New Zealand round-up

I’ve tried not to be too quiet over the last couple of weeks, but I was rather busy being on my travels! This is going to be a loooong post with very little crafting involved, so feel free to skim read/just look at the pictures/come back tomorrow when I get back to crochet.

Here we go!

Before I even got to New Zealand, I had a 10-hour stopover in Sydney. Luckily, you need a visa to be in the country more than 8 hours so I was allowed to leave the airport and got to spend a lot of that time outside.

Having come from snow and single digit temperatures in Scotland, I actually enjoyed the feeling of heat hitting me like a toasty wall. My plan had been to find a café not far from the airport and go there for some coffee and food, but it was just too gorgeous to be inside so I found a pretty bench by the river, slapped on some sun cream and sat in the sun.

Then it was off to Christchurch. I landed just before a tropical storm, and kiwis don’t seem to have the Scottish attitude to rain (if you only go out when the rain stops, you’ll never go out) so my first couple of days were spent getting over the travel, catching up with my Aunty, and getting to know the fiancé and his children.

When the skies cleared I went out for a run

We went for a drive to Akaroa, a harbour town across the mountains. I took over 100 photos of the scenery along the way.

Akaroa is gorgeous, as well as boasting not one, but two fudge shops, and a yarn shop!

On the way home we called at Birdling’s Flat, where a shelf at the end of the beach makes the sea boom like thunder as it throws up enormous waves. It’s amazing, but it does remind me why I’m terrified of the sea.

Next day we had lunch at the Botanic Gardens

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and I went for a wander around the city centre. There is art everywhere in the centre, from graffiti-style paintings

 

To serious monuments

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To funny little pieces of indeterminate use

It’s a square sheep. Of course…

 

I saw the Cardboard Cathedral, the ‘spire’, and New Regent Street, before making my way home for a girls night in.

Saturday was the big day, the whole reason I was in New Zealand; my Aunty’s wedding. It was a lovely sunny day with a breeze so it never got too hot, everyone looked beautiful, and it was just the most lovely, relaxed, enjoyable wedding I’ve ever been to.

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This is my favourite photo of the whole day

 

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And this is my second favourite 😉

 

 

Of course I cried all the way through the ceremony, I am so like my mother. But I learned the trick long ago of not putting any make up under my eyes so I managed to avoid the panda look.

The next day a few people came over for a barbecue and we sat in the sunshine chatting for hours and hours.

Then late afternoon we went for a wee trip to New Brighton.

It was a bit windy.

Then we had a quieter day at home to recover, which Whisky the dog enjoyed very much. Fun story – I went to visit my Aunty 4 years ago and Whisky decided I belonged to him; he followed me everywhere I went, and jumped up and barked at anyone who tried to touch me (a bit of an issue when you like hugs as much as I do). I thought 4 years was a long time for a dog and he would probably have forgotten me, but I was so wrong! I had two shadows the whole time I was there.

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My second shadow

 

That’s the best picture I could get, because he was never far away enough to photograph him properly!

The next day was a bit of an experience. I never do very well on buses, and at 30 years old I really should know better by now, but in a moment of madness I tried to get a bus to the art gallery. It didn’t take the route I was expecting at all, but instead of getting off when it turned into an area I didn’t recognise, I sat there hoping it would turn back and start heading where I wanted to go. You can guess how that turned out. When I finally gave up and got off, it took me around 45 minutes to walk to the gallery.

It was worth the walk though, I do love me some art and I even got to join in with a piece!

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Plus they had an excellent café.

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Then (deep breath) I had to get the bus home again. Long story short; I took a wrong turning, ended up walking for over an hour through streets I’d never seen before, and I actually cried when I finally saw the bus stop I needed.

When I finally made it home and collapsed into a chair, Fitbit told me I’d walked 7.3 miles and taken over 17,000 steps. I slept well that night.

My last day in Christchurch came around far too fast. For my last trip, my Aunty took me to Halswell Quarry Park for a last bit of Hobbiton lookalike scenery and sunshine. We did the gentle walk so my poor knackered legs didn’t fall off.

And finished it all off with an amazing iced coffee and a slice of cake.

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Now I’m back and I have to say it’s surprising how quickly you can get used to the heat. We’re dealing with the tail end of the Beast from the East in Scotland and I just cannot get warm, despite being pretty hardy before I left! It is good to be home though. Much as I love NZ, this is where I belong. Three feet of snow and all.

Hannah

xXx

Tangle of the week: Bales

This week we’re going back to one of the first tangles I ever learned.

Before discovering Paradox, it was my favourite tangle pattern.

I like it because it reminds me of super comfy, padded velvet seats.

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Especially with a circle in the middle of each square, it looks like the studs that you get in padded seats

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But my favourite way of filling it in is with a little shape like this

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I suppose it’s technically an aura, as it’s an echo of the shape surrounding it, but we don’t really need to get that technical.

Bales is a great tangle for using as a background for my cards (although I can’t locate a photo right now), and I love the fact that it’s a grid so I can get all my layers and sentiments lined up straight.

What do you think of Bales? Does it look as squishy to you as it does to me? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

 

 

 

 

30 days has September

August turned out to be really quite productive.


