Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Nearly Over

Well this year is nearly over .... how fast did it go!
Had a nice Christmas with the family we did a brunch again as it was so successful last year. I made this yummy Festive Wreath, it has become a family tradition now. Georgia and linds helped make it so now they can do it for special occasions. The recipe is from my favourite bread book by Alison Holst. I see that she has a new bread book out, cant wait to see if it is as good as the previous one.
Also made a chocolate trifle for the 1st time, I usually do the good old fashioned English one but this looked easy enough. Here is the recipe'
1 Pkt Sponge 6x8
Chocolate sauce
1 bottle cream

Chocolate Sauce
Put in saucepan over low heat
2 0z butter
1 cup sugar
2 heaped dsp cocoa
2 cups boiling water
Thicken with 2 heaped TBS corn-flour, and allow to cool. Cut sponge into fingers. Place in layers of sponge, sauce and cream. Finish top with cream. Top with grated chocolate or decoration of your choice . ENJOY

I had a really lovely necklace from my daughter Julie. It is made out of recycled buttons and is very retro looking and I love it I am going to hunt out all my old buttons for her to make more. She is very talented and makes the most amazing things especially felt food and soaps. She has just got her blog which is The Happy Houswife have a wander around and see what she makes.
Dan and Linds got me a lovely photo of the grandchildren they had taken while they were in Auckland on One Tree Hill.
On the knitting front I have made a Tam in fair-isle or stranded knitting out of some old stash it looks very nice, made a few mistakes but next one will be better. I seem drawn to colourwork knitting , just love seeing the patterns emerge.
I do hope you all had a lovely Christmas and have a healthy happy and peaceful 2011.
Happy New Year Everyone

Monday, December 13, 2010

Its That Time of Year Again!

Well I had a busy week last week spent a few days housesitting pets for my daughter..... that was fun! A 3 month puppy and a Sphynx cat it was like looking after toddlers. They both wanted my attention all the time. We had 2 cool days so the cat,who has no fur cuddled up to me wrapping his arms around my neck even when I was on the computer really must knit him a little coat. Every chance he gets he sits in the sun and is sporting a lovely tan!
I had the grandchildren around yesterday while their parents went Christmas shopping, decided to decorate the tree and they really enjoyed it especially throwing the tinsel on last of all.
Well I am busy making bread today 2 Focaccia
and 2 loaves for a friend, she says they will make a lovely Christmas present! I am happy with that too!
Have a good week and don't get too stressed out with Christmas ... Remember the Reason for the Season!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Knitting - Long-Tail Cast-on

This is something new I have learnt to do, took me awhile to master it but finally did it. I needed this cast on to do 2 KAL I am doing with Patterns from Tikki through her ravelry group. They are Soretto and Fratello and are both knitting up nicely, it is exciting doing each clue and wondering what the finished garment will be! The back of Sorello has a lovely lace panel insert.
It has been a really sad week here in NZ with the loss of 29 miners at The Pike River Mine. Today there will be a memorial service in Greymouth and a 2 min silence will be observed throughout NZ. My Thoughts and prayers have been with these families and cant begin to imagine how hard today will be for them. R.I.P.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Home Again

Its nice to go away but its nicer to come back home. I have just spent nearly 4 weeks in Christchurch visiting my daughter and family. I was lucky enough to get a lift to Hanmer Springs then was picked up from there by the family.
The devastation is awful after the Quake on Sept 4th, still lots of places you cannot access in the city and the suburbs. The roads around Rachel are not good at the end of her street is an enormous sink hole that they are now trying to repair. They still haven't had anybody from the EQC yet and there are a few cracks and movement in the floor.
The day after I arrived I was baby-sitting the girls when there was a big aftershock 4.8
It sounded like a train going by
and a jackhammer bashing the house, things were falling and the power went off. I have never been so scared cant begin to imagine what the big one felt like 7.1.
I finished a couple of pair of socks for the girls and they needed them as one day it was only 3 deg! I am just finishing another Theodora Sock, this is one of my favourite patterns for fit.
Well the rain has just started but it looks quite parched here so could probably do with it . Pity i have just put washing out!
Joel (GS) is coming around soon and we are going to be making some things with Polymer clay, necklaces for his sister for Christmas and other things. I made a few buttons when I was away and they turned out okay ........ need more practice though.
Have a lovely weekend wherever you are.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Loving This

