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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Birthday Post

I got most of what I had planned to do done today which was nice.   I also got to go to Knitworld which wasn't in the plan, but we hadn't planned on going out until George's mozzie bites required a trip to the chemist.
I spent a little more than I'd planned, but look at this:
All for socks, all yummy.
I also got the sewing done on my petticoat, just got to get the waist tie in so it stays up
100% silk jacquard; loverly.
My present from Thomas:
Chiao Goo interchangeable small set, plus a couple of pairs of fixed needles too.
I also got the hat cast on:
beginnings of a hat, hope it fit me!
I also got a book by the author of the Lemony Snicket series from MIL and a photo frame from SIL.   I think the photo frame requires something with colour in it, possibly me wearing something knitted, Thomas was thinking a nice family photo, but the frame is a bit too bouncy for that, the colours are fairly bright.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

No knitting, but...

I did get a heap done in the garden.   Thomas and I got another fence post in, which leaves just one more to go in where the garage will be.   We also shifted the compost heap with the help of our lovely neighbour.   I think I'll have to build a new one when we shift it back to the garage area later as some of the wood is showing definite signs of not being treated timber!
I don't know if I'll get any more knitting done today, maybe a row or two before bed, but probably not more than that.   I've pulled out my Central Park Hoodie again, though tomorrow it gets put aside for a quick hat.   It's my birthday tomorrow and I'll have to christen my Chiao Goo interchangeable set so I'll be knitting Tweedle by Vintage Purls in some of my earlier handspun:
It's Rambouillet/Merino/Targhee from Squoosh Fiber Arts, spun ages ago.   I was very proud of it at the time, but it's overspun and keeps staring at me from my stash.   It's time to turn it into something wearable and a hat in DK should be fairly quick.

I might not have knitted today, but I do have something to show you, Frau Holle came off the blocking board this afternoon and I got Thomas to take photos.  Forgive the casual attire, it was hot today.
I should really have worn something dark under it to show off the pattern

It is so pretty though, can't wait to wear it.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Frau Holle

I finished my shawl today, you can see it on Ravelry.
Currently blocking in my sewing room, going to hopefully dry fairly quickly as it's warmed up a bit this evening.  I really like it, wasn't sure about it at first, but as it's grown it's also grown on me.
Straight off the needles, not washed but ends darned in.

Blocking on the same table, rather larger!
 Next is the vest for Ian, that won't knit up as quickly as the yarn hurts my hands.   I really do want to get it finished though, it's for next winter.
 I also need to cut out and sew the first item for my sewing challenge this year.  I'm participating in The Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge, the first challenge is optional, but you can make something simple.   I'm planning on making myself a simple fitted half-slip to go under the 1910 skirt I'm planning on making later.   I've got some cream jacquard silk that should be perfect.   I won't be able to use elastic or the overlocker as that's definitely not appropriate for the period.  Instead I'll be using french seams and a draw-cord in the waist.   I'm afraid I will be using the sewing machine, not quite prepared to sew by hand.

Change of mind on the vest, I'm getting gauge, but I don't like the feel of the fabric, it's too stiff so I'm going to frog.   Mum is partway through a vest for one of the boys so hopefully that will fill the gap.   I think this yarn is more of a heavy DK/worsted rather than a standard DK.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

#reverb12 Day 27: How will you honour your creativity?

The question here is how did I make time for creativity, and was there something that I made that particularly stood out?   Also how will I made time and space for my passion next year?

Well, as anyone reading my blog would know I've been knitting throughout the year and I took up quilting as well.   I always make time for knitting, even if it's only when I'm picking Ian up from school and will continue to do so.   I didn't get as much knitting done as I normally would because of the quilting, but I think my proudest moment was when I finished George's quilt.
I still love this and luckily so does he.
In the coming year I'm planning on doing more knitting, quilting and getting back to garment sewing as my wardrobe needs boosting as does the boys wardrobes.  I should gain more space for all of this too when the garage is finished, a new 3m x 6m room out there with plenty of storage and working space.   I'll still knit inside and sometimes will have to sew inside as well if the boys are home and Thomas isn't.
I may need to produce some items for sale at the Wool Yarn and Fibres shop; that won't be for a few months though as the guild has to wait for its rooms first.

