All has been comparatively quiet on the blog front since my return from New South Wales. Oddly so, considering that I still have a lot more free time now than I did six months ago. But then again, perhaps not so odd. I’m currently stuck with a number of projects on the go, all none too far from completion, but none that are quite there yet. Hence the dearth of blog-worthy craft news. I suppose I could write WIP posts, but I’m still yet to master the art of taking good in-progress shots. So instead I’ll just do a WIP summary to remind you all that I’m still here!
Three out of the four current projects are pullovers. See, I have been busy! There’s the brown jumper that I actually took overseas with me, hoping I’d finish it while I was away. I completed the garment, but never did get around to working the neckline. Naughty of me to stall, especially since the whole thing probably only needs about an hour’s worth of work before it’s done. There are also the two stripey raglan cardigans that I was working on while I was in New South Wales. One is fingering weight and the other is heavy worsted weight. Both stripey, both currently missing the second sleeve (oh, how I dislike sleeves).
The final project is a scarf. Why yes, all of my WIPS are wildly seasonally inappropriate. Inspired by this beauty, I’m attempting to use up a pile of stash scraps. It’s currently nearly five and a half feet in length, but I like my scarves super-long so there’s still a ways to go on this one, all the more so because it will need edgings to stop it from curling like a fiend. I’m having a great time knitting it though; stripes are terrific fun.
In other more interesting craft news, I’ve been continuing on with my natural dyeing experiments. I got some quite interesting results from the attempts I made while on holidays, and a few days ago I tried dyeing with oak leaves for the first time, something I’d been intending to do for ages. I really love the results, so I’ll definitely be doing this again.
One of the main problems that I’ve had with my attempts at natural dyeing is that most of the colours I’ve produced have been lovely but quite washed out and pale, and I don’t tend to wear pale colours. However, the oak came out a beautiful dark gray/purple that I am exceedingly keen on. Some of the darker patches sport a crosshatched pattern too; this is from the old kitchen sieve that the fabric bundle was sitting in as it steamed. I am not displeased by this effect; in fact, I rather love it. I can’t wait to play with oak leaves some more!
In other news, it is absolutely sweltering today. This weekend has been my first proper bout of roasting hot weather for the year. I can only say it’s reminded me of why I tend to scarper off to the New South Wales coast this time of year; it lacks the searing dry heat that Melbourne summers can produce.
At least there are summer perks: jugs and jugs of homemade iced jasmine green tea, grand ice-cream expeditions and, courtesy of the market, all of the cheap basil I can eat. Which is rather a lot! I’ve taken to buying extra basil just so I can blend it up with olive oil and store the resulting delicious emerald green paste in the fridge. I started doing it this way because the Boy can’t eat regular pesto, but I’m actually finding this quicker, easier and more versatile anyway, for all that it doesn’t keep all that long. My current favourite use is as a topping for a simple open sandwich of tomato and super fresh ricotta cheese. And earlier in the week I made a lovely roasted vegetable and ricotta tart. That said, there are certain days when pizza is the answer.
It’s reassuring to know that even though it’s been a few years since I’ve done it for a living, and despite the fact that I sometimes cheat and resort to a bought base, I still make a damn fine looking (and tasting) pizza!