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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Final post for Blogtoberfest

Just a wee post today.  Ian rode his bike all the way to the park, a little slowly but did well.  We did our workout as per usual on a Sunday.  George is still coughing, but it doesn't sound as wet as it did so I think he's on the road to recovery finally.

It was our 12th wedding anniversary today and although Thomas and I did nothing to celebrate it, that's ok we're going to play Borderlands tonight on the Xbox together and we'll have fun which is what counts.  In total we've now been together 18 years, which is really kind of impressive considering how many relationships don't last these days.  The best part is we're still very much in love with eachother.
We had pork chops for dinner, one of Thomas's favourite meals; we don't have pork very often as it tends to be dry, but this was just right.

A little knitting done today, probably an inch on the hat; another four inches to go.

From here I'm going to try and post more often, but probably not every day like I have been this month.  Every couple of days will be fine.  I'm quite enjoying the online diary though.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Biker boy!

While I was at the guild this morning Ian learned to ride his bike without training wheels!  He just needs a little confidence in starting off, but he's doing really well and can turn and everything; my little boy is growing up.  No photo's I'm afraid, but definitely a milestone.
I did get to go to the guild this morning, spun up the rest of my Barrier Reef Merino, and then this evening I plied it.  I'm very pleased with it; 801m of laceweight (before washing).  I'm thinking I'll make up the 10-in-2010-shawl which is fairly geometric so shouldn't fight with the almost Zauberball colouring of this yarn.
Here's the yarn:
I really want to cast this on now, but must restrain myself as I have several other projects on the needles as well as others that are higher in priority.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Strawberries and scars

This morning George had to go to school for a Freaky Friday.  He decided he had to do everything on the suggested list.  So last night I painted his nails red (blood drops), this morning he got dressed with everything on back to front, spiked his hair up and drew a scar on his cheek using a lip pencil and an eye pencil; it looked really cool!
A closer look of the scar
George happily headed off to school after I made him put a vest on (was cold this morning) and I then got Ian into the car to get some strawberry plants.
Ian really enjoyed the visit to Oderings, we got met by a golden retriever who really enjoyed Ian's attention and rolled over to get a tummy rub.  When we got to the strawberry plants there was another wee dog; Ian thought he was a puppy, but was a fully grown small dog.  Ian also enjoyed patting this dog.   We definitely need to get another pet for him, we can't afford a dog at the moment while the mortgage repayments are so high, but in 3 years we will.  In the meantime we'll get one or two kittens; I'm hoping that there will be some available next week.  I'll definitely give it a try anyway.
After we got home Ian had some quality time with Sonic our guinea pig while I cleaned out his cage, he'd finished off his water overnight so redid that too.  I think Sonic is feeling a little better now, he's been more active so he may be recovering from the loss of his cage mate.

In the afternoon I decided to cancel the gym for the second Friday in a row as George still has a nasty cough; if it's still bad on Monday I'll be taking him to the doctor.  Hoping it will be ok as it's finally starting to sound a little better.  Normally we would have gone to the gym seeing as it was improving, however it was cold and wet so I decided not to.  Just not worth the risk of making it worse, especially as it's been considering turning into an ear infection on a few occasions.

I've spent some time this evening doing some knitting for a change!   About 15 rows on my Whisper cardigan and I've also cast on for my Stormy Hat which is using a WWII pattern.  I'm using some of my earlier handspun, which is a superwash Merino in navy blue.  Should be nice and comfy to wear once it's done.  I'll test it on Ian as his head is about the same size as the adult I'm knitting it for.

Tomorrow I'm going to the guild, yay!  I will be spinning, especially as I might not get to go next weekend.  George is going to a camp and it looks like Thomas may have to go too to help manage his night wetting with the minimum of embarrassment.  Thomas thought his Mum was going, but she has other commitments and can't go.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dayt XXVIII in Blogtoberfest

So Blogtoberfest is almost over and I've actually now done 28 posts this month!  Admittedly I missed the first couple of days through being away from internet access, so I've posted twice on a couple of days; but I think I've done pretty well.  Will try to keep it up.

Today.  Hmm, well there was the drop off and pick up at work, took a little longer than expected as my boss had other things come up so wasn't ready for me when I arrived.  All sorted pretty quickly though.  Then off to get 2 new cupboard handles to replace a couple that were leaving our kitchen cupboards.  Then off to the supermarket to replace the stuff that didn't arrive in my order yesterday; so that was the morning gone.

Unfortunately no inside cleaning aside from the usual dishes, washing and picking up after boys.  Mum came over later in the day and we got another section of the garden sorted which was nice.  My tomatoes are now in, Beefsteak variety.  Need to get some strawberry plants now, might take Ian out tomorrow and grab some of them.

The boys spent a fair bit of tonight playing with something Thomas picked up for them today.  Water guns, perfect for today as it was hot; they'd already been in the pool quite a lot so they finished off by squirting eachother; there were a couple of altercations over the gun they preferred.  I've just given Thomas another $10 to get a second one of that variety so they won't fight over it.  George doesn't cope well with Ian's method of fighting, however George is quite happy to start it, just doesn't like it being finished.

I had a book arrive today as well, have had a cursory look at it, once I've had a proper look I'll give a quick review.   It's Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders and definitely has some patterns in there I'll use; some I won't as well.  

