Sunday, March 23, 2008

I live here now

the new blog is all about the knitting
please update your links to

see you there!

I'm leaving this blog up - it has links to my patterns, and items of interest for friends and family -and if you want to see Frasier from now on you will have to check out my flickr page I'm sure he will show up from time to time.

Monday, March 03, 2008

it's not's me

...yes I'm spending a lot of time with Ravelry, but it's not just how Ravelry makes me feel, it's that it has made me realise that there is so much more to me, I have so much to share, and I want to be sharing it...not talking about it. You and I are in a rut, my feelings have changed, I feel like a new person and I just don't think you and I are heading in the same were my first blog, and that will always be special, I will miss you - but it's time to move on.

Yes, there is another blog - just a little one, it's work mostly...yes I am planning on spending more time there - but just to show my thoughts and new ideas, and we can always catch up over on Flickr or the Knit Rangers blog

see ya round ok?

(edited to add)
I've had some emails...
"Yes" I am not posting to this blog any longer
"Yes" I will be blogging at the just jussi blog - but it will be more knitting and much less family/frasier!
"Yes" this blog will stay up - it's a nice reminder for me
"Why?" ennui...I'm not saying what I want to say, and when I want to say it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


when I am not working, knitting or parenting I do other things...I garden, trawl Ravelry, google for the cat version of Supernanny ("why does my cat come into my bed at 3 am and bite me? how do I put him into timeout when his claws are embedded in my thigh?") bake (I'm getting my baking mojo back, now that I'm planning a new kitchen) and experiment with "other crafts"

this last week I have "mostly been making" cushions - out of the wool blankets I brought back from the cottage, and I'm very happy with the results - cuddly, cosy and soft, a nice new look for the lounge, and as Flash said "I like it when you make things for our house" awwwwwww!

The labels are saved from over the years - a friend's fashion range label, the school badge I designed when the kids were at primary school, the labels from the blankets themselves, odd bits and pieces which felt right.

now I just have to finish making some draught excluders from some leftover bits of blanket and a couple of thrifted swannies and then winter...bring it on!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday round up

last night I'm in the car ready to take Blaise to her belly dancing class (along with Pilates and Ballet) all very good for the congenital spinal stuff as they all build core strength, I always wonder that if we had known about Blaise's condition earlier would we have expected as much from her? is her inate core strength and mental toughness the result of just having to get up and do it? but that is for another time, so my Mama phones...she is in the wool shop..."there's some Gragnisco...something" yes Mum, I like the Bambi... "hmm, no Bambi, theres Jo Sharp...can you get Jo Sharp?" yes Mum...mostly, oh what about georgette, do they have the silk georgette? "(calls to assistant) do you have silk georgette?" and then proceeds to describe the colours to me...I say, Mum I have a couple of balls of light grey, do they have the mauve-y grey there? I mean, I freak out enough (inside) when yarn shopping, so much to choose from, how much to buy? and now I have someone putting the pressure on and I'm NOT EVEN THERE!!! I am laughing so much, poor Blaise is hearing only half the conversation - but figures it out quickly... "Zara? what about Zara?" yes Mum I love the Zara!
Txt this afternoon..."found the bambi"
I love my Mum.
proof of Frasier's addiction...I hid the good he is making do with the cheap crack

I am constantly discovering more reasons why I love Ravelry...yesterday I uploaded a lot of my free patterns to my Ravelry store, finally they are (mostly) all in one place, also seeing the interpretaions of my designs is wonderful - in particular a delicious variation of the Fairytale pretty!

Knit Rangers is growing like topsy, we had a fantastic meetup last sunday, and are planning occasional meetups at Dida in Herne Bay - as the "irregular winos" (so named for the location and the infrequency of meetings)

Knitting news:

1 x ribbing raglan sweater with interesting raglans is in the making (made the body up to the armhomes - just starting a sleeve)

3 x linen washclothes finished, more to come, (even more if I can find those cones that Frasier took off with)

1 x size 2 spirited jacket 1/2 test knitted by my good self (not that I can ever find the mistakes in my own instructions - too close to home) just the sleeves to go.

