Saturday, 26 December 2015

December update

The month of December has been incredibly busy, which is why I have not managed to post here until today. At the beginning of the month, DH was referred to an ENT specialist by our GP, as he had a sore throat and was finding eating difficult, as he had trouble swallowing. After using a scope to look at DH's throat, the specialist told us that the throat itself looked fine, but that the thyroid was enlarged, so he recommended an ultrasound and a gastroscopy to check the oesophagus. DH has had the ultrasound done and is due to have a gastroscopy on 12 January, just a week after we both return to work.

My son injured himself at work, which resulted in an umbilical hernia and he had surgery on 15 December and was told not to do any heavy lifting for six weeks. He was due to go on leave on 24 December, but has been off work since 13 December and should be back at work in mid-January.

On 10 December I had my remaining teeth extracted, so am now adjusting to life with dentures. The first few days after the extractions were the worst; my mouth was very sore and I dosed myself with painkillers and rinsed with salt water several times a day. I also developed ulcers on my gums; they were really painful, but have now almost healed, which makes life much easier. My dentures look very good and friends and family have all said that they look just like natural teeth, which is quite reassuring.

We went out to DH's cousins for Christmas lunch, which we enjoyed, even though I was not able to eat very much. For the first couple of days after the extractions, I ate mainly soup and yoghurt, but now I'm managing to eat foods like fish, chicken and eggs, as well as soft fruit and vegetables and have also started eating toast again.

I am still working on the socks which I started last month; I finished the first sock on Christmas Eve and cast on the second, but thus far have only managed to do a few rounds of rib.
I have always love knitting cables, so about four weeks ago I started knitting this Irish Hiking Scarf, which I finished last week.

As I am on leave at the moment, it's really good to have more time for crafting and I have made a start on my patchwork hexagons. Earlier this week I spent a very relaxing afternoon doing some work on them while listening to Christmas CD's.

DH and I have been to the cinema a couple of times; on Wednesday we went to see the new Star Wars movie and today, instead of rushing around the shops trying to grab bargains in the Boxing Day sales, we went to see Suffragette, which was  very intense and thought-provoking.

The weather has warmed up, so we are having some lovely sunny days, but when we went down to the beach early this  morning, we found that the sea is still quite cold. I think that we should rather go in the afternoon next time - hopefully the water will have had some time to warm up a bit!

Christmas has come and gone and the year is almost over , so now my family and I are looking forward to a new year, hoping that 2016 will be a better year for us all.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Christmas knitting

I knitted this cabled tea cosy and cafetiere  cover in Christmassy red with a touch of green, all ready for the festive season.

November update

Where do the months go? It's a cliché I know, but I just cannot believe how quickly this year has gone!
It has been a difficult year for me; not only did I experience a great deal of stress at work during the first half of the year, but then in June my dentist told me that due to advanced gum disease, all my teeth would have to be extracted and that I would need full dentures. It was a great shock; at first I was devastated and it took me a while to come to terms with the situation. In August I had all my premolars and molars top and bottom removed, as well as one very loose tooth in the front in lower left jaw and was left with just eleven teeth in my mouth. Fortunately my gums healed really well and a couple of weeks ago I went back to the dentist to have the first of the impressions taken for the dentures. I still need to go for two more appointments and only then will my remaining teeth be extracted and the dentures fitted. I am keen to have it all finished and my dentist has assured me that it will be done before Christmas, so I need to exercise a bit of patience.

I have not been doing very much in the way of knitting lately; I recently completed a  lightweight cowl and a pair of cotton ankle socks and am now working on another pair of socks. The yarn I am using for this project is called Verbundenheit ( this is a German word and translated into English it means intimacy or togetherness) and it's an Opal sock yarn made by Zwerger Garn.

I think it's an interesting combination of colours, with the deep pink and dark grey being the two predominant shades.

I am planning to do some sewing this summer, but have not made a start yet, as I am taking it really easy this weekend and am not  in the mood for cutting out a pattern. This morning when I was busy doing my laundry, I washed the piece of Japanese lawn which I recently bought, so at least it's all good to go as they say here in New Zealand.

