25 July 2013

Project Update!

Its been a while since I last updated you about my recent projects

It was when I had just finished my first Milo vest for Milo May
I made a second one for my niece, Miss 7
Its identical to her sisters one but this pic shows the back
Now I've slowly been working my way through the Woolly World Knits patterns
They sucked me in with their pretty colours
Since discovering Katja's patterns, I've developed a obsession with hats and mittens
Another Testing opportunity came up but this time for a Hat/Mitten set so I started with the Validus Mittens
Everyone else did their hats first and you know me, I like to do things differently!
Then I made the Validus Hat
I was hoping for a cold day to bundle up with my hat and mittens for an awesome photo shoot, but the sun came out and ruined my plans!
(plus I finished the day before my Samoa trip and I needed to get my test results in)
Then I finished a Webby
Ok I know the photo looks like an egg yolk but thats what you get with white bench-tops
I wanted to show how the top of the hat and the 'web' looks
That and the picture of me wearing this hat in my boat with a raincoat, sunglasses and life-jacket on is not inspiring...

Then, I realised a certain little lady's birthday was coming up and I had promised her a hat
Remember my Hat Marathon conversation with Kate?
So she got this Arya hat
I'm proud to say I didn't make a single mistake with this hat
Not that I always make mistakes, I don't, but this pattern was so beautifully written and so easy to follow I'll try to make one for myself
That and I kept the old written version because Me + Charts = FAIL so I need written versions
Now I'm planning her brother's hats
I'm not saying they'll get their's for their birthdays (Samuel, Isaac.... if you're reading this)
It might be random, it might be Christmas
Who am I kidding, it'll probably be their birthdays
I've been looking up Men's hats and found ONE I like
Where are all the men's hat designers?
Designers who use DK/8 ply yarn?
Non-exsistant thats where! If you're out there and reading this..... I want hats for boys/men
Not hats that can be made with pink yarn and changed into girls hats
Oh and I need it by January at the latest :-)
Anway..... moving on....
Last night I finished these beauties
They're called Avena
One is a little bit tighter than the other because I made it while watching a zombie tv show and let me tell you zombie's scare me more than anything else in the world
But I keep watching it because I NEED to know that they don't take over the world!
So as you can see I'm a walking advertisement for Woolly World Knits!
And I'm proud of it because the patterns are amazing
Why don't you pop over and have a look at all the pretty patterns?
Now remember I told you I'd give hand-dying yarn a try?
Well I did it!
I got my large stock-pot, mixed my die, added the yarn and stired it all around
I tried Blue
I tried Yellow
I also tried Red but the photos of it in the pot aren't very good
I ended up with some beautiful colours!
I started winding up the blue last night and its oh so squishy and pretty!!
I also learnt a few things:
1. Don't tie the skein up too loosly or the ties move together and everything else ends up knotted
2. Use acrylic for ties because those don't soak up the colour. I used opposite colours so the ties were easier to find
3. The Spin Cycle on my washing machine is awesome. I laid it out so it wouldn't tangle and since all the water was spun out it took very little time to dry
4. Don't tie the ties too tight. My red had white streaks because the die couldn't get through to the yarn on the inside!
I'll be using these skeins for myself!
(Insert evil genius laugh here)
And I'm planning on casting on one of these amazing colours in the next few days!

19 July 2013

Samoa in Pictures

Right I finally have a bit of time to catch up on things!
Well I don't really, but I'm going to squeeze it in
As you know, my husband and I went on holiday to Samoa
It was amazing, the sand, beach, fish, diving, snorkling, swimming
No so much the food....
So here's my holdiday in pictures
We stayed in Beach Fales (Fales = House in Samoan)
The water was RIGHT THERE!
And soooo warm

With friendly sand fish
The first thing we did was go snorkling at a marine reserve
I got badly sunburned
JJ taught me how to free dive
We saw so many different types of fish, it was hard to get a picture of all of them because they run away when you motor after them shoving a camera in their face
Except for the black/brown fish in the first picture (to the left of the black/white one)
He attacked!
I think he was guarding his nest. JJ's watch was bitten a few times (being black) and on the elbow
We saw some amazing coral
The sights in the main city were interesting
These buses painted in every colour you can imagine were everywhere
We went to the Apia markets
This is just one of the many many many churches in the country
This one wasnt anything special to look at but it had a moat!
 While we were driving around, we saw a LOT of coconut trees
So it only makes sense that we would see piles of coconuts
And people sitting in the back of trucks
The police didn't seem to notice....
We went to as many non-water related attrations as we could too
I call this the bridge of doom
It was HIGH
I didn't want to do it. I got up six steps before I cried, threw a tantrum and put on my sad face which unfortunatly JJ managed to get pics of!
In the end, husband put himself on the step below me and I couldn't get back down past him so the only way down was up and across
We went to a museum, looked in the door and decided pictures of ourselves outside were more interesting
But most of the things to do involved the water. Including this Ocean Trench
Which is pretty much a hole in the ground with water from the ocean swirling in and out
We went to the south side of Upolu where the tsunami hit years ago
The coral is still damaged, and the reef fish are nervous
See them in the photo? No? Exactly
One of the highlights of the trip for me was the super warm 29 degrees celcius water meaning that I could go scuba diving without getting cold
We found Nemo

