment side to this process too as it’s really hard work and playing havoc with my back. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

As far as books go, I’ve not been able to concentrate on listening to any during the packing as I do need to think about what I’m doing. I have managed to get through a few podcasts as I can tune out on those every now and then and they have been building up. Night knitting has been accompanied by binge-watching the Call the Midwife episodes, from season 5 and I have plenty to catch up on, but I also want to start The Witcher. I think I may try to split the difference and take turns on each. It’s hard because I like to move onto each next episode when I’m really into something.

I should now move onto some more packing but I think we’re heading over to the Brewery with some friends for a fundraiser afternoon and some bands playing. It is Sunday after all, and I’m pretty sure I deserve the break. So, until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

My Creative Obsession Logo Concepts FINAL-MCO

Sunday 5 January 2020. #76

Happy 2020 everyone! I hope you had a wonderful entry into the new year. Around here, the fires are still raging and the emergency situation continues. On New Year’s Eve, we had another pyrocumulonimbus event when the sky turned to night, though it wasn’t quite as dark as the previous one. Our son and daughter in law were leaving that day but the highway was closed so they stayed an extra night. The highway opened up to the north the next day from our point of entry though was and is still closed to the south. There has been a huge loss of property and too many deaths. For us, the situation has only been uncomfortable, with smoke and road closures and they were only minimal – the smoke cleared each morning once the northeasterly wind kicked in and we weren’t going anywhere. The situation flared on New Year’s Eve with very high temperatures, in the 40s Celcius and very strong winds. That’s when a lot of houses were lost.

Our daughter and her husband left on Monday and I took Evie for a walk to the park via a couple of the local beaches. We’d had a few outings to the beach, trying to get Evie to accept that sand is sand and you can still have fun on the beach. Tuesday wasn’t a day for the beach and at 3.30 pm it was quite dark again. Chatting to some tourists at the shops, they told us that they’d left the beach because it was too weird being dark at that time. On New Year’s Day, we woke to a very smokey atmosphere and doors needed to be kept closed. We said goodbye to the kids and they managed to get out onto the highway and home without too much traffic. The traffic situation became critical soon after with all the people trying to flee the fires from the south and there were lots of times they weren’t allowing vehicles through.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were spent packing. We now have 26 days to clear the house so there’s no point in waiting till the last minute. Weather predictions forecasted a repeat of New Year’s Eve and maybe worse for Saturday so on Friday we packed up and went to Wollongong to stay with our son and daughter in law. It was very precautionary as I don’t think we were particularly under threat – maybe indirectly due to embers flying around but there would be considerable devastation if the fire actually reached our place. We went more to avoid the smoke, possible road blockages and power outages which had disrupted other towns and closed shops, etc. I’m sure we would have managed for at least a week with the food in the house, particularly the canned and dry goods that we have. Regardless, it was a pleasant time with family and we spent Saturday morning at the local beach pool.

We have returned home to cool, calm and slightly smokey conditions – not bad enough to have to close doors. The fire had diverted slightly westward which was definitely in our favour. Unfortunately, it is still burning well all around.

Knitting

There hasn’t been much opportunity for crafting but I’m now almost back to my regularly scheduled knitting program. I finished adding the heel to my son in law’s socks and they look quite large! I didn’t finish them before he left but I don’t think he’s in a hurry for them during the current 30 and higher degree temperatures at the moment. I’ll be able to get them to him later this month. I added a true afterthought heel which I hadn’t yet done, normally doing the waste yarn version. This time I had no idea where the waste yarn was to go but I’m really happy about that as this is a much better method.  Using waste yarn tends to leave more gaps on the heel corners than the true afterthought method. The YouTube tutorial I used was by KirbyWirby, where she leaves two stitches at each end of the cut row which keeps that section closed up. Most videos just leave those strands loose to sew in later but I tied them to the yarn I was using for the heel. I worked out afterwards that you need to see which side of the hole the ends are and tie them off on that side. I just tied them when I reached them and I know one was definitely at the top section and I tied it to the bottom section. It’s OK but I know now for future heel additions.

I was able to pick up again on my Olilia shawl. It was good knitting for distracting situations and for travelling as it’s all garter stitch. It was a little tricky increasing in the dark on the way to Wollongong on Friday night, when I had to M2L and M2R at each end of the right side rows. Last time I checked in with this project was when I had started the yellow section. I’ve now completed that with the speckled yarn and I am all but finished the green and its coordinating speckle. I’m considering the best way to start the border. The pattern only has one colour but I want to use the remainder of each mini in the correct order of the matching speckled minis. The shawl finishes with a picot bind off so I’ll also need to ensure I have enough of the final mini to complete that. I think the final colour will be a speckled one.

New Cast-On 1: I didn’t do any cast-ons on New Year’s Eve as I hadn’t prepared for it and a beautiful sleeping baby was guarding my yarns and needles. It was easier to sit and just knit on my Olilia shawl. On New Year’s day, though, I cast on two new projects. One was a pair of socks using some Fibernymph Dyeworks Yarn’s Inversibles. The colourway has been discontinued – I’m using the turquoise blue and dark brown version on her Bedazzled base – 75% Superwash Merino/20% nylon/5% stellina. Again, the colours are showing differently in the two pictures but the right one is correct, and you can’t see the sparkle. I’m using Mina’s Vanilla Sock Recipe for these, doing toe-up and two at a time. She provides both cuff-down and toe-up instructions, though there is only one way for the toe for the toe-up method. I wanted to try the rounded toe that is provided for the cuff-down instructions and reversed the decreases for my increases. I managed that very well but should have started one row later in the pattern so had to increase again after what should have been the last one. Also, I had knitted a round straight after casting on and probably should have gone straight into the increases. It’s really not noticeable but I like the round look and I’ll know what to do for the next one. There are so few patterns for toe-up that includes a heel, most use the afterthought heel. I have made these before and now know where my heel placement should be. This pattern has a German short row heel and mini heel flap adjustments.

New Cast-On 2: The other cast-on was the Bitty Baby Booties for a little one due in March. I had made one booty late last year to try it out. That one was very small so this time I went up a little bit with the needle size and I’m using a worsted weight instead of DK (8 ply). I finished both the booties on New Year’s Day but I need to sew them together now. Not cast-on on New Years Day but the day after was a matching Garter Ear Flap hat by Purl Soho. I had made one for Evie and it’s really cute. I remember it was a bit small for Evie so I am knitting it with 5.0mm needles instead of the 4.5mm required. This new baby will also be younger than Evie when the hat will be worn so it should fit nicely. The yarn I’m using is the KnitPicks Swish Worsted in the Rainforest Heather colourway. It is 100% Superwash Merino and very soft and squishy.

Another way to review my knitting in 2019 is the Ravelry Project Challenge. In 2018 I finished 33 projects so for 2019 I set my challenge at 34. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite get there, only finishing 33. The potential 34th project was finished on New Year’s Day so I was very very close! I finished 1 scarf, 1 cowl, 4 tops, 6 shawls, 2 pairs of socks, 8 sweaters, 2 hats, 1 skirt and 8 baby items. Not a bad effort. I think I’ll stick with a challenge 34 projects again for 2020.

