Sunday, July 22, 2012

A hat inspired by The Amazing Spider Man and a real pattern to follow...

I think I mentioned a while back that I'd watched The Amazing Spider Man and left the theatre mesmorised by the hat Emma Stone wore in one fleeting scene. Everyone who asked (and many who didn't) how the film was was treated to a speal about how darn gorgeous this hat was with its lace, bobbles, cables and twisted rib all on the one slouch hat. I was completely in love. I trawled the internet for pictures that night and couldn't find a single one. There was no mention of it on Ravelry and so I pushed the thought aside for a week or two.

Last night I had the urge to create something with bobbles and cables and lace but without a pattern I thought I'd start with something small - a hat for my friend's baby in size one. I took the number of stitches to cast on from the basic hat pattern I always use and I'll use that for the length I need to knit too. Other than that I'm winging it. It's knitted in more of my Shearing Shed Angora Merino in a lovely beige. I kind of combined elements of the Hermione hat but mixed up the cables and the lace a bit and added bobbles. It's looking pretty good so far. In any case it'll keep the wee girls head toasty warm as she's growing out of the last angora hat I made.

I just did a quick google again this morning and found a photo of the hat. Finally. It seems I wasn't the only blogger that got enthused about that hat. Even more exciting is that a pattern's been posted on Ravelry now. I cannot wait to make myself this. Perhaps it's a project for this green Spud and Chloe?! A green Emma Stone hat. I like it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Different place, same beautiful scenery...

 I could probably fool you and say that these photos were taken on the same trek... When were were in Queenstown I was amazed at how similar the scenery was to parts of Argentina - both are beautiful places. This first is Glenorchy in the South Island the the second two photos are near Bariloche, Argentina. 

I will get around to doing a proper Queenstown post on my day off. Promise.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A night out...

Today was my day off and rather than spend the day at home as I usually do, I headed into town to hit the shops and then spent a night out with some friends. I joined them at a pub for bingo and a burger. It was a lot of fun. I was quite proud that I stuck to my 'no getting drunk' rule even with two for $5 bubblies. I did have almost 5 drinks over the course of 7 hours which was the perfect amount ot have a good time without leaving the realm of happy tipsy. It's now been almost 6 months since I last drank a little too much and ended up on crutches for a few days and I have to say I definitely learnt that lesson! 6 months without a single hangover has been wonderful. Not like I had them that often prior to January but still...

My afternoon was spent trudging around store trying to find a decent pair of work shoes and a 'power blazer' - you know the kind that makes you look more important than you really are. All the blazers looked awful and reminded me too much of my blazer from boarding school, shoulder pads and all, so I settled for a 'power merino cardy'. Not sure it puts across the same message but I'm known more for being the good cop anyway...

Tomorrow I'm heading out to Karori. To my doctors but I'm sure while I'm there I'll fit in a visit to Knitting Pretty (or not, so much temptation!) and the second hand stores which always have a good selection of books. Perhaps a visit to the library cafe for a chili hot chocolate might be in order too. I did live out there for 18 months a few years ago so it's always nice to go back for a visit.

The rest of my week will be work and knitting as ususal. I'm going to have a wee dinner party on Sunday so I'll be trawling through my cookbooks for something to make. It's been ages since I had people around so I'll make the most of it with three courses...

Monday, July 9, 2012

On coffee...

Coffee berries

Coffee is very much part of my daily ritual. I did give it up for a month this year just to see if I could - it wasn't that hard but I did feel I was missing a small bit of enjoyment from my day. I'm lucky to have access to free coffee every day I work and on my day off I'll make a plunger at home or head out to a cafe. 

Without fail my first coffee of the day will be a trim cappucino in a tulip cup with cinnamon, no sugar. I prefer to make it myself so it's exactly how I like it although there's a few of my colleagues who will make me a perfect one every time. The reason for the tulip cup is so that the coffee is nice and strong. I want to be able to taste it, not just taste milk.

My recent trip to the South Island proved just how wrong people can make a cappucino. If it comes in a takeaway cup I can tell straight away if it's more flat white than cappa by the weight. If I spot the barista spooning foam onto it I just about have a heart attack. I cringe now thinking about the coffees I sent out to customer when I first started waitressing at age 16. 

If I have a second coffee later in the day it'll be a long macciato or a long black with cold milk if I'm feeling lazy. 

