Saturday, January 11, 2014

Bring it on 2014!

Happy New Year !!! 
Did you make it to midnight?! 
We did, but not in the way we intended. Our plan was to go to the city to watch the "FAMOUS" Sydney fireworks since last year we were too tired as we were just finishing up building our granny flat. This year as soon as we boarded the train and a group of seven intoxicated teens sat behind us (and proceeded to behave as intoxicated teens will...) I started shaking my head (while madly knitting on my socks) that I was in the wrong place. Too old for this and lacking patience for large groups of rowdy and ridiculous youths! We went, we ate some dinner, it drizzled and cleared up and we found a spot near the bridge.
There was a constant flow of people as it got more and more busy, and I knit furiously as the sky darkened -thank goodness for street lights - then it was finally 9pm. We watched the 9 o'clock fireworks and were very disappointed, also I was a bit dismayed at the idea of sitting there in the dark with more and more people arriving for 3 more hours! We decided to head for home and ring in the New Year with Spyros' dad & family. It took us a looooong time to get out of the crowds and headed to a train station, I cannot imagine how long it took the party animals that stayed until 12!

It ended up being mellow, but I don't mind that! I got half way through a heel and had one heel left to go when the the clock struck midnight, I finished the socks up quick smart the next morning. 

New Years Eve 2013
Since the start of 2014 it's been hot, I've gotten sunburned twice when I did not even think I spent much time in the sun!
We've been doing a bit of planning to head to New Zealand, but when our friend invited us to head down the coast with him to find a bit of sun & beach the last couple of days we thought "why not!?" and packed up for a couple of days! We went to towns that were new to me, saw some cool sights & had some fun. We didn't really get much beach time as my Australian travel mates maintained that it was just too cold (snicker). I was glad we did it because I got to see so many new places, a couple of beaches I'd love to go back to when it's hot and sunny! We saw seals, a cheese factory, found a geocache, admired a very, very long beach, went into some cute shops! Some of the towns we stopped in were: Eden, Bega, Narooma, Nowra, Mogo, Ulladulla, Bateman's Bay, Kiama, Berry...

The wharf at Eden

On one of the docks at the Eden wharf
About to check out the Bar Rock Lookout in Narooma

The Bar Rock Lookout in Narooma

Seals lounging in Narooma

Crazy skies and amazing beach at Seven Mile Beach

The reason people check out Bega!

Just a bit o'fun in Bateman's Bay
 After that little mini holiday we came home, did some laundry and started getting ready for our two week trip to New Zealand! We watched a movie, I plied up some yarn, Spyros decided that it was a good time to paint a feature wall in our place, and I went to get a pedicure and make my toes pretty!

Spyros drew the pattern out

Then we taped it out

Then he painted it while I got my toes prettied!
Now we're all packed and ready to head for New Zealand in the morning. Hoping we get some good wifi while we're there, I know it's going to be cooler weather, but I hope it doesn't rain on us the whole time! We're excited!

I finally completed the True Love by Chrissy Gardiner which felt like they took forever! I knit them on 2.25mm, Magic Loop on the Chinese needles I bought on eBay with Friday Studios from the Jane Austen club I joined. They turned out pretty great in the end and I think the recipient liked them quite a bit!
Socks on the feet they belong to!
 I felt the need for something bigger and a bit of stash busting so I cast on the Handful of Berries Mittens by Jocelyn Tunney out of some leftover Cakewalk yarn (that I had knit my sister a toque out of) and leftover TriaFataFibreArts (that I had knit my friend a shawl out of), I ended up knitting these and ripping them out a couple of times as I played with patterning the stripes and accidentally knit two left hands! However, in the end I think they are quite fun! Still in need of blocking, but quite fun! I knit these on 4.5mm needles I believe.

One of my goals for this year was to spin for try to get fingering weight yarn out of a 3ply, in a fibre suitable for socks! I had planned to do this later in the year when I felt more confident, however, I was challenged into a SAL by my friend the genius behind Yarn VS Zombies so I jumped right in! I went through my fibre stash and sorted out which would make good socks, I had none with nylon, but I did have BFL! I chose this Never Enough Thyme 100% BFL in the Cherry Tree Blossom colourway to spin! I divided it into 3. I spun 2 pieces from one end all the way through, but spun them in opposite ways, and the third I split into four and then spun end to end to break up the colour progression! The resulting 3 ply (that is mostly a fingering) is heavily barberpoled and a bit striping too! I am SO excited to see how it's going to knit up. These will be the next socks I cast on! ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!

From Fluff to Stuff - I made sock yarn!
 I also cast on the Vesper by Heidi Kirrmaier in Elsebeth Lavold - Hempathy that I got quite some time ago in a SWAP! I am now attempting to make a garment with it for the Sockbunny Knit and Fit KAL and I had to rip out once because of gauge but I think I am on track now and loving the feel of this stuff knit up! I am using 4.5mm Chinese needles and have a long way to go!

Vesper in progress
I cast on the Skew by Lana Holden - a free sock pattern in Knitty  about 30min ago but as I just began I don't have any progress to show you. I am using Yarn VS Zombies in the Rain of Frogs colourway and am using my 2.25mm Knit Picks harmony's, doing 2 circs. It seems like a crazy pattern already, but I am excited for the very different construction!

There is always a bump in the road and for me this January the bump is travel! Which is a bump I can get on board with! However, I have been out walking, I ran this morning, I have started tracking calories again and am going to make this happen despite the lovely traveling!

I may have covered our recent travels already..and now it's off to bed and news of New Zealand soon!!!