Hello friends! Happy Easter to all of you who celebrate, otherwise happy holidays. Our Easter weekend is generally quiet, with family and, if we’re lucky, beautiful weather as we are having at the moment. This has got to be my favourite time of year. The mornings and evenings are brisk but the days can be so warm and mellow! Monday started with a bike ride and a catch up with the Huskisson pelicans – they love to congregate just across the creek. Later that morning, I was picked up by my friend Jenny and a few other friends and we went for a day out to Milton, down the coast a bit. There were eight of us all together and we started with coffee at Driftwood Cafe and a little browse through the shops, then on to Milk Haus for lunch. It was a great feed – using produce from their own garden. After lunch we went for a walk through the garden. On Tuesday, I went for another bike ride. Two days in a row has been unheard of lately!
Later on Tuesday, I headed up to Wollongong and did a bit of shopping on the way up. I spent the night up there and then the day with Evie and Finn all day Wednesday. Evie and I went to the Lagoon park where she played on the equipment, then we had a spin on her balance bike, followed by a paddle and some sandcastle making. We also had a coffee and babycino. What a big adventure! Finn was waiting for us when we got home. Erin, Shaun and Cooper arrived at my place on Wednesday so they were there waiting for me when I got home that night. The weather has been amazing and we’ve had a couple of Cooper walking naps and yesterday afternoon we went to Moona Moona Creek to give him a little dip. There were lots of people enjoying the park and paddling in the almost low tide of the creek. On the bay, there were lots of people out on their kite boards. I wonder if they get tangle up? I imagine it wouldn’t be great if they do!
This morning we went for another walk along the bay from Huskisson to Moona Moona Creek and it was stunning!
Not a lot of knitting has been happening this week and little crafting in general. I finally put the buttons on Finn’s Gramps cardigan and I have started on the sleeves on Cooper’s Gramps cardigan. I only took the photo this morning but have already frogged the sleeves and started again. I realised I was using 4.0mm needles when I wanted to be using 4.5mm but persisted thinking it would be fine. That is, until I saw that the stitches were looking smaller as I’m usually tighter when I do magic loop, though I was trying to be looser. Anyway, I’ve now picked up the stitches again with the 4.5mm needles. It won’t take long to finish the sleeves – I was just putting off picking them up all week.
My Dolly cardigan test knit for Truly Myrtle is finally finished – all but the buttons! I was going to sew them on this morning and realised that they were too big for the holes. I really wanted smaller ones but settled on the bigger ones as they were all that was available. I hadn’t tried them in the holes. I’ll have to look for some other ones!
I am starting a new test knit for Hailey Hodge, who is Graphic Knits on Ravelry. This test is for the Artemesia top. I have ordered some yarn to do this crochet top but I was accepted for the test on Wednesday and that’s when I ordered it. It was posted on Thursday so I won’t have the yarn until Tuesday at the earliest. I’m looking forward to getting some yarn on the hook again. It’s been a little while since I’ve done some crochet, apart from the two little granny squares that I did a couple of weeks ago. I think the last thing I crocheted was my Rings of Change blanket. I love the simplicity of this top with the gorgeous lace detail of circles. I will be doing the body a few rows longer so that my middle doesn’t show but I’m thinking it will be a lovely top. The yarn I’ve ordered is the DMC Natura Linen in the ivory colourway which, now that I think about it, will be very similar to the yarn Hailey used in her picture below.
I’ve had a little break from spinning and wasn’t able to get back to it but yesterday I finally got there! I didn’t have much left of my 100gm bobbin spin and finished it while I was watching the first two shows of Season 4 of Unforgotten. The pic below shows the bobbin I just finished and that bobbin alongside the first 100gm bobbin I spun. I’m looking forward to plying these together! Maybe I’ll do that tonight.
I was able to finish my Peppermint magazine Button Up dress for the reveal day of the challenge. Unfortunately, it’s about two sizes too big and that was a common theme about this pattern from those made by many others. I can still take this one in and it will be just fine. At the moment it’s just too big and floppy. It seemed a bit baggy before I put the buttons on but I thought that would fix the problem. It doesn’t look too big in the pic but I think that’s because a lot of the fabric was pushed to the back. That was a very rushed and awkward selfie so that I could get the pic up for the challenge reveal day on Wednesday. The Challenge is now officially over and they’ll be announcing winners today/tomorrow UK time. There are many prizes but there are also many people who participated. I’m not hopeful of winning – it’s a random draw, so you never know.
I worked on the Petal Top by Ellie & Mac and got it almost done except for hems. Both Kim and Erin have tried it on and it’s a little small so I’ll be making another one. Erin has requested one without sleeves and will look at my fabric tomorrow to see if there’s something she’d like. It was easy enough to make and the pattern is very well written. It even looks a bit small on the hanger in the picture below.
