Hello friends! Welcome to February. The weather hasn’t been fantastic but we have had some lovely days. I started this week waiting at the cafe in Huskisson for our catch-up breakfast but ended up having a quiet one on my own. There were many who weren’t able to come but one would never know who was coming. The system has changed now, on my request, so that we have a Whatsapp group and can see everyone’s response. I wouldn’t mind but I did have a couple of things that I could have done instead. On Tuesday, I headed up to Sydney to spend a couple of days with Erin, Shaun and Cooper. It was a lovely time and Cooper was very well behaved for a new baby, being only a week and a half old. We had some quality time together but all he does at the moment is eat (I can’t help with that), sleep (I can watch him while mum sleeps) and dirty nappies (I can definitely help with that). I did get out for a walk on Wednesday afternoon and took some pics of the area. I really like walking around there as it’s such a beautiful and interesting spot.
I came home on Thursday morning via IKEA and managed to pick up many bits and pieces. On Friday morning, I got my bike out for the first time since a couple of weeks before Christmas and rode over to Huskisson. It has been very busy on the track with all the tourists over January so I waited till they all went home. I also did ten laps in the ocean pool before riding back. On Saturday morning I was at Aldi early to pick up an office chair. I already have one of them that I use in my studio, rolling from one end of the desk to the other along the three machines and over to the table. I wanted one for the study but I wasn’t about to give up my studio chair. There were plenty to go around and I also picked up one for Mary. I’ve also been doing some planning of projects this week.
I finished my cowl test knit with a kitchener stitch to join up the two ends of the tube. The photos show different colours, mainly due to the different times I took them – I think the closest colours are in the photo where I’m wearing it. The sewn kitchener stitch was a little tricky as I had two circles, rather than two flat rows. It turned out fine except where I dropped a stitch. I was several stitches away when I realised and unsewing the stitches was not something I wanted to attempt, with the “knit off, purl on, purl off, knit on” backwards too scary a thought. I was able to pick up the stitch and sew it in easily enough. It just meant that I had an extra stitch at the end and I worked the last two stitches together. My kitchener looks great on the front side of the cowl but seems a bit tight on the back – at the beginning and end of the kitchener, but you won’t be able to see it. It’s not cowl weather here so I took this photo to show how it sits. I think it will be great for winter.
The Lieselotte Baby blanket is nearly finished. I have done as many rounds of the border as I think I need, having added an extra six rounds plus a plain knit round. I will now do an i-cord bind off but didn’t start it last night as I wanted to check on YouTube how to do it in the round. I remembered that you had to cast on three stitches before starting the bind off and there’s a way to graft the end so that it joins nicely. I found the tutorial that I had used previously, one by Bronwyn the Brave Designs. I’ll start the bind off tonight but, with over 600 stitches, I’m not sure I’ll finish it tonight. The border stitch was easy and had a good rhythm that didn’t slow the knitting down much.
I’ve grouped together three other projects because I’ve only done a little on each. Firstly, I started a couple of swatches for the Gramps cardigan that I’ll be making for Finn and Cooper. Finn will be getting navy with another colour and Cooper will be getting the dark teal with another colour. The actual colours are darker than the photo shows. The contrast colour is for the bands and collar. I particularly wanted to do a swatch because I’m going to use this DK instead of Worsted weight. Using the recommended needle size of 4.0mm, they have both turned out looser than I want, the navy yarn more than the other. I’ll give the navy a go with 3.5mm and may try the teal with 3.75. I’ll then need to recalculate the gauge so that I can pick the size that correlates with the stitch gauge I get. Another project that got a couple of rounds done is my Shell Cottage socks. I’m almost finished the gusset increases and thought it would be a good small project to have in line waiting for Aldi to open yesterday. In the end I only managed a round and a half. Lastly, I managed a few rows on my Half Moon Oracle shawl during my Zoom with the International Virtual Knit Night group this morning. I like to work on this one for the Zoom meetings as there are a few of us that are doing it together. I think I may be doing a couple of extra rows because the pattern is confusing. It gives the four rows for the brioche (2 rows x 2 colours) and then says to repeat four times in total. I think she means knit the four rows, four times in total but I’m repeating them four times instead. It won’t make a difference to the shawl as there are no increases. I’ve only got three rows to do before I start the second last section, which will be lace again. I think I’ll use the dark teal again for the next section and finish with the caramel.
