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!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Inspiration Station

It's so hard not to take ALL if it hone - Unwind 2014
What I love about this time of the year is that I can really start getting my teeth into all the fibrous projects I have lined up for the Winter.  It all kicks off with attending the Unwind Fibrecraft retreat in Dunedin.  This year it also coincided with my birthday, so I had double the fun.

I certainly Kept Calm & knitted on! - Unwind 2014
Unwind is the mental switching point for me being 6 months out from Knit August Nights. I get to catch up with tutors and traders and try to coerce them to return to Napier for their Winter knit fix.  It also give me a weekend of concentrated knitting to start projects for myself & the kids.
Simply Stunning - Unwind 2014
In true Louis fashion, he has not disappointed me in his very exactly requirements for his Winter jumper.  This year he has requested a hooded vest, the first time he has ever deviated from his perennial favourite, the Milo vest.  I am happy to oblige & with some careful adjustments am hopeful in coming up with something suitable.  I had some yarn put aside which I thought would be perfect - it was a random print with his prerequisite yellow content.  When I showed it to him, smug in my choice, he looked down his nose at it & deemed it 'adequate', but really he should be making his own choice.

What I thought was a dead cert winner - I was so wrong!
With hopes crushed I let him loose in the stash cupboard where he selected the most violently bright Hot Pink/Yellow/Neon Orange yarn. Fortunately I didn't have enough, but that didn't deter him.  This yarn was sign for torment, so I scrambled & had the epiphany to show him Byron Bay from the new 10ply random range at work.

Saved by Byron Bay
Fortunately it worked - "Hmmmm Mummy, that is ok" he approved of the bright parrot like colours & consented to me casting on.  Now I just have to go through the exercise again with very fashion conscience Hugo - Wish me luck!

But honestly - how can you say no to this gorgeous wee man.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Chasing Rainbows

Just another picture perfect evening over Ahuriri
 I can't believe it's been over a month since I have posted - woeful!  I could waffle on with excuse of how busy I have been (all true by the way), but I won't.  What I am most pleased about is that 2014 is proving to be vastly better than it's predecessor for the MacBuscke family, so life is good.

Renly taking time to recover from his sore paw last month
In fact a few milestones have been reached.  Renly Baretheon - Bulldog, turned one late in January.  He has certainly lived up to his Royal moniker, strutting around with as much gravitas as he can muster, even when he a sore paw.
Not a bad wee steak cooked for our anniversary dinner
Dr. Phil & I celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary.  I can't quite fathom where the decade has evaporated to, but 10 years, two businesses, two children & two pets later here we are.

Louis 'helping' with the painting of the new school mural
The start back to school has also bee excellent for both boy's.  Louis has finally found his groove with school and is the happiest we have seen him for a very long time.  All the hard work done by the school around understand Louis autism & it's associated friends has now meant we are all having a more relaxed time & my visits to the Principals office are now purely social.  Hugo on the other hand just loves all the social elements that school has to offer.  Being the arbiter of Hugo's social calender is a full time job & if he had his way he'd have play overs every afternoon & with sleep overs every weekend!

The cardigan for me is done in this fabulous blue.
I have been keeping the needles pretty busy the last few months.  I have just finished a cardigan for me for the winter in the most fabulous jewel blue & yesterday say the first of the knitting for the boys teachers completed.
The Ever After Cowl I have done for Hugo's teacher Ruby
This weekend I am at Unwind in Dunedin, so I have to finalise what knitting to take down south. I need to find that perfect combination of project - one that can be done whilst vast amounts of talking is taking place, and imbibing done.  Trust me, this is a much greater challenge than it sounds!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Summer Lovin'

The view from our tent - Wainui Beach, Gisborne
It has been really nice to have that peaceful easy holiday feeling for most of this month.  There is nothing like the restorative value of having friends & family around to help relax & unwind.  The Nigella Inspired 'Gays & Strays' Christmas day was a huge success with excellent company, some stunning food & even better wines consumed.  The boys had a wonderful time, being spoiled rotten of course.

Just a snippet of the Italian fare from Christmas day
Then just as the dishes got dry we packed up & headed north to my brothers in Gisborne.  His place on the beach at Wainui - dubbed 'Stu's Bar & Grill' - is about as quintessentially kiwi as it gets.  With us tenting on the lawn, kids everywhere, copious amounts of sunshine, surf & great company.  Every night the boys (including Dr. Phil & Renly) collapsed into their bed exhausted.

Camp Wainui on New Years Day
It's weird returning to Gisborne now after so long away.  I just loved being back, but for the first time I didn't feel like I was heading 'home', but travelling to see those that I love & miss.

A selection of some of the Hihi whites from 2013
One of those friends i caught up with was Andy Nimmo from Hihi wines.  I have known Andy for pretty much as long as he has been in Gisborne & have followed the development of Hihi keenly.  Dr. Phil & I went out for a tasting of the 2013 white which have just been released & they are simply stunning.  If you are looking to try something different then Andy's your man.  Like me, he has a keen interest in aromatic & varetal wines.

