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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

More school to come

Ian had a full day at school today as it's Tuesday, his teacher let him out last and I was worried it might be because he'd been a BAD BOY, but no he'd been a really good boy and she wanted to discuss his hours next term!
So, from the first week of next term he's doing 2 full days; Tuesday and Thursday and she wants to work up to 4 full days by the end of term!  I was really happy.  Friday hasn't been discussed yet, but I don't want him doing Friday afternoons for a bit as his riding at the RDA (Riding for the Disabled) is going really well and I think it's helpful to him.  Certainly he's been whispering less since he's been there which has to be good.
It was nice to have some good news, our washing machine refund is still being looked into (note I'm being positive here that it will be a refund); Thomas and I haven't been feeling well and although we're on the mend we're not better yet, and George is still wetting the bed every night.
Ducks are still here, need to get set up for killing them, but if we try chasing them around the yard atm it's likely to end up with ducks free still and us covered in mud.   Mind you, we should really wait till spring and see if she starts laying.....  We'll see.
Guinea pigs are doing well though, I think they might be missing grass access though, normally they'd be on the lawn but it's been so wet it's not an option.  Hoping tomorrow might give them a chance to be in their favourite place.
Btw, I'm thinking about a giveaway, should I go for fabric or yarn?   Let me know what you think!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Theodora, how I love thee!

Can you see why?  They fit really well, they feel nice and the ribbon is just gorgeous!  Even Thomas commented they were really nice without me having to prompt him at all.  Need to cast on the sock club one next, but I'm feeling really tired atm after several broken nights (Ian's the culprit here).   Keep getting woken up by someone giggling and talking to themselves.  Should also do some work on Central Park Hoodie, might see how I go.
Will do some work as well, have to drop it all off on Monday so needs to be done.

Had a good day at the guild today.  Several people popped in for the first time, all knitters and they all had a good session I think.  Hoping they'll all be back; one of them was learning Fair Isle and doing a darned good job of it!  He thinks he might have the Tudor Roses book at home by Alice Starmore which if he does he'll bring in for me to take a look at.  I don't think he wants to sell it, but it'll be nice to see the legend none the less.  He's got some idea of how much they're selling for too so it's even less likely he'd sell it to me considering I can't afford those prices!  I have to say though for his first time doing FI he made it look easy, definitely going to try it soon.  Need more time though, there's the knitting I've already started, the FI I want to do, housework, work, children and I also need to strip wallpaper and paint the laundry, kitchen and dining rooms.
Actually, I could cope with winning Lotto instead, then I could pay someone to do the housework, redecorating and I wouldn't have to work; how nice would that be?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Latest Interweave Crochet

Unfortunately I don't have my copy yet, but here's my take on the preview that's up on Interweave atm. 

Midsummer Night's Shawl:   Gorgeous, I'm in love and once the magazine arrives this will be added to my queue.

Agora Totes:  Useful looking bag, but nothing really special about this one

Helena Jacket:  Can we say insipid?   Horrible colour choice for that model, she disappears; aside from her shoulders which you get to see to the detriment of the rest of the garment.  Hang on, I've managed to get past the shoulders and I've discovered that I hate the fastening too.  You have a fairly heavy looking fastening on a lacy garment which really doesn't work.   I think with some redesign work and a different colour this could be redeemable.  A narrower shoulder would definitely help, a clean collar (get rid of the shawl), remove the puff from the sleeve and make some slim fastenings this would be a different jacket and quite wearable.

Marilyn Twin Set:  I quite like the top, it's a nice shape and in a different colour could be quite beautiful but I wouldn't make that particular jacket to go with it, it's a little shapeless and doesn't look like it belongs with the top.

Puck Tunic: Simple, but effective; this is the second item I would definitely make.   Would work well in summer in a cotton or linen and also in winter in wool as an additional layer over jeans.  The shape is nice and it covers those escapees that come with low-slung jeans.   Unfortunately I need this as the only jeans that fit me are low slung; all higher ones (which I prefer) can fit a truck down the back waistband due to my sway back.

