Hello friends! Welcome from the south coast of New South Wales. The weather took a major dip this week and we had one of the coldest days in many many years. That and some rain made it very gloomy. On Monday, I had a a few friends around for a last minute sewing day. It was a lovely day and I made a very tasty Spanish Potato Tortilla for lunch. The recipe was from a Coles magazine. That was me playing with the tulle in the photo below – more info on that later. On Tuesday morning we had a very, very red sunrise. As the old adage goes, “red sky in the morning, sailors take warning”. It did rain a bit later on and there was some thunder around the area. It actually hailed a little further south at Ulludulla. I did manage to get a bike ride in that morning though. I had to put the car in for its service so I put the bike into the boot. When I dropped the car off, I rode back to the place where I meet Julie for our bike rides and I was 25 minutes early. And I didn’t have any knitting! I didn’t want to ride home and then back so I sat and looked at the water while doing stuff on my phone until Julie arrived. We went for our ride and coffee, meeting up with three other friends. It’s definitely rug up time on the bike, especially for very early rides. I think my red jacket is more noticeable than hi-viz gear!
On Tuesday night we had Book Club though I didn’t think to take a photo. On Wednesday, I had lunch out with Julie, Annette and Carol at the Five Little Pigs in Huskisson. We were originally heading to The Pavilion but it was closed, even though it was showing open on the internet. The we tried the Sand Bar but that, too, was closed. We did end up having a lovely lunch at the Pigs. Thursday was a great day for staying indoors, apart from a quick trip to the local yarn store which was having a 50% closing down sale, but I did go for a good walk on Friday. The weather seemed to be holding up but I ended up having to shorten my journey and hasten my pace so that I didn’t get wet. In the end, I only felt a few spots and it didn’t actually come to anything.
Finally, I can now reveal the test knit that I participated in for Libby Jonson of Truly Myrtle. This is the Outlaw shrug and it’s ever so cosy! It’s not yet available for sale on Ravelry, though you can see it, because it’s part of Libby’s Wardrobe Toolbox at the moment but will be up there sometime soon. The body of this shrug is knit in DK weight yarn but I used Debbie Bliss Rialto 4 ply held double. This 4 ply (fingering) is quite a bulky one so I think the yarn held double was more like a worsted weight. For the cuffs and collar the pattern prescribes fingering weight yarn but I ended up using KnitPicks Wool of the Andes sport. This was actually very close to the weight of the Debbie Bliss yarn. I had originally intended to use the Debbie Bliss yarn for both body and ribbing but I only ended up having enough for the body. I was fortunate to have the KnitPicks yarn in stash and it was a very good match – a bit lighter but it definitely worked well. The test knit had quite a tight deadline and I missed it by about three days in the end. There is a lot of ribbing but I think it seemed like “death by ribbing” mainly because of the tight deadline. The ribbing is definitely a major design feature of this shrug and it wasn’t all that bad in the end. It was great to knit the rib while I was in my car the week before when I spent over three and a half hours waiting for a Covid test. The pattern on the body is fantastic and uses some slipped stitches to give a wonderful effect – something I hadn’t seen before. All in all, I’m really, really happy I made this! I should have some action shots for next week’s blog as I may be wearing it this afternoon. I can definitely recommend this pattern. 👌
New Cast On: Once I’d finished the test knit, I felt free to get into some of my other projects and this new one. I mentioned the sale at the local yarn shop – I picked up some pinky purple yarn that I thought would be perfect for a beanie for Evie. This yarn is Heirloom Merino Magic 10 ply – a worsted weight yarn, and the colour is not showing correctly in any of the photos I have here. I think the finished hat photo is probably the closest but it’s more a softer, deep dusky lilac in real life. The colourway is called Soft Plum. I did a search for some free patterns on Ravelry that use worsted weight and I decided on Ysolda Teagues’ Daniel’s Hat. This pattern uses single colour brioche which makes it very squishy and soft. The brim is supposed to turn up though I’ve photographed it with the brim down. I used about one and a half 50gram balls and I’ll be making a pom-pom with the remaining half a ball. I started this on Friday and finished it yesterday. A very quick knit using 4mm and 6mm needles though I did have to redo the crown decreases after a couple of rounds when I found I had started doing the wrong decrease on each side of the marker. It would have looked wonky otherwise, but the crown turned out perfectly in the end. I tried to tink back for the round but tinking back on brioche is hard enough without having to tink back BrLsls and BrRsls! I didn’t have short 6mm needle tips so I had to use magic loop and, like with colourwork, I prefer to knit brioche in the round. I have now ordered some short Chiaogoo needles (10cm) in 6, 7, 8 and 10mm so I’ll be able to use them in future. I only made one mistake in the normal brioche section and it seems I managed to photograph that particular side of the beanie. 😊 If the mistake wasn’t right on the magic loop join section I may have dropped down to fix it. It wouldn’t have been a problem using a short cable in the round.
I’ve made good progress on the Flax Light sweater I’m knitting. I picked up the sleeves the other day as soon as I’d finished the test knit and I’m now two inches from doing the cuff. I think I should be able to get there tonight. I’ll be having dinner with a friend who knits and we get to knit a bit before dinner. Once the sleeves are done, I’ll be able to pick up the neck and do the ribbing there. This will definitely be a finished object by next week’s blog. I even got some knitting done on my Zauberball yarn socks. I’m getting close to the cuff section – I’ll need to measure it for the heel placement to see if the leg section is long enough. These are for my dad and will make a good Father’s day present for him though he will probably get more use out of them if I give them to him now. This afternoon I intend to cast on four (2 pairs) of baby socks. Once this Flax Light is done, I’ll also be getting out a couple of WIPs that I’ve been itching to work on but I had to finish the test knit.
