Hello friends! I am enjoying some winter sunshine today in my outdoor “office”. You can see the photo of me when I started this morning though I had to retire to my inside office for a while because the wind was a bit cool for early morning. I’m now back on the deck and it’s lovely – still windy but much warmer. This week I drove up to Wollongong to look after Evie and I babysat for the first time at the new house. Here are some of the pictures from our walk. The top one shows Wollongong in the distance. The beaches here are lovely and there’s a great park just nearby with lots of swings and slippery dips. Next time we’ll walk in the other direction to see what we find. On the way home on Wednesday night, I stopped off at the Jervis Bay Brewery at Huskisson to pick up Robert and I enjoyed a drink and a pizza. It’s nice that things are getting back to normal and we can enjoy a little bit of socialising. Thursday was a busy day with three appointments. You can see that one was for my regular blood donation. I planned the others around that as it’s a 3 hour+ round trip at the moment.
Last Sunday, while Erin and Shaun were here, we decided to go for a walk to Nuggin. That’s a point to the north of the northern end of Bawley Point. It turns out that it was not possible to get there as Lake Willinga had broken open to the ocean. It’s been a long time since that had happened and was very long overdue. The lake had been creeping ever so close to the bridge level and the ground near the road out to the highway was getting swamped. This was quite an occasion! You can see it in the first photo below with lots of locals and tourists there to experience it. We must have timed it perfectly as we weren’t aware of this happening. There were so many kids out there on their boogie boards and surfboards riding the standing waves. The water coming out was very brown and full of debris that was leftover from the fires at the end of last year. Yesterday I went for a walk to see how it was and you can see from the other photo that the water is now clear and fresh.
After checking out the lake opening, I went for a walk along the track beside the creek that leads to the lake. It was another beautiful winter day and the views were so picturesque – I couldn’t help but take several snaps. Here are a few of them.
Well, it wouldn’t be an MCO post without some beach views and this week’s ones did not disappoint. I love how the sun photographs when it’s peeking out of the clouds and how the clouds reflect on the water on the sand. And a misty beach photo is always worth taking.
Iso Cooking: This week I tried another one of @notquitenigella‘s recipes that I’d added to my list. This is the Simple French Apple cake and it was lovely, even if I did overcook it a little. I only made a half batch and it’s hard to estimate the cooking time when you do that. It didn’t help that I was cooking dinner in the oven at the same time. It should have had a bit of a custard centre and would have if I’d taken it out sooner. I’ll make this one again and know what I’m doing with it next time.
House Update: Things are starting to ramp up on the house front. This week saw the wet area floor tiles being installed. I think they are probably all in now waiting for grouting as these pictures are from Thursday. You can see the gadget hanging from the wall just inside a couple of the bathrooms – that’s the underfloor heating. I am so looking forward to that! The inside painting also started, the first coat being sprayed on. It’s so much easier to paint when the house is new. Just cover up windows and doors and spray it all on! The scaffolding has been removed and you can see the back view properly now. The piers need painting and the deck glass balustrades need to be installed but it’s looking good. That will be happening soon. The flooring has been organised and the kitchen is due in two weeks. I think it will only be four more weeks now before we can move in. I’m started to get excited about that and planning in my mind what I’ll be doing for the unpacking. That’s a good thing as I’ll need to get a few bits of furniture and other items so sooner is better than later.
Lots of driving time this week meant less knitting time. I much prefer to be driven and that way I can get where I’m going along with getting some knitting done. My main focus this week, little though it was, was on my Koivua sweater and I’ve gained some ground on the body. I started the body colourwork with the red yarn and joined the orange ball after the first couple of rows. I thought that was better than a clean break into orange. I made sure I had enough red so that I can do this on the sleeves as well. I have another 5 rows in the orange and then I’ll bring in the caramel yarn. The sleeves have a different pattern so I need to introduce the caramel before the body ends so that there’s some flow between the body and the sleeves.
Later yesterday and into last night I concentrated on the sleeves of my Le Pouf cardigan. I managed to get a good three inches done on the first sleeve which now has me at the same point where I ended the rows for the body of the cardigan. I marked down how many rows of each colour and each marle section between colours as I went along so that I could follow that with the sleeves. You can see my checkmarks and scribble on the piece of paper. That’s my MO, using a piece of paper to mark things down and sometimes the piece of paper already has stuff on it, like this one. Generally, I like to print the pattern and use that so that I don’t lose the notes. I haven’t been printing them lately as setting up the printer is more effort than it’s worth. I sometimes mark on the pdfs on the computer screen but that has limited scope. One problem I find with random sheets of paper is that they can get lost together and it’s hard to remember which notes were for which project if I need to refer to them again. I think that’s a temporary issue as I’m kind of “camping” at the moment and working in my new studio will be wonderful! I have two photos of my cardigan here because I was trying to get the colour right – one in shade and one in sunlight. Neither of these turned out close as the real thing is considerably darker.
I finished the body on my Leaf and Lace baby cardigan. This is looking great and I’ll be picking up the sleeves this afternoon.
Again, I managed some work on the Habitation throw. I did some while Evie was having lunch the other day and she wanted to play with my magic knot ball thinking it was a normal ball. So sweet!
