Monday, January 31, 2005

stitch markers collection

stitch markers collection

I love Flickr email photoblogging!

stitchmarker makings

stitchmarker makings

all of the bits requited for 1 pair.

Sunday, January 30, 2005


have to re-install "Hello" or should that be re-re-install :-)
will get them up by tomorrow

How to make stitch markers ( and a little bit more ranting)

"My purpose in life may be only to serve as a warning to others..." sic. Ambrose Bierce.

I made slippers, waaaay to big, to felt. I made them from wool, washed them in hot water with soap and a towel, put thru the equivalent of 4 washes,and do you think it shrank at all??? No way, dropped a couple of stitches tho'. I have tried everything, agitated in the sink with boiling water and soap, vinegar to remove any dressing that may be stopping it from felting, but the small print on the label it states that this wool is machine - washable, all of the others had this is large print on the front of the ballband, 'cos usually it's a good thing...not this one. This is the yarn I will use from now on when knitting for babies and children, then when Dad accidentally throws it is the wash, no problem-o.

So ,I am a bit miffed about this, that and my experience at "Spitlite" yesterday, you antipodeans know who I mean, the craft megastore. Now don't come down all venegful on me if you work there, or your friends and family work there, I am sure there are plenty of lovely people there, actually the woman who sold me curtain lining was one, the one who sold me yarn was am I, standing in line for 10 minutes,(behind one person) I ask the assistant to check the prices of the items I am holding, as have been caught out by their " of course we expect you to have e.s.p pricing policy" I had picked up some bags from the cheap yarn bin, the assistant agreed: 2 x 8 balls for $10 (one had 7 but I didn't want to quibble) and 1 with 3 bitty balls for $2.60, plus a ball of full price yarn to finish the slippers. She then proceeded to rip open the bags and ring up each and every ball, at the full price...I am like..."excuse me, the bags say $10 for 8 balls" she looks at me like I am a complete idiot, and goes to talk to her manager, who comes back and shrieks ( I kid you not, the woman SHREIKED!) "you can't return them then, if you don't pay full price" I said "they were in the BARGAIN BIN", what is wrong with these people!!!I hate hate hate experiences like that, if everyone used their blasted brains then I wouldn't have to stress myself by being assertive ( which is a learned trait for me)

Today Flash and I went to the beadshop to buy beads for a bracelet ( is it bracelet for a man?) for him, various shapes of haematite, and steel beads, he designed it himself, and it is great. I bought a few head pins and jump rings to make some more stitch markers, and found these cute-as Peruvian beads with little llamas on them , shall have to use them when knitting alpaca!

Making stitchmarkers:
I know that I am probably teaching my Grandma to suck eggs by posting this, but here goes:
assemble everything that is in this picture, for one pair of stitch markers you will need:

2 head pins: (like long pins withOUT the point)

2 jumprings: I use one size that goes up to 7mm, and a bigger size for us to 10 mm, I am going to try curtain rings on size 14mm, I suggest taking a knitting needle to the shop with you.

beads: I use a little one at the bottom to stop the others falling off, the something interesting, and then maybe a little accent, have FUN!
thread the beads on to the headpins, I then twist the wire over on itself, to make a kind of loop with the end going back down into the bead hole, when you press the two sides of the loop together slightly that should push the end far enough down, play around to find a way that suits you, then join the jump ring on through the loop, you can do this before you twist the wire if you want.
Get your kids to join in, they can make danglys for their bracelets, or zippers, while you make stitch markers.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Secret Pal 4 questionnaire

1. Are you a yarn snob ? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
I must admit that I do prefer natural fibres, but whatever suits the job at hand. I don't really like novelty yarns, except the ones with silk etc...

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
nope, just knit and machine crocheted edges count?

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
yes, but I love animals, so I just wheeze quietly so as not to frighten them

4. How long have you been knitting?
almost 33 years...egads!

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
not yet, but have to remember to set one up before my birthday ( help for hubby)

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
vanilla, citrus (especially lime)

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
oh yes, chocolate? what caramel?

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
I have just discovered that I enjoy playing with beads

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like a lot of different stuff, from Willie Nelson to Sarah Mclachlan to David Bowie to Crowded House. Yes I have a walkman that plays MP3s from disc

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer?
I love duck egg blue...I think I'm a winter

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I have 3 teenage daughters at home,2 away from home, and stepson I haven't met yet, a husband, and my pet lives in NZ :-(

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
I would love to do up our country house, and build a barn-style studio for me, and live there for at least 1/2 the year, with me knitting and my husband consulting.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
wool, silk

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
100% acrylic, eyelash yarn

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
felted slippers, socks

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
baby clothes, creative and quick!

