Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday round up

well - there's only one momentous happening on my mind today
go and congratulate Lara and Mark on the arrival of their beautiful baby boy
Welcome Inigo - may your life be filled with wonder and joy!
and while I usually only knit my own designs these days I think Inigo's parents would appreciate this, so it is next on the list.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Friday round up

Roses in progess

another beautiful day? fingers crossed for the weekend to remain the same.
Problem: fledgling birds falling out of nests all over the back yard - parent birds screeching, cats fascinated - these things don't run away, and our bells don't scare them away...luckily there haven't been any casualties, yet - now the cats are locked inside with a litter tray, the laundry door is kept closed because Frasier (aka Houdini) has learnt to undo the catches on this side of the cat door, and then bash the door over and over until it flips up a little, he then hooks his paw under and lifts the cat door so that he can escape, he then undoes the catches on the outside so that Layla can get out too...scarey.
I'm out in the garden every time I hear a screeching parent bird, and using an old towel to pop the babies back into the branches. I'm also making a note in my calender to book the cats into the cattery for a visit this time next year!
Knit Rangers this weekend - yay! I am loving this group!! Come and join us - see the blog for details.
The denim pants are 1/2 finished (jeepers must go load them on ravelry) I'm using the machine knit pattern of my own design, but adapting it for handknitting. I can't wait to see them teamed up with the sweater, then I suppose I'll have to make bootees and a hat...and then there are 3 more babies to knit for (so far)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The one where he is in trouble - again...

I came home to find Frasier burrowing through Charlotte's clean laundry...I won't tell her if you won't.

I have just finished the "Liam" sweater and am so pleased with it, I love garter st on babies, and learnt a lot while making Inigo's jacket of many colours - mostly that I had to trust my swatch, and not freak out if the garment was looking a bit bigger than I had expected.

This sweater is for a friend's baby-to-be, I'm knitting some denim pants to go with it, and the patterns for both will be available when they are finished.

I was thinking of calling it the "one black sheep" sweater, but the black sheep is looking more and more wolf-like...maybe I should have called it "wolf in sheeps clothing"!

Monday, November 19, 2007

On a good day

We had a great weekend (though I would rather have been here) - go wish Ailsa a happy birthday - she's right, 40 IS the new 30 and what's even better is that 4 of our 6 kids are almost financially independent, and all 6 are personally independent, Flash and I are almost free to come and go on a whim - and we're still young enough to enjoy it!
The weekend passed thus: SUN, Auckland is magnificent in the sun, everything is green and bursting with life, kids were charging up and down the road on go-karts and peals of laughter came from the reserve over the road where they swung on rope swings and splashed each other in the creek, I played in my vegie garden (which is SO the new black, everybody who is anybody seems to be growing vegies this season!) and made plans for a new plot, I'm trying to get rid of as much lawn as possible, and there is nothing like having fresh herbs to hand when you need them (the catnip gets a fair bash too) we are currently eating rainbow chard (ok silverbeet!) baby beetroot, radishes, spinach, strawberries and a huge variety of herbs and they are all organic - makes me feel like such a good Mum! Frasier and Layla frolicked around me, and the neighbours chihuahuas made a break for freedom and joined us as well (too cute). Flash cleaned the pool and did other man-type stuff (barbeque-ing and cork popping mostly) there was a lot of lazing in the sun, lazing in the spa and relaxing, and for once he didn't even touch his emails or other work stuff, just enjoyed the peace and drove the car up and down the newly finished driveway - just because he could.
Saturday evening we went to the netball champs finals with my parents - who deserted us and went off to the VIP stand (if you see my photo in the Leader I was laughing at a joke and they took my photo - I must look like a maniac!) I'm so much better at being in a sports crowd due the experiences in Paris, and we had a great time - Australia won, and they deserved to, frankly because they wanted it more. I'm never going to be into sports, but at least I can go and not freak out inside when I'm surrounded by big,scary, yelling people - wearing tinsel and waving giant foam hands.
Yesterday entailed more relaxing, and some knitting - things are getting finished finally, but I'm not making any Christmas knitting promises that I can't keep - I am tempted to knit some wee dog sweaters for thos puppies from next door though!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday round up

back to normality

this is my driveway - actually, no this was my driveway this morning - since then it has rained a lot (you know Auckland's weather forecast "it's raining", "it's about to rain", "it has just stopped raining") so now the driveway is a puddle. Hopefully they will be able to concrete tomorrow.
why did we get the driveway diggen up?(that's a Blaise word invented 14 years ago and still used) so the man can get the beast up the driveway without first having to bury it in mud.
Knitting news: there is knitting, and unfortunately - due to ravelry, I keep forgetting to tell you about it. Currently I am knitting more preemie hats with Debbie Bliss cashmerino (one of the best baby yarns ever), a baby sweater using my favourite "fantarsia" technique (where you strand the yarn across the motif, but have seperate bobbins for each motif) using Dale baby ull (another wonderful baby yarn) which I will have photos of and a pattern for soooooon.
Found this via Lara, the highest I have managed so far is 46. This is a useful waste of time!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hanging with my homie

