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Friday, November 28, 2008

Busy, busy, busy!

Been very busy recently. Got all the Christmas presents sorted and engraved. I actually used DH's Dremel to do the engraving, so it's not quite as pretty as the professionals, but it's not bad for a first-timer! I'll let you know what they all are after Christmas day. Don't want to spoil the surprise for the family.

Speaking of family, there's one less now. Unfortunately my BIL's wife decided to leave him with no warning a few weeks back. Atm he has custody and she gets the boys on a regular basis. We're hoping that he will be able to move back here to Christchurch once everything's sorted, but I don't know how long that will take.

We're having issues of our own, but not marriage issues. Ian is being a right pain to get to sleep at night. We've tried Tart Cherry juice with natural melatonin with no luck, Rescue Remedy Sleep and am now trying a new thing from a Bach flower practitioner. Unfortunately because the boys share rooms it means George is tired during the day and his concentration at school is suffering. I'm trying a different remedy for him.
On a positive note we found the Trip Trap chair worked well for Ian so our occupational therapist is applying for funding for one for him. Now that it's gone back to them we've noticed he's much harder to keep at the table at meal times again. She's pretty sure we'll get funding, but doesn't know how long it'll take. Fingers crossed it'll be soon! Aside from that Ian's vocab is increasing slowly and he's starting to get interested in what I do, helped bake some muffins the other day which was great; well, apart from the small flour and cocoa powder explosion. Didn't take a photo as the SD card in the camera was sick. Got a new one now though.
George is getting really independant, wants to walk to school by himself. Unfortunately we have a dangerous intersection on the way so I'm insisting on walking him to the school gate. He'll just have to live with that.

Vege garden is all planted. We've got 4 zuchinni (courgette) plants, a couple of rows of peas, lettuces, tomatoes, potatoes and corn all doing well. Carrots are thinking about it, went with the purple ones this year instead of the usual orange. George is even taking carrots for lunch at school so I'll have to plant more soon.

Am knitting and spinning still, have a couple of sewing projects ready to start and am dyeing fibre too. Having a ball! I've just finished a couple of lots of yarn. One in BFL (Blue Faced Leicester) and one in Romney. This is the BFL, I haven't photographed the Romney, but it's in muted pastels.

I've also finished my first pair of 4-ply socks for me, definitely have to do this again.
My next pair will be from some hand-dyed yarn from a TNN swap we did recently.

I've done some dyeing myself too, this for a Ravelry swap. It's merino dyed in pink and purple. I didn't want to send it cos I'm in love! Luckily I did send it though as it's recipient is also in love :)

My current knitting is the Morning Surf scarf done in the red and yellow Rambouillet that I posted a photo of back in September. It's looking really good, but no photo's until it's finished. Once that's done I'll start the socks in the above red, green and blue yarn. I'm about to start spinning some merino/cashmere in a similar colourway to the above merino next. It'll be for the December spin-along on one of my Ravelry groups. I also have some mohair to spin, but I think that I may try out my new drumcarder to blend with something else. Not sure yet.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


2 bobbins of singles from a silk, merino, mohair and yak blend spun up on my old Little Peggy wheel.

1 Bobbin of silk singles on my new Little Grace wheel. The silk is tussah and was hand-dyed by me.

My first ever 3-ply. I plied it on my old Traditional with the jumbo flyer. There's 2 plies of the blend and one of the silk and it's so soft! 235m of beauty. All my wheels did a beautiful job, unfortunately I can't keep all of them due to space constraints, so I'll be putting Little Peggy on Trademe to sell soon. DH has the camera this weekend though so she's got a few days grace.
My Little Grace did a beautiful job; just as well considering how much she cost me! I am definitely in love though and already planning my next project. I have 50g of Romney to finish and some more silk to go with it to do my next 3-ply. I'm loving doing silk, even if this is not dyed by me it's still beautiful.

