Sunday, December 27, 2009

santa's little helper

Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season. We spent the christmas day with friends and their family. It was close to the beach and after dinner and relaxing conversation we went for a stroll in the sand and took a few turns on the flying fox (both of which should be christmas traditions if you ask me). Then on boxing day we video chatted to the families back home that were gathered for xmas.

I wanted to get little girl handmade gifts this year (you know before she starts wanting all the mass produced crap from china that her friends have). So just before xmas I did a swap with miss millie. I made her some handspun yarn and she sent me one of her cute monkeys. She wanted something green so I dyed up some merino and it looked like this:

As I was spinning it, it looked so pretty and striped on the bobbin just for a little bit.

I really liked the final product, a nice light semi-felted single. I named it Usnea because it looks like lichen.

And here are the handmade gifts: Millie the monkey (blue named her...), Nicola the handmade doll (because she is a ginger, like our friend Nicola), and some soft cotton grapes for chewing (okay these are mass produced, but still handmade by some co-operative thingy). I got the doll on felt from poppetto.

Here is little girl opening her first present on christmas morning! What a sweet little elf!

Monday, December 14, 2009

ornament swap

This year I took part in a 'kiwi only' handmade ornament swap organized by twenty cent mixture. I made some felt fabric out of merino and silk and cut some sweet and not quite symmetrical stars (that's just how I like my stars ;-) They are pictured in the middle. The rest of the ornaments are from my swap partners. Thanks very much ladies!!!It was quite a handy swap as this is my first year having a tree and I didn't have too many ornaments otherwise. I was going for an all handmade ornament tree, but ended up splashing out for an elaborate and sweet hummingbird ornament at ballantynes and a rubber ducky dressed as santa (it was cheap and I couldn't resist). I have a thing for bird ornaments. There are 5 on the tree... out of about 16 ornaments.

My friend Simone also did the ornament swap and since we were in different groups we decided to exchange too. She made me this sweet e....which inspired me to make some more felt cutouts for my niece and nephew. I used some felt 'samplers' that I made at the felting workshop I took last fall. I knew I wanted to do something with the felt and I think I found just the right thing.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

super simple little legwarmers

After making my other legwarmer pattern for my own babe, I thought it would be nice if they could be slightly more versatile and stretch and grow with the little one. So I have super duper simplified the pattern and this version goes a little something like this...Materials

Yarn: Needlefood sock yarn - color is red hot chocolate (other finger weight yarn will work, but might not be as cute ;-)
1 hank is enough to make a few pairs
Needles: 3.25 mm circular (I've also used a 2.75 mm and 3 mm to make these with the same success)

Size: This pattern is a stretchy rib and will grow with the little one. Designed to fit a newborn (the whole length of the leg) and then as the baby grows they eventually will fit more like legwarmers (knee to ankle).

Pattern notes: I prefer to work the magic loop method when knitting in the round (on small items like this), but if you would rather work with double points or the 2 circular needle method, it is easily transferable.
I learned how to use the magic loop method from here, but knitting help has a video too.

Pattern

Cast on 40 stitches
Knit 2x2 rib for 10 inches
Cast off loosely

Make second exactly the same

Yup that's it! Little embarrassing to call it a pattern, but it's so sweet and effective I thought I would share. Add stripes for a cute variation. Makes a great gift too!

This pattern is also available as a free ravelry download.

Look at those little legs wiggle!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Off to see the wizard


Here she is in her recently revised neck. Ah much better she says! This week (like all of them) has flown by. Munchichi is 11 weeks now! In no time I'll have to take her to get her 3 month jabs, I am not looking forward to that at all!

