Monday, June 29, 2009

Wonderful weekend

It was a great weekend.... sunny, hot and with a festival just around the corner.

Dave had a stag to go to Friday night, so as he was taking Saturday to recover, I hopped up to Mom's. She had my niece for the weekend, so we skipped on over to the Poultryfest for some shopping, tasty treats and fun.

I bought a hat, a beautiful labradorite ring and a Tinkerbell tattoo... we saw lots of chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys... munched on some fattening but delicious chip wagon fries, and Miss Pee wowed us by taking on the climbing wall....
Mom and I didn't think she'd get very far (both her father and I are not fond of high places... I've rock climbed and it's scary!) but she was determined and went all the way to the top (about 25 ... maybe 30 ft high) Not bad for someone just out of kindergarten!

On Sunday, Dave was recovered and we took a loooooooooooooong overdue trip out to Sam's. I gave them their birthday and Christmas presents from last year (told you it was overdue), played with her sweet little rats (who pooped on me) and her adorable little puppy (who bit me with those sharp little puppy teeth and left me covered in bruises.)

I forgot my camera, but Sam was kind enough to snap this one for me:
It was too perfect a moment to miss... you see Dave is extremely.... fastidious... he hates to be dirty (unless it's grease and motor oil)... but check out those socks..... it's a good thing they weren't hand knit!

Speaking of knitting, I don't know if anyone remembers that I was knitting Serenity for a little girl due in September. Well, I put it down and just haven't had the gumption to get back into it. I picked it up the other day, but I think I just left it too long..... so I frogged it. I've started designing my own, and if I get a full day of knitting on Wednesday (as I'm hoping to) I should have the pattern available by the end of the week!

Oh and one last thing before I go....

Fish update... there are no baby angels left.... the last one went missing from the breeder the other day. We'll try again when she lays a new batch!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Of fish and rodents

Fish Update:

The angel babies finally went free-swimming so I took the leaf out of the breeder. A few minutes later, I noticed that the adult angels were hanging out under the breeder...

Yep, the babies were free-swimming right out of the breeder and into the mouths of the adults. Yum!

I now have one baby left, who seems smart enough to stay in the breeder. He's only about 1mm big so no pictures yet, but if he survives I'll take some.

So lets recap:
About 100 eggs laid
About 50 fertilized
About 40 hatched
About 30 free-swam
1 left....
It's no wonder they lay so many.

In knitting news, I finally embroidered faces on the last two hogs:
These are for my nieces for Christmas. Woohoo to presents done!

I hope every one in the area has been enjoying the hot weather. I've heard a lot of people complaining, but after the rain and drear we've had I'm enjoying it. Besides, it's the perfect opportunity to share a treat with a friend:

Monday, June 22, 2009

Elvis Lives!

It was another crazy busy weekend that didn't leave much time for anything.

On Saturday I worked at job #2... ALL DAY ( I hate that).... stopped at the grocery store to buy toilet paper... bought everything but toilet paper, then came home and crashed. I emailed Dave to stop and get toilet paper when he came, and he promptly forgot. It's a good thing I have a stock pile of Kleenex.

On Sunday, I had to take some photos for an event at job #1 and then we headed out to my grandparents farm. The tractor wasn't running right, so Dave got put to work rewiring it, while Nanny and I chatted. I forgot to bring my knitting, but I did entertain myself taking pictures of her dog, Elvis:
Elvis is a Jug (part Jack Russell, part Pug) and he's shaped like a propane cylinder with legs. He's got a great personality though and is my Nanny's pride and joy.

We ended up cracking open a bottle of wine with my grandparents after they introduced Dave to "East Coast Chicken Burgers" (a family tradition) and we didn't get home until late (and forgot to get toilet paper).

Despite the work and craziness, I did manage to finish up the hermit crab shell Saturday night.
I will say this pattern so far is really well written, but I did not enjoy Kitchener-stitching 135 stitches. I'm hoping to start on the crab tonight, but I've got a lot of cleaning to do so it may have to wait.

