Hello friends! January is taking a long time yet how are we almost at the end already? This week started with my birthday on Monday but the highlight of the week has to be the birth of my new grandson, Cooper. I haven’t been able to meet Cooper in person yet due to the restrictions at the hospital which don’t allow visitors but I will see him on Tuesday when they are home. I will have pictures next week. On my birthday, I had breakfast with my Monday fortnight breakfast friends and then morning tea with some other friends. I didn’t get a swim in as the wind was very strong but I did have a lovely walk along a couple of the beaches before going to dinner with Robert and his mother. There are very few restaurants open on a Monday night so we ended up at the Huskisson Pub along with lots of tourists.
On Wednesday, I spent the morning with Mary doing some collage and painting (more info later) and then we had lunch. Thursday and Friday were beach days though, when I say that, it’s only for a maximum of an hour in the morning and that includes the walk to and from the beach. I like to get there early before the real heat of the day. The rest of the days were spent in the studio – I’ve been moving a few things around again. Yesterday, I attended a fabulous candle-making workshop which I will talk about in detail further down the blog. I did go for a swim this morning as well; nice an early as today was forecast to be 38 degrees Celcius. I’m not sure it got there but it was pretty hot.
Last week, I forgot to show that our side fence was finished. We are still waiting for the trees on the back block’s boundary to be removed before we can do that fence. The other work that has started on the house is the small garden we’re putting in at the front. Robert has started to put the sleepers in but has been held up from proceeding temporarily due to some minor surgery on his back and shoulder to remove a couple of skin cancers.
My Half Moon Oracle shawl is progressing nicely even though I haven’t been spending all my time on it. I have now finished the lace section number five and progressed onto the next brioche section, number six. There are only a total of 28 brioche rows here which, in length, equates to about 14 rows due to working each row twice. Then there is another short lace section and it is finished with an i-cord bind off. I am totally loving the colours and how they play together. It will be the perfect shawl to wear with my Tuileries pullover that I finished at the end of last winter and is yet to be worn. The caramel yarn is from that project.
Most of my knitting has been on the Lieselotte baby blanket and each round is getting slower due to the number of stitches. I now have about 610 stitches to work around. I was thinking of starting on the border pattern but have decided to go around a little bit more first. Maybe another six rounds which is where I need to be with the number of stitches for the pattern repeat. I’m itching to start on the pattern. I think it will block out to a reasonable size – it’s currently about 30 inches along each side, without blocking. The other project I’ve been working on has been the Long Squishy tube test knit. I didn’t do much at all this week until Thursday when I was able to use my newly acquired Chiaogoo cable and 5.5mm tips. Then I zoomed through the slip stitch section and am currently half way through the third section which uses the 5.0mm tips that I already had. I think the DPNs were causing me to be a bit tight with the tension though it won’t really be noticeable. This needs to be finished this week so will be getting plenty of love now.
I’m not sure how long it has been since I last did any spinning but I know it was well before Christmas. I finally decided to pull out something to do. I have almost finished a project but I didn’t want to continue on that without having spun for so long, so I though a new project would be best to get my hand back at how I was spinning. I thought it would take a little practice to get going again but I’m spinning just fine now. I am getting a new niddy noddy for my birthday – it’s currently on its way to me, so I’ll be able to get the singles off once they are done since my old niddy noddy fell apart. It was very old and I inherited it with the spinning wheel. I’m not sure what this fibre is but I think it’s a merino/silk blend. This was a gift from my friend Janice who had decided that she didn’t need unspun fibre in her life. I’m happy to take it off her hands as it is beautiful. The bump weighed in at 495 grams so it will make a nice amount of yarn for a jumper or cardigan.
