Sunday 1 August 2021. # 158

Hello friends! Welcome from the south coast of New South Wales. Today I’m coming to you from a little further down the coast at my friends’ places at Narrawallee. Mary and Kerry live next door to each other and we’re doing a small retreat due to Covid restrictions. The weather has been lovely but very cold.

The Olympics have been keeping me busy this week and I’ve watched all the hockey games. The Australian men and women have not been beaten yet. Today is the first quarter final for the men and I’m looking forward to watching it. (Edit: they won!) The swimming has also been excellent. In between, I was doing a bit of packing of my requirements for the retreat. And cooking. I made some lemon curd for a Lemon Dump Cake – see the next photos! For the retreat, I made the dump cake, banana and date almond muffins, blackberry ripple ice cream, glazed meatloaf and Boeuf Buorgignon. Everybody brings lots of food so you can imagine that we eat very well!

The Lemon and Condensed Milk Dump cake was really fun to make. When I saw it, I had to give it a try. There are individual layers of biscuits, condensed milk, lemon curd, sour cream, packet vanilla cake mix, butter and milk. No mixing or beating or anything. Just stick it in the oven and voila! It turned out a little different to what I expected but is fabulous. A bit more like a pudding than a cake. I’ll make this one again! This time I used all gluten free ingredients.

Knitting

New Cast On: I am finally making a jumper from my handspun yarn. The fibre that I used for this yarn was gifted to me by Janice. I started spinning a few months ago and then picked it up again after a hiatus. Because of this, the last couple of skein turned out a bit thicker. It doesn’t matter because I’m alternating skeins using a thick one and a thin one. I had a little hiccup with the last wind – I didn’t realise that the ball winder was off the table on one corner. That made the angle off and it came out like a mess. I’m using that one at the moment and it’s unwinding just fine. I’m using the flax pattern for this – yes another Flax Light but without the garter panel. There is enough texture with the handspun that doesn’t require any fancy work.

I finally blocked Finn’s Flax Light and it is currently winging its way to him. I hope he gets it tomorrow. The Spiral socks are coming along nicely, with several inches yet to knit. The only other knitting to mention is a Twisted headband that I’d started the week before and totally forgot about it. This is knit with double stocking stitch, therefore each row is knitted twice. With this stitch, you end up with a hollow piece of knitting, except when you accidently purl instead of slip a stitch every now and then. I managed that mistake a couple of times but it’s not an issue because it’s never going to be separated. The frustration with this one is that it takes sooooooooo long to knit!

Spinning

I mentioned the Flax Light that I’m knitting with my handspun – here is the last of the fibre. The two skeins are the last two I finished recently during Tour de Fleece. On the bobbin below is the second last 50 grams of fibre. I have one more 50 grams of fibre left to spin to ply with this single spin. I’m sure I will get this spin finished before I need to use it.

Sewing

In the sewing department, I finished off my Metra blazer as it only required the hems. It’s a great casual jacket and I’ve brought it away with me. I hope I’ll be able to get some pics of it. I then picked up the Keep It Simple Babe tee that I had cut out. I made the polo neck version and it turned out great. It’s a great simple sew which I finished in one sitting. It seems I forgot to take a photo of it but I have it with me and will be wearing it in a day or two. I also finished off the Bonnie top with the remnants I had. It has turned out OK but is a bit too tight and a bit too bright and garish for me. It was a good toile and I might make this one in the next size and with plain fabric.

Retreats

As I mentioned earlier, we had our annual retreat cancelled due to the Covid restrictions. Our friends from interstate were unable to come and then we were restricted to five people only at a holiday house. It worked out better to have five visitors at a home so we’ve come to Narrawallee where Mary and Kerry live next door to each other. Our friend Vicki brought along her show and tell and we saw some fabulous quilts that were finished and the purple and green one below (Gypsy Wife) that she worked on while here. She was only here for last night but the rest of us are staying on until Thursday.

Paraphernalia

I’m sorry that I’ve rushed through this blog. It’s taken all day to get through bits and pieces to get this up, with many distractions. I’ll be here having some quality time with a handful of girlfriends and getting some serious crafting done. I’ll be working on my paper doll blanket and Cooper’s quilt, among other little projects and knitting. Next week I should have lots to talk about and more time to tell you all about them.. It’s actually my third anniversary of this blog today and I only just realised it! I’ll chat a bit more about it next week. Until then, thank you for joining me and I hope you are all keeping well with lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

9A62A542CA7641ED9958F5ABF3D4EEFA[3774]

Sunday 25 July 2021. #157

Hi friends! Welcome from a cold, windy but sunny south coast of New South Wales. It’s been quite the mixed bag of weather this week, with nice days, rain and almost freezing. I’ve be able to get out and about this week and it started with a breakfast catch up on Monday morning. It had been over a month since I’d last seen any friends in person. After breakfast I drove down to Ulladulla to spend some time with Mary. On Tuesday, I went for a walk on the beach with Carol and Narelle, and it was beautiful walking along the sand. I went into town to visit the Physio on Wednesday and did a little bit of shopping while I was there. I have a couple of very mild exercises to do but the main physio is walking till six weeks has passed.

I’m now doing about thirty minutes of walking but only about two kilometres at the pace that I’m going. On Thursday, the temperature dropped as much as I have seen it, getting down to 3.1 degrees Celcius. And the apparent temperature wasn’t much over zero! On Friday, I went to a sewing day at Marie’s place and we had to keep the numbers down to 5 visitors as per the current restrictions. Today, I went a different way for my walk and found a very unusual letterbox.

On Thursday, I got to the post office with all my grandbabies’ goodies and they all got them very quickly. Below you can see Finnick wearing his Over It Alls (Waves and Wild) and the beanie I made for him when I was in hospital. Evie was excited for the parcel when she woke up and put on her scarf I made to match her beanie and then she got dressed in the tracksuit that I made her – the top is the Going Home sweater (Ellie & Mac). Cooper is wearing his Flax Light sweater and he’ll be able to wear it next year too. I have the best grandchildren!

Knitting

This week I started a new pair of socks as a Knit Along with some of the people on my International VKN zoom group. We are working on the No Heel Spiral Socks. It uses the scientific Idea of the elasticity which is provided by an opened up helix. It’s a free pattern and uses a three by three rib moving over one stitch every six rounds. The elasticity is supposed to open up and hug the heel, hence a heel is not required. We’ll see how it goes. So far I’m finding it’s an easy knit. I’m using a Birdhouse Fibres sock set in the Hydrangea colourway.

I haven’t done a lot of other knitting this week. I cast on the second sleeve for my Dove Cottage sweater and haven’t really looked at it again. I did start to add heels in the baby socks but it’s really hard to get between the two needles. I’m thinking I’ll need to pick up the stitches with a needle and yarn instead to get them started. I spent a decent amount of time knitting the sleeves of the third Flax Light and it’s now finished. I only need to sew in the ends on the sleeves as I redid the bind off. I thought the cuffs were a bit tight on the bind off and now they are much better. I need to block it and it will look like a normal jumper. This one is for Finn. I have also started another test knit for Truly Myrtle (Libby Jonson) but it’s a secret so far. It’s only a little knit so it won’t take long but I can’t reveal it until after next weekend. Here is the yarn I’m using.

Spinning

Last week I was working out how to finish spinning the remainder of the bobbin without using an Andean bracelet. The bracelet is a bit of a pain as you have to wind the yarn a certain way on your hand and middle finger and I hate doing it. A friend suggested winding the remainder into centre pull ball, which is what I did. That was a bit painful too, especially when I was spinning from the ball and the centre pull was tangling on the way out. I did finally finish it off, after a couple of breaks in the yarn, and here is what I have. The first photo of the bobbin shows how much was on there before the centre pull ball spin, and the next shows how much is on the bobbin after finishing the spin. I haven’t wound it off onto the niddy noddy yet which I’ll do today. I hope to start spinning the final 100 grams today too. I’m hoping to start knitting this yarn next weekend when I’m with my friend, Janice, who gifted me the fibre bump.

Sewing

I finished off the Over It Alls by adding the buttons the other day before sending it up for Finn. I was wondering whether I should have done the buttonholes horizontally but I think that would have gaped more. I have cut out the Bonnie top by Fibre Mood. I showed the fabric last week – using two Nerida Hansen fabric remnants as a toile. For the sleeves I had to add a piece of the body fabric at the bottom so that I could cut the whole piece. I don’t actually have any fabric left for the facing but I found a piece of fabric that I could use with it. The fabric is a fat quarter in a matching pink. I didn’t go any further on this as I wanted to finish the Metra Blazer that I’d started.

The Metra Blazer by Love Notions occupied the majority of my sewing time this week. Last week I had put in the welt pockets and I realised this week that I didn’t have much hanging off the top and bottom of each pocket for seam allowance. I think that has to do with the thickness of the fabric. When I folded the welt back, I think the thickness pulled more of it than if it had been thin fabric. I was able to stitch the side panels on without too much hassle. The burrito method for the front panel facings was interesting too. The thickness made the stitching awkward and at the narrowest point it was also where there was a seam. It worked out OK and I really like how it’s looking. I just need to hem the side panels and back (the front panels are lined) and hem the sleeves. It’s almost ready to wear. I have a Pattern Emporium Keep It Simple Babe top cut out and ready to go so I’m itching to put that together. I also want cut out another pair of Hudson pants in some stretch twill fabric that I have, to see how that works. I will need to add a little in the rise of the pattern for a more comfortable fit for me and I will make them full length with maybe a little more as I won’t be putting a cuff on them. Fingers crossed that it works out OK.

Paraphernalia

I don’t remember what I watched this past week but I did finish all the current episodes of Who Do You Think You Are? It’s so interesting watching everyone’s history reveal itself. The Olympics are now keeping me occupied and when I’m not watching those events, I’m listening to my current audiobook – A Gambling Man by David Baldacci. I mentioned it last week as a “Humphrey Bogart” style and I’m enjoying it.

I don’t have any fixed plans for the week ahead but next Saturday I’ll be going to my friends Mary and Kerry’s places for a compacted sewing week. Our annual trip to Gerroa was due to start next Sunday but, as happened last year, Covid restrictions and lockdowns have meant that we’ve had to cancel again. Instead, we can only have 5 visitors to a home so we’re doing a small version. Most are unable to travel anyway due to the restrictions. I’m looking forward to catching up with the few that can make it and some concentrated crafting and girly time.

Thanks for spending some time with me today! Time now to watch some more Olympics and maybe do some spinning. Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

9A62A542CA7641ED9958F5ABF3D4EEFA[3774]

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!

9A62A542CA7641ED9958F5ABF3D4EEFA[3774]

Sunday 11 July 2010. #155

Hello friends! Welcome from a cold, damp south coast of New South Wales. At least it’s not raining at the moment! I’ve had a very quiet week, this past week, having just returned from hospital and being in lockdown. The area here is not in lockdown but because I left a Sydney hospital last Sunday, I’m on “stay at home” and “have no visitors” until next Sunday. It’s probably just as well as it forces me to rest. I’m well on the mend but still very limited in what I can do. Walking is about the most I can do at the moment and very slowly, at that. Actually, walking is my physio. I’m allowed to venture outside for my exercise and have progressed from a short walk up the slight hill to around the block now, which is 1.22km. I’ll not be breaking any records anytime soon but it is good to be outside in the fresh air. I have another week and a half before I see the physio to find out what I need to do next. At least I’m able to knit, crochet and sew! I even made some biscuits the other day, managing to do it all at the table rather than standing at the breakfast bar. These are great biscuits and have only four ingredients. These are Caramel biscuits and use only butter, brown sugar, golden syrup and flour. I think they’d be great for adding to, like macadamias and chocolate, which I might do this afternoon! They are really crisp and that is my favourite type of homemade biscuit. They require self-raising flour but I mistakenly used plain flour. I also used honey instead of golden syrup because I didn’t have any in the cupboard, which is unusual. Still, they turned out very yummy!