I will have to take some time out of the sewing/knitting time to do some work on the house, painting and the like, but that's still creative even if it's in a different direction.

In the meantime I have 4 days to finish the shawl I'm working on and also work on the vest for Ian.   I'd really like to get both of those done, but realistically the shawl will get finished and the vest will simply grow.

I'm not going to be purchasing more yarn or fabric unless needed (that doesn't mean simply wanted, but actually needed to finish a project).  I did order a skein of yarn today, but that's to go with another skein I have that needs a contrast colour before I can start with it.   Rose pink is what I have, I got silver to go with it, should be lovely in another shawl.  No more books either, I have tonnes and should be able to find what I need in my current collection.   The only resources I'm prepared to buy are Craftsy courses, though I need to watch what I have before getting more, I've got 3 new ones to watch from the end of the month.   They're there now but it's not my birthday yet so I'm not allowed them till Sunday.   Mum got me the fairisle one, Celtic cables and Colorplay Quilting.   Really looking forward to watching them all.  I also picked up a few in their Christmas sale, another cable one and a quilting one using jelly rolls.  I think with all that I should have plenty to keep me busy for quite some time!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Boys are in bed, Santa presents are waiting for sleep to descend to be put in the stockings.

Tomorrow will be a busy day I think, can't imagine the boys will sleep in, probably won't get any work done on the shawl, but hopefully I'll manage some on T's socks if only to stay calm at his family Christmas.   Knitting keeps me sane in a family of extroverts, stops this introvert from going balmy.

#reverb12 Day 24: Your most important habit?

Hugging my boys (includes Dh), this is without a doubt my most important habit and I need to do it even more often!

In other news we got a present for Dh's goddaughter today, our neighbour suggested "pink and fluffy" for an 11 month old girl as we had no clue.   Thomas headed out this morning to find something, after seeing Despicable Me the "pink and fluffy" concept absolutely had to be a unicorn.    He got the last Unicorn Pillow Pet in Christchurch, got it home and the boys fell in love with it too, they've wanted a Pillow Pet for a while, so we just ordered them a horse and frog Pillow Pet to share the shipping with a family board game we wanted.   King of Tokyo is the game, we've borrowed it before and it's great fun, had come up on special at Mighty Ape so we overspent slightly.    At least it was spending that was agreed between us.

It means we are now all ready for Christmas, I've even cleaned up our driveway of weeds! 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

#reverb12 Day 23: What will you let go of?

3 excuses I'm going to let go of for 2013, hmmm.

1. Lack of willpower for giving up sugar.  I'm just going to have to develop strategies for this instead.
2. Spending when not necessary.   Although I've improved on this a lot, I'm still spending more than necessary.   Good start on this today, something I wanted, but I recognised I didn't need it so didn't get it.
3. Lack of time for housework/gardening.    This one is usually caused by the computer so I'm going to have to spend  a lot less time on that so I can spend that time on chores

and for good measure:
4. Can't be bothered looking after myself.    I need to change my diet (not just sugar) and get the food combining going to see if it helps my IBS, I also need to exercise more.

I think these can stand in for my resolutions for next year as well.   In the meantime I'm going to bed, it's 10.25pm and I'm tired.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

#reverb12 Day 22: Your most important gift?

The same gift I've received and given every year.  The love of my family, though youngest did push that today.
He disappeared this morning again, off to school despite it being closed for the holidays.  He then didn't wait when told at Spencer Park and headed off on his bike; George followed him but didn't find him.  I found him, but then we'd lost George!  Luckily he found my parents, but as I pointed out to Ian if he'd simply waited for us to be ready we could all have spent more time doing what we'd gone for, which was the beach.

Friday, December 21, 2012

#reverb12 Day 21: What's on the dream list?

2012 dream list involved making some quilts and I did that, I made 3 total and they all turned out well, I don't count the quilted small things.
It also involved getting the new garage, that dream has now transferred to 2013.
Winning Lotto of course, that's another that hasn't yet come to fruiton, I really do want it to happen not just for us but so we can help out our families and also the spinning guild and judo club.  Plus of course I'd love to get the house double glazed, the driveway sealed and solar hot water, dreams are free :).
We didn't get a dog, not practical at the moment as the garage really needs to be finished first.

My top 3 dreams for 2013:

The garage being up and in use, I really want the boys to be in separate rooms and soon!
Spending more time doing stuff with the family
Getting the section under control.

