Sunday, April 30, 2006

Festival again!! second to last I promise...!


After struggling with my Laptop and PC at home finally downloaded my pics to a flashdrive and brought them to work. Amazing how much quicker and easier it is using Jet stream instead of dial-up!! I can see some changes at home!!.

Well I have talked about the main events at the festival so now is the time to talk about the "extras". You see there is just so much going on. I didn't take any classes this year but they always get in at least one overseas tutor. By the way this is how I met Elizabeth Zimmerman one year. I decided to spend the time with Mum this time but normally take at least two classes. They range from beginning weaving , spinning, knitting, crochet, book making, exhibition display etc etc.

They also have lectures and also exhibition and fashion parade "floor walks" where the selectors talk about the entries etc.

There are meetings for the cross-country weavers, advanced spinners as well as an internet group meeting etc.

Every year they have a display of work from each tutor teaching so you can see examples of their work. I can't for copywrit reasons show these.:(

Here is part of a display put on by a member who has done a lot of work with dying.

They also have a "challenge" or small competition each year. This years' was to create a "boa".

Here are some of the entries....

Also each year one of the breeders association members donates a whole bale of wool to be tested and tried by the members in New Zealand. The results of members experiments is on display at the festival. This way members get to try breeds they may not normally try.

It was coarse breeds this year........ One of the many displays..... Mum liked the little dog!

There was also two tapestry weaving displays. One a New Zealand one and one a Australia and New Zealand combined one. Here are some of them.....

These were quite small.. I think about 6 inchs square?

Also when Mum and I went to the museum to see about the Napier/Hastings earthquake we also popped in and saw the exhibition on display.

There was a cabinet of natural dyed skeins... donated by a man's wife after he died. All his own spinning and dying. All labeled with what he had used....

There was a retrospective of a past well know local spinner and weaver. Some of her garments as well as her wheel.

Here it is. Very unusual...hand made.

We saw the Art Deco displays in the museum collection. Clarence Cliff... etc.

On the Sunday morning I took Mum to Hastings, a city about 20 minutes drive from Napier. While there we visited the farmers market. Lots of yummy things to try. I brought chilli, peppers, cheese, lime curd [ yummy ] and feta. Mum got tempted with fresh bread, mushrooms and home made ice cream. [ By the way by peppers I mean a whole large bag full, they are now all chopped up and in the freezer. :) ]

Here is a view...

While there I finally managed to meet up with Irene Young, hi Irene from Cape Cod who had kindly brought over some Wiltons Gel cake colourings for me to try. [ Haven't yet...]

I also took Mum to see the city centre as she hadn't been there since her honeymoon over 55 years ago.

This is the lovely fountain in the middle of the city. It has the train line running right through the middle. Quite a sight when they are running. [ Not on Sundays]

We also stopped and checked out the locals.... Here's me sitting on top of one..!!

Ok , Ok they aren't real!! :) But still fun. The clock tower in the back is a memorial to all who died in Hastings in the same earthquake.

Ah, at last I have managed to post this!! I have one more to do re festival them business as usual. I have the pics loaded and saved now so should be a breeze later.

Err better go do some work.. Knit on all, catch you later.

PS Go leave Stephanie a message, she is feeling rather sad as it is her sister's first birthday after her passing last year.

"Another festival update" or in other words #2, 3 or is it 4?

Hi all, so much for 2-3 posts today to "catch up with postings! What with blogger playing up, kids all day and laptop throwing wobblies this will have to do.

I am running out of ideas for titles as well!! I want to try and "catch" up with my trip so I can "move" on.

Now I think I had got as far as talking about the fashion parade and exhibition. These are wonderful events and must take a lot of work to stage and run. The fashion parade had singers , a wearable art competition from local schools as well as a retrospective of previous winners. A truly wonderful stage production. Unfortunately as they video tape the show I couldn't take any pics. I would have a problem with copywrite anyway in publishing them. The catalogue was great this year with pictures of all the entries.

They had the garments on display for 2 days after the parades so we were able to get a good look of them. There are always details that didn't show on the catwalk. Our web site should have pictures of the winners later so will let you know when you can go see them.

