Sunday 15 November 2020. #121

Hello friends! Welcome from a beautiful sunny day on the south coast of New South Wales. The rains of the last couple of week seem to have disappeared, though we are getting a few short storms with the weather warming. This week has been quite a bit calmer than I’ve have for a couple of months. Monday morning started with a bike ride to our fortnightly breakfast catch up. I did manage four bike rides this week and they’ve been great with this beautiful weather. I got plenty of photos!

I had several days at home with a short visit to my friend Carol’s studio on Wednesday. I didn’t do any painting, choosing to work on my Slipstravaganza instead. On Thursday I went to Wollongong to mind Evie. We had a nice visit to the park and played with lots of her toys. She is such a gorgeous little human being! It’s wonderful how verbal she is becoming – there’s not a lot that we have to figure out these days. On Friday, I had lunch with a few girlfriends as I’d missed out on a birthday celebration the Saturday before. Yesterday was spent cooking mainly. I made some walnut choc chip cookies (not sure I’m happy with this recipe – not crispy), a banana cake and a white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake slice. Other than than, I’ve had a bit of time for crafting but I’ve been concentrating on a few things only.

KNITTING

I’ve continued with my set of ten rows a day on the Baby Cabled blanket. It is growing very nicely and I’m thinking about how far I need to keep going. I have decided to add a ribbed border to each side which will stop the sides rolling in. Blocking will also help with that but I would like to make it a little wider with the borders. When I took the photo this morning I noticed two mistakes in the cable pattern. One is five cables down and quite noticeable so I will drop down and fix that one up. I’ve cabled to the front instead of the back. The other is quite a way down – fourteen cables down! It’s not very noticeable which is probably why I’ve missed it. I actually missed the cable completely in this one. I’ll see how I go with the first cable switch and decided whether I’ll drop down for the second or not. They are actually both in the same cable pair column.

My Slipstravaganza MKAL is growing slowly, due to the number of stitches on the cable. I have five cable/needle sets in for the photo so that you can see better what it’s supposed to look like. I did make a mistake in the second border row where I just purled back the whole row. As I didn’t want to tink back 906 stitches I decided to go with the “design change” and have that section as stockinette instead of garter stitch. I think it looks fine as a texture switch but will now alternate the sections so that every second one is the same, otherwise it will look silly. I don’t mind doing that but the purl rows will take much longer than the knit ones. Once I’ve done this pale grey section the pattern says I can finish the border there but I intend to do the whole lot. This is going to take some time as I still have 30 rows to do before I even get to the i-cord bind off. It’s lucky we are going into summer now so I’ll have plenty of time to work on this before I want to wear it. I do want to finish it quickly but I can realistically say it will take a few more weeks yet!

Last week I posted photos of our sock cast on while I was away with a few girlfriends. I actually did my toe on the wrong size needle so I restarted on the right size. I am knitting the Shell Cottage socks by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. This is one of the patterns in The Handmade Sock Society and it’s the first I’ve made as they are all written for cuff down knitting. The only and major modification I’ve made is that I’m knitting this from the toe up instead of cuff down as per the pattern. That hasn’t been an issue so far but I may find the gusset flap heel could prove tricky. I’m pretty sure it’s possible to do. If not, I have other toe up gusset flap patterns I can swap in. Another reason that I’m doing toe up, my favourite reason, is that I can knit till I run out of yarn. I’m using a sock set from Pineapple yarns and I have only 75 grams in total with the contrast colour. I don’t want to get to the toe and find that I don’t have enough yarn to make my foot size. This way the leg of the sock can be whatever size I can get. That amount is plenty to make socks but it would be too hard to calculate it exactly and either I’d have not enough or leftovers that could have gone into the leg. I’m loving the look of the shell pattern – it looks so pretty which I think matches the yarn perfectly!

SEWING

I got to wear my Marbella dress to lunch on Friday. I’m quite happy with the final result but feel that I could have gone down one size. It doesn’t look too big but I can feel it is too spacious. As it’s lined, I’m not going to make any adjustments (or I don’t think I will) as it’s fine to wear as it is. I intend to do another soon and it will be without lining which will make it much quicker to put together. I will also use the B cup for the bodice. I used the C cup for this dress but then found out that the cup sizes don’t actually match bra cup sizes. It’s great to have the option of different cup sizes and now I know how to use them. In the photo where my hands aren’t in the pockets I am holding a good two or three inches together at the zipper. I’d like the pockets to be a little lower and I’ll make the bodice an inch longer. My natural waist is lower than average patterns allow and I find this in ready to wear clothing as well. Lowering the bodice will also lower the pocket so I won’t need to adjust them.

PATCHWORK

The only other project I’ve worked on this week is finishing a patchwork WIP for a friend’s birthday. I purchased the kit for this quilt some time ago from Craftsy – way before it became Blueprint and is now back to Craftsy. Since then, postage from the US has made this sort of purchase a bit uneconomical. I do have a few in my stash though. 😊 I put the top of this quilt together a couple of years ago now but only just sandwiched the quilt last year. It was always intended to be a gift for my friend Debbie but it didn’t get finished before her birthday last year. Since then, all my stuff was pack away in storage for several months and I’m now finding lots of nearly finished projects. I’ll be working my way through them from now on so you’ll probably see them quite regularly. That is the plan, anyway. I had already quilted the main part and only had to stitch in the ditch in the stripped border. Once that was done, it was easy to add the binding (that I had already cut) and finish it off. Voila!

PARAPHERNALIA

There wasn’t a great deal of variety this week but I enjoyed focussing on what I was working on. This week I have plans to work on the Superman quilt, a couple of Santa sacks and Christmas stockings. I also have some Christmas table runners that will be an easy finish and were meant for gifts a previous year. I’ll be gifting these at the end of this month so they are also on the agenda.

I finished reading the latest Jack Reacher novel and, as with all his others, I thoroughly enjoyed. I have now moved onto another favourite author’s new book. Michael Connolly has another book out in the Lincoln Lawyer series – The Law of Innocence. I’ve only just started it but I think it will be as good as the other books. And I’m still working my way through the ten seasons of Spooks (MI-5), now well into Season 5. I have a long list of other things I want to watch too.

Unlike the last few weeks, this blog will be out early today. We are having some friends over this afternoon to celebrate the new house. The original plan was to have a large housewarming party but Covid has dictated otherwise. At the moment, the limit per household is 20 aside from the inhabitants so that’s what we’re having. We’ll have to do this in stages to have other people. The weather is perfect so I think it will be a lovely afternoon and evening. The baking I did yesterday is for this afternoon and I also made some nachos mince. I have a couple of other things to make today. Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

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