How wonderful is the renewing energy of Spring? The weather had warmed a little (one freaky day was 32 degrees Celcius) and the flowers are really blooming. And have a look at this awesome sunrise! We’re going to lose the early morning light next weekend with Daylight Saving starting so I’ll enjoy it until then. This week was quite uneventful, apart from one particular mishap when I ended up with two flat tyres and had to be towed to the tyre place. Lucky I had some knitting and crochet in the car as I managed to keep occupied while waiting. It wasn’t anything terribly dangerous and all is well, though I did miss a hair appointment. This weekend is our Labour Day holiday weekend so there’s one extra day for me to play!
Last Sunday I managed to dye up three more mini skeins. This time I went for a more variegated tonal look to add to my many speckled minis. I’m very happy with how these came out. I only have four more minis to dye and that’s a project for tomorrow.
I also dyed up a skein of fingering yarn in 50% merino, 25% superfine alpaca and 25% nylon as a gift for a friend’s birthday. I was going for autumn tones which I think I have achieved, though a bit darker than originally planned. I still think it’s nice and I’ve called it Deep Autumn. I think I’ll have to do better with names but I had to think quick. This has been gifted and has, I believe, been balled up ready to cast on. I’ll have to find out what the project is.
The last dye project was my yarn for my Elton Cardigan by Joji Locatelli. I wanted to use some beige Debbie Bliss Angel mohair/silk yarn I had so I thought that a couple of natural skeins of my 80% merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon would be suitable. I wanted to add some subtle speckle to have at least some interest, but when I put the two together I realised that the natural skeins were very cream against the beige mohair. I decided to dye the skeins very lightly with a watered down brown dye to get a beige colouring. This didn’t achieve the desired colour as the beige was quite different to that of the mohair so then I also added the mohair to the same colour, but I added them as balls not skeined. Long story short, the woollen skeins did not dye properly right through and I may have overspeckled, not a lot but more than I had intended, and I have no idea what the inside of the mohair balls are like. I decided to go ahead and knit up what I have because, if I really don’t like the knitted result, I can always dye the cardigan which will get a much more even result.
I’ve gained considerable ground with my Floozy cardigan this week. I’d separated for the sleeves and have now added just over three inches on the body. The pattern doesn’t call for waist shaping by Libby Jonson indicated, in her Floozy podcast, that it can easily be added. I’m doing the shorter version of the Floozy which is 12 inches so I decided to decrease 2 stitches at each side at 3 and 4 inches, then increase 2 stitches at each side at 6 and 7 inches. It’s very easy maths. I’m also alternating skeins.
My Lush cardigan is now completely finished with buttons and ends sewn in! I’m excited to wear this one now and will probably do so today.
Last week’s blog included the finished and blocking Twinkle Twinkle Blanket. After taking that picture I noticed that there had been a change while the blanket was drying. It appears that one ball of bright white Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino suddenly became a cream instead. Here are the before and after pics. It’s not too clear but there’s a cream section one ball away from the pink border in the right pic. It’s a subtle difference and not too noticeable when not laid out flat like that, but was a big disappointment at the time.
New Cast On: I love cardigans and I did get to start my Elton cardigan for the Joji Locatelli Fall KAL. Here is how it looks so far using the yarn I dyed and explained in dyeing section above. I’ve only started the back section and knitted a repeat in each mohair/silk and merino/cashmere/nylon. As I mentioned earlier, I’m not particularly sold on the colour and will be able to dye the cardigan very easily when it’s finished. I’m already auditioning colours in my mind as I knit it.
Other knits I managed this week: 1. I did finally pick up my Cerisara and continue with one sleeve. I’m still getting used to using the 12″needles. 2. My self-striping socks have progressed and I managed to pass the afterthought heel section. I added the waste yarn, you can just see the red line near the needles? I prefer to do it that way rather than actually cutting into the knitting itself. That way there are no loose ends to deal with, and the afterthought heel is a good choice with self-striping socks as it keeps the striping pattern continuing evenly. So now I’m going up the legs. I was knitting on these at the hairdresser yesterday.
