Life · New Zealand · Outlaw Yarn · small things · Summer · Yarn Festival

Chat over Chai # 2

Hi Everyone,

Happy New Year 2020

I hope you all are back to work after enjoying lovely Christmas and New Year holidays.

I have been long gone from the blog ,but I have been busy posting on other social media, which is You Tube and Instagram in bits and pieces. If you would like , you can catch up on my 12 days of Vlogmas on my You Tube channel Planetpearl.

The year 2019 seemed to whiz past , mostly because it was a year of huge personal growth for me.

I started working at Outlaw Yarn HQ . People who know me really well, know its a dream come true for me.

Once I read about a research that found ,that people who worked in Flower shops were one of the happiest . I can understand that , because how is it possible not to smile when you are surrounded by flowers, right?

As a fiber craft enthusiast, I feel the same way working in a yarn store( or Wool Shop as some people like to call it here ). It is hard not be happy surrounded by all the colourful yarn and meeting some really cool people , seeing the amazing projects they make. Needless to say, I’ve been enjoying it immensely.

It also opened up the opportunity for me to meet Steven Be . THE Steven Be . Which was one the year’s highlights for me.

He helped me cast on my Pearl Sweater. Which I thought was so cool. Really who would have thought I would meet him right ? And that he would be so down to earth and humble ,to patiently take the time to teach an absolutely beginner sweater knitter , how to do a cast on, explain the garment structure and make sure I got it right. Surely if that is not being generous with one’s time, I do not know what is !

Ever since I met him, I have been fan girling gushing talking about what a wonderful person he is to know! So much inspiration, wealth of knowledge , so positive and funny.

One of the things I checked off my Bucket list in 2019, was attending Christchurch Woolfeast as a stall Vendor ,selling my Hold and Cherish project bags . Two of my close friends and my son gave me so much support and made it a wonderful success.

Another wonderful experience was flying over to Wellington to attend Craft Camp. It was such a well organised camp which helped me meet some amazingly talented women.

I learnt to dye yarn along with Steve, my younger son, which was a great exposure to art of yarn dyeing for both of us.

I also tried weaving which I really loved too.

I’m really proud of myself for getting out of my comfort zone and I’m really pleased with how the year 2019 went for me craft wise.

For the year 2020

Regardless of how my personal life is going, I always get excited about a New Year. It’s always a time to reflect on the past lessons and look forward with hope, to another year of inspiration and learning .

The plans for this year include ,moving towards a more intentional ,slow living and uncluttered lifestyle.

I have already cleared out my closet of clothes that I do not wear, to be donated to Salvation Army. Which does make me feel better about putting my thoughts into action.

I also hope I will be able to keep up with my blog more regularly, sharing more of my creating journey ,towards a joyful life.

With that said,Thank you so much for being part of my creative journey , for your encouragement and support by way of likes and comments. Appreciate you all so much.

Have a very blessed 2020 dear friends.

Uncategorized

September Recap

With the pitter patter of raindrops on the roof, the hum of the lawn mowers around the block, competing with the black bird’s songs , cherry blossoms and daffodils, tulips blooming every where , its very Springy in this part of world.

It was a very busy end of month , with family visiting, We did go out to see the Cherry blossoms in Hagley Park.My attempt to take every one for a picnic at the Botanical garden failed miserably. In spite of living here in Christchurch for five years now , I still can’t get my directions right!

I did manage to salvage the situation a little bit ,by finding a little bench near the duck pond . My little nephew all of five, full of wonder , was very excited to chase the sea gulls and watch the duck swim by. Still, the cold southerlies forced us out of our spot quickly enough.

We also went to the centre of city and took a tram ride . It was a really lovely trip, I sat with my little nephew who was full of questions about everything he saw. Nothing really missed his eye which was a pleasure for me as it took me back to the time, when my boys were that little and asked questions all the time. I really enjoyed seeing the world from their perspective

Making wise, I have been making a lot but not really completing anything! I have frogged as much as I have knitted. Mostly because of not having a proper plan and not being able to focus on one project for long.

