Welcome to tales of my stitching life, home, family and friends.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Sew Wot Tuesday

It was Sew Wot Tuesday again, this time held at Jude’s home.  And it was her birthday too, so we sat and watched at she opened several gifts.  I think we were just as excited as Jude was, to see what was in these parcels.  Soap, hand crotched face cloths, binding clips, hand cream, fabric, and goodies like chocolate fish and marshmallows, such an exciting variety of small gifts.


Happy Birthday to Jude

Carol started off the Show and Tell with a knitted purple baby set, vest, hat and matching toy, which will be donated.  So cute.


Pretty purple knitting

Carol had also made a pretty little doll’s quilt to be gifted to a little girl, who is sure to have fun  wrapping this around her favourite dolly or teddy bear.


Carol with the doll quilt

I had brought along my just made polar bear quilt top to show the ladies.  The fabric used was donated to me from the stash of my elderly neighbour who moved into a rest home, I have been given such a lot of kiddies fabric which will keep me going for ages.


Polar bears, seals and penguins

Mary was working on such a pretty tablecloth, a wonderful Op Shop find.  After the embroidery is completed she will be adding a crotched edge, plus a fabric border.  Gorgeous colours in this project.


Mary’s OP Shop find

Heather had her lovely pale green hand knitted knee rug/blanket.   We told her that because she is doing so well, we expect to see it completed at our next Sew Wots get-together.


That’s a lot of knitting, Heather

Then the tea trolley was wheeled out and we stopped our knitting and stitching to enjoy our morning tea.  There was a lovely spread, including a cream sponge, and some locally made Liquorice Allsorts, yummy.  Then we all sang Happy Birthday to Jude on her special day.


Morning Tea

We had a very pleasant morning together, as always.  Most of us were knitting, Heather working on her blanket, Sandra was starting another cream baby’s blanket, and Carol was knitting something in pink.  Mary is an expert knitter and she helped me with a problem on my knitting project, thanks so much Mary.  And thanks again to Jude for a lovely morning.


Mary, Sandra and Carol

Sunday, September 24, 2023

This and That

That’s what I've been up to with my hand work, a bit of this and that.  Remember those Noah’s Ark blocks?  Well, I’m another small step forward on this project.  So far I’ve cut the blocks apart, and have been sorting through different colours to border each small stitchery.  These blocks are tiny, although  I had already enlarged them from the original pattern.


Decisions, decisions

I need to find myself another stitchery pattern now.  Although it generally takes me a while to work on these type of things, I really do enjoy this easy stitching.

Last night after dinner we sat in front of the TV and decided to watch Jurassic Park, the very first of the series.  My goodness, how young our Kiwi film star Sam Neil looked back then.  It had been a long time since we originally saw this film, and I could remember some bits and pieces as it evolved, but not everything.  Certainly an oldie, but well worth watching again. 

What to choose to knit during our film watching time?  I couldn't decide between which pair of secret socks to continue with, so I decided to start a new project.  Can you guess what it is?  And no, it is not another dish cloth.


More knitting

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Aqua in the Artic

With my aqua RSC blocks all up to date, I started a new project, as you do.  I had squares cut out for a small cot quilt, featuring icy blue Artic snow and ice, polar bears, seals and penguins.  With some added blue alternate fabric squares to fill in the gaps, the small quilt top was soon underway.  I love the webbing way to sew blocks together, just wish I’d discovered this method years earlier.  It was soon finished with a narrow cream border and a wider blue one, turning the last two Artic squares into HSTs and there, quilt top finished.



Polar bears and penguins

I’ve found some backing which will work well, and made the binding.  All I need to do now is to go shopping and purchase some batting, the cupboard is bare with so spare batting at all. 

By the way, the Antarctic is much closer to New Zealand than the northern Artic, but did you know there are no polar bears down there?  Plenty of seals and penguins though.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Sew Wot Tuesday

Sadly it’s been a while since I’ve been able to catch with with the Sew Wot Ladies, what with Robin’s various hospital appointments and his knee surgery.  But I finally made it yesterday, and it was great to catch up with everyone again.  Heather was the hostess this time, and I had two rather belated gifts to hand over, one for Sandra and another for Heather, who celebrated birthdays during my absence.

