Monday, 27 June 2011

Being a tourist in Rotorua

 Ohinemutu is said to be the earliest place to be settled in Rotorua. Imagine living with steaming hot vents and springs at your doorstep. I love the views out across the village to Mokoia Island, and even better, this is the view from one of my favorite cafes, The Third Place. This from their website:
Third Place Cafe is a charitable trust committed to local community and wider social needs.
The third place is a term used in the concept of community building to refer to social surroundings separate from the two usual social environments of home and the workplace. In his influential book The Great Good Place, Ray Oldenburg (1989, 1991) argues that third places are important for civil society, democracy, civic engagement, and establishing feelings of a sense of place.
Oldenburg calls one’s “first place” the home and those that one lives with. The “second place” is the workplace — where people may actually spend most of their time. Third places, then, are “anchors” of community life and facilitate and foster broader, more creative interaction.
Love a bit of creative interaction, especially involving a short black (coffee that is of course).

 After our coffee, next stop is the Buried Village of Te Wairoa. In 1836 there was a massive eruption that left this misson settlement preserved deep under volcanic ash and mud. Today there is a lovely walk, which includes this waterfall.

There is a rather nice traditional tea house here too. And in case that is not enough eating and drinking for one outing, there is the nearby Landing at Lake Tarawera. Skip their food, but who can resist a real kiwi icecream in a cone?

My sister Deborah, and in the background, you can see what is left of Mt Tarawera. It must have been some mountain before the top blew off, eh.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

How complicated can Kitchener be?

A frosty start to the week. The lawn was white this morning, but with the sun streaming in, my house warms up nicely. Sat outside on the patio and grafted the two halves of a knitted bag together using Kitchener stitch. Thanks to Knitting at Knoon for the video instructions. Much easier to follow than the diagrams in my book. It took a while to get it to look right, but it doesn't matter that it is not a perfect graft. Hopefully once felted, the join will not be too visible - and if it is, I'll embroider over it and make it a design feature.

I had to pull the apple bag apart as it was just too big. It has been through a hot wash several times and the body of the bag has not felted yet, so I'm going to try giving the wool a good shock - don't you love that technical term - by plunging it into cold water after a rugged pummelling in really hot water. Check back in a few days to see if it works.

The chooks are out free ranging while I'm around to keep an eye on them. They both prefer to find a dark corner of the garden to lay, rather than using the straw in their house. I quite like collecting eggs from the garden, like the Easter Bunny thing.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Lounging by the fire

I love that the days are getting longer again. Not much going on - lounging around by the fire in my new slippers. Yes, they are odd. But they are equally warm.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Zippy's slippers

It was Knit in Public Day last week. I did my bit by starting the second slipper at Zippy's. No, my old-lady-knitting presence didn't result in empying out Zippy's. The cafe was full at the time, I have just used one of my old photos to show you the Zippy's style. I have been wearing the one finished slipper while working on the second. Well, I wasn't wearing it when I was having coffee. Then again, would the clientele have noticed? Probably not.

I'm using Nola's slipper pattern which is a freebie from a charity that encourages volunteers to knit for mariners. What a quaint thng to do! If you did have the urge, can I suggest you donate your finished knits to the Lakeside Chookwatch Lady, C/- 9 Cooper Ave. A hat would come in handy on a frosty morning like today.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

In praise of the chooks!

Both hens are laying, and I'm so excited. To celebrate I made a coffee cake. Don't you just love the eggs? Madge lays the delicate green ones, and the lovely brown one is Edna's first egg. Cake is not bad, as you can tell.

Silks in Hoi An

Another collage. It seems more economical to post pictures this way, but even I think I have been overdoing it lately. Well, one more - this time showing the gorgeous silks of Hoi An in central Vietnam. I'd love to have brought back some lanterns.

Simple pleasures

Making bread for lunch, waiting for the broccolini and silverbeet to grow...

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Yarn to dye (four)

I have started to make myself a stripey cardigan based around a skein of hand-dyed wool that I bought at Creative Outlets in Tauranga a year or so ago. The skein is not going to be enough, so I popped over the shop last week and bought some boucle from the bargain bin, dyed in pale pinks and yellows. Into the sink with it. Then spread onto gladwrap and out with the drinking straws which served nicely to drip wine and black dye at random. A zap in the microwave...
Well, after drying it turned out the colour wasn't quite right, so back into a another dye bath with a purple. Too much! Rinsed most out before another bit of zapping to set the colour.  The final result is close enough, is what I'm hoping. Some stripes here and there, and it should meld in nicely with the other yarns.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Central Markets, Siem Reap

Just because I like to think about life beyond home in Rotorua (especially when it is raining), for you today I have selected some pictures I took in the markets in Siem Reap. I love the bags made from recycled sacks. The t-shirts are pretty cool too.

Monday, 6 June 2011

On the loose

Madge and Edna enjoying an afternoon on the lawn

I have worked out that I can let the hens out to scritch and scavenge. So far they have returned daintily to their house on being bribed by a handful of pellets.  

Party gal

You can't turn one without cupcakes!

Annie Jean turned one last week. My first ever bit of baby knitting can now be unveiled. 

I made the pink/red jacket first, but it had so many mistakes that it became just a prototype. It took quite a lot of unpicking and researching online to make any sense of the pithy pattern instructions. Frustrating, but I was not to be beaten. My second attempt is so much better. The pattern is from Elizabeth Zimmerman's Almanac and is called Baby Sweater on Two Needles, also known as the February Baby Sweater. Fit-wise it works, despite my fears it would be too small. My version of the pattern is short in the arms, but that turns out to be quite practical for a busy wee girl intent on exploring every little thing in her world. The colour looks gorgeous on her.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

(not-a-bit bored) walk

Not long to the winter solstice, but still these lovely mild days.

Collecting shell grit for the chooks was a good excuse for a coffee at the beach. So off to Mt Maunganui for the afternoon. The walk around Mauao is closed because slips took out the path last month.