I am so loving this wool, it is Crazy Sock Zauberball in colourway Kleiner Fuchs.
Morag of Vintage Purls has imported a selection of Zauberball in lace, crazy sock and single sock. I looked at all the projects made with this and decided I would just do a plain sock, so I could just enjoy the colour changes made by this delightful yarn. I am already planning what colours next to buy, too many choices and I want them all!
Today is miserable rain gales and cold..... oh well it is spring!!
In the week went to my friends house, it was a glorious sunn
y day and the views from her garden over the sea and snow capped Southern Alps were just stunning. Took some pics but not very good, was trying to capture the colours of the blue mountains and sea.
I am out for tea tonight to friends for my birthday tomorrow. How the years roll by!
Hope you all are having a great weekend.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Not Quite Finished

Haven't got much to report on the knitting front except 2 little tops knitted from the top down which I love, with no seaming which is always a bonus.
First is Boheme which is a lovely little tunic top, I downloaded this when it was free but now it has been revised to add larger sizes and well worth the $6US. I did this in Patons Smoothie. I have yet to find some nice buttons for this.
I have just finished another Pebble Vest
in a sort of apple green, this has to be one of my favourite knits, so easy and done flat in one piece, there are a few ends to sew in though.
Had a busy day washing nets and windows, now its raining wouldn't you know it!
Had Georgia over for a sleep over. We made shortbread that was very yummy, even if it was overcooked we both decided we liked it that way anyway! The recipe is very easy.

9 0z butter
12 oz flour
1 cup of icing sugar.
Mix altogether and form into a roll cut into slices and bake 160 - 180 deg for around 15 min's.
I don't know where this originated from but its old.
Looks like there is another cold front coming brr...... roll on summer.
Have a lovely weekend wherever you are.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Winter Sock Club No 3

This arrived to cheer up my week. It was the 3rd installment of Vintage Purls winter sock club, it is lovely to have something to look forward to over the winter months.
This one had some lovely chocolate goodies in some sticky notes and a little heart bead. The pattern is called Leaflink which incorporates
cables into the design and doesn't look too complicated. The wool is shades of blue and purple,
very nice.
I have still been knitting the pebble vests and some Sucky Thumb Mitts here on Ravelry to go with them out of scraps I had left. I love that you can use up every little bit.
Lovely day here in Nelson, birds singing and the sky is blue, still a nip to the air but its lovely to see everything so lush and green.
Have a great weekend everyone, wherever you are.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Spring IS In The Air.......

Well finally it feels like spring is in the air. I do so love this time of the year,
I love the way there is a promise of new life.
I love the blossoms on the trees and new plants pushing through the earth.
I love the way the birds are singing a new song.
I love the different light.
I love the longer days.
I love the promise of summer.
I love the thought of fresh crunchy salads.
I love the thought of of picking juicy raspberries.
There are so many things I love about spring but most of all I love the fragrance that permeates the air in the evenings so heady you couldn't in a million years bottle that! Another blessing from God to enjoy. There really is 'Spring in the Air'

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hail Rain and Shine

Today has been quite cold with gales, rain, hail also sun at times so that was nice. Been out a bit this week, went to my friends Ruth for a catch up, when I returned 2 parcels were waiting for me. I seem to be blessed this last week or so with unexpected parcels. One was from my other daughter in Christchurch who sent a big bag of my favourite Earl Grey tea-bags, 2 Sherbet Dabs and a Walnut Whip to remind me of my childhood in England, some makeup and perfume samples and nail polish, I am really spoilt. The other parcel was from the lovely Morag from Vintage Purls, with 2 lovely skeins of sock yarn in a blood red so scrummy and a nice blue not sure what I will be doing with them yet, have to be something special for that red!
It seems the aftershocks have quitened down in
Christchurch thank goodness, hopefully they will soon get a good nights sleep.
On the knitting side of things I have made 2 Pebble Vests. and I am on my third, love the colourway of this wool from The Wool Company
it is called Mangrove and is lovely to knit with. I am going to try my hand at making polymer clay buttons for these. There are some lovely ones around for sale, here at Buttons by Benji.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Not My Birthday BUT..............