About a month  ago I ordered a couple of adult colouring books online and they arrived in the mail this week, so last night I sat down with my coloured pencils and spent a relaxing hour doing some colouring while listening to an audiobook. At first I thought that the whole concept of adult colouring books was a bit crazy, but after hearing a work colleague saying that it's a  satisfying hobby, I decided to give it a go and found that it really enjoyable.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

FO Pink Socks

I finished these little ankle socks and quickly took this photo of them before washing and blocking them. It's a lovely sunny spring day here, so I have put them outside to dry on the front veranda.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Storage for stash

This is actually a laundry basket, but I think it is ideal for storing yarn, as it is lined with fabric. I once had one of those large baskets used for storing logs, but is was a bit rough and my yarn tended to snag on the sides of the basket, so I got rid of it. The padded chest on the left of the photo is quite large, but I use it to store winter jumpers during summer and my summer clothes during the colder weather, which means that it is always quite full and there isn't space for much else.

A bit of inspiration

I have been really inspired by some of my fellow knitters on Ravelry, as well as those who upload regular podcasts on You Tube, which I enjoy watching. Not only are these very talented people great knitters, most of them are really good at sewing, as well.
Knitting is my favourite needlecraft, but I do enjoy sewing and there was a time when I made many of my own clothes. Last summer I made a couple of casual dresses which I wear at home on hot days, but during the past winter I have been doing a lot of knitting and have not used my sewing machine for months.
Last night I was listening to the latest Truly Myrtle podcast and was so inspired when I heard Libby talking about her latest sewing projects, that I went out and bought some fabric this morning.

I  went to Spotlight and bought this Japanese Lawn which I will be using to make myself a pair of casual summer trousers for weekend wear.

I also bought some fat quarters in various shades of pink:

I enjoy hand sewing and will be using this fabric to make some patchwork hexagons which I will then join together to make a couple of mats for the round tables in my craft room. I have a few sets of these patchwork mats which I made many years ago, but none of them is very large, so this time I'll be making them much larger.

Monday, 26 October 2015

My WIP's

I am working on a pair of cotton ankle socks and am using the Vanilla Latte pattern I found on Ravelry. I finished the first sock yesterday and then cast on the second right away.

My other WIP is a cabled tea cosy and this is the pattern I am using:
I have made this tea cosy before, using pink yarn with sage green as a contrasting colour, but this time I am using red and green yarn to make a Christmas tea cosy.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

The latest RAL

As I mentioned in my previous post, Northanger Abbey is the Austen novel I am reading at the moment, as I am taking part in a read along on Ravelry.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

October update

We are already more than halfway through October and I have been meaning to post here, but somehow life just got in the way again!
I have not been doing very much knitting lately. A couple of weeks ago I had a bit of a meltdown while finishing off the cabled sweater I'd been working on, so I have put it aside and will tackle the finishing at a later date.
I had started knitting myself a pair of socks, but frogged them and decided to use the yarn for another project instead, so I knitted myself yet another Botanical Cowl which I finished over the past weekend.

Last Wednesday I had a day's annual leave, so I went to The Ribbon Rose, a store which stocks knitting yarn and accessories, fabric for patchwork and quilting, needlepoint and tapestry kits, as well as a huge range of buttons and just about anything else one might need for needlecrafts. I was like a child in a sweet shop and spent ages browsing, but eventually bought some yarn, buttons, knitting needles and some templates for patchwork hexagons.

I have been doing quite a bit of reading lately and recently re-read Persuasion when I joined a Ravelry read along. I also watched the 1995 version of the movie and thoroughly enjoyed it. The next read along is Northanger Abbey and as my old copy was really tatty, I bought a new paperback copy last week, so I am ready and waiting for the read along to begin. I love historical novels and requested a copy of Philippa Gregory's latest Tudor novel The Taming Of The Queen, from my local library, but as there were more than a hundred other people waiting to read it, I bought myself a copy from my local bookshop.

