Thursday, December 15, 2011


This is the view from my window today.
We have had so much rain in the last 48 hrs and it is still pouring down, creating havoc in our communities and town. Our town has been put in a state of emergency and 110 people have been evacuated from their homes.

Whilst marooned inside the house I have managed to stay busy, and I finished a short sleeved cardigan this morning Design 26 from the book Noro Mini knits.

and my woven shawl/throw that I blogged about recently.

This dear little dove of peace is bringing me much pleasure. My friend Mary made one for each member of our small stitching and knitting group.
Mary has had a year of some frightening health issues, and has come through it with flying colours. She has been a huge inspiration to me this year as I have watched her live it all with courage and immense bravery and selflessness.

Meanwhile I am praying for this rain to cease !

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Sea of Sounds

I see from my last post that it is has been three weeks since I wrote, and thinking about it , I realise that the only time I have used the Mac. is when I am checking the emails....a sorry state of affairs indeed !
My time has been completely taken up with music, music and more music.!!
The last three weekends I have been playing my violin in three different concerts, and the final is tonight.....Handels's Messiah.

There have been many, many hours of rehearsals and practices with my violin tucked up on my shoulder with it's sound so close to my ear, that even when I am asleep I have dreams that I am still playing.
 My violin sometimes seems as if it is a very dear friend who I cannot bear to be parted from for even a day.

Some of the highlights from the previous  concerts have been Vaughan Williams's The Lark Ascending, and The Wasp Overture, Mozart's Piano Concerto No.20., Schumann's Spring Symphony, Beethoven Symphony No.8., but I think my favorite is The Messiah with the trumpet coming in on the Hallelujah Chorus and Worthy is the Lamb at the very end. Soul stirring stuff at the very least.

Today I shall make time for a quiet hour at my weaving loom. This blanket is very nearly finished and reminds me of all things to do with the sea on a beautiful still, calm day.

A simple tabby weave using laceweight and 4ply merino.

I hope you enjoy the links to all the music that has been filling my head recently.

Christmas will soon be here and this is always a favorite to listen to as I am making the mince pies.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Wrapping up

I have finished knitting my first Christmas gift. It is the Simple Effective Shawl pattern, and I used two skeins of Noro Silk Garden light. After the blocking I am going to wrap it up ready for Christmas, I might not be able to wait until then though ... I have become notorious for giving the gift as soon as it is ready !

Here are some images from my garden taken this morning while I had a little wander outside. Every day now, I am seeing lots of little friends opening out, and coming to life again from their winter sleep. Such pleasures ......these gifts from the garden.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

One for the boys

I have been power knitting the last few days, finishing a vest for the youngest boy in my family and trying    to work on a vest for the more senior boy in my life.

Baby Leo has just turned one.

Vest was size two knitted in opal sock wool.

I had just put the last stitch in and Leo turned up, right on cue

for a photo shoot. Isn't he lovely !!
I shall show the other vest when it's done ...I don't know if the boy will be as obliging as Leo.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Earth, Sea and Sky

 There's nothing


than a

walk on the beach and a

    sandcastle to build.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tiny Pleasures

Taking time today to take a walk in the sunshine.

To pick some flowers  out of the garden,

and to crochet a few more granny squares for this blanket in progress.
I started this a year or so ago, and it had been put away when I was having one of my 'clean up' days.
I was thoroughly inspired to make it when I looked at Lucy's ( Attic 24 )  flickr page and saw all her lovely blankets, and all the other beautiful work that has been crocheted by others that she has inspired and enthused.

I have used Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. Some of these colors have been discontinued and I have had to choose some other colors so that I can finish it.
 It is supremely soft  and cuddly.
 A good one for the Grandbabies to snuggle into when they come to visit.

Thank you all so much for your thoughtful comments on little Basil's passing. He has featured in so many of our family stories in the last decade or so, and it feels really strange living here without his snuffly presence following me around.
His little sidekick Billie is certainly feeling it, he has been very quiet this week, and keeps giving me a questioning look.
I guess we will both get used to it in time.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Basil (March 1998 - October 2011)

A Dog Has Died

Pablo Neruda

My dog has died
I buried him in the garden next to a rusted old machine.
Some day I'll join him right there, but now he's gone with his shaggy coat, his bad manners and his cold nose,and I, the materialist, who never believed in any promised heaven in the sky for any human being, I believe in a heaven I'll never enter.
Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom where my dog waits for my arrival waving his fan-like tail in friendship.
Ai, I'll not speak of sadness here on earth, of having lost a companion who was never servile.
His friendship for me, like that of a porcupine withholding its authority, was the friendship of a star, aloof, with no more intimacy than was called for, with no exaggerations: he never climbed all over my clothes filling me full of his hair or his mange, he never rubbed up against my knee like other dogs obsessed with sex.
No, my dog used to gaze at me, paying me the attention I need, the attention required to make a vain person like me understand that, being a dog, he was wasting time, but, with those eyes so much purer than mine, he'd keep on gazing at me with a look that reserved for me alone all his sweet and shaggy life, always near me, never troubling me, and asking nothing.
Ai, how many times have I envied his tail as we walked together on the shores of the sea in the lonely winter of Isla Negra where the wintering birds filled the sky and my hairy dog was jumping about full of the voltage of the sea's movement: my wandering dog, sniffing away with his golden tail held high, face to face with the ocean's spray.
Joyful, joyful, joyful, as only dogs know how to be happy with only the autonomy of their shameless spirit.
There are no good-byes for my dog who has died, and we don't now and never did lie to each other. So now he's gone and I buried him, and that's all there is to it.

