Welcome to Spring Downunder and Happy Father’s Day! It’s a pity that this week has been very wintery but I believe it is only going to get better. Another quiet week on the books for me and I’m settling into a semi-routine. I know that this is not the final routine, especially since I’ll be doing some baby minding from October. On Monday, I met up with a couple of girlfriends to organise a crafting meet-up once a month. We have settled on the second Wednesday of each month, so the first will be 11 September – I’m looking forward to that! We met at a new local cafe that’s been set up inside (and outside) a double-decker bus in a garden centre. It was such a novel place but we were technically on the road to nowhere. Sorry – I couldn’t resist that.
We were out visiting friends on Wednesday afternoon so ended up at the Country Club for dinner and the raffles. Unfortunately, out of 50 meat trays and also other prizes, we got exactly zero. Other than that, my week has been spent at home and looking for items for the new house, due to start in February next year. We’ve been looking at flooring and visited several display homes to see what nice features we can consider for our house. The weather has been decidedly wet and wintery but today is putting on a fabulous spring day.
Since finishing the Humulus and Millie sweaters, I have been working on my other projects. Firstly, the Rugby shawl. I have enjoyed the very vanilla knitting on this project and have made considerable progress. I’ve about done what the pattern says for the small size which is what I believed I had yardage for but I seem to have so much left over. It’s a pity the pattern isn’t like a Curious Handmade pattern when it tells you the percentage you are at and how much is left! I think I’ll try for yarn chicken and see how far I can push it. At this point, I’d like it to be a bit bigger.
I’ve also put in a fair bit of work on the Tuileries jumper. This week I increased at 5 inches out of the total 8 inches of the neck and brought the stitch count to the number for the size I am knitting. I noticed on the projects page that other people had done the same but one that I read did not realise that increased on the pattern started at one side of a shoulder and not centre back. When I worked out how I was going to increase my stitches I also worked out a schematic of how the final increases on the turtleneck would be and I aligned them to that – it seems to have worked very well. I must say that the pattern increases are very confusing and I think are a little bit incorrect. The increases on this part and the following raglan increases are done by adding 4 stitches at four parts of the yoke. I had to align these increases so that they kept the rib pattern. As the pattern suggested, there was supposed to be either a purl or knit stitch after doing each section and there wasn’t. I was fortunate that I ended up with the correct number of stitches. I do love how it’s going, though, but it seems like I’ve done so much work and I’ve only done the turtleneck! Hopefully, it will now go much quicker as there is some plain knitting on each row amongst the rib now. You can see the ribbing coming down the sides to form the sleeves.
My Fibrenymph Dyeworks socks are progressing really well now and I’m working through the gusset. I have a few more increases before I turn the heel. The yarn is sparkly but that’s not showing in this picture.
New Cast On: This week, I decided to cast on the Lunae shawl with the Drover and Classer yarn that I’d purchased at Fiberex in June. I had been tossing up between patterns for a while and I know this one will be good. My concern is that there may be some yarn chicken with this project. Another concern is with the white (actually cream) yarn that I’ve added, as I’m not sure if it’s too much “in your face”. I put it down during the white section and thought about it but I’ve decided to go on – at least until the next section. I think my issue is that there is not enough blue happening yet, being the very edge of the shawl. That will increase exponentially so I’ll persist for a while.
I also have other projects nipping at my heels and I am casting on for something that’s been in my queue for about a year now. The Garland sweater is also one of my Make9 projects. I have started the cast on, but it’s going to be a tedious process. You can see that I’ve only managed the first 52 stitches out of 288. I’m using the alternating cable cast on that Caroline (Dunderknit) from Knitting Vicariously swears by. I’m not in a mad hurry so will do a section of the cast on each day or so. The project will surely go more quickly once that is done. I’m using some KnitPicks Luminance in the Benevolence colourway – a shiny deep teal, 100% silk. Another teal project, you say? Hmmm, I suppose it must be my signature colour. This is a lace weight yarn but is being knitted on 4mm needles. I have used 100% silk previously in the Ochre cardigan test knit for Ambah O’Brien and I wasn’t impressed with knitting it. Let’s see how this one goes. The pattern itself is knit in mohair but I thought it would look good in this fine silk.
My Humulus sweater has had several outings this week and I love wearing it. Please excuse the awkward selfie I’ll need to wait for some warmer weather to get Millie on – the blocking turned out great. While doing some sorting, I came across a vest I’d knitted that I was not very happy with so it has been frogged. This is a Touch merino/possum yarn and I used just over 1 ball for the vest. The two full balls will be much more useful knitted into something else.
