Hello friends! Welcome from a very autumn-cool south coast New South Wales. We did have a couple of very warm days but the temperature has dropped again. On Monday, I went for a bike ride and it was really cold! Ear warmers and gloves type cold – for the bike, at least. I finally got around to adding a layer to the ironing board – I like to use old wool blankets which makes it better for pressing and doesn’t leave the honeycomb mark of the board base. I am not happy with the cover that came with it so I’m going to get a new one, hopefully tomorrow. My clothesline was put up on Monday, too, and I’m happy to have somewhere better to hang sheets and towels now. Robert is going to add pavers underneath. It did warm up a bit and Tuesday turned into a beautiful hot day for our anniversary. We’ve made it to 36 years! I had another bike ride and then went lunch with some girlfriends. We went to the Pavilion, which is a new restaurant attached to Huskisson Pub and has a lovely outlook onto the pool, the Bay and Currambene Creek. It is slightly marred by the Marine Rescue building smack in the middle but you can’t help that. They haven’t put up fencing yet either so you have a nice view of striped warning tape. Lunch was lovely but it got a bit hot in the sun! Robert and I celebrated our anniversary at dinner at the same place that evening and, though the food was great – Robert said the fillet steak was the best he’d had in a long time, there were some annoying things. The main one was that they serve everything you order at once. Our entree came out with our steak and salmon. You have to order at the bar so next time, I would order the entree first then mains separately. When I said we would have the quesadilla for an entree, they should have let me know. Another little annoying thing was that they had pepper grinders but the salt (help yourself) was in little paper sachets. Anyway, the meal was great but it was all over in 45 minutes so I wasn’t late for Book Club – actually, I had to fill in time before going there.
On Wednesday morning, I headed up to Wollongong for my Evie day. We started off by playing in the back room where Evie pulled out Kim’s 200 crochet square book and started “reading” it. I will be teaching her to crochet but not for a couple of years yet. Then we had some park play, after our regular babycino, and we’ve graduated to all the big activities now. Evie is only little so I followed her up the big slippery dip climb – she made it on her own but the gaps in the railings were very large and slippery. Of course, when I got to the top, I had to get down again so Evie went first and then watched me slide down. We did that several times. 😊 After her nap we played outside with her balance bike, the Wiggles car and I showed her how to do hopscotch. That was a lot of fun. Poor Finn wasn’t feeling well so he spent the day with mum. When dad came home, I headed up to Sydney and had dinner with my mum and dad, where I spent the night. Early on Thursday morning, I headed over to Erin and Shaun’s place where I had some quality time with Cooper. He’s still going through the eat, sleep, poop phase but his sleeps were a bit erratic. On Friday I had my third bike ride for the week and in the afternoon I had a massage and facial package that I received for my birthday in January. That was an hour and a half of bliss! I called in to see my friend Lorraine afterwards to check out how 5 ladies’ suitcases will fit in her car and she gave me a pink gin to try. I don’t like gin and tonic but the pink gin was quite palatable. I mentioned in the last blog that there are seven of us heading to Alice Springs this coming week, hence the suitcase planning as five of us will be in one car.
I haven’t done a lot of knitting this week but I did finally put the buttons on the two Gramps cardigans. They are now both with their respective recipient and the weather is getting to the stage where they’ll be well worn. I can’t wait to the see the two boys together with these cardigans and Evie wearing the cardigan I made last year which used the same navy yarn as Finn’s one. I also started a baby sized Classic Ribbed hat by Purl Soho. The one you see below is my second attempt as the first one seemed a bit too small. It’s a free pattern – for the baby size you cast on 84 stitches with 3.25mm needles. This seemed a small size of needle for 8 ply yarn and I ended up ripping it out and starting again, this time using 3.75mm. The fabric is looking nice at that gauge and will probably fit better now. The beanie knit is coming to Alice Springs with me, along with some socks that I need to drag out of WIPs.
I’ve actually spent more time with the crochet hook this week on Hailey Hodge’s (Graphic Knits) Artemisia top pattern test. I had started using some Patons Summer Swirl yarn which is 50/50 cotton and acrylic. There are four strands together and one changes every so often to create a fade. I’d started with this yarn for practice with the lace pattern while I waited for the proper yarn to arrive. When that arrived I did a swatch as indicated in the pattern. It seemed that my treble crochets were loose as my horizontal gauge was perfect but the vertical gauge was too long. It was good practice doing the swatch so I was then able to tighten up the trebles as I proceeded on the original yarn. Hailey had mentioned that she’s interested to see how it goes with a fade so I’ll continue with this. The correct colour is probably the last, latest photo. You an see how the fade moved from the bottom to the deeper colour on the top. I have to split for front and back so the fade may prove problematic at that point. I have decided I hate crocheting into chain stitches! OMG they are so painful and that was every second row on the lace. I did get smarter with how I did them. The body rows are great for mindless crocheting but I need to watch when I do them so I can’t watch anything that is interesting to see as I won’t get much done – it’s great for listening to my book. It will also be good plane crochet and I do need to work on it to catch up to where everyone else is, so this is another project I’ll be taking with me. The only other project that I’ll take with me is the temperature cross stitch as that will be nice and portable. I didn’t get any done this week so it won’t have it’s own section in this blog.
