Sunday 23 May 2021. #148

Hello friends! Welcome from a sunny and cool south coast New South Wales. The weather is certainly dipping down into the winter realm though we’re not quite there yet. The doona has been unearthed and sandals and t-shirts are now put away. It’s time to re-discover what the winter wardrobe contains. It’s been a quiet week but it seems to have flown anyway. I managed three bike rides on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. They were cold rides and Thursday’s was the coldest. I’ve taken to adding gloves and headband now and I think I’ll need something a bit warmer under my jacket as the temperature continues to drop!

On Friday, I met up with some friends from Canberra in Berry where they were having a weekend away. It was a lovely day as we browsed through the shops and then had lunch at The Hungry Monkey cafe. It used to be the Berry Sourdough Bakery but had changed hands just before Covid. I hadn’t known it had changed and was surprised that the Bakery had gone. Lunch was great – I had the pulled pork burger (there were lots of different types of burgers) with a side of sweet potato chips. I think they might be the best sweet potato chips I’ve had. So yummy! On the way home from Berry, I called in at the Brewery for a drink with Robert and a couple of his friends and was able to drive them home. I had a quiet day at home yesterday trying, not for the first time this week, to sort out my printer issues. Of course, HP Technical Support doesn’t work on weekends so I need to wait until Monday now.

Knitting

I’m still working on the test knit for Libby Johnson of Truly Myrtle but, as it’s still a secret test, I can’t show you my progress on it yet. I did realise that I will run out of the fingering yarn I thought would be enough for both the DK section and the fingering section but I should be able to use some other yarn I have for the fingering section. The colour is almost exactly the same but looks like it’s a little bit faded. Also, it’s a sport weight so a smidge thicker than I need but it should still work. In other knitting, I’ve turned the heel on my toddler sized Rye Light socks for Evie. I have to knit the foot for five inches before I start decreasing for the toes. I’ll be seeing Evie on Wednesday and I’ll be able to measure her foot. I suspect that five inches might be a bit much for her little feet as she’s wearing smaller shoes than normal for her age. I’ll be able to adjust the measurement though I wouldn’t want them to be too fitted so she has a little growing room. For the last couple of days, I’ve knitted a stripe on these whilst still in bed in the morning with my cup of tea. I’m not sure I’ll have that luxury for the week coming up though.

New Cast-on: On Monday I decided to cast on a Flax Light sweater that I’d been planning as a gift. The child in question is just over one year old so I had a think about what size to knit. There is a 1-2 year size but I thought that would only last this winter, especially if he’s on the upper end of the scale. In the end I went with the 2-4 year size. I think it will still be OK to wear this year with the cuffs turned up and would be suitable for another couple of years’ wear. The pattern is free and has been knitted by so many people around the world. Ravelry shows 10.6k of projects! The pattern has a garter stitch panel running from the neck and down the sleeves. It can be made with or without the panel and is a great basic jumper pattern. There are two options for the neck – to knit the collar from the cast on or to knit the collar after finishing. I chose the second option as I like the finish with a picked up neck and may even do it a double rolled over neck. I’ve split for the sleeves and I’m now working down the body. It’s such a quick knit even though it’s in fingering weight. The yarn I’m using is a Malli Merino Wool which is 50/50 merino/polyester. This should make it a bit easier to care for. It’s quite a thick fingering weight so should should be very warm. I originally thought I’d purchased a DK weight – that’s how thick the yarn is!

The one other knitting related activity this week was to make a pom-pom for Kim’s Classic Ribbed beanie. I found my pom-pom makers and used the largest size. The only issue is that I didn’t really know how to use it so I had trouble tying it up once I’d wound all the yarn. I’ve since found a YouTube video on how you are supposed to use them. The alpaca yarn is quite drapey so it seems to be a floppy pom-pom.

Crochet

Since I finished my Artemisia top, I’ve had a hankering for some more crochet. So I dug down into my WIPs and found my Owl Obsession blanket. I started working on this one several years ago but I was frustrated that my owls were not the size that the project required so it languished and got buried. I have since made one owl this week and I’m having the same problem. I have decided that I can block it a little bit bigger but I doubt that it will match the 5 1/4″ as required by the pattern. I will keep making them and will just need some more pieces to make my blanket.

