Friday, October 29, 2010

Spring Knitting Update

Put the buttons on the very pink Miette.  I love this little cardi, it's just right.  This yarn (Classic Elite Duchess) is very cosy and the weather is getting a bit warm for it, so I may just have to knit another in cotton.

Took a break from selfish knitting in the past couple of weeks.  Firstly a wee baby set for a friend's new wee girl.  Theses are two very special yarns - the creamy wool is the felted merino I dyed with lichen collected from the trees at M & B's cottage, and the trim is the last of Angie's "Lavender Garden" hand dyed wool.  The lichen gives the wool a lovely woodsy smell that doesn't seem to wash out, hopefully the recipient won't mind.  The patterns are Baby Bolero from One Skein, and Baby Socks from More Last Minute Knitted Gifts.  Think I might work my way through all the patterns in More LMKG ;-)

And secondly a vest for Ryan.  He chose the wool from the Wool Company when we went on a road trip to Field Days via Sarah Bean's house last year.  It's only taken me 16 months to get around to knitting it up!

The pattern is completely improvised, I figured I could knit a v neck vest in the round without a pattern, and it worked out pretty good, the fit is perfect.  I experimented with working the arm and neck trim as I went (I hate picking up stitches around armbands and v necks) and finishing them with a little crochet.  It worked ok, but I think picking up and knitting would have looked better.  There is usually a pretty good reason why things are done the way they are, huh?  (Hey Sharonnz, can you pick this cafe? They've expanded their play area recently, the shelves used to hold wine...) 

Next up: finishing my Happy Wanderer, a little black Audrey in Unst, possilby a lace weight project, and a test knit.....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

We're turning Japanese

A new store just opened in town called Japan City.  It's really just a Japanese $2 Shop (Which I notice in these inflationary times is now called a 2n5 dollar shop), but for some reason Japanese junk is cooler.

Anyway me and my 6 year old thought Japan City was very exciting and bought a whole pile of very cute crap essential stuff.

Yes, plastic "Lunch Time" soy sauce fish!  Faux lacquer bowls with bunnies on!  Cute animal stuff! 
Ryan chose the work book for learning to write Hiragana.  He knows far more than me about a lot of things, including Japanese.  Did you know they have three different alphabets?  He did!

I don't suppose Japanese style seems strange at all to my Anime watching, Tamagotchi playing children.

Well, while we were enjoying Japan City our own Salaryman was in Real Japan, and he brought back even cuter and cooler bowls and chopsticks.

We've been eating a lot of noodles, dumplings and sushi this week.  I tried to make it cute.

Very soon we'll be able to eat broad beans in our bowls.  These ones are growing in my "rubbish garden" - a little patch by the compost bins that's mostly used for putting things that start growing in the compost. 


Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Saturday Song

"Years ago

I was an angry young man
I'd pretend
That I was a billboard
Standing tall
By the side of the road
I fell in love
With a beautiful highway"

David Byrne, I love you, but you are quite mad!

I'll miss the chocolate chip cookies too.

Trees, children, playground...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Heaven is on the Bypass...

In the form of Martha's Pantry.  An oasis of feminine calm just off Upper Cuba Street on Kamo Drive, formerly know as the Bypass.

Why oh why have I never been there before now?  Absolute retro-girly bliss.

Cupcakes, truffles, Louise Slice, melting moments.

Mini frittatas, scones with cream and berry jam/passionfruit curd.

Mint and cucumber sandwiches, cornbeef club sanwiches, mini pizzas.

Two pots of glorious Kerikeri teas, all served on vintage china, souvenir teaspoons, embroidered table cloth, teacosies.....

All for $25 each, well worth it!  And we ate it all bar one tiny cupcake which they kindly put in a wee box to take home.  Thank you so much to the lovely ladies who so kindly took pity on this trio of frazzled mums who forgot to book for high tea.  We promise to book next time, and bring our daughters (maybe). 


