Monday, 21 June 2010

Yay for boys!!

You know the little 'incident' we had with the creepy crawlies? They are no longer!! I smote their asses!! This was helped significantly by the fact that we gave T a buzz cut. Now if he was a girl, I don't think we would've got away with that. So, yay for boys! And he didn't even gross out when we told him what was going on. I'd imagine girls would start freaking out, going 'eww eww, get them off me!!' (which is probably what I'd be doing. I mean, think about it! Little bugs crawling all over your head, sucking on your blood, laying eggs and pooing everywhere... blech!) He just took it in his stride, and played Nintendo while I doused him with spray and combed the crap out of his hair. Nary a sign to be seen, to wit - no eggs, no bugs, no 'dirt'. Now, if we can just avoid him being reinfested... The rest of the family came through unscathed, much to my delight. I was horrified at the thought of trying to get the little buggers out of my hair. Relief abounds!!

Moving on...

I managed to squish in a 3km run last week, so hopefully within a few weeks I'll be back to my 5km goal.

Oh, such fun to be had!! I am thoroughly enjoying my February Lady Sweater, and in fact have only one sleeve left to go. Said sleeve could be knit in one night, while in front of the telly watching Firefly, Chuck, Battlestar Galactica or Castle (to name some of our favourite programmes at the moment, of which there are many) but then it would be over :-( So I'm trying to stretch it out a little and intersperse it with other projects. Such as:

T's 'bushwalking beanie' which was originally made too small. I picked up the stitches before the decreases, frogged back and knit an extra two inches before redoing all the decreases. Now it fits perfectly! (And he looks uber cute in it, although I'm biased). It even fits me, but then, I have a small head - like, 54cm ;-)

As promised, the pattern for the hat:

T's Bushwalking Beanie
Knit with two strands of Shepherd 100% Lambswool Felted 12 ply held together on 8mm dpns

CO 44 sts (16/16/12) and join in the rnd.
Work k2, p2 rib for 6”
k2, p2tog around
k2, p1 for three rnds
k1, k2tog around
k two rnds
k1, k2tog around (shifting last st of ndl 1 to ndl 2 to k2tog), ending with k1
k one rnd
k2tog around, shifting last st on ndl 3 to ndl 1
k2tog around - 4 sts left

Break off yarn, thread end through last 4 sts and pull tight. Weave in ends.

See? Easy peasy ;-)

I've also been knitting these lovely socks, in some Knit Picks yarn given to me by Jill:

These are Esther socks (Ravelry link) designed by Stephanie van der Linden. Pretty :-) Hopefully I'll get them finished before the end of the month.

I knit another hat for the Men's Night Shelter - the pattern is BasicSimpleLazy by John Brinegar - and it really is :-) Here it is, modelled by my long-suffering husband while he was trying to watch something (I shoved it at him, indicating that he had to put it on, which he did, I snapped a quick pic, then ripped it off his head and left him in peace. I'm good like that):

So that's two hats for the night shelter so far - more to come.

I cast on for a cowl with my milk fibre yarn, but didn't like how it was knitting up, so ripped it back and am yet to start a new one. I probably won't take long to do that, because the yarn is so soft and squishy, I'd love to be wearing it right now. But that February Lady Sweater keeps calling me...

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

A child's right of passage

I guess I was deluded in the thought that we could avoid it. Seven and a half years so far, without a single incident. I was hoping against hope, but seriously, who was I kidding? I don't think anyone is safe. No matter who you are, or where you live, it's going to get you eventually, when you least expect it. What am I talking about, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. Nits. Yep. Disgusting, ugly, yucky, horrible head lice. Seven and a half years I have had my children (well, one of them for five and a half years) and not once have I had this problem. We've avoided it very well, no matter how many outbreaks there have been at school and kindy. We had always dodged the bullet. Sadly, not this time.

I am, however, hopeful that we caught it very early, and it is contained to the one head. It appears that way so far, although to be fair I've only checked two heads out of four. T has been 'infested', X has not. Deane I think is safe - he had a hair cut yesterday and came home unscathed, so presumably the barber did not spy any signs atop his dome. I am more inclined to give my wee boy a hug though, and as I type this I feel as though miniscule little legs are creeping over my scalp. Of course, this is likely to be paranoia setting in, but one can never be too sure.