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Blogtoberfest XXVII

Not much to report today.  A bit of tidying in the sewing room, my ball winder got used and then put away so we can now see some table surface for the first time in a while.   The yarn I wound is some of my handspun, I've decided to use that instead of the Purewool for my swap project for Christmas.  It's a similar colour to the Purewool, but is superwash so easy care.
Got one row done on A Whisper of Earthquakes, no spinning.  Groceries arrived and packed away, though I had to ring them about one item that didn't arrive, but I did get charged for, a refund is now coming.  I'll have to do a bit of shopping tomorrow though to make up for the other things they didn't have; whole point of online grocery shopping is so I don't have to go out!
Did get the chocolate cake iced, and tasted.   I think the boys liked it cos there were only crumbs left.
As well as groceries tomorrow I will do some more work on the sewing room and Mum may come over and help with some weeding too if the weather is suitable.  There's a part of me that wants it to be pouring down so I can concentrate on the sewing room, is that bad?  Oh, and a little fabric cutting for some TNN friends.
Friday I'll have Ian home, hopefully George will be up to his gym session as he's still coughing and hacking away; seems well enough aside from that though, so no doctors visit yet.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Baking day

Didn't get much more tidying done today.  A couple of drawers in our room and my summer clothes are in our room now, winter back in the sewing room (put away).  Also went through my quilting stash and that's now away and tidy.
Got some spinning done though, I'm now 2/7ths of the way through my second single in "Barrier Reef", it's very bright, I'm thinking a shawl when it's done.  A large one as there will be 200 gm of probably light fingering to laceweight
After the boys got home we got some baking done.  TV privileges had been lost, so baking was my alternative.  We now have a chocolate cake waiting for icing, and this lovely item
This is tan square, I grew up with this and it brings back memories.  Ian's not sure about it, George ate his piece though.  Ian I think was disappointed because it isn't Russian fudge.   Might make that tomorrow.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Just one room to go

And it's the worst one in many ways.  Technically it's my crafting room, in reality it's that plus my work storage area and our dumping ground.  Here's what it looks like now.
Kind of a mess atm, there's sewing stuff, spinning stuff, knitting stuff and stuff stuff.   I'm not working on it today, the rest of the house has been worked on today so now both bedrooms are clean and tidy, so's the hall and the laundry.  The other service areas weren't too bad so I've just got a wee bit to do in the cupboards.  Still the hall cupboard and a couple of bedroom drawers as well; but in general it's looking much better now.

Unfortunately I didn't get any crafting done at all today, will have to do some tomorrow and maybe work on the sewing room every second day while I'm not doing paid work.  We did take a short break though, headed out to the dairy for an iceblock each and a walk.  It was a nice break.  Unfortunately the long weekend is pretty much over now.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Yet more cleaning

After yesterdays cleaning bee I decided to tackle the dining room and lounge today.  They're both finished and loom much better!  Still got the rest of the house to go; laundry is going to be interesting with all my dyeing stuff in there as well as the usual stuff.  Bedroom is necessary as well, it's kind of got out of control.
Once all the house is tidy though then I can start thinking about the redecoration of the dining/kitchen/laundry areas.  There's at least 2 layers of wallpaper to take off first, as well as all the furniture to move.  Once that's done then I can paint the walls, they're going to be a wheaten colour, then we can get the new floor laid.  The new floor will be vinyl planks so it's easy to clean; the state of our carpet atm in the dining room is pretty bad.

We do want to do the lounge in the same colour as well, but will see how much paint I have left; the carpet in there needs replacing too, we're down to backing in some areas, but it's not in the budget and if we do that room then the rest of the house needs doing and that's going to be expensive!

Tonight I'm going to get some knitting or spinning done I think, a little well earned relaxation.   See you tomorrow

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A giveaway I found and cleaning

First the interesting part, I found this giveaway via one of the other blogs I follow, it's for 40 fat quarters and it's beautiful, if you're into quilting you'd be mad not to enter!  Admittedly I'm selfishly hoping you won't win, and that I will, but enter anyway.

More mundane stuff; I've been cleaning in the kitchen.  All the cupboards and drawers have been cleaned and rearranged, I've found stuff that's never used to sell or give away and all I have to do now is the dishes and cleaning up of the bench and our kitchen will be beautiful!   I can't get Thomas to help unfortunately, he's away today and tomorrow wargaming, though with it being his birthday I can't really complain too much.  George can't help as he has a nasty coughing bug with occasional high temperatures and Ian's wanting to play Xbox with George for some strange reason.

In fibre related news my flax is starting to sprout, so all going well I'll have 4 square feet of flax plants to process late summer, or at least to start gettting ready to process; I'll save the seed too.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Blogtoberfest XXII

Busy day today, Ian's off school on Fridays which means I have to work around him a bit.
Went into work first so I'll have enough to keep me going for the weekend, though I can't store it in the boot of the car as Thomas will be taking the car for the weekend and putting all his gaming stuff in the boot.  Not sure where I'll be putting the finished work, but I'll sort something out.
After we got back from work there was the usual chores including cleaning out our one remaining guinea pig who's doing fine, and ringing the SPCA to see if they have kittens yet.  I'll be doing that every week till we get our kittens.  Unfortunately none yet, but when they start there'll be tonnes of them apparently.

I had some painting to do for Thomas for his gaming figures, got that done and then Ian and I could do some baking.  We made 2 things, some banana muffins (using my banana cake recipe), 2 duck eggs went into this and some Saucy Sues (I've eaten rather more of these than I should).  I ran out of time for doing more stuff as it was lunchtime by the time the SS's were cooked.  Ian then got to spend some time on the computer which he's really enjoying, now that George is home he's agitating for his turn.
In the meantime I've given him one of these
Which can't have been too bad cos it's all gone now!
I'm thinking I might get some knitting done now, no sewing today, but maybe tomorrow.
If it's fine maybe some gardening with help from the wee ones, they won't be keen but they need some outdoor time or else they'll get all pale and attentuated from lack of light; hang on, that's plants not kids.  I'm not taking any chances though!

