Sunday 19 September 2021. #165

Hello friends! Welcome from a lovely spring day on the south coast of New South Wales. Yes, we are still in lockdown but we do have one new freedom. We are able to meet in groups of five or less, fully vaccinated and outside. That is a great thing as a few of our friends were able to meet for a catch-up on Monday morning. We only managed an hour before the rain started but it was great while it lasted. I did get out for a physio appointment on Wednesday.

On Friday, I decided on a change of scenery and met with Mary at Mollymook for a walk along the beach path. It was a beautiful day and we had a takeaway egg and bacon rolls and coffee sitting near the beach afterwards.

Knitting

Knitting this week has been mainly on my Spiral socks and my Flax Light sweater. I have also been working on the test knit for Libby Jonson of Truly Myrtle but I can’t show that here yet. The socks have progressed enough that I have now started on the cuff. I’m excited to get these ones done now and move onto something else. I was thinking that this style of sock would be great for babies and little kids as they can grow into them without being restricted by heels. My friend Carolyn told me there was actually a baby pattern specifically using this method. It’s called the Baby Tube socks and uses a two stitch spiral where the adult socks uses a three stitch spiral. I think I’ll have to cast these on as soon as I’ve finished the big pair.

The Flax Light sweater is progressing nicely though I did frog about 4 or more inches of sleeve. I’m using a 3.5mm nine inch circular needle and I found that my knitting was very tight. I don’t suppose you can actually see that in the second photo below but I started again, this time using what I thought was a 4.0mm needle. The stitches look much better but I realised that I’d picked up the original needle and have been knitting with that one again! My tension does look much better though so maybe it was a sub-conscious thing. The close up photos look nothing like the colour of the sweater which you can see in the last photo. I tend to hold the camera a long way away and then crop otherwise it looks nothing like the real thing. I’m using my own handspun yarn and working with one skein of thick spin and one skein of thin spin. I’ve weighed the thicker yarn and I’m going to stop on this sleeve when I get to halfway and use the remainder on the other sleeve so that both are similar. When I’ve finished with that, I may need to use the thinner spin doubled to get a similar texture. I’m not in a hurry to finish this as the weather is warming up but I knit on it when I’m watching The Bureau with the subtitles.

My planning for the Shawlography MKAL has progressed and I’ve narrowed it down to two colour schemes. You can see below all the options I considered and asked my local friends and friends in my IVKN zoom group for their suggestions. I got a lot of comments on indecision between numbers 2 and 9 and it turns out that they are exactly the same just in a different order. That really shows that the order the colours are used could really change the look. I have decided that I’ll be using either number 8 (subtle) or number 9 (with a pop). The MKAL starts on the second Friday of October and I’ll probably make my decision the day before when I wind the yarn.

Sewing

This week I made Evie a Rachel skirt from Ellie & Mac. It’s more of a fun skirt for play as the fabric is very bright. I suppose it could be worn with a plain white top. It was a very easy make and I used up some of my stash. I made size 3 but the waist is quite loose. After I’d made it I compared it with another pattern and there was about an inch difference. And Evie is a skinny minnie!

And now when I make something for Evie, I have to make the same for Cindy, the paperdoll blanket. I made a miniature Rachel skirt and some striped tights that Evie requested to match her striped tights. You can see her below having fun with Cindy. 😍 And Finn and Cooper are wearing their matching Ringer tees from Brindille & Twig. As I thought, these are a little bit big but they’ll be able to wear them later on. Don’t the boys look gorgeous! 😍

The other sewing for this week was on a pair of Parker Ponte pants from Style Arc. I wanted these as a casual but dressier pair of pants. The fabric I used was some brushed ponte that I’d order from Spotlight thinking it was similar fabric to what I’d purchased earlier. That’s why online ordering sometimes just doesn’t work. These turned out a little bit big so I may take them in – they are more like a dressier tracksuit pants instead. They’ll definitely get used. Maybe a stretch cotton sateen or bengaline would be more suitable for the look I’m after.

Patchwork

I didn’t get much patchwork done this week until yesterday. I finally put this little quilt back together after pretty much unpicking the whole centre section. One of the panels was upside down and I only needed to unpick one section but I unpicked the wrong one and ended up unpicking way too much. It didn’t take long yesterday to put back together and I also found some fabric for the backing. As the red fabric wasn’t big enough, I decided to add some black fabric and make a feature of the back. I hope to sandwich it today during a patchwork zoom with my sewing group this afternoon.

Paper Crafts

This week I purchased a watercolour class from a new-to-me workshop website called Domestika. The class is the Creative Watercolour Sketching for Beginners. In this class, you work in a watercolour sketchbook progressing through the lessons. I looked online for a 300gsm watercolour sketchbook and was very disappointed with the lack of these. One site I was on had a selection of books they liked to use and then suggested making your own sketchbook, with a link to a YouTube tutorial. How to Make a Watercolour Sketchbook by Will J Baily turned out to be exactly what I needed. I had done a bookbinding class a couple of years ago and I was excited to get into this again. You can see below that I have used an A3 pad of 300gsm watercolour paper and I cut it down to about 8 inches along the long side. That has given me an almost square book which opens to a nice rectangle which will work well for some of the lessons. The tutorial gives you a very professional sketchbook but I think I’ll stop a little short of that. In the final picture below, you can see the tape used in the tutorial. I probably don’t need to use this but I think I’ll leave it there and add it to the inside cover before I put the cover over the board. The tutorial uses end pages but I’m going to just have the cover and pages instead. I’m going to use some previous artwork to cover the end boards.