Today is Canterbury Anniversary Day and we had toyed with the idea of checking out the A&P show, but the weather has suddenly turned and it even looks mean on the radar. It's actually a little bit Wizard of Oz at the moment with trash blowing past on the street. I wonder if the neighbour's flag will get blown away.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Back in the saddle

After 11 months, I pulled on my cycling gear (it was a bit tight!) and got back on my bike. The main hurdle was psychological and although it was only a short ride, hopefully now it will be easier to do on a regular basis. And if that happens... maybe the cycling gear (and the rest of my clothes) will get easier to pull on!

(The bottom one is mine, the top one is blue's fixie)

Earlier today I had a difficult time getting the munchkin into the little blue sky alpacas sweater I knit well before she was even a twinkle. And then later when I took it off she was pretty upset at how difficult it was to get over her ever growing head! (I think it grew over the few hours she was wearing the sweater) When I got back from my ride I sat down and took out the bind-off and the last row and cast-off again with larger needles, hoping it was large enough to get over said head. Then I remembered a surprisingly stretchy bind-off I heard about on the new New Zealand knitting postcast with grannyg. So of course while I had the gumption I took out the bind-off again and tried the new stretchy version. And it worked (not surprisingly ;-) I tried it on her head and there was loads of room! Now she can get more than two wears out of it. Hoo-rah!

(this is the original neck... couldn't be bothered to try to get a photo of the new one without daylight)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Not one trick-or-treater!

We haven't had one trick-or-treater the whole time we've lived in New Zealand. It's a bit sad really. I love seeing the kids dressed up, even the ones that are too big and just want some free candy - that's cool with me. I pushed it as far as I could too when I was a kid.

Here's the full view of my little punkin.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Puttin' the hurt on

Nothing like a sleeping baby to put the hurt on gettin' stuff done! Without a baby in the house you can always put off chores/things you want done until you feel like doing them. But with the bebes around it's important to do those things while she sleeps. And you never can tell just how long those naps are going to be. When you think it's going to be a long one it's not and when you think it will just be a little one... she sleeps for 4 hours!!! That was impressive. I did so many little jobs today that I had been putting off, then I'd check on her... another job and check, you get the idea. I eventually just sat down, relaxed and did some knitting. Gotta love naps that are long enough to accomplish household tasks and sit down and knit!

This morning we had a plunket class and the little munch wore her halloween costume that grandma sent over. Sadly she was the only baby in costume. Kiwis really need to get into the spirit of halloween because babies in costumes are so darn cute! This is what she looked like before the 4 hour nap.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

passport pics

video
my accomplishment for the morning :D

Friday, October 09, 2009

Naps and knits

The little one is taking her morning nap so I thought I'd do some catching up and read some blogs and then I remembered that I have a blog that I should update too! I have started knitting again which is a nice and relaxing activity to do while she sleeps (instead of running around trying to pick-up and clean the house). I have to keep it simple for the obvious reason of possibly frequent interruptions. I've made the cutest little legwarmers which she is wearing now but I just finished them so no photo yet. There are a few babies back home that could probably use some legwarmers too so I may just stick to knitting legwarmers for a little while :)

The legwarmers featured below are the ones I made in the handspun set. They still fit great and look so cute under or over her clothes and on just bare legs with a onesie too. The hat was knit/lent by my friend Carol who made it for her wee man when he was born. She has long since grown out of that as her brain is rapidly expanding ;-)
I thought I'd throw in another photo of some knitting that I completed but didn't report on before the birth. They are the Norwegian mittens by Elizabeth Zimmerman. It was a great pattern to knit and went really quickly. I enjoyed knitting with the Noro silk garden but was disappointed that the 2 balls looked like completely different colourways. I guess it pays to go and pick out your own yarn when possible! Nonetheless they have a quirky mismatchedness that I can get into. Originally I thought I would gift these come xmas time... but they are so my colours! We'll see how I feel as xmas draws nearer (it will be summer here then so maybe I won't have a problem parting with them).