These goodies arrived the other day from my daughter Julie. It isn't even my birthday so what a surprise. A small pot of Manuka honey, some lovely Wool Company Wool, Mangrove colourway , a pair of handmade slippers, the cutest little pear pincushions, I have tried to make these but the work that goes into them was beyond me! A tea tote in lovely lime green that had 2 ginger and lemon tea-bags in. I have made these and were quite straight forward even for me. I am on my 4th fair isle hat and am loving the black which makes Vintage Purls yarn looks like jewels.
Having a day at home today to do lots of chores baking etc , its now raining and my third lot of washing is on........ Oh well that is Spring for you!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Greymouth Break

Water feature at the CCS house in Greymouth

Have just arrived back from 4 nights away in Greymouth with my D and family. We arrived to freezing cold, rain and hail! That was just the start of it as at 4 35 am we were awoken by a strong quake and being in a new house were disorientated and I couldnt find the door. Soon after my cell rang and it was my D living in Christchurch hysterical asking if we were okay as they had had a massive quake 7.1 and everything had come down. Her small daughter was thrown from her bed! They were unhurt and the house seems to be okay but with the intensity of aftershocks happening that may change they are all traumatized especially now her husband has had to return to work. They still cant shower and are boiling all water and cant flush toilets. They are still in survival mode. They are hoping to see some Porta Loos soon! The roads in their area are bad as the river is just at the end of their street, fissures and cracks in roads and ground. It was an absolute miracle that no one was killed because at 4 35 am most people were asleep. I wish they would move out but not easy with 2 dogs and 3 cats.
Here are a few pics they sent last night some are near them. The cracked road is down the end of their street and there are lots of these sand volcano's everywhere.
I am just thankful they are okay. I am off to update my survival kit!
Apart from that we had a relaxing weekend even though it rained most of the time.
We took the kids to the pools and were most impressed with them and the amount of help given for people with disabilities, even had a wheelchair that went right
down a ramp into the pool! They even turned on the hydroslide
for the kids, they had a great time. First class A1 to them.
It was nice to see the daffodils out too when I returned home a nice bit of colour in the garden

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I really mixed this pattern up, in a good and not so good way. Made a few mistakes but was liking the colours and decided to do a few stripes on the top I really love it but the tension was a bit too tight and barely fits Joel. I have already started another for Georgia as she thinks it is trendy. My gauge so much better and will probably fit me now I decided to go up a size! cant win..... but I will get it right.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tangled Up

Dull rainy day today just right for baking and some knitting. I have got a loaf of bread rising and have just made some Date Scones. I just added a cup of chopped dates to dry ingredients

Elfin Scones

450 gr S.R flour (eg 3 1/2 cups flour 6 tsp B. P

1tsp salt

50 gr butter

350 mil milk

Stir mixture of flour salt B.P. Rub butter into flour make well in centre and add milk I usually put a little water in the milk. Stirring quickly and lightly to soft dough. Turn onto floured board and knead lightly 10 times with fingertips. Roll to 15mm 3/4-inch thickness and shape as desired. Glaze tops with milk and beaten egg Bake 230 (450) for 10-15 mins.

Been trying to use up some of my odds and ends of sock yarn and found this pattern Mini Mochi Fair-isle Hat and Mittens Pattern. Trying to practice stranded work it takes me ages to do a row and my finger is full of puncture holes! and my yarn is all tangled I suppose practice will make perfect . It will be interesting to see how the gauge goes as it is looking quite small.

Well the sun is trying to come out to brighten up the day cant believe that we have had quite a mild winter and it is the first day of spring in a couple of days!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sunday Market Shawl

What a super pattern, very clever. Sunday Market Shawl Stockinette quite boring but how lovely is it to unravel those dropped stitches!. Cast on 36 stitches and only used about 65g and it measures out at 62”x12” with a lovely drape will be making this one again for sure.I didnt even block it just washed it and laid it out straight! Only took me just over 1 day I used 4 ply for this but you could do it any weight. Love the colour of this "Sealing Wax" from Vintage Purls as always
Finally on the mend from the flu thank goodness,It is nice to get out of the house again. It seems to be doing its rounds here at present.
Spring is almost on its way, I have found several daffodils just budding after having years dormant Yay some colour at last.
May be going away next weekend with the family to the coast (Greymouth) so I am looking forward to that.
Have a good weekend all

