Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Another breeder/blog neglector

Seems I've turned into a blog neglector. I used to follow a few blogs that fell by the wayside after babies were born. Here I thought that having a baby would be a great excuse to stock one's blog with gorgeous baby crafts and pics. Turns out having a baby takes up a lot of time and energy. Never would have thought that! I used to do a moderate amount of blogging while at my work desk, it was a great thing to do when my brain needed a little rest. But since returning to the states, I have no work desk. That is not a complaint. I am loving every minute of my stay-at-home momness.

Regardless of employment, when you are a parent having time to knit (or participate in any hobby) is a huge accomplishment. It seems that the photographing and writing about it go by the wayside. Such is life. Some day I may blog more regularly. I have been doing a bit of knitting, a few hats, a scarf, finished some socks I started long ago. I would really like to get some xmas knitting done (a stocking for the little girl is at the top of the list) and I long to spin something luscious.
A month and a half ago little girl turned one and we had a fine party in the park. I made her a cute princess hat and tutu to match her cupcake shirt (which incidentally matched the cupcakes I made). The green leaves are now gone and cool autumn weather will so on set in (we are really enjoying the nice warm days though). Before you know it the snow will be flying and hopefully the knitting needles along with it!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I miss my knitting group!

Sniff sniff sniff and a few tears this morning. I've been back in the states now for almost 4 months and have missed out on so many life events in my knitting group. One had a baby, one shifted house (which also shifted the meeting place), now my dear Michelle is closing her most amazing hand painted yarn business! They have also added a new member and had countless amazing gossipfests (bitchfest is probably a more appropriate term) without me! (woe is me ;-)

As for me, blue and I are still in Wisconsin splitting our time in the north of the state with my parents and the south of the state with his. He is still toiling away on his dissertation while I spend time with the little miss (who turns 1 very soon!). But come January we are headed to the east coast where blue has accepted a job. It is in the upstate so will be pretty rural I imagine. I'm hoping hoping hoping to be able to find a group of knitters close to as talented, funny, and supportive as those I had honor of joining for a few years in New Zealand.

I also just read the book 'Friday Night Knit Club' and this made me homesick for them as well!

And just for fun, here is my little miss doing what she loves - hanging out on the beach (and having a snack), lookin' cute.

Sunday, July 04, 2010


What a nice Sunday morning. That baby is asleep. The husband on his bike. And me, I'm knitting on the couch and listening to neko case. The dishes need to be done, floor needs to be swept, and on and on go the never-ending list of chores. But this morning I'm taking advantage of the quiet house for some me time. Love it.

It also happens to be the fourth of July. Not a bad way to spend the morning of the 4th either. I was out on the porch this morning and an older lady walked by decked out in navy/white star shoes, red shorts, white shirt, and a denim visor with an american flag on it. Too cute.

This video isn't great quality but there are some great summer/nostalgia lyrics in it. I also saw Neko on this tour just before leaving for Nzed.

Happy 4th!

Monday, June 07, 2010

chirp chirp (or whatever noise crickets make)

Yikes, that's my longest blog break ever! One might think we took a ship to get back to the states! Alas, no, we flew and it took about 24 hours. That was quite enough with miss noseypants baby who wouldn't sleep with all the people around on the plane! By the end of the trip we had all had quite enough of the notsleepingbaby and not enough of the sleep.

The lack of sleep really put her back on track to get over jetlag though (always good to put a positive spin on these things!). I don't recall getting too many dirty looks from other passengers for having that screaming baby but I probably looked so miserable that people just felt sorry for me. And they were probably amazed at how cute my smiling, curious baby was (after all that screaming!).
Since getting back we have been bouncing around between the 2 grandma's houses. The little miss really enjoys both places, especially with their various animals that she likes to chase, pet, and climb on.
This week we are headed to Madison to move into my brother's apartment that is vacant for a month and half because he bought a house a few blocks away! So excited to have him and my future sister-in-law as neighbors!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

my heart breaks

a little more each day as I realize I'm leaving New Zealand for good.

For each of my complaints of living here, there are probably 10 things that I love about it here. I will miss my friends, colleagues, knitting group, the weavers and spinners guild, the beautiful scenery, public healthcare, absolutely free maternity and baby healthcare, plunket, the organic/free range/grow your own mentality that most of the population possesses, the fact that you can bank, pay bills, do your dry cleaning and send mail at the postshop, hot pies, fish & chips, my friends' chickens' free range eggs, working half time, the little miss' daycare, tea breaks, trademe, no guns, no ratrace, my little red subaru, my clothesline, shortland street, the list goes on and on. Some of them are just little things, but I imagine those are the things I might miss the most.That said, I can't wait to see my own whānau and introduce them to my little sunshine! Also, can you say mexican food withdrawl! So many foodstuffs I plan to consume! (most of which are neither homegrown nor organic!)(friends checking out how the man in the moon is at a different angle down here!)

