Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A bach by the sea

We had a lovely time at Waitarere Beach, in a bach (seaside holiday home) big enough for two families of three.

Expecting foul weather, we packed warm clothes, raincoats and enough board games to hold a convention.

But there was plenty of sun, enough to allow trips to the beach itself, walks to the playgound, and outside play on the back lawn. TLM and her friend had a go too.

There were swelter-y moments which convinced me to forget about propriety and just roll up my jeans and sleeves and show the world my manly hiking shoes - just for the sake of getting some airflow about the limbs.

I have no photos, alas. Because we were all there to relax and I was just too relaxed to get out my phone and take any.

I did learn something though. I learned that if I leave my fully-charged phone on for two days without using it at all (except maybe twice to check the time), it will go utterly flat.

An experiment with pattern-printed yarn

I saw pictures of Naturally Loyal Pattern Prints yarn in the Knit World catalogue and decided it was time to try it out. I've been interested in the idea of pre-printed yarns ever since Sirdar Crofter came out. The pink edging is a completely different yarn though.

Unfortunately I am not meticulous enough to knit two mitts which are the same size as each other - but they do fit my wrists and one day I will remember to wear them whilst knitting or typing (as a defence against OOS).

So what do you think? Is it worth trying again with something bigger? (I'm thinking no)

Slightly more detail on Ravelry.

The yellow peril

I finished my Rosemary cardigan which is, in fact, mustard.
I'm quite please with it, apart from the fact that the top button has a tendency to undo itself. It's no biggie, but a bit annoying when it happens.

I've worn it a few times already, during our hot 'n' cold autumn, and people seem to like it as much as I do.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Long tops made of very thin fabric

There's something I have learned to look out for, and that's when I'm thinking of buying a tunic-length top in one of those lovely sheer print fabrics, to wear over jeans.

For Gawd's sake take a good walk around in it before you buy it! Because if it's a few centimetres too long, that super-drapey fabric will somehow work it's way into that area between your legs and become a camel-toe flag!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

I made a shawl

When I told the boy that I was thinking of knitting a shawl, he muttered something about rocking chairs and walking sticks. No surprise there, since that would be the expected response from anyone who isn't a knitter (donnasoowho, I'm looking at you).

Maybe he thought I should be more productively spending my knitting time on his surf pullover.

But I started my shawl, and wasn't able to put down until it was all finished and needed nothing more than a blocking.

And now it's finished. For your information, I intend to wear it around me like a big scarf - not like an old-lady shawl (which only the young and hip, or the old and hip-replaced,  could get away with).

Slightly more detail on Ravelry.

Help - caterpillars are killing our swan plant!

This summer we got a much bigger swan plant than the one we had last year, then covered it in plastic mesh to discourage monarch butterflies from laying eggs on it until it was nice and big.

By the time I removed the mesh, the plant had doubled in size and - to my surprise - there was already a fat caterpillar there.

Not long after that caterpillar went through its cycle and left the nest, about a billion tiny new caterpillars appeared! (More like about 20 - but still a lot).

And now they have devastated our plant. I tried laying bits of pumpkin about because my hairdresser say they liked it, but that's had very little effect.

I just hope they'll hurry up and make like a chrysalis already, before every single leave is chomped.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

"It's easy" he said...

"...just press the top of the crack to turn it on or off, and press the bottom of the crack to get the disk out".

The boy has been trying to teach me how to use the new Playstation console, which he has hooked up to the telly so that we can play Blue Ray DVDs on it.

I'll freely admit that I'm not the geekiest person around, nor am I a total Luddite. What I am, is someone who suspects that someone is designing gear that makes us non-geeks look like utter fools.

Like, why the hell would you design a console with no visible buttons, unless it was clever enough to hear us tell it what to do?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Fingerless mitts for over-knitters and computer-bound folks

I made these for a work friend, who has OOS from too much computer use.

I'm always on the verge of OOS myself, because I spend all day on a computer and all my spare time knitting.  So I thought I'd make her these. She'll probably find them too warm though, because she lives in balmy Auckland.

The pattern is by kiwiyarns knits.


TLM knows how to relax, alright. As soon as she gets home, she takes off her socks and leaves them on the living room rug for as long as it takes for me or the boy to get sick of accidentally treading on them.

Sometimes it takes all evening. I just refuse to pick up other people's socks.

I guess I should be glad she has stopped taking off her leggings as well.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Is it that time of year/her life already?

Easter is a couple of months away, but - having looked at a couple of holiday accommodation websites - it seems that a lot of well-organised folk have already decided where they are going for the long Easter weekend.

At first it was looking quite desperate (bringing to mind our last-ditch attempt to book a weekend by the beach last summer, only to end up in a place absolutely miles away and with a terribly uncomfortable bed - though everything else about the place was fine).

But then I realised that it's just the places on one particular website which are all going fast. If I picked a less popular site there seemed to be more availability. So there is hope for fun in the sun with our favourite family-to-holiday-with.

The other thing I've been busy thinking about is the retirement village which my mum wants to move into. She's probably got in mind one of those one-two bedroom independent apartments which pretty much leave the resident up to their own devices (possibly even cooking odorous foods). She was looking at those a couple of years ago and very nearly went ahead (until a chance remark by a total stranger put her off).

What my brother and I have in mind is a serviced bedsit or smaller one-bedroom place which provides main meals and some housework, and is much closer to the communal areas. But they are much, much smaller ( and because they only have a kitchenette, there's no overhead thingy to whisk away the scent of salted fish and other "interesting" smells.)

It doesn't take much, but my mind is all full up with the above...

Monday, February 17, 2014

Something I whipped up in the holidays

One of the first things I did when I took time off before Christmas was to let TLM spend all day on her computer.

This wasn't because she'd been particularly good, but because I had an urge to sew and knew it was going to take me all day.

And this is what I ended up with -
I used one of the boy's unwanted business shirts to make the front and back yoke and the centre front, some chambray for the sides and some scarlet bias binding to go around the neck, armholes and hem. I used a Vogue sewing pattern to make this, and modified it so that I could life my arms up without also lifting up the dress to disrespectful heights. Please excuse the batwings...