Heather was having a sewing room clear out, and had a couple of boxes for us to look through.  Most of the items found new homes.  I took home a couple of large fabric pieces which will be useful for donation quilt backings, plus  a kit of bits and pieces to make a boy’s donation quilt. 

Of course there was show and tell.  Helen had Uncle Peter’s quilt to show us, this will be for his new bed as he has recently moved into a rest home.  By all accounts he has settled down very well and enjoys his new home and having people around him to chat to.


For Uncle Peter

Helen also had a nice selection of charity knitting  to show us.  She admitted she loves knitting, but is not too keen on sewing the items up, I can relate to that.


Helen’s charity knitting

Carol had stitched up a pretty black and white quilt top – this is for her grandson’s girl friend. And she also had a purple and yellow knitted set for donation – a singlet, hat and matching toy.


Made by Carol

Because I hadn't  been able to attend for such a while, I had several items finished some time ago, but not yet shown to the Sew Wots.  My boy’s transportation donation quilt and three draw string bags featuring nurses, these will be going to Foster Hope.


For Foster Hope

Plus I had some knitting to show.  A little three colour jumper, plus Robin’s birthday socks.


Knitting projects finished

There was plenty to chat about, and interesting enough, everyone was knitting away during the morning.  Heather was knitting a pale green knee rug, using some pretty yarn she had been donated, and Jude was busy with a sock.


Jude and Heather


Carol, Mary, Helen and Sandra were busy knitting too

It was a lovely morning, many thanks to Heather for being the hostess and serving us a delicious morning tea, and also for the craft goodies to look through and take home, much appreciated.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Birthday Socks

When I first started on my sock knitting adventure a few years ago, I declared  I would never knit socks for others as it took so long.  That changed when my granddaughters asked if I could please knit them a pair of socks, so of course I did, making an extra pair for my daughter as well.  Knitting  three pairs of 4ply socks for Christmas really kept me busy.  All through this, my hubby Robin kept reminding me that I’d never knitted him socks either!  Oh dear, guess he was next on the list – so some extra secret sock knitting started.  I finished them in time for his birthday, and kept them safely tucked away till his big day.


These were knitted using brown and cream hand spun wool which was gifted to me by my friend Merilyn, and I added some dark green sock yarn as well, making these triple knit (12 ply) socks.  As I only have two ladies sock patterns, 4 ply plus 12 ply, I had to guess how many extra stitches to add to fit him – I think I got it right.  So here at last is his very own pair of hand knit socks, plus a block of his favourite chocolate.


Happy Birthday, Robin

We had originally intended on having a birthday dinner out at a local restaurant, but as he is recovering from his recent knee replacement surgery, he really didn't feel he could cope with the effort of going out.  No problem, we ordered pizzas instead.  And I made a Key Lime  meringue topped  pie for dessert, so we celebrated with a nice meal at home instead.


Yummy home made dessert

Saturday, September 16, 2023

More Aqua/Teal and a Lime Green Birdy

There was time for a little more RSC sewing with aqua and teal this week.  My girls Happy Blocks were first, although I could only find two charm squares in this colourway.  They will get added into the big pile and I will need to have a count up to see how many I have.


Happy Blocks for my girls quilt

I knew exactly how many boys Happy Blocks I needed to stitch to get the required number, but not a single  aqua block was stitched.  However, I sewed a selection of other colours instead, depending on what boys charm squares  I had left.  I found more wolves, critters and knights on horseback, and the next step will be to get this quilt assembled.


For a young boys quilt

What else?  How about some easy peasy Horizon blocks for another boys donation quilt.  I’m making this in blacks and greys, with strips of aqua/teal this month.  I’m very impressed with these Horizon blocks as they stitch up so quickly, so I’m considering making both a boys and girls version for next years RSC donation quilts.


Horizon blocks

We bought our cat Gemma a new toy recently, actually two toys the same came in the package.  One will be kept for her to enjoy in the caravan on future trips.  She runs around with   it  in her mouth, pats it around the floor, then drops it in her water bowl!  Poor toy has lost some of it’s feathers now after all this treatment but she still loves it.


Gemma’s new toy

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Colour Change

The colour for those of us taking part in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) has changed this month to aqua.  In my mind, aqua also encompasses the  shades of turquoise and teal.  Once again, not shades I have a huge amount of, but I found enough strips and small pieces to cut and stitch blocks for my two Little Bricks projects.