17. What are you knitting right now?
slippers to felt, and finishing a ballet cardi

18. What do you think about ponchos?
they are not me

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

21. Are you a sock knitter?
yes, both hand and machine

22. How did you learn to knit?
my mum taught me, and then I re-taught myself from a kids knitting book

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
I had to give away heaps of stuff when we moved, so my latest UFO is 3 days old :-)

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
I love cats, tigers etc, Hello Kitty

25. What is your favorite holiday?
We went on safari in Africa 18 months ago, that made my LIFE!

26. Is there anything that you collect?
Fortune cats, yarn!

catch up

On the knitting front, have finished all the peices for piglet, they are drying as I write this, short sleeves, and I was SO lucky, had about a foot of yarn left to cast off the last 26 sts :-), phew, the yarn goddess was smiling on me. I would have liked to have put a line of picot holes to frame the sleeve cap, but that requires more thinking than my brain can handle right now.

I have started a pair of felted slippers, the cuff, heel and toe will be in a moss green, and the rest in a subdued lime, this is the first time since Tech, that I have felted anything on purpose, and I am really looking forward to it.

Home life...has been exciting, we live in a double height apartment, which is to say, that we have one upstairs bedroom, and the rest of the apartment has double height ceilings ( approx 20ft high), which means double height windows...for some bizarre reason the top windows in the master bedroom do not have window coverings, so for the past 4 months Flash and I have slept in a room bright enough to read in when the lights are out... as well as the fact that it is right on one of the busiest roads in Sydney ( oh I do so want to live in an apartment in the city...) in the beginning we both donned sleep masks and earplugs each night, but by now we are used to it and have no problem sleeping. However, with the impending Singapore trip, and visit by my Mother, we wanted her to be as comfortable as possible, so decided to cover the top windows with black plastic ( don't even begin to ask why we can't just get the landlord to fix it...) we brought our convettible ladder with us from NZ, because we knew we were going to be living here, and thought it would come in handy...yep, handy for helping my husband nearly kill his stupid self!

How to die without really thinking:

  • cut black plastic to fit,
  • line it with double sided tape
  • stick one corner to the head of the swiffer
  • mount the ladder ( balanced precariously on two dining room chairs)
  • reach up to stick the plastic onto the window with the swiffer
  • fall off the ladder when it slides off the dining room chairs, break your fall with the Ikea corner unit, TV, DVD-R, video and stereo.

and of course he refuses to go to the Dr, he has a beauty bruise under his arm, and a big graze from his armpit, half way down his side, he was a hero at work. rrrr rrr rrr.

( by the way, he got back up the ladder and finished sticking the plastic up, as it was the last peice, the room is beautifully dark at night now...and quiet(apart from the traffic) cos I'm not talking to him! he wondered why Charlotte was so snaky with him yesterday, and I'm like...cos you could have died you twit!)

I applied for 4 jobs yesterday, 2 government jobs, 1 medical reception and 1 general admin, I really don't care at the moment, just need a job to get us through as our tenants are not paying their rent ( don't get me started on NZ tenancy law...these "people" can live in our house, and not pay rent, then we have to give them notice of eviction for not paying rent, and they can go on living in our house not paying rent for 90 DAYS!!! and if a "person" is that rude that they don't even try and pay their rent, then I can imagine what kind of state the house is in, and cos I don't want to think about that all day long, I need to find a job to take my mind of it!...that and the fact that the bank don't care if our tenants don't pay rent, they still want the mortgage repayments :-)

oooh I'm a bit ranty today...

Australia Day was great, we walked the Harbour Bridge, wandered around the various events at the Rocks and Circular Quay, and then caught a bus to Newtown for a quick visit to the pub, and a Bombay Chicken burger at Burgerlicious . There were events everywhere, the harbour was full of boats, ferries, tall ships, there were fireworks at night ( the Aussie's govt. has banned them from lighting fireworks themselves, so they have public displays to celebrate everything!)

