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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!