When I was in Sydney last October, my mother allowed me to go through my grandmother's old knitting patterns and keep those I wanted. This was perfect timing, as I was looking for a small project to take with me as I travelled on the the US for the rest of my scholarship trip.
It was lovely to go through this legacy of patterns - my mother was able to recall which garments that either she or my grandmother hand knitted my sister and I over the years.
This one above was a particular favourite of my grandmothers - fortunately, there were two copies for some reason, so my mother was able to keep one also. This was a layette that was knitted for me when I was a baby. The pattern is dated from 1948 - costing 6 shillings (and obviously predating Australia's transfer to decimal currency).
Traditonal layettes are not particularly popular anymore, but I thought that the matinee jacket could be easily modernised by the choice of wool. After visiting the local wool shop, I was prepared with a few balls of a beautiful soft gray marled wool to take with me.
I think it now a nice mix of traditional with a hint of modern country.
And in today's other news...
I'm brightening a grey afternoon by launching into my new vanilla candle that I brought back with me from Sydney two weeks ago...
...and back to this sadly neglected blog after another hiatus...
I've spent the last three weeks in a mainly sunny and warm (and occasionally very hot) Sydney visiting my family. It was a busy time as I was helping my mother complete some redecorating and decluttering. We decided to refresh the paint in half of her home - so I had my very first attempt at proper painting (painting is one of the activities in which my father never let us participate...I think he probably had visions of either a very poor finish or paint everywhere). But, my mother was happy for me to give it a try. To be honest, I really don't know how people redecorate for a living...it was exhausting! However, the end result was worth it - the rooms look so lovely and light and fresh. Not to mention, good practice for when I have my own home to renovate! I'll complete the remainder of the house on my visit next summer.
Having no current outdoor space, I also enjoyed spending some time working in her garden. Is is a little embarrassing to admit how much I like weeding? There was something very satisfying about achieving a lovely cleared flower bed. I think it is probably akin to my like (not quite love) of ironing and bringing order to all of those wrinkles. I also helped with planting some new shrubs. Both my parents and grandmother have/had a green thumb - something I am hoping rubs off on me when I have a garden of my own.
It was also my mother's birthday while I was in Sydney. For one of her gifts I embroidered her this cushion. In terms of the required timeframe to have it ready for her birthday, I had to complete it before I undertook my recent course at the RSN...but in retrospect I didn't make any glaring mistakes.
The design is based on a traditional tudor design, and adds a little brightness to her study.
We also held a birthday lunch for close family. I made smoked salmon blini's for the first time as an appetiser, along with some mini-quiches.
This beautiful platter belonged to my great-grandmother. It is such a joy to be able to use my mother's collection of antique serving and glass ware.
Lunch was boned and stuffed roast chicken, accompanied by my sister's fabulous potato bake and a spinach and strawberry salad. It was the first time I had made the salad which I saw on Jenny's blog last year, and it was fabulous.
Obviously, we rounded off lunch with a birthday cake. Another first attempt for me in baking a Victoria Sponge - I was attracted to the slightly modified version that Lauren had on her blog last year...and so were the rest of my family if the proof is in the eating...
The three weeks in Sydney passed all too quickly. I'm now back to the rain and horrendous winds in the UK. I am fortunate to still have no detrimental effects from the flooding, unlike so many other poor people in parts of the south-east of England.
But I'm already missing these two delightful little people who make my visits home such a joy...