Knitting

My Zauberball socks have been waiting patiently for heels and I finally got one of them done. I picked up the stitches the other day and cut into it, though it was really hard to see the stitches with the tiny barber pole colours. I must have dropped a stitch while knitting the heel as I ended up having a couple of little holes to stitch up. Still, it turned out pretty good. I’m going to do the other sock tube this afternoon and hopefully get these into the post to my dad in Sydney.

Finished Object: Hot off the needles, I have finished Flax sweater number 2 which is Cooper’s one. It looks a bit wonky but will be really good once it’s blocked. This one is a size 1-2 years made with Heirloom Merino Magic 8 ply. I’m now ready to cast on Flax number 3 for Finn – here is the yarn. 😊 I’m thinking there may be a Flax number 4 in stripes using all the wool I have leftover but without the garter panel.

I got a knitting request from Evie this week. Apparently, scarves are all the go in the toddler world these days and she asked for one to match the beanie I made for her a couple of weeks ago. I love it when I’m asked for something specific so I was onto it really quickly. Unfortunately, I barely had any of the wool left from her beanie so I jumped online and found the same yarn on Ebay. I must say that the post is really fickle these days but I received the yarn on Friday and it was on my needles that afternoon. To match the beanie, I cast this scarf on for brioche. It took three goes to get the number right, but I think 21 stitches on a 5.00mm needle is perfect for a little person. I’m now onto the third ball and I don’t have a lot left to do but I am going to add some fringing. I’ve done a row of k2tog/k1 eyelets on the first row and I’ll finish the same way. The main part should be done this afternoon.

My Dove Cottage received a bit of love early in the week and I’ve now split for the armholes. I also redid the colourwork on the first sleeve. That one is ready for just stocking stitch using the rust but I’ll do the next sleeve’s colourwork first. The sleeve is quite narrow but fits OK at this point. The increases are only every eight rounds but I’ll be increasing more quickly from here on, maybe every 4 rounds until I get to the final number. The sleeve is supposed to be knit flat but I’m doing it in the round instead. I decided to insert the plain bit with the increases as if I was doing it flat. I’m not sure that extending the pattern onto the increases would have looked any better. It’s just a “V” under the arm so won’t be too noticeable.

Crochet

I did do a bit of crochet this week. I had started doing eyes for the Owl Obsession owls but they got boring very quickly. I will get back to them and get them out of the way so that I can do some of the more interesting bits. I also got the urge to cast on some Shark Slippers! The pattern I chose was very complicated, though it shouldn’t have been. I think it was the translation from Dutch that made it hard to follow and it was a bit vague, but I did manage to get to the bottom jaw section. The top jaw is made separately and I left that part for crocheting in better light and I haven’t been back to it. There were a few different versions but this one looked cute. I don’t know that I’ll add the red section though. Most others just have the teeth in white. These ones seem a bit more practical because they don’t have the tail on the end of the toes. Let’s see how they turn out.

Spinning

I have done a little bit of spinning this week. Two sessions actually, so it’s a bit slow going. From this picture, I can see a couple pigtails so I’ve still got a bit too much twist happening. This week I’ve found that it’s a little more comfortable sitting on the lounge with the heat on, knitting and watching TV rather than down in the studio with the wheel. More spinning to come this week though; Tour de Fleece has one week left to go, finishing next Sunday.

Sewing

I had these Over It Alls by Waves and Wild cut out for a couple of weeks now and I finally picked them up to sew. They were so easy and I love how they’ve turned out. These ones are for Finn and they only need the press studs on the shoulder straps. They don’t have press studs in the crotch so I think it would be best to have a jumper underneath for ease of changing. I think they’ll be fantastic for crawling. I intend to cut out another set for Cooper probably this week. They are fully reversible but why would you hide the beautiful dinosaur fabric? The method of putting this together is quite clever. It’s hard to tell from the photos below but you might see the cuffs joined to both layers and then it’s all turned inside out. I loved making these!

Another project that’s been on my list was to make a sweatshirt for Evie from this remnant fleece I got at Spotlight. It’s such as soft fleece on the inside! In the end, I had enough to make track pants too. I sewed the body and the pants together in one sitting. The next day I was going to add all the ribbing and I thought it might be good to put a hood on it. I then thought it might be a bit impractical so I decided to add a cowl instead. For the top, I have used the Ellie and Mac Going Home Raglan pattern. This pattern does have a cowl but it’s quite big and I think to be cut from jersey or ribbing and would be too bulky made with fleece. Instead, I used the Ellie and Mac Be Creative cowl piece and added that instead. I used the fleece for the outside of the cowl and ribbing to match on the inside, to reduce the bulk. I like how it’s turned out. I then added the ribbing to the body and sleeves but I’ve not yet finished the pants. They just need turning over at the waist and elastic, and the ribbing for the ankle cuffs. I think it turned out pretty good. The photo at the end is of my Hudson pants. They are great but I need to take in the elastic waist as I made it very loose. I was trying to not get it too tight and went the other way. I haven’t fixed it yet because it was a nightmare to feed the elastic through the band. The pattern calls for 2 inch elastic, which is what I used, but I don’t think the band is wide enough to take it properly. I used a quarter-inch seam as prescribed so I can’t make that narrower. I may remove the elastic completely and trim it. I’ve seen others cut elastic like that so it might work. I think I’d make these again but will definitely use a slightly narrower elastic. I really should get the elastic sorted so that I can wear them in this cold weather.