3a: would love a dog, but Thomas isn't keen.   I think it'd be good for the boys and my fitness too.

Right, time to stop dreaming and time to go and make the pavlova, see you later!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

#reverb12 day 18: The colour of you?

I think the idea of this question is to find one colour that represents me this year.   I can't do that, so much has been happening and everything has it's own colour so I'm going to choose a few of the most significant ones.

Muddy brown with black streaks - my dealings with EQC, basically you get stuck in the muck and have streaks of anger.

Orange - the alarm times when Ian or George (or Thomas) put themselves in harms way or disappear

Yellow - excitement of finishing projects or the children accomplishing something amazing

Grey - the feeling of extreme tiredness I often seem to be moving through these days.   Possibly a combo of stress, lack of sleep and I suspect low iron levels.   I've not taken a supplement for this for ages and I tend to get low on it after a while despite eating plenty of meat.   I've ordered some Spatone to help with this.


School is now out!   The boys got Xbox/Tablet time this afternoon as they'd been pretty good and it was raining, and  a holiday so all the boxes were ticked.   Hope it doesn't rain too much these holidays.
All the Christmas gifts are ready to wrap, nothing new to worry about getting aside from food, that'll happen tomorrow as our pays went in early.  Tomorrow will be meat, veges and bread.   We'll also pay a visit to the library to get the boys some reading material.   I will get more work done so I can relax for the next 3 weeks.  The plans for the holidays include things like the library, playing on the tramp, visits to the beach and parks etc.  All cheap or free stuff to help with paying for the trampoline and garage etc.

The latest Scope of Works from EQC has arrived, they've put the carport and slab in now, but the garage seems to have been left out this time, I've emailed them, yet again.  If EQC were a business they would have gone out of business by now.

Friday, December 14, 2012

A new project

I cast on today for a new pair of socks, this one for Thomas.    The yarn I'm using is this
Vintage Purls Sock in Mandorla colourway.
This yarn got halfway through the sock pattern that came with it a while ago, but I decided I really wasn't enjoying knitting that sock so it marinated for a while and has now agreed to try again in a different pattern.
Escalator Socks is the pattern I've chosen, it's designed for a man and is done on finer needles than I normally use so hopefully it'll wear well, fairly simple yet effective.

Been a busy week here, now that I've finished the quilt I've been catching up on, ugh, housework.  So the oven is now clean, the kitchen venetians have come down and the decision has been made to chuck them out as they're impossible to clean.   I've also cleaned under the washing machine and dryer (another urgh), I think the dryer's been dripping; downside with a condensor dryer I guess.  Whole house is vacuumed and now I'm stuffed.    Might do some more knitting on the shawl.

Been working as well, but I did take Tuesday night off for a very good cause.  We went to see The Hobbit, 2 days before official release!    It's good but I personally think The Lord of the Rings was better, could be because we saw it in 3D and I don't feel the movie did as well in 3D as Avatar.   I think the boys will love The Hobbit though, lots of fight scenes and Gollum was so well done!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

#reverb12 Day 13: Some selfie love?

One of my favourite photo's of me this year, mostly because I love the outfit!

In other news I've finished 2 things this week.

1. The quilt I've been working on for Christmas
Patchwork Prism Quilt

back of quilt
I changed my mind on the binding, it was going to be plain but that didn't look right, so instead this fabric which was earmarked for a skirt for me jumped up.   It works brilliantly with both sides so I'm happy despite losing a skirt.   The backing is an old flannel sheet that was my grandmother's it didn't behave as nicely as new fabric, but I'm pretty happy all the same.   I had originally planned on doing some free motion quilting, but when I took it to show off at Stitch yesterday the owner said not to as it'll spoil the balance which is currently perfect.   She's a long-arm quilter so should know.

2. A pair of travelling socks
fraternal twins, love them!
I could have made them longer, but that's ok, downside with top-down construction I guess.

Now it's time to go and try to clean the oven, my oven cleaner appears to have died in the years it was in the cupboard, so instead I'll have to use something natural.  Time for some googling I think.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

#reverb12 Day 11: What was music to your ears?

Some Nights by FUN, love this song and the video too.

I also love listening to my kids when they're using their imaginations.