Thank you for the emails and comment about the Sage and Onion bread, but it is no big deal, I just add 3 heaped t of sage, and one finely chopped onion to my normal bread recipe...too easy!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

ballet cardi Posted by Hello

Ballet cardi...

your name will be "piglet"

Things did not go well, the yarn was not happy , it would not feed nicely, despite all attempts to soothe it, and of course, I did not have enough for long sleeves, so I have to re-chart for short sleeves. It is pretty though, and will look so sweet with ribbon ( yes Charlotte you will like the ribbon)

Charlotte has agreed to this...ONLY if I make her another ( with LONG sleeves) in a particularly nasty wool/acrylic blend she has eyed up...give me strength.

It is Australia day here ( Happy Australia Day guys!) so Flash has the day off, and I will be a good wifey and make him coffee and toast in bed, made Sage and Onion bread yesterday especially...YUM!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

stitch markers Posted by Hello


have fixed the settings so that anyone ( not just Blogspotters) can post

cruisy tuesday

Embrace is finished, ( as modelled by Charlotte) I am really happy with the way it turned out, it was an unusual design, and it worked! It sits beautifully, and will work really well with a jacket or coat.

Next project is underway, a machine-knit ballet cardi for Charlotte using the last of the pink industrial angora plied 3x. I don't have too much left and was hoping she would want short sleeves...of course NOT, so I will forge ahead, and if the worst comes to the worst I have a ball of it plied 2x, so I could do lace for the arms in 2 ply, and call it a design feature ;-)

The pattern was generated using my evaluation copy of the Knitware sweater design software, this is the first garment I have knitted using this software, and is working out fine, have had to make a few adjustments, but that is to surface design, as have put a row of picot holes above the hem, to thread satin ribbon thru ( not sure as to colour yet). The software did not have a wrap-over style cardi, so have printed the v-neck cardi, and then written all over the full-page schematic of the back ( as to make wrap-over cardi fronts, you basically start with a back, and decrease from one side) the software includes a great magic formula calculator, so I didn't need to fry my brain too much working out the decreases. I can see that this software would make life a lot easier when working out sizing, and making straight forward sweaters and cardis, there are a lot of options, and it works for hand-knit and crochet as well.

Nothing exceptional to report at home, had a flurry of emails yesterday trying to work out dates that my Mum can come over and sit with the girls while Flash and I go to Singapore, all sorted now,she will do the full week, I am so lucky to have her, she has such a full-on job of her own, and she is willing to give up a week and come over here, as well as the fact that they have taken Holly and Horse ( the wondercat) into their home.

I have not been to the gym in 10 days ( I do not have any excuses, it is just upstairs) feel free to berate me, I deserve it.

embrace Posted by Hello

embracing coco Posted by Hello

Sunday, January 23, 2005

we survived the formatandrestore

have almost finished embrace, just have to join the two peices ( will do on the knitting machine as neat AND fast) then wash to clean up the angora, and block.

Had a wonderful time at the knitting group, I have missed the banter of intelligent women! I was impressed by their wealth(s) of knowledge and passion.I will return, and I promise never to take eyelash yarn again! I met Flash at the pub afterwards ( Missy Higgins AGAIN!... we didn't tell the girls this time) and he almost made me cry telling me how proud he was of me for going along to the group without knowing anyone has been difficult not knowing many people here, let alone anyone who knits, so I saw it more as an act of self-preservation than courage...but I love him all the more for saying it.

Now that I have almost finished embrace I am looking around for my next project, I think it will be a machine knit black lace ballet wrap, with satin ribbon detail of some sort... I'd like to make some felted slippers too, because if the first pair work, it will take me almost to winter to make enough for the rest of the family!

see I keep trying to tell you I'm nice...

You are Merino Wool.
You are Merino Wool.
You are very easygoing and sweet. People like to
keep you close because you are so softhearted.
You love to be comfortable and warm from your
head to your toes.

What kind of yarn are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Saturday, January 22, 2005

dirty words


teenage girls and a 7 year old PC do not mix well
I have decided to save all my guff, and put it on my laptop (Flash's old work one, which comes back next week) and just leave the PC for internet for the kids, poor old thing it has served us well, never a blue screen, but now it is so full it can hardly move.So if I disappear for a while...

Have started on the second part of Embrace,really happy with the first half.
Found a knitting group through The knitting revolutionary's site, which meets in a cafe just up the road from me,today, so have decided to be brave and go meet them,they look like a nice group of people, I just get nervous, but I suppose everyone does, I will just have to "put my big voice on" and jump on in.

