Hello friends! Another week has gone by in what seems to be a flash, though I’m sure it felt that it took much longer as it was happening. The week started with a public holiday Monday which was very much appreciated. It was also catch-up breakfast Monday and a beautiful day. Even Canberra was mild this week and I didn’t have to remove any ice, though I was only there for one night this time. On Friday night, we went out to celebrate a friend’s retirement and belated 60th birthday. I don’t have any pics from that night as I had unfortunately left home without my phone which was charging. I finished the week with a morning beach run yesterday (they happen so infrequently these days!) and we are expecting a lot of rain today.
On Wednesday night in Canberra, I met a good friend for dinner and we had our first Teppanyaki experiences. It was great catching up over a fun dinner. Those eggs were thrown at us, which we caught in bowls, then the omelette pieces came flying into (or close to) our mouths. We also caught flying bowls of fried rice into our bowls and didn’t wear any!
There’s been lots happening in the knitting area this week. Let’s start with My Boy Lollipop. It’s such a quick knit but it’s way off gauge so I will probably be frogging and starting again. I didn’t swatch (bad girl!) but it seemed so unnecessary. To knit this, you pick a size 2 inches smaller than your bust size. The pattern comes in increments of 2 inches so I chose 3 inches smaller; 37 being an uneven number I went for 34 inches. That’s why I thought I was safe but, after trying it on, it seems I’ve ended up with positive ease rather than negative ease. The gauge indicated is 20 stitches over 4 inches and mine is 21.5 with an unwashed swatch. I will start again, with 4.0mm needles instead of the 4.5mm needles I’m using. Unfortunately, I’d already done the sleeve bands as I wanted to be able to knit until I needed without worrying that I had enough left to do them.
Finished object: (Spoiler alert) The You Win or You Die (Game of Thrones) Leftovers Cowl KAL is complete! I finished episode 6 and then did a 3-needle bind-off to join the beginning to the end. Laying flat doubled it measures 43 inches (109cm) so would be a total length of 83 inches (2.18m). I’m not sure how it will go as a cowl but the process was worth the effort. As you can see, I did episode 6 with full colourwork patterns for each of the remaining characters, with the yellow stripe for Danaerys’s death and the larger maroon stripe for Gilly, who was still alive but did not appear in the final show – she ended up being an uneven number so I had no other character to pair her with.
The baby Strange Brew is coming along nicely and also a very quick knit, considering I had about 10 rounds done last blog. The colourwork section flew and I only have about 4 inches to go before I start the sleeves. The size options for this were 6-12 months or 1-2 years so I opted for the latter. Even if it’s not worn until next year, I think it will get more wear being the larger size. Evie is now 8 months old, and maybe it’s on the smaller side and can be worn straight away. I didn’t swatch for this either knowing that she would grow into it if it’s too big and if it ends up smaller it can be worn now.
The yarn for the Preparer son Arrivee arrived early this week and I’m well underway. Before I started, I was concerned at how confusing the pattern was but it’s actually easy when you work out what it is trying to say. It’s one of those “do this while doing this and while doing this” type patterns. I have to keep track of rows for the raglan increases, the pattern of the cable and bobbles and also the buttonholes. All will different numbers! I actually had forgotten totally about the second buttonhole but remembered before I reached the third so I was able to drop those two stitches down 6 rows and add the buttonhole. The yarn is lovely – a blend of merino, alpaca and bamboo, and it comes in 200gm balls, which are almost the size of Evie’s head. I ordered 5 but I know I’ll finish this cardigan with leftovers on the first ball. I hope the yarn performs well as it appears that the Swish yarn I used on the previous cardigan is pilling quite considerably.
The Lanesplitter skirt (No.2) has grown a little bit though I only worked on it briefly at the beginning of this week.
The Bell Sleeved top is coming along nicely though it’s highly unlikely I’ll be wearing it next weekend. I have done the purl ridge and increase row, now working down the final 5.5 inches of the sleeves. You can see lots of strands of yarn because I’m working the sleeves with helical knitting, two-at-a-time with three balls, meaning that one of the balls is attached to both sleeves. I don’t think this will be travel knitting as keeping the yarn under control is challenging enough while sitting at home.
