April 30, 2008


give away give away give give give away....

more about that at the end...

I was in spasms of excitement at the bus stop last night - as you do. And not in a creepy stalkery way. Or perhaps it was...I happened to sit down next to a guy knitting. Yep, knitting. I had a serious debate with myself as to if i tapped him on the shoulder and started a slightly mad conversation, but he had headphones on so i couldn't do that...and then i tossed up about writing him a wee note, but just as i was fishing in my bag to see if i had a pen, his bus turned up. Number 7, going to Kingston. Will he ever know how excited i was to see him knitting? Possibly 

The other thing i've been strangely fascinated with in the last two days is this - the giant squid cameras so disgusting, yet so very intriguing. Like a fishy car crash.
right, so giveaway! Anyone who comments between this post and Sunday 4 May goes in the draw for a full set of my cards and a tote bag...and an ipod cover if the winner just so happens to have ipod. 

A wee selection of the cards...all blank inside. Apols for the average pics, it's what happens when you get home after dark! (and why i don't have any images of the bag!)

April 26, 2008


One of the great bonuses of long weekends is the amount of time available to do anything you want. I spent all day yesterday thinking that today would be back to the office, and it was great reminding myself that oh no, I still have one whole day left!

So yesterday was spent having lunch with my Mum and at the library doing some much needed research. The old design habits are slowly returning - I'd forgotten how much i loved looking through books just for their pictures. It is fascinating what can jump-start the old imagination machine...I have in my possession for 4 weeks: a book on instructional design (hilarious!), one on Japanese design and a source book of flower, leaf and tree designs. All it took were three completely unrelated things to pop up randomly in relatively close succession for the next project to evolve...so i have yet one more creative project on my plate. Who needs work?! I could happily grow into a groove in the couch and knit, sew, draw, read and dream all day... 

oooh...the next post is number 100! Which will probably be Wednesday...drop by for a give away!

April 23, 2008

knitting in public

For the past two days i've knitted on the bus, both to and from work. It can be a little awkward trying not to hit whoever sits next to me with my needles, but i get a surprising amount done between Kilbirnie and Lambton Quay. 

This morning a lovely older lady sat next to me, grinned, and said 'oh, i've never tried knitting with rainbow yarn before.' I get the feeling it made her day to see that knitting was still alive and well. 

There is a world wide knit in public day, and i've signed up to host a meeting. Not sure how well knitting outside in the middle of a Wellington winter will work though!

so, how many times can I say knitting in a post?!

What is everyone up to for ANZAC weekend? The plan is for a whole load of sewing and maybe a nosey around Newtown as I haven't been there in yonks. Am still tossing up as to if I am game to get up at 5.30 to go to a dawn service on Friday, but keep thinking of all the amazing photo potential there will be...

PS - i'm almost at my 100th post...hmm what shall the give away be?

April 21, 2008

IT has begun

dum dum dummmm

Crafternoon tea goodness

I really need to come up with some better titles. Or maybe i'll just give them up altogether. hmm.

Crafternoon tea was a great success! I finally got to meet the lovely Nikki, who blew me away with her knitting know-how - you rock! I taught my sister and friend the joys of casting on, and i think we managed to convince both that holes are arty. And that it gets easier. My other friend Bex, who i taught last year, is giving it another go after struggling with way small needles and yarn and has gone for the fat stuff. Her scarf literally doubled in length while she was there. Woohoo to the knitting converts!

The subject of my grandma came up very briefly and i remembered that somewhere i had hidden a shawl that she gave me for my 21st. I have never worn it but feel terribly lucky to have it. It is called 'Reflections' and is better travelled than I am - it's won a few awards at exhibitions as Grandma has a tendency to borrow it back to take to various things with her. I failed at finding it yesterday afternoon but then had a brainwave last night and did a wee fashion shoot with it. 
So am terribly consumed by inspiration from loads of crafty people surrounding me at the moment, and oh how i wish to craft full time...

And yes, there will be another crafternoon tea - for any in Wellington who would like to come, let me know! The next one may be this Sunday, but being a long weekend am not quite sure what turn out will be like. Could just be me and my needles!
The best road sign ever! Think my camera needs to accompany me out more...

April 19, 2008

Freakin' Feijoas!

How excited am I right now? 
The mystery tree in our backyard turns out to be a feijoa - as evidenced by the one fruit hanging from it's branches. Woo a fruit tree!!

And am hanging out for the inaugural crafternoon tea this afternoon - more on that later.

Wooo feijoas! (umm can you tell i'm excited?)

April 18, 2008

vino, bad tv and collage

What a fab friday night - free wine at work, flat to myself, magazine inspiration spread all over the floor...bliss. Oh yeah, was meant to work on thermal. Got sidetracked, but it is still going!

April 16, 2008

the wheels on the bus

Normally i avoid the number 14 bus like the plague...it takes way too long to get over the hill through Roseneath and into Kilbirnie. This evening, though, I figured i may as well as it turned before any others going my way. And what an entertaining journey. 

I love early evening in winter, rainy, grey, cool and beautifully accented by light - cars, windows, buses, traffic lights. We went along Oriental bay and I was treated to some voyeuristic peeks into people's lives - their windows lit up for everyone to see them cooking dinner, relaxing, 'getting home'. 

The bus driver, however, was even better entertainment. The happiest one i have ever come across. Greeted everyone like an old friend, announced every stop, just like the trams in Melbourne - "coming up, James Smith's!" And when the bus was full, he stood up and asked all school kids to stand up and use their manners so the adults could sit down. Gold. Then, when there was noone to talk to, he sang. 

