Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Getting geared up for Gays & Strays

Maximus not letting the festive pressure get to him
Since landing back from Chicago it has been go, go, go.  The end of year is like an amazing bottle neck where the pressure of activities, events, & all those tasks that somehow have to be magically completed before Christmas all seem to turn up at once.

Dr. Phil has drawn the Christmas call card this year - so is at Hawkes Bays beck and call if they come a cropper in the eye department - all I have to say is: wear Eye protection & if your eyes are starting to give you greif - see the bloody GP or optom NOW - don't leave it until Christmas Eve!! Ok rant over!!
Max enjoting the beach with his first swim of the season

As usual our place has become the focal gathering point to a vast variety of family & friends.  This year the festivites have been given the title of the Christmas of gays & strays.  My favorite kind!  This means much fun, food & very good wine.

So far my parents are already insitu at 'Chateau Waghorne' with their dog Tui keeping Maximus company during his recovery. Thank you for all the well wishes we have received for Max & he's going very well for such a big boy.  He's now hobbling his way around the block & has shed 13kg's on his diet, we are confident he is going to make a full recovery.

My two Monkeys are counting down to 'sleeps til Santa'

I have even managed to get some knitting in - getting some knitted gifts whipped up for Swedish friend Thomas (the one who flatted with me off & on for years & has made an appearance as a 'Buscke stray' at many a Christmas celebration), who is expecting a baby with his partner in the New Year, a test knit for a designer in Aussie & I have now started on the boys jumpers for next year. I think I might also need to sneek in a swim to stave off the Summer heat too!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It's not a myth - I AM working!

Today was the last day of the conference for Phil & I - we wound up our supplier meetings & whilst Phil completed his last afternoon session I shot up to the nerve centre of Lorna's Laces & met Beth & her team. (see image of freshly skeined yarn from The LL workroom below)
This is so my kind of place, busy, colourful, with yarn, dye, fibre & finished skeins everywhere - yep I felt a little homesick! Thanks to Beth & her team for making me so welcome!
Just a small section of the massive AAO trade show

Monday, November 12, 2012

A pig in muck.....

The last two days have been a frenzy of yarn stores - I have been to five! Everyone has been so incredibly helpful - Thank you to Donna & Vicki at SASI who let me hijack their class, Lyn at Knit 1 who satisfied my Addi fetish & looked after my wallet (long story) & today the lovely Nina of Nina managed to navigate this poor publicly transport challenged kiwi back into the city in the train, even giving me my fare so I would stuff up! You're a star! 

 This gave me time to meet the Vicky at Loopy & highjack yet another class (thanks Barbara). So all in all a very full on couple of days. All is going to be written up in Entangled Magazine - so I hope my photo's do the stores & a fabulous women who own them justice!

Just a hint of Nina's lovliness
Still have a couple of stores to scope out & hope to make it to Lornas Laces as well - this is a very happy 'kiwi yarn piggy'!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Catching a little Jazz...

A visit to Chicago wouldn't be complete with a visit to a Jazz Bar. We caught the early show at Andy's Jazz bar, which was excellent. Just a $10 cover charge for two and a half hours of classic Jazz - Outstanding!
Jazz is Chicago... Chicago is jazz....

Friday, November 9, 2012

Getting our bearings....

After a late arrival, the day has been spent getting our bearings. Dr Phil starts conference number one tomorrow, so after today's rekkie I am all set for some serious retail therapy!

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Spring Garden

My one  only bearded Iris

This afternoon the light was just perfect to capture a few of the gems that now reside my Spring time garden.  Now don't be fooled, I am not a gardener by any stretch of the imagination, I have a very good friend who helps me, select, populate & manage to the best of my very limited abilites.
So this is a small photo montage of what's looking great right now.

A rose I bought back from the brink after we moved in 6 years ago
A stunning perfumed David Austin rose we inherited

One of my new Day Lilies thriving away

Louis 'Escape proofing' Dublin Bay Rose

I have even planted a veg patch!

I also have been knitting this weekend - these two little vests were knocked up in no time at all - an awesome pattern called Felipe by Joji Locatelli.  It's Free via Ravelry & a perfect wee knit for those baby gifts & a great way to use up stray single balls & scraps.  The random yarn is a ball of Noro Silk Garden I bought at KAN:3, the solid Berry is Southlander Rose Bracken from Skeinz & the blue tweed is a Donegal sample I was asked to test knit at work.  These little beauties are for Ivy (one left) & Joseph (on right)
For Ivy & Joseph

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Gizzy Getaway

I will miss her - many happy years spent here.
I have come to the decision that after almost 10 years away it was time to sell my house in Gisborne.  My truly excellent tenants who loved my gracious old girl for twice the time I occupied her have moved on & the time is just right to bid farewell to her & let some other love her as I have.

