Hello friends! Welcome to another week of spring here Downunder. Though we have been hoping for a little bit of rain for the new lawn, there has not been much and it’s only getting nicer each day. As I type, it’s raining a little but I don’t think it will amount to much in the water tank. It may help keep the lawn moist though. I’ve been able to get out and about on my bike this week and I have enjoyed the fresh but sunny early mornings. What I haven’t enjoyed is having magpies swooping me as I ride. There is a vicious magpie on my normal route and on Monday it threw itself against me about 5 times, the beak hitting my helmet and the body hitting my back. That was really scary. On Tuesday, I took a slightly different route and was swooped by a different bird. That one wasn’t as vicious as the first one but still unpleasant. On my final ride, I went a different way and managed to avoid the nasty birds. This will go on until summer now, or close to it, so I’ll need to avoid those birds.
It’s amazing how I can forget what happened during the week merely five or six days later! Pretty sure I spent most of the time at home, except for Wednesday when I went up to Wollongong for my Evie day. That was the day that it rained so we weren’t able to go to the park or the beach. Instead, we settled on a bit of shopping where Evie helped pick some summer items for her wardrobe. She’s such a good little girl! Other than that, we headed up to Wollongong yesterday for a late Father’s Day celebration with the kids. While the boys were off playing golf and soccer, the girls spent the afternoon at the beach building sandcastles. I love it when the 7 of us are all together! ❤
Studio update: As I had so much time at home, I was able to get into lots of sorting. I consider the laundry to be an extension of my studio (when not washing) and I was able to finally get that room sorted after some issues with the washing machine and plumbing. You can see how I’ve sorted my yarn dyes and some of my specialty paints. I continued with furniture building and now the second Ikea Billy bookcase is up, after some help with putting on the doors. It’s definitely a two person project! I’m still not able to get too far into the sorting for these as they now need to be anchored to the wall. As they are narrow, there’s a high risk of them tipping over if we’re not careful. You can see that I’ve started sorting my fabrics into colours. All you can see from the second bottom shelf upwards are fat quarters. Off picture, I have colour piles of larger pieces of fabric. Once I have all the colours sorted, I’ll arrange them in rainbow order (ROYGBIV) – piles of fat quarters and piles of larger fabric pieces. On the bottom shelf, I currently have some of my dressmaking fabrics though I’m thinking these may end up somewhere else. In the third picture you can see some pigeon hole shelving that I made many many years ago. I wasn’t sure if I was going to keep this item but I’ve found some baskets that fit perfectly. Currently, I have random items there just to get them out of the way until I get to them but I have started using the baskets. I intend to spray paint the shelving so that it is white to match the rest of the storage furniture.
I mentioned last week that I’m doing a test knit for Truly Myrtle, due on 27th September, hence this Knitting section is going to be very short. I spent most of my time on the test knit and I can report that I’m enjoying it. I’m now about halfway through, or maybe just under. In the meantime, I have done minimal work on the Habitation throw but I did find a couple of more leftovers that I can add. I’ll continue working on that during this next week. I didn’t get to do anymore work on the Baby Sports Fan pullover. You can see what happened to the 4.0mm needles I was using for this project. That’s what happens when you leave the needles on the carpet near where you sit and then stand on them! I broke it clear off where the join section is and this end is no longer usable. That leaves me with an odd needle and it appears that all my other 4.0mm needles are hiding in languishing WIPs. I know I have at least 2 other sets of 4.0mm needles.
Last Sunday, I chain plied the Autumn Leaves Ixchel Fibres braid but I haven’t yet wound it onto the niddy noddy. It’s an easy task; it just hasn’t popped into my view much. I’m sure I’ll get it done today or tomorrow. Once I had that off the wheel, I immediately started on the next spin which is another Ixchel Fibres braid in the Dream Cloud colourway. It absolutely looks like just-whipped meringue or fairy floss! I’m loving the way it’s spinning up with a slight pink or green tinge amongst the white meringue. I’m spinning this one on two bobbins of about 50 grams for a two-ply yarn. It’s another merino/silk blend so it will go nicely with the Ashford merino/silk skeins that I have in my handspun stash for something in colourwork. I have been going through my fibre stash and I’m really looking forward to getting into some other spins. I don’t know if it’s possible but I’m hoping I’ll have this one finished by the next blog and that I’m onto the next spin.
I showed my finished Charlotte dress last week and mentioned that I wanted to fix the facing in place. I got out my Misty Fuse and cut some narrow strips, though first I tried it on some scrap fabric. It worked really well and you couldn’t see that there was anything there – you can see how fine it is. Anyway, I’ve stuck the whole facing down and I hope it stays when it’s washed. All I need to do on that now is add a press stud at the bust to make sure there’s no gaping. I need to get some black ones from Spotlight when I next remember. In the meantime, I found the fabric that I wanted to use for my Marbella dress by Itch to Stitch and I’ve cut it out ready to sew. Yesterday, I purchased an invisible zipper (forgot about the press studs) and I’m ready to start sewing. The only thing that I may need for this is some “stay tape”. I’m not sure exactly what is required but I may have something in stash that could work for that. I’m thinking maybe some medium interfacing could work.
Last week I had stalled on the latest Pansy dress because my overlocker had thrown a needle. I just needed to find some motivation to fix it and I was able to restore it to working order. I managed to get the needle back in, after several attempts with the tweezers, and I could see that the inner needle was a little lower than the outer one. I managed to find a YouTube video on my very old Singer overlocker and realised that this is how it should be. I had never noticed that before. Now that the machine was ready to go, I whipped together the Pansy dress – all bar the hems. That won’t take long to finish so it should be done by tomorrow. I’m not 100% sold on the neckline. I know that the other Pansy dress’s neckline has stretched too much and I am not confident that this one won’t go the same way. I am trying to decide whether to remove it and use some ribbing which will have better recovery. I could also do that with the other one. These dresses will be great for spring and will be able to be used for summer as well if I make the sleeves short.
I had a list of items that I needed from Spotlight so I took the opportunity to go there on Monday morning while doing a couple of other things in town. I wasn’t able to find much on my list (no, the press studs weren’t on the list) but I did buy some fabric that I need for Evie. She’s really into purple so I picked up a couple of those along with the pinky one at the top and I couldn’t resist the floral at the bottom. I have a pattern in mind for at least 3 of these fabrics. Other than that, I mentioned last week that I was supposed to have received my final pattern of 5 that I’d ordered in the Spotlight 5 for $20 sale but it hadn’t arrived. I didn’t hear any further regarding the investigation but on Monday afternoon I found it sitting on the front doorstep. I was happy to get it as I’m thinking of making view B soonish.
I started listening to Girl Woman Other by Bernardine Evaristo again this week and it’s quite promising. I’m only about 10% into it at the moment. Later in the week I just wanted to listen to podcasts and I managed to get through several of them. I finished watching The Sinner on Netflix and the last couple of episodes were full on. From there, I have moved onto a show called Mirage on SBS On Demand. It has been good for spinning to even though it’s half English/half French. Fortunately I’m able to spin and read the subtitles with this fibre.
I have a couple of things planned for this week – a couple of breakfast/coffee catch ups and a hair cut. I’ll probably ride over for these, rather than using the car – unless it’s raining. In between I’ll be doing lots of sorting in the studio as it’s all coming together nicely now. Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!