Saturday, April 19, 2014

Day 8: Where the heck did it go?

I woke up this morning with less than 10 rows to go on the Daenerys shawl. I had plans to do some sewing today. But I thought hey... it's just 10 rows, I'll finish it up this morning, then sew in the afternoon. Being an experience shawl knitter, you'd think I'd know better....
It's done and blocking... but it took me until 5 p.m. Those last few rows are a killer. Especially when you're beading the crap out of them.
Admittedly, I did take a couple of breaks. The boys needed a mid-afternoon salad break
Which was clearly exhausting.

And as for me.... well I just can't get enough of the neighbourhood squirrels...
Seriously... they are just too much fun to watch.
I guess I'll do my sewing tomorrow....

Friday, April 18, 2014

Day 7: Laundry day

Not a whole lot of excitement today at Chez Wandering Cat. It's Good Friday, so Dave and I actually had a day off together (a very rare occurence).

We've mostly been kicking around the house, watching movies, and doing laundry with a little help from the kids.
 Dave did get a chance to witness the local wildlife that I see almost every day.
Bunbun stretching after a wee rest under the bird feeder.
We put some carrots out for him, which he quite enjoyed
And Mr. Squirrel got his daily ration of peanuts
Even Mr. Robin stopped by and gobbled up a nice juicy worm
Now that's a good Friday.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Day 6: FO: Cobblestone

Dave has given me his cold, so today has been another lazy day filled with sniffling, sneezing, movie watching cat snuggling, and of course, knitting. Unfortunately, it's the Daenerys shawl I'm working on, and it's gotten to the point where it's too big for decent pictures

Fortunately, I did get the Cobblestone cowl off the needles and blocked last night. Since I'm home along until late tonight, I had to do a solo photo shoot.

When I designed this pattern back in December 2012, I was looking for a project to showcase our newly introduced Top Cat Aran. It was also going to be a Christmas gift, so I needed something that would knit up quick. It also had to meet the needs and likes of the recipient (ie:be really long).

The original took just over one skein of Top Cat Aran, and the slip stitch pattern (a modified linen stitch) showcased the hand-painted semi-solid perfectly. But I've longed to see how it would work with something busier.

When Mom gave me this skein of Codex earlier this week, I knew exactly what to make with it.

I cast on Tuesday morning and by bedtime last night, it was blocking.

Yes, it's is a very quick knit ! But that said, I have to disclose two things.

1) I am on vacation and I did almost nothing but knit yesterday.

2) I made some modifications - mainly cutting down the stitches. The original could be wrapped three times. This one can only be wrapped twice, and it's pretty snug.

I went down a couple needle sizes on this one too - mainly just because I didn't check my pattern when I started knitting. But the resulting fabric was so nice, I wasn't inclined to frog it when I discovered the error.

The Codex was an absolute delight to work with and I'd love to get more. This skein was from the now defunct Sanguine Gryphon, but it is being offered by the Verdant Gryphon, with this caveat from their website:"Our most luxurious yarn, only available as a guest base at certain times during the year. We will not be stocking as standard, seasonal, ore weekly update colourways, but look our for Codex in custom lots, special updates, clubs, and shows."

Even though I have my own dye studio, I've always admired the Gryphon's dyeing skills, and you can bet your bottom I'll be keeping my eye open for more of this.

I used almost every inch of the skein. That's another great thing about this pattern, you can just keep knitting until you run out of yarn. It's perfect for those single luxury skeins that are too precious to buy several of, but you just can't resist.(The pattern could easily be adapted to any weight of yarn too - just change your cast on and needle size to suit. I'm thinking I may make a few more of these to put away for Christmas presents for this year.)

And, as pretty as this cowl is, I'm hoping I won't get too much use out of it for a few months. The weather is slowly warming up and both Rocky and I are fervently hoping that it's here to stay.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Day 5: Halfway lazy

Well, it's Wednesday and my vacation is already half over. No matter how long, it always goes too fast. So today, I decided to slow things down.
Taking a cue from Tux, I've been camped in a sunbeam, just enjoying the world around me. It's still quite cool outside, though yesterday's snow has melted.  But in the sun, with my blankie, everything is warm and cozy.

From my perch, I've watched the bunnies cavort in the yard.
And chase the birds from the fallen seed under the feeder. And chase each other around the yard, which is really quite funny.

I can see Stan and Opal (so named by Samantha) guarding their new batch of eggs.
You can't see it, but on the back of that leaf there are at least 100 eggs. Hopefully they don't eat them this time. Earlier this week I got some new plants for the tank, so if the eggs do hatch, it gives the babies places to hide from hungry mouths.

