Hello friends! Today is my husband’s birthday and we celebrated it last night at the same time celebrating our daughter’s birthday, which was on Friday. Evie had her second birthday on Wednesday and there is a small birthday party for her today. So, at the start of this blog, I’m coming to you from Wollongong. My week started with a breakfast catch-up which was very enjoyable. On Tuesday night I hosted Book Club and on Thursday we went to the Brewery for a couple of drinks and dinner. We have a rogue chicken that is hanging around the back of our properties. It obviously comes from a nearby neighbour in that area but it has had free range in our three backyards while we wait for the fencing. That is still a few weeks away. I’ll have to go down and see if there are any eggs hiding somewhere.
It’s been another cooking week, and all sweets. For Book Club, I made a Sicilian Apple cake, recipe from NotQuiteNigella, which was a big hit. It will now be in my rotation as it was very easy and very yummy, but does require a lot of peeling and slicing of apples. On Friday, I made a Zuppa Inglese for last night’s celebration and you can see it here with a little slice missing. Evie had dinner before our Indian takeaway meal arrived so we let her have some birthday cake for dessert. It was a huge cake and we are working our way through it Yesterday morning I baked RecipeTin Eats’ My Very Best Vanilla cake for today’s birthday cake. This recipe is touted to last fresh for four days. I can attest to it being great on the second day. The bear is in honour of Evie’s Big Ted, who is really quite small and is also her dad’s original bear. She is very attached to Big Ted and we were concerned at what she would think when we sliced up the cake! All good; I’m sure she understood it was just a cake.
My Turtlepurl Yarns socks are growing slowly as I’ve only worked on these a few times this week. They won’t take much longer to finish the leg and there seems to be plenty of yarn left.
I haven’t spent too much time on the Cabled Baby blanket but it’s coming along. I’ll need to make more time for this one as it will be needed soon. I have worked out that I have probably another 50 cable repeats and a rib to do and Baby 1 is due in 36 days. If I do 1.5 repeats (9 rows) a day, I should be able to make it.
SPOILER ALERT: Slipstravaganza. This week I have been working on the first clue and was going quite well until Stephen West released a Part 2 of Clue 1. I’d say the extra release is because the first part was not very large, which I thought was unusual. The second part is not difficult but it has lots of slip stitch rows. When I added the third contrast colour I was concerned that it might not have much contrast to the first part. I was also concerned that this contrast colour would blend a little with the black as there are many speckled dark/black sections. I stopped knitting and got out lots of different skeins to see if I should go a totally different colour but, in the end, I stayed with the original and I think it is working out fine. Clue 2 came out on Friday but I haven’t looked at it yet and I will wait until I finish this section.
A couple of weeks back I started knitting the City Limits sweater with my handspun yarn. Once I got past the short row section and started in the round I realised that I didn’t like the fabric that I had – it was much too loose. So I have now frogged that project and will look for something with a smaller needle size. The City Limits used a 4.5mm and I think it will look a lot nicer with a 4.0mm. I’m not in a hurry at the moment so I’ll see what alternative project I can find.
This week I finished the fourth bobbin of my Ixchel Fibres December 2019 batts and I’ve started plying bobbins three and four. I haven’t spent as much time spinning this week as I’ve prioritised some knitting instead. This one will be finished in the next day or so and I’ll then move onto bobbin number 5.
I did spend a fair amount of time working on my Marbella dress by Itch to Stitch and it’s not far from finished now. I put the skirt part together followed by the skirt lining and then the zipper. I did a great job on the zipper and I find that the basting helps so much when you are lining up the waist and bodice seams. I had to adjust the bodice front seams so that they fit onto the skirt for that section. There are two back seams, the zipper seam, two front seams and the side seams. They all lined up perfectly except for the front middle section. It wasn’t hard to undo a little and move the seams over a bit. When I was putting the skirt lining together, I managed to add the skirt backs inside out – you can see the seam and the nice dart in a photo below. The darts were easy to remove and do on the other side – easier than undoing the side seams. 😊 You can also see the lining of the dress before I put the zipper in. I had been hanging the dress and it seems that the lining has fallen somewhat. I’ll be attaching the lining to the dress at the waist and I’ll see if that raises the hem a little. Otherwise, I’ll need to remove an inch or two from the bottom of the lining so that it doesn’t droop below the skirt hem.
During a little break from my Marbella dress above, I decided to move onto another project for my #wfhmodulesewalong set. This one is the Peppermint Magazine Wrap top by In the Folds. I’ve had this free pattern for quite some time now and I have wanted to make it. There are so many of these tops out in the wild and each time I see one I want to make it. I am using some stash fabric, totally unknown content but it seems crisp like shirting. It is quite thin so I’ll need to wear a camisole under it but it will be a great wearable toile if it works out properly. The consensus is that the pattern comes out a bit on the big size so I rounded down just a little on which size I cut out – I think it’s size D. It’s a very easy and quick make so I’m well into it with only a couple of short sessions. I only have to add the sleeves and finish the bottom, I think. This is made with French seams which is great for an unlined garment. I have made one other garment with French seams, including the sleeves and that was another Peppermint pattern – the Ruffle Sleeve top.
This week I finished the Book Club book, Night Over Water by Ken Follett – just in time for Book Club! It was a bit predictable but still an entertaining and fun read. I’ve now moved onto the third in the Cormorant Strike series by Robert Galbraith. Despite her unfavourable notoriety lately, she writes a great book and I’m churning through this quickly. I’m into Season 3 of Longmire and have barely started Spooks from the very first season.
I don’t have too much happening during this week apart from babysitting on Wednesday and then some cooking for Kimberley’s baby sprinkle next Sunday. That will be a nice cosy affair in Wollongong with a few of her girlfriends. It’s been a very long day as we are now back home after the party so I’ll head off to do some knitting on the lounge – it’s just about dinner time so I won’t get a lot done beforehand. Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!