Spindle spinning

I just realised I forgot to put this in the last post.  Yesterday I took my spindle in with me when I dropped Ian off at school.  Once all his stuff was unpacked and he'd got his whiteboard out he asked me to spin for him so I got the spindle out and started.  He started to do the spinning of the spindle, he needs a  little practice but he did it in the right direction every time, it was just the speed that wasn't quite there yet.
We attracted 3 girls from his class who found it fascinating, when Ian got bored and headed off to the reading corner, they took over helping; very cool.  One of them had a really good technique for spinning the spindle and got quite a bit of speed into it; then the bell rang and we had to stop, but a very good start to the day!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Blogtoberfest XXI

A pretty good day today.  Last night at the guild meeting my boss who wasn't there won one of the raffles.  I dropped that off to her this morning with my work and came away with more work and a dozen duck eggs.
Ian and I will be baking tomorrow, so look forward to yummy pics, in the meantime here's the raw ingredient that's setting this baking off
They're not as large as I expected, but this is a good thing, I won't have to adjust my liquids in recipes.  I think there might be banana muffins as my bananas are ready to leave the house.

After I got home I got the nappy covers finished and George is wearing one tonight.  I did one with white snaps and the other with baby blue, both look good and cover the nappy well.  Just the nappies to go for George now, but waiting on some fabric.  If I don't hear something soon I'll just have to make them double layers of BKT instead.
I've also signed up for another KAL, this one is a mystery one being done by TiKKi of Milo vest fame.  We had a choice of boy or girl item, I went boy of course and I'll be using Naturally Tussock in beige which is the right weight and a good colour for either of my boys.  I don't have time to spin anything or I would have gone that way.  So my Vintage Purls KAL might go on hold, I also have a hat to knit for a swap, probably making a WWII hat which is kind of different, but not so different as to scare people.  That'll be in the yarn left over from my Catamount Cardigan, it's a colour that will look good on a guy.  I won't post photo's until it's received though for just in case the recipient is watching.

Before picking up the boys I managed to get some prep work done for sewing.  I've cut out Thomas' business trousers, the fabric is a grey wool blend and is a nice weight for trousers.  The pattern is Burda 3150 which I've used a couple of times before with great success.  I'm hoping I might get some work done on these over the long weekend, but that'll depend on the boys.  If it's fine I want to spend some time outside playing with them.
Here's the start of the trouser journey though
Doesn't look much yet.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Traders Day

Luckily today George was well enough for school, so I got to go to the spinners and traders day.  I was very restrained and only bought one fleece from Janice Winter
This is a Romney, lovely colour and quite fine for a Romney.

I also got a little alpaca in black and a rich chocolate.  No books, dyed fibre or anything else I shouldn't have got.   No photo of the alpaca I'm afraid, maybe later.   I also got to the heel turn of my sock
Once the heel turn is done I'm on the home stretch as the other sock is finished.

After I got home did a little sewing, Thomas' trousers are as fixed as they're going to get and George almost has 2 more nappy covers, still got to snap them, but that'll happen tomorrow.
This is a double layer PUL, navy outside, white inside so I'm not going to reinforce the wings when I snap them, hopefully the extra layer of polyester will help to make it stronger.  The FOE (fold over elastic) is a lovely plush one, I'm being sparing with when I use this as I can't get it again.

Tonight once Thomas gets home I'm off to the guild to say goodbye to the original owners of Tai Tapu Wool Carders and hopefully meet the new owners who have shifted it to Rolleston.  Apparently the new owners have been well trained, so once they're all set up we should be able to get fleeces done to a high standard again ready for spinning.  I might post again after that.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sick child

After the 5.0 aftershock today (felt much stronger) I went to school to check on the boys.  Ian was fine, but George was feeling scared so I brought him home.   He was coughing when he went to school.  He now has a temp of 37 degrees, cough, headache and has gone to bed already at 6pm.  No dinner, but he did drink a full glass of water.   I suspect he'll be home tomorrow unless there's a huge turnaround in his health overnight.
I think any chance of me getting to the traders day tomorrow has gone out the window.

Before all that though I did get the vacuuming done, well most of it.  Mum came around and we weeded the driveway so that's all clear now.  I feel absolutely drained after that and the earthquake and now George.  Thomas is off to Auckland tomorrow so if George gets worse I'm coping by myself, if he does get worse we'll be ringing the doctor I think anyway.  I have given him a painkiller tonight though, I prefer not to so the temperature can do its job, but with the headache I didn't really have much choice.

Nothing wrong with his ears anyway, Ian asked for pudding, George was down to ask for some for him as well; obviously while not well, he's not that sick.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Christchurch Spinners and Weavers guild display

I popped in to see this after going to work this morning.  Well worth the trip I have to say.   A selection of works in the Visitors gallery in the Christchurch Museum.  There's weaving, felting, knitting and yarns; some items are for sale though I didn't buy any.
I didn't take my camera as you usually can't take photos, however I'm thinking I might put something in next time they do this as I think my work is up to standard which is nice.
Even if the display had not been on the walk would have been worth it for the flower displays in the gardens atm.  Lovely wallflowers, tulips, stock and lilacs so as well as the pretty to look at there was also pretty to smell!
The earthquake certainly doesn't seem to have affected the garden area of our park which is good.
I also met Jan from the guild with some of her family down from Rotorua, as we were talking we got watered by a passing sunshower which was kind of nice; also saw Sandra at the display as well, so plenty of guild members around town.  The guild shop should be reopening soon too, in a different spot, but still in the Art Centre which will be good.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

