Sunday 12 September 2021. #164

Hello friends! Welcome from a beautiful sunny spring, almost summery, day here on the south coast of New South Wales. We are still in lockdown though tomorrow we’ll have some easing of restrictions and will be able to gather in groups of up to five people if they are double vaccinated. Yay! That’s great for me and my friends as we’ve all had both doses. We still need to stay within our Local Government area so I can’t yet go up and see any of the family, but it’s a start. Freedom day is when NSW reaches 70% double vaccination and predictions are for about 18th October. Which is actually Robert’s birthday, with Erin and Evie a few days before. Maybe we’ll be able to go up for a picnic. This week’s walks were glorious with the warmer temperature and beautiful smells of all the spring flowers blooming.

Knitting

Evie received her Ruffle sweater the other day and it looks great. It fits just right now but I’m hoping it might fit next year too! I obviously guessed the measurements pretty well as the pattern I started with weren’t very helpful. For me, I have now finished knitting the sleeves of my Dove Cottage sweater and I’ll have to add them to the body section. That means that I have to finish the front of the body as I’m up to the neckline. It seems like the neckline starts quite low but I’ll trust the pattern and just do it. That’s why I’ve put it off but it’s so close to being finished now that I’m anxious to get it done.

My “subtitles” knitting is going well as I plough through The Bureau episodes. Last night I cast off the body rib on my Flax Light sweater and started working on one of the sleeves. There was considerable deliberation regarding the yarn as my latest skein turned out to be the thickest weight yet, so I’m doing helical knitting with it and a thin one to balance it a bit. As there’s a limited amount, I’m going to work until I’ve used half of the thicker ball and then do the same on the other side. I still have a fair bit of the thinnest ones and I may need to use those double to finish the sleeve, depending on what this fabric looks like. The sleeves are still good for “subtitle” knitting and these should keep me going through to the end of The Bureau seasons.

This week I finished off the Eliza socks. I had most of the foot to go on the second one and it went very quickly. As predicted, I did run out of yarn at about six rounds from the end. I ran out of yarn at about 3 rounds from the end on the first one and had to finish with the second ball of yarn. That means that my tension must have been pretty spot on to match the first sock. I went looking for some yarn to finish the toe and settled on this variegated ball that I had dyed as it seemed very close in weight and had a lot of the same colour. I was a little bit wrong – though the variegated ball is supposed to be DK weight, it is quite a bit thicker than the sock yarn. I think its more like worsted weight, actually. As I’d already started knitting with it, I decided to keep going as I wouldn’t be using much and I like the look of the odd coloured toe. The other knitting I’ve been working on is another secret test knit for Libby Jonson (Truly Myrtle). This is a one skein project and I’d been looking for something special to use my Qing fibre merino/silk/yak yarn that was gifted to me by my friend Sue. I can’t divulge any information on this project yet – watch this space!

Spinning

I finally finished spinning the yarn for my Flax Light sweater. I only had the one single left to spin and then I plied the two together. This spin was the thickest weight of all five skeins that I have spun. I think I may have been very impatient to get this done and that’s why I ended up with a thicker weight. It will still be fine for using in the sweater but being thicker it also means that there is less length. Fingers crossed that I have enough yarn to do the sleeves! I can always finish the sleeves with some other handspun that I have. I just remembered that the neck ribbing will also need to be done!

Sewing

This week I sewed up two Ringer Tees by Brindille & Twig. I made the size 12-18 months so that the boys would get plenty of wear out of them. The fabric is from Spotlight and I just love the gorgeous creatures on it. I made the long sleeved version as it will be useful for cooler summer days and also when the weather starts to change. The cuffs on baby clothes are very hard to sew as the foot on the sewing machine fits in there without too much extra room to hold the fabric. One top has already gone away in the post and the other is going tomorrow or the next day when I finish something else to go with it.

I made another pair of Pomona shorts for Erin, this time using 100% linen in black. I had to shorten them this time but it seems they can be shortened a little bit more. Also, the waist is a bit loose so the next pair will need to be tighter. And a waist tie has been requested as well. They are very easy to make so I don’t mind making more.

I finished my Sidewinder pants from The Sewing Revival and I’m very happy with the result, even if they are a bit tighter than I’d like. I don’t think I’d want to make the next size – maybe just a little narrower on the seams would be enough around the seat and the waist. I wouldn’t want the legs any wider. I used a duck cotton from Spotlight, which is a lightweight cotton so it will be great for spring with a tee shirt. To go with them, I’m thinking of making an Exhale Hi-Lo top from Pattern Emporium in some off-white/cream knit that I have in stash. I have also cut out the Flawsome top from Pattern Emporium and I’m looking forward to putting that together this week. I have plenty of other plans that I need to cut out, including a couple of paper doll blanket outfits.

Patchwork

Evie received her paper doll blanket and loved it. You can see her below with the doll and their matching outfits. It was great to see her excitement and she went into full role play mode and put all Cindy’s outfits (that’s what she’s named her) into her toy washing machine and then hung them out to dry. I did work on the Flower Garden quilt but all I had to do was join the two sides of the top. It’s quite big and I had to put it out on the clothes line to take a decent photo. It was very windy and I had to use tablecloth weights so that it would stay flat and they weren’t even any use when it gusted! I have to decide whether I’ll put an outer border on this or just quilt it as is. I’ll take a dive into my stash to see what I have for the backing and maybe for a border.

This week I’ve been working on the alphabet panel ‘ve had for a while. I’m making these letters into individual squares with velcro on the back. Then I’ll make a small quilt with the opposite side of the velcro so that it can be used as a “blackboard” for putting words together. I pondered on the best way to cut and sew so that I wasn’t doing it the hard way and it was quite a quandary. The columns were spaced evenly but not all the rows, as it turned out. I started by cutting the letters individually and then I changed to adding the columns to the backing as strips. I also added the individual letters that I’d cut to the backing in strips. These are ironed open and ready to cut now and then I’ll be adding a strip of velcro to the backing of each. I’ll be sewing the squares together with right sides facing and I’ll leave a small section for turning. Once sewn, I’m going to add some iron-on wadding cut to size inside the stitching and turn them right side out. I may then stitch around each letter. I think it will be a fun activity once it’s all finished. 🤞

Paraphernalia

Yesterday I finished reading The Secret Keeper of Jaipur by Alka Joshi which was the second book to The Henna Artist that I’d read recently for Book Club. I enjoyed this one just as much and I’m hoping there could be more. The first was published last year and the second published this year so there may be another one in the making. My next book is going to be Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason, which is one of our current Book Club selections. As I mentioned earlier, I’m still working my way through The Bureau on SBS On Demand and really enjoying it. I’m halfway through season four and there is a season five. This was recommended by Chat 10 Looks 3 and I now know why they raved about it.

As we’re moving into lighter restrictions, I’m looking forward to catching up with friends in our little groups of five. Unfortunately, the weather is looking terrible for the whole week so we may need to wait a little bit longer. Other than that, I’ll be spending time in my studio having fun and probably on some Zooms. Thanks for joining me today. Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

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