Hello friends! Welcome to the end of January. It’s amazing how quickly it went. This week was quite social and very family oriented. I only managed one trip to the beach this week and it was very early on Monday. So early that the sun hadn’t gotten high enough to get over the point at the beach I was at. Since then, the weather hasn’t been great – we’ve had a lot more rain. On Monday night, we had dinner at Swan Lake, a bit further down the coast, with our friends Peter and Sue. Sue is another avid knitter so we talked a lot about yarny stuff, grandkids and knitting while we did. Then on Tuesday I headed up to Sydney to meet my new grandson, Cooper who came home from hospital that day. On Wednesday, I spent the day with Evie and Finn. Evie and I got to do some painting together and Finn has changed so much in the week and a half since I’d seen him! He’s so alert now and interacting.
On Thursday morning, some of the local girls had breakfast at Paperbark Camp’s restaurant, The Gunya. It was a set meal, starting with fruit, fruit juice, chia pudding, coffee/tea, and then a choice of two main meals. I had the camp breakfast which was bacon, sourdough, tomato, mushrooms, spinach and eggs done how you like. The other option was smoked salmon with eggs and a sauce. It was a lovely breakfast and it was nice to try a different place for a change. Yesterday, Robert and I headed up to Sydney as he hadn’t yet met Cooper. It was lovely spending the day with Erin, Shaun and Cooper and then we had coffee at my mum and dad’s place before heading down to Wollongong for the night. We had a nice stay with Steven, Kim, Evie and Finn and headed home this morning as they were heading to Sydney to meet the new baby.
I have finished the main knitting on the Long Squishy Cowl that I’m testing for Susan Distel, a designer on Ravelry. I only have to graft the two ends together, which I’ll do tomorrow with kitchener stitch. It’s due now and I managed to get most of it done quickly once I had received my 5.5mm tips and the matching cable. The first photo shows parts one and two and you can see that part two has a tighter tension for the initial section, on the left. That’s when I was using the DPNs and I was obviously knitting tightly. I think it was actually necessary as the DPNs are quite heavy at that size and could easily slip out if you weren’t careful. Anyway, it was a fun, quick and easy knit and I’ll have finished photos next week.
I only put a couple of rows on my Half Moon Oracle shawl as I had to finish the cowl and I needed to work on the Lieselotte Baby blanket. I didn’t bother with photos of the shawl as it would look the same as last week. The Lieselotte is coming along nicely as I’ve now started on the border pattern. It’s a small faux cable where you just carry a slipped stitch over a couple of stitches and add a yarn over in the next row. I’m enjoying knitting on this part as it’s giving some relief to the constant stocking stitch in the round. You can see the puffy centre of the blanket below but that will block out once it’s all done and stretched out. I have used this formula previously on the Twinkle Twinkle Baby blanket and I know that it works fine. There are 23 rows to the border but I know I can add a few more if I need to. It’s hard to work out exactly how large this is but it’s meant to be a pram blanket so doesn’t need to be huge.
I have some plans for upcoming cast-ons, namely two Gramps cardigans by TinCan Knits for Finnick and Cooper and a Trellis Stitch jacket for Evie. As soon as I’m done with the projects above, I’ll be casting them on. That should be in the next couple of weeks.
With the arrival of another baby, I got to making some more burp cloths. I had made one a few weeks back for Kim and Finnick and this week I made them another one, along with two for Erin and Cooper. These are very easy to make and are very handy to have. The first one I made in the size that the pattern came in which was able to be cut from a fat quarter. Since then, Kim showed me a bigger one so I just enlarged the pattern by 20% to get these three. You need more than a fat quarter for these but it works well with a narrow full width strip.
On Friday, I got stuck into my Hope dress by Style Arc. I had put the bodice together and also the facing but that was as far as I’d gotten. When I wanted to move on with it I couldn’t find the facing that was ready to put on the bodice and I searched everywhere. Anyway, it’s only a small piece so I cut out the pieces again and put it together again. I added the facing, sewed the side seams and sleeve seams, sewed the skirt side seams, gathered the skirt top and added it to the bodice. I finished the sleeve hems and the skirt hem. All that is left to do is to add the elastic to the sleeve hems and I don’t have any I can use. I’ll have to make a trip to Spotlight and get some. I have tried it on and it does just fit across the bust but I think I’ll need to add some elastic to the waist to bring it in a little. Anything that hangs from the bust on me looks like maternity wear so I need to add some shape. That will give it some waist definition and I hope it looks better. I may also need to take some length off, but I’ll see about that when I try it on after adding the elastic. It’s supposed to be long and flowy so I’ll make that call later. By the way, I found the original facing yesterday when I pulled out my Half Moon Oracle – it had been caught up in that!
As I wasn’t home much, I only managed a little spinning this week but progress is good regardless of how little it is. I’m only about half way through the first 100 grams and I have another 4 of them to go.
Mary gave me a voucher from Skein Sisters for my birthday and I decided to use their 10% discount voucher for the month of January. I settled on some Coop Knits Socks Yeah! which is fingering weight in 75% fine superwash merino and 25% nylon. The colours I chose, from left, are: Acinolite, Chryso, Lapis, Chalcedony and Sphene. In choosing these skeins, I thought they would work well for an Exploration Station shawl by Stephen West. I have been wanting to make one of these ever since it was released a few years ago and I think now is the time. Obviously, this won’t be cast on until the Half Moon Oracle shawl is complete. I have another skein that I intend to use with these – a Pineapple Yarn’s Lani Sock in the Spiced Rum colourway. I’ll show them all together when I am ready to cast on. Thank you Mary!
This afternoon I attended another painting class by Pinot and Picasso and this one was of Cleopatra. Like the last one I did for Frida Kahlo, it was a lot of fun and I attended with five girlfriends. I will have more info on that in next week’s blog. I finished The Champagne War by Fiona McIntosh and, though it’s something I wouldn’t normally read, I did kind of enjoy it. I’ve now started listening to The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne. I think it will be a decent read, from what I can tell early in the book. I have re-instated my Goodreads account as I have been having trouble with my Audible list. I have old books listed that are showing as not read and it can get confusing. With Goodreads, I’ll be able to keep track. I have so many audiobooks to read! I can’t seem to settle on any series on Netflix, Foxtel or SBS On Demand since Bridgerton but I am still drip feeding on Unforgotten on Foxtel as there is only one episode of Season 2 a week at the moment. I think I have only one or two episodes to go and I really look forward to Wednesdays.
This week, I’ll be heading back up to Sydney to spend a couple of days with Erin, Shaun and Cooper. That will take a bit chunk out of the middle of the week so I intend to spend as much time in my studio while I’m home. It’s getting quite late now so I’ll close here and get this post up. Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!