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Sunday, May 26, 2013

As you know I love Craftsy, for those of you who also do or who have yet to try it, they've got a sale on for Memorial Day which is being celebrated over there this weekend.   They have great classes for knitting, sewing, quilting, baking and cake decoration (not that I do this) and other bits and bobs.   I do get a little something out of it if you buy a class using my links, but to be honest I just want people to know about it as the classes in general are great and if you're not happy their customer service is amazing!

This Memorial Day weekend, join Craftsy in honoring the brave men and women who have served in the US Armed Forces. For every class sold this weekend, Craftsy will donate a portion of the proceeds to benefit a veterans' organization. Select classes will be on sale up to 60% off! Have all the classes you want? Consider gifting a class to your favorite service member!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The house is all wrapped up

Plastic on the floor, some of the furniture is wrapped too, it sounds like we're walking on bubble wrap!  
I've got a little more weaving done today, got two shuttles today, so I could wind some weft for my practice; I think I've remembered what I'm doing.   It looks good anyway, so I'm going to say I remember.
No photo's yet, I want to get a little further along first.  

I've one photo I want to share with you though, this was a week or so back when the fog was coming in.
A little fuzzy due to low light and camera shake, that house you can just glimpse is only across the road.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Service may become intermittent

Tomorrow the protection people come in and cover stuff up, things like carpet, furniture and the recommendation is to remove electronics from rooms that will have plaster dust, which means this room.    Considering our internet service comes from here too this could get interesting, everything will have to move to the sewing room, which has no plug for the internet.   I might be able to put it in the bedroom, but can't be certain till I try it; that room may possibly get a little plaster too as there is a dent in the wall.
I'll try and take photo's as things go, but to be honest I think we'll all be in survival mode.   Boys won't have their computer either, so it'll be the sort of survival that happens in the wilderness, except without the fascination of bugs and things to keep them busy.
Oh, and there won't be any sewing going on, no room in there if all the electronics end up there, I'll be knitting and working, full stop.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A little knitting and a new craft joins the stable

I've finished my first mitt for Ian's teacher aide, I'm really pleased with it and the second is up to the start of the thumb gusset, hopefully I'll get that started tonight.
the ends still need weaving in, but it's perfect!
I got quite a bit done on it in the weekend in breaks during my learn to weave course.   Comments were made on how I never let my hands do nothing, lol.  I explained it was either that or pacing, and I prefer the knitting.    I really enjoyed the weaving course and have ordered some yarn to use as weft and a couple of shuttles as I only have one that I can currently use and the fabric I want to weave requires two.   As soon as a second shuttle arrives I'll be doing more weaving as I really enjoyed it and apparently I may have a knack for it too.

Warping up

the other side of the loom
I've taken photo's of the weaving I've done, but not had a chance to download it to my computer, I'll post it later when I'm not doing the headless chook impression.   Anne Field is a wonderful tutor and she had a lot of help from Fay as well, which we all appreciated.   At the end of it I was actually helping to show someone else how to do one of the techniques which I think helped cement it in my head too.  I'm glad I already have my own loom, though I still need to make cross-sticks and a raddle to help with future warping up.

My fibre swap haul which includes lovely batts, beautiful yarn, a wood crochet hook, cute sheep buttons and a hand-made notebook.   Dh has already eaten the chocolate and I'm drinking the hot chocolate :)
On Monday this arrived in the mail, my swapper was Doe Arnott of Hang's by a Thread.   She does lovely dye jobs (the yarn is hers) and the batts are just divine!  I just wish I had time to use it at the moment, but my days are full of tidying, taking stuff to the lock-up and working.

I'm going to go to the guild this weekend though no matter what, I need the break and I'm going to spin some more of my natural brown English Leicester for the sheep pillow.

Oh, and I got an email this morning to tell me I've won a pattern from Anke from a competition on the Knitting with Olof blog.  I'm choosing Same Same but Different which is a nice basic 4-ply cardigan pattern.  One of those "wear everywhere" patterns.

