Tag: New Zealand
I have been so tied up with establishing this new garden here in Miranda, where there was none before, and have not been knitting nearly enough.
We are also in the midst of a drought like no other on record in New Zealand and we use rain water for all of our watering needs. Best Beloved and I did install an additional water tank at the end of 2011, quite soon after we arrived back in New Zealand and that gives us 50,000 litres of water storage. Sounds great but sadly I left the hose on some weeks ago which depleted it somewhat. We save dish washing and hand washing water for the trees and to flush the toilet. Our rain water is used for everything else from drinking, showering, water for the chickens and for the steers when they are in our paddock and obviously to water our extensive vegetable gardens.
The steers belong to next door family but our paddock is used in turn to help feed them and to help maintain the health of our paddock.
Knitting – well not much is happening. I am playing with ideas, trying things – but making little progress – it has been too hot with temperatures about 28 to 30 degrees Celsius (82 to 86 Fahrenheit – doesn’t sound so hot but it is for me) on most days since late December and right now at 11 am on an April autumnal day it is already 23.6. When it is too hot over the mid 5 or 6 hours of the day it is also too hot to be shrouded in knitting.
So my stack of books by my seat grows, my swatch pile grows as do my very bad sketches.
Surely it will soon rain and cool down and I can get on with the knitting.
In my 3 years in the Netherlands I added knit graffiti to several concrete balls in Haarlem and in Maastricht. I no longer search for balls to embellish in the public arena as I was doing whilst living there in the cold Northern climes.
But on Friday – I was driving through the Manukau City Centre trying to find my way home after my sister dropped me off at my parked car, and after I bought the book “Wild Jewellery” at Whitcoulls.
And I got a bit lost, you might say, trying to get back to the motorway after a wrong turn after leaving the parking building. I seemed to be driving by some tall apartment buildings and council buildings until I got onto Station Road – at least I think that is what it was called. I was crossing crossroads – from a give way sign and out of the corner of my eye I spied; you guessed it, some concrete balls (at least 6 maybe 8 from the angle where I spied them). There was nowhere to stop and so I continued onto the motorway.
I hope someone knows where these balls actually are, as I would love the circumference, cause they could need some brightening up and I have not done that to a concrete ball for a year or so now.
So I was going from the parking building left between some tall buildings heading south towards a road which I turned left onto which travelled between the shopping mall and the amusement park Rainbows End towards the motorway. If you know where that is, please let me know. If you are there and have a tape measure – please record the circumference and send it to me and maybe you will find a ball or 2 suitably attired some time in the future.
So sorry to all those lovely people who have followed up on my patterns and my knitting progress. We have been more than a little busy here on our little wee lifestyle block (2.2 acres) in Miranda, Waikato, New Zealand.
Since we arrived in September from the Netherlands we have had our hot water cylinder blow up and flood and damage the floor. We have had to do various electrical work to fix or make legal what was done here and we have added another water tank as all our water is gathered from the house and garage roof tops. We have also started several vegetable gardens and begun establishing fencing for a few sheep or a couple of cattle. We have lost a bit of the driveway and are filling sand around the tank to reduce the issue of the side of the bank risking collapse. We have also had rather difficult neighbour issues to deal with – which we feel are now solved but it certainly added to our stress for many weeks. We have retired here to live the good life and have fun stuff to do every day and we are doing that.
We are now eating cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, lettuce, herbs, courgettes, bok choy, radishes, spring onions, and more and that Best Beloved is floundering with our local electrician. What a great guy – he comes to sort out our electrical issues and now he and Best Beloved are floundering together. They brought in 8 flounder and 2 Kahawai this morning. Kahawai Information here
We have planted potatoes, kumura, cabbages, beetroot, and many many trees. Today we will put in 2 red currant bushes and 2 hazel nuts. We are also planting to reduce the risk of wind damage as the property is very very wind swept and our plants are young and tender. Best Beloved has counted 42 olives on one of our tiny trees – so all the Good Life stuff is happening.
I am just not knitting yet.
I still haven’t unpacked everything from the Netherlands and in the evenings I am just too shattered to even pick up the needles – besides I don’t have a knitting chair.
So all in good time – I will knit again and I have patterns to complete and stories to write – so SORRY SORRY for now that there is no knitting news.
A Happy New Year to you all.
I have spoken at times of the cloak that I created back in 1992 – very nearly 20 years ago. This cloak has been in exhibitions, it has been tried on by many people, it has been photographed on many people. Sadly it is showing its age.
I am attending the knit retreat “Knitting in Nature beginning tomorrow, and I am taking my “Island” The Great New Zealand cloak with me to show to the other knitters there. Why? Well I am teaching a workshop on Intarsia Knitting and this is one of the best examples I still own of my intarsia creations. I hope that seeing it will still inspire someone of the group to try freeform intarsia knitting after they complete the workshop.
In late 1992 or early 1993 the cloak was in an exhibition at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. The judges there decided that it was not suitable to be sold due to the fragile nature of the creation. I think 20 years of display and wearing is not bad for a creation of a fragile nature, using around 90 or so different yarns from wool, mohair to linen and a variety of fancy fibres. I actually think it has done rather well. And I am so glad it was not listed for sale as my family and I have loved it and worn it, as well as exhibited it.
I think “Knitting in Nature” may well be its last journey because it is rather thin and frail in some sections now, and we will store it away gently on our return to New Zealand and hope that we can still bring it from time to time and say “we remember this piece very well” and put it away again.
I am feeling rather sad that this piece that has been such a big part of my life is not going to be worn again BUT that does mean that it is time for another creation.
This is a link to International Fleeces article by Talia, from August 2010 on the “Stansborough Grey Sheep”
It made fascinating reading possibly because I am heading back to New Zealand later this year, possibly because I was born in Denmark and have interest in things Scandinavian, possibly because the wonderful “Lord of the Rings” trilogy which used the yarn for the gorgeous cloaks, or simply this is a great read, good historical information and it is all about fibre.
The history of Stansborough Grey sheep goes all the way back to the Vikings. They are direct descendants of the Goth sheep, one of the breeds of sheep whose wool was used to make the sails for the Viking ships. – that is your taster – go and read the full article via the link.
Thank you International Fleeces
Thank you Stansborough
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