Hello friends! Apologies for the late post today but what a busy week and weekend I’ve had. It all started with work in Canberra and a minus 2 start to the morning there. I was so glad that I took my heated blanket with me this week as the room was so hard to heat. I ended up laying on the bed with my knitting and the heated blanket. I also took the opportunity to give blood because the mobile van was at work. It had been a while since my last deposit as I don’t give well but I’m very appreciative of the help my son got in hospital last year so I wanted to make an effort. I almost managed to give a full load.
On Thursday afternoon, my three girlfriends and I drove up to the Central Coast to our Air BnB for the weekend. We had dinner at the local Bowling Club where they had these copper tank beer vats. Then on Friday, we started very early and drove to Gosford train station and jumped on a train to Central Station in Sydney. We had breakfast in the cafe in the renovated Booking Hall. It’s a beautiful old station and it’s great to see that they kept the fabulous stained glass windows, marble and sandstone. We spent the rest of the day at the Sydney Quilt Show. The Show seems to be smaller this year but we did enjoy looking at all the wonderful wares, with a few little purchases.
On Saturday, we were booked in for some classes at Fiberex at the Newcastle Uni Campus at Ourimbah, not far from where we were staying. We managed a little look around the marketplace before we started our classes. It was a very cold day and the heating seemed to struggle a bit. The photos show the marketplace as being quite bare but it was full of yarny goodies and the expo had just opened. There were many more people there later in the day. This was the first of this expo so I’m looking forward to it growing in the future. Our first class was Weaving a Wall Hanging with Sky Carter. We had a wonderful time putting together our small wall hangings, though mine seems to be a bit over the top. I may need to trim some of the hanging bits. After lunch, I attended a Fibre Prep and Spindling class with Sukrita. I found that I enjoyed spindling on this, my second try, and feel that I may actually try for a reasonable spin now. You can see the two little makeshift bobbins of blue singles that I spun. I had separate the yarn into two as we were going to ply them but ran out of time. I’m sure I’ll be able to do it myself now. The fibre prep was a lot of fun. We used two carding combs to make imitation rolags (fauxlags) and they are light clouds of fluff. I think they’ll be so easy to draw and spin and I intend to prep my fibre in this manner for some future spinning. I will spin these cloud puffs on my spindle – when I locate it. It was a great day and we had a relaxing start this morning before our drive home, after a quick stop at Shelley Beach for a photo.
During the week, I worked on the sleeves of my Bell Sleeved top. I have finished the 5 1/2 inches that the pattern indicated before doing the garter edge but I’ve not had an opportunity to try it on yet. I will try it on in the morning and, if the length is suitable, I can finish it off and block it tomorrow night. I’ll be so glad to cast it off as the two at a time sleeve knitting is now quite tangled. It’s amazing the different colour in bad lighting.
I also reached the bottom band on the baby Strange Brew sweater. I need to change the needles now and do the ribbing, then the sleeves.
Before leaving for our adventure, I pulled out the socks that I started for my cruise in February. I’m using Mina’s Vanilla Sock Recipe. I had been waiting for a foot measurement so that I could work out when to start the German short row heels. I took this one with me and got the heels done last night. These socks are now vanilla knitting again and shouldn’t take very long to finish. They are for my dad so I hope they fit and I’ll have them done for my next visit in a few weeks.
Another project that came away with me was the Blaise shawl. I want to finish this for a KAL that ends on the 30th June which is next Sunday. I got a fair bit done and the rows have decreased considerably so it should be quick to finish now. You can see how I packed up the colours to keep them in order – I used a short cable with ends. I’m onto the last purple before the light purple and pinks. The last colour will be done across 4 to 10 stitches so this end is going to be quick.
The last project that hitched a ride to Shelley Beach for the weekend was the Prepare son Arrivee cardigan. Unfortunately, the colour is not showing well here. I did most of this knitting on the train to and from Sydney on Friday and then finished off the body on Friday night. I used a looser bind off so that the bottom button will be able to be done up. It looks very loose here but I think blocking will sort that out. If not, I’ll just undo the bind off and do it less loosely. Tonight I’ll start on the sleeves as I want this one done for Friday next week when we head to Wollongong to see the kids, big and little. I doubt that I’ll have buttons for it yet – there’s a sad lack of button shops around these days but I’ll see what I can find.
This was another weekend away from my sewing machine but last Sunday I managed to cut out the romper that I want to whip up. It’s the Simplicity 1565 Baby Romper pattern but I graded up a size from the largest which is an S. It would be good to have that done for next Friday but I doubt that will happen. I have the zipper and button snaps read to go. Again, the lighting wasn’t great this evening but I love this fleecy bug fabric.
Of course, I have a few acquisitions to mention here from our escapades on the weekend but, firstly, I did get some happy mail before I left. I was really impressed with the Knitpicks Swish I used recently for Evie’s cardigan that I ordered more for future projects. The problem with that is that it seems to be pilling a lot. That’s OK, I’ll use it for something like a Soldotna for me as it may perform better for an adult garment. The other happy mail was some 100% merino sock minis and a sweater quantity of 70% merino, 20% yak and 10% nylon for some dyeing. The yak grey base will make a very interesting colour when I decide what I’m doing with it.
My acquisitions on Friday were the two patterns below – Over the Hill by Wendy Williams (Flying Fish Kits) and the linen pack to go with it. I have plenty of the coloured fabrics and felts needed already, and Lilly’s Quilt pattern. I also bought the two skeins on the left of the four skein photo. They were Yarn (is cheaper than) Therapy in the teal colour (no colourway indicated), an 80/20 superwash superfine merino and nylon, and the Hedgehogs Fibre sock yarn in the Guppy colourway, a 90/10 merino and nylon. At Fiberex on Saturday I purchased some Drover and Classer hand dyed wool, a Bellevue Park Drover Australian Superfine merino, two cakes in the Waterhole colourway (100g each) and three small cakes (25g each) in colourways Gooseberry Jam, Fox and Harvest. It’s a sport weight yarn that I’m thinking will make a fabulous scarf. I also purchased 180g of beautiful rolags from an indie dyer called Willow and the Wisp. There’s a contrasting set, one a blend of merino, silk, flax and Corriedale and the other a blend of merino, silk, flax, bamboo and rose fibre. I will probably do them all together in some way when I’m up to spinning such fine stuff. The pics show each side of the pack – I don’t want to take them out as I’ll never get them back into the bag. The other two skeins, from centre right, a beautiful Qing fibre Donegal sock yarn in the Cave colourway, an 85/15 superwash merino with beautiful black and grey neps, purchased from Convent and Chapel, and the last one is a Super Soft Sock from another Australian indie dyer called Fiber Lily in the Gold Fusion colourway, a 75/25 superfine Australian SW merino and nylon. The four skeins could easily go together to make a beautiful sweater but I’m not sure about the Donegal neps being out of place.
It’s been a fantastic weekend with my girlfriends and I now need to recover! I have 39 days of work left which I’m sure will fly. I have a catch-up breakfast tomorrow morning and this coming week will be fairly normal for work with three days in Canberra. On Friday, my husband and I will be heading up to Wollongong for the night to catch up with those kids. I’m really looking forward to that as I haven’t seen Evie (in person) for about a month now and she changes so quickly. It’s been a while since we’ve seen the Sydney kids but they’ll be down the following weekend – something else to look forward to!
Until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!