Monday, December 10, 2012

#reverb12 Day 10: Your greatest risk?

Hmm, I can't really think of much for this, I'm not a great risk taker.     Possibly going down the hydroslide at Nelson at the beginning of the year.   Unfortunately that didn't work out well, I was terrified and spent the next 20 minutes shivering outside waiting for the kids and Thomas to finish, all of whom loved it.

My other risk would be taking up patchwork, that's a risk that paid off.   I'm still making mistakes, but I'm enjoying it and so far the 2 big quilts I've made have been much admired.    I've just trimmed the third one and am choosing which fabric to bind it in.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

#reverb12 Day 9: Your favourite book?

My favourite book is actually more of a series than an individual book; it's not motivational or about some person who's done something amazing, it's a science fantasy series called the Dragons of Pern by Anne McCaffrey; I've been reading them since I was a teenager and I'm once again making my way for probably the 30th time through the whole series.   I love them and probably always will.   Telepathic fire breathing dragons who bond with you for life; what more could you want?

In other news we had George's birthday party today, it went pretty well, his friend Anita came over and they had plenty of food followed by watching Brave which all 3 children really enjoyed.   I should be knitting now, but I'm wasted and will instead hit the X-box, knitting will have to happen later.  Won't be Tuesday night though, we've got a babysitter and we're going to see The Hobbit at a special screening, yay!

Saturday, December 08, 2012

#reverb12 Day 8: Your most important relationship?

This one is a no-brainer really.   I do have 2 children who I really love, but my most important relationship is the one I have with my husband.  He's my lover, my friend and my rock, without him I'd be lost.  I'm pretty sure that when the kids leave home and become independent he'll still be here with me (barring accidents).

He still makes me laugh, we enjoy X-box time together (Borderlands is probably our main game) and it feels great when we do stuff around the house together.   Today I got home from my guild to find he's been tidying the house, it looks so much better even though I'd made a start earlier in the week.   It'll make my mission easier later too.   The plan is to finish the quilt and then get onto the true spring clean involving cleaning the blinds in the kitchen and blerk, the oven.  Then I might get some more wallpaper down in the dining room.

Back to Thomas though, he loves me just as much as I love him, it doesn't get much better than that.

Friday, December 07, 2012

#reverb12 Day 7: What will you take with you?

I think the simple answer to this is the knowledge that every time I think Ian's got over his tendency to disappear that he will then disappear again.   Last night proved that to me fairly convincingly.  Autism is hard work, it can also make for delight at times as well.   I love when he's excited!

In other news EQC came around this morning and the chap tested the slab to see how much it had dropped.  Turns out it's dropped 42mm over 5m which is enough to mean it can't be reused, so he's going to tell them to replace it.   He's also going to put the carport in the SOW.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

How wonderful are the Police

I was only planning one post today, but we had an issue with youngest disappearing at about 6.55pm; just after I told him to get ready for bed.   5 minutes later I realised he'd gone, along with his scooter so George and I headed up to school.   We found his scooter, but no Ian and he didn't answer our call so back home to call the police.
Shortly after I'd given them all the details they got me to go back to the school to meet them at the gate closest to where his scooter was, but not right at that point as they were sending in a police dog to help and didn't want the scent interfered with.   It took probably close to an hour but a short time ago they pulled up the drive with Ian in the car.    He'd followed the cleaners into a classroom, and hid under a table to play with the I-pad. 
My heartfelt thanks to the police that went around the area to see if they could find him, also to the dog handler who did find him and brought him back in his police car, and who then went back to see if he could find Ian's shoes (he couldn't).   I've since found the shoes.   I think I'll ring the police to give them my thanks as well, I know they take flack for some of what they do, but people need to remember they do some really good stuff as well as the controversial things.

When Ian came home I finally lost it and got all weepy, had been perfectly calm up till that point.   I couldn't even yell at him for scaring me so much.   Unfortunately he has no concept that he's done wrong and I'm unsure how to get that through to him.   I think I'll be locking the gate for a while at night.

#reverb12 Day 6: What did you learn

I've learned a bit about Free Motion Quilting this year, and I'm currently learning that new fabrics don't really mix that well with old fabrics when it comes to quilting.   The old is a lot less stable than the new and I'm having some fairly major movement issues.