While I was searching through the YouTube tutorials on book making/binding, I found a quick tutorial on making a Mini Meander Accordion book by Sea Lemon. In this tutorial she used a 12×12 inch piece of paper – I thought it probably wouldn’t work with an uneven size but I was wrong. I used an A3 sheet of heavy paper, almost a light board, and it worked perfectly. I had many vertical folds and only three horizontal folds but, as long as you cut in the same direction and to the last section, it works. The tutorial actually puts a little cover on each end and I’ll do that with some of the leftover board from the sketchbook. I have some leftover strips of the watercolour pad that I might use for something as well, maybe a small normal concertina folded book.

Acquisitions

Apart from the watercolour class, my acquisitions this week were for my Shawlography MKAL. As I mentioned in a previous blog, the yarn I had was only in 50 gm skeins and I needed 100 gm skeins so, instead of buying all new ones, I got a bit more of each and two new colours – the pinky purple and the teal. I got these from Yarntrader at Port Adelaide.

Paraphernalia

I finished another book this week – Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason. In the end, I found this a great book, though at times it was very depressing. Early on, I thought I might not continue with it but I also found it very compelling. I’m glad I persisted. At times it was very funny and the narrator did a fantastic job. It was narrated by Emilia Fox who acted in the Silent Witness series and also in The Pianist movie. I’ve now started reading Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. I read his A Gentleman in Moscow which I loved and I’ve heard this book is even better. On the screen, I’m still working my way through The Bureau. I’m now into Season 5 which is the last one available. I don’t know if it’s the last one ever or if they are making more and haven’t released yet. I hope there is more to come!

Tomorrow I’ll be catching up with some friends at the beach again to take advantage of our five person, fully vaccinated and outside freedom from lockdown. We’ll be having an impromptu art studio at the beach so I’m hoping the weather is good. Other than that, there are no plans aside from playing in my studio. I have some sewing and patchwork plans, with a few other bits and pieces scattered amongst that.

Thank you for spending some time with me today and hearing about my activities. Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

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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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Sunday 5 September 2021. #163

Hello friends! Welcome from a sunny and very windy south coast of New South Wales. Happy Fathers’ Day to all the dads out there celebrating today! It’s interesting how the days match up with the rest of the world. I think Australia celebrates Mothers’ Day with the UK but our Fathers’ Day is all by itself; the UK & US had it in June. Today is supposed to be very wet but the sun is shining brightly at the moment. Maybe there’s some rain on the way. I was able to get out each day for my walk and the early mornings were beautiful. I posted a big parcel on Friday for Evie and she had sent a present for her Grandad for Fathers’ Day, including a beautiful pasta necklace and crown for me! And, it took nearly two weeks, but Cooper finally received his quilt on Friday and I think he approves. 😍

Knitting

Evie’s Ruffle jumper has been blocked and finished completely with a button on the back. I crocheted a loop and sewed in all the ends and it is now winging its way to her. I’m hoping it gets there quickly as I’m excited for her to get the parcel.

I did do some knitting on my Flax Light sweater but decided to stop and start on the sleeves so that I know how much yarn I have. In order to start the sleeves I need to finish spinning the final skein, half of which is already done. I’m hoping to have that done this week. I haven’t included a picture as it’s not very different from last week and I haven’t included my Spiral socks as they didn’t get a lot of love this week either. I have put in a fair bit of work on the second of my Eliza socks by Libby Jonson (Truly Myrtle). I have turned the heel and finished decreasing the gusset. I’m now on the final straight and should have this one in a couple of days. I’m concerned that there won’t be enough yarn as I used a wee bit of the second skein on my first sock. If I run out, I’ll finish it with some other yarn. Let’s see how far I get. My subtitle knitting (while watching The Bureau) this week has been the sleeves of my Dove Cottage sweater. My concern with this one is that the bottom part of the sleeve may be a bit tight. I can certainly get it on but I’m not sure I’ll be able to wear anything under it. I’m continuing as I don’t want to redo the colourwork and I hope the blocking might help a little. The pattern started with the exact number for the colourwork repeats so I didn’t want to add any stitches, and I was working with the stitch count as per the pattern. I could have added a couple of plain stitches as the increases ended up adding a small plain panel or I could have used a 4.5mm needle instead but the knit may have been a bit loose. I’ll see how it goes. I have still to decrease for the neck on the body.

Well, it’s that time of year again – the 2021 Stephen West MKAL has launched and the cast on is set for 8th October. My first reaction was to ignore it but as the hype increased I was more tempted. When one of my international zoom friends posted the question of who will be joining in, I tipped over the edge and decided to go for it. It’s always a very interesting KAL. I had some yarn in my stash that I thought I could use but they are only 50 gram skeins so I ended up ordering one more of each and also a dark raspberry colour because I can’t decide which ones to use together. This year’s is a graphic knit and so requires more solids for the contrast. I added a black and white filter to the pictures below and it doesn’t seem that there’s a whole lot of contrast happening. I’ll make the final decision when the yarn arrives.

Crochet

I have finished the second block for my Obelia Origami bag and it turned out smaller than the first one. As I was crocheting this second block, I felt that the yarn was thinner than the first one and I’m pretty sure that’s why it turned out smaller. The colours on these photographs are very washed out! I have one more block to go so I’m going to see how that turns out with a third colour of yarn. The first block requires a couple of rounds to get it to the right size so the second will need at least an extra one. Let’s see how the third one ends up!

Sewing

I finished off the Paper Doll Blanket for Evie this week and it is also on its way to her in the parcel I sent on Friday. The doll needed some velcro for hair bows and I included some velcro at the wrists for long sleeves. I had also added some velcro at the bottom on the doll’s white undergarment which will help with shorts (whhttps://paperdollblanket.com/en I make some). To accompany the three outfits that I’d made, I fashioned up a pair of shoes from some faux leather elbow patches and I included a quick bow made of ribbon. I’m hoping Evie likes the doll and I’m going to start the next outfit this week. Probably pyjamas to match the ones I made Evie a couple of months ago.

