Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Jump start

While getting Stella ready to sell on Saturday, we discovered her battery had died over the cold winter (not surprising). So while it was charging, I enjoyed the warm sunshine and poked around my gardens.

I trimmed back some dead stuff, which I didn't get around to before the cold weather hit, and just generally inspected everything.

The up and down weather hasn't seemed to affect the few tender sprouts that started coming up early. They are still coming up and so are a few others.
I was pleased to see the new Black-Eyed Susans had survived, as the three year old plant I had previously died in explicably last winter.  I hope this one lasts longer.
I trimmed back the grassy Cupid's Dart and found signs of new life. This one did particulary well once I moved it to a spot where it could get some more sun.
A few years back, I tried Campanula in the tree garden out front, but it didn't do well. Last year I moved it to the Little Bee Garden. It did much better, but didn't bloom. But it's sprouting up a storm so maybe this year it will make a great comeback!
The Bee Balm is peeking out too. I wouldn't mind getting a few different colours of Bee Balm if I can swing it. It's a really great grower and a cool plant.

What's poking out in your garden?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Long weekend - no commute

It's a long weekend here in Canada (Family Day to day). And I have to say, it's been a splendiferous one! By Saturday at noon, the temperature had climbed to 13 degrees Celsius (55F), so I dragged Dave outside and together we got Stella all cleaned up and cleaned out and she's now on Kijiji so hopefully someone with more money and space than me will be interested in giving her a new lease on life.
While we were out there, I got a little early gardening done (more on that tomorrow).

Sunday was just as beautiful, so I went for a long walk (5km or 3mi) and got some stuff for a little sewing project (more on that later in the week)

Today... today I'm all about relaxing (mostly). But in the meantime, I thought I'd show you a little sock progress.
The first design is called Appleby and it's a simple lace/rib pattern that moves quite quickly. I won't be working on this again until Wednesday, but the train ride home should see me mostly through the foot.

And the ride is even nicer now that the days are a little longer. It's light enough that I can look out the window for the whole trip - and even snap a few pictures.
 Just a hint of a rainbow was showing last week (it was much brighter in real life). 
The back end of Hamilton Harbour was frozen over. I don't think it was very thick though, and there was lots of open water in the harbour proper. Of course, with the warm weather, even that ice is gone now.

These pictures were snapped quickly with my cell phone. I'm going to start taking my SLR along with me to see if I can get some better ones. There are lots of interesting sights along the tracks, and I think it would be cool to include some in the finished e-book.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Stitch by stitch

The Empire Line Cardigan is growing...
..but slowly. I try to put at least four rows on it every night, but that means there at least one row with cables, and it really slows the progress down. Of course, the back is the biggest piece, so hopefully once it's done, it will feel like the fronts and sleeves just fly!
The colour in the first picture is truer, but this one gives you a better view of the pattern. It will look even better when all that lace opens up after blocking.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Sweet treat

Valentines Day was extended for me...
On February 15th,  I came home to find a little package from Araignee in my mailbox! One of her wonderful handmade cards, little lotion hearts and a bar of Dragon Moon soap. Not only is the soap super pretty, it smells amazing. It's hard to  describe - definitely floral, but earthy at the same time.

And I'll let you knitters in on a secret. I always keep one bar of her awesome soap in our powder room (our guests love it and comment all the time). Incidentally, it's also where I soak my knits for blocking. And since her soaps smell so good, and are so full of nice conditioning oils, I've started using them instead of Soak or Eucalan. I just lather the bar up in my hands under the running water while I'm filling the sink and get a good bit of bubble going. It's perfect for blocking and makes my knits smell AMAZING! Thank you Araignee!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday Felines

The lovely Maine Coone Ollie has made himself a pretty regular visitor around here. I've stopped feeding him, so he doesn't come every day, but he generally pops by once a week to check in on us.

On one of the relatively warmer days,  I was puttering about in the backyard when I was startled by a noise at the fence. But it was just Ollie popping under to say "hi".
 He followed me around the yard while I checked on the gardens
Keeping an eye out for Buddy, the neighbour's Yellow Lab.
We also played a game of "Chase the garden stake"
Just look at the size of paws! They leave beautiful prints in the snow.
 And after a fun little play session... I gave him what he really wanted...

A couple sprigs of the fresh catnip I have growing in the house.
He's such a handsome visitor.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Greening up

The pussywillow continues to delight.
It's now sprouted leaves. And looking closer
They are almost as fuzzy as  the catkins!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Come ride with me

With Dave's socks off the needles, it was time for me to cast on another pair for train knitting...
I dug up a nice soft skein of Top Cat (a nice treat after working with the rough Supersocke) and cast on for a new design.

The  design will be part of an e-book called Kniting on the GO.
With a sock design named for each of the stations along my commute on the GO train. There will be nine patterns, so I expect it to take me the rest of the year to finish them up and get them published... but I hope you'll join me on the journey... which of course, I'll chronicle here.