In the last week or so, I’ve noticed on Facebook how people have been gearing up for the #100dayproject2021 and I was thinking of joining in. It actually started on 1st February but after worrying that I’d missed it, I realised that you can actually start on any day. You can do absolutely anything for the 100 day project and a lot that I see are small art projects. I decided I would like to crochet a granny square a day for 100 days but, as you can see from below, I’m not ready to start yet. I found this lovely square but have changed the hook size already and still I’m not sure it’s right but it is close. Also, I’m not sure about the yarn I’m using. I know I won’t have enough but I think I can get more if I need it. I was hoping to use cotton (which this is) and I wanted to use yarn from my stash. I tried a third square and made a very obvious mistake but I’d already cut the yarn when I noticed it. If I go ahead, I’ll need to undo it and probably add a little bit and have a join in there. The square takes 5 grams and these are 50 gram balls. From these four I’d get 40 – I have another pack in beiges so that would be another 40 so I’ll be short of my 100. Another criteria I had was that it’s a one colour square. This square is pretty but too lacy around the outside so I have no idea how they would be joined to each other. I’ll see what other squares I can use – there are so many of them on Ravelry.
This week’s sewing project was the Rookie Wrap Skirt by The Sewing Revival. This was a quick sew and it only took me a couple of hours on a couple of days. I started it Monday and finished it Friday. I’ve had this on my list for a while and had a couple of selections of fabric but in the end I decided to make a wearable toile and used some fabric that my mother had given me when getting rid of her stash. There were two pieces of fabric, different but coordinated, and I had more of one than the other. In the end, I was able to get all the pieces out of these fabrics, with the lining made up of the pieces left after I cut out the main fabric. The pattern for the back of the skirt is one piece but for the lining I cut two and joined it. One of the front pieces and half the back is made up of the left over border section plus the non border section. I had joined that one horizontally and you can see in the third phot that the bottom sections match but the tops are different. It didn’t matter because it’s on the inside. I had originally thought it was a reversible skirt and, though it isn’t, I think it wouldn’t take much to make it reversible. All I have left to do now is add a button and a hook and eye. I think I might wear this tomorrow if I can find something to wear on top.
Another project that I’ve had on my list for some time is a onesie from the Pick n Mix T-shirt pattern from Made by Jack’s Mum. This is a real mix and match pattern – it has a normal t-shirt, a button shoulder t-shirt and an envelope t-shirt. Then it has an option for a snap crotch bodysuit, and short and long sleeves. I had printed this pattern off way before Finn was born and printed the 0-3 months. When I got it out yesterday, I thought it was 3-6 months. Finn is now two months old and very long so this one won’t be for him but should fit Cooper, and will be a good toile for when I do the larger size. I also cut out a baby hat to match. This Baby Knit hat is a free pattern simpliby Sweet Red Poppy and you can do a single knot top or a double knot top. I’ve cut the 3-6 months of this one to see how it goes for size. The pattern instructions have it lined but I’ve seen them without the lining and you won’t see the inside anyway. I think the lined one might be better for when it’s a bit cooler.
I mentioned at the beginning that I’d been doing some planning this week. I went through my Big 4 patterns and found one that I would like to make. It’s the Simplicity 2927 that I’d picked up second hand at the The Sewing Basket last year. Or it may have been the year before! It was new and unopened though the packet was a little rough around the edges. I went through several fabrics before settling on this one. It’s a dark blue with an almost batik type motif on it. I have plenty to make this. I almost picked one of two Vogue patterns before settling on this but they were both lined and I hadn’t made one of their patterns before to get a feel for their sizing. The Big 4 patterns generally have a lot of ease. I didn’t want to use all that fabric if it didn’t fit. I would like to try a Vogue pattern that doesn’t use lining first. In my planning, I put down a few months as headings and added some patterns that I want to make. There are a couple of cold weather items so I’ve put them down for April but I ended up adding too many to February. These are all summer items which is why I want to make them now. I have crossed off the first one – the Rookie Wrap skirt. I purchased some fabric at Spotlight the other day and I’ll talk more about it later but when I came across this McCall’s pattern (M7953) yesterday, it got me really inspired to make it. So that is being cut out this afternoon or tomorrow. It’s one of their easy patterns though it looks pretty fancy. I’ve decided on View A, which has the shorter skirt and sleeves but I think I’ll do the tie waist as in View D. I’m really excited about this and, if it looks good, I can wear it to a wedding coming up in a couple of weeks. The tiger stripe fabric is perfect and I have plenty of it – there will be plenty left over for a top of some sort too.