Fast and Fabulous Bracelet:  It's very pretty, but where's the picture on a real wrist?  Oh, and have fun tying it on one-handed!

Elfin Tank: This would look quite nice if it was longer, much longer and you threaded a satin ribbon through the eyelets.   As it currently is though it looks unbalanced.

Cat Nap Mat:  Looks cute, but my cat only likes expensive yarn, preferably with possum down in it.

Chain Reaction Afghan project:  I really like some of these squares, though I wouldn't use them together.

Noontide Tee:  Urgh, those shoulders are hideous!   I like from the bustline down, but the rest is just not me and I suspect I'd be hitching it up all the time.

Cool Wave Shawl:  There's nothing wrong with this, it's just not pretty enough for me, to me a shawl needs to be pretty.

Charlotte Skirt:  I actually rather like this I think it would look nice over some slim trousers or a straight skirt.  It really doesn't work with the top they've paired it with.

Mirth Sweater:  The body on this is actually quite nice, but the sleeves are the wrong length.  I can see it working well with cap sleeves or even a slightly longer more fitted sleeve.  This sleeve might, just might work on a girl with a little less bust but I'd still change the sleeves.

Cowslip Skirt:  This would look lovely in a lighter weight yarn as an overskirt, but in this yarn it adds pounds.

Forest Reflections Shawl:  Meh.

Summer's Day Placemats:  These I like, very practical.

Moth Wings Shrug:  This is lovely and I do plan on making it.  Lovely shape and just the right weight for a summer coverup.

Lodestar Tunic:  This is another lovely tunic, the shaping is flattering they've chosen a good colour for a change and the length is just right.  You need something under it, but still worth making

Peaseblossom Tunic:  I really like this one too, once again it requires something under it, but would make a really nice evening tunic.  I want it!

Moonglow V:  This is a download, so get it while you can.  Another one I really like, but the colours don't really work for me.  I think it would look amazing with just one colour.   Funnily enough it's now sitting on my hard drive.

I'd love to hear what people think of my wee review, I'll add some more later once my copy arrives.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Work and gumboots

I arrived at work this morning and was given non-urgent work for a change, yippee!  As a result I've not done as much work as normal this morning.   Instead I went shopping at Para Rubber and came home with some new gumboots and an EVA multifoam mat.   The gumboots were made in Italy of all places, but should be more durable than my last pair which were pretty, but developed a critical leak when I was cleaning out the ducks on Saturday.  Not a fun experience.  These are comfortable and well made, no more dreading of going into duckville from now on.
The EVA mat is to replace my alphabet blocks for blocking lace knitting.  The current blocks work, but the letters tend to be a little annoying; these will be so much better and more stable too.

When I got home I finished my current knitting project, baby socks for a friend's baby.  He's a little older than the babies I've knitted the pattern for up till now, so I went up a needle size and made the foot longer.  They've been posted now, but here they are:

Cute, aren't they?  I hope Catherine likes them, but I guess we'll find out in a few days.   Just got one more of these to knit now and that's my test sock for the 18 month sizing.  I've got the top calculations sorted, just got to work out the heel turn and gusset arrangement.  I'll only be knitting one sock for this, but once it's worked out I'll be adding it to the pattern for no extra charge, later there may be a child's version, but if I do that then the price might have to increase slightly; it's only $2NZ atm which after paypal fees comes down to $1.50; not much to show for that much work, lol.
Oh well, back to work; it may not be urgent, but it's still running late and I promised I'd do my best to work on it quickly.  I also have my knitting session tonight so won't be working then. 

