Follow this blog with bloglovin

Follow on Bloglovin

Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years Resolutions

Normally I don't really do this, but there are a couple of things I need to make sure I follow through with this year.

1.  Eat better - I'm going to be trying a new way of eating following food combining principles, it'll be starting midway through January; this also involves stopping eating sweets.

2.  Exercise more - this is like the eating health related; I'm sure it'll help my IBS as well as my overall wellbeing and maybe my midriff too which is a bit bigger than I like.    I really need to lose 15kg to get back to my ideal weight of 60kg

3.  More sewing, knitting, quilting which will also mean less computer time.  I've already taken one step towards this by cutting out my Facebook games, still have to reduce my Ravelry and blog reading time so I'll be reducing the number of groups on Rav and blogs that I follow.

4.  More time doing family stuff and working on the house.   The latter is difficult to decide on until after Fletchers have done their bit and we've got no idea when that'll happen either.  First thing is to make up the insect screens tomorrow and get them in place.  Then we'll have windows we can open without that darned cat coming in and also no more flies!

5.  Reduce my spending further.   So, no more yarn, books, fabric, notions, cameras etc unless needed.   There may be one lot of yarn to make a coat that I really want to make and of course the voucher at Knitworld to spend.  I'm getting a Kindle with the money from Mum and Dad which will mean if I do need a book I won't have to pay for postage from Amazon which is good.  There may also need to be a DVD recorder as it looks like our old one is having some issues and it's well past warranty now.   Hoping that'll be all though.

6.  Get the garden under control and keep it that way; this involves convincing DH that we don't need that weed infested area near the fence to be anything other than grass; then I can just mow it once a week and it'll look a whole lot better.   And we'll be able to use the edging on it for raised beds for the vege plot.

Tomorrow I might also do my birthday post; which I should have done yesterday.    Most of the day wasn't great despite Thomas' best efforts cos our boys both got replaced by trolls.   As a result today there has been no TV/electronic entertainment.  WOW was really cool, but you can't take any photo's so nothing to show you.  I took a couple outside the museum so I'll download those for your viewing pleasure.   I also got quite a few in town, practicing with my camera's focus etc which was nice.
We went out to dinner to Rossendales and had a very nice meal there, love that place!   My birthday present from Thomas is going to be a contribution towards my camera and the rest of what I need to get my Kindle.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Almost another year older

No sewing

this is basically how today went, the day before I get another year older.  

At the moment Spotlight has 30% off all fabric and they sent me a voucher for $10 off any spend over $10 so I decided it was a perfect time to get the tulle I need for my petticoat.  I really wanted Crinoline, but it's not something Spotlight know anything about, so tulle it was.  Nylon netting was suggested, but I don't want the ballerina look, something softer is more me.  I don't have any ribbon to sew over the raw edges so I'm thinking I might make some bias ribbon from some of my cotton fabric instead.  I'll be following the tutorial on Sugardale and it'll be for my full circle skirt.

When I got home we put the boys in the car and headed out to Acorn Hobbies for Thomas to pick up his undercoat paint.   The boys found several things in there they'd love to get, but unfortunately for them we didn't buy any of them.

Next off to Beadz Unlimited for the first time since they relocated after the earthquakes.   I now have 2 tubes of clear beads to go on my pink shawl; Thomas hated all the pink beads on it and to be honest I wasn't that keen on them either.  I also got one tube of cream coloured ones to join the bead stash; all in size 5.

Home and we started tidying the lounge.    That took a while, especially with the half-hearted help from the boys.   It is now done though, but after that came.....

Work.   Had to get some done so I don't have to do any tomorrow on my birthday.   Tomorrow I definitely want to go to the museum (if it's open) and do some sewing.

Tonight will be some Xbox time on Resident Evil 5 with Thomas; after the boys go to bed.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Geez it's hot!

