Hello friends! Welcome to September and happy Father’s Day. Wow, it’s only 3 months until Christmas and it seems that the year is disappearing fast. Particularly since we moved home in July. This week was a bit more exciting than I originally planned. Monday was very quiet, with only a bike ride in the early morning to get me out of the house. It was a lovely morning and the whole week has been very Spring-like. We had been hoping for some rain for the newly-laid turf. On Tuesday, my old friend Elaine, who used to live nearby, was in town so came to lunch and another old friend Deb, who is local, called in and joined us. It was a very pleasant catch-up.
On Wednesday, we made the spur of the moment decision to head up to Wollongong to pick up our new lounge suite and, at the same time, deliver the old ones and a double bed to Steven & Kim’s new place. It was a bit of an adventure and we borrowed a friend’s small tabletop truck. The old stuff fit nicely but the new lounge had to be tied in. You can see the new lounge in situ, but I’ll need to make some new cushions as the old ones just don’t go with it and they are looking very tired. On Thursday morning, we had a breakfast at Salty Joe’s with Elaine and the local girls. I rode my bike over and it was a pleasant start to the day.
On Friday, my friend Janice came over from Canberra and spent the evening. Janice’s Dad lives nearby and she was going to visit for Father’s Day today so we decided to make a weekend of it. A few of my local crafting girlfriends came over on Saturday and we had a sewing day. There was a lot of crafting and so much food! Janice and Lorraine ended up staying on Saturday night and we stitched into the late evening.
I haven’t really done a whole lot of knitting this week. On the drive up to Wollongong and back I was able to finish off the Big Wool Baby blanket. There was very little left of the blue/green yarn and then I was going to do several rows of the green but decided that it really should look like the other side. I had forgotten with this pattern that it knits up sideways so I think one side border being very different to the other side might look silly. The only other knitting I did was on the Habitation throw. I only did a few rows but I wanted to see if I could correct my issue with the wrong number of stitches on the eyelet row. A lovely reader called Carol helped me with the issue. It seems that there needs to be an odd number of stitches on every row. I worked across the row adding a stitch marker at every 50 stitches until I got to the end. I did have an odd number but I haven’t reached the next eyelet row yet to see if it will work this time. I’m not really in a hurry with this project so I’ll see when I can get to it next.
One of the reasons that I’m not hurrying with my Habitation throw is because I’m doing a test knit for Libby of Truly Myrtle. I went through a lot of choices in my stash as I wanted to use up what I have and, as the due day is the 27th September, it might have taken far too long to get anything else. There were so many choices but, in the end, I went with this beautiful Heirloom 100% alpaca yarn. It is so soft and squishy so I’m hoping it works well. I do need a statement skein of yarn and I think this Wren and Ollie handspun I finished early in the year might work. I say “statement” because I think the plain brown needs a little something to lift it. There will be mohair as well and I have a few choices; also I can dye some easily enough when I make the decision. I won’t be able to show any progress pictures but there will be a big reveal at the end of the month.
I have finished the Ixchel Fibres braid of yarn I showed last week. I started this one a couple of days before Tour de Fleece 2.0 started and I’ve managed to spin on it most days. I didn’t do any on Friday or Saturday because of visitors but will get back to it today. I will be chain plying this one to use with my last three skeins of Ixchel Fibres yarn. I should be able to get this plied today and tomorrow I’ll start on the next project. I have another braid to do and I also found my Ixchel Fibres December 2019 batts which I’m excited to get onto ASAP! I’ll show those next week when I get them started. Tour de Fleece will finish on 20th September. There are two rest days in the Tour de France, the first tomorrow, and seems I’ve had my two rest days already! I’ll see if I can spin for the rest of the Tour now. 😊
I have finished my Charolotte dress by Fibre Mood. I still have some threads to snip and I want to anchor the facing somehow but I’ll still call it a finish. I tried it on for the girls yesterday and they seemed impressed with it. The fit is perfect so I’m really happy with it. Now I need to see if I have somewhere to wear it! The pattern and instructions were great. The only thing I think I would change with this is to make the facing wider. It’s a very narrow facing and I think a wider one would make it less likely to have it flip out. I think I’ll try fusing the facing down with some Misty Fuse web or something that is an iron-on fusible. I’ll try it on some scrap fabric first so that it doesn’t end up noticeably fused.
