Sunday, June 16, 2024

A Knitting Puzzle.

 For the 3rd time I am knitting

 this sleeveless vest for my Grandson.

 The simple pattern consists of groups of 7 stitches. Where the 3  - 4 rib changes to 5 -2 there is a twist.

 I can make    it go one way but not the other. I asked my friend D also a good knitter and she couldn't make it work either.
 This ( above ) is how it is supposed to look.   I have had to leave it out completely and just knit straight like this.
Is there a mistake in the directions or is it me doing it wrong ?
 If you are a very good knitter maybe you could try and see if you can make it work. Id be very grateful.

Saturday, June 08, 2024

What Did I Purchase.?

 We decided when we arrived at the Exhibition to go around the Merchants first as the quilts on display weren't going anywhere but the merchants might sell out their best things fast. They didn't. Their was a great variety. Patchwork Web; Puddles Books and More; More than Fabric; Widebacks; Aroha Quilts; Bernina and my Favourite that day Tis the Season (.Tis the Season.)  On her display was a knitted Double Wrap Cowl in Aran Jewelspun. Very attractive. I bought the pattern and some yarn ( its not actually wool I later found out but very, very soft ) ( made in England )  I will probably make a scarf instead as I have quite a short neck We'll see.


 I also got some packs of these die cut flower shapes as I am currently making a wall hanging with Tall flowers.( the one at the top I cut out myself so new shapes will add to the variety I have)  ( I doubt Ill use the orange and yellow ones )

Also a pack of green felt

 No fabric I have quite a stash already and need to use that. ( I know some of you won't understand that - he he. ) That was quite restrained wasn't it!

Wednesday, June 05, 2024

Five Go Up to Whangamata.

Over the long weekend ( King's Birthday here in New Zealand ) 5 friends who quilt together, sew together, eat together and most importantly talk together went off for the weekend to Whangamata ( up the Coromandel Peninsular )  The Quilting Club there was holding a 2 day Exhibition. What a wonderful show it was to attend. Free parking; real coffee; nice food for teas and lunch; wonderful quilts and lots of merchants. We were very happy! At most quilt shows in NZ those viewing are asked to make a Viewer's Choice. To me that is rather impossible. I hardly ever do it. The only way I can decide is to say which quilt or wall hanging would I like to take home with me ? This one I think.What unusual colours to put together  but it worked so well and really appealed to me.

Also on Display were wall hangings from an Aotearoa Challenge called Light Up. The entries had to include a Shoo Fly block somewhere ...some were hard to find and needed studying carefully 

This was the winner by Lois Parish - Evans.

   This was by Eleanor Cole

 This was by Sandie Sixtus of the Boulder Bay Lighthouse in Nelson.

In another section this wall hanging by Mary Romhany stood out for me.- Such fun.

 Tomorrow I will tell you about the Merchants and purchases.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Car Journey.

 In the last month we have had to make the journey from BOP to Rangitikei Area and back  twice. On the return journey this last Sunday the weather did oblige and we got splendid views of 2 of the mountains that are in the centre of The North Island.

 Mt Ruapeghu is 2797 metres.

 Mt Ngauruhoe through the windscreen.

 Mt Ngauruhoe is 2291 metres.
We didn't see Tongariro.
Lake Taupo was blue with just a ripple. So clear and inviting.

 Again the Lake from Taupo town.
 The first journey was to visit my only sister in hospital.
Sadly the 2nd journey was to be at her funeral.
 She was my only sibling and 3 years older than me.

Thursday, May 02, 2024

Deciduous Trees.

 I've been walking around our subdivision today. It is dull and cloudy but quite good for taking photos of coloured leaves on the mostly Northern hemisphere trees.which already have  begun falling. This maple is on the shared land behind the tennis courts ( which belong to us all ) 

Down the Western walking track that loops around to the estuary  are Black walnut trees. ( good for their  wood and making furniture not for the nuts )
Other neighbours' properties  have pin oaks and liquid ambers and one Nyssus silvaticus and one Gingko biloba.
 With the wind we ALL share the leaves. They blow down driveways and over hedges.and into cutters..

 In our garden is just one New Zealand Native tree that is deciduous a Kowhai.
 Out of 260 New Zealand Native trees only 11 are deciduous.

Wednesday, May 01, 2024

Beautiful late Autumn Days.

 Zygocactus or Schlumbergera or in the Northern hemisphere you call it the Christmas  cactus is coming into to flower out side a ranch slider window. There are a few fungal spots on some leaves  and deep within a spiders web, but it is brightening my day.

 This for you Pam. I know you dislike the colour orange but that is the colour of persimmons. This bowlful on the bench is ripening. They need to be the dark  colour you see at the bottom. They can be eaten when firm like an apple or left longer till they become a bag of clear orange jelly.  Sweet and juicy,
 I prefer them crisp. The original parent trees many years ago produced very astringent fruit but that has been breed out of these new modern varieties. ( Persimmon Fuya )
 Perhaps my favourite fruit.

Thursday, April 25, 2024


         We are remembering them.