One last thing, yesterday my Vintage Purls sock club arrived, can't post photo's yet as there are lots of people who haven't got theirs yet.   In a day or so I'll show you what I got; it is beautiful though.  The pattern is simple but effective and the yarn is to dye for ;)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A good weekend

Admittedly I didn't get to the guild yesterday to knit and spin as Thomas was down in Waimate helping his brother move house, but I did get a lot of housework done!   House is clean, tidyish and the animals all have freshly cleaned areas too.  The boys helped which was nice, George emptied the dishwasher on request and even tried to refill it!  He got extra pocket money as a result.  Ian also helped but I had to give him very specific tasks.   Once it was all done I collapsed into a chair and got Ian set up on the X-box; George wasn't allowed it as he had been stepped at school for hitting another child.
We went out and got Burger King for dinner.

Today was Ian's birthday celebration, so his friend Iain from school came over and we all went to Willowbank wildlife reserve.  The boys in the car with me and Thomas on his motorbike as we wouldn't all fit with the booster seats in.  Had a good time, though Iain has perhaps not done much feeding of the animals before and I think he found that a little off putting  for a start.  He loved the donkey rides though and all 3 boys were well behaved.  Our Ian also had fun and all of the boys got to feed a very nice Wallaby and pat it.
After we'd finished the tour of the park we then had lunch there; that stung us $45 for the meal plus iceblocks afterwards for the boys.  Was worth it though.  Sorry, no photo's as I forgot the camera (blush).
Afterwards I dropped Iain off home, we came back here and the boys watched The Librarian, followed by some computer time.   My parents came around with Ian's birthday present from them; a science book which uses household stuff for experiments and a little volcano to go with it.   After they left my brother and his wife came around and handed over their presents.   Ian got 2 Lego cars from them and he immediately started to make them up with much less help from me than normal.  I was very impressed!   So definitely a good day.

I'm now going back to some knitting; working on my latest Lace Chain Baby Socks (my pattern, available on Ravelry).  These are for a friend's baby and I'm making them slightly larger as he's getting a little older than my pattern is designed for.  Once these are finished I'll be casting on for a trial in a toddler size; once that's perfected it'll be added to the pattern for no extra charge.   The current pair I was knitting 2 at a time on 1 circular needle, but it's now been split out to being knitted individually again; I think I prefer knitting the second sock!.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Happy Birthday

to Ian.  He turned 6 today, a very exciting age.  He also went up a reading level yesterday, he's now on level blue and has been really good over the last couple of days; including helping me tidy up yesterday.   I put 2 marshmallows in his lunchbox for a special treat today.
Will be going to pick him up from school in 20 minutes, not much birthday celebration today as it's a school day, but on Sunday he's going to Willowbank wildlife park with a friend from school called Iain.  George will be coming too and it should be a good day.  Not paying anything off the credit card until that's over so I know how much is available; wouldn't want to stint on Ian's special day.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Finally some good news

I have my machine back, turned out the board had a blown track which they could fix by putting a bridge over it; don't know how much that will cost, but at least I have it back and I got a load done last night of woollens.  It didn't sound quite as I remember it last night so I'm keeping a close eye and ear on it, but that could well be simply that I am used to hearing a machine that wasn't well.
Haven't heard from Bosch yet, but that's ok as I don't know how much it is yet.  Once I know they can ring and pay for it (reimburse us).
Keeping my fingers crossed that it is well now for at least 10 years!

On another note I'm really busy with work atm, so much so that I've not done any real knitting for the last few days and I'm really missing it.  I still have a heap of work to go, but I'm taking a break today and going into the guild; it's a must for my sanity and also I won't get to go next Saturday as DH is going to be going down to Waimate on his bike to help his brother move house to Tinwald.  He has to be back for Sunday though as Ian and his friend are going to Willowbank and I don't want to be supervising 3 rambunctious boys.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Seeing as I probably shouldn't swear online that'll have to do.  New motor isn't working, so either it's a faulty motor or as the repair guy suspects the old motor killed the computer board when it blew up.   He's taken it away, and I'll know by tomorrow how bad it is.   He had said yesterday that it was better to have the motor to replace as it's cheaper; I have to say if it's both then Bosch and Kitchen Things had better come to the CGA party and give us a new machine or repair this one toot sweet cos I'm getting seriously grumpy!
It's not the repair places fault and they're going to see if they have a loan machine available, but I'm not holding my breath.   I'm not a happy panda atm.