Friday, April 09, 2010

a long time coming

According to my ravelry project page, I started the Juno Regina pattern on August 9, 2008... I just finished it a few weeks ago. Yeah, more than a year and a half. That's commitment, or lack there of. Not surprisingly, it was my first (and maybe my last) lace weight project. Mind you a lot has happened in that year and a half and I have finished many other projects (not all of them knitting!).

I enjoy knitting lace patterns, I think I just prefer a slightly heavier yarn to work with (light fingering is fine enough for me). As you can see this scarf is fine, it fits through my wedding band!

Some specs:
I made this pattern a bit skinnier than the original so it is a scarf rather than a stole.
yarn - touch yarns kid mohair merino 2 ply
The middle section measured 42 inches post blocking
My gauge/tension changed several times throughout this knit, thankfully blocking fixed any issues there.

It's been a bit busy around here lately. We are preparing to move across the world, again, at the end of the month! So much to do... so little time! Anybody want to buy a fridge, bed, tv, washer, stereo, couch, dressers... the list goes on and on and on. Trademe is getting much business from us lately.

Monday, March 08, 2010

a clean catch

Oh that little girl of mine. She has not been feeling well all weekend long. I stayed home from work today with her. Even if she had miraculously gotten better by this morning, I was in no state to form sentences, let alone work.

We headed to the GP and it seems that she has some virus that needs to run its course, but he gave me a vessel to collect some urine in... a clean catch. The first time I attempted, she wasn't quite finished with what she was working on at the time. Always a fun thing to discover after you've begun the cleaning process. The other times not even a trickle. We shall try again in the morning.We started solids a week ago and she was really enjoying them until she got sick. Around the same time we got her to sleep through the night. Maybe in a couple of days she'll be back on the food/sleep track. Luckily, she is still as cute as a button and during the day her spirits are high and she gives smiles generously. Makes the sleepless nights bearable. Now if I could just get her to wipe her nose!

Check out what my friend Kellie made me! Cutest little wallet I ever did see!

Monday, February 22, 2010

finally some sleep, with added finished objects

The sleep situation seems to be improving so Hurrah to that. After reading some snippets out of the dreaded Ferber method book, I picked up some tips on how to deal with the little girl's middle of the night wakings and by night 2 I didn't have to comfort feed her at all. So maybe we are back on track now! (It's only been 2 nights, so lets hope I'm not jumping the gun)

I would also like to share some finished objects:

Traveling woman in sundara grass-stain basil over buttercup. I whipped this bad boy (girl?) up in less than a week, that's pretty quick for me to knit an entire skein of sock yarn. I repeated chart A three times and was left with just a few meters of yarn.

I've also been doing some weaving with more sock yarn (madeline tosh- victory garden, i think). I added some blue and white bamboo plaid bits to the warp. I'm really happy how this number (weaving object no. 3!) turned out.

the supplies
warping up (the spinning wheel makes a great warping peg)
final product

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

a bit of sewing

With the little girl starting daycare I wanted her to have a designated bag just for those days. My lovely friend Kellie lent me a few sewing books (while she took my loom home and got hooked on weaving!). I found the all day tote pattern in this book. Following some online advise I got some interfacing (iron-on) to stiffen it up. Prior to this project I had no idea such a thing existed, but what a great idea to give it some added strength and structure! The outside fabric is a fine green corduroy, it was a bit stretchy and the interfacing made it a lot easier to sew.

And for the inside I used some skull and crossbones canvas. I wanted her to be able to keep her edge even while at daycare. I added a few extra inside pockets to keep all her little bits organized.
I also tried my hand at making a wet bag and used these instructions. It's big enough to hold a days worth of diapers and soiled clothes. If I made one again, I think I would add a little wrist strap with a snap for easier carrying when it's full. It was my first try at sewing in a zip, now that I know it isn't scary, I may even try one again some day!
I've also recently hit up some op-shops for old fabric. There are some great sheets and table cloths out there oh and aprons... a girl can never have too many aprons (especially in great vintage fabric).

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Last night I headed out to the garden with a colander to pick some beans only to head back inside for a second one. Holy beans! We had already been living off a drawerful in the fridge that blue had picked last week, so I decided it was time to do something with these beans!
I wanted to freeze some, but was also thinking that some pickled beans would be a delightful treat. They are just so tasty (especially in a bloody mary - nom nom). I settled on this recipe, but had to substitute dried dill for fresh dill sprigs. I had to do that last year with the cucumber pickles too - I really need to remember to plant dill in the future! In 2-3 weeks they will be ready, but I don't promise to wait that long.
We also had enough to freeze for future side dishes and stir-fries. Note the straw that was used to 'vacuum pack.'
If that weren't enough in the preservation realm, this morning I got up to take care of the plums our neighbour friends had gifted us. I chose this stewed plum recipe. It turned out pretty well, nice and tart and reminiscent of cranberry sauce. It tasted really good with some yogurt for a morning snack.
I sealed the jars... or attempted to. I'm not sure why, but I can never get them all to seal. I was at 50% for these two canning lots.
Tonight I took a long soak in the bath and read Breakfast at Tiffany's. Back to work tomorrow.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Sleep... or lack there of

I've been back to work now for a couple of weeks. It has been going pretty well. Although I wouldn't have chosen to be back at work yet I recognize its many benefits, the driving one being of the financial variety (and yes I'm well aware that most moms in the states don't have the luxury to even have as much time as I've had, doesn't make it any easier though).