No walk today, but Thomas took the boys off to the Dojo to watch someone with one of those floating shark things and play around.  Gave me a good 2 hours of just me which meant I got my shorts pattern copied and the fabric cut out

I spotted a few more things in the sewing room I thought I should show you; first of all is the pile of work I have to do before the 16th Jan
That's a full-height wardrobe and it's stuffed up to the hangers, with more on the floor; it's about a metre wide.  In future when I'm on leave I'll say no to taking work home; sure I do need the money, but this is ridiculous!
I found some fabric and yarn I haven't shown off here before; I've had it for a wee while, but not put it on Ravelry or shown it off here.
Fat quarter bundle of Kona Solids

3 yards of Kona solids
 Getting decent quilting solids is really hard to find here in New Zealand; Fabric Vision has what they call Homespun which is 100% cotton, but not the best quality.   It's not the worst either, but still I wanted some decent stuff.  Might get the colour cards at some point, but they're not cheap either.  I get most of my plains from Fat Quarter Shop in the US; their shipping is not too bad and their prices are usually ok too.  I've looked for plains in quilting shops here and most that I've found are part of some other range, never seen the Kona ones.
Mythral by Stansborough Wools.  This is going to be a tam using a stranded colourwork at the transition between top and bottom; I'm partway through designing.

John Q Merino Possum sockwool, this is a recycled yarn and feels quite harsh before knitting and washing; but it blooms nicely, just like the top quality yarn at work.

This is what I spent my voucher at The Loopy Ewe on, well this and a circular needle I wanted to try.  This is Cascade Yarns Heritage Sock
I didn't get any knitting done today, but did finish patching the bottoms of Thomas' socks.  He loves them incredibly now!
I had the leather lying around so just cut to fit and then sewed it on while Thomas was wearing the socks to make sure that it fit correctly.

While no knitting happened I did make a decision about my next shawl; I had been going to do the Seaside Shawlette but decided it wasn't really me; instead I'm going to do Frangipani which is much more me.   I'm using pink yarn and need to get beads to go with it; hope to do that tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A lovely day

We went for another walk this morning, not as long as yesterday but still a good one.   The boys did some pretend fishing at the stream
 And played Storks on the wooden bollards
I saw some wonderful textures on the trees in the park

before heading back home.  Had a quick chat to the neighbours when we got home and Paula mentioned one item of clothing that she wears a lot in summer which I have realised is missing in my wardrobe.  Shorts!    So there was a rummage in the accessible stash, a quick wash of some lovely green cotton twill weave fabric and a hunt for the perfect pattern.   Tomorrow I'll be cutting out this pattern
This is Ottobre 2/2010 and they'll be smart shorts; not exactly vintage, but it's been pretty hot here the last few days.   Thursday though the weather is supposed to change.
Because it was so nice today we went out on the lawn after dinner and played Addictionary for the first time; a good, fun game which George enjoyed as well as Thomas and I.  Ian wasn't interested, but we'll play it again and try to get him interested.

I got some more done on my Central Park Hoodie, we're now past the transition chart and into the main chart.   2 rows done on my socks too, still a long way to go on those, but they're my out and about knitting so it'll come.

Tomorrow will have another walk and maybe a visit to the museum; though Thomas wants to do that later in the week so we'll see on that one.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day!

I have to say today was a good day.   A wee bit of a sleep in, and after breakfast and the usual washing etc we went for a long walk for at least an hour and a half.   Was a nice walk, though we saw that the local Catholic church is now cordoned off.

You see signs like this outside of many of our lovely cities churches.  I don't know when this church was damaged as we rarely go around this corner on foot.  We then went to one of the local parks; isn't this the nicest approach to a park? 
And at the end of it is a wee bridge and the cutest thing in the water
He's arrived a bit late and was the only one there; but oh so cute!

At the end of the walk George got out one of his new toys; we got him and Electric Brain Box and  he had great fun with the helicopter bit

He's just so proud of himself!   He also made a couple of finger puppets from a craft kit; so all in all a great day for him.
I got some knitwear repair done, T's Christmas socks from last year are darned and one now has a leather sole; I'll do the second one tomorrow
Thomas punched holes in the leather and it's been sewn on using linen thread.   So Thomas is really happy with it and he's also really pleased with his socks from this year too.

