Saturday, October 29, 2011

Knitted Goodies For Sale

I've just loaded sone items in the tab 'Items for Sale'. It's all discounted because I am running out of room for things! A great time of the year to pick up some pressies!

And here are a few of my personal favourites....

Friday, October 28, 2011

And the winner is....

I've been running a little Rugby World Cup competition and I'm well overdue to picking a winner!

In the end there were 7 completed entries. In the order of completion they were:

By Odette

By kaaktus

By mychildrensmother

By Odette (this is the mini hotshot)

By Krissie

By Odette

By elpalchica

So, I listed them in a wee document, then asked my husband to pick any number between and including 1 and 7. His answer....

wait for it...

wait for it...

Still waiting...

Is this annoying?

Ok, my 7 entrants, it was the number 4 he selected...

Which turned out to be Odette. With 3 entries out of the 7 the odds were in Odette's favour! I'll be in touch Odette to organise your prize :) I'm pretty sure she was after a swift and fingers crossed it'll rain tomorrow so my beloved can get swift making instead of playing tennis lol.

A huge thank you to all the lovelies that took part and chatted during the RWC.

To finish, here's a beautiful image from the final game last weekend, boy it was stressful to watch, but go the AB's!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Confessions of a Yarnaholic Continued...The Stash

I'm embarassed to have to admit that this is the kind of post that you can show to your significant other when they are complaining that your yarn stash is getting too big because the lid of the bin won't shut. In saying that, I know that there are many many Ravelers with much more than me, but when I laid my stash out in January 2010 it was a real eye-opener as to just how much yarn I had hiding in the wardrobes or living under the bed.

My aim since then was to destash the stuff I didn't like, knit up the yarn I do and to aim to buy way less yarn than I was knitting up over the year. In the end, I knitted 30,000m of yarn, that's 30kms worth.

So now, the yarn that remains from that pic looks more like this:

Actually, it's not like that at all as I've used some of the ones still pictured there, but seeing as there's still some in my stash I didn't want to just black it out. But it's a great improvement right?!

And we won't talk about the yarn that's been added to my stash since then

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Blogtober the 19th, Pay It Forward

A while ago, my friend Mary posted a Pay It Forward on her blog. I received my gorgeous package earlier this year, it contained delicious chocolate (ummm, one guess why it's not pictured!), handspun yarns (Mary knows I have a bit of a thing for brown yarn, but both of these are just beautiful), felt, gorgeous bulldog clips and a neat reusable shopping bag that now lives in the bottom of my handbag.

So, it's now my turn to Pay It Forward.

I will send a gift to a randomly selected someone who to leaves a comment on this post within the next 365 days.

I am willing to post anywhere in the world, so don't let that stop you commenting.

The catch is that you have to have a blog and be willing to do the same thing.

So if you'd like to participate, then leave me a comment and make sure to leave me a valid email address so that I can contact you for your address, etc.PLEASE also tell me what kind of things you'd love to receive or any allergies you might have.

Paying it forward is lots of fun! Go on, leave me a comment! And hey, if you're not selected it doesn't mean you can't still pay it forward to someone else anyway, post someone something you don't need anymore but think they might appreciate :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Blogtober the 18th, Matariki

I have to blog about this! I can't believe I haven't already.

Now, I can take no credit for the knitting of this most stunning jersey. It was knitted by my beautiful friend Fi and gifted to my family. I can't tell you how much I love this. Yes, I love the smooshy soft WOOLganics yarn and the cleverly designed pattern by my friend Sarah. Yes, I love too that it fits my Timothy as if it was knitted just for him.

But what I love the most is the generosity of such an amazing gift. I know it must've been hard to send this jersey to me after knitting it. It's the kind of jersey that I would find hard to give away, in fact, I don't think I'll be able to! And Fi has a little fella of her own that could've grown into it I'm sure (though shush, I don't want to give her any ideas)

It's amazing right? And we love it.

Thanks for being you Fi xxx

Monday, October 17, 2011

Blogtober the 17th, 8 months old today!

It's true! My babe is 8 months old today! It's unreal that he's 2/3rds of a year old and yet what a doozy the first 6 months in particular were. But these days he's pretty chilled, he loves the big kids, doesn't get into too much mischief (because he can't move anywhere on his own yet) and eats everything I shovel into his little mouth, screaming for more when he finishes the first helping! He's sleeping much better at night too, but I'm a bit nervous to mention that for fear of jinxing things. Less than a fortnight ago he'd be waking 2-3 times in the 11-12ish hours that the other kids were sleeping overnight. In the last week or so, he's doing much longer 10-12 hour stretches! It's amazing the effect it's having on me. I've even felt like knitting lately.

