Hello friends! Welcome to the end of Autumn Downunder 2020. Tomorrow begins our winter though we’ve felt a bit of it already in the last week or so. I’ve not been home much this past week, firstly going to Wollongong on Tuesday to babysit on Wednesday. Evie and I had a wonderful time together. We went for a big walk around Wollongong harbour and kicked the little soccer ball around, then did a touch of shopping. I was home on Thursday but on Friday we headed up to the house and to check out some more carpet, mirrors and door handles. While we were up there, Robert caught up with a few mates and I caught up with a couple of girlfriends. It was wonderful having some social time but then there was the one and a half hour drive home again. While at my friend, Narelle’s place, I noticed all the lorikeets on her date(?) palm just outside her deck. They were feasting on the fruit and having a big squawk about it all. There were actually more birds than in my photo below but they must have flown about when I took that. On Saturday, I visited with Marie and Kerrie and we had great catchup. Things are slowly starting to take on a bit of normality but it’s probably good that it’s slow at this point. As I mentioned, the weather has been a bit cool with mostly nice sunny days since last weekend’s downpours. There was one particular night when we could not avoid turning on the pretend fire, though we didn’t need to have it on all night, once the place had warmed up.
The beaches are as beautiful as ever and the clouds have been something to look at this week.
House Update: The feature of this update is the installation of the garage door. It looks great and it will look better once the stone wall is done to the left of it. The doors have been delivered and will be installed tomorrow, the tiler is starting tomorrow and more of the inside will be getting painted. At this point, only the garage has been painted as that needed to be finished before the garage door went on.
This week has been a knit and frog type of week. I picked up the sleeve stitches on one sleeve of my Le Pouf cardigan and knitted up a couple of fades then moved over the next sleeve. I was about 20 rounds in when I realised that I only had 60 stitches instead of 62 on that sleeve so I decided to rip them back. The two stitches would have made a difference and I am at that point with knitting that I don’t mind going back to fix things. In the not too distant past, I would have possibly decided that it would be fine. Anyhow, I’ve manage to get beyond those previously knitted rounds and further on the other sleeve. I’m just about at the elbow on the first sleeve which is where I need to start the increases.
New Cast-on: I started on the white twin cardigan this week. This time I’m using a different pattern, namely the Leaf Lace cardigan which is free. It’s shown on Pinterest with a photo that is actually a different and paid-for pattern I’d seen on Ravelry. The picture shown on Pinterest is the blue one below and the pattern they have is the white one I had done below. It’s still a nice leaf pattern even if it’s not the same. The first two pics are the first iteration of my knit and it was just too big. It would have easily fit Evie at 19 months, I think, where I am going for about 3 months. The pattern called for 3.5mm and 3.75mm needles. I had done the blue cardigan with a similar number of starting stitches with 4.0mm so I thought I’d just use the same. That may have been OK as I thought it was just the collar garter in the smaller needles but it turns out that the whole yoke is in the smaller needles and is why mine turned out so big. Anyway, I started again with the right sized needles and the final photo is where I got to last night after a few stitch count mishaps in the pattern repeats. I like this pattern much more than the one I used for the blue cardigan so I may just start another one in the blue yarn when I see how this turns out. I am doing this without the lace pattern prescribed for the body, just having stocking stitch after the yoke pattern.
My trusty Habitation throw got some love this week as it’s very portable and no-fuss knitting. I’ve put on a couple of colour repeats since last week’s post but I’m still a good way off the centre point where I need to start the decreases for the home run.
I hadn’t shown a skein photo of the Ashford merino/alpaca fibre spin. This spin turned out thicker than I expected considering that I had done a two-ply. It works out that there’s 101gm finished yarn at 168m. I think that translates to worsted weight.