He single-handedly proved the old adage that if you are nice to people, they will be nice to you. By the time anyone got off the bus, they had a great smile on their face. I bet he had the best day out of any bus driver - because he decided to love his job and be nice to every single person who got on his ride. 

April 11, 2008

Come visit!

I am off to Aro Street Market today - come and say hello! It's outside the Aro Valley Community Centre on Aro Street, from 11am to 3pm (though we do get there earlier).

There'll  be live music, coffee, food, great bargains (including second hand goodies) and plenty of fun people to meet.

Today, I shall be hocking off old sewing patterns - some never used! And maybe some fabric along with the usual ipod covers, cards, tote bags and the boy's cameras. 

Perfect day for it!

oooh and i just noticed that i'm almost at the 100 blog mark - what shall i do to celebrate?

April 10, 2008

wise (knitting) words

not much from me today - instead, something from my Grandmother, who just happens to be a quite well known knitter. She made the shawl presented to Prince Charles and Princess Diana for Prince William's christening from the New Zealand Wool Board (or something like that). No shit. Te Papa has some of her work in their collection, and she regularly travels to the States to do workshops and the like. So, knitting is in my blood really. 

'Your last email gave me 'food for thought' as I have also been really interested in this question of why people knit!
Did i tell you that one of the sculpture students, Zoe, used knitting as a medium and - several miles of French (cotton reel) knitting which she draped into organic shapes and then started a knitting group in the sculptor studio during Wednesday lunch hours? We knitted in public too, like meeting and knitting at Coffee Culture, the Botanic Gardens which included a pot luck picnic and city building sites etc. It was a group of about fifteen students including five guys. One was really enthusiastic and knitted 'liquorice allsorts' scarves! They came out to visit with my local spinning group during the holidays and the spinners were really great and donated knitting needles, yarns etc. along with lots of advice which was probably disregarded in the long run but attentively listened to at the time! Zoe took photos of all these activities and these also made up part of her submission. I even got Granddad to take a photo of me knitting outside a cafe in Melbourne which Zoe used to frequent!

I think knitting has had a raw deal in many ways! First it was 'bottom of the heap' in British culture as it was what the illiterate peasants did and probably why people use the phrase 'go back to your knitting' when they want to put someone down. In continental Europe and Scandinavia it has a much higher status. Weaving, bobbin lace and needlework were, and still are, given a much higher status in relation to applied art (until recently it was next to impossible to get knitting hung in an art gallery in NZ) and it is really interesting to see that suddenly knitting is being included at 'Fine arts' level as long as it is spontaneous with the usual non craft application eg Jackie Greenbank and Katie Thomas.
Did i tell you that I am in the throes of writing my third book? It is the story of my 'Shawl Journey' and I find I am often referring to what can only be described as the therapeutic aspect of knitting in conjunction, of course, with the challenges of the researchm history, designing and pattern making which has made this such a fascinating subject over  my lifetime and and latterly the discovery that there are processes involved which can be truly defined as fine art ehich is quite different from the applied art/craft specifications. The late James Mack was the champion of ensuring creative crafts received recognition regardless of the medium used and i owe him a great debt as without him as a mentor I often wonder to what extent I would  have had the confidence to persevere. 

For me i knowt hat I need to have purely mechanical knitting on the go as well as the complex resolving of design knitting projects. The former is relaxing when I am tired and frees my mind to ponder problems, especially personal ones, either conciously or more likely subconsciously, whereas the latter need my full attention and can be very exhausting!

This is turning out to be another book! I guess I am excited to think you have this interest and that you are hopefully benefiting from knitting.'

oh yeah, did I mention that she has written two books and just completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Canterbury University? Pretty cool huh, for someone in her 60s. Yep, she can drive me nuts but she's achieved some incredible things. I'd love to learn all that she knows about knitting...one day. I have so many memories from being around her as a kid and knowing that if nothing else was happening there would be knitting in her hands. 

She also has her own line of fine Merino wools (that my aunt winds in Staveley) among other things...

April 6, 2008

Sleepless in Taupo

I had the great privilege of being in a support crew team for a friend's effort at Oxfam Trailwalker in the weekend. I didn't get much sleep, spent alot of time driving...and also a lot of time waiting, thinking and taking photos. It was absolutely fantastic. I got so much headspace time, thinking about life, the universe and everything. I met some great people and had some very interesting conversations. 

If you ever get the chance - do it. Even if you don't think you're up to walking, be part of a support crew. there is nothing like it. 

PS - i'm actually thinking about walking it next year. Mad? yes!

April 2, 2008

Just 'cos

More of the same really - pottering along, work isn't too crazy at the moment which is wonderful - i've been coming home lately not feeling totally stretched to the limit and wound up. So I can just potter around and bake chocolate cakes. And spend too much time on the net. 
Am trying to sort things out so i can go on a date tomorrow (is it a date? not sure. hmm) without having to come home after and stress about all the things that need doing before i go to Taupo for the weekend and a newbie moves into the flat on Saturday (while i'm not here! uh oh!).
Confused? Me too. 
I'm also really bummed because i'm missing THREE fairs by going away this weekend. I committed myself to the trip before i realised. So to anyone who goes to Aro Street Market, Mighty Mighty Market or Kilbirnie Fair, have a great time for me!