Oh, and on the way home from school this morning I noticed someone climbing in a window of a house, luckily I had my cell on me so called 111.    The police arrived before their callcentre had even finished taking my details.   It turned out to be relatively innocent (guy described as dodgy, but had a good reason to be there that checked out), I was glad to find out it was ok in the end and the police thanked me for calling them.   First time I've called them for years when it's not related to Ian!   Last time was over 10 years ago for a domestic disturbance.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Being Creative in Other Ways

Instead of knitting and sewing I'm DIYing and tidying.

I am getting a little knitting done, but not much I'm afraid.   I've just reached the thumb gusset stage on the first mitt for Ian's teacher aide, but it's not going very fast due to all the other stuff I'm doing in preparation for our repairs.

I've taken all the wallpaper off the shower room now, done the plastering, discovered some of the plastering originally done is best described as "shonky" and touched up some of that.  I'm going to have to get some of the mold treatment stuff Resene sells as there is mildew on the walls where the sheets of wallpaper met.    No point in replacing all those sheets though as eventually we'll be redoing the whole room with a new shower and it'll all go then, this is just a stop-gap measure.

Next room to strip will be the laundry, but I can't start that till the red bin is emptied as it's completely chocka and the recycling bin is not suitable for wallpaper.

As well as the above I've also met with the painter and project manager and we now have an order that the rooms will be done in, first room is the boys room along with the bathroom/toilet/shower area.   Bathroom won't take long, it's just the door surround, so that won't be overly disruptive and the boys room is just the ceiling so also won't be too bad.   Our room is the walls, the lounge is the ceiling and the dining/kitchen/laundry is going to be messy as it's floor (not earthquake related), walls and trim.  We won't be able to use that room for about 10 days, so no laundry, cooking etc.   I might get some paper plates, it's not ecologically sound, but it might help keep us sane.   The boys will have to re-use their school clothes more than normal or I'll have to handwash.   I'm praying that no bugs hit in that time, also that youngest doesn't wet the bed.  I think we'll have to put the washing machine in the bathroom till it's done, fridge in the conservatory and dryer in the hall.   Microwave and BBQ meals might be the norm plus takeaways which the boys will love!

I need to get more tidying done in the sewing room so I can move stuff around and out of the way, there will obviously be no sewing as that room will no doubt end up filled with furniture from elsewhere in the house, I'll have to make sure I have everything I need for knitting accessible.
First thing is to put all the yarn that's in there in safe places, some is already in boxes apparently (according to Ravelry) so I'll put those ones where they should be, find spaces in boxes for the newer stuff and that's going to make a big difference!  I'll be back once that's tidy, wish me luck.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

One thing leads to another

For our earthquake repairs the ceiling in the shower room is going to be overlaid with new GIB (gypsum board for my international readers), as they were concerned about the wallpaper on the existing boards I said I'd remove that (we want to repaint in there anyway).    Yesterday I started and found that the existing GIB above the shower is showing signs of water damage so we've just gone and spent $94 at Mitre 10 for a new sheet of Aqualine GIB (water resistant), plus the stopping compound, the screws and the tape, plus a spray bottle to get the wallpaper off.    I also found another crack in a join in the existing GIB that's staying put so I'll fix that myself I think.
Got to wonder what else we'll find as we go!
The damaged GIB is now off, and looks like I'm spending mother's day doing that instead of what I'd planned in my last free weekend before the work starts.    I need to make something for Ian's teacher aide, funnily enough I'm not in the mood with all this, but I think I'm going to make the bag still but start off with some fingerless gloves in the same yarn I used for my Central Park Hoodie.  It's an aran weight so will knit up quickly and I'm going to make a pattern I've used before, Humanity Mitts.   I love my pair and they'll be lovely and warm for the winter.
In the meantime I'm going to go back into the shower room and try and remove the old glue and stuff off the studs so I can measure and cut the new stuff to go up.

Thursday, May 09, 2013


Got given a date for our repairs to start today, it's not far away, in fact it's this month!    We'll be living here during it which will be interesting, hopefully most of it will be done in the day while the kids are at school.    Before it all starts though I have a few jobs to do.