The grand living & dining rooms
This meant a trip home with Louis & Hugo in tow over the school holidays to start preparations to get the house ready for sale.  I spent the time co-ordinating, titivating & with the help of re-enforcements (aka BFF Nick) gave the house a spruce up with a fresh lick of paint.
The Fitzherbert front garden after a short back & sides

The house goes on the market officially in a couple of weeks - so if you have a hankering to own a gorgeous old Victorian in Gisborne drop my agent Maria a line.

What boy doesn't love a train.
the other good thing about the visit home was the chance to take Louis & Hugo back to the Gisborne A & P Show.  I honestly believe this is one of the best shows in NZ, it's so well done, family friendly & the weather is almost always kind.

Hugo loved his bobbing horse
Louis preferred cars to horses on the MGR
The Boys' had a great time - we did the amusements - which they loved.  Thank goodness they are still happy with rides like the Merry-go-round, heaven help me when they want to start transitioning to something a little more adventurous!!

Fresh off the sticks:

I just love the graduations of colour
 I have finished my first Spectra by Stephen West. Just utterly delighted with the result, these short rows are quite addictive.  I am now working through another short row based test knit & have a couple of babies to knit for, the it will be time to make decisions about Summer holiday knitting!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Cushy Number

Louis sporting my latest cowl
 I have a habit of doing knit projects in clusters (or obsessions - potatoe/potato). This year has been the 'beanie' cluster, then the 'cowl' cluster & now we have the 'cushion' cluster. Now to be fair I have been meaning to replace all my manky cushions with stylish knitted ones for ages, but the recent purchase of a new sofa made the manky old cushions look even mankier - so I have pulled finger & have just completed my third cushion for the collection.

 I know I used the word stylish before - I fear that might me a touch optimistic. I am sure a true dedicated home interior stylinesta would have themes, colours & textures that you would follow to complete a prescribed look. Me, well I am more of a wing & a prayer kinda gal - so my cushions have been inspired by so far: Gorgeous yarn, recycling & necessity.
Simple, Stylish - I hope!
  The first of the 'Cushy Triptych' is a simple garter stitch cushion knitted on the bias. Starting with 2 stitches & then increasing into the first stitch of every row until you have the diameter required & then decreasing by knitting the last two stitches together on each row. The yarn that inspired is a buttery fine micron Merino that you usually don't find in hand knitting yarns, but this Briar Patch Merino is divine & worth hunting out (oh & the 'most experienced knitter' in the quote - 'tis Moi).  It begs to be cuddled, fondled & caressed - so perfect for a cushion.

If you look closely you can see some of the shaping from the original project!
The second foray into the cushion craze came out of a fit of recycling.  I frogged my only UFO project for some time - the Ombre Shrug.  I had completed the back, however the thick & thin nature of the yarn meant when I started frogging the completed front half it caught & snagged, driving me crazy.  So what to do with the completed back portion?  Simple - unravel back to live stitches - knit up some additional length & with some cleaver mattress stitching to disguise ( as best I could) the shaping - voila one re-purposed cushion!

The 'Necessity' Log Cabin - my latest creation

I opted for some vibrant striping on the back

Then there is the 'necessity' cushion.  What creates such urgency that necessitates the creation of this cushion?  Rugby, more importantly, All Black rugby watching.  Have you ever tried knitting during a test match?  The the test match itself - it's not easy, you have to select a project that is a) simple in design, so there is no risk of losing your place when crucial points in the game are being scored. b) a project that can sustain knitting after multiple glasses  of wine. c) a pattern that is easily memorized so no pattern referral is required otherwise distracting you from the game.
With all these factors in mind I dragged out the scraps bag & cast on a log cabin cushion.  The result has been fabulous - so much so I will be entering it into the local A&P Show this year.  So a cushion that has been incredibly successful in fill my necessity, as well as providing me a great level of joy.


I'm really enjoying the little wedges of happiness.
On the sticks at the moment I have finally cast on Spectra by Stephen West.  I have had some Rainbow Kauni burning a hole in my stash since KAN:3 & managed to get the perfect contrast yarn from Skeinz a few weeks later.  So far I am thrilled with the progress & I have even learned a new refinement to the short row technique I was using - so far a very satisfying knit!  If I get it finished in time it could also make the short list as a show entry, assuming of course I don't cast on another cushion!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tree Hugging

One of my favourites - simple, fun, whimsical
I am excited to get behind the Creative Napier Tree Cosy event again this year.  This is where knitters & crocheters 'yarn bomb' the palm trees down Napier's Emerson street.  Last year saw the bright wooly creations capture the hearts & minds of locals & visitors alike.

