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Monday, June 27, 2011


No soft fluffy things today, or family stuff.  This morning at 11.45am I got hacked from some sod in Yahoo in Hong Kong.  I lost my facebook account and my email.  Email is now back, and coming to me, but facebook is still compromised; I've reported it through another facebook account I have access to, but I have no idea what's going to happen.  My ebay account may also be affected.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Some good things

wI've been thinking about the many things we have to be grateful for in the midst of our local disaster.  The fact that our house is still mostly fine, my wonderful family, both those who live with me and those who don't.
My youngest turned 7 yesterday, that is something of a miracle considering the number of times he gave us heart attacks when he was younger!   He is getting a principals award next Friday; how cool is that?
My eldest sees things in black and white which has caused him some problems at school, today his teacher rang me to talk about how to make things work better for him with his classmates; we've agreed for his classmates to be told he's on the Autism spectrum which is why he thinks differently from them.   She's going to run what she's doing past us before she goes ahead, we want it done sensitively and don't want the teasing to escalate as a result.

Been busy this week with work, another thing to be thankful for; no matter whether I enjoy it or not  I have a job I'm good at in a climate that means more than normal don't have jobs.  The fact that it's busy will help us pay for the new washing machine which is good.  EQC still haven't paid on the contents claim, but I'll chase that up next week.

Today Thomas bought me my Birthday/Christmas present, it's very early, but it'll keep me warm this winter.  Isn't it gorgeous?   I love the colour, it's a duck-down puffer jacket.   I really feel the cold, it was $199.95 down from $399.95 and well worth it.  Everyone seems to have black ones but black is not a good colour for me; this works well.

Tomorrow I go into Mitre 10 and spend even more, though this time it's not going on the credit card.  We've put aside $300 and are getting a motor mower.  Our current push mower is broken and has been for some years; it's getting harder to use and takes over 1.5 hours to cut our lawn.  This will make it much easier!

Also today my new glasses arrived, the yarn I need still hasn't turned up, so I can't start my next project; but I love these glasses; $27NZ with my prescription.
Love the colour and shape.  I recommend Zenni Optical, fast and the photo testing for frame shape worked well too.   They do frames ranging from $6.95US and up.

Onto the knitting of course now, my citron has been worn and admired.  Here's a modelled shot
It's lovely, the shawl pin was part of the last fibre swap I took part in, works beautifully on the shawl.
George's mittens finished as well, should be dry for wearing tomorrow, he can't wait.
My own design, not quite perfect but I think all in all pretty darned good.
While I'm waiting for my yarn to show up I'm working on my handspun socks; the pattern is Anniversary Socks by Nancy Bush
The yarn is handspun Merino-silk, I overspun and overplied it deliberately to get some extra wear out of the yarn when it's turned into socks.  This is the third pattern attempt and it's working quite well.  Fine for lace, but it doesn't do cables well or Barvarian twisted stitch.
It'll go back on hold when the yarn does get here.   I'll have limited knitting time over the next week so I'll be concentrating on the next shawl to ensure it gets finished before the end of Camp Loopy.

Finally, Interweave Crochet arrived the other day so I'll do a quick review.   So far I have to say I'm not feeling in the least bit bad that this is my second to last mag; no plans to renew.

Interweave Crochet:  Summer 2011

Nantahala Tunic: This is shapeless and somehow manages to look slightly obscene.  No shaping and I really can't see any reason why you'd want to wear it; it's not a cover-up, it's not enticing; it's just plain ick.

Swannanoa Skirt: Looks ok sitting down, would have liked a standing photo.  I'd probably go for a darker shade; cream's not the best for staying looking good past small boys, oh and longer; my legs aren't quite what they were in the past. 

Botanical Pullover:  It's kind of pretty, but I've still not really got any clue why you would make something so see-through.  It might be nice over a bathing suit, but it doesnt' really work over the dress under it in the magazine.

Freewheeling Jewellry:  I rather like this, it's simple but attractive and I might actually give it a go sometime.  Not a bad way to practice your crochet flowers

Pinecone Top:  Love this!  Lovely shape and the lace at the bottom is lovely.  I think a t-shirt bra might be required though unless you like your nipples showing of course.

Unicycle Vest:  I like the back of this, but the front only works till it flares.  My hips and tummy are big enough without adding further width.

Zipline Shell:  Like the Pinecone Top this has a nice fitted shape and a nice neckline too.  Once again a t-shirt bra required.

Azalea Bowls:  Pretty and washable too which would be good!  Not sure if I could be bothered as we have plenty of bowls

Swift Eddy Tablecloth:  All I see when I look at this is caught fingers and paws and the tablecloth coming off suddenly.

Fiddlehead Basket:  I think this could be quite a handy basket, possibly not as good as an expanding one, but still useful.

Owlivia and Little Livvie:  How cute is this?   I love owls, I'd want to add the horned owls ears to it, but aside from that it's perfect. Amigurimi can be nice or nasty, this is definitely nice.

Mandolin Top:  If I had a wee girl I'd be pulling out the hooks right now.  This is very sweet and innocent, while still being practical.  Would work for a girly girl in pink, or a tomboy in a more unisex colour like the green they've used.

Early Girl Dress:  Also sweet, but not quite as nice as the top IMO.  I think the yarn doesn't have quite enough drape for the pattern.

Arboretum Cardigan:  This is ok, but nothing stunning.  I like the flowers though, might use them on something else.

Banjo Bag:  Once again nothing special, it's basically a granny square bag, but still really useable bag.

Grove Park Tank:  I like this a lot, I would use a darker colour on the collar part to make it blend more.  I feel that it being light, doesn't quite work.  It's still pretty though.  Might have to lose a bit of weight first though.