Friday, September 30, 2011


I couldn't resist sharing a photo of these fresias freshly cut from my garden.

The glass vase is one that was given to me recently by my daughter Sarah. It has a little wire cage at the top to hold the stems in place and I love it to bits. I know I shall probably use it every day from now on.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

All Things Bright and Beautiful

It is not often that I have a complete perfect day all to myself, a day when I don't have to jump in the car, wave goodbye to the dogs and whizz into town on ' matters of great importance'.

Today is such a day, a bright and beautiful day.

I decided to make some jam from the berries left over in the freezer from last Summer...Jumbleberry Jam made from strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and boysenberries.

I did some washing.

We have had some visitors staying in the cottage, they came to see the Rugby World Cup, and they were so much fun. I was sad to see them drive off this morning.
I love the smell of freshly washed white cotton sheets, another one of life's great pleasures.

A little more work on my applique quilt, and I still have several hours left this afternoon. I think it's warm enough to plant carrot seeds and some more sweet peas.
Perfect !

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dyeing with Weeds

My garden is producing both blooms and weeds in abundance, and I thought I would utilise the weeds for the dyepot before they were put into the compost.
My favourite weed at the moment is the little oxalis flower, also called Sour grass or Bermuda Buttercup and produces a brilliant lemony - lime colour without needing a mordant.

I then added some madder powder to the dyepot and developed this colour which I don't like very much. When it was drying on the washingline outside, it hung there reminding me of the afterbirth that you see after a cow has just given birth. I might change this 'afterbirth' colour after I have spun it, although spinning might just improve it a little.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Feeling Thankful

These are some of my Mum's favorite flowers....English bluebells growing in my garden each year from some bulbs that my parent's had in their garden years ago.

My Mum has recently been very ill indeed, and after some time in hospital, a life saving operation, two blood transfusions and IV nutrition she is rapidly becoming her old self once more.
Phew, to say I am happy and very relieved would probably be an understatement. !

Yesterday, she travelled with us to our son's farm where we had a family barbeque and
Mum was able to take part in the celebration of her youngest great grandchild's first birthday.

It has been a lovely weekend, and the blossom is still here, couldn't resist another picture.

A very big heartfelt thank you to my children, and wonderful friends who have given so much love and support over the last stressful few months, you are all truly wonderful.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Shawl for Sarah

Pattern : Fiber Trends Edged in Lace, design Evelyn Clark. Found on Ravelry.

Wool : Indiecita DK, in a pretty dove grey.....100% baby alpaca

It is an easy knit, but knitting the lace edging took ages and ages !

My youngest daughter came home on Saturday for a few days and fell in love with a very soft drapey shawl that I had finished a few weeks ago.

It is Sarah's 24th birthday next week and it made a lovely gift to tuck in her bag for the cool nights in Wellington. Have a wonderful celebration Sarah !

Monday, September 19, 2011

Blogging and Blossom

I'm back !

It feels a bit strange to be back writing a post after so long, but I am excited and pleased to be here in this space once again.

It has been too long a winter and my camera has sat on the shelf unused and neglected, it is time for a change, and Spring is in the air.

I couldn't resist taking these pics from the blossom right outside our back door. The white is the blossom on our plum trees and the pink is a little almond tree.....they smell pretty good too.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I am having a break from blogging for a little while.

It has been a wonderful time and I hope to return some time in the future.

If you would like to see what I am getting up to in crafty things, you can still find me on flickr ( I am quiteahandful )and ravelry. ( I am Sallyanne )

Thank you for your love and friendship and interest. I have really enjoyed my time here getting to know you all and reading your stories and blogs.
Ka Kite Ano for now.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A hands free bag

The other day I was browsing through some crochet patterns that I had put away with the usual "must do sometime" label attached, and found a great pattern for a bag to take when you are out walking or tramping.....for your essential knitting supplies of course,( just in case you wanted to stop and have a quick knitting fix ), and I would add my car keys, and an ipod as well.
This little bag can fit on to your belt or the handle of a violin case, and I am already thinking of many reasons why I need to make at least a dozen more.
You can find the pattern here if you felt like making one and taking a break from all the half finished big projects lying around the house feeling sorry for themselves......I can hear their little voices calling me from the many doorhandles in the house "when is Sally going to finish me"..."hey, it's my turn next ".......soon, soon my lovelies !

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Quilt in a garden

Sarah and Kevin's wedding quilt all finished. I have yet to stitch on a label, but there is no great hurry for that, so I can take my time and embroider something to remember their special day.

You will notice the pink Handmade for Christchurch badge on the top right hand corner of this blog. Please take time to read all about it, I think it is such a great idea and you might want to be involved too.

I am making some items that I shall donate to the cause...some small quilts and some knitted things, and I am thinking that it is going to be many months that Christchurch will be needing help and donations as they start to rebuild their city and their lives. The enormous task ahead looks overwhelming, but some great stories of love, kindness, goodness and courage are appearing each day in our newspaper and on the radio, and I look for these each day...very uplifting, and inspiring.

Friday, February 25, 2011


This week is very ,very hard, and I am trying to stay positive and looking for something hopeful in each hour. I am glued to the radio and listening to all the stories that are coming from Christchurch, and today I finished quilting the quilt top for Sarah's wedding.

It feels strange to be doing normal things when the people in ChCh have their lives turned upside down. I would like to offer our home to anyone who needs to leave ChCh and has no place to go to. We have spare beds, and would love to give a safe haven for you, here in Nelson. Just send me an email and we can help you.