As for the exhibition because of copywrite I don't feel comfortable showing you to much but will show a few "general" views without close ups to give you an idea. Again our website will have pics of the prize winners late. Our exhititions are run slightly different in that it is very similar to having you garment/item entered into a gallery exhibition. In that they have to go through a selection process. There are awards but not blue ribbons. The awards given are mentioned on our web site if you are interested. It can be hard to "get in". So to be accpeted can be a real buzz.

First up , because of the theme there were displays around the whole venue such as this one at the exhibition.

This gives you a little idea of the way it was laid out.

Oh and this one is guess who's...!! I wasn't a 100% happy with the way it was displayed as you couldn't see the inside but heh I was accepted so who's complaining!

My cape and other goodies...

The display artist they used this year was a retired draper/shop window artist. He liked to hang things in "colour bays".

Another group....

And another......

These few hopefully give you an idea of things. I took a picture of everything so Auntie could see. I am trying to sort into folders the 300 old pics ....!!

Now an overview of the trades hall at a quiet time.

Now this is where blogger tried to get stoppy so will have to show you some more tomorrow.

The weekend has been a good one. More garage saling and a closing down sale at a yarn shop... not to mention spreading 3 bags of chookie manue, pumpkin soup making and yet more pulping tomatoes.

And surprise , surprise I even got some knitting done. I have now reached the sewing up stage of DP's green jersey and have got over half way with my new watch strap. Having the DGK's today did cramp my style a little but ... amazing what you can get done when you try.

As for now it is well past bedtime. So knit on and I will see you all tomorrow I am off to read the yarn harlot, tell me does anyone know what happened to the gray squirel??

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Festival bargins!!

Hi all

So much for posting again last Tuesday!! I just crashed that night and by the time I had done the kiddy run last night did pretty much the same thing!

So instead of giving you more festival news thought it about time to add a "little yarn" content. lol!

First up is 4 small skeins in a bulky that will be good for adding a bit of zing to a jacket etc. These were only NZ$2 each!

[The colours, as usual are not quite accurate]

The same with the next photo. Here is 1 kilo of a random died LARGE skein. It will be a bit of a challenge to wind off. Thanks goodness for niddy noddy's and skein and ball winders!

I can think of several projects with this. The best it was only $36NZ for the lot! A festival special. It is pure wool, double knit weight and is more blue than the pic depicts.

Now for my most expensive purchase.... , other than the petrol to get there that is!!! Wow now up to $1.79NZ per litre!!

Two books , one most of you will be famillar with. That is "yarn harlot" and when I am awake enough will enjoy this having finished her first book. The next "A knitter's template" is one I haven't seen before. It also was on sale. I have a similar book, older tho and only has templates for up to double knit. This one has them for up to 2 stitches per inch. So should be handy. I prefer to "do my own thing" using templates as a guide to stitches and shapes. I think mainly as I find it much easier to knit my own designs than to figure out the mistakes of some one elses.

Now something a little different, and yes somehow I am going to find time to get back to my spinning. Perhaps as the yarn harlot, will designate a day for it.

The bag on the left holds a small sample of hemp. The advanced spinning group, of which I somehow seem to have found myself a member of is tackling hemp as it's next project. Thought I would get a head start and try a sample. Watch this space....!

The top right is a small bag of 50% silk and 50% bamboo. I love silk spinning and this should be interesting to dye. Last bottom right are two bags of silk rods. When they dye the silk cocoons the sticks they stir the pots with become coated with the silk. Once it has built up they cut them off which leaves these "rods" which can be cut and embelished with embroidery etc. Thought they would be fun to try.

Now a little something to fasten my green shrug. Green shrug you say?? Yes I did manage to knit a small sample for this while away. This time I will only use about 5 threads. The result will not be so "fur jacket" like!! This catch is pewter and I will post a pic of the sample when I get around to taking one.

This pic shows the small sample bags of dyed silk silver I got at $1 a bag. Handy for the silk leaves I have been planning for a project. The flower is a felted wool, silk and beaded pin. I also picked up another lace bobbin for my spinning wheel. Which by the way is a Maji-craft Susie. If you haven't seen a lace bobbin before they have a thicker core. When you spin very fine the "take up" of the singles onto the bobbin is "stronger" at the beginning of a bobbin. The thicker core "mimics" having already got some singles on the bobbin before you start. It does make quite a difference. I was lucky because this bobbin has a "knot" in the wood they let me have $5 off.

