Last weekend it was not very sunny which was nice because the sun is very, very hot right now and it was lovely to have a break from it burning down on me.  Those of you in the Northern Hemisphere with all the snow might think I am mad, but wow, the sun is totally fierce right now.  KB and I decided, due to the lack of sun, that it would be a good idea to explore the Quarry Gardens in Whangarei.  I have been once before, but it was hot that day, and as the Quarry Gardens are situated in an old quarry, stepping into it is like stepping into an oven on a sunny day.

I love the Quarry Gardens, they are just amazing.  The plant life is so diverse, there is so much to see.  It began as a garden in 1997 and since then has grown into a magnificent attraction in Whangarei.

Parts of the garden are New Zealand Native bush, mixed in with cacti, herbs, and pretty much anything else you might want to see!

Monarch butterflies are in abundance right now, also very shy unfortunately, so this picture was the best I could do!

We spent a good hour or so wandering around, enjoying the abundance of textures and scents, loving the mandalas in the succulent garden…

Enjoying the lake from many different angles…

It is just stunning, and so heartening to see what we can do to heal man’s crimes against Mother Nature.

And in amongst the trees and bush are reminders of what this place used to be…

This space is such a blessing for the people of Whangarei and I highly recommend having a look if you are in the area.  The fact that it is a labour of love, tended by volunteers makes it even more special.  I hope you enjoyed having a look around!

So today I thought I’d tell you about my ripple.  Thank you, by the way for all of your lovely comments about Mummy Bear!  I felt so blessed reading them all, I felt a bit shy about posting her as she is quite different to what I normally post, but I’m glad you liked her.  She is now living on my spinning chair, looking very cuddly and lovely.

So ripple… you have seen it a couple of times already but nothing in great depth!  I started it on January 4th after deciding at Christmas that I must, must make a ripple in blues, greens and turquoises and waiting desperately for my Lovely Mum to send me the yarn I needed.

It took me a ridiculous amount of time to dither about which colours to use as I so often second guess myself when starting a large project, to be honest, I’m still not entirely sure if two of the greens really work with it yet, but I’m too far in to go back!

You met my ripple in my first post of 2012, and again a week or so later…

The yarn I’m using is Ashford Tekapo and The Wool Company Perendale.  I love them both and think they are most awesome to crochet blankets with!  I’m not going to bother linking or listing the colours as these yarns are not hugely available out of New Zealand and become substantially more expensive when posted overseas, although I know that the lovely Penny of Planet Penny is currently making a gorgeous blanket out of Ashford Tekapo right now, so it is available should you hunt it down!

As the ripple is getting larger and larger, it is becoming more cumbersome and too hot to hook unless it is early in the morning, so I’m managing a few rows every few days.  Slooooowly it is inching it’s way to the top of my bed!

I measured it on my bed before, and I’m guesstimating that I will need another 25 rows before starting the border.  That’s not much, I can handle that!  This is not going to be a blanket for my bed, but I want it to fit a Queen Sized bed so it can be a spare bed blanket and be all lovely and ripply for people to sleep under when they come to stay.

My sister sent me a photo today, of Pixie of course!  Looking soooooooooooo grown up and dribbly, with her two friends, knitted for her by Mum.  Mum is so clever, meet Trixie, Pixie and Dixie….

Clever right?  With three knitters knitting her copious quantities of toys and clothes, I’m a bit concerned that she might grow up hating wool….. Murphy’s law and all that…

I hope you’re all well, I’ll leave you now with some shots of my Ray-Buddy, relaxing on the day bed… what a life right?


About Crochet with Raymond

I'm a crochet obsessed, reiki master, crystal healing, yoga junkie, counselling student, in a happy long term relationship... and Raymond's mum!
This entry was posted in Raymond Appreciation, Ripple Blanket, Whangarei. Bookmark the permalink.

68 Responses to Rippling

  1. Jan Quigley says:

    The gardens are beautiful, hopefully they will inspire others to do something similar with other quarries.
    I love, love, love your ripple blanket. I have the wool, I have the pattern, I’ll wait till the cooler weather arrives.
    Pixie is a little doll so she fits right in with the others.
    As for Raymond, I just love that laid back look only a cat can achieve.🙂

  2. Dotson says:

    Do you think Raymond is suffering from stress???

