Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday round up

Small things: this Ponga (tree fern) shoot has sprouted in our fern garden which occupies the shady space near the steps to the front door.

Small magazine requested a possum beanie for a photo shoot, I was happy to oblige, and very happy with the result, the magazine is stunning, and the editor hardworking and moral - I appreciated her offer to pay postage and return the hats after the shoot, as she understands the financial costs to small business when people ask for "samples" (I have had a few dealings with these opportunists - I hope they do not sleep well) I refused her kind offer, and advised her to keep the beanies for her children, as a thank you for the exposure. I love how the internet can bring our community together in this way.

Coming soon: Mary-Annette Hay - Queen of Wool, exhibition at Te Papa in Wellington I am watching the cheap fares and may just manage to pop down there.

"A Fairytale dress for dancing" a two year old's description of this confection, which I admit is over the top...but then so are two year olds. Knitted from soft cotton it has stretchy side panels and i-cord tie straps so that the 2 year old's dress (shown on a size 1 dummy - it is supposed to be mid-calf length) can be the 4 year old's top.

this is "the yellow blob" and one way or another there will be a pattern available.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

happenings on the far side

Thanks for the lovely comments about the kitties - yes Layla did smack Frasier on the head once or twice.

the Hourglass sweater now has two sleeves which look suspiciously suitable for a gorilla - however I have been assured that this is perfectly normal - and as soon as I am feeling calm again I will commence the final countdown - the yoke and the neck - "Flashdance" is a phrase which is used often when describing the fit - so thanks to Mary's advice I have already made my plan of attack - hopefully I won't be visiting the frogpond...

there were other exciting happenings last night:

Luna Rosa

Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday round up

the despised cat tree has finally been shifted from the lounge, to the landing - where it is out of sight, but also much more fun for the cats - as they can run up the stairs and then up the cat tree - like screaming meemees. They are well trained, when they hear Flash's car they race to see who gets to the top of the tree first, because he always gives them a treat when he gets home - the top kitty gets the first treat - Layla wasn't moving last night.

- These kiwis do not want to fly home - so much so that they are hunger striking on the rooftop of the Villawood detention centre in Sydney - where they have been incarcerated awaiting deportation.
One of the 2 gentlemen is being deported after serving a sentence for armed robbery, the other for common assault.
I fully support their cause, we have enough criminals here in New Zealand.

- I hate duck season - I forgot how much...we live in an area surrounded by native bush, with lots of little streams and creeks leading to wetlands, it is all very beautiful, and it is all full of ducks, they wander our streets and forage in our gardens, silly people who think "oh cute!" feed them, and then have a monkey on their back forever more, as they open the door each morning to 10s of birds wanting a feed.

I hate that they pair up, and when one is inevitably run over (don't mix bogan petrolheads and ducks) the other one sits beside the body - I feel the weight of our collective human guilt heavily on my shoulders, and I haven never hurt one.

I hate that some of them have babies in the middle of winter - stupid ducks, and that I will see a local mother with 15 babies in the morning - and only 6 left by the afternoon.

This year we have a new duck challenge - despite our refusal to feed them, our cats who chase them, and our 6 foot high fences...this morning a duck found our pool, and very happy he was too, swimming around and quacking like a class of 3 year olds singing "Old Macdonald".

I will be buying a pool size net.

- there has been knitting - but if you are not a Raveller, then you do not know the extent of it...I have finished one sleeve of the blue blob, and attached it to the body stitches, now I am halfway through the other sleeve, looks like I will finish it before we go away!

Monday, August 20, 2007

a good weekend


Flash cleaned the Castle

I went to the Papkura knit-out, I was impressed with the turn-out, the vendors, the prizes and the organisation, not so impressed with the lack of tables and chairs (knitters need long tables with lots of chairs so that they can make friends and chat) still, I am sure they will fix that next year.
It was wonderful to finally meet Mel Clark 0f South seas knitting, she is very sweet and calm - and she will change the face of knitting in New Zealand, note the picture above - I bought Koigu from her, lovely raspberry Koigu, beautiful multi-toned green and pink Koigu, she had Blue sky alpacas, and the elusive Habu ( I asked about the stainless steel, Al - not to knit with, but just to experience!) needless to say I was very happy to know that I will now be able to buy yarns that my friends in Oz can't go and fondle prior to buying - hah!
Flash continued to clean the Castle.
Sunday was Knit Rangers day, what a crowd! there were 10 of us (not including Blaise - because she wasn't there)crocheters and knitters, we seem to have hit our stride now, the wait staff have worked out a system to deal with our many and various orders and Jo was very happy about yet another glowing write up, I've promised to knit a baby hat or 2 for Kristie's friend's 2lb preemie baby boy, and we are all borrowing patterns and gaining knowledge from one another.
the perfect weekend - lot's of knitting, and a really clean house (but now I have to re-organise the cupboard under the stairs - as thats's where a lot of the house was "tidied" away to!) and Koigu - what could be better?
p.s. Layla is doing great, but I would be happier if she weren't climbing trees right now.
p.p.s the koigu? - fairisle socks or fairisle fingerless gloves - my own design, but I have to design it first.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday round up

yep, I'm here.