That's about it! I did buy some lavender handcream and body spray. But I have already given the hand cream to my Auntie tonight for her birthday. 91 today!! I also went to the Sunday market and picked up some food. But that is another story for later....

Now I think that "Patches" may have missed me........

I tried to unpack but she slept here all night and followed me around the next day.

Oh and one last thing. When you register at the festival on arrival you receive a "goodie" bag. This contains all sorts such as vouchers, chocolate, tissues, lollies etc etc. This year there were small sample skiens of hand dyed embroidery threads in lovely random shades. The item at the back is a hand knitted pin cushion.

Anyway I am off to read the yarn harlot. I promise some more festival news next time.

Knit on, I have been enjoying catching up on reading all the news.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

"I'am back!!"

Hi all.

I am finally back home and a little more rested. As in no longer feeling zombie like from the long trip and many stops back yesterday.

It is ANZAC day here and so a holiday. Which is great as I was able to lie in this morning before going for a walk in the rain, yes rain after 5 days of beautiful, hot, fine sunny days!

I have seriously taken a lot of photos as in over 300!! It takes about half an hour to view them via a slide show. I did this so my elderly Auntie , 91 could see what we had been up to as she would have loved to go. She can no longer walk much and has too many health problems unfortunately. So I don't plan on posting all!!! But will share some over the next few posts. I will start up with the trip up and the motel we stayed in plus one of the reasons Mum wanted to go.

First up, here is Mum all packed and ready to go. She was so excited, and had a great time. And no she seemed quite relaxed about my driving!!

We did strike a bit of traffic as mentioned in the last post. This was one of the stops we had. It was taken in the Manawatu gorge. This gorge was closed for several months after heavy rain had nearly washed the road out. They were working on the wall put up to prevent washouts.

I did make up some time but was a little delayed in getting to Napier. As a result I didn't make it to the airport to pick up our room mate for the stay. So met at the motel instead. A very flash one at that. We had a very comfortable stay. Not a lot of cooking was done tho!! :) But a lot of talking and a small bit of knitting.
Here's the Motel.

And here's the visitor we had most days! Him and his sister were only about five months old and looked identical. We saw him most days as he stopped in for a nose about and a cuddle!

I think in the last post I mentioned that we had a big festive opening? Well this is one of the acts. As the theme was the Art deco period they are "The Andrew sisters". They did a really good job but as the pics weren't coming up well didn't take any more pics.

Now one of the reasons for Mum wanting to go to Napier. Well she was born there in 1929. In 1931 her Mum had her baby brother called David. Unfortuntely as her Mum required an operation straight after the birth they were in hospital for 6 weeks. My Mum was sent down to a place called Upper Hutt to stay with cousins for this time. Just before her Dad was to collect his wife and baby, in fact when he was at the gate of the hospital a major earthquake hit the area. It caused major damage and lost of life. Including Mum's Mum and brother. It is all very sad but was 75 years ago now on the 3rd Feb 1931.

So Mum wanted to visit the grave and memorials. On the Saturday morning ,the day after the fashion parade we went up and went to the museum and saw the earthquake display plus watched a 30 min movie about it. It was a good chance for Mum to talk about her family and life. Not something that she gets to do much these days.

This picture shows one of the displays in the museum with some of the rubble from the earthquake.

We then headed out to see the graves and memorial. It took a bit of finding as since the last time I went they had built new roads and roundabouts. Only got lost once or twice but eventually located it. [ It did mean I was too late back to attend the internet meeting, sorry Lorraine!!]

Here is the big memorial to all who died, and here is Mum's Mother and brother's grave.

It is sad but a long time ago. Mum was only 16 months old so has no memory of it. But it is the reason that Napier is a bit of a tourist spot. A fire swept through after the quake so the city had to be rebuilt. Of course when they rebuilt they built in the style of the times, that is Art deco. As a result most of the buildings etc are in this style and also the reason the festival had this theme. More pics on this in a later post.