I have finally finished the Ixchel November batt club spin. I hadn’t posted a pic of the pink skein previously and now the final ply is complete. That was the green/yellow bobbin. The plied bobbin is a bit blurry below but it was by far the most comfortable chain ply of the three of them. I had always thought that the bobbins need to be behind me when plying, as that’s what I’d seen before and seemed to work OK with normal plies. But for chain ply, I found my body twisted too much and it was awkward and painful. With the latest ply, I put my tensioned lazy kate out to the right-hand side of me and it worked a treat. These are essentially 3 ply skeins but have come up much thinner than the two ply that I just talked about above. I obviously spun that one thicker than these. The three skeins are shown together below – the blue on the left is 103gm for 216m, the pink in the middle is 101gm for 252m – the thinnest of the lot, and the green/yellow on the right is about 100gm (forgot to weigh before I put it in for a soak) for 210m – obviously, the thickest spin of the lot and the last one spun. That makes these about a DK or light DK, though the yarn itself ranges between fingering and worsted weight. I think they’ll work nicely together, though there’s not enough for a whole jumper. I might be able to use the blue/grey merino/alpaca above with it, even though the texture is a little different. I’m thinking of using all three (plus another skein) with helical knitting, essentially doing a four stripe throughout. There is a lot of overlap of colour within the three of these so it will not be noticeably a stripe.
I was able to cut out the Pansy Poppy and Jazz dress by Sew Over It yesterday. This will be a very quick and easy sew and I will probably do that tomorrow. I’m using some organic cotton jersey from Spotlight (see Acquisitions). It was difficult to work out the sizing as I measured Evie’s chest and then promptly forgot to write it down. I cut out the 18-24 month size which is where she should fit but I think it may be a little bit big. That doesn’t matter as she’ll grow into it and I have some more fabric to make another one, once I try this one on her this week and work out exactly which size I need for now. I had enough leftover to cut out a pair of Acacia knickers from the scraps. Again, I am not sure which size I need for those so this will be a prototype that I can work on. You never know, it may be the right size first off!
There was no actual stitching this week but I finally got my act together and cut out lots of circles on the Cricut that I borrowed from Kerry and Mary (bits from each). I’ll be able to do a heap more circles for the inner circle flower border on my Round the Garden quilt but I suspect that I may need to cut more. The first time I cut circles I cut out perfect rectangles of felt to use with the templates but this time I used all the bits and pieces of felt that had already been cut into. I have lots of bits and pieces with me but my full felt stash is in storage at the moment. It seems I will probably have enough to keep going for a while yet.
Evie and I went shopping in Spotlight for fabric for her Pansy dresses on Wednesday. We decided on the two florals below. These have been washed and dried but not ironed. The top floral looks like it may need ironing after washing but the other one came out much better. I think it may also be the front loader washing machine. I’m used to my top loader machine which is in storage but the front loader here and the one at our previous accommodation resulted in more creases than I normally get in my top loader. The blue animal fabric took my liking because Evie is currently into all animals and the sounds they make, and I think it may make nice pyjamas. I bought the olive spot because I already have a remnant and wanted to make a Monroe turtleneck out of it but there wasn’t enough fabric. Now I think I have more than enough! Maybe more knickers?
This week I’ve continued watching Ozark. It’s been very entertaining but I’ve only managed one episode at a time. Masterchef is still my favourite of the moment and is on all nights except Friday and Saturday. I really need to try some of the recipes that they make. I was able to download some more audio podcasts and I’ve been listening to those, including a new-to-me podcast called The Joyful Frugalista. This is an offshoot from another podcast which ceased recording. I listened to an interesting episode on shares the other day which confirmed I had little idea about this topic and I’m now much more enlightened.
This week will see more house stuff as we finalise carpets, pendants, door handles, mirrors and who knows what else. Every time I think we’ve finished making decisions, something else comes up. In the mix, we’ll be heading to Wollongong to help Steven and Kim move. It’s another opportunity to see Miss Evie too. Then we’ll have Erin and Shaun visiting for the long Queen’s birthday weekend. Some long time friends who holiday in Bawley Point will be here too and my friend Janice will be at Mary’s place. It will be very hard to see everyone but I’d like to manage that somehow.
Time to get this blog up before Sunday is actually over! It’s a bit later due to joining in with the International Virtual Knit Night Zoom this morning and then a visit from my MIL for lunch. So, until next week, I hope you are safe and well and enjoy all your opportunities for your creative pleasures!