If you think you's like to whip up a fun tree cosy, it can be something as small (like the collar pictured above) or as large as you like.  The theme this year is HOT - contact me at Skeinz & get knitting!  Cosies go up on the 22nd of September. 
Our Tree Anenome from last year

Time for tea?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Another Year in the KAN

Just wants to make you dive on in!
As you probably have noticed from my silence in the Blog-sphere I have been somewhat preoccupied.  All this is due to the rapid onset of Knit August Nights 3 (KAN:3) which was help this past weekend here in Ahuriri, Napier.  Despite having one of the gloomiest, wettest Winters I can remember here, the weather faeries were smiling & the sun shone for the over 100 participants in this years event.  Dave & his Team at East Pier were again stellar, the tutors amazing, the traders tempting & all my KAN Angels & supporters just simply stunning. 

Vibrant fun in Intro to Felting
I have a full album of images from the weekend on my Flikr account here, but here are some of my favourites.  If you think you would like to take part in KAN next year - mark August 23rd - 25th on your calenders & start saving - or get your bi-annual fix of NZ knitting retreats & attend Unwind in Dunedin in March 2013!
Just some of the knitted delights available at the KAN market
Claudia Kern - one of the vibrant KAN tutors
It's hard to concentrate with views out the window like this.
All of us just immersing us in the delight that is Margaret Stove
Plenty of time to knit, laugh & eat!
Edith & Karen - part of the KAN charity blanket team
Did I mention there was shopping?
Matt happy in his work!
You could even get yourself in a spin at KAN

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ever After Cowl

I have been lucky enough to escape back up to Rarotonga again this Winter escaping the cold back home in Napier. This trip has been very much a knit trip - with copious knitting being completed & even some design work done. I would like to introduce the latest member of the Ever After collection - a simple cowl, great to keep the cold at bay. After Cowl This is a great pattern because its quick to knit up, practical to wear & uses only 2 balls of yarn.
Ever After Cowl - In the Round version

Abbreviations: K1 = Knit one stitch. K2tog = Knit 2 stitches together. yo = Yarn over (take the yarn from the back of your work through to the front & over the needle to knit.)

The pattern is written to fit most.
You will Need:
5mm needles, 100gm of medium weight yarn

Yarn Suggestions: Vintage, Urban or Moondance from

Cast on 120 stitches
Place Marker & join in round making sure not to twist the stitches
Round 1: Knit
Round 2: Purl
Repeat previous two rounds once
Round 1 of pattern: k2tog twice (“yo, k1” 4 times, k2tog 4 times)repeat until last 8 sts, yo, k1 4 times, k2tog twice
Row 2-4: Knit
Repeat the pattern 12 more times (or until length desired)
Work row 1 of the pattern
Next Round 1: Knit
Next Round 2: Purl
Repeat previous two rounds once
Cast off
Make up
You should have a straight edge at the top of the Cowl & a scalloped edge at the bottom. Weave in ends & block if desired.

Ever After Cowl – Two needle version

Cast on 120 stitches
Work 3 rows garter stitch

Row 1 of pattern: k2tog twice (“yo, k1” 4 times, k2tog 4 times)repeat until last 8 sts, yo, k1 4 times, k2tog twice
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: Purl
Repeat the pattern 12 more times (or until length desired)
Work row 1 of the pattern
Next Row: Knit
Work 3 rows garter Stitch
Cast off

Make up
You should have a straight edge at the top of the Cowl & a scalloped edge at the bottom. Weave in ends & sew up side seams. Block if desired.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Little Contemplation

Local Ahuriri photographer Kevin Bridle lives seaside in our sleepy suburb & has the most amazing retro 1960's couch on his front porch.  This couch has become quite famous locally - a place for many to sit ponder & well, contemplate.

Kevin has produced a photography series of 'Contemplation couch' & recently Maximus featured as of the many quirky cast of characters featured. Check out his work & spread the words of contemplation...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Getting KANned

Registrations for KAN are now open & they have been pouring in thick & fast!  If you have missed out on Handmade this weekend in Wellington, but still need a crafty fix this Winter, KAN is for you.  registration for the retreat or individual classes can me made here.
Some pretty girlie beanies for mistress Ella

Isn't she the cutest!
 As for my I have been in the middle of beanie mania - a request to knit a small hat for a friends toddler has turned into an avalance of beanies for friends & family alike. So below is wee gallery of what has flying off my needles in the past few weeks - I have even had time for a wee baby vest!

Soccer Beanie for Em

Super Slouchy Soccer Beanie for Em

Beanie for cuzzie bro Michael
Beanie for me!
Baby Gabriel in his Felipe Vest