Sunday, January 22, 2017

Slinky sleeves

With Agatha blocking, I decided it was time to finally get the lace tunic out of my face. It was cast on January 26, 2016... and we're fast approaching that anniversary. I'd love to have it done before a year is up.
To that end, I've spent the last little while working on the sleeves (all that's left!). I'm trying to resist startitis while I get this done... but I've never been great at that...

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Ah, nuts!

I'm starting to think the second Nutkin sock is cursed. This is what it currently looks like:
"But Valerie," you say, "That doesn't look any different than the last time you showed it to us a week and a half ago."

That right... because while I remembered to put the missing DPN in my knitting bag last Wednesday, I decided to leave the WHOLE bag on my desk at work. I got to the train station that night, opened up my purse and discovered I had no knitting back. GRumbling, I played Candy Crush the whole way home and resigned myself to having to wait until Monday to work on it.

But then Monday I didn't go into the office. In fact,  I didn't go in until yesterday (and were not going to talk about the minor panic attack I had when I finally got there and couldn't see where it was hiding on he back corner of my desk) . I intended to at least get the ribbing done on the train last night, but when I'd pulled it out of the bag, it was all tangled up. I'd already had a trying day, and just was not up to untangling fine yarn on a bumpy train while trying not to lose stitches. Maybe I'll work on it this weekend to make up for some of the lost commuting time.

In good news... I finished Agatha WAAAAAAAAAAYYY ahead of schedule. She's on the blocking board (and should be dry by now). I'm going to raid the button stash this weekend and see if I have something suitable. If I do, you should see an FO post sometime this week.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday Felines

Back before Christmas, I found a few long decorative pillows at the dollar store. I thought they'd be ideal for blocking some of the draft that comes in around the sliding door.
Someone else thinks they make bird watching soooooooooooo much more comfortable. And no.. he's not packing on the pounds... it's just the angle of that pic.
 He's still a lean mean bird-watching machine.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Now to add a splash of colour...

Like most people, I'm not really a fan of this time of year. It's not so much the cold, I've got plenty of warm woolies to keep my warm. And cold weather is a really good reason for me to stay inside and knit.

No... it's the lack of colour and light. The landscape is dull, the days are grey, and the nights are long.

So imagine my delight when I woke up yesterday morning and Hibiscus tree was in bloom.
Especially considering I was sure I'd lost it last spring. I bring it inside for the winter, and it got a horrible infestation of white fly. I tried insecticidal soap, but it wasn't even making a dent. Finally, in an act of desperation - I put it outside. It was late March. While the days were warm, the nights were still cold and frosty. Within a matter of days, it lost all its leaves (which at least meant there was no food left for the white flies).

I left it outside with only a faint hope it would come back. As the weather warmed up, it started to bud. As summer waned, it was full leafed out, but not nearly as big as it had been. It didn't bloom, and when I brought it back in for the winter (after an preventative spray of insecticidal soap), I figured I'd have to wait until summer again to see blooms
They don't last long - just a day or two - but they are big and beautiful. This particular tree is actually three separate trees, braided together, with Red, Yellow and Peach flowers.

Of course, flowers in January get me extra excited for garden season. A few weeks back, KathyB shared her experimentation with Winter Sowing. It's ideal for me, because we don't have a lot of room indoors, and it means I can start earlier. I'm currently collecting supplies, so while I'm waiting to sow, I've been perusing my flower catalogues.

If only I had infinite money and a larger yard... I can't go crazy this year, we're almost at capacity, but there a a few things I REALLY want to get.

Sea Holly
 It's suppose to be an absolute butterfly magnet. And it's just cool looking. I actually planted some last year, but the bulb rotted before it could grow. I'd really like to try again.

Pink Lily-of-the-Valley
Because whynot?

Ostrich Plume Astibile
I'm not a huge fan of Astibile as a rule, but I love the droopiness and peachy hue of the Ostrich Plume!

Of course, once gardening season comes along, I'll lose my wits and BUY ALL THE FLOWERS!!!!

Is there anything you really want to plant this year?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sleeve slog

Yep... I'm still slogging away on the second sleeve. Does anyone else have the same issue with second sleeves as second socks?


That said, I'm only a few inches from decreasing after the elbow, and then there's just a few more inches on after that. Then bands and buttons.

As it stands now, I have a very quiet weekend ahead of me. Could she be blocking by Sunday?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Fat cats and warm hats

Way back before Christmas, and before I got the sick, I was up at Mom's dyeing up a batch of Fat Cat. It's now available in the shop!
Fat Cat is our DK superwash merino. It is so soft, and just lovely to knit with. Over the years I've knit quite a few projects with it. The superwash makes it perfect for baby/kid knits

I've used leftovers to make some adorable toys

And of course, it's fabulous for hats!
Including Love Monkey (which is still on sale for $1... but only until Feb 14th!)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Monday, monday...

It was a busy weekend and none of it involved crafting, so I have nothing to show (except a really clean house, but that's boring!)
So it's KathyB to the rescue with her Monday questions!

#1. Do you use a mannequin, prop or person for modeling your knits?
I prefer to use people, but when that’s not possible, I have Roxie… but I’ve been known to use whatever is around … fence post, tree branches, shrubs, etc.

#2. Do you know anyone who has gone through the ice?
Not seriously. Our favourite tobogganing spot had a creek at the bottom, so we got wet frequently… but falling in a lake or pond no. Personally – the thought terrifies me. I see people ice fishing, snowmobiling, cross country skiing on the ice… and I think they are nuts.  Only once have I cross a frozen lake (hiking when I was a kid) and I hated every minute of it.

#3. Do you wear reading glasses, bifocals, contacts?
I have glasses for distance – but since I’m not in school reading chalkboard, I don’t wear them much. I don’t legally need them to drive, though I have trouble reading street signs. Of course, if I pass my turn, I just loop around and come back.
Since I don't wear them much, there aren't many pics of me in them. That's probably the most recent one and it was taken in 2013. With short hair and glasses, I look almost exactly like my Mom.

#4 Have you tried a new skill yet in 2017?
Not that I can think of.

#5. Name a favorite President of the USA.
I’m Canadian, so I can’t say I pay too much attention to your presidents. As a student of history though… I love one particular First Lady… Eleanor Roosevelt! What a woman.

#6. When was the last time you were lost? (parking lots count)
It depends on your definition of “lost”. I don’t consider myself lost if I don’t have to ask for help. If I eventually find my way to where I wanted to be without outside intervention… it’s just an “adventure.”
So.. by that definition… the last time was about six or seven years ago in Toronto when I was trying to find the Frolic. I had to stop and buy a map.

#7. What yarn type is most prevalent in your stash?
Fiber or weight? If it’s the first – merino, closely followed by silk. If it’s the second… definitely fingering – for socks, shawls and cardigans!
#8. Since we are in an ice storm, name something you like over ice.
Scotch.  My favorite way to drink it.

#9. What time did you fall asleep last night?
Probably around 1 am. I spent some quality time snuggling with Rupert on the couch.
#10. Share a winter memory of your Mother…
Naturally mine revolves around knitting. As a kid, we had piles of hats and mitts, handknit by Mom, of course. And when you were out playing in the snow, and your mitts got soaked through… you could always come in, strip them off, place them on the bricks by the woodstove, grab another warm, dry pair from the “hat/mitt basket” and go back out in the snow. I don’t think snowmen, snowball fights, and snow forts would have been as fun without her.