Monday, July 2, 2018

three hats

Three baby hats using this free pattern. One for our baby and two to donate.

The polka dot fabric is the backing of a crib quilt that I pieced in November last year - and have yet to finish quilting.

Another work in progress - a make-it-up-as-I-go-along embroidery similar to this one - that I'm thinking I might make up into a drawstring gift bag.

Imagine wanting only this by Kristen Radtke - a graphic novel/comic book about memories and history, loss, ghost towns and ruins. If you're interested in reading graphic novels but don't know where to start I'd recommend this column from The Guardian.

Tooth and nail by Ian Rankin - the third book in the Inspector Rebus series.

Watching: The jinx - six-part documentary about NY real estate heir Robert Durst and the mysterious disappearance of his wife in 1982. I watched this on DVD borrowed from the library. Intriguing. ****

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

the story of two hats

Vacuum flasks poster by Lou Taylor from frankie magazine.

Accidentally two hats or the pitfalls of shopping online for yarn late at night. I was planning to make my granddaughter a beanie - as its got quite chilly here lately - but I ordered too much yarn and it wasn't quite the colour I'd hoped it would be. Solution: knit two hats - each with a different coloured pompom - and then let my granddaughter choose. She chose the red pompom because what she really wanted was a red hat. The pattern is "ribbed hat" from Easy kids knits (2009) by Claire Montgomerie.

Hide and seek by Ian Rankin - number two in the Inspector Rebus series

The man who went up in smoke by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö - number two in the Martin Beck series

Mister Pip (2006) by New Zealand author Lloyd Jones. Made into a film in 2012 starring Hugh Laurie.

Watching: Evil genius - four-part Netflix documentary about a bank robbery in Eerie, Pennsylvania in 2003. Sad and disturbing.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

monkeys and fish

I've decided to send a small box of toys to Little Sprouts this year and I've started with some sock monkeys like these ones. I've now used up all my sock monkey making supplies so it's with sadness - but also relief - that these guys may be the last that I make.

To improve my toy making skills I borrowed Stuffed animals : from concept to construction by Abigail Patner Glassenberg from the library. You can find Abigail's website here. It's full of good advice, tutorials and some free patterns. The patterns in her book are also available to download here. I thought I'd start with the fish because it looked fairly simple but I struggled with some of the details and had to modify the design to get it finished. In the end it turned out ok. And I learnt a lot - always a good outcome.

Other things this week:
I cleaned out my supplies cupboard and have three cardboard boxes of stuff to donate,
I attended my son's graduation ceremony - a proud parenting moment,
I received a lovely handmade mothers' day card from my granddaughter who wrote under her name "2018 age 4" and
I ate my very first poke bowl.

I hope your week goes well. I'll be away next week visiting my mother-in-law who recently passed her driving test to renew her license. She'll be celebrating her 94th birthday next week.

Reading: Roseanna by Maj Sjöwall (the queen of crime) and Per Wahlöö - the first book in the Martin Beck series. First published in 1963. Swedish crime at its best.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

tiny socks

Op shop find The it doesn't matter suit by Sylvia Plath written in 1959 and published posthumously in 1976. Delightfully illustrated by Rotraut Susanne Berner.

And tiny socks using this free pattern. I made a few adjustments which you can read about on Ravelry. I haven't knitted socks for years and years so I needed to refer to youtube quite a bit. I found the following tutorials helpful:
I'd recommend this pattern if you're new to sock knitting as, although they can be a bit fiddly because they are so tiny, they knit up quickly and you get to learn about and practise all your sock knitting skills. Plus you end up with a lovely gift for a newborn. I'm saving these for the grandchild.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

big hat, little hat

I tripped while crossing the road on Friday and gashed my leg. My local GP stitched it up for me but I had to "take it easy" over the weekend keeping my leg elevated as much as possible. So there was much reading, knitting and binge-watching - which worked out quite well really as the weather was pretty bad.

I finished two of my in-the-round projects. A baby hat using this free pattern. I'll send it to Crafty Volunteers for the Woolen baby clothes project where the aim is to gather 8,000 handmade items of baby clothing by 31st of May. It's a small contribution but it all adds to the goal.

The grey hat is adult-size. I used this pattern by Erika Knight from her 2010 book Simple knitting. I'll send that off to Crafty Volunteers too - but not for the baby project, obviously.

Both hats are stretchy with generous fold-up brims to be worn slouchy or snug.

Reading: I'll admit to abandoning The last hours by Minette Walters. Once I heard there was going to be a sequel I just knew that I couldn't go on. So... I'm now reading Driving to Treblinka : a long search for a lost father by Diana Wichtel. When the family moved from Canada to New Zealand, her father was meant to join them later but never did. The book is about the author's search for him many years later. And so far, it's good. 😀

Thursday, April 26, 2018


The short sleeved baby cardigan - using this pattern - is finished. It's for a my second grandchild due in Spring. Very exciting.

And three new things being knitted all at once in the round and on double points. 

Cooler autumn weather is great for knitting.

Listening: Black sheep podcast. This is a Radio New Zealand podcast series about some of the more interesting characters (and some villains) from NZ's history. ****

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

cake and elephants

It's the middle of the feijoa season and we have an abundance. We've been giving them away to neighbours and workmates (isn't everybody at this time of year?) but still have too many. If you're in the same situation you might like to use some up by making this recipe for ginger and feijoa cake. It's delicious, moist, easy to make and uses up 500 grams of feijoa pulp. It's good with lemon icing and might be even better with the addition of walnuts.

I was hoping to have a small herd of elephants made but I'm afraid there's only two. I used this free pattern.

Reading: I've just started The last hours by Minette Walters. It's set in Dorset, England in 1348 and tells how the lady of the manor and her serfs survive the plague. Lady Anne is progressive in her ideas about equality, education, religion and healthcare possibly because Walters is writing from a modern perspective. The characters are (so far) predictable. The book is unbelievable but I don't want to stop reading it.

Watching: Wild, wild country on Netflix. This is a documentary series about guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and the commune he established near the tiny, isolated town of Antelope, Oregon in the 1980s.