Thursday, October 04, 2007

Knitting addicts - a new generation

Yow, has it been that long since I last posted??

After a really, really hard few months, things are beginning to change. Helen and I have left Playcentre and will be spending the time between now and February together, doing stuff we want to do. She starts school at the beginning of the new year, so we're going to be making the most of having time on our hands, together.
Plans so far:
• growing vegetables • swimming • story time at the library • cooking more • reading more • having more fun and less worry.

It's holiday time here again, so we've been doing a bit of crafty stuff. Big news for Jen this week, she's learned to knit!

After she'd done about 20 rows she announced: "I just wanna stay up and knit all night". Spoken like a true knitting addict!

Also knitting related, I finally received my invite to Ravelry the other day. What a lot of fun! I love the way you can browse through patterns using the tags. I was inspired to get the needles out, and whipped up a little shrug for Helen.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Holiday time!

At last it's the school holidays again. We've been having a quiet time, staying in bed late, doing lots of reading. Lovely.

I found some wool that I'd dyed with food colouring about a year ago, Helen asked me to make wool that looked like lava. This weekend I turned it into a pair of slippers for her, which she's been dancing around in. Oh, how that girl loves to dance!

I made the pattern up as I went along, and for once I seem to have been able to make two the same! I know I really should write things down as I go, but where's the fun in that?

Today I've sent off my application email for the next Craft 2.0 to be held at the Dowse in August. Fingers crossed they let me in! I'm hoping that if I *do* get accepted, I might meet some of the very talented ladies whose blogs I frequent, selling their wares there too.

On Wednesday the girls and I take off to Christchurch for a few days with my sister and her family. So far the only plans we have are for the girls to attend a class at the bead shop in the Arts Centre on Friday. I shall be hunting out some special beads for ring making, I think. Can't wait!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I'm back, at last

I don't know why I can't seem to keep this blog very current. Goodness knows, I spend plenty of time sitting here at the computer, you'd think it would be easy to write a quick post more often than, say, once a month! wouldn't you? Well apparently not.

Things have been somewhat busy around here. Ian's almost finished his thesis (due June 15th) and I've been clocking up some hours talking with him about that, and editing the document, doing charts etc.

And I've knitted something! No, I haven't finished the 1 skein wonder I started back when my knee popped out (just the bands to go, though). But I did start *and finish* a little capelet for the lovely Chloe's 8th birthday, which turned out quite nicely. Now Jen and Helen want one the same, of course.

I've made some more vintage button rings, one with sterling silver wire which looks terrific.

I've been busy with Playcentre, as usual.

But the best of all this busy-ness is that I've had some absolutely lovely times with my gorgeous girls lately.

Jen will be turning 7 very soon, and she wants to have a paper doll themed party. So we'll be making life-size paper doll dresses with the friend's she's invited. Not sure how that'll go, I guess it'll involve lots of scissors, glue sticks, glitter, felt pens, and maybe staples, or sellotape... Hmmm. I think we'll need a trial run this weekend!

Monday, April 23, 2007


I had to cancel my button-buying trip to the Hospice shop today. Late yesterday afternoon, while just finishing up some cleaning at Playcentre, I stretched up on tiptoe to pull down some old artwork off the wall and overextended myself, and my left knee dislocated. The patella shot out to the side of my leg. The huge bump in my jeans and the excruciating pain told me exactly what had happened and I managed to push it straight back into the right place.

After a very very long wait at the hospital, I had an x-ray done, then another long wait. Finally a nurse came to say I wouldn't be seen before midnight and very likely later than that so I went home.

Today I can hobble about with the use of a stick, not a good look. My niece, bless her heart, suggested this would be the perfect time to "do a House, fill up a medicine bottle with TicTacs, pop those all day and hobble around being sarcastic". Don't tempt me.

But instead, I've been sat on the couch most of the day, actually knitting!

