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Saturday, February 22, 2014

An Anniversary

3 years at 12.51pm today since our city got picked up and thrown around and 185 people died.   Some of us have recovered well, but many are still not mentally recovered and of course our buildings aren't all recovered yet either.
There are many people out there who are still living in damaged homes, fighting to get insurance companies and EQC to do their jobs properly, and then there are others who've finished with insurance and are rebuilt or repaired.   On that day 3 years ago I doubt if anyone expected the recovery would be this slow or this difficult.    I'm really hoping that by the next anniversary that many more people will be in new or well repaired homes, that something is done about the out of control rents so that those people on lower incomes can actually afford to live and so that there are more homes available to rent.

We're doing pretty well, the house is pretty much done, the plastering leaves something to be desired but I don't particularly want to deal with the company that did the work again so I'll fix it later myself.   The garage is all framed up and the roof trusses went up yesterday
The bones of the garage are in place
We're a test case for Skyline, it's the first time they've had to do what we're doing with the concrete blocks so they're feeling their way along with some of it.

In knitting news I've finished my red shawl ravelled over here.  Really happy with it, despite my arms complaining.  RSI is back again, but I don't think it's the knitting that's causing the issues; pretty sure it was Xbox so that's off the menu for a while.
The red is more intense in real life

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


I believe it got to 35 Centigrade today, felt sorry for my builders out there in the sun.  They're doing well though.   Started on Friday and that was mostly spent unpacking and cutting stuff ready to go; plus trimming the hedge that our neighbours planted.   Saturday the younger one came and did the bitumen coat on the blocks.    Yesterday the back wall was constructed and partly clad and today they finished that wall and put up the framework for the 2 side walls.
Almost 3 walls!
While they've been doing that I've been pottering along fixing a sock
One of the stripes had blown out, it was a handspun that wasn't up to the task so I pulled that out and knit another 10 rows in a different yarn.

When it came time to join it all together I could have used kitchener stitch, but the thought of it was what had put this in the mending pile for 6 months; instead I did a 3-needle bind off.
Now I have a pair of socks back in rotation again which is nice.    Can't do this to fix Dh's socks, he's blown the sole and to be honest I'm thinking they're past redemption.  I have another pair on the needles for him, but it'll be a little while before they're ready and he's got another pair on the way out as well.  Unfortunately he's hard on socks, but he loves handknit ones so I'll keep making them.

I've also cut out my 18th century shift; that took a fair bit of yesterday as there was a lot of pulling of threads in the fabric to make sure it was straight.   No sewing on it yet, have to finish my current shawl first for the Ravellenic Games.  I'm planning on handsewing it though, with very fine seams just as it would have been done in the day; not much embellishment aside from my initials to identify it for wash day.
Aurora Australis
Doesn't look like much yet; has about 11 rows of garter stitch to go and then the border starts.  I'm using Fleece Artist BFL 2/8 in the Ruby colourway.   It is lovely, but I prefer stocking stitch to knit.   I'm pretty sure it'll block a whole heap bigger, but even if it doesn't I don't really have time for another 7 rows on top of that to make it bigger before 23rd which is the end of the games.

Once that's done then I can get back to Ian's socks, my 2 pairs of socks, T's socks and my jersey.   I want to cast on for my hat (2 different ones actually), but have decided at least 1 pair of socks must be finished first.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Gauge fail

What the items is: 1920's cloche hat

The Challenge:  #3: Pink

Fabric:  Merino/Possum/Silk yarn; Kauri 4ply by Zealana (fingering weight for those people using the US yarn system)

Pattern: Chapeau Marier from

Year: 1920's; it's based on cloches from the era so not exact

Notions:  There will be a ribbon

How historically accurate is it?  Probably not as much as I'd like; the pattern is "based on" not an original 1920's pattern and yarn back then definitely didn't include possum, so probably about 40%

Hours to complete:  Took me 7 days of knitting around all the other stuff I do.

