Monday, July 30, 2012

monkeys 1, 2, 3

Here are the monkeys I made and posted off today for The Great Sock Monkey Challenge. The goal of this worthwhile cause is for every New Zealand child with a critical or long-term illness to be given a homemade sock monkey. Read the full story here. Join up on Facebook here
I had planned to make just these three monkeys to use up the last of my sock supplies but - I couldn't help myself - I bought more socks today. They are fun to make and they all seem to develop their own personalities. If you've never made a sock monkey before, now is your chance. There are lots of tutorials and free patterns online but I always use this one.

Daffodils are in the shops. Spring is coming. Once the Film Festival is over it feels to me as if the worst of the Winter rain and cold is over too - so not much longer.  

Reading Killing floor by Lee Child (I too have 'discovered' Jack Reacher) + Watching The wire, season 2 and a bit of the Olympics and a few festival films

Friday, July 20, 2012

charity stores and wombles

I love going to charity craft stores. They are nearly always full of amazing knitting at good prices. But mostly I love that so many people busily knitted for hours and hours. The stores vibrate with industry. And I wonder about the makers. Right or wrong I imagine an army of grandmothers sitting by their fires fortified with tea and knitting, knitting, knitting. I'm so glad when I can support them.

I bought the owl tea cosy at Dunsandel. I've admired these for some time but didn't think my crochet skills were up to making one myself. It fits my little black teapot perfectly. The gloves are from Variety Handcrafts in Dunedin and, as you can see, (as well as being an amazing green colour) they are knitted sideways. I've never seen this before but I've found a similar pattern here should you want some too. They are knitted on two needles and for each glove you make a front and a back and then sew them together. Genius.

The pillow cases were a vintage find - still bright and fresh. I think The Wombles, as supporters of recycling, would be pleased that these pillow cases that have probably been around for 30 years are still being used.

Reading 365 thank yous by John Kralik 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012



 Christchurch cathedral

 Lakes Alexandra and Tekapo taken from Mt John observatory on a misty afternoon. 
Mt John is a designated international dark sky preserve.

 Lake Tekapo, the following day. 

Taken from the car on the road to Dunedin, near Twizel.

As you can see I've had a few days away in the South Island - flying to Christchurch and then driving to Dunedin via Lake Tekapo. It's the first time I've been back to Christchurch since the earthquakes and it was quite a shock to see the damage to the city centre and also to Lyttelton. We were lucky to go to a Lawrence Arabia concert held in the beautiful old wooden St Michaels and All Angels church built in 1871 and now probably one of Christchurch's oldest buildings left standing.

Monday, July 9, 2012

novelty tea cosies

Thank you to everyone from My Creative Space. It's so nice to see what everyone is making and to connect with other craftspeople.

Since I finished my posy cosy I've been thinking about my next knitting project. I was looking for inspiration in my small collection of "vintage" knitting books and found some more wonderful - and a few odd - tea cosy patterns. I think the koala bear is bizarrely endearing. I'm impressed by the huge variety and inventiveness of the patterns but I suppose it's not really surprising given that the tea cosy was once so popular.

Anyway I don't think I'm ready to make another tea cosy just yet and I haven't come up with any other ideas on what to knit next so I'm working on this. Perhaps you'd like to join me?

Monday, July 2, 2012

posy cosy

This is what I've been working on - a flowery tea cosy inspired by Jane Brocket's design that I admire greatly. I made my own version using cartridge-belt rib and worked out my own shaping to fit my fat yellow teapot. I got a bit carried away with the flowers. They take a bit of practice but Jane Brocket gives good instructions in her book.

 Tea cosy from The gentle art of knitting by Jane Brocket

"Bouquet" tea cosy from Fontana gift and novelty book #61

I found this version in an old knitting booklet from the 1950s. It's more ornate but the same general idea. I'd love to see it in colour.