Hello friends! It’s been a busy week but I’ve had plenty of time to spend with new, old and yet-to-be born grandchildren. Finnick is now one week old and it’s like he’s been around for a long time. Evie and I had some quality time together; we went to the park, for a paddle in the lagoon, shopping and playing at home. Erin & Shaun came down yesterday to meet their new nephew and I was able to catch up with them too. Erin is due on the 21st January so it’s all go in our family at the moment.
The week started last Sunday with some drinks at JB Brewery to celebrate a friend’s retirement. It was a very pleasant summer evening. Things are definitely hotting up on the social scene. Monday morning was a ride to Huskisson for a catch-up breakfast. Tuesday, another ride to Huskisson for coffee with different friends and then a hair cut. That evening I attended our Book Club Christmas function which was another pleasant summer evening though it was a little bit cooler.
The bay water has been a vivid green this week and it’s looking stunning. I think there could be a bit of an algal bloom.
I may have mentioned in my last blog that I’d partially received delivery of my Koala sofa bed. It took most of the week and many conversations to get the rest of it delivered and we finally put it together this morning. It’s looking great and I think it will be comfortable to sleep on. Kim & Steven will be sleeping on it in my studio for their Christmas stay and there will be plenty of room for them and Finnick away from the rest of the house, with their own ensuite. The studio is coming together very nicely now and I’m excited to get it all finished. On Friday, I headed to Wollongong again and called in at Santa’s Farm at Tullimbar to buy a fresh Christmas tree. It was the last one left so I was lucky, and lucky that it was a decent tree. It’s still looking a bit flat in the photo below as it was netted for more than 24 hours. Here it is drying as I had it in the rain to clean off the dirt and dust. I hope to have it up and decorated by tomorrow evening. I don’t have a very large car but our trees seem to fit in there nicely and it smelled very Christmassy for the trip up and back.
Finished Object: Well, the Slipstravaganza shawl is finished apart from the blocking and sewing in ends, but the 950 stitch i-cord bind off is done and dusted. I had a great session on it yesterday and managed to finish it off late last night. The blocking will open it right up which will make it look so much better – currently the first and middle sections are a bit concertinaed which is hiding the lovely teals. Next week I will have blocked photos and I’m really looking forward to seeing them.
Advent Knitting: So far, I’ve done 12 days of knitting and 12 different coloured stripes on my Advent socks. I’ve realised that there will be too much yarn for one pair of socks and perhaps enough to make two pairs of shorty socks. The plan is now to knit until the end of the 23rd colour and then do another toe with the 24th colour. The 24th colour was going to be the cuff on the socks so it will now be a different coloured toe to the one I started with. The reason for doing this is that I’ll now be making 2 pairs of afterthought everything shorty socks. Essentially, it will be a long tube with a toe at either end. Once the end toe is done, I’ll be picking up stitches at halfway to do a cuff for either end. That will be easier than doing afterthought heels but the same process. At that point, I’ll need to decided if I have to add more length before the cuff. And finally, I’ll add afterthought heels on all four socks. I hope that didn’t sound as confusing as I think it did! It will become clear when I take photos of it. I’ve included my advent wines here too, though I’m missing a couple that I took to Wollongong. I’m four little bottles behind because I keep forgetting to take them with me. Check out the cute little pink bubbly!
In last week’s blog, I showed the beginning of the Peter Pan dress by 5Berries Patterns, that I hacked for a “Sew the Look” for Evie. The yellow dress is the one that we found on the internet. The one I made was going to be a wearable toile. I was thinking that it may be a little too small for Evie but it has turned out perfect and will be her Santa photo dress. The hacked sleeves turned out perfectly and the trim looks great. Evie loves the pockets – show me a toddler that doesn’t! Instead of press studs on the back, I used buttons.
I have also started a long term project for a new handbag. I have been after a new crossbody handbag and I haven’t found one that is the size I want or the price I want. It occurred to me that I could make one and had a look around for some leather. I found some kangaroo leather and ordered it. It’s arriving today so I’ll be very interested to see what it’s like. For the bag, I wanted three zippered sections and I found a tutorial online at SewCanShe.com. This is for a small three zippered pouch but I thought I’d make one up with the sizing indicated as a practice and then I can alter the sizing to make it the size that I want. I’m not in a hurry for this as I have plenty to finish before Christmas but I thought I might just do a step here and there. I ordered some Sallie Tomato zipper tape and pulls from Voodoo Rabbit fabric and they arrived early this week. Let’s see how this works – I know the fabric pouch will be easy enough and I think using the leather should be too. It’s a very thin leather so it shouldn’t be too hard to stitch. I’ll use the leather for the outside parts and fabric for the inside parts.
My plans for this week include making a Victory Patterns Sofia dress. I think it will be a pretty quick sew and, if it looks good, it will be my Christmas dinner dress for our do on Friday night. Fingers crossed. 🤞 For this pattern, I called in at Officeworks on my way to Wollongong on Friday and had it printed on A0. That will save plenty of time instead of sticking together A4 sheets. While I was there, I also printed off The Assembly Line’s free Pyjama pattern. I want to make up some pyjamas very soon but I also think the top would look great in some drapey fabric. I may have picked up a decent remnant of some drapey fabric at Spotlight the other day. 😀
I’m moving into full Christmas sewing mode this week and will be putting together two Christmas stockings and finishing two Santa sacks. Here is one of the stocking panels that I’ll be using – it will be Finn’s. I need to make this bigger to match Evie’s stocking size as I wasn’t able to get more of those. This is a Nancy Halvorsen panel and I’m fortunate enough to have some matching Nancy Halvorsen fabric in my deep stash. I obviously knew I would need it several years down the track! The panel was sitting on the base board of my sofa bed that had been taking up room in my studio and waiting for all the other bits during the week.
With the three trips to Wollongong in the past week I finished listening to Nelson Demille’s latest book, The Deserter. I also listened to it for a good session each other day as I was thoroughly enjoying it. I definitely love his writing and his flippant and smart-alecky main characters, with a lot of serious thrilling bits. I have now started The Champagne Wars by Fiona McIntosh, which is our next Book Club book. I am finding the beginning to be quite romantic and soapy so I’m hoping it gets better. I finally finished bingeing Spooks (MI-5) and I’m missing having that to watch but I have moved onto Unforgotten which is proving to be very good. I love anything with Nicola Walker in it. I have a long list of series that I want to watch.
My social plans for this week include three Christmas functions. I thought it was four with one tomorrow but it’s actually the following Monday. I’ll be slotting my creative plans in around those and a trip to Wollongong on Tuesday. Christmas is approaching very quickly and it’s less than two weeks until the family is together to celebrate. Time now for me to put plans down on paper so that I know what I have to get organised. Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!