1. Strip the wallpaper in the shower room so they can put a new ceiling up easily
2. Get any sewing done now, so that's the mending pile and also the present for Ian's teacher aide who left yesterday (whoops).
3. Make a meal plan for the time we won't have the kitchen and make sure we have everything we need to do dishes in the bathroom.
4. Get the fan/light/heat unit for the shower room as the existing one can't be ducted and is therefore not legal to reinstall.
5. Clean, tidy and get rid of stuff we don't have any need for; this is the biggie.
6. Spend one full weekend learning to weave while worrying about all of the above.    Didn't know this was coming when I booked that in though.

Funny how much easier this would be if we had the garage already, but we don't so we'll muddle through and once it's done (before the school holidays all going well), we'll look back on it and say "that wasn't so bad", or possibly "thank god that's over!".   I'm hoping for the former.

However at the end of it I'll be able to tell what's left for me to do to get the place up to spec, aside from painting what will be Ian's room to disguise what they did to the wallpaper in there.   Our room and the kitchen/dining will be all painted.   I'll need to do the laundry; I wonder where the paint is for that?   Probably in storage, it'd be nice to do that while everything's out of there too, but might not be practical.

Wish us luck!

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

A good day

First up I'm wearing my Central Park Hoodie today, and it's lovely and warm!
Can you tell I love it?

You can see the lovely cables on the back and arms; yum!
When I booted up the pc this morning I found an email to say I'd won some yarn and a pattern from the Spud and Chloe Blog; I've chosen my yarn colours already and am really looking forward to that arriving.    I picked up my new shoulder bag yesterday, so I can carry my knitting with me.  I've been looking for one for a while, but have been unable to find something suitable.  Finally found it on Friday and they've put a new strap on it so I can wear it cross-body as well as on my shoulder.
It's navy leather, photo is under electric light so doesn't show well.

I've also had yarn arrive that I bought, I'm now back on my yarn diet.  

We've signed the contract for our garage, so now waiting for the first invoice so the bank will release payment, once that's done then they'll get the papers ready for the neighbours to approve the build, so things are definitely moving.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

3 years later

3 years ago on 01.05.2010 I cast on my Central Park Hoodie; this afternoon I sewed it together.  It's now waiting for the zipper but it's at a point where I consider it finished!  You'll get photo's once the zipper is in, I have to buy one first though as the ones I have in my stash are all too short.

I got some fibre today too, photo's also to come as the light is horrible at the moment.   It's 900g of dark grey suri alpaca from Sherlin Alpacas.   It'll be spun up and knit into a shawl I think, can't get started on it yet though, need to get my grey crossbred done first.  The boys had a great time feeding the alpaca mums and the crias.   The farm owners were very impressed by the boys patience when feeding them, so were we, especially as they hadn't wanted to come.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Scott Base Socks

I finished the first sock today, I've used 51g of yarn which means I'll be short on the second sock.   I have hopes that someone might have a little left over and if she does then I should hear today, if not then I have another similar colour that might work if I alternate rows near the toe; luckily it's not a solid colour.   Keeping my fingers crossed for leftovers though.

Without further ado here is my first Scott Base Sock!
I think I need a larger sock blocker for Thomas's socks, mine are just too small and don't show the detail well at all.  I do have to say I love this sock though, it's squishy but still feels robust and it looks wonderful on!    The second will be slightly delayed though due to me needing my Central Park Hoodie; that shouldn't take too much longer now that I've decided to get rid of the hood in favour of a collar.

While I'm knitting the 2x2 rib on that I might watch a couple of Craftsy's free courses.   I've already watched Sewing Machine 911 which was really useful.

The next 2 free Craftsy mini-courses I'm going to take are:
1. Short Rows which should be handy for all sorts of things, at the moment I have to look it up each time I want to use short rows, being a visual learner I think the course will help immensely on this.
2. Know Your Wool , yes I have lots of books on this, but I think it'll be very interesting to actually hear about them while I'm knitting.
Check out all of the other free Craftsy mini-courses by clicking here.  There are quilting, cake and knitting ones that I know of and probably others too.   The interaction on these isn't with the tutors, but other students instead which is I think a wonderful thing.

Anyway, I'll leave you with a photo of Star as she was while I was working hard on painting the house
It is so hard to photograph a black cat properly!

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