On the Angel Fish front. The eggs have hatched, and the babies are wiggling away hanging onto their egg sacks. There are about 40 of them (best estimate, they are all clumped up together so it's hard to tell) They should be free swimming in a couple of days.

Oh, and did manage to get toilet paper on the way home from work.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Profiles of Nature

At work there is a red tailed hawk who decided to nest on the sign on the side of our building. She had two chicks, and just recently they started to fly. Since then, we've had lots of great sightings, but nothing quite as cool as yesterday....

When I got to work, one of the chicks (hard to tell he's a baby, because he's almost full grown) was bopping around the parking lot.

I grabbed my camera and got out of the car to take some pictures. While I was chatting with the publisher, baby hawk flew by and landed on my car:
He seemed to like it better than most of the others because the roof racks provided a convenient perch.

I snuck in close to get some more pictures and was amazed at how close I did get. I could have reached out and pet him (if I wanted to lose a few fingers). He was magnificent... no fear at all. When I got to close he just hopped to the other side of the car.When I was done taking photos, I noticed Mama bird was sitting on top of the building keeping a weather eye on things.

And while we're talking abut nature. Mama angel fish has laid another litter (okay litter is not the right word... clutch?) of eggs.

She's actually laid about three or four litters since I last blogged about it. The second batch managed to hatch, but then they got covered in some sort of fungus and died. The other batches mysteriously disappeared in the night... so somebody ate them.

But what makes this batch special is where she laid the eggs.

Because of the worse case of tank algae I've ever seen, I recently removed all the plastic plants in my aquarium... they were covered in algae and I just couldn't clean it off. Dave and I made a trip to Big Al's and I did something I've wanted to do for a while. I bought enough live plants to fill the tank.

Mama Angel must have approved, because she laid the eggs on the leaf of one the Spades. (She used to lay them on the pump spout)
What's great about that is once I'm sure they are fertilized, I can cut the leaf off and put it in my breeder where no one can eat the eggs.

Even my knitting has take on a nature theme. The other night I cast on for Hansi Singh's Hermit Crab. It's going to be for Dave's birthday... because what boy doesn't want crabs for his birthday??? Actually he's a big fan of hermit crabs.... absolutely fascinated by them. I'm surprised we don't have a real one, though we've talked about it several times.

I don't have pics yet, and it's still just a lump of knitting, but I will soon... so until then....

Monday, June 15, 2009

You know how when some women see babies they want one of their own......

So cute I've totally peed my pants...
Will someone please tell Dave that four cats is not five too many???

To see more

Double Vision

It's amazing... I've got two projects off the needles.

First up is the Punk Pink Hedgehog.I stuffed it up and embroidered the face on it this weekend. The other two are stuffed as well, but I'm not that fond of embroidery so I've been putting off finishing them up. Normally I'd use buttons for the eyes, but this one is for a baby due in September, so no buttons she can chew off.

Next up... I finished my white shrugIt's the Peacock Plumes Bolero in Super 10 Cotton.

This is not the greatest picture but I'll get a better one when there is someone else here to hold the camera.

I made a few mods to the pattern... the body is 3/4 of an inch shorter. The sleeves are 2 inches shorter and I added a button band instead of ties.

And, since I'm a firm believer that buttons can make or break a garment, I skipped out of work early today to go to my favourite button store where I found these:So pretty. Of course... I ended up spending as much on buttons as I did on yarn for the shrug.... but I guess that's what I get for putting in eight button holes.

All in all I'm pretty pleased with it... and it will be perfect to wear to work. It's a very nice pattern (though I did have to fudge in the sleeves) and is a quick knit... If you had the time to devote to it you could finish it in a weekend.

Well, while I've got the momentum going for me, I'm going to go see what else I can finish up.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Three little hedgehogs twirling on a branch..

Well it's done... they went in the washer today....
They felted pretty well. Here they are drying on the dryer... if I can keep the cats away from them.

But it's true what they say, you don't realize how much you'll miss something until it's gone.

