Sunday 22 November 2020. #122

Hello friends! How is it that we’re nearly at December? Time is marching through 2020 and that probably suits the majority of people. This week was a relaxing week. On Monday, Julie and I went for a ride over to Huskisson and had a coffee at Portside cafe. It’s such a great spot but I think they could do so much more with the menu. I spent the rest of Monday relaxing after having our friends over on Sunday evening. On Tuesday, Iwent for another ride with Julie and this time we went to the Woollamia boat ramp and then Julie showed me the great kayak/SUP ramp at the end of Dent Street. It’s a great facility for this area and the tourists. It’s not something I’ll use much but I can see a kayak up Currambene Creek sometime in my future.

Wednesday morning’s sunrise was beautiful. The sun is rising so much earlier these days that I only see it on the days I go up to mind Evie. We had another fun day this week with a visit to the train park and some outdoor play with her Wiggles car, amongst other things. We are waiting patiently for the arrival of Evie’s little brother who is due this coming week! On Thursday I went for an early ride and even did a ten minute run on the beach. I’ve been wanting to reintroduce running since we move home from Bawley Point. I was able to chain the bike near the bike path but nearly forgot to check for landmarks. The bike wasn’t very visible from the beach.

The focus this week seems to have been on potted plants. On the way home from Wollongong I called in at the new Bunnings in South Nowra. This is now officially the biggest Bunnings in Australia and has the first escalator in Nowra. I purchased three new plants – a ficus elastica burgundy, a philodendron imperial and a ctenanthe amagris, along with a couple of pots. I already had the small pot at home along with a two others that I used to repot a couple of lilies that I’ve had for a very long time.

On Friday, I met up with Lorraine, Marie and Lorna for morning tea at Huskisson. Yesterday, I had a day out with my friends Mary and Karen and we had morning tea at a place just south of Ulladulla. It’s a Thai restaurant, cafe, pot shop and also has other home goods, now including Chrismas decorations. I mentioned that I’d visited a few weeks ago and I found the large pot below. I went back yesterday to get it and it was still there waiting for me. This one is to go in front of the side window in our front entryway. I have yet to decide what to put in there but I’m thinking a magnolia would look good as long as it doesn’t spread too wide. I may need to change that to something that grows in a more narrow way.

Knitting

Yes, I’m still working on the Slipstravaganza beast! It’s working out that I’m doing a repeat each week so it will take another 3 or 4 weeks to get this finished. I still have 19 rows to do before starting the i-cord bind off which will probably take a week on its own! I have no regrets with going for the big border – I wouldn’t want to bind off and find I would have preferred to go further. I’ll keep going as I’m still enjoying it.

On the other hand, the Cabled Baby blanket is starting to wear thin so it’s lucky I don’t have too much left to go. It’s just the constant cabling that I’m finding tedious and I’m even looking forward to picking up the side stitches and ribbing. I’m on the last ball for the main part and it will probably take this week to get that done. Baby 1 is due this week but probably won’t see this for a couple of more weeks. Not that he will need it at the moment as it’s getting very warm and this is one very warm blanket. It’s so hard to photograph the correct colour. I think the middle photo shows the colour best. You can see that I decided to fix the most obvious mistake and I’m very glad that I didn’t try for the other one that was much further down. It took a bit of concentration to get into a rhythm when I was picking the stitches back up and it looks a little rough but that will settle once I soak and block it.

My Shell Cottage socks are getting a little bit of love here and there. You can see me knitting with Evie during our lunch break. It’s a great project to take around with me but it’s only getting a repeat (4 rounds) or two each day. I’m not too far from the heels so I’ll need to concentrate a bit more then, once I work out how I’ll be doing it in reverse. Again the colour is hard to show properly. The colour of the socks in the photo with Evie shows the Pineapple yarn End of the Day colourway most accurately. It is really as bright as it shows there. 😊

