Hello friends! Welcome to the last day of summer in the southern hemisphere. I’m feeling a fair bit cheated with summer this year as it has been the wettest one I can remember. Having said that, today seems to be one of the good days! Moving into Autumn, I’m hoping the weather picks up as it can be one of the nicest seasons here. I started this week in a great way with a ride over to Huskisson for a catch-up breakfast followed by a massage/scrub/facial package that I received for Christmas. I also got one for my birthday so I’ll probably have that one in a few weeks time. On Monday afternoon I headed up to Sydney and spent the evening with my mum and dad. They’re in their late 80s and are doing pretty well, considering, still living in a two storey terrace. On Tuesday morning I headed over to Erin & Shaun’s place to spend some time with Cooper and catch-up with Shaun’s mum, Sharleen. She arrived on Monday and is staying until tomorrow. It was the first opportunity she could come down from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland to meet Cooper and, with the lockdowns, it was touch and go!
I drove down to Wollongong on Tuesday afternoon and had a lovely time with Evie and Finn that evening and all day on Wednesday. Evie and I got into some gardening with the Woolworths Discovery Garden seedling kits. We had oregano, cabbage, cornflower, dianthus and two others that I can’t remember. We’ll see how they go! On Friday I went for a bike ride over to Huskisson and checked out how the setup was going for the Husky Triathlon that was held yesterday and today.
There’s been considerable progress on my Dolly cardigan test knit for Libby Johnson of Truly Myrtle. In last week’s blog, I was splitting for the sleeve so I’ve added a fair bit on the body. I’m now past the waist decreases and currently doing the increases. I only have about 42 more rows to knit to get to the ribbing as I’m doing the short version. I think I’m on track to finish this by the end of March. It’s really weird how different the colours come up by the different positions in the same room where I took the photos.
Finn’s Gramps cardigan is also moving well, though I only started on the sleeves last night. I’m about halfway through them and think they could be done by tonight. I will be doing the cuff in the contrast colour and then I’ll pick up the stitches for the contrast shawl collar. I did get some work done on my Half Moon Oracle – about two very long rows of lace, when I realised that I’d made a mistake as the beginning of the first one. The tinking back on the purl row was quite quick but I’m currently tinking back on the lace which included a double increase within each 6 stitches. That is taking a lot more time. I’m almost back to where I need to be. Note to self, don’t do lace in the dark! I haven’t included a photo because it’s the same as last week.
As I was out of the house from Monday to Wednesday I didn’t get any time at the machine until Thursday afternoon. I decided that I would use a piece of fabric that I’d received in last week’s mystery monochrome pack from Pitt Trading to make a simple top. The fabric looks to be a stable double knit and I only had a 65cm piece at 154cm wide. I used the top pattern for The Assembly Line Pyjamas free pattern that I’d used previously to make a top. You can see in the first photo that it was a long narrow strip that I doubled over on each side to fit the two pieces. The first time I made this top I made the medium which was a little big though still wearable. This time I cut the pattern to the small size and it turned out perfectly. I also cut it 2cm shorter on the hem and sleeves as I didn’t think the double knit being thicker than normal would need a 3.5cm hem. I didn’t have enough fabric for the neck facing and, again, that would probably have been a bit too thick so I used some off white jersey fabric that I had in stash. It worked perfectly though stretched a little bit longer when I overlocked the bottom edge of it. That made it a bit floppy on the back neck but I hand stitched the facing to the top and it sits just fine. It was a great instant gratification project for a quick win.
This week Pattern Emporium released a new pattern – the SeaChange Jumpsuit or Playsuit. I had seen a sneak preview a couple of weeks ago and thought I wasn’t interested. But, after seeing all the pattern testers’ makes, I thought I would give it a try, especially as it was on sale. It comes in different lengths, short and medium playsuit, and culotte, three quarter and long length jumpsuit. Initially, I thought I’d try the short playsuit as pyjamas using some satin that I had in stash. I printed out the playsuit pages and then started printing the palazzo pants pattern when my printer decided to die. That’s OK, I thought, I’ll make the playsuit and get the palazzo pattern printed at Officeworks next week. Alas, I realised that I hadn’t printed the facings’ pages so I had a quick trip to Officeworks yesterday and got the two patterns printed, along with the Marley shirt pattern by Style Arc. I was originally going to make the size 14 playsuit but after seeing what sizes others had made realised that the 12 would probably be fine. So I traced the size 12 from the A0 sheets and I’ve cut it out ready to sew now. The satin is very easily frayed – check the photo showing the fraying after I had just cut it! I am hoping that overlocking the seams will be able to contain that. I’ll put that together tomorrow – there are not many steps to this and it’s not complicated. I am making the size 12 short playsuit with the narrow straps and closed facing. If your bottom section is smaller than your top section you don’t need to use the open facing. Let’s see how this goes and it will dictate what size I cut the palazzo pants out.