While I was at spotlight the other day, I purchased some smooth webbing to use for the ties on the Santa sacks I made at Christmas. These are now getting packed away for next Christmas.
I have put my hand up to do another test knit for Libby Johnson (Truly Myrtle) and needed some yarn. So out come the dyeing tools and I’ve dyed four skeins of KnitPicks Swish fingering. The only colour that is correct below is the one in the pan. The brown came out redder than I wanted (and darker actually). I have since overdyed it with some grey to tone it down though you can’t really tell from the photo at the end. It’s almost dry so I’ll be caking up the skeins tonight. The test knit is for a cardigan with slip stitch colourwork in the yoke. It’s not a secret test so I’ll be able to show my progress. I’m going to use a dark teal and a yet to be decided colour with this yarn – it doesn’t use much in the colourwork. I need to get the swatch started tomorrow so that I can cast on the project. I like Libby’s patterns and I like cardigans so I’m glad to be doing this. The cowl is finished and the baby blanket is all but finished so I’ll be able to concentrate on two cardigans at a time – 1 x Gramps and 1 x Libby’s Dolly test.
Last week I mentioned that I had attended another Pinot and Picasso painting class and here are the photos. It was a great afternoon out with the girls. The very first photo is the one we were copying. My finished result is shown near the bottom next to my previous artwork, Frida Kahlo. My Cleopatra’s neck is a little bit too long but, on the whole, I’m quite happy with the result. There is talk that we may do Marilyn Monroe at some time in the future.
I called in at Spotlight on Thursday to get some webbing for the Santa sacks and elastic for my Hope dress and found that they were having a clearance on dress fabric. Everything was $10 a metre or less and if you took the whole end of the bolt it was half price. I got the fabric below:
- The first shown is a Prince of Wales houndstooth. It’s either wool or wool blend. I have another piece very similar though the print is slightly different. I only managed to get 1.5m of this but it only cost me $4.50.
- The next one is a silky satin. The colour is more an olive brown in real life. I got 4.8m of this costing $14.40.
- The third is also a satin in a tiger stripe and it’s washed and ready to cut out as I mentioned above. There is 3.5m which cost me $10.50.
It’s very economical to buy fabric in this type of sale. I have some ideas for all of these! I really need to write down the composition information from the bolt as what you get on the receipt is very basic.
Wow! That was a lot to talk about and I didn’t even mention the spinning – it doesn’t look much different to last week. This week I finished watching Unforgotten season 2 and season 3. I was watching this on Foxtel and I though that season 2 didn’t end properly. When I checked it out, it appears that they had episode 5 as both 5 and 6. I checked it three times. I did find that ABC iView was showing season 2 so I got to watch the finale, after I’d already started season 3. It’s a great show and I can’t wait for season 4 which they started filming at the end of 2020. I finished listening to The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne and really enjoyed it. After that, I thought I’d take the next book I had on the list which was a Lucas Davenport series book – Twisted Prey. This is the 28th novel in the series by John Sandford and I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them. I have 34 audible books waiting for me to read and I think I’ll work through them by picking a random number after I finish each.
This week I’m heading up to Wollongong on Tuesday to spend the day with Evie and Finn and I’ll go up to Sydney afterwards to see Cooper on Wednesday. I have a breakfast catch up tomorrow morning and then I’m going to do some collage and painting with Mary. Plus all my projects in and around all of that, of course! Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!