I did get started on the Alex dungarees by 5Berries and got quite a way into it until I made a mistake on the bottom section that I had to unpick. I thought that part of the pattern was a bit confusing. I managed to sort it out by carefully reading the terms of each piece mentioned as the photo was deceptive. The picture showed a piece that was much longer than the one I had. Though it may have been a larger size that was pictured, I thought it would at least look relative in the photo. Other than that it’s been easy to put together. I think the frill for the girl version might be a little bit narrow and I think I’d make it a smidge wider on the next one. I’ll need to add snaps on the straps, sides and the bottom. Hopefully these will be easy with the new purchase I’ve made. More on that in Acquisitions!
I had cut out a Pansy dress for Evie and made a start on it yesterday when the girls were here. Somehow, before I had hardly started it, one of my overlocker needles popped out and I think it will be fiddly to put back. I did have a little go at it but decided to set the overlocker aside to work on later when I can concentrate on it more. So I moved onto the muslin that I had purchased for Baby 2. Baby 1’s muslin is finished and I showed it in an earlier post. I did this one in the same manner by folding over the selvedges once and stitching down, and then folding the raw edges over twice for a quarter of an inch each time and stitching. These two muslins are the first items for the Baby 1 and Baby 2 modules I’m working on.
After the overlocker issue, I also moved onto putting together the columns on the Superman quilt. I think it looks wonderful and bright, even though it uses only primary colours. I had a think about finishing and I’ll be adding a white border (about 3 inches) and then I’ll do a scrappy binding with the remaining fat quarter pieces. I’ll also include a red peeper between the binding and the border.
There was quite a lot of activity yesterday and I even then moved onto my Round the Garden quilt by Wendy Williams (Flying Fish Kits). I finished the green grass patches below the lighthouse and moved onto the embroidery tree in the middle of the top picture. Once I had stem stitched the tree section, I started doing the many colonial knots required to fill the tree. I think this is a cherry blossom tree and I used appropriate pink thread for the knots. I started by using two different colour thread and thought they looked far too similar. On the third pass I used some DMC variegated thread in a very light to medium dark pink and that seemed to add the appropriate finishing touches. You can see the three stages of the colonial knots. For this section of the border, I need to do another tree in the gap on the right hand side and a few flowers between the house and the lighthouse on the left. Then a few bees and butterflies and some more attention is required at the top of the lighthouse on the right. I’ll make a start on the tree this afternoon and hopefully I’ll be in a position to start on the third quadrant by next week. As the background is linen, it crushes very easily when I’m grasping each section to stitch. It does iron really well and I think it will be so much better once sandwiched and quilted.
Last week I mentioned I’d received three of the five patterns I’d ordered in the Spotlight 5 for $20 pattern sale. I got the fourth pattern early in the week and I really want to make this one soon. I need to get some fabric for it. I was supposed to receive the fifth and final pattern on Thursday as I’d been alerted that it had been delivered. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case so there’s currently an investigation on the delivery. I’ll have to wait a few days to see what happened with that. Also, I had forgotten to post this last week but I had received a snap press machine. I’m so over using the little snap applicators that you can get from haberdasheries as the snaps seem to come off so easily. And I have several projects lined up that use snaps so I decided to get something that will give me a more professional finish. There’s a video on how to use it and I’ll be watching it this week so that I can apply the snaps to the dungarees that are nearly finished. This starter pack came with 100 snaps in five different colours that you could choose.
This week I finished the second of Robert Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike novels, The Silkworm. It was another fabulous read and I’m looking forward to the next one. In the meantime, I’m starting a Book Club book called Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo. I tried to start it already but I was in the middle of sewing something complicated and I just haven’t gotten back to it. I’m also watching The Sinner on Netflix in between The Masked Singer episodes. I’m not sure what it is about this latter show that is quite entertaining. I suppose everyone needs some mindless entertainment at times.
This coming week is looking to be quiet, though that often changes. I do have my Evie day on Wednesday and I’m really looking forward to that as I haven’t seen her for a month now. Last time she was sick with a cold and her daddy was too so they looked after each other instead of infecting Nonna. 😊 There is still plenty to do around the house, particularly in my studio. I need to put together the second Billy cupboard but you can see the first one here where I’ve made a start on sorting my patchwork fabric into colours. I have some dressmaking fabrics on the bottom shelf at this point. I’ll see how much fits into the bookcase but, as with the rest of the room, things may evolve and end up in different places.
It’s time for me to get into some sorting and maybe some relaxing for the rest of Sunday. Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!