Yesterday, I unravelled the ends of the sleeves on my Sunday Sweater and removed the last increase repeat, about 5 cms. You can see the shorter sleeves on the top, the bottom picture showing the original finish. It looks much better, even if I haven’t yet tried it on. The sleeve bind-off edge was hard to rip back but it was smooth sailing once that round was gone. I was concerned that the yarn may stick together more than it did.
It took a good couple of hours on Friday afternoon but I finally got all the ends sewn in on the Graphica sweater. I then gave her a decent soak (overnight) and laid her out to block. She’s now dry and ready to wear!
Last Sunday and Monday I worked on the Mabel skirt that I’d cut out. I actually used the overlocker which is working well. It started a bit awkwardly as I kept breaking a thread until I realised that it was twisted on the very top guide. I used a beige light knit for the waistband interfacing as I needed something light there and learned about trimming the interfacing so that it gives a waistband shell which rolls slightly to the inside so that you are sure that the interfacing will not be seen. I only needed to use my normal machine for some bits and had so much trouble with skipping stitches that I gave up on the skirt until yesterday. I do need to use the overlocker more to get used to how it should work. I also need to ensure my notch clipping is smaller. The overlocker seam didn’t reach beyond the notch, which you can see in the bottom left picture. I wanted to use the normal machine to widen the seam but it just didn’t work. I tried several different needles because the ballpoints weren’t performing but didn’t get any to work properly. I even tried my old sewing machine which gave me a better result – the two bottom pics show on the left several large skipped stitches and on the right only one large skipped stitch. I think that one was with a normal needle, not ballpoint. I persisted because I didn’t want to go over the seam with the overlocker as it would end up with a lot of stitching. I may have to just unpick those two sections and redo them. I think the problem is that the fabric is quite thick, though my Blackwood Cardigan fabric was at least as thick and I had no issues.
The only other sewing related task this weekend was to grade a baby romper pattern up one size. I wanted to purchase some tracing paper on Friday but Spotlight only had the McCall’s Traise and Toile which was probably an even better choice. The Simplicity baby pattern only indicates length measurements and not sizes. I think I’ll need a longer length. In retrospect, I may have only needed to lengthen the pattern but I can always take it in if necessary. I may cut out the pattern today.
This week’s happy mail was some fabric that was on special at Tessuti. I got some designer white/gold 50% cotton embroidery 50% nylon organza – a 1.8m piece for $13.05 and a natural/black piano striped 92% Viscose 8% Spandex jersey knit – 1 metre for $11.00. Even with the $10 postage, this is quite a bargain, particularly the organza. I also bought some snap ribbon fastener tape from eBay for the baby romper. Other than that, I was able to have my patterns printed and am now ready to make the Suzy dress, the Adrienne blouse and the Winslow culottes. I just need more time at my sewing machine!
My digital entertainment this week consisted of only one episode of the Handmaid’s Tale – after three being released last week, I was a bit disappointed to only have one. Also, I’m enjoying my current book – The Retreat by Mark Edwards, and finished the latest season of Designated Survivor on Netflix. Though it could never live up to The West Wing, I find that Designated Survivor has the same flavour and I’m enjoying it.
Next week, three girlfriends and I are off for an adventure. We’re staying a couple of nights at Shelley Beach, on the Central Coast north of Sydney, and attending the Quilt Show in Sydney on the Friday and then the Fiberex event at the Newcastle Uni Campus at Ourimbah on the Saturday. We are looking forward to catching up after a considerable hiatus and also the events. At Fiberex we are booked into morning and afternoon classes. All four of us are doing the “Weave a Wall Hanging with Sky Carter” class in the morning. I had enrolled for this class at Skein Sisters last November but it was cancelled. In the afternoon, the other girls are doing the “Arty Crafty Rope and Basket Making with Sky Carter” class while I’ll be doing the “Fibre Prep and Dop Spindling with Sukrita” class. My main aim with this class is the fibre prep, not so much the drop spindling though I may be able to get some tips on drop spindling that makes me like it a bit more. It’s always better when you get face to face instructions than trying to figure it out for yourself. I’m also looking forward to the Marketplace so may have some acquisitions to show next week. I will report back on this adventure, and the blog may be a bit late on Sunday when we are on the return journey.
I have a lot to look forward to this week! Until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!