I tried to knit a few weeks back, after the knife+finger thing. But turns out that injury actually did some nerve damage and even now I have a numb area on that finger. A few weeks ago it was uncomfortable to knit like that.
But now! Not too bad! So I've started work on a version of Glampyre's 1 Skein Wonder, in an as-yet undetermined size. I've added a few stitches, substituted 2 strands of Rowan Botany 4ply, and I'm about 1/3 done. Maybe it'll fit me? Stay tuned!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Happy mail, I've got that happy mail

Wow, Jo's parcel for the Vintage Button Swap arrived on Thursday. Don't believe a word she says, everything in it is fabulous!

I took pictures, but it was a grey day, and I realised today that the resolution on the camera was on it's lowest setting. So I apologise for the quality of these photos, but I'm sure you can appreciate the loveliness of the buttons + extras anyway!
First, cute packaging, I have ribbon now! yay!:

Fabric+button bracelets for two very lucky little girls:

Wee sewn things for me, a pouch and a new tissue holder which I just adore:

And of course, the buttons themselves:

What cracks me up is how the little red buttons are the exact same pattern as one of the white buttons I sent Jo. I love them all, thank you Jo!

I've been playing some more with buttons and wire, and have a couple of rings available in my Etsy store now. These things are so much fun to make. Next week the holidays are over and I'll have a few more hours without girls. One of the things I'm planning is a trip to the Hospice shop (they have the best selection) in search of some really special ring-making buttons. Can't wait!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Rings and things

Oooh! I got cool stuff in the mail today, a mandrel! Not "surprise" cool stuff, since it's something I bought on TradeMe, but still, I'm really happy!

I've been wanting to have a go at making rings for ages, since I have loads of wire, beads and buttons stashed around the place. So as soon as the package arrived, I had to give it a try. They are lots of fun, and surprisingly easy, to make (that is, to my <cough> exacting standards). Not so easy to photograph, however.

Now I need to get my act together with some other button "work", so I can get my package for the Shim + Sons Vintage Button Swap in the post later today.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Paper people

Thanks to Applehead, Jen has spent a lovely afternoon making her own Small People. Here are Maddy and Tom:

I love the library card generator, too. Here's one for all of us who spend way too much time glued to the computer:

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Button swap

I've just signed up for Shim + Sons 2nd vintage button swap. Yay!

I haven't managed to get any knitting done from the Lucinda Guy book yet because last week I had a nasty knife-meets-finger accident while removing the stone from an avocado. My left middle finger has been covered in a fairly serious bandage since then, and it just isn't flexible enough to work with sticks. The girls spent a while browsing through the pattern book, then sorting through the wool, playing with colour combinations. Now they're getting impatient for me to make them some little knitted mice. Me too!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Lazy is nice, but maybe I'm taking it too far

Good grief. This one-post-per-month thing has got to stop! I'm hoping that the imminent change of seasons will have a revitalising effect on me, and I'll find myself able to post more regularly. Fingers crossed. Or as the Tui ads would say "yeah, right".

On Saturday night, daylight savings time came to an end here, and all of a sudden it feels like autumn. Officially, I don't think that's supposed to happen until the beginning of April, but tell the weather that. It's been cold, wet, windy, hot, windy, cool, and more windy. Pffff. And, I think I'm coming down with a cold, just to top it all off.

On the bright side, the cooler weather makes me want to knit. It's an automatic response for a knitter, I think. And lucky me, I was recently given a big file box full of gorgeous yarn. Exhibit A:

It's mostly wool, and includes some beautiful Rowan skeins (Kid Silk, DK, Botany) in various shades of red, pink, purple, green and blue.

There's not much of each, just enough to get me thinking about turning it into several smallish and (hopefully) lovely things. So I headed to the library on Sunday looking for suitable patterns. Let me just say, it's been a very long while since I knitted anything larger than a scarf. I haven't made anything in an adult size since before Jen was born, so that's approaching 7 years. Anyway, I came across this lovely book of patterns for kids, by Lucinda Guy. I love it, there are flowers, toys, hats, plenty of patterns that I think will be just right.

While I was there, I also picked up Thrift to Fantasy: Home textile crafts of the 1930s-1950s. So far I've only browsed through looking at the photos, but it looks like an excellent read - part family history, part social commentary.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Coming up for air

Today's not that different to any other day lately. The sun is shining in the most fantastically blue cloudless sky, cicadas are going crazy, the washing's baking to a crisp on the line. What *is* different, is that I'm finally in the right frame of mind to sit down and write something here.