Beds have been stripped, X dosed with lice repellant, Deane is right at this moment getting lice shampoo, and I fully intend to commit mass murder later this evening - of the buggy variety. (I have done this once before, spending a thrilling few minutes outside my childhood home squashing ants, until I had a major guilt trip after watching fellow ants carry their fallen comrades home. I felt very bad.) The school will be notified first thing tomorrow morning, and notices will be going home with every child tomorrow afternoon. Crush the little buggers!!

On a lighter note, while I'm here I might as well give an update on far more interesting things (to me, anyway).

I've fit in another two runs since my first 'not so flash' run of last week. 2km each time, much easier to handle. I'll work my way back up to 5km slowly. Yesterday's scenery was rather lovely, if a little cold. 9am, 5 degrees celcius, ice-covered puddles and frost everywhere. Gorgeous.

There's just something really invigorating about getting up early on a crisp Winter morning, and going for a jog around the local park. Of course, I'm not entirely mad, and won't be doing it every day. But that just makes you appreciate it all the more, right? ;->

I finished my 'vanilla flats', and have decided they can go to my sister. I can always knit more.

Anyway, I've already cast on for a new pair :-) My latest pair are going to be Esther socks (Ravelry link). Plus, the first instalment of the Vintage Purls sock club shall be arriving next week! And of course I have plenty of sock yarn sitting in my stash, waiting to be knit. In fact, I added to that stash on the weekend, while out at Craft 2.0 in Lower Hutt. I felt compelled to buy this yarn, as the colourway was created as a special request for another woman, based on the Hawkes Bay Magpies, and Hawkes Bay colours. Good old black and white. Very kiwi!

Courtesy of Tash from Knitsch

I think this sock yarn may quite possibly turn into a pair of socks for my dad. In all honesty, I probably owe him a non-heinous pair, after the ones I gave him for Christmas ;-) Although I'd be more than happy wearing them (around the house) they're not really him. He does however support the Magpies, going to every home game, so perhaps he will receive a new pair for his birthday...

Here's a progress pic on my February Lady Sweater:

Looking good, huh? Absolutely loving this knit!! Elizabeth Zimmerman is a genius! And of course, many thanks to Pamela Wynne for adapting the pattern.

I'm making a pair of wrist warmers for my bff which are a little over 50% done, but no pics as yet.

As for spinning, I recently spun up some milk protein fibre which is deliciously soft and squidgy, and wonderfully shiny. 69g, 45m of bulky weight yarn, soon to be knit into a cowl:

It started out as a braid of fibre named Aurora Borealis, bought from Beesybee Fibers on Etsy, and sent all the way from the US to here. Pretty, huh?

It was an interesting spin - quite slippery. I do maintain that it would have gone much easier on a new wheel, but I guess my old Addy will suffice for now. I've been eyeing up the Majacraft Rose and would dearly love to get one, but at a cool price of a little over $900, it will have to wait. At least until Deane secures a new job. Donations gladly accepted :-) Would've been nice to have a new wheel before the Tour de Fleece (another Ravelry link) starts in July, but alas, time and funds do not allow. Maybe next year. Although I will still be participating in the Tour de Fleece - my first time - it should be fun!

Well, better go and get the horrors ready for bed - let the killing commence!!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010


I couldn't think of a title, so Mr Smiley Face is filling in. Just a few updates today, so here we go:

Yes, running. I went for a run today. I managed to run a full 2 kilometres. Then I slowed to a walk, and contemplated whether I should throw up or pass out. After a while I decided neither option would be optimal, and just got in my car and drove home for a shower. No run tomorrow, I'm going spinning instead. And before you thinking I'm piking, it was pre-arranged ;-)

Going great guns, as usual. Since last post, I've knit a pair of Lumos! socks, which came out okay, but I was a little disappointed in the pattern writeup. The heel made no sense, so I ended up rewriting my own heel pattern (based on other standard versions with a heel flap and gusset decreases). Plus I knit the leg to 5" instead of the stated 3.5", and the knit only row was omitted from the toe decrease part. These were knit with the 'Good Evening, Aviator' from Knitsch I bought on sale recently. The yarn is quite lovely to work with, so I'm happy to recommend it to others. It has no nylon content, so I'm not sure how well they'll wear, but really, you can't turn down 100% New Zealand merino, hand dyed in New Zealand!!

