Hello friends! Welcome to Winter Downunder. In my little piece of paradise, the weather has been very cold but we’ve also had a day or two where it has been sunny and warm, more like early autumn. The past week has been very busy and has limited the crafting time a little. On Monday, I visited the house and picked up some carpet samples. On Wednesday we drove up to Wollongong via the house and carpet shops and helped Steven & Kim prepare their new house for the move in the next day. That afternoon I sanded the skirting board in the lounge room and then assisted with painting the boards. After packing lots of boxes that night, the removalists arrived the next day and took the big furniture items while we did several trips with boxes. On Friday, after a bit of housework, I had lunch with Mary and Janice and then we spent some time in Mary’s sewing room sorting through some boxes of furnishing fabric samples with Kerry. After that and some grocery shopping, our friends Bruce and Rebecca called in for a drink and chat. We hadn’t seen them for about a year so it was lovely to catch up. Soon after they left, Erin and Shaun arrived for the weekend. That’s when the cooking started. They brought along a game called Bananagrams which is a take on scrabble played individually. The only reference to bananas is the shape of the bag the pieces come in and the terms used for playing. It was lots of fun and we even got Grandma playing it on Saturday afternoon.
Though we weren’t home much this week, I managed to get plenty of beach photos; some very early in the day and some later in the afternoon. The clouds were certainly very interesting on Sunday afternoon. I also snapped these bell shaped flowers that seem to have bloomed around the rocks at the points. I would have thought that to be unusual at this time of year.
Iso Cooking: There weren’t too many opportunities for ancillary cooking this week until yesterday. Apart from a fresh focaccia (not shown) I took the opportunity to make a Caramel Apple Cheesecake from #notquitenigella’s website. Shaun particularly likes both caramel and cheesecake so it was the perfect treat to make for his birthday last month, since we couldn’t celebrate it then. It was a great cheesecake and I’ll keep that one on the list for a future re-make!
House Update: This week’s achievements at the house included internal doors and the external laundry door. The floors of the bathrooms and laundry have had screed put down, including the under floor heating in the 2 bathrooms upstairs. The tiling was due to start last Wednesday so I’m looking forward to seeing if it has. The gyprock has been finished off, including the under-stairs area in my studio. That means that the painting can and may have started. The painters were finishing up any patching ready for the spraying. We have now chosen the carpet so there’s little left to decide on.
I finally finished the yoke on my Koivua sweater. It’s looking great but will certainly benefit from a good blocking to get the stitches to settle evenly. This project came along for the drive north on Wednesday – a good block of knitting time. Today I will be separating for the sleeves and moving into the next colourwork chart. I’ll be doing that one in matching orange yarn.
On the trip home from Wollongong on Thursday evening I got most of the body finished on the Leaf and Lace Baby cardigan – obviously I have omitted the lace part and kept it plain stockinette. As I was knitting in the dark, this one was the obvious choice. It was easy enough to knit the button bands by feel as they are only K5, P1 at each end or K6 at each end and the rest either knit or purl. I stopped before I got too far as I didn’t want to measure it in the dark.
There’s been some more progress on my Habitation throw and it could have been good for knitting in the dark but I was up to a lace row and decided not to do that.
I started a new spin this week. It’s another pack of Ashford fibre, this time merino and silk. I have spun a few of these already so this one will be a good addition to the stash. I finished the first bobbin but haven’t started on the second one yet.
The Rings of Change blanket has had some progress but the rounds are so long now it’s not easy to notice. I would have done a little more but I was stuck on the beginning of the latest round. I’m wondering if there is a mistake in the first part of the instructions for that round. I went over it many times and it doesn’t seem to work. That is the bit before the repeat starts and the repeat seems to work fine. I’ll be able to use the repeat instruction to get that round started. There’s not a lot of yarn left so I have weighed it now to find out how much it uses for this round and will do that for the next round and however many are left. I think there may be only a few rounds that I can get out of the remaining yarn. I’m up to the last strand of the colour change and will be onto plain turquoise soon. There is a good bit of turquoise to finish with so we’ll see how many rounds we get.
Last week I had cut out the Poppy and Jazz Pansy dress by Sew Over It and I sewed it together on Monday. It came out really well and was a quick easy sew. I mentioned that the fabric isn’t fantastic and I haven’t changed my mind but it should be OK for the amount of time that Evie will be able to wear it. It will be good for daycare. It is a little bit big yet but should be good for the end of winter/start of Spring.
I had also cut out a pair of the Acacia knickers by Megan Neilsen. It was very easy to put together. You can see below how the gusset uses the burrito technique to ensure all seams are hidden. They seem to fit but I may adjust the pattern a little bit to suit my personal preferences. I’m not 100% sold on jersey knickers so they may not be a success. I probably wouldn’t bother but they keep changing the ones that I like.
Apart from a couple of audio podcasts, I’ve really not listened to or watched anything else. Masterchef has been a staple but that’s about it. I’ve been very disturbed by the riots and riot police events occurring at the moment and feel that this shouldn’t be happening in this day and age. It’s obvious that there are still people who need to be educated. I can’t speak to this personally as I don’t have the words but I’ve taken in a lot from more knowledgeable people on Instagram.
This blog is coming out so late today and that’s due to visitors and activities but also because of the slow internet available down here at the moment. As it’s a long weekend and the first opportunity for anyone to travel since March, the area here has been overrun by tourists. It’s normally a sleepy little seaside village and has been even quieter since the Covid 19 Lockdown. As I’m not using wi-fi, the data network seems to be overloaded and it’s been like working with dial-up internet again!
I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy and, until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!