3 x patterns on the drawing board (no knitting yet) and more trying to eat their way out of my brain...

we are finally getting a touch of rain, the garden desperately needs it, should be a good weekend to curl up with the knitting and a movie.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday round up

today I give thanks;

to Frasier for not running off with all of my linen yarn ( just 3 cones, and probably 8 reels of silk sewing thread - he thinks my sewing thread rack is a self-service toy rack) he does have impeccable taste though...only natural fibres for our boy.
to Telecom (phone line) and Telstra (broadband) for getting my "contractor cut phoneline" back up and running within 56 hrs despite themselves - because, yes of course while I am sitting at my laptop at 9 am, my phones are busy plotting to die and take the phone line out with them - of course it's all my fault or the fault of some communication device within my household...absolutely nothing to with the guy digging down the street...except that it was, and altough it took me 5 minutes to figure out (and TELL THEM) they had to do a whole investigation, blame one another, blame me, and investigate again... and finally phone me to tell me that they had discovered the cause and had rectified it...

to Noro for hiding an amazingly large amount of purple inside the skeins of silk garden lite that I thought were pink, silver grey and charcoal...and I didn't buy them online, I actually held them in my hands and saw no purple (I didn't go pawing through the skein, I will in future)In the end I knitted a wee baby gymslip out of the yarn as I couldn't bear to wear that much purple. I am so happy with the end result, especially the pleats, that I am knitting it in a natural grey tweed as well, for relief.

to Donna, my dear newlywed friend in Sydney - for the SMOOSHY!! it's beautiful Donna, when I've stopped snuggling it it will be Nutkin socks for me. I haven't got a picture of the fortune cat (he is guarding the fridge downstairs) but he is so cute!
to the wonderful test knitters who have helped me so much with getting the Liam and Nikau patterns out there, your words of encouragement (and constructive criticism) have been gratefully accepted.
a week out and forty is still feeling fine, feeling grown up (finally), feeling stronger and more sure of herself, feeling like less can touch her, feeling happy in her skin.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

but wait! - there's more.

Liam - the pattern beloved of many, is now available from my website for $5.00 Australian (with a bonus pants pattern) , yes it is a digital download .pdf, I wish that I had the knowledge and wherewithall to publish my patterns in hardcopy, but I don't - maybe I'll look into it further when I have more of these things out of my head, down on paper and test-knitted!
This weekend the Knit Rangers hope to have the honour to be graced with the presence of Miss E. Clair herself, with a bit of luck (vomiting children and flooding notwithstanding) she will be available from 2-4pm at The Packing Shed 99 Parr's Cross rd, Oratia (that's behind Henderson - otherwise known as Hendo...the home of Outrageous Fortune)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

I'm going to the zoo!

you can come too - but you'll have to pay, and I may go tomorrow, and the next day, and saturday is always a good zoo day...

I turned forty yesterday...for-ty, 40, the big four-oh...hmmm doesn't feel much different, and among the wonderful gifts I received was a real treasure - Blaise, my child who listens, gave me an annual zoo pass, I can go anytime I like for free, I can get into my car at 2.10 pm after work and drive 10 minutes down the road and be at the zoo before 2.30, every day if I choose, I can sit in quiet reverie with the elephants, I can knit with keas, I can powerwalk past the red pandas.

The day itself was a dream, Waitangi Day - New Zealand Day our National day, a holiday. Flash created and delivered a gourment BBQ menu, the girls waited on everyone, Charlotte was the kid wrangler, Maria the waitress, Blaise the barmaid, the weather was exquisite Indian summer.
So - 40...I have a fantastic life, I am married to the man of my dreams, my children and extended family are very nice people to be around, we have a comfortable home and the freedom to come and go as we please,we travel to exciting places, my overwhelming passion for making is pandered to with a lovely studio, and I find my day job very fulfilling. I count my blessings every day, but yesterday I counted them 40 times.
(I wanted to put up one of the beautiful photos I have of the kids having fun in the pool yesterday - but thanks to all of those ickky weirdos out there this is the best I can do)

Friday, February 01, 2008

Friday round up

the holiday is over, despite the incredible summer we are having it is now February and time to get back to work, time for regular friday round ups again. I'm sorry for my slackness, I offer a few excuses.

- I am hot, tired and grumpy - I'm thinking "how did I cope with this heat in Sydney?" oh that's right they don't have the 99% humidity that we have here. Flash is forgiven for buying that portable aircon unit.