The reason why they're called Lumos! is because of the cute little wands on the sides:

Yes, I am a Harry Potter nerd. Why do you ask?

I'm also knitting some plain ol' vanilla socks with my 'flat feet'. I'm absolutely loving how the colours are knitting up.

I'm having a bit of an internal dilemma here though - these colours, to me, scream 'Phillippa' (my younger sister) so I think maybe I should give them to her once they're finished, but I looooooooove them and I want to keep them all to myself (yes, I'm also selfish). What to do?? If it helps you help me decide, the Lumos! socks are going to a friend (even though they fit me perfectly, as she has the same size feet as me, and they're really comfortable, and I love the colour, and I don't have any blue socks yet...)

I spun up some gorgeous fibre yesterday - the colour is called 'nw apt', and it's from maude&me (who else? ;-P) I've named it Passionfruit Twist, simply because from the moment I saw it, it looked to me like passionfruit colours. I'm a little disappointed with how I spun it up, but my wheel, lovely as it is, is old and decrepit (circa 1970's) and the tension knob is loose so can't be adjusted. It ended up being about worsted weight (not that I've checked, just eyeballing it), 117g, 142.5m. 100% NZ polwarth.

As previously mentioned, I'm heading to a spin-along tomorrow after dropping the boys at school, so I'm trying to convince Deane to fix it for me before then. I did suggest I needed a brand new wheel, and he (of course) said "no, that'll be really easy to fix". So fix it Deane!! Chop chop!!

Family News
Well, there isn't really any. Deane is still 'between jobs' and driving me bonkers at home (although to be fair, we seem to have managed a kind of 'co-habitation-day-shift' thing, where we can mostly do our own thing without affecting the other person). The boys have moved back to their own school as of today, freshly renovated and extended. T is doing fabulously at reading, maths and swimming (he can float by himself, and no longer screams at the instructor, happily putting his head under water and collecting things off the bottom of the pool). X is doing well - his reading is improving steadily, as is his writing. I think it may have something to do with playing XBox games that require you to read instructions. I guess games can be educational after all...

My Ravelry friend Jill is having a great time here in Wellington, and I'm thoroughly enjoying showing her around, getting her to spend money on yarn, introducing her to other kiwi ravelers, and my lovely stitching friends.

Yes, I'm also a Twilight nerd ;-) It says so in my profile. I've managed to con Jill into watching Twilight, and we'll be watching New Moon later this week. Another Ravelry friend, Raewyn, has now read all the books and watched both movies, and is looking forward to Eclipse in July. But wait, that's not all! My beautician, Anna, currently has my Twilight and New Moon books and DVDs. I'm slowly turning them all to the dark side. Mwahahahahahahaaaaaa ;-> Next on my list, Jenny...

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Winter Rocks!! Yeah!!

I think it's a great season. So many excuses to sit inside all day and do things like knit, and bake, and read, and generally be lazy :-) After the housework's done of course ;-) The weather here has been absolutely abominable for the last couple of weeks, so plenty of the aforementioned has been happening here. My 'illness' has almost gone, so running will (possibly) be happening again soon as well. But meanwhile, more fibery goodness to share!!

Since last post, I have completed several projects which I will kindly share with you all now. First up (drumroll please)...

A hat for Quidditch! (in other words, charity knitting for the HPKCHC) I've decided I'm going to knit hats for the Wellington Men's Night Shelter. It's getting pretty freaking cold here, and I'm sure there are plenty of guys around spending a lot of time in chilly conditions, bunking down for the night in shelters around the Wellington area. Somebody might appreciate a noggin warmer ;-) I got Deane to model it for me, although he whinged about having not shaved, so I cut his face off... Just in the picture!! Don't panic ;-P

This one is designed by Dale Hwang - I've made a few of her patterns (the Animal Cracker hat, and the Lupin scarf which is my absolute fave!!), which turned out well. I think I like her ;-)

I then made a hat for T.