Friday, September 25, 2009

Can't believe it

Wow, my little girl is 4 weeks today. Time has gone by so fast! It seems like she just popped out, but she is growing and maturing each day. It's so amazing to see her daily changes. And she has left me no time to get my craft on. Which at this point I really don't mind :D. Funnily enough the last bit of knitting I did was while I was in labour! Tee hee hee, that amused all the hospital staff that came in. But I figured I was going to be there for a while, I may as well get a little knitting in (and yes that is a sure sign that I had an epidural).

And here she is getting ready for nap time ;-)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Ta -Da!

Look what I made! It's a girl! She is so wonderful and funny. So far she is an excellent sleeper and eater - all a new mom could ask for.
I was induced last Friday and 7.5 hours after my water was broken I had a little girl to cuddle! She was 2 weeks late and quite content to stay put it seemed but after we got things going she didn't take too long to get out! She wasn't too big either, 7 lbs 3 oz and 20 inches long.
We got home from the hospital last night and are settling in at home nicely. Grandma is here for 3 weeks to help out and provide cuddles!
Looks like I get to keep the pink set, good thing I have back up for the other little girl that's coming!

Monday, August 17, 2009

The waiting game

Well my due date has come and gone and no contractions yet. Today I'm going to see the midwife and hoping to speed things up a bit. I don't really want to be pregnant for 2 more weeks and I'm anxious to meet this little monster that has been digging into my hip bones this morning! So in preparation for the possibility that I may be going into the labor within the next 48 hours I've been trying to pick up/clean the house. But it's making me tired :P so I'm incorporating some resting bits (also because I maybe going into labor soon).

Oddly enough I don't have any knitting projects (that aren't in hibernation) to distract me and give me some down time. I've finished a few things in the last week including the extra cute orange elijah (with a rattle in his belly).
ringo and elijah
I also knit up a bunch of cute baby clothes out of some handspun that I made from a swap fiber I received last year sometime. It's all very sweet pinks for a baby girl. It's intended for someone that I know is having a girl, but if I end up with a baby girl I'm just going to have to keep it as I have no other pink to wrap it in! That's okay right?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

things in the oven

Being off work has been great. I'm averaging at least 1 nap/day, have had time to cook yummy meals, finish knitting projects, and I've learned to bake bread! I have started with a really simple no knead recipe, it isn't instantly gratifying (much like the other 'baking' I've had in the oven) but it isn't time consuming at all and the results are pretty stunning for how simple it is. So simple a 4 year old can do it. For last night's dinner I altered the recipe by using half whole wheat flour, it made the crust nice and crispy while keeping the inside soft and moist!I have also finished and blocked the baby chalice blanket. It looks great and matches my vintage rocking chair beautifully. I wish it were a little bigger so that I could use it for a lap blanket, but it is a perfect size for a bassinet or stroller. It's probably a good thing that it is smallish otherwise mom would probably steal it!And I finished knitting the toy kiwi that I started a while back. My major pause in the project was not knowing what eyes to put on. I finally decided on some handmade felt ones and stitched them on. I have named him Ringo after the kiwi that I got to meet last week in the bush.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

0 days of work left

until i go back that is. Today is my first day on leave and so far it's pretty great. I woke up early due to a small munchkin in my belly pushing on my bladder. After some toast and coffee I saw blue off to work, took a small nap and did some cleaning up of the house. Yup pretty exciting.
The midwife came over for a checkup too, all is well in the belly. I didn't end up getting a 3D scan last week as bubs was too big to get a good shot and of course facing inward which is good, just not for getting a nice shot of the little face.

A month or so ago it seemed like I had been pregnant FOREVER, but now that feeling of doom (and excitement) is setting in. Sh*t I'm gonna have a baby soon! Then we'll have a whole new set of issues to deal with. Bring it on I say. But give me at least a week to get some more nesting and readying of the house done. Like many first time moms I will probably go 2 weeks past my due date and be griping to get this thing out of me. I would like to deliver around the due date or a week before would be good I think.

