Thursday, July 3, 2014

Snap!

Makes for a pretty dramatic X-Ray

Sometimes thing happen that tell you you just have to slow down. Like when you get so frustrated & angry at the Call Centre person (Expedia in this case) after having the most frustrating phone call imaginable & in your attempt to clear your anger & frustration you manage to dislocate & break your finger - yes know one of my finer moments I have to admit!
Very, very slow going

The problem with all of this of course for me being a knitter is that my technique is altered & well quite frankly I'm not getting a lot done - poo's!  So here I am, half way down the second sleeve of my current test knit & I am barely managing a dozen or so rounds a day - grrrrr.

Nana getting busy will treats for the KAN Goody bags
So I have had to turn my attentions to other pursuits.  Mum has been with us for the last week or so & she's been helping out with KAN preparations & keeping the house ticking over smoothly as Dr.Phil & I get the new practice up & running.  We have now done our cataract list (complete with me as the one handed hand holder) & Dr. Phil is so excited about getting more schedule very soon.

Nothing lightens the mood like a spot of 'Bench Dancing'
So the moral of this story is, I am taking this time to slow down, with KAN just around the corner I can afford to break anymore limbs & also using the time to enjoy all those crazy fun moments - like those incredible little men that give us so much joy.

Friday, June 13, 2014

On the Move...

Louis was thrilled we built him an operating theatre to pop jumbo bubble wrap in!
This week has signaled a milestone in the MacBuscke household.  Dr. Phil & I have been working away for several years on setting up larger premises for our ophthalmic practice.  It has meant finding just the right location and making alterations to house Napier Eye & from next month BEST - Bay Elective Surgical Theatre.
Now open for business at 2 Lamason Street, Greenmeadows
It's a small bespoke day stay theatre so we are able to take care of all our surgical needs in house: Cataracts, Plastic Surgery & therapeutic laser procedures will now all be done under one roof in Napier.

The Trademen's shout.
My last 6 months has been a blur of site meetings, tradesmen & suppliers, and today we finally received that all of important Code of Compliance - so come Monday, we're operational.  I'm delighted as now I get my focus back on Knit August Nights with less than 3 months until the event I have much to do.

Louis decorating his Minecraft birthday cake.
It's also been birthday time for Louis.  Of course he's been quite excited by "finally being a big boy" and had a series of play dates to mark the big occasion. In typical Louis fashion I received very specific instructions on how the weekend was to pan out, right down to him insisting on decorating his own birthday cake. He had a blast!
The Poplar Cowl complete in Silver Lining
In my last post I mentioned my flurry of pattern testing I have been doing for some independent designers.  That is still continuing with an embargoed test I am currently working on, but I have also found time to drift across to 'other side' and do a little crochet to mix things up a little.

The very retro & colourful crocheted blanket
Using up the collection of one, two and part balls I had accumulated with my recent knitting, I crocheted a very retro, giant granny square blanket.  I really enjoy doing a crochet project to break things up & a simple, classical design like this never ages.  It has me looking for other scraps & doing something with them or even resurrecting the 'scrumble' bag & using crochet to complete what was started in there over 8 years ago!

Patsy get's the last word.  "The Blankets Mine"

Monday, May 26, 2014

Testing Times.

The boys enjoying an Autumnal walk at Pakowhai
Whew! What a month.  It all started with the registrations for KAN opening, and I have to thank all of you who have been so supportive in making your registration.  This year has seen unprecedented numbers, so I am super excited in seeing friends old & meeting friends new.  Along with the KAN registrations opening was a new KAN website, a much better reflection of the vent & the personality of how I approach the knit business.
Some stunning urban knitting in Rotorua
It was great to get away to Rotorua whilst Dr. Phil was on conference to be able to take the boys for a wee mini break.  Rotorua is the ultimate family destination.  So much to do and see, a chance to relax and knit & have a good hot soak.
The boys love nothing more than a good soaking.
With the cooler weather well on the way I have also been getting plenty of knitting done.  I am a reluctant test knitter.  It's not that I'm not capable, but I'm not good at knitting to deadlines.  This month however I found myself in between projects as I wait for some yarn to arrive through the mill for Dr. Phil Winter project, so I thought I would knit for Louis #1 best friend Luijin.

