Hello friends! Welcome to a beautiful summer day here on the south coast of New South Wales. The weather has been on and off but the better days are starting to be in the majority now. I’ve been to the beach most days this week and it’s amazing how good it feels in the sun and the saltwater. I haven’t done much this week apart from a few medical appointments and the beach. And, of course, time in my studio working on projects.
There has been some activity around the house this week. The fence is finally being installed and, though they’ve been working all week, it is still not finished. There was a bit of rock that they needed to get through for the posts so that slowed things down a bit. Along with rain on several days. The fence is being installed between our property and the one on the side but we are not having the back fence put in just yet. The owner of the property at our back is having some trees removed and they are on the border so it’s best to wait and have the back fence put in when that’s completed. I think the trees are being removed this coming week so we’ll then schedule the last part of the fence.
I’ve made considerable progress on the Lieselotte baby blanket this week. Apart from the four corners, it’s just stocking stitch in the round so it’s been easy to knit on. It’s hard to show the square shape whilst it’s scrunched onto a cable but you can get the idea from the last photo where I put in a couple of more cables so that I could spread it out. I’m onto my 3rd cable at the moment and I’m about to change to the next size as you can see it is really getting bunched up. I’m only on my second ball at the moment and I have another seven. I don’t see using all of them but I’ll work that out when I get a lot further into it.
In comparison, I haven’t made a lot of progress on my Long Squishy Tube cowl test knit now that I’ve reached the slip stitch section. This is because I had to go up from 5.0mm to 5.5mm needles and all I have is DPNs. It has been working but it feels like I have more fingers than I need! I am doing a little at a time waiting for some 5.5mm tips that I have ordered. I could only get 4″ tips so I’m hoping they won’t be too long for knitting in the round on this small tube. I’m liking the pattern that I’m getting as I go through my coloured balls. I have plenty of the orange and blue so will do more of those colours than the caramel and green. I hope the tips arrive in the next day or two.
And then there is my Half Moon Oracle shawl – I am so loving the brioche on this! I think I need to have a brioche project on the go all the time. 😄 I am about to finish the brioche section and I will be starting the next lace bit in the caramel. I’m looking forward to adding more of that colour. There’s more brioche after that and I’m probably going to change the colour B to colour C so that I have the turquoise and caramel together this time. From there, there will be another lace section and I’ll decide which colour it will be when I get to it. The pattern calls for colour C which is my turquoise. In the photo below, I was watching a YouTube video on Hong Kong seams whilst knitting on this.
Erin’s baby is due in ten days and we are all excited, waiting to hear some news as it could be any time! She asked me for a pair of Bitty Baby booties like I’d made for her friend, Ash, so I whipped these up yesterday. I only need to stitch them down now and add two buttons so I hope to get that done this afternoon to pop into tomorrow’s post. I believe they may be for the “Welcome Baby” photo.
I finally got around to blocking my Slipstravaganza shawl! It is HUGE! Which is normal for Stephen West’s shawls. It is really amazing what a difference blocking makes. In the middle photo, you can hardly see the colours in the honeycomb and diamond pattern sections and the blocking has opened them right up. I still have a few ends to sew in though the majority have been done already. This shawl will definitely be in rotation next winter.
My new Janome has been set up for free motion quilting on the Superman quilt this week so I have moved onto the old Janome to work on this Harvest top by Pattern Runway. This is a free pattern available through Peppermint Magazine. I am making this as a wearable muslin but it’s probably become much more complicated than the normal project would be because I used some lacy fabric. The sticker on the fabric said Charlotte lace when I purchased this remnant from Spotlight and I was hoping for some inspiration as to how to use it. I thought the three section design would be good to feature the fabric. I had to fussy cut the top and bottom pieces so that the fronts and backs would match and I used some good quality homespun for the centre bits and sleeve cuffs. I think it’s homespun or it could be some quilters muslin as it’s softer than normal homespun fabric. I had to make a few modifications. Firstly the bottom section of the top is supposed to be a doubled up piece of fabric but I wanted to use the lace edging without a hem. For this I just needed to cut a half horizontal piece. The pattern also has a front neck facing and back neck facing/button band but I didn’t want the big facing around the neck. Instead, I cut a bias strip which I attached and folded over the seam before folding and stitching in place. That produced a small quarter inch seam without raw edges. I then had to work out what to do for the back. Instead of the button band facing I decided to add a doubled up piece of homespun on each side for the button band which also enclosed the raw edges at the back opening. I’m yet to try it on at this point so I’m not sure if it’s maybe longer than I’d like. Also for the fit. I removed one inch on either side of the back opening which I think is what I needed to remove for the different button bands. I can make any adjustments I need to before adding the buttons. I need to unpick and re-stitch the bottom of the right button band as it is longer than the other – it looks like the lace may have stretched a bit when I was adding the band. I didn’t actually measure it, just cutting it off when I reached the end. I think the top would be really easy and straightforward to make if I didn’t need to make so many modifications and I have some fabric that I would like to use for it. I should have more photos of this one next week – hopefully some action photos too.
The old Janome really got a workout this week. I also hemmed around three different muslins. I showed the fabric last week and got stuck into that to get them away to Erin. The mail was really quick as she received them in two days! You can see below that the Crazy Sock Lady was keeping me company whilst sewing these.
The Superman quilt is still in the machine and I forgot to take photos but that is getting close to finishing. I have been listening to my book, The Champagne War, whilst quilting. Other than that, I’ve finished The Fall on SBS On Demand and I’m now watching the second season of Unforgotten on Foxtel. I’ve also been physically reading Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin. That has been my beach entertainment. I have a quick swim then set the alarm for half an hour while I read. I don’t want to be in the sun for too long so that’s a good beach session for me. My YouTube podcasts have settled to a normal state after the plethora of Vlogmases and I’ve even had time to catch up on some audio podcasts. I listened to a good episode of Dr. Chatterjee’s when he interviewed James Clear on Making Habits Stick. It’s kind of topical at this time of year.
I have another quiet week ahead of me apart from a trip to Wollongong on Wednesday to see my beautiful grandchildren. I have missed my little sidekick, Evie, as I haven’t seen her since just after Christmas apart from one video chat. I’m looking forward to some fun with her. I’m also looking forward to some Finnick cuddles! I’ve see photos each day and he is changing so quickly. He’s fully connecting now and I can’t wait to see him.
I know the Covid situation around the world is still making people miserable but, until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!