Hello friends! This post marks a year of blogging and my “blogaversary” is next Sunday. Who would have thought! It has made me so happy doing this every week, I think I’ll keep on doing it.
The moon featured a lot this week. It started with a stunning moon setting at almost 6 am on Tuesday on the way to pick up the car for the drive to Canberra. The photo at bottom left shows the beginning of the partial lunar eclipse on Wednesday morning but I was unable to see the full effect as it had slipped over the hill. The next eclipse is not due until 2023. The final moon picture was a beautiful orange moonrise on Thursday night. Of course, I had to include a beautiful sunrise, or just before sunrise on Friday morning. The only non-astronomy photo here shows the view from one of my workplaces. It looks straight down to Parliament House. I really enjoy this view but won’t be seeing it for much longer.
I got to wear my new skirt and tried the baby Strange Brew Sweater on Evie. The skirt is a smidge tight but still very wearable. That, I realised is because I was sewing five-eighth inch seams instead of the one-centimetre seams that I added to the pattern. On the other hand, Evie’s sweater has plenty of grow room. She’s wearing it here over a jumper and a couple of other layers. The sleeves are also folded up and you can see how much bulk there is. I’m thinking of re-doing the bind off on the sleeves next time I’m up there.
Finished Object No. 1: I finally finished Mina’s Vanilla socks for my dad. They are shown here not yet blocked and the ends haven’t been sewing in. They came off the needles last night just before I went to bed. I’m hoping they will fit – I’m quietly confident as I have a template of his foot that I used. Also, his feet are very similar to mine and they are good on me. I still haven’t decided which heel I like best but these German short row heels aren’t a bad fit. I do like the look of slipped stitch heels on some socks though so maybe my next will be those heels again. There are so many different types. I have the Fish Lips Kiss heel pattern but haven’t yet tried them. I think the hardest part of doing heels is knowing exactly when to start them and that’s why I haven’t tried them yet. Another popular heel at the moment is the OMG heel. I haven’t looked into those yet.
Finished Object No. 2: I finished the Fish hat yesterday afternoon and have balloon blocked it. It is looking quite large, even for my husband’s huge head but we’ll see when it dries today. When I got to the decrease crown section, I didn’t read the pattern properly. To start the decreases, the first couple of rounds had a plain knit row in between and I thought that was for the whole crown. I was wondering why it looked like it was getting pointy. I had to frog back quite a few rows.
I’m nearly finished the My Boy Lollipop, having completed the body. I now have the sleeves to do which will be very quick even though I am going to add some rows. I got into a good rhythm with the twisted rib but found I had to think about the knit stitch on all my other projects so that I didn’t twist them. This should be a finished object this week but I’ll have to wait until Spring to wear it. I also need to work out what I can wear it with. The best look is over a sundress and I have plans to make a white one to go with it – probably the Jessica Dress by Mimi G.
The Millie sweater is moving along at a reasonable pace. I’m only doing a few rows here and there as I was concentrating on finishing some bits and pieces. I’m at the point I wanted to stop increasing and divide for the sleeves so that it isn’t too dolman-like but I’m trying to decide if the sleeve stitches are enough for my arms. Going by the pattern, you need to decrease about 10 stitches on the sleeves once you divide so I think it should work without having to do the decreases or many of them. I have it on two needles here but I may need to add a third to try this one on. Maybe not, the body is quite roomy so that’s possibly why it’s not able to lay flat on the two needles. These two needles are normally fine for trying on.
Since I’m finishing all these projects, I’m going to need to pick up a few more! Of course, I’ll be taking my Comfort Fade cardigan out of hibernation and hopefully finishing that before the winter is over. But I’ve also started to swatch for the Vicarious Knitting podcast Gold-a-long. I have balled up a skein of my Tosh Merino Light and started to swatch for the Tuileries pullover by Julie Knits in Paris. The pattern calls for sport weight and I’d like to use this fingering weight. The needles used in the pattern for the main part are 3.5mm so I swatched, starting from the bottom, with 3.0mm, 3.25mm and 3.5mm. I think the 3.25mm fabric is the best. I’ll work out the number of stitches for my bust and will pick one of the larger sizes that equals that number at the sleeve divide. The pattern calls for 7 inches of positive ease. I’ll be aiming for about 3 inches.
And now I need to start a new pair of socks. I have been dying to cast on the beautiful Fibernymph Dye Works yarn I purchased early this year. This is on the Bedazzled base which has a beautiful silver sparkle. The colourway is Dyer’s Favourites 2018 – Alt. Stripes and has 7 stripes. I will be casting this on today after I ball up the yarn – into two balls each as, of course, I’m doing toe-up, two at a time. Maybe one ball will be enough for the mini as I can go from each end.
Tour de Fleece has continued for week 2. I have continued to spin on my spindle and also got to use the wheel a bit. The spindle is growing well. I had just been spinning and found that people were recording how much they’d spun each day. I don’t know how much the spindle weighs yet but I was at 131 grams on Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, I added another 16 grams to a total of 147 grams. I think I may take the single off the spindle today and start the next one. I’ll be doing this yarn two-ply. I found a lazy Kate in my stash of spinning supplies that I got with my wheel and thought this one will be great for putting my spindle yarn on while I do the next one and then also for plying. I’ll have to weigh down the base so it doesn’t tip.
I have only been spinning on the wheel on the weekends because I’m still trying to work out what is what and how to do absolutely everything. It’s not possible for 10 minutes here and there and, obviously, I can’t take it to Canberra with me where I would still have the time issue. But that will change in 13 sleeps. I’ll have much more time to experiment with the wheel. I’m more proficient at drawing the fibre now but have a long way to go yet. I tried the cross-lacing that Mina Philipp does for some spins but I don’t think I’m advanced enough to cope with it. It just means going through one hook then going through the opposite hook as well before going through the oracle. It’s supposed to make the yarn finer. I just found it broke much more than the many breaks I’m already dealing with. Anyway, yesterday I managed to get a bit more even, with less over spinning so I’ll do some more today. As I found with the spindle, and is the same for everything, at first it feels really awkward and everything goes wrong but you improve with each attempt.
I had a session at my sewing machine Friday and whipped up an Adrienne Blouse by the Friday Pattern Co. If it was warmer, I may have worn it on Friday night when I went out for dinner with my local friends. I actually finished it yesterday but probably only took 2 hours for the whole thing. It’s such an easy make and is stunning. The hanging picture doesn’t look like much but the floor pic shows it better. I may be able to get an action shot next week. I used the knit rayon I purchased at Spotlight in June. It was earmarked for this project and I was hoping to get to it much earlier. It will be great for Spring. I had a little accident when I was trimming the side seam. The fabric is very thin and I managed to snip the front (or back) as well. I used a bit of fusible tape to try to join it but that wasn’t perfect so I did a zig zag over the two little sections. It’s totally not noticeable unless it’s pointed out so I have no issues wearing it. And I love the colours in the fabric.
At least a couple of years ago, I attended one of Lisa Walton’s classes (I have attended most!) and made the Cityscapes quilt. I can’t easily find a proper photo of the quilt but you can see it below. Lisa was invited to feature on The Quilt Show in the US. Before she left, she rang and asked if she could borrow my quilt because hers had been damaged by a paint spill. I was quite chuffed that my quilt will be shown on The Quilt Show! This morning there was a link to a trailer for the episode and it included my quilt. I can’t wait to see the episode!
There will be more patchwork coming to my blog soon. I haven’t done any patchwork sewing since the New Year week, I think, but there are not enough hours in the days to do all that I want to do. Fortunately, that will be remedied in less than 2 weeks. Below you can see my next project (yes, I do have some not finished) that will be my major project for our sewing group retreat coming up in exactly 2 weeks today. I’ve had this fabric for several years and have been wanting to make my Dad a mariner’s quilt. So finally it will happen. I will be making this up as I go along but it will start with a large mariner’s compass in the middle. You can see a small version that I glued onto a piece of paper so that I can colour in but I think I’ve decided on the colours anyway; you can see them in the top right photo. The main compass points (eg N) will be dark blue and the brighter blue (there are two sections of each point), the next level of points (eg NE) will be teal and lighter teal, and the smallest points (eg NNE) will be dark red and a lighter red. The mariner’s compass will be done by English paper piecing and feature as the centre panel. Around that, I’ll be appliqueing the main compass points, N E S W. The rest of the quilt from there is a mystery and I’ll be working it out as I go. I have more than enough fabric, probably to make two of these! There are some border fabrics and feature panels that I’ll be positioning around the centre panel and there is also some light blue and beige almost self patterned fabric that I can use to break it all up. Whatever remains, I’ll put together for the backing.
Yes, I had to go to Spotlight for more unsuitable buttons and managed to get another remnant. This is a large piece of embroidered ticking that will be perfect for maybe another Stevie for the summer. After I purchased it, I realised that it’s the same fabric my friend Mari used to make her Stevie when we were in Kangaroo Valley in May. I’ve also bought some patterns but I can’t keep up with what I have shown here. I know my latest was the Jessica Dress by Mimi G.
This week I have been listening to my audio podcasts as they land rather than trying to catch up. I’ve also been listening to my current book, Broken by Karin Slaughter. I realised that I have Book Club coming up in a couple of weeks so I’ll need to get onto those books next. On video, I’ve been watching my normal knitting and sewing podcast. I’d like to mention a great UK sewing podcast called the Stitch Sisters that I’ve been following now for a while. They are a lot of fun and highly inspirational. They just made the Adrienne blouse and did a review just as I was cutting mine out. I am still drip feeding myself the Handmaid’s Tale and I watched episode 9 last night. I hope there are several more to come this season. On other nights, I’ve been watching Jack Taylor – these episodes go for an hour and a half. I was a little disconcerted the other night to find that one of the main characters has been replaced. After so many episodes, characters become friends and it’s hard to see someone else. I’ve stopped watching Jessica Jones as it’s getting a bit silly for me. Maybe I’ll watch more when I’m caught up on what I want to watch. In the meantime, there is a new season of Suits and also Janet King that I need to binge on next.
As I mentioned in the patchwork section, I will be heading to my sewing group’s retreat in exactly two weeks today. We are all very excited and planning all the projects that we’ll be packing. The packing is always a logistical nightmare and I’m glad that I drive by myself and have plenty of room in the car. There will be 13 of us this time. We are staying at the same place as the last few years – this is a Jesuit seminary that is rented out during all months except summer. It has 8 bedrooms with two single beds each, two large bathrooms (4 showers and 4 toilets + an extra small bathroom), a large dining area that becomes our “sweatshop” with sewing machines set up on the large dining tables, and a large lounge area with a view onto the beach and up the creek. That lounge area is perfect for everyone to relax at, doing some stitching, etc. There is a huge kitchen with 2 large stoves and several fridges/freezer and some storage/pantry rooms as well. It will also be a great way to end my working life!
As usual, I am surprised at how much I have to talk about here! And I tend to be surprised at what I’ve achieved when I see it all together in one spot. I had in mind to do some dyeing and some stamping but maybe next week! Thanks for joining me for my crafting and life update. Until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!