Welcome to June! This year is flying by. Here in Australia, we declare winter on the 1st of June and the temperature is certainly agreeing with that. I had my first morning with ice on the windscreen, which is very frustrating when you’re not prepared. There was hairdresser knitting on the Smocked dress (only bind off) and I got to see the beautiful view of the Shoalhaven river from Nowra Showground, which I haven’t seen for a long time. The river is the prettiest part of Nowra, by far. We also had an amazing sunset which made all the clouds in the east turn bright orange.
Finished object 1: Finally, I can announce that the Graphica sweater is finished! I was going to extend the neck and started doing so. I realised after a few rows that knitting stitches that are knit in the opposite direction do not line up exactly. You can see that in the photo below. So I ripped back those new rows and bound off as per the pattern. I have sewn in all the body ends but now have the same amount on each sleeve. See the picture showing the ends and the floats. Once done, this will go for a good soak.
Finished object 2: The Sunday sweater! I thought the sleeves would never end but got there last night. This morning I even stitched down the neck but I haven’t sewn in the ends. I’m not sure this one needs blocking but most do benefit. I’ll give it a try. The picture shows the texture as quite lumpy though in real life it’s very smooth.
Finished object 3: The Smocked dress was a quick knit. I knitted it in undyed yarn as I didn’t have any DK in a colour that I wanted for Evie. I made a couple of modifications – firstly I added increases for the bottom section, 4 stitches per round for 5 rounds, spaced about 10 rounds apart shown by the safety pins in the pic below. The second modification is that I did a frilled bottom instead of plain ribbing. I was concerned that the dress may be a bit small as I used 4mm needles instead of 4.5mm but it was a size one pattern and we have a few months to go before Evie is one. Fits beautifully!
My Bell sleeved top has now come out of hibernation as I thought it would be good train knitting for my trip today. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do much. I wanted to do the sleeves two at a time but forgot I needed 2 spare needles to set that up and I only packed one. So instead I started knitting the one sleeve, using the helical method. All was going well but I really want to try it on to make sure the sleeves don’t need decreasing. I suspect that they may – I will try it on so that I can keep going. The body hem seems to roll a lot so I hope that blocks flat.
I have finally turned the corner on my Blaise shawl, now heading down the decrease side. That means that the rows will only be getting shorter with each repeat. I’ve progressed into the lighter teals then towards the blues. Apologies for how crumpled the project is – I think I need to move it into a larger project bag.
Episode 5 of my You Win or You Die (Game of Thrones Leftovers cowl) KAL is complete. I should have the 6th and final episode done this week but I intend to do the largest colourwork patterns for the remaining characters. Up to now, I’ve been splitting most large colourwork sections into two. In the photo below, you can see the split pattern with the orange and pale orange, then the other half in the green and purple. There are several dead characters in that section.
Last week I hadn’t posted a picture of my second Sheona dress. This is such an easy project and so versatile. I mentioned in a previous post that I modified the neckline by adding a facing instead of a t-shirt type neckline. It worked perfectly. I’ll definitely make more of this pattern. There was no time for sewing this weekend but I’m hoping to have lots of time next weekend. There’s really not a lot to see in this pic as it’s just a plain black dress.
In Kangaroo Valley last weekend, we managed one more dye session. My friend’s daughter is obsessed with all things watermelon and wondered if we could dye yarn like a watermelon. I think we managed to get just the right look. As the yarn was already soaking when the decision was made, we went for an abstract watermelon look as, to get a real portrayal, we’d need to have wound off sections. It wasn’t hard mixing the right red, and the green is straight from the Emerald Jacquard bottle. There are even the black seeds, and the fade from the green to the white and the red to the white is just like a real cross-section of watermelon.
The only other dyeing I did was the Smocked dress on Friday. It took a few light layers to get the colour right. I would have been happy if it was lighter but the smocking and frill took several goes to take up the dye properly.