Going into 2020, I hope to “shop from my stash and my library”. As part of my packing this week, I sorted through my stash and I have some lovely yarn to use. I’ll be matching up what I can with patterns in my library that I haven’t yet made.

Sewing

With the house full after Christmas and our quick trip to Wollongong, I haven’t had a chance to do any sewing but I certainly have plans. The first is to make a short-sleeved navy blue top with some navy stretch crepe I purchased recently. I need a top to go with a skirt that I haven’t worn yet and this has been on the cards for a few weeks now. The main hold-up was deciding which pattern to use. I don’t particularly want to purchase a new one for a simple short-sleeved top so will either go with the Shona dress pattern, cut as a top, or the Neenah dress pattern that I have. I’ve made two Shonas and wanted to use the modified neckline that I made on my second one on the Neenah pattern. I’m just concerned that the Shona may be a bit more fitted than I’m going for so I may cut the Neenah pattern and go with my first plan. But, then again, it may be OK. Watch this space! Hopefully, I’ll get some sewing time in amongst the packing.

Paraphernalia

I didn’t have a lot of projects to talk about this week. Though I’ll be packing, I’m hoping that everything else now settles back to a more normal routine after the festive season and that the fires die down. As I type, I’m looking out at some very light rain and this is very comforting. A little rain is better than the drying gale-force winds we’ve been having. My heart goes out to all the people who have lost everything in this crazy time. When we left for Wollongong on Friday we had to decide what to take with us. Most of our stuff is replaceable though it would take some time. My husband packed up his surfboards, golf clubs and fishing gear. I took most of my needles, current projects and a couple of future projects. We decided that if the house was to go, we’d need something to keep us sane in the aftermath. I didn’t think there was real cause to worry but there is always that little bit of doubt.

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

My Creative Obsession Logo Concepts FINAL-MCO

Sunday 29 December 2019. #75

Hi friends! Welcome to the final blog for 2019. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas week. For me, this week has been a bit of a whirlwind spent with wonderful friends and family. On Monday, we had our regular fortnightly catch up breakfast. I had intended to ride over to Huskisson as I normally do but the smoke from the fires was so thick it was difficult to breathe just putting out the garbage. The fires are still burning in the areas around us.

The rest of Monday and also Tuesday were spent baking. All my present wrapping was complete so I decided I would make a Gingerbread House. Except that I don’t like gingerbread so when I saw Marilisa from A Girl Meets Yarn podcast making one with a chocolate sugar cookies recipe, that was the perfect solution. It was a lot of fun making this but it sure doesn’t take 5 minutes! I also made a Zuppa Inglese which is a fabulous recipe from the Woman’s Weekly Italian Cookbook. I have been making that recipe probably twice a year for the past 20 years!

Wednesday was Christmas Day and we had a wonderful time with our daughter in law’s family. There was a lot of fun and food to enjoy! I was amazed at how well the gingerbread house stayed together, surviving a 1.5 hour drive without anything dislodging. It was still standing even when nearly half the walls were taken out. You can see the creamy Zuppa in the photo below along with a yummy plum pudding and custard.

On Thursday, Robert and I took advantage of the Boxing Day sales on our way home from Wollongong. As expected, the shopping centre was crazy with others doing the same thing. We didn’t spend a lot of time there but we came away with a couple of bargains. All the kids arrived on Friday and we’ve been having a wonderful time, with Miss Evie stealing all the attention. There’s still some smoke around but it’s mostly high up. You can tell from the yellow hue on the photos, and the sun always looks red/orange. There was a strong north-easterly wind yesterday so we went to Moona Moona Creek for a paddle. That was followed by a quick visit to the Jervis Bay Brewery.

Knitting

I’ve had much less time for crafting this week and the time has been spent on the same things as last week. I managed to finish the socks for my son in law and we have measured them for placement of the heel. I’ll be cutting into them for the afterthought heel today! So far they fit OK as tubes but will be much better once the heels are in.

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I also finished the second golf club cover and made pom-poms for each of them. I made my own template for the pom-poms and it was hard deciding on the size to get them big enough and I think the centre hole was probably a bit bigger than I needed. I’ll need to get myself a set of those pom-pom makers if I’m going to be making more. I had trouble cutting the yarn between the cardboard templates as the yarn wanted to fall into the hole that wasn’t very full. I think they look OK though, and I’ve worked out the sizing of these club covers now if I need to make more.

The Outline scarf is ongoing but I never did get caught up. You can see in the photo that I’m knitting day 21, about to add day 22. Once the afterthought heels are done today I will work on finishing this off.

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Day 25 included a wonderful surprise of extra gifts. There was a full cake of Willow and the Wisp‘s Hand Dyed Slub yarn, 90% superwash merino/10% nylon, along with some great little stitch markers and a crystal! The slub yarn doesn’t have a colour name but it has lots of different colours, including mint, turquoise, magenta, blue and lots of others. I’ll have to show how it knits up. I wonder if that yarn is suitable for socks? It may be a bit too textured.

This year I didn’t do a Christmas Eve cast-on. I had my hands full with these Christmas knits and no desire to get further behind with them. I do have plans to do a New Year’s Eve cast-on, which is a tradition of mine lately. Reviewing this year’s Make9, I managed to finish five of the projects and I am working through the sixth one. With the others, I think I’ll do the Sevrine cardigan by Vanessa Smith instead of the Boothbay cardigan by Hannah Fettig and the Mori cardigan instead of the Kagerou top, both by michiyo in the Hikari Collection. I still think I’ll make the Carbeth cardigan by Kate Davies. I have the yarn for all of these. I don’t think I’ll do a Make9 for 2020 – instead, I’m planning on using stash for both yarn and patterns. I’m obviously not going to limit myself to that if something shiny and new pops up that I just have to make but I want to cut down on stash as I love what I have and want to use it. I also want to finish the WIPs that I have waiting patiently. Not just the ones I abandoned for Christmas knits but there are a few that I want to finish that have been there longer.

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Acquisitions

The main acquisition this week was receiving a tensioned Lazy Kate for Christmas! I had put it on my wish list and that wish was granted. Of course, I got other wonderful things for Christmas but this was the only crafty one. I was also given some yarn to make something for Evie so that could well be the New Year’s Eve cast on if I can decide what to make. I put my Lazy Kate together and it’s ready for me to use once the visits have left. I have a chain ply started but I don’t want to hassle with it when there are so many wonderful distractions at the moment, spending time with all the kids.

Paraphernalia

I did manage to watch the remaining Vlogmases but have not had much opportunity to do anything else. I have started a new book, The Godmother by Hannelore Cayre, translated by Stephanie Smee. Originally written in French, this novel won the European Crime Fiction prize and was well received by Leigh Sales and Annabelle Crabbe from the Chat 10 Looks 3 podcast. I have barely started it so I can’t make any judgement but I’m looking forward to getting into it further.

