Saturday, 28 August 2010

My own personal deserted island

is in an apartment right in the middle of Auckland city. I've had to paddle out to sea in a canoe just to get some internet time - not too far though, the local internet cafe is right next door to our apartment building :-) Still though, it's been a whole week with no access to the online world. It's amazing what you miss when you suddenly don't have it any more...

So we moved into the smallest apartment in the world on Tuesday (it always makes me wonder why Aucklanders call their apartments 'spacious' when really they're not. I shudder to think what they'd consider 'pokey') - it took me from Tuesday afternoon after the movers left (approximately 4.45pm) right through to Thursday afternoon around the same time to sort everything out to a point where I was happy and comfortable. I pretty much only stopped to eat and sleep (and of course the necessary daily pit-stops and hygiene routines). I spazzed out at Deane a few times, and he must've felt bad for me because he came home with a bottle of pinot gris, some chocolates, and a $200 gift voucher for the beauty therapist at the Heritage Hotel (just around the corner). Bless.

The boys and I called in to the school on Friday morning for our 'interview' (seriously, since when do you need to interview to attend a public school?!?) and they start on Monday. Phew!! Much needed sanity time coming my way in less than 48 hours.

I've managed to get to and from the supermarket twice in the car without having an accident or getting lost, and have found the local shopping mall with a Warehouse so I can buy bits and pieces like a clothes airer (because the apartment has one of those stupid washer/dryer combos that doesn't actually dry the clothes unless you leave them in there drying allllllll day - HUGE waste of power!!) and a rubbish bin, shoes for T, a new school bag for X, etc etc. Queen Street is two streets over so shopping is conveniently located, the IMAX theatre is within walking distance - everything is RIGHT THERE. I'm sure I'll be fine :-)

Not much knitting has been done, although I have managed to finish one bug sock, and started a pair of socks for dad. No pics yet, I'll upload and share some time next week when Deane's sorted out an internet connection at home.

Missing my friends in Wellington already - been thinking about Jenny calling everything 'redonk', there's been two Sunday knitting groups I've missed out on, my friend Tracee and her man Jamie (such funny people, even if they are vegan and try to make you go to Bikram Yoga ;-P), my stitching group friends, my book group friends - so many people...

I'm going to try and plan a Wellington visit for October, so hopefully I'll be seeing some of them soon.

But for now, I have to organise some meet-ups here, so I won't be lonely. Knitting is much more fun when you have somebody to laugh with, and it's easier to find out about things like swimming lessons for the boys, local GPs, cool places to hang out etc when you're talking to somebody who's lived here for a while. I don't think I'm going to sign up for the PTA (although the school have already tried - they certainly don't waste time!!) but hopefully the boys will make some new friends at school, and the parents will be helpful and happy to answer questions. I have many.

Well, time's almost up on my little counter thingee at the bottom of the screen so I must dash, and I shall be back soon. Ta ta!!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

The wheels are in motion...

...things are getting organised. I have a moving company booked and ready, I have a move out date, and a move in date. I have a school finishing date at this end, and Deane is organising the school meeting and start date up in Auckland (I hope). I have a builder arranged to come and fix the wall early next week (thank you Margaret!!).

I've cleaned the oven, and the windows, sent half the household to the Salvation Army store, packed almost everything I can pack at this stage, and I even have a babysitter organised for book group on Monday night (thank you Philippa and Olivia!!).

Once in Auckland, I have people to meet for coffee, and together we will (hopefully) be setting up a new knitting group.

You know what? I don't think I'm freaking out anymore. I may just make it through this move completely (well, mostly) sane. Fingers crossed everything goes smoothly from here :-)

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it, you can't prove anything!!!

What's that you say? Nobody else was here? Well, I guess it was me then. Oops...



Can I claim stupidity? I think that's it. People, this is what happens when you attempt to drag a double bed base up a flight of stairs by yourself. Turns out the double bed base doesn't fit around the corner at the top of the stairs as easily as the mattress does. It also transpires that holding on to a bed base at the top of a flight of stairs by yourself is really hard when there's nothing on the base to hold on to. What happens is you lose your grip, the bed base slides merrily down the stairwell, and goes through the wall at the bottom. Aren't you glad I figured this all out for you? See, I'm a really helpful person (who shouldn't be left alone for long periods of time!!)

Now, does anyone happen to know a good gib stopper?