Anyway after this headed back to the centre that the festival was held in. I was too late for a meeting I had wanted to attend but never mind as I might not get the chance to do this with Mum again. We had a bit of lunch and then another look around the trades as well as the tutors and area displays. [ More pics later]. I finally convinced Mum she needed a bit of a rest. As in I could see her wilting!!! Took a bit of convincing tho!! But while she had a sleep went back and caught up with friends and had a bit of a shop!!! Sorry you will have to wait for those pics too!

Ayway that is enough for today. I suppose I better go pick some tomatoes, sign! even in the rain it has been nearly a week so quite a few ripe ones. And then????!!! Well some knitting and sitting around is looking good. Will post more later on the trip and more pics if you are lucky!!

Knit on all, it is good to be home. >^..^<

Friday, April 21, 2006

"Absolutely spiffing darlings"

Greetings from the Art Deco centre of New Zealand. The theme for this years Creative fibre festival.

I have at great expense, or at about $8 an hour got a link. It is however only dial up as my laptop is too old to be capable of wireless so this will be a short post and pics will have to wait until I get home. [ And I thought the home connection was slow!!!]

We had a terrific trip up here yesterday. Only a little held up with traffic and road works. Arrived at 3.00pm in time to go down and register and get our "goodie bags" and badges etc. "Goodie bags" have coupons, chocolate, yarn and gifts etc. We then discovered that the trades were already open so had a quick wander around. I brought some small sample bags of dyed silk silver in a green/purple colourway. Only $1 a bag.

Then it was back to have tea/dinner at the motel before heading back for the offical opening and prize giving for the exhibition. Still didn't know if my entries had been accepted. But did discover someone with a catalogue so finally found out that both my knitted basket and KO cape made it in!! Yipee!! Then was able to text a friend to let her know hers was in as well.

After a lovely sleep up to check out the exhibition this morning to take pics and have a look. It was rather packed out however so will go back tomorrow when quieter to take more pics. [ Not sure how many of those I will be able to share because of copywrite etc. Wouldn't want to upset anyone with posting pics of their art work. Perhaps some general shots??]

Then back to the trade hall to shop and check out the tutor, and area displays and drop off my folder of work from the Merino course I did with Margaret Stove. [They wanted it to show future students.] May do the design course this year.

By this stage Mum, who by the way is now 76 was starting to get rather tired. So I talked her into going back for a rest. I then "escaped" back to the trades where I met up with a friend and did a little damage. As in buy two books, one of which is Stephanie Pearl-Mcphees second book. I also brought a whole kilo of rainbow dyed worsted/double knitting weight yarn for $36NZ. Oh and a lovely felted flower pin as well.

After rushing back for a quick change and waking Mum up it was back to the fashion show. That was great as usual and also with the usual discussions about what got in and who won what etc. I wasn't able to take photos of this unfortunately as they were filming it. They will put pics up on the web site so will let you know when this happens and you can check it out.

The weather has been fab so haven't worn much "wool" yet. But will wear the "festival" jacket tomorrow night to the AGM.

I have been having a lovely time catching up with friends and making new ones. Rather lovely to see ones I haven't seen for a few years. [ And to know they are really pleased to see me "back" again.]

Anyway better get off as this is costing an arm and a leg. More news to follow.

Hope all is well with all. Knit on >^..^<

Thursday, April 20, 2006

On the way! Finally!

Hi just a quick 5 min post to let you all know that I am finally packed and ready to go. Only 1/2 hour late!! Have to make Napier by 2.50pm to collect some one from the airport up there so Mum may have a quicker trip than she anticipated. [ Have already been told to stick to the 100!!]

Not sure what the internet access will be like but I have my laptop and camera so hopefully I can do at least one post while away.

I still haven't heard re entries so will just have to find out when I get there.

Happy knitting all until I return. >^..^<

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

FO - and more

Just a quick post before I go to bed to show you this.....

Yes the festival jacket is finished. Was done last night but late. A bit hard to see in the pic, a new, better camera would be nice:)

Boy it is heavy!!! But still looks great. Just will have to wait for snow!!:)

I have spent most of the night trying to produce some business cards to take away with me. PC's!!! I managed to get a design I liked but my printer won't work. When I tried to copy to disc and print on DP's PC of course his won't open the document. Go figure!