There hasn’t been a great deal of progress on my spin this week but I did start on the second bobbin. I’m looking forward to getting some more done for Stash Dash this year. Stash Dash started on the 22nd May and I’ve clocked up some metres already. I have several projects nearing completion that will qualify for my Stash Dash total. Spinning is a good way to get some kilometres. Eash spin counts for the number of finished metres and that is multiplied by (the number of plies plus one). I’ll also be participating in the Tour de Fleece this year as part of team IVKN Wooligans. This event is to spin each day that the Tour de France is riding, with options to follow suit on the rest days and challenge days by resting and doing some challenging spinning. Or just plain spinning throughout. It’s generally a competition but our Team is just a social one. The Tour de France was due to start on June 27 but has now been postponed to August 29 so I’m thinking that will delay our Tour de Fleece.
The Rings of Change blanket also got some love this week and I worked out the issue I was having with the round I was on last week. There were so many single crochet stitches in a row with a couple done together here and there, and just working out exactly where I was at any given point was very difficult as the stitches are small. And it wasn’t just doing X number of single crochet – no, it was more like sc in next 2 sts, sc in ch sp x 3, plus extras x 2. There was one spot where there was a single chain amongst single crochet stitches that I needed to aim for but it was almost invisible. Anyhow, I got through it and have finished another round as well. I’m now down to 75 grams of yarn – the last round took 7 grams and the one before took 16 grams. It all depends on what stitches make up the round – I should have 3 or 4 rounds left. Maybe. This will be great for my Stash Dash total. I haven’t actually explained this year but Stash Dash is a challenge to finish lots of projects. All the WIPs are brought out of hibernation and finished off. This one is very close to the end.
Being out of the house a lot this week meant not much has been happening on the sewing front. I did, however, get my act together yesterday and printed the Willow Pinafore pattern and cut it out. I’m using some pinwale cord that I purchased as a remnant and there was plenty, leaving some more for a future project. The pattern has a bodice lining and I decided that I didn’t want to use the cord for that so now I need to sort out some other lighter weight fabric. That means this won’t be started until I get that. Maybe a trip to the storage shed will produce some but it may be easier to just go to Spotlight and buy some. I can’t wait to have everything unpacked and sorted into my studio!
I’ve lost steam on my #thegreatmodulesewalong with only one and a bit more to go. The bit – I didn’t quite finish the sheath dress as it’s a summer dress and needed some adjusting. I decided that I will wait until closer to the time when I may actually wear it in case it needs further adjusting. The final item was to be the Erin skirt by Sew Over It. I still want to make this but because the pattern needs grading and that is within the pocket section, it has gone into the “too hard basket”. I feel that I need something easy to do instead of feeling like I have to make myself work on a project. I want to enjoy my sewing so I think I’ll do something else for now, especially since my current workspace is less than ideal. That just makes everything a little bit harder. I have been watching the And Sew On podcasts where Lisa has shown many free patterns and I’ve downloaded a few of those. Yesterday I printed out the Charlotte dress pattern from Fibre Mood (photo below). The short one is free and is meant for someone 10cms taller than me so I think the length will be fine. I’ve got some fabric that I can use, purchased from The Sewing Basket, a fundraising shop that sells donated crafting supplies. The fabric will be great for, hopefully, a wearable muslin. The fabric is black with a floral pattern so it will mean that I’ll need to change my overlocker threads – unless the back of the fabric is actually light. I don’t remember at the moment as the fabric is at the storage shed. It’s been decades since I actually changed threads in an overlocker. I have lots of patterns I want to make but it’s a little difficult for now so I’ll do something that I like. Here are some of the patterns I’ve downloaded lately.
This little miss on the Paper Doll quilt now has some shoes and as they are made from velcro she’ll be able to wear other shoes too. I traced the shoe pattern onto some Heat and Bond and then ironed that onto the soft side of velcro. It seems that I’ve made one leg slightly larger than the other but it won’t be too noticeable. I’ll just need to allow for that when making the shoes. These now need to be stitched to the fabric as the Heat and Bond will last only so long. It’s more just to get something fixed in place so that you can more easily stitch.
Another little patchwork project I’m about to start is cushion making. Last week I mentioned that I spent some time with Mary and our friends, sifting through some of Mary’s boxes of furnishing samples. From that, I grabbed a few that I thought might make some good patchwork for cushions. I spent a little time on Pinterest and found some examples that I might make up for the new house. I’m going very neutral with the house and intend to use pops of colour to brighten it up. These can be changed easily on a whim whereas furniture and walls are somewhat harder. The pictures are only inspirational. The colours will be my choice.
This week I’ve been watching several episodes of New Amsterdam. I’ve enjoyed this show and I’ve been rationing the episodes to fit in with the current data download. I’ve also caught up with some podcasts but I’ve not listened to my book this week. I’m wondering if that means I’m not really into it. I’ll give it another try. I’ve also started organising our annual retreat for August as I’ve received word from the accommodation manager that it’s very likely to go ahead. Restrictions have been lifted so that you can have 20 other people in your home but we’re hoping that accommodation numbers lift in the time before we go. That is if there is not a spike in numbers from the riots and lifted restrictions. We’re monitoring the situation as we go along and are keeping our fingers crossed.
It looks like we’ll have a quick trip to Sydney this week to sort out some issue for my parents but otherwise there is little planned. I should be able to spend some more time on my crafting. My next episode is number 100 and I’m amazed that I’m about to reach that milestone! I hope you are safe and well and, until next week, I hope you enjoy lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!