Welcome, nau mai, haere mai!
Come on in and stay a little while. . . you never know what you might find!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Earthquake map of Christchurch area

Today I found a link which really brings home the number and intensity of earthquakes the Canterbury area has been experiencing since last September. It's a map of the area, and the earthquakes show up as coloured circles one after the other. It can show you all the earthquake activity since 4th September 2010 or you can pick a single date. I looked at 22nd Feb and there were only two earthquakes before 12.51 pm, then there were earthquakes going off every few minutes. There were 65 earthquakes that day, some as shallow as 2 km.

Here's the link: Christchurch Quake Map

As of Sunday, the confirmed number killed by the earthquake is 147, but this figure is expected to rise beyond 200. At the Nelson "Opera in the Park" concert on Saturday night there were lots of us wearing Canterbury colours (red and black) in solidarity with those from Christchurch and surrounding area. The Red Cross were doing a collection and by the end of the night they had raised NZ$14,000 for the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal. There was a minute's silence to remember the dead and injured and various artists played tribute songs including "Bless the Child" and "Holy Cow." On Tuesday 1st March, at 12.51 pm, exactly a week after the earthquake struck there will be a national 2 minute silence, and people are being encouraged to wear red and black.

Still no-one has been pulled alive from the rubble since Wednesday afternoon and as time goes on, hope starts to fade. . . this truly is a disaster of devastating proportions: people dead and injured, buildings crumbled and lives in turmoil. The psychological effects will go on for years to come. But as Linda Topp (of the Topp Twins) said at the concert on Saturday night "Canterbury, we are all here for you, for now and the rest of our lifetimes." I am paraphrasing, but that is what I recall. The applause in response was deafening. . . all our hearts go out to everyone affected, and it's the whole country's disaster, not just Canterbury's. We will stand strong together and do what we can to help Christchurch, Lyttelton and Sumner re-build - shattered lives as well as shattered buildings.

Edited 1st March 2011. Here is Lynda Topp's exact quote, taken from this article in the Nelson Mail online: "We know that Cantabrians are here with us tonight. We are here for you Canterbury and we will stay here for you for the rest of our lives. This is not just for Canterbury to go through, New Zealand and the world are here for you," said Lynda Topp with the support of her sister Jools.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Love… to all those in Christchurch or with loved ones down there.

Today another earthquake struck Christchurch. Unlike the first one on 4th September, this one happened at a busy time on a weekday. 12.51 pm on a Tuesday lunchtime. It was a magnitude 6.3 quake, at a depth of only 5 kilometres, and centred only 10 km south-east of the city centre. Between 4th September and today there have been several thousand aftershocks. It seems likely they have had a cumulative effect to weaken buildings. There are scenes of utter devastation on the television and at this stage (8pm Tuesday) there are already 65 confirmed dead. The cathedral is all but destroyed, multi-storey buildings have collapsed, as if made of matchsticks. There will be many more casualties and fatalities. So many people still trapped in buildings and under rubble.

Even up here, safely out of the way of the effects of the earthquake, it is very affecting. "Wifie" rang me at work at 1.20 pm to tell me the earthquake news. She cried as she told me. I felt physically sick. I quickly told those at my workplace. We all stood around dazed. Meetings were cancelled, no-one could concentrate properly. Feelings of nausea welled up from knotted stomachs. As a family we are grieving for those in Christchurch. Thinking of those with loved ones down there, desperately wishing them safe. Glued to the tv coverage, downcast. Words seem trite and paltry. When we heard the first official death toll tonight, "Wifie" and I both spontaneously burst into tears. We don't even have close friends or family down there, yet still feel so emotionally affected.

Wishing much strength and love to everyone in the Christchurch area, or with loved ones there.
"Kia kaha" (be strong) and "Arohanui" (much love). You are in all of our thoughts…

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Knit. . . Wifie's Tiki fingerless mitts

So, a month ago I spotted that Grannyg (of most excellent New Zealand podcast Crafternoon Tea ) had published a pattern called Tiki. It is based on the iconic New Zealand Tiki. Some of you are probably wondering what a Tiki is so I will quote from the Tiki pattern:

"In New Zealand Maori mythology, Tiki is the first man who created the first woman and bore children with her. He appears all through Central Eastern Polynesian culture in carvings but for us in New Zealand he is found in pendants known as Hei-Tiki. These pendants were traditionally carved in greenstone or bone, although in recent times all manner of materials have been used.
A Hei-Tiki is a powerful good luck symbol, representing ancestors in human form. The tilted head indicates thinking, hands are for strength, mouth indicates powerful communication, heart is for love and the loins are for fertility."

My "wifie" (or civil union partner if you prefer!) saw the Tiki design on ravelry over my shoulder and immediately pronounced that she would love a pair of the Tiki mittens! I needed no encouragement to buy the pattern, but only once I had bought and downloaded it did aforementioned partner realise that the mittens were full mittens. "Wifie" wanted fingerless mittens, didn't reckon it gets cold enough round here to warrant full mittens, and remarked "You could make those fingerless, couldn't you?!" It seemed somewhat sacrilegious to cannibalise the pattern no sooner than it had been downloaded, but I mentioned it to Grannyg on ravelry and she gave her blessing!

First step was to dye up some green sock yarn using food colouring from Morag at Vintage Purls. Next I knitted up a Hei-Tiki pendant to test out my colour choices. . . Grey Regia sock yarn and the lighter green that I had dyed worked well together. Originally, I tried with two shades of green but they were too similar, but the grey and green combo worked well (it's the two colours used in the published pattern, so I guess it was a no-brainer!)

So far so good, except "Wifie" wasn't keen on the Tiki's eyes. So I offered to try making them grey instead of green! 

Thus I started on the fingerless, grey-eyed Tiki mitts! If I had worked at them consistently I definitely could have got them done in less than a week of evenings, but I got distracted onto several other projects (including my new-found fascination for knitted graffiti!) and so they took a month from start to finish. I finished them yesterday and here they are. . .

Tiki mitts - back of hand

Tiki mitts palm
If I can find some suitably sized paua shell buttons I might try attaching those for the eyes. . . But overall I am really pleased with the mitts, most importantly "Wifie" loves them and it's great to have such a very New Zealand-themed pattern at our fingertips (only NZ$5 to download from ravelry!) Thanks Granny G!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Eat. . . veggie frittata

Roast vegetable and feta frittata

I cooked this for dinner the other night. Haven't made frittata in absolutely ages, but this one was yum! First I roasted some chopped root veggies such as carrot, potato, beetroot with some pumpkin. Would definitely have added kumara if we had any lying around! Scattered the roasted veggies over the base of an ovenproof dish, added a very small amount of diced feta cheese (it was all we had left!)and put some defrosted frozen spinach over the roast veggies. Poured a few beaten eggs over the mixture. The recipe I was very loosely following suggested adding cottage cheese too, but we didn't have any, however I am sure it would be a good addition. Covered the whole lot with a bit of grated tasty cheese and popped it in the oven (180C) for about 40 mins. Served with salad. . . Yum!

Easy peasy and very handy for using up a few vegetables which were starting to get past their prime.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Let's start at the very beginning. . .

From no blog to two in the space of a day! How on earth did that happen?!! It seems more than a little self-indulgent, but still I couldn't resist the urge. . . So here I am. This blog for general things and YARNIFICATIONZ for my tale of adding a little "yarn beautification" to my local area, and maybe even further afield one day.

KNITAPOTAMUS. Eat, knit, love. . . and some other stuff too!
Heaps of things to eat, a bit of knitting, lots of love and plenty of other things too from time to time! You will be able to find it all here eventually. . .