Thursday, May 29, 2014

Knitting along...

It doesn't take long for me to get distracted by something shiny...

Julie, the owner of our favourite LYS The Needle Emporium has started a KAL for the pattern Auburn Wave. 

I favourited the pattern not too long long ago, so I thought why not join in. I cast on tonight with some Mini Mochi I bought myself for my birthday a few years back (from The Needle Emporium).
I'm going to Chicago for work next week (my very first plane ride!!!!) and I think this is going to make excellent travel knitting.

I will still be a good girl and work on Lestrange this weekend. I promise.

In other KAL news... our Game of Thrones KAL is going well. When I set the deadline for it, I forgot that HBO doesn't air an episode on the Memorial Day weekend. So, the season will actually run until June 15. As a result, I've extended the deadline of the KAL to match the show's season. So, you've got an extra week to finish your knit.

We already have some beautiful entries:
Riverrun by Smoking Hot needles
And 2tall4u cleverly modded the pattern down to ladies size! (Love those shoes!)
 TriMomma made Danni's Mitts.
And SamiT made Daenerys (and this is her first ever shawl!)

Come join the fun and check out the other entries!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Just a little bit of knittin'

Minding my own Stitches expected to see this picture up yesterday...
 and she would have, but I already had the gardening post queued up.

I did indeed cast on for Windsong, but I've since frogged it. I'm going to cast on with a smaller needle, as I'm not fond of the fabric with the 4mm the pattern calls for.

However, this pattern is going to take a good deal more concentration that I first realized, as the lace pattern is worked on both sides (no plain purl back rows). That means it will be relegated to mostly weekend knitting when I can devote the proper attention to it.

Since that's the case, I've decided that I'm going to finish Lestrange first. There's only half a sleeve and the collar left to do - it's really not fair to let it languish in favour of some new flashy knit. No matter how pretty and red it is. However, Lestrange requires a fair bit of concentration too - so it's mostly weekend knitting.

That means evenings this week are free for sock knitting!
And I'm halfway done the heel on the second Garden Gate sock. I could even finish them up this week...
 ...though I may have to cut back on some evening snuggle time to do so...

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


The backyard might be a field of spent Dandilions, (lawn service comes tomorrow) but elsewhere in my yard, things are looking pretty good.

The sunflowers are starting to stand up on their own
 And one of them even has a head
Let's hope we can thwart whatever ate the last one.

While the Sweet Peas and Echinacea have sprouted (either the Poppies or the Columbine has sprouted too but I'm not sure which - I forgot to mark the tray!) it's going to be a few weeks until they are ready to transplant to the bee garden and I got a little impatient with just the sunflower sprouts in there.
The grocery store had bedding plants on really cheap so I picked up a few things to liven it up a little - just some Alyssum, some strange but pretty purple plant (I couldn't find any tags) and Snap Dragons
As a child, Snap Dragons were one of my favourite flowers, but for some reason I'd forgotten all about them - the garden centre where I usually get my plants doesn't seem to carry them.
I got a few for the front garden too. 

The front garden is doing pretty well. The English Daisies and the Black Clover have drooped, but I think they are finally starting to pick back up. The violas are doing fabulous.
 I just love those colours - and I think you may find it in yarn sometime soon....

The Rose bush has not one....
 ...but FOUR buds on it already. I didn't expect to see any activity until well into June. I have had to shoo Rocky away from it a couple of times, but it seems to have settled in nicely.

And speaking of cats
The Cat Nip is flourishing.

The Lavender hasn't fared so well
The sprouts that I transplanted have mostly died off. But there must have been some dormant seeds in the soil that got transplanted at there are new sprouts coming up... at least, they look like Lavender sprouts... of course, being outside they could be just about anything, so we'll have to wait and see.

And it seems the flora has spilled over into my work life too. At work I'm part of a pilot project that tracks how much we print. The software's icon is a daisy, so to mark the launch of the project, they gave everyone involved some daisies
I tucked mine in with this week's dining table flower arrangement.