I’m hoping the fires will die down and give some relief to the affected areas and all the volunteer firefighters that have been hard at work for several weeks now. It’s such a sad state of affairs and many families have suffered so much this Christmas.

There are no plans for New Year’s Eve at this point so it might be a quiet night at home. We’ll see what happens in that arena. And the week ahead is looking to be quiet also, apart from packing up the house. I’m hoping to get some beach time in amongst the packing. It hasn’t been the best for the beach in the past week or so.

Now it’s time for me to cut open those socks. I’d like to wish everyone a wonderful end of 2019! So, until next week and into the new year, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

My Creative Obsession Logo Concepts FINAL-MCO

Sunday 22 December 2019. #74

Hello friends! We are creeping ever closer to the end of 2019. This week was a busy one as I was babysitting and also had to do a bit of driving. My week started with lunch with my bestie, Mary, down at Ulladulla. We’ve had a few nice days with some minor smoke haze. Tuesday and Wednesday were spent with my little sidekick, Evie. She wasn’t well with a tummy upset but fortunately got over that, not without passing it on to both her parents. Luckily I didn’t get it! On Wednesday evening I drove to Sydney to pick up my mum and dad again and drove back on Thursday morning for several appointments. One of these was a visit to the Mobile Blood Bank. I then had a little bit of time before the next appointment so sat in the Library and knitted for a little while. It was a very hot day so sitting in the car was not an option!

Friday was a busy day. I started it with a relaxing coffee at Huskisson while mum and dad spent some time there. That was followed by a quick turnaround when I dropped them home and headed back for lunch with Lorraine and Narelle. During the afternoon, I whipped up some mini caramelised banana and walnut crepes to take to drinks later that evening. They turned out very yummy! The evening started with the opening of the local brewery. It was a good turn up and we are hoping that it takes off with the tourists this season. I’m not a beer drinker – fortunately they also offer wines. The evening ended visiting friends at Erowal Bay for some Christmas drinks. It was actually where we’ll be spending a good portion of the first half of next year while our new house is being built. You can see the view from the back deck out to the Basin where I think I may do a bit of kayaking. The area here is called the Bay and Basin, with Jervis Bay on one side and St. Georges Basin on the other side. I am so lucky to live in such a beautiful place.

Yesterday was quite eventful in an unusual way. It started with a trip to Shellharbour Square after dropping my mum and dad off at Kiama Station. I think I have about finished my Christmas shopping now, thank goodness! The fires have been spreading around our area with a couple of new ones now started. We have a major one about an hour south of us, a couple about 30 minutes to the west and another about 20 minutes to the north. We are essentially surrounded by fires. We are not alone in this – apparently, there are more than 90 fires just in New South Wales. We were predicted for a high of 41 degrees Celcius yesterday which is 105.8 Fahrenheit but we only reached about 26 degrees (79 degrees Fahrenheit) where we are. It was more like 38 degrees in Nowra. We did get a southerly come through to cool things off but that also brought with it a huge pyrocumulonimbus storm front formed by the intense heat of the fire causing air to rise rapidly in the smoke plume. It doesn’t necessarily bring rain but we did get some thunder and a short shower. That only managed to bring down wet ash and the smoke smell which wasn’t there earlier and it also caused the day to disappear to night time as you can see in the screenshot below. I couldn’t get a decent photo that showed how dark it was but it was essentially like midnight for about a couple of hours before it moved over us and almost normal daylight reappeared before the sun even started to set.

Knitting

I still haven’t resumed my normal knitting program due to the advent and gift knitting this week, also due to the limited crafting time. I am several days behind on my Outline scarf now, currently knitting on day 17. Since it’s the 22nd today, that makes me 5 days behind! That’s OK as I’ve also worked on some gift knits which have a higher priority. How wonderful are these beautiful jewel tones from Willow and the Wisp!

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The Golden State Warriors socks are growing well. The progress marker shows where I was at last week and how much I’ve done since. I still need to do at least a couple more inches before I start the cuff. The cuff will be the solid blue and then I’ll add the heel when they are tried on by the recipient so that I can put the heel in the right place. I think I might do the heel starting with the solid blue and finish it with the solid yellow.

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I finished the first golf club cover last night but I went a bit big in size. My local golfing authority (Rob) said it needs to be a bit tighter all over. I can manage that and I’ll cast on another one today, using only 36 stitches for the shaft and do maybe two fewer increase rows on the head section. It should be a lot easier to do now that I know what I’m doing and also because there will be fewer stitches. Of course, there will be a pompom on top!

My other advent, the Olilia shawl, has been relegated to the lowest priority for now but I still gave it a little bit of love this week. I was in the middle of the 4th section last week and have only finished that and started the 5th section.

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Spinning

This week I finished my spindle spin singles on my spinning wheel. I haven’t plied them together yet as I need to clear a couple of bobbins. I have now wound the single off the spindle and onto one of the bobbins below ready for plying.

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In an effort to clear a bobbin, I got back to my black (grey), red and white spin. This is the second lot of the same fibre and I’ve started the plying with a chain ply. It’s a tricky form of plying and it’s been a little bit of a struggle but I’ll get back to it today without disruptions and maybe get into a better rhythm with it. I think a tensioned lazy kate would help keep the flow of the yarn coming out willy nilly and plying on itself before I get to it. It’s looking quite tightly spun but I’ll see how it comes off as I’ve been a bit underspun lately.

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Sewing

This week I cut out a pattern I found online for some baby bloomers. I was a bit suss about it because the front and back were the same but went ahead anyway. I had only very little left of the contrasting fabric so used that for the bottom frill. I used a size 1 pattern but the bloomers turned out a bit small. I’ll do some modifications to make them a little bit bigger. I haven’t added the elastic to the legs yet but they are a bit narrow too. The dress was a success if a little bit big, so there’s room to grow into it.

Paraphernalia

We are reaching the end of 2019 and there are some apps around that sum up your Instagram year. My “Best of 2019” features my Graphica sweater and includes my Baubles shawl, the Starflake shawl, my Humulus sweater and my Floozy cardigan. It is interesting to see the stats.

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Another app is the “Year of Colour” on Instagram. I did it for both my My Creative Obsessions profile and my personal profile. I always hope to see more bright colours but it obviously includes all the background colours. The one on the left is my MCO profile and the one on the right is my personal profile. I can see that there are many more colours on the MCO profile.

In the lead up to Christmas, I will be wrapping presents but I’ll also start packing boxes for our removal next month. Everything is now set for a start date of the first week of February to demolish the house and building will commence immediately after. I was able to get some packing boxes through Facebook Marketplace but I’m certain I’ll need more. Once these ones are filled, I will have a better idea of exactly how many I need. Obviously, I won’t be able to pack a lot until we get closer otherwise I’ll be packing things we need on a day to day basis. And the whole family will be here next weekend so I don’t want people climbing over boxes the whole time!