Last week, I happened across a little project tutorial on my YouTube subscription feed and I decided to make it. The tutorial is for a Notebook Pen Holder and it was a lot of fun to make! I really like a lot of the little projects by sewingtimes and had always intended to make the odd thing. The tutorials are very simple, with no talking. Measurements required are shown on the screen and each step is shown and then demonstrated. My Notebook Pen holder turned out pretty good but I used fabric that was quite a bit heavier than I should have, therefore the corners at the zipper are a bit rounded to compensate for the thickness. Still, it looks pretty good and, for any more that I make, I’ll know what to use.

Acquisitions

I only had one addition to my stash this week and it was the yarn I needed to make Evie’s scarf. I already mentioned how I was impressed with how quickly I received this. I got it from yarn-4-u on Ebay. There was a slice in the plastic ziplock bag but the yarn was not damaged.

Paraphernalia

I think I mentioned last week that I’d started watching The Kettering Incident – I finished it yesterday and I’m not sure I would recommend it. I’m still trying to work out what happened and that’s the only reason I persisted. Anyway, moving along, I am watching season 2 of Aquarius. I had thought I’d not seen the end of the season but now I think I have so I may not watch anymore. I have started to watch the third season of Virgin River but that’s one of those shows that you watch when there’s nothing else to watch and you’ve already seen a lot of it so may as well continue. I hope there’s something soon that I can watch and become obsessed with! I have started another book – yes, I have two going already but this one is through BorrowBox and you only get two weeks so it’s taking priority. The book is A Room Made of Leaves by Kate Grenville and had been recommended to me. I’m not sure if it’s based on fact or not – the write up on Goodreads alludes to the fact that it may be total fiction but is supposed to be very good historical fiction.

I have another week stuck at home and I wouldn’t be able to visit family even if I was able to. Sydney has moved into heavier lockdown as from last Friday and I’m hoping that this helps curtail the spread of the Delta variant. I have plans for our annual sewing week in Gerroa from the first Sunday in August and this lockdown may stop that from happening. That would be mainly because our out of state friends would not be able to attend. This is exactly what happened last year, though I’m still a little hopeful for this year. Fingers crossed! It’s time now for me to curl up on the lounge with some knitting and think of plans for the week. Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

9A62A542CA7641ED9958F5ABF3D4EEFA[3774]

Sunday 4 July 2021. #154

Hello friends. Happy 4th of July to all my American readers! I am home on the south coast of New South Wales, having discharged from hospital this morning. It’s so wonderful being home! I arrived at the hospital at 6 am on Wednesday morning and have been inside until this morning. I spent Monday and Tuesday at home, getting ready for hospital and doing a bit of sewing. The pics below show my pre-op cubicle and then my room. The view wasn’t great on my side of the building, facing the rest of the building and the car park, but it was nice to be able to look out of the window and see the weather. I had to wear hospital stockings for my stay and I’m glad to be out of them. This morning I was wheeled down to the front foyer so that Robert could pick me up. I’m walking OK but only short distances at this stage, hence the need for the wheelchair to the foyer – it was way over the other end of the building and down two separate lifts. The hospital was on the north side of Sydney so we had to go through the Harbour Tunnel. The picture below is as we are almost through onto the south side. The operation went well but now I’ll need to take it easy for about six weeks. No lifting and no housework – I think I can manage that! 😊 Short distance walking will be my physio and I need to increase slowly. I’m fine on the stairs if I go slowly so I’ll probably be able to get some sewing done down in the studio. Sitting in an upright chair is actually good for me as long I hold my posture.

Knitting

I was able to work on my Dove Cottage sweater during my stay in hospital. Before going in, I’d finished the colourwork on the body and I was on the straight knitting section. You can see on the last photo how the stitches along the last rows of colourwork were a bit uneven as I was catching the long floats as I went along. I think that will block out just fine. I’ve got about two or three inches more to do before I need to divide for the sleeves. Before going into hospital, I had already started one sleeve. Yesterday, I felt that I was up for some more complicated knitting as I was bored out of my brain so I thought I’d pick up on that again. I’d finished the rib and was about on round 20 of the colourwork when I realised that swapping the two colours on the chart wouldn’t work as I would end up with grey for the main part of the sleeve. So I just pulled it back to the end of the rib again. I’ll start on it again keeping the colours as I had the front. The effect is that the ribbing on the sleeves is different to the ribbing on the body but I was being a bit too clever with swapping the colours and I finally realised it wouldn’t work.

In my last blog, I’d cast on a second Flax Light sweater. This one is for Cooper. You can see in the first picture when I’d finished the yoke and the second picture shows the body complete to the ribbing. I hope to finish the ribbing tonight and get the sleeves going. I may be able to cast on the third one for Finnick by the end of this week. I’m doing size 1-2 years and adding half an inch on body and the sleeves. I thought that would be a good idea after seeing the size 2-4 that I’d knitted previously on and one and a half year old!

The first thing I worked on when I came to after the anaesthetic was the Two by Two beanie using the yarn gifted to me by my friend Sue. I had cast it on before I went into hospital and it was a very easy two by two ribbing to keep me occupied in waking moments. I had decided on 96 stitches and 3.5mm needles. I ended up finishing it yesterday afternoon. This might be for Finnick – I’ll try it on him sometime soon. I don’t know when I’ll see all the grandkids next.

Crochet

The Owl Obsession blanket wasn’t packed for hospital but I managed to finish all the owl surrounds by Tuesday night. I’m looking forward to getting back to this, but I think I’ll start with doing the eyes and beaks first, before I start putting all the pieces together. After the first couple of these, I was able to get them done quite easily as the pattern is very simple.

Sewing

I finished putting the Be Creative sweater together on Monday. It only required putting in the cowl neck and that was very easy. All threads are sewn in and it’s ready to go to its recipient. That will be Cooper, but I’d like Finn to try it on for size too, so that I can make another one. It was a nice and easy make. I think I’ll do the next one as it was intended, with a couple of contrasting panels. I only made this pattern using the remainder of my Unwind sweater material as I knew I’d be able to get the little pieces out of it.