This is my idea of  'camp cooking' - Paella Waipatiki style!
His whites this year include Gold medal winning Pinot Gris & Viognier, as well as his lush Gisborne Gewurztraminer & the fabulous Albrarino.  the latter being a wine & especially fell in love with over the holidays as it is the perfect wine to match paella - something I got right into as the paella pan was my Christmas pressie from Dr Phil & the boys.

Waipatiki famous Redwood walk - Hugo was looking for Ewoks!
After the Gisborne sojourn was over we had a few days at home to resupply then headed up the road to Waipatiki for our annual week camping there.  I love this week as it was a real kick back & blob week for us all.  The boys had a great time making new friends around the campsite & I even ran into an old friend that I hadn't seen for the best part of 20 years - brilliant!

My first project for 2014 - Brickless by Martina behm
I also got a little bit of knitting done - not as much as in previous years, but I completed my homespun Brickless scarf.  It was so nice to see the development of the graduations of colour of this yarn.  I am now trying to get inspired into my first big 'me' project for the year & I also have slated something for Dr. Phil.  I just need to get cast on & moving!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

We Love You Nigella!

Planning got underway in earnest this week for the Gays & Strays Christmas 2013 at chateaux MacBuscke.  So the inevitable phone call from Mr. Nick (Gay husband) of "What have you got arranged for the menu my dear?" this week forced me to pull finger beyond the ham that one of the other guests is to bring.
Monkfish wrapped in Prosciutto
Relaxed casual Christmas dining is certainly not our style, so of course some more dedicated thought was needed to go into what we are doing.  Inspiration took the guise 'Viva Nigella Italia' . Mr. Nick has a new job with an Italian Premium Ice Cream & Gelato company & was supplying frozen confections & I have been so appalled at the dirty tricks Charles Saatchi has been playing on his delicious ex-wife Nigella Lawson, who I just adore, I felt the need to support our sexy sister & do Nigella this Christmas!
This has made the dessert short list
This has been made easier by the fact my lovely mother in law gave me Nigellissma last year for Christmas.  So a coffee & scan through this lovely book & I am now feel very zen about festive preparations.  Fresh lemony seafood with capers, herbs, freshness for the starters, the Ham with sides from the book, fresh Summer berries & Italian Gelato for puds & oozing stinky Gorgonzola to finish - sorted!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Light at the end of the tunnel.

The stunning sunset left after days of rain - breathtaking.
Today is 11/12/13 - a smart set of numbers.  It's just 14 days until the fat bloke in the red suit shows up and 21 days until we meet 2014.  For me I can't wait.  I'm not usually superstitious but 2013 has been a pig of a year for family MacBuscke.  It has been a year where we have seemed to lurch from loss, disaster, shock, stress, back to loss all with little recovery time in between.  So I have decided to look towards that light at the end of the tunnel and make sure I embrace and enjoy all the good things that have transpired & about to transpire.
My Bro's front yarn - just picture our tent right there...
This Summer marks the first year that I am having a significant amount of time off - 20 entire days.  I have books selected, knitting sorted and am really looking forward to getting Louis & Hugo reconnected with their cousins & extended family.  As you can see from my brothers front yard, where we will be spending some time, the surroundings just scream 'unwind woman!'

How can you just NOT fall in love with this face!
It will also be Renly's first family holiday.  After Max's passing I had a hole in my heart you could have driven a Mack truck through.  The Big dog left a big hole.  However his regal highness Lord Renly Baratheon has been working diligently into securing himself in our affections - he's succeeded.  What he lacks in Max's stature, he certainly makes up for in personality.
Just Hangin' and Fangin'
His kennel name was 'Bubbles' & that very much describes his personality.  He fits right into the testosterone charged nature of our household & the boys just adore him - Thank you Renly for always making me smile, even when you're pissed me off (like just prior to this picture being taken, he was caught out digging up my veg patch - this is him sucking up!).
Like any brothers they have highs and low - but this just sums up what they mean to each other.
Speaking of the boys', they are so amped for the holiday season.  Hugo has revised his Christmas 'sleeps' countdown to include a 'Visiting Nina' (my brothers daughter) sleeps countdown, a school holidays sleeps countdown & is fervent working on his 'play over' calender with all this friends.
Hugo dressed & ready for a school theme day
It's been a big year for Hugo - he started Port Ahuriri school & has just taken it to it like a duck to water - he LOVES it.  He's our social butterfly, I can see our house becoming the centre of all boys' social activities - he takes after his Uncles that's for sure!
Louis gets huge pleasure in showing off his work
Louis year has somewhat mirrored mine - but like me, he too is seeing some light at the end of his tunnel.  After his Autism diagnosis, and all the change & treatment associated with that, for the first time Louis is able to get some real clarity around the things he loves.  He's quite the class clown, always making his classmates laugh with his character voices & has developed a real talent for drawing and art.  I am now so much more confident for what the future holds for Louis - especially when I seen him smile.
A glimpse at what my immediate future holds....
As for Dr. Phil & I - relaxation is going to be the first priority.  We are looking forward to having family & our cherished collection of gays & Strays for Christmas Day the recharging the exhausted batteries & having some time to regroup before all the changes planned for 2014.