Anyway , wonderful man he has somehow copied it when it won't and is now printing as I "speak". Just wanted something to advertise my blog etc.

I better go get him some supper. I would have better spent my time packing. Will have to do it all tomorrow after kids and shopping!!

One thing tho I haven't heard yet if my things have been accepted or not into the exhibition. Some have and some haven't heard so not sure what is happening. I am hoping that no news is good news. I am not really bothered just hoping they get in but I know one or two are rather stressed out with the wait. Especially when they heard some had found out on Saturday. Not good!!

Just a thought if you look here 12 is Wellington where I am leaving from and 10 is Napier where we are going.

Anyway off to get supper. Good night all, only 2 to go!!

Knit on >^..^<

Monday, April 17, 2006

Last day :(

Like all things that you enjoy most they seem the quickest to pass. This weekend has been a great one for all I hoped to do.

We went for another walk today. The weather was not as as good but still warm if a little windy. [ Remembered the camera this time!] The swans were still feeding but it was too windy on the water to watch the fish. We did watch a man trying to berth his boat with his dog running up and down excitably. But didn't feel he would appriecate a photo shot as he was having problems.

After another late brunch it was off to work for an hour to do the cash. The problem with the library is that ever since the museum and art gallery moved into the same building we are expected to be open as often as they are. This of course means been open alot of stat days. So of course as I am cashier this means someone has to do the cash if we are open more than one day without full time staff in attendance. Fortunately this is only 2-3 time a year!

Then after picking up some essential supplies such as bread etc it was off to "the section". My DP owns nearly 2 acres of ground behind the nearest primary school. It is a rather steep site and is covered in bush and pine trees. Last year we gathered 6 sacks or so of pine cones and they were great on the fire.

Here he is walking over the school field ready to "tackle" the hill up. It is easier to go through the school to drag the bags full down as it is much easier than carrying them up to the road.

After 4 full sacks full it was home for a late lunch. Then I cleaned my "baby". That is I washed , vacumed and cleaned windows etc of my car in prep for going to Napier with Mum on Thursday. I hadn't done it for a while and the kids tend to "write" on the windows and drop alot of crumbs etc so wanted to get it nice for the trip. Here she is....... all clean and ready to go.

She has been my one major indulgence and I love every minute driving her! We have been through a lot together.

It is not so clear but "she" is called "Blaise" see number plate. I picked this at DP suggestion. I wanted a personalised plate but couldn't make up my mind. He knew that I liked "Modesty Blaise" books and as she is a female James Bond it seemed to fit the car.

After that it was more gardening before lazying in front of the telly again.

Anyway baack to the stash. Here is another project sorted. This one is for the bracelet I was talking about from here.

The next one should be quick these are for a few of these.... see here.

It should be a good way to use up some lovely leftovers. Heh stash reduction!!

Now for the next big project to start I am going to do another bulky knit but this time with only four or so yarns together. I have the last sleeve to do on my festival jacket tonight and have tried it on. I love it but it is heavy to wear. so this one will be lighter. Thought I might try this if I can get the guage right. [Ok so it won't give me the link from home. It is the fishermans shrug from the Lion Brand home page. Will try from work]

I am also going to try and finish this as it is so nearly done. this one is from here the bias knit vest.

Now for the last pics I found the baby shawl I had knitted for my grand daughter 6 years ago. My son has given it back as it has a thread that needs repair and it needs a wash and block. I designed it myself. It has hearts in the middle with family trees and hearts in the border and the edging has more hearts and a cable running around the outside. One day I may even knitted another. By the way it is about 5-6 feet square.

Well after readin gover my last couple of posts I can't believe that I completely skipped over the fact we did the housework on Saturday. Perhaps because we would have rather done other things but I suppose it needs doing once in a while. Now haveing two bathrooms etc is great especially when in a hurry in the morning but that means two to clean and having four bedrooms an heaps of rooma nd by the way heaps of stuff as in lots of books and collections of "things' makes a lot of cleaning. Thanks goodness that is done for a while!!

