Hello friends! Welcome from a damp south coast of New South Wales. We’ve just had more rain though not as much as the last two weekends. I think the weather will be clear for this week with a bit more rain expected on the weekend. Lucky I don’t need to rely on weekends anymore – we haven’t had a nice one for several weeks now. This week I had my turn at babysitting and Evie and I had a lovely day together. She is such a good girl and her vocabulary is growing so quickly. It’s rarely a case of guessing what she’s saying anymore. The weather was a little dicey but we ventured out and the sun decided to join us for the trip to the park. There were very few other children there but that is a good thing at the moment. I bought her her first pair of gumboots and they turned out to have flashing lights. That was a happy accident as these were the only ones I could get in her size. Needless to say, they were a bit of a hit. The park is right next to the beach and you can see how the surf is still quite rough with the recent bad weather.
The week seems to be a bit of a blur and I am forgetting to take photos. It started with brunch with a girlfriend on Monday and a trip into town on Tuesday where we also picked up the bed frame that we’d ordered. You can see it below after Robert and I put it together yesterday. That took a little longer than actually required because we essentially made it twice – apart from the bedhead, every other piece was first put upside down and we had to undo and turn each one around. The end result is great and I hope to replace the other spare bed frame at some point in the future. On Friday, I had a couple of girlfriends over for coffee, mainly because my friend Andrea hadn’t yet seen the house and it was a good excuse to get together.
New Cast-on #1: When I was chatting with my friend Mary yesterday, she told me she was knitting a Big Wool Baby blanket. We had made a few of these as gifts in the past and I remembered I had the yarn for one still in stash. I needed a good vanilla project for my knitting rotation as the Habitation throw needs to wait for some other colour leftovers, so I cast this on. This will be a quick knit and a good way of reducing some stash. It’s classified as super bulky and is 50/50 wool and acrylic so that makes it easy care. The yarn is a Lincraft brand and the pattern was a free leaflet that we got several years ago. I have searched Ravelry but can’t find it there at all, though they do have the yarn in the database. This will make a good pram blanket for either a boy or a girl and, depending on who likes it as to who gets it. There are a couple of babies on the way in the family and could also be a gift elsewhere.
New Cast-on #2: I don’t have these in order of starting but that doesn’t matter. A while back I saw the Baby Sports Fan pullover on Facebook and wanted to make it. I wanted to use the leftover main colour from my Koivua sweater and some leftover tweed colours from the Nightshift shawl. Anyway, I had to wait until the Koivua was finished so that I was certain I had enough leftovers. I started this on Monday, I think. It’s a very quick knit. The pattern has the pieces done separately for seaming and that is not how I operate. 😊 I have done the body in one piece and I’m going to use a three-needle bind off, or crochet bind off, for the shoulders. The yarn recommended was aran weight but my yarn is more like a light worsted, even DK. So it took some consideration as to which size I would make. I opted for 4.5mm needles rather than the 5.0mm and they are working well. The coloured yarn is actually lighter than the beige tweed and I couldn’t go any higher in number for that. I decided to do the third size (18 months) but with measurements for the second size (12 months) as the smaller needles would make the gauge tighter. I don’t know who this will be for as it’s basically a prototype and I have enough beige left to make another one with a different contrast colour. The sleeves are going to be tiny so I think I’ll do them with magic loop as my small 4.5mm needle is 12 inches. That will mean I can do them together anyway. The collar will be picked up in the contrast yarn and it is only a few rows so that it’s a rolled edge like the bottom of the body.
The Habitation throw is taking a rest once I’ve finished this little ball of yarn. I need to get some more leftovers in a variety of colours because, at the moment, all I have are reds and oranges and some green and I’ve recently used them all already. I have continued on the second half decreases but it’s not working right. For some reason, when I decrease on an eyelet row there are four stitches left instead of the three that the pattern indicates. When I was on the Aussie Knit session yesterday, Carolyn (@2knitncrochet) mentioned she had the same issue. I wonder if it’s something others have found and whether there is a remedy. I intend to check out the Ravelry page or ask the question. My concern is that the end side will decrease at a different rate to the beginning side.
I have blocked two sweaters this week. The Koivua was completely finished with all ends sewn in and I hope to wear it to breakfast tomorrow morning. You can see my nice floats below. There were a lot more ends to sew in that I had expected! The Le Pouf cardigan is blocked and now dry but I have yet to sew in the ends. I think I’ll do that this afternoon so that I can wear it. There are not many ends to sew in so it should be quick.