  3. Sarah says:

    What a lovely cheery colourful post this morning to read in my hospital bed – thanks so much for sharing such wonderful things with us.


  4. Planet Penny says:

    What fantastic photos of a beautiful garden. You’re right, it’s amazing what Mother Nature can do to heal the scars we leave. I particularly love the succulents, such perfect rosettes. Your ripple blanket is just beautiful, and has made me feel guilty about my own, sadly neglected blanket. I’m desperate to get back to it and need to grow more arms to do everything! Penelope the spider indeed!

  5. Hello, i’m still fairly new to wordpress and have been trying to find a blog similar to mine, so glad i found you and what lovely reading your blog makes! I am about to start a ripply blanket but haven’t made one before, i still need to finish my crochet patchwork blanket (i ran out of wool!!!) But you have given me some inspiration to give the ripple a go! Holly x

  6. Your blanket is gorgeous! Soothing.. reminds me of mountains & seas. You’re so blessed to be living in such a beautiful place.

  7. meredithjean says:

    Wonderful post Alice xxx. Your set of succulents is just gorgeous. And of course, your rug is coming on amazingly. In Adelaide Australia, you would think that Autumn was here already, but we know there are more high temps lurking… A quarry is such an invasion, it’s wonderful to see this restoration project, thank you so much for sharing xxx

  8. cazz says:

    Thank you for sharing those great photos. What a gorgeous place. The ripple blanket is perfect i think the greens work well

  9. stocki says:

    Phew.. thanks for the warmth that just wafted out of your post! Much needed here in Oxford, UK. Do you have high humidity levels in NZ? The gardens look as if they would be very humid! I can never get over the geometry that Mother Nature uses in her designs.. those succulents look they have been designed to very high specifications don’t they….maybe she crochets…… ?
    I love ALL the green in your ripple.. but then I love all greens! Pixie is growing so fast…and she must have been looking at photos of Raymond because they look as chilled as each other! :)x

  10. Helen says:

    There is a similar quarry in Maribyrnong in Melbourne which has had gardens planted, nothing to that extent, but it has been planned more as an inner city picnic ground. It’s wonderful to find a gem like that.

    Your poor little niece probably will end up having a love/hate relationship with wool. I am the same with wood. My father, grandfather and great grandfather were all wooden boat builders. My uncle trained as a boat builder and then just became a builder. My brother is a carpenter. They are obsessed with wood and wood grain and while I appreciate it, sometimes I just would give anything for a bit of paint (and some colour) on the wood!

    xXx Helen

  11. Julie says:

    A spectacular place, fabulous pics!
    Pixie looks adorable, she has grown so much, it’ll be fantastic with so many knitters, she wont be cold in the winter for want of a hand knitted sweater or crochet blankie by Aunt Alice.
    The ripple is stunning, a lovely colour choice, reminds me of the pics of the sea at the beach you took a couple of weeks ago

  12. Anne Marie says:

    Raymond has had such a hard life! LOL! He is so adorable I want him. I say this every time I see a photo of him. Siamese are so special!

    Your colours look fabulous together.

  13. I believe the colours DO match!!!! Very nicely indeed.
    I’m working on a ripple baby blanket and might start a blog to show you as well….

  14. Robin says:

    Such a beautiful post. Oh how I loved to see the Quarry gardens. So amazing and lovely to see. You are so lucky to have this opportunity to explore all this mother nature!
    Love seeing Pixie growing so nicely, she is a cutie. Love your ripple and the colors are so gorgeous and I love your arrangement!
    Continue to enjoy your life with KB and of course Raymond, xoRobin❤

  15. Your garden looks amazing. Wheather at my place is a little different. -8,5°C (16,7°F) is what the thermometer is telling me right now at ± midday.

  16. Deco Cat says:

    That garden looks beautiful! We are doing our best to make our garden pretty and practical with a view to enticing as much wildlife as possible into it. I still love the colours you are using in your ripple, they are so bold yet calming.