I finished my Audible book – The Survivors Club by Lisa Gardener and enjoyed it. I haven’t started the next book yet, choosing to listen to podcasts while driving at the moment. For my viewing pleasure, vlogmas has been keeping me occupied, if not a little overwhelmed! Again this year, I have chosen some to follow religiously as there are far too many to watch them all.

Now it’s time to get away from the computer and either do some chores or some knitting! I know which I would prefer but also what needs to be done. So, until next week, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas if you celebrate it otherwise enjoy the holidays, and maybe get lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

My Creative Obsession Logo Concepts FINAL-MCO

Sunday 15 December 2019. #73

Hello friends! ‘Tis the season….. and it’s been getting quite jolly around here. And preparation for the big pack up has started. Last Sunday we managed to give away our old piano. It had been a great piano for our daughter when she was learning but wasn’t needed anymore. It was quite an adventure getting the beast out of the house – the recipient’s collectors were amazed at the weight of a simple upright piano. Apparently, they have plates of steel in them. Apart from that, little else has been done as I need to get my hands on some boxes. Hopefully this week! We now have 8 weeks left to empty the house before the demolition starts.

The week started with a bike ride to our breakfast catch-up, a hair cut and some Christmas shopping. Tuesday night was Book Club Christmas Edition with some fine food. On Wednesday, we had a Christmas Sewing Day at my friend, Narelle’s place.

Friday started with a paint pouring session at my friend, Carol’s, place and was followed by a pleasant evening celebrating our husbands’ golf year at their annual group Christmas dinner. This year we went to the Kanpai Japanese Restaurant. On Saturday night, we caught up with friends visiting from Sydney at the 3 Gringos Mexican Restaurant. So much celebrating, so little time! The Christmas decorations are popping up around the area – I’ll have to go for a drive one evening just to check them out.

Knitting

This week has been another one without my regular knitting. I’m hoping that the regular program can be resumed soon! The Outline scarf continues each day but, as of today, I’m 2 days behind in my Willow and the Wisp advent. I’m working on 13, next is 14 – the orange and I’ve opened the box for 15. I worked out that it takes about 2 hours of knitting to get each 10 grams done so there’s little time for much else. I was a bit concerned about my choice of pattern and the colours at first but I’m now loving this project. It’s my scarf of many colours!

The other advent – my Olilia shawl has only had a little look in and I’m in the middle of skeins 7 & 8 of the 12-day advent that I’d dyed up myself. I was going to cut one of the short rows to reduce the main colour usage but in the end, I only did three instead of four rows (right side/wrong side) before starting the short rows. This should have the same result and leave me enough to add to the border.

Last year, yes last year, not earlier this year, I started knitting some socks for my now son-in-law. He’s a mad Golden State Warriors fan so I dyed up some yarn – variegated in blue, yellow and white plus solid blue and solid yellow for heels, toes and cuffs. Not knowing how big to make them and when to start the heel turn, they ended up looking huge so I put them aside for a short while. Hmm, maybe a long while! Anyhow, I got them out the other day and decided to rip back to where the heel gusset started and just knit a tube with toes and heels. I got into a bit of a pickle with tangled yarn, especially since I’m doing them two at a time from one skein only. I managed to get that sorted and I’m well underway. I thought I might gift him these, if they’re done, without heels and I’ll put in the afterthought heels while he is here after Christmas, when I can see where they need to go.

More gift knitting is happening. This is a trial run at knitting a golf club cover with a pattern using different size yarn and what looks to be a smaller head size. I managed to get the shaft cover finished quite quickly but have stalled on the head knitting. I am using 8 ply (DK) acrylic yarn and the pattern is for bulky. I did have several starts where I tried knitting the rib using two strands but it looked silly. In the end, I added a few stitches and just used a single yarn. It seems to fit over the head of my husband’s driver. I’m now increasing for the head and I was told it needed to be thicker so I’ll add that second strand and a larger needle. I also want to add some white and it was suggested to do a “D” for “driver” so I’ll see how that works. It will all be finished with a pom-pom on top. If this prototype works I’ll do a couple more in relevant colours.

Spinning

I had hoped to have had this spin finished this week but I haven’t been at the wheel very often. There’s still about an hour or so of single to spin before plying. I’ll try for next weekend.

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Sewing

I had cut out a Geranium dress for Miss Evie a couple of weeks ago and this week I have finished it, all but the buttons and buttonholes. I’ll need to buy some buttons, hopefully tomorrow and maybe finish it off before I head up on Tuesday. It’s a fabulous pattern and I love adding the bits of fun contrasts with the bodice lining and hem.

Patchwork

After all but two years of this Christmas tree quilt sitting and patiently waiting, I am now finishing quilting it. The paralysis was mainly on how to quilt the star border and I’ve settled on thin back and forward squiggles. I had seen this on one of the quilting Instagram photos that I follow. It’s certainly making the stars pop and maybe I didn’t need to have the squiggles so close but it looks good. I would like to have this hanging by next weekend as this is the Christmas tree for this year. I have added the binding on three sides but I’ve left the top so that I can add a rod pocket.

And I finished Miss Evie’s stocking. I found the fabric where I’d left the stocking pieces so I was able to make some matching bias binding. I watched the SewCanShe tutorial on how to make continuous bias binding. I had made some previously but it wasn’t continuous. When I bought the panel, I didn’t realise it was considerably bigger than the other stockings but it is only fair that the smallest person gets the biggest stocking!

Stitching

My Round the Garden quilt got some love at my Sewing Day on Wednesday. I decided to start on the flower border. I had used a friend’s CriCut machine back in August at our retreat to cut lots and lots of little circles. I thought the amount I cut would be enough but it’s going to take more cutting out of circles to get all the way around the quilt!

Painting

On Friday, my friend Carol and I got into some paint pouring a la Rinske Douna. It was a lot of fun. It seems Carol’s hairdryer isn’t strong enough and my hairdryer is too strong! My large picture looked very much like a flower so I added some green to make it look like the bud section. I’m not sure if I need to add more of a stalk to that green bit or not. I did add some more but it’s not shown in the final picture I have here. The canvas is still at Carol’s place as they can’t be moved due to the amount of wet paint on top. I also did a small canvas with leftover paint – the two pictures at the top. This is such an addictive form of painting that we want to do more. I realise that normal painting does not really interest me but this is fun and I love the results.

Acquisitions

I received some happy mail this week in the form of my December Batt Club from Ixchel Yarns and Fibres! The photos do not do this batt justice and you can’t see the sparkle. It is gorgeous! This is my third and last batt of this club and I haven’t even spun up the first. The main reason is I need to decide how I’m going to spin it. I think I’ll be doing one of them very soon though.

Another visit to Spotlight, another few remnants! This week I got the following, clockwise from top left. The colours are a bit paler than in real life – they are much richer than shown here.