I was half way into making this asymmetrical shawl

Then I had the chance of attending Steven Be classes and decided to use the Mohair novelty yarn I purchased from him.

This class was a wonderful opportunity to meet Steven Be and learn so much from him about making and about life. Not only was he a fantastic teacher but also such a wonderful person to know.

I have been making the same pattern in an Indie dyed Yarn as well, I thought I was well into finishing, when I ran out of yarn. I got another skein to add up but now have decided to frog it and alternate skeins. I may also add a strand of sparkly mohair I got from Steven Be to this project as well.

This sock has been in the making for a long time, but I have slowly reached the heel now.

In other news, both my nephews took a fancy to these bunny hold and cherish bags . Even though it surprised me a lot, it was the ultimate seal of approval for me . Especially because my younger nephew is very clear and out spoken of his opinions and thoughts which I adore.

I was very happy to let them have one of each. I would have let them have as many as they wanted, had not my brother their dad ,instructed them strictly , they could each have one and no more.

I’m in awe of how we are nearly at the end of the year.

Keeping fingers crossed that the coming month will be a month of finished objects

here’s to another month of happy happenings and making.

Budget · Life · Life style · New Zealand · North Island · Rotorua · Travel

Summer in Rotorua (2018)

Rotorua came on as a place of interest to visit ,when my brother asked about the place. We had visited Rotorua around 2013, and had a chance to visit the Geysers and the Maori Cultural centre, but we couldn’t remember much of the place. So we decided to take a quick weekend trip to Rotorua to have a relaxed trip and visit places things we did not see before.

It turned out to be a nice weekend away to enjoy some relaxed time with family and experience Rotorua , like a local.( well, almost like one)

As soon as we landed in Rotorua, we hired a rental car so that we could go everywhere easily together as a family. It also is a preferred mode of transport as J enjoys the flexibility and ease of driving his own vehicle.

We had booked a one bedroom unit at a motel called Rotovegas ; which actually consisted of a nice family room, kitchenette with all the utensils and gadgets ( we did not use them) toilet, bathroom, and two bedrooms in the upper level. And the best of all , our own heated Spa tub in an enclosed area. Their service ,rooms , the spa pool and the general swimming pool I must say were all good . We had a lovely stay here.

On the day we landed, with all the excitement of travel, we skipped lunch and decided to have an early dinner. Staying in Christchurch and not having many places to go for a South Indian vegetarian Dinner, we literally jumped with joy when we saw this restaurant called Steam

The dosa , sambar and chutney was as close to the authentic dosa sambar and it made me very happy.

The next morning , we got up early and bright , went to have breakfast .As we found a parking around Hinemoa street, we decided to park the car and take a walk around and we came upon this cute French Cafe called Le Cafe De Paris

Being a francophile, I dragged everyone in with me for breakfast.The ambiance was old world simple and cozy which I loved, the food was yummy and the service so good.The only thing I did not like at this place was the smoke filling up in the room , as the crepes were being cooked. We all enjoyed the crepes though.

After a scrumptious breakfast, first on the itinerary, we had the Redwood Treewalk . When we planned this walk, we had no idea what to expect but were totally blown away by the beauty of the magnificent redwood trees. The stroll on the 20 feet high wooden suspension bridge was an exhilarating

as well as informative experience with boards placed in strategic places.

Then we went to Rotovegas where the boys went on luge rides. We had our lunch and snacks here before heading to our last stop for the day.

Our next and final stop for the day was the 3D Art Gallery.We walked around leisurely, taking pictures , pretend playing and laughing around , it was not crowded at all . All of us enjoyed the gallery as it was so much fun!

The boys were too tired for the day to go out for dinner with us so they requested that we get them McDonalds . Which we did , as it was not very far away from our motel.Later J and I went back to Steam restaurant ordered the same dosa sambar , went for a walk in the empty streets and wound down for the day.

Our flight the next morning was late in the afternoon so we went out with a boys for a leisurely walk around the city centre admiring the street art and getting a feel of the place.