Luijin in his Kelpie Vest
That sent me on the hunt for a vest, which is when I stumbled across a gem from Recbecca Newman (Ravelry ID tinylovely) called Kelpie. She was in the final develop stage & needed testers.  It was using multiple yarn weights, including 12ply, perfect for the vibrant Olive I had selected for Luijin.  It was thoroughly enjoyable working through the process & being able to tweak & help Rebecca add the final touches to her lovely design.  If you need a vest which will suit a variety of yarns for a variety of ages - you can purchase it here.
The Poplar Cowl in Heritage Silver Lining DK
After completing Kelpie I felt quite virtuous, I was enjoying this testing business, so i went on the hunt for another test project.  The next victim in the MacBuscke sites was the Poplar Cowl from Julia Stanfied (Ravelry ID justonewip). An extension to her Polar collection, this cowl again fit the MacBuscke bill:  Multiple yarn weights, variety of sizes.  I was on the hunt for a quick cowl for Texas & I was also itching to test our new Silver Lining yarn (which is the yarn I am waiting for Dr, Phil).  So I have completed two cowls, one in the super fast, super squishy Texas & the second in the lush Heritage Silver Lining.

A quick scraps blanket to keep the fingers busy!
Which then left me with yet another void - so to be good I have started to crochet up all the scraps left over by recent projects into a giant granny square.  It's been nice to sharpen up the crochet skill & change up the project list.  This blanket is well on the way to being completed & I hope I can cast on Dr Phil's new vest soon - haven't designed it yet, but I will!
Renly gets the last word.....

Thursday, May 1, 2014

KAN Registrations NOW OPEN!

Registrations for KAN 2014 
Are Now Open!
You can register for this years event here.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Autumn Adventure

Easter Sunday at Whitianga Marina
This years school holidays threw together that magical combination of two consecutive long weekends in the first week with just 3 work days in between. The perfect opportunity for Dr.Phil, myself & the boys to head away on a wee Autumn adventure, firstly to Whitianga & then up to Whangaparoa for the boys to see Granny Ruth & for us to catch up with friends in Kumeu.
Hugo making the most of the spa at the Marina Park Apartments
Family holidays are funny beasts, especially with our two rambunctious boys.  It's finding somewhere with a mixture a wet & dry activities, plus enough variation for Mum & Dad to also have a chance to unwind. I would love to say Whitianga filled all those check boxes, but unfortunately it didn't.  It's a truly beautiful spot that would have been ideal for just us, but activities for two primary aged boys were sadly limited.
Louis soaking up the local colour at Coroglen
Even the enjoying the natural splendour was an arse ache, trying & failing three times to get to Cathedral Cove by excessive traffic & being unable to find a park within kilometeres of the start point.  What we did become very good at was learning how to queue or how to avoid them.  So we grabbed the chance to enjoy gems like the Coroglen Farmers Market & the Whitianga Art & Craft Market.
Naiadia from Martina Behm - Almost finished!

The inclement weather also meant that much knitting was done, I am almost through the most beautiful shawl called Naiada from my favourite designer Martina Behm.  It's using from black Merino Cashmere that has been lurking in the back of my stash for about 7 or 8 years.  It's funny that I have all these brightly coloured accessories, but nothing in black & it's a colour I wear so often. It felt good to redress this balance!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cranking Along into KAN

One of the Colour Classes offered at KAN:4
I am so excited about KAN this year!  Forward interest in the event has been HUGE,  I have an awesome array of classes & some excellent tutors to teach them.  I have added an extra class to each stream & have doubled the class space.  I'm sure you'll agree the quality of what is on offer this year is outstanding.

If you haven't attended KAN before, or haven't been back for a long time - this is the year!

Here is the class list for this year - I am publishing these now to help you in your planning.  Registrations will be opening in a couple of weeks.

Stream One - Friday 29th
Knitwear Design – 3 Hours
Wrangling yarn and needles in the pursuit of your own creations

Learn steps you can take to work through creating an original item. Identify key information you need to record when working on a design. Learn how to get inspired and how to focus your ideas to realise a finished product. Explore ways to record all your ideas so you don't "loose" them when working on other things. We'll look at ways to gain new inspiration and the benefits of revisiting old ideas with fresh eyes.
This class assumes you are a competent knitter who understands basic knitwear construction. It's aimed at a knitter who wants assistance with focus and process in order to realise your ideas into designs. It won't teach specific technical skills, rather it gives you the framework to be a productive designer.

