Wednesday, 31 December 2014

A New Book - So Beautiful!

Can I say my reading at the moment is a pattern book?!

When I saw the post about this book on Natural Suburbia, I was in love! And now it has arrived, it is just as gorgeous as I expected it to be.

As we are currently moving house, there is no knitting being done (sad face!). But as soon as we are settled and I rediscover my stash, the Cape Point Shawl will be jumping onto my needles.

Just the colours I love! 

On my needles at the moment is another vintage baby pattern called This Lacy Raglan.

The lace pattern looks terrible at the moment - it is one that definitely requires blocking to show it to best advantage. I am knitting it in Drops Alpaca 4 ply. I bought some recently as the price is fantastic, as is the colour range. I must admit, though, to being disappointed at the way it is knitting up. My stocking stitch is normally quite even, but not this piece. And I cannot leave it for more than a day or there will be a definite tension mark. You can see it towards the top of this photo.

I'm hoping blocking will sort it all out.

Has anyone used Drops Alpaca? How do you think it performed? 

Joining Ginny at Small Things for this week's Yarn Along.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

I'll Be Back Soon!

Just a quick post to wish everyone a belated Merry Christmas!

And a blessed and happy New Year for 2015!

We are currently moving house so I have been absent from blogging for a few weeks and probably will be for another week. By then, I should have made some sense of all the boxes! Wish me luck!

Hope to be back soon with some more knitting (I really miss knitting when I can't do it) and other bits and pieces for 2015.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

A Wonderful Way To Receive Yarn

Ok, so I have vowed I will not look on the internet at any new yarn to purchase. But I have recently signed up for KnitCrate. This is a monthly or bi-monthly subscription for yarn, a pattern, a knitting goodie and a treat. I know, I know, it is kind of like buying new yarn. But it is not actually LOOKING for new yarn - it just magically arrives in the mail! Anyway, that is my (slightly flawed) reasoning and I am sticking to it!

This was my November posting. Don't tell anyone, but I subscribe to two add-ons as well as my main subscription. 

This is the Intermediate/Advanced subscription. November mailout was a Scarf-In-A-Scarf pattern, Skeino handpainted yarn and silk scarf dyed at the same time so it is a colour match, a needle keeper and Lovely lollies.
The scarf pattern looks intriguing. The knitted scarf has buttonholes along one edge to thread the silk scarf through. Then it can be tied in numerous ways.

The November sock add-on was Madelinetosh - Tosh Sock and a Slippery Socks pattern, which is a slip stitch pattern. I have cast these socks on, but forgot to take a photo! I am thinking they will be for my oldest daughter for Christmas. 

And I really love the Minis Add-On! 5 or 10 skeins (surprisingly, I choose 10!) of 20gms of a line of yarn. These are Madelinetosh - Tosh Sock. These are so asking to be knitted into the little Christmas elf stockings that Pumpkin Sunrise blogged about this week. As soon as I read the post, I knew I wanted to make some of these stockings. And then the next day, this yarn arrived. Perfect!

I do love these mystery subscriptions. It is so exciting to open the parcel. You can look on their website for the 'reveal' before your parcel arrives, but what fun is that?! You can look here to see some examples of past collections. There are some lovely yarns included in these packages.

Linking with Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm Craft On, even though this post is more about thinking of crafting than actually doing! But hey, sometimes it is just as much fun to look through your stash and pattern books and dream of what to start next!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

A Busy Day!

It was a busy day on our little farm yesterday. We have had 12 or so old cypress pines and the old shearing shed removed. The cypress pines have been dropping limbs in every strong wind for the last few years and were getting dangerous. And the shearing shed, although a lovely old building, had not been maintained. 
So now I have a lovely clean slate to work with! Hopefully by next year, I will be able to show photos of this being turned into a productive garden.

Lots of work involved though! First, I will be sifting through these enormous piles for useable bits and pieces - I'm thinking garden benches, garden bed edgings, rounds of little stools, all sorts of ideas are swimming around together in my head!

Apparently Whirlwind is the Statue of Liberty!
And this is what the cypress pine turns into!

With the help of this!

With big thanks to Ian from Hotspur Park Milling. He has done a wonderful job (and he will be back tomorrow for more).

