Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The littlest hobo

A little while back, I was watering the gardens when I noticed a crazy spider's web behind Queen E.
It wasn't your typical web, but sheets, over sheets of webbing.. more like thick cobwebs. And when you looked closely at the back by the fence
A little tunnel. And if you look really close... can you see those creepy spider's legs?

I've been watching it for weeks, trying to get shot of the spider. I'm pretty sure it's a Hobo Spider.. a nifty creature that creates funnel webs to hide in.
Last week, I was finally able to lure her out of her hole but tossing some grass into her web.
They aren't the greatest pics, because she's very shy. Realizing there was no food, she scurried right back in.
So far, I've managed to keep the cats from gallivanting through and wrecking her home. But she's on her own when it comes to the birds. Probably why she's so darn shy.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The salad tosser strikes again

Thank you to those who've left kind words for Rocky...and those who've bought patterns. We appreciate it very much... well.. I do. Not so sure about Rocky... he certainly doesn't show his appreciation of knitters very well...

The other morning, I came down to this
... which led off the couch to this...
.. and down the floor to this...
... yeah... Thanks, Rocky.

The yarn is Drop Fabel
A nice sheepy, but hard wearing sock yarn. I ordered it from Loveknitting to get my order up over the free shipping rate. The plan was to use it for a pair of socks for Dave's Mom for Christmas. But the picture was much brighter and lighter on the website. And the colour in real life
Are much more suited to my friend, Aneesha. (Ridiculously well-suited... you have no idea!)... so I guess she's getting socks for Christmas too! (And I have to find some different yarn for Dave's Mom.)

Monday, September 28, 2015

FO: April Come She May

Mom and I were able to take some time this weekend to get some finished pics of April. 
We  popped over to the little creek by her house, which was almost completely dry.. we've had barely any rain in the last two months. I'm actually standing in the middle of where the creek normally is.
But back to the cardigan. This is definitely, my most favorite cardigan ever. While the pattern could have been written better, the result (if you can muddle your way through it) is a sweet little cropped cardi that your can wear with just about anything.
It fingering weight, so it's nice and light. I knit it in our Twisted Top Cat, so that touch of cashmere makes it extra warm, and extra soft.
As you can see, it's the perfect length to wear with a sun dress, though being that's is constructed top down, adding length (if you want it) is easy. Same with the sleeves. They could easily be knit to any length.. in fact, I didn't think I'd have enough for 3/4 so was planning on half. But in the end, this only took about 900 yards worth of yarn. Just over two skeins.
The only modification I made, was to upsize it. The pattern only goes up to 41", so I added 6 stitches to each front, hoping to get a 44" bust...
I didn't quite succeed... I can't button it all the way without the button band pulling and puckering.. but it's look quite nice unbuttoned, or only part buttoned. You'll also notice that those aren't the rhinestone buttons I ordered. In fact, they aren't even the back up buttons I was planning to use. The ones I ordered ended up being too big. And the back up ones, too heavy. But I had these nice little metal floral ones in the stash... and while it's not what I planned, they did the trick.
It's already gotten lots of wear, and I see plenty more in it's future.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Rocky's night on the town

We had a bit of an eventful night last night... everyone's favourite brat cat...
...decided to give us a little bit of a scare... and ended up here...
... at the Emergency Vet...
It started last night just before dinner, when he jumped off the couch and I noticed he was limping. Other than a slight limp, he seemed fine, so, thinking maybe he just landed hard, I was just going to keep an eye on it for the weekend, and if wasn't better by Monday, I'd take him to his regular vet. 
But not long after, he started yelling whenever he moved. I tried to check him over and while his legs seemed fine, but when I touched near his bladder, he seemed was really sore. Then he went in the box, and barely any pee came out, so I started to worry he had a bladder obstruction. Then every time he moved, or any time I touched him, he cried out.
After much fretting over the bank account, into the carrier he went and of we went to the emergency vet, downtown.
The vet twisted and turned him every which way, and there was not a peep out of him. The vet said his bladder (what he could feel of it through the layers of fat), didn’t feel hard, and Rocky didn’t make a sound when the vet squeezed it.

In fact, the only reaction he showed (other than purring and generally enjoying the extra attention) was when the vet checked his lower spine. No noise though, just a twitch. The vet offered xrays and blood work, but being the emergency vet, I knew it would cost a fortune (we were already into $100 just for the visit), so I asked if he though we’d be okay for the rest of the weekend and I could take him to my vet on Monday.
The vet agreed, and we came home with (very expensive) pain meds and instructions to keep an eye on his bathroom habits, just to be sure it's wasn't an obstruction. Any sign of straining or discomfort in the box, and I was to bring him right back in.

