Sunday 22 March 2020. #87

Hello friends! I’m sitting on our deck while I do this blog and it’s really a beautiful day and a beautiful view. I’m not sure exactly where this past week went. Apart from a few appointments, it seemed to just disappear into the ether. Sunday afternoon was well spent with family and friends celebrating Kim’s birthday. Monday morning started with a catch up with the International Virtual Knit Night group. It’s so good to spend some time with people from all over the world and, at the moment with this global pandemic, it’s a good way to be social. The highlight for the rest of the week was probably my visit to donate blood and then last night’s dinner party where we thanked some close friends for their wonderful help when we were frantically trying to get everything out of the house. I was too busy to even take pictures! The weather certainly warmed up with three days ranging from 28 to 34 degrees and we’ll be working our way down the scale for a cold day tomorrow and most of this coming week.

My real highlight this week was seeing the progress on the house build. On Monday morning the slab was poured and on Friday afternoon the majority of the frame was up. On Thursday afternoon, Robert and I had a walk around the main level as it was just the floor and I got to see my studio on the level below as it will be, albeit with plenty of airflow. The first photo below is looking from the ensuite into the studio. There will be a large deck at the other end.

Knitting

My knitting focussed on two main projects this week, one being the Tuileries sweater. I didn’t have much left of the body to do so I tried it on and found it only needed another half an inch. Yay!! I have now started the tubular bind-off – well, I’m actually more than halfway through it. The pattern calls for separating the knit and purl stitches onto separate needles and then doing a sewn bind-off but I didn’t want to sit there and separate that many stitches when there are many tutorials on how to do it straight off the one needle. I’m using the Knitting with Suzanne Bryan tutorial on YouTube. With a tubular bind off, you need to have four times the length of the round hanging off the end and then treat each stitch individually, pulling all that yarn through each time. It’s a slow process but it does make for a great finish, though I’m not too sure the four set up rows are actually necessary. I’ll be glad to get the yarn onto the shortest sleeve now to catch up to where the longer one is. I think I’ll have enough yarn to do long sleeves.

The other knitting focus this week was the baby kimono sweater that I’d made up as I went along. I got to a design block with the fronts and finally decided that the plan I had would work. That was only after I borrowed a small garment from Kimberley to see if I was anywhere within the ballpark for size. Newborn things are soooo small that I often think they are too small but this works out at about 0-3 months or more. The garter stitch makes it very stretchy. All that is missing now are the buttons. I had bought some buttons just before we moved out of the house and put them somewhere handy but obviously not that handy as I have no idea where they are. I am probably heading into town tomorrow so I will get some more. I had already made the booties and hat and need to put buttons on the booties too. I hope to have the threads sewn in today and get the buttons sewn on tomorrow so that I can post the parcel, otherwise the baby will not get any use of it! He was born last week.

The only other item I worked on was very early in the week and it was the Drifting Snow mitts. I managed to finish the cuff but put it aside then as I want to make some alterations to the hand part. I found that my first trial mitt was a little loose so wanted to reduce the stitches by 2, perhaps. I think that would work overall but also think I’d like to go up from 3.75mm needles to 4.0mm to get a softer fabric. If I do that, I think that would cancel out the reduction of the 2 stitches so maybe I should reduce 4. I can do 2 easily on the first set up row for the thumb gusset so I’ll give that a try and maybe get rid of 2 more at thumb separation time. I’ll give it a go anyway and see how that works.

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Spinning

The black (grey), red and white spin is now off the bobbin and soaking. So far, the ply looks good and has tightened up since my previous plies. I think this is meant to be a beanie when it grows up and will be a gift knit.

I got the new spin going this week with the Wren and Ollie rolags that I showed you last week. I’m really enjoying this spin – I thought it would be hard to get back into a rhythm at drawing the fibre after a six-week hiatus but it’s going swimmingly. The yarn is a mixture of angelina, bamboo, merino, silk noil and tussah silk. And rolags are so easy to spin with! There’s a total of eight rolags to make up the 108gms and I’m into the second one now. The light brown looks more grey here.