This timber is destined to be the new playground at the boys school, Tarrington Lutheran School. The plans look amazing and I cannot wait to see it built. 

The rest of the cypress will be for shelving, weatherboards and floorboards to refurbish a shed, a post and rail fence for the garden, and whatever else we can come up with before the timber runs out.

There is also some lovely blackwood that we salvaged from a neighbouring property which will become desks for the boys.

I think hubby is obsessed now and wants to mill everything he sees!

Thanks to my daughter's very talented boyfriend, who is doing a building apprenticeship through school, I now have a lovely new chook shed. It is too nice for the chooks to dirty up though! 

A friend wanted to know if it was a roadside stand with that lift up section. I hadn't thought of that, but it does look like one. Definitely a project for when I get my garden up and going! I could keep him busy building for years with all the ideas in my head!

And the boys had a ball playing on the tractor that we borrowed to move the huge logs around.

All together, a very productive weekend on the farm. I will keep you posted with photos of the progress from a pile of dirt to, hopefully, an area bursting with life and productivity. 

Wish me luck!

Linking with Darling Downs Diaries for Good Morning Mondays.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Friday . . . Not Much Happening

Linking up with ChrisKnits for Friday Finishes, who is looking very festive!

I have been doing lots of knitting but not a huge amount of finishing. I did finish two shepherds for the Nativity at the school - way, way later than they should have been finished.

I still have one more to complete. Cutting it a bit fine!

They are from Knit The Nativity by Jan Messent. Some of the instructions required a little tweaking, but the result is lovely.

One Misty, Moisty Morning, When Cloudy Was The Weather

Beautiful misty morning here yesterday. 
Whirlwind went out early to fly his new red kite from the Red Kite association.

We don't have gorillas in the mist, we have chickens in the mist!

I love cobwebs in the mist, with dew drops glistening on them.

Our road as we headed off to school.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

A Rainy Day, Yarn and Tea - Again!

Raining again here today. Actually thunder and lightning and heavy rain this time, not the lovely drizzle of last week.

I do love listening to the thunder rumbling, but driving in heavy rain is not much fun. I will be heading out to do the school pick up soon.  It is always a relief to be home, tucked up nice and warm and safe. 

It reminds me of two of my favourite childrens books. (I even love books about rain!)

You Can Do It, Sam was one of Miss Butterfly's favourites and is now one of Cuddlepie's. Oldest to youngest! So I have been reading this one aloud for about 10 years now.

I just love the imagery the sentence on this page evokes - 'and they wriggled their toes in fat socks, enjoying their cakes with cocoa.' I don't know what it is about the word 'fat' with 'socks'. It just gives the perfect feel.

In this book, they enjoy hot chocolate - same thing!

Gorgeous illustrations! I can always be tempted by a beautiful childrens book.

Knitting wise, I have been working on the school's Knitting Club project for this year, Knit The Nativity. I was assigned the three shepherds (I have completed two so far; I'm a bit behind!)

Kneeling shepherd

Standing shepherd who still needs his crook!
Here we are at Knitting Club

The stable in the book is made from cardboard, but I think you will agree that The Men's Shed here in Hamilton did a fabulous job of constructing a wooden stable for the Nativity.
And aren't those Wise Men amazing?
It was a wonderful project to work on, particularly as the children are so proud of their work. They have such ownership of the Nativity now and you hear them telling people which part they worked on.
I wonder what we will do next year?!

My own knitting is coming along slowly. I have finished the main piece of Puss and need to do the sleeves so I can join it all up and knit the yoke.

I am reading Teatime For The Firefly by Shona Patel. It is about the tea plantations in Assam during and after World War II. I have always had a fascination with India and so love books about India. I am enjoying this one so far. I am only about a quarter into it and it is moving quite slowly. But I never find that to be a fault as I'm a slow and steady person myself. 
One of my all time favourite books set in India is The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye.
And boy, do I love a Bollywood movie! They are just so much fun, so colourful - you can't help dancing along to that music! Pure escapism.

Joining today with Small Things for Yarn Along.

And just a photo of a visitor to a hole under our cubby house. I will miss all the wildlife here when we move.
Can you tell from the photo? You can see how well they can blend into the leaf litter around them when they bury their heads. Lovely little echidna - our dog has learnt the hard way to leave them alone!