Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Iron Dyers: Challenge revealed

As mentioned earlier this month, Mom and I occasionally take part in a dye-off challenge among other indy dyers (the group is on Ravelry - The Iron Dyers).

Non-dyers submit images based on a predetermined theme, one is chosen - and all the dyers have to dye something based on it. (There are prizes for non-dyers so come on over and check us out)

At the end of the month, the dyers all reveal their challenge yarns. And I've got to tell you, it's tough keeping it under wraps sometimes. I've been itching to show off this one for weeks!

This month's inspiration image is from one of my favourite movies
The Nightmare before Christmas!!!

Mom came up with a self-striper
 Which she called "Ride with The Moon"
I did a fun multi using the same colours (since she had them already mixed up!) and created "Jack's Lament"
Jack's Lament sold out within minutes of being put in the shop this morning, but there are still a few Ride with the Moons in there (on a couple different bases).

But I've gotten quite a few requests for more Jack, so I'll be doing up another batch this weekend. If you'd like one, send me a Rav message (I'm Wanderingcat).

And don't forget about the Spring Collection contest - it's on until Saturday, so scroll down a post!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Contest time: The Spring Garden Collection

It's pattern release time!

Introducing the Spring Garden Collection (yeah, I'm aware it's Autumn... well, it's Spring in the southern hemisphere!)

Secret Garden
 Garden Gate
and Garden Path

The patterns are available individually, or you can purchase the e-book at a discounted price. And for a limited time, you can save 25% on the ebook with the code ITS_SPRING_SOMEWHERE (code is good for the e-book only, not the individual patterns). The Sale will run until the end of day Saturday, October 4th, 2014.

Or... you could win it! Simply leave a comment and way to contact you (email, rav name) on this post before midnight on Saturday, October 4th, 2014. A random number generator will choose the winner, and I'll throw in a skein of Twisted Top Cat in "Peaches and Cream" (as in the corn, not the fruit) - a lovely skein of cashmere-y goodness with varying shades of golden yellow!
Good luck!

(And if you want to enter, but don't want to miss out on the promotion, go ahead and buy the book - if you're the winner, I'll refund your purchase!)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

All tangled up

Since casting off the last few projects, it seems like I'm all tangled up... in cables.

I've started a new hat design. I was planning on knitting a shawl with the angora and handspun I flashed a few weeks back, but I went to bed the other night dreaming of a cabled hat with an angora brim. When I woke up the next morning, I just had to start it.
That's the brim blocking. As soon as it's dry, I'll pick up the stitches for the rest and knit it in Mom's handspun.

While I'm waiting, I'm working on another design. Something I've been meaning to knit for a while
A cabled boot topper for one of my favourite pairs of boots. I don't wear them very often because the top edge snags and puts runs in my tights. This should solve the problem nicely! It's being knit in Stray Cat.

After the last few large projects, it's nice to have some quick knits on the needles!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

FO: Eve's Ribs

One of the things I like best about finishing a knit, is planning the FO photoshoot. It's always fun to find a unique location that suits the garment.

The location I chose for Eve's Ribs was discovered a month or so ago when Mom and I took the girls back to Owen Sound after their summer visit. About an hour from home, is the University of Guelph. And they recently installed a very cool sculpture of their school mascot, right on the corner of two main roads.

As soon as I saw him, I said to Mom "We have to do a photoshoot there." And today we did!
Meet Gryph! I got very well acquainted with him. Unfortunately, he's made of bronze, which means on a warm sunny day like today - he's scorching hot! But isn't he fantastic?

