Monday, December 31, 2007

dress ups

Lime and Violet is one of my favourite knitting podcasts - it's the one I can have playing when Blaise is upstairs with me, because she doesn't find it boring, Flash often thinks I have friends over - only to come up and find me completely alone, but laughing out loud.
Today the Fairytale dress is featured on their blog - all due to the power of Ravelry.
I posted the Fairytale dress pattern for free because it was so easy, and the pattern is only in one size, and probably not the clearest, so I don't feel I have done enough work to actually receive payment (let's not try headshrinking me here please!)and now it seems to have taken on a life of it's own.
Go forth and have fun little dress.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Fairytale dress pattern

looks good with or without the over the top decorative elements
I still haven't managed to get a photo of Miss Belle in it though!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

the day after

I think my family are starting to realise that knitting themed gifts will be gratefully accepted and appreciated, and although the husband doesn't quite get it yet, I am looking forward to a knitting marathon enjoying the 6 disc set of "Bones" though.

This book is the "piece de resistance" a hardcover bound book containing many many vintage knitting pamphlets and magazine spanning the 1920's to the 1970's, when my Mama told me that she had found me the perfect gift I must say I had some doubts, now I just have faith!

and this delightful print from Suzette M Morgan is going up on the wall of fame - just as soon as the crowds clear and I can get to the picture framer.

I hope everyone had the kind of Christmas they wanted, and no matter what anyone says - on Boxing Day cheesecake IS a breakfast food!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

teenage girls laughing while making French toast for a surprise Christmas breakfast,good naturedly arguing over who gave Mummy the best present, cathedral cookies and speculaas wrapped up for friends, looking forward to lunch with the extended family for the first time in 4 years.
Merry Christmas my bloggy friends, from me and mine - to you and yours!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

yeah, so about those monet socks...

once upon a time I had a wonderful idea

the idea was that I would knit a length of fabric using 2 ends of yarn ensuring that the gauge is the same as my sock knitting gauge, paint a picture on it using woool dyes, unravel it into 2 centre pull balls, and then knit 2 identical socks with the image I had painted reproduced on the socks. I chose one of Monet's Nymphaea as they had the diaphanous quality I knew I would get using dye, and I loved the colours.

Matching those colours was a problem, but I adapted, the swatch once painted, was cooked in the microwave in a plastic steamer for 10 minutes.

Does anyone see the problem yet? no? I didn't.

unravelling the skein into 2 balls was a challenge, but Blaise and I each wrangled an end and with the help of two ballwinders we managed to subdue the yarn.

So, it seems - if you knit something in the flat, can't then go on and knit in the round... and expect it to look the same...duh!

I knitted 1/2 a sock while in Paris, just to feel I had - and the colours are very lovely, very Monet - just not very anything at all like a painting!

That sock is now unravelled, and the balls are waiting, waiting to be incorporated into a flat price of knitting in order to reveal their true nature. I am certain the right project will come along eventually.

No time to get bogged down with that now, there is still Christmas knitting to complete:

this watchcap for my uncle

a pattern for the Liam (wolf in sheeps clothing) sweater to finish


Horatio is finished, as is the pattern

Monday, December 17, 2007


Holly turned 21 yesterday, surrounded by the Auckland contingent of our family I felt very content and happy, we have got this girl to a point where she has a wonderful career ahead, where she is smart, funny and friendly, outgoing and optimistic about the future. It felt good to officially mark the day when my child became an adult - and as the other girls told me (often) "you don't look to bad for someone with a 21 year old daughter" thanks guys.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday round up

a round up of 'things to do" really, I am taking next week off work to get some Hollytime in, and have planned a number of projects - some previously listed, curtains, laundry hamper, tiered skirts for Miss M Belle, stained glass window cookies, speculaas, candy cane cupcakes, cheesecake...and a good amount of lying around on the pool lounger.

The tattoo sweater is coming along nicely - and has been renamed "Horatio" the sleeves will be blue/white stripes, currently I am working on the boring part of the back, and I can't wait to see it finished!

and I have just finished this wee sweetie, my first crochet project!!! I have crocheted edges before, but never whole "things" so excuse my excitement, I love this book (bought from the very, very missed Kinokuniya) so much, even though it is in Japanese even a complete newbie like me could work out how to do an amagarumi cast on etc. Now I just have to decide who to give her too...

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I feel the need to admit a button compulsion, those in the photo above are from the grab bags Mum bought from Trelise Cooper's workshop sale...3 of them would have paid for the bags themselves, individually all of the 100's of buttons are beautiful, these are (almost) all made from either wood, metal, ceramic, stone or bone.
I usually only use mother of pearl or black mussel buttons on my baby clothes - so had better start getting creative with my own clothes - the best trick I know for "upmarketing" cheap black and grey cardis is to replace the buttons with beautiful ones, or a range of different buttons in the same size.
I have a week off work next week - Holly has the good grace to turn 21 (TWENTY ONE!!) on sunday and is coming home for 10 days, and Flash might actually take some time off as well, I am making a list of "things to do" - Blaise's curtains which I still haven't got to, a new (removable) bag for the laundry hamper (the current one is calico, not removable and hence has turned mouldy in Auckland's 99% humidity) and a couple of tiered skirts for Maisie's christmas present. I can't wait to have time with my girls - all making things in my workroom...bliss.
(and in reply to Miss Donyale's question yesterday...yes I did take the time to spray on perfume, it too is a compulsion - an unconcious act! and what I didn't tell you is that I took 10 seconds to wack on some lipgloss as well...)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The adventures of Flash part 6

dateline 6.10 am: this morning :Flash's car.

