Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Monogamy is not for me

Astute readers will notice that I've been almost faithful in my knitting since just before the move. I say "almost", because while I've had many projects on the needles, I've been steadily working on one thing until it's done. And to me, that's monogamous enough (travel sock projects don't count!)

And it's been nice to clear out some projects in a shorter time than usual. But you knew it couldn't last didn't you? (especially after that last post...) While I'm waiting to head to the studio and dye up something delicious for LeStrange, I couldn't resist casting on for the Queen Street cardigan
Tux looks so good in red

I'd actually planned to cast this on while in Virginia, but I'd forgotten to pack the pattern.  Of course, this will be heartless abandoned as soon as I have yarn for LeStrange, but we can have a brief, passionate affair while it lasts....

(Of course, passionate is one way to describe what was going on last night as I was trying to set the lace pattern and it just wasn't working out.... turns out there was an errata, published that morning - I think I'm back on track....)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Seduced by the dark arts

When patterns for The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits magazine started coming up on Ravelry,  I wasn't overly impressed. There were a few that were okay - but nothing that really said "KNIT ME NOW!" or even just "Hey, buy the magazine, you might make something eventually."

And then a few days later, up came the Narcissa Socks...

A pattern by Rachel Coopey, who has awesome designs, including the very cool Tarnished Hero socks I made for Dave.

Then I saw the Severus Pullover.

I've been searching for the perfect sweater pattern for Dave... I think I just found it.

THEN....  up came the Lestrange cardigan....

Oh crap - all desire to knit anything else has left. Screw the shawl design, screw the zaubersocks! I NEED THIS NOW.

Then I realized I don't have enough of any suitable yarn at the moment and sanity prevailed. I'll be working on the shawl and socks at least until next Monday - by then I'll be able to dye something and give it time to dry....

(There are some other cool patterns in there as well - I suggest Mermaid Song - damn you Susanna Ic!!! - Hagrid's sweater, and Tracery.)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Roses are red, violets are... subtle?

 I've changed up my hair colour again.

This time I've opted for purple. I think it's suppose to be more of a blu-rple, as that's the way it looks in the jar. But the pink I had on my hair wasn't completely faded out yet, so now it's got this lovely berry tinge to it. The purple is much more subtle than the pink, red or orange. I think this might be my favourite so far.

And there is knitting....
The toe was closed on the first zauberball sock. Very funky. I've cast on for the second, but tonight it's set aside for the shawl. I think I'm going to work on the shawl till I run out of beads... which won't be long. Then it will be back to the sock, as I can't get more beads until payday.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The bunny saga continues....

As soon as I walked in the door today... I was greeted by a great "MROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWW"

I was actually home a little earlier than usual, so I was wondering what the heck the problem was. The food dishes weren't empty, they had water, the litter box wasn't overflowing with poop....

"MROOOOOOOOOOOOOWW," Rocky yelled as he ran to the back door. Oh - stupid turd wants out. But worse than usual... and as I moved to unlock the door, I saw why..

Mr. BunBun was back and Rocky was ready for their daily ... romp. So.. I opened the door and stepped back!

"Grrrrrrrr I'm going to get you rabbit!!!"

"Rocky, you're an idiot. If you're going to catch the rabbit - don't stop and stare at it from two feet away...

"What am I saying? You can't catch the rabbit anyway, I'm going to eat some nip."

"Okay rabbit... you better move, or I'm going to eat you!"

"Seriously... one more butt wiggle and I'm going to pounce!"

"Oh fine - be that way... I'll just go eat some nip."

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A little random Wednesday

I haven't done a random post for a while.. so here's just a few totally unrelated things going on.

1) Just because you drive like a boss in a real car....
doesn't mean you can drive one of these. (Team building event for work...what can I say, we're a marketing department, we know how to "work")

2) No one looks good in a crash helmet...
 ... but I can totally rock a newsboy hat! (My new favorite hat - I'm going to live in it!)

3) Just before we left for Virginia, I got my nails done for the first time in a VERY long time. I went with just a plain French manicure then. It was time to get them done again...
 ...so I opted for something a little more fun.

4) No matter how many times Rocky stalks Mr. BunBun...
... he's never going to catch him.