The other sewing that I worked on was my Hudson pants by True Bias. I did finish the pants, all but the stitching on the waist elastic, but I haven’t yet tried it on. I ran out of time so I’ll probably have a try on tomorrow. The first photo shows the inside of the black fleece but the second photo looks a completely different project – I had to make sure I had the right photo because it looks so strange. It looks a bit khaki like the Be Creative sweater I made above. I’m not sure why the photo came out like that because the black leggings I was wearing look black.

Spinning

I had forgotten to add spinning to last week’s blog. This year’s Tour de Fleece started on the 26th June, in conjunction with the Tour de France, and will finish on the 18th July. I’m participating but only in a casual way as I’ve missed five days already. The first two photos show where I’d left off when I last spun (more than a month ago, I think) and the fibre that was left, about 250 grams. The two skeins shown are the first lot that I’d spun, about 200 grams. And the last three photos show the progress so far. I’d finished the 100 grams for the bobbin that was already started and now I’ve just started on another 100 grams of fibre (not shown). You can see from the last photo that I have some pigtails and I did have to fight with the yarn a bit. I think I’ve got my rhythm back now. Normally, with Tour de Fleece you would have challenge days and rest days but this time I’m just spinning when I can.

Paraphernalia

This week was a bit of a blur. I didn’t really feel like listening to any of the three books I’ve currently got going and I don’t have any of my favourite series to watch so I watched bits and pieces on the TV in the room. I’m working my way through the Kettering Incident on Foxtel but it’s not the best show around. I’m interested to see what happens though so I’ll keep going with it.

This is quite a short and sweet blog but there’s not really a lot to talk about. I’ll be having a quiet week hanging around the house and resting up but should have more to show next week. Thanks for spending some time with me today! Until next week, I hope you are keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

9A62A542CA7641ED9958F5ABF3D4EEFA[3774]

Sunday 27 June 2021. #153

Hello friends! Welcome from a sunny and cold south coast of New South Wales and a state that’s in various stages of lockdown – particularly the major cities. This is due to the new Covid Delta strain that is working its way quickly through the population. With any luck, this lockdown should nip it in the bud so that we can soon get back to normal life. This is as locked down as we have been since the major episode last year. Anyhow, it’s been an interesting week. On Monday I started with a breakfast catch up at Huskisson. It was an off week for our catch ups but we decided to have one and it’s probably a good thing because tomorrow’s one is now cancelled. I spent the rest of the day in the studio sewing and on the lounge knitting. The weather had not improved much from the day before. You can see the heavy clouds and rain below. On Tuesday, I had to have a blood test for an operation I’m having this week and I thought I would ride over to Sanctuary Point for that, rather than to Huskisson as I usually do. It’s not much further to Sanctuary Point but there are two big hills each way and the view is just traffic and houses. The ride to Huskisson is very scenic so much more pleasant (and easier 😊). On Wednesday, I spent the day with Evie and Finn in Wollongong and we had a lovely time. Evie and I played with bubbles and went for a walk to the park which included our regular coffee and ‘cino. The cafe we like to go to was closed as the owners were on holidays, so we dropped in at the Bowling Club instead. I didn’t go to Sydney on Thursday because of things heating up regarding Covid but the visit to Wollongong ensured that I’m now in lockdown anyway. On Thursday I was able to go for a bike ride to Huskisson and the rest of the day was also spent sewing in the studio and knitting on the lounge.

The moon was full the other night and it has been a very large orange globe as it rises. Unfortunately, the photo doesn’t show how magnificent it was. On Friday, my mother-in-law ended up in hospital with a virus so Robert went to take her home and stayed the night with her. I took the opportunity to visit my bestie, Mary, and had a sleepover at her place. It was lovely catching up. Mary lives about 45 minutes away so I can’t just nip over like if she lived around the corner, which is where I wish she was. After leaving her place yesterday, Robert and I went into Nowra to take advantage of the end of financial year sales. We bought a new television – the Samsung Frame. We decided on that one because it will look great on the wall as a piece of artwork when we’re not watching TV. The photo shows where the old TV is and where the new one will be hung. The old one is 45 inches and the new one is 65 inches. Because of all the windows facing the view and the kitchen on the opposite side, there are few places to put artwork so this will be perfect.

Knitting

WIP Diving: I finally got the opportunity to bring out a WIP. It’s not a very old one but it has been waiting since about November last year. This is the Dove Cottage sweater and I really was enjoying knitting on it but I put my hand up to do a test knit and I’ve been doing tests right up to a couple of weeks ago. The first two pics show where I was up to when it was cast aside. I like to take pics with different backgrounds to see how close I can get to the right colour. These two aren’t to bad but the one on the dark carpet is showing it better. The next photo shows where I’m up to now, having finished the colourwork. I had started knitting using the wrong colour yarn, thinking automatically that you start with the main colour. The revelation that I should have started with the grey yarn didn’t come along until I was about halfway to where it was abandoned and I had to make the decision whether to start again. Looking at the pattern, I realised that the sleeves start with the main colour and that I could invert the colours there to get the same effect. The pattern prescribes doing the front, back and sleeves flat and piecing together but I am knitting the body in the round and I’ll separate when I get to the sleeve point. It is a straight front and back for a drop shoulder so that makes it very easy. I’ll be doing the sleeves in the round too and will only have to sew them into the body. The neck is done once the shoulders are joined and you have to cast off stitches on each row to get the neck shape. Instead of casting off the stitches that will only need to be picked up again afterwards, I think I’ll leave the them on some waste yarn and then knit from them when I do the neck. I also think I’ll kitchener the shoulders rather than have a seam there. It’s all to make it more easy to complete. Fingers crossed it all works. I’ve stopped knitting on the body and will start one of the sleeves on a 9 inch circular. I’m going to have a stay in hospital from Wednesday and the body on this will make good mindless knitting for when I’m up to it.