This picture seems pretty fitting, the kids 'crowned' my David the other day. The crown was one Penny made at kindy for Timothy's pretend 3rd birthday.

Actually, I took this video today, I wonder if this link to watch it will work...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Less Than A Week Left!

Not long now until the final of the Rugby Word Cup! That means that my competition to knit a rugby jersey using one of my patterns finishes soon

If you're interested, the blog entry here has all the details

And go the ABs tonight! But whichever team wins the semi final tonight out of the ABs or the Aussies I hope they thrash the French after their game against Wales last night!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

HTML? Huh? Help???

I hate things not working right on my blog. Hate it.

I have a 'visitors to my blog' button (ok, if you look closely there are two but the second one was added because the first wasn't working). So, halfway down the links on the right hand side there is the original 'visitors to my blog' button...and it's not working anymore.

So, I added another (it's the one at the top at the moment) in the hope that it would just continue with the blog hits. But no, it's starting from 1!

Who knows how I go about getting a blog counter with the right stats? Or how I fix the old one. The HTML is obviously bung, but I'll post it here in case someone can see the problem?

Friday, October 14, 2011

I'm all about 'Tomorrow' at the moment

Tomorrow When the War Began series that is, by John Marsden.

The first book came out when I was at high school, I know I waited and waited to read it and then the queue at the library was so long for any others that that was where I stopped reading the series. But recently I've worked my way through the True Blood books (which I loved!) and felt the need to continue on reading another series, something light and easy.

And so, Tomorrow When The War Began it was. I've almost finished the 2nd book at the moment. Yes, it is written for teenagers, but it's super mindless reading. I'm watching the DVD as I type too, I'll let you know what I think later.

And so, what series should I read next? Something light, entertaining and part of a series is the criteria :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Blogtober - The Best LYS Ever!

I am so lucky! I have the best little local yarn shop! It's about 4kms from my house, stocks a fabulous range of gorgeous yarns at a variety of prices and is owned by Tash, a beautifully vibrant and knowledgeable knitter and yarn dyer (amongst many things). Oh, and it's called Holland Road Yarn Company, found on Jackson Street, Petone, Wellington

I've just come back from knitting night there, meeting up with other knit/yarnaholics and seeing what yarns/patterns people are knitting while eating nommy food and drinking a cuppa tea. It's my idea of fun. It's close enough to home if I get a call that one of the kids is beside themselves. And you can buy anything that speaks to you at the end of the night if you like. Dangerous! But the chance to sit there without children for a couple of hours and fondle yarn is wonderful.

Actually tonight I came home with some delicious hand-dyed DK, I think it's one of Tash's first batches and it's stunning. This particular skein is destined to become a Jane for my Penny. You can also buy Tash's yarn online at knitsch

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Blogtober - I'm Rocking!

I don't know if many people are really interested in what I'm blogging about, but besides being a day late for starting, I feel like I'm managing fine to blog every day, even amongst head colds and flus.

Today, I've got a beautiful little summer cardi/top to show you, this one is called 'Summer Days' by Elena Nodel and it's really cute. Perfect for summer days...and summer evenings.

I knitted this in some lovely soft Utiku 4 ply baby wool that has been in my stash for a year or two. I thought it would match a little dress Penny has and all my kids look great in blue, it's their fair hair and blue eyes.

The buttons are super cute little daisies, made by the talented Benji.

The pattern will be out soon!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Clutter Kills

I hate clutter.

My house is cluttered at the moment. It's hard to get through the hallway. My dad would've said it was dangerous having blocked the main exit from the house in the event of a fire.

Looks like clutter can be deadly in other ways too

Las Vegas clutter article

Washington clutter article

Human mole article

These articles make me think of those programmes on telly of those serial hoarder type people. Where they live in a house with piles up to the ceiling everywhere and little tunnels through them to move around the house in. They always seems to find dead cats or something gross hiding in the piles too, ewwwww.

I love those programmes, they always make me feel better that my corners of stuff to sell/biff/give away are somewhat manageable in comparison.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Where's all the knitting?

For someone that used to blog an awful lot about my fo's (finished objects), I've just done a look back at my posts this year to check that I won't repeat myself to find that I haven't really posted about my knitting since this post here which was pre-David!

So here are just a few things I've knitted this year, I've got plenty more to add so I'll just start with a few.

This Rainbow Dress was knitted for my daughter Penny's 4th birthday (in February!). The beautiful yarn was dyed by Shannon Passmore.

Since then, I've had a go dyeing a few rainbow gradients of my own.

I did these two for a couple of swaps, though I need to have another go soon, I owe one of my lovely sisters some as a belated birthday present ;)

Actually, speaking of Rainbow Dresses, I knitted another special little girl one for her 4th birthday (though yes, it's modelled here by my Penny)

And these Barbie sized ones were actually knitted recently, testing them for Georgie who is working on a plethora of dolly designs at the moment. The barbies are naked no longer.