My wool combs are coming together now too. I've got all bar one of the first row of tines in one comb. Hoping to get the next row in today if I get time, but DH is away at a wargaming thing in the day so I'm kidwrangling today and tomorrow. I also got very little sleep last night due to having a nasty cold so I'm not sure if I'll be up for it yet. The weather's not great though so won't be gardening until tomorrow so I should get it done today. The boys will be watching tv today.

Tomorrow I'll be doing the traditional activity for Labour Weekend; gardening. I'll be planting corn, zuchhini and pumpkins (baby ones). My tomatoes aren't quite big enough yet; they'll go in later this month.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Wheel picture

This isn't my wheel as she's not quite ready yet, but it's what she will look like when I do get her.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

A Yippee moment!

Today I checked my savings account and I have enough in there for my new spinning wheel which was originally due to be ready next month (there's a waiting list). I emailed Mike to let him know that I'd saved enough; and no, I'm not going to tell you how much!
My Little Grace with tensioned lazy kate and 9 bobbins will be ready in about 2 weeks; he will then courier it down and if I'm lucky I'll have a small amount of English Leicester coming with it if I can get it organised. There will then be no further spending for a very long time! I've cancelled my Visa to make sure of this; the GE card is in the freezer in the middle of a block of ice and my Farmers card is only available for new Disney DVD releases and any necessary health supplements like the boys fish oils. No wool, fibre, fabric, other DVD's, sweets, icecreams etc.
I will endeavour to save a little as well so I can eventually afford my own drum carder for finer wools; my current second-hand one is more for stronger fibres. Merino or alpaca would die in it if I tried them.

Once everything's paid off then we'll look at saving to do the shower room and the flooring in the living areas and also pay off extra on the mortgage. We also have a couple of interest free HP's to clear. I think if I can stop the internet shopping it won't be that hard though, it's my uncontrolled spending that's caused the problem and I'm hoping that the fact that I now can't do that will interrupt my habit and form new, healthier habits. Saving and paying off all debt are 2 habits I'd like to have.

School holidays are almost over, thank goodness! George spent a couple of nights at Grandma's with his cousin and as a result Ian is now having issues with going to bed. He's just too bouncy and tonight he got his foot caught between the headboard and the mattress which didn't help. Hopefully a few nights will get things back to normal. Today was spent mostly watching TV with some outside interludes; tomorrow we'll drop off at my work, get some milk and then attack the vege garden. The winter crops will be dug in along with some compost so it's all ready for the potatoes and corn to be planted in the front garden. The back garden will need some serious work and I've told DH that he needs to help if he wants his peas this year. They really need to go in quite soon so that'll be his project this weekend.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Wool Combs

This is starting to take shape. The handle and head are together, just got to drill the holes now. Have cut some of the tines; 27 12" and 3 9" tines, but I need quite a few more. I'm going to have to get another 34 rods to get enough tines. Then will have to sharpen each tine (there are 70 for each comb). I'm making 2 of these combs so it'll take a while!
Once it's done I'll be able to prepare my own fibre. I've also got to check how many TPI my drum carder is too, once I know that I'll know if I need to replace the carding cloth on it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Apologies for the tardy blog

I just don't seem to remember to blog, I post finished objects on Ravelry and TNN, but not here. It's not like I've been doing nothing either.
I've done some cleaning and tidying, kitchen and hall cupboards are all gone through and some stuff sold on TradeMe as a result. More to sell yet, really need to go through my wool stash and sell off some of that to make room for what's coming from Elann. Also cleaned the fireplace for the summer and done the rust kill and repaint of the top. Turned the compost and planted spring seeds. Still have to turn over the vege garden and dig in the compost before planting my spuds. They're sprouting quite happily. Will also plant corn in that section of the garden. Not sure what I'll do in the back though as all the winter vege are still there and are only just now starting to move.
On the sewing front not much has happened as I still can't find the sewing room, I need to tidy that desparately, however despite that I've made a couple of pull-up overnight nappies for George and a cover for Ian (which I've since lost). Need to make a couple more as I'd really like to get G trained overnight this summer.
On the knitting front I've made a neckwarmer and a scarf. This is the neckwarmer, it's knitted from a 2 ply yarn I spun from some Gotland samples and it's seriously yummy to wear!