- Almost over my Ravelry binge (go friend me!) I've loaded 50 projects (and learnt a lot along the way - for instance, I have not knitted much this year - the thing is, I have done very little but knit this year, but it has all been for customers, much of it on the knitting machine). I haven't got around to loading my stash or needles (but I can see that loading my needles could be useful for when I go shopping)

- trying to organise my family so that i can go to the "Great Papakura Knit Out" (yes MH I think it is pretty much the same as it was - but it looks interesting, and you never know what will happen, life is full of surprises) at least they are out there, loud, proud and knitting!

- Layla was speyed yesterday - she is not too miserable, but Frasier is upset as all get out, running around the house crying, and jumping all over the place, he was upset that she was gone, then he was upset that she was back and smelling so different. Speying is so different now to how it was 12 years ago the last time I had a cat speyed - Layla has pain relief pills for 3 days, so much more civilised.

- the blue blob is fair racing along now, i have nearly finished the first sleeve, and the second one shouldn't take long seeing as I am working the bugs out on the first one. I love knitting with this cash iroha, such a lovely experience.

- see you at Knit Rangers on sunday, and if you live to far away, join our group on Ravelry!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday round up

My dear friend and colleague Anne told me to get my arse out of Ravelry and write a Friday round up, because that's how she catches up on what I've been up to.

Anne sits 2 desks behind me...

so here goes:

- 18 year old girls are not always wonderful company.

- I fear that Fraiser is ADHD, he likes to sit next to the cat door and hit it with his paw...over and over again, not in a OCD kind of way - just in a wow! this makes heaps of noise! kind of way.

- I have finally picked up the blue blob and have made progress on a sleeve - I have pre-calculated the changes I need to make, and am happy with my progress thus far, however tonight being friday, is Champagne cocktail there may not be so much progress tonight - for fear of having to rip tomorrow.

- Sarah posted this link on our Knit Rangers group on Ravelry (join it!) it looks great, I am shocked that I have heard nothing about it. A great big knit-out in South Auckland (they have a banner and everything!)and I know nothing - Barb obviously knew much more about it than me - and she is in Adelaide - I hang my head in shame, how can I call my blog "Just Jussi - kn itting in New Zealand" when I haven't the faintest idea?

- sorry Anne, that's about it, Flash and I finally have a whole weekend together - we'll probably drive out to the West Coast and go for a bushwalk, so long as the weather holds - i'll get him to take a photo of me knitting near a waterfall or something!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


I got my invite - I'm in Ravelry and I can't get out.
This thing is the biggest timewarp I have ever been in, it is like a giant amusement park of knitting...and my friends are there (well most of them) I am having fun, and almost revealed 3 secret projects today because they are all WIPs and I wanted them on my WIPs page! tragic yes.
If you are, have ever been, will ever be a Knit Ranger - go and join our Ravelry group - even if you just think you may visit Auckland NZ one day - go join our Ravelry Knit Rangers group, even if it is unlikely that you will ever visit NZ - but you feel connected in some way - go become a virtual Knit Ranger!

had a great wage slave day today - went to meet the people I send all my work too...long story, across town - everyone I met said such wonderful things about me and my work, so cool to feel appreciated.

On another subject, completely seperate: the latest death of an abused child in NZ - today a 3 minute silence was organised - at 12.12pm people were asked to stop whatever they were doing (yes even driving down the motorway) and observe 3 minutes silence as a mark of respect for the dead children and to show the community that we care.
I didn't stop.
I do care, of course, immensely, most of us do - the TV and radio are filled with interviews with ordinary people who care - but I don't know what 3 minutes silence will do...I asked one of my colleagues "will it stop the babies from dying?" no, of course not,the people who abuse their kids in this way don't watch the news, many don't even get out of bed until the afternoon, the anti-smacking law is unknown to them, and silence is the last thing we need, silence from those who could say something is part of the problem, maybe they could have spent their 3 minutes writing to their MP, or checking that child screaming next door, 3 minutes is all it takes to phone the police, what about 3 hours per week volunteering or fundraising or getting to know your neighbours, how about chasing up those babies who have fallen through the cracks and telling their caregivers about the 20 hours free early childhood education that is now available for 3 and 4 year olds (yes I know some centres don't offer it...most do) I feel that the 3 minutes was a stunt - to make the rest of society feel good, feel like they are doing I said before, if you want to do something write to your MP, write to all of the MPs, ask them what their stance is, ask them what they will do to make things better, and keep asking until we get the right answer.
I have heard the comment many times that it takes a village to raise a child - well, it seems like these babies are everybody's child and no-one's responsibility. I remember their names, I remember the photos of Delcelia Witika's blood soaked mattress, how many years ago now? James Whakaruru, Cris and Cru Kahui, and all the others, little lives so full of promise - lets see now if we have the collective guts to do what has to be done to stop this now.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

New free pattern

I thought it was about time - we haven't had one for a while, and as always my free pattern disclaimer:

if there is a mistake in the pattern, I'm sorry, please let me know. Please don't ask me to re-size the pattern, think of it as a challenge, grab a calculator and measuring tape and do it yourself.