A major project this week was a pair of Ellie & Mac Straight Fit boardshorts for Robert for Fathers’ Day. I had been wanting to make these for a while using some gorgeous Aboriginal fabric that I purchased when I was in Alice Springs. The fabric has the cutest fish on them! I used some contrasting fabric that I purchased at the same time. These turned out to be quite easy to make. My concern was that they may not fit but I shouldn’t have worried. Actually, the backside section seems a bit baggy so I think I would grade down at the hip for the next pair – just on the back section. I think the trickiest bit was adding the eyelets to the waist tie section. It was hard to cut the holes at the exact same spot as it’s very easy to cut the hole too big. I don’t think it will be noticed that one eyelet is a bit wonky. I’ve had these eyelets for an awful long time and the backs of them aren’t too smooth. I’ll have to buy some more as they’ve probably improved them over the years. Ideally, a white shoelace would be best – the one in the photo is 60cm too long and I could only buy a black one in the right size. I’ll have to see if I can get one somewhere else.

Patchwork

Because of the Paper Doll blanket and the boardshorts, I didn’t get much time for my patchwork this week. I did, however, almost finish the top of the Flower Garden quilt. I only need to join the two sections shown below and it is then ready to sandwich. I’ll get the top done tomorrow and then I’ll need to find some fabric for the backing. I’ve probably got something in the stash that will work. I’ll be working on a couple of other quilts as well.

Acquisitions

This week I received a book I ordered a few weeks back. The Lemonade Quilts book is by Michelle Marvig of Pieceville.com.au and has some great stashbusting quilts that I’m hoping will use up lots of the fabric I have. I also received a fat quarter as I paid for postage and the deal was that it was postage free. Another item I received this week was the Clover Hot Press Ruler. I’m really happy with that and it made turning the hem on the boardshorts really easy! It took some time to arrive but was definitely worth waiting for. No more melting rulers and tape measures.

Paraphernalia

I finished reading A Court of Mist and Fury this week and started a new book. I’m now reading The Secret Keeper of Jaipur by Alka Joshi. This is the second book following The Henna Artist, that I read a few months ago for Book Club. It was a hard transition from the fantasy of the first book to India in the second book but I’m right into it now. I have been watching The Bureau on SBS On Demand and I’m totally hooked. I just finished season two and what an ending! I can’t wait to start season three tonight.

This coming week is another in lockdown, due to finish on Friday, but I doubt that will happen. The infection rate is ever increasing and there have been a couple in our area now. So it seems I’m going to have to wait a fair bit longer before I can see any of my family. Vaccination rates are also climbing so I’m hoping it will all balance out soon. The only socialising that may occur this week will be possibly walking with a friend or two – at different times as per restriction rules.

Thanks for joining me for my chat today! Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

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Sunday 29 August 2021. #162

Hello friends! Welcome to another week of NSW lockdown. The first week was extended by one week, and now we’ve been extended for two more. I don’t know how much longer we’ll be in lockdown out in the regional and rural areas but I don’t think the Greater Sydney region will be out very soon. There will be some freedoms; five fully vaccinated people will be able to get together outside for an hour extra to the exercise hour. That will be very good for them but it won’t help me see my grandbabies because you will need to stay within your Local Government Area. This past week has been very mixed as far as the weather is concerned. We started out with gorgeous spring-like weather and had a massive cold front come through with storms and cold. Our area really copped a beating with the storms and we ended up without power for nearly 24 hours. The power went down just after 10pm on Tuesday and was restored on Wednesday night at about 7pm. At that point, we were wearing coats and eating pizza by candlelight. It was only our immediate area that didn’t have power and we were able to get the take away pizzas. It’s amazing what you take for granted and I missed not being able to even have a cup of tea. Fortunately, my friend Andrea has a gas stove and I was able to get a thermos of hot water and a “take-away” coffee. There were trees down and debris everywhere. I’m looking forward to some warm weather coming through on Tuesday.

Knitting

Most of my knitting this week was on the Ruffle jumper for Evie. I finished the sleeves and I was excited to pick up to knit the ruffle. There is a row of purl bumps that are specifically for picking up the stitches and that was easy enough. As I was then knitting in the round over the sleeve joins, it was quite tight until the ruffle started growing. In the first round, you double the stitches and in the third round you add the same amount again. In the end, I was knitting on 558 stitches. Casting off took a couple of sessions. Today’s job is to sew in the ends and block it. I’m hoping it fits. It’s easy enough to add length to the sleeves and body but adding width may be too big a step backwards. Fingers crossed. 🤞

I have added some length onto my Flax Light sweater. It has been a good one to knit on while watching subtitles on a French TV series. I still have about six inches to knit before doing the ribbing. Other knitting has included a little bit of work on my socks. The Spiral socks still need a lot of knitting as they currently just reach my heel. These were my portable knitting but we’re not allowed to go anywhere so they haven’t been getting any love. The Eliza socks have also been neglected but I did manage one repeat. I’ll be working some more on these socks now that Evie’s jumper is finished.

Crochet

I added a few rounds to the latest block for my Obelia Origami bag. This block should be finished in the next couple of days and I’ll start the third and final block.