Finished Object: #1 I finished my Woven Cable headband early in the week. I only needed one more repeat and then I did a three needle bind off. I haven’t cut the yarn yet because I wanted to try it on and, when I did, it was perfect. The only thing I don’t particularly like is that the bind off has a ridge on the outside. If I undo that bind off, I can do it with right sides together so that it’s not as obvious. The only reason I haven’t done it yet is because I think it won’t be noticed. But it might if I’m wearing my hair up, so I think I’ll redo it. The other nearly finished objects are my sock blank baby socks. I have finished the tubes but just need to cast off – I’m deciding which cast off I’ll use. Then I need to add the heels. They shouldn’t take too long at all so I hope to get them done in the next day or two.

Finished Object #2: The Flax Light sweater gift is finished! I only had the neckband to do and that didn’t take much time at all. Early in the week I was able to block it and the puckering from the garter panel did almost disappear. On Thursday, I parcelled it up and dropped it off at the post office, on it’s way to Erin’s place. And by Friday night, it had been received and was even on its recipient. You can see that it’s a really good fit. He is only fifteen months old but is filling out this size 2-4 years! Lucky I picked that size. The colour is a little bit darker in real life and is what I would call petrol.

New Cast On: I really enjoyed knitting the gift Flax Light jumper and I’m now doing the second one, with a third planned. I had mentioned to Erin that I was sending the other Flax to her to pass on but she’d forgotten by the time it arrived, even though it was only the next day. She was excited to get the jumper thinking it was for Cooper and loved the colour. Until I reminded her. But that was enough for me to decide to go ahead with this next one. I had recently purchased two lots of yarn at our local yarn shop which was closing down (it’s not closing down anymore! Yay!) for Finn and Cooper. I hadn’t decided which colour to do for which grandson but one of the colours was almost identical to the first Flax so that one is going to be for Cooper. The other colour is a charcoal and I think it will be great for Finn. I worked on this the last two nights and frogged it both times. The first time I decided that the needles were going to be too big and the second time I had twisted the cast on so that it was turning into a useless mobius (figure eight) – showing on the left below. Finally, third time lucky became a reality this morning as I was reknitting this on my IVKN Zoom meeting. The yarn I’m using is Heirloom Merino Magic 8 Ply (DK). The Flax Light pattern is for fingering weight yarn and the previous Flax was Malli Merino Wool 4 ply (fingering) but I thought it was more like a DK weight. The jumper turned out perfect. After starting this new Flax using the worsted pattern but a slightly smaller needle to compensate for the lighter DK, I thought the fabric was not right and I compared this DK to the fingering of the other yarn. They were pretty much exactly the same. So, I’ve now decided to go back to the Flax Light pattern and knit it the same as the previous one. Then I’ll do the same for the charcoal one. This will also be good hospital knitting.

Crochet

The Owl Obsession blanket is coming along very well. I managed to get the four circles blocks surrounded with the main yarn in one night. Moving onto the owls, I discovered that they were going to take a bit more work and only managed to get two of the owls done in the rest of the week! Though the pattern is the same for both, the owl head makes the start of this block critical so that the owl sits upright on the blanket. That is compounded by the fact that I didn’t do the owls exactly as per the pattern so I need to start in a different spot. It’s not a problem but it means that I have to figure out where the 10 stitch octagon side sits between the ears. Now that I’ve done the two, I think the rest will be somewhat easier and I hope to have them done before I go to hospital on Wednesday. The final picture shows how the blocks will sit together. I’ll also need to do the little side fill in sections, and the eyes and beaks. The whole thing is then surrounded by a border. Little by little, I’m chipping away at this. The cream sections look a bit puckered by they’ll block out fine once it’s all joined together.

Sewing

I did get some time at my sewing machine this week, starting with putting together my Unwind sweater by Pattern Emporium. This was cut out and ready for me to start sewing, and it was an easy project, even with the hood. The only hiccup I had was doing the buttonholes for the hood cord. I’m not sure if you can see properly but both the buttonholes stopped working half way through. I did do a sample and it was fine but, of course, when you need to do the real thing it’s not always going to work out. I did manage to do a bit of a touch up with zig zag to fix them up and they don’t look too bad. I still need to buy some cording to go around the hood. The fabric I used was from Minerva – I’d received it in February this year. It’s a very fine French Terry and feels just wonderful. Actions shots to come soon.

I mentioned last week that when I cut out the Unwind sweater, I used the rest of the fabric to cut out a Be Creative sweater from Ellie & Mac. I was also able to put most of this together too. I cut out the cowl neck version and it’s the cowl neck that is all that’s left to put on this. I’d had to cut the top back bodice section in two pieces but that worked out fine. It was very easy to put together, just very small for stitching the cuffs on but I managed it OK. If this fits the grandboys, I’ll cut out another one using some other fabric. I’ll get this one finished tomorrow and try to get some pics while I’m wearing the Unwind too.

I have a couple of other projects cut out and ready to go. Firstly, I have the Over It Alls from Waves and Wild (formerly Made by Jack’s Mum). This is a reversible overall and I’m using some cute dragon cotton(?) spandex for the outside and some teal rayon spandex for the cuffs and other side. I’m not putting pockets on this one. The other project I have ready to go is the Hudson pants by True Bias. This pattern was very popular in the past year since it was released and has been on my list since then. I finally got the pattern in a sale recently. I am using some black fleece from Spotlight. I had wanted to make them from some grey fleece that I have but there’s not enough. As I’ve got some leftover of the black, I’m thinking of using that with the grey for a colour block sweatshirt. That might need to wait just a little while. I would like to have these two done in the next couple of days – let’s see how I go. It’s not like I’m allowed to go anywhere!