Here is a pic of the bebe in my belly from 14 weeks ago! Yikes. The star is a bit bigger now, the outline not so thick. I think this afternoon I will take a walk and do some knitting, not necessarily in that order.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

7 days of work left

4 this week and 3 the next. Can you tell I'm ready to be done with work? It's not the work that I mind really, my bosses have been pretty easy on me, it's just that having to be there all day... no laying down, no napping. I think a lot of women here in NZed finish work by 34 weeks or before. However back in the states it is more like right up until you give birth - crazy 'maricans. I'm about 35 weeks, so 5 weeks until the due date.

We had a little surprise at the midwife appointment on Friday. After a night of not sleeping that well and waking up feeling sore, we found out that baby has 'dropped' and it was definitely during the night because the day before I was having plenty of rib kicks! Seems a bit early, but I guess that just happens in some pregnancies. We're pretty sure the head is down, but to be certain and to check on the size I get an ultrasound next week, a 3D one at that. It will be cool to see bubs again, especially in 3D.

Blue has come and gone to the states. I missed him loads while he was gone and I had to take care of myself. He's treats me pretty good when he's here. A few times last week I got to nap after work while he started the fire and cooked dinner, just like a little elf! :D

He brought me back lots of baby things, much of which got laundered this weekend. And some yarn! I had ordered some lorna's laces shepherd worsted (which is washable and dyed beautifully) to make the baby chalice blanket (below). I'm really enjoying the yarn and the pattern is a cute and quick knit. I haven't made anything in worsted weight on size 10 needles in a very long time! It's a nice little treat!I've even had my wheel out lately too! I dug out some superwash merino I dyed last spring. I split it in half lengthwise and spun two bobbins, starting from opposite ends and then plyed them together. I dyed it to be a nice striping yarn, which I still think it will be, but I love watching colours blend together as I ply and that's why I decided to spin and ply it as I did! It's very bright (especially for me) but I think I'll be able to dream up a good project for it... maybe for a little girl?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

handspun baby knits

This little gem is my most recent baby sweater. I used two different handspun yarns (one I was just able to eek out enough yardage)  and it's name is February Baby Sweater.


I had enough of the darker yarn to get two of these little aviatrix hats knit up in 2 sizes, the first one seemed just a bit small. Now all they need are some buttons! I picked some out but not sure if I like them or not, may have to double check and make sure there isn't anything better out there.

And this beauty was gifted to me by stella down in dunedin. She used some beautiful handspun perendale and it is oh so soft and lovely.



The immenent arrival of bubs is drawing nearer. I have less then 4 weeks of work left and have enough annual leave to take fridays off for those remaining weeks - hurray for 4 day work weeks!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

fluffy kitty

I got this in an email from my mom (who is now the mom of my fluffy kitty).

These annoying robins keep flying into our windows over on the side of the house by our bedroom. They just go on and on thump thump thump. I cut out silhouettes of hawks and they stopped crashing in. Kitty thinks they are real birds and keeps reaching for them :)


Silly kitty.Hopefully mom doesn't mind I posted her email ;-) xo mom for loving my kitty (and feeding her... and scooping her poop).

Thursday, June 04, 2009

3rd trimester blues

Well officially I have been in my 3rd trimester for a few weeks, but I am just now starting to feel it full on. My face is puffy, my ankles are swollen, I tire super easily and bending just keeps getting harder! I visited my midwife this morning and thankfully the swelling is just a bit of edema and nothing to be worried about.Blue and I had a long weekend away, probably our last one without a bubs. We went over to the west coast to Karamea. Luckily the sun was out and the weather was great while we were there. The first night we stayed at a backpackers about and hour south of Karamea called the old slaughterhouse. It was a charming place up the hill with ocean views, a comfy lounge, big warm log burner, and a nice kitchen. They make their own hydroelectric power on site so the fridge was small and the toaster was a stove top one! The owners were really nice and welcoming and we really enjoyed our stay.
Here are some of the Nikau palms that the area is known for:

Sunday, May 24, 2009

okay, it can stop raining now

It seems like it has been raining for weeks on end now. And I guess it has, but to be fair we have had a few sunny days mixed in, a very few. I think it's starting to get to me, these antarctic blasts, they are so wet and also cold, and just keep coming one wave after an other. Supposedly tomorrow is the last day of it for the rest of the week. Let's hope it's the last for a few weeks.
I've been doing lots of knitting and spinning lately. I just finished up a 3 day class at the guild where I learned to make boucle and tweed and other designer yarn. It was cool and good to get me spinning again. Right now I have a few completed hanks soaking. Hopefully I'll have some pics soon, but with this weather it might take ages to dry.Here is a pic of the cute bonnet I just finished and the 5 hour baby sweater knit up with some organic cotton that maepress gifted me! The pooh bear and outfit were sent to us from blue's sister - so cute!!! The baby stuff is slowly starting to accumulate... soon enough it will be taking over our house!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Scoop fruits

We've been treated to some winter weather her in Christchurch. I forgot how wet and cold the winters tend to be! Luckily we are all moved into our new flat and LOVING the log burner and insulation. It's no secret that Christchurch has a smog problem - an urban area with lots of people heating their houses by fire combined with a location that locks in the smoke, makes for some pretty icky evenings and mornings (even wikipediea mentions it). But I can see why people like their fires - they are warm, much warmer than you can get with any of the various other options around (still haven't caught on to that whole idea of central heating yet... it may make it here one day).

Somewhat related to the smog issue, I found out this week that I have asthma. The previous 2 winters I ended up having a cough the whole season and figured it was related to cold and damp living conditions, apparently it's been asthma. So now I have an inhaler. Not sure how much it will help, but I'm hoping to cut down on the coughing. I feel bad for bubs, must be loud in there!One great thing about this time of year - feijoas! Yum! They are so tasty. A while back we had a bunch of passioinfruits too and one afternoon we sat around eating 'scoop fruits.' What fun.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

200th post!

That stupid man cold turned into a nasty lady cold as well. It was not fun and I didn't get the decongestants the man did! Apart from a sporadic cough on my part everyone is feeling well and we are back on course. And I got lots of knitting done while I was sick!
I finally finished the stripey socks and think they look great (despite that at least 2 people asked me if they were for wearing around the house... I guess they won't be getting any hand-knit socks from me!).I also cast-on 2 socks on 2 circs and completed (that's the kicker) the no-purl monkey socks. I used some needlefood yarn I had in my stash. Needlefood is a new online sock yarn shop that my friend Michelle opened up at the begining of the month. It's a great shop and has everything you need to make beautiful socks! Check out the needlefood sock blocker displaying my perty socks!
And finally I've finished some baby items. Cutest of which include small booties and socks.
This weekend is moving weekend and we have been busy packing and avoiding packing. We are excited to get into an insulated house with a fireplace to keep us toasty (not to mention the dishwasher...)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

man cold


We've got one of these in the house at the moment.

Monday, March 30, 2009

chocolate...yum

So the old cake was pretty good. Actually the chocolate truffle layers inside were still amazing. The cake itself... a little dry. The outter ganache... now slightly waxy. So yeah as a whole package it was alright, but much better the first time around. Now the tuna steak, that was GOOD. Yum!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What a year

It's hard to believe that a year ago today Blue and I tied the knot! We've had a very exciting and fun year. The next year is sure to bring us even more of the same!

I'm super excited to go out to a nice dinner tonight and I've been dreaming of the tuna steak on the menu. Tuna steak isn't very easy to come by here in NZed so I don't think I've had any in the last two years (maybe once when we went to oz...). And then maybe a nice cheesecake for dessert... if I have room.