The weather changed last Monday and I was able to wear some of my knitted items, not that I took too many photos. I started on Monday with my Zweig and when I got home I needed more warmth so put on my Weekender with my Strange Brew alpaca cowl. The cowl didn’t last too long as I found it was a little scratchy on my neck. I don’t have any problem with the mohair in my Adventurer cowl so I was very surprised at the feel of the alpaca. Tuesday I wore my Lush cardigan and Adventurer cowl. On Wednesday, I wore my new black Sheona and the Nightshift cowl. I only managed a photo of the cowl but there is a flat lay of what I was wearing. Thursday, my only me-made was the Baubles shawl. On Friday, I wore my original Sheona dress and on Saturday I put my Zweig on again. That is such a light, easy sweater to wear.
During the week, I was able to get in touch with the Spinners and Weavers Guild of Nowra who meet every Saturday. That suits me well at the moment and I really needed some help to get comfortable with my wheel. So I attended their session yesterday – I met some lovely ladies there and Janet was able to give me some help as she has a Wee Peggy wheel also. I still need lots of practice but it was good to be able to get comfortable with my wheel which was what has held me back until now. Shown below is some nicely overspun merino. I really want to participate with the Spin and Make Along (SMAL) so I need to get some serious practice on the wheel. The SMAL is being co-hosted by Grace of Babbles Travelling Yarn podcast and Mina from the Knitting Expat podcast.
Stash Dash 2019
Last week, I had my first entry to Stash Dash 2019 with 646.1 metres. This week, I have three more finished projects. Graphica = 1,227.4 m, Sunday Sweater = 825.8 m and Smocked = 303.7 m. That now gives me a total of 3,003 metres!
I have little to add for this segment this week, though I did partake of the Knitpicks 20% off sale and ordered several balls of Swish DK yarn. I know that I’ll be knitting several bits and pieces for Evie so stocked up in preparation. I have a few plans already; one approved project is the Preparer son Arrivee pattern (it’s French which translates to preparing for her arrival) by Kasia Lubinska. For that, I took the quicker route and ordered some Bendigo Ready for Winter yarn, in the colour Tide (I think). They are 200gm balls of a blend of mostly wool, alpaca and bamboo. At $10 a ball, that’s quite a saving. I also purchased the McCalls M6953 pattern that I’d been introduced to via Instagram. This has three hemlines – straight, scoop front and longer front, in both long and short styles. It’s definitely my style though I think I’ll wait for warmer weather and the right fabric. I also purchased small remnant of blush pink suede scuba. I’ve only recently heard of this fabric, mentioned in some of the podcasts I’ve been watching. I’m hoping it will make a nice short (above the knee) skirt for wearing with boots.
I don’t think I mentioned in my last podcast that I’d started watching After Life with Ricky Gervais. He is a very funny actor and can be very confronting but I’m drawn to his humour. This mini-series is very funny and very sad, and also very heartwarming. Warning – there is a considerable amount of swearing. The other show I started watching this week is Chernobyl. It’s a very new historic mini-series that’s currently running on Foxtel and I have to wait a few days before I can watch the next episode! It’s supposed to portray the real story of what happened there in 1986 and I can see how it could be very true. It’s very tragic and the many, many lives that were lost also included very brave people trying to save millions of lives by preventing further disaster after the initial meltdown. Very compelling, and Jared Harris is one of my favourite actors since he starred in Mad Men.
Today I finished my book The Other Daughter by Lisa Gardner while I was on the train to Wollongong and then back. I thoroughly enjoyed it though I think the narration was a bit off-putting. As the story was quite compelling I didn’t find that it stopped me from listening. I’ll now have to decide which one will be next. I’m very behind in audio podcasts and have culled a few new ones that I think I can live without. The Ologies podcast I’m currently enjoying is about Mycology (mushrooms). It is certainly very interesting!
As usual, I’ve had more to talk about than I originally thought so I’d better stop rambling. Apologies for how late I’m posting but I did have an enjoyable time with my son, Steven, daughter-in-law, Kim and beautiful Evelyn. So, until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!