Sewing

Some of my dressmaking this week has been two dimensional as I make some outfits for the Paper Doll blanket. I had hoped to send it off to Evie this past week but I had to get some beige velcro. I placed an order and I’m hoping it arrives tomorrow. In the meantime, I finished two more outfits. Firstly, there is a skirt and a top. The skirt is made from some Liberty Tana lawn that I used to make a dress that I didn’t like. The dress had a couple of pockets so I cut a piece with one pocket to use for this skirt. I then made a top to go with it. The first few outfits are taking a while to make because I’m inventing the pattern as I go. With the top, I made it one piece and that seems the best way to go. The second outfit for this week was using some fabric that I’d made a dress for Evie. It’s one she wears a lot so I thought it would be great for this dolly to have a matching outfit. I finally found the leftover fabric and the pieces were quite small so I had to work out a way to make this. I added separate sleeves on the main fabric but the backing had the top section in one piece. I think all in one is the way to go and, in hindsight, I could probably have done that by adding a centre seam instead. Anyway, it looks pretty much like Evie’s dress so I’m happy enough with it. Once I have the first pieces worked out, it will be easy to make other items. You can see the list of outfits I have planned and there are more to add to that list. This dolly will be off to Evie this week and I hope she has a name for her. I’m kind of over call her the Paper Doll.

Last week, Erin was showing me some linen pants and shorts she was thinking of ordering from a popular ready-made brand and I thought they might be a bit overpriced for what they were. Though she did buy a pair, I suggested I could probably make them easily enough. I chose the Pomona shorts by Anna Allen Design because they seemed to fit the bill and thought I’d make a pair for Erin to try on. I selected size 6 in accordance with the measurements but I think a size 8 would have looked a bit closer to the picture. Having said that, Erin hasn’t yet received them, even though I posted them with Cooper’s quilt on Monday. I used a different post office and I think all future postings will go through my local one as things get there overnight sometimes. Friends had mentioned that other post offices were quite slow. With the tracking information I noticed that the parcel hadn’t even been actioned at the post office for at least 24 hours. Anyway, one of the good things about this pattern is that it is one piece only, not having side seams or a separate band. My method of putting patterns together is by taping them to the window and this eliminates the tedious chore of trimming the edges as you can line up easily with the pages a bit transparent. The pattern does come with patch pockets though I didn’t use them for this trial. Ideally, these should be in 100% linen but I only had some cotton/linen blend so it’s not as drapey. It will be fine for the size fit once they are able to be tried on. I ordered and received some black and white linen fabric earlier in the week and I’m still waiting for my parcel to get to Erin. The downside with using a pattern without side seams is that you can’t put in-seam pockets. I’m not sure if there’s a requirement for pockets. I found another pattern I really like but, as usual, I didn’t write the name down and now it’ll take some searching to find it again.

I was able to finish off the Modern Lounge pants by Brindille & Twig as I received the elastic that I was waiting for. I’ll be able to post these off tomorrow. I was going to make two pairs with this fabric but I decided it was too thick – I didn’t add the faux button placket because it’s too thick. I’ll send these off to Cooper and see how they fit him. I’m going to make Finn a pair too but I’ll use some different fabric. Now for some sewing for me. I had recently purchased the Sidewinder pants pattern from The Sewing Revival, and I got the pattern together and cut them out. I’m using some duck fabric from Spotlight that I had in stash just to see how the fit is. The fabric suggestion is for woven fabric with some drape so this seems to fit the bill though it seems to be a bit lighter than I’d like. We’ll see how they are when I can try them on. Again, I need some elastic for these and I have ordered it through Click and Collect at our local Spotlight as I need to go into town for physio and doctor this week. The construction is unusual and very clever. The side seam goes diagonally from the front at the top, to the back at the bottom and the pockets are in the seam. I’ll finish the hem once I’m able to try them on.

Patchwork

This week has seen a considerable amount of work on patchwork. Because of the Challenge in our little group, we’re all on a patchwork kick and we’re inspiring each other to get on with it. Here are the steps for putting a patchwork top together. I started the week by putting a sashing piece on each block and by day two I had all the rows together. Then I had to position the sashing in between and then the posts, all the while ensuring I didn’t double up on colours. Once they were decided, I gathered them in their individual strips and sewed each sashing row together. I’m now onto the final stage of the top where I’m sewing all the rows together. The top should be finished in a few days and it will be ready for sandwiching. It’s amazing how good the tops look once you have the rows together and ironed nicely. I recently registered for The Quilting Plan Challenge by Hollyanne Knight of String and Story. I thought it would fit nicely with our Patchwork Challenge as most of my WIPs either need quilting or will need quilting soon. This YouTube series answers, or helps to answer, the question of what to quilt and where. The series started on Monday (US time, Tuesday for me) but I’m a little behind as there was no electricity on Wednesday and no internet on Thursday. This series includes a workbook and other resources and, so far, I think it will be a great help with my quilting.

My friend, Vicki, inspired me to go looking further into my WIPs. Instead of picking one WIP per month, she has divided all her WIPs across the ten months ending up with 13 projects per month. That’s easy maths to work out that she has 130 WIPs. Now, this is probably unrealistic but she is hoping to put in as much work on each for the month as possible though, knowing Vicki, she’ll get most of the 13 done each month! In my case, patchwork is not all I do but I think I can do more than the one. I found a quilt top that I thought was ready for sandwiching and quilting but I found that I’d made a mistake putting the rows together. In the photo below left, you can see the columns with the blue/green squares and the column on the left should be the one in the middle. Easy fix, I said, and it should have been. Just unpick the three columns and flip the rectangle. But I unpicked the columns on the right by mistake and now I have to unpick the rest of the five columns and resew all of them. 😒 What an exercise in futility! I have now almost finished unpicking the last section and then will need to unpick the first sections and reshuffle. Once the unpicking is done, it won’t take long to put back together, as long as I do it right!