I designed this pattern for "Real Nappy Week" which was a while ago.

Knitted soakers for Real nappy week.
Here is a pattern for the cutest pure wool soakers, quick and easy in 8ply yarn.
wool stays warm when wet, takes water away from the body, and breathes

Materials: 8ply (DK weight) pure wool
Main colour (MC) approximately 75 grams
Contrast colour (CC) approximately 25 grams
Set each of 3mm and 3.75 mm straight needles
Tapestry needle for sewing up
Elastic knitting –in thread if desired

Size: (6mths – 18 mths depending on nappy)

Notes: this garment is knit all in one piece.

Abbreviations: K (knit) stst (stocking stitch) inc (increase)
P (purl) dec (decrease)

Front: With 3mm needles and MC cast on 50 sts using a stretchy cast on (knitting books and magazines often have numerous cast-on techniques, check your library, online help can be found at
Otherwise you can use your normal cast-on, but use 1 larger needle e.g. size 4.5 mm, along with one 3 mm, remember not to use the larger needle to knit the rib!
Work 16 rows K1P1 rib. Use knitting-in elastic if you want a very stretchy rib.
Leg: Change to 3.75 mm needles, work 14 rows stst
Mark both ends of the last row (use a piece of contrast colour yarn)
Next row: do the following 2 things at the same time
1.) Decrease 1 st at the beginning of next and every row (knit 1 st, knit the next 2 sts together)
2.) Knit 16 sts (count the dec st as a st, you want to add a contrast colour to the centre 18 sts)
Add in the contrast colour, knit 2 sts, knit 2 sts with MC, alternate until 18 sts have been worked. Continue to end of row in MC. Continue in colour patterning as set. (This creates a padded section where it is most needed.
Continue decreasing at beginning of each row until 24 sts remaining.
Knit 4 rows with no decreases
Back: Start increases: continue with colour in pattern as set.
Increase 1 st at the beginning of each row (knit 2 sts, pick up a loop from below the second st, place on L needle and knit) continue increases until 50 sts are on needles. Place markers at both ends of row.
Short row shaping. Using MC only, knit 40 sts, turn and purl 30 sts, turn and knit 31 sts , turn. Continue to knit 1 more st each row until all sts are back in play. (wrap the next st on the needle at the end of each row to avoid making a hole)
Work 14 rows straight.
Back rib: Change to 3 mm needles, work 16 rows k1p1 rib, cast off in k1p1 rib, using a larger size needle.
Leg rib: with right side facing, pick up and knit 56 sts between the leg markers with 3mm needles and MC. Work 20 rows, then cast off in rib with 1 larger needle (to maintain stretch)
Work the other side to match.

Match the markers up and sew the side seams together.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

TDFKAL almost done

here it is, my almost completed long wrap/wide scarf (wanted something I could wind around my shoulders a couple of times) the monotonous hours of stocking st (with 2 edges sts knit every row at each end) are over, now I just need to sit down and plan the needlefelted silver fern outlines.
I have excuses: 5 tax returns - 2 for me, one for my business and 2 for Flash, NZ tax returns are a doddle, you can't really claim anything, Australian tax returns are complex and cause hair-pulling, but mine was easy because I didn't work last year, and my business made a loss (capital purchases upfront) the business one was more confusing, but is over, Flash's aussie one took a long time, but with the help of his previous 2, and a list from the accountant - I made it through with flying colours.
One word of advice for Kiwis thinking of crossing the ditch though - there is an urban myth in NZ that if you move to Oz, your family income is added up, then split between husband and wife, and then taxed...NOT SO...there is a potential for a tax offset if you have a dependent spouse, but the amount is not huge - so if you thought of moving to Oz, and earning $100 K which you split with your househusband and paid low tax on - think again.
Next was Blaise's school play - months of rehearsal culminated in 1.5 hours of hilarity, a great performance, and Blaise's part was, like her, small but perfectly formed - the audience erupted in laughter, excuse Flash's poor camera work, I may have to add subtitles.

Flash has been in fine form with our latest car drama being a real winner - the air was blue around here last night, as he plowed the car up to the door frames in the muddy porridge that was our car pad, and is now just a gravelly muddy pit. To add insult to injury he decided to back my truck down the driveway, instead of me, becuase he was worried I might bump his car (I back down the driveway at least twice a day, I could do it blindfolded - why does this sexist streak come out in men sometimes?) in doing so he managed to knock the letterbox down, but not before gouging a foot long scratch into the side of the LandRover...if we had a dogbox he would have been sleeping in it.

The landy made short work of extricating the beast from the mud, and this morning he hosed his car down to show me where that tax return money will be going...paintwork for the Holden, and blocks for the car pad...but not until the landy's paintwork has been fixed darling...!