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Something New

Yesterday I decided that I needed to try some stranded colourwork before I tackled any of the V P designs for birds and bugs from the Sock Clubs.
I found this pattern on Ravelry, Fair Isle Flower Socks They looked easy enough for a first project and trying my hand at knitting with 2 yarns one in right throwing the yarn and the other continental knitting , it was a bit fiddly at first but soon got the hang of it . I only used the motif pattern, and knit the rest using my basic sock pattern. It was miles too tight and my GD who is 8 could barely get it over her heel. My tension must be soo tight, I think the problem is I have just started knitting magic loop on one circular needle and it has made my tension much tighter than DPNS. Also the continental style is very tight. The other sock I am going to try DPNs and see how I go.( I found that using DPNS made the tension okay still a little tight though may have to try larger circs)I must admit I love doing this colourwork once I get the tension sorted.
It is a beautiful day here in Nelson as we had a very hard frost, but beautiful sunny morning. I went for a long walk quite early, must do this more often to enjoy this lovely walk seeing the snow capped mountains. We very often miss seeing what is right on our doorstep!

Friday, July 30, 2010

2nd Instalment of Winter Sock Club

These arrived this week and the colours are lovely as usual, the pattern more than a little challenging but really amazing. I have never done colourwork before but would like to give it a go perhaps one day soon. In the parcel was some lovely chocs and some gift tags, which I am sure I will use! Well done Morag.
I also finished my 'Esmeralda Theodora's' these are a gift for my DD birthday soon. Still having problems finding ribbon for these.
I also made a pair of toe up ankle socks for GD they turned out great.
This week I have been teaching my G D to make some of these little cuties. They use a bottle cork and are so easy to make, she learnt how to do purls decreases and cast off. She is very proud of them.
It has been a lovely week this week with lots of sunshine and a few frosts. Made a nice meal last night of Curried Meatballs and Satay Sauce.

Meatballs And Spicy Peanut Sauce

Cooking time 15 mins.

Microwave time 8 mins.

400g mince

1 onion finely diced

1 teas each of ground ginger and chicken stock

Salt & pepper

1 cup fresh bread crumbs

1 egg

I add a few more dried bread crumbs if mixture is wet

2 tsp curry powder


½ cup peanut butter

2 tlbs soy sauce

1 tlbs hot chili sauce or ½ tsp chili powder

¼ cup tomato sauce

1 cup water

400 grams Spaghetti


Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Use wet hands to form into balls.

Bake 180 for 15 mins.

combine sauce ingredients heat until almost boiling. Pour over the meatballs, serve with noodles or spaghetti.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

More Theodora's

This week has been all about socks. I was lucky enough to get this delicious yarn from Vintage Purls called Esmeralda, I was looking for something to knit the Theodora pattern again and this is how they are turning out. I really like this pattern and I am getting used to toe ups. I am in a hurry to get them finished for R s Birthday, hope I have better luck finding some ribbon this time have none in my stash that works. I also finished a pair of plain socks in another V P yarn, lepanto, lovely shades of blue black and green. Which looks even better knitted up, goes great with Jeans, this one is for me.
I have already cast on for the beret pattern Calvados This is a design by Sheryl Greenfield that I won in a competition on her blog here. I am loving how this is knitting up, the wool I got off of Trademe its a thicker wool than required but seem to be working out okay. It is lovely and soft with a silver sheen running through it.
Been a bit of a sad week this week, my nephew died suddenly in the UK he was such a lovely guy. Times like this you wish you were closer. I am so pleased I got to catch up with him when he visited N Z a few years ago..... good memories.
Well the sun is trying to break though but it is very weak, good weather to sit and knit and get those WIPs finished.
Hope you all have a great weekend. Blessings.....