  17. winkieflash says:

    Oh my… my heart melted a little when I saw those nature pictures. Gorgeous and stunning! What a pretty place! And indeed very different from the view out here, where it’s just snow and gliding cars…
    Your ripple looks awesome, I think the greens work really well!🙂

  18. mary i says:

    The pics of the Garden, all I can say is WOW!!!! (and stunning and amazing and….) It is early here as I view them,6am in Tuscaloosa,Alabama and they are the most perfect way to start my day..All of your pics made me smile. Loving the Blanky’ the colors are perfect…. oh yes the heat I understand… and feel your sun-pain is it humid there??? Trixie will have a hook and needles in her hands soon..she is very blessed to have a “wooly” family.Ah the Great-oh-so-Mag.- Cat Raymond.the picture of cat-perfection,reminds me of all that is glorious in life. Thank You very much for shareing your life Alice, have a lovely chainy week.xoxox PS want to see more of KBs art if she is willing. PLEASE?????!!!!!!

  19. mary i says:

    pss have to say that “dotsons”comment about poor Raymond made me choke on my coffee with laughter……

  20. Sara says:

    I do so love you images of your country and have repinned a couple of your pictures on my Pinterest board.

  21. amy says:

    I love the beautiful quarry!! thank you for sharing. it is good to get away and take a deep breathe or 2 in natures splendor. I love the afghan,the blues and greens are like an ocean. The darling baby and her dolls are precious!! I bet the cat would love the afghan no matter what colors you choos:)

  22. Simone says:

    What a life!! Beautiful post, great pictures and Raymond…lovely as always!

  23. Darlene says:

    Thank you for the lovely post. You know I loved the gardens, the photos and explanation of the ripple, photos of Pixie, but my inner child just loved the photos of beautiful Ray Ray! Ahhhhhh! What a face! Thanks, Alice, that was a pick up I needed today.

  24. sue says:

    I love your blanket! Not familiar with the yarn, is it wool or a blend?


  25. Stel says:

    What a fantastic way to use an old quarry! I used to work in the environmental field and never heard of this. Great idea.
    Your ripple is going to look like tropical seas🙂 I once visited Noosa in Aus and the colours remind me of the water, sky and plants.
    My rainbow ripple is now finished and just yesterday I started with a teeny tine baby ripple, in blues and lavenders – remnants of the rainbow and others.

  26. Melissa says:

    The quarry is gorgeous! So lush and vibrant….kind of like your ripple🙂 Have a good week!

  27. Lori says:

    The gardens are so beautiful! I would love to see them. And the greens in the ripple blanket go quite well I think. I have been following you almost a year now, you have inspired me more than you know. Thank you!! And the thought of hot sun makes me shudder! We just got 15 inches of snow here and I am loving it. Nice time to sit in and knit or crochet. Always looking forward to your posts.

  28. Bianka says:

    Das ist ein wundervoller Blog. Ich bin total begeistert.
    Die Katze ist einfach süß. Sie erinnert mich an Coco aus den Romanen von Lilian Jackson Braun

    This is a wonderful blog. I’m thrilled.
    The cat is so cute. She reminds me of Coco from the novels by Lilian Jackson Braun

  29. Camille says:

    Oh my gosh, those gardens are gorgeous! Some day…some day…and Pixie is just a little cutie pie…and Raymond…well, he’s as handsome as ever, power-lounging with the Buddha…what a life! LOL! Thanks so much for bringing the spot of green to this dreary Minnesota morning…the temps have gone from an “absolutely” balmy 40-some degrees, to have dropped 20-some degrees and going to fall even more into the single digits…back to normal winter for our part of the world…so your gorgeous garden photos did much to warm and cheer my heart this morning…as always, I look forward to reading about what you guys are up to and Raymond’s smiling little cat face! Have a great day!!!

  30. marieange says:

    Having lived near quarries in my life, I know exactly what you mean about stepping into an oven. But that quarry is beautiful! I agree with you that it’s amazing how nature can reclaim something we destroyed and make it a Shangri-la. And being a day with no sun, you also had beautiful photo ops galore!
    I’m so glad you decided to share this with us. Now I want to go see those!

    And Sir Raymond is just just just sooo darn cute and look at those wee brown toes!🙂
    Thank you for sharing!