This is the scarf, it was knitted in Shepherds 3 ply baby wool using the Branching Out pattern from It was my first ever lace and as a result there are some errors, but overall I'm very happy with it; especially after I dyed it pink.

As well as all the knitting above I'm also working on a felted evening bag from the One-Skein Wonders book, I need to trial hand-felting using the John Q DK wool. I'd do it in the machine, but mine's a front loader so there's no control. Looking forward to this, I reckon it should look really good. I'm also doing a jersey for me in Patons Inca, part-way up the back atm and seriously considering having a third item on the needles; a pair of socks. Have to ball up the yarn first as it's currently in skein form, I got it as part of a swap from a talented Australian dyer Kattwings. I'm going to knit a toe-up pattern, just got to decide which one.

Now as well as all the above, I've also been working on a couple of new skills. I've tried needle felting and love it, so need to get some more of the needles as the ones I have are all fine and I need some coarser ones too. I'm also dyeing my own roving which is great fun. My first one was in shades of teal, spruce and sapphire and is truly beautiful; unfortunately I have other things to spin up first. My second was for a yarn swap on TNN so I can't give any details here until she's got it; won't be long though as I posted it yesterday. Suffice it to say that the colours aren't ones I'd normally use, but it looked fantastic after I spun it up and I hope she'll be very happy with it. I still have 800gms of merino to dye up yet, I can guarantee I'll be doing more and if I continue to get these sorts of results I may even sell the odd one. Here's the first one anyway
I am so in love with this that it's not funny. Gotta do more.......
I am also teaching myself to spindle spin so that I can spin when I'm out and not able to access my wheel or not in the mood to knit. Really enjoying it, though oddly I'm using my left hand to draft and my right to hold the fibre, whereas when using the wheel I'm the other way around. It's interesting to see how much more quickly I'm improving on the spindle than I did on the wheel, I've only been doing it a week and I've already gone from slubs to an almost uniform single. I'm using a 65mm Ashford top-whorl atm but have a Kokovoko bottom whorl to try and a Ghstworks spindle on the way (top-whorl). Yet another addiction to add to the list.

Spinning wheel has been busy too, this is some of what I've spun in the last wee while; hope I haven't doubled up on previous posts.
This is a Rambouillet/Targhee/Merino blend and it spun up really nicely. It's not in a colourway I'd normally go for, but I love it all the same. It's a Squoosh roving. Not sure what it'll be yet.
This is Rambouillet from ColorfulWorld (I think), Rambouillet is a bit harder to spin than the blend, but it was still nice. It's going to be a scarf.
This is a Romney from TaiTap Wool Carders, the roving was blue with a red streak and has spun up looking purple. It's not soft enough for a scarf, but would probably make nice mits; will see how I feel when I'm ready for it. Love the colour though.

The Important Stuff
The boys. George has been having some issues at school again, a bit of hitting and not concentrating in class. Have to try and remember to give him the fish oil to see if that helps. Other than that his new teacher is great with him, she's working with him and us to help him get past these issues and he is definitely improving. His reading has gone up a level and when he reads at home it's much better; he's sounding out words without me having to fight for it which is great! He's also starting to write stories. He got to bring the toy for the best person of the day home on Friday (Pumpkin) and wrote a little story about how Pumpkin watched him in the bath. I was very impressed. He's still addicted to the computer though, and the TV. He did spend some time outside this afternoon though after he realised I wasn't allowing either of them to go on this afternoon.
Ian is talking a lot now, we've had some definite progress in that but still having issues with the dinner table and some of his physicality. He's still trying to climb all over us and kicks out when frustrated. We're hoping that will abate as his language increases. He'll have to stop a bit anyway as DH has just had cortisone injections for a bad shoulder and isn't allowed to do the usual stuff with Ian for 2 weeks or more. Aside from all that Ian is still running away if you give him a chance so he's still in the pram atm. He's run away from Grandma's twice in the last month and also tried to commit suicide when leaving kindy by heading for an SUV on the road. Luckily I got him just in time; gosh he's fast though! I'm really hoping that will improve as we need to try and get him walking with us rather than away from us by the time he starts school in June.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Endings and new beginnings