On Tuesdays I have my once a week vienna. Last week my workmate whipped the cream with maple syrup instead of icing sugar and I have to say, it made the most divine vienna. 

Occasionally I'll have a hot chocolate instead - generally soy. I'm not sure why but soy hot chocolates just taste way better! 

I'm not sure if being particular about coffee is a Wellington thing or whether I'm just a plain really interests me that everybody has their own coffee preference. Particularly those with a preference for large trim decaf about I just give you a cup of warm milk?! There's the snob rearing its head again. 

I visited a coffee plantation in Colombia which was really interesting. They took me right through the process from cultivating the plants, picking them, rinsing way the pulp, drying the beans, roasting them, grinding them and finally being able to make a cup of coffee. I drank seven espresso that afternoon and let me tell you the trip back up the windy, gravel road to the city, racing the rain in a region notorious for deadly landslides, was definitely memorable. It was definitely the most nauseous I've ever felt but it was worth it to try such tasty coffee right at the source. 

Unfortunately pretty much every other day in South America was so so disappointing coffee wise. So much so that I pretty much gave it up for a few months. They must export all the good stuff because it was mostly nestle from a tin or so poorly steamed it was either burnt or bubbly foam. Gross. 

Do you even drink coffee and if you do, do you take it a special way? Anyone else such a creature of habit as I am? 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The weekend begins...

I've had this song stuck in my head for the past couple of days after watching The Amazing Spiderman. I was suprised at how much I enjoyed that film. My highlight though had to be the slouch hat with twisted rib, cables, lace and bobbles worn by Emma Stone in one of the scenes. I've searched the internet high and low for a picture to no avail but it's only a matter of time before the pattern appears on ravelry... 

Yesterday (or the day before now seeing as I'm typing this after getting home from work at 5am!) we had our friends and their gorgeous baby over for lunch. She loves Buquebus. He is normally such a grump but lay there while his hair got tugged. It was completely adorable. It was a really fun afternoon. 

Other than that not much is going on in my life other than working and sleeping. I recently got a wee promotion so for the moment it means a few more late nights than I'm used to. We also said goodbye to our flatmate who we didn't get along so well with - or we didn't get along so well with her inability to do her own dishes anyway. That with a suprise tax refund has made for a pretty good week! 

Do you have any plans for the weekend? I'm hoping to catch the film 'Chinese Takeaway' on Sunday night that's playing at a smaller, art house cinema in town. I might treat myself to dinner out too as it's pay day week. Gotta love those!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

That quake and my weekend...

I was just thinking about going to bed when that earthquake left me wide awake. It lasted long enough to get me a little worried that it was going to turn into something bigger so I actually got up and stood under the door frame. Of course by then the shaking stopped. With payday coming up this weekend it's probably time I continued stocking up our survival kit. We definitely need to put aside more water and get a little gas stove - living with a pom would be no fun in an emergency if she had no way to make tea - grumpy! 

On other matters I had my family down this weekend and so we headed to Craft 2.0 on Saturday. I ended up with some knitsch sock yarn. Naughty me - like I needed any more of that. The new colourways proved too tempting. I also picked up a new owl - a money tin. He's too cute sitting on the dressing table with my other owls. Speaking of owls a weekend in Wellington would not be complete without a visit to Nancy's. I raided the fabric bin for some scraps (including a cute owl print) that will probably become another little monster on my next day off next Wednesday - argh, 8 days between days off is far too long!

I need to be less lazy tomorrow evening and get some knitting done or sew another cushion. Or cook some dinners. That really needs doing too. There's lots of space in the freezer now as our flatmate has moved out so I'm planning on filling it with lots of soup and scones before film festival later this month or as I like to call it 3 weeks of non stop work. We love it really though. It brushes up my coffee skills nicely :-) but leaves little energy for anything but sleeping - not even wine!

Anyway here's some pictures from my weekend...

Posing in front of a Wellington landmark

My niece and I had fun playing in the kids zones at Te Papa

Another beautiful day in the capital...

Monday, July 2, 2012

Sewing a little monster

I started making this little monster a few weeks ago. Somehow it seemed a good idea to start cutting out the pattern and fabric after midnight so it never got further than that. Then I picked it up again the other day to start sewing it and got the machine in a right tangle. Today I worked out what I was doing wrong and after three episodes of Offspring I finally finished him This sewing thing is much harder than knitting! I'm pretty proud of it. I used a Flora Gray Albert Toy kitset but subbed out the fabric for something that'd match my room better.