Sad progress on the spinning front! I did start the next bobbin but I only managed one session. When I’m on the grandbabies’ circuit week, the spinning is dropped as the lowest priority at the moment and, as I won’t be home much this week and heading to Alice Springs, it probably won’t get a look in at all.
On Monday, I cut up another pile of sewing projects for this week. As I mentioned, it was a busy week so I haven’t managed to get much done on this pile, unlike last week’s pile. Here are five projects – starting from the top is the Nikau dress by The Sewing Revival which was carried over from last week while I got some matching fabric, the Angelia shorts by Itch to Stitch, the Hello Gorgeous top from Patten Emporium, the Palazzo pants again from Pattern Emporium and, on the bottom, the Aida blouse by Bernina (the Swiss one, I think).
With the Aida blouse, I wanted to raise the neckline a little as suggested by Frugalisama and she had a tutorial on how to do that and also how to add the neckband as the pattern instructions are very minimal. It was easy enough to do the alteration and then I had to remember to add seam allowance when I cut it out. I got that all done and it’s waiting to be put together now. Hopefully this week, in time for the #sewaprilblouse challenge. If I do manage to get it done, I’ll probably pack it for the trip.
The first project I tackled was the Nikau dress as it had been waiting since last week. I nearly started with Hello Gorgeous and the Palazzo pants as they would be a quick win but I really wanted to sink my teeth into this one. It’s a great pattern and the instructions are very good. The instructions have a link to The Sewing Revival’s video tutorial on doing the enclosed facing by burrito method. I have done a few of these now but I still have a look before I start. You can see pre and post burrito in photos three and four. The reason I didn’t start on this last week is because I needed extra fabric for the backing of the belt and the pockets. As I was sewing, I thought it might have been nice to have the facings done in the contrast as well as you can see a bit of the inside at the neckline. Anyway, this is now done except for the hem. I need to try it on for size and length but I think I may have taken a little too much off the length before cutting. So I intend to do a faced hem using the contrast fabric. This dress might make it into my suitcase too, though it will need to be ironed when unpacked. I think the fabric is plain cotton and it creases easily.
The other item I got to start were the Palazzo pants. I had purchased some stretch crepe for this and I realise it’s quite crushed. They will need a very good press but I’ll need to be careful with the temperature as I scorched a small piece that was meant for the pocket binding. Lucky it was a small piece as I have more fabric but I doubt I’d have enough for a leg piece if I scorched one of those! I made these pants a few weeks back without pockets and I really struggled with the instructions as there are so many pocket options – I think I was following the wrong type and, in the end, I just did what I thought should happen from the stage that I was at. I didn’t use a pocket bag and I think stitching around the pocket on the pants was the right way to go. It’s not like I’m going to put a lot in these pockets but they could be handy for a tissue. I only need to add the waistband and do the hem now.
I finally got to a bit of patchwork yesterday but I didn’t get the whole top done though I would have liked to. I had left these as we were going to have a sewing catch up on Friday but I had to cancel that due to my forgotten massage appointment. Anyway, I did get the rows done and just need to sew these together to finish the top. I hope it will be done in a short session this week so that I can sandwich and quilt it when I get back from Alice Springs.
This week, I started on a new book – The Summit, which came up with my random selection method. I’ve had The Summit by Harry Farthing for a long time and didn’t like it the first time I tried. I’m afraid I didn’t like it this time either so I canned it and I have moved on to my next random selection which is She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge. I’m up to date with watching New Amsterdam and Unforgotten and just have an episode of Married At First Sight to watch. I’ll probably watch that tonight which is also the finale, so I’ll have to watch that another night. I’ve also caught up on several podcasts that have been piling up in my list.
What a busy week it was this week! And next week will be busy too. Tomorrow I’ll head up to Wollongong, with a spot of shopping on the way, and will be going to see the Wiggles with Evie and her other grandmother on Tuesday morning. Evie will have a ball! This afternoon I’ll start packing for Alice Springs and I’ll have to finish it by Wednesday. Mary and Kerry are coming here from Ulladulla for the night so that we can leave by 6 am on Thursday. We’ll head over to Lorraine’s place and be met by Marie and head up to the airport with Lorraine driving. It will take us about three hours to get there which should be just right for the 11.30 am flight. We will be met by Karen at the airport for the first flight to Melbourne, where we will meet Janice coming from Canberra and we’ll board the final leg to Alice Springs. Vicki will be meeting us there and I think her sister, Pam, will also be there as she’s heading over from north Queensland on Tuesday. That makes nine of us in total and I think we’ll have a fantastic time! Next week’s blog may be a little different but I’ll be putting one out regardless as I haven’t missed one yet, and I don’t want to.
Thanks for joining me for this chat! Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!