Teacher: Morag McKenzie

Secret Codes and Clever Tricks – 3 Hours
 This is a class for new lace knitters who need a spell to help unravel those lace charts.  Common stitches used in lace; choosing patterns; keeping on track with stitch markers and lifelines and making it all look beautiful with blocking.
Suitable for beginner lace knitters, this class assumes you are confident with basic knitting skills.
Teacher: Sue Schreuder

Kaffe Fassett’s Persian Poppies – 3 Hours
 You will never look at colour in your knitting the same way again. This workshop will be for knitters who are interested in sharpening their colour observation in design. Participants should know how to knit and purl – only the basic stocking stitch will be used in the workshop. This course inspires knitters to sharpen their observation of colour by working with a range of light and dark colours in contrasting tones to create the ever popular Persian Poppies design by Kaffe Fassett. The experience gained should give knitters the confidence to use their own personal colour scheme in any of their own designs in the future.
Teacher: James Herbison

Introduction to Crochet – 3 Hours
 This class was so popular last year & I have had so many requests to repeat it again for this year, making it bigger & better! Learn the basics of Crochet, the base stitches & see how those few stitches can open up an entire new world. This is the perfect class for the absolute beginner or people who haven’t had a hook in their hands for many, many years. I promise you Sofia will have you truly hooked after 3 hours!
Teacher: Sofia Moers

Stream Two - Saturday 30th
Master Class Techniques – 3 Hours
 Refine your knitting with these top 10 techniques, including crochet cast-on (for standard and provisional purposes), 1-row buttonholes, picking up stitches neatly, increases and decreases and where to use them, grafting, crochet cast off, adding buttons as you knit, and integrated i-cord edges.  This class is like your ultimate knitting skills toolbox!
Suitable for intermediate knitters & Beyond
Teacher: Nanette Cormack

Drop Spindling for Beginners – 3 Hours
 In this class students will learn the basics of spinning yarn on a drop spindle. Learn to draft fibre and identify the direction of twist. We will be using prepared top in this class – but the possibilities are endless. Once you grasp the fundamental rules you can spin almost anything.
Suitable for beginners, this class assumes no prior knowledge.
Teacher: Frances Stachl

Web Knitting – Demystifying Knitting and the Internet – 90 minutes
This is a class is perfect for anyone who has wanted to tap into those unlimited resources on the internet, but just didn’t know where to start.  Sue will introduce you to Ravelry (trust me you’ll be hooked!), teach you how is access a myriad of patterns, online help & tutorial videos.  Much of this for free – by the end of the session you will have the knowledge to save hundreds of dollars on information so you can spend on more amazing yarn!
Suitable for anyone.  Must have basic knowledge of how to access the internet.  Feel free to BYO device
Teacher: Sue Schreuder

No Need to Get Short with it! Short Row Blast Class – 90 minutes
 Short Row techniques have revolutionised design in modern knitting.  Justine will help guide you through the short row basic’s to help create flawless shaping in your own designs or knit modern designs with ease & confidence.
Suitable for advanced beginners & beyond.  Needs to be confident in basic knitting stitches.
Teacher: Justine Turner

Knitting Limbo! Get into the Grasp of Arm Knitting – 90 minutes
 Catch onto to the biggest craze in knitting – Arm knitting.  In this class you will learn this amazingly simple technique & will have a completed project at the end.  Arm knitting is easy, quick and fun.  This is an excellent mother/daughter class.
Suitable for beginner knitters & beyond – you must have two arms!
Teacher: Nanette Cormack

Knit Photography with Stitch Seekers – 90 Minutes
 This class will give you the basic solid photographic foundations to make sure you can photograph your knitting for Ravelry, pattern publishing, blogs or your own enjoyment & feel proud of the results.  Regardless of whether you are using an expensive camera, compact or even smart phone, Deb & Rhiannon will provide you with tips & hints that will give you that professional look to your images.
Suitable for everyone onwards – you must have a working knowledge of your own photographic device.  BYO Device recommended.
Teacher: Deborah Moore & Rhiannon McCullouch

Stream Three - Saturday 30th
Publishing Patterns – 3 Hours
How to get your original notions onto paper, into saleable form and out into the world
So you're full of ideas, you've knit your own creations and now you are ready to take the next step and share your work with the world. This class examines how to go about becoming a published knitwear designer. You'll learn how to write your patterns in a helpful, clear and professional way. Examine steps you can take to assure the quality of what you are producing. You'll learn how to publish a pattern electronically and in print and how to find opportunities for submissions to magazines and books.