And the Daisies came with little tags printed on seed paper
Apparently if you plant it, wildflowers will grow... what kind of wild flowers, I have no idea, but several coworkers gave me their seed papers and they will be going in the bee garden this weekend - it will be interesting to see what comes up!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Seeing Red

After flashing all those patterns the other day, I know many of you are wondering which sweater I'm going to knit to go with my polkadot dress.

The truth is, I really wanted to do Miette. But it was knit in worsted and I wanted something lighter so that I can wear it all year round. Worsted is fine for the winter, but even with a super-cooled air-conditioned office, it's just too heavy for summer.

So I scoured Ravelry and came up with Windsong.
It's got pretty much everything I'm looking for. Some nice little lace detail, shaped waist, cropped length, short sleeves -and a lighter yarn. And it has that added bonus of...
A nice busy back panel to keep my interest! (Love the detail on the sleeve too!)

And while I was hunting through Ravelry, I was Skyping with Mom and asking how much Stray Cat we had in stock, as I'd  need to dye some up.

And that's when she offered up this from her stash:
Bugga! in Longhorned Beetle - a nice deep, rich red. It's a little darker the the red I had in my head, but the more I look at it, the more I think it's just perfect.

Now I should be a good girl, and finish up Lestrange first... does anyone want to take bets on if that's really going to happen?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunset on the Beach

It was an absolutely glorious day today so I convinced Mom that it was the perfect day to take Ladydog down to the lake...

And get some shots of my completed Sauble Sunset.
This was a fun quick little knit (took just two weeks) that resulted in a lovely layering piece.
I made quite a few mods: added in a couple rows of garter between the lace and the bodice, lowered the back neckline, lengthened the bodice, and added cap sleeves (notes on how to add cap sleeves are on my project page). If this wasn't to be worn at work, I wouldn't have bothered with the cap, but that extra inch or two just helps me slide past the "shoulder rule" at work.
It's got a lovely little lace pattern that almost looks like cables. The pattern was nice an easy to memorize too.
I wouldn't mind making another one, as it's an ideal style to layer over my sundress for the office. If I were to knit another one though, I do just one more mod, and add an extra inch to the arm hole. As written it's just a little snug.

But otherwise, it's perfect. It used almost two skeins of Twisted Barn Cat (colour is Black Dahlia). This colour turned out just the way I imagined it and it's going to work well with at least four other sundresses in my closet.

This summer is off to a great start - isn't it Lady?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Sunny Saturday

It's been a nice, warm weekend so far - but I spent most of it indoors finishing up Sauble Sunset (pics tomorrow)
Princess Peno kept me company as the boys were being lazy elsewhere (mostly on Dave's side of the bed.)

I did venture out to check on the gardens and fill the bird feeder. Almost everything is doing nicely. Some more Turkistan Tulips have bloomed...
These ones are solid yellow.

But out back... remember that little sunflower that was getting ready to bloom?
Well that's not going to happen because someone bit his head clean off! Mr. Squirrel? Bunbun? Possum? I don't know - but they better not make a habit of it!

Friday, May 23, 2014

One thing leads to another

The other day I stopped at a local discount store to get Dave some new button up shirts. I'm really trying to scale back my shopping, but they'd advertised them in the flyer, and they were a great price - and he really needed some new shirts.

Of course, I had to pass their dress display to get to the men's section (They do that on purpose - I know it!) where I spied the most perfect dress.

Now, for some reason, I'm a sucker for a black with small white polka dot print. There's just something so... classic... about it. Add in an empire line and a nice swing fabric - how could I resist? And it fits like a dream (thank goodness this was the only print they had or I would have been walking out of the store with more).

But every time I buy myself something like this - I'm faced with a dilemma - I want more! I want something to go with it - new shoes, a new accessory. In this case - it totally needs a bright red cardigan. 

Something like Myrna
Or maybe Miette
Or Kersen
Or Milena
.... this is why I shouldn't shop...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Another one falls down the rabbit hole

Not to long ago, I shared a story about my friend Aneesha's first venture into knitting.