Okay... now back to the knit
As you know, I was a little apprehensive about this one. I was worried it was too much yellow. But now that I've worn it, I think I'm okay with it.
I was worried I blocked it out to big. And I did. But a quick trip in the dryer snugged things back up again.  I was a little worried about the length -  probably one of the most common complaints among Ravellers is that it's not long enough. But I should have known better - I have a short waist, I usually don't have too much trouble with length.
I was also worried the sleeves were going to be too short. No worries there, they are actually a little long, which is the way I like them. They are suppose to be narrower for the sleeve option I chose (There are four options in the pattern), but I had trouble with the short rows, so just winged it. The results of my winging were a slightly wider sleeve, but I can live with that.
The only other mod I made was to the stitch pattern. As written, you only do they eyelet pattern (Eve's Ribs) for the collar, then you switch to Adam's Rib. It's the same thing, but with make-ones instead of yarn overs. But I love lace, so I used the eyelet throughout.

I used Louisa Harding Kashmir Aran. It's a Merino/Microfibre/Cashmere blend. It's very soft, and very warm. (The sweater didn't stay on for long after the photo shoot - too warm out!). It's going to be nice and cheery in the depths of winter!

So now I'm looking into a new project...
 ...and contemplating a way to bring Gryph home to my backyard. I want to keep him!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Poor little bunbun

You all know how much I love my little Bunbun (even though he ate my sweet peas and half my strawberries). Whenever I make carrots, I save him the peels and ends, and sometimes, I cut up a carrot just for him.

As a result, we've seen him a lot more this summer than last. And as you know, Rocky and Bunbun have their own special relationship.
 Which means that we can putter around the yard and Bunbun will mostly just hang out with us.

Well, I think all that may have changed. The other night, the cats and I were out, checking on the gardens and attending to the feeder as usual. When all of a sudden, Peno, who rarely pays Bunbun any mind, decided she was going to take in interest in him.
Now Peno is not Rocky. She was a feral cat before she was trapped and brought to the rescue (albiet she was only six months old). She wasn't going to crouch for hours. A few stalking steps and...
I don't think Bunbun is going to be hanging out with us much any more...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Home stretch

My favourite part of knitted socks is knitting the second sock, once the heel is turned and the gusset done. OnceIreach that point, the second sock just flies for me!

So, expect to see the completed Garden Path socks soon. While I've only been knitting them on my lunches, I expect I'll be so close to finishing that I'll bring them home for the weekend.

And that means, there will be a pattern release party soon after... stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The early bird gets eaten for breakfast

I was sitting on the couch knitting Sunday morning when I heard a sound I'd not heard in the yard before. It was the sound of a bird I was familiar with, but never expected to see in my backyard.

Sure enough, when I looked out the back door, there was a red tailed hawk sitting on my fence. I shouldn't be surprised, we are only a kilometer or two from the Niagara Escarpment, which is habitat to many birds of prey.

Sadly, by the time I got back with the camera, he was gone. I went out to fill the bird feeder and the yard was eerily quite. No birds chirping in the trees. No squirrels rustling along the fence. If I wasn't looking closely, I would have missed poor Bunbun cowering in the bushes. And no wonder
Looks like some poor sparrow just wasn't fast enough. 

I kept the camera close by in case he returned, but it was quiet for the rest of the morning. The feeder went unattended until about 2 p.m. when the sparrows finally returned, followed shortly by the morning doves.

The hawk never did come back, but Mr. Jay made a very noisy appearance.
and I was finally able to get a couple shots.
And Mr. Cardinal was a little bolder than usual too.
I love my backyard!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The sun sets on Eve

Have you ever had one of those projects that, the closer you get to the end, the longer it seems to take? Eve was one of those projects. But I was determined to persevere and get her done today. I want to wear her on the weekend, so that means she needs a few days to dry on the blocking board.

So, I settled in with my constant companion and got knitting
Things did move faster once I got the sleeves cast off, but it still took longer than I thought. But, I prevailed and she's a-blockin'!
The pattern says to block it after you've seamed it, but I hate blocking whole garments. Plus, the cast off edge (bottom) doesn't scallop on its own like the cast on edge (top) does, so I wanted to pin it in shape. I'm a little worried I blocked it too big, but we'll see.

And you're probaby wondering how this all comes together? Well, you basically just fold it in half and turn the collar back.
Neat, eh?

The jury is still out on if this is too much yellow - but you can all decide after the weekend. I should have modeled shots by then.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Ah, nuts!