I finished off my shawl and star blanket, I tried out a granny basket, made a gift for my sister, got some knitting done, and made so many cards they’re literally piling up.

There was even time to make it to an all day Sacred Harp singing and my monthly book club as well!

I reckon I’d be quite entitled to a rest after all that, but I’m still planning to have a useful September as well.

I have invested in a really big piece of white card, which I can hopefully use as a backdrop for some better photos. I also realised that the light bulb in my hallway is about ten times brighter than the one in my living room, which is stupid if you ask me, so I’m going to swap them round and that should also help with less-terrible photos. And being able to see what I’m doing in the living room.

The yarn for my brother’s Christmas present(s) has arrived so I’m going to make a start on that, as well as some little Christmas goodies to be listed in the shop. Feeling terribly organised, even though I know some people started with Christmas in July.

I’m also going to finish off all the little bits of projects that are hanging around and getting on my nerves.

So that’s my (rough) plan for September; better photos so I can stock the shop, finishing up, and Christmas! What’s everyone else got planned? Or are you just going to wing it? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

Out of stock

I remember now why it took me so long to open up my shop in the first place.

Yesterday I decided to add my zentangle cards to stock, as I’ve got a few made up ready to go, so I opened etsy and signed in.

Wait, I need photos of the cards first.

I set them up and took a few photos – rubbish photos because it was starting to get dark, but I figured they would do as placeholders until I could take better ones.

But wait, if somebody actually buys one it might get damaged in the post.

Over to Amazon, where I lost half an hour comparing various plastic wallets and board-backed envelopes, and trying to decide which size(s) would be best to get. That’s another £20 closer to just not tracking how much I’ve spent on this shop with no return because it’s becoming too much to think about.

Right. Those should arrive tomorrow so let’s get the cards listed at last.

Oh wait, I wanted to take proper photos of them so I can get a run printed instead of them just being one-offs. But now it’s dark and there’s no hope of getting quality pictures.

You know what, never mind. I’ll just go to bed.

So my little shop is still sitting there with only 4 items in stock and not a thing sold.  But at least I thought about the board-backed envelopes now, and I’ll have some ready when I finally sell my first card. That’s quite organised for me!

Hannah

xXx

FO Tuesday 

I couldn’t wait til Friday!

Over the weekend I finished my chevron blanket and baby star blanket. 

The star border only took about 20 minutes so I’m not really sure why I’d been avoiding it for so long.  

After 2 weeks of almost entirely working with chunky yarn, it felt very strange to go back to baby DK yarn. A bit like working with dental floss!

I also finished the chevron afghan, after only two weeks. That was quite a bit quicker than I expected so I’m really pleased, I’ll be able to hand it over to my friend this week. I really hope he likes it.

So about the blanket. I love stats, so if you don’t then just admire the photos 😉

This afghan weighs juuust over 1.5 kg (1517g if you want to be accurate)

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It measures 142cm x 181cm (it’s taller than me!)

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The yarn is Painbox Simply Chunky in Vanilla Cream, Soft Fudge, Slate Grey, and Coffee Bean

It consists of 101 rows double crochet, and 2 rows single crochet with picots at the points

Measuring chevrons

Each cream section is 8 rows of straight dc

Each section of contrast colour is back loop only dc, alternating 6 and 9 rows.

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The side of each chevron is made of 13 stitches (my favourite number)

Each dc row contains 180 stitches

The total stitch count for the whole thing is 18,544 stitches.

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I can’t believe I just made nearly 20,000 stitches….

Chevrons on a sofa

I was planning to calculate the number of hours I spent on this, but after having to restart it 5 times to get the chevrons to actually chevron, I decided not to.  Let’s just say every spare hour I had over the last 2 weeks.

So, does anyone have any tips for folding/rolling a mahoosive blanket so I can wrap it up before giving it to my friend? Or how to take good photos of something so large? Because I’m struggling!

Hannah

xXx

Opening day

I have been faffing about and making excuses for a couple of months, and now I’ve decided to just get on with it.

So, my etsy shop is now officially…

OPEN!

I only have four items listed so far and I need some serious work on my photos, but I have more items to load, and done is far better than perfect!

quietwatercraft.etsy.com  if you want to have a look around.

Let me know what you think!

Hannah

xXx

Tangle of the week – Y-ful power

There were going to be lovely photos with this post, but I have managed to break my shiny new phone after having it for a week. Well done, me. So please excuse the fuzzy rubbish photos – hopefully I’ll be able to update them with better ones soon.

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Hand drawn - Copy

I’m just gonna come out with it – I love, love, LOOOOOOOVE this tangle!

I LOVES IT! Even though I think it will take me a good deal of practice to get it looking as uniform as the tutorial shows it. I love that it looks kinda steampunk, and that it seems so complicated; without the tutorial I don’t think I’d have been able to work it out for myself. I’m all for super simple things that look harder than they actually are.

You can find the step-by-step tutorial here, and here are my step-by-step photos, which are a good deal wonkier than in the original.

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What do you think? Would you be happy to receive a card with this pattern on? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx