Hello friends. Happy birthday to me! Yesterday was my birthday and I got to celebrate my “solar return” in Sydney with my family. We were also celebrating our son’s birthday which is tomorrow (Monday) so we all went out for dinner at Chinatown followed by ice cream at Messina. I love it when we are all together!
The week started last Sunday with a day out at the Jervis Bay Brewing Co. at a fundraising day for the fires. Though it was a dull day weather-wise, it was a fun day with bands playing and raffles, and good friends. The rest of the week was particularly boring with my view mainly in cardboard cartons. We have packed a good deal and the boxes are cluttering the house in nearly every room. Fortunately, that is going to change tomorrow when we start moving them all into storage. It will certainly make the rest of the packing much easier.
This was another week where knitting was the only craft. The packing has been very physical and quite tiring so relaxing in the afternoons with some knitting has been therapeutic. I had so many things brought back into rotation last week that I totally forgot about my Lunae shawl. This one was quite a slog. I’m not saying that I’m not enjoying it but the star stitch rows were very slow going. On one row I had to pass over a stitch every three stitches and the next row was making a stitch every two stitches. The rows are very long at the moment and now that I’ve started on the slipped stitch section it will go much more quickly. The top and middle left pics show where I was last week and the bottom one is where I am now. The middle right photo shows how I did nearly a whole row slipping incorrectly. The return row on a mosaic pattern requires an almost rib-like backwards and forwards of the yarn and I hadn’t done that. That meant fixing every burgundy stitch as I went along. I was able to drop the two rows and fix each stitch without having to frog bag two whole rows. I had obviously lost concentration at that point. The difference is a little difficult to see but you may notice the white yarn cutting the bottom of each burgundy stitch where it shouldn’t, as you can see in the correct pattern in the section below it. Hopefully, I only have a couple of more weeks to finish this one. I’d like to get all these projects off the needles asap so that I can move onto some new cast-ons and some languishing WIPs.
Finished Object: I finally finished the Olilia advent shawl! The ends haven’t been woven in and it will definitely need blocking, but that will have to wait until I get home and find some time and space to do it. There is very little yarn left from the 12 mini skeins that I’d dyed up (only 3.5gms of each purple and red as shown) and I even calculated the amount for the picot bind off without having much leftover and not running out along the way. I worked out that I needed about 4 times the amount of each row and I had a little bit more than that as I wanted to cast off on a knit row. You can’t really see the picot at the moment without me pinning them back so I’m hoping that the blocking will resolve that.
The Songbird shawl is moving on with still more than a quarter of the second skein left. I have transitioned from the extra slanted stitch section into a garter stripes section and I’ll be able to add another slipped stitches section before I cast off. I will need to leave some for the tassels too.
There has been a little bit of progress on my Mina’s Vanilla socks. On the drive up on Friday, I noticed that I’d dropped a stitch but it was at least 10 rows down. At the gauge that these are knitted it would be too hard to pick up so I just added a safety pin and I’ll anchor it later. I seem to drop one stitch on most pairs of socks that I’ve knitted! It’s never noticeable but it’s very annoying.
At long last, my Turtle Dove is again underway! I tried it on the other day and decided to decrease again on the sleeves. Since then, I’ve added another decrease within about another 6 inches of knitting and I need to try it on again to see if any further decreases are required. The pattern has the sleeves finished with a ribbed cuff so I need to see where to start this. I have not yet decided on the bottom of the body. I have actually knit to further than where the pattern says I should start the ribbing for a high low split hem so I thought I would just knit the simple rolled hem. But, looking at my photo of where I’m up to on the body, I think I could still do the high low split hem. This project was cast on for Knitting Vicariously’s #blamedunderknitalong and I have until the end of January to finish it for it to qualify. It has been sitting waiting since the end of November, I think. I should be able to get it done! I have left the body on two needles to make it easier to try on, rather than adding the needle and taking it away each time.
Finally, I had intended to do a birthday cast-on but I didn’t plan well enough. During my stash sorting for the packing, I noticed several skeins that I would like to start working on, one being the Stranded Dyeworks Yesterday’s Bouquet in fingering and silk/mohair. I also have another fingering and silk/mohair combo and I was wondering what I could do with such a small amount of yarn. When I knitted my Millie top, I decided to use two different skeins that had overlaps of colour and the combo came out very nicely. As the Yesterday’s Bouquet skein has some undyed sections, I wondered whether I could alternate with an undyed skein and another silk/mohair. I did have a small amount of beige silk/mohair but not enough that would do the job. I thought I could use the Stranded mohair with the undyed fingering and the beige mohair with the Stranded fingering but firstly, of course, there’s not enough of the beige silk/mohair and secondly, it may be too plain, looking at how pale the Stranded mohair skeined up. I do have quite a lot of burgundy silk/mohair and I’ve decided to try that combination – the two stranded colourways together and the plain undyed fingering with the burgundy mohair. The Stranded fingering skeined up quite dark so the undyed fingering would lighten it up and the burgundy would match the burgundy in the Yesterday’s Bouquet colourway. Anyway, it is yet to be seen whether the combo will work well as I didn’t bring the right length cable to knit the rib neck in the round. I actually don’t think I have anything short enough with 6.0mm tips that would do the job. My Chiaogoo shorties only go up to 5.0mm. The pattern I’d chosen to do with this yarn is the Ranunculus. I already made one in a cotton/linen blend and I’ve been wearing it but I wanted a woollen one also. The one I’d knitted already was done with 5.0mm needles but I want a looser gauge with this one. It certainly doesn’t need a lot of yarn though I’m hoping to get long sleeves – or as long as they will go. I think I’ll use the 5.0mm shorties for the rib, adding some extra stitches and will then change to 6.0mm at the increase row. This project would qualify for the #2ndsweatherKAL being run by Cady Jax.
As mentioned, there’s only been knitting this week but I’ve got a stash of different projects that will be following me during our 3 weeks before moving into our temporary accommodation. During those 3 weeks, we will be staying at two different places, gratefully offered by family and friends. We will be moving into the first one in two weeks exactly today.
I had an opportunity to listen to my book the other day as I had a quick trip to Sydney on Wednesday if you call a 6 hour round trip a quick trip! No crafting at all on that day but I managed a good chunk of listening. I’m listening to The Godmother by Hannelore Cayre. It’s actually quite a quick read/listen so I hope I have some opportunities this week too. I’m not sure I mentioned it last week but my evenings are filled with binge-watching Call The Midwife on Foxtel Go. It’s such a heart-warming and also a heart-wrenching show! I also love it as it’s set in the time when I was only a few years old and, though it’s set in the east end of London, I can correlate it with my own neighbourhood, to a certain extent.
This week will again be very busy, more so because I’ll be spending a couple of days with Miss Evie and I’m so looking forward to that part of the week. Other than that, I’ll be lugging furniture and boxes into storage, as much as we can move by ourselves, and the rest will require some help next weekend. It’s Australia day next Sunday so there could be some festivities thrown in as well. I have the rest of the day in Sydney with my daughter today but it will be a relaxing one. So, until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!