I found this quilt below in my easy finish WIP pile and I think I should finish it. This must be my oldest WIP and it’s the first quilt I made with a group of friends. All I have left to do is some hand quilting on three of the border sections, having done one already (shown). Plus a few little squares and triangles in the corner blocks. I considered just machine quilting them but I couldn’t bring myself to do that so I’m going to hand quilt them. I don’t have the quilting thread that I was using at the time so Vicki is sending me some that she has. The reason that this quilt languished for so long is because of the hand quilting that I’ll probably never do again so I hope I’ll not take another twenty or more(?) years to finish this off.

Acquisitions

Recently I saw that Lush Fabrics was having a sale and I had been tempted to buy some of the Double Brushed Poly that everyone raves about. I was taken by the snake skin print but that was Single Brushed Poly so I ended up buying a metre and a half of each to try. I’m starting to learn more about fabrics and their uses so I finally made the purchase. I was totally delighted when the pieces arrived on the very cold and wet blackout day and it brightened my day to find that both were end of roll pieces and I had just over two metres of each! This fabric will be used with a Pattern Emporium pattern maybe the Dream On dress. I could use both together as they go very well but I think I’ll make the dress in the snake skin and use leftovers for colour block tee with the solid fabric. The DBP on the left is Bluegrass and the SBP on the right is Viper. In other purchases, I’m expecting some velcro from Spotlight tomorrow and in that order I have purchased some more overlocker threads. I needed some in different colours and it happens that Spotlight was having a sale. Instead of $6.50 per spool, I got ten spools for $20, saving $45! Total bargain.

Paraphernalia

This past week I’ve been listening to A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas. I am enjoying it now though there are still parts that are a bit soapish. It’s a big book and I still have another nine hours plus to go. I have been watching The Voice Australia on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights and on the other nights I’ve been watching The Bureau on SBS On Demand. There are five seasons so I am way behind as I’m only on Episode 8 of the first season but that means I have plenty to look forward to. It is in French so the subtitles are totally necessary but I’m really refreshing my knowledge of the language.

We’re still in lockdown this coming week but I have several outings planned. On Monday I’m having an x-ray, on Wednesday visiting the physio and on Thursday I’ll be seeing my neurosurgeon for my post-op visit. It’s normally six weeks later but it will be 9 weeks. Other than that, I’ll be going for my daily walk and spending time in the studio on my patchwork and sewing. Afternoons and evenings are for knitting and that’s generally on the lounge. Let’s see if I can get some spinning done this week!

Thank you for joining me for this week’s chat. I’m going off for a walk now and then I’ll be back in the studio. Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

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Sunday 22 August 2021. #161

Hello friends! Welcome from another week of statewide lockdown. The regional areas have been extended for another week and Greater Sydney continues indefinitely at this point. Apart from a visit to the Physiotherapist on Wednesday, my external activities have been limited to my daily walks and one visit to the supermarket. It’s a great place for walking and I don’t get tired of the views. The weather has been magnificent. Mostly cold at night but warming up overall. Today, it’s supposed to be 25 degrees Celcius! Most of the pics below are early in the morning but yesterday I went for an afternoon walk instead. In the last photo, you can see that there was some backburning happening not too far from us. That photo was taken on my way up the hill of my street.

With lockdown, it seems I (and many others) transition into cooking mode. Last Sunday, I made some Mixed Berry and Rhubarb jam which turned out so good. I used some raspberries that I had in the freezer along with the remainder of a pack of frozen summer berries. I didn’t like the summer berries because it had grapes which looked horrible when thawed. Also, I’m not a fan of frozen strawberries, but they both worked great with the jam. I also made my favourite banana cake, some foccacia, a tea cake (four ingredients) and several new meals for dinner. I have posted the original banana cake recipe here some time ago but I can’t find the link online now. I made a couple of changes but only minor. I think the secret to the taste is the 2 tbsp of whisky or rum. After making it this week, I’ve been instructed to make it double next time as it barely lasted until the next day. The tea cake, as opposed to a teacake, is an old recipe using only four ingredients, one of which is cold tea, and there are several versions on the internet. I made it a good 20 or 30 years ago and rediscovered it on instagram about a year ago. Outside, Robert’s lockdown effort was to get working on the front garden, only to be stalled by the need for more sleepers and we can’t get those until after lockdown. And finally, I had a little dabble with my watercolours early this week, after being inspired by a similar design on instagram.

Knitting

My first priority at the beginning of the week was to finish the two pairs of baby socks. I finished the heels on Sunday and it took a good portion of Monday to sew in the ends. Though the socks are small, there are just as many ends as there are on adult socks. With the red/purple/blue pair, I ran out of yarn on the second heel – I’m not sure how I did that as I had divided the remainder in, what I thought, equal halves for the heels. Obviously not! I then had to find something to go with the rest of the sock. I thought this little bit of purple would match quite well. I also had to find different yarn for the yellow/green/turquoise socks. The teal isn’t a perfect match but I had plenty and it seems to go just fine. I wanted to get these into the mail quickly so I put them into two envelopes and popped them into the mail on Tuesday. As they weren’t priority or tracked, they are going via snail mail and have not yet arrived at their destinations. Fingers crossed they get there soon and aren’t lost in the ether of increased mail due to the lockdown.

I have made progress on Evie’s jumper and I’m currently near the end of the sleeves. This is the mash-up of two different patterns – the Rose sweater and the Knitted Ruffle sweater. I have two photos here to show the difference of photographing with dark and light backgrounds. The dark background is showing close to the right colour whereas the light background just washes the colour out. I’m pretty sure it’s the opposite for something dark. I’ve only about an inch to go on the sleeves before I decrease to gather into a puff at the cuff. The cuff will be two inches long as per the photograph I’m following. I’m excited to get to the frill around the yoke when the sleeves are done. I’m a good girl and waited, though I am dying to get to the frill! It will look totally different then.