If anyone's interested in me popping up a wee blog tute on how I did the rainbow gradents, leave me a comment and I'll get onto it :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

No pretty picture today...

I'm full of the flu. But if I was to paint you a picture of things at my place it would include a mountain of tissues, boxes of cough lollies and nurofen, bottles of water and numerous pairs of pjs. I sweated through three pairs last night so they're currently in the washing machine ready for a repeat performance tonight.

Sorry for the pathetic mememe blogtoberfest entry today. I wish I had prewritten and scheduled more than the 2 donut posts when I started to feel a bit rotten.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Donuts - The Recipes

Here they are, the recipes I've been using lately.

The donuts have come from this site, it's a yeast based recipe but also egg free (and probably easily dairy free if you used rice/oat milk)

And the recipes below are the ones from my mum. It might sound weird to have sauces with donuts, but they are yum. I used to love the nutmeg one, but the lemon might be my favourite these days. Either way, they're both gooooood.


1 cup sugar
3 ½ teaspns baking powder
4 cups flour
½ teaspn cinnamon
½ teaspn nutmeg
2 eggs
1 cup milk
3 tblspns melted butter
½ teaspn salt
oil for deep frying

Mix dry ingredients. Beat eggs thoroughly and add. Add milk and melted butter. Roll about 1 cm thick on floured board and cut with donut cutter. Fry several at a time in hot oil until nicely browned. Dust with icing or caster sugar.

1 cup sugar
1 tblspn flour
1 cup boiling water
1 tblspn butter
1 teaspn nutmeg

Mix together sugar and flour and stir in boiling water, and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce bubbles and thickens slightly. Add butter and simmer gently 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg.

⅓ cup sugar
1 tblspn cornflour
1 cup water
3 tblspns butter
½ teaspn grated lemon rind
1 ½ tblspns lemon juice
pinch salt

Mix sugar and cornflour together in a saucepan. Add water and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture bubbles. Simmer gently for a few minutes, then remove from heat. Stir in butter, lemon rind and fresh lemon juice and salt. Serve hot with pudding (donuts!)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Donuts - The Tradition

Recently my friend Margaret pointed out a donut recipe she has stumbled across and been using successfully (I'll post recipes and links tomorrow) and it brought back a lot of childhood memories.

My mum is a great donut maker. When we were kids, my mum would let us choose whatever we liked for our birthday dinner. I always loved it when my sister Sarah's birthday came around because she pretty predictably chose donuts (I think I tended to pick lemon meringue pie, but my friend Ruth recently mentioned on Facebook that she remembers eating donuts at our place as kids, so I'm guessing that was my birthday and she was the chosen friend I was allowed to invite that year).

Mum would make a huge roasting dish batch of donuts and we'd drizzle these delicious homemade sauces over them and then gobble them down, licking the sauces from our fingers.

So when friends of mine started talking about donuts and making them, I thought I'd give it a go. I'd like donuts to be part of my kids happy childhood memories just as they are part of mine.

And for my first time ever deep frying, I think I did really well!

The first time I used the glazes that accompanied the recipes. They were goooood.

The second batch was to eat while we watched the All Blacks play France in the Rugby World Cup. Go the AB's! They were cinnamon-sugared and accompanied by the legendary lemon and nutmeg sauces.

And while I enjoyed them, I was relieved to find that they definitely are only a special occasions food. You can only eat a couple before feeling full so a batch goes a really long way. And I think I am sufficiently donut-ed for a while now.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Co-ops...once you start, it's a slippery slope

Omg, co-ops are bad! I've been asked before what a co-op is, it's when a number of people join in together to buy something in bulk, normally saving on shipping and often getting a bulk order discount.

This is a pic from one of Hannah's recent Red Riding Hood Yarn co-ops. One that I avoided because I know it's either all or nothing with me, but one that afterwards I drooled over the pics of. I didn't think she'd mind me using her pic, all blog entries need one.

Co-ops suck me in. Where I hang out online someone will ask "Anyone keen on some *insert all kinds of random things*?" and all of a sudden I think, why yes, maybe I need one/ten of those, in every size/colour available (because that's a flaw of mine)

I've joined in on co-ops for all kinds of random things, off the top of my head I know I've bought:
- yarn (no surprises there, but from memory I've done Wool Company, 100purewool, Bendigo Woollen Mills, Woollywumpkins, Jolly Jumbuck, Lollytree, Family Roots)
- jigsaw puzzles
- merino (I had such good intentions making the kids all stuff for winter, I bought oodles, cut out none)
- summer weight long sleeved boys pj' sizes 3, 4 and 5. Anyone want some?! I'm thinking I might cut off the sleeves and rehem them...but they're in the 'to do' pile. I'll probably think about doing something when they're too small for both my boys.
- aluminum or stainless steel (I forget which!) drink bottles
- KP circular needles from Vintage Purls
- baby bobux boots
- mocka bike

I've tried hard to avoid accumulating stuff I won't use, I've been soooo tempted to buy a couple of the lazy Susan mechanisms on offer at the moment but I know they'll just gather dust in the garage!