It's the motor

The chap from Appliance Works arrived yesterday to look at my machine and determined that the motor was in the process of blowing, it completed that process while he was here.   I had already by that point had to do one load of hand-washing after Ian wet his bed that night.  He told me that there wouldn't be a motor in stock at the Christchurch branch so that meant if one was in stock in Auckland it'd be next week.  If no stock then a fortnight!  
I got a phone call just on 5pm last night from them to say they'd found one at the Christchurch branch (yay) and that they could fit me in the next morning (today, yay) and that it would cost $590 (discounted, but still not very yay).  We've given the go ahead, considering that a new one would be $1500 minimum and that this is a good machine normally.  I've rung the company we bought it from and waved the CGA at them, they've contacted Bosch and told me to get back to them if I've heard nothing by this time next week.

In fact the repair chap has just arrived and is taking the machine to pieces as I type, so in about 30 minutes I'll have a working machine!   We'll be putting it on the Visa, which puts paid to any plans of paying off some of the floating mortgage, but I guess we're lucky that we have the balance available on the Visa to do that. 
Here's the lovely man working on my machine.
My machine mid fix

And the new part, doesn't look much does it?  But without it the whole machine is just a space taker and I'm doing a lot of hand-washing; ick!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

What's that noise? What's that smell?

Oh no, quick rush to turn off the washing machine which had almost finished it's current load and was smelling absolutely foul!   No servicemen available until tomorrow afternoon.  It's only 4 years old for gosh's sake and I have 2 boys who often (in one case always) wet the bed at night.
I've spent a fair bit of the day drooling over yarn online to make me feel better; not buying any of course as we'll need money to either fix or replace the washing machine.  If it needs replacing I'll be waggling the CGA at the place we bought it from, expected lifespan of a front loader is 12-15 years according to the Consumer site.
You know what I really want?   A new machine (paid for by Bosh) and some Wolliemeisse sock yarn.  Unfortunately I'm probably more likely to win Lotto than either of those happening so I'll just have to live with dreams.  
Wish me luck on at least having a working machine soon, beginning of the wettest winter for 3 decades is not a good time to be without the washing machine.
One good thing though, I did get the last bale of hay at Dawes for the guinea pigs, so that's in the covered deck area and will help keep them warm and healthy over the winter.  Will be cleaning them out in the morning and giving them some of the new hay, the old was getting rather damp which can't be good.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

A productive week

I've got some stuff yet to finish.  Lace Chain Baby socks for a friend's son, a calculation on the same pattern to upsize it for another lady who's bought it, just got to find time in the coming week for that one.  My second sock is yet to be finished for me and still sewing pyjamas. 
However, we have managed to fix (mostly) our downpipe problem on the conservatory, house is clean, I can see some of the sewing room floor, George has had his follow up appointment at hospital and is now on referral to Nurse Maude for his night wetting and to Mental Health to look at Aspergers.  Turns out the hospital can't diagnose for children who are school age as they're missing a couple of specialists they need for that.   Bummer.  The Doctor we saw said he's not classic Aspergers, but he does have some of the issues that come with it, especially the problems with making friends so she wants it looked into.

I've finished my hat though, last night I finished my lovely Webs hat in Cashmere.   It's beautiful, I'm going to have to make more tams I think, once the CPH and all the stuff above this paragraph is done.
Isn't it beautiful? 

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Aargh, nits!

George has nits, found live eggs this morning, so he's getting a #1 cut when he gets home so I can get them off easier.  Found the adult though and removed it so I have hopes that's it.  No signs in his brother yet, but of course now that we know both of us are itchy!  Sending a note to school with George this morning so his teacher can let her other parents know.

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