- in-laws visited, need I say more? ok well I won't out of respect for my husband.
- Ravelry - I check in, see what you guys are up to, add my WIPs, comment a bit...and forget to blog.
- my job, I love my job - but there are parts I struggle with in a "social policy" kind of way, can't say any more than that.
Ok, that's the bits that are slowing me down, on the other hand I am enjoying the quiet and lack of mess and housework in my life at present since Maria moved in with her boyfriend (breathe Justine) and Charlotte went flatting with a friend from tech. Blaise and I are spending a lot of time together, browsing bookstores and drinking coffee - loving this bonding time, I've never had her all to myself before.
there has been knitting:

- I'm working on a trio of little girly things - the theme is "cherries", I've finished the first, the second is on the needles, the third still only on paper, each is very different from the next - but the cherries unite them.
- the second sidewinder sock is still sitting in my bag, I have started it though.
-I'm halfway through a little pile of washcloths, using the elegant Linnet yarn, I love knitting this yarn, it is harsh but I know that when it hits the water it will be like silk, it is so cool to knit in this heat, and I feel so connected with a simplicity of life and a need to make utilitarian objects. I cast on 30 sts, work 50 rows garter st, 4 rows stst, then 4 rows garter st and cast off, then sew a lenth of linen ribbon along the stst section, ending with a little loop.
The ribbon is my favourite.

- Knit Rangers this sunday! click the link for more details.

- damn I missed my 3rd bloggiversary

- yes the cat is fine, still OCD but gorgeous.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Nothing gold can stay

Three and a half years ago we packed up all of our camping gear, along with dozens of videos, books, old toys and other bots and pieces we couldn't take to Australia, but couldn't part with. We stacked everything in the smallest bedroom in our bach (holiday cottage) boarded the windows and placed two locks on the door to deter the tenants and left not knowing when we would return.

Which was yesterday, in driving rain after weeks of nothing but bright sunshine.

We had decided to sell, but during the familiar drive (we used to spend almost every weekend there) Flash and I pondered the wisdom of our decision, we hadn't managed to get there during the year we have been home, our lives have changed too much and the house needs a family living in it, it is a century old renovated kauri bay villa, it needs constant love and attention to keep it at it's best. But on the other hand we had such good times there, maybe we could find a way to fit it into our lives again...
An hour and a half out of Auckland we arrived to see our pride and joy looking neither, it was sad, lonely and dejected, the work we had trustingly paid for was incomplete, the interior neglected and improperly cared for, and we realised that our decision had been the correct one...a cabin by the beach is one thing, an antique house with original leadlights, ceilings and fireplaces is another, the cabin can be left, the house cannot - the house needs a fulltime family.
So we emptied our room of memories, and marvelled at how lives can change in such a short time, re-discovered old treasures, my sewing box, my stitch portfolio from my tech course. I gathered cuttings from the garden, from the 3 foot high rosemary hedge, the antique climbing roses, the grapes that were the classic taste of summer. We swept, wiped and dusted, and we met with a land agent and signed away eleven years of my life.
I do not wish to return.
And as we left, we kept our old ways, Flash sorting out the car and trailer while I closed up and said goodbye, except this time it was in every room, and this time it was forever. I thought of the house that was HOME for my girls

To the verandah where we sat and watched the world go by, the flooded river across the paddocks over the road, the satelites in the darkest night.

The dining room with the coal range where where I taught them to cook - scrambled eggs and pancakes. It was lower than the stove, easier for them to reach.

the lounge - as big as Texas, sometimes the floor was covered with their toys for a week at a time while they played "gymkhana" 30 toy ponies, hundreds of fences and jumps, water hazards and dressage rings. Other times up to 15 children lay in their sleeping bags watching movies and giggling late into the night.

Life has changed, the children are all grown, the old house served us well, now it is time for us to return the favour and let the house have a chance to be a home again.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


In Auckland the summer sun is fierce - it bites the skin like sun nowhere else I have been, the African savannah is hot, the Australian desert very much so - the heat sucks the moisture from your body, but in New Zealand the sun seems closer - some say it is the lack of atmospheral pollution, or the hole in the ozone layer that leads to our extreme levels of melanoma and other skin cancers.

So between 11 and 3pm my family try to stay out of the sun, we lie around in the shade trying to find a cool breeze, the humidity makes the air feel even hotter than it is, the pool is a welcome escape as by 1pm it is in partial shade, the back deck holds shelves laden with factor 30, hats and towels, we are nothing if not prepared for the conditions.

