Trying to get back in the habit…

This month has been hard. I’ve not had the chance for much me-made sewing, as I’m still finishing off curtains for our lounge/diner, etc. They’re taking a loooong time!

Along with curtains for the lounge, I’ve joined in with midwinter Christmas, a shopping trip to Palmerston North (more of these later), and…

I did manage to finish my Alma for Indie pattern month, but I’ve not taken any photos, the weather hasn’t been the most favourable when I’m at home to take them. Plus you know what it’s like in the winter – you leave home for work in the dark and get back in the dark. Daylight only seems to occur during the weekends!

Plus these last few days have been especially hard. We had three earthquakes here in Wellington last weekend. The quake Sunday afternoon was the strongest around here for a while (measuring 6.5). It was certainly nothing like I’ve ever felt and life in the UK doesn’t really prepare you for these things. The quake has given me more respect for the country I live in now. The Kiwis are amazing people and everyone I speak to seems to have bounced back so quickly, whereas I’m still really jumpy and feel like everything is permanently swaying. I know I need to get used to these, they are a way of life here in NZ, but at the moment, I’m finding it hard. Yes, life does go on. Our house survived perfectly as it is designed to do and we had no damage, no breakages. Although somehow, since then, I find it lonely in the house now and my sewing room downstairs is not as welcoming as it was. Even going downstairs is not fun in the dark.

I’m completely digressing, but I’m hoping sharing what I feel at the moment will help me to accept my life and what it throws at me. Even if it does include learning to cope with earthquakes. My life here in NZ is infinitely better than it ever was in the UK and even with the quakes, it would take a lot to make me move back. NZ is my home now.

To get back to more cheerful things – being creative…

As a small thing to keep me out of mischief in the evenings, I decided to have a go at some more knitting. Now I don’t consider myself as much of a knitter and apart from a few things I kitted when I was in my early teens, all I’ve made since is my snood! Well I created an account on Ravelry and got searching for free patterns. That site is bad, once you get searching, you end up with far too many patterns in your library! I digress. I decided I’d like a slouchy beret, so I found this…

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Well to be honest I found a few more than just this one, but once I’d looked at the patterns, I decided this one I could decifer and work out how much wool I needed.
It was not all plain sailing. I needed a circular needle – those things are a pain when there’s not many stitches on the row. I got my supplies from MrsC‘s shop, Made on Marion on Lambton Quay. This great cream wool confused me anyway, it says 8-ply. What’s this 8-ply, wool comes as 4-ply, double knitting and chunky, well it did in my brain! 8-ply is double knitting apparently. My poor brain!

Sorry it’s sideways, I can’t work out how to twist it!
I learned a lot. Cast on using long-tail cast on method – what is that? Make one by making “a tight backward loop using your thumb, as if to cast on the right needle.” Fortunately YouTube is great for knitting nowadays. No wishing Mum/Nanna was sat by helping, just reach for your nearest Interweb connected device and go searching! 🙂
I got there, even if I did have to undo the pattern three times. Yep, you heard that right. I stated it and got it wrong, ended up unpicking it and starting again. Then I went wrong again, so third time lucky it worked. Fortunately the first time I unpicked it I had the lovely Jo from Making it Well next to me. She was a star in helping me pick up the stitches and getting me going again. Thanks Jo.
Anyways, once I got into my stride the lace pattern was actually really easy and even if I found it hard to keep remembering to count, it worked and I have a beret!

Here are also a couple of the beret in action!

Have you ever tried taking a photo of the back of your head?
I’m really pleased with this. It’s certainly getting lots of wear. It’s even got me trying to decide on something else to knit! I can curl up on the sofa and knit, I can’t curl up on the sofa with my sewing machine!
In the meantime, I’m joining in with my fellow Wellington Sewing Bloggers and taking part in our Cake party this weekend. Don’t forget this Sunday is Cake day. Are you ready to party?
http://flossieft.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/wpid-letussewcake.jpg

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18 thoughts on “Trying to get back in the habit…

  1. Oh I love it! I love the colour, I love that lacy pattern too. And I know exactly what you mean about sewing rooms. Mine is upstairs, and we were up there when it hit and I was reluctant to go back up and do some more. I got around it by promising to only do 30 minutes at a time. Once I got there, I got stuck in and got past it. But it was tricky all right! 🙂

  2. It is certainly a fabulous hat! I love it. Don't worry, you're not the only one whose feeling scared by the earthquakes – I am too as that 6.5 was really a doozy. I just keep telling myself will all be ok. I couldn't agree more about the outfit post photos, so hard to take photos right now. Grr…

  3. The hard core Wellingtonians are scared too, we're just better at hiding it! I love your beret, very jealous of you knitting skill. I wish I could learn Matrix-style, just download it into my brain one night while sleeping 😉

  4. I need to get down there in that sewing room. The weekend is coming and it'll be daylight, that'll help.
    I recommend the beret as something small for beginners to knit. It doesn't take much wool and once I got going, it was perfectly easy.

  5. I'm certainly enjoying knitting in the evenings. It's NOT getting my cross stitch done though!
    I think I need some of your hiding it genes please – got any to spare?

  6. Oh, pretty pretty beret!!! 😀

    Yeah, dratted winter photography times – so much harder than it should be! *sigh* Clearly, we need to meet up for lunch one day and get photos out on the waterfront or the like. 😉

  7. I lived in California for a while and I was amazed at the way the locals ignored the earthquakes. The buildings would shake and the pictures would fall off my walls and I would be scared out of my mind and the locals acted as if nothing happened. What I did learn was just how the Ricter scale works and that each tenth of a point doubles the size of the earthquake. So last week when the headlines in Canada read ” New Zealand rattled by 6.3 earthquake” I thought they were probably a lot more than rattled! Scared out of their minds is more like it.I'm glad you're safe!

  8. Mm, I knew about them afore I got here, but I just didn't know how I'd react. You don't really. I think knitting is getting addictive and as you say, there is so much choice in wools to use. That other beret is seriously cute. Love it! Thanks for the tip.

  9. I hope now that some time has passed that you're feeling better and are venturing into your sewing room from time to time. Your beret is absolutely gorgeous though, I love it, so I'd knitting on the couch is what you get up then you're doing a great job!

  10. Oh that's a cute hat. Good job m'dear it looks pro. And I do like the pic of the back of your head lol!

    I have to say that the earthquake rattled me too and I am constantly wondering if that noise is a passing truck or impending shake. Then I remember what happened in Chch and I realise just how lucky we were really. Goodness. Time passes you know and life goes on, fortunately.

  11. Thanks Emily. It was interesting to take a pic of my head!

    Certainly am feeling much better now, although like you I hear a bus go past and think… Life is certainly continuing and I'm keeping myself occupied.

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