Monday, 4 August 2014

Road Trip knitting

I've a big road trip coming up at the end of the month. I'm beyond excited because I'm going to Knit August Nights. Himself bought me the registration and the classes as a birthday present, so we're all heading down to Napier for a few days. He'll wrangle the two little whirlwinds for the day while I go to classes and buy yarn.

But. There's a lot of driving time. It's about 6 hours each way. I've been working on ways to keep The Whirlwinds busy in the car (more about that later - Pinterest has a lot to answer for!), but now I've realised I need to keep myself occupied too - I'm firmly in passenger mode for road trips, so need to keep my hands busy.

All of which means.... Road Trip Knitting!!

I've always been really bad at planning travel knitting. I either bring something too complicated, or nearly finished, or bring the wrong needles or forget the second colour of yarn. Not this time. I have 3 weeks to plan this.

Any ideas would be gratefully received, but I'm thinking that these are the requirements:

- relatively easy to put down in the middle of the row to deal with The Whirlwinds, look at scenery, navigate
- uses some of my stash
- complicated enough to keep me interested - there's only so many acres of stocking stitch one person can do
- doesn't need lots of notions or different sized needles etc.

I suspect there may need to be a few different projects packed in case I get bored of one.

Off I go to Ravelry to begin my search....

Monday, 28 July 2014

If the hat doesn't fit....

I've been feeling the need to get back blogging again. Possibly due to getting marginally more sleep, and having more free brain power.

But this blog doesn't fit any more. We are pretty much nappy free, and I don't write much any more. But I bake. A lot. And exclusively without dairy or eggs because of Miss C's allergies.

So I think a name change is needed. But inspiration is severely lacking (which doesn't bode well for blog topics, does it?)

I'll do a revamp when inspiration strikes, but in the meantime if anyone feels like throwing a few suggestions my way....

Sunday, 8 April 2012

FO: "You're the Best" Cardigan

Pattern: Summer Days Cardigan (Rav link)
Yarn: Fyberspates Sterling Silver Sparkle Sock

This yarn was bought because of my inability to resist anything that sparkles. It called out to me from the stand at Knit Nation in 2010... and then stayed, unknit in my stash. I couldn't bring myself to knit socks from such a fabulously sparkly yarn, and nothing else suggested itself. So, there it sat in my stash until my Little Whirlwind, who has a similar inability to resist sparkles, spotted it.
"Can you make me something from that, Mummy?".
How could I resist?

But it still remained unknit. I couldn't find the right pattern, or the patterns I did find required more yarn than I had available. Until I found the Summer Days pattern.

I think it was a good match, don't you?

The pattern was tricky to follow in spots, quite a bit of "repeat rows 4, 5 and 3 six times". Easy enough in reality, but when combined with sleep deprivation, I had to resort to a pen and paper every now and then. But it was worth it. It's the perfect cardigan for our weather here at the moment, chilly in the morning and warming up later on.

And the name of my project? Well, when Little Whirlwind saw me knitting with the yarn, she asked if it was for her. When I said yes, her response was: "You're the best, Mum!". Talk about seriously knitworthy...

Saturday, 24 March 2012

The Crafty Girl's Road Trip

In one of my many trips to the local library (I shall wax lyrical about Auckland libraries at a later date - but for the moment we shall just say I adore my local library and visit at least once a week), I discovered this book:

It's brilliant. It gives details of craft shops all around New Zealand - knitting, quilting, scrapbooking. It even includes suggestions for sightseeing and places to eat. 

We do a lot of driving with G's hobby, so it's a great addition to my usual method of spending a couple of hours on google finding out about where we're going and hoping to stumble on a craft shop. 

There's only one problem. It was last updated in 2004. Things have to have changed since then. 

Then the very clever D suggested on twitter that I update it myself. So here is the introduction. As I visit all the places, I'll report back on whether they are still there, or if things have changed. Gives me something to focus on when we're travelling around, and lets you all see the wonderful craft shops around here. 

First up, Hamilton & Cambridge (Part 1)... soon.

And then, I'll have to find my own copy of it. There's only so long I can keep this copy out of the library! 

Friday, 16 March 2012

Blogging on the move...

In an attempt to, you know, actually write blog posts rather than just compose them in my head, I've decided to get a blog app for my phone.

We shall see how it works!

In the meantime, coming up soon (I promise, I promise!), posts on The Crafty Girls Guide to NZ, some FOs, a few fun discoveries, and the long awaited opening of my spinning wheel.

Saturday, 28 January 2012


There's a lot that needs to be blogged. And a lot that happened so long ago that blogging about it seems a little silly now... a baby, packing up a house, shipping two lots of furniture in different directions, Christmas at home, and another move. Some of it I may get back to. But first.... accountability.

Tomorrow we will be hopefully heading to a woollen mills in Rotorua. There will be yarn purchased. So, before I loose the run of myself completely, I'm reminding myself of my stashdown rules and putting them here so that I can be reminded of them if I stray too far from the path. Being finally in the land of merino sheep and what seems like alpacas at every turn, I couldn't commit to a "pure" stashdown of buying no yarn. So... the rules:

Rule 1: One in Two Out: For every ball/skein of yarn purchased, two must leave my stash in some form.
Rule 2: Antipodean Yarn Only: The only yarn I can buy must come from the southern hemisphere. So, in reality, NZ or Australia. Although, on a technicality, I'm leaving myself a little wiggle room here... in case of urgent need for Malabrigo!
Rule 3: Souvenir Yarn Must Be Local: And by that I mean, very local. Farm shops, local mills etc.

Exception 1: Souvenir yarn doesn't have to follow the "One in Two Out" rule, but should at least be bought with a project in mind.

So, there we are. The Rules of Stashdown 2012. Let's see how far I get!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

A bright spot in the week

It has been a  bit of a hard and frustrating week - false labour, back pain and generally feeling the size of a house, combined with missing the Little Whirlwind, who is currently keeping her poor grandparents busy (and worn out).

But there's always a bright spot, and this week it arrived via the postman.

I arrived home one day to find a package sitting on the doorstep, and when I opened it, discovered this package from the lovely Sinead.

There was a half second of "goodness, the baby isn't actually here yet, so should I be opening this" which was followed swiftly by "for goodness sake, the crib is made up in my bedroom and I've bought everything, this is no time to be superstitious". And thank goodness for that, because the contents of the little package really brightened up my week.

Firstly, there was a beautiful handmade card.

And then, the knitting. Oh, the lovely knitting.

A little jacket (and it's so soft and cuddly...)

A bib. When DH saw this he asked me was it not too pretty to actually use. I nearly agree with him - except it's so lovely and soft and cute that it would be a crying shame not to put it to as much use as possible.

And, the final breathtaking piece.

How beautiful is that? It is so soft and delicate. Sinead seems to have unconsciously known that I've been having trouble knitting a 'coming home' hat for this baby. Nothing I cast on seemed to be quite right. Well, I don't need to worry now. What little bundle wouldn't be happy to come home from hospital being kept warm by this?

This is one very lucky baby. And I'm a very lucky and grateful Mum, with a truly lovely knitting friend.

Thank you Sinead.