Sewing

This week I finally finished my Kristy Top – apart from the single button I need to add at the neck. I am really pleased with this finish although it’s a bit tight across the bust. I have put on a couple of kilos since I cut this out mid last year and I’m hoping to change that situation. I was making this as a wearable toile using some fabric from a stash I received from a friend. Her mother had passed away and she was giving away her fabric that had been packed away for some time. I have no idea what it is – probably a light polyester; it has a lovely sheen. I hope I’ll be able to wear it as I really like it and it will be great for wearing now moving into winter. Here it is, wafting in the breeze the other day.

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#thegreatmodulesewalong has kept me busy this week, thinking about what I’m going to do with the fabric I have chosen and what else I needed to buy. I had settled on a navy, caramel and off-white/cream colour scheme based on a great navy top that I bought in the Christmas sales. It’s a heavier knit with longer than three-quarter sleeves so the weather has only just started to get to the temperature that I’m able to wear it. I absolutely love it and hope I can recreate it in other colours. It has centre front and back seams and has a grown on sleeve with pleats in the sleeve and the body. Very simple but looks great on.

So this is the plan: 1 topper – Audrey jacket by Seamwork (beige slub linen); 2 tops – the bought navy top and Monroe top by Tessuti (free pattern) (caramel/off white stretch); 1 dress (swapped for 3rd top) – sheath dress (Inspirations magazine) (brown patterned fabric with dark blue contrast shoulders); 2 bottoms – Pietra pants by Closet Case (toffee drill) and skirt (as yet undecided pattern) (caramel corduroy).

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The linen, striped stretch and patterned fabrics were from a huge stash that my mother unloaded recently. Both the linen and striped fabric have been washed (the striped fabric was actually still damp for the pic) and the rest will be washed today as soon as I run a zig-zag or overlocker on the edges so that the woven fabrics won’t fray. I intend for the Pietra pants to reach the top of my foot. I don’t think that cropped length would suit me and, being short if they don’t already reach the top of my foot, I’ll just lengthen them a bit. I have seen other photos of these made and they should turn out as I want them to. This afternoon, I think I’ll go for a quick win and cut out the Monroe top. I have my overlocker out of storage now and it’s ready to go with cream threads. When I was in town for the blood bank the other day I had the Audrey jacket, Pietra pants and Monroe top patterns printed on A0. I also purchased the toffee drill and the dark blue cotton sateen from Spotlight, along with a dress zipper, some topstitching thread and jeans buttons. Looks like I’m all set to go. I still need to decide on a skirt pattern and trace out the dress pattern. I have a roll of tracing vilene (? it’s not paper) at the storage unit and I think I know where it is. I hope the patterns will unroll enough to make them easy to cut out.

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Acquisitions

Apart from the fabric mentioned above, I took advantage of Spotlight’s sale this week with all paper patterns for $6. I have a list of patterns that I like on my phone waiting for a pattern sale to pick up a few. I started with these ones. I find that I’m more inspired by patterns when someone shows the finished item on their blog or podcast, which was the case with the top two at each side. I found these via TomKat Stitchery and the rest through the Stitch Sisters in one or more of their pattern reviews. Again, I forgot to buy a black button! Maybe tomorrow.

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Paraphernalia

The world is very different today than it was just a few weeks ago and everyone is trying to work out the best approach for themselves. We’ll be staying in as much as possible from now on or keeping our distance when any necessary venture into civilisation is required. I don’t intend to talk about it as I don’t think this is a forum for that discussion as it’s everywhere at the moment.

For my entertainment, I’ve listened to my A Noise Downstairs audiobook a little amongst listening to my regular podcasts. I’ve also been reading a real book – The Endless Forest by Sara Donati. This book was sitting on my bedside table for several years now, only being moved for dusting purposes. It’s the 6th book of the Into the Wilderness series and I was always going to pick it up and read it. That time has arrived as I have been reading a little each night when I go to bed and now I’m into it, look forward to these sessions. On Nine Now I have started watching New Amsterdam from Season 1 and it’s good. The main character was in The Blacklist and I like his character here better.

This week has absolutely nothing in my calendar as the course I was enrolled in was cancelled. It will be good to stay in and do some crafting and relaxing but I do intend to call in at some bathroom and tile showrooms. I need to get on top of some selections for the house and I feel confident that the showrooms in our area will be pretty vacant. I’ll be able to keep my distance where necessary.

It’s time for me to get into this sewing module so, until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and enjoying your creative pleasures!

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