Monday, 9 August 2010

Downsizing

Much of yesterday was spent going through the boys' toys with a fine-tooth comb (so to speak) and weeding out anything they didn't really play with anymore, had grown out of, or that I just didn't like because it was annoying. I managed to get rid of about a third of the bulk, which will make things a little easier when we move. An even bigger benefit is that everything now fits into a three-drawer storage unit or big containers, so can pretty much be loaded onto the truck as is. Woo hoo! The 'excess' is being dropped off at the local Salvation Army store today, before the boys are any the wiser. If they complain, I'll just tell them that because they were unwilling to help me sort through their toys, they don't get any say in what happens. Yes, I'm evil. Why do you ask? ;->

I guess the next step will be sorting through clothes and other bits and pieces we've accumulated an excess of (eg: bed linen - most of it doesn't get used. And yes, the bed clothes still get changed regularly!). I suppose there are some benefits to having to move often - you don't get much chance to accumulate too much crap. Unless you're Deane. Much downsizing of hoarded junk will be going on in the next two weeks for that man!! It's become a regular occurrence for him, simply because we have to. I think that although it is inconvenient, moving around has helped him immensely in that he can't get too attached to random items because it's likely to be gone soon. Having said that, a lot of stuff just materialises out of nowhere, so when it comes time to move, you've got no idea where it all came from. Hence the downsizing. It's a vicious cycle.

To be honest, I like the occasional 'cleansing' - it helps you keep what you've got fairly well organised. And if anyone knows me, they know I like to be organised! ::coughcough:: just don't look in my knitting basket ::ahem::

I'm not enjoying the experience of getting quotes for moving companies, truck rentals etc - that is something I'd rather not have to deal with! But I don't really have much option, since Deane is super busy with his new job and isn't here to do it for me.

I'm making the effort to be positive about this move - I'm going to meet new friends, and already have a couple of knitters lined up for coffee once we're settled in (oh, the joys of Ravelry!!). I've contacted the school, and Deane's going to call in this week to pick up enrolment packs for them. I get to go out for dinner with everyone here for a fun farewell - and I'm sure to see them again, and will definitely be keeping in touch via email etc.

Onwards!!!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

How about a quickie?

Get your mind out of the gutter people, I'm talking updates!! ;-P

Deane nearly accepted a two bedroom apartment in Parnell today, but at the very last minute turned it down, as it was a little on the small side (and with two young boys, small is not what we need!) but for a while there I was in panic mode - thoughts of having to organise notice with the current landlord, school transfers, address changes, moving trucks, packing, a looooooong drive from one end of the island to the other... my panic has now been put on hold, at least temporarily. But I've decided that rather than freak out when we find something, I'll at least organise what I can - I've let the landlord know we'll be moving out soon, and on the weekend I'll write a list of all the places I have to change our address with. I've asked for quotes from moving companies, packing is technically already half done (most of it is still in boxes in the garage) and the boys' school is aware that we will be moving soon. Deep breath - in, out. Whew.

Now for some cheerful news - Margaret successfully rescued the malabrigo scarf, and I have ripped back Cherie to the top of the waistline, ready to reknit the lace pattern. I had a relaxing morning spinning at miss tracee's (before the blind panic set in after Deane called about the apartment), and I came away from there with new fibre and yarn. Awesome ;-)

First up, Kentucky Ave on polwarth (mmm, polwarth...)


Tracee remembered I wanted some of this colourway. She's so cool!

And secondly, some juicy on perendale


Pretty, huh?

And as if that wasn't enough (btw, those were 'prizes' for the Tour de Fleece (yay for random number generators) and for the July SAL (that like, four people participated in - yay for small numbers of participants in competitions!)) she gave me - gave me - a skein of Three Irish Girls Beckon Stretch Merino sock yarn in the Arboretum colourway:


Super gorgeous!! And uber squidgy too :-)

I'm going to miss being able to hang at her place and spin, and chat with her boyfriend about the most bizarre stuff. Guess I'll have to visit occasionally instead.

Another Wellington 'supplier' I'm going to miss is Tash from Knitsch. She's working her butt off and doing a fab job at getting her name out into the fibre community, all with a huge smile on her face. Here's the past two months' yarn club instalments:

#1 - Peacock in the Parlour


#2 - June


The patterns that came with both these weren't really me, so I decided not to knit them. But I'm looking forward to working with these super bright colours! Although maybe not together...