I got some knitting done too; Central Park Hoodie with Viking Cables is now past the ribbing on the back and I'm halfway through the transition chart for the main cable; it's looking wonderful!

And to finish off, gratuitous kitty shots; doing what all kitties do in hot weather
Ignore the pile of clothes; they're waiting to be put away and Ray and Star really don't care about them anyway.

Tomorrow there might be another walk, we need to get into condition as we were all pretty tired after today's effort.   Work off some of the Christmas food.

Quokka Quilts comp

I created this collage for a competition I think it'd look great as a bedroom quilt

The fabrics are clockwise from top left:

Warm Memories Green Tea Almond Bark

Mariposa Grove Batiks Pansy Lovely Geraniums

Kansas Troubles Favorites Gold Sunflowers

Kona Cotton Willow

Kansas Troubles Favorites Black Berry Branch

Plume Black Beautiful Peacock

Coco Berry Tonga Batiks Sea Curly Q

Blue Lagoon Batiks Royal Five Petal Flowers

Green Tea Batiks Teal Pod Flower

Green Tea Batiks Lagoon Spider Vine

I Heart Blue Vase Pattern

Comfort Juniper Plaid Floral

Kansas Troubles Favorites Black Vine

Kona Cotton Ocean

Kona Cotton Cheddar

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Well, I forgot the camera today, again.  Boys had a great time, but after 4 hours Ian was ready to go home and to be honest so was I.  Really tired and I got sunburned too.   I used sunscreen, but it didn't stop the burn unfortunately.    It's not hugely bad, but it is red.  Boys don't seem to be burned for some reason, though I can't recall them ever getting burned whether we sunscreen them or not; they were screened today just as I was.
Unexpectedly I got a couple of presents from my MIL and SIL; the final Lemony Snicket book (I'm missing a few before the last one, but that's ok) and an older woolcraft book which I don't have.   It's called Fibre Facts for Spinners and Weavers and it's a wonderful book of hints from various fibre crafters back in the early 1980's.  So nice not to get hit with chocolate or similar this year. 

Tried to play on the Xbox when I got home, but was so tired I got motion sickness so gave that up and instead started to work on my Central Park Hoodie again, not got much done so far, but closer to the end of the ribbing section on the back.   I should start on my next shawl, but not really in the mood.  Should get a few more rows done tonight, hoping that I will finally finish the ribbing; that would be nice.

What are we going to do tomorrow?   Don't know, but I think it'll be quiet and maybe some exercise.  No boxing day sales though.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

We went to have an early Christmas with my family today; we've done both families in the past and we find it's just too much.  The boys get overdone and by the second Christmas meal we've all had too much and things tend to get broken.
Today we all went to Spencer Park, I forgot all the cameras except the one in my phone so while I took a few shots and some turned out well, most are no good due to the limitations of said phone camera.  We all had a great time and a lovely picnic lunch.   The boys played in the playground and no-one got sunburned due to lavish amounts of spray on sunscreen.   Here's some of the photo's I took; enjoy.
The seat with a face, looks like a sleepy Manga character

George on top of the climbing frame

Ian on top of the climbing frame

One of the wonderful sculptures in the playground area

A very important rooster, he kept his hens nice and close

The peacock who kept away from my boys and refused to sand his tail up for them

A honey coloured Kunekune pig.

Friday, December 23, 2011

More large earthquakes

At 1.58pm there was another 5.8 earthquake 20km northeast of Lyttleton; once again it was shallow and intense.   A few minutes ago there was another one that felt even stronger than the earlier one.   We're ok, I know Mum and Dad and my brother were ok after the first one but the phone networks are overloaded.
Really hope the water is ok this time, they've only just removed the chlorination from the February disaster.
Wish us luck; we're all hoping that 2012 is better for New Zealand what with earthquakes, floods and mine explosions it's not been a good year in 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Finished Item Thursday

I have just finished Aviatrix!
Isn't it gorgeous?  Nice straightforward pattern to knit and I think it'll look fab with the BSJ too.
Now to work out what to cast on next; I do need to cast on the Seaside Shawlette in pink, but that's going to be a concentration knit; I need something for Christmas day that's fairly easy to do without too much counting and stuff; I feel a basic sock coming on I think.   Time to visit the Ravelry queue and see what's next there aside from my 2 design projects which are definitely not Christmas day knitting at the In-law's.   It'll be a great day there, but too noisy for real concentration.