And, in addtion to watching the world go by, I've been knitting.
The Cobblestone cowl is almost done.
I'm basically just knitting this one until the yarn runs out, and the end is very close. I expect to finish it up tonight, which is going to be just as lazy as the day was!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Day 4: Spelunking

Remember that rain I mentioned yesterday....? Well this morning it turned into this.
Seems like the perfect day to hibernate to me....

To the craft cave!
Umm.... I guess I better clean it first.

Long-time readers will remember my semi-annual posts about cleaning my studio in the old townhouse. When we moved to this townhouse, I made a promise to myself that this studio would be kept cleaner. Not only did I want tidy storage, but I wanted a room I could actually sew in, instead of constantly toting everything up and down the stairs every time I got the urge to make something.

As you can see... I haven't quite kept that promise. To be fair, when we moved a year ago, I never properly unpacked and organized the room in the first place. So any time I needed something, I was shifting through boxes, digging through piles and just generally making a bigger mess.

But today was the perfect day to rectify that. And it didn't take nearly as long as I thought.

As you can see, I still have a few boxes to unpack- it's mostly books, beads and some paperwork.
And cleaning up gave me room to give the seedlings a good home, safe from furry threats.
And speaking of seedlings, look what I found while I was cleaning
About 50 seed packs including daisies, marigolds, columbine, Japanese lanterns and more... I'd bought these back in 2007 when Dave and I were planning a fairly large wedding. These were to be the wedding favours. For various reasons, the wedding didn't happen (and our plans have changed drastically in the last 7 years)  so now I have a buttload of seeds. I'm not even sure if they are any good, but I'm going to try planting a few and see what happens. I just have to get some more seed trays.

And while we're on the topic of caving...
Yes, I absolutely caved and cast on for my Cobblestone cowl...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Day 3: Nothing to see here

When that warm wind blew in yesterday, I had a feeling that it was blowing in a storm. My feeling was confirmed when I woke up with a weather-induced migraine this morning. That, and the rain that started pouring buckets around noon put the kibosh on most of plans I had.

Mom and I still got our errands done this morning, but by the time I got home, I wanted nothing more than to close myself off in a dark, silent room for a few hours.

A four hour nap later and it's still not gone. I'm going to try to get some knitting in tonight, but I suspect I'll just end up stretching out on the couch with a purring cat on my head (the purrrfect headache therapy)

Despite the pounding in my head and the title of the post, I do actually have some pictures to share. When I dropped Mom off, I nipped down to the dye studio and snagged a skein of yarn off the drying rack.
Alley Cat in Johnny Jump Up. Smoking Hot Needles' daughter just finished knitting her a pair of socks in it.
Photo by Smoking Hot Needles.
I loved the yarn when Mom first dyed it, and as soon as I saw it knit up, I knew I had to have a skein. It seems like everyone else felt that way too - we've been getting requests left and right for it. She just dyed up a big batch, some on Alley Cat and some on Barn Cat.  I figured I better grab a skein while I had the chance and before she gets sick of making it!

Mom had  also snagged me a skein of the Sanguine Gryphon's Codex in one of her swaps. 
I've been wanting to try the Codex for a while. It's a single ply worsted 52% Silk/48% BFL. This colourway is Delirium. I think it will be perfect for a cowl to go with the beret and mitts I have made from Kroy FX.
I still have two skeins of the Kroy tucked away, but I think the Codex will be much nicer around the neck. Now I just have to resist the urge to cast on!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Day 2: Springing into Summer

Apparently Mother Nature has decided to skip spring all together and head right into summer.  That or she's still smoking crack.

This morning was cold enough that I still had the heat on a little in an effort to keep my feet warm (and I already had socks and slippers on).But, around  2 p.m., a warm wind blew in a hot and humid summer day
The socks and slippers came off, and the kids and I headed outside to tackle one of the outdoor jobs I'd planned for this week.
The goose berry and josta berry planted by some long ago neighbour were just starting to get their buds. Long neglected by previous tenants, they've gotten pretty out of hand. My plan was to removed them entirely and replace them with raspberry canes, but that will have to wait for another year. Besides, the rabbits like to hide in them and I like the rabbits.

This year, I just chopped them right back.
I don't know if I should have done this in the winter or not, but if they are anything like the wild roses at the old townhouse, this won't hurt them one bit.
The wild mint has started to come up again. I've promised a coworker I'll dig some up for her, but I think I'll wait a few weeks to do that - let it get a little more  established. These are growing in my garden area, which I'm planning on expanding this year. (I may even keep a few of the mint plants) I'm going to check out the garden centres and see if they have some bags of soil - I can't plant outside yet(no matter how warm it is at the moment), but I can get the bed ready.

Indoors, the cat nip has sprouted
I've got to get my studio cleaned out so I can move these and the other garden goodies upstairs. If these get much bigger, there's going to be no keeping the kitties out of the
Even the three-legged one will find a way to get on the table for fresh catnip...