RIP Nemo

Went outside this morning to see a small brown body in the garden; I knew immediately it was Nemo.  He had the desire but not the skills to be a free-range guinea pig.  He managed to find a gap to escape through that Thomas hadn't spotted when he shifted them to fresh grass yesterday and got out of the cage sometime last night.  We suspect he got caught by one of the local cats, I just hope it was quick.  We didn't show the kids as whatever got him made rather a mess, just told them he had died and buried him.   Sonic seems ok, but I think he's a bit shocked so we're just leaving him alone today to recover a bit.   I'll give him lots of pats and treats tomorrow, but we're not getting him a companion.  If we got a boy there's a fairly good chance of fighting, possibly to the death, a girl would have lots of other problems, small cute furry ones to be sure; but still problems.  We don't want to get him fixed either which would then mean he could have a companion simply because surgery for small mammals is very risky.   We knew at some point we'd have lonely piggie, we just didn't expect it for some time.

Nemo was the cute brown chap at the front of this picture.  For some reason the boys preferred Sonic (grey), but Nemo had much more personality, pity it got him killed.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Forest floor bugs

That's right, I finished my first colourwork knitting today.  My Forest Floor socks which are using the lovely Bug Out pattern by Morag of Vintage Purls.  It's not available for individual sale yet, but probably will be in 6 months to a year.
I will be making mittens using the same base pattern, of course you'd have to buy Morag's pattern in order to make the mittens, but the rest of the instructions will be available on Ravelry, I'm using her pattern up to the thumb, so my instructions will cover from the thumb gusset up.  I've discussed this with Morag and she's happy with this arrangement.  I'm hoping lots of people will want to buy her pattern so they can make the socks and the mittens, cos this is a wonderful pattern!
I finished the socks at today's guild session and they were greatly admired by lots of people, including some whom I consider to be the best in the business, should I name drop?   Yes, I think I will.   Anne Field was one of them.  I've yet to block them, but when I do the tension should even out.  They're not perfect, the first one is a little tight in a couple of spots, but for a first effort I'm pretty happy.  I really like colourwork so I'm doing the mittens, then a pair of socks called Gryffindor Pride, then Nightingale Socks, then Luckenbrot Vest before I tackle Henry VIII; all this is going to take a few years I think, but worth it.

I do however, have some other projects to finish before them.  I need to make something for my 2 family members that I got in our lottery for Christmas, then I can do the mittens and keep working on my Whisper cardigan in there as well.   Sewing too, and a Christmas swap is coming up.....
Never enough time unfortunately and this week will be busy as I have a display at the Museum to go to, maybe another guild meeting on Monday, the proper meeting on Wednesday night as well as the usual work and family things.

To finish off today's post I'm going to complete my review of Brave New Knits; see previous post for the purchase link if you want to buy it.

The second section is for accessories:

Textured Tam and Mitts
This is knit in a chunky yarn and I'm afraid it doesn't do much for me, the tam looks too small for the model and it's a pretty boring looking set from my point of view.  I won't be knitting it.

Lace Flower Pin
This is a decorative piece, no real use, however it is very pretty and could be attached to all sorts of things like hair clips, shawl pins etc so probably worth the knit.  I like the silver one best.

Woodsmoke Scarf:
I'm not really that into scarves, but this is pretty and would go with a lot of different things.  I do wear the occasional scarf so I might knit this one, but I suspect I'd do it all in one colour.

Chutes and Ladders Socks
Pretty enough, but I have many nicer sock patterns.  I suspect part of the problem is I like longer socks, so this doesn't really do anything for me.  

Sprouting Cloche
I really like this, it's an unusual shape and I suspect you could even fit a bun in there which appeals to me now that I'm growing my hair again.  I also like the bud shapes on the cloche, very sweet without being sickly.

Hydrangea Neckwarmer
I love neckwarmers, they can't unwind and slap you in the face as you're chasing your 6 year old down the driveway, you can arrange them around your collar and this one is solid enough to keep you warm, while at the same time having some lace to make it feminine; this is one I really want to make, probably out of handspun.

This is my favourite kind of sock, cables and colourwork.   This could be done in all sorts of colour combinations.   I will definitely be knitting this.

Lenina Cap
This is a nice skullcap shape with a horizontal banding with vertical columns as well.  It's long enough to cover ears and forehead and while a fairly geometric shape it also manages to be feminine.  I love this so it will be in the queue at some point.

Pretty fingerless mitts, but need to be longer up the wrist which would balance the design better.  I think I prefer the Blackrose mitts, which are a free pattern

Working all the Angles Blanket
First up I have to say I'm not really a fan of the knitted blanket, though there is a fairly good chance I'll end up doing a sock yarn blanket at some point.  I won't knit this myself, but I can see the appeal.  It's geometric and has some good opportunities for colour mixing.  I can see it in shades of grey on a guys bed, or shades of pink on a little girls bed; I just won't be the person knitting it.

Helix Socks
Once again, pretty enough, but not a sock that I'm dying to knit.  The top and leg have a diagonal spiralling pattern, might work better for me on a knee-high.

The Orchid Thief Shawlette
This is my favourite pattern in this book, I will definitely knit it.  Like Ysolda's other shawls it's pretty and elegant.  I like the main pattern, I love the border pattern.  Must knit this, soon!

Lubov Scarf
Pretty and a good length, looks like it would be nice and easy to remember the repeats and it would be nice and warm.   I probably won't knit it but that's because I'm more into shawls, and after the Orchid Thief this looks bland.   Maybe if they'd put it earlier in the book?

One other thing, the latest Verena arrived today, some nice stuff in there, but I'm not inspired.  I don't think I'll renew this at the end as I have to watch my budget and I don't want to waste it on a magazine I don't love.  Interweave Knits tends to inspire me rather more.