I haven’t done much other knitting this week but did cast on the cuff for the second Eliza DK sock that I tested for Libby Jonson of Truly Myrtle. Twice. Yes, I cast it on and knitted the cuff twice because the first time I used the larger needle instead of the smaller needle. I’m now ready to move onto the pattern after finishing the cuff for the second time last night.

Crochet

There hasn’t been a lot of progress on my Obelia crochet bag but I have now started on my second square. As I mentioned last week, I’m using finer yarn and a smaller hook than the pattern prescribes but it’s not working out too much smaller. The pattern has 25cm finished blocks and mine works out at 23cm. I was concerned that the block size looked too small to make a decent sized bag so I cut out some squares to do a mock up. It turned out perfectly – it’s very deceptive. I used some census pages for the blocks as we did ours online the other week and it’s good to reuse, isn’t it? Anyway, the side of the bag, which is the diagonal line through the square, turns out to be more than 30cm long. So I have decided to add a couple of rounds on my blocks to get them to the 25cm required. I have four colours of yarn and only need three blocks so I’m going to use the fourth colour for the joining and the bag handles.

Sewing

Though dressmaking wasn’t what occupied my sewing machine mostly this week, I did get to do a bit. Firstly, I finished the waistband and cuffs on the Modern Lounge pants from Brindille & Twig. I still haven’t added the elastic because I didn’t have the right size. So I’ve ordered some, with other bits and pieces, from Spotlight and it’s on it’s way. I hope the order arrives soon – it is due Wednesday to Friday as per the notification from Australia Post, but that’s not always accurate. Again, the colour is washed out on the light background; it’s showing much better in the sewing machine picture.

The rest of the sewing this week was spent making modifications to almost/already finished items. I had altered my stretch twill Hudson pants for straight legs and that didn’t work out great so I then cut them back to the pattern. While doing that, I accidently cut into the leg and I had to mend it. It’s not a great job but then something like that is hard to cover up nicely without putting a flower over it. The outside doesn’t look too bad and I’ve been wearing them anyway. Once I had sorted that, I had to finish the legs on the overlocker and then add the cuffs. I spent a good while cleaning out my overlocker and I again changed it over to black. This time, I obviously did it the right way and it worked a treat. For the cuffs, the black ribbing I have is not a good quality, having terrible recovery – it must be just straight cotton. I had a think about what I could use instead and I decided on some stretch crepe fabric that I used for my Hello Gorgeous top with the lace sleeves. I have a good remnant leftover and it worked perfectly with the stretch twill. The other modification I made was to change the polo neck on my Keep It Simple Babe top to a high round neck. It doesn’t look too high but there’s also a crew neck and a low round neck, and this one was in between. It was easy enough to do as I had leftover fabric for the band and I just cut down the neck accordingly. That will make it more wearable now and will be perfect with the twill Hudson pants. The pants are a little bit big but they are jogger style so it doesn’t matter too much. I had originally wanted to go down a size but I thought that using a woven, even though a stretch woven, might not have as much give as my fleece Hudson pants. The next pair will definitely be a size down.

The following projects are not actual sewing yet but plans for this week. I have cut out a Sandcastle Bucket hat from Waves & Wild, ready to start sewing. I just need to cut out some stabiliser/interfacing and I’m ready to go. The other sewing is a Lucy Locket Pocket bag kit that I picked up at the Sydney Quilt Show, maybe four years ago? I found it the other day when I was doing a deep dive into my patchwork WIPs. This bag should take an hour to make so I’m going to make it and send it up to Evie. I also have plans for my Paper Doll quilt – I’ve cut out some bits for clothes and I hope to send that to Evie this week too, with at least three outfits. From there, I intend to make a new outfit each week to send up. That should be good fun for lockdown and she’ll be waiting for the mail for the latest outfit. I have a list of outfits that I’ll be putting together.

Patchwork

This category featured big time this week. I just had to finish Cooper’s quilt as it has been progressing in dribs and drabs lately. All it needed to finish it off was the binding and peeper, and some quilted squares inside the centre squares. I started with the easy bit – the binding and the peeper were done in no time. The square quilting took a bit longer but not too much. I can’t wait to post this off tomorrow. I’ve been doing a lot of posting and I’d much rather deliver everything in person!

Our little crafting group has started a patchwork/quilting challenge. My friend Vicki suggested it so that we all get out some of those languishing WIPs and try to finish them. The premise is that we take ten works in progress and number them. Then Vicki will roll the die on the 20th of the month and whatever number comes up, we work on that project for the whole month until the next roll on the following 20th. Some projects will take more than a month but the idea is that we get as much done as possible on each project. I have photos below of my ten projects. I have many more but I stopped when I got to number ten. I only discarded three projects before I reached my final ten. I didn’t go any further as the decision would have been way too difficult. I will obviously be doing other crafts at the same time so I’ve allocated myself a dedicated 30 minutes each day to work on that month’s project. I may do more on some days but I won’t do less. Some will take more work than others but I’m excited to get going on these. Sundays are not included in the dedicated 30 minute protocol because the Blog takes up most of the day. It’s all very colourful, isn’t it!

So the first “roll of the die” was declared the other day as number 1 and this is the quilt I’m working on. It’s called the Flower Garden quilt and I purchased the kit from Craftsy about five years ago. It doesn’t appear that the pattern is still available and I can’t find a reference to this anywhere via Google. Lucky I don’t need the pattern as all the blocks were completed and even put in row order with their accompanying sashing piece. Yesterday I started my 30 minutes of Challenge and managed to get two rows together in that time. I’ll be back onto it tomorrow and I should have the other three done.