Galaxy Wrap:  I think this is really pretty, but it's hard to tell with the varigated yarn.  Would like to see it in a plain yarn on a white background. 

River Walk Wrap:  Also pretty, but I prefer wraps that aren't rectangular for some reason.  Would be lovely for a wedding though.

Trillium Tunic:  It's ok, but nothing special, yet another purely decorative top as you can't wear it without something under it for modesty's sake.

Buy it if you want, but I'd rather spend the money on yarn.

Have fun knitting everyone, see you next time!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Another large aftershock

Today's been a rocky one.  A magnitude 5.5 earthquake at 1pm and then at 2.20pm a 6.0 magnitude quake.  The 5.5 was bad enough, but the 6.0 resulted in the school sending all the kids home when their parents got there; bags left in cloakrooms again just like February.   Both boys seem ok, apparently Ian was on the monkey bars during the first one and was most upset about being required to get off!   He found it quite exciting.
Not sure what's happening with work, they were fine after the first one, but no reply after the second to my email so I suspect they might have closed for the day; will have to find out tomorrow as all the work I have is urgent and there's more to be picked up and done; being an international order the time constraints are a little greater than normal.
The 6 was rather scary; I was sitting working and picked up my hot chocolate so as not to get it on the keyboard; the peach trees outside were dancing and we could hear stuff smashing all over the place.  Funny thing is we can't find what was making the noises; nothing broken as far as we can tell!
Family all ok, though my In-Laws were without power and water last we heard and FIL had lost a good guitar.  My parents are fine as are both my sister-in-laws.  Assuming my brother is, haven't heard different and with power being out over there I won't be able to get hold of them. 
As usual we're being told to stay off the roads (if work's open tomorrow I'll have to go in).  My usual route home won't be available, big cracks in the support for the bridge I go over so it's closed; kind of glad of that!

On a brighter note, I got to go to the guild on Saturday where my Citron shawl was given much admiration.   It's now blocked and has grown 30cm in width. 
I wore it all day today too, photo's a little blurry, but I'm really pleased with how it looks and feels.  Lovely and warm and it was commented on positively at school too, and then again at work.

I'm very pleased, isn't it lovely?

Also today my DellaQ needle case arrived; it's for my interchangeables and also my fixed sock circulars; no piccie yet as I haven't had time to open it with the urgent work.  I have taken time to look at the new Interweave Crochet (review to come) and the latest Spin-Off.  Spin-Off is my last, I've not renewed the subscription as I don't feel I'm getting any new material, so for me it's not worth continuing to get it.

Still no sign of Ian's birthday books, really hoping they arrive before Sunday's party.  Also no sign of my shawl yarn which I need for the Loopy Camp.  Fingers crossed for both of them.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Blocked and unblocked

The last few days have seen some frantic knitting going on.  I've finished George's first mitten, but have the second to start (tomorrow I hope), I've also removed my Spring Garden Tee from the blocking table and tried it on, it's gorgeous!
not the best photo unfortunately, we had to use the flash and the lace at the bottom isn't showing too well.  However it fits perfectly and feels really nice; looking forward to wearing it in the summer.

Tonight I finished my Citron; it's not blocked yet and I changed my mind about beading it when I found my size 8 beads weren't quite big enough and I didn't have anything suitable in size 6.   I cast off 2 rows early to get the peacock colour on the cast off, this also meant that I didn't have to knit 2 more rows of 735 odd stitches so there's not a bad side to this.   I still have 31 grams of the yarn left and no idea what I'll do with it, but I'll work that out sometime in the future; in the meantime it'll join the other leftovers in the sewing room. 
Here's the finished object pre-blocking; 102cm wide.  My handspun too, only thing I didn't do was to dye the Merino top.
It'll get bigger once blocked, hoping to get that done tomorrow after I go to work (some urgent stuff to drop off) and also go to Mum's to go shopping for Ian's birthday present.   Can't believe he's almost 7!
He was offered three choices for his birthday.  A party involving kids from school, a family only party or going out.  He chose the family only option, "with cake please Mummy".  The plan is to do a chocolate cake with a tornado on top, hoping it goes well.  It'll be Sunday week, a morning tea which gives everyone time to cool down afterwards before the working and school week restarts the next day.
From us he's getting 5 books which I ordered last week from the book depository.   Worked out at around $30NZ which is really good, 3 on tornadoes, 1 on volcanoes and 1 on earthquakes; he should be in natural disaster heaven!
Just hoping the oven holds out, it's not a happy unit atm, but we can't afford to replace that before EQC pays out seeing as we just replaced the washing machine.   Even if EQC don't pay out in full on that, we needed to replace it as it just wasn't spinning well enough all the time (sometimes was ok, others not).  Going into winter you need a machine that spins.   We now have a good machine (see previous post for details) and it's managed to fit the duvets in and wash them properly.  Ian wet the bed the night after it arrived, just so we could test it; wasn't that nice of him?   The old one is residing in the garage for the moment, until 6 months after our claim is processed; whenever that may be.

We've also worked out we need a new lawnmower.  Our old pushmower is on its last legs, Dad rang today to tell us he could get us an almost new motor mower for a good price from his work; it had been returned due to a fault and the customer insisted on a new one; fault is fixed so we're getting it.  More space to find in the garage, and of course a slight delay on paying a bit off the revolving mortgage; but it's worth it.   It's a 4-stroke motor so no faffing around with oil mixes.  Really hope that petrol doesn't get too much higher, but considering our lawn is also often too long for the pushmower we really don't have much choice.

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