Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Counting Down to KAN

Napier's getting ready for all those 'Bright Sparks' coming to KAN
Knit August Nights is now just  a few weeks away and I am at that nice place where oodles of swag is starting to arrive and my living room is starting to resemble my office at Skeinz - and even greater dumping ground of knit paraphernalia!  Mother Buscke is arriving next week as my ultimate bag stuffer, sorter & keeper of the peace between the Macdonald boys.

The mysterious Crochet Hairpin
 The best part is opening all these boxes and seeing what interesting and weird and wonderful things there are out there.  One such item from Mike at Arthur Rowe Ltd was a 'Hairpin Crochet Staple'.  Now I admit my crochet skills are rudimentary, but even all my years selling knit & crochet accessories I have not come across such a device.  Looking slightly gynecological in nature (you can tell I'm married to a doctor!), my friend Sapphire & I were quite intrigued by this mysterious 'Hairpin'.  The packaging suggested it was something from the 'retro' collection at Arthur Rowe (I have some FAB-O items from the Retro collection - Thanks again Mike), so I was well and truly stuffed to think what on earth it was for.

Sapphire following "Uncle Google"
Since dear darling Sapphire is a fully blown member of "Gen-I", she took one look at the mysterious 'hairpin' and announces, lets Google it.  And what do you know, it appears that our 'Hairpin' or Crochet Loom as they are now know, are very much alive, well and making a come back on You Tube.  Used to make those long elongated stitches & fringes in crochet, we both then set out with our You Tube to figure out how exactly it worked.  It was great fun, so if you are one of the lucky ones who gets one of these gems in your KAN goody bag, just remember "Uncle Google" has the answer to this mysterious device.

The Epic bedspread
Speaking of crochet, I have finished my epic "Broken Claw" crochet project.  A king sized crocheted bed spread.  It was perfect to keep from going insane and not being able to knit.  The needles are now back out & yesterday was the first day that I was able to knit for any length of time without feeling like my finger was going to drop off.  What I need to do now is figure out how to keep the bulldog off my cream master piece!
Five minutes after it was placed on the bed. Really Renly?!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Surviving School Holidays

Renly giving Mummy the hardcore "wasn't me" face
 With the new clinic & theatre really starting to ramp up the opportunity to get away for the school holidays was not going to happen.  Just as well as the boys were both laid low with nasty colds & the absent Winter finally decided to show up, just in case we forgot what it was all about.

Hugo relishing his 'kid flu' - ipad in bed with mummy at beck and call!
So to get the most out of school holidays, which a not holidays at all for the parents, we worked on separation tactics for the boys - a holiday from each other, of sorts.  It never ceases to amaze me how much better behaved each one of our children are when the other is not present.

Louis Favorite cafe - The Boardwalk here is Ahuriri - he's secretly in love with Olive
With Nana running back up the first week, Hugo went visiting with a number of his friends & Louis having some "big boy" chill time, it was lovely to have some really good QT with each boy.  It has proven to us that it's not the going places that can reap the rewards, but the time put in wherever you are.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


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!