Monday, August 31, 2009

Green Machine

Speights Supervises the Growth Plan

I have to confess that I am not much of a gardener. When you are so time poor, gardening was something that seemed to cease. The current garden is one that has been designed by survival. If it lives after minimal watering, weeding & tending after a vicious Summer, it gets to stay, if it doesn't, well it's dead anyway. In my first house in Gisborne, my then partner was very green fingered, and the thought of a cottage garden was quite appealing to a first time home owner. It was also helped by the fact that it was designed & planted by a professional, so was pretty low maintenance.

My First Crop

My one area of 'greenie' tendencies flourishes with vegetable gardens. I love to cook, I love to eat & I really love to cook & eat things I have grown. My father is prodigious vegetable gardener. He has multiple plots & produces enough veg across the year to feed a small African nation, even though there is just him & Mum at home. He has instilled a strong sense of the importance & pleasure of deriving food from the land. So earlier this year I might have mentioned that I had a raised garden bed built & in May Ross (my Dad) helped me get it started. The one major challenge we have had comes in the form of a 105kg K-9 who seems to think my veg plot also doubles as a mastiff bone depositary. After many weeks, tears & canine adjustments we now have a good crop of celery, parsley, salad greens & even a few brassica's survived the oversized paws.

The 'grow the Cucumber in the bag of compost' technique.

With Spring starting tomorrow; tomato's, basil, a courgette & cucumber have joined the ranks. More importantly I am going to have my first attempt at spuds. These are grown in a purpose built 'potato bag' so should be safe from 'you know who'. Ahhh I can taste the results now - Move over River Cottage the Waghorne wonder patch is well on it's way!

Meanwhile.... My niece's shrug is almost done, steady progress has been made on my tie front cardi & in return for helping out my veg patch I am going to do a work vest for Ross.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Off & Racing now....

The big news in our house this week has been that Hugo took & first steps. It has been amazing to watch, he's a tall boy & has not shown much inclination to walk until this last month. I haven't been encouraging him to walk, having one racing around was enough for me, but I have to admit & I had to patch one more pair of pants with worn knees I would scream.

So there it was, in Gisborne for the weekend, his first few stumbling steps. By Monday he was walking a dozen steps or more & just a couple of days later he was walking like an office slapper after half a bottle of wine at Friday night drinks!

He's so pleased with himself. But like any great steps forward, come great risks. In a week we have knocked up an impressive list of bumps & bruises, but he still keeps smiling. The one flip side of all is walking for me is how exhausting it is for him. He has been falling asleep longer & deeper than usual, absolutely pooped by his new biped status. This week has been a great week, a week that makes all those difficult ones as a parent worthwhile.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Fresh Start

Max Enjoying the First Rays of Spring Sunshine
What a month! I have to say the first signs of spring have been very welcome in this house. The cloud of Swine Flu have meant great paranoia when the boys' got sick with nasty chesty coughs, Dr. Phil too had been under the weather & to top it all off our computer hard drive completely crapped itself, just as I sat down to do all the monthly accounts & GST!

This week however has seen glorious weather, happier boys' (and Dr. Phil), and a computer which is now on the mend, plus a brand new rig, just for me, is now at home.

The first few rows started on a new tie front cardy for me...

I have also finished a couple of projects, plus cast on a few more with yarn I have been itching to knit up for ages. Yep things are definitely on the improve.

Changes are also afoot at work. We have changed our name at the shop from 'The Knitter Factory Shop' to 'Skeinz', the shop has had a make over, freshened up with new paint, yarn display cabinets, flooring and some extra space & a new website is under construction so people outside of Hawkes Bay can get the advantage of the value that buying from a manufacturer can provide.
It's been exciting watching the transformation take place & also getting my teeth into formalising our range to stock in both the online & retail store. We have new designs to be launched for our organic Forever Green yarn, Justine from Just Jussi ( has created some stunning garments, which are about to be photographed with a real live baby, a first for us - I can't wait! I will keep you posted when the new site goes live...