This class assumes you are a technically proficient knitter who has created your own designs. It aims to give the skills needed to share your work professionally. The class will discuss skills and techniques in computer software - it will be significantly advantageous to be comfortable with computing.
Teacher: Morag McKenzie

Knit With Beads - 3 Hours
This class will teach you two different techniques of bead knitting, how to easily string your beads on to the yarn, how to create patterns and you will walk away with a beautiful bead-knitted brooch.  This class was a hit at Unwind, it is great fun.
Suitable for intermediate level knitters, students need to be confident with basic knitting skills.
Teacher: Helene Dehmer

Colour work ON your Knitting – 3 hours
Roositud Inlay and Swiss Darning Embroidery Techniques
Add colour and interest to your knitting with knitted-in relief motifs, or work an embroidered pattern using techniques easier than stranded knitting.
Roositud is ‘”embroidering while knitting”. This Estonian inlay technique results in a geometric pattern that looks similar to embroidery. The roositud technique allows the knitter freedom to place a motif anywhere and to use as many colors as desired.

Swiss Darning or Duplicate stitch is embroidery on finished knitwear following charted designs. Many colourwork patterns use this in conjunction with other techniques to achieve stunning results.
Both techniques use charted designs – one is knitted in, the other is applied after.
Suitable for intermediate level knitters, students need to be confident with basic skills.
Teacher: Susan Hagedorn

Helical Knitting & Super Stripes – 3 Hours
Helical knitting- exploring continuous (truly jogless) stripes, and using it as a technique for blending hand painted yarn skeins.  This technique is great if you love working with hand painted or hand spun yarns. It will help improve your colour work for any projects worked in the round.
Suitable for intermediate level knitters, students need to be able to knit in the round.
Teacher: Jessicah Win

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Path Least Travelled.


Brando this morning when I dropped him off at Clifton Beach
Working for Skeinz, being 'accidental environmentalists' has meant we have crossed paths with some pretty inspiring people. One such person is Brando Yelavich.  This young Aucklander is well set on becoming the first person to completely circumnavigate New Zealand by it's coastline.

Brando with his two HB walking companions at the tip of Cape Kidnappers
Brando's journey stared last February at Cape Rienga & has taken him down the West Coast of the North Island, all the South Island (including the wild West Coast in the middle of Winter!) & yesterday I picked him up from Clifton Beach, on the Napier side of Cape Kidnappers.  For the two nights & day it will take him to walk the Napier stretch of Hawkes Bay, my family & I have had the extreme pleasure of having Brando in our home.
Just another of the breathtaking views at this stage of his journey
It is refreshing to meet such a bewitching & inspirational young man.  Brando is the definition of a global thinker.  His epic journey has given him a unique & personal experience with the grandeur, yet delicate nature of our NZ coastline, all whilst exuding the classic relaxed kiwi 'can do' attitude.
How could you resist these eyes!
As a sufferer of both ADHD & Dyslexia, Brando struggled within the conventional confines of education & started down some pretty 'rough' paths, but the true grit of this young man showed through when he decided to "clear his head & his life".  He said to my husband & I last night that if he was going to make a change, it may as well have been a BIG one!  Brando is a real "shoot for the stars" man.  He's hoping the experiences gained through this journey in his own "Coastal University" will help his future career prospects.  I have no doubt they will, his engaging personality, communication skills, sheer grit & determination & the ability to just get on with the job, will make him an asset to organisation lucky enough to snap him up once his odyssey is over.
Simply Stunning
With all this being said, Brando is still finding time to give back.  He's been fundraising for all three Ronald McDonald houses in NZ.  These are havens for families who have sick children, who need somewhere to stay whilst their loved ones are having treatment in one of the Tertiary medical hospitals in Auckland, Wellington & Christchurch.  So far he's exceeded his $10,000 goal, not surprising having met him.

My son's just engrossed in the photo's of his last few days
So - Thank You Brando for spreading your infectious spirit in our house.
If you want to Support Brando - click here to donate.
Want to follow Brando on his exploits - Click here.
But most importantly SHARE Brando's message with your own social media networks - spread the Brando spirit!