Friday, January 21, 2005

a warm Embrace...

have decided to use some of the "floral scarf fiasco" yarn on Embrace , I have made it slightly longer than the original, and am making two "legs" in pale pink angora ( looks a bit dull at present as is industrial yarn in oil, needs to be washed to reveal it's full glory) I plied 4 ends of it together on the wool winder.The other two "legs" are done in a stripe of 4 garter rows Cleckheaton Belle, and 2 drop st garter rows in a pink cotton, if it doesn't suit me I'll give it to my Mama.

Flash has taken Charlotte to the basketball, and Maria is at work ( the 15 yr olds both work at the same place, very handy) so Blaise and I are having a night in with Nando (yummy chicken wraps) I think I will watch "Much ado about nothing" and chill out with a glass of red and my knitting, Blaise is still engrossed in what Flash is calling "the forsyth saga" and has hardly moved all day, had to take the book by force and send her to the gym for 1/2 hour, she doesn't often have to be encouraged, she is a real gym bunny.

Embrace Posted by Hello

floral scarf Posted by Hello

*$%#@& floral scarf

why did I not use my brain, of course 8 ply worsted is so much HEAVIER than mohair! Finished the floral scarf ( all 97 peices of it), steamed the bits and put them together...only my big roses were BIG, and heavy. I took them off, stuck satay sticks up their fundaments, and put them in a vase ( ok a latte cup) The scarf is pretty, but a SCARF??? I think not, it twists on itself all of the time, I cannot wear things that need constant adjustment, my clothes misbehave enough as it is. I have decided to sew it to the neckline of a shop-bought heavy cotton/rayon pink cardi, This is why I sample, to work out the bugs in something new and unusual, if I make a plain jumper or cardi...there are no surprises, so I can use the good stuff. I will use the yarn I bought to make the good version of this scarf, to make a lacy, striped scarf and will make some of the flowers to decorate the ends. Good experience though, cos now I have some new flowers in my repetoire for decorating cardi's, bags etc.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Mum, Blaise, Maria, Coco Posted by Hello

Blaise and mum Posted by Hello

Happy Birthday Blaisydaisy!

my baby is 14, when I tell people I have 5 teenage daughters they almost always fall over, apparently I do not look old enough, I think I look ravaged, but maybe thats cos I can see the inside me.

Anyway, Blaise Genevieve was born at 5.10 am, 14 years ago, at home on Waiheke Island, she weighed 6lb9oz, and was perfectly perfect. She has encountered difficulties in her journey, was diagnosed with congenital scoliosis at 4, and had a marathon operation to place titanium rods in her spine, and take bits and peices of bone out, at 11 (exactly 3 years ago, she was admitted the evening of her 11th birthday) she also has spina bifida, but has no symptoms, her paediatrician advised me that if they had seen all of this on an early scan they would have advised me to terminate the pregnancy, they would have had no hope of her ever walking ( good thing we didn't know, cos she runs every day!)
Blaise loves reading and acting, she is top of her class even though she moved country into a different school system, she is a delight to all who know her, placid and even tempered, acutely funny sense of humour, loves Monty Python, when she is angry with you, you will feel it, she becomes very quiet, puts on her pyjamas...and GOES TO BED! even at 2 in the afternoon,
She got a flash MP3 player for Christmas,and had agreed that 1/2 of it was for her birthday, she is very firm on things like this, but I bought her the final 2 books in Kate Forsyth's "Witches of Eileanan" (sp?) series, Charlotte bought her the first and she stayed up for 21 hours reading it, then she bough the 2nd and 3rd with birthday money day before yesterday, Charlotte has bought her the 4th for her birthday, so, I doubt that we will see her for the next week!

Happy birthday baby girl,

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


I want to say "Bill Gates is the devil" but I won't...yet
Downloaded a windows update know to protect my PC from being externally controlled by evil forces etc...and when I restarted, I was informed that I had to reload windows as some DLL file had "poof" disappeared.My PC is being internally controlled by evil forces.
So I had to do a restore :-(
and now everything looks weird cos it is like the original Internet Explorer...I do not like this Sam-I-Am...don't have time to fix it now, have to take Holl's to the airport, in a taxi, cos Flash has a big conference on, starting today, and cos he is the boss, and all his minions are coming from around the country to listen adoringly to him, he is abandoning us.
I can understand that he has to do his job, but he has really bad timing. (mafioso voice) 'cos this is family.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


stole the meme from Donna's site...