First worn:  Not by me, unfortunately I didn't check my gauge and it's 5.5 stitches off what it should be over 4".   This means that although it can get onto my noggin, it tends to wander up and off fairly quickly, so it's going to be a birthday gift for our goddaughter instead.   I will get more of the yarn and try again for me on 3mm needles.   From what I've read on Ravelry the gauge is not right for quite a few people; I should have swatched, but didn't have enough yarn.....

Total cost: $11.00NZ

DS2 is not overly impressed by this pink hat; luckily it's not meant for him.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Captain America

This can't be a historical costume as I made the modern version; not the 1940's version.  The shield is still to come and at this point he'll have to do without gloves and boots due to cost constraints.

Captain America from stash.
The blue, red and white fabrics all came from stash; only bought the silver lame to make the star which cost me $2.   Took two days from cutting out to done and he'll be able to take it to Scout Camp for his superhero costume.

And now I can get back to knitting my pink cloche hat, which is 1" and the decreases away from being finished.   I've got 16g of yarn left and according to the pattern there's actually 2" left to go, but I've tried it on and 2" would be too long.  Just as well really, if I did knit it that long I'm 99% sure that I'd run out of yarn before the end.

Ian's socks are temporarily stalled on the heel flap while I concentrate on the cloche and a shawl.    The shawl is for the Ravellenic Games and is a red version of Aurora Australis which is a crescent shaped shawl and needs to be finished by the end of the Olympic Games.

Monday, February 03, 2014

My Calash

The Challenge: #2 Innovation

The Innovation:  The Calash was designed to overcome the problems of protecting a large hairdo; the idea is to protect the hair from wind and rain and it even had a ribbon to hold onto to prevent it from flying backwards in a gust of wind.   Good girls didn't snap their ribbons, but those who weren't quite so good were known to snap them to attract the attention of the opposite sex (scandalous!).   

Fabric:  Dupioni Silk (not period accurate) and linen (accurate); the silk was from old stash, the linen recent stash.

Pattern:  None, got some ideas from a tutorial, but it was lacking seriously in the detail I needed so in the end I winged it from photo's.   The outer supports are garden irrigation tubing and the inner bits are done with cotton cord pulled taught to give the wagon cover look.

Year: 1776

Notions:  Polyester thread, cotton cord, garden irrigation tube and a little ribbon.

How historically accurate is it?  Design wise I think it's pretty good, my fabric is halfway there so I'd say about 65% total.   There was some machine sewing for the channels cos I was feeling lazy.

Hours to complete:  7

First worn:  for the photoshoot

Total cost:   $8 for the linen, everything else was from old stash so no longer has a value.

It came out a little lower than I'd hoped for, but I won't ever be doing the huge hair to the extent that I'd need  a high one anyway and I'd happily wear this as it is.   I'd go so far as to say I love this thing!

Sunday, February 02, 2014

New School Year

For George this started on Thursday
He's loving it so far, and Ian starts back tomorrow.   George has short days all this week so I won't be back to normal for another week.
Still been getting a bit done though.

Ian's socks are now up the heel flap for the first of the pair
I love the way these are working up, luckily so does he.

I've also prepared an old pair of socks for repair
That bit in the middle has now been removed and I'll be knitting up 10 rows to replace it and then grafting the two bits together.   The yarn had blown out on the other side; downside of handspun that wasn't intended for socks.

I've cast on for the hat, but nothing to really show yet; next post will have that for you.    Might be playing yarn chicken though, the pattern says it takes 165m of yarn and my ball has 150.   Fingers are crossed, especially as it was the last one they had in stock.

Made good progress on my challenge #2 for the Historical Sew Fortnightly though; my Calash is looking pretty good.
The colour here is very washed out, in real life it's a brilliant turquoise; think Caribbean beaches.  I'm in the process of sewing the back on at the moment, then will bind and gather the neck area before putting on the neck frill, the ties and the back bow.  I tried to follow an online tutorial, but so much was missing from it that in the end I looked at extant examples and just followed the logical path.  

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