Yesterday I finally wound off my yarn that I plied maybe in November! It was great to use my new niddy noddy as it was much easier to use than my last one. This one has little dips on each end so that the yarn doesn’t slide off like on my old one. Once it was skeined, I put it in to soak and it gave off a lot of colour! I managed to rinse it all out and now it’s probably dry on my clothes airer outside. I have another bobbin done and one more pile of prepped fibre to spin to finish this lot. In the meantime, I’m still working on my latest spin and I’m about halfway through my second bobbin. I’m doing these bobbins with a full 100gms of singles and will be 2 plying them. I’ll need to break the yarn halfway through the ply as only 100gms will fit on the bobbin and the two together will make 200gms.
Seems I have acquired some fabrics in this past week. My first lot was an order of remnants from Nerida Hansen Fabrics. On the left you can see a 90cm piece of Georgie Daphne Poppie Season Blue on poplin and a 50cm piece of sharks on a mid weight cotton. The other fabrics are part of a three metre mystery remnant pack and I got some lovely pieces. I haven’t yet worked out what they might be but I’m thinking possibly an Ashton top with sleeves using the poplin, without sleeves if there’s not enough.
As I left Sydney the other day, I called in at the Remnant Warehouse in Alexandria. I was looking for a lightweight knit fabric to make the Palazzo pants (shown on the right). I think these ones are the dramatic flare but my intention is to make the subtle flare option, which is still quite flared. The navy and white stripe is earmarked for this pattern. It’s a sports eyelet stripe and is 100% polyester but at $7.95 a metre, I think it will be great for a wearable muslin, especially since I don’t know if I’ll like them. Everyone that’s made them think they are great so I’ll see. I think they’ll be nice for sitting around the house in as it starts to cool off. While I was there, I also picked up a couple of remnants – the chocolate fabric is a faux suede in polyester/microfibre and the pink floral is a printed cotton sateen in cotton and elastane. The suede really caught my eye because it will be great for this winter with my Dolly cardigan. The pieces both measure 2.5metres so there’s plenty of fabric for a skirt or pinafore for the brown, with leftovers, and that is a good amount for a dress out of the sateen.
Spotlight was having a pattern sale and that is when you have to buy them. Individually, here in Australia the big 4 patterns cost something like $28 each so when you can get 4 for $20, you take that opportunity. When I see an outfit on Instagram that I like, I take a screenshot with the pattern number and keep it especially for these sales. While I was there, I also took advantage of some fabric specials, picking up three children themed jerseys, and some voile and scuba knit for me. The voile is a charcoal blue leaf pattern that I hope has enough length for a Style Arc Marley shirt and the scuba knit is probably for an Athina Kakou Suzy dress which will be great for the season change. I mentioned earlier that I had the Marley shirt pattern printed but I will need to go an pick that one up. The way that Style Arc do their single sheet pattern pdfs means that they need to be booked in for special printing as they don’t work on straight A0. I think I have the Suzy pattern printed already but I’m not really in a hurry for that one.
This week I finished listening to Dark Sacred Night by Michal Connolly. This is the second of the new Renee Ballard series and I was glad to see that Harry Bosch has joined in. Once that was finished, I used random number generator for my Goodreads list and selected the new book. I have now started listening to A Ripple in Time by Victor Zugg. I’m not sure where I came across the recommendation for this but it’s proving to be interesting – a flight gets propelled back in time. I have now started two new TV series – Seven Seconds on Netflix and The Flight Attendant on Foxtel. I’ve only watched one of each and I think they’ll be worth watching.
You can see the fabric that has been washed, ready to be worked on here – this is the type of laundry that I actually like! 😁 This coming week I’m at home so I’ll have plenty of time to get into these fabrics. I’m glad to get this post out early for a change as I’m looking forward to going for a walk down the beach. Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!