So, what's been happening?
We now have more family living close by - really close, I mean 2 doors down the street, and it's fabulous. Ian's cousin and his family have made a big move from Australia to NZ, and wound up in the same street as us. Our children get along mostly great. And Ian's sister has moved cities and now lives 2 blocks over. I love the pop-in visits, coffee mid-morning, or a wine in the evening.

Craftwerk last week was fun. I wasn't sure I'd managed to make enough stuff for the trip to be worthwhile, but turns out I had, and it was. I met a lovely woman who put me on to a local source of kimono fabric pieces, so I have some nice big pieces to get busy with. As an added bonus, I got to spend some time with my brother and his girlfriend.

Playcentre is keeping me and Helen busy 3 mornings a week.
Jen's happy at school, and rapt that the school pool is now open. We've got a key so we can use it after hours. She's so much more confident in the water now, she's picking things up off the bottom of the pool, and talking to her friends under water :-)

I'm working on these felt flowers at the moment. Some will have pin backs attached, others may yet end up packaged as scrap-booking or card-making embellishments. Better get cracking!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Meet Bill

We have a new family member. Bill is settling in beautifully, although his default look still says "peeved and annoyed". In fact, he's making himself right at home, as you can see here.
A couple of days ago we melted down our broken crayons in cupcake cases (no, Bill hasn't been helping himself to the baking) and set to work drawing all over a hunk of background paper snaffled from the recycling at Ian's work. Bill and the girls loved it, he was even happy to pose with a crayon Jen balanced on his leg (although, check those ears!) How cute is he??!!

I realise it's been a little while since I posted anything with pictures, so here's a couple of bits and pieces I've made lately.

Another pony-tail holder for Jen made from buttons (I've made lots more like these for sale at Craftwerk).

And a finger puppet for one of Jen's friends, made one wet day while we were at camp. Zac described it and chose the colours for it himself.

This isn't exactly crafty - yet! My lovely neighbour has a gorgeous bougainvillea growing against her house and she gave me an enormous bunch of flowers from it about a week ago. Now fhe flowers are dried and ready to go to Playcentre next week to join our natural collage resources. Aren't the colours amazing?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Lazy, lazy, lazy. Just call me lazy.

I've been so lazy these holidays. Ian has been slaving away transforming our garden, with minimal help from me.
The girls have been playing, having friends over, going off to play here and there. We've had a few days away at Sixtus Lodge with our friends from Playcentre. So far, so very good.

I've had such a nice long break from nearly all of the things that fill up my days during term-time - Playcentre, school, work, crafting. I'm not ready for the laziness to be over yet, but I can feel normal life starting to creep back in around the edges. There's cleaning to do at Playcentre, the roster for sessions, admin work. I need to get cracking on some crafting, I'll be participating in Craftwerk in February, and need to build up some stock before then.
And Ian's back at work today, the wind is blowing a gale, it feels almost like autumn. Almost makes me feel like doing some knitting!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Feeling optimistic

There is something about the beginning of a new year that always gives me a feeling of optimism. I sometimes make resolutions for myself, 'tho not just at New Year. Things like spending more time playing with my kids, less time bossing them around. Spending less time worrying about things and more time doing something constructive about them. Anyway this year, I've decided to make only one resolution: I will try to hang on to this feeling of optimism as long as I can.

I'm looking forward to lots of things at the moment, here's a few for January:
• summer weather (it's got to happen some time, right???) • lazing around with Ian and the girls • working in the garden • Helen turning 4 • camping with Playcentre friends • Wellington's Summer Circus festival • getting paid when I start back at work next week • everyone in our family being well again • Bill the cat joining our family • crafting • eating corn on the cob • making Black Doris plum jam ... it all sounds good.

I recently joined the "Use what you have" Flickr group. I love the idea of this, but I know I won't manage it this month. I'm hoping to ease into it this month by buying only the few little bits I absolutely need. I'm applying for a Craftwerk stall at the circus festival and I will need to buy more pin backs in order to finish the items I hope to sell there.

On that note, I should get off here and make a start on the list. Happy New Year!!!