Grooming Products
Shampoo--Ice blue shampoo - Body shop, I love anything mint
Moisturizer--Clarins- I have wildly sensitive skin
Cologne--today - Beyond Paradise- Flash nicked off with my Body shop Vanilla
Razor--venus disposable
Cell phone--Blackberry - I love him, I can check my ebay from the bus!
Computer--Hp box, Philips screen
Television--too many-don't talk to me about TV
Stereo--got a cool Philips/Nike personal stereo for the gym for Christmas
Sheets--percale, cream, boring
Coffee-maker--Vice Versa Koala ( red baby!)
Car--I walkses everywhere, if too far I catches the bus ( or drive Flash's car)
Bottled water--water cooler from Target,and an old mizone bottle.
Coffee--long black
Vodka-- 42 below in NZ, Absolut vanilla in OZ
Beer--only when it is 40 degrees or over
Jeans--nope, even when I was a beanpole jeans looked WRONG,its the childbearing hips
T-shirt--only at the gym
Briefcase or tote--pale blue Jansport backpack with kid graffitti
Sneakers-- Avia
Watch--one of the girls old dinosaur watches
Favorite Places
Watching the stars from the verandah of our 1909 kauri villa in Waihi
Necessary Extravagance
good wine, from NZ if necessary (yes they DO make good wine here, and we drink it)

Scattered...and a recipe

me, that is...I feel fragmented, I do not like being at home fulltime, it was nice to get the girls settled into school etc. but I find the housework boring and unfulfilling, the family only notice if something isn't done! I love baking, but dinner has always been a bit of a stumbling block for me...night after night, "what, you want dinner again?, I cooked last night!" when I was on my own with the girls we had "make your own dinner night" at least twice a week, it is too much drama with so many people.And Flash is great, but his job is stressful, and I am home all day, so it is right I should cook...bugger! I can't wait to get a job!!!

ok ranting over, tonight we are having Butter Chicken Soup, this is one of my favourite things, I love to cook Indian style, fill the table with 4 kinds of curry,pakoras, naan, and all the trimmings. This soup is like the speedy version for when I can't be knackered going the whole hog.

Butter Chicken Soup
Marinate a whole chicken breast or about 400g chicken meat,for at least an hour in:
1T lemon juice
1t ground coriander
1t ground cumin
1t chili powder
1t grated ginger
2 cloves garlic-crushed

remaning ingredients:
1 T butter
1 onion finely chopped
1t ground coriander
1t ground cumin
1/4t chili powder
1t grated ginger
1 jar passatta (tomato puree, about 500 ml)
3 c chicken stock (fresh or cubes, I use Knorr brand if I haven't got homemade)
1/4 c Basmati rice
2 T tomato paste
1 T flour
2 T brown sugar
1/4 c cream
fresh coriander to garnish

melt butter, add onion, cook till soft, add chicken and cook until sealed.
Add the spices and ginger.
Stir in passatta and stock.
Simmer, add rice, stir and cook for 10 minutes.
Mix tomato paste and flour, and whisk a little at a time , into soup to thicken.
Add brown sugar and cream.
Taste, correct seasonings, add a little lemon juice, or sugar if required.
Serve garnished with fresh coriander, and naan bread.

My kids like it made without the rice, then poured over rice, they are pains like that...did you ever see the movie "When Harry met Sally" Meg Ryan's character Sally is just like my family...( including me) I'll have the green salad, but without the olives, and I'll have the italian dressing, on the side"... anyhow, everyone likes this, and it is easy, and freezes beautifully.

Photos, as promised of Holls with her scarf, my girl is going home tomorrow, and I will miss her so much, this splitting of our family has been difficult, I keep telling myself that it is time for her to grow up anyway, she has only gone to live with her grandparents, and she practically lived with them every weekend anyway!, it's not like she has to survive in a student flat or anything, but Mummy guilt is a strong emotion.

