Sunday, 23 March 2014

I have never knitted a Penguin Sweater....

Tin Shed Yarns Cottage
March 2014

It's late summer here...well, autumn really.

There is just the slightest feeling of cool in early morning and late evening....like 15 degrees instead of 20 degrees!

Puppet Show
We've had the annual Agricultural and Pastoral Show.

New Tractors to climb on
...and my local farming friends worked hard to get a shed ready for hale bales to go into.

View looking South 
The hills are dry. We need rain. We're all ready for it.

I have mucked about delaying a start on a lace project mainly due to the heat. Any old excuse, though I've seen and watched this summer deepen and this little community open up.

After seven months I can tell whose dog is barking.

I know the routine of the large Tongan/Maori family over the road. They work hard keeping it all together. Both parents working and the grandparents living there too. Grandad enjoys a drink and a smoke on the back door steps.

My solo/separated mum next door with shared custody of her children. Things get fraught with all the inter-sibling jealousies and power battles. She has given me gorgeous grapes from her vine.

The on-going renovation of the six flats next-door (all one-level). Isla has more or less been adopted by the on-site trades-men. 

The retired farmer who lives alone and walks with his trolley everyday to the shops. He had a collie once too and has pushed photos of the dog through the letterbox for me. He has a speech impediment.

The lady down the road who lives as a tenant in a sleep-out. She has battled the alcohol and drug demons and is trying so hard to keep a job down. The local fruit and veg shop gave her a trial...as did the thrift store (we call them Opportunity Shops).

Helen's Villa (which became the name of the town, Helensville)
This is a community I like. All sorts of backgrounds, all ages, all trying hard.

There's gossip too...and rumour...and disrespectful youths, but that's everywhere.

You can quietly work in a small town like this, and many artists do. 

Wood for winter
Rain is finally forecast....and the temperature has dropped with the clouds coming in.

I've had the chimney sweep in and all the prunings from the garden are stacked alongside the macrocarpa logs I ordered last year.

We take our firewood very seriously around here.

Bring it on....!

Looking East to the MacKenzie hills
Take care and, just so you know, I did not knit a penguin sweater...ever.

Fiona MacBride

Tin Shed Yarns  -just like a bought one.



Sunday, 16 March 2014

12 hours ahead

7am sunrise on the morning of a storm.

It's That time of Year....

Lately I have taken to putting the time on my Twitter comments.

It's because the Nether-World of Twitter AND  this blog platform, being based in California, do not easily adjust to a time zone beyond the West Coast of the US. 

...unless I use a Smart-Phone because the location is then more easily found and then displayed.

Since the 4G situation where I live is practically non-existent and since last my foray into Smart-Phones was so awful with Sim-cards not working and only a call-centre for help, I refuse to get one until things are better supported.

So, everyone who finds me on the internet assumes I live in the US...somewhere on the West Coast, until they notice the blog's URL.

There is no location thingy for the lap-top I use.

...The End of Summer.

Pumpkins at the Helensville  Agrcultural and Pastoral Show
The times on the Twitter thing came about because lace-knitting has become an ongoing Sudoku puzzle for me, and the maths around time-zones in the world is another on-going maths puzzle. So, when I read some one's instant comment in San Jose on say, colour-blending, I know they and I are not only connected but also apart by 17 hours...but San Jose is still operating in the previous day...we are ahead and they are behind.

There comes a point when the geo-centric world affects even knitters. North America and UK have many, but there are knitters in South America, France, Australia and Japan.

We do exist. and no, we are not oddities.

Here in NZ we are tired of the "You're a long way away", or "That's the Southern Hemisphere right?" and my favourite, "Does the sink water really run in an anti-clockwise direction down the plug-hole?"

Yes, it is a 30 hour flight to London from here...yes we are below the Equator and the tropics...and no, the water goes around and down simply as it pleases. 

All local summer produce.

So do you have autumn then?

Yes, generally marked by sparkling days and crisp evenings interspersed with classic tropical storms until one lot of weather overtakes the other. Our autumns are unsettled in Auckland.

With days up to 27 degrees Celsius, knitting has been done but in the cool shade of a porch. 

I admit to being completely taken up by Lace-Knitting of late...hence the repeats of yo's and SSKs in mathematical frequencies. It is absorbing and frustrating. I have endeavoured a challenge of writing my own chart only to fail at the basic mistake of un-balanced increases and decreases within a row. 

I have had all Barbara Walkers books out of the library and have scoured Mary Thomas...and found a mistake in one of her patterns!!!!!!!

I feel much better knowing we both make mistakes.

The Tin Shed
When does winter start?

Would be lovely to see it soon. I am still in T-shirts and jandals (flip-flops if you are Australian). The shed just gets too hot and I have a load of wool to process. 

In enthusiastic anticipation, I organised the chimney to be swept for winter fires. 

Winter officially starts at Easter here....

Easter is notoriously difficult to manage because it is embedded in spring...but there we are.

So What Time Zone are you In?

For the record, we are exactly 12 hours AHEAD of GMT (allowing an hour either side for day-light saving).

Oh and we use the decimal system here....for everything. That's why we get on so well with Canadians. 

Oh and another thing ...I don't use US spelling.

Tin Shed Yarns
In Closing,

Acknowledge the differences.

Check everything.

Move on.

That's the cottage in the photo. That's the dog who runs the cottage. She looks after me and has settled in just fine. Pedigree Border Collie, no papers though. Part merle and tr-colour with blue eyes. Silly as a two-bob watch and wise as Solomon. Perfect.

It's 1.25pm Sunday 16th March.

...in Helensville, North West of Auckland.