I got baking done today too, no photo's so you'll have to take my word for it.  More fudge, chocolate brownie as per Mum's request for Saturday and also a banana cake (with fudge for icing) and banana bread.   Yummo!

Me?  I'm not doing nothin' (notice the double negative here?); but if you wants the paper, better come get it!
 Our cats both have a newspaper fetish and have been known to disembowel one with great enthusiasm.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Baby Knitting

First up the BSJ was wrapped up in its fat quarter and tied with a ribbon and given to the parents-to-be on Sunday and they loved it!  
As you can see the colour of the fabric matched the BSJ perfectly!    As a result of the enthusiastic response to the jacket I said I'd do one more knitted item and when I got home I started an Aviatrix helmet for the wee one.   Not finished yet, but this is it so far
The colour isn't quite right on this one, I'm still working on the camera; didn't want flash so worked out how to change the ISO, but it's more pink than in real life.  You can see the pattern on Ravelry.  It's a free pattern and very cute; I think it's also unisex which is nice.

No baking yet, that's now planned for tomorrow.   At a minimum banana cake, banana bread and chocolate brownie.   I was feeling a bit sore today, yesterday I turned my ankle and felt the shock right through my back; had to go to the chiropractor today; luckily she had a cancellation.    Feeling better now, but I didn't feel like standing a lot kitchen; that and both boys were really tired after a day at Quail Island.   Groceries first thing tomorrow, then baking and tidying and cleaning.  

To finish with here's what I found in the bedroom this afternoon
What do you think we're doing?  We're playing pattycake of course!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Jane Austen

I took the quiz and have to agree wholeheartedly; I am Elinor Dashwood.   I could have coped with Elizabeth Bennett; but Elinor will do nicely.   I'm sensible, mostly level headed and cope with most things, including school holidays.

Tomorrow is going to be busy; I have work to do, the kids want to go see Santa so I'll have to head out for that and hope that Barrington Mall isn't too busy.   I'll have to say no to all the "I want" requests; not that hard as we've just spent more than we wanted to.   Banana cake to make as our banana's are getting a bit ripe and I want to dye some yarn too or fibre with the boys helping.

Today was busy.  Dr's appointment done, alternative practitioner visited and he doesn't think he needs to see me again; I just need to keep up the psyllium and he's given me some herbal teas for IBS and also that time of the month.  We've ordered fly screen kits so when they arrive we'll have to put them together and put them up; hopefully that'll keep "that darned cat" out as the little bastard snuck in through an open window the other night, sprayed in the hall on the books and then on our bed before going to sleep there!   Also got the new printer on the way and a spare battery for the camera; I think my Kindle is going to be a while down the track.  Got to pay for all that and then get some more off the mortgage.   Never mind, I've coped just fine without one up till now and in the meantime I'll just keep printing things off and then using a pen/pencil on them to note where I am in my knitting patterns.  
I got a whole 3 rows done on Aviatrix today, hopefully there'll be more done on Thursday.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Wherefore art thou?

That's the question, where oh where would you be if you were my copy of Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitter's Almanac?    I've found the other 3 of her books that I have, but not that one.   Did I lend it out?   Did I put it somewhere safe?  I really don't know and I want it!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

First FO of the holidays

One Baby Surprise Jacket all finished.  It has 5 buttonholes, but only 3 buttons at the moment as I like the 3-button look better.   However the other 2 buttons plus one spare are in the envelope with the package along with washing instructions and a reminder to check the buttons are firmly on regularly.  I think it's gorgeous, but I might be biased of course.  I think Thomas was impressed too.
Anyway, won't get a better photo, unless I get one being worn in a few months, but it's all wrapped in some fabric from my quilting stash that could have been made for it (same colours in it).