Blaise's room is an oasis of cool, placed in the most shady corner of the house, the upstairs workroom and our room are in the sun's path all day and become superheated - a portable air conditioner brought back from Sydney means that we can sleep without being eaten alive by mosquitos, and is a fascinating distraction for Frasier, who leaps on top of it when it starts up, and then positions himself between the machine and order to protect us from it...he seems to think.

So, the knitting is continuing, but slowly due to the heat.

Thanks to 2 lovely and competent test knitters I have released the "Nikau hoodie and pants" pattern for sale by digital download. It is mostly an easy knit, with a few interesting bits - the cabling for the Nikau palm design and the short rows at the hood and nappy shaping. I can't wait to see the different variations as they come up on Ravelry. I am close to having the "Liam sweater and cowboy pants " pattern ready for release soon too, which I know a number of people have been waiting for, and am working on something sweet for the girls.

No clues, but here is a taste - lots of pink, and don't you just love that Chirimen crepe cherry blossom ribbon - it's from Fabric tales, who are very quick and very helpful!

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Second Sidewinder Sock Syndrome.

I can feel myself going down.

It's not the pattern (free from the brilliant Nona)

(you must trust the pattern, if your gauge is correct trust the pattern...even if it looks too small) I took this advice from Sarah on "socks on the needles in general" and am very glad I did, the sidewinder fits perfectly.

It's not the pattern, it's the yarn - Noro Sock, don't get me wrong I LOVE this yarn, I received a couple of skeins to play with (and yes it is interesting and effective used as baby yarn - more another day) and am definitely going to buy lots of this stuff, but it is the qualities of the yarn, combined with the technique of the sock which became my potential downfall - I don't want to knit the second sock because I know that when I finish it (very soon, because they are so wonderfully quick to knit) I will have to graft the entire back seam...which would not be so bad with a plied yarn, however the Noro sock is a single...a very twisty, turns and goes back on itself single...which doesn't work well when you have 75 inches of it to deal with...75 inches that I had to loop over my big toe to keep the yarn under tension EVERY SINGLE TIME I grafted a stitch;
- put needle through stitch
- loop yarn over toe
- commit bastardised yoga move under toe is inches from knitting, hook over hand to combat extreme looping
repeat over and over and over again.
The knitting took a little over a day, the grafting took 2 days and my will to live.
Today, I will write a pattern up, get another out of my head and into yarn before my head actually explodes - and then try again with the second sidewinder - wish me luck.
(I am semi-prepared, I have made a batch of extra spicy chai syrup, and there is Green and Blacks butterscotch chocolate in the "emergency" section of the pantry)

(adjusted the pattern slightly so I have more garter st rows at the back for better fit - and no, I'm not liking the cerise section...but I'm trying to "go with the Noro")

Friday, January 04, 2008

Friday round up

Happy New Year!

no resolutions, but a change of attitude brought about by conversations on New Years eve.
I think about time...all of the time, I make comparisons, split second in my head constantly...she's younger than me and has accomplished this, she's older than me and is still doing that, she's older but looks younger, she's 6 months older than me and is having her first baby, my youngest is almost 17, the days are going faster and faster, how does she manage to get that much done in a day and still keep the house clean? I don't have enough time!!!!
It has stopped (ok so not completely, but I am actively catching myself out and giving myself a stern talking to) I am going to be 40 in 5 weeks, life is too short to worry about how other people manage to live it, I have realised, and finally understand and believe...that I am the only one who can live my life, and that there is success to be had at any age.
We have had a lovely couple of weeks here at the castle - Flash has taken time off work, and has re-organised the house, he has dropped me off and picked me up from work on those iccky days between the stat holidays, we have been cycling, swimming and spa-ing, relaxing and enjoying the house and the sun - so much so that he didn't want to go on holiday.

I have been knitting (c0nstantly actually) I have finished Flash's heavy socks - that's his feet relaxing above (bought the yarn and pattern around 3 years ago...) I love this pattern, and am going to use it with my hand dyed for socks for the kids. I used the knitted graft from knitting daily - which I absolutely loved! I found it much easier than the usual grafting.
Charlotte's version of Le Slouch (top) from Wendy at Knit and Tonic took me a few hours and 1 ball of Naturally Woodland (mohair) 50g 100m in ballet pink. She is too much of a sprite to dress up and behave for the camera - so this is the best photo I'll get.
Don't forget - Knit Rangers this sunday - 2pm, more info here