I really do enjoy jumping from one project to another! I get much more pleasure having a variety of things to work on rather than spending most of my time on one project. When I get to the end of a test knit I find I spend most of my time on that and it feels very restrictive. I was able to get all the colour pieces finished for my Owl Obsession blanket this week. I’ve included the owl pieces that I showed last week (at the bottom) but I’ve now done the four big circles and yesterday I smashed out the twelve little circles. I can now move into the natural yarn for the background of the blanket and I’ll start by doing the outside of the small circles which makes them square. Then I’ll move onto the outside of the owls and all the other bits to join all the pieces together. I’m not sure my tension is the same for all the pieces but I’m sure they’ll all block out just fine.
On Monday, when the girls were here for the sewing day, I got onto making the tulle underskirt for Evie’s Emma Wiggle outfit. I used the mesh crochet headbands that I’d ordered and joined a piece of one to a full one so that it’s not too tight. The photos below were taken today at the same time but it’s amazing how the background changes the colour in photographs. The yellow is actually the golden colour on the right. The process was really easy but I think it needs more tulle. I had ordered 20m of tulle on eBay and it’s soft and lovely but I think the black satin overskirt may flatten it too much. Anyway, I’ve ordered more tulle and I can add it even when I fix it to the skirt with the waistband. I may not receive the extra tulle in time but it will be fine as is for when I next see Evie.
I only spent a short amount of time at the sewing machine this week. I think it’s because the weather was perfect for sitting on the lounge and knitting rather than in the cold room downstairs. I will have to get the heater out for a decent session at the machine. I only managed two seams of my York pinafore on the machine when I attached the bias binding to the armholes. I mentioned last week that the bias binding with four folds is a bit thick for this project, as I’m folding the bias completely to the inside. If I was having the bias tape as a feature on the outside the four fold would be appropriate. So I cut one of the folds off after I trimmed the seam. That was perfect. Except I found that I’d sewn the bias binding onto the inside instead of the outside! Rooky error! And I did it on both armholes! 😒 So it sat in the naughty corner for a little bit but yesterday I unpicked one side and re-pinned it. I’ll get back to it tomorrow. And finish the Wiggles skirt and start on my already cut out Hello Gorgeous top.
Continuing with the #dyicad2021, I managed to produce another four index cards this past week. The prompts for these were (from left) Snowglobe, Verdigris, Canoe or Kayak, Twist. It might take more than 61 days to finish my 61 index cards but I’m still working on them! I have plans for some others and will try to catch up. But, as I will be away for a couple of days this coming week, I’ll try to double up on a few of them.
I did purchase a few bits this week. First up was an order I placed with Lush Fabrics. I had been looking for some sweater knit fabric for a Songbird cardigan that wasn’t from overseas and was a reasonable price. This Hachi sweater knit is lovely fabric and very lightweight so I’m hoping it’s OK for the Songbird. From what I’ve seen, the long cardigans seem to be back in fashion at the moment. I also purchased some navy athletic performance knit. I have had the Helen’s Closet Avery leggings pattern for ages and I want to make some. I also have some patterned athletic knit that I want to use with the navy for some colour blocking. Other purchases were for yarn. I mentioned earlier that my local yarn shop was having a 50% off closing down sale and the pink plus the large haul were from that visit. The whole lot cost $157.50 which was less than half the cost. The mustard yarn was less than half price already and came down to $3 a ball! Fantastic considering it’s 50% NZ merino, 20% nylon, 15% alpaca and 10% possum. So very soft! It’s called Waikiwi and it’s 4 ply. The chartreuse one is Chaska 100% Alpaca Muhu DK from Peru. The charcoal and dark blue are both Heirloom Merino Magic 8 ply (DK) and the pink, I mentioned earlier, is Heirloom Merino Magic 10 ply (worsted). The final photo shows some sock yarn that I purchased from Bendigo Woollen Mills. One of these is actually Mary’s yarn. I am almost out of sock yarn so I thought these would be good value at only $14 a 100gm ball. The colours are (clockwise from top left) Autumn Leaves, Dusky Skies, Blueberry Blush (Mary’s) and Blue Jeans.
I’m still listening to Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister by Jung Chang and have about three more hours to go. It’s a fascinating historical account of China from about 1866. It wasn’t something I learned much about at school but it’s interesting to see that China’s imperial era was from 221BC to 1912 BC, it was a republic until 1949 and, though since then has been The People’s Republic of China, is governed by the CCP (the communist party). Very interesting but I’m looking forward to moving onto something a little lighter. I’ve finished all the episodes of Keeping Faith on Foxtel – I highly recommend that one, and I’m up to date on the CB Strike episodes, from the Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling) books of the Cormoran Strike series. I still have the final book to read and I think that may be next. I want to read it before they release it on the TV series.
This coming week will be my away week, so I’ll have a day with Evie and Finn, and another with Cooper. I am so looking forward to seeing them! It’s over two weeks now since I’ve seen them and photos are great but not the same. I’m going to try for a full day at the sewing machine tomorrow as I’ll have plenty of knitting and crochet to take with me when I head north. This afternoon we are off to see some friends from Sydney who are down for the weekend and I’ll be able to do some knitting as well. Time for me to go and cast on those baby socks! Thanks for joining me today. Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!