A few weeks ago I bought a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle; I haven't started it yet, as I am saving it for when I am on leave over the Christmas period. I used to love helping my children with their puzzles, but have never attempted a 1000 piece jigsaw before, so it should be fun and probably a bit of a challenge! My mother loves jigsaw puzzles and says she finds them really absorbing and relaxing.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

A lovely surprise

My husband surprised me with this beautiful bouquet of spring flowers yesterday. It was not my birthday or any other special occasion; he just got them to show how much he loves and appreciates me, so I was really touched.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Persuasion RAL

I belong to a group on Ravelry for fans of Jane Austen and the moderator of the group organises a read along from time to time, the current one being Persuasion. As I do not belong to an actual book club where one has the opportunity to discuss books with like minded people, I really enjoy being able to be part of an online discussion.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

A bit of a catch up

I have not posted here for a while, but have been working steadily on the first of my Vanilla Latte socks and have also been working on my other WIP, my cabled sweater.
I have always tended to only buy yarn when I have a specific project in mind and so have never really had  much of a stash, but recently have bought some yarn for future projects, so am now starting to build a modest stash and will be keeping a record of it in my Ravelry notebook. I was out shopping this morning and while browsing in my LYS I found this denim blue 8ply DK yarn which I'll probably use to knit a couple of cabled tea cosies.


Saturday, 29 August 2015

Vanilla Latte Socks

 A  few weeks ago I bought this skein of Opal sock yarn online from It has been a long, cold and rather wet winter in New Zealand this year and I wanted to knit something in bright and cheerful colours. There is a lot of green in this yarn which is called Blumen im Gras ( flowers in grass), which I think is very appropriate for this time of year, given that 1 September is officially the first day of spring in the Southern Hemisphere.
I am using a free pattern from Ravelry for my socks; it's called Vanilla Latte Socks and has been in my queue and my favourites for a long time.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

FO: Willow Cowl

I finished this Willow Cowl during the week and after I'd wet blocked it, I took this photograph. The yarn I used is Misti Alpaca sock yarn, which I intended to use for socks, but I changed my mind and made a cowl instead. The yarn is really soft and when I had finished soaking the completed cowl in some wool wash, I was a bit worried about it being too soft and limp, but as soon as it dried it was fine.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

FO: Rattan Shawl

The KAL I participated in was for the month of July; I cast off on Friday 31 July and then washed and blocked my shawl on Saturday. I don't have any blocking wires, so used pins to block my shawl. It isn't very large, but I think it makes quite a stylish alternative to a scarf.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Before and after

I made this cowl over a year ago; at the time I thought it looked quite good with the large button, but I found that I hardly ever wore, so decided to remove it and this is what it looks like now:

The yarn is really soft and drapes well, so I think it looks much better this way.

Work in progress aka WIPs

I have two WIP's at the moment, my Rattan shawl and a cabled sweater for myself. I am almost up to the armhole on the back of the sweater and have been working on it while watching TV, but have put it aside and am now focused on my Rattan shawl.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Modelling Mr Greenjeans

I finished this cardigan a few weeks ago and this morning I got DH to photograph me wearing it. I am not a very photogenic person and am not that keen on having my picture taken, but I am quite pleased with this photo.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Ribs and cables

I really like classic patterns for cardigans and sweaters, as they are timeless designs which always look good. I have made myself a couple of sweaters and a sleeveless pullover using patterns in this book and have now cast on another sweater, the lovely design shown on the front cover of the pattern book. I knitted this particular sweater about five years ago and instead of making a V-neck, I opted for the round neck which I didn't find all that flattering and ended up giving the sweater to charity.

I bought the yarn for my sweater yesterday and cast on  the back last night while watching a DVD. I am still working on the rib, so haven't bothered to take a photo of my WIP. I am using Crucci 8ply which is 100% wool, but is machine washable. The colour I chose is a lovely shade of blue which should  look good with denims for weekend wear.

Yarn for KAL

I am going to be participating in a shawl KAL on Ravelry, so bought this skein of Touch Merino Magic 4ply for my project. I chose this colour combination as it's ideal for brightening up an outfit on a cold winter's day.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

FO: Feather and fan cowl

I had some yarn left after knitting my socks, so I used it to knit this feather and fan cowl.

