Hi friends! This week has flown, which seems to be the norm for my weeks lately. Monday and Tuesday were very relaxing with bike rides to Huskisson on both days. Monday was a breakfast catch up and Tuesday a weekly coffee date. On Tuesday, the weather climbed up to 38 degrees here which is highly uncommon where I am. This was caused by hot westerly winds rather than the cooling northeasterly winds we get most days. You can see the smoke that was still hanging around from the fires up north of Sydney. Most of the other days were lovely.
On Wednesday, I had a wonderful time at our monthly sewing group day. We had a great turn-up, which included three mothers. I managed to get some stitching done and we all had fun catching up. It was a great venue for our sewing day but nobody ventured into the pool. On Thursday, my friend Carol “opened up the art studio” for the day. That’s where we dabble with painting and related arts. I worked on a couple of the projects I’d started at the Contemporary Craft Retreat at the end of October.
Friday morning, Robert and I headed down to Bawley Point for the weekend with Steven, Kim and Evie. We got to mind Evie while mum and dad went to a wedding. It was a great weekend with them all but it would have been much nicer if the weather was better. We walked around the point from Gannet Beach to Murramurang Beach on Saturday afternoon and it was bitterly cold.
There has been lots of progress on my Turtle Dove sweater. I had been knitting on regardless and realised that I’d long passed the point where the ribbed split hem would start. I had read that I needed to knit 10.5 inches but did not notice that that measurement was for the rolled hem only. I had not yet decided which hem I was going to do so it seems that the universe has decided for me. I’m happy with that! I have a little more to go on the body but I’d reached the end of the current ball of yarn so I decided to pick up the sleeves and work on those for a while.
Last week’s confusion on stitch count on my Songbird shawl has been resolved and I’ve done quite a bit of work on it. I found later that I’d made a mistake on the first row of the slanted stitch but was too far ahead to fix it and, anyway, it’s not at all noticeable. I have learnt two new stitch patterns – the slanted stitch and a new type of slipped stitch. My handspun yarn is knitting up really well on this and I think it was a perfect choice.
I’ve finished the first section of my Lunae shawl and have started to pick up the stitches along the bottom for the second section (the top in this pic). I’m almost at the centre of the shawl and I have about half the number of stitches I need for that part. I will need to go back to the beginning or try to pick up a stitch in between each of those already there. I’ve done that with a few stitches previously but I’m not sure it will work for 70 or more stitches!
My trusty take-anywhere Garland sweater got some more love this week. I added a few rows at breakfast on Monday morning and worked on it a bit this weekend. It’s definitely a slow project and will take a lot more knitting to get to the armholes. I think I’ve done about 4 inches so far.
I have finished spinning the second bobbin of Wren and Ollie fibre. I would have probably plied the two together but I realised all the bobbins were full. So, to free up a couple of bobbins, I used the Andean bracelet method to ply the remainder of my first drop spindle yarn. I ended up with 13.5 m of that which I will be able to use with the other three skeins. I also wound off my very first attempt at spinning which I was not able to ply as it was either way overspun or so underspun that it broke. I’ll be able to use that yarn for felting as it’s no good for anything else. At least now I have a couple of free bobbins. I also have one bobbin of my black (grey), red and white spin that needs to be chain plied. So a couple of ply sessions are on the schedule for this week. I also got to put my blending board together on Thursday as I was able to borrow a staple gun. I’ll have to dig out some fibre for blending into rolags!
The Laura dress was a great project. I really want everyone to know how great the instructions are on Rebecca Page’s patterns! She has instructions to make the dress with an overlocker, straight stitching or French seams. I made this dress with French seams – I have sewn these before, but with side pockets and other bits and pieces, it’s sometimes hard knowing how to treat them. I started sewing it on Monday and finished it on Tuesday – finished without topstitch on the neck facing or having done the hem. This is because I don’t have a very dark navy and I’d rather not use black for the topstitch, and I was uncertain on the length as to whether to use bias tape to save on length. As it turns out, I should have done the long version and this one has ended up as a long top instead. I’m happy with that and will definitely make this again in the full length.
I also made the modification to the Georgia dress that I mentioned last week. I added a bit of elastic on each side to bring it in a little, rather than give me a maternity look. It doesn’t look a whole lot different hanging there and I haven’t had a chance to try it on yet to see if it worked. Maybe tomorrow? It’s not like it’s a major production to try it on!
Finally! I’ve picked up my wool felt applique quilt project again. This is what I worked on at the sewing day and it’s gotten me excited again. I started with all the big bits in this section and now I’m working through the little bits. It doesn’t look like much at this point but when it’s all stitched down and quilted, it will look as it should. I still need to decide what I’m going to put in the final section of this circle.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve done some more work on my two painting/collage projects from the Contemporary Craft Retreat. The one on the left is using the layered tiles composition method and I think it’s at the point when I can/should call it complete. I added a little bit of colour to the white bits – it looks like a lot of colour but, in real life, it is more subtle. If I decided it’s finished I’ll add a sealant which will also give it a more finished look. The one on the right is a collage and it is using the curves composition. It was quite purple looking as the initial grey did not look grey at all. I have now, hopefully, remedied that – or it may just look dirty now. I also did a sectioned off overpaint at the top but that could be more subtle than I was going for. At least I’m enjoying it.
This week I received my November batt club from Ixchel Fibres. It is absolutely gorgeous! This month’s batts were inspired by a painting from Mark Ryden who has been dubbed as “the godfather of pop surrealism”. You can see the painting at the bottom left. The batt is made up of merino, angora, cashmere, silk, shell fibre (Chitin), Flemish sheep and Angelina. The batt has a couple of daisies to add to the effect from the picture. The Angelina is gold and looks fantastic blended through all the colours. There are also some silk neps in amongst it all, which I don’t mind. You can see the dark red neps in the photo at the right. I can’t wait to spin this up but am a bit hesitant so that I don’t mess it up. I haven’t done the October batts yet either as they are just as gorgeous. Now that I have a couple of bobbins free, I can move onto my next project. I wonder which fibre I’m going to choose?
This week I was introduced to a new podcast – This Abundant Life. It’s an Australian podcast about “the secret sauce behind living a fulfilling, prosperous and joyful life”. I’ve only listened to two episodes so far but I think it will be a good one. The second episode was an interview with Mia Swainson on zero waste and sustainability, which was very interesting. There were certainly some facts that I wasn’t aware of and I think they are little known generally. I can attest to two degrees of separation here as I know the husband of one of the podcasters, having worked with him for years.
“Where the Crawdads Sing” is still keeping me company and a book I’d definitely recommend. I hope to finish it this week because I want to know what happens! I’ve watched a couple more episodes of The Red Shadows – a French production on SBS demand. I haven’t been able to watch any while I’ve been down the coast and I’m desperate to watch the next episode because of what happened at the end of the last one! That’s on the agenda for tonight.
This week I’ll be watching a variety of sewing classes that will be part of a Sewing Summit hosted by Rebecca Page. This is a free summit for the week but you can also sign up for All Access Pass which gives you lifetime access to all the classes. I don’t think I’ll be doing that but I will try to watch whatever I can next week. I will be receiving emails letting me know which classes will be shown each day and there is 24-hour access so that they can be viewed from anywhere in the world. I will be minding Evie on Tuesday and Wednesday, taking her for a make-up swimming lesson on Tuesday. I’m looking forward to that! Lunch on Thursday and a birthday party on Saturday night are also on my schedule.
Apologies for the late posting this week but I always make sure it happens sometime on Sunday. It will probably be almost Sunday everywhere by now! It’s time for us to go and enjoy something else now so, until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!