Sewing

I haven’t done a lot of sewing this week. I think it’s because it’s getting colder and I just wanted to sit on the lounge and knit. In the end I finally got to the machine and I put together the Toaster Sweater #2. It’s quite an easy project and it took little time to make, once I’d cut the fabric. The finished item fits reasonably well but is a bit small in the shoulders. I think that’s partly because of the stitch in the ditch to anchor the mock turtle neck. I have some close-ups below which show how tight that section is. The front view actually shows the slight puckering. I think I’ll unpick the stitching and just catch the fold under at the end instead. That should loosen it up a little. The fabric I used was a Double Knit remnant in black and white. I hadn’t realised what the fabric actually looked like because it was folded with the outside on the inside. Until I put it in to wash I thought it was thick black/white stripes. But it turns out that it’s thin stripes and every second white was actually grey because of the black behind it. The grey is not very noticeable unless you look closely. I also pinned carefully on the sides so that I could get the stripes to match – it was mostly successful. The pattern has very easy instructions to mitre the hem slits.

Before sewing the Toaster sweater, I cut out the York Pinafore. I thought this was going to be a very easy project but then I realised that I have to add bias binding and I’ve decided to make my own rather than the boring Spotlight variety. I have selected a fat quarter out of my large cupboard full and I’ll be using a YouTube tutorial to make continuous binding from that. It’s quite an easy process but I like to refer to the tutorial so that I remember which sides I attach to which to get the continuous run!

I have promised Evie an Emma Wiggle outfit and I’ve been mostly planning until now. I’ve had issues with the printer all week and I’ve ended up cutting out the yellow skivvy using the size four pattern that I used for Evie’s pyjama top. I wanted to make a size three but without the printer I don’t have a pattern. I think the difference between sizes will be minimal and in Emma’s picture it looks like her skivvy is quite loose. I’ve cut a larger band for the neck to add a turtle neck. I’m hoping that works. I’ll put that together tomorrow. For the skirt, I’m doing a full circle in black satin, using a pattern from Sweet Red Poppy. I have the ribbon to add two stripes to each side as per Emma’s skirt. The pattern is for stretch knit so I’ve cut the waist quite large as it will be gathered to a stretchy waistband. For the tulle section, I had originally bought some tulle from Spotlight but I wasn’t totally happy with it. Last weekend, I went onto YouTube for easy ways to make a tulle skirt and I found a great No Sew Fluffy Tutu tutorial. It uses a roll of tulle and I quickly went onto eBay and ordered one in a colour that is much closer to what I wanted. Anyway, that hasn’t arrived yet, though it was supposed to be here on Friday – it’s coming from the Gold Coast so it shouldn’t take too long. I did get an email saying that the post is taking longer at the moment than eBay suggests. I wanted to have it all done by tomorrow evening so that I could take it up for Wednesday. I’ll have the skirt and top done at least. Fingers crossed that the tulle arrives tomorrow but I’m not holding my breath.

Acquisitions

A couple of weeks ago I purchased some polymer clay buttons for my Dolly cardigan. I’ve had terrible luck finding buttons to go with it but someone on the Dolly test group commented that they had used these and actually made them for her shop. That was Lyn from Fibre2Go in New Zealand. They took a couple of weeks to arrive from New Zealand but I’m so pleased I can add the buttons. I could have worn the cardigan without them but I’d already placed all the marker pins for the buttons and didn’t want to have to rework that if I removed them. The only other purchase was some lovely lace I found at the Berry Bead shop on Friday. The shop doesn’t sell a lot of beads but does have some nice bits and pieces, including this lace edging. I’m not sure what I’m doing with it yet but I envisage a top with the edging on the sleeves and around the hem. I’ll know it when I see it!

Paraphernalia

Last week I was finishing listening to The Henna Artist. Well, that didn’t take very long and I’ve since also listened to the 30th book of the Lucas Davenport series by John Sandford, Masked Prey. Another great book from the series and I’m surprised at how he can keep writing them! So I’ve moved onto the next book which, selected randomly, is the next book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series – A Court of Mist and Fury. I think it will be like the last book – once it gets over the romance bits it will get exciting. 😊 I have caught up on The Handmaid’s Tale and New Amsterdam and was wondering what to watch. I picked up where I left off with The Blacklist but I’m finding it a bit silly now so I’m struggling through it. Yesterday I watch The Green Book which was a great movie.

This coming week will be my away week. I’m heading up to Sydney tomorrow night to see my parents and will be with Cooper on Tuesday. From there I’ll head down to see Evie and Finn on Wednesday. I’ll be home again on Thursday. I’ll have plenty of knitting to take with me. Then I have a dinner down here on Friday night and I’ll be on my way back to Sydney on Saturday morning for lunch with my school friends. It will be a busy week!

It’s time for me to think about dinner now so I’d best be off. Thanks for joining me for my weekly chat. Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

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