Happy end of the Australian financial year everybody and welcome to a sunny and blustery cold winter day! It’s getting so close to the end of my very first year of blogging. That has totally amazed me! This week started with the fortnight girlfriend breakfast catch up. I thought I was going to have to catch up with myself until my friend Marg arrived. It was a cold wet winter morning so I don’t blame the others for enjoying a little sleep in. I, on the other hand, was dressed and on my way to work so had little choice. It was a normal week of work. On my return from Canberra on Thursday afternoon, I arrived a bit early for an appointment so took the opportunity of a few rows on my socks sitting in the last rays of the sun of the afternoon at Huskisson wharf. On Friday, we went up to Wollongong to visit the kids there and I had some quality time with Evie, and yesterday we had breakfast down near the Wollongong wharf. I must say, I’m impressed with the drape of my Graphica sweater. I thought it might be a stiff fabric but it’s very soft and drapey.
Finished Object: Yesterday I finished the Blaise shawl, just in time for the Ravelry The Colorwork KALs, KAL 15 challenge in their Rainbow category. I was taking my time with this one as it wasn’t urgent – until I realised I only had two weeks of the three months to go and half yet to knit. It was really a quick knit and I stitched in all the ends on Thursday night. It blocked overnight on Friday and I made and added the tassels yesterday.
New Cast On: I’ve had the Scuba Fair Isle hat in my mental queue for ages now and finally cast it on for my husband. I call it the Fish Fair Isle hat as, though he used to scuba, he’s an avid fisherman and also fishes in the cold winter months at night. It’s a free download and I’m using leftover Cleckheaton Country 8 ply that I used for my Graphica sweater. I’ve modified the graph so that there are waves on both sides instead of waves on one side and the word scuba on the other. I’ve only managed 3 rows of the colourwork so far – the rib took more than a night of knitting! The colourwork needs to be followed very carefully as there is no pattern to it, just the fish design. That means it’s not a project that can be done too easily whilst watching shows.
Take two on My Boy Lollipop! I finally got some 4.0mm needles free and was able to re-cast on this sweater. The 4.5mm needles were giving me positive ease so I hope the new needles will be enough to get it to the correct gauge as still haven’t swatched. I consider the first attempt to be my swatch. I only cast this on yesterday and could have been much further but I got my numbers mixed up. The first repeats were supposed to be 2 rows a total of 5 times adding to 10 rows but my brain said 10 repeats. I had to tink back 5 rows before going on with the next repeats. I tinked back because I didn’t feel like ripping it back and having to put the stitches back on the needles. I would estimate tinking back would take at least twice as long as knitting so I would have had about 15 or more rows done further than this. It doesn’t normally worry me but I feel like this one has been two steps forward, two steps backwards, one step forward, half a step backwards. I’m looking forward to keeping in the forward direction!
Earlier this week I started on one of the sleeves for Preparer son Arrivee but I wasn’t happy with the stitch gauge in comparison to the rest of the cardigan. I used a 4.0mm 9 inch circular needle and it appears that I knit very tightly with those, as you can see in the photo below. I pondered on the situation for a few days wondering whether to keep going or frog it. If I frogged it, then what would I use? I settled on frogging and using 4.5mm needles on magic loop. That seems to have been the right move. I’m usually tighter when doing magic loop, which is balancing the difference between the 4.0 and 4.5mm needles, and I’m now halfway down the two sleeves at once. I could probably finish the sleeves by tomorrow night but I still need buttons! I’ll have a look at Spotlight after work tomorrow and see what they have. I’d really love to go to the button shop in Enmore, Sydney, but I doubt I’ll be able to get there for a few weeks, at least.
There’s not a lot to report on the baby Strange Brew sweater. This week I finished the ribbing on the body and I will be starting the sleeves in the next couple of days. I’ll take a lesson from the Prepare son Arrivee experience, above, and go up to the 4.5mm. I’ll just have to wait until the other one is done and then start these sleeves. The ribbing took longer than I anticpated.
Last week I cut out the Simplicity 1565 baby romper and yesterday I got to spend some time at my sewing machine. Like a professional, I basted the zipper this time, though I’m not sure it was a total success. I definitely need more practice on zippers but I tend to baulk at them. I’ll probably finish this today. I need to sew down the neck binding, add the snap tape and do the sleeve and leg hems. I’m thinking it could be good to put some light elastic in the hems so that there is no air gap. The pattern doesn’t call for it so maybe it won’t be necessary. Then I hope to get to put the zipper in on a skirt I have cut out and started – just waiting for me to do the zipper and move on.
After my session with the drop spindle last week, I really wanted to continue with it. I searched everywhere for my one and couldn’t find it so I ordered one from Feltfine. I did end up finding my spindle but it turns out that it’s a bottom spinner rather than a top spinner, so now I have one of each. While I was searching for this I only found one of my carding combs so I had a set of those included in my order. One comb is useless and they come in pairs. The parcel only arrived on Thursday so I’ve had little time to do anything with them yet. Feltfine has some fabulous fibres so I may need to get my hands on some. There are some very unusual breeds.
So far, I’ve managed to complete (or just about complete) five projects from my Make9 for 2019, shown with a green tick. The Bell Sleeved top (top right) is all but done, I just need to add another inch or two to the sleeves as I felt they were a bit shorter than I’d like them. Of the remaining four I still want to make the Carbeth cardigan (top centre) and the Garland sweater (bottom left). The Booth Bay cardigan (centre) was included as a base for a cardigan I want to make but I think I’ve found a better base to work from. I’ll be replacing that one with the Sevrine cardigan by Vanessa Smith, though I’ll be omitting the cables. Of the lot, the only one I’ve gone off is the Kagerou vest and I won’t be going very far to replace it, selecting another one from the same collection by michiyo, the Mori cardigan. There are also a few others still at the top of my queue though, the highest priority being the Koivua by Caitlin Hunter.
I’m still enjoying my drip feed of The Handmaid’s Tale though I must admit it can certainly get me very angry. Can’t wait for the next one! I’ve finished Seasons 2 and 3 of Cardinal on SBS. It’s a very enjoyable murder mystery type show – imdb.com is showing that there could be a 4th Season. I’ll have a couple of The Miniaturist episodes to watch this week as Cardinal has been keeping me occupied. I’m clearing the backlog of audio podcasts but I’m getting quite behind with the video podcasts, again blaming Cardinal. I’m still listening to the same book, The Retreat by Mark Edwards, but I’ve been holding off on that, trying to catch up on audio podcasts instead.
I only have 24 days of work left; time seems to be moving slowly but at the same time quickly! This week should be quite normal with three days in Canberra but I’m really looking forward to next weekend when my daughter and her husband are coming for a visit.
Thanks for joining me for my crafting and life update. Until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!