The grocery stores around here have all started charging 5 cents for plastic bags, so I've been diligently using the reusable bags my mom bought me ages ago.

But I used to use those plastic bags -- for garbage, cat poop, lunches (not in the same bag)... you name it if it went in a bag it went in a plastic grocery bag. Now I've gone and bought white plastic bags for the cat poop and garbage, and I'm going to get some paper bags for my lunch... but I ran into a little dilemma today...

What do I stuff the hogs with while they are drying??? I used to use plastic grocery bags! Oh well, these seem to be holding their shape pretty well on their own so I've left them unstuffed.

In other knitting news...The back and fronts are done on my shrug. Now they are blocking. Just the sleeves left. I was at the dollar store today and came across this acrylic Kidsilk Haze-like yarn in the prettiest shade of grey. Who could resist?

Oh and the other day I was at the Royal Botanical Gardens for a work project (I really do love my job sometimes).Can you say inspiration for some hand-painted yarn???

Monday, June 8, 2009

Surprising Progess

Despite the fact that I had to work all day Saturday, I've made some pretty good progress on my office shrug:
This is the Peacock Plumes Bolero. I'm making it just a tad shorter and will be putting buttons on it instead of a tie. This is the finished back, so just fronts and sleeves to go.

After work tonight, I stopped into the grocery store to pick up a few things (I love 24hr shops) and discovered some fresh cat nip. Needless to say I had three very happy kitties when I came in the door....
Well that is until Tux started bogarting it....

Friday, June 5, 2009

I blame Dave...

... it's all his fault. If he didn't insist on getting up at 7 a.m. this morning, none of it would have happened.

You see, I wasn't planning on getting out of bed until 9. I had no work appointments till 10, and after a few long days of double job, I was looking forward to sleeping in.. but nooo... he "had stuff to do" this morning and had to get up. Of course, I couldn't get back to sleep, so I got up, poured a bowl of froot loops and logged on to Ravelry.. and then I started thinking....(you see... I wouldn't have started thinking if I had've gotten up at 9, and rushed out the door.... his fault!)

I recently bought a couple of lovely little sundress (Dave's fault too... I have to look pretty for him don't I?) but they aren't appropriate for work, being a little too low cut. While I'm quite proud of the girls, there is a time and place for them.... and work isn't it.

So I need a little light cardigan I can wear over top... then they are perfectly appropriate for work... but I have no appropriate yarn....

But Julie is having a tent sale!!!!!.... it's only 5 minutes from work.....

So I went.... just to see if she had any nice white cotton yarn.....

She did... I got Super 10 Cotton for just $6 a skein!

But then I also got....Ten balls of Rowan four-ply cotton in the prettiest shade of pink (I love pink!)
Nineteen Balls of Baruffa Merino Otto... an extra fine (extra soft and squooshy) merino and a lovely dark forest green. This was going to be for me... but I've decided since this whole thing is Dave's fault and his Leo stretched horribly.... this will end up as his Christmas Sweater (since everyone else is getting socks)

And besides... I still have this for myselfThirteen balls of Filatura di Crossa Zara (extra fine merino) in a nice Mushroom. This was a SUPER score at just $1 a ball!!!! YEAH! It will probably end up as a short sleeved cardigan (for just $13!!!!) Mom made me an absolute stunning cardigan out of the Zarina... which is the fingering weight version of this yarn, and I love it.
I also snagged a skein of Debbie Bliss Pure Silk.. at $3 a skein you don't walk away from it even if you have no idea what you're going to do with it... I do have a skein of purple left over from my Shimmer shrug, so it will probably get mixed with this. I just loved the colours of the Fabel Superwash Sock yarn... they will probably end up as Christmas socks. The Regia Silk however is just for me... inspired by Jeanne's silk socks, of course. The off-white Lana Grossa is going to end up as a pair of slippers (pattern to be available soon). It has silk in it too... we all know how much I love silk. And yes, Angelika.. you were right... I picked up yarn for another hedgehog... but how can you pass up a $3 hedgehog... that's right -- $1 a ball.
And last... but certainly not least in my heart... SEVENTEEN balls of Baby Monkey (for $1 a ball!). Now there is a bit of a story with the Baby Monkey. When I first started knitting again in my early 20s, one of the things that drew me in was baby monkey... I have three baby monkey scarves... all bought while accompanying mom to Julie's (one from a tent sale too.. it's mixed with possum wool.. yep... possum). I fell in love with it because of the feel. If you've ever touched it, you'll know that it's the softest silkiest yarn around.. but it was special for me, because it felt exactly like an old cat of mine. She was the silkiest cat I have ever felt... and an absolute sweetheart... and her name was Monkey.