We then had breakfast at a cafe called Capers Epicurean where the food was good but I felt it was not the place to go if one was in a rush .It was quite busy when we went and took a while for us to find seats and settle down before we could order.

With this trip we found out that taking short trips away from home and just enjoying a change of scene was immensely refreshing. We felt that doing a few things together with out rushing around made us appreciate the time we spent sight seeing around Rotorua and each other’s company better than the busier travel schedules we have had before.

We had left Amber with a dog sitter, by the end of day two , we were all missing her like crazy. So we were are all so ready to come back home.

Trip Iternary:

How We got there :

By Flight : Air New Zealand direct from Christchurch to Rotorua.

How we got around Town :

Rental Car

Where we stayed : Rotovegas Motel

What We Did :

  1. Whakarewarewa Tree Walk
  2. 3D Trick Art Gallery
  3. Luge

Where we ate :

Accessories · cowl · Crafts · Finished Objects · Handknit · Handmade · Indie Dyed yarn · Knit · Knitting · Nunnaba Artisan Yarn · Yarny Love

Bobble Cowl

The thought of knitting with two colours of yarn was somehow intimidating to me , that I never attempted to even try it. Then I saw one of the ladies in church wearing a similar looking cowl in lovely earthen colours that I was tempted to give it a try.

It always takes some time for me to work up the courage to try new things. Once I start,I always realise that it was not as hard as I thought of it in my head! (Over thinker alert right here ). Sometimes , simply just doing it is best.

When I went searching for an easy -ish free pattern on Ravelry , this pattern came up in the search. I decided to make this pattern only because it came with the tip to look up ‘Blister Stitch ‘on You tube ,which proved to be super helpful.

I decided to use the scrumptious Nunnaba gradient and Naturally Tweed I had in my stash . Once I got an understanding the stitch pattern down, it was a pleasure to work on and proved to be a quick finish.

I made a few additional rows than the pattern called for as I wanted the gradient yarn to come through.

I couldn’t however, figure out how to do the jobless join in this cowl . Its ok I think ,as when I’m wearing it, it may not be that visible .

This cowl is so so soft. I love it.

Surprisingly for this project ,I did not use up all the yarn in the gradient yarn like I wanted to.I also have a little more of the brown tweed left over as well.

Pattern Details :

Pattern : Bobble Cowl by Ina Aleksandrova

Needles : US 7 – 4.5 mm Chiagoo Needles

Yarn :Nunnaba Artisan Yarn White Gum Wool 8ply in the Shabby Rose Colourway

Uncategorized

Happy New Year 2019

Happy New year lovely people. I know its a late to be wishing Happy New Year but I believe that one can wish Happy New Year all through the month of January .

Its summer here and its just fantastic that the beautiful days are long and warm.

I have neglected this space for so long, that I’m not even sure if there are anymore people reading this blog! If you are still here, I want to say thanks so much for sticking with me.

I just wanted to update this space with my creative goals for the years. One of my goals this year, is to learn to knit more things ‘ deeper not wider’ (in my knitting)as I heard somewhere on the internet.

Another one is to keep up to date with my blog . I have not posted about some of my finishes . Honestly I cannot recollect where I lost my inspiration but I did not have any inclination to take pictures or post about them here.

I have missed my online journal to look back on.It does give me a lot of pleasure to look at the things I have made , the things we did together, recipes, travel etc, all in one place. So, I am going to try and update my blog on a more regular basis , this New Year. One post per week sounds doable to me now, so I will try to make that work. We will have to see how that goes.

I do have a few finished objects that I have not posted about and I will do that in the next few posts.

Wish you all a very wonderful New Year filled with lots of love , Peace , Happiness and best of health.

Baby Gifts · Finished Objects · Knit · Knitting · Quilt Making · Sewing · Yarny Love

Baby gifts

Baby showers are a great excuse to make baby gifts. I love making gifts for babies not only because of how adorable they look but it also makes me marvel at the miracle of life itself, in the words of the Psalmist, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made”.Those verses in Psalm 139 : 14-16, they get me every single time.

