And so begins the second half of 2019! Welcome. This week has been very uneventful – apart from work, there’s been hairdresser knitting, some foot love where I forgot my knitting and a morning run on Collingwood Beach. The middle part of the beach had some considerable weed concentration; you can see the wave churning up the weed. The last couple of days have been slow knitting due to a small cut on my left forefinger. That’s the finger that does the most work. It’s not pleasant having the pointy end of a needle poke into the cut. I’ve managed a bit with the middle finger and a bandaid has been helpful but not ideal. It definitely won’t stop me! Our daughter and her husband have been down for the weekend so it’s been wonderful relaxing together.
This week I was blown away to have my Graphica sweater featured on the Knitting Vicariously podcast! Caroline absolutely loves it. Dunderknit, as she is known, is a very popular British knitting podcaster so I feel I now have international celebrity status!
The Preparer son Arrivee cardigan is complete, albeit the buttons and a few ends. It did block nicely. This may be a little big for Evie but she’ll grow into it. It may just need the sleeves rolled up for wearing now. I’ll get to try it on her next week so I hope I can find some buttons. The yarn feels nice but had a few bits where the spinning was a bit uneven. It may need a glean before even wearing. It’s a Bendigo yarn called Ready For Winter (RFW) made up mainly of merino with other fibres such as alpaca and bamboo.
I’ve made some progress on the Fish Hat, now about 1/3 of the way into the colourwork. I first thought it would be a difficult colourwork to follow but it’s proving much easier. It’s looking quite good but will obviously improve with blocking to get the stitches even for more pattern definition.
New cast-on: During this week I noticed that Nice and Knit were having a Millie KAL so I thought I’d get on the bandwagon. The Millie pattern has been in my Ravelry queue since 4th June 2018, so it was a good opportunity to finally get it onto the needles. I’d been thinking about combining some of the skeins I’d purchased on the Sydney Quilt Show/Fiberex weekend and these two were the main contenders. I thought they would combine well but I’m absolutely loving the colour they have created – it’s even nicer in real life. There’s the Hedgehog Fibres Sock Yarn (90/10 merino/nylon) in the Guppy colourway (the lighter colour yarn) and the Fiber Lily Super Soft Sock Yarn (75/25) in the Gold Fusion colourway. The HHF yarn seems considerably thinner than the other (see in the picture) but the meterage in comparison for 100g is 400m:390m so there should really be little difference. I’m using the helical knitting method hence it is essentially striped but because there is a considerable overlap of gold/orange colours it doesn’t look striped. The pattern calls for 2 skeins for the small size so I’m going for it with these two. There are only 3 sizes (S-M-L) but they cover a wide range, being a boxy fit. It is a three-quarter sleeved so I’ll finish the body and then use the remainder for the sleeves until it runs out. If they end up a bit shorter than the pattern, I’ll be happy with just above the elbow. The fabric is quite open as the fingering weight is knit on 4.5mm needles but it’s looking just fine. It has dolman sleeves which I may make not quite as dolman as the pattern calls for so I’ll stop the increasing and separate for the sleeves a little earlier.
Mina’s Vanilla socks are coming up the leg now so shouldn’t take much longer to finish. I’m enjoying the Arne & Carlos Regia colourway and I think they’ll be perfect for my dad. I haven’t decided on what type of rib I’ll do for the cuff.
My Lanesplitter No. 2 skirt is on the downhill run now as I decrease both ends of the row to complete the right angle. I should get this finished this week. From my experience with the previous one, it’s not hard to sew up the side seam but then I need to pick up the waistband stitches. ETA not too far away.
After finishing Preparer (above) I was able to use the same circular needle to pick up the sleeve stitches on the Baby Strange Brew sweater. This should be finished this week and there are no buttons required! I ended up with a strange situation on the left shoulder where it looked like I may have gone backwards at one particular point. Because it was in the yoke part, I could not rip back to it as the whole body is complete. I’ve ended up with a little hole but I’ll be able to join the stitches on either side once I sew in the ends.
My Boy Lollipop got a bit of action while watching some Wimbledon highlights. It’s very vanilla and I don’t need to look at it at all so I’m able to focus on the tennis. I’m coming up to the decrease section again, so will soon be at the point where I frogged it before. It’s probably worth a try on at this point. The pattern is quite basic and the instructions, particularly the number of repeats, is confusing. It says “repeat these two rounds a total of …..” but the “total” includes the first two rounds, not just the total of repeats. Anyway, I was able to work that out because the number of stitches is listed.