Bracelets, I am really happy with these, 2 beaded on elastomere, and a knitting bracelet on leather, also made 2 pairs of stitch markers with the heart shaped beads, then Flash comes home with the latest Netguide, which has a link to a Jewellery making here was I floundering in the world of findings, couldn't find a site to help...and now when Ii have finished, a site appears...typical! I shall have to buy more beads.

bracelets Posted by Hello

Holly's scarf Posted by Hello

Monday, January 17, 2005

trying Posted by Hello

clever Posted by Hello

drinking Posted by Hello


I love it, maybe it is because I lived in the foothills of the Waitakere ranges, where it rains often, the sweetness of it, the smell in the air when you can feel it coming, the pounding on the iron roof when you are cuddled up in your warm bed, oh sure it is a pain when you are running from the car to the office, but I like the life afirming nature of just the right amount of rain.
It is raining here in Sydney, my NZ friends please hi-5 each other, we have had a couple of HOT days, gorgeous days, we have strolled the streets in a lazy manner redolent of floating in a heated pool, we amble, walking is too strenuous, shops are an oasis of cool, until we step out into the almost liquid warmth again. The rain cooled the night (sleeping has been difficult with the heat- but I am sure we will adapt) and has snarled the traffic, but we will enjoy the day, I will be able to knit and play with no worries that the kids will want me to join them for tennis or a swim.
Had a good time with the family in Berowra, they made us welcome as always with a gorgeous afternoon tea, Judith made scrummy chocolate melting moments, couple of glasses of bubbly on the deck, and then a wander around the lookout over Berowra Waters... I love the Australian bush, it is not dense and damp like the beautiful bush at home, they both have their advantages and uniqueness, the aussi bush is open and fragrant, with lots of boulders ( for my inner mountain goat) and hidden terrors to keep that frisson alive, Charlotte is itching to see a snake ( I have only seen one in the wild, in Africa, a wee grass snake, even that paralysed me with fear!) and joins me on lizard hunts ( we have enough different ones in photos to make a "lizard of the month" calendar so far- maybe that will be my universal gift nextchristmas!) I LOVE, love, love, lizards, skinks, geckos, iguanas, and the birds here delight me no end, since Flash has taken my memory stick with the Berowra and bead photos to work, I think I will stick my cockatoo pic here, taken at the botanical gardens, a cockatoo was trying to get the water fountain to work, of course he wasn't strong enough ( though plenty smart) so I offered him a drink from my water bottle, he and I spent 15 minutes together while he drank about 250 ml of water ( yes I threw the bottle in the bin afterwards!) it was an awesome experience.

Holly has finished her scarf ( glad someone in the family has finished something) pic to come
I made my knitting bracelet, but it wasn't right, so have re-strung the beads into a bracelet for me! and am in the process of making another knitting bracelet.
Floral scarf is 90% finished, just have to make up.

Am back on the job hunt today...I have a pile of newspapers, new black ink in the printer, and a pile of CVs ready to go...

Sunday, January 16, 2005

cleo Posted by Hello


Holly, ( being her Mother's daughter and as such immensely talented) dragged me (yeah sure) to Tapestry on friday, where she bought a scarf-full of a beigey-grey brown "gusto" and some BIG needles ( I bought 2 balls of Cleopatra...later) came home and set about knitting with a vengeance (after drawing up a pattern...good girl), yesterday morning when I left to go bead shopping with Flash, she was 1/2 way through already, when I returned later that afternoon after a bit more than just bead shopping, she was still half way...I said " no knitting today Holls?" and she replied that she had made a couple of mistakes the previous day, and had frogged back to 1/4, and started over from there...SO COOL, she didn't know to be frightened of frogging, and now she never will be. We have a video of her when she was 4, on a decidedly tricky part of the jungle gym, and someone offering to help her..."I can do it" was the reply, and she did.

So, I finally tracked down a bead shop, walked past it at first as Flash and I were having a lovely conversation, and not noticing our you do, walked in and was BE-wildered...bead overload...I had a picture of a knitting bracelet that I wanted to kind of copy, the basic idea, but different beads etc, and wandered around with my picture, but having only made knitted wire bracelets, and fishing line bracelets ( never used findings, but I know I can find help on the 'net) I didn't know what else to get, finally I put my foot down with myself and made some decisions, "I'll have 10 of these and 2 of these" etc etc, the beads were gorgeous, clear glass with a white centre and pink rosebuds for the big beads, and small watermelon pink crystals for the small, (and ended up buying a complete kit of findings from K-mart!) I just wanted to come home and get started, but Flash was in a buying frenzy, he has a conference next week, and needed smart casual shirts, after that he wanted to go to the pub, cos we went late last saturday, and he loves hanging out listening to the band, and after that he wanted us to have a romantic dinner, I just wanted noodles and to start my beads ( sad pathetic woman) so he relented, and we ended up watching a dvd, so I didn't get near my beads...grrrr, so I am looking for net help now, before we drive out to Berowra to see his brother's family, as they haven't seen Holls. I just want some time alone!!!!