And ninja Turltes!
(sorry the photo didn't turn out very good)
Would I recommend Samoa?
There are tons more photos but I've already added 30+ photos and thats almost enough
If you ever get the chance - go to Samoa!

10 July 2013


This weekend, my wonderful husband is off on a snow boarding weekend
He leaves on Friday and comes back on Monday
What will I do without him? Dye yarn of course!
I've got my acid dyes
I've got my 8ply and 10ply yarn (thats DK, Worsted/Aran to some of you)
I know 8ply yarn doesn't acutally have 8 individual plys but thats what's printed on the yarn tags!
It's very hard to find a yarn like super bulky when nothing you search through at your LYS has that written on the tag!
So if you're ever in a Ravelry chat room thingie and someone says "can I use 8ply" don't reply with "the ply has nothing to do with it" - because to us, it does! It really really does!
To make things easier for me when I'm in the yarn store, I am going to start carrying around a universal pocket card and go off the needle sizes too
Anyway, my point is:
I have my dyes
I have my yarn
I'm ready to go!
(provided I can find a large pot tomorrow/Friday)
Wanna see my yarn?
Oooh squishy!
Now to start unravelling it all.....

02 July 2013

June in New Zealand

June for New Zealand is the first month of winter, its when the cold really starts to set in and everyone gets out their heaters, crank up the fireplaces and start giving us Northlanders grief about being the 'winterless north' because we don't get snow
I disagree, zero degrees = frost = freking cold!!!
If you lived in the tropics and it got down to 15 degrees, you'd be freezing cold
My point is, you acclimatise to where you live
June is also my birthday so obviously the best month of the year
This year was pretty uneventful in the way of gifts. I'm a gift giving/receiving person and refuse to give anyone random crap they don't need/want
I also don't like to receive things that I didn't need/want because then I have to pretend I like them
I'm not going to give you an example, because those many gifts may have been from someone who reads my blog - eek!
Some of my great presents:
This bee suit (you may recall an earlier post where I said I had bees)
I'm very excited ot be leaning about getting the honey out of the hive!
My Mum's going over to Bali in July so she's said I have to wait for her pressie. I know she's looking for yarn stores so I'm expecting something great from her. (hint hint Mum if you're reading this)
My brother however, rocks
Full stop
He always gets me something awesome
(mostly because I provide the list but thats another story right?)
Over the last few years, he's started asking me for birthday presents and since his birthday is a few months before mine, its easy to remind him that he is required in return to buy me a present. After all, thats only fair right?
So after giving him many options, THIS is on its way to me right now!
It's a pack of three colours: Red, Blue and Yellow.
I'm sick and tired of looking at beatiful yarn on the other side of the world where 100grams of yarn is $24 NZD and postage is $24 NZD (I'm giving the cheapest figures I've found) and then to make it worth-while it's more like you have to buy six skeins.... and so on and so on
Yarn from here I've found out is even more expensive (what?!?!?)
So I've found a cheaper solution. Buy yarn from here and dye it myself
Tomorrow's mission - rumage through the second hand shops and find a large stockpot because these are acid dyes and I can't put them in my food stockpot
The best present (which wasn't an item that I could store away in a cupboard) was from my Husband and so far the best present ever - A trip to Samoa!
I'm going to put up some pics on facebook and shall put some on here once I'm able to sort a few of the under water pics
Lastly, my bestie who is awsome and always gets me the most beautiful presents, sent this cake to me at work the week after my birthday
I work for a media company so was very grateful to the photographer downstairs who offered to take  a proper photo
(thanks John)

Can you tell? It's a yarn ball with knitting needles in it! Everything on the plate is edible
Here's a close up

And the cake insides - mmmm
This was so massive, there's still some left in the fridge!

Love tank = Full