Happy Easter! I hope everybody has the benefit of a few days off like we do. It’s often raining on the Easter long weekend but we’ve had glorious weather this year. This week was not very hectic for me as I didn’t have to go to Canberra. It was wonderful spending the week working locally and going home each night after work. Monday started with a catch-up breakfast with my girlfriends. We had to sit inside this time as it was quite cold! I got to wear my Sheona dress to work that day and it’s a great easy work outfit. It’s been a full moon for the last couple of nights and the days have had a huge sun shining brightly. We’re eking out the last warm days before we have to start rugging up. Yesterday, we went up to Wollongong see our son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter – you can see Evelyn enjoying her pureed apples while we were having a meal out at the local club before the boys went to the football.
I’ve been focusing on a few projects only this week. My Graphica sweater got a lot of love and I was able to knit on it last night and in the car on the way home today. It’s getting so big I’ve had to put it in my large Finch Bucket Tote. I only have three and a half rows left before the rib and that will go really quickly in comparison. I’m looking forward to getting onto the sleeves. I intend to use a nine-inch circular needle and work on one sleeve and one pattern at a time. I’ll do the first section on one sleeve, then do that on the other, and so on. I’m still thinking of a polo-type neck when it’s all done and I’m looking forward to giving it a good soak and block to even up those stitches, though it still looks quite good at this point.
Another project I’ve been focused on this week is my Ochre cardigan test for Ambah O’Brien. I worked on this on the drive to Wollongong yesterday and reached the lace section on the bottom of the body. I would have started that too except that I forgot that I need a smaller needle for the lace part. I’ll be starting on that today. This project needs to be done by 13th May so I’ll be spending a good amount of time on it each day until it’s done. I’m glad that the sleeves are just longer than elbow length!
My Sunday Sweater doesn’t look so much like a funnel now. I managed an hour of work on this most nights and the body has just grown. I only need to do another couple of inches and start the bottom rib. It’s funny how certain projects are connected to what you are watching. This one will remind me of the Tin Star series 1 – that was a good show. I also knit on this while watching the first episode of Game of Thrones – the round and round plain knitting doesn’t require any concentration at all!
Speaking of Game of Thrones, the first episode airing meant that I cast on for the You Win or You Die KAL. My original plan was to do the Poly Chevron cowl, which you can see at the top below, but I really didn’t like how it was working out. The yarn is Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in sport weight and is quite toothy. I was thinking of abandoning my plans altogether until I saw the pattern that one of the other KAL members was using. That was the Leftovers Cowl and I thought I’d give it a go. The yarn certainly lends itself to colourwork and it’s looking fantastic. I still have some catching up to do but I think I’ll continue on with this. As I mentioned above in the Sunday Sweater section, I knitted on that while I was watching as having something too complicated meant I wasn’t watching the show. Plain knitting was perfect and I was able to note down when each character appeared and that’s how I’m knitting the cowl. Each section uses two colours and I’m using the two colours of the characters as they appeared in each episode. As someone dies off, the colour is discontinued for each next episode. I have had to make some minor order adjustment. Below you can see that Arya and Daenerys were the first to appear (pink and yellow), then Jon Snow and The Hound but they are both a different very dark blue and the pattern would not be visible. So I moved Gendry before The Hound, and so on. The colourwork has small sections and large sections but I’m breaking up the larger sections so that they are only rows of 4 or 5, for the first few episodes at least. By the time I get to the last episode I will do the larger sections as per pattern as there will be fewer characters.
There’s been a little progress on my Blaise shawl. You can see the little alpaca progress marker showing where I left off last week and I’ve progressed into the greens. I’ve also started sewing in the ends as I go along. I don’t normally do that and hate getting to the end when there are so many ends to sew in. This time they’ll be done before I finish!