Dad's neighbour has a black walnut tree that over hangs my parents' yard. Every year, they are inundated with walnuts.

When I'm there, I help him pick them up off the lawn. He stores them in his shed until winter, when he puts them out for the squirrels (mostly for the amusement of Ladydog). He got so many this year, that I thought I might bring some home for my squirrels
I'll save most of them for when it snows, but I put some out on Sunday to see what the squirrels would do.
It took him a while, but eventually this little guy realized something new was afoot in the yard.
He sniffed, and sniffed, and sniffed... and then he found them
And sniffed some more...
Before deciding the bird feeder had better grub....
Oh well, he'll figure it out eventually.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Wonderfully warm weekend

The last week has been unseasonably cold and more than a little rainy, with it even dipping below freezing one night. But Friday night blew in a breath of fresh air, along with a nice warm weekend. 

I took advantage of the weather, put the top down on the car and headed up to Mom's. My brother's family was visiting, so I got to see the girls and finish up a few custom orders for the shop.
Miss Rowan was quite insistent on helping out, so I promised her as long as she was good, she could dye up a couple of skeins before we were done. (Her's are the crazy purple ones on the end.)

Today my attention has been all for Eve. I was hoping to get her finished today, so I settled down on the couch and set to it.
Miss Peno kept my extra yarn safe for me. Sadly, as usual, I've underestimated how long it will take to complete. She should be done this week, but not tonight. I'll get back to her as soon as I finish up dinner, and a little seasonal dessert..
Apple crisp and French Vanilla ice cream - definitely worth taking a break for.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Cats in the kitchen

For a long time, I've admired the fabulous aprons that Araignee makes and frequently wears. I've been meaning to sew one for the longest time, and even found the perfect pattern, but I've just never gotten around to it.

But while making jelly, the fact that I NEED one was definitely apparent (thank goodness jelly washes out!). So making one got bumped up my to-do list.

But then Dave sent me to the mall. He needed some computer part or something (still not sure what it was, but they were out of it whatever it was..) and on the way out I passed a kitchen store with the cutest little apron display.

I moseyed on in for a look, not expecting much - afterall it's the kind of place where even a salt shaker is well out of my budget.

Imagine my surprise when the aprons were actually affordable. I certainly couldn't make one for any cheaper.

I was still trying to talk myself out of it - making one would be so much more fulfilling, wouldn't it... but then I saw this one...
The style was perfect, green is my favourite colour and when you looks closer...
How could I resist?

They also had a sale on fridge magnets...
so I scooped up some that reminded me of a certain someone...
"I am far more handsome in real life."

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Well that's not a poppy...

With the weather cooling off, my gardens are winding down... but the plant that originally I thought was a poppy, then a black-eyed susan just keeps growing.
I've been waiting and waiting for it to bloom to see what it is. It's getting there..
I hate waiting.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to bring some of my recent botanical success inside.
I know most of you think I have a fantastic green thumb... but only when it comes to outdoor plants. Indoor plants I murder with abandon. But I love orchids, and I've wanted one for a very long time...
They were on sale at the grocery store and I just couldn't resist. Hopefully I can keep it alive... and away from a certain someone
He certainly doesn't look like a vegetarian.. but he loves his house-plant salad.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Inchin' on Eve

There hasn't been much time for knitting since casting off Highgarden (thank you for all the lovely comments... and so sorry about the wait for the pattern... but I have a plan).

When I have been knitting, I've been working on Eve.
She's coming along - I'm about halfway done. But I'm lucky if I can get a full repeat done each night. That's going to change tonight though. Wednesday nights are my "nothing but knit" nights.

I'd like to get this one done because I'm dying to cast on for a new project. I think I've found the perfect shawl for my handspun and angora...
The Curious Collective shawl
There's a little KAL going on for it, and if I get Eve off the needles soon, I'll have enough time to complete it for the KAL. Then it will be time to kick it into high gear for Christmas knitting.