Sunday 9 August 2020. # 107

Hello friends! Welcome from a very wet and windy south coast New South Wales! Proper winter has decided to visit again and it’s pretty miserable. Great for being indoors and crafting. Or unpacking, which seems to be my go-to at the moment. I’m working on the process of a bit of sewing, a bit of unpacking, coffee, repeat. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m crawling towards it! One thing that has totally slipped my mind recently is that I’ve now just passed my second anniversary of this blog! My first post was on the 29th July 2018 and I forgot in the blog before and after that date this year. I think my celebration is actually setting up my studio so that I can continue to post many more!

This past week has been fairly uneventful and was probably what I needed. I have been recuperating from another cold (another Covid test to confirm that that’s all it was) and I put it down to a stressful couple of weeks with moving and unpacking, leaving me very rundown. Last Sunday I was still down at Mary’s place with a couple of others and we continued crafting. Our weekend finished on Monday morning. The pics show one of the projects which was almost put together, along with some stitching and afternoon nibbles. On Thursday, a few of our sewing group had a Facebook Room day where we worked together virtually. It was in place of our retreat, and it would have been our last day there. I managed to get a fair bit done and I wish I’d thought to take a snapshot of the screen. Last night we had dinner with our friends Mick and Annette. It was lovely to get out of the house for some social interaction, even if we did have to brave going out into a very wet evening to get there!

There have been lots of different views from my place this week. It was full moon early in the week and you can see it rising and then shining on the bay. The Navy was doing doughnuts in the Bay again and then the rain came. You can see how miserable it has been the last couple of days and still going now. I believe the forecast is for a short respite before more of the same for next weekend.

My new kitchen has inspired me to get cooking! I think the nasty weather had something to do with it as it’s all comfort food. I got to use my new Scanpan stewpot to make a big quantity of vegetable and lentil soup. While that was cooking, I whipped up some chocolate and hazelnut biscuits. These are from a very old recipe book that I put together for our primary school when the kids were little. It was a great fundraiser and I know of many people that still use it. While I was looking through the book I came across a chocolate nut slice that I hadn’t made for years. I thought that would be nice to take to dinner last night. The recipe only has nuts and chocolate but this time I added some toffee to make it a nut praline with chocolate topping. It was yum! And I still have plenty of all of these goodies left. This morning I was inspired by Recipe Tin’s Facebook post for lamb and fetta gozleme. It was the perfect dish for lunch today. I made up the flatbread dough and filling early and then only had to put them together for frying.

Studio Update: Well, I can only say the studio is getting, and will get, worse before it gets better! Mind you, there are now only 4 large boxes left to unpack. Once they are all done, I will work on the small boxes. There is so much more room to move around now, though at times I need to negotiate the piles. I’m putting things together and working out the best places for everything. I have ordered more tabletops and another small set of drawers, a set of drawers on casters, along with two Ikea Billy glass-fronted bookcases but, unfortunately, delivery of these items will not be until the 24th August! My friend Mary, who is further down the coast, is able to get delivery within a week. I’m assuming that’s because it may be close to a hub that is on the main highway? Anyway, it’s really slowing down my progress. You can see that I’ve set up a sewing section so I’m able to do something in between all the unpacking. The desk you see will be extended along where the ironing board is currently located. To the right of the ironing board is the wall (next to the ensuite door) where the bookcases will be. I’ll be putting fabric in one and yarn in the other and you’ll be able to see the colours through the glass. In the meantime, I’ll be chipping away at other bits and pieces.

Knitting

It didn’t take much to finish off my Koivua sweater. All I need to do now is to sew in the ends and block it. I haven’t hurried with that but should get it sorted so that I can wear it. I don’t think having it sitting around wet at the moment is a good idea but I should get the ends done so that it’s ready to go at the first sign of sun or at least dry weather. It was a really fun knit and went much more quickly than it seems as it languished during the move. I have a little bit of the main colour left and I want to use it in a baby sweater. I was just waiting to see what was left. I do need to find where the remaining balls (or maybe just one?) are hiding. Most things require a bit of a treasure hunt at the moment!

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My Habitation throw doesn’t look very different but I have added a couple of more colours. I also completed my first row of decreases so I’m looking forward to these rows getting quicker as I go along. I need some more colours – my stash only has leftovers in the warm reds, pinks and oranges and I definitely need some more blues and purples. Grey would be good too. I may need to knit some more projects before I can get too far on this one.

I didn’t get to make the pom-pom yet for my Greek Mosaic beanie but I started a scarf to go with it. I was wondering what I would do to match the ribbing on the beanie so I went for a single colour brioche stitch. The ribbing would have been too tight but the brioche has gone to the other extreme. After two repeats I thought it would be a good idea to add a stitch or two on either end, which I did, and continued another repeat. At this point, I decided I needed to rip back to the beginning of the mosaic stitch. This will be a good thing as I wasn’t happy with the edges but, looking at this picture, I can see that I made a mistake in the last couple of rows of the last repeat! Sometimes it’s much easier to follow a pattern than to try and invent one. The chart for the beanie starts at a different point so I need to work out where I’m at each odd row.