This week, I finished the spin that I showed last week. It is an unknown fibre that started as a braid and I split the braid into four long strands. I spun two strands onto a bobbin and then did the other two onto another bobbin. As I suspected, the final yarn came out pretty much barber-poled with not too many solid colours along the way. But, I really like the result. I ended up with 101 grams and 154.5m. I think this works out technically as an aran weight but it seems more like a worsted to DK weight. Anyway, this yarn will fit in nicely with what I have spun up already.
I’ve now started another spin with some really plush fibre that I’d received in a yarn club with Ixchel Yarns & Fibres a couple of years ago. Only one was available as part of the yarn club but I bought a second one in a destash. I don’t have the fibre details with it but it is very plush with bright green, orange and pink silk bits through it. It is spinning up beautifully. I prepped the first batt by ripping it into strips and separating those into thinner strips and then halved. You can see the basket of prepped rolls of fibre, which is all from the first bat. This was 106 grams and I have spun 53 grams onto the first bobbin, shown here. I’ll spin the second half and ply it before moving onto the second batt, probably using the same prepping. I only have 4 decent bobbins so I think I’ll need to buy some more. It would be good to be able to get a large bobbin set-up for my Wee Peggy but I don’t think that’s an option. I’ll have to look into it because I can only do about 100 grams on each bobbin.
I also started another spindle spin using some Ashford merino/silk sliver that I’d purchased while at Gerroa. I haven’t had much opportunity to work on this yet. I’ve halved the fibre, about 100 grams in total, and will spin each half separately. The colour on the left is accurate.
As I indicated last week, I picked up my Metamorphic dress and have just about finished it. Also, as I mentioned last week, I got to the hem and walked away. I’ll have to get onto that this week to finish it off but there is no hurry as the weather will need to warm up a lot more before I can think about wearing it. There is one day that is predicted at 26 degrees this week so maybe that will be sooner than I expect! The burrito method on this is very easy once you work out what is going on.
Inspired by a girlfriend’s dress makes for her granddaughter, I purchased the Geranium dress pattern. I whipped up this gorgeous dress for my Evie. It was such an easy make and the pattern comes with different sleeves, neck and skirt choices. I went for the capped sleeve with the normal neck and gathered skirt. I used some very cute printed pinwale cord along with a contrasting piece of quilting fabric. I didn’t have quite the length required for the skirt so I lengthened the yoke by half an inch and also used a contrasting facing hem, rather than turning it up.
Another project on the machine this week was a modesty breastfeeding cover. I have whipped this one up for a young friend who is due to have their second baby soon. This item is such an easy project and works really well for mothers during the summer. There is plenty of coverage but not too much that makes it uncomfortably hot for the poor baby, and mother too. I have yet to add the strap attachment as I need to get some velcro. The strap is just slipped under the bra strap and velcroed in place and the light covering sits over the baby.
Yesterday I cut out another Adrienne blouse. If it looks OK, I’m hoping to wear this next weekend when I’m in Sydney. I’m using some stretch velvet that was on special at Spotlight. I had intended to make sure the design sat centred on my front and back but completely forgot about that when I pinned the pattern to the fabric. Let’s see what it comes out like.
Another visit to Spotlight for buttons for the Geranium dress and I found some fabric for the Adrienne blouse and for the breastfeeding modesty cover. I came away with these and only one remnant.
- Velvet Folk Floral, silver – 2.2m x 148cm.
- Poplin in Feathers and Kitties – 2 x 0.5m x 112cm.
- Plain stretch velvet, navy – 1.0m x 148cm.
This week I started a new book, Gathering Prey by John Sandford. It’s no.25 in the Lucas Davenport series – I love each and every one of these books and this one is just as good. I really enjoy listening to a book while I’m spinning. Mindhunter is still keeping me entertained on Netflix and I think I only have two episodes to go, maybe one. I’m going to have to find another series to watch. Chesapeake Shores has another season out so that may do until something special comes up.
Next weekend I’m off to Sydney with some girlfriends to see the musical, Chicago. I’m really looking forward to that and also some girl time catching up. We are staying in a hotel near the Capital Theatre where the musical will be. A bit of shopping and sightseeing, perhaps?
This afternoon, Steven, Kim and Evie are coming to stay for a few days. I’m very excited about having them here. I’m off to the shops now to get some groceries that I’d forgotten yesterday. So, until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!