Sunday 26 September 2021. #166

Hello friends! Welcome from a sunny and cool day on the south coast of New South Wales. Generally, the weather has been lovely but it was a dreary and cold day yesterday and today is only better because it’s sunny. It is going to warm up again from tomorrow, though! On Monday, five of us gathered for art on the beach. It sounds very professional but it’s only a group of ladies gathering for coffee and chat while we dabble with pencils or brushes, or not. I sometimes just knit. I went for several lovely walks and had Friday out in Nowra visiting the physio and picking up some Click & Collects. I actually had a flat tyre on Friday but was able to swap cars with Robert, even though he was out for coffee at the time. I’m getting new back tyres tomorrow, or they may be put on the front and swapped, which is what generally happens. I don’t know how the tyre went flat – it must have been a slow leak as it was flat in the garage. Lots of beautiful pics here for eye candy. The two sandy pics were on Tuesday when it was blowing an absolute gale and just around the corner in a sheltered spot it was just like a resort! The flowers are all blooming and the magpies are serenading us with birdsong.

Knitting

I have continued to work on the test knit for Libby Jonson (Truly Myrtle) and I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to reveal it next week. I am on target, just. I was cruising but I had to rip back 2 inches last night as I was increasing instead of decreasing. The pattern had moved on my KnitCompanion app and I put it back into place at the wrong point! The increases are on the left of the page and the decreases are on the right and I’d put it back to the left side! Anyway, I’m sure I’ll be able to finish in time but it will dominate my knitting time. I did work a little bit on my Flax Light sweater having moved into the increases on the left arm. I then decided to switch over to the right arm as the thick yarn seemed to be getting a little thicker, which meant that it wouldn’t have as much yardage. I stopped some way before half way of the weight. I’m not 100% sure I’ll have enough to finish the garment but I’m thinking I can add something else to finish the sleeves and do the neckband. I expect I’ll be able to get more done as soon as the test knit is finished.

In other knitting, I finally finished the Spiral Socks. I kept going because they looked good with the larger hem. I cast off with my loose cast off and it looks just fine. Sometimes it can look a little flared but it turned out perfect this time. Having finished those I moved straight onto the Baby Tube socks. These use a four stitch repeat, whereas the others have a three stitch repeat. The pattern is a free one and uses KBLs (knit through back of the loop) and after two rounds doing that I decided not to bother. It would mean looking at the socks the whole time and my tight sock knitting made it difficult. The adult pair look fine with normal knit stitches. The other change I made is to make the spiral go in different directions, like the adult socks. The baby ones just had the pattern going in the same direction. I started these with the leftover magenta but there’s very little left so I went into the main colour quickly so that I could have a little edge on the top of the socks.

Sewing

I didn’t spend a lot of time sewing this week but I did a bit of work on the Shark shirt I’d started a while back. This is McCalls 6016 and it has come together quite nicely. I was going well until I put one side of the collar stand on wrong side together by mistake. I had the sharks on the side I wanted but when I unpicked and restitched, I had it reversed. It still looks OK and I’m not going to unpick it again. I was having trouble turning up the curved hem and I decided to simplify things and straighten the hem. It might be a fraction short now so I intend to put some of the grey sleeve cuff trim on the bottom too. I have some shorts cut out in the grey to go with this shirt so it should look good.

I have two projects cut out for me that I haven’t started yet and I have also cut out two Ringer tees with short sleeves and 9-12 months this time. I hope to get the tees done tomorrow and then start on my sewing. I have a Flawsome top and a Songbird long cardigan ready to go. Both are from Pattern Emporium.

Patchwork

Last Sunday, our group had a dice roll to see what projects we’re working on this month for our Challenge. The rule is that you work on the selected project/s as much as possible for that month and then move onto the next when the dice has rolled. These are the projects for this month. First is a placemat – I decided not to do any more after I’d pieced the first one. A bed runner – this was a Michelle Marvig project that Mary and I did a few years back. It’s called Fractured Daisy. It only needs to be sandwiched and quilted. And the major project is the Urban Owls quilt by Wendy Williams (Flying Fish Kits). As you can see in the photo, I was auditioning bindings because I’d decided to stop there to get it out of the WIP section. Vicki talked me into going at least a bit bigger – maybe single bed size, so I will now re-evaluate and see which bits I’ll keep. I have six blocks that were for the next section (the stars on the black and white spot).

I decided to start easy and finished off the placemat. It was great for using up a small scrap of wadding – you end up with lots of those from the big quilt cuts. I looked at some quilting on Instagram and decided on a simple square in square in square design with a little bit of free motion quilting. I practiced on a scrap first. With the binding, I decided to do all the colours otherwise there would be one section that would be exactly the same as the binding. This way is not ideal as the corners get a bit bulky but for this small project I didn’t think it warranted the amount of work for a mitred binding.

The other patchwork project ongoing is the mini alphabet quilt blocks. All I did with these is cut them out individually and they are ready for the next step which I think will be the velcro. I hope to get that done this week so I can move onto the fusible wadding.

Paper Crafts

Last week I showed a mini meandering accordion book that I’d made and I covered it this week with some leftover artwork that I used for the first cover of my watercolour sketchbook. It’s so cute and portable! I cut out five more meandering booklets and I did cover one though I don’t have a photo of it. I finished it off quickly on Friday to give as a gift and forgot to photograph it. With that one, I put some ribbon between the cover and the book so that it can be tied with a bow. That’s how I’ll finish the other four that are waiting to be done. I didn’t get much done on the watercolour sketchbook other than the outside of the second cover. I have been thinking about how I’ll add that and I think I’ll put some holes in and bind it to the other stitching on the inner signatures.

Artistry

At our beach art session on Monday I decided to play with oil pastel crayons and watercolour. I was just focussing on shapes mainly and then I got fed up with that and doodled with a watercolour tree and fish. I added more watercolour to the shapes later in the week. It’s just a bit of fun and I will be able to use bits of these in other projects.

Paraphernalia

I finished listening to Rules of Civility by Amor Towles this past week and thoroughly enjoyed it. His writing is wonderful, making it very easy to listen to, and the narrator did a great job. This was my second of his books and I know he has several others – I might delve into those too. I have since moved onto my next book – Still Life by Sarah Winman. I’m actually reading a physical book this time because it’s not yet available on my Audible. Everyone is saying how good it is and I’m already enjoying it, only having just started it. With TV series, I finished The Bureau and I’m missing it! For want of something to watch, I started Blindspot on Netflix. I’m finding the acting a bit naive but I’ve persisted in the hope that it gets better. I have a few other selections I could be watching.

I have a couple of social activities coming up this week (5 fully vaccinated outside) and I’m looking forward to them. I’m hoping this coming week will be a little more productive than last week. Thank you for joining me for my chat today. Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

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