Warm Crafting everyone!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Knitting and working

Last night I got a couple of hours done on my Whisper cardigan, I'm 4" into the back now and feeling like I'm getting somewhere.  I won't be working on that tonight though, about to try and get my final beetle done on my stranded colourwork socks.  I'd really like to get them finished tonight if I can.
Today's been busy, a drop off at work, more work to do.  Also did the grocery shopping with Ian in tow, we had a small tizzy on the floor when I refused to buy him some Natural Confectionary Co snakes, but he recovered pretty quickly.
Got the groceries packed away and gave Ian his treat before doing some more work.
I had a wee stop this evening to peruse my latest book, any books I'm getting now are from my spending money, so I'm being a bit more picky than I used to be.
I bought Brave New Knits when it came out after seeing the patterns on Ravelry.  There are some I wouldn't knit, but many that I would.  I'm going to do a very quick review of what I think of the patterns, no pictures I'm afraid, but you can look on Rav for that.

Tulip Peasant Blouse:  This is pretty, but I really feel that the sleeves don't quite work with it; I feel a set-in sleeve might have worked better, but of course that would require a complete rework of the top of the garment.

Milk Maiden Pullover:  This I love, great shaping and I love an Empire Line, it seems to suit most women.  The fitting above the bust needs some tweaking and one sleeve is sitting a bit skewed, but that may well simply be the way it was put on.   I'm planning on knitting this.

Global Cable Coat:  I love the look of this, but with the open front I suspect it wouldn't be as warm as it should be.  I'd make it able to be closed in front by adding another cable row I think, would have to think on the best way to do this without destroying the wonderful collar.  I like the sleeve length on this too.

Seaweed Vest:  Hard to tell from the photo, looks like a nice simple vest, nothing special though

It Comes In Waves Pullover:  I think this is really pretty, would make a lovely summer top.  The neckline is flattering for summer and the cables give it nice shape too.

Kimberly Cardigan:  Hard to tell with that fluffy blouse underneath.  It gives me impressions of slightly shapeless attempt at a little girls cardigan upsized.  Won't be knitting it.

Krookus Cardigan: This isn't really my style, I need shaping.  However despite this it is a very cool jacket and I think it wold look great on someone other than me.  I like A-line jackets.  I might actually have to see if I'm right by knitting it...

Silke Jacket:  Very nice wee summer jacket.  Lovely shaping at the waist, the low armhole works in this and the slightly assymetrical  neckline is very pretty.  Not sure if it would work on me due to the flaring at the hips, my hips have enough flare without help.

Delysia Camisole:  The name makes me think of "Delysia LaFosse" from one of my favourite movies "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day" and I think this would have looked really good on her.  Reminds me of the classy lingerie she wore.  Unfortunately I think perhaps I'm a little too well endowed for it to work on me, but for someone with a B or smaller cup I think it would look fantastic.

Koukla Cardigan:  I'm sorry, this bores me.  Shawl collar on a double breasted top with short sleeves; meh.

Johnny Rotten Jacket:  This had potential, I think it might still work if a little longer in body and sleeve and in a less fuzzy yarn.

Origami Shrug:  I really like this, it's very pretty and would be lovely for an evening out.  I don't know if it would suit me, I tend to look silly in ruffles and the back is a little ruffly, but it looks lovely on the model.

Button Tunic:  Can we say cute?  Lovely on a wee girl and if lengthened I think it would work well as a dress too.  Simple but very cute.

That's the first half of the book, I'm running out of room so I'll get to the rest later.  I have not been asked to do this review, nor have I been remunerated in any way; these are all my opinions based on the book that I spent my own money on.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Blogtoberfest XIV

Not the day I had planned.  I had work in the cupboard that needed doing, but I expected to have a little more time.  My boss emailed wanting to know when it would be ready so I committed to tomorrow morning.  Unfortunately that meant no grocery shopping today, no knitting, no sewing, boo hoo.
Instead from 9am to 5pm with food breaks I've been working.  This does involve working with knitwear and doing handsewing, but somehow it's not the same as working on your own creations.

The good thing is I finished it all, so tonight I can do some knitting once the boys are in bed; I'm hoping to get another few inches done on the back of my Whisper cardigan.

Groceries will happen tomorrow, as will the work drop off of course and hopefully some sewing while Ian's home.  I've got to replace the backing on a couple of mattress protectors and Thomas's business trousers need some repair work to keep them going till I can make his new pair.

Blogtoberfest XIII - self portrait

You'll recognise this photo from my previous post, it's just cropped so you can see me better.  Will post again later today, but it's looking pretty quiet atm.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A little fabric and yarn goodness

First up Catamount is dry and I've been wearing it all day; I love it!

After I dropped the boys off this morning at school I then headed off to investigate a new fabric store that's just opened in Moorhouse Ave.  It's called Moreland Fabrics and has a good range of all sorts from quilting to cheap stuff right to expensive wedding fabrics.  I came out with 7m of different fabrics.  2 lots of embroidered skirt fabric, some cotton voile for George to dye and a small piece of quilting fabric.  Fairly cheap too, I was quite pleased
The left one is the quilting cotton, will be a good blender.  The front is mauve embroidered and the one under it is a dark navy.
A little later I looked outside to see a parcel in my mailbox, went out and found my Wollmeise
Because this is the only one I have or are likely to have for some time there will not be socks happening with this yarn.  It'll probably be a shawl of some kind I think; it's beautiful and such a smooth yarn.  The colour is Aquarius.