Little Bricks

We took a trip up to Palmerston North on Thursday to get the many staples removed from Robin’s knee, in fact we counted 28 of them!  The nurse had some sort of handy little implement which she used, and ping, ping, one after another the staples were removed.  Then the surgeon breezed in, peered at Robin’s knee, and declared that he was pleased with the results of his work.  An appointment was made to come back in six weeks time for a final check. 

On the way out, I noticed a pretty starry wall hanging in the waiting room, so of course had to stop and take a photo.  I believe that the wife of one of the partners is a quilter, and likes to change the quilt from time to time.


On show at Aorangi Orthopedics

Robin decided he didn't really couldn't cope with going out for lunch after all, in fact he was feeling a little seedy after our tripping around, so we drove straight home.  Now the staples have been removed his knee feels less tight, which will help with moving around.  He is slowly improving, one day at a time.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Knitting, a New Knee, and Quilts

It’s been quite a week.   The date for  Robin’s second knee replacement had finally rolled around, and on the day prior he needed blood tests done, and we were both asked to take a RAT test each, to prove we were Covid free.  Luckily the tests were negative, always a bit of a worry as we had one friend who had his surgery deferred for quite some weeks as he had caught Covid.  The alarm clock was set on Tuesday morning for 5.00am, and we were out the door and driving at 6.00am to Palmy in the dark.  So many people were milling around the admissions desk when we arrived, we did wonder how far down the operating list Robin would be.  What we did find out was that there are four operating theatres in Crest Hospital, and Robin was first on his surgeon’s list that morning. As well as dealing with new knees and hips, the hospital also performs other surgeries including eye surgery and cancer surgery.


Entrance to Crest Hospital

Crest Hospital is a private hospital and has contracts with the DHB to perform surgeries, which is helping to whittle down the public list, a great idea after Covid stopped elective surgery for some time.  Robin was shown to his room, extra forms filled in, the anesthetist came calling, and he was whisked away down the corridor just after 8.00am.  I departed for a coffee fix and to await the call that it was all over.  He was back in his room by midday, bright and perky.  Sadly it was a different story the next day, when he had a reaction to the pain pump, and was feeling rather seedy indeed.  But he still needed to get out of bed, move around a little, and get used to the crutches, once again.   Traveling up each day in the Health Shuttle, a wonderful local service for those with hospital appointments, or like me, visiting a relative in hospital, I made sure I took some knitting with me.  I arrived at midday on the shuttle and left at 3.00pm, a nice long time for a hospital visit.  I sat and knitted while he dozed, or chatted, depending on how he was feeling.  I started another pair of socks, using up more of my left over zauberball sock yarn, as my other socks were up to the tricky heels and I didn't want to cope with counting rows while visiting.


New sock project and back from surgery with a new knee

While wandering up and down the corridor to make myself a cuppa, I spotted a quilt hanging up in one of the offices.  So of course I had to pop in and say “hello, I’m a quilter too”!  She was very friendly and chatty and as it turns out, her Mother used to be President of my local quilt club, what a small world!  She was quite happy for me to take a photo or two, and I’m always thrilled when I discover quilts in unexpected places.  The dress form quilt features  fabric collage blossoms, and the beautiful little purple quilt has a real Kiwi Pacific theme.  Both lovely, and how nice that she (sorry, should have written her name down) could bring her quilts in and enjoy them in her workspace.


Quilts discovered in Crest Hospital

The menus at Crest are amazing, it was just a shame that he didn't feel well enough to enjoy his Filet Mignon when it was served.  I was able to take advantage of the menu too, and ordered a hot lunch on one of the days I was visiting.  Robin slowly came right and Friday was discharge day.  He managed to maneuver his leg into the small car and home we went.  All patients feel better at home, their own comfy chair and bed, Gemma there to check you out, maid service and home cooked meals, although Filet Mignon is not on the menu!  As this is his second knee replacement we know that things will slowly improve, and although he knee is sore when he moves it,  interesting enough it is not quite as painful as last time. 


Happy to be home

We already have an appointment to get the staples removed. There will be a stint of rehab needed to get that knee flexible again, a clearance to finally drive again, about 6-8 weeks we think, then life can get back to normal again.  In the meantime I will perform my duties as the nominated driver.