Right, better be off, it's bedtime now, just going to stop long enough to print the Aviatrix pattern to cast on tomorrow in the same yarn for the same baby.

Friday, December 16, 2011


This afternoon after I'd got the boys home and was about to make lunch for me I saw someone drive up to our place; now, we're on a back section so most people who drive up are either known or else looking for the people in front of us.   This elderly lady gets out and hobbles up to the door with a plate of cake, turns out she lives across the road and had met George when he visited his mate across the road yesterday.  She wanted to say hi and give us baking!   I thought it was really sweet and thanked her very much after giving her back her plate.
A completely different beast to the chocolate cake I make, but I'm sure it will be very nice.   We're going to try it at afternoon teatime.
There was a small problem when it came time for her to go back home though; as it was pouring with rain she came over in her car, while attempting to get it out of our driveway she got it stuck against the main fence post and dented the back door.   She had to come back to ask me to get it out for her, I don't know how she'd managed it, but it took me a good 5 minutes of manouvering to get it out and the door although not losing any paint was definitely dented.  The worst part was she kept putting her hands on the car to stop it from getting further damaged which had me hoping that I wasn't going to damage her!   In the end I got the car out without shifting her drivers seat position (and I thought I had short legs) and off she went.   Hope she does talk to her insurance company and I'm glad it wasn't my fault, my neighbour helped as well, she kept an eye on where the car was in relation to the fence and let me know how we were going; thanks Paula.

In other news school is out and once again this afternoon I'm down to one child.  After ages of George wanting to go to Mekhye's house he's been invited over the last 3 afternoons; I've never seen him get off the computer faster than he did yesterday, he was halfway down the drive before I'd even got my slippers on.    Mekhye and his brother seem to enjoy having George over and it's good to do before the Christmas rush next week.   Also Ian's been invited to yet another birthday party in the new year; both boys are getting really social which is lovely to see.

Knitting news is a bit slow, my BSJ is getting closer to completion.   I've got 4 short rows to do and then onto the button bands which I'm hoping to finish tonight.   I've wound the yarn for my next shawl and once BSJ is finished I'll also do an Aviatrix bonnet in the same yarn as BSJ.   Then I can knit for me, I need more socks as my worsted weight ones disintegrated, and I've got to repair Thomas' socks from last Christmas too, I'm pretty sure I'll have some leather that's big enough to put a sole onto them for him.   I've got to purchase a pattern for my next cardigan too; it'll be colourwork, but not all over the jersey, just in a band above the bust.   I'm not getting quite as much knitting in as I wanted though, work has just got busy and I've been asked to do extra next week instead of winding down as I had planned.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


For many people this is a scary word; it brings up mental pictures of people sitting in a corner, rocking and having no interaction with other people at all.    In many cases this is completely the wrong idea; most people on the spectrum no matter their age are not at the extreme end of the spectrum.
Both my boys are at different parts of the spectrum, George doesn't have any of the physical behaviours that you see with many on the spectrum.   He doesn't flap, spin, follow lines etc, but he doesn't think the same way as someone who's not on the spectrum.   His social skills while there, are not at the same level as his peers; his reactions to teasing would seem to many to be over the top.   He gets frustrated easily, especially when people aren't doing things as well as he thinks they should be (we get screaming tempers at the social soccer he goes to).  We try to make allowances for this, while also trying to teach him a more appropriate way to react; one that doesn't scare the other kids at soccer as most of them are also either on the spectrum or are Downs Syndrome or some other diagnosis.
Ian on the other hand does have some physical behaviours, he doesn't flap or spin, but he does run up and down, will hug anyone which unfortunately in today's climate is not appropriate (despite this his classmates are now much more huggy than they used to be as a result of him hugging everyone) so we're trying to teach him about personal boundaries.  It's a hard one though as we want him to continue hugging family, just not everyone else.  He also has sound sensitivities which he's learning to deal with and real difficulty sitting still.   The only place we really ask him to try sitting still apart from school is at the dinner table, as the leaning back is breaking our chairs.
I've been reading a bit more recently about autism, I've found a really good blog which is written by a young lady who is autistic and her writings are giving me more insight into the boys world.    She's not where they are on the spectrum, but at the same time what she says is helping me to help my boys. Just Stimming is the blog.   One of the things I find most useful is that she says not to try to stop them from stimming, not "quiet hands" as it's taking away a lot of how our kids express themselves and is in fact a form of abuse.   I can see where she's coming from, although Ian's version is the running up and down giggling one I don't want to take that away from him; there is such joy in that process that I think stopping it would kill a part of him.

