Sunday 28 June 2020. #101

Hello friends! We’ve really arrived at winter here. If it’s a nice sunny day then it’s wonderful in a little protected corner in the sun. Without the sun, it’s very bitter. I say this as it’s all relative – we certainly don’t get any snow so it’s never that cold. This week has been busy with house and family so we’ve been out and about a lot. Monday was probably the only quiet day I’ve had all week. On Tuesday afternoon, we drove up to Wollongong via the lighting shop in Shellharbour where we picked the last of our lights. This time it was outdoor lighting. On Wednesday, I spent the day looking after Evie and she was quite unwell with a yucky cold. On Thursday, we went up to see how the house was going after the flooring had been installed and tested mattresses. Lunch was again late and ended up being pies at Huskisson with the great creek/bay view. On Friday, Grandma came to visit for lunch and I made a very nice frittata. Yesterday was a really big day. It started early when we headed to Shellharbour to pick up the last of the lights and fans that had arrived, before heading to the house to wait for some deliveries. After that, we called in to see our friends from Sydney, Peter and Sue, who were down at their holiday house in Swan Haven. It was a great catch up and turned into a seafood feast! It was after 9pm after we got home.

Here are some of this week’s beach views. I found this massive tree trunk on the beach and it must have been at least 20 metres long! Imperially, that is about 66 feet. The walks have become considerably cooler now.

House Update: Things are moving very fast now. The floorboards and carpet were laid this past week, the tiling was finished and the robes were installed. It’s looking great and I can’t wait for the rest of it to happen this coming week. I’m amazed at the difference that flooring makes. My studio looked smaller than expected until they laid the floorboards and now it’s looking huge. Same with the other rooms – I didn’t realise that would happen. I am now looking forward to seeing the kitchen, vanity and laundry cupboards installed, the shower screens, bath and accessories and the lights. I am hoping that we can move back in two weeks; if not, very soon thereafter.

Knitting

I did finish the body of my Koivua sweater this week but then it sat there until yesterday when I finally picked up the sleeves to start the last chart. The sleeve is tightly gathered on the 9-inch circular so it’s not easy to see but I should have considerable progress next week. I didn’t win at yarn chicken on the body rib – I had to join the next skein when I was more than three quarters through the bind-off.

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The second Leaf and Lace baby cardigan is almost finished, with only about 2 inches left to knit. I should manage that today and will be able to soak and block the two of them after I sew in the ends. Again, unlucky at yarn chicken as I had to join on the second last row before binding off the body. To pick up the sleeves I needed to frog the other cardigan that I’d made a couple of months ago. I wasn’t really happy with that one though I may have kept it if I didn’t need the yarn. There’s a good bit leftover, both blue and cream, so I may make a couple of little hats to go with the cardigans. I made this cardigan the same as the cream one, omitting the lace pattern in the body and sleeves. The other change that I made, which I don’t think I mentioned for the cream cardigan, is to decrease the sleeves during the knitting rather than waiting until the cuff to decrease the stitches by half. That would have produced a puffy sleeve and I didn’t want that look.

And my trusty Habitation throw was good for company knitting yesterday. My friend Sue is as avid a knitter as I am so we had lots of yarny goodness to talk about. I managed a whole repeat on this throw while we were chatting and I’m almost at the end of the magic knot ball. The colours in the magic knot ball seem to have blended together somewhat, not being as clearly defined as the previous yarns I had used. I’ll now need to find some more scraps. I do have some from my Le Pouf cardigan (which didn’t get a look in this week!) but I’ll need to drag out some more when I unpack my yarn stash.

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Spinning

I finally got around to plying the Ashford merino and silk bobbins on Friday. It was a very easy 2 ply and I’m really enjoying my tensioned lazy kate. I prefer to have it to the side of me, rather than behind me as I have seen in lots of spinning demonstrations. You can see it here when one ply had snapped. It was the only break of the ply so I was really happy. I have yet to wind this off onto my niddy noddy to work out the meterage and the weight of yarn. Another job for today!

