Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday round up

again??? I almost missed it again???

- you have been here, haven't you? I can make anything!

- Blaise - school play, Maria - with boyfriend (does anyone else find young luuurve faintly nauseating?), Flash - making a hit in Wellington (someone has to), me - curled up on the couch with the cats, the black and yellow blobs, and Casion Royale...sad really.

- Donna is an angel, she sent me a pile of Fortune cat beads - and a really sweet card...argh! I miss you guys!

- at least the TDFKAL isn't full of drug cheats - cos it REALLY messes with your knitting!

- if I lived in the

have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

mutant kitty

Frasier and the mutant kitty eye off
I wanted to make a baby toy - there are many things to consider when making anything for a baby, safety is paramount, then there are the aspects of visual and tactile elements, elements a baby will appreciate, but that a parent may not, baby aesthetics are quite different to those of adults - we want harmony and balance, babies need some jarring and contrast. Shape is important too, something that is easy for little hands to hold, and nothing long or thin to go into that mouth, fabric ranges from soft and cuddly, through smooth to more heavily textured.

Taking all of that into account I made this touchy feely kitty, it has a face (important) is a shape babies can hold, has bold visual statements, (and a more restful back) is securely sewn and stuffed with sheeps wool, has securely attached ears and feet made with interesting fabrics, big enough to hold, but not big enough to choke on. The front is made from a cashmere suiting -so is smooth and soft, the back from that printed linen tablecloth I showed you last week, nice and tactile, the ears and feet from printed fabric - cotton and flannelette - interesting and cuddly.Eyes and nose are needlefelted into position, they have become one with the felt of the face, and the pupils are embroidered in wool.
You can make your own touchy feely kitty, the pattern is here. Mine is being parcelled up with a couple of other items as a surprise for a wee girl I've never met, as a thank you to her Mum.

(he has no tail - he is a Manx cat)

Monday, July 23, 2007

caught in a web of time

Firstly “Hi” to the new readers who came here from Mums on Top, now that you guys are tapping straight into my blog I’ll have to pull my socks up and provide more knitting content! But for now I’ll take a minute now to re-introduce myself and the cast of players who feature here from time to time.
I’m Justine, late 30 something, working part time in an office and fulltime on my line of baby clothes “Just Jussi” (we do not speak of the first job here on the blog!).I have a predilection for designer skirts, Doc Martens and cute cardis (however have never managed to knit one for myself that I like) and spend my “spare” time designing and knitting baby clothes even though our kids are all over 16. My husband “Flash” and I have 6 kids between us (3 each – yes we’re the Brady Bunch), and raised the younger 5 girls together, 3 have left home and now we only have Blaise and Maria who are in their final years at school, Frasier our ADHD Bengal kitten, and Frasier’s cat Layla – a lovely, placid moggy.
We live amongst the bush clad hills of the Waitakeres in the wild west of Auckland, a magical place with restorative powers for those with hectic schedules – the bush, the birdsong and the really great coffee.

My blog is a running commentary to my life, from the knitting perspective, from time to time you will hear of my children’s accomplishments or my husband’s adventures, but mostly it’s me and knitting, and how the knitting is winning. Occasionally I delve into other crafty pursuits such as toy-making or felting, but then dash back to the comfort of the needles and yarn.

So - back to our regular posting:
I have slipped into some kind of time vortex where every hour of your time = 2 hours of mine, I do not have enough hours in the day and have been thinking frantically to find out where I lost them – it’s Monday and I didn’t do a Friday round up, too late now of course, and then I look at bloglines and it is enough to make me want to scream out loud STOP THE BLOGGING! People, I want to catch up! there is so much exciting stuff happening out there in blogland, but I just can't take it all in!

I try to plan, I make lists, I even sorted out a filing system for all of the different things I need to complete, start, think about…and then I forgot to look in the folders, I lose the lists and make new ones, I have 3 day books but end up writing everything important on the back of supermarket receipts… what happened to the Mum who could juggle 5 kids uniforms, lunches, bus money, afterschool activities, an often absent business traveler of a husband and a fulltime job? See, the only answer I can come up with is physics, temporal/spatial relations, quantum physics has the answer - string theory… a thread of yarn from the beginning to the end…I’m knitting my life and my gauge is wrong.

