Sunday 8 November 2020. #120

Hello friends! So much for the quiet week I was expecting. On Monday I was still in Sydney and Erin and I went for a lovely long walk around East Balmain. The jacarandas are currently out in full bloom, leaving their carpet of purple buds. There was one particularly steep street that got the heart racing and we called in at Euphoria Cafe for breakfast with a view of the Harbour Bridge. I mentioned last week that Erin had made some beautiful table arrangements and I was lucky to take home a big bunch of the leftovers. They kept me company in the front seat of the car. 😊

On Tuesday I finally managed to get a bike ride in, though it ended up to be the only one for the week. Tuesday was also Melbourne Cup Day and, as they say, the “race that stops the nation” went on as usual but without any spectators. I imagine that millions would have viewed the race on the TV. My friend Narelle had some of the girls over for the race and we all participated by dressing up for the event. It was a great afternoon with lunch, sweeps and our own race. We each had a miniature horse (and one donkey) and followed the track around the table by throwing a bouncing dice. The track was marked with different requirements either moving forward or moving backward. It was a lot of fun. Wednesday was my day with Evie and we had fun at the park.

The weather has been mostly wet this week with a few short breaks of sunshine. We even had a visit from a very large kangaroo who was enjoying our backyard. Our blinds were delivered and installed on Monday and I am really happy with how they look. For some reason they make the lounge room look even bigger.

On Friday, I was picked up by a friend and we headed to Bowral, meeting up with a few other friends. The mini getaway started with brunch at Kangaroo Valley and then lunch at Bowral with some shopping thrown in. Lunch was liquid for me after having a bacon and egg roll for a late breakfast. The house we stayed in was really nice and we settled in for a weekend of crafting, leaving just after lunch today. As usual, we didn’t starve, with everyone contributing to the menu for the weekend.

KNITTING

The Slipstravaganza Mystery KAL is now over and has been revealed, therefore I don’t need to worry about spoilers. I’m a week behind so far but I did manage to get to finish Clue 3 and start on Clue 4. Clue 3 finished with a row of short row triangles. It’s very hard to display the shawl because it really needs to be off the needles and blocked to get the best result. You can see the triangles in the last photo with the first three rows of Clue 4. The stitch count at this point is about 904 so the rows are taking some time to get through. The first photo below shows the Weavin’ Stephen method of weaving in the ends. I just need to trim them. It is much easier to do as you go along though the 26 short row triangles each had two ends to weave in so that really slowed down the rows. I have another 44 rows of 900 plus stitches, plus an i-cord bind-off so I doubt I’ll be finished this week!

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I’d downloaded the KnitCompanion app (KC) – the full version, and I’m really finding it very useful. I’ve been using it for my Slipstravaganza MKAL and also for the Cabled Baby blanket. Because I was on a deadline, I tasked myself with knitting nine rows each day. I was already using KC to keep track of both the cable and the nine rows but I was using two separate counters for that. Last week, there was a new YouTube episode released by Very Pink Knits on how to use linked counters and that is working very well. I now only need to touch one button which increases my cable counter and also my nine row counter which I have now increased to ten as I missed a couple of days this week.

During this weekend, the girls wanted to know how to cast on two-at-a-time socks from toe up so I helped by demonstrating along with the Knit Purl Hunter YouTube tutorial. Everyone did a fantastic job and are well underway with their socks.

SEWING

I didn’t really cover my sewing properly last week. The Seamwork Laura skirt was an easy make. I used some linen from The Fabric Store in Surry Hills, Sydney. I find working with linen to be problematic as it moves a lot. In this case, I think one layer of the fronts that I was cutting must have been a bit buckled as the top edge was a good bit longer than the other. I was trying to work out how I would remedy this as I had already finished the side seam and I didn’t want to have to redo that. In the end I decided to add a pleat which worked really well. The other modification I made was to follow the option for the angled hem hack. The hack suggested raising the open sides by about 6 inches, which I did, but I think I would have liked it a little higher. I think I might consider making that adjustment at some point.

There wasn’t really time for any action at the sewing machine this week but I did trace out the size 3 pattern for a toddler jumpsuit. Simplicity S8850 has been in the line up for a while and I think it will be an easy sew. There are only 5 pattern pieces – a back and front bodice, a back and front pants and a tie. i will be using the purple chevron fabric shown and probably the dark purple dots for the lining. I may be able to cut these out this week though I have patchwork plans to start with.

RETREAT

Our mini retreat this weekend only lasted about 48 hours in total but we made the most of them. I wasn’t very good at taking photos but here are a few of what the girls were working on. For me, the weekend consisted of knitting only, though I did bring along some stitching that didn’t get any action.

ACQUISITIONS

On the way to Bowral we had to stop at Spotlight for some supplies; actually I didn’t need any but did pick up some fabric. There was a sale and I found the blue patterned fabric shown below which I thought would be good for a wearable toile to make the Victory Sofia dress. I don’t have the pattern yet but I’m hoping that it will be on special in the upcoming Black Friday sales so I will grab it then. It requires close to 4 metres and I didn’t want to by that at $36 a metre for some lovely fabric from the good fabric shops. Instead, this Cumbria Bubble Crepe Damask print in denim only cost me $42 for the four metres. The other fabric below is a remnant that I couldn’t resist. It is an Oriental Slub Crepe in a blue spot, though it’s really more a spruce/teal colour. The piece measures 1.4m x 145cm and only cost $12.60.

PARAPHERNALIA

This week I finished watching the Longmire series and thoroughly enjoyed it. I think I mentioned last week that I’d started on the ten seasons of Spooks, though I understand it’s called MI-5 in the US. The reference to spooks is those of the ghostly variety. I’m now well into the third season and it has been great, even though the first few are a little dated as it started in the early 2000s. I’ve also started a new book, this time it’s the latest Jack Reacher novel, The Sentinel by Lee Child. It’s proving to be his usual fast paced style though this one was co-written by his brother, Andrew Child.

I’m hoping that this coming week will be a little quieter than those I’ve had lately! I have some quilting that needs to be done so I’ll be starting on that tomorrow. Again, this blog post is late but I’m keeping to my arbitrary rule that it needs to be out on Sunday, Australian eastern time, so I’m OK with that. Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

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