This week I got my next spin ready. It’s the Ixchel Fibres October Batt Club – I have two of them so I separated them into three lots of about 100 grams. You can see the two batts opened up in the photos below and the top one is much more vibrant than the other. The batts were inspired by a painting by Salvador Dali and include merino, Tencel, angora, cashmere, bison, Angelina and silk. I’ll spin the three lots onto separate bobbins and chain ply them. I haven’t separated colours with this lot so I’ll be spinning end to end, though one bobbin will definitely be a lot bluer than the other ones. This will be the start of my Tour de Fleece. The event officially started yesterday but as I was out all day, I’ll put that down as my first rest day. 😊

Crochet

Finished Object: I have finished my Rings of Change blanket! When I posted last week I only had 50 grams of yarn left. The next two rounds were going to be plain half double crochet and then single crochet and I didn’t want to waste the remaining yarn on such plain stitches. I looked at the next round and it was for puff stitches all around so I decided to go with that. They were tedious but at the same time fun to crochet – this round used up 20 grams and I had to decide what to do with the rest of the yarn. The next round was to be chain sections going from single to half double then double crochet and would have looked silly without something more interesting on the next rounds, which would never happen with the amount of yarn that was left. Also, it was such a painful set of stitches so I ripped back after only doing a few inches. I had to decide on a finishing round and went for a scalloped edge. Due to the number of stitches around, it had to be divisible by 3 so I did a single, half double, double, extended double, treble and back down through them to single again. It’s good to know that I got to the other end with the right number of stitches. There was still 17 grams left so I decided to finish with a single crochet edge. I got all the way around to within about 15 inches when I did finally run out of yarn. I was not concerned as it’s not at all noticeable and I finished there. You can see the end of the yarn and the stitch marker for where I needed to get to. The final picture shows the scallop. The blanket is a good size but I know it will block bigger. I intend to block by pinning at the longest stitch of each scallop and I’m going to need some more space and more blocking mats – I only have two with me and no pins, so I’ll wait until I move back home when I will have all the space and items I need. When that’s done, I’ll post some close-ups of the different stitch patterns along the journey of this blanket.

Sewing

The closest I got to any sewing this week was to purchase and print the Itch to Stitch Oia dress pattern. It’s a style that I absolutely love and it was on special. I am really looking forward to making this one but the fabric is in the shed (if there is enough of it) and I’ll need to buy some lining fabric. I have started putting the pattern pieces together so that it will be ready when I’m able to tackle it. There’s really no hurry as I won’t be wearing it any time soon!

Paraphernalia

There’s not as much variety as usual in my crafting this week because of being out so much and I’ve come to realise that some things will need to wait until I have the space to work on them. I’m looking forward to moving home and it looks like I only have a couple of weeks left now. I don’t think I can express how excited I am to do that! We should be able to start emptying the storage shed of all the boxes and smaller items by the end of the week after this one and, hopefully, we can then get the large items moved on that weekend. That will mean that we can actually stay there though the kitchen backsplash may not have been installed yet. That is the last thing to get done for the kitchen when it’s all installed. The benchtops will go in before that and they also require measuring up and installation before the splashback can be measured up. We’ll be able to do without the splashback as we’ll be spending most of the time unpacking everything. It won’t worry me if I have to camp in my new house but we’ll definitely have all the beds there by then.

I’ve been listening to my audiobook – A Court of Thorns and Roses and still working my way through season 2 of New Amsterdam. I have plenty of data download to use over the next 12 days before I go back to the minimum data plan. I’m hoping to use most of it up before then otherwise I’m going to lose it. Another job now is to get the wifi happening at home and that will depend on the day the electricity is switched on. There’s a lot to do before we move home but I’m looking forward to it as it will mean the ultimate reward at this point. So, until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

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