Finally, I changed the drive band on my Wee Peggy wheel and I’m now back in the spinning saddle! It was easier than I expected – my concern was how tight the rear flyer support was as I’d gone fully in each direction. I’m not up on all the terms but this part tightens and loosens the tension of the drive band. Anyway, it’s all working fine now and I’m working on the third and final bobbin of my October 2019 Ixchel Fibres batts. I only changed the drive band yesterday and I spent a little time spinning to ensure that it was working well but I enjoyed it so much that I went back to it for a good session last night. I hope to get this final bobbin done in the next few days so that I can chain ply it like the first two. I’m hoping to start something with these three skeins. Let’s see what length I have in each of the skeins as I may need to supplement with some other handspun of mine.
I finished the Willow pinafore, adding the buttons on Tuesday. Actually, the front two buttons were added when I was in Wollongong as I wanted to try it on Miss Evie for button position. Evie wasn’t in the mood for trying on so I just took a guess and added them while she was having her afternoon nap. It will be easy enough to move them if they need it. It’s a great pattern and I think I’ll be making more of these as she grows up, and for other little girls too as it’s a very easy pattern.
Evie is now wearing the Pansy dress that I’d made a couple of months ago. It is still a little bit big but just means that she’ll get more wear out of it. The size I did was 18 to 24 months, I think, so the sizing seems to be on the larger side.
I cut out a romper from an old pattern the other day. I believe it’s a 9-month-old size so I thought I’d do a toile first. That is a good thing because I can see that there’s a cut right in the middle of the front neck that I’ll need to remedy somehow. Anyway, this should be quick and easy to sew up otherwise so I hope to get that done soon. I have plenty of nice fabric to make a few of these.
While I was at Bawley Point, I printed off the Charlotte dress (short) which was a free pattern and yesterday I finished putting the pieces together. I have absolutely no idea what size I printed off as I selected the layer with Seam Allowance only (SA) which is a straight line and probably should have left the layer for the corresponding size which shows a different pattern per size. When I looked at the instructions yesterday, the solid line was for size 46 (EU) so that’s what I put on the pieces. I now realise that it is not this size but I’m not sure which I chose – I think it’s size 12 (UK) which is 40 (EU). The pattern only shows the EU sizes. Anyway, I really want to get this cut out and work on it for at least 15 minutes a day. I like doing a step or two at a time so that would work well. You can see the fabric I want to use and I hope I have enough. I’ll be able to finish the seams on the overlocker with the cream thread that I have on there now as the inside is light.
There’s been no action in the patchwork category this week but I did unpack a pile of quilts that are nearly finished or in need of sandwiching. The top one is a Christmas table runner and I love the fabric. The brown and aqua pattern is annoying me so I might think of how I can change that. The pink backing you can see is from a crayon quilt that I made many years ago but I wasn’t very good at quilting then (not that I’m fantastic now) but I had some issues and just put it away. It will make a nice girl baby gift so I think I’ll get it finished. I’ll show them more clearly when each is completed.
This week I finished the David Baldacci novel, One Good Deed, and really enjoyed it. As I suspected, this is the first book of a series but it is the only one published at the moment. I’ll be watching out for more. I have started another book, one for our book club, and it’s called The Botanist’s Daughter by Kayte Nunn. So far, it’s sounding a bit like a twee romance novel. I’ll give it a bit more of a go today and see if I can get into it a bit more. I have now finished the Call the Midwife series and I am missing it! I have moved on to The Blacklist to catch up on some episodes that have come out since I watched it last. There are a few series on Netflix that have new episodes or a new season for me to catch up on. I also took note of a couple of series that were recommended on Chat 10 Looks 3 – The Americans, The Bureau and Succession.
I don’t have too many plans for this week, aside from spending time in my studio, sorting, sewing and spinning. I have another week to wait until my Ikea order arrives and then I can make some decent progress. I’ll wait until I get those before I do another studio update. This afternoon I’m visiting a new osteopath so I hope he can do something with my back as it’s been pretty bad this week, particularly the last few days. I will also be visiting my mother-in-law who was suddenly taken to hospital last night after falling and breaking her hip. She is due for operation this afternoon so I hope I can see her afterwards. It’s time now to get this blog published so until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!