This week, I had the opportunity to sail in a Navy ship from HMAS Creswell, on the south coast near me, to Sydney. It was an overnight trip and a wonderful opportunity! We boarded via landing craft and were entertained with lots of activities including a man overboard rescue. Poor Oscar the dummy ended up in the drink! We were also taken for a spin around the ship on a cargo landing craft. You can see from the photos that I managed to get some knitting done, al fresco with hair going everywhere, and also laying in my bunk which was little more than a shelf. I must say the food was pretty good considering they were catering for at least a couple of hundred people. And did I mention the stairs? My butt is still sore!
Finished object #1: My Spindrift shawl is complete! I was knitting this on the ship and managed to get it done the next evening. I wanted to finish this before my Twinkle Twinkle Blanket so that I could work out how to picot, before I tried in the round. I think it came out really nicely, starting from the sock blank I made with names of all my friends at our Gerroa retreat and ending up as a lovely light shawl. I wanted to use all the yarn so that none of the names missed being used, and I weighed as I finished the last few repeats. I still ended up with some leftover and I crocheted the top edge with a couple of rows of single crochet. I used my new blocking wires for this one. This is a very simple shawl that is available free from Helen Stewart (Curious Handmade). I added a few more rows before starting the lace border as that was the 50% point and I hadn’t reached halfway on my sock blank. The blank is a 2 strand yarn blank so halfway was when I finished one strand of yarn. That meant that I wasn’t exactly sure when I’d get to the end, hence the weighing to make sure I wasn’t stuck mid pattern.
Finished Object #2: Another project from Curious Handmade’s collection is my now complete Twinkle Twinkle Blanket. I really love how this has turned out and it was a pleasure to knit with the Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. Following on from my Sprindrift, I weighed the yarn as I was finishing the lace repeats. I thought there would be sufficient yarn and ended up losing at yarn chicken, by almost nothing! The blanket went into time out till I decided how to proceed. I could either remove the last purl row and picot straight on the lace row or, the better option, use a size smaller needle and just redo the picot. The first picot edge was quite loose and frilled out a bit so, using 3.7mm instead of 4.0mm needles, I redid the picot and made sure my gauge was tighter. The worst part was tinking back on the picot edge but it worked with just over a metre of yarn left. The 0.25mm difference was all that was needed, so it’s not actually a full needle size smaller as most others are a 0.5mm difference. I got to use my blocking wires for this one which makes blocking much more even. It is drying outside right now. I also modified this project by adding more rows. I only had 5 balls of the white and knew I’d need a bit more and, as it’s now discontinued, I found this lovely dusky pink. I continued the repeats for the main section until I’d run out of white and started on the pink, again weighing for the lace repeats.
So, now that I have two projects off the needles, that means I can cast on three, right? At least one celebratory cast on?
My Floozy cardigan from Truly Myrtle now has all the colourwork complete, shown in the picture below. I’ve since divided for the sleeves and have started working the stocking stitch body and I’m alternating balls so that there’s no distinct difference when changing to a new ball. I dyed this yarn myself and I’m not 100% sure these are all exactly the same. I’ll have to try it on today. Fingers crossed.
The only other knitting I managed this week is on my fraternal two at once socks. I worked on these on my train trip home from Sydney after my overnight at sea. I managed a few colour changes and decided I’d work on one colour change per night. That didn’t happen as the nights after were spent with the single goal of finishing the shawl and baby blanket. I should be able to manage a colour change tonight. I’m not using a pattern for this just doing 60 stitches and will add an afterthought heel so that I maintain the striping pattern.
Future knitting: I mentioned last week that I’m thinking of participating in Stephen West‘s latest MKAL, called Texture Time, so I went stash diving. I found these lovelies just waiting to be used and they seemed to fit the bill for what’s required. The pattern calls for 4 skeins of fingering yarn and 2 balls of lace mohair/silk, and there are only three fingering yarns shown in the picture. There was nothing else in stash that seemed to go with these so I’m waiting till the MKAL starts and I’ll make a decision on my other colourway. I think I’ll dye something to fit when I feel I have some clarity on what I should include. The Debbie Bliss Angel is 76% mohair, 24% silk, colourway 15005. There are two Alegria yarns I purchased at Morris & Sons in Sydney last year; they are both 75% wool, 25% polyamide, colourways Malvin and Butia. The final skein is from Skein yarn (an Australian indie dyer) that I’d purchased at a closing sale somewhere in Sydney last year, in 85% superwash merino, 15% nylon, colourway is Vita. The MKAL starts on the 5th October, so there’s a little time till cast on.