Sewing

I’m still sorting through things in my studio and I’m always excited to find projects and supplies that I’d forgotten I had. For instance, I found these squares of fabric that I’d dyed during one of the many Lisa Walton classes that I’ve taken. I decided that I would use them to make a Carnaby dress by Nina Lee. I’ve had this pattern for a while and have had many plans for it (including some indigo dyed fabric) and finally settled on a wearable toile using this wild and wacky fabric. It will be a great dress for wearing around the house, if nothing else. As I had enough fabric I decided to go for the short sleeves as well. This dress has a short exposed zip at the top of the back but I’ve seen where someone left it open and used a button and elastic closure instead. That could be a good option for this toile. Another blogger reported that they didn’t bother with an opening at all, finding it was loose enough to put on. Teaser: The final photo with red fabric is a test that I’m doing for a new pattern release. It’s all very secret before the pattern is released so I’ll hold off on photos and information until then. The due date for this test is 30th November so I’m expecting the release will be soon after that. Again, the colour here is very red and in real life is more raspberry but still quite bright.

Patchwork

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Christmas is creeping up and not so very slowly, either! I have had two Santa sacks on my to-do list for a couple of months now but they weren’t a very high priority. This week I spent some time sorting Christmas fabrics in the studio and I brought out all my Christmas neutrals. The plan is to create the sacks with the neutrals sewn together so that it has a little more interest than using just the one fabric, and that way I’m using up all the small pieces. One of the sacks will have a Santa face and the other a Rudolph face and I now have the templates for those ready. I’ll also have a big letter E on the opposite side of one sack and the other sack will have a big letter of the new name of Baby 1. I’ll be putting a red border on the bottom of one and green on the other, with a similar facing at the opening.

Dyeing

Finally, this week I’ve been prepping some yarn for a dyeing project that I’ve been planning for a while. I was trying to decide how I would tackle this year’s advent knitting and I’m excited with what I’ve decided on. One of these is for me and the other is a gift – I know that this is going to be a spoiler but the surprise will be as much in the spoiler in this blog as when it’s gifted. I’m going to do a 25 stripe sock yarn. I have wound the yarn off double for each of these and I have a certain number of metres for the toe (stripe 1), x metres for each of the leg/foot stripes (stripes 2-23), x metres for the cuff (stripe 24) and x metres for the afterthought heel (stripe 25). As I’ve wound this off double, I’ll be dying each stripe for each sock and when it’s finished it will be two small balls of yarn so that the socks can be knitted two at at time. I hope that isn’t as confusing as it sounds! If it works, I might do some more. The yarn has been sitting like this for almost a week now as I’ve been thinking about how to dye the 25 different colours. I was thinking small take away containers – a problem getting them all into the microwave, or maybe laying them all on gladwrap on the outdoor table and working the dye into each stripe individually – a method I’d done with 22 stripes some time ago but that was a fade. I’ve settled on little snap-lock bags which I’ll put standing in a microwave bowl. The issue here is getting the dye onto the yarn carried between bags. Apart from the first and last bag, there will be four double strands coming into and out of each bag. Let’s see how this goes – watch this space! Dyeing will probably commence tomorrow.

Paraphernalia

I’m still watching Spooks (MI-5) on SBS On Demand and I’m now into the seventh season. The first couple of episodes of Season 6 had an awful feel of Covid about it! I’ve also started watching The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix and really want to start the latest season of The Crown. In the book department, I finished The Law of Innocence by Michael Connolly and it was great. I have now started What my Sister Knew by Nina Laurin and it is quite intriguing so far. I have been following several series of books but it’s hard to keep track. I’m going to have to do a list of the series so that I can make sure I’m moving along in each of them.

This week, the family is on tenterhooks waiting for our little baby boy. I’ll be heading up on Thursday for a normal minding day but could be heading up earlier if Baby 1 decides to arrive earlier. I know that Kim would be very happy for that! I haven’t mentioned much of Baby 2 but he/she is growing nicely and on track for January.

My crafting focus this week will be on the Superman quilt (for Baby 1), some Christmas table runners I’m finishing for gifts and the dressmaking test. There will be a breakfast and definitely some coffees and bike rides shared. Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

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