Endings: Finished spinning my first lot of fibre ever last night, just have to skein the final plyed bobbin off and then I can wash and whack!

Beginnings: A new wheel, though it is second hand. I picked up my Little Peggy today, looks really nice and I'll probably set it up as a double drive. Also got about 12kg of raw fleece from my BIL who went through it all for me, he used to work for the wool board so knows good fleece when he sees it. This is pretty dirty and a fair amount of VM, but it's got good length and a nice creamy white. I can see I'll be using the paddling pool to clean it. Admittedly we had a long trip to get it (Christchurch to Waimate and back again), but it was worth it! I'll take photo's later, might not be tomorrow though as the weather will be icky and we also have a baptism to attend.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bad Blogger

I've been very bad of late, despite me getting lots done I've not blogged about any of it. I have now got my kitchen aid mixer, the school uniform fabric and the heater for the boys room. The new spinning wheel is ordered and I have set up a savings account for it, at the same time I'm paying off the cards so by the end of the year we should be debt free apart from the mortgage and I will have a new Little Grace wheel.
Have almost finished spinning my romney and George's school jersey only has the sleeves and neckline to go, can then do a hat for a birthday present and maybe something for me!

Most important though, Ian has turned 4 and is trying to talk; yippee! We've gone from no words to "up, down, quack, hi, car" and is attempting numbers and letters as well plus definite attempts at lots of others too. He is still a problem when it comes to walking to school and kindy or biking. Atm he's lost those privileges and is stuck in the pram, unfortunately the foot rest for that has broken and I don't know how well my "repair" will work, or how long it will last. He's starting school in a year and I'm hoping that in the next six months he'll be talking well and be a bit more cooperative in the walking department. It's not like he can't, he just doesn't want to and he can make it very difficult for me!
He had a great birthday though, friends of ours brought over a bouncy castle and all the kids had a fantastic time!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Small post

Not much going on atm. I've been knitting a jersey for George for school in the round and still working on the scarf for me. Ordered more wool and several books about knitting and have now put away the credit card. I am now concentrating on paying that off, once it's paid off I have several things I need to save for:
New spinning wheel
Benchtop mixer
New flooring for bathroom
Heater for boys room and our room

Other than that I also have to order fabric for school uniforms and pay for my spinning guild membership. I love spinning so that's a must! Would have been easier if my pay had worked out correctly, but my holiday pay didn't go in and I'm not sure if my boss can fix it for this week. Will find out tomorrow. I only have stuff on one co-op atm which is good, once that's paid for I'll close them all down for a while; after all it's not like I need any more fabric, lol! Don't need anymore wool either now (have enough sock wool now and ordered some 2ply cashmere). Have enough fibre for a short while, including some Romney that the guild sold me for 50 cents! It's a bit coarse, but will make a lovely bag. Once I've finished spinning up my current lot of fibre that'll be the next one; at that price it doesn't matter if its' not quite perfect.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Spinning around and around

The weekend before last I packed up my Ashford Traditional spinning wheel and went to learn how to use it. 2 hours later I had half a bobbin full of thick'n'thin which was apparently pretty good for a newbie and was in love! On Monday I had a child-free day and spent most of it spinning; I filled that bobbin and one other and then plied the singles together. They were a little overplied and overspun, but they're mine and I love them. After that I soaked them and the next day dyed them with Kool Aid and George's help. I have 2 skeins, one in Cherry and the other in Lime. They will become a hand-bag with maybe a little help from a commercial yarn for the base as I'm not sure I have enough to do the whole thing in my yarn.