Go on, others out there must've bought some random stuff from co-ops in the past? And if you are looking for good yarny co-ops near you, have a look at the company name group on Rav. I know places like Family Pendragon, Family Roots, Mosaic Moon, Lollytree have groups with co-op info.

Come to the dark side with me!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hi my name is Julia and I'm a yarnaholic

There it is. I've blogged it, it's official. Acknowledging it is phase one in dealing with my addiction.

If you stick around for a few more blog entries during blogtober you'll get to see some of my favourites in my stash, a pic of my disgustingly huge stash about a year ago (I really mean disgusting, it was such an eye opener it really made me feel ill) and preventative measures I'm taking to slow the growth of it any further. I do also knit what I think are some pretty nice garments/accessories too, so the plan is to show a few of those.

Part 1: The background of my addiction

I blame you TNN! I blame you totally for the threads about the new colours in The Wool Company and Ashford Tekapo *shudders*.

See, I had learned to knit as a kid. My mum very patiently taught me how to knit as a leftie, when she herself was a righty. I knitted stripey garter stitch scarves and numerous half finished toys. I eventually knitted myself a jersey (omg, I still have it, I might have to fish it out from the back of the wardrobe) and a homespun type jersey for one of my sisters while we were at uni (homespuns were pretty common at the time). And then I didn't knit for a long time. Not even when I was pregnant with my daughter! That's what nana's are for right :)

Probably not till my Dad was dying in 2007 did I consider knitting like my sisters and mum were while sitting at hospital. I think the first thing I knitted when picking up the needles again was a cardi and hat set for my sister's babe, who actually just turned 4 yesterday. I had bought the yarn off trademe (never again now, but at the time that's where I bought yarn!). I don't think I even knew what Raverly was then!

I don't have a photo, but this is my oldest project on Rav as far as I can see...I cringe now looking at my twisting leftie knitting! Again, using yarn bought from trademe. I was told it was DK but it definitely wasn't so I double stranded it. I still don't know how to do lazy daisies.

And so, my stash began. With yarn from trademe. But I yearned to join in some co-ops for this 'beautiful' yarn TNN'ers were knitting with. Yarn I'd never even known existed.

I'm happy to say, I definitely no longer have any trademe yarn left from my early days of knitting.

But I have accumulated an awful lot of yarn in the past 4 years!

Have you got pics of some of your earliest crafting? Or some pretty substantial stashes of fabric, scrap booking, art, yarn etc materials? Go on, share with me!

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Little Late to the Party

But only a little. It's only the 3rd today. I even managed to blog on the 2nd!

Actually, it was when I was looking at my much neglected blog that I noticed that my friend Georgie has signed up for Blogtoberfest.

I've avoided Blogtoberfest in the past, but I really feel like I need to reclaim my blog. I've got a few things in my head I've been planning on blogging about, NON 'work' related (ie, not about my patterns) and so I thought I'd sign up for it.

Speaking of being late though, does anyone else find that since having kids they are always late? I used to always be on time for things, but these days I find I often don't even leave the house till the time I am meant to be somewhere (besides kindy pick ups, I'm never late for those. Can't stand the thought of my Penny being the last kid waiting on the mat with those big sad eyes of hers). I don't like being late, but it seems to be much less avoidable these days. I'm blaming the kids. It couldn't be anything to do with my time management or organisational skills ;)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

In search of a knitter?

I've just added a little directory page to my blog if you are in search of a knitter to knit you one of my patterns. There are fabulous knitters listed for NZ, Australia, US, UK and Ireland! And I know that some are definitely willing to knit and send to other countries too, I know of a couple of Kiwi's knitting for little Aussies at the moment!

Go and visit their shops and pages! Such beautiful knitting!

Here's an assortment (I apologise, this doesn't picture something from each 'shop' but it gives you an idea of the talented knitters)

Jaimie from Hot Off the Needles: Knits for Kids and Bubs
Nikki from Little Ladybug Handknits

Rachel from A Little Bit of Everything

Ali from Coco Kids

Kate from Coco Kids

And this cutey, well I'll take credit for him and his hooded cardy

I'm just about to add a page too for purchasing a cottage license, it's very easy and I think a very fair price - contact me if you'd like any more information regarding it.