Artistry

The Index Card a Day challenge is moving on a little faster than I am but I’m still participating. I’m currently in the second week but the challenge is now about day 29. Below I have (from left) the bonus from week one which was a one staple collage – I used food pics from a Coles magazine I had on hand, day 08 = umbrella, day 09 = ampersand (it appears I did mine back to front), day 10 = ribbon. I’ll keep plodding along with these at my own pace. It’s not like I don’t do anything else with my spare time. 😊

Acquisitions

Only one acquisition this week and it was a lovely gift from my friend Sue from Sydney. She knew I was going into hospital and sent these two lovely skeins to brighten my hospital stay a bit. I will definitely be taking one of them with me. I think it will be the Hodgepodge yarn as I’ve found a beanie pattern that I want to make. It’s 8 ply (DK) 70% merino, 10% silk, 20% nylon and, comparing it to the Heirloom 8 ply, is a little thicker and more true to an 8 ply/DK weight. The colourway is Seaspray. I’ve been wanting to make a 2×2 rib baby beanie and I think I’ll be able to do that with the Two by Two pattern by Anne Gagnon. It’s a free pattern and is only in adult sizes but I think I’ll be able to adjust the stitches for a smaller size. The other yarn is a beautiful Qing Fibre Yak Single. This is 120 grams Super-wash, 480m fingering weight yarn made up of 65% merino, 20% silk, 15% yak in the Liberty colourway. It is beautiful and I think I’ll be making a shawl with this. I’ve picked out the Candlelit shawl by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. This shawl is from her Essential Shawls Collection which has been in my Ravelry Library since July 2018 and I’ve only made one of the six in the collection.

Paraphernalia

This past week’s entertainment has been dominated by Australian Ninja Warrior, which has started its latest season, and the fifth Cormoran Strike book. Ninja Warrior was on Sunday through to Wednesday nights and I really enjoy watching it. The rest of the time I just wanted to listen to the book. It was the longest book I’ve listened to but that was good as I just wanted it to continue. I hope there are further books in this series but I don’t see anything written about that.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m due to have an operation on Wednesday for a spinal fusion and decompression. It’s very necessary and I’m looking forward to it inasmuch as it will be a relief afterwards. I have several projects to take with me, though not expecting to finish them all. I’ll be there for at least five days and I don’t think I’ll be able to have visitors so I’m making sure I have a good variety of things to work on. Due to the Covid situation in Sydney, we’ll be driving up directly on Wednesday instead of staying overnight locally, and I won’t know what time the operation will be until Tuesday. I’m hoping I don’t need to be there at 7.00 am as that will mean leaving here at 3.30 am. 🤞

Next week’s blog may have less content but I’m hoping I’ll still be able to get something out so as to not break my record of weekly posting. Until then, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

9A62A542CA7641ED9958F5ABF3D4EEFA[3774]

Sunday 20 June 2021. #152

Hello friends! Welcome from a cold and wet south coast of New South Wales. The rain has set in for a couple of days, though it was much nicer earlier in the week. The week started on Monday with a bike ride to our catch-up breakfast at Huskisson. It was a very cold ride – you can see the droplets on the railing on Moona Moona Creek bridge. The rest of the day was spent in the studio finishing the Emma Wiggle skirt for Evie. On Tuesday I went for an early bike ride and spent a bit more time in the studio, the same on Wednesday. That made it three consecutive rides for the week. On Wednesday afternoon, I headed up to Sydney and spent the evening with my mum and dad.

On Thursday, I spent the day with Erin and her sister-in-law, Cassie, and mother-in-law, Sharleen, who were visiting for a few days. And, of course, baby Cooper. We started the day with a little adventure, heading off on the ferry to Cockatoo Island for breakfast. I love a ferry ride and you can see me very excited below, while waiting for the ferry to arrive. It was a fantastic day though a bit windier than we’d liked which made it cold. Cockatoo Island is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Initially considered an Aboriginal site for women’s ceremonies, the island operated as a penal establishment from 1839 to 1869, “where convicts endured harsh living conditions and backbreaking work”. The island’s history then includes industrial and reform schools, a naval dockyard and shipbuilding. It was finally opened up to the public in 2007 after extensive remediation work. We didn’t get to see the whole lot as we were time limited but we did walk through the Dog Leg Tunnel to the other side of the island and back. It was a great spot and I intend to go back soon for a proper exploration.

On Friday, I had a fun day with Evie and Finn. Evie and I had an outing to the park but we didn’t last very long due to the very cold wind so we followed that with a babycino and some grocery shopping. Finn is getting around everywhere at the moment and is becoming very interactive. He’s started crawling, popped out two bottom teeth and started on solids. 😍 I came home from Wollongong on Friday evening and went straight out to dinner with some or our local friends. It had been quite a while since the last time we caught up. Yesterday was another busy day where we headed back to Wollongong as Robert and Steven had a football match to watch. That gave me more time with Evie and Finn, along with knitting time on the trip up, though I had to drive home late last night.

Knitting

New Cast-On #1: I had mentioned I wanted to knit some baby socks and I finally got around to it. I found a sock blank that I had dyed a couple of years ago and I decided that this would work perfectly for some unusual socks. I started by separating the two strands of the sock blank into a couple of balls where I could knit from the centre and the outside. Using Judy’s Magic Cast On (I use the Knit Purl Hunter tutorial), I cast on four little toes. I had to do each individually and put them aside on a separate cable. This worked perfectly until l put the first three back onto the original needles and cable. I managed to knit the first side and when I came back to the last toe, it was on in a different direction. I then had to remove it from the cable and reposition it – I think I did that about four times before I found I had it the right way! Anyway, once they were all on correctly and I had increased the toe stitches, it became smooth sailing and easy going knitting. I’m not really following a pattern though I’m using the stitch count prescribed for the baby size in the Rye Light socks pattern that I used for Evie’s socks. The Rye Light socks are knit cuff down and has a heel turn. I started these working toe up with the stitch count that the Rye Light socks end up with – 16 stitches, and increased to the 40 stitch count of that pattern. I am going to do afterthought heels on these, rather than a heel turn. I’ve knitted about four and a half inches. Finn’s foot measured four inches on Friday. Given that the afterthought will probably add an inch to the foot length, I’ll need to cut for the heel at about three inches, maybe three and a half to be safe. Working on those measurements, I have about one inch of the leg done and I’ll continue until I have about a four inch leg or when I run out. I’ll start the cuff at about three and a quarter inches. I don’t think I’ll have enough for the heels but I’ll be able to use some other yarn for those.