FO: Bed Socks

These socks took very little time to knit and very little yarn and are ideal bed socks on a cold winter's night.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

I am so pleased with this project! It was my first ever top down cardigan and was not at all difficult to knit. I washed and blocked it last weekend and it took several days to dry, given the cold and damp weather we have been having lately. This morning I went to Spotlight and managed to find a really pretty button for it, which adds just the right finishing touch.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Some dishcloths and a pretty washcloth

I have been knitting some new dishcloths, as well as a pretty new washcloth.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Baby Hat

I knitted up this little hat last weekend while taking a break from working on my cardigan.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

WIP - Mr Greenjeans

I am making quite good progress with my top down cardigan and am not finding it all that difficult. I have been using stitch markers and row counters and these have helped me to avoid making  any unnecessary mistakes.
I have now reached the point where I need to start the cable and rib pattern; I need to go down a needle size for this and as I don't have this size of circular needle, have had to order one online and am still waiting for it to arrive.
While I  take a break from this project I'll be knitting a couple of small items which is a good way o f using up leftover yarn and I will at least have some knitting to keep be busy in the meantime.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

A change of plan

I frogged the sleeveless pullover I'd been working on and decided to use the yarn for another project. The yarn is Ashford Tekapo 8ply, but it's definitely thicker than a standard 8ply yarn and when I did a search on Ravelry I discovered that it's actually the same thickness as a 10 ply yarn.
I found a pattern for a top down cardigan on the Knitty website and it's been in my Ravelry queue for several years. It's called Mr Greenjeans and is a very popular design, but I was quite wary of attempting it. I'd never knitted a top down garment before, so I would look at it every so often and then shake my head, as I was convinced that I would never be able to do manage it.

I sat down and read though the pattern carefully before casting on and so far I am managing quite well and am quite excited about knitting my very first top down garment.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

My current WIP

I started this project just over a week ago and am enjoying working on it while watching TV, as it's stocking stitch and doesn't require much concentration.

Easter weekend knitting

I was in the mood for some sock knitting this weekend, but as I didn't have any sock yarn with which to knit a pair of adult socks, I opted for these sweet little baby socks instead. The pattern  is one I have had for a couple of years; it's called Diddly Baby Socks and is available free on Ravelry. The socks are really quick and easy to knit and are ideal for using up oddments of leftover baby yarn.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Another Edward Bear Sweater

I really love the pattern for this cute little teddy bear sweater. It's called Edward Bear's Sweater and is really quick and easy to knit, as it's all knitted in one piece. I knitted this one over the weekend while sitting in my craft room listening to an audiobook.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

A new project

This is a Bendigo Woollen Mills pattern, but the yarn I will be using for this project is Ashford Tekapo yarn which is made in New Zealand. We lived in Australia for two years and I bought Bendigo Woollen Mills yarns quite regularly, as I found that it  was good value for money and good quality, but living in New Zealand means that I now have to pay shipping costs, which pushed up the price quite considerably, so I prefer to buy locally made yarn for larger projects.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Fuchsia Hat

I had just one more skein of this lovely fuchsia pink yarn left, so I put it to good use and knitted this little hat. The pattern is free on Ravelry and is one I have used many times, as it's so quick and easy.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Cabled tea cosy

I have just finished this tea cosy which I made for my Brown Betty teapot. The pattern calls for 10ply yarn and 5mm needles and is meant for a large teapot; I was using 8ply yarn and found that casting on the same number of stitches and using smaller needles (4.5mm), I managed to achieve the correct size for my teapot.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Fuchsia Sweater

 Most of my Saturday afternoon and evening  was spent finishing off this little sweater, knitting up the neck, working in all the yarn ends and then sewing the seams. I have a couple of skeins of this lovely pink yarn over and am now trying to decide what to do with them.

I recently bought some yarn which I intend to use for a sleeveless pullover vest for myself, but right now I am so not in the mood for casting on a large project! I feel like knitting a few small items like baby hats and bootees and maybe a tea cosy or two. I have knitted several tea cosies and they tend to be more decorative than functional, as I very seldom use any of my teapots. I tend to make tea in a cup or mug with a single teabag, a really lazy habit, I know, but it does save time, especially on weekday mornings.