Monday, March 31, 2014


Many people have written to me and expressed very kind thoughts after reading the story behind my first pattern, Regenerate. Thank you.

People commented in particular about using a traumatic event as a source of inspiration. I never actually meant to do so, it just came to me out of the blue and made perfect sense, at a time when not a lot made sense at all. I think many people who have lived in Christchurch beginning Sept 4th 2010 would agree with me when I say it was very hard to accept what had happened to us. Living with earthquakes in NZ is a fact of life, sitting atop a plate boundary, as we do, but the violence of this shaking was something else altogether. Little did we know another, more devastating event, would occur around lunchtime five months later. And then there was Japan ...

A crazy time indeed.

That's the back-story, and let's move on. The CBD of Christchurch was locked behind a cordon for many months while the fate of various buildings was decided. I eyed the weeds from behind the fence and secretly applauded them. One needs a hero, at times like these, and I could see that this would be the time of the weed now the gardeners were stuck behind the fence just like the rest of us. I've always had a thing for the underdog, and a weed filled the part perfectly. I don't wish to be overly anthropomorphic - after all, a weed is just a weed and I'm sure many people lament the ongoing deterioration of our beautiful city; the proliferation of weeds adds to the feeling of neglect. It's true, Christchurch is not pretty at the moment, but weeds are just so tenacious, and tenacity is needed in abundance at the moment.

We've lost a lot ...

all gone, or going, maybe ...

Places I used to go, gone

Others to be repaired, thankfully

Now the central city has largely been tamed, I admire the weeds in a different part of town. The residential red zone, near where I live, comprises many hectares of land beside the Avon river, as it meanders and loops its way out to sea. The residential red zone is land so damaged by earthquakes and the process of liquefaction that it's considered no longer suitable for housing. The short story is that the NZ government offered to buy the land and houses so people could move out of their broken homes and carry on with their lives elsewhere. Thousands of people took the offer. Not surprising really.

Huge stop-banks were built along the riverside in an attempt to protect the slumped land from flooding. The people moved out. Houses were demolished. Houses are still being demolished.

The animals moved in, along with the weeds.

A sinister gathering of road cones. No doubt the leaders, plotting their next incursion into the transport network.

The beautiful tree-lined river with its gravely stop-bank and empty pot-holed roads makes for great off-road biking.

And there are LOTS of weeds to admire. 
I grin when I encounter a thistle.

And when it comes to weeds, there's nothing I admire more than a nice, healthy Scotch Thistle!

If you are knitting Regenerate you will notice there are certain rows with large numbers of consecutive knit stitches. The lovely people at Knitty have allowed me to annotate the charts, adding consecutive knit stitch counts for your knitting convenience. If you wish to download these annotated charts, please click here:
Alternative Regenerate Charts


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Southern Blue

This top down crescent shawl combines Estonian lace stitches with intertwining cables to produce an eye-catching shawl a little different from the rest. Intertwining cables and eyelets depict butterflies, while nupp flowers interspersed through the twisting cable motif reflect a pretty garden cascading over a trellis. A picot bind off adds a dramatic flourish at the bottom edge - the perfect end to this beautiful accessory.

No row is repeated, so you are never bored and the edges grow dramatically due to the extra increases. The Southern Blue is a species of New Zealand butterfly that sports a similar blue-grey colour scheme to this beautiful yarn. Knit in Zealana Kiwi Fingering, it gives a little more substance than a laceweight shawl, but fortunately Zealana produce this lovely colour in Kiwi Laceweight as well.
Available on Ravelry

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Regenerate (Alternative Charts)

Due to the large number of consecutive knit stitches on certain rows of the charts I have added consecutive knit stitch counts to the Knitty charts for your knitting convenience. Please note, these stitch counts do not include knit stitches inside the pattern repeats.

Alternative Regenerate Charts



Saturday, March 1, 2014

Southern Blue ...

... a prototype. much too big, one cable cross to change. not sure about the picot dangles. A start.
Yep, I ran out of yarn, and had to dye some more. A lesson in not chucking a bit more dye powder in for good luck ...