Just a little knitting

This basket of wool illustrates how easily I can be distracted from things I should be doing. I sorted out my stash trying to find something suitable to knit skatey boy a hoodie from the Son of stitch n bitch book. I did not find any yarn in my suitcases for the project. I found lots of small bits leftover from other projects which I sorted to give away. Then I found this pattern
and couldn't resist giving it a go. I'd like to knit enough of them as party favours for the red head's 4th birthday coming up. He's never had a party of his own with his friends before, so far we've only had family celebrations because I'm very turned off by the idea of a junk fuelled plastic party which alot of kids expect to have. I was very inspired by images of celebrations at small wonders, involving earthy crafts and gifts and am thinking along those lines for the red head.
Next Saturday the 4th of July a friend of mine has organised an indoor market, a first for our town to be held in the War Memorial hall. I hope the community turn out in force to support local crafts people and community in a nice warm atmosphere. I think there may still be room for stall holders so get in quick if you have some goods to offer.


Midwinter- make wheat bags

We can't find the wheat bag that skatey boy created at school, when he bought it home though everybody wanted it for warming up their feet and achy bones. I found some dried herbs I saved last summer and raided the chooks wheat to make some more.
Since they all wanted one then and there we didn't muck around with creative shapes just some nice soft micro fleece squares.
A few words of warning: The chook wheat was quite dusty and needed winnowing so it didn't aggravate the asthma. I'd buy food grade in future for asthmatics or dried corn sounds like a good alternative too.
We heat them in the microwave for two minutes and always with a glass of water to keep the grains moist. I'm not to sure how long they will last but if you are going to add herbs like I did just keep an eye out that they don't create a fire hazard. I did a wee bit of searching for advice, the message seems to be don't overheat, always add the glass of water.
There are reports of wheat bags catching fire so be responsible.
The solstice passed me by this year without much notice. The midwinter lack of energy and sick family making it too much effort to celebrate. The kids all perked up just enough to spend a few hours in good company in the winter sunshine on Saturday afternoon.

I'm not sure if I'll manage to get up early this week to see Matariki rise either.

The "red head" is very slowly recovering, I must say in my almost 16 years of being a Mum I don't think I've had a child so sick for so long before. My Mum came and gave me a little bit of time out because you wouldn't believe how much a week of whinging can bring you down.
I tried alot of creative ideas to make him happy. We raided the art cupboard for stickers, stamps, paper, glue, paint etc. None of that worked, neither did books cuddles or DVDs. He was off his food in a big way and has lost quite a bit of weight, the teen also lost 5kg and even once he got well enough for school he came home every day and slept.

Finally I happened on an idea for "red" that sustained his interest enough to forget about his aches and pains:

A squirty bottle with water!

He did a great job "cleaning" all the windows in the play space even if he did get the carpet and sofa a bit wet. It was worth it to have some peace.



Thanks for all those warm wishes on my last post. My sympathy to everyone else dealing with kid's winter ills, Briar mentioned being at the faintly hysterical stage, I can so relate to that! We sat at the emergency Dr's yesterday for hours because the red head's cough was developing into asthma which I find very scary to deal with in the middle of the night. A thorough search at home did not turn up the spacer the Dr gave us last winter to administer Ventolin, (totally beyond natural healing at this point) so there we were in in a cold waiting room full of people who would rather have been home by the fire I suspect, as the poor Dr struggled on his own to keep up. The red head impatiently wailed and whinged as each person went in before us until a nice man taking pity on me (or fed up with the persistent grizzling) let us go before him. The doc told me he'd done 3 swabs for swine flu that day, Y U C K! I was glad to get out of there with the spacer and some panadol ( I admit defeat) and home to the warm fire. I didn't get much more sleep than the previous few nights but the "red" was a little more cheerful today and so was I. The sun shone so I got three loads of washing almost dry. You have to count your small blessings don't you?


Midwinter at our place

The sound of winter coughs has been echoing around and around our house all week. The teen, who loves school has had to take a week off and the red head is miserable but won't take anything that's offered to make him feel better. I wake up in the night to the noise of sleepless coughing or am kicked in the back by a wee boy needing comfort and a tepid flannel to cool him down.
Exhausting being a Mum sometimes, not having any time to my own thoughts is tiring too.

I looked back at last years garden pics and was a bit depressed at how much better the garden was progressing this time last year. I let too many weeds go to seed in late summer and Autumn this year. On the plus side alot of red mustard, silver beet and lettuces went to seed so there are alot of fresh greens.

To coincide with the week of coughing, we've had some pretty heavy rain which has stimulated a bit of growth, (I'm glad I got that garlic in) and look what I noticed on my nursery table:

BABY PINE NUTS! Collected back in February . Looks like I'm going to get a fairly good strike, it will probably take three years to get them to a size to give away and likely 15 -25 years before they produce but here they are beginning life in 2009.


Garden notes June

I was shuffling through the photos looking for a good one to illustrate my lovely new cottons, but instead all I could see in the photos were the garden jobs I need to get onto.
Fabric drying in the sun, but lurking behind is the glasshouse which needs the tomato plants and weeds cleared out. The chookhouse and run which need their straw changed while the big boysenberry against the shed needs to be tackled. The rabbit run which I'm standing on needs cleaning out and a few repairs made and down in the next photo the esplaired fruit trees need a bit of pruning to neaten them up.
I did make a half hearted start with the garlic today. I separated out the cloves and planted a block of about 150. When I later went to feed the chooks I saw the young roosters had been having a lovely scratch around where I had planted it but hopefully they should be in deep enough not to have been disturbed. It did however motivate me to cage the roosters to fatten them up for the pot. Don't tell skatey, he's not at all impressed with that concept.


For Nelson Fabricaholics

If I was a twitterer I would tweet that Spotlight in Nelson is having a crazy $1 per metre stock take sale. My good friend text me yesterday to let me know and I overheard the lady say it might go on all weekend. It is definitely on today as I rang to ask, look for fabric marked with an orange sticker, including good quality quilting cottons. Happy Fabric Love!!