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Frosty and Sunny Day

Hard frost this morning -2 deg Brr! Been fighting a cold this week but finally on the mend. Have been eating lots of kiwifruit and hot lemon and honey drinks. The lemons came from Lindsey's friend Kathy's tree ....... thanks Kathy!
I purchased another skein of Vintage Purls sock wool Colourway
Sealing Wax, lovely as ever. I also got some Knit Pro fixed circulars to try my hand at doing my socks Magic Loop. I think it will take a bit of getting used as I have always done them on DPNS. My fingers resemble pin cushions as the points are sooo sharp.

I am trying them out doing my new Daphne sock pattern. I am finding it really hard doing the toe up socks using turkish cast on I suppose it is more practice makes perfect. The wool I am using is Coccon a 4 ply baby wool that I think will suit this pattern. I also finished a pair of Bella's Mittens for Courtney. They were a pleasure to knit I frogged a wrap and knit 2 strands together and got a perfect gauge.
Ive got 2 loaves rising in the warm sun, a Foccocia and a white loaf both out of Alison Holsts Breadbook. This is the best bread book ever......... no failures here.
Have a good weekend all and keep warm!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

More Treats

These popped into my mailbox this morning, seems like history repeating itself again but this isn't a sock club just some goodies ordered from Morag from Vintage Purls.
Love the colour of this sock yarn 'Arabella' Mmn now what to do with it? I think some more Theodora's would be nice in this or the Daphne pattern that I ordered or possibly a matinee jacket but alas no babies to knit for at present. I was so excited to receive the Knit Pro Spectra Interchangeable Deluxe set and have just cast on for another Spring Beret for Kena using the right size needles this time ........ yay! Lovely to knit with and no joins to snag your work.
Lovely sunny day here after the frost, it has been quite a mild winter so far thank goodness.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

It Has Arrived

This arrived in my mailbox the other day. The 1st installment of the Winter Sock Club from Vintage Purls. There was some lovely goodies awaiting. The Notebook is very useful having small squares to do your workings out on. A very clever construction going on with the pattern.
A quiet week this week haven't really finished much in the knitting line started and frogged back several things. I did manage to finish a couple of Spring Berets a lovely easy pattern that I
managed to do in a couple of hours I didn't have any 10 ply so improvised by using DK casting on 90 stitches for the rib and increased to 100 for the pattern. It just about fits GD ( 8 )with blocking on a dinner plate. The one I did in acrylic turned out much smaller. I have been making do with what circular needles I had closest to the size needed which is annoying SO I took the plunge and ordered this set of Knit Pro Acrylic Circulars These are interchangeable so should be able to use for lots of projects in my Queue like the Calvados Beret which I won in a online competition. I also want to do the Bella's Mittens Inspired by mittens worn by Kristen Stewart as Bella in the movies “Twilight” and “New Moon” These are to be for C. 4429 people have made these so are very popular.
Have a great weekend everyone.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Baking Day

Woke up this morning and decided the plan would be to do some baking, the weather was bleak and drizzly so just right for it. Soaked the dates in hot tea while I walked up to the shops early( 9 am) to get supplies. The Date and Walnut Loaf recipe came from The New Zealand Women's Weekly. I doubled the mixture and it made 2 good sized loves., this recipe is a keeper!
On the knitting front I have just threaded the ribbon through the Theodora socks that I knitted a while back, I couldn't get any black
velvet ribbon so found some wine satin ribbon that looks amazing , really pleased with these, the ribbon really finishes them off and it nearly finished me off as well as took me nearly 3/4 hour to thread through!!
I have finished some socks out of the Opal wool it is just a plain sock, Basic Sock Recipe out of this book, Knitting Rules. I got this out of the library but if you get the chance to buy or borrow this book it is a good laugh as well as giving you the basics into knitting. I just love the colour and patterns as I knit it up I really like the self patterning yarn. These will be for ME......
I am already thinking of my next project Blackrose Socks seem to be into lacy looking socks at the moment don't know why as the weather dictates otherwise!! Ive got some black blue and green variegated wool from my stash from Vintage Purls am hoping it will look okay but think more of a semi solid would look better.
Have a good weekend everyone.

Oparara Arch

Oparara Arch

Bush Robin?

Bush Robin?
Sharing Lunch

Mirror Tarn

Mirror Tarn

Bush Walk

Bush Walk
Nearly There

Scotts Beach

Scotts Beach
Worth the Walk