I also watched the movie Temple Grandin the other night; I found it absolutely fascinating and it's given me hope for the boys future.  She is more extreme than they are and she's found what she loves and gets paid for it; what more can anyone ask?    It gives me hope that they can live independently when they get older, that they can find something they love to do and most importantly that they can be happy.   In the end, that's all I really want for my boys; happiness and if they're really lucky, someone who loves them to share it with them.

In the meantime we will continue to try and bring them up to be good men with a good attitude to life; hopefully we'll all survive that process and come out the other end being stronger than we are now.   It sounds like George's whining phase is probably just that and all 9 year olds have it; only thing is I'm sure he's had it for about 2 years now, is the end in sight yet?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Birthday Bear!

Today was George's birthday; our eldest bear is now a big 9-year old!   It was a busy day starting with presents from Mum and Dad which I got photo's of, then the party (no present photo's there, was too busy organising).
His "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" boxset

Trying out the skateboard for the first time.

The party started when his first 2 guests arrived, then everyone started to arrive including our families.  My Mother-in-law had been asked to make fruit kebabs and instead she did this wonderful thing!
Fruit Caterpillar
I thought he was absolutely darling!   By the end of it he had a couple of bits of carrot and a grape or 3 left.   All the cocktail sausages went too as did the strawberries and most of the dip things too.
Once all the presents had been opened and the boys had had a chance to run around for a bit I started them on the decorating of the pillowcases.  We had too many as a couple of people didn't arrive in the end, but George's cousin Bradley did arrive and so did Mekhye from across the road after he'd finished his sports practice.   They all did a great job on their decorations.
George working on his self portrait
While I was heat setting them all they ran around playing with this wonderful thing that my Dad got at his work do
Enormous rugby ball; very cool
Once all the pillowcases were pressed to make sure the colour stayed put I took a photo of the masterpieces

The finished artworks.  George did top left and his cousin top right; the rest are our other guests efforts.
After lunch we went out, the plan was to check where the Oral Health Centre is at the hospital for Ian's appointment on Monday, not much warning as it was due to a cancellation.   I think I know where it is, but wanted to be sure.    We went to Comics Compulsion first to get some Christmas presents, then Peterborough St to Knitworld.   Knitworld is open for those who were wondering and although not using the full building at the moment they do have a decent stock there and I might have come home with some Mithral and some John Q for the stash.
If you're in Christchurch and need/want yarn do pay them a visit; I suspect with where they are they're probably not getting as much business as they used to and we really don't want to lose such a valuable resource.
Definitely open, the door is around the back, fairly inconspicuous, but has the Knitworld sign over the top of it.
A selection of yarns, this is the heavier weight section and you can see the Brother and Singer sewing machines

My favourite section, sock yarns.  The one second from left on top is one I came home with; Merino/Possum recycled.
Needles including Knitpro; my favourite brand that they stock
Pattern books and more yarn.
The lighting in the back of the store isn't great, but blame that one on Feb 22nd, it's not their fault.   They still have the couch in the middle of the store so you can sit and knit or peruse pattern books.   Outside the store there's a lot of empty lots and damaged homes.  One looked fine from one side, then you went down the road and looked back to see no side wall; the brick firewall had gone completely.  It's very sad.  I did take some photo's but I might post them tomorrow; really tired after today and just want to sit and blob, or maybe knit.

Speaking of knitting, I've done 29 rows on my Baby Surprise Jacket and I'm loving the way the handspun yarn is looking in it.  No photo of that yet, maybe later.

Blog Archive