Today finally I feel like I have made some progress…little parcels sent out across the globe and a visit to the bank, all before work, and now dinner is in the oven, the washing is up to date and I managed to find a 60cm 3.25 mm circ at the LYS (no pink or green cotton though…that would be pushing it) the cotton? To complete the yellow blob – call that the hated yellow blob…I was coping with the colour until I realized that the laws of physics and knitting were against me, and my dream of box pleats knitted the way I wanted to knit them…would never be realized…I was and still am, slightly shattered…the dream is dead, but the dress needs to be finished, so I shall continue to hope that it looks almost as good as the original in my head.

Thank you to the lovely girls who have nominated me as a Rocking girl blogger, very sweet and I would nominate you back, but you are rocking girls already!

Ok, ticked off my list, next is to update the Knit Rangers site… and then TDFKAL knitting…may the force be with me.

Ravelry placing update, I am now at #1569, I have calculated that they are inviting 100 people a I'm expecting my invitation a fortnight this wednesday...let's see if I'm right.

and finally - a kitty photo - Frasier trying to decide wether to go for the yarn or the fabric piles...(Layla is the black blob at the bottom of the photo...trying to insinuate herself between the wall and the shelving unit) The cats aren't allowed in the workroom, so of course when they manage to get in - they think it's Christmas, so many toys!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


these blobs (black TDFKAL and yellowsecretknitting) have been kicking my butt, so I felt it was time to take a wee detour to a kinder, gentler place, I've been knitting some wee things for a wee gift for a wee person.
shown here with a vintage printed linen tablecoth which is just screaming to be made into something cuddly and cute - don't you just adore the bluebird!

Monday, July 16, 2007


working fulltime this week - and already missing part-time, saw 4 x my usual number of appointments, although I am only working an extra 2 hours a day - hmmm don't know how that works!

this is another bitser post - and I am sending you off to listen to something that I haven't listened to myself yet! a radio interview with Margaret and Christine Wertheim the women who crocheted? the Great Barrier reef, it was at 10.08 this morning - thanks Mama for the link.

can't find the camera, Flash returned yesterday (though if you blinked you missed him!) I think the kids will see him again tomorrow evening, but it will be nice to have that body in bed next to me, even though I will probably be asleep by the time he comes home tonight - then he is off on all sorts of adventures all week and saturday - and the same the following week - he is becoming a sunday Dad, but I'm coping ok as the solo mum! He'll have a few days off when this work stuff is over, I think I may too. Knitting progress: black blob - bigger, yellow blob - bigger, blue blob - stagnant. Kakariki parrot sightings - nil.

Haloscan seems to be ok so far (despite the banner thing - I do miss my banner)if anyone has any ideas as to how I can get it back please feel free to email me.

I checked out my place on the list at, theres a long way to go....2271 people ahead of me...but 8744 people behind me.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


I've decided to try haloscan comments, blogger only tells me sometimes if people have commented, so i only reply to some people, or I never find out that there is a new comment on an old post etc - hopefully this will work - it means that I lose my title picture though...seems it doesn't gel with the Haloscan spell, so we'll see, if the comments work better it is worth losing the banner - but if they don't, I've saved the old template!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday round up

and boy am I glad!

- I have so much knitting to catch up on and have had so little time, there's the hourglass sweater (the blue blob), my TDFKAL wrap (the black blob) and the secret knitting (the yellow blob) I'm scared to pull all of my wips out, I know there are 3 different socks, a cushion cover and a lace shawl hanging out in the workshop somewhere - and I'm feeling guilty about every single one of them, they are holding me back - I have to either rip or knit and get them out of here!
- I have no photos, old story - Flash has taken the good camera and the batteries, the good camera has photos of our neighbourhood Kakariki parrots (a bit like Rosellas - very bright and flashy) and the black blob - I hope he doesn't wipe them, the parrots don't often sit still enough to photograph.
- The weather in NZ has been diabolical, a weather bomb detonated over the North of the North Island, please join me in sending thoughts to Eclair from Mad Hair day, whose home was hit by the last big storm in March, hopefully her family fared better this time, and everyone else up there who are still isolated and without power. One of our great living treasures - a huge Kauri tree named Te Matua Ngahere was damaged during the storm as well. Our Prime Minister is suggesting that some small towns may have to be moved, as it is obvious that global climate change is affecting flood patterns.
- Quelle horreur!
New Zealand is erecting a giant blowup replica rugby ball next to the Eiffel tower during the rugby world cup - apparently it will showcase all that is great about New Zealand - obviously what these people think is great about New Zealand does not include aesthetics, design and style -it looks like a giant kiwi egg. I understand that this is a "great opportunity" for NZ Tourism, but it is still bloody ugly. I'm tempted to take a pin with me when I visit the Eiffel Tower. One of our esteemed politicians - when asked if it was a permanent structure that would have to be destroyed when the promotion finished replied "no, it's inflatable - like a blow up doll"... classy.
- this weekend I am going to do the same as my knitting - blob, I am going to sit and knit and wait for my Ravelry invite - I'm missing out on all the fun - even my patterns are there enjoying themselves without me!
- ooh, ooh and finally - it's "French Day at French bay" 10-3 this sunday this monthly market is going to be extra special due to Bastille Day on Saturday.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


