Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bees, beer, and blooms

On Sunday Willie and I went to some drop-in classes/talks at the 'Sunday Spectacular' run by Laneway Learning. You could join in with the casual classes for only $2, so it was a good chance to dip our toes into some new things. There were longer book-able classes too, but they had mostly sold out. It was all held in one little lane in the CBD, in galleries and coffee shops.

Outside in the lane (it was a bit of a drizzly day)

When we arrived we went straight to the beekeeping talk (I'm still pretty bee-obsessed). It was great! I found out some cool new things I hadn't read about, and got an idea of how much it would cost to get set up with a hive one day. The beekeeper had brought a frame from a hive in a double-sided glass case, so we could see the honey cells and brood cells, and all the bees doing their thing. The queen had been left at home, as it would be too disruptive to take her out of the hive for the day.

After that we went and talked to a lady who was making jam, and found out about a really handy tool: specially-shaped tongs for handling the hot jars when you're sterilising and filling them. Will keep my eyes peeled for some.

I spotted a few Yarn Corner people (who I recognised by their pink hair!), and had a brief hello before staking out a good spot for the beer brewing demo. I am totally keen to try brewing soon - it sounded fairly easy to make something drinkable, with lots of scope for getting fancy later. I have a list of websites and books to investigate. I might have to twist Dad's arm to have a go with me when I'm in Whakatane soon! Or else get set up over here.

Having a very nice coffee while waiting for the brewing talk to start

The folks in the background are checking out the bees

In crafting news, I finished a small batch of knitted flowers and I'm really pleased with how they came out. I used this Petunia pattern, and while it was a bit fiddly, I now have a much better handle on exactly how short-rows work in knitting. The lovely folks at Holland Road Yarn Co need more flowers and leaves to spruce up their 'tree' outside the shop, so I posted these off to prettify a Wellington street...

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