Sunday 30 August 2020. #110

Hello friends! Welcome to another week of bedlam here at MCO headquarters.  😊 The weather has been beautiful with so much promise of a hot spring and summer. Hopefully, it doesn’t mean bush fires like we had last summer and like the western side of the US is currently experiencing. The only social event this week was Book Club on Tuesday night where I was able to attend for the first time since last year. It was great catching up as I wasn’t there to discuss the books – I hadn’t read these ones though I’m catching up with one of them now. Other than that, this week has been full on. I have either been working in the studio or working on the front lawn. The front lawn was a lot of hard work and I’m so glad that it’s done and over with. The garden still needs to go in but that is only a small section. Robert had the job of breaking through the hard dirt where it had been compacted by heavy machinery during the build and dried after the rains. We lifted rocks, shovelled and raked topsoil and carried heavy rolls of turf! Now my back is recovering – again. But what a wonderful result and I’m looking forward to a lot less dust in the house. We have a tank of water which is great for watering as there is no rain expected for about a week. I hope it’s a heavy downpour to give the garden a good soak and refill the tank.

The majority of my crafting this week has been the IKEA type. All the boxes arrived on Monday and, in between working on the front lawn, I put some of it together. So far it’s all going well except for the Miecke drawers on castors. It is a bit rickety and I’m concerned I didn’t put some of the inners together properly. I had no problem with the first bookcase and the drawers for under the tabletop but the Miecke is totally different. Anyway, I have one bookcase almost ready to fill; it just needs to be anchored to the wall at the top so that it doesn’t topple. The bookcases are 2m tall and only 30cm deep so will definitely need to be anchored. As I’m still working through the construction phase, I wasn’t able to start any of the sorting phase, only finding that I’m just moving boxes from one side to the other to the other when I need to do anything. The desk area is almost setup – I just need to cut off a piece from the end of my old tabletop so that it fits nicely into the nook.

I got out on the bike four times this week and was able to enjoy the beautiful weather. It was very cold one morning with the apparent temperature below 2 degrees Celcius but the sun was shining a treat. I didn’t bother with the bike ride on Friday as I was exhausted by the lawn work on Thursday and I knew what was coming up.

Knitting

As I mentioned earlier, there hasn’t been a lot of real crafting time this week. I did manage to finish one sleeve on my Baby Sports Fan pullover. I’m not fussed with how the decreases happened so quickly. It will still fit the baby’s arm but I think any future ones will have an extra round or two before each decrease. I hope to pick up the stitches for the other sleeve tonight.

There’s been plenty of progress on my Big Wool Baby blanket. When I did get some knitting done, I usually picked up this project. There’s not a lot left to go on this one as I am now into the second last ball of the main colour. Then there’s the top border which is only eight rows. I may have miscounted on the bottom border as it seems quite thin.

Spinning

This is what I gravitated to mostly this week when I managed any crafting. The spinning wheel has been moved around the studio a bit along with the chair that I sit in to spin. Everything else has been in a state of upheaval but the wheel has been accessible the whole time. It’s great for watching shows at night. After finishing my Ixchel Fibres October 2019 batts, I tried the lucky dip version of finding my next spin. I pulled out two braids and settled on this one. It’s another one from Ixchel, this time merino (70%) and silk (30%). It is spinning up very nicely. I was going to do this one on two bobbins as a traditional two ply but before I got to the halfway point I changed my mind. I was trying to decide what to do with the three skeins I had just finished and realised that I need one more skein to make it into a sweater – the colour of this new spin would fit perfectly. Therefore, I am now doing this one as a chain ply to match and I’ll be able to use the helical method with the four skeins to make it all balance and have enough to complete a project. I haven’t done helical with four strands so this is going to be very interesting. The normal way would be one skein of the blue yarn and one of the beige yarn but then I would run out of the beige. So four x helical it is!