Took a picture of my cleopatra, will use it for trim on machine-knit, not sure what yet, but it is so yummy...saw some thrower's waste silk blend yarn on e-bay, which looks like it would be nice too, speaking of which, have won auctions on 2 machine knitting books that I have been after for a while, and am bidding on some hanks of white merino, there is so much yarn available on e-bay, it really is a much cheaper way of indulging in stash building, or as I saw it in a magazine S-E-X (Stash Expansion eXercise)

will take photos of my beading adventure (when and if!)

Thursday, January 13, 2005

my bag Posted by Hello

Morning all

there was drama at 7 am, Holly came into our room bawling, Flash was faffing around looking for something ( a child has MOVED it !!...middle age madness has set in, only half-zheimers, not all-zheimers) I'm trying to sleep in, and I have this woman-child land on my bed in torrents of tears...not a good way to start the day.
Flash found his lucky tie/cufflinks/jandals (whatever) and we eased the words out of Holly...NCEA (cursed be its name) ( the new NZ equivalent to HSC) results had been released on the net, Holly's were not there, so she phoned and was advised that her school had withdrawn her from all subjects...this is a BIG DEAL, all of a sudden the spectre of NO UNI loomed ahead of us, and we were sorely afeared...I sat with Holls, pen and paper in hand and wrote down the facts, then phoned the NCEA people myself, struck a lovely guy name of Richard ( not usual in my experience...) who advised me that he could see no reason why she had been withdrawn, as she had paid her fees, attended, not cheated, and that he would organise for her reults to be released, he phoned back a little later on, and advised that there would be an investigation, a report would be written, and it would all be available for us on the net on monday, he thought that some (expletive) at the school had probably un-enrolled her by mistake...BIG MISTAKE...un-enroll my child, my first one to have made it almost through the wilderness despite the odds, come monday morning when I have the whole story laid out before me, so I can't be tricked or conned ( preparation wins the war) someone is going to get a blasting, man, they are lucky I am in another country!Make my Holls cry... that's Charlotte's job.

(Reason for Flash's faffing...biggest bloody meeting of his career...the other guy felt sick, meeting cancelled.)

Ok, now that the household has settled down again ( we do drama so well) Holly's knitting is coming along great, she is knitting a blue and white (go the Blues!) rugby scarf, this time yesterday I was ready to poke her in the eye with her 5.5mm, but it all went "click", she is tucked up on the couch knitting as I write this, and in a lovely frame of mind, I have just finished telling her that knitting is very relaxing when you are feeling tense, much better than Tim Tams.

Here is my new knitting bag, I have just finished sewing it, my friend Jason was astounded that I found a picture of a knitting mermaid on the web, I'm like "it's the INTERNET, that's it's JOB!"

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

the other end Posted by Hello

knitting room  Posted by Hello

vintage rose scarf Posted by Hello

Life in the broom closet

This is my knitting room, yes I realise I am lucky to have it, just wish I could get into it! Holly is here until next wednesday, and to ensure "flow" in the lounge (where she is currently in repose on the futon bed under the stairs) Flash decreed that her bags must live "elsewhere" guessed it "elsewhere" is my knitting room, and as a teenage girl, she has a lot of stuff, and it must be available for quick access at all times...therefore I have no floor. I am trying hard to just breathe, and am contemplating the "closet meditation" the one where if you have NO SPACE, you just sit in a closet, close your eyes and concentrate on your breath...while the kids turn the house inside-out looking for you. My knitting room is approx 1 metre wide, by 4 metres long,by 7 metres high ( what a waste of space!) it house the hot water cylinder, and a few boxes of stuff which haven't been sorted yet, along with my Brother 910, and an IKEA kitchen cart full of my stuff, one of the great things about it is that I have my back to the wall when I knit, so my little phobia of people walking up behind me when I am knitting, has disappeared!
Lucky I have the hand-knitting now huh!
Which is going fine, I have made this pile of bits, which was great for re-learning casting on and off, and the Hollymonster has asked if I will teach her to knit before she goes home, and she has heard they have a "stitch and bitch" at Uni, made me sniffle a little, my girls grew up with me knitting all day every day, but they concentrated on books and art and beaches, I remember Blaise at 2...taking it for granted that everyone's Mum knitted, asking my friend " where is your knitting machine?" and now finally I can share the knowledge...phew
Back to the bits, I should have finished them today, so I hope to finish the whole thing tomorrow, then I will have all the bugs worked out ( like the "cast on 8 sts" which should have read " cast on 22 sts"...kinda a big difference) and then I can start on the REAL thing, as it is a "vintage" style in pastel shades, I have bought some pale pink chenille, I think chenille is pretty naff, but it suits this pattern...I remember when I handknitted when the kids were little, I would go to a yarn shop and buy all sorts of things, and the ladies would get a bit stressy...because I wasn't buying a "garment lot" of anything...what was I going to knit, what would happen if I "gasp" ran out of a dye lot ???
Anyway, so what I was trying to say is that I have never ever used the correct yarn for anything, when I had a stash I would just search through it for something appropriate, and adjust the pattern to suit, at the time I felt a lot of pressure to conform, follow the pattern, follow the rules, who the hell was I to change the design?... then Kaffe Fassett came along, and finally the yarn shop ladies understood.