I haven’t done a lot of dressmaking this week. I did fix up the button band on my Harvest top and I’ve added the buttonholes. I haven’t put the buttons on yet but I’m not really enthused because it turned out a bit too big. It’s a nice top but I may have to find someone who is a little bigger than me who wants it. I did a couple of seams on the bodice of my Hope dress but, again, the enthusiasm is waning as I think it might be a little small due to the French seams. I don’t think I needed to do them and I’m now moving forward with just overlocking instead. I’ll see how it turns out because I can’t try it on yet until I do the side and sleeve seams. If it is too small I may be able to cut out another bodice as I have plenty of fabric leftover, and the skirt part is gathered so won’t be a problem as my hips are smaller than the relative measurement.
The two Santa sacks that I’d made for Evie and Finn for Christmas have been waiting patiently at my machine and I got around to doing the blanket stitch around the E and F on them. I did them by machine as I’d intended and now all that’s required is the cording for the ties. I had intended to call in at Spotlight yesterday to get some and completely forgot. I’ll get that this week and I’ll then put them away until next Christmas.
I mentioned earlier that Mary and I spent the morning on Wednesday doing some collage and painting together. We followed an online art journalling class by Laly Mille called New Beginnings. Mary had previously done one of her classes and I was really impressed by how fun it looked. Laly is a mixed media artist and has several free classes available to help inspire wannabes like me. 😊 There are four free classes in her New Beginnings series and the one we did is the first one called Gratitude. The finished product doesn’t appear to be about gratitude but there’s plenty buried at the bottom of it. We’ll be doing another one soon.
Yesterday I participated in a candle-making class with a group of friends at Willowvale Road Candles in Gerringong. This is about a 45 minute drive for me so is reasonably close. We had a fantastic day! Caroline was a wonderful instructor and she started us off on individual grazing boxes and champagne while we admired the view from the verandah. The class was very professional and everything was prepared and set out in a very pleasing way. Firstly, we learnt all about candles, and it’s amazing what you don’t actually know! We then moved onto the class and we made three candles in beautiful glass containers; a large one, a medium one and a small one. There was a very large array of scents to use and you can also combine them too. I did my large one in lemon myrtle, my medium one using clove, orange and cedar leaf and, for the small one, I combined cinnamon buns with black rose and oudh. I’d never heard of oudh and couldn’t describe it for you so here is what Mr Google tells me: “The fragrance is comprised of many diverse aspects. It is simultaneously pungent, yet very pleasing, invoking warm, smoky notes with tinges of dampened wood. Although subtlety blended with touches of floral and fruit, the predominant scent is musky and sensual”. After the candles were done, we each made up some diffuser scent. I chose the fragrance called Christmas bush. Once we were finished with the class we were treated to afternoon tea which consisted of a cupcake and slice, the rest of the champagne and coffee/tea. It was a great way to spend the afternoon and Caroline wasn’t able to get rid of us until nearly 5pm! I highly recommend her classes as they are so professional and she’s a lovely person to spend time with. She’ll be offering other classes so I’m keeping my eye out to see what I can do next – I’m hoping for a soap class. 🤞
I have finished watching Bridgerton and I’m disappointed that there are no more episodes coming soon enough! It was a great show and look forward to the next season – I am assuming there will be one. I am still listening to The Champagne War and I’m almost enjoying it. I think it’s very soapy but it’s not so bad that I’ll not finish it. I’m also reading Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin while I’m at the beach. It definitely has great tips for making good habits or breaking bad habits. I watched The Good Liar with Helen Mirren on Netflix the other day and was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. No spoilers! I’m kind of lost with series at the moment, not feeling any that I want to watch. I even finished Virgin River for want of something better to grab me.
This week I’ll be spending time with all my grandchildren and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ll be meeting Cooper on Tuesday and then spending the day with Evie and Finn on Wednesday. There is an Australia Day get together happening on Tuesday but I think spending the day with Cooper, Erin and Shaun is a much better option. On Thursday, I’ll be having breakfast at a local restaurant called The Gunya which is at Paperbark Camp. It’s a very fancy tented bush camp. And plenty of crafting throughout all that!
Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!