Last Sunday I mentioned that I was doing a test sew of children’s shorts for 5Berries Patterns. It was a very quick and easy pattern. The part that took the longest was doing the ruffle on the shorts legs. I used the usual method of two loose strands of stitching gathered up, and the first leg took forever. After doing that one, the second leg didn’t take as long but next time I think I’ll try the zig-zag method. Someone suggested using a strand of floss (or topstitching thread, perle yarn) and zig-zagging over the top and then drawing up the floss. I think it would be so much quicker. The test finished on Thursday so I’ll see what the results were from everyone’s input and if there are changes to the pattern. The shorts sit a little low on Evie and Anna said they were a bit long. Looking at other photos, some younger, they seem to be a similar length. I then went on a fabric cutting spree and whipped up some Happy Holidays PJ pants from Sew Simple Home in a size three for Evie. I did the size three because she’s two and a half and, not know how this pattern tends, I thought bigger would be better for a size test. I even put a label and size tag on these. I had ordered some size tags in sizes 1, 2, 3 and 4 and I attached one to the labels I’d bought about two years ago for My Creative Obsessions.
I mentioned that I went on a pattern cutting spree – well that’s correct. I cut out 5 different patterns, one of which was the pyjama pants which were a quick win. They took about half an hour to put together. I just haven’t added the elastic yet. The blue and white leafy fabric is a cotton voile and I am using that for the Style Arc Marley shirt. The orange floral is a cotton fabric that I purchased from Singapore a couple of years ago. I’d been waiting for the right pattern and The Sewing Revival’s Nikau dress hit the mark for me. I’m doing the sleeveless version – the sleeves are huge and I definitely need much more material for that. As it is, I think I only had two metres and I didn’t manage to get the second piece of the belt out of the fabric. I will use a different piece for the backing, I just need to decide what fabric I’ll use. The olive spot fabric is a cotton-linen jersey that I’ve cut using the pattern pieces for the Vera top by Forget Me Not patterns. And finally, the bluey-green cotton-linen blend fabric (which is showing more like a chambray but looks true to colour in the Acquisitions section) I have cut using a copy of a top from my friend Andrea – you can see a picture of it. She is about a size or two smaller than me so I’ve “graded” the copy out to what should fit. From that, I may need to adjust but it’s better to be a bit bigger than smaller. Let’s see how this one goes and I can adjust my pattern as I try it on – it’s a very simple pattern with one piece for the front with a grown on sleeve and a pleat at the v-neck, and the back has a two-piece bottom section (a centre back seam) with a small slice of sleeve and the top part of the back has the rest of the sleeve as a single piece running across from cuff to cuff. I only had one and a half metres of the fabric and I am unable to cut the front facing unless I do it on the bias. I think I can get away with that for this, hopefully, wearable toile. I can’t wait to get stuck into this pile. The cutting out takes the most time and seems to be the most tedious part of sewing – for me, at least. Shall I start with the self-drafted copy of the top?
I was in Spotlight again early this week, just to get some elastic but I couldn’t help myself. I had a look at the discontinued fabrics and didn’t select any of those. I was actually looking for a stretch crepe fabric for another pair of Palazzo pants but the shop assistant was new and young and didn’t know where to look. In my travels, I came across this gorgeous bengaline with a dark blue forest print and I picked up some cotton linen for the top I was going to copy. I have no idea what to do with a bengaline – it’s a woven and has plenty of stretch. I’ll have to have a look at my pattern database to see what would suit. I think I got two metres. Something like the Nikau dress would be good, I think.
I finished the book I was reading last week – Beneath the Shadows and, as I suspected, it was a compelling read. I quickly moved onto my next book, selected again by random number generated which fell on number 37 and is The Likeness by Tana French. I have recently read several Irish crime novels and I think they are particularly good. On the screen, I have now started the latest season (no. 4) of Unforgotten. That will be doled out to me weekly so I’ll have to be patient. Married at First Sight will finish on Monday (I think) so I’ll need something else to keep me going in between. I mentioned a few last week that are streaming on 9Now and Netflix and then there is also Mrs Fletcher which is on Foxtel. I’m sure I’ll have plenty to keep me entertained.
I don’t have a lot planned for this week. Erin, Shaun and Cooper will be here till Tuesday so I’ll be well entertained until then. By the way, Shaun said to mention that he had 5 birdies in 27 holes – is that good? 😉 I think we still have breakfast catch up tomorrow morning, even though it’s the Easter long weekend. I’ll be working through my sewing pile this week and I’ll see what I get done by next week’s blog. I hope my yarn arrives on Tuesday so that I can get going on my test knit. I’m off on a trip to Alice Springs with 7 friends to spend time with another friend on the 22nd April, so that’s only 18 days away and I’m counting down!
Thanks for catching up on my life and crafting! Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!