It was supposed to be for a bushwalk the school kids were going on - a woolly hat was a requirement for the walk. Unfortunately, I made it way too small - ie: it would probably fit a newborn (seriously!! You'd think I'd be able to judge the size of my kids heads by now!!) so I'm debating whether to give it to somebody with a baby, or rip it back to before the decreases and just make it bigger. Thoughts? Ideas? It's uber soft and comfy-feeling, knit with two strands of 12ply felted lambswool. Kind of made up the pattern myself (hence the major fail!!) so if I do rip it back and make it bigger, and it actually fits, then I'll put the pattern on here. Just in case by some miracle somebody actually wants to make one. Hahahahahahaha... ahem.

I finished the chunky knit cabled scarf I started a couple of weeks ago:

Soon to be going to a new home. I think the recipient deserves it :-)

I also finished all ten squares for the sixth round of the Ron Weasley Blanket Swap. They'll be winging their way to America within the week (just need to add the tags) and I'll be waiting patiently for my squares to arrive back.

(Sorry, crappy night-time photography in play here). These are the January, February, and March blocks for the 2009 Afghan project by Hanks Yarn & Fibre

And last, but certainly not least, my February Lady Sweater!!! Although it's not finished yet, have to mention it so - gratuitous progress pic here:

I am loving this knit so far. Can't wait for it to be finished!! Although I'm trying to pace myself, because it's for my OWL, which is supposed to take three months. I had about 30% complete in, like, three days. (It was just too fun!!) At the moment, it's at about 42% (going on how much yarn I've used compared to the total amount required) so I've slowed down on it at least. Now to eek it out until July...

Jill, my fabulous US Ravelry friend has been a really fun companion for things like yarn shopping, knitting group, movie watching and craft show dawdling (to name a few). We hit the Dunkley's Craft Show on Saturday, and managed to purchase a few goodies while we were there. My mini haul consists of some beads (soon to become stitch markers) from Pretty Funky Cool Beads, some divine smelling soap from The Scented Soap Deli - mango butter, and sandalwood. Can't wait to use them!! And I couldn't pass up the opportunity to buy some delicious-looking fibre from Anna Gratton. Looky looky!!

Up the top is 100g 'Summervilla Blue' - 75% halfbred wool, 25% Tussah silk. The bottom blob is 100g 'Seashell Blend' - 50% mohair, 25% halfbred wool, 25% Tussah silk. At $10 a pop, how could I resist? ;-)

Knitting Pretty was having a yarn sale at her Wellington store, so on Sunday before knitting group, we moseyed (yes that is a word, I looked it up!!) on out to have a look. Jill ended up spending a pretty penny, but managed to get a few gifts, one of which was this:

For me!! She is so sweet!! Just in case you were wondering exactly what this is, it's 'Flat Feet' - you knit socks with it, unravelling it as you go. The finished socks are a complete surprise, because each 'flat' is dyed differently by hand, and you just don't know how it's going to turn out. Exciting sock knitting!! At least for knitting nerds like myself ;-) And while we're on the subject of sock yarn...

Knitsch was having a sale on limited stock, so I got a few skeins:

Up top is 'Good Evening, Aviator', and the bottom two are 'Van Gogh'. Ooh, they look good...

But for now - Must. Stop. Buying. Yarn!! Especially since Deane is still 'between jobs'. (Ugh. Could it take any longer?!?!?)

I'm just waiting for the US clocks to roll over to June, so the Sock Knitters Anonymous June Sockdown Challenge can start, and the new classes for the HPKCHC will be posted, so had a bit of down time today. Managed to get some baking done, which is something I haven't done in months:

Cinnamon loaf (x2) and giant Toll House Biscuits (aka chocolate chip cookies with ridiculously big chocolate chips in!). Nothing quite like a house full of baking smells!

Anyway, I'm getting the hurry up from Deane - he's waiting to watch Battlestar Galactica so I must away. Till next time - ciao!