  • Stretch 16Wale Cord, Burn Red – 1.30m x 140cm. $13.00
  • Stretch 16Wale Cord, Mustard – 0.65m x 140cm. $2.60
  • Rayon Poly Crinkle, Dark Mustard – 0.80m x 148cm. $6.72

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Paraphernalia

News out recently is that the Pantone colour for 2020 is Classic Blue (19-4052). It’s always interesting to see what is chosen. I’m not sure I’ve seen any previous influence from the Pantone colour but the reasoning behind this is best described by Pantone: “For over 20 years, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home furnishings, and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design.” Last year was Living Coral.

I have just joined the International Virtual Knit Night (IVKN) group and have had two sessions with them. I don’t actually have a knit group here and this is a great way to spend some time with other people who have the same interests. Both times there have been people from the UK, the US, Europe and Scandinavia, along with a couple of others from Australia. It’s not too easy to join but it ensures that only the people with the same interests are participating.

This week, seven of my friends and I booked flights to Alice Springs to visit our friend Vicki who now lives there. We will be there at the end of June, during the world-famous (I think) Beanie Festival. It will be a great sewing retreat with lots of other attractions thrown in. I have been to Alice Springs before and have hiked nearly all the gorges there, and there are many, but I’ll be happy to visit a few again with those friends that haven’t been. They are well worth visiting!

I finished up one more advent and this time it was a 12-days of Christmas advent made up of fancy beers for my husband. The real 12 days of Christmas actually start the day after Christmas Day (Boxing Day) and go to the 6th January. This 12-day advent started on 13th December, finishing on Christmas Eve instead. I am struggling to get into the Christmas spirit this year, mainly because it’s not our turn. We have Christmas every second year with our kids visiting in-laws in the alternate years. This is our off-year so we’ll be celebrating as a family the weekend after. We are fortunate that one of the in-laws live not too far away and we are invited to join them. This will be a wonderful Christmas Day as Evie will be able to enjoy the festivities. Last Christmas, she was only 2 months old. Christmas is much more fun with children! So you can see below the sum total of my Christmas decorations. When it’s our turn for Christmas we always get a real tree – I don’t think you can go past the beautiful pine smell.

I think I’ll put on some Christmas music and go and see what other decorations I can put up to maybe get into the spirit of the season! So, until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

My Creative Obsession Logo Concepts FINAL-MCO

Sunday 8 December 2019. #72

Hello friends! This week has been a little crazy and just a bit exhausting. After returning home from Sydney on Sunday, I headed up to Wollongong on Tuesday to mind Evie for two days and on Wednesday I drove back to Sydney and brought my Mum and Dad home for a couple of days on Thursday. Yesterday I drove them to Kiama to catch the train back to Sydney. So, since I blogged last, I’ve had eleven hours of driving! I’m always amazed at the cloud formations that we see from our deck. And the smoke haze coming from either north or south – this one was from the fires south of us, coming up with a southerly front.

Sunday’s lunch with my school friends was very enjoyable at the Hello Auntie Vietnamese restaurant in the new Darling Square. This is the area at the western end of Darling Harbour and it’s been done up very nicely as an eatery and park area. Lunch was followed by ice cream at the new Messina there. It was a toss-up between Bangin’ on Peter’s Drum and Jon Snow – Jon Snow won and it was delicious! This area and the city is a handy bus trip from my parent’s place. I noticed the new tram system was testing – I don’t think it was operating yet but there were people waiting for it! How pretty is the colourful hanging display that was in the circular building – we nearly didn’t see it because it’s way up over our heads.

Tuesday and Wednesday was quality time with Miss Evie. She is such a happy little girl! We had our usual walks and did some shopping, but it was very hot! I think we may need to go have a splash at the beach instead next time.

On Thursday morning, I went for a run/walk around the inner circle at Centennial Park, as I like to do when I’m staying there. It’s a beautiful park and I even saw some majestic black swans pecking around in the grass.

On Friday, I got on my bike for a ride out to Woollamia boat ramp to check out the pelicans. There was one resting very close by. We stopped for a coffee on the way through Huskisson and witnessed a car chase through the main street. The car was being chased by two police cars with their sirens blaring. This is something you don’t see in Huskisson! It’s quite busy at the moment with tourists and Julie and I had just ridden our bikes along that very section.

Knitting

This week has been all about advent knitting and there has been a lot less time for knitting at all due to the time spent on the road. I have been opening my Willow and the Wisp chakra advent pack each day and I’ve managed to keep up with knitting the minis – so far! There are 25 x 10g minis in this pack. I had shown the first mini cake last week but I’ve included it here to show with what was knitted. I’m knitting the Outline wrap by Beata Jezek – mine is probably smaller – large scarf, perhaps? It should block out to a decent size and that will also even out the bumpy-ness that you see in the pics.

My other advent is the one I dyed for myself and my friend Mary. I have been pretty good at keeping up with this one but have slowed down now. The pattern I’m using is the Olilia shawl, a free pattern on Ravelry. This one only has 12 minis but they are 20g each. I had originally thought to do one mini every second day but because I will be using the remainders at the end I thought I could do each day as I can manage – the first few were quite quick. I have done to the end of day 6 here and show the minis for days 7 and 8. Number 5 mini was almost all used up as the shawl has grown exponentially.  So now, to use numbers 7, 9 and 11, I’ll need to reduce the numbers of short rows for numbers 8, 10 and 12. There are 6 short rows in each repeat so if I reduce the next one to 5 sets of short rows I would be saving two full rows of the main colours. That should be enough to cover the 50 stitches increased in the fourth repeat, as well as the fifth repeat and likely for the final repeat – if not, I’ll go down to 4 sets of short rows. That may actually look good as it gets a little shorter each time. I’ll see how it looks when I get there. For the border, I’ll use up all the remaining yarn in order backwards. That is just straight knitting, continuing with the increases, so it will be alternating main colours with speckled colours.

There is no other knitting to show this week. I’m missing all my current WIPs while staying up to date with these advents but I’m always loyal to keeping to my arbitrary challenges! The Olilia advent should slow down at some point and I’ll then gladly take up my WIPs again. I did learn a great way to hand-wind yarn from a YouTube tutorial by Alex Collins. I really enjoyed it and I love the way it turns out – you can see the ones that I did in my Olilia shawl pics above. I don’t know if I’d like to do a whole 100g skein that way but I’ll do the rest of my minis like this.

Spinning

Sadly, the yarn on this bobbin on my wheel has been the sum total of my spinning for maybe the last two weeks! I think I’ll have some time for it this week and I’m looking forward to it. This fibre is actually from my spindle spin but I’ve really not felt like using the spindle lately. When my drive cable snapped the other week and I rejoined it, I wanted to test the wheel and I decided that I would get the resultant yarn much more quickly if I finished off this spin on the wheel. With any luck, I’ll have this spun up this week and ready to ply with the first bobbin which was all done on the spindle.

Sewing

I have started putting together the Geranium dress that I cut out for Evie. This is such an easy make and should be very quick but I’ve had little time at the machine. The bodice is complete and I just now need to add the skirt – may be able to see the pleats that are pinned. Then I add the buttons and do the hem and it’s complete. This will be finished this week and I’ll get onto sewing up the size 3 Racerback dress I have cut out.

