Sunday 18 July 2021. #156

Hello friends! Welcome from a lovely winter day on the south coast of New South Wales. It’s fresh and windy but the sun is shining. It’s been another quiet week for me, still recuperating from the operation. A little bit sore today so I’ll be taking it very easy. I only have one photo to show for this week as I’ve only been taking short walks around the same area each day. And I haven’t been anywhere else. My isolation ends today as it’s been two weeks since I left hospital in Sydney but I won’t be going anywhere until tomorrow.

Knitting

Last Sunday, I cast on my Flax sweater number three, this time for Finnick. I can almost do these by heart now though this is only the second I’ve done in this size (1-2 years). Again, I’m using Heritage Merino Magic, this time in a dark grey colourway. They don’t have names, just some obscure numbers. It’s a very quick knit and I’m now onto the sleeves already. This should be finished in a day or two.

Last week’s finished Flax sweater has now been blocked and is in the ever growing pile of items for my grandbabies. These items are going to have to be mailed as the lockdown will prevent us visiting either family. The blocking worked well – there’s always a good reason to block your knitting. The stitches spread themselves equally and you can shape it so that it looks like a finished product.

I have finally cast off the baby socks. In the end, I went with what I think is a cable cast off, which has plenty of stretch. They do look a little wavy but that won’t be noticed once they are on those chubby legs. That’s better than if they are too tight. I had started on the heel of one of them last night but it was hard to pick up one leg of each stitch without getting some more lighting. I left them for today to pick up the next row of stitches so that I know I’m going straight. I ended up with a little of the blue left and there should be enough to do one pair. I’ll have to add some other yarn for the second pair. I thought the blue might go better on the dark red, rather than the dark green. From little to big, the Zauberball socks are now completely finished. I added the final heel and this time I did a much better job of it. They look good and will now go onto the mailing pile as my mum and dad are also in the lockdown zone.

Some extra finished objects. 1. I finished Evie’s brioche scarf to match her beanie. It’s gone into the mailing pile. I added the fringe by cutting 7 inch lengths of the yarn and hitching 6 strands into each hole. I straightened the fringe once it was all done and I think it looks great. 2. I finally put the buttons on my Dolly cardigan so now I can wear it. I haven’t worn it because I had lightbulb pins marking where the buttons were to go and I wasn’t going to take them out just to have to work it all out again. I had ordered buttons but they took a couple of weeks and then I just never picked up the cardigan to finish off. Though the buttons are fine, I’m not 100% taken with the colour matching. It’s too hard to do on the internet but I’d not had any luck in person either so I’m going to leave them. 3. I also re-did the three needle bind off on my headband and have even worn it. It does fit very well and worked for my breezy walk yesterday. As I had to undo the previous bind off, the stitches were a bit messy and I didn’t do as good a job as the first time. Though it still looks better on the outside than it did before.

Spinning

I ended up finishing the bobbin I showed last week and I’ve about finished plying that with one I had done a little while back. As my bobbin only takes 100gms of fibre, I had to stop when it was full and wind off onto a niddy noddy so that I could finish the rest of the plying. I’m going to look into larger bobbins for my Wee Peggy. I think that it will be able to take a larger size but I may need to replace the flyer. Otherwise, I have heard that I can get an Akerworks bobbin that will take a bit more than the regular ones. Their bobbins are printed in plastic and have a narrower rod in the centre, therefore more room for fibre. The only thing is that they are in the States so I’ll have to see how much this option compares to the different flyer option. I ended up running out of one bobbin before the other and I wasn’t looking forward to doing an Andean bracelet to finish it off. I put the question of an alternative method to my spinning brains trust in my International VKN zoom group and I now have an answer. The answer was to wind off the remainder in a centre pull ball and spin from that. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it because I had actually wound two centre pull balls last night (see Dyeing). Now I’m looking forward to finishing this off. I only have one more hundred gram hank of fibre left to spin for this project and I’ll probably divide it into two fifty gram hanks and spin them onto separate bobbins for easy of plying.

Sewing

I got around to finishing the tracksuit pants for Evie this week. These are the ones to go with the Going Home jumper by Ellie and Mac. The pants are from a free pattern for pyjama pants that I’d made for her previously and I knew that they fit, so I used that one again. They are for a straight leg pattern but I just took a little off and added cuffs, as I had done with her pyjama pants.