Here's the first bobbin

Plied together

The lime

And the cherry

Went back again yesterday and I am now spinning reasonably consistent yarn that might ply up to about a 12 ply; very little thick bits which is great! I'm still in love and now dreaming about new wheels (how did that happen?). I won't be getting one for a while yet though, need to pay off the Visa first.

I've also done some knitting; almost finished the multi-coloured jumper for Ian, I'll post a pic once it's done. I've knitted it in DK Utiku Bazar from The Wool Company. It's my first ever go at cables and I'm going to do another in the same colour for George, but his will have the cable section in a plain turquoise to go with the Bazar. He'll have to wait a bit for his though as his school jersey comes first along with a hat for a friends daughter's birthday. Another thing finished is the roman blinds. They are now up at my brothers place and I've handed back all the leftovers. I'm glad it's all done and I can now tidy up the sewing room a bit. They look good and I think I did a good job considering I'm not a professional!

Also been gardening. I now have leeks, kale, collard hi crop, broccoli, cauliflower, mangelbeet, lettuces and onions in the garden as well as the broad beans. Still have bright beets and radicchio to add yet, but that'll go in during the week after I've finished sorting the garden. Should really do a green compost type crop, but don't have the room atm or the time. Hopefully this year will give me some idea of how much I need to plant so I can start a rotation for the green manure around the edible crops.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Productive Weekend

Spent Saturday morning out and about. Went to the gym for the first time in a few weeks and I'm going to get back into it as I felt fantastic afterwards! After that I walked to the Art Centre to have a look at the Spinners and Weavers Guild's open day. In a couple of weeks I'll be going there to learn to spin; can't next Saturday though as I'll be working on my Brother's roman blinds. I am definitely in love with spinning though and I haven't even started yet!
I then went to Knitworld as I'd reread the pattern I want to make with Naturally Yarns Dawn and found I had half the quantity I needed. Spent another $30 on that,but was good and didn't get anything else. Spent the afternoon looking after 2 tired boys; they'd both had a busy week

Sunday I cleaned up the sewing room ready to make the blinds and then we spent some family time building a bird box. It's up in the Silk Tree now and looks great; I'll post photo's later. We used offcuts so no spending to make it which was great.

Today I'm going to get some work done on the blinds; I've got all the fabric ready to go and the sewing room as well; I might also do some knitting for Ian, but I think I may have to put the heater on as it's quite chilly today. I'd light the fire, but I'm working at the other end of the house.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Working day

Spent most of yesterday working hard. Had to go and do a drop off and pick up at work, got some Magnesium supplements to help with sleeping and got some milk. Also took the boys to the park for a while.
When we got home I cleared the lawn of peaches and mowed it, then we make ginger fudge cake (yet to ice) and gingerbread; yum!
Downside, both boys had icky poos in the evening though so I have to make a doctors appointment today as it's been going on for a while. DH and I have been having issues too, but I have issues fairly often anyway so just thought it was getting worse. Looks like maybe it's been having some help from some unknown organism. George has swimming next week so we need to get it sorted quickly!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Long weekend, lots done!

A very busy weekend, most of it was spent in the sewing room after DH's using all of the last few weekends on his projects.
Started off by making a lion with George (well, mostly me, but he wanted to help).

I also ordered a book on using my new loom, a couple of knitting books, some bamboo dpn's and a bolt of silk kimono fabric which cost me $29 US. I'm so looking forward to that arriving. No more spending for a while though aside from necessities like supplements.

I made 3 bags, 2 of them are for a swap on TNN though so I can't post pics here yet. I only needed to make one, but I had some fabric that screamed it was for the lady's daughter so a second one was done. I did one shopping bag for me out of some fabric left over from a dress I made a wee while back.