We still have the top of our wedding cake from last year. Maybe I can have a slice of that to tide me over before dinner. I took it out the other night so it should be thawed by now. I'm a little scared of it, it is a year old. But apparently that cake that Elaine ate on Seinfeld was like 50 years old and she seemed to really enjoy that. I'll do my best to report back.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

haircut time

I was long overdue for a haircut so I went in for a cute wee bob tonight. So far I really like it, but as always the true test is when you have to style it yourself. I was very specific and told the new (to me) stylist that I did not want messy top layers or a style that required a straight iron every morning. I'm way too lazy for that and would rather spend my time sleeping in the morning. Thanks to Millie for the recommendation!

Last time I got a new haircut someone down the hall got a similar one just a few days later...not cool. Hopefully I can be a loner at least for a little while with this one.Ohh, I also got new product (YES!) It's this stuff and I have high hopes for it.
I have been living a very riveting life lately, as you can tell.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Finally some knitting

mushroom rattle
I started on a few baby things over the weekend to distract me from the endless stockinette of my top. First I made the toadstool rattle by purl bee. It's a great quick little pattern. The rattle itself is a cat toy ball thingy -very clever. Blue has been really enjoying playing with this so I just might have to make a few more! It's also a great way to use up sock yarn scraps. Now all I have to do is finish some socks so I can use the scraps for more mushrooms.
baby ribbed cardigan
After I finished the rattle I started in on this little ribbed cardigan that is knit from right sleeve to left. Another clever idea. I picked some sock yarn out of my stash for this project purchased from Kellie's destash, it's zen string loopy legends 'southwest sunset'. The colours seemed gender neutralish enough for me, but then started pooling pink. Ugh! Of all the colours to pool! I offset the yarn just a touch and may have taken care of the issue... I hate making more ends to sew it, but to avoid pink pools I'll do it!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

hapu

As Kellie alluded to in the comments, I have been working on an extra special project. One that has been consuming all my energy and making me think more of cooking/eating than knitting or anything else. Isn't he/she cute? My mom thinks that little profile of a nose looks like me. Hee hee hee. This is my 12 week scan. Too early to tell the gender, but we aren't sure we want to find out anyway. I'm at the beginning of my second trimester so I am hoping my energy levels will soon return as will my knitting motivation. After all I've got a lot of little knitting to do now!

In knitting news I have seamed my smocked top and have started the endless stockinette body that is going to take FOREVER. Because it is going to be large enough to accommodate my hapu belly there are a lot of stitches and I would guess that it takes me a few minutes just to knit one round. Oh well. I should probably work on a few small baby items to keep me interested and then do the mindless stockinette when I need something extra mindless. Or maybe I should just get a monkey and teach it knit stitch? That sounds more exciting. As long as it isn't one of those cigar smoking monkeys, can't have that!

Friday, February 06, 2009

I'm still here...

Just quietly.
The summer is speeding along and I've got nothin' to show for it!
Well my smocked top is finally under way and the back section is almost finished. Hopefully within the next week the top sections will be merged (dreaded seaming!) and the endless stockinette body will be begin.And now that she is finally all cleaned up with wood and bearings oiled I can share my newest pet - Wendy! Ain't she perdy? Stella kindly sent me some nylon cord to give her a new driveband and so far she works like a charm. Well okay I haven't actually spun anything on her yet, but I gave her some treadles. Soon, on one of the not so hot days, I will pull out some wool and the yarn will be just as beautiful as the wheel!
I also sold one of my other wheels to Lucy. It wasn't getting much use here so I hope it is happier with her and Punky.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

kickin' out the jam

Eh, not too much to say lately... Got some new drugs for migraines today. Hopefully I won't need them but it's good to know I have stuff to take if I need it. The GP said to be sure to keep hydrated and on those hot days I probably didn't do that very well so I'm going to be more conscience of it now and take my water bottle with me wherever I go!
Here's the yummy jam I made (with more than one of me reflecting in the jars). Below is the pan fried scone (a first) blue made complete with cream cheese and jam - a delicious Sunday morning treat.