Acquisitions

Recently I watched a YouTube episode by Kristen of The Dahlia Society and she showed all the tools she couldn’t live without. I ended up ordering some of those and this large cutting mat was one of them. This mat is 1200×900 and takes up the majority of the table in my studio. Up until now, I was using a small mat that would maybe be a quarter of this size and it was hard to cut large patterns on it. This is going to be a game changer in that respect as I won’t have to move each piece several times to cut, and will probably do most of the cutting in one go now.

Paraphernalia

This week I’ve continued with listening to my books, rather than watching shows. I finished The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan and I was going to move onto something else but I caved and went straight to her third book in the Cormac Reilly series – The Good Turn. I’m hoping that there are more books but it doesn’t appear that there will be anything soon. I then downloaded The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – I’ve read The Light Between Oceans and it was a great book. I did start The Great Alone but I wasn’t able to finish it. Let’s see how this one goes. I’m also still reading A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas and I think I’ll continue with that one for now. As I mentioned, I haven’t been watching anything but last night I started The Bureau on SBS On Demand. It is often recommended on Chat 10 Looks 3 and I’ve put it off because it is in French and has subtitles. I started watching it last night as I’m working on a bit of stocking stitch so I’m able to read the subtitles at the same time. The first episode has me hooked so I daresay I’ll be binging that one now. My French has started coming back to me so it could be good in that respect too.

As we are still in lockdown, social plans for this week are zero. I do have an appointment tomorrow for my second injection of AstraZeneca. I’m hoping that I don’t get the reactions as badly as I did last time – I’ve heard the second one is better than the first. 🤞 I’ll be working on lots of crafting this week; as usual, my plans are big.

Thank you for spending some time with me today! Until next week, wherever you may be, I hope you are keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

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Sunday 15 August 2021. #160

Hello friends! Welcome from locked down New South Wales. The whole state is now in lockdown; the new areas for seven days from 5pm yesterday. We had a wonderful sunrise this morning and it was lovely lying in bed watching the sun come up. I’ve been for a walk each day this week and have taken lots of photos. It’s hard to choose which to delete so I’ve put some here and more at the end of this blog. The weather has been wonderful with temperatures around 20 degrees Celcius and a couple of days above that. The nights have been getting down to about 5 degrees so it’s still snuggly in bed with the doona on.

Before the lockdown, I had a fairly social week, starting with breakfast on Monday morning. We weren’t able to have our normal book club on Tuesday as we were only allowed five visitors in a residential place so we met for dinner at the Husky Pub instead. The Thai yellow curried Jervis Bay mussels were very nice! On Wednesday morning, our social art group met at the beach where we sat and chatted and did some dabbling in the fresh air. On Friday, we met up with several local friends for dinner at the Golf Club. That was fortuitous in the end as we were put into lockdown on Saturday. We were able to catch up with some friends that had been away for over three months travelling around Western Australia.

Knitting

I have made some progress on the Flax Light sweater I’m knitting with my handspun yarn but I’ve also spent a little time going backwards. I had reached separation for the sleeves and had separated before I remembered that I could do some short rows to raise the back neck. I am using Scoobie strings when I leave live stitches now. My friend from Austria told me about them on a recent zoom and they are great. You wedge them onto a needle and then you can pull the needle out and the stitches slide onto the scoobie string. It works best on larger needles sizes than, say, when working on fingering weight socks. Anyway, I wanted to do the short rows and I needed to go past where the stitches were on the scoobie strings. I was able to just knit straight from the string – it was a bit wobbly but worked fine. I then did the short rows but I did them with the really fine yarn. As you can’t alternate when doing short rows, there was a large section of very fine fabric. In the end, I undid that and used a skein which is between the thin and thick skeins. I’m on never-ending stocking stitch now and it’s moving along in the right direction again.

I had been sorting through my fingering (4 ply) yarn early in the week and decided I’d make Evie a jumper using some Blackwattle Alpaca Yarn in the Sweetpea range which is 60% superwash merino, 20% baby alpaca and 20% silk – the colourway is Crimson (not a lot of crimson that I can see!). Kimberley suggested the Ruffle sweater shown below in the caramel colour and there was actually a basic free pattern for it for a 3-4 year old which is what I needed. I also found a similar style in Ravelry – Rose sweater, but we are going more for the jumper look with the puffed sleeve. The pattern calls for worsted/aran weight with 6mm needles. I am using the fingering weight using two strands together which equates to a DK/worsted weight but the highest I would want to go with the needles is 4.5mm otherwise it would be a very loose fabric. The pattern is very suss as the numbers don’t seem to work. For example, I started with the 88 stitches for the cast on and realised that the neck would have been too big for me. So I looked at the other pattern and used the 66 for size 4 (the pattern uses smaller, 3.5mm needles) and it seems OK. It’s hard to work out without being able to try it on or have something to gauge off but I think I’m on the right track. Other suspect numbers are doing 22 rounds for the body after the ruffle line of stitches. Even if I was using 6mm needles I don’t think 22 rounds would be long enough. The numbers seem to be more for using chunky yarn with larger needles. I had to do a lot of calculations to get the right stitch count for the raglan increases and puffed sleeve. Anyway, this will be a good trial run and should still be very wearable. I’m looking forward to picking up the ruffle stitches but I’m not letting myself get ahead until I’ve done at least the body!