Flash drove through the early morning mists of the Waitakere ranges, bound for the domestic terminal and the 7.30 am flight to Wellington - nerves high as he thought through his day, meetings with members of Parliament, television interviews and PR opportunities filled the day to bursting, everything was scheduled to the minute, nothing could go wrong, today was the kind of day careers are built on and reputations made.
Flash thrust his broad shoulders back and breathed deeply, a broad smile languished on his lips, today was the day he was born for, today he would show them all how it was done.

cross to Jussi: 6.20 am: our bedroom

"why is Flash's phone here?, he never leaves his phone, won't he need his phone today of all days?"
Check's his itinerary
Throws on yesterday's work clothes, brushes hair and teeth at the same time, sprays perfume all over, grabs bag and runs for the car, goes a wee bit too fast sometimes knowing that if she doesn't hit Hillsborough rd soon the motorway will be a carpark.
Call's Flash's boss - her phone is turned off
Turns into the domestic terminal carpark (I'm not a complete idiot) parks across 3 parks and dashes into the terminal.
Tries the information desk - elderly gentleman volunteer absolutely no help, he is Mr Magoo...I need MacGyver.
Tries the Koru club desk, no one there, it's 10 minutes till the plane leaves, I can feel myself starting to get crazy eyes.
Tries the counter staff - directed back to Koru club counter, finally grabs a man walking past - he has a security pass - that's all I care about, luckily he takes one look at the crazy eyes, the handful of phone and charger and stops to help - looks Flash up on the system, "this seat, this row, I'll take it to him now"

at 9.30 am the phonecall comes -
"You're a legend"

Yes, yes I am.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Friday round up

I came out of the shower this morning to a still unmade bed...Flash is usually so fastidious about these things, but he is a bit of a sook* when it comes to this guy...

after removing the cat to his own bed, I went to clear our postbox - where I found the copy of Alice Starmore's Celtic collection that I purchased on ebay a few weeks ago, I can't wait to sit down with a coffee and dream over it. However, dreaming has to wait, as there is knitting and pattern writing to be done - Ravelry has changed my life in many good ways - one of these is the Testing Pool...a group of knitters who will test knit patterns!! I asked for help and they swamped me with kindness, I've had to start an excel spreadsheet to keep up with who is knitting what - it is fantastic, I'm not asking for the garments - just feedback and improvements (I have told them though that I am in NZ - so everything is metric and NZ English spelling!)

Some of them are knitting my Organic merino hoodie and pants set (not necessarily in organic or merino!) and next out will be the Liam pattern with cotton pants, and a cute intarsia tattoo sweater.

Unfortunately it hasn't all been raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens around here lately, remember babies grow into teenagers, and teenagers are basically hormone transportation devices, we've had our moments with Charlotte in the past but currently it is Maria who is testing the boundaries of parental sanity, she is 18, and now that school has finished and exams are over Flash and I have had the "if you want to act like an adult you have to behave like an adult" lecture - if you want to live with your boyfriend, live with your boyfriend...stop sneaking out every night, get a job and stop expecting pocket money, yes we will help you out if you study animal sciences at University - no we won't help you out if enrol for a 6 hr a week animal care course at Polytech, have some respect for your Dad and yes, we found that tequila you were hiding in your toybox.

But, for now the house is quiet, Blaise has been away for a week, staying with friends on an island and will be away for another week yet ( with her delightful friends, boy and girls - but worry not, just think Famous Five, they are writing plays, reading for hours and drinking lashings of kiwifruit flavoured fizzy water (sorry no ginger beer)) I must finish the tattoo sweater and start on Blaise's new curtains - the dark green Ikea fabric I bought prior to leaving Sydney, sew buttons onto Flash's shirt, and play with the fake eyelashes I bought for tomorrow...and tomorrow involves partying with some of these people and will be post of it's own.


Trelise Cooper workroom sale on in Lyon Street Newmarket today and tomorrow - Mum bought me buttons, I love her.

Knit Rangers last meetup for the year (last meetup for a whole month!) this sunday at the Packing Shed, 2pm. I'll come dressed up as a hangover.

* sook: (rhymes with "took")kindly description of someone who is being silly, or behaving like a softy or scaredy cat. As in:- "you're being a sook"... "just a big sook" and so on... More often than not the phrase is used as a term of endearment.

Monday, December 03, 2007

80's revival

a wee while ago Mel graced the KnitRangers with her presence, and admonished me to visit Patricia Roberts' store whilst in London, being the knitting maven that she is I realised that this was advice worthy of following and I duly added the address to my list, noting that the shop was only a 45 minute stroll from the hotel, unfortunately when we arrived in London we were pretty unwell and moseyed around like zombies most of the time. Flash was much more poorly than I and I wasn't up to dragging him to yet another yarn store/ clothing shop (Liberty was a happy accident...really!) I was disappointed, but since I had just had a luxurious trip to France I couldn't complain.

While browsing on Trademe recently (I'm a bit scared to tell the Aussies that they can join up) I found one of Patricia's books, the blurb went like this:

"These knitting patterns are certainly different. Bright and colourful, wonderful designs, all patterns included in this large book. 232 pages.Knits for children, women and men. The dust jacket has some staining, also some pages, at the top. Does not detract from this book though. A very experienced knitter would have fun with the patterns"

so it arrived today, and I am very impressed - I have a bit of a collection of 80's knitting books, and most of them are pretty scarey, this book does have some wild moments - but I expect Patricia was working with the trends in some cases for example:

but then there are many exquisite and very wearable items such as these:

Flash told me he wants a cardi (not a grandpa cardi...whatever that is) and I could see him in this vest and cardigan combo, however I love the blue one...and I could never wear matchy matchy with my husband.