Is it possible to get drunk on tea?  I left feeling distinctly giddy.  Rumour has it they are opening a blokey version called Arthur's.  I can only imagine...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Snippets of life and my first and probably last tech review

I finally got around to getting the photos off my old, old phone.  It's so old it can't be plugged in to a pc or use Blue tooth or anything sensible to get the pics out, the only way I could work out was to MMS them to another phone, and then upload them off that phone.  How handy I now have 2 phones (well, three actually, but only 2 sim cards).

The tiny blue Sagem flip phone (wow, it was tiny!  Funny how cell phones got smaller and smaller, and then bigger again) took it's own idiosyncratic, blurry 'round the edges, pics.  Who needs a Hipstamatic?  It's screen was tiny too so it's neat to properly see these wee snippets of when life was kinda interesting but I'd forgotten to bring a real camera.

Zoe and Ryan at the beach aged 4ish and 1ish

Ryan's first day at preschool aged 2 - look he was blond!

Our own special rockpools
(well, they feel like it because it's usually deserted even when the beach proper is packed).

The big rock.

Zoe catching snowflakes at M & B's cottage near Masterton.

One hot summer day in Cuba Mall - another generation fascinated by the Bucket Fountain.  Begging your mum or dad to let you watch "'til the big bucket goes" is a core part of a Wellington childhood. 

Oh Lordy me, the Bucket Fountain has it's own website!  This is the best page - they revamped it and made it even splashier!  Choice.
What's it got to do with hobbits?  If you don't know, you probably shouldn't, it'll put you off Elijah, and paddling in the Bucket Fountain, for life.

Ryan in his Rarotonga shirt, and that's Zoe in the red shorts.

Gee, I had that phone for years!  This is what one reviewer had to say: "The choice of Sagem myC5-2 may be first explained with the design and the fact you liked the appearance of the phone."  Yeah, fair cop, I bought it because it's pretty :-)   Now I have an iPhone.  It is not pretty, but it does stuff ;-)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lily (my one and only) and a tall glass.

 Clever iTunes, random playing this just as I was finishing up with this

The bobbles were almost the death of me, I kept having to put this knit aside.  No more bobbles for me for a long, long time.

Celebrated finishing the last bobble with a GINgerale in the sun.  Thanks Babycocktails, mighty tasty.  I was nervous about corrupting my Plymouth gin with peach nectar and gingerale (I like my gin ginny), but it worked a treat.

Looking at this tiny thing I wonder if it can possibly fit me?  I sized down because I wanted it fitted, really hope I haven't made it too small, some serious negative ease here.

But it does fit, even over my dress - hooray.  I also think this yarn, being mostly cotton, will give quite a bit (hopefully - no way am I doing those bobbles again!).

Not so much a spring green as a summery sage. 


Not Blogtoberfesting here.

Terrible weather yesterday, a spectacular hail laced southerly kept me awake half the night blowing plastic chairs and toys around the garden, rattling the windows and throwing endless buckets of stones against the glass (or so it sounded).  Piles of cherry blossom slushy greeted us in the morning.

I had to go into town.  All of 5 degrees C, squally sleet and hail, and the streets were eerily deserted, even as the sun peaked through.

Even the cafes were empty.  I took along time over my trim latte before braving the icy rain again.

On the upside, an opportunity to wear Down Beat, which was complemented by a spunky Italian who asked if I sell my knits.  Maybe for you, Bello ;-)

Hoping to get back to better weather quickly - my deck chair and my knitting bag are calling to me....

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I had a big stash sort and tidy recently, I no longer have yarn hidden in every nook and cranny, but orderly in baskets under my bed.  So now I have my existing stash under control what do I do?  Buy more wool, naturally!

Somehow a sweater lot of each of these was abandoned on my doorstep.  Thanks Skeinz!

Stunning clours, they are from the Southlander Highland series - a range of colours on various natural bases, so you can have the colour on a Cream, Oatmeal or Bracken base, each giving a different effect.  These are all on the Bracken base - Scarlett Bracken, Coast Bracken and Rose Bracken.  It's a thickish DK, knitting at 20sts to 4" which is perfect because I'm going to use one lot for Thea Coleman's Dark and Stormy.  Probably the Rose - which is a little pinker in real life than my pic, but more purple than the website pic.

