Hello friends! Welcome from a cold and wet south coast of New South Wales. The rain has set in for a couple of days, though it was much nicer earlier in the week. The week started on Monday with a bike ride to our catch-up breakfast at Huskisson. It was a very cold ride – you can see the droplets on the railing on Moona Moona Creek bridge. The rest of the day was spent in the studio finishing the Emma Wiggle skirt for Evie. On Tuesday I went for an early bike ride and spent a bit more time in the studio, the same on Wednesday. That made it three consecutive rides for the week. On Wednesday afternoon, I headed up to Sydney and spent the evening with my mum and dad.
On Thursday, I spent the day with Erin and her sister-in-law, Cassie, and mother-in-law, Sharleen, who were visiting for a few days. And, of course, baby Cooper. We started the day with a little adventure, heading off on the ferry to Cockatoo Island for breakfast. I love a ferry ride and you can see me very excited below, while waiting for the ferry to arrive. It was a fantastic day though a bit windier than we’d liked which made it cold. Cockatoo Island is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Initially considered an Aboriginal site for women’s ceremonies, the island operated as a penal establishment from 1839 to 1869, “where convicts endured harsh living conditions and backbreaking work”. The island’s history then includes industrial and reform schools, a naval dockyard and shipbuilding. It was finally opened up to the public in 2007 after extensive remediation work. We didn’t get to see the whole lot as we were time limited but we did walk through the Dog Leg Tunnel to the other side of the island and back. It was a great spot and I intend to go back soon for a proper exploration.
On Friday, I had a fun day with Evie and Finn. Evie and I had an outing to the park but we didn’t last very long due to the very cold wind so we followed that with a babycino and some grocery shopping. Finn is getting around everywhere at the moment and is becoming very interactive. He’s started crawling, popped out two bottom teeth and started on solids. 😍 I came home from Wollongong on Friday evening and went straight out to dinner with some or our local friends. It had been quite a while since the last time we caught up. Yesterday was another busy day where we headed back to Wollongong as Robert and Steven had a football match to watch. That gave me more time with Evie and Finn, along with knitting time on the trip up, though I had to drive home late last night.
New Cast-On #1: I had mentioned I wanted to knit some baby socks and I finally got around to it. I found a sock blank that I had dyed a couple of years ago and I decided that this would work perfectly for some unusual socks. I started by separating the two strands of the sock blank into a couple of balls where I could knit from the centre and the outside. Using Judy’s Magic Cast On (I use the Knit Purl Hunter tutorial), I cast on four little toes. I had to do each individually and put them aside on a separate cable. This worked perfectly until l put the first three back onto the original needles and cable. I managed to knit the first side and when I came back to the last toe, it was on in a different direction. I then had to remove it from the cable and reposition it – I think I did that about four times before I found I had it the right way! Anyway, once they were all on correctly and I had increased the toe stitches, it became smooth sailing and easy going knitting. I’m not really following a pattern though I’m using the stitch count prescribed for the baby size in the Rye Light socks pattern that I used for Evie’s socks. The Rye Light socks are knit cuff down and has a heel turn. I started these working toe up with the stitch count that the Rye Light socks end up with – 16 stitches, and increased to the 40 stitch count of that pattern. I am going to do afterthought heels on these, rather than a heel turn. I’ve knitted about four and a half inches. Finn’s foot measured four inches on Friday. Given that the afterthought will probably add an inch to the foot length, I’ll need to cut for the heel at about three inches, maybe three and a half to be safe. Working on those measurements, I have about one inch of the leg done and I’ll continue until I have about a four inch leg or when I run out. I’ll start the cuff at about three and a quarter inches. I don’t think I’ll have enough for the heels but I’ll be able to use some other yarn for those.
I’m now getting close to finishing my Zauberball yarn socks. I bound off the cuff this morning with a very stretchy bind off. I wish I knew what this method is called – I thought it was a cable bind off but I think that’s incorrect. The method I use is to knit one stitch, then knit another and knit those two together, continuing until I get to the other end. With rib, I keep to the pattern as I’m binding off. I hope to pick up for the afterthought heels today or tomorrow as I want to give these to my dad for winter. There’s no point keeping them for Father’s Day which is in September, here in Australia. The weather will be warming up by then.
Other knitting this week included finishing the sleeves on the Flax Light toddler jumper. The garter panel that runs down the front of the sleeve makes it look very puckered but I know this will block out. I now need to pick up the neck and I hope to get that done as soon as possible. On Friday, Evie helped me make the pom-pom for her beanie and she wore it to swimming yesterday.