I've also made 4 pairs of trousers for George for school, took the basic Kwik-Sew pattern from the Childrens book and adapted it to be very similar to the bought ones. I'm keeping 2 aside which will be for if he ruins some or else for Ian when he starts. I'm quite pleased with these as they look great!

After I'd finished these I had just enough time to make the frontage for our wood shed so the weather can't get in. The fabric was bought from Hollingsworth agencies for $6pm +gst. It's 100% polyester waterproof, non-breathable. It's stapled at the top, and the hem has a wood insert for weight. Looks really good!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A long weekend

And I don't mean the one coming up! The weekend just gone was only 2 days, but seemed much longer. DH spent most of both days in the garage with his sister working on his gaming boards. I ended up doing cleaning, tidying, lawnmowing, peach drying and kidwrangling. He's almost done and has promised me most of the long weekend for sewing etc. I will take some time off for the family, but I'm drooling over the promises of uninterrupted sewing and knitting.
I want to make a couple of pairs of trousers for George for school as well as a bag and some pj's for both boys. Would also be nice to get some more knitting done on Ian's jersey.

Friday, March 14, 2008

A productive day

Spent the morning taking photo's of my wool stash to load on Ravelry. Still have a fair way to go, but all the cotton, bamboo and mohair yarn is ready to load (after editing the photo's for easy loading). Afternoon was spent vacuuming after youngest to remove all the sand he was traipsing through the house, as well as getting dinner ready. We had roast duck and I put one of our peaches in the stuffing; yummo!
I also managed to get in some Kool Aid dying. I now have 2 200g 14ply (bulky) skeins of orange, yellow and lime. Not sure what I'll make with it, but it's rather nice and currently dripping onto the lawn. I'll have to bring it in soon so it doesn't get covered in dew. Here's a photo, there'll be another when I get around to turning it into something.

I've also lanolised the shorties that Mira made for me; George has laid claim to them and didn't even want to wait for them to dry!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Peach Jam

Our black boy peach has been dropping it's annual bounty on the lawn; we've had a lot of brown rot on them this year so not so many to use. I've been adding a lot to the compost (not sure if I should be or not), the good ones I've tried peach roll ups, but need a little practice at this as I've never used the dehydrator before. Will do some more in the next few days. I also decided to do some jam, the last time I did preserves was when we moved in, about 7 years ago and some of them are still in the cupboard, not much point doing more. Jam, on the other hand will get eaten! I got 7 jars, one in the fridge the rest in the cupboard for later along with the strawberry jam I did earlier in the season.
The next thing to try will be dried peaches, looking forward to trying that. I figure I can use some in stews and things to add some sweetness with a little bite.

I'm not getting much sewing done atm as DH is spending all his time in the garage working on gaming boards for Easter's wargaming competition. I'll be glad when he finishes so I can do some sewing. All I've managed to accomplish in the last few days is to add to my sewing to-do list and also to add to my mending list and my knitting list. I have today wound 5 skeins of yarn into balls so far; still several to go!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Quick update

Have finished a few things in sewing, but haven't got time to post pics atm; will have to do that later. I've done a couple of Ottobre T's as well as 1 pair of plain sweatpants for the gym. I've finished knitting 2 beanies in Patons Zhivago and a number of cotton dishcloths for Christmas presents. I've also make a cardigan in Naturally Yarns Vero (Pink/purple) for Gabriella (Jan and Robert's daughter). I put pink daisy buttons on it and it was very cute. I'm using the remaining skein to knit a hat for a TNN swap; no piccies yet though!

I'm also working on a sweat-jacket which I'm planning to add some swarovski crystals!

As far as the GF is concerned we've been GF since September and have seen a bit of improvement in George's speech, but not much in the way of changes aside from that. It's possible they are a bit calmer; certainly noticed a difference when they had an infraction! DH is finally supporting it a bit which makes things easier. I'd like to try milk free as well, but DH is so anti that it's not even worth trying atm! Maybe later.

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