And while I'm on the shawl collar vibe, this is going to be my next vintage re-working, another Fontana "designed for T.V. knitting", which will be done in a Jo Sharp DK colour called Lichen - a heathery green-gold.  I'm thinking knit the sideways rib waistband first, then pick up stitches and work in one piece to the armholes.

Tourists in our own Town

Guess who's got the Hipstamatic App on their iPhone?  Much fun, now I can take photos just like
Frankie magazine.

I took the kids on the cable car today. Such a touristy thing, I do wonder what tourists must make of it. Once you've paid your $6 return ticket and got past the flashy new terminus with it's barcode scanning automatic entrance gates, the actual ride takes about 2 minutes and most of it is tunnels or under the motorway. Which is all very exciting if you're 3 years old, but I wonder what the tourists make of it.  It certainly gives you an interesting perspective on the city, leaving the dark cave of the bottom terminus, heading through the tunnels and under the motorway and over the carparks and behind the tall buildings, then emerging into the trees and sunlight.  Actually the trees have grown so much you can't see as much as the postcards would have you think, but hey, once you get to the very top the views are spectacular.  Look, there it goes!  just like the postcards.

If you do go on the cable car, I really think you should get out at the top.  Don't just stay on and go back down, the best bit is the old cable car in the Cable Car Museum.  I'm so old I can remember riding on those outside seats, much more fun than the modern enclosed car with it's automatic doors!  I only got to ride the outside seats if it was just me and my mum, if my baby brother was with us we had to sit inside.  I desperately wanted to stick my legs out and try to touch the damp bricks of tunnel walls like the big kids did, but my mum wouldn't let me.  My modern children were convinced the brown leather straps for hanging onto were actually seatbelts.

See how the seats are on an angle so that when you're going up and down the hill you sit flat?  I never realised that before, guess I only saw that car on it's steep incline!

Ryan can control the cars with his powers of course.

Went home and played with the Hipstamatic.

Children played with their new Tama Gos, not very retro I know...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sunday Morning

Here in Wellington we have a time honoured hangover cure:

 Malaysian food.  For me it's a Curry Laksa, or a Nasi Lemak, or maybe BBQ Pork Wonton Noodle Soup.  today we went to Satay Palace on Cuba Street.  It was FABULOUS!  We have something like 98 Malaysian restaurants in Wellington, a lot of them just a little mediocre, but Satay Palace is one of the better ones.  Still small and sparse and cheap as a proper hangover curing noodle house should be, but the food is rich and spicy and fiery if you like it that way (we do!).

How can anyone not love Cuba Street?  If they don't, I don't think I want to know them - we're just not going to be on the same planet.

Malaysian, a splash in the Bucket Fountain, and a wander in the tulips to the strains of ukeleles.  I can confirm that the Wellington Botanic Gardens are definitely teeming with life*.

*The Simpsons preview featuring well known Wellingtonians, the Flight of the Concords

Almost forgot the frock:

Frocktober continues - the Cocktail Dress

Did I think to get someone to take a proper picture of this fabulous piece of 1970s fashion?  No I did not, I was too busy making Devils on Horseback and mushroom vol au vents.  So I had to snap myself with the iPhone.

Luckily my friends remembered to dress appropriately:

The children were extremely helpful, if somewhat eager waitpersons:

Who also helped themselves.  Spot the cocktail snack hedgehog:

The serious business of mixocology (there's that hedgehog again):

Joining the grown ups - that child would not go to bed!  Long after her brother had fallen alseep watching Finding Nemo, we kept finding her hanging out with her big ears flapping...

 The main thing that differentiates a 40th from a 21st?  The quality of the liquor!  Only top shelf for us.
We had Manhattans, Martinis, Margharitas, Mojitos and anything you want as long as it starts with 'm'.  And Tourette's Tippler.  Equal parts Cointreau, Tia Maria and vokda.  One sip and you swear I guess.  Damn tasty though.

Put your phone away!

Sing Star always rounds off a party just right...

The cocktail frock from behind - phew, it didn't show my knickers after all!