Hello friends! We are creeping ever closer to the end of 2019. This week was a busy one as I was babysitting and also had to do a bit of driving. My week started with lunch with my bestie, Mary, down at Ulladulla. We’ve had a few nice days with some minor smoke haze. Tuesday and Wednesday were spent with my little sidekick, Evie. She wasn’t well with a tummy upset but fortunately got over that, not without passing it on to both her parents. Luckily I didn’t get it! On Wednesday evening I drove to Sydney to pick up my mum and dad again and drove back on Thursday morning for several appointments. One of these was a visit to the Mobile Blood Bank. I then had a little bit of time before the next appointment so sat in the Library and knitted for a little while. It was a very hot day so sitting in the car was not an option!
Friday was a busy day. I started it with a relaxing coffee at Huskisson while mum and dad spent some time there. That was followed by a quick turnaround when I dropped them home and headed back for lunch with Lorraine and Narelle. During the afternoon, I whipped up some mini caramelised banana and walnut crepes to take to drinks later that evening. They turned out very yummy! The evening started with the opening of the local brewery. It was a good turn up and we are hoping that it takes off with the tourists this season. I’m not a beer drinker – fortunately they also offer wines. The evening ended visiting friends at Erowal Bay for some Christmas drinks. It was actually where we’ll be spending a good portion of the first half of next year while our new house is being built. You can see the view from the back deck out to the Basin where I think I may do a bit of kayaking. The area here is called the Bay and Basin, with Jervis Bay on one side and St. Georges Basin on the other side. I am so lucky to live in such a beautiful place.
Yesterday was quite eventful in an unusual way. It started with a trip to Shellharbour Square after dropping my mum and dad off at Kiama Station. I think I have about finished my Christmas shopping now, thank goodness! The fires have been spreading around our area with a couple of new ones now started. We have a major one about an hour south of us, a couple about 30 minutes to the west and another about 20 minutes to the north. We are essentially surrounded by fires. We are not alone in this – apparently, there are more than 90 fires just in New South Wales. We were predicted for a high of 41 degrees Celcius yesterday which is 105.8 Fahrenheit but we only reached about 26 degrees (79 degrees Fahrenheit) where we are. It was more like 38 degrees in Nowra. We did get a southerly come through to cool things off but that also brought with it a huge pyrocumulonimbus storm front formed by the intense heat of the fire causing air to rise rapidly in the smoke plume. It doesn’t necessarily bring rain but we did get some thunder and a short shower. That only managed to bring down wet ash and the smoke smell which wasn’t there earlier and it also caused the day to disappear to night time as you can see in the screenshot below. I couldn’t get a decent photo that showed how dark it was but it was essentially like midnight for about a couple of hours before it moved over us and almost normal daylight reappeared before the sun even started to set.
I still haven’t resumed my normal knitting program due to the advent and gift knitting this week, also due to the limited crafting time. I am several days behind on my Outline scarf now, currently knitting on day 17. Since it’s the 22nd today, that makes me 5 days behind! That’s OK as I’ve also worked on some gift knits which have a higher priority. How wonderful are these beautiful jewel tones from Willow and the Wisp!
The Golden State Warriors socks are growing well. The progress marker shows where I was at last week and how much I’ve done since. I still need to do at least a couple more inches before I start the cuff. The cuff will be the solid blue and then I’ll add the heel when they are tried on by the recipient so that I can put the heel in the right place. I think I might do the heel starting with the solid blue and finish it with the solid yellow.
I finished the first golf club cover last night but I went a bit big in size. My local golfing authority (Rob) said it needs to be a bit tighter all over. I can manage that and I’ll cast on another one today, using only 36 stitches for the shaft and do maybe two fewer increase rows on the head section. It should be a lot easier to do now that I know what I’m doing and also because there will be fewer stitches. Of course, there will be a pompom on top!
My other advent, the Olilia shawl, has been relegated to the lowest priority for now but I still gave it a little bit of love this week. I was in the middle of the 4th section last week and have only finished that and started the 5th section.
This week I finished my spindle spin singles on my spinning wheel. I haven’t plied them together yet as I need to clear a couple of bobbins. I have now wound the single off the spindle and onto one of the bobbins below ready for plying.
In an effort to clear a bobbin, I got back to my black (grey), red and white spin. This is the second lot of the same fibre and I’ve started the plying with a chain ply. It’s a tricky form of plying and it’s been a little bit of a struggle but I’ll get back to it today without disruptions and maybe get into a better rhythm with it. I think a tensioned lazy kate would help keep the flow of the yarn coming out willy nilly and plying on itself before I get to it. It’s looking quite tightly spun but I’ll see how it comes off as I’ve been a bit underspun lately.
This week I cut out a pattern I found online for some baby bloomers. I was a bit suss about it because the front and back were the same but went ahead anyway. I had only very little left of the contrasting fabric so used that for the bottom frill. I used a size 1 pattern but the bloomers turned out a bit small. I’ll do some modifications to make them a little bit bigger. I haven’t added the elastic to the legs yet but they are a bit narrow too. The dress was a success if a little bit big, so there’s room to grow into it.
We are reaching the end of 2019 and there are some apps around that sum up your Instagram year. My “Best of 2019” features my Graphica sweater and includes my Baubles shawl, the Starflake shawl, my Humulus sweater and my Floozy cardigan. It is interesting to see the stats.
Another app is the “Year of Colour” on Instagram. I did it for both my My Creative Obsessions profile and my personal profile. I always hope to see more bright colours but it obviously includes all the background colours. The one on the left is my MCO profile and the one on the right is my personal profile. I can see that there are many more colours on the MCO profile.
In the lead up to Christmas, I will be wrapping presents but I’ll also start packing boxes for our removal next month. Everything is now set for a start date of the first week of February to demolish the house and building will commence immediately after. I was able to get some packing boxes through Facebook Marketplace but I’m certain I’ll need more. Once these ones are filled, I will have a better idea of exactly how many I need. Obviously, I won’t be able to pack a lot until we get closer otherwise I’ll be packing things we need on a day to day basis. And the whole family will be here next weekend so I don’t want people climbing over boxes the whole time!
I finished my Audible book – The Survivors Club by Lisa Gardener and enjoyed it. I haven’t started the next book yet, choosing to listen to podcasts while driving at the moment. For my viewing pleasure, vlogmas has been keeping me occupied, if not a little overwhelmed! Again this year, I have chosen some to follow religiously as there are far too many to watch them all.
Now it’s time to get away from the computer and either do some chores or some knitting! I know which I would prefer but also what needs to be done. So, until next week, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas if you celebrate it otherwise enjoy the holidays, and maybe get lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!