3. I don’t think I’ve mentioned the Round Yoke cardigan I’ve been knitting for my new granddaughter. I had knitted the body several weeks ago and came to an impasse when the pattern called for sewn-in sleeves. I really hate sewing knitwear. I’ve solved that problem with another pattern by Oge Knitwear Designs with a similar number of stitches and a yoke knitted in the round with the sleeves. I’ve cast on one sleeve and will now cast on the other to knit two at a time. 4. I also made some progress on my Strange Brew cowl. It’s looking so good and I’m really glad there are only three rows using three colours. I’m managing two colours quite easily. The photo shows the little yarn divider ring I’m using when there are more than 2 yarns.
I have finally finished my Mandala Market/Beach Tote that I made out of Moda Vera Bamboo Cotton (70%/30%). I started this way back just after Christmas last year and, like many projects, it languished for a while. I used yarn that is considerably thicker than the pattern suggested so I did the small size and modified a little. It turned out larger than intended but will still be good, maybe for the beach? The inspiration to get this complete came from the realisation that I could add this into Selma Knits’ Summer Fibres KAL. It’s more of a MAL as you are allowed to Knit, Crochet or Weave a project that contains at least 45% of plant-based fibre. I had already entered a little cotton dress that I made for my soon-to-arrive granddaughter. The bag only required handles, and the first was half done so it didn’t take much to get complete, though it was competing with other things I really wanted to do instead.
Another crochet project that’s on the go is the Alicia Doily rug for my new granddaughter. I’ve not yet reached the second colour but should get there today.
There’s not a lot of progress to report on the Little Finch Buckets. The cutting out seems to take so much time and there are many of them. Yesterday I finally completed cutting the stabiliser and fusing it to the correct pieces. It took a lot of stabiliser and I ran out of what I was using. I managed to scrounge up some suitable stuff from deep stabiliser stash. At least they are all now complete and ready for mass production. Another job for tomorrow.
I finally had a couple of patterns printed in A0 size – what a fantastic option. I don’t think I’ll be taping together copious amounts of A4 sheets again unless there’s no other choice. Cutting out a dressmaking pattern is also time-consuming. Yesterday, I cut out the Kate Top pattern by Tessuti Fabrics. I had purchased a remnant of a light chambray with a broderie border. It only cost me $5.00 so I thought it would be a perfect muslin but I didn’t factor in the border making the first one much more complicated. The front of the pattern does not have a straight hemline and proved quite fiddly to work out where it would line up with the back. I think I managed it and we’ll see how the front hem looks with the border. Worse comes to worst, I’ll probably just straighten the front hem. Another job for tomorrow – they seem to be piling up!
Round the Garden appears to be a weekend project as it seems that’s the only time I get to it. I’ve now stitched several pieces for this latest quadrant and have most of the pieces cut out, including a cute rooster; I just need to complete a few flowers. When all the pieces are stitched on, I’ll embroider some leaves coming from the branch.
I got some more happy mail this week! A girlfriend and I ordered some of the new Sockmatician Moody Hues yarn. It’s made out of recycled natural fibre yarn with possum and is a fingering (4 ply) weight. When I picked up the parcel, I was a little disappointed because the shape did not indicate there was yarn inside but I finally realised that the yarn had been vacuum sealed. See how flat it was?
Today I’m off for a visit with my son and his wife, catching up at “birth minus two weeks”. Well, according to due date anyway. My daughter will be coming down from Sydney to Wollongong also so we’ll be meeting halfway. That’s very convenient, and I may need to call into my LYS (or as local as yarn shops get around here) on the way home. We’ll see what that visit brings. It’s getting a little exciting around here, with the baby due in 2 weeks and my daughter’s wedding in 5 weeks!
It’s time to get my act together and head off now. I hope you’ve enjoyed all the information on my week of crafting and otherwise and I also hope you have had a wonderful week and weekend. Until next week, may you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!