Some sewing for me! I started working on my Metra Blazer from Love Notions. I cut out the fabric and have added the welt pockets, so I’ve just done the first step. I’m using a beige brushed back ponte that I’d purchased from Spotlight for this project. It wasn’t easy to cut out. I cut each piece out double, as you normally do, but the bottom sections of each piece seemed to be a bit puckered regardless of how much I smoothed it out. It made little difference on the whole but I did trim a few bits after unpinning.

There wasn’t much other sewing this week but I did add button holes to the Over It Alls that I’d made for Finn. I was going to use press studs with the professional snap press machine that I’d purchased from Snaps Australia but it was too heavy to consider. With my back operation, I’m not able to lift anything over four kilos. I’m pretty sure this contraption is more than that and, I know I could have asked for some help setting it up but then I think the pressure of using the machine may not be a good idea. Instead of waiting for several more weeks I decided to add buttons. It will work just as well. And finally, I sewed up a little baby hat that I’d cut out several months ago. The pattern is from Sweet Red Poppy. It won’t fit either of my grandsons but there are always babies coming along these days. I’m sure I’ll find one that it fits!

Dyeing

I managed a wee bit of dyeing this week. It was only for some yarn for Mary to finish off the striped socks we’ve been working on (mine are shown below). We have two tubes with heels at each end and we need to separate them for cuffs and heels. The yarn was a twenty five day advent stripe that I dyed before last Christmas. I will need to dye some more for myself as well but will need to use some similar yarn.

Artistry

I haven’t been working on the Index Card a Day project anymore. I let things go a bit long and with hospital it was more delayed. I also feel a bit inadequate looking at everyone else’s masterpieces and I’ve decided that I just want to dabble a little bit when the inspiration takes me. The little cards were also very awkward to work with. A few weeks back I purchased this little watercolour kit and I thought I’d give it a run. For this, I fished out a lovely book I’d purchased years ago. It was made by Ro Bruhn, and artist from Victoria, and has some lovely art paper within a beautiful painted hard cover and also has bits of artwork here and there within the book. I had participated in some of her workshops a few years back.

Acquisitions

Nerida Hansen Fabrics (NHF) had a sale and I picked up a few bits. Her fabrics are great and such good quality. I got a couple of remnants and a few discounted fabrics. They are really gorgeous and I know what I want to make with nearly all of these. Counter-clockwise from the top: 1.5m organic cotton single jersey in Margaret Jeane Clay Olive Floral; 1m cotton sateen in Jennifer Bouron Flower Brown (OMG such beautiful fabric!); 1m organic cotton single jersey in Margaret Jeane Yellow Floral; and organic double gauze in Holly Sanders Women on Country (a beautiful Aboriginal print). I also too advantage of a 50% pattern sale from Fibre Mood and bought the Bonnie top pattern. It’s a simple top but I had seen some lovely pics. I’ve already printed the pattern and I hope to whip up a toile using some remnant Nerida Hansen fabric that I had in stash. I’m going to mash two coordinate fabrics in some way. If the pattern turns out as I think it will, I’ll make up another maybe using the cotton sateen from this week’s NHF purchase.

Paraphernalia

As I mentioned at the beginning, it was a quiet week so I watched a few shows. I finished Mildred Pierce with Kate Winslet and Guy Pearce and I enjoyed it. I looked up about the movie and I found that it’s a remake of a 1941 movie starring Joan Crawford. From what I read of the original, the new miniseries is a little bit different but pretty much the same. I’d be interested in seeing the original some time. I also finished watching the latest season of Virgin River. That seemed to go by very quickly. I have now started on a mini series called Olive Kitteridge. It’s quite a sombre show but is becoming interesting. Other than that, I finished listening to A Room Made of Leaves by Kate Grenville which was a very good fictional interpretation of Lady Elizabeth Macarthur’s life in the early days of Australian history. That audiobook was on loan and I’ve now moved back onto The Gambling Man by David Baldacci, which is the second book of the Archer series. Its narrative is in the old 1940s Humphrey Bogart style and it is quite entertaining.

Tomorrow I’ll be having breakfast with a few friends and then driving down to visit Mary for a few hours. I start physio on Wednesday and then maybe having a sewing catch up on Friday. It will be nice to get out and about with people though Sydney and the greater area around it is still in lockdown. Numbers are still going up so I think that the end date of 30th July will be extended yet again. I’m hoping people will do the right thing and stay at home so that everyone can get out and about. We are certainly very lucky here in the regions but that could change in an instant, as has happened with Melbourne again. Time for me to move onto some crafting – thank you for spending some time with me! Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

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