Patchwork

I’m now putting together the Christmas stocking for Evie. I had cut this out last year and did not manage to get it finished. I have stockings for everyone else in the immediate family that I made a long time ago, adding to that with spouse stockings. For each, I have used a panel and quilted the front picture and embroidered the name. This one is actually a snowman with presents. I only just noticed with this picture that I’m not actually using the walking foot! I just have to quilt the plain red backing and will then bind the two side together. I normally make binding from the backing but, as I cut this last year, I made not be able to find the fabric in order to do that. I have already packed up some of my fabrics for the move into storage while the house is built. If I don’t find the fabric, I’ll get some bias tape in red and use that instead.

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Paraphernalia

I finished my third and final advent on Monday and gifted it on Tuesday. It was day three but it just meant that an extra two had to be opened. That was enjoyed at the time.

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Because of the large quantity of drive time I’ve made a huge dent listening to my new audible book – No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay. I don’t think it would win any major prizes but it’s such a riveting read! I hope to finish it today. I have another of his books but may go onto one of the other dozen or two that I have waiting, or maybe not. I’ve also not had much time for watching any shows on Netflix or ABC iView as I’ve been inundated by Vlogmas on YouTube. As happened last year, there are far too many podcasters that I follow to be able to watch all their Vlogmases so I picked a few favourites and I’m watching those. I also prefer the short ones as most are uploaded daily. These are all in the northern hemisphere so it’s lovely seeing the snow and beautiful lights. I’m afraid a summer Christmas doesn’t seem anywhere near as festive in comparison.

Well, I’m about to get knitting on mini cake number 8 on my Outline wrap so I’d better wrap up here! This week’s blog is a bit low on crafting content but I’ll remedy that for next week. I have some festive events starting this week and I’m looking forward to them, with almost zero driving. I hope you are enjoying the lead up to the festive season, whatever you celebrate, and, until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

My Creative Obsession Logo Concepts FINAL-MCO

Sunday 1 December 2019. #71

Hello friends! This week has been a whirlwind of social events. Monday started with a ride over to Huskisson for some laps then a catch-up breakfast. On Tuesday, I met up with my friend Sue from Canberra and a couple of her friends in Berry for lunch and some shopping. It was a very hot day with storms and hot winds throughout the day. On Tuesday night I met up with some girlfriends for a surprise birthday dinner.

I met up with my girlfriend Mary in Ulladulla for lunch on Wednesday, then on Thursday Rob and I drove to Sydney to stay with our daughter Erin and her husband Shaun for a couple of days before attending my work reunion yesterday. I haven’t worked there for over 30 years but we were a very social bunch and that hasn’t changed. On Friday I had a good workout session at Shaun’s gym in Balmain, Accelerate Strength. Definitely a whirlwind week!

Knitting

Advent Knitting: I opened my first advent from the Willow and the Wisp chakra advent kit and it’s a beautiful deep red! Red is the root chakra which relates to self-awareness and survival. It’s the most stimulating of all the colours. I’m excited to start on this today. I’m doing the Outline wrap by Beata Jezek for Hedgehog fibres, which is a free pattern. I may reduce the stitch count so that I’m sure I get enough length. My other “advent” is the one I dyed myself. I’m starting that one today also, on the Olilia shawl with some modifications. This may take a little trial and error so I’ll report in next week on how it goes.

I finally finished picking up stitches along the bottom of the top section of the Lunae shawl. The first half was much harder than the second half – I think it’s the shape of the edge stitch that makes the difference in each direction. I then had to decide which colours I was going to use. I decided on the new colour which is a yellowy pale lime colour, very similar to one I’d already used and also a dark magenta that I haven’t used yet. I’ve weighed these to see how much I will need for the other mosaic stripes. The main mosaic panel on this section will be using the blue and white yarn.

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My Songbird shawl got a lot of love this week. I’ve reached the end of the pattern and have about three-quarters of the second skein left. I found that that this skein of yarn is a lighter weight than the first. I would say the first skein was a true fingering weight whereas this skein is more like a light fingering. Aside from that, it’s still knitting up nicely. I’ll keep knitting and add a few sections. I’ve stopped at this point as I will need to weigh the yarn as I go along so that there is enough left for the picot bind-off and the tassels. I finished the last garter section two rows shorter than required and am adding a small section of the garter stripe section before starting on the slanted stitch section. I also want to finish with some garter stripe and/or garter before the picot. It’s not as large as I’d like so I’m happy to keep going.

New Cast-on: I saw some cute Rose City Roller Littles socks and decided to cast them on. I had plenty of my Fibernymph Dyeworks yarn leftover. I don’t have any reliable 2.25mm needles so decided to use my normal 2.5mm and just do the second size instead of the third size. Well, that may be good for now but I’m thinking that Evie will have bigger feet by next winter and so I probably should have done a larger size. These will be a lovely gift for a little person and I’ll make Evie some others. I did try to do the heel in a contrasting yarn but found that, with the pattern as is, I had to cut the yarn three or four times to achieve the right look. In the end, I just frogged that heel turn and flap and rejoined the yarn to continue with the main stripe yarn. They are so cute though the cuff doesn’t curl as much as it shows in the pictures. It may be a good idea to start the cuff with larger needles.

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My faithful take anywhere Garland sweater also got some love. It’s the only straight vanilla knitting I have at the moment and is good when chatting and socialising. I must see how far I have to knit before separating for the sleeves so that I don’t overshoot the mark!

Sleeves are growing slowly on my Turtle Dove sweater. It’s not a project that I’ve been gravitating to in the warm weather lately. I want to try it on every so often so that I can judge the decreases on the sleeves that I’m adding. The pattern doesn’t decrease at all. Trying on is a bit of a nuisance as I need to add another needle to the body as I haven’t finished that section and one of the sleeves then needs to be put onto another needle. You can see my pic below – not fantastic quality but the sleeves are going OK. I just need to decide how much I’m going to decrease. I’ll check out some of the other projects on Ravelry.

Spinning

I have skeined up and soaked my Wren & Ollie spin, and I’m a little disappointed at the slight lack of spin in the ply, yet again. When I’m plying it feels like it’s over-spinning the yarn but I’ll need to hang onto it a little longer than I have been. It’s turned out as maybe a sport weight to light fingering weight. It finished at 546m and weighs 106 grams. Apart from that, I think this will go well as the contrasting yarn in an Andrea Mowra Stonecrop cardigan. I have the sweater pattern and I think I’d like to make it as a cardigan by steeking it. I haven’t done that yet and it’s been on my list of things to learn.

Sewing

This week I sewed up one of the Racerback dresses that I’d cut out. This is a size one and Miss Evie has worn it already. It was an easy sew but the small size made it quite fiddly on the overlocker. The larger size should be easier to put together. I also finished the little bag I made for her. I had cut it out quite large and then cut a fair bit off it. In the end, it was still a little bigger than I was intending but I think Evie is enjoying it.

