Monday, May 25, 2009

Ghosts of Freindships Found.

Christmas 1991 - My Cousin Karen in the white & I'm in red - I was 19
What a funny old couple of weeks it has been. I have re-established contact with three very old friends from high school (here & in the US) in the last few weeks that I haven't heard from in anywhere from eight to nineteen years... Crazy! I am usually not to bad at keeping in touch, let's face it we all get busy, but facing it has exactly what has happened, or Facebook to be more exact. In my former corporate life, when I spent hours each day in front of a computer screen, I would have been fabulous at Facebook. I would have been one of those wall writing, poking, group joining users that was always online. These days I am lucky if I can even get to check my email every day, but the miracle of Facebook & managed to get me reunited with people who have a great deal time invested in my life. It's is establishing a new chapter in my 'Facebook' & I will be very interested in seeing where it takes me.

On the knitty front I am about a third of my way through a basic black tank for me & am concocting a wrap for the daughter of one of the aforementioned old friends, I just I had more minutes in the day to get everything done.... Hmmm I need to get off Facebook & get knitting!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Knitting in Nelson

It's funny what inspires you to pick up the needles & start knitting. I am currently in Nelson with Dr. Phil as he attends a conference. I haven't really been to Nelson before (a flying trip for one hour seven years ago hardly counts), so I have loved being able to explore this very beautiful city.

First priorities were to locate yarn stores. I was in luck, Creations Crafts in Hardy Street was practically spitting distance from our hotel, a small store just overflowing with equipment for most yarn & fibre crafts. Yarn wise they had all the usual suspects, but also a few nice surprises, like the Angora/Merino blend from Aslan Trends. But it was colour that trapped me, I found a boucle in rich paprika & persimmon which screamed "Scarf NOW" & a very bright 4ply blend in limes, reds, oranges & indigo's which I just couldn't resist for my kiddy knitting.

Fortunately I had all my knitting paraphernalia with me, I am whipping off to Christchurch tomorrow for the day to the Knit World knitters weekend, so I was able to scurry back to the hotel with freshly purchased yarn & promptly started casting on a quick scarf to wear at the knitters weekend tomorrow.

Get the Drop Scarf
I used Naturally Yarns Landscape Boucle (10ply, 83m, 50gm, Shade 809)

Using 6mm needles cast on 25 sts loosely

Knit 4 rows

Next: Knit twisting the yarn around the needle 3 times (like a yarn over on steroids)

Next: Knit the first 'stitch' letting the remaining 'sts' (twists) fall off the needle to produce a elongated st.

Next: Repeat the sequence to product the scarf, to the length desired. I am adding tassels, so ensure you have enough yarn remaining to do so. I have knitted two balls into the scarf & used half a ball for tassels.

Also on my yarn finding travels Dr Phil & I headed over to Richmond to do a spot of wine tasting (we're in Nelson, it'd be rude not to) & I sort out the Grape Escape centre on McShanes Road. There is the infamous Cruella's Fibre Boutique ( This is my kind of yarn store, zany passionate owners (with the hair styles to match the name), producing their own yarn & sumptuous colours that you just wanted to eat! Still feeling flush under the glow of Nelson's autumnal splendor & couldn't resist a DK blend of alpaca, silk, mohair & merino in a colour aptly named 'Cocoon Persimmon' - a project has yet to be assigned to this lovely yarn, but I can assure you it won't be in the stash for long. So a big thank you to Nelson for providing such wonderful inspiration

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Warm as Toast

Max contimplates the cooler weather...
Boy has the weather turned! After a little bit of an Indian Summer the week before last, the first few days in May have bought cold southerlies, huge swells (I live by the sea) & much needed, but very chilly rain. The bright side? Guilt free knitting weather!

We packed up Boys', Daddy & Mastiff & made an impromptu visit to Gisborne last weekend to visit my family & some friends. It was lovely to catch up, you don't need good weather to spend time with those you love. It was also nice to have extra sets of eyes on the boys' & to be able to have a good knit up.
I was stoked to get Poppy's sleeping bag finished. It was quite daunting in the end, as I was flying by the seat of my pants, no pattern & mixing two genres (weaving & knitting), what was I thinking! But the final result is one I am very pleased with, best news is it fits her & she now can be toasty warm in the cooler weather.

I also managed to knock out a pair of socks from some Merino/Alpaca/Possum thread waste that came through work. They have made a very warm luscious pair of socks, a Mothers Day present for the wonderful 'Nanny Kitty'. I also started another pair of sock for my own Mum for Mothers Day. I have one completed & the second is cast on.
Hugo Enjoying the new 'Possum' socks
It's a simple two needle pattern that I have cobbled together from various other patterns. It's quick, can easily be sized up or down & if finished well, almost indiscernible from it's 4 needle counterparts. Now I know there will be sock fanatics out there who will be scoffing at me for not knitting socks in their pure form, but honestly I just can't be arsed faffing about with all those needles. I have tried with two circulars & I have to say this method has great merit, a technique I have actually used on my tea cosies, but you can beat two needles for speed. Well that's my excuse & I'm sticking to it!