I have been plotting and planning to make gifts for a special friend in church, who is having a baby very soonbaby quilt

This was not the original quilt I had planned for her. Like I have done several times before,I changed my mind after I finished making  quilt top with the fabrics I had got before and decided to make her another one

For this simple baby quilt,I used  the dreamy , whimsical woodland themed Hushabye hollow (by Lydia Nelson for Moda) charm pack that I had in my stash plus some extra yardage to make this quilt so that the baby can use it upto toddler stage. I backed it with the softest minky in a soothing  fawn colour. I also added my Hold&Cherish label to it.

Then I also made her a stroller knit blanket with 100% New Zealand Organic Merino.This yarn is no longer available so I’m really happy I had enough to make this blanket. I misplaced the care labels I had printed earlier somewhere and so couldn’t attach it to the blanket. knit baby blankie

The pattern for this blanket was part of a test pattern I did back in June here. You can read how I got to be test knitter in the first place here. Makes me smile every time!

I used my 4.5 mm ChiaoGoo fixed knitting needles for it and they are a dream to knit with.I’ve used a few circular knitting needles now to know that ChiaoGoo fixed circulars are my favourite . I plan to get them in a few sizes and lengths.

My friend is on FB and Instagram .I didn’t want to ruin the surprise  for her so I did not post it anywhere else online, except here because the maker in me couldn’t contain the excitement of having the gifts ready to give  to the precious baby. Fingers crossed these gifts will be received well  by my friend and be used till they fall apart.

Budget · Camping · Grey Mouth · Lifestyle · New Zealand · Out and about Christchurch · South Island · Travel · West Coast

Greymouth

Just before the labour weekend rolled around, J suggested we all take a trip to the West Coast to explore the area. Since none of us had any idea about the area.

Grey Mouth is about three hours drive from Christchurch and we took the Arthur Pass route.To say that the scenic drive was spectacular ,would be an understatementcanva-photo-editor

The first stop was Castle Hill, which are interesting rock formations .This kind of set the tone for our trip

The terrain itself is so different on each side the mountain. As we went up the mountains the long stretches of the dark grey river beds  with streams trickling by and dull brown beech trees, were a feast to the eyes.DSC_0086

The steep scary down hill drive that would lead into the rainforest like terrain with ferns and lilies everywhere, came as a big surprise. The gorge and the bridges simply breathtaking!

This was a budget trip for us and so we stayed in the Kiwi Holiday Park  , with its self -containted kitchen, lounge, toilets was very convenient and clean.DSC_0321DSC_0039.JPGWe however decided to sleep in tents, true Kiwi style.Crawling on all fours trying to get into the tent, sleeping with hot water bottles in my sleeping bag so as not to freeze into an icicle , maybe are  fun things to try once in a lifetime, but its not something I look forward to repeating again for fun 🙂 DSC_0030The whole town was shut down for a Bike race DSC_0088DSC_0098and so Pancake Rocks was to be our next destination.DSC_0133Rugged mountains on one side the vast wide ocean on the other, the beauty left us speechless. At the entrance of the Paparoa National Park, a Weka  ,another flightless native New Zealand Bird, took to greeting the visitorsDSC_0144Inside at the park, a very well laid out trail leads to mind-blowing natural beauty. DSC_0190The visual treat  is overwhelming  as your eyes are torn  between admiring the rock formations that look like pancakes stacked one above the other DSC_0168and  the rock formations that look like humans, the rugged  silent rocks providing the perfect foil for the boisterous wavesDSC_0155and home for nesting birds high up on them. .DSC_0222DSC_0215DSC_0181DSC_0246.JPGOn this trip,I did not cook, but picked up different salads  and food from Countdown, the supermarket and had a picnic by the river at noonDSC_0292DSC_0293DSC_0299scoured the beach for pebbles and driftwood, in the evening, ate dinner at Pizza Hut .DSC_0357Unprofessional campers that we were, couldn’t  take in the idea of shivering in our tents to sleep and so  decided to pack our tents and head back back home.

