Hello friends! Welcome from a lovely spring day on the south coast of New South Wales. Yes, we are still in lockdown but we do have one new freedom. We are able to meet in groups of five or less, fully vaccinated and outside. That is a great thing as a few of our friends were able to meet for a catch-up on Monday morning. We only managed an hour before the rain started but it was great while it lasted. I did get out for a physio appointment on Wednesday.
On Friday, I decided on a change of scenery and met with Mary at Mollymook for a walk along the beach path. It was a beautiful day and we had a takeaway egg and bacon rolls and coffee sitting near the beach afterwards.
Knitting this week has been mainly on my Spiral socks and my Flax Light sweater. I have also been working on the test knit for Libby Jonson of Truly Myrtle but I can’t show that here yet. The socks have progressed enough that I have now started on the cuff. I’m excited to get these ones done now and move onto something else. I was thinking that this style of sock would be great for babies and little kids as they can grow into them without being restricted by heels. My friend Carolyn told me there was actually a baby pattern specifically using this method. It’s called the Baby Tube socks and uses a two stitch spiral where the adult socks uses a three stitch spiral. I think I’ll have to cast these on as soon as I’ve finished the big pair.
The Flax Light sweater is progressing nicely though I did frog about 4 or more inches of sleeve. I’m using a 3.5mm nine inch circular needle and I found that my knitting was very tight. I don’t suppose you can actually see that in the second photo below but I started again, this time using what I thought was a 4.0mm needle. The stitches look much better but I realised that I’d picked up the original needle and have been knitting with that one again! My tension does look much better though so maybe it was a sub-conscious thing. The close up photos look nothing like the colour of the sweater which you can see in the last photo. I tend to hold the camera a long way away and then crop otherwise it looks nothing like the real thing. I’m using my own handspun yarn and working with one skein of thick spin and one skein of thin spin. I’ve weighed the thicker yarn and I’m going to stop on this sleeve when I get to halfway and use the remainder on the other sleeve so that both are similar. When I’ve finished with that, I may need to use the thinner spin doubled to get a similar texture. I’m not in a hurry to finish this as the weather is warming up but I knit on it when I’m watching The Bureau with the subtitles.
My planning for the Shawlography MKAL has progressed and I’ve narrowed it down to two colour schemes. You can see below all the options I considered and asked my local friends and friends in my IVKN zoom group for their suggestions. I got a lot of comments on indecision between numbers 2 and 9 and it turns out that they are exactly the same just in a different order. That really shows that the order the colours are used could really change the look. I have decided that I’ll be using either number 8 (subtle) or number 9 (with a pop). The MKAL starts on the second Friday of October and I’ll probably make my decision the day before when I wind the yarn.
This week I made Evie a Rachel skirt from Ellie & Mac. It’s more of a fun skirt for play as the fabric is very bright. I suppose it could be worn with a plain white top. It was a very easy make and I used up some of my stash. I made size 3 but the waist is quite loose. After I’d made it I compared it with another pattern and there was about an inch difference. And Evie is a skinny minnie!
And now when I make something for Evie, I have to make the same for Cindy, the paperdoll blanket. I made a miniature Rachel skirt and some striped tights that Evie requested to match her striped tights. You can see her below having fun with Cindy. 😍 And Finn and Cooper are wearing their matching Ringer tees from Brindille & Twig. As I thought, these are a little bit big but they’ll be able to wear them later on. Don’t the boys look gorgeous! 😍
The other sewing for this week was on a pair of Parker Ponte pants from Style Arc. I wanted these as a casual but dressier pair of pants. The fabric I used was some brushed ponte that I’d order from Spotlight thinking it was similar fabric to what I’d purchased earlier. That’s why online ordering sometimes just doesn’t work. These turned out a little bit big so I may take them in – they are more like a dressier tracksuit pants instead. They’ll definitely get used. Maybe a stretch cotton sateen or bengaline would be more suitable for the look I’m after.
I didn’t get much patchwork done this week until yesterday. I finally put this little quilt back together after pretty much unpicking the whole centre section. One of the panels was upside down and I only needed to unpick one section but I unpicked the wrong one and ended up unpicking way too much. It didn’t take long yesterday to put back together and I also found some fabric for the backing. As the red fabric wasn’t big enough, I decided to add some black fabric and make a feature of the back. I hope to sandwich it today during a patchwork zoom with my sewing group this afternoon.
This week I purchased a watercolour class from a new-to-me workshop website called Domestika. The class is the Creative Watercolour Sketching for Beginners. In this class, you work in a watercolour sketchbook progressing through the lessons. I looked online for a 300gsm watercolour sketchbook and was very disappointed with the lack of these. One site I was on had a selection of books they liked to use and then suggested making your own sketchbook, with a link to a YouTube tutorial. How to Make a Watercolour Sketchbook by Will J Baily turned out to be exactly what I needed. I had done a bookbinding class a couple of years ago and I was excited to get into this again. You can see below that I have used an A3 pad of 300gsm watercolour paper and I cut it down to about 8 inches along the long side. That has given me an almost square book which opens to a nice rectangle which will work well for some of the lessons. The tutorial gives you a very professional sketchbook but I think I’ll stop a little short of that. In the final picture below, you can see the tape used in the tutorial. I probably don’t need to use this but I think I’ll leave it there and add it to the inside cover before I put the cover over the board. The tutorial uses end pages but I’m going to just have the cover and pages instead. I’m going to use some previous artwork to cover the end boards.
While I was searching through the YouTube tutorials on book making/binding, I found a quick tutorial on making a Mini Meander Accordion book by Sea Lemon. In this tutorial she used a 12×12 inch piece of paper – I thought it probably wouldn’t work with an uneven size but I was wrong. I used an A3 sheet of heavy paper, almost a light board, and it worked perfectly. I had many vertical folds and only three horizontal folds but, as long as you cut in the same direction and to the last section, it works. The tutorial actually puts a little cover on each end and I’ll do that with some of the leftover board from the sketchbook. I have some leftover strips of the watercolour pad that I might use for something as well, maybe a small normal concertina folded book.
Apart from the watercolour class, my acquisitions this week were for my Shawlography MKAL. As I mentioned in a previous blog, the yarn I had was only in 50 gm skeins and I needed 100 gm skeins so, instead of buying all new ones, I got a bit more of each and two new colours – the pinky purple and the teal. I got these from Yarntrader at Port Adelaide.
I finished another book this week – Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason. In the end, I found this a great book, though at times it was very depressing. Early on, I thought I might not continue with it but I also found it very compelling. I’m glad I persisted. At times it was very funny and the narrator did a fantastic job. It was narrated by Emilia Fox who acted in the Silent Witness series and also in The Pianist movie. I’ve now started reading Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. I read his A Gentleman in Moscow which I loved and I’ve heard this book is even better. On the screen, I’m still working my way through The Bureau. I’m now into Season 5 which is the last one available. I don’t know if it’s the last one ever or if they are making more and haven’t released yet. I hope there is more to come!
Tomorrow I’ll be catching up with some friends at the beach again to take advantage of our five person, fully vaccinated and outside freedom from lockdown. We’ll be having an impromptu art studio at the beach so I’m hoping the weather is good. Other than that, there are no plans aside from playing in my studio. I have some sewing and patchwork plans, with a few other bits and pieces scattered amongst that.
Thank you for spending some time with me today and hearing about my activities. Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!