Right I am off to bed for a read and supper. Knit on all >^..^<

PS Thanks for the kind comments re stash but I have to admit that what you have seen is only about a third , have yet to show you the double wardrobe full of fleeces and cones and ..... you get the idea!!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Two down, two to go # 2 [ I hope! ]

Right , this is where I try and remember what I wrote so well yesterday. Of course it isn't going to "come out" as good but oh well!!!

I can remember saying what a great two days I have had so far. The weather has been brillant warm, calm and sunny. Friday morning actually laid in bed until 9.30am. I know this doesn't sound like much but for someone who has trouble sleeping much past 7.00 and is normally up by at least 8 every morning , more like 7 this was a very relaxing start. I even managed to read and finish the new Vogue knitting mag.

DP and I went for a lovely walk before a late brunch. Down to the harbour to watch the wild black swans feeding. The water was so clear that you could see their legs paddling and necks under the water as they fed. Then under the bridge to watch a school of fish rising with their scales glistening in the sunlight while a ganet swam and dived among them. Of course who forgot to take her camera!!!

Then after lunch into the craft studio/room to tidy and hunt up new projects.

Some before shots........................

The pile of wool, knitting machine etc in the middle.

The table and cutting board swamped with goodness knows what...

Now some after shots. You may say ... not much difference but I can now use my table and cutting mat, find my sewing machine cabinet and the wool/yarn is all sorted and packed away in the boxes and bins in the background. Of course the boxes are still stacked in the middle but I have a slight problem of more yarn than will fit in the bins. Either have to do a lot of sitting around knitting or ... sugggestions please.

Now one or two items found and projects hunted up. Here I will have to admit defeat. Blogger only seemed to want to let me post so many pics so the rest will have to follow.

First up some hand-dyed silk coccons. Brought at the last spin-in and waiting to be embelished and embroidered. (The colours by the way in these pics are a little off. Real life is more colourful , the sun has "washed" them out a little.)

Next some black hand-spun and silver to be used for my new watch strap see pattern here.

Next some reds [ not orangey as appears in the pic] and black for the new wristwarmers to keep me warm when the cold weather fianlly arrives. I thought I would cheat and sew the beads on after. I know I have some jets and reds in my bead stash. My winter coast is black so this will do nicely. Anyway who cares about colour when the air con at work is so cold.! brrr!!!!!!!!!! Pattern here too.

Now drum roll please , presenting a sock. Knitted about 6 years ago and forgotten. I tried it on and thought wow cosy I need to finish #2. This prompted an hour and a half search for the pattern to no avail. :( Not surprising considering the house moving etc done in the past 5 years.)

However I have started the next one so should be able to "read" the other one and copy it. A nice little challenge for the winter months. But if anyone can recognise the pattern and point me in the right direction I wouldn't say no.

Anyway that's as far as I have been able to get. Blogger has not been very co-operative. So next pic next post!!

As for Saturday once I had finished in the studio I went out side for a while and dug up bed #2 in the veggie garden before the kids were dropped of by Mum after their access visit. By the way another bucket full of tomoates, these things are never going to give up. Then to laze about um I mean rest in front of telly before the abborted post and bed.

Anyway today, Sunday?? Well it was rather busy with kids. Their dad was rather late picking them up so today has been a bit of a wash out really. I did try and get on the PC to do this post but made the mistake of showing my grand-son the net - that is the Thomas the tank engine site with games. Well!!! he is completely hooked. I had to prise the mouse off of him to get him to go home. HIs words .." I will ask Dad if I can come back tomorrow to play"!! Sorry mate we're going out tomorrow!!! Quick take the phone off the hook and lock the doors!!

Tomorrow up the section to collect pine cones and bed #3 in the veggie garden as well as compost spreading etc.

What's that you say? Knitting content? Well I did get quite a bit done while lazing about in front of Telly. I have nearly finished sewing up the festival jacket only one sleeve to go and have just finished the back of DP jersey only the front yoke and the neck to do now. So should finish both of these tomorrow. Then what next!!!???

I am off to bed to read, novel better than expected I may see who dunit tonight. See you all tomorrow with the next part of the stash sort and perhaps a pic or two of FO's.

Only 4 days to festival, yeh...!

Knit on >^..^<