Well, I’ve certainly taken off with the spindle. You can see how chunky my initial spindle quantity is – it’s the left one (top left). For this, I’ve only used the fibre that I prepared at the class with Sukrita at Fiberex (information in the previous blog). I was a little concerned that I may not have enough in the second spindle to ply with the first one so I prepared some orange fleece that I’d dyed myself some time ago (bottom right). But I had plenty as I found when I plied the two singles together and didn’t need to use it. The plying was quite easy in comparison to spinning the singles. I had fun winding the skein onto the niddy noddy as I kept getting tangled up and the yarn kept falling off the sides. I finally achieve a skein and soaked it for a while. Apparently, you need to soak for at least 20 mins. I don’t know what the fibre is as it was supplied at the class but it feels as if it could be merino. The skein is 37gms and 13.5m. This qualifies as an entry in the Knitting Expat and Babbles Travelling yarn SMAL – Spinning and Make A-Long, for the spinning part. For the making part, I intend to crochet a small table mat with the extent of the yarn. If I just do a spiral it doesn’t matter where the yarn runs out.
I’m so on a roll now and I have started my next project. This one is for the Tour de Fleece which started yesterday along with the Tour de France. It is intended to use spinning along with the spinning of the athletes on their bikes. This fibre is from deep stash and I think was intended for felting (along with all the fibre I already have). It is a blend of merino and silk though it doesn’t indicate quantities. My spinning has improved out of sight. I can get a fine single now, for the most part. I learnt that fibre prep has everything to do with being able to draft the fibre easily. In the photo below, I have some fibre prepped next to the single on my spindle. There’s a total of 250 grams here so let’s see what I end up with. The Tour de Fleece goes to 28th July, so I’ll see how much I’m able to spin by then. As I can’t take my spinning wheel to Canberra or to Adelaide this week (I doubt transporting on a plane would be fantastic!), I will instead take my spindle for “competing” in Tour de Fleece while I’m there. I believe there are some Tour de Fleece teams that take this competition very seriously, matching the Tour de France for the different stages, eg sprints, hills, and have jerseys awarded. I’m in a very casual team called #BabblingPurls, a mash-up of two podcasters – Babbles Travelling Yarns and Sew Perfect Purls.
As well as using the spindle, my intention is to get comfortable with the spinning wheel. Yesterday, for the start of Tour de Fleece, I used my Wee Peggy for the third time. I prepped some fibre, shown in the photo on the right, and it made a lot of difference. I also found that the single was being overspun so I moved the drive band onto the larger whorl. I hope I’m getting these terms right! I did find I had to restart many times and that was a pain each time as I don’t have a good hook to get the yarn through the orifice. I’ll have another go this afternoon, continuing my participation in Tour de Fleece.
As I’ve been occupied with my daughter and her husband, I haven’t had too many opportunities to sit at the sewing machine but I did finish the Simplicity 1565 Baby Romper. I did not like sewing on the press stud tape as I needed to get very close to the edge, and near the stud it was difficult. I ended up buying some different press stud tape from Spotlight as the tape I got initially had the studs very close together which was totally ridiculous (centre photo). The finished romper has 8 press studs and the other tape would have made it more than double that number to do up. Let’s see how this romper fits – it’s probably going to be too big but I had a vague height measurement to go by. The only other bit of sewing I did was to reattach the handle on my daughter’s duffle bag.
Apart from my weekly Handmaid’s Tale and The Miniaturist, this week I started watching an Australia show, also on SBS, called “Every Family has a Secret“. This is a weekly episode which has Noni Hazelhurst tracing family members of two different people. It’s very interesting to see what these secrets are and it’s usually a tear jerker.
This week I have my final work trip to Adelaide so there will be airport and flying knitting time. I have to decide which projects to take with me – I imagine my new Millie sweater will be one, and I’ll take my spindle for hotel spinning for Tour de Fleece. I will definitely take another 2 projects, probably the socks and maybe the Fish hat or My Boy Lollipop, or both! These are all compact projects and have plenty of knitting left to go.
So that’s this week in a nutshell! Thanks for joining me for my crafting and life update. Until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!