5) Seriously Dude, I don't care how good your form is....
 ... that bunny is too fast for you (BunBun knows it too - they do this almost every night, and BunBun doesn't budge until Rocky is right on top of him.)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Stitch by stitch

Lest you guys think this has turned into some crazypants gardening blog... I promise, I have been knitting.

There hasn't been a tonne of time for it, but when I can get a stitch or two in, I've been working on one of two projects:

The Zauberball socks.
 I'm just passed the gusset on the first sock. I'm doing a simple 3-1 rib in man-size. These will end up in the Christmas box, and I'll decide who gets them later.

Mistress Anne Shawl
A beaded shawl design I started not too long before the move. Now that I've got most of my knitting stuff sorted out, I've turned my attention to getting this one ready for testers. I'm using Continental Cat and a buttload of pearl beads.

Work is starting to slow down a little, so I'm hoping that means I'll be moving a little faster in the knit department. I already have two cardigan designs I need to get pulled together for testing, Mistress Anne will be done soon, and I've got another shawl design on the go.

Though there will be a hiatus for some baby knitting in the near future (no, not mine...), but I'd like to at least get two patterns out this year - if not more!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Getting dirty

The weather is so nice now that the humidity is gone, it's hard to stay in doors. So back to the dirt I went.
The work crew is ready!
Those who know me well, know that next to lilies, roses are my favourite flower. I intend to plant some in the back yard, but this year we just weren't ready for them yet.

However, when I was at the grocery store the other day, they were clearing out  a bunch of mini-roses for $2 a bush.
Now, I've bought mini-roses before - and I usually can't keep them alive more than a couple of weeks. However, I know someone who keeps them for years... her trick - plant them in the garden outside. Her walkways are lined with them and it's absolutely beautiful! So I thought what the heck!

Of course, as mentioned, the yard isn't quite ready for roses yet, but I thought maybe the key is just outside. I bought a large terra cotta pot and a little yellow viney annual to keep it company.
I figure if it lasts, I can plant in the ground next summer.
But for now, it's pretty as a picture.

One other thing that needed potting (well - re-potting) was my goldfish plant.
This is a very special goldfish plant.

1)It's the only indoor plant Rocky hasn't managed to eat on me
2) It's the only indoor plant I haven't managed to kill through sheer neglect. I do neglect it - frequently.... but it just doesn't die.
3) I've never seen another goldfish plant like it.
Not my actual plant - mine is mad at me for neglecting it,
so there are no flowers at the moment.
All mom's goldfish plants bloom with solid orange flowers. But this one had red veins. It's very cool. I bought it not long  after I moved out on my own. The plant did well, and I split it up giving some pieces to Mom a few years ago (hers is flourishing, but she doesn't neglect it), and giving my plant a little more growing room. But it's been long overdue for a bigger pot.
 That's better! It looks happier already.

And while I was at the garden centre getting soil and pots - I picked the boys up a little treat.
 Tux couldn't wait for me to get it out of the bag. His front feet are actually inside the bag.

I thought we'd plant some beside the veggie garden, and the boys can enjoy a little nip whenever they go out to play.

But it doesn't look like Tux is going to let it last very long....

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Woe is my tomato

Savvy readers will recall that I thought I was going to have a bumper crop of beans in my little garden plot. Sadly - that is not the case. I've gotten about a handful out of them (and Dave's already eaten them), but it doesn't look like I'm going to be getting many more.

What I am going to be overrun with, is cherry tomatoes. When they really started to grow, I tied them up to three foot tall bamboo stakes. I went out there after I got home from Virginia to discover that those stakes weren't nearly long enough... so a few six foot stakes later, and the tomatoes were happy again!
Yep - those tomato plants are more than five feet tall. (and they are also planted way too close together - lesson learned for next year!). I had no idea they'd get so big. And they are absolutely covered in little green tomatoes - right from top to bottom. (There are four plants in total - that's a lot of tomatoes!)

But then the storm hit.... you see, I think the weather in Virginia hitch a ride home with us. Since we got back, it's been disgustingly hot and humid - the kind of humid that stretches on for days and nights, and just breeds bad storms. And that storm came last night - high winds, torrential rain....and while it was great for cooling off the atmosphere...