The steep drive down the mountains, covered in thick fog afforded some scary , nail biting moments, but by God’s grace, we all made it home in one piece, and fell into our beds with grateful hearts.

 

Baldwin Street · Dunedin · Dunedin Railway station · Lifestyle · New Zealand · Out and about Christchurch · South Island · Travel

Dunedin

We were in Dunedin for the Unwind Yarn Festival .DSC_0179DSC_0185

We stayed in a small town called Balclutha at a motel called RoseBank Lodge. It was a comfortable place.

The eggs benedict and hotcakes at the restaurant there were really good.IMG_0971IMG_0972It was  great to walk/drive around Dunedin  to soak in the  essence of the city.IMG_5800Dunedin  a university town, with a lot of young student crowd against the backdrop of the magnificent architecture,was a unique mix of urban as well as old world charm and grandeur.DSC_0289DSC_0006interesting wall art img_0999.jpgand the locomotive museum was a hit with the boys.DSC_0493.JPGDSC_0511 hilly landscape along the harbour so rugged and picturesque It was good to spend some time sitting on the grass by the harbour, watching the seagullsDSC_0066 The Cadbury factory is a must visit, I tried  the triple chocolate drink in the cafe near by , so tasty.IMG_0975IMG_0976DSC_0307DSC_0100DSC_0338The architecture of the  railway station was simply breathtaking DSC_0097DSC_0117.JPG

IMG_0989DSC_0129DSC_0132DSC_0150.JPG However, the most thrilling, and exciting experience for us in Dunedin was going up Baldwin Street, the Steepest Street in the world.DSC_0378

having a little glitch with our car in the middle of the climb, holding our breaths until we got back downDSC_0042

and getting a certificate at the certificate shop was indeed an experience that will stay in our memories for a long long time.DSC_0430

Akaroa · Budget · New Zealand · Road Trip · South Island · Travel

Day Tripping :Akaroa

Akaroa, which means Long harbour, is an hour and a half  drive from Christchurch. we had heard that it was once a French Colony. Having lived in Erstwhile french colony , Pondicherry in India and still cherishing the fond memories gathered there, we were more than eager to visit the place.

We might have taken a little longer than that as we stopped in a couple of places

We stopped at the first  picnic spot we spotted, took some time watching the Swans glide gracefully on the Lake Ellesmere

and then continued on

Enroute, we stopped at Little River and a little dose of history awaited us at the railway station now converted into a little craft store.

Taking one on a trip down memory lane of a bygone era.

We sauntered around entranced by the antique memorabilia on display…

Lanterns,

ticket collecting booth ,

A couple of stops at a few scenic views , later we were in Akaroa.

This picturesque town is the perfect place for a leisurely stroll around , stopping by the Museum to get an understanding of the historical heritage of the erstwhile French ColonyDSC_1351

 

The old church.. where the choir was just starting practise for the next day’s Church service.

The French street names and the antique buildings bear witness to the  bygone era.This is the only thing that bore any resemblance to Pondicherry.

A French bakery, Cooking school and loads of souvenir stores  in the town centre are a sure giveaway for the  French flavour that is still very much prevalent in the town.

The mosaic place …. which was closed as we were there late afternoon… were all very interesting to look at. we heard this was a must visit ,maybe next time.

Other than the idyllic old world charm of the town, 

a walk down the beachfront lounging  listening to the sound of the water and the sea gulls is extremely relaxing.DSC_1298DSC_1299DSC_1318

Drove to  the lighthouse

watched the boats on the bay.DSC_1435

The views were just magnificent specially at the golden hour,It must be a  popular wedding destination , as we did see a wedding party getting some photos around the town.

 We seemed to be running into them around the town.

we fell in love with this little car. … guess it belonged to the wedding party

Admired some old buildings

DSC_1479

Had an ice ceam

before heading back. The drive back was just as beautiful.

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we do plan to go back sometime in the summer.