In one of my recent posts, I mentioned Joji Locatelli‘s Fall KAL. I had finished the BA Cool hat and commented that I would have liked to do her Elton cardigan for the KAL but the design had not yet been released. Well, during the week she released the pattern and put out a separate registration so that it could be included as part of the KAL. I had just bought the pattern when I saw the new registration and immediately signed up. So, I think that will be my celebratory cast on – I just need to get the yarn. This pattern calls for fingering yarn and lace mohair/silk. I have plenty of the mohair/silk that I’m using in the Stephen West KAL (above) so I’ll use that and dye some yarn to match. It will be a very neutral cardigan which I think will go with so much.
No pictures for this category but my plan for today and this week is to do some crochet. I have a crochet bag WIP that is 98% complete and my goal is to finish it by next weekend. I also have two crochet cast ons planned for today. One is a rug for my granddaughter (due in 3 weeks!) and the other is a little dress for a sweet little girl. That one will be a crochet and sewing combo. Stay tuned for next week’s reveals.
My Little Finch Buckets have not progressed much since I cut out most pieces the week before last. As I was away all last weekend, I was unable to use my sewing machine and I only seemed to manage time on it on weekends. I have 8 bags cut out. Yesterday I finished cutting the pieces, doing the last of a few pockets, casings and bottoms. There are 8 bags cut out and now ready to go. The picture shows two piles, the one on the right is ready to go and the one on the left needs to have some lining pieces joined. That will be the job for today. Because I used some fat quarters from the US, I was not able to cut 2 whole lining pieces due to the fat quarters being based on yards, not metres. I decided that one seam in the lining would not be an issue as they are not for sale. Once the linings are sewn I intend to put these together in mass production style, doing the same step for each at the same time.
Each week I work out what I want to achieve and do a plan. I always have more than I can achieve but that gives me scope to make the decision on what to do when I get to it. And then there are the things that are not on the plan. I ended up with one of those this weekend. I was looking for some fabric and came across some lovely flannel fabrics that I’d purchased as remnants from Spotlight. They were almost the same size so I squared them up and joined them as an extra blanket that can be used for the new baby. It will be something that can be tossed into the machine. Once I turned the blanket right side out I just topstitched the edges and quilted in semi-straight lines along the arrow pattern, on every third one. I only went in one direction and that was enough to join the two sides.
Does anyone know the collective noun for bandana bibs? I thought maybe a “bevvy” or a “bundle” or even a “bunch”? Anyhow, that’s what I have. I had cut these out a few weeks ago and finally sewed them yesterday. They only need to have their press studs hammered on. This was a free pattern I found on Project Nursery + Junior.
On the plan for this week was to cut out a top and I hadn’t decided on which one. When I did decide, I put together the pattern for the Akita top pattern by Seamwork. I had printed the A4 versions as I didn’t want to make the effort to drive into town to have it printed on A0. Once I’d stuck all the pieces together, I decided (like last time) that next time I will have them printed on A0! It takes FOR.EVER and then it’s never quite lined up absolutely perfectly. I had reached the point where I could cut out and discovered I didn’t have fabric quite long enough for this pattern as it’s done in one piece, which is fantastic. I didn’t have time to put together another pattern so that’s on the list for next week, along with printing it on A0 first. And I’ll see if I can find some nice fabric for this very long single piece. We only have a Spotlight store nearby and they have very limited fabrics. On my list for my next visit to Sydney are some nice fabric stores. That won’t be for a little while but I do have some fabrics I can, and should, use in the meantime.
The next quadrant on my Round the Garden quilt by Wendy Williams is underway. For this section, I’ve mashed together bits from the two quadrants on the right-hand side of the actual pattern that I didn’t use, with the bits from this quadrant, making the branch a bit smaller. I still have lots to add yet, and there will be embroidery on this part as well. I’m finding this linen to be very unstable and so wrinkly. I think it will be fine once it’s stabilised onto a backing and quilted. I think I’ll need to use a hoop for the embroidery part.
I received some happy mail this week! I had been coveting the Turtlepurl self-striping yarns so I decided to go for it. It took several weeks to arrive from Canada but, have a look, they are gorgeous! There are two 50gm skeins and a 20gm mini for toes, cuffs and heels 75% superwash merino and 25% nylon and the colourway is Trenchcoat. I tend to do lots of coveting and, for some time, I’d also been looking at Hunter Hammerson’s beautiful book called Silk Road Socks. The book contains 16 gorgeous sock patterns inspired by Oriental rugs. I haven’t chosen which pair I’ll do first yet – that’s going to be a very hard decision!
There is no dyeing to report on for this week but I’m ready to go for today. I have 3 mini skeins soaking and no idea which way I’ll go with those yet. There’s also a skein for my Joji Elton Cardigan (above) and a skein that will be a birthday gift. I have some ideas for some space dyeing for the gift and the skein for Elton will be very basic. I’ll be dying it to match the mohair that I’m using and I’ll add a few subtle speckles, probably in some brown tones.
Considering I thought this week’s post would have very little content, I think it’s probably the biggest one yet! There are lots of things still on my to-do list for today so I’d better get cracking. I hope you have had a wonderful weekend and, until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!