It was not so good for my poor tomatoes....

Now I shouldn't complain. We were under a tornado watch, and some people lost trees... but when I looked out and saw my poor tomatoes on the ground, I almost cried. (And I don't even like tomatoes - most of these will be given to friends and family.)

But it was not as bad as it looked.
A few broken stems, and a few lost tomatoes. Otherwise, I just put the stakes back in the ground and stood them right back up.
 Ah... happy tomatoes!
And in a few days, I can start harvesting!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sea creatures

The other night, I finsihed up the socks I started on the way to Virginia.
My Undine pattern in Jungle Cat - colour is eggplant.

And speaking of Virginian sea creatures - I'm trying to find the perfect spot for this little beauty.

Mom bought her for me in Jamestown.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cygnus - a la Jane Austen

A few eagle-eyed readers noticed that the dress I was wearing in Williamsburg was, indeed, the dress I sewed for myself just the week before.

Before we left, I got the brilliant idea to do a photo shoot in Virginia for Cygnus, my newest cardigan design. Naturally, it was just perfect with the white dress... and as we walked around Williamsburg, I knew that I had to do some photos there.
Strolling through the Governor's garden
 It really was the perfect combo ofoutfit and backdrop...
If only that was my home....
 Then we came across the hat at a Williamsburg shop....
Just waiting for Mr. Darcy...
The only downside is the weather
Off to Londontowne!
 It was insanely hot and I really was melting...

Praying for A/C
 Which is why the pictures are black and white... I am beet red when they are in colour!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Home sweet home

We packed up the car yesterday after Mom's last class and headed home (We did the drive straight through, stopping only for dinner and gas - 12 hours!).

We had planned to head to Virginia Beach before heading home but we were both too tired. So, I didn't get to see the ocean - but have passport, can travel right? Actually - I would really prefer to see it first from Nova Scotia - as there is family history there.

But all in all it was a fantastic trip - I have more posts planned, but for now I'm winding down and enjoying my last day off before I go back to work.
Tux is very happy I'm home.

We bought lots of souvenirs (including three pairs of shoes, a dress, four bracelets, a pair of earrings, soap, candy...). But I know what you're really interested in is the yarn!
Yes - I bought souvenir yarn! The skeins are hand-painted merino singles by Unplanned Peacock (in Botanical and Frog), and the ball is a Crazy Zauberball in "Flussbett" which Google translator tells me means "river bed".

The zauberball will probably end up as socks for Dad. He completely detailed my car while I was gone! What a guy!

"Didn't you bring me a souvenir?!?"

Actually I did - but no picture of that - it was a cat nip mouse and he ran off with it immediately. I'll probably find it in the bed later....it's good to be home.....

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Day 3: Colonial Williamsburg

This morning we took the opportunity to explore Colonial Williamsburg further. Right across the street from the hotel, it's easy to get to. But it's so big, we took advantage of the free shuttle to save on some of the walking.

We explored the English-style gardens at the Governor's palace.
 Had a little chat with the governor's cook about cooking in the 18th century.
 Naturally - we quickly found the wool shop - they were weaving...
 And spinning!
 We spoke to the apothocary....

And I might have got in on the action as well (though the only thing authentic is my hat!)
Tonight is the last night here - and there is talk about catching a ghost tour - though I'm not sure if we'll have time after dinner.

Tomorrow we're back on the road, though we'll be taking out time coming back and probably stopping somewhere for the night.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Day 2: Jamestown

This area is so cool - so much to see and all accessible by free shuttle buses. It was another early morning and we were off to Jamestown.

For the uninitiated - Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in North America,est 1607. There is an actual archeological site, where they are still discovering new things. We didn't get over there, but we explored the recreated site.

Complete with native village...
 The ships that brought the settlers.

and a fort. All the interpreters are in costume - and I really feel for them in this weather!
 Those are wool stockings my friends! But they were still all cheerful and informative.

 A deckhand aboard  the Susan Constant.
 Soldier guarding the fort!

Blacksmith (always one of the coolest demonstrations)
And my favourite - the guy who took us through the armory. This man knew his stuff and obviously loves his job!

Now it's time for a shower to wash the humidity off - and see what the crazy sock machine ladies have planned for the rest of the day.