Btw, while I've been typing this we've had another big aftershock, felt like a 5.0 on the scale to me, but will probably find out what it was in 15-30 minutes.  In the meantime I'm going to finish getting our roast chook ready for dinner so we can eat.  It's been a busy day earthquake wise here, several definite ones this afternoon.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

day 12 Blogtoberfest

No photo's yet, my cardigan isn't dry.   I've started work on my next project, my "A Whisper of Earthquakes", so named as it was cast on during the aftershock period here in Christchurch.  I've got the first sleeve finished and am a centimetre or so into the back but had to stop knitting as I was falling asleep over it.   Not enough sleep over the last few nights and it's showing.
Instead I spent some time in the garden, put the guinea pigs back outside and dug over the bed in front of the lounge.  We now have pea seeds in , carrots (hope they do something this time) and also my Flax seed for growing my own fibre to process into linen.   After some searching on the net it seems it needs to be planted at 70 plants per square foot to discourage branching out and get the best results fibre-wise.  I've probably got about 6 square feet planted out so it'll be interesting to see how that goes.  I'm intending on dew retting on the lawn over winter; might have to build some hackles, but I'll see if my English combs will do the job first.

I got confirmation I'm doing a good job as a Mummy tonight, George told me he hated me after I sent him to bed 15 minutes early for an earlier incidence of disobedience.  I decided that means he's learning from his mistake and also learning that I won't be a pushover for him.  Yay me!

Yesterday the local daily newspaper "The Press" issued a book in rememberance of our earthquake on the 4th September this year.  I've talked to Thomas and he's going to get a copy on Thursday when he's in town; we both think it's something that's important to get even if it's not in the budget.  Should be an interesting read I think, especially as we were all there and it's something to show the kids too and their children in 20 years time.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Stormy Catamount

It's finally finished and blocking!   Did the grafting of the underarms this morning and wove in all the ends as well.  It fits well and it's nice and warm as well.   I've given it a wash and a light block as it doesn't need a heavy one.
I've got a photo pre-blocking and one of me wearing it pre-blocking.  Will get DH to take one of it after blocking on me tomorrow hopefully.
Here she is!

Sorry about the photo with me wearing it, very hard to get a good one with the camera on timer.   I found the buttons in my stash, they're a deep rust with a gold centre and look really good with it.
Now onto the Whisper Cardigan, which I've called "A Whisper of Earthquakes" seeing as it was cast on during our aftershock period.   I need to get the Whisper done as it'll be a great light cardi for spring and summer.
I still have to work on my Central Park Hoodie and my One Sided vest, plus 2 pairs of socks, but I might cast something else on after I've finished Whisper.  I need to make something for my brother, maybe some fingerless gloves for when he's gaming, I also need to do some socks for Thomas and of course a shawl of some kind as well......
So many knits and so little time, plus of course there's sewing to do, gardening to do and housework.  Is it any wonder the housework is a little behind?   I did get some done today though, put a lot of paper into the recycling bin, caught up on the washing and reduced one of the paper piles.  Tomorrow will be some sewing (not nappies, need some more fabric for them) and some knitting and some gardening if the weather cooperates.  I definitely get more done when the boys are back at school though!
Hope you all had a good day and I'll be reporting back tomorrow.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

No Photo's Today

Just a very quick post to let you know there will be photo's tomorrow.  After I've grafted the underarms and finished weaving in what seems like hundreds of ends, and found 3 suitable buttons; I will then be able to show you all my finished Catamount Cardigan.  The knitting is complete, yay!

Ian now has a necklace like George's but in green.  Ian strung about 2" of beads before getting bored so George finished it off for him and I attached the ends.   Ian isn't wearing his as much as George, but he likes it.  Personally I think they're both really cool, I love that they're randomly placed on the tiger tail.

My Wollemeisse is on its way, really looking forward to it.  They listed more today, it had gone in less than 30 minutes.  No, I didn't get more either, lol.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

It's getting late

So just a quick post today.  The morning was spent gardening through some drizzly spots.  The main vege patch is now dug in and spuds planted.  Also got most of my seeds into trays
We've got zucchini, corn, mesclun mix, passionfruit (lets see if I can kill some more), beans and I think there was something else, but not sure.   Seeing as it's been pretty warm I'm hoping they'll sprout pretty quickly.
After that we came inside as it was getting a bit too wet and the boys got some Xbox time while I sewed up these:
If you don't know what they are, they're cloth pads and will be coming in handy next week I suspect.  Much more comfy than the shop ones and a lot cheaper too considering they're all from stash.  They're not flat, I don't know how people manage to sew flat ones as my overlocker refuses point blank, but they will be absorbant and comfy.  Top layer is cotton velour, then we have one layer of Burley Knit Terry (BKT) which is a stretch cotton towelling and one layer of bamboo terry with a backing of PUL.
Time for bed now, will post more tomorrow, hopefully including the cardigan which is one page of instructions off being finished!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Wigglies and Wollemeisse (TMI warning)

Unfortunately I got proof positive that Ian has picked up one of the 2 main banes of children in NZ; I've just had to worm him.  Poor wee chap, he's been itching all day so it's been constant handwashing.
That's the bad news for the day.

The good news.  George decided to make his necklace this morning while he was waiting to go to his friends house across the road; he strung it himself, I just put the fastenings on, that was it.
He is understandably very proud of it, he wore it all day and would still be wearing it if I hadn't told him he wasn't allowed to sleep in it.   He then had a lovely day over at his friends place and even had dinner there.  One very happy boy.
Ian spent part of the morning playing with his playdough and had some time on the trampoline and with his scooter too
That concentration!
In the afternoon I went on Twitter just at the right moment to see a tweet from The Loopy Ewe advising that they had just uploaded some Wollemeisse.   I've been wanting some of this for ages!   I immediately rang Thomas and asked if I could get some, he wanted to know if it could wait till he got home; um, no!   I explained that this stuff sold quickly, so he asked if I could wait an hour, also no cos by then it'd be gone too. Luckily he then said yes!   I popped it in my cart, and checked out really quickly, it's showing as a pending sale payment successful so I'm hopeful that I got it.  It was out of stock shortly afterwards in all colours, not just the tealy shade I got.