She was a barn cat at my Aunt's horse barn. My cousins had named her Monkey, and somehow I managed to talk my mom into letting me bring her home. She was a skittish little thing, but one of the most lovable cats I have ever known. We don't know how old she was when we brought her home (but she was full grown) so I'm not sure how old she was when she died of kidney failure almost a decade later.

I've had lots of cats over the years, but few as special as Monkey.... and Baby Monkey makes me think of her. When it first came out, it was quite expensive (about $15 a ball), but I don't think they are making it any more, and I've been able to find bits of it here and there. I managed to scavenge 15 balls in a lovely grey-green mix, and have five balls of a red-purple mix. My intention is to mix them with the red and green seen here, and make a Baby Monkey afghan! (The pink and purple balls will end up as scarves mostly likely) I don't know if I have enough yet for an afghan but I'm going to keep collecting.

Well... I better go put this all away... and get knitting!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Hog Wild

I think I need an intervention!
This is the last one I swear! (mostly because I don't have enough feltable yarn to make another)

Now the original Hedgie has some friends and won't get lonely in the washing machine

Monday, June 1, 2009

Strange Creatures

What a weekend!

While I took Friday off to prepare for the Brantford Pagan Meet & Greet, it was anything but restful! I went full-tilt non-stop from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. making sure I had everything I needed for the show. Normally I have plenty of time to get ready, but the addition of a second "real" job really messed up my schedule (but I can't complain, the extra money each month is going to be nice).

I did get a nice surprise though... sometime late Friday night, Dave decided he was going to come help me with the show!

This is something I've been asking him to do since I started working craft shows about four years ago. With the exception of a few shows which I share a booth with my friend, I normally do the shows alone. I don't really mind - nothing is too heavy for me to lift, and I always have my knitting so I never get bored. But it's nice to get up and see what else is at the show. And in an eight hour show, chances are you are going to need at least one pee break. Mom has been kind enough to pop by the local shows a couple of times to give me just such a pee break, but Brantford was a little far to go. I was preparing for a long day of holding it when Dave said he'd come.

Of course, there is always a little trepidation when Dave says he will do something you know he really doesn't want to... he's very good at projecting his misery and the question is... will I have a more enjoyable time without him? There's nothing for him to do there, and Dave's not great at sitting still and enjoying it.

But we did well, mostly due to the fact that everytime I got up to wander around, Dave got swarmed by women looking to buy... and I had to rush back to the table. (I think he needs to come more often)

My friends Samantha and Vickey stopped by and Samantha's daughter Lily charmed and entertained Dave for an hour or two.... of course after they left, he looked like this:And at the first legitimate excuse to pack up early (the wind was threatening to send us all to Oz) he's was taking down the tent.

But, one of the things about Pagan Festivals is you always meet the most interesting people... including this little guy:
An Australian Flying Squirrel named Kiku who was content to hang out in a pouch carried around by one of the Festival staffIn the first picture he was enjoying a fat yellow meal worm, but here he's being tempted out with a nice piece of Honeycomb cerealToo cute!

All in all it was a great day, but I'm looking forward to no shows until September.

Oh, and I even have some knitting to show you. After doing some major cleaning yesterday, I decided to wind down and whipped up another hedgehog
I'm a little worried about this one... the "fur" is some Funny from my stash, the only eyelash that I had enough of, but the lashes are considerabely shorter. I guess I'll see how it looks when it's felted.