I'm also learning that EQC are capable of surprising me, I was surprised by them not turning up this morning despite them making the appointment yesterday.   Apparently the guy got the wrong address, they're trying again tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

#reverb12 Day 5: What was your dream destination?

Hmm, this is a hard one as I didn't really dream of going anywhere in particular, probably due to a lack of funds.   If I'd had funds I would have loved to go to any of the big knitting/spinning/quilting get together's in the USA though, or Unwind in Dunedin.  
To be honest my dream destination was really arriving at a point in time where we have a replacement garage, that's still a dream but it will come true at some point; just have to make EQC realise we're not going away till we get what we're entitled to.

I'm looking forward to the new garage even more now, last night Ian managed to pull the wall mounted bookcase off the wall, luckily it got caught by boxes under it or he'd be badly hurt but there's nowhere to keep all the boys books as a result.   It won't be going back up, too dangerous.  He pulled 3 screws through the backboard and snapped the others.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

#reverb12 Day 4: How will you celebrate YOU?

The question this time is "how will you celebrate YOU this Christmas?".  To be honest I have no idea.  At the moment I'm concentrating on finishing the quilt for my brother and his wife, the shawl that I'm doing the KAL with and all the baking for teacher thank-you's and George's birthday, plus work.   Right at the moment there isn't really any time for me.
I know I'm not getting any presents, aside from the table from my brother and his wife of course, but I already have that, so nothing to open on the day.   Thomas and I aren't buying for eachother as we've spent more than we'd planned this Christmas already and we want to save for the garage.
Once the quilt is finished I may take some time on the X-box, but will also need to spring clean the house; that has stalled while working on the quilts.
I am still going to the guild this coming weekend (it's the monthly meeting so I have to) and the following weekend (Christmas lunch).
If anyone has any suggestions as to how I can celebrate me I'd love to hear them, in the meantime I'm going to go and make fudge for the teachers.

Monday, December 03, 2012

#reverb12 Day 3: What do you really wish for?

I wish for more time.  More time with my kids, more time doing the simple things like baking, more time with my husband and more time to craft.   Unfortunately the only way I'll get that is if I find some way to afford to stop working.  I can't see that happening unless we win Lotto and so far that's been something that just doesn't seem to want to happen.
In the meantime we're making an effort with reading to the boys in the evening, making sure we do something with them in the weekends and while I'm not baking regularly I do make an effort every so often if work allows.   Tomorrow starts the baking for the birthday and Christmas gifting.   Fudge for school teachers, unfortunately it'll also mean my sugar intake will rise.   I will however gift larger amounts than normal to reduce the temptation.

In other news I've got to the gusset on my travel sock and am over halfway through the current clue on my shawl.   Both are looking good and I'll take photo's later.   Busy day today though with urgent work; so no time for photography.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

#reverb12 Day 1: How are you starting?

How are you starting this last month of 2012?

Take a moment, close your eyes, take a deep breath and ask yourself the question: how do you feel...

... in your body? in your mind? in your day job? in your creative life? in your heart?

This is the question for the first day of #reverb12.

Body:  tired at the moment, we put up a 12' trampoline this morning and we've installed another fence post so I'm really really tired!

Mind:  frustrated, mostly due to EQC.   Even though we're opting out they still have to approve everything.   They won't redecorate the dining room because I'd got started on that when the earthquake hit, so it's been sitting there with wallpaper half off for 2 years.    Also they don't think the carport is their problem as it was a dirt floor and they want to reuse the slab.   I suspect we'll be going down the disputes route, unless there's a miracle.   I really hate EQC, they were supposed to be a support in case of earthquake damage, they are instead the biggest pile of beaurocratic crap in the country.

Day Job:  it's a job.

Creative Life:  this is what keeps me sane (mostly).   I'm enjoying quilting even if I can't baste my quilt at the moment due to high winds and spitting rain.   I'll be using spray baste so need to do it outside.  I'm enjoying doing my mystery shawl as well, just need more time for these things.   Once the quilt is finished though I have to put some time into house maintenance (painting eaves, more fence posts, decorating the dining room/kitchen).   It'll be nice to get those done though.

Heart:   I'm pretty happy in my heart.  I have a wonderful husband and children who mostly make me proud to be their mum.   2 lovely cats as well, though Star can be a little free with the claws.

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