Now to not quite so interesting stuff.  I've found my fabric for night nappies and also for mama pads.  Now that my mooncup isn't working for me I need to go cloth overnight so I can avoid that aisle completely.   I have some lovely cotton velour so they'll be nice.  Once the pads and nappies are made then I can get onto making nice things instead of utilitarian things.

About to get back to the knitting, I'm on the yoke on my Catamount Cardigan and 4 rows off the last bug on my socks so I'm hopeful I'll get one of these finished this weekend.
Tomorrow is going to be gardening and working.  Thomas is off to a Judo thing for the weekend, back evenings, but won't see much of him at all.  I need to get my seeds planted, spuds in and remaining vege garden turned over.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Expensive news, plus a nice surprise

George had his orthodontist appointment this morning to assess his teeth.  He didn't stay as still as he should have for the x-ray, but despite that it was pretty obvious he has some impressive crowding going on there as well as an issue with his front teeth meeting rather than sliding over the bottom ones.  He also has at least 2 holes in his back teeth; how this happens with regular brushing I don't know.  So, I'll be ringing the dental nurse on Monday again to get him booked in.
As far as the long term thing, he's going to need braces as a teenager.  Estimate at this point is $5000!   All I can say is I'm glad the mortgage will be paid off by then cos we'll need the money for this instead; also there goes any chance of me getting laser surgery for my eyes.
After we'd finished there we went to Beadz Unlimited and he chose a tube of blue beads and we got one of green ones for Ian.   We then were very bad and went to Fudge Cottage; I got the boys one thing of chocolate fudge to share (pudding tonight) and some toffee for me.  I felt like a treat after the above news.

Picked up Ian from Grandmas and then went home.  The nice surprise was sitting outside the back door, my latest spinning fibre swap; it's not due for sending till 23rd of the month, but I'm not complaining.  The one I'm sending is mostly put together now, just got to sort the seeds out.
What I got though was beautiful.  3 lots of fibre; 100g grey Merino dyed in food colouring, 100g white superwash Merino dyed the same and then some purple added and some alpaca blended with silk from the senders own animal.  All of them came in organza bags with some amethyst chips and hand-made fimo ends on the ties.   I also got a butterfly made from feathers (commercial) and a crocheted flower and some seeds.  The crowning glory was the most wonderful gardening apron with 3 pockets and lots of loops for putting things in like sequateurs.  Going to be using that this weekend.
It's not the best photo, the colours are lighter than they appear here and the apron is brighter.  Tis all lovely though.

On the fibre front my washing from yesterday isn't dry yet.  I've got the Suri on the electric drying rack, and the rest is going on the line and getting tossed to get the air into it.   I'm not sure what I'll spin next, but I should really finish the current Merino and Gotland that I'm partway through, then I think I might go Suri for a bit seeing as it was so hard to find.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

More washing and sewing

The morning started with a trip to Silverback Cafe to meet a friend for coffee, well, in my case hot chocolate.
We've planned playdates for our children a few times but they don't seem to happen, usually due to sickness.  We had a good chat and we're going to try again for a playdate when their front gate has been installed.  Her eldest son is ASD, same as Ian so we're hoping it'll work out well.  I think they have it a little harder with his behaviour than we do with Ian though.
When I got back I started washing fleeces again, got the remains of the chocolate fleece done and also the black one; they're not 100% clean, but good enough for storage and spinning.  This is them after rinsing on the trampoline
and this is the water after I'd finished these
You'd think it was a latte, but no, that's water after washing the above fleeces; I put it on the vege garden as it's full of sheepy goodness.  Later I washed my Suri Alpaca fleece, I don't have photo's of that, but the water off that was black!  After the 4th rinse it was still pretty mucky so I've spun it out and am drying it so I can tease it out a bit for further washing.

As well as washing I went to Oderings and picked up a bag of seed raising mix so I can plant some seeds this weekend, a little later than I'd planned, but considering the weather atm I don't think it'll take long for them to sprout.  If the weather is ok on the weekend I'll dig over the gardens and direct sow peas, potatoes, linen flax, carrots etc.  Into the mix will go beans, corn, zucchini and mesclun salad mix.

This afternoon I finally finished the pyjamas!   I now have 2 more tops and a pair of trousers for next winter and I'm really pleased with them.  Next on the agenda for sewing are business trousers for Thomas, nappies for George and a skirt for me
You can see the penguin pair on the left, floral sleeves and penguin body.  The paisley pink pair has solid pink sleeves and the trousers go with that pair.  Very pleased they're finished now though.

I have my knitting group tonight, so will be working on Catamount, hopefully the sleeves will be done and attatched to the body before the night is out.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Washing day

Doesn't sound very exciting does it?  However it wasn't just clothes washing.  I also washed 2/3 of a brown Perendale fleece; here it is soaking turning the water an icky tan colour
After this it got rinsed 2 times and looked a lot better.  It's currently drying on a rack inside as it got rather windy and I was worried it might disappear into someone elses backyard.  The best bit about washing it though was that the boys are at Grandmas so there was no "assistance" resulting in felting.  I'll wash the rest of this one tomorrow and part of another one too.
I've also been sewing, finally finishing off the pyjamas that have been sitting waiting for some months.  They've gone from flat pieces of fabric to almost finished clothing.  Just got to attach the sleeves, do sideseams, hems and buttonholes on the tops and hem and elastic casing on the bottoms.  The pj's are the result of a stash cleanout, not enough of any fabric for a full pair so they're bitzers.
Tomorrow they'll be all finished and I might get some spinning done, I want to do some more of this

Isn't it pretty?  I'm spinning it fractally, that is the first 100g is being spun as is, the second is being split lengthwise several times for shorter colour changes.  I'll then ply them and they'll end up being a shawl most likely.
Back tomorrow, have a good night everyone.

