Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Miniature world

When I showed the new gnome home, I mentioned that I had a little more planned for it. On the weekend I finally got to it
That's better
No home is complete without the proper landscaping, don't you think?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Itty Bitty Bonnet

With Crimson Blossom off the needles it's time to focus on Fair entries. I figured it was a good idea to get a few of the small, quick ones out of the way. I planned to knit Chouette first. I have some pink bulky alpaca blend in the stash. But sadly, I don't have 6mm dpns. So Chouette has to wait until I see Mom and steal a set of hers.

Instead, I decided to make a baby bonnet. I had almost a full skein of Twisted Top Cat left from April Come She May. Normally I wouldn't knit baby stuff in Cashmere... but this is a bonnet... how much is it really going to need to be washed.

And the subtle colour variations of the dye, stitch definition and softness of the yarn are extra points in my favour come judging time.

I couldn't find a pattern that was exactly what I wanted, so.... I'm designing one!
I will be called the Posey Bonnet... and as soon as I can finish it and wrangle a baby for a photoshoot (Baby Wren lives just a few doors down...) I'll be looking for a couple testers... anyone interested?

Monday, June 26, 2017

More hits than misses

Things are going along pretty well in the garden: Here are some highlights and lowlights of the last few weeks

I'm not sure if this counts as a hit or a miss... the Butterfly Mixture of seed that I started using the winter sow method was supposed to be a mix of Alyssum, African Daisy, Bachelor Buttons, Butterfly Weed, Candytuft, Catch Fly, Columbine, Purple Coneflower, Prairie Coneflower, Plains Coreopsis, Cosmos, Scarlet Flax, Marigold, and Siberian Wallflower. However, other than a few sprigs of Alyssum and one beautiful Bachelor Button...
 ... all I've got is scads and scads of pink Catchfly. It is pretty - and there is a lot of it!
  But it's not much of a mix.
The biggest mystery in the garden is the tomatoes. These little guys are all from the same nursery pot... they all have the same soil. They all get the same amount of sun and water. The only difference is that the middle one was planted about a week earlier than the other two. I can understanding them being a little further behind... but not THIS much!
A definite winter sow success was the Iceland Poppies. I've got three clumps and they are all doing well - and this one is going to bloom soon! I haven't had much luck with getting poppies to come back the next year... so that's the next challenge for these guys!
Another seedy success - Bachelor buttons! I had a  pack and threw them on a bare spot in the Little Bee Garden in late spring. They grew quick and thick and are now getting ready to bloom.
The Dollar Store Crocosmia finally made an appearance too. I almost pulled them out thinking they were crab grass. Thankfully I realized before I did.
Another surprise... I didn't think last year's Blanket Flower made it... in fact, I pulled out the dead, woody left overs, roots and all... but it must have re-seeded, I found this mound when started trimming back the Bleeding Heart. So I guess I've got three Blanket Flower plants since I bought two more this year! Thats ok - they are great bloomers.
The mauve Delphiniums have started to bloom. It's going to Delphinium heaven in the backyard when the new ones I bought on clearance get going too. I've got them in just about every colour
This beautiful flower belongs to the CobWeb Hens and Chicks I bought last year. Sadly, it means this particular Hen is dying....but she's laid lots of little Chicks, so we don't have to say goodbye forever.
They day lilies are covered in buds and a few have started too bloom. This one is one of the new ones... Night Embers! Today is judging day for the gardens, so I hop enough are open to put on a really good show.

Speaking of Day Lilies... The other day Dave and I were at Home Depot so I checked out their garden centre. They had Day Lilies on two for $10 so...
...this one
... and this one came home with me. Hard to say if they will bloom this year.
They also had Clematis roots on half price. They were in opaque bags though, and I couldn't see the condition. When I opened it up, mine was pretty dried out. I probably should have taken it back, but it was only $3. I popped it in some soil, and we'll see if I can bring it back to life... but this one is probably a miss.
And lastly... while you can't tell from his face... he's definitely getting brave and more comfortable in the wilds of the backyard. He used to bolt back in the house when I'd approach him, but now he stays put and I'm allowed to pet him. He knows that clapped hands mean it time to go in though! Training is definitely going well.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Blossom blocking

Yep.... she's a-blocking
It was a relatively slow week on the work front, so I was able to snatch a couple hours here and there as I waited for projects to come in. As a result, I was binding off and blocking by Friday evening.

A while back, Mom gave me her blocking wires, but I hadn't tried them out yet. While they are a pain to insert, they really made getting that nice straight edge so much easier.
The lace opened right up, just like I knew it would, making this shawl a respectable 64 inches long. You can't really see the  beads with the camera flash, but they are there.
A proper FO post will follow - probably sometime in early July. I think this beauty deserves a proper photoshoot, and for that I need Mom.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Home of the gnomes

(And one fairy!)

Since I'm with out a car still, a couple day a week, Dave drives me into the office and I take the train home. But Dave is a multitasker, so on that drive we're almost always making a stop somewhere - his Grandma's, his tech guy, his mechanic.

A couple weeks back, we made a stop at his mechanic's shop (actually... it was to look at a car for me.. mileage was too high so we passed). We were standing there chatting when his mechanic put a fair sized wooden house in my hands. It looked a little like a doll house (though with no room for play), slightly Victorian, but exaggerated in a cartoonish sort of way.

My first thought was "What the heck am I suppose to do with this?!?" Then it came to me.
On the way home that night, I stopped and got some more fairy garden supplies - a couple gnomes, a little sitting fairy, some mushroom furniture.

And now it's all nicely installed in the front garden (so the gnome from the tree garden can visit easily). I still need to get some pebbles to build them some walkways. But maybe these little friends will be enough to tip the judges into giving me second prize! (Judging day is Monday!)
I know I'm absolutely charmed by it all!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday Felines

Last week, several of you commented, that while Rupert looked absolutely adorable... he couldn't possibly be comfortable laying across the metal track of the door.

I agree with you... I can't see how it could be comfortable. It's a lot of metal - there are three doors - an inner glass door, the screen door, and an outer glass door. That's a lot of cold, hard track poking up...

But Rupert....
He doesn't seem to mind one jot. And it's not just that he wants to lay with his head out the door and that's his only option...
When the weather gets hot and humid, and we turn the A/C on, usually just the outer door is closed, leaving two of the tracks exposed. It's not unusual to find him napping at the back door... directly on those hard, bumpy tracks.
 And you know this boy isn't deprived of nice comfy cat beds... he's just weird.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

My beauties

 Blue Girl Rose
 Blue Delphiniums
Red/black Lilies
 Peach Dalmatian Foxglove
 Blackberry blossom
 Pincushion plant
White Trumpet lily
Orange Oriental lilies
Spanish Lavender