Sewing

I only got to do some sewing yesterday as the machines had been moved so that I could sort out the tabletops. As I’m still waiting for my third (and oldest) tabletop to be shortened to fit, I have moved my new machine over to the dining table and I was able to move my old machine onto one of the tabletops. It’s all fun and games at the moment – either a treasure hunt or musical boxes/machines! Anyway, I did get some time to do the next step on my Charlotte dress. Early in the week I put the bottom fronts and back together and started on the frill. Yesterday I ironed the 2mm hem on the frill over again and stitched it down so now it’s ready to attach to the skirt. That’s the next step, hopefully to be done tomorrow.

In between the Charlotte steps and moving machines I finished off the buttons on the romper that I made a couple of weeks ago. I was waiting till I’d picked up the buttons and then it was a quick job to do the buttonholes. This will likely be a gift.

Last week I mentioned some baby modules that I was planning. You can see my notes here and most of the fabrics I’m going to be using. These will be for 5 babies and I’m ready to start with the first one. The pattern shown pinned below is for the Alex dungarees by 5Berries. I chose that one to start on as it seems the easiest, apart from the next muslin which I’ll do at the same time as that only requires hemming. I have cut out all the patterns and I think I’ll have a big cutting day. Either that, or I’ll make one of each so that I can iron out all mistakes before doing more. I’m looking forward to the machining; the cutting of the fabric not so much as that takes the longest.

Along with the baby modules, I have been lured by Whitney of TomKat Stitchery to join in with her next sewing module – the Work From Home Module Sew Along. This one is because lots of people are still working from home and, though I’m not working, my “work” is at home. To lighten the workload on this one, I have chosen some that I’ve already started on and a couple that I wanted to do anyway. The premise of the module is that it all coordinates and you end up with several outfits that go together. The module usually consists of three tops, two bottoms and a topper. In that vein, I have selected the Sheona pattern as a t-shirt that I have already cut out in a navy stretch fabric as my first top, a Peppermint Wrap top in white and the third top will be either the long sleeved cropped knit in the McCall’s M7574 or another Emmie top (Seamwork) in navy. For the bottoms, I intend to convert the twill Pietra pants I made for the previous module into a skirt and the Marbella dress from Itch to Stitch in place of the second bottom, in a honeycomb print that I have somewhere. For the topper, I will look at the fabric I have (when I find it!) and probably do a Cozy Little World jacket. This was a free pattern I downloaded a couple of years ago and it doesn’t appear to be free anymore. I want to use both fabric and a pattern I already have for the topper so I’m hoping something will work there. I’m all set for some serious sewing sessions now!

Patchwork

Again, I only managed a little bit on the Superman quilt because of the musical machine movements. I have been working on this one on my old Janome and it has now been put where it will remain. I think. 😊 I will know for sure when the rest of the tabletops are in place. I had to cut out some more 10.5 inch white strips as I had forgotten about half of the ones in between the large and the smaller blocks. It’s looking good though and I should be able to finish the top of this one this week now.

Acquisitions

Last week I mentioned some patterns that I had purchased online in the Spotlight 5 for $20 sale. I have only received three so far as they are obviously coming from where they have availability. The three I show in the Sewing section above all came from one Spotlight and the other two are coming from two different Spotlights. I did purchase the Play Date dress pattern from Ellie and Mac and, also shown here, a McCall’s pattern that I’d picked up before the sale.

Paraphernalia

This past week I finished the latest season of Cardinal on SBS On Demand. It was another great season and I’m hoping for more. I’m pretty sure these are from a novel series so I might look that up. I’ve now started the latest season of The Sinner on Netflix. That one is quite heavy so I won’t be able to binge watch it. I also finished my audiobook Extreme Prey by John Sandford. That one definitely delivered as all of his do. I am now up to my eyeballs in the second novel by Robert Galbraith – The Silkworm, and I can’t “put it down”, choosing to listen to that over anything else. I’ve passed three quarters so it won’t take long to finish it. There is plenty to keep me amused.

I don’t have a lot scheduled for this coming week but I’m looking forward to some girlfriends coming for a sewing day on the weekend. I will be doing a lot more in my studio, though, and that will certainly be keeping me very busy. Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

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