 It is about a week earlier than we usually start picking Satsuma Mandarins. They are a bit tart still but this tree and some others have a big crop so there will be fruit for several weeks.
 I have also picked the ripest persimmons . Although  we've  used bird nets we are still getting a few bird pecks.
 Lots of them too -  Persimmons possibly my favourite fruit.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024



I just picked up what would fit in my pocket. It's Autumn so the Eastern walking track I use is smothered in fallen chestnuts. There are about 10 tress. Nobody else seems to pick any up because those who walk dogs won't go there when the prickly nuts are all over the ground (The prickles get in the soft pads on a dogs paw )

 Before they fall the nuts look attractive in the lime green prickly containers.
 Castanea ( not sure which variety ) probably Castanea sativa.
 As kids we used to roast them on a metal hearth shovel in the open fire till they split or exploded.
 As a nut it has no oil and a high starch content but tasty roasted with butter if you can be bothered.

Sunday, March 24, 2024


 If you have been reading this blog for some years you may recall that back at the orchard we had 3 walnut trees. One was particularly good. I used to spend hours this time each year collecting the nuts. Well here at our next property I am still doing it.

 This is my 2nd collection; I got  today after we had some light rain last night. The rain helps to split open the green outer casing so the nut is  revealed. The nuts now have to be dried ( in the sun ) for 2 weeks before storing or shelling.

 The tree has become very large and is near the ground in many places. This allows me to pull the nuts directly from the tree and discard the green casing. Its good because the nuts never touch the ground below.

 Here is a photos of the middle lawn with the walnut tree in the middle at the far end.
 When this season's nuts have all fallen or been picked off, the tree will need a big haircut and  the low branches removed so R can mow under it. Lately he has had to duck and dive.

Monday, March 18, 2024

Another better Walk.


Yesterday I walked the Puketoki Reserve long Track. ( Leyland Road Whakamarama )  It has wonderful untouched New Zealand Native trees / bush. The tracks are mostly well maintained and there are 2 bridges. There are quite a few steps but I managed well  as I always take a stick in case.

 This is the Te Puna Stream - way above where it gets to us.

 I was really delighted to be greeted by this tiny  North Island Robin  that  sat on the track and chirped at me. Not frightened.

 There is lots of regrowth and variety. Logging stopped in this patch of bush about 100 years ago.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Out Walking.

 This afternoon I had the opportunity to walk through I'Anson Reserve ( in Te Puna ). I have shown you this walk before. For me it makes a change from walking just around our subdivision. It's all rustic bush and ( some weeds and swanps and little ponds. ) I know all the NZ native tress and there is nothing that special here  but not bad as it is mostly looked after by volunteers.

I entered on the left ( here ) and exited on the right then walked down that road around a corner along that road and ended at Te Puna Village.

 A composting toilet is hidden behind some trees and beside the track should one need it
 My hand sewn felt mandala is almost finished
 I think it will become a cushion.
 A storm was forecast so I picked these to save them being trashed.

Thursday, February 29, 2024

After Rain.


 My Zephyranthes candida or rain lilies are looking lovely. I am making a row of them right along the top of a retaining wall.

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Quilt , Garden and Books.


Late last year a new bossy club member persuaded us all ( at P and Q ) to make a donation quilt by all making the same block. Our sewing group ( of 6 ) made this blue tones Braid quilt which Jan then assembled into a pleasing quilt. (It's  just on hangers here, Its not really wobbly -  last Friday during Show and Tell display.) I am sure whoever it is given to will  like it .

Vireya rhododendrons do well here. This is bright and lush looking at the moment as we drive out our front entrance, which has garden on either side. It is  called Tickety Boo  and is about 2 years old.

 Back in Sept 15 ( I just checked ) I showed a packet of seeds I had just planted in trays. Snapdragons ( Antirrhinum majus ) called Twinny Appleblossom.  This is them flowering in clumps around the garden. I had a good take with the seed but its a long process from seed to flower. I hadn't noticed it says height 25cms! so they are quite low growing.

 How do you decide which books to donate to a coming up Used Book Sale? We always buy up large when it's on,  so need to make space on our shelves. BUT  its difficult deciding if you might ever want to read a certain book or author again. So many favourites. Eventually we filled a couple of cartons up and delivered them. The Sale will be in a couple of weeks.
 Books I have enjoyed recently are:-The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. ( apparently its been on TV - I didn't see it )
 The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
;The Botanist's Daughter by Kayte Nunn.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Stolen Moments.

 Stolen Moments was the name on the box this jigsaw puzzle came in. I am renaming it Stolen Hours! I quite enjoy doing the occasional  jigsaw especially if it is a group activity, but this puzzle gave me little pleasure. I got persuaded to do it by 5 year old grandson who tried himself first and couldn't even complete the outside border. The picture is an Oil painting so NO straight edges. It is 1 of 3 in a Landscape  series . ( I must avoid the other 2 ) It was 1000 pieces. But I got 1001! ( I've never had an extra piece before - a duplicate )   ( Son gave me half an hour of his time and did a row across the sky - otherwise it was just me doing some every day )

 ( Published by Arrow in Australia    )    Made in China.

 I have now got my sewing back out! Hurrah!
 My hand sewing project is self designed inspired by a mandala in a colouring book. I know basically how I want it to look but am trialing parts as I go. Felt and cotton fabric all hand sewn. 

 The grandsons spent time here on a very hot day so when the tide was in at our estuary water play and pretend fishing were good activities.
 Here smaller grandson (5)  just wants to get " accidently " wet. He is wearing gumboots!
 Bigger ( 8) grandson had new gumboots and decided not to fill his. Instead he practiced some poses on the jetty pile.