I’m now getting close to finishing my Zauberball yarn socks. I bound off the cuff this morning with a very stretchy bind off. I wish I knew what this method is called – I thought it was a cable bind off but I think that’s incorrect. The method I use is to knit one stitch, then knit another and knit those two together, continuing until I get to the other end. With rib, I keep to the pattern as I’m binding off. I hope to pick up for the afterthought heels today or tomorrow as I want to give these to my dad for winter. There’s no point keeping them for Father’s Day which is in September, here in Australia. The weather will be warming up by then.

Other knitting this week included finishing the sleeves on the Flax Light toddler jumper. The garter panel that runs down the front of the sleeve makes it look very puckered but I know this will block out. I now need to pick up the neck and I hope to get that done as soon as possible. On Friday, Evie helped me make the pom-pom for her beanie and she wore it to swimming yesterday.

New Cast-on #2: My friend Sue from Sydney introduced me to a couple of free headband patterns and I was excited to cast the first one on. This is the Woven Cable Headband by Priscilla Uloho. The pattern has a two cable repeat and you work 14 pairs. I’ve reached that point now but mine seems to be a bit smaller than the designer’s. Her gauge gives her 18 inches, whereas mine at the same point measures about 15.5 inches. My row gauge is always a bit lower than what is indicated in most patterns, even if my stitch gauge is correct. In this case, her headband width is four inches and I managed a little over three and a half. Sue was able to join ends at 15 repeats and I’m hoping that adding one extra repeat will be enough for me too. I do have a small head size for hats. The other headband Sue sent me is the Sheep & Stitch Twisted Headband which I’ll probably cast on next.

Crochet

I have made a little progress on my Owl Obsession blanket. I’ve finally started on the background undyed yarn and turned all twelve little circles into squares. This wasn’t actually the next step but I really wanted to crochet these. I will now start work on changing the owl shapes to fit into the blanket structure. It’s like a puzzle. There are nine owls and four large circles which will all end up the same shape to fit these small circles squares to join them all. Once the centre has been joined there are also triangles to fill the remaining sections to make it all square. Oh, and I mustn’t forget all the owl eyes!

Sewing

Time at the sewing machine this week was only spent on finishing Evie’s Emma Wiggle skirt on Monday. I cut off the old ribbed waistband and added the belt elastic to the skirt and the mesh headband holding all the tulle. I then trimmed the hem and turned it with two small hems about a quarter inch each. It looked pretty good but I was concerned that there wasn’t enough tulle so I added more. I had ordered the second lot of tulle and it arrived on Tuesday. I added the rest of the tulle after dinner at my mum and dad’s house on Wednesday night. I must say that the skirt was very well received on Friday. Evie put it straight on (without the rest of the outfit) and was madly jumping around in it so she could see the tulle and skirt bouncing around. It was so special to see her enjoyment! Here she is posing as a ballerina. 😍 The tulle seems to bunch up while being worn, almost like you used to tease hair for a beehive hairdo back in the old days. Fortunately, it does straighten out when you pull on the tulle strips.

On Tuesday, I traced out my size of the Pattern Emporium Unwind sweater. I chose size 12 for this relaxed sweater and I also cut out the hood for it. I’m using some French terry knit that I purchased from Minerva in February and it’s a beautiful quality. I cut out the pieces and I’m looking forward to putting it together tomorrow. There was a bit of fabric left over and I managed to squeeze out the pieces for the Be Creative Hoodie by Ellie & Mac. I think I cut out the one year size, with the cowl neck. I was nearly able to cut the whole lot as directed but I ended up cutting the top back piece as two separate pieces rather than on the fold. I have used every conceivable piece of this fabric! It will be a nice lightweight sweater for when the weather warms up in the Spring.

Acquisitions

Last week I mentioned that I’d ordered some more needle tips from Fiberific in the larger sizes so that I can knit beanies in the round rather than by using magic loop. They arrived very quickly on Wednesday and I’ve put them away until they are needed. With these, I also purchased some little stitch markers. You definitely can’t have enough of them – they are so easy to lose!

Paraphernalia

I’ve been watching the latest season of Call the Midwife this past week and it’s been very enjoyable. Such an easy show to watch and reminds me of the time when I was a little girl – though it was set in England it is very much like it was in Sydney back then. I have each a Handmaid’s Tale and a New Amsterdam episode to catch up on so I’ll probably watch them tonight before continuing with Call the Midwife. I finished listening to Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister by Jung Chang and, though it was very interesting, I was happy to get to the end of it. I then jumped straight into the last Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling). I’d been so looking forward to starting this book and I’m really enjoying it. I was very surprised at how long this recording is – it must be a very big book as the total time for the audible version is 31 hours and 51 minutes! I haven’t seen a book this long in my Audible history before but I’m glad it’s long because I don’t want it to end!

After a busy away week last week, the plan is to have another away week coming up. I’ll be in Wollongong on Wednesday but I’m not sure if I’ll do Sydney on Tuesday or Thursday. At this point, I’m thinking of doing Sydney on Tuesday, though there seem to be lots of Covid contacts in Sydney at the moment so I may scrap that completely. It’s time for me to curl up on the couch with some knitting and Cormoran Strike now, and watch the rain come down. Thanks for spending some time with me today! Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

9A62A542CA7641ED9958F5ABF3D4EEFA[3774]

Sunday 13 June 2021. #151

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.