Mornings I am patted on the face until I wake up
Sleeptime is from 9.30 until 2.30...corresponding with my work hours
talking is constant
I cannot move without being followed
Knitting is now ignored so long as he can sit in my lap while I do it
if I am out of sight - screaming ensues
has trained Flash to give him treats every night when he returns from work, and knows the sound of his car
no, we haven't adopted a toddler - Frasier turns 1 today
and no, there were no presents, extra treats or catfood cakes!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

the design process...yeah

people often ask me about the design I have tried to come up with an answer that someone who doesn't knit will understand...but trying to condense it for small talk is difficult. How do I say "well, first I procrastinate A LOT, I leave piles of yarn on my cutting table and walk past it often, rearrange it, knit little swatches, leave them, play with them, tidy them up, pull out my notebook and actively try to pair up yarns and drawings, swatch again, then wing it" without sounding like a moron - you must have a defined process, but I haven't, I think of things I try them, they work or they don't work but they give me more ideas, and then some of those is an amorphous, inclusive, organic process if anything.
So I say "I start with an idea of a garment, then I look over my yarn swatches, then I write the pattern and test knit it, correcting the pattern and idea along the way"
And the pattern writing, I am terrible, don't get me started on how irresponsible I am in my pattern writing, I start with the measurements and gauge, and then scribble as I go, and then I have to decipher my scrawlings and sometimes re-knit to figure out how I did something - madness, why can't I just write methodically, and why the hell are my pattern notebooks full of phone numbers, addresses and memos?
(short vent post due to excess of social occasions with strangers)
YARN magazine - you already know, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that a white knight will appear to save it. Most importantly I want Barb to know that she suceeded beyond our combined hopes and should be immensely proud of her accomplishment.
New wrap cardis are up in my Etsy shop, these are knit from cloud-soft merino and are too cute.
(picture: new design "Liam" sweater in process)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Friday round up

Finally a friday roundup because my brain has officially returned from France.
Don't forget Knit Rangers this sunday!

I love my knitting room/workroom/studio, I'm lucky that I have a lot of space for all of my knitting/machine knitting/business paraphenalia (and what a lot of "paraphenalia" there is) but I can never get it to a point where I am completely happy with the storage situation. The Ikea bookshelves are full (Ikea still haven't opened their promised Auckland store - and I don't like any of the alternatives) I have realised that although I like boxes - they are not for me, I can never find things when I want them, or I forgot I had them and later on find them and say " damn that would have looked amazing on that dress" and then forget about them again...I have yarn in a wooden chest, in a restored giant suitcase (with great wooden framing on the outside and brass hinges) in the cupboards below the shelves, in boxes under the sewing machine...fabric in piles on a shelving unit, and in 3 bags under my cutting table...oh and 2 plastic boxes of fabric and yarn under the stairs...

Anyway...I've won a battle (but not the war...)

All of my "good" buttons have been placed in plastic bags and pinned to a noticeboard, as have all of my braids, ribbons and tapes, and the bits and peices I use to make buttons and fastenings, now they are on display, readily available and inspiring. It seems to be working, and is handy - I buy buttons and pin them up straight away, instead of finding them in my handbag 2 weeks later!

The rest of my buttons are in jars based on colour, and I still have a box of lace and zippers, but at least the critical things are there where I can see them. I had considered Martha Stewart's ribbon box (there is a similar one available at Spotlight - I know, wash my mouth out with soap) but not her storage rack - a wee bit OTT I'm afaid, and I just know the Bunnings man would be laughing at me, so I'll stick with my bag system for the present.

Does anyone else have a storage strategy for dealing with the "little bit's"?

Speaking of Spotlight (and I try not to) I did spot some Lion Brand magic stripes sock yarn while I was in there with Blaise (she was trying to decide between transparent glittery knitting needles and needles with bunnies on the ends... we bought the glittery ones because the bunny ones were too short) it didn't cost much, so I bought some for the novelty value, we don't usually get Lion brand in NZ and it is iconic!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Designer shopping

There's nothing this girl likes more than having a spend up at Trelise Cooper or Liz Mitchell, their shapes fit me and make me feel good, their fabrics are always exciting and the styles intriguing and the cut always fabulous.
However - with multiple children in the "expensive" years, multiple houses, a part time job, and a business which pays for itself (apparently this is a positive) I am more likely to be haunting Hartley's sales than shopping in Ponsonby Rd.

Today though I managed to buy a colourful delight from Trelise and a little black number from Liz daaaaarling.

That's right - the designers are doing their bit for cat charities in New Zealand - that's $10.00 per bowl to help felines in distress, and they chuck in some free fancy feast too.