  31. marieange says:

    Oh, just remembered!
    I was going to say in my previous comment that it reminded me of Jurassic Park.
    Some of the vegetation has that Cretaceous period aura about it.
    Love it🙂

  32. Jill_R says:

    How lovely everything is in the garden! I wish I could be there instead of here at work. 🙂
    Poor Raymond, you can tell he is suffering by his relaxed drape across the day bed. Poor little guy he suffers so! I love the way your blanket is turning out, it will be done before you know it. Did yuo start your socks yet? Have a great day!

  33. Knittergran says:

    All the photos are lovely. My great-grandfather came to the US from New Zealand but originally from Ireland. On his deathbed he said “I should have stayed in NZ.” I don’t know if he thought he wouldn’t have died if he had stayed, or if he just missed NZ terribly. I looks like a beautiful place.
    And your rippling is beautiful and Pixie is a cuuuute model!
    Poor Raymond. He looks as if you have disturbed his much-needed sleep by taking his photo.

  34. Jan says:

    Thank you for the lovely photos of the garden! Love the ripply blanket — especially the colors and the stripe pattern. I so enjoy the mornings when I see your postings arrive in my InBox.

  35. minaandme says:

    That garden is absolutely breath-taking. I can only imagine how serene it must’ve been there! I’m glad you had a cool enough day to go and enjoy it. Your ripple also seems to be coming along nicely. Large blankets take a lot of time and patience! Pixie also seems to be coming along well. She looks so much bigger now than from your last picture! Hopefully she will grow up loving her hand-knits and want to learn fiber crafts herself and spite that blasted law. Give Raymond a snuggle for me!

  36. What a beautiful garden! And the green is lovely in the ripple…think seaweed!🙂

  37. Alyson says:

    The beautiful greenery makes me sigh. It’s gorgeous. It’s kinda fits with the colors of your ripple blanket, which is coming along nicely. I loved the pic of little Pixie, who is getting so big! It was so sweet, those three little dolls all lined up together. As for the master of the house, well, I’m a jealous of him right now. I’m exhausted, and I’d love to stretch out with a kitty and take a snooze.

  38. Those pics… wow… ! Leaves me speechless…
    And about the sun being so fierce… well… I guess that might explain why it’s so fr**king cold up here…😉
    Raymond looks very well settled, and soooo relaxed…

  39. Jane says:

    The gardens are amazing!! Such a transformation from an industrial site to a beautiful landscape. Also your photos and montages show it so well. What a beautiful place to live! Love the ripple blanket, it looks so neat & the shades of blue & greens work so well together. 🙂 Pixie is a very lucky little girl, so many fab toys & clothes! Also Raymond looks very chilled out! Enjoy your sunshine, it’s been a grey cold day & may be -6 deg here overnight

  40. Tanne says:

    Your Summer posts are such balm to my soul! Love the garden, love the ripple, love the pic of Pixie and friends, love the expression on Raymond’s face. Gosh, I long for Summer!🙂

    xx Tanne

  41. Fabiola says:

    Awww Raymond looks so beautiful there. I also love that crochet pillow, is the pattern available on your page? Thanks for sharing

  42. Penelope says:

    Thank you Alice for the beautiful colours of this post. if I lived in a hot country my garden would be full of cacti and succulents, I do love them so. How fortunate for you that you have the quarry gardens to visit and soak up all the interesting flora.
    I’m impressed that you are managing to crochet such a big woollen blanket in the peak of your summer, I usually go for cotton when it’s sweltering :0) the colours are so perfect for your surroundings,sea and plant life. I dare say that you may have to hire out your guest room for people to pay for a chance to snuggle under this blankie (hee hee) Keep cool and chilled like Raymond xxxx Penelope xxx

  43. Fiona Skye says:

    The very first photo of the quarry and your ripple blanket do look remarkably similar, don’t they? The succulent mosaic is easily one of the most beautiful photos I have ever seen. And I’m not even a fan of succulents! Thank you so much for always sharing the most beautiful bits of your life. And give that Raymond an extra kiss or three from me and my four feline housemates?

  44. Diane Adams says:

    What a beautiful post. The quarry garden looks absolutely heavenly. Your neice is just adorable! Thank you for bringing a ray of sunshine to a rather gray day in Las Vegas!