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Spinning

Unfortunately, I’ve not yet managed to get the drive band changed on the wheel so no spinning this week. I really want to get that sorted so that I can spin – I think I’ll put that at the top of my priority list. I think I’ve put it off because I’m not sure I’ll do a great job of it, but I won’t know until I try and I may surprise myself.

Sewing

While we were staying at Bawley Point, I cut out the Willow pinafore for Evie but I had not yet picked it up to sew. On Friday, I started on it and it is just about done now which is great because I’ll be able to take it up with me this week. I would probably have finished this yesterday except I need buttons. I may only have four big boxes left but I have not emptied the one with the buttons yet! I’ll do another box or two this afternoon and, hopefully, they will be unearthed. The fabric is a remnant of pinwale corduroy – that apparently has the second narrowest ridges in the corduroy family. This will look great with a navy skivvy and navy tights. I have used a navy with pale turquoise spot Cotton and Steel fat quarter for the bodice and strap linings. I hope I have some navy buttons to go with it. I’ll need 6, I think, so fingers crossed!

Another project I’ve been thinking about is mask making. I have put this off thinking it won’t be necessary but now realise that it will be better to be prepared. If Sydney heads the way that Melbourne went, we will need these and the reusable type would be better than the disposable ones. I thought I had some elastic but I can only find the underwear elastic I purchased a couple of months ago. Maybe in another box? I did buy some hat elastic in March but I don’t really know where that is at the moment. I think I’d prefer something a little wider as the hat elastic is very narrow. This is an Olson mask and I’ve been following SewCanShe’s tutorial. I also have a toddler size and a child size pattern so I’m going to give the toddler size a go next.

Patchwork

This project is currently under the Patchwork heading but should next feature under the Stitching heading. I’ve moved a little forward with my Over the Hill quilt by Wendy Williams (Flying Fish Kits). On Thursday, during our Facebook Room session, I put together the individual blocks to make this first section. Each section has its own title and this is the “Life in the City” section. From here I need to cut out and attach some felt shapes – for this one it will be a tree of life, some normal trees and some houses, mainly. I was going to continue onto that on Thursday but I didn’t know where my freezer paper was hiding. I have since found it so I can now get onto that part.

On Thursday I started another project. I had found a Superman fat quarter pack that I’d forgotten about and decided that it was time to make another play mat. I checked out a lot of quilts on Pinterest but I was specifically looking for something with larger blocks to showcase the larger prints. I found one I liked and made up a design and measurements to follow. I just used Excel, with each cell at a width of 2 to indicate each inch. It’s a really easy and effective method. I’ll be adding white sashing and just need to dig it out of my fabric box. I’ve been putting all the fabrics for the Billy bookcase into a big box and I know the white fabric I want to use is in there.

One problem with unpacking is that I keep finding things I want to do. There are so many but I have decided that this kit will be my next project. I ordered this kit from Craftsy several years ago and I think now is the time to get into it. The pattern is also on Craftsy (or is it still Bluprint?) so I’m glad we are still able to access it. Craftsy/Bluprint was going to be closed down but it has now been taken over and will continue. It’s a good thing because I now have time to use all the patterns and classes I have there. I’m not in a hurry to start this yet (yes I am😊) so will finish a couple of other things first.

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Stitching

Thursday was a very productive day! After working on some patchwork (shown above), and doing some unpacking, I also did some stitching on my Round the Garden quilt. Doing a little bit most days will see this section finished by next week, or very close to it.

Paraphernalia

I am still working my way through Call the Midwife on Foxtel, now on Season 9 and I am still enjoying it very much. It’s like the characters are friends. The last couple of days while working in my studio I’ve continued to listen to my audiobook, One Good Deed by David Baldacci. Initially, I was not totally impressed as it seemed a bit slow and naive. The setting is in the late 1940s and I’ve realised that the narration is very well suited to that era. It’s like watching a Bogart movie or something like that, except that I’m watching it in my head while listening to it.

Coming up this week, I will be minding Evie on Wednesday. I’m looking forward to that as I haven’t seen her for nearly three weeks now. On Thursday, a colleague from Canberra will be in the area and I’ll be catching up with her and another colleague that I worked with locally. It’s the first association I’ve had with work since I left, now just gone one year. I’m kind of looking forward to that, not that I’m missing work at all. And now it’s time for me to open another box and maybe warm up a little bit. It’s certainly gotten cold in here! Let’s see how much I get done this week. Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

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