So many friends I've made here - fibre and non fibre related. I'm going to miss them all!! Emails shall be frequent, and visits to Wellington organised regularly I'm sure.

One more thing that went a long way towards cheering up my day was what arrived in the mailbox this afternoon - the next bunch of squares for the Ron Weasley blanket swap!!



There are some great squares this time around - and I'm getting closer to having enough squares for a decent sized blanket. Maybe another couple of swaps. I'll get them all out later and lay them out to see what size I've got so far, and decide from there.

Oh bum, this turned out to be a not-so-quick update. Never mind. Now though, T is in bed, hopefully asleep. X is heading the same way soon, so for me it'll be a couple of episodes of Supernatural, and casting on some socks for my wonderful mummy :-)

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Woe is me :-(

I have been abandoned. Left alone to raise my two children... nah, just kidding ;-) But Deane has gone to Auckland to start his new job, and I'm still in Wellington getting the boys to school every day, feeding them, helping them with their homework, making sure they wash and change clothes regularly so they don't start to smell - the usual. Still not sure when we'll be joining him up there, so watch this space!

Meanwhile, I've got lots of alone time (after all that not-alone time while Deane was home for three months. It never rains but it pours!!) which means knitting, spinning, watching what I want to watch, when I want to watch it, quiet reading time, and above all, far less mess. Yay!! Less mess means more knitting :-)

Unfortunately though, two of the things I'm currently knitting have been sent to time out to think about what they've done. They've been very naughty. My malabrigo lace scarf has an incorrect row several pattern repeats down. I'm too scared to fix it. My dear friend Margaret (brave woman) has volunteered to help me with this little conundrum, so hopefully the scarf will be coming out of the naughty corner soon. The other thing, my Cherie Amour, may be there a little longer. The lace pattern decrease chart was not well written (probably worked perfectly for a specific size, but certainly not all of them) and it's a bit of a mess unfortunately. Had I read other peoples notes on said pattern, I could've saved myself a lot of trouble. However I didn't, so Cherie has gone into the naughty corner and is hopefully not colluding with malabrigo scarf about what other mischief they can get into!!

One dear knit that is behaving is the latest sock club instalment from Vintage Purls. Oh so pretty, I'm loving this knit. It was certainly a challenge, but one I think I was ready for - I just needed a little push, and the sock club was perfectly timed. The pattern is called 'Bug Out', and the yarn colours are 'Top Soil' and 'Beetle'. Here's what I've managed on the first sock so far:


Top of the foot


Bottom of the foot - apologies for the terrible picture, but it's impossible to get a good shot of the sole of your own foot!!

Now I freely admit that this sock is far from perfect, but I love it anyway. It's the first real colourwork I've done before and I'm super proud of it. I'm knitting with one colour in each hand, and I'm doing pretty well. Although my two-colour purl leaves a lot to be desired (I probably look quite ridiculous when attempting it) but luckily you only have to purl on the heel (and presumably the ribbing for the cuff) so I'll just do those bits in private ;-P

And it occurred to me that I never posted a pic of my completed February Lady Sweater. I had full intentions of getting a photo of me wearing it, but that just hasn't happened, so a picture of it all by its ralf will have to suffice:



This was finished end of June/early July. And it was accepted for my OWL, so I passed. Yay! 150 points for Hufflepuff!! It fits perfectly and I love it. The sleeves maybe could've been a little longer, but oh well. I'll keep that in mind if I ever make another one.

Oh, and I finished a scarf for my mother-in-law and posted it off - it may look familiar (I made one exactly the same a little while ago for my friend KJ):



I assure you that this is indeed a different scarf.

I think I'll cast on for my dad's socks next (pattern and yarn already organised, measurements obtained - systems are go!) - might get them done for his birthday and Father's Day (both in September).

Which reminds me - I'm a terrible daughter. I forgot my mother's birthday!!!! How awful is that? Who forgets their mother's birthday?!? Sad. Very sad. So mum, if you're reading this, a pair of socks is coming your way!! If I knit my butt off, I might get them done in time to send with dad's socks...

Anyway, must dash - I have a carrot cake in the oven, and the timer is about to go off. Then it will be time to pick the boys up from school. Stitching group tonight (hurrah!!) and they're coming over here. Must vacuum!! Bye for now :-)