I finally got around to putting an afterthought heel into one of the baby socks. It was very difficult to cut into with the needles in as you would normally do with socks so I ended up using a needle and yarn, and even then I had picked up the wrong stitches. That was easy enough to fix up and I finished the heel. I will now do the other three socks but will need very good light for picking up the stitches, this time with needle and yarn. I’m hoping to get these into the mail tomorrow otherwise winter will be over for these baby socks. The final photo here is of my fingering weight yarn stash (or most of it). I dragged it all out of the cupboard last Monday and put the yarn into bags. It doesn’t look as fancy in the glass cupboard but at least it’s more manageable without yarn falling out every time I open it. I’ve yet to do the other shelves; maybe one of them tomorrow.

Crochet

Not a lot of progress on my Obelia Origami bag but I did finish the first square. Finished as in what the pattern says but I’m just deciding whether I need to go a little bigger or a lot bigger. The 4ply yarn ended up at 23cm and the pattern requires 25cm. I could just add one more round of back loop double crochet as per the last two rounds but that would make a small bag. Otherwise, I could go with my original plan and do 4 of these and join them together for a single square x 3. The bag in the picture looks much bigger than it must be. I’ll have to start the next square soon. I think I’ll get 3 fabric squares at 25cm to just do a mock-up of how it should look so I can see what size you get.

Sewing

On Monday I cut out a few things. I prefer to do it that way, then I can just get in and sew. One thing I cut out was the Every Day’s a Weekend Dress by Pattern Emporium. I used some French terry that I bought as large remnants from Spotlight. The pattern doesn’t recommend using the terry but Kristen of the Dahlia Sewciety had made one and I thought I’d do that too. French terry is not as easy to use as normal knits. Cutting it out was even a problem as the fabric wanted to sit skewed and it took a bit to get the knit lines straight. It curls just like normal knits but it also frays. And there was sooooo much gathering! I don’t think I’m the only one that hates gathering. I gathered the first tier the old fashioned way and used the recommended clear elastic. The old fashioned way means two lines of stitching, pulled to gather. One line didn’t want to gather so I pretty much just used one. For the second tier, I used the zig zag method which was much better but still took forever as there was so much more fabric. It’s nearly finished – I just need to hem the bottom and sleeves, and remove the gathering stitching. I tried it on as is just to see how it looks. The photos of the dress actually look better than when I saw it in the mirror. There’s sooooo much fabric! My intention is to wear it with boots on a cold winter day but for these pics I just threw on a pair of heels. I have a selection of heels that are just languishing in the cupboard these days. It’s also a bit big but if I take it in at the sides, I’ll need to remove the pockets first. I should have gone for the size 10 instead of the 12. I’ll sleep on it before finishing it off to see if I want to try taking it in a bit. It is supposed to be a relaxed fit. Maybe the Dream On dress bodice would be better for me as it is a fitted bodice. I have purchased the add-on bodice of this that I can use with the EDAW pattern.

The other projects I cut out are the Songbird duster (long cardigan) from Pattern Emporium and the Modern Lounge pants from Brindille & Twig. I only need to turn the top and add elastic and hem the pants and they are done. I had cut out the 12-18 months size and they were a good project to jump to when I stopped to think about the dress. For these pants, I’m using some leftover brushed poly that I used for my Metra Blazer recently. For the Songbird, I’m using some gorgeous textured knit in the Halloween colourway from Super Cheap Fabrics. I’ll probably get started on putting that one together tomorrow.

One other project on my sewing list is to make the Waves and Wild Sandcastle Bucket hat. It’s a free pattern I picked up a couple of months ago. I intend to put a strap with a plastic cord end for tightening. It’s supposed to be easy to make so I’m going to give it a try.

Acquisitions

This was the fabric I ordered from Super Cheap Fabrics. The sweater knit as I mentioned previously, some floral bamboo rayon and some cotton chambray. The chambray is very light, not at all what I thought chambray was supposed to be – I thought it was just a lighter weight denim. The chambray is for a dress I want to make for Evie and, as the weather is getting warmer, the lighter fabric may be a better option anyway.

Paraphernalia

At the beginning of the week, I started a new book – Win, by Harlan Coben. It’s a spin off from the Myron Bolitar series and was a quick, easy and enjoyable read. I finished that on Friday and yesterday I started a new book. The Scholar, by Dervla McTiernan is book number two of the Cormac Reilly series but it has two short stories that come before the first book. I didn’t find them until after I’d read the first and I’m pretty sure they were written after the first book. I enjoyed all the others and this one is getting good. I didn’t watch any shows this week, preferring to listen to my books whilst sewing and knitting. But I have been keeping up with some of my usual podcasts. Now that I have the old big TV in my studio, it makes it much easier to watch them.

I won’t be getting very social this week as we are all in lockdown. I nade a quick trip to the supermarket today but have enough to keep me going for several days now. I do have a physio appointment this Wednesday and I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to keep it. I’m going to be starting some exercises for my rehab, so I think that’s pretty essential. Thanks for joining me for my Sunday chat. Until next week, whether you are in lockdown or free to roam, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

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Sunday 8 August 2021. #159

Hello friends! Welcome to a bumper blog this week. I’m home again from the mini retreat we had down the coast a bit and I have plenty to talk about. I’ll talk more about the retreat later but wanted to mention the wonderful views we saw on our one day out and about. This is Narrawallee Beach and Narrawallee Inlet. It’s a lovely place and I hope to get back to the beach when the weather warms up. We had breakfast at Mollymook Beach and fed the chooks for a friend who is away at the moment. I got home on Thursday afternoon and it’s been very quiet since. Oh, and Robert went fishing last night with a friend and brought home a couple of decent snappers. I know what’s for dinner tonight!