So yeah it has been going well, the set up is really great. Little girl is just across the street from my building and I go to visit/feed her 3 times a day. If she is sleeping at the scheduled time they give me a call and if she gets hungry before the scheduled time they give me a call too. Also, I'm only back 1/2 time so she is only at daycare 2 full days and then blue watches her for 1 afternoon.
The first week I wound up with a cold (of course!), but little girl seemed to only be mildly affected. I also noticed that all the little kids had crusty snot noses, which finally today she has wound up with. I hope it doesn't last too long and that the snot nose kid thing isn't a permanent fixture at the daycare. Blue and I are still battling the tail end of this cold (well I hope it's the tail end... it has to be!). And lately little girl hasn't been sleeping too well. I guess it's due to her learning new skills and also she's been having a bit of a growth spurt. She keeps waking up and wanting to play at like 3 or 4 am and then getting stuck in the bars of her crib. It's really exhausting.

She seems to know when I have to go to work and chooses those nights to be up for hours on end...

I've been battling with trying to decide if we should do the 'family bed' thing which seems to keep her happy as long as I don't try to move her back to her own bed, or if I should just get some bumpers on her crib and let her resettle herself in the night (leaving feeding as a last resort). From what I can tell this could just be a phase. I'll leave it at least another week I guess and see if things calm down.Look at how sweet and peaceful she is when she's sleeping! (in our bed...)

Friday, January 15, 2010

yet another textile hobby

Hmm, it must have been a bit over a year ago now... I purchased an old Spear's loom on trademe. It was $10 and I couldn't resist. But it sat and sat and sat until last December when I got a bee in my bonnet and decided it would be useful to help me bust my stash, especially those odds and ends. After a trip to the hardware store for some replacement bolts and some youtube instruction videos on how to warp, I was off.

This is my first creation. The warp is some touch yarns fingering weight merino that I had left over from a lace scarf and the weft is a worsted/aran weight handspun I bought before I started spinning. I had also knit a few little things with this yarn and even now I still have some of each left. Guess I should have made the scarf a little bigger.Since this little number went so quickly I warped up for another project, this one a xmas present for blue. I used touch possum merino for the warp and weft with some little stripes of noro silk garden in both (to use up some bits left in my stash). I also double threaded a few of the slots for added texture. But because this project was wider, longer and with thinner yarn, it wasn't as quick and I just finished it the other day.I fulled it a bit to finish, but the noro didn't full at the same rate as the other stuff so it's a bit puckery. Other than that it turned out pretty well and is a good size. I don't really remember what the specs are, you know the kind that I appreciate when other weavers provide, maybe I'll have to start writing them down in the future.The $10 loom is alright and does the trick if you're willing, but since I enjoyed the weaving process/results I bought another old used loom. Only slightly more expensive and not just intended for a child's toy. It also needs a little love and attention which will hopefully happen soon so I can keep busting my stash!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

(first) road trip! (with baby)

We took our first road trip with baby, it was a whole new way to travel!

Packed up the car with baby and all her gear and headed down to Dunedin.
Had a bit of a walk around the city in the evening. The next morning packed up again and headed to the Catlin Coast via Milton. Stopped by the illustrious Mill, but...
so i fed my baby on the front steps instead of shopping... almost the same thing :(The Catlin Coast was beautiful. We spent a few nights there, saw lots of pretty sights and tried to stay dry - it rained off and on for 3 days (and we forgot an umbrella).

Here are just a few of the things we saw.

a sea lion resting in Surat Bay:
the southern most sheep on the south island (slope point):
southern most sleeping baby on the south island:
some pretty little nuggets at nugget point:

(photos 2,4,5 &8 were taken by blue. you're my boy blue, you're my boy)

Friday, January 01, 2010


Happy New Year! Yesterday we went out to visit our friend Nicola who lives by the beach and took a nice stroll and checked out the local flavors. We got to talking about the last decade and we all concluded that 10 years ago we weren't even thinking about 2010 and where we were going to be, but that most of us wouldn't have imagined it how it turned out. I would have never guessed that I would be living in New Zealand. Married with a child, yeah I think that would have been imaginable, but it still seems a bit surreal to me now. We also pondered "should we be thinking about where we will be in 2020?" I've got no idea where I'll be living a year from now so 10 years is a bit far off.