Paraphernalia

This week I put together a couple of advent boxes. I gave the one on the left to my friend Mary with the mini skeins I had dyed along with some candles. The one on the right was for my daughter and I have one more to put together for this week. It was a lot of fun doing these. I have more ideas for next year.

I finished up watching the latest season of The Crown on Netflix, which I enjoyed. I’m wondering what the royals think about the show as it’s quite revealing if it’s all true. I have now started watching an Australian show called Total Control on ABC iView. I also finished listening to Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and can highly recommend it. I haven’t started my next book but I think it will be No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay. I’ve heard he writes in a similar fashion to Harlan Coben and I thoroughly enjoyed all of his books.

Today I’m having lunch in Sydney with my school friends as the socialising continues. This week is my Evie minding week and I’m looking forward to it. I’m also hoping for a quiet week for a change, to get some new house planning done. Enough of the babbling now! I’m off to get ready for lunch so, until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

My Creative Obsession Logo Concepts FINAL-MCO

Sunday 24 November 2019. #70

Hello friends! What a fun week I’ve had. I babysat Evie on Tuesday and Wednesday and had the pleasure of joining in with her swimming lesson. That was a great experience to share with her.  On Wednesday, we had a lovely time at the park and spotting the dogs and birds on our walk. My friend, Julie, and I rode to Huskisson for coffee on Thursday morning and then I had lunch with some other friends, again at Huskisson.

On Friday, I finally took the plunge and rode to Huskisson for some laps in the saltwater pool. I’d been going to do that for a few weeks now but was concerned at the water temperature. When I realised that my friend Carol had been swimming for a couple of weeks, she reassured me that it was nice. I can confirm that and hope to keep it up a couple of times a week during the warm weather. Last night was party night when we attended a surprise birthday party for our friend Annette. It was a great night out and I may need to have a nap today to catch up on some sleep!

Knitting

This week, I’ve been working on a couple of projects only. The Turtle Dove sweater needs to be tried on and that hasn’t happened, so it’s been having a little break. I have made considerable progress on my Songbird shawl. I finished the first skein and am a few rows into the second. It’s hard to say at this point but I don’t think the pattern will use up all the second skein. I’ll wait and see because it would be easy enough to add a repeat of something but it also has tassels so that could utilise the remaining yarn by itself. I was surprised at how easy the stitch patterns were once you know what it’s supposed to look like. The first repeat of each of the two different stitches was confusing but then it was easy to remember so now I know what I need to be doing each row.

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I’ve made no progress on the Lunae shawl as I tried picking up stitches again, this time having too many. I think what I need to do now is to quarter each half so that I know how many stitches I should have in each small section. Here’s hoping that the third attempt will be successful! My vanilla knitting this week was the Garland top. It is slow but steady progress. The constant knitting in the round makes it easy for any social occasion, even while Evie is eating her lunch. She’s getting used to Nonna’s knitting now (Nonna = me).

New Cast On: (And almost finished project!) I have been thinking about some gift baby knitting and was inspired by the Hey Sister Podcast to knit up the Kimono Nur, which is a kimono jacket for babies. The newborn size is a free pattern. I thought I’d give it a try to see how it would come out for size so that I could adjust if necessary. The pattern on Ravelry costs 12.99 Euros which would be about $25 and I think that is a bit much for a baby kimono, even if it is so damn cute. For this one, I am using the Ready for Winter yarn by Bendigo Woollen Mills that I’d used for the Preparer son Arrivee cardigan for Evie. I thought I could keep this one for a winter newborn – there are a few babies coming along. The recipient of my next Kimono Nur is due in March so I was thinking they will need more a 3-6 months size for winter. I’m hoping I may be able to achieve that by going up a size in needles as the newborn one seems dense enough that the fabric should still be suitable. I have about 9 rows more to knit but 2 rows to tink back as I just noticed I should have stopped increasing 2 rows ago. Then it will need seaming up the sides and sleeves. Yes, seaming is my least favourite part of knitting.

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I had recently made a sample Bitty Baby Booty  (a free pattern) from some leftover yarn. This is the style of booty that the recipient’s mother fell in love with and it worked out nicely. I’d like to make the Kimono Nur, these Bitty Baby Booties and a Twister Bonnet to match. I think I could do the bonnet in garter stitch to match rather than the twist pattern. I will end up making the other Bitty Booty as they will be a nice gift too but there’s not enough of that yarn to make the set. You can see the little buttonhole – I’ll have to find some cute buttons for them.

It’s nearly December and I’m looking forward to using my advent minis. I dyed them over the last couple of months. In the last few days, I have been wondering what to do with them and I have decided to make the Olilia shawl with some modifications. I thought I’d look for a free pattern (or one that I already have) and I had to decide on what exactly I wanted to make. Since there are 240gm and 1020m of yarn, a shawl would be most suitable to using the majority of the yarn. The Olilia shawl fits those parameters and I do love a good crescent shape with short rows. The modifications I will make is to firstly eliminate the part where the main colour is just knit back and forwards under the single row of contrasting colour and add a couple of repeats. There are four short row sections along the left-hand side and I want to use all six speckled minis. It will likely make the crescent less symmetrical but I don’t mind that. I thought it would be good with the tonal skeins as the main colour and the speckle as the short rows on the left-hand side. This will use up more tonal yarn than the speckled yarn but I will be able to use that in the border which is made up of the contrasting yarn. That’s the plan – we’ll see how it goes.

I have just received a beautiful advent pack from Willow and the Wisp (see Acquisitions) and have been searching for a suitable pattern for those minis as well. There are 25 x 10-gram minis and, again, I wanted to use a pattern I either had or was free. In the end, I think I’ve settled on one that covers both criteria. I’ve had the Outline wrap pattern by Beata Jezek in my Ravelry library for a long time. This is a free pattern on the Hedgehog Fibres website and I’m hoping it will be suitable. The pattern calls for 1000 – 1300m and the advent kit has 1050m of yarn. I can make it narrower by using one less repeat but that is 30 stitches and I love the size that it is shown in. Unlike my own dyed minis, this advent will be a total surprise and I have no idea of what will be coming out of the little boxes each day so I think a random knit pattern like this one is perfect. I’ll just knit each until I run out and then add the next and, hopefully, I’ll be able to do that every day, along with my other advent which is every second day but twice the amount – 20-gram minis.

Outline wrap

I have decided, where possible, I’m going to use yarn that I already have and patterns that I have or are free. I have accumulated a lot of patterns and I’ll look at those first. Of course, there is likely to be something that I just can’t live without but I’d like to bust some of the stash. I’m still looking at the Le Pouf cardigan – it needs 5 skeins have identified three that are perfect and two others that I can dye to match.  The pinky beige one was used in my Elton cardigan and I think I’ll do a bit more than half grey and the rest teal, and the pale green on is one of the skeins that I dyed for the Starflake shawl to get a deep teal. This time I’ll dye it a black teal which I’ve had good results with previously. Watch this space.