Monday, October 04, 2010

The weekend and other things1

First up, happy Blogtoberfest!  I'm going to try and post every day from now on this month, had to miss the first couple of days due to not being here.   Out at Raincliff there is no TV, internet or cellphone coverage so I had good reason not to be posting.  We had 20 plus people, I didn't actually count the numbers, but it was a congenial and inspiring group of ladies.   I came back with more stuff than I arrived with, which is normal for these types of things.  I got patterns, buttons and trims for a very good price.  Summer had arrived with a bunch of boxes of stuff from a shop that had closed down locally.  10c per button $1 per sewing pattern, 50c per metre of trim and 50c per knitting pattern.  Not a great deal left, but some stuff I'll definitely use.
I also created 4 fabric covered buttons courtesy of Leanne and her button press; I used some owl fabric I had and they're gorgeous!   Photos' not taken yet; I got some water on the camera so I'm giving it some time before I try turning it on.
I've taken a few photo's, but the first is a collage of the set-up and also my pile of projects which of course didn't all get done.
I taught Tanya and Louise to spin.  Tanya had tried a couple of times before, so she was spinning very even yarn very quickly.  Louise I don't think had, but she still did really well (I mean it Louise, that was darned good yarn!).  Louise has agreed to me posting a photo of her showing off her first skein of yarn.
How cool is that?  It's Romney that's been washed and carded, I have a jersey made from this fibre and it's lovely and warm.   I think I can safely say both ladies are hooked, they stopped in at Tallyho carding on the way home and rung them to open the shop so they could buy some wheels of fibre!  Louise has a fleece at home that she wants to wash and spin from scratch, so she also tried flick carding some Corriedale I'd taken along for that purpose.  She wants to do it from start to finish, that is from doing the shearing herself right through to knitting the jersey at the end, she's going to have great fun doing that.  Her wee son was very cooperative and let his Mummy have lots of time to practice too; neither of my boys were that accommodating at that age.
I also got some spinning done, my first ever silk hankies which I dyed a while ago and have had hanging around the craft room catching on my hands whenever I touched them.  This si what they look like now; very happy with them.
And some Gotland lamb, still have a lot of this to go, but I wanted to get some plied to see how it looked and I'm really happy, it's lovely and squishy; probably won't wear that well, but it'll be warm!
I just love grey!  This will eventually end up as a jersey for me and will probably need regular shaving to keep it presentable.  It's been spun woollen.   Neither has been washed yet, I was going to do that today, but the boys had long showers this morning and there's no hot water left at all.

There was some wonderful stuff being done by other people there too while I was spinning and knitting; the most wonderful quilt top emerged really quickly from a jelly roll
I believe it was being bound in red to pick up the colour in one of the squares; not sure on the backing.  Definitely rather impressive with how fast and accurate it was though.  Reminded me I should get around to selling the quilt kit I've got for a barnyard; the boys have outgrown it now, however it cost me $30 per month for 12 months so not sure how easy it will be to sell it.

On the way home we dropped into the Geraldine and got Mum her seedless blackberry jam, me some more caramel icecream sauce from Barkers shop and some lovely looking Feta cheese from the cheese shop there.  I also got the most divine black doris plum icecream in a cone which I devoured very quickly.  After that we hit the Tin Shed which stocks  a lot of Merino and Merino/Possum knitwear as well as some yarn; I may have accidentally bought this:
It's laceweight Mohair/Merino so a lovely sheen and since I got 2 I can make a large shawl with it.   It's made by Touch Yarns, not my normal choice in colour, but so deep and moody I had to get it.

Another stop in Tinwald at Annies quilt shop nabbed me a pair of embroidery scissors in pink and cream, some inch printed embellishment tape which I'll probably put on the bottom of a skirt and 2 lots of very fine trim in pink and burgandy.  I need more skirts.
We then dropped into Ashfords where I got 200g of blue silk/merino to spin up and a pattern book for children's hoodies which covered sizes 8 to 14.  I love spinning silk and Merino so I'm looking forward to that.

Today we went into work where I showed off my yarn that I'd spun, picked up some work that I'll be doing tonight and then came home.  The boys have played in the garden a bit with their fruit iceblocks

and also inside with their playdough

apparently this is me, a pretty good likeness I think.   Everyone is tired now, so we've watched a movie and they're now playing Lego Batman while I work.
Back tomorrow, have a great day everyone!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

A heavenly weekend!

I'll post properly tomorrow, really tired today.  However I had a wonderful time down at Raincliff.  There are now two more ladies who have learnt the basics of spinning after my wee lessons.   I got 3 skeins finished including my first silk hankies, got some more work done on my Bug socks, my Catamount jersey and I also got to use a button press so I now have some very cute fabric covered buttons.  
Picked up some cheap sewing and knitting patterns, buttons and trim while there.  On the way back I may have picked up some yarn, spinning fibre and more trim including some really cool tape measure print trim.  Have to take photo's of the bounty yet, and it's dark now so will wait till tomorrow after I've gone to work, done a quick grocery trip and hopefully got hold of a friend who George desperately wants to visit tomorrow.

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