Welcome back if you have visited my previous post or welcome if you have just found my blog!
I’m bubbling with excitement as today I will be heading off to my annual retreat at Gerroa, south coast of NSW. I will be there with 15 of my closest crafting friends from today (Sunday) until Friday morning. I am so excited to have this time off work to spend on my creative obsessions. I’m packed and about to jump in the car to head off for the pre-retreat shopping crawl to get all those last minute bits and pieces that were only discovered when packing. This was my pile before loading the car!
I’ve worked out what I think is a fantastic plan for the week – machine sewing in the morning, hand sewing in the afternoons and knitting/crochet in the evenings. What could go wrong? As we move down the blog, I’ll go into detail about what I have packed to work on.
You may know from my last blog that I’m expecting a granddaughter in October – well, my daughter-in-law is actually doing the expecting! That has spurred my quilting activity. One of my projects is the wonderful Wendy Williams’ (Flying Fish Kits) Round the Garden quilt. I have started many of Wendy’s quilts and, I think, only completely finished one, though several are very close. The finished one is the Two’s Company quilt shown below. I absolutely loved making that! The quilt was a gift for my great-niece a few years ago. This is the only picture I can find of it.
My Round the Garden is shown below. I have taken some liberty with this as I wanted some of the Two’s Company flavour included. I have changed the right side of the quilt to have the Two’s Company animals and birds in the top right quadrant and the sea life in the bottom right quadrant. The picture shows the animals and sea creatures pinned to the quilt. I still need to add some sea creatures, seaweed and bubbles. This will be my afternoon stitching during this retreat.
Here is a collage of some of Wendy’s quilts that I’ve been working on. a. The bright red one is Overgrown. I only have one and a bit rows to finish stitching. I did most of the stitching on this one on a cruise around America, from Miami to Alaska, via the Panama Canal. b. The Christmas Tree one is almost quilted; I just need to quilt around the border stars. The reason I haven’t is that I’ve been thinking about how to do it. I’ve been getting lots of inspiration on Instagram so I don’t think this will stay as a UFO much longer – finished for Christmas, is the plan. c. The Birdsville quilt is really close to being finished also. d. Flocks by Night needs the border – this was the project I did on a recent Craft Cruise with Wendy Williams. There are more, somewhere!
This next one is complete but is a condensed version of My Place or Yours. This was a gift for a lovely little girl who is not related by blood but is considered family. As this was a kit I still have the rest of the quilt bits that I can make into another one or something else. I can only find this photo that doesn’t have the finished binding on it.
So, that was the overview of my Wendy Williams obsession! Though the Round the Garden quilt may be a major project for my granddaughter, she will still need some everyday quilts. I am planning on doing a half-square triangle machine stitched quilt with these beautiful colours.
As a precaution, I’ve also packed another baby quilt WIP in case I run out of sewing. I say that tongue-in-cheek but it’s often the case that something stops you from what you had planned to do and it’s good to have something else.
As my day job requires me to be away from my sewing machine, nothing further has progressed on my two current sewing projects. They have both been packed for my retreat. I may have also packed another project that has been waiting.
Style Arc had a 25% off sale on their patterns so I may have taken advantage of that. Who am I kidding? I did take advantage of that and here they are. Two of them will make great work tops and the other two will be great for casual wear. If I see some fabric that catches my eye I’ll be able to grab it with a project in mind.
I did not make a great deal of noticeable progress on the WIPS I showed you last week. I have been working on all of them but I’m only posting these as you can see the progress clearly. I’ll have to get an extra long cable for the blanket, or maybe 2!
There were a couple of projects that missed the cut last week, only because I hadn’t specifically worked on them during that week. They are part of the rolling schedule I have with my projects.
This one is called Cerisara by Bonne Marie Burns. I chose this one after some deliberation – it’s for my mother. She unearthed some cotton/linen yarns recently and asked if I could make her a vest as she was not likely to use it. Of course, was the answer! I definitely need more projects. Anyway, I’ve finished the hem and there’s plenty of yarn left. She is happy for me to add sleeves to a length that I can achieve. It will be a light cardi, so short, ¾ or full sleeves would be fine, depending on how much yarn is left. The pattern is for either a cardigan or vest so I won’t have to make up the sleeves as I go along. The yarn is vintage Patons Focus on Linen which is 69% cotton, 17% acrylic and 14% linen.
I always like to have some socks on the go and these have travelled with me to many places lately but have not been pulled out very much. I only have about 3 repeats of the pattern before I can start the toe so I really want to get there. The pattern for these is the Beachgrass Socks by Joji Locatelli. The yarn for these is from my hand-dyed sock blank. I was aiming for a speckled sock blank and certainly managed to get that but I’ve realised that sock blanks need to have some large bits of colour instead. When I was close to the heel, I thought that a contrasting heel and toe would look great on these so my dilemma was what to use. I went for the chestnut colour that’s also in the blank and wound off 20 grams of an undyed blank – that way the yarn would match. I can’t wait to get to the toe to do the contrast and that will also mean that an hour would finish it off. These are my first cuff-down socks as I’ve preferred the toe up variety. That way you have the foot done and the leg part can go as long as you want or until you run out of yarn. For this one, I will need to Kitchener the toe ends together. I’ve done that on bigger projects but I don’t think it will be any more difficult on these. I’ve used 2.25mm needles on these and I think I prefer those to the 2.5mm ones that I had been using previously. These are my third pair of socks, so I can’t profess to be an expert though I have tried a couple of different heels.
The saying around my place is to not sit in one spot for too long or you may get dyed! I absolutely love dyeing though I’ve slowed down lately because I don’t know what to with an overabundance of dyed yarn. I think I would like to sell some but that may be something in the future.
So, yesterday I decided that dyeing some minis would help quench my craving. This is what I ended up with.
I also managed some non-random, project-specific dyeing. I’ve wanted to make Andrea Mowry’s Baubles and had purchased some Fyberspates Vivacious 4 ply in the Dove Stone colourway at a recent visit to Skein Sisters. I wasn’t completely happy with it as I would have liked some coloured speckles. Then last week I had a brainwave; to speckle it myself – derr. I also needed one more colour and I’m a sucker for a good teal, which was also one of the colours that Andrea had used. I had just received some more 4 ply yarn so jumped in with that as well. I did a veil dye so there are some high and low lights within the colour and it seems perfect for what I wanted. That yarn is a Knitpicks Capretta which is 80% fine merino, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon (aka MCN). Once dyed, I thought I’d made a mistake and used some DK weight as it seems quite plump. My third colour is a previously dyed Knitpicks Gloss Fingering – 70% merino and 30% silk. I think the three will go well together. It’s packed for the retreat, so maybe it will be cast on. See how plump the teal is? It will probably give good texture.
Well, it seems I’ve nattered on more than I had intended and it’s time to hit the road. I’ll have lots of activity to post next week so, until then, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!