Well today, I got an email saying she's ready to move on beyond baby booties and hats, and did I have any patterns I could suggest? After going back and forth for a bit, I mentioned knitting toys. Knitted toys are what got me into knitting - and I still love doing it.

I suggested this easy peasy bunny
And sent her a link to the site with the pattern. Apparently that was a mistake, because she came back a few minutes later.

"Do you think I have enough skill to make this one?"
Okay.. it uses a few techniques she doesn't know yet, but that's nothing an afternoon lesson can't solve. And it just so happens that she has a birthday coming up next week, and I didn't have a present for her yet. Normally I'd knit her something, but now that she's a knitter...
Everything she needs to make her owl (except for the stuffing which I'll pick up this weekend). The pattern calls for Blue Sky Alpaca Bulky, but at $16.99 a skein, it's just not in the budget right now.I found this Bernat Roving at Lens Mills (a local discount/surplus store) for about a third the price. It's nice and soft and had a great range of colours. I think it's going to be a fantastic substitute.

Now we just have to make a date to get together.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The sun is setting...

...on Sauble Sunset.
She's on the blocking board, but she's not done yet.

I still have to do the bands, but I wanted to see how big it would block out first. I was starting to think I might need to add some length to the straps, and I didn't want to have to rip out the bands if that was the case.

But I think it's going to be okay. Once it's dry, I'll add the bands. I was planning on adding cap sleeves too, but I think I'm running perilously short of yarn - so I'll knit the bands, see what's left, then make that decision.

In other knitting news, Mom released a couple of new patterns.

The Whole Nine Yards Socks
And The Whole Nine Yards Cowl
The pattern looks cabled, but it's just a clever arrangement of knit and purl stitches - easy peasy! Get yours today!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

G'Nomeo has his homeo

Last fall, my boss (now former boss) was chatting with us about a conundrum she had.

The year before, her mother (who'd lived with her and her husband for several years) had died. And while they'd cleaned out, or packed away most of her things, there was one thing she felt guilty about throwing away - a garden gnome.

Anyone who knows my former boss knows she is not the garden gnome type. The fact that she even allowed her mother to buy a garden gnome and put it in their garden was a bit of a surprise - but it shows just how deeply she loved her mother.

But now here she was - she clearly hated the gnome, but said it felt like a betrayal to just toss him in the garbage.

Now me... I like gnomes (in moderation) and my garden didn't have gnome... and I told her I'd be more than willing to adopt him and give him a happy home.

So last fall, G'Nomeo (so named by my former bosses late mother), came to live with me.  He's been bunking in the dining room through the cold weather. But this past weekend, I decided it was time for him to get outside and see the world (or at least the backyard.)
I found the perfect little spot for him amongst the Josta Berries (which have greened up nicely, despite my hacking) and under the bird feeder.
When the bee garden gets a little more robust, I may move him over there. But for now, I think he's happy in his new home.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Knitting holiday

As much as I love to be out in the garden, my body does not agree. So today I'm taking advantage of the holiday to do nothing but sit and knit, so I'm functional enough to head back to the office tomorrow.

I've dedicated most of may knitting time to Sauble Sunset and I'm making some great progress.
Which I'd be able to show you if someone didn't have to be a photo-bomber...
That's better. I love how the colour of this yarn changes with the light. Inside, it's a deep dark wine purple, outside in the sunlight, it's this rich berry shade.

If I was following the pattern to the letter, I'd be at the point where I should be decreasing for the neck.But I'm not.

1) I'm busty, and as written, the pattern just won't cut it.
2) I'm making this as a "cover-up" for some of my sundresses that I can't currently wear to work, so I need more coverage.

That means making the bodice deeper and the neckline a bit higher. Which in turn means I'll be decreasing for the neckline about the same time I divide for the arm holes. Just a few more inches, and once I get to that  point, I think this thing is going to fly!