  45. Rachel says:

    Those gardens are so amazingly beautiful!!!
    As is that ripple- loving those colours
    and pixie, trixie an dixie:, I may have never seen anything sweeter in my life

  46. Sandra Draper says:

    WOW, love the mosaic mandelas and the botanic garden in a second gasp at life!
    Those volunteers deserve a medal, and what a fabulous idea for other dead or dying quarries in NZ, I wonder if others have been done the same, interesting thought.

    Pixie is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo cutesy~wootsey, and the dolls adorable, what a great Nana she has… and wonderful Aunties of course:)

    Your ripple ocean wave blankie is a delight to behold, you have me hooked on these colours now, though always with a touch of purple with the greens and blues, just for fun, have nearly finished a pixie hooded jacket in these colours for a granddaughter, you can feel the colours heal you as you knit can’t you, you can feelthe wind, smell the sea, and imagine the purple sunset.

    Thank you for your gorgeous photos and ;lovely words, you have inspired me into a big day at work, I’m filled up with a yummie berrie smoothie and all the beauty in my head of your posting,you and KB AND rAYMOND (AKA hUGH hEFNER), have an awesome day too.

    Love & Hugs:) :):)

  47. Diemie says:

    Hey Alice! How are you today?
    Ooh, Raymond is looking handsome as ever!🙂
    Your ripple blanket is going to be gorgeous… I love love love the blue-turquoise-green combination! Have no doubts, it will be wonderful!
    I have a few balls of those colours waiting to be made into something pretty, I was thinking a cushion!
    That garden looks great, I could do with a long walk in pretty nature with some SUN!
    Love, Diemie from Holland.

  48. Barb says:

    Thanks for the trip through the Quarry Garden. What a beautiful place! I really love the collage of the succulents. And your ripple blanket is just beautiful! Always good to see the relaxed Raymond, of course.

  49. Andrea says:

    Oh my…I’ld love to have Raymonds life…Well I have my own spoiled and over-relaxed cat…what can I say, cats are just lovely and bring so much joy into our lives. It’s funny, we have some of the plants you posted here in México; seeing those photos one could easily think it’s actually somewhere in our country, and NZ seems so far away….Love the blanket by the way, it´s nice to see it growing…I’m starting a granny square afghan by doing a granny a day and it’s quite amazing to see how fast it’s building up…although for now I still feel it’s gonna take me forever to finish it…I’ll think you’ld love the colors of this afghan…turquoise, blue, green and purple..

  50. Leah Morcom says:

    I also being in Adelaide, Australia am wondering where the summer is gone, but I’m sure the hot temps are just around the corner to shock us. Your quarry photos are beautiful – it was just like being there – lost in all that greenery. Your ripple blanket is truly beautiful as well. The colours work so well together – so you have nothing to worry about that. I’m going back to crocheting some dishcloths. It seems everyone who I’ve given them to before need new ones – all at the same time. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I love making them, and I’m most happy that my friends and family love mine and use them till they’re totally worn out (they do seem to go the distance, don’t they?), before asking for more. It just seems that they all need them at the same time. And now you’ve given me inspiration, because I have a pattern for a Ripple Pram Cover, that I could crochet up for an old friend who’s pregnant, and I have just the right yarn in my stash. Totally loving your blog Alice, and being a cat lover myself, I adore the pics you put up of lovely Raymond. Please don’t stop posting the beautiful pics of him. It’s nice to have him as part of your blog, and I’m just as interested in what he’s up to, as well as what your working on. Bless you Alice and Raymond – and keep on blogging. x

  51. janie says:

    I think the ripple is great!! Seems like sometimes I have to “cheat” so to say on the one I am working on to make all the hills and valleys jussssst right!!

  52. Wendy says:

    Love that bear and also the gorgeous ripple. Pixie is very cute and how sweet the little dolls
    are too. Always love seeing Raymond and he sure does look right at home and happy.
    Heading to NZ on 20th feb, 4 nights Auckland then fly to Queenstown for a full week, can
    hardly wait. We usually go every year so thinking Bay of islands region may be on the cards
    next ☺☺. Keep the wonderful blog going and pictures. Thankyou for sharing so much with us.
    xoxoxoxo to you, kb and raymond

  53. Katie says:

    Love the blues and greens on the ripple. I’ve been thinking about those kind of colours for a single bed sized blanket for my wee boy and seeing the mix of colours here has helped make my mind up that I should do it🙂

  54. your photos are spectacular,don’t those “succulent” plants(we call them that,here in the US) remind you of crocheted flowers,perhaps they were an original inspiration for some! I feel like I’m on vacation when I travel with you on your walks,and I have a few kitties myself-makes me want to just lay down with Raymond and take a little nap with him!