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Spinning

I finally got to ply the Wren & Ollie spin and barely managed to fit it all on the bobbin. I had some yellow from the second bobbin leftover and started spinning that from an Andean bracelet but had issues continuing after restarting the next day. The bobbin wasn’t taking up the yarn even though I was spinning in the same direction so I tightened it a bit but must have tightened too much as the drive belt broke. I was able to rejoin it but have not had much luck continuing with the Andean ply. Rather than rush things, I left it aside and will get back to it properly today. You can see how I had to just take the Andean bracelet off; here’s it’s sitting patiently waiting, still attached to the bobbin. And, I just found out that a Wee Peggy can actually be used as a single drive. It was set up as a double drive so I never questioned that. I believe the two methods are quite different in execution so I may have to explore that one day. I also soaked and skeined my first EVER spin. As I mentioned last blog, this one is going into the felting cupboard. But it’s great to see how far I’ve come.

Sewing

I only got to sew for a while yesterday morning to continue with Mindi skirt I’d cut out from the same fabric as I had cut the Laura dress. I have now attached all pieces to the waistband and have to install the front exposed open-end zipper and the instructions are so brief that I’m totally confused. I did notice that there was a link at the end of the pattern to the Style Arc tutorials so tried that but it didn’t work. It appears that the site changed – the old link had a .com.au ending and they currently use the .com URL instead. So I have emailed asking if there are still tutorials available and anything that explains what I need to do now. I’m hoping for a reply tomorrow as I don’t expect a reply on the weekend.

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Having come to an impasse with my Mindi skirt, I thought I would cut out some small people projects. I had been wanting to make another Geranium dress for Evie and, since I still had plenty of the navy and white fabric left, I have cut out a different version from that. This time I’m doing the sleeveless version (the previous had faux cap sleeves) with pleats (the previous had a gathered skirt). I have cut out some navy fabric with pink and other pops of colour for the bodice lining. I had also purchased some combed cotton jersey with a toucan pattern and some matching teal organic slub cotton jersey to make a Racerback dress which is a free pattern from Hey June Handmade. (I forgot to photograph this fabric with the remnants in Acquisitions.) This pattern starts at size 1 year right up to 8 years. It’s a very simple summer dress that would be great for those really hot days. I had purchased 1 metre of the toucan fabric and half a metre of the teal, and the pattern, especially for a 1-year-old, uses very little. So what is one to do with the remaining fabric? Yep, cut out a 3-year-old size to give as a gift. These are all ready for sewing now and the Racerback dress will go together so quickly on the overlocker.

One other project that I cut out on Friday is for a little bag for Evie. She has started carrying around mum’s purse and her little lunch bag so I thought she needs her own. I found this dog and cat remnant at Spotlight on Thursday and thought it would be perfect. It’s cotton duck fabric so a nice firmer weight and I’ve matched it with a tweet tweet fabric that I’ve had in stash forever for the lining. This will be a little bucket bag with two handles and I’m going to insert a zipper pocket on the outside. I have made these types of bags many times but I just need to figure out how to attach the zipper with its own lining.

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Painting

Last week I forgot to mention a new painting technique that I tried. I stumbled across Rinske Douna on Instagram and she has a fabulous paint pouring technique that I’m absolutely loving. Rinske is doing the 100-day project with a different paint pour for 100 days. For these pours, Rinkse is doing individual videos and is also doing 100 days of video editing. The videos are both on Instagram and YouTube where she has many more painting videos. Anyway, it’s something I’d highly recommend you check out. I tried it last week and had a ball. I even videoed myself though I didn’t really have anywhere good to put the phone to record as I was doing it on my washing machine. Essentially, this method uses acrylic paint mixed with water poured onto a canvas and surrounded by more watered down acrylic paint, mostly white, and a hairdryer is used to blow the paint around. Rinske also uses a small blow torch to create bubbles. I used a little one I had for setting the sugar shell on pannacotta. The viscosity of the paint is fluid enough so that she can also blow it to where she wants it to go. This was my first attempt. I’m going to check out different canvases to see if it’s possible to get them without the texture that you see here. I also need to set up a better, bigger area to work in. I really want to do some more!

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Acquisitions

As I mentioned earlier, I received some happy mail this week – a party in a box, actually! I ordered the Willow and the Wisp Advent Kit in July and I’ve been anticipating its arrival as I knew it was getting very close. It finally arrived and I’m really excited to start my advent knitting, but I won’t open the first box until 1 December. There are 25 individually boxed and numbered micro skeins, 3 free gifts and an introduction to Chromatherapy Guide. There were several choices of kits and I chose the Chakra pack. I don’t actually remember what the other choices were. The Chakra pack has “a selection of colours that represent the colours of the chakra”. There is a colour definition guide and I’ll be able to learn about each of the colours and the traits associated with each as I knit.

Another trip to Spotlight this week for some supplies and, as usual, I left with some remnants. Clockwise from top:

  • Rayon, Olive Bloom – 0.70m x 135cm ($2.80)
  • Cotton Voile, Dandelion – 1.15m x 135cm ($9.77)
  • Muslin, Giraffe Island, ivory – 0.75m x 135cm ($9.00)
  • Cotton Duck, Dog Gone, teal – 0..50m x 112cm ($4.50)

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Paraphernalia

I’m still enjoying listening to Where the Crawdads Sing and am getting closer to the end. It is definitely a book I’d recommend. I have so many audiobooks lined up so I imagine I’ll quickly jump to another one. I watched the last episode of The Red Shadows and was a little underwhelmed. Everything happened so fast and suddenly it was over, with little time spent on explanations. It was very reminiscent of the last season of Game of Thrones. I did enjoy it aside from that. I’ve now moved onto the latest season of The Crown on Netflix. I’m finding that series very interesting from a historical point of view. It all happened as I was growing up and was too young to know about it, aside from a vague recollection of some of the events.

This week I have a line up of events, starting with breakfast on Monday, lunch and dinner on Tuesday, lunch on Wednesday and then a work reunion in Sydney on Saturday, culminating with lunch in Sydney on Sunday. I’m also going to get into a bit of Christmas crafting – I have a stocking to finish for Evie and a Christmas Tree quilt to finish quilting and binding. I’d like that finished to hang for Christmas as this is our minimal Christmas decorating year. Our kids spend alternate Christmas Days with their in-laws so we don’t get a tree in those years. We get a fresh tree for the other years. We are fortunate to be able to spend Christmas Day with Kim’s parents so it will be wonderful to share that day with Evie. Last Christmas, Evie was 2 months old therefore this will be a very meaningful Christmas for her.

Another long post! It’s amazing how I feel that I have nothing to talk about until I start and it all comes together. If you’ve hung around to the end, thanks for sharing this all with me and now it’s time for us all to enjoy some real crafting. So, until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

My Creative Obsession Logo Concepts FINAL-MCO