The New Zealand Summer of 2016/2017 will probably go down in records as being one of the lousiest Summers we’ve ever had. It was cold, wet and windy right through December, January and February. In March Summer decided to finally make a brief appearance before Autumn arrived.
The only up side to having a Summer that feels like Winter, is that the crocheting may continue (sometimes having a wool blanket on my knee while I stitch it can be just too hot in Summer).
The ‘theme’ for this blanket, when I went searching for a pattern, was to make something with granny squares around the edge, as opposed to being 100% made up from squares. I found this really sweet looking “Enchanted Garden” granny square by Claire Norden, that became the basis for the design. As usual, I used 8 ply machine washable wool, given that I was making it for use by a baby or toddler.
I was very happy with the overall look of the blanket….so much so that it has been put away for now. I love the colour combination and some day I hope that it will brighten up someone’s nursery.
Last week I went on the second “Girl’s Road Trip” with my BFF. Last year we went to Napier which is on the east coast of New Zealand’s north island. So this year we decided to go to the west coast…..Raglan. Everyone I spoke to said that there was nothing to Raglan but a few shops and surfing, so we were on a mission to prove them wrong!
Well, we can confirm that there is definitely more to Raglan than just surfing…..in the 4 days we were there we went shopping in the various lovely boutique shops, visited a local glass lampworking artist, had our tarot cards read, visited Bridal Veil Falls, rode horses on the beach, went to local markets and my friend went for a surfing lesson……
So, the following Friday BFF phones me and says she’s got this great plan…..her hubby is away, so she’ll come pick me up, drive me and her four year old child for an hour to a beach that is forecasted to have great surf…and I can mind said child while she practises her newly acquired skills. I’m obviously a soft touch because I agreed to get up early on a Saturday morning and postpone all the things that I had planned for the day.
We arrive at notorious Piha beach on Auckland’s west coast – it is rated as New Zealand’s most dangerous beach because of its strong rips and therefore high number of rescues and sadly, deaths. Fortunately (as far as I was concerned), BFF was told that the surf was up so much that morning that even the experienced surfers weren’t out. So, change of plan……cup of coffee and cake in the local café and a walk along the beach to look at the massive crashing waves.
To accompany her coffee, BFF ordered a vegan, gluten-free, raw apricot and coconut slice. I nicked a piece to try…YUM! So, when I finally got home that day, I immediately googled for recipes and found one that I had all the ingredient for. It only took about 15 minutes to make and is a yummy guilt free snack. I see that the website also had a Mango and Coconut version, which I might try next time.
You can find the recipes here.