Saturday, March 28, 2015

Pattern release: Highgarden

At long last....
Highgarden is available for sale. 
I'd actually intended to release this early this week.. but just after the car was fixed, the computer went down. It took Dave a few days to get every back up and running again. But it is... so hopefully my run of bad luck is over... at least for a little while
In the mean time, you can now get a copy of this pretty shawl pattern. It's not as complicated as it looks, and the beading it optional (though it just add that's extra zing!)
And stay tuned... with Season Five of A Game of Thrones starting on April 12, we've got another KAL with fantastic prizes coming up!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Short and sweet

After the rough start to the week, I needed something to cheer me up. And I think a quick knit hit is just what the doctor ordered
So as much as I like the thought of long Broken Seed stitch socks... I just don't have it in me. They have a three inch leg and I couldn't be happier. These will fly off the needles, even with them only being lunch knitting.

And don't you think they are just so darn cute?

Another thing that's making me happy....
This great furry find. I've been looking for the perfect mukluks all winter. Most of the ones I like we're well out of my price range (but oh so lovely....). A coworker has a gorgeous grey deerskin/rabbit fur pair - but she paid $400 - that's just not going to happen for me.

But I popped into the mall today to get a phone card for my cell phone (just in case Stella acts up again, I don't want to be left with no minutes!) and there they were on display in a store front... end of season clear-out for $10.

I may only get to wear them for a couple more days.... until next winter, but they are already bringing a smile to my face.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Back on track

First.. we must give the Cat his due...
He's been moping, and I think it's because I haven't posted his picture since Friday. The injustice of it all...

And... after I finished posting, I turned my attention to getting the shawl design right. Normally, I don't swatch... for anything. But, desperate times call for desperate measures...
 After modifying my chart, I grabbed a handy ball of scrap yarn and knit a wee swatch. It's much easier than knitting on the actual garment and having to rip it out. Not to mention, the Fluffy Cat, while lovely, is not built for frogging.

But, I was pleased with my swatched, so I went back to the shawl itself.
I managed to get a repeat and a half done before bed. It's not exactly what I originally envisioned, but I'm quite pleased with it. It should knit up fair quick now... though I do need to get back to that blanket...

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sigh....

 
What a week... and it's only Monday.

My week actually started yesterday. Stella was supposed to be all patched up, so as soon as Dave got home from the cottage, we headed out to go pick her up. (about 40 minutes away)

But as soon as I started her, I knew it wasn't right. Dave told me the rough start might just be from sitting.. but I know my car. A trip around the block confirmed my suspicions. She was a little better (there were no more big scary noises) but she still wasn't running right.

So that dear, sweet man of mine decided to tackle the job himself. And you can say what you will about him, but he knows his way around an engine. (And is really sexy doing it, too!)

A few hours later, he'd figured out what was wrong (beyond the original plug issue). When the plug blew (or when his uncle or the mechanic were tinkering around after) a crucial sensor was broken. The sensor wasn't expensive (as these things go - it was still money I didn't want to spend... but hey - I need my car!), and Dave could change it in 20 minutes - but it was Sunday at 5 pm by this time - we couldn't get the part.

I convinced him to give up for the night, and we dropped it back off at the mechanic's. A quick call to the mechanic, and a call to the parts guys this morning, and she was back up and running by noon.

Of course, all that messing around and unhooking the battery, knocked the power window control out. (I told you... she's a drama queen). Because of the convertible top, if the windows don't work, the door doesn't shut right (there's a sensor that lowers and raises them when you open and close the door, so they don't interfere with weather stripping.)

An hour later, that amazing guy of mine had them working again.

And then the battery died.

Fortunately, we were still at the shop. A quick boost, and I was finally on my way home. Stella is back in the driveway, and with any luck, she'll behave herself - at least until October.

Who needs a drink?

But you came here for the knitting, right?
Yeah - that's not going so hot either. I needed a break from the baby blanket. And I'd accidentally left my socks on my desk at work on Thursday (you have no idea how much I'm kicking myself over that one... five hours at Dave's grandma's on Sunday - and no knitting!). So I decided to pick up one of my other WIPs... the shawl design I mentioned several posts back.

It's knit in Fluffy Cat, and the yarn is an absolute delight. But the pattern I charted just isn't doing what I want. I've recharted three times, but it's still a no go. So... back to the drawing board...

Bring on Friday!, I'm so done with this week.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Lazy kittens

 
Yep... that's the kind of day it's been. Sunny, but lazy. But it has meant a fair bit of knitting time.
As a result, the kitten blanket is growing. As you can see, I've added quite a few butterflies. The butterflies aren't written into any specific part of the pattern - you're just to putt them where you feel like it. Mine look random, but there is a bit of a method to how I'm adding them.

I've got about six more butterflies to go (or about six inches) plus the top seed-stitch border. I was hoping to finish it up this weekend, but those inches take longer than you'd think. So it will probably take at least another week. And I can't wait to get this one off the needles! The cotton is going to be nice and soft and washable for the recipient... but for the knitter, it makes things a bit of a slog!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Think spring

This is my driveway. Notice something missing?
Yep... Stella is in the shop... AGAIN. She started acting up on the way home from work last night. Of course, she chooses the day when I forget my cell phone and Dave is almost 2 hours away at the cottage... she's dramatic like that.

Fortunately - she also chose to do it five minutes from Dave's grandma's house, and I was able to limp her there with my four-ways on while she made all manner of scary noises. And extra-fortunately, Dave's uncle was home. He took a look and determined it was likely just a loose spark plug. He didn't have the tools to fix it, so he followed me as I limped it to the family's mechanic around the corner. The mechanic was gone for the day, so we dropped it off and he drove me the rest of the way home, promising to take care of it in the morning for me.

And he did. The plug has been tightened, and she seems to be running normal again. She's back at Dave's grandma's, and I can go pick her up this weekend when Dave returns from the cottage. So, I'm car-less for a few days - and just keeping my fingers crossed that when I pick her up, she'll behave herself for a while.

Since I'm working from home today, I decide to take the boys out on lunch to enjoy some sunshine. It's hard to worry in the sunshine. And look...
 The tree out front is budding.
The bulbs in the front garden are sprouting.
Out back, the strawberries are greening up.
And there's even a little bit of Columbine sprouting in the bee garden.
While Tux soaked up the sun and Rocky explored, I swept the bunny poo off the patio and onto the grass where it's less noticeable and can fertilize the lawn.
There's still a wee patch of snow here and there, but the ground is beginning to thaw and get squishy. At least I can get to the feeder again - even if I'll need rubber boots soon to do so!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Slight change of plans

With four FOs off the needles this month, I've permitted myself to cast on something new... but only because with Dave's socks done, I needed a travel/lunch project.

So, I cast on for my Broken Seed Stitch socks
Eagle-eyed readers might be saying "Hey - that's not the yarn you said you were going to knit with." And they'd be right. I started the socks with the Berrocco Sox I brought back from Chicago, but I just didn't like the way it was looking. The yarn is actually a self-striper (which I didn't realize) and mixed with the natural Alley Cat, it was looking a little too Christmas-y for my taste.

So I frogged and went stash diving.
When I surfaced, I'd come up with this lovely rosey skein of Barn Cat. I knit a few rows and knew I'd made the right decision. I'm absolutely loving knitting this pattern so far. It's a little addicting - I keep saying, "Just one more row."
I love it so much, in fact, that I'm having a hard time deciding how long to make the legs. I normally prefer a short sock (between three and four  inches long in the leg)... but the pattern is just so pretty, I think I might just do six!