this abandoned birds nest has sat in our camellia bush since we moved into this house, and is remarked upon by everyone walking past - well - was, the weather has been horrendous here for the past 2 days, today we have wind gusts up to 140 kph, and Flash was white knuckling it as he drove over the harbour bridge -anyway, back to the nest...I watched this morning as it was blasted from it's perch and driven down the road by a sudden gale, had a quick inhalation as I realised the temporary nature of existence, then exhaled at the thought of how much needed doing in weather like this...I've been outside and tidied away everything that could be damaged or cause damage in the wind, and we're battened down again with the roraing fire and the hot chocolate (white this time with an extra dash of vanilla) the wind is literally howling, the cats are huddled together, I'm willing the roof to stay put and yet more bread is baking (just can't help myself in this weather)

My Tour de France wrap tore out of the starting blocks, I'm making good time, but seriously it is just black stocking stitch with a garter st border, not difficult! the fun will come on the real mountain climbs, needlefelting the design onto the wrap - stay tuned.

Visit the Lovely NZ site that Charlotte has set up, if for no other reason than to look at the lovely pictures or to plan your trip downunder.

The Titirangi Tatler article increased our Knit Ranger numbers, we had 2 new women turn up on sunday and I have had 10 phonecalls, I am slightly concerned that we will overflow the table at our next meeting! It is wonderful to meet new people, and having shared interests make the conversation flow easily - more on the Knit Ranger's site

Friday, July 06, 2007

Friday round up

Auckland is wet and cold, I've had to drain water from the pool twice in the past 2 days because it threatened to overflow, the bad car has ploughed the front lawn horribly, and the spouting hasn't coped with the deluges, we have had a tornado is Waitakere, and a spate of them causing millions of dollars in Taranaki (the new tornado alley?) however, in the words of the immortal Fred Dagg...we don't know how lucky we are...

- the garden is loving all of the rain, I have Dublin bay roses in bloom, and little baby caulis and broccoli heads forming.

- Frasier and I are knitting in front of the fire for the rest of the afternoon

the kids are safe, the washing is done, and the house is warm, we have dark hot chocolate, bread baking, and it's friday - we don't know how lucky we are.

and because it is friday, I slipped and did this...

don't you judge me!

See you at the Knit Rangers! 2pm this sunday

Sunday, July 01, 2007

and then sometimes you win!

Remeber I was trying to figure out how to finish the secret red thing? I wanted something easy but effective, well I worked it out,some nice garter stitch bands in alternating stripes, and then went to find buttons...I won't bore you with my button finding dramas - you have heard them all before!

Please excuse the picture quality ...
this button was too orange...
this button was too "all about the button"... but this, this is the Goldilocks button - this is the button which is just right, it works with the overall design, but doesn't detract, it is flat enough to be comfortable, but 3-d enough to be interesting.

(shown sideways Left-Right hem -circ)
here you go Ruthanne - you asked for it, a sad pathetic sight indeed, but now that I have dragged it out of it's hiding place I have remembered how much I like that colour...I still have to finish that all in one sideways sweater I ripped out last night, but I think I may be able to alternate between the two.
Excuse my dip into negativity, rugby does tend to annoy me, and Holly went home this morning, I'm so proud of her, but I wish I could see her more often, this "letting them go" thing sucks!
Anyhow, I'm back to normal now, not even a trip to Spotlight managed to wipe the smile off my face, and there is nothing like finally finishing a project!

you win some

you lose some - we spent the evening at my parent's house, beautiful lamb shanks for dinner, and good company as always, Flash wanted to watch the rugby, so I knitted during it's monotony, glad to be getting somewhere on this sweater I have been planning for ages, and I was so happy, I knitted the whole sleeve, then started my calculations for how many stitches to cast on for the front and back (it is knitted sideways) - problem...I did not increase enough while knitting the sleeve - I did not read my own diagram carefully enough, just bowled in and thought I was clever - pride comes before a fall - NZ lost the rugby too...and the 5th race in the America's cup - it's raining today, it should be.