When we got home, Rocky went right to the box and had a good long pee, relieving my worries there. (He's had two more today, so his bladder is just fine). He’s still limping , but  with only the occasional yell… and honestly... I think all that yelling was just for my benefit.
 Looking through the paperwork the vet sent home, he put down arthritis as a possible cause. And given Rocky's weight (19 lbs) it makes sense. So... in addition to the pain meds, he's now on a diet...
... and I'll have to get him up to our regular vet for more tests to be sure...  just as soon as I can get some more money together... so to that end... for the next week, all my patterns are on sale for 30% off. If you've wanted to buy any of my patterns, now is the time! Just use the code  DOLLARS4ROCKY at check out and save until October 3.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Garden Fails

Every time I do a garden post, I get a whole bunch of lovely comments on what a green thumb I have... well I feel it only right to share.. it's not all sunshine and roses over here...

The Lilies, Liatris, and Summer Snowflake I planted never made an appearance. It's possible the squirrels stole ALL the bulbs... but....

Many of the perrenials I planted last year didn't make it through winter... my English Daisies, Violas, Coreopsis.... all toast.

As you know, the White Lightning Rose bit the dust, and I'm not sure Navy Lady is going to survive either
I gave her a coffee ground infusion, but to no avail. I think she might just be planted too close to the tree roots, and just can't compete. We'll see if she makes it through the winter. I bought her on a whim on clearance, so I won't be too upset if she doesn't.

Also out front...
The tree garden looks like a desolate wasteland. Everything does okay in early summer.  But once the tree fills out, the rain just can't get through. Couple that with the hot, hot days of high summer, and the fact that the garden doesn't hold water well in the first place (and I can't water it every day, even if I wanted to)... by the end of the season, it's looking pretty rough.

I've got a plan though. In early spring, any of the perrenials that made it through winter (The Dianthans, the Red Clover, and hopefully the Campanula and Shamrock) will be moved to other gardens. The tree garden is going to become a succulent garden. I've already started with several Hens and Chicks,  as well as some of the mixed Sedum that was leftover from the Faerie gardens
It will do well in the drier conditions, and I can add a bit of colour every year with some Portulaca
They will blend in quite nicely I think.

Other gardening fails include the poor lettuce bowl
Despite my best efforts, this one just never took off. The leaves never got bigger than my thumb. I'll try again next year.

The poor Poinsettia just finally gave up. Last time I showed it to you, it was doing so well. But then we had several days of rain... I wasn't thinking and didn't realize that the ceramic pot it was in didn't have any drainage. The poor thing was just sitting in water for over a week. When I realized, I took it out of the ceramic pot and hoped I could nurse it back. It looked like it might survive, but over the last week it's become apparent that it's just not going to happen.

I'll have to try again this Christmas.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Felines

Apparently Rocky has a thing for tulle. I was doing some alterations on a dress that has a built in crinoline. The dress was sitting in my lap, as I slowly ripped out the threads holding the zipper. I felt a sudden tug and a whole bunch of weight on it and...
 ... just make yourself at home...

Thursday, September 24, 2015


That's what Sandpoint is doing
I've already started decreasing for the armholes. Possible helped along by the fact that I have the first Season of Outlander to work through....

I keep looking at it, thinking.. "This isn't big enough for an adult." But I have to keep reminding myself:
a) I'm too used to working on a seamless garment, so this is really only half of it.
b) Stockknit rolls in like crazy making it look much narrower than it is. When I spread it out and measure.. it's fine
c) It's going to grow a little in the blocking.

I'm really enjoying working with the yarn. Regia isn't the softest to work with, but it's not splitty, and has a nice bit of bounce that doesn't fight the needles.
And I love the little bits of autumn colours in the tweed. Adds a little pop to what would otherwise be a bland knit.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


It's the first day of fall, and while there are some leaves crunching under my feet, it doesn't really feel like it.

It's a comfortable, sunny 22 degrees (71F). Perfect for being outside
And just look at the pretty Nasturtium bloom. Still just the one, but it won't be long....
... before it has a friend.

The Shamrock is blooming again
 And the Sedum is really starting to shine
Popcorn Drift is almost ready to pop
And Chicago Peace is just showing off
That's one thing that's nice about the cooler weather - the rose blooms last a little longer. People are always surprised when I tell them my roses are blooming in September. But they will bloom right until the frost... right now Tournament has blooms, and both Blue Girl and Queen E are putting up new buds.  I just cut the six pretty buds Mellow Yellow put up last week.

Speaking of showing off
The Butterfly Bush is busting out all over the place now.

And take a look at my large faerie garden...
It just seems to have exploded. The Allysum re-bloomed, the Hens have lots of Chicks, and the Sedum is spilling all over the place.

And berry season never ends at Chez Wandering Cat
The strawberries are small but get lots of them
And I'm treated to a handful of raspberries every night when I get home.

And over in the tomato jungle...
The fun never stops.. This is just a days harvest. I give away more than we eat (well more than Dave eats... I don't eat them at all). Things will slow down as the weather cools, but we'll have tomatoes well into October too.