Monday, January 10, 2005


This sample is from John Allen's Machine Knitting stitches book, it is a fairisle pattern - blue acrylic background with purple wool and pink cotton patterning (sampling, used the colours I had...I do this a lot, work out an idea with cheap yarn, then use the good stuff when the idea has been perfected) The long floats at the back of the work are cut, and then the piece is felted, the idea is that the acrylic yarn does not felt, and the wool does, pulling up into a fluffy pompom, unfortunately the wool I used was not thick enough, so next time I will use double thickness, I will leave the cotton in there though, it adds a bit of interest. I think this idea would be great in the right colours, for cushions, something spicy like cinnamon and paprika for the lounge, or citrus lime and lemon for the kids.

Found a nice site while I was woolgathering on the web this morning - Jean Moss - I had a book of hers ages ago, beautiful knits and colours, the website looks full of inspiration, they even sell music to knit by!! ( I prefer Barry White, Cowboy Junkies and Willie Nelson when I am quiet, or Fur Patrol, Tadpole or Goldenhorse when I am not)

Speaking of music, the girls missed out royally yesterday, Flash and I went for our "Saturday at 3" stroll on King St 5 or kids were interested, so it was down to the Coopers Arms for a cider, and crooning away in the corner was Missy Higgins, so na na na for not coming with us I laughed at the 18 year old...I am cruel.

pompoms Posted by Hello

scarab stencil Posted by Hello

...and finally, the knitting

Here are a couple of samples I have been working on, as I said before I have only just got my machine up and running, and the brain is feeling rusty, I know for certain that in the past 10 years I have forgotten much more about this craft than I can recall at present.
The black sample is just stocking stitch in 2 ends of black 2 ply, I cut a stencil from acetate, and sprayed it with aerosol textile paint, which I purchased from the art shop in King st, the paint is very runny, and it will take a while to get the process running smoothly, but it is a fun way to add decoration and interest.

Blaise, The Nana, and I visited the Egyptian exhibition at the museum over the holidays, and that is where the inspiration for this sample came from. I loved the displays of amulets that were wrapped up in the mummie's bandages ( I did not like the display of mummie's themselves, Blaise was slightly upset, as it was the story of a young girl, and her body was right there on display, I'm sure the girl would have been beyond mortified) I suppose that this is science, but cannot help thinking that a model of the mummy itself would have surficed, the inner and outer coffins were incredible, but next time I'll avoid the dessicated heads and feet...must be the Maori influence, but I think dead bodies should be treated with respect.

The plan is to make a garment in shades of brown, decorated with various spray dyed amulets, probably in black dye to give a silhouette effect, and maybe some red ochre or turquoise beads.

Holly and Mum Posted by Hello


As promised, Holly and I at a lookout above Wollongong, nice place, quiet and sunny, very much like Tauranga. I bought wool, hey I'm trying to create a respectably sized takes work and dedication!

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Flash  Posted by Hello

Pohutakawa bowl Posted by Hello

2 of my favourite things

just a couple for now , this bowl by Nelson artist Katie Gold was given to us by my parents as an engagement present, the depth of colour is amazing and I am always seeing new sides to it, the dried up foliage in it are some pohutakawa (NZ christmas tree) flowers from Brighton and my mate Jason, nothing like nostalgia at christmas time.

My best mate, and sidekick Flash, he is a member of the illuminati (yeah he works in lighting) has a killer sense of humour, and is the reason we are all here...HE got transferred. Snapped this of him looking dangerously like David Brent.

Jose's knitting circle Posted by Hello