Sunday 29 November 2020. #123

Hello friends! I’m coming to you from a very hot New South Wales today. I’ve just returned from Sydney and it was well over 40 degrees celcius – 44 degrees while I was getting petrol! It was in the 30s here in Vincentia and I know it was over 40 yesterday. 44 degrees celcius is a smidge over 111 degrees in the old Fahrenheit scale. It’s been quite a social week which started with a breakfast catch up on Monday and finished with a cafe breakfast this morning in Sydney. I managed to get in three rides, I think. Thursday was my day with Evie and we had fun with some water play in the garden and an outing to the park. We found a Christmas tree in the nearby shopping centre and she was quite intrigued without actually understanding what it’s actually for.

Yesterday I caught up with three old school friends. We get together a couple of times a year – generally a weekend away earlier in the year and a special lunch around this time of year as a Christmas celebration before the mad rush. I got the ferry from Erin’s place into Circular Quay and I wandered up Pitt Street to the centre of the city where the shopping district is. The highlight of the walk up Pitt Street was the Christmas tree in Martin Place. I think the baubles were beachball size!

We had lunch in Sydney Tower which is currently the highest restaurant in the city though that could change when the new casino is finished. Depends on how high their restaurants are. Skyfeast (as the restaurant is called) is a revolving restaurant and we watched the city go around twice. It takes about an hour per revolution. We had a feast with several shared dishes for entree, main course and dessert. We struggled to get through the desserts but managed most of them. It was a lovely day out, followed by a cocktail at Bar 83 which is the floor above the restaurant. It was a very plush and fancy red setting but did not revolve. Dinner last night was with Erin and Shaun at the Tramsheds in Glebe which they followed up with Messina ice-cream.

Knitting

I’ve finally reached the end of the cables on the Cabled Baby blanket! Right now I’m working on the ribbing at the end of the blanket but I will also pick up the stitches on each side of the blanket and add the same ribbing there. The needle I’m using is a cheap 2.75mm and it’s sticking at the cable join. I’ll have to see if I have a better option as it’s not easy to move along and it’s probably too short for the side ribbing stitches. I have some Chiagoo minis in the small sizes and I just need to find the long cable that I purchased specifically for the small attachment. It’s looking quite narrow here but it should block out better and it’s hard to spread it out on the tiles. And the side ribbing will add some width too.

My Slipstravaganza is not popular at the moment. I was zooming along and into my second row on the second last coloured section when I realised that I was doing the wrong stitch pattern. So now I’m going backwards. Normally I don’t mind undoing a few rows but when the stitch count is in the 900s then it’s not so much fun. This is like two steps forward and one step backwards. At least I will be still ahead of last week’s position when I get back to the start of this contrast colour. I thought I’d be able to finish by the end of next week but it may take another week now.

There’s not a lot of progress on my Shell Cottage socks but progress is progress. I’m getting close to starting on the heel so I’m keeping a close eye and trying on after each repeat. I’ll be working a new pair of socks next week for my advent knitting so these may have a little rest until I finish either the Cabled Baby blanket or Slipstravaganza, or both.

Sewing

The only sewing I’ve been doing this week is to finish the test sew. I still can’t reveal what I’m working on as the test ends tomorrow. Hopefully, this pattern may be released soon and I’ll be able to show you what it is. I managed to finish it and take photos on Thursday.

Patchwork

This week I picked up on some Christmas table runners that I started last year for my school friends. They are very worthy of handmade goods and I love gifting them some of my creations. I was able to gift these yesterday at our lunch and they were so excited to get them that they wanted a photo with them. I had finished all the piecing, sandwiched one of them and had cut all the waddings and backings so this week I only had to sandwich and quilt three of them and then add the binding to the four. It was so good to finish one of the many WIPs that I’ve uncovered in the unpacking. I have mine on the hall table in the entryway. I don’t normally put up Christmas decorations until the first day of December but I didn’t want to put it away for four days when I would be taking it out again.

This week I finished the backing for the Superman quilt. I have used all the leftovers from the front piecing and just added a strip of white down the middle. Tomorrow’s job is to sandwich and start quilting. Now that the Christmas runners are finished this is priority one.

Dyeing

Last week I showed the start of my advent project for this year and I actually got to dyeing the yarn this week. It took some thinking on how to go about this and my ziplock bag method proved a good choice. I put each of the 25 sections into snack sized ziplocks and I put dye into each, one at a time. The dish wasn’t big enough for all 25 bags so I used the glass lid as well and I was able to sit the lid on top of the dish for microwaving. The tray photo shows the individual colours I used while I was rinsing them – the two sets are there. You can see the 25 colours of dye that I used and I’ll make a note of them so that Mary and I know which stripe is which colour. I used a combination of Landscape and Jacquard dyes and a couple of Wilton food colourings. Most of the dye was exhausted except for one teal colour – I think it was Landscape Opal or Ice. That one took many rinses but I got it all out. I used a broomstick to hang them to dry and then hand wound each ball. There are two sets of 2 x balls and I’ve already gifted Mary’s set. We are ready to cast on the toe on Tuesday!

Acquisitions

Most of you will know of all the specials that have been filling the interwebs this week for Cyber Monday or Black Friday. I’ve had three patterns on my list and waited patiently for the indie pattern companies to put their sales up. I managed to get two out of the three I was after and one other that I’d been coveting for some time. The first was the Style Arc Marley shirt, then there’s the Victory Patterns Sofia dress and the last was the Sew House Seven’s Toaster sweater. The Assembly Line put up a free pattern for pyjamas as part of their Black Friday sales and I grabbed that as I’m hoping to make a set of these soon. I’ll be keeping an eye out for the final pattern I’m after as tomorrow is Cyber Monday and there is still a chance. I also bought a double Sofa bed with the Cyber Monday special though it was last Tuesday. That’s going into the studio and will be a great spot for me to chill at and also an extra bed for visitors. I’ll be needing it for Christmas. The sofa bed is due to arrive between the 1st and 7th December.

Paraphernalia

I’m still working my way through Spooks (MI-5) and I’m now into Season 9. I daresay I’ll have finished Season 10 by next week. I had also started The Queen’s Gambit, Unforgotten and Succession but haven’t progressed with those yet. I also started a new audible book – The Late Show by Michael Connolly and it’s proving to be another good one. It’s a new series with a detective called Renee Ballard and it indicates that Harry Bosch will be part of it too, though he hasn’t made an appearance just yet.

Baby 1 was due to arrive last Wednesday and hasn’t yet made an appearance. We’re all waiting with great anticipation, no more so than mum and dad! I’ll be having a play date with Evie on Tuesday and otherwise I will be focussed on a couple of Christmas projects, as well as the Superman quilt. Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

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