Finished Objects: This week I made a couple of matching accessories for the Pop cardigan that I finished last week. Namely, the Garter Ear Flap hat by Purl Soho and the Teeny-tiny Knit mitts by We Knit Together. The mitts may never get used but I couldn’t resist them. I have to revert the Pop Cardigan back to “incomplete” status as I need to add length to the sleeves and the body could benefit with a little more length. I made the 9 to 12 months size as Evelyn is 6 months old but it’s too short. The body fits as she is a skinny minny but I’d hate to be following this size for a baby who isn’t!
I haven’t had an opportunity to get to my sewing machine this week but I have a playdate planned tomorrow with my girlfriend. We’re going to sew the Sydney dress by Style Arc, both doing one each. You can see the pattern is ready to cut out and the fabrics have been washed. I don’t normally pre-wash my fabrics but this is a linen/cotton blend and I can imagine that it will shrink. Mary is using the green fabric and I have the brick red fabric. This project should be complete within the day so I’m hoping we can do a photo shoot of us both wearing our dresses.
Last Sunday, I finished off the final section of my self-striping, self-patterning sock yarn with a speckled natural section. You can see the final colour sections all together now. I’m hoping to wind up the yarn today into 2 x 50 gram balls ready for two at a time socks. I’m excited to see how this yarn will look knitted up! I may have to cast it on soon though there are plenty I need to get done first.
This week I purchased the Inari Tee dress by Named Clothing. I was hoping the Sheona dress was what I was looking for to recreate a purchased shift dress that I love but it’s not quite right. The Sheona turned out fabulously as a work dress but I think this pattern may be closer to what I was initially looking for.
I also found a fabric store in Australia that stocks the beautiful Art Gallery dress fabrics – Bebeloush Designs. I went looking because the Inari Tee that hooked me was made from some Art Gallery knit in the striped/floral shown below. There wasn’t any in stock in the knit fabric but I managed to get some in rayon. I have a few top patterns that will look great in this fabric. I purchased the blue floral (Sprayed Bloom) in the knit for the Inari Tee and the rayon in Feather Trail (a border fabric) will probably grow up to be a Seamwork Georgia Dress.
I have a free crafting week ahead of me and I’m so looking forward to it. I’m starting tomorrow (Monday) with my sewing playdate as I mentioned earlier. I’m also going to crack out the spinning wheel on Tuesday. I’m a bit hesitant at doing this as I have no idea whether the wheel is set up correctly. I have spun a little bit on it but someone in a facebook group that I belong to mentioned I need to adjust something as I have a double drive wheel. I have the original instructions/manual so I’ll have a look at it. I haven’t found any YouTube videos on setting up a Wee Peggy wheel but the Ashford site has the manual which is very old and very basic. I’m sure I can send them an email and ask questions if I need. I have been assured that the Wee Peggy is a good wheel to have. I’ve prepared myself by watching my Craftsy (now Bluprint) class Foundations of Spinning by Amy King – all that is left to do is to take the jump. You can see my very first bobbin still sitting where I left it over a year ago, I think.
The rest of the week will be filled with knitting, dyeing, stitching, sewing and whatever I can get my hands on. This Thursday we will commemorate ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) Day when we reflect on all Defence Force personnel, past and present, and the sacrifices they’ve made. The 25th April marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during WWI.
And I’ve found another new podcast – Desert Island Discs. I’ve only listened to one episode but I think the premise for this podcast is to interview famous people and ask them which songs they would have on a desert island. I’ve only listened to one interview, the one with Ricky Gervais of The Office. It was a discussion of his life and he was also asked other “desert island” questions at the end. It was a very entertaining interview and it has made me want to watch The Office, though I’ve resisted for so long. I watched a great series on SBS On Demand called Tin Star, starring Tim Roth – highly recommend it, and started watching Secret City on Netflix, which is set in Canberra and shows lots of familiar places. I don’t watch too many Australian shows as they don’t rate very well to those from the UK and US, predominantly. But this one seems to be quite well done. I haven’t started my new book – it’s a bit hard sometimes after finishing a good one.
Tonight I’ll be at a barbecue with some friends from Wollongong who are staying in nearby Hyams Beach. That will be a fun night and I now need to get my act together to make a chocolate cake to take along. So until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!