New Cast-on #2: My friend Sue from Sydney introduced me to a couple of free headband patterns and I was excited to cast the first one on. This is the Woven Cable Headband by Priscilla Uloho. The pattern has a two cable repeat and you work 14 pairs. I’ve reached that point now but mine seems to be a bit smaller than the designer’s. Her gauge gives her 18 inches, whereas mine at the same point measures about 15.5 inches. My row gauge is always a bit lower than what is indicated in most patterns, even if my stitch gauge is correct. In this case, her headband width is four inches and I managed a little over three and a half. Sue was able to join ends at 15 repeats and I’m hoping that adding one extra repeat will be enough for me too. I do have a small head size for hats. The other headband Sue sent me is the Sheep & Stitch Twisted Headband which I’ll probably cast on next.
I have made a little progress on my Owl Obsession blanket. I’ve finally started on the background undyed yarn and turned all twelve little circles into squares. This wasn’t actually the next step but I really wanted to crochet these. I will now start work on changing the owl shapes to fit into the blanket structure. It’s like a puzzle. There are nine owls and four large circles which will all end up the same shape to fit these small circles squares to join them all. Once the centre has been joined there are also triangles to fill the remaining sections to make it all square. Oh, and I mustn’t forget all the owl eyes!
Time at the sewing machine this week was only spent on finishing Evie’s Emma Wiggle skirt on Monday. I cut off the old ribbed waistband and added the belt elastic to the skirt and the mesh headband holding all the tulle. I then trimmed the hem and turned it with two small hems about a quarter inch each. It looked pretty good but I was concerned that there wasn’t enough tulle so I added more. I had ordered the second lot of tulle and it arrived on Tuesday. I added the rest of the tulle after dinner at my mum and dad’s house on Wednesday night. I must say that the skirt was very well received on Friday. Evie put it straight on (without the rest of the outfit) and was madly jumping around in it so she could see the tulle and skirt bouncing around. It was so special to see her enjoyment! Here she is posing as a ballerina. 😍 The tulle seems to bunch up while being worn, almost like you used to tease hair for a beehive hairdo back in the old days. Fortunately, it does straighten out when you pull on the tulle strips.
On Tuesday, I traced out my size of the Pattern Emporium Unwind sweater. I chose size 12 for this relaxed sweater and I also cut out the hood for it. I’m using some French terry knit that I purchased from Minerva in February and it’s a beautiful quality. I cut out the pieces and I’m looking forward to putting it together tomorrow. There was a bit of fabric left over and I managed to squeeze out the pieces for the Be Creative Hoodie by Ellie & Mac. I think I cut out the one year size, with the cowl neck. I was nearly able to cut the whole lot as directed but I ended up cutting the top back piece as two separate pieces rather than on the fold. I have used every conceivable piece of this fabric! It will be a nice lightweight sweater for when the weather warms up in the Spring.
Last week I mentioned that I’d ordered some more needle tips from Fiberific in the larger sizes so that I can knit beanies in the round rather than by using magic loop. They arrived very quickly on Wednesday and I’ve put them away until they are needed. With these, I also purchased some little stitch markers. You definitely can’t have enough of them – they are so easy to lose!
I’ve been watching the latest season of Call the Midwife this past week and it’s been very enjoyable. Such an easy show to watch and reminds me of the time when I was a little girl – though it was set in England it is very much like it was in Sydney back then. I have each a Handmaid’s Tale and a New Amsterdam episode to catch up on so I’ll probably watch them tonight before continuing with Call the Midwife. I finished listening to Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister by Jung Chang and, though it was very interesting, I was happy to get to the end of it. I then jumped straight into the last Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling). I’d been so looking forward to starting this book and I’m really enjoying it. I was very surprised at how long this recording is – it must be a very big book as the total time for the audible version is 31 hours and 51 minutes! I haven’t seen a book this long in my Audible history before but I’m glad it’s long because I don’t want it to end!
After a busy away week last week, the plan is to have another away week coming up. I’ll be in Wollongong on Wednesday but I’m not sure if I’ll do Sydney on Tuesday or Thursday. At this point, I’m thinking of doing Sydney on Tuesday, though there seem to be lots of Covid contacts in Sydney at the moment so I may scrap that completely. It’s time for me to curl up on the couch with some knitting and Cormoran Strike now, and watch the rain come down. Thanks for spending some time with me today! Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!