    Thank you for your continued inspirational posts,you are amazing

  55. Pixiefirefly says:

    I may not ever get to go to New Zealand but at least I can enjoy your pictures!

  56. Clare says:

    I am loving your ripple and I think the colours work perfectly. But that is not why I am commenting today. I just wanted to let you know this morning my boys and I set out in the Kitchen to Make Alice in New Zealand Secret Muffins. Not quite Alice in Wonderland but the boys think they are wonderful. So Easy to make, healthy and extremely mourish. Only problem is they won’t all fit in the tin, so I am sitting with a cup of green tea munching my way through my second muffin. Thank you so much for sharing. We added a carrot to ours, which was my eldest sons idea. Perfect combination. Clare

  57. Diane says:

    Thank you for sharing your perspective on your world. You always inspire my day! Raymond looks like he is enjoying his new space…you did good ma is what Raymond looks like he is thinking. Love the garden and love the greens you are using in your ripple blanket. I think it is a struggle all artist share when deciding a color to use. I think they look smashing together. Take Joy ~ from the northern hemisphere. We have lots of snow and freezing weather here in Eastern Canada so a stroll in the garden was just what I needed. :^)

  58. Ronda says:

    Oh my gosh, I’m in the process of making almost the exactly the same blanket! Mine will be a bit smaller as it’s intended for my caravan. 🙂

    Thank you for the very cheery post this morning! It makes Winter here in the States a little bit more tolerable. Cheers!

  59. bartynboz says:

    Alice – What an interesting blog you have written – it is such a delight for us to look at all the beautiful photographs of New Zealand – all that gorgeous greenery and lush flowers. The Monarch butterfly is a great photograph. I love your ripple blanket, the colours are superb, they are my favourites and you have blended them perfectly. You are one of my inspirations – I have only just set up my blog and I am still learning – and not that well. But you keep me going! I will succeed!! Your niece looks so cute and what a lucky little girl to have such a talented Auntie and Mum. All the best from the frozen North of England. Viv Cuddles for Raymond.

  60. Sarah says:

    Since there are 39 comments before mine, what can I say that hasn’t been said before. You have outdone yourself with the pictures of the quarry, they are beautiful and thank you for the picture of Raymond. I collect succulents and was so glad to see they grow in NZ too. We have an old quarry in the city whrere I live and it has been turned into a shopping center. Really very nice and they reused all the old buildings and equipment from the quarry. It was really well done. Looking forward to your next post.
    Sarah from Texas

  61. I’d like to say how much I really enjoy your blog so I’m giving you a chance to pick up the Versatile Blogger award by visiting my blog at


  62. crochetingdoc says:

    Yarn-licious as always! Just dropped in to tell you that I’ve got an award for you over at my blog!🙂

  63. Lisa Ruff says:

    Have you noticed your blog title is showing up in the middle of your post? Mine is doing that too. Argh! I love your pics of your new area of where you guys live. Hugz to you, KB and Raymond!

    Lisa and My baby boy Bear

  64. TwoLuLa says:

    Hi! Carol and I at TwoLuLa love to visit your blog. It is always so inspiring! We have given you the Versatile Blogger award. Please see our post at
    PS I used your tea cosy pattern and love the way it turned out!


  65. Pingback: WIP: Status Update « Dolly Up

  66. Joanna says:

    What a beautiful garden – love the photos. Your ripple is looking gorgeous – as is Raymond! xx

  67. Rachael says:

    Cool blankie…..have you used all the Utiku blues? and avocado and celtic? but not holly? mostly Tekapo greens? And any idea how much wool you’ve gone through (I’m wondering how much to buy before I start something similar – I’m guessing about 1.5kg????)

  68. rhonda m says:

    luv luv your blanket, a really nice ripple cushion i found on and another on teacup lane blog…. there are some really clever people in this world.cheers from aussie land

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