Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life

Of fibre, balloons and birds


Hello!!  Happy Sunday!  I hope you’ve had a great week wherever you are.

Some interesting things happened to us this week.

  1. You’ll all know about the Geek socks of course.  I’m totally amazed to see a finished project out there already!
  2. The young boy said “There are balloons in the sky!” one morning.  This is what we saw, appearing out of the clouds:

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So cool!!!  They were actually very close (damn my camera!) and you could hear the burners being blasted.  The balloons were doing a mass ascension as part of the Wairarapa Balloon Festival – with balloons travelling from all over the world to participate.  It was pretty awesome seeing the early morning sky filled with balloons.  Unfortunately, for various reasons, we missed out out on participating in some of the public events, but I look forward to next year!  The young boy was very happy – they visited his school, and they got to hear all about the balloons, how they are made, what it takes to fly them, and see one up close.

3.  I was listening to some very unusual and musical bird call while cooking supper one evening.  The cat, ever attentive, suddenly looked very alert and sprang on to the windowsill.  I ventured a peek out the window, and there, on the lawn, was a little grey cockatiel, the source of all that pretty calling!!

The young boy and I sat on the deck watching him for a bit – he was happily waddling around on the grass eating all the dry grass seeds and things he found in the lawn.  It occurred to me after a while that he must have escaped from someone’s house, and perhaps the owner might like to see him again?  So the young boy tempted him with sunflower and more grass seeds…

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and we managed to get hold of him and put him into temporary lodgings.  The cat, who likes to go out in the evenings, was put outside, and we brought little birdie into the house, where we allowed him to fly free…

Grey cockatiel

Here he is, happily perched on the curtain railings.

I haven’t been able to find any trace of someone who has lost this wee cutie.  I have rung the SPCA and the local vet, looked on Facebook and petsonthenet, posted flyers and put up a notice in the local supermarket. He is absolutely adorable, and now I want one!!  However, given the fact that I don’t have the right cage for him, and that fact that my Ginger Terror loves to dine on bird, I had a very stressful two nights, worrying that “someone” may have got to him in the night.  The very lovely girl in the vet offered to look after him, as she has had birds in the past, and so I happily took her up on the offer.  If you know of someone who has lost a little grey cockatiel, do let me know!

In the course of looking for the grey cockatiel’s owner, I had the excuse to call on more neighbours and say hello. There are some sheep on my street, and I admire them immensely every time we go past.  I haven’t got a picture, but they are very similar to these:

Sheep = wool!!!

The ones in the neighbour’s paddock are pure dark chocolate and what I could call golden oatmeal.  I found out that they are Pitt Island sheep.  Their owner mentioned that she has bags of their wool in the shed, and cannot get rid of it – the wool is hard to spin, but felts beautifully.  The Pitt Island sheep, having reverted to ancient genes, has guard hair in the wool, which interferes with spinning.  Having said that, I cannot but help think of Icelandic Lopi that has both the guardhair (tog) and the undercoat (thel) spun together into yarn.  I wonder how much it differs to Icelandic wool?? I’m quite interested to know.  I also wonder if perhaps they haven’t shorn the sheep at the right time, and the natural breaks in the wool may have interfered with spinning nice yarn as well.  Just wondering.

Now I also understand more about Pilana yarn, which comes from Pitt Island sheep, and the challenges they would have faced to turn the wool into yarn!

If you are interested in obtaining some of my neighbour’s Pitt Island wool, she is very happy to give it away – she’d rather do that than burn it, which is what is currently happening.  I suspect that it would be an issue to send it overseas, as it is raw fleece, but anywhere in NZ should be fine.

Interesting what happens when you find a lost bird in your garden!  😀

4.  The last part of this week has been happily filled with knitting.

Mattingley sweater

Here is the sleeve end of the Mattingley Jumper, which will be finished in the next couple of days – I was beginning on the collar (the last part) when I took this picture.

I also took the young boy to attend a friend’s birthday party, and decided to start a plain vanilla sock so I could talk and knit at the same time.  I managed to finish the leg and most of the heel.  I got a bit more done this morning.  Just a small part of the foot and toe to do. I love how plain vanilla socks are so satisfyingly quick to knit. This one is in an Opal Smile colourway.

Opal sock

I hope you all have a brilliant week ahead of you.  My thoughts are with those who will be affected by Cyclone Pam. It does not sound like good news for parts of the country, although for the Wairarapa, it should bring much needed rain.  Stay safe everyone!




Author: kiwiyarns

Welcome to my blog where I talk about knitting in New Zealand and the beautiful yarns you can find here.

8 thoughts on “Of fibre, balloons and birds

  1. Gold star for you girl! The wheels are turning.

  2. What a lovely bird, strange that no one would miss it…

    And wow, sheep in your very own street ?! You sure move to a good place ! Hope you’ll have enough time to enjoy every bit of it !
    ( was it hard to resist the temptation to try and start spinning the wool yourself? 😉 )

    • I’d love to ask for a small sample just to compare it to the usual breeds that are spun. But no, I’m not tempted to begin spinning yet. 😉

  3. You did so right by that lost bird. I hope someone claims it. The balloons look fantastic in the air. I’d be scared to ride one though. There’s been accidents in the US with those. I love your Opal sock yarn.

  4. Having a parrot and being part of the bird community, yes, they exist, like knitters’ communities :D, I will post on Facebook group to see if anyone claims the missing bird! She is a delightful little cockatiel by the look of it! Unfortunately, sometimes people let the birds go when they no longer want to keep them, thinking they are doing the right thing releasing them in the wild, which is of course often deadly to pet animals. But I am hoping the little bird will find a good home, one way or the other, well done for saving her! 🙂

    • I can well imagine that there are bird communities. They are just the most charming creatures and it would be great to share knowledge and stories about your pets. Thank you for making the post! I do hope he finds his owner and that he wasn’t dumped – he is such a cutie – how could anyone do that!?

  5. What an amazing week you and the young boy had! I love seeing hot air balloons so magical and hearing that roar is also awesome. I think you are adjusting well and embracing your beautiful surroundings. Great story on the pretty cockatiel! Great way to meet some neighbors, that happened to me once after my puppy ran off with neighbors belongings and I had to find the owners!!!! Funny now, not then! Love all your new knitting and how wonderful to have sheep on your road. I’m so happy for you, xoRobin
    Hope someone claims the cockatiel xo

  6. I love your blog. I mostly follow sewing blogs but as I knitter too I needed some knitting blogs. I stumbled across your on google. I thought it was cool as it’s a New Zealand blog but I couldn’t believe it when I saw you lived in wairarapa! I live in masterton so it’s Soo good to follow what you are doing! I’m currently knitting a cardi for the colder nights! Suzanne