Sunday, January 31, 2016

Dying to dye

Over the last couple of months, Mom and I have taken a bit of a break from the dye pots. She's been pretty consumed by spinning and quilting, and you all know what I've been up too...

... but mostly, I think we just needed a bit of a break to get the creative juices flowing again. A couple days ago, Mom hit the studio again and...
... I think we can all agree.... those juices are a flowing!

These beauties (along with a few others... mostly Alley Cat) are in the shop now. I'll probably get back to it in a week or so too.  In the mean time, don't miss out! Skeins like these are definitely one-of-a-kind!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Treasure hunt

Yesterday I took Mary Mead off the blocking board, and got all her ends sewed in. Then in was time to dive into the button stash. Normally, when I make a cardigan, I've got an idea of buttons well in advance... (even if I do change my mind at the last minute.) But this time, I hadn't really thought about it much, so when I started looking, it was with a completely open mind.

I certainly wasn't expecting to find these...
As mentioned before, my button stash came from my great, great aunt. The majority of it was collected over 40 years from the '30s to the '70s.  You just never know what treasures are lurking in there.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Felines

Making the most of a little winter sunshine

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Taking stock

With Mary Mead off the needles, it was time to give the WIP pile a good assessment. I sorted through my basket, took stock and ended up frogging a couple of things.

The Tiger Eye lace scarf is gone... nothing really wrong with it, I just get so bored with rectangles! I may try it again one day, but for now I'm considering a different pattern for the recipient. I've got to do a little stash dive later this week to see what I have that will work.

I also frogged the shrug I started designing back in the fall. It wasn't working out as I wanted, so back to the drawing board with that one

So... on the needles I have...
The Maple Shawl. This one requires quite a bit of focus, so I really have to be in the mood for it. I expect it to be a long-term project, despite being a fairly small shawl.
Dave's hat. I've decided this will be his Valentine's Day present, so I need to get moving on it soon - especially if I plan to do some matching gloves...
Michael's socks. The first one is done and the second one is to the heel. This is now my main travel project
Sagittarius socks. This poor neglected pair was cast on last April!!! The second one hasn't even been cast on. As soon as I get either the other pair of socks off the needles, it will become my main travel project.

And that's a surprisingly small WIP pile for me. And if I do say so myself... a bit dull on the colour end... Considering we're in that dank, dreary stage of winter... I needed something with a bit more pop...
The is Lace Tunic with Fancy Edge. It's  something I've wanted to make for a very long time. I've always admired Wendy D. Johnson's patterns, but for some reason never knit one. I dyed the yarn for this one (Twisted Slinky Cat) in the summer, but just never had a chance to start it.

Depending on the light, the colour changes dramatically. In fluorescent light, it's a deep raspberry, under dim incandescent, a dark, moody wine. Under my work light, it's somewhere inbetween. It will be interesting to see what it's like in natural daylight.

It took a few false starts to get the pattern set (and of course, I've modified it a bit.) But now that's done, I'm on a roll...only 30 more repeats and I'll be onto the mindless lace of the main body.

What's in your WIP pile?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Miss Mead

I know you've all been waiting for an update on Mary Mead....

Well... on Sunday, I finished up the last sleeve. I could have probably finished the bands too, but I didn't feel like staying up that late. So, I picked up the eleventy billion stitches for the band, and put it in a project bag to take up to Mom's on Monday.

In between work and puppy-wrangling
I managed to knit it all and get it halfways cast off. Mom and Dad walked in the door at the halfway point, so I tucked it away, and planned on finishing it when I got home.

That never happened, because a certain someone
 (the grey someone, not the black someone for a change) decided he was going to have some digestive issues (time to up his fibre intake!), and I spent the rest of the night (and well past my bedtime) trying to help him get some relief. Those issues lasted in Tuesday evening (this picture was taken shortly after we got it sorted.... I think he was happy it was over). As soon as he was settled, I sat down and turned my attention back to that cast off.. and...
... she's a blocking! (Please ignore the messy blocking mats, someone likes to forget that the basement is shared space, and doesn't cover things up when he starts sawing....)

While it's drying, I'm going to go through the button stash and see what I have that will work.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Puppy love

Yesterday, Mom and Dad had a day full of appointments, and since the little one...
... is still too little to be left on her own all day, they asked if I would be able to puppy sit. I can work from anywhere with wifi (I love technology), and well... it's hard to say no to a face like that..

Really hard...
But don't fall for it. She's really just wants to eat your sweater
Or run away with it completely.
In the 12 hours I was there, she slept for about six of them. But those three she was awake...
Let's just say she keeps you on your toes!
Literally.. because she runs off with your boots. (Note to self - do not wear boots with pompoms up to Mom's for at least a year...)
And she's just as interested in a pair of camo wellies.
If she wasn't bothering poor Tibbi...
She was making off with his blanket
And poor Lady
She can't get a moment's peace.
Even during nap time.
 Just watch that little turd get closer.
 and eventually - take over...
They are pretty cute together though
We had a moment when Lady got a little too snappy with Jem over the toy box so Lady got put in a time out...
 seconds later... guess who joined her...
"Seriously, kid. Do you ever give up?" 

Despite all this, I was able to get all my work done and still have time for play...
But by the end of it.... we were both pretty exhausted

Monday, January 25, 2016

A note to our Canadian customers

As our Canadian compatriots know, our dollar is in the toilet compared to our neighbours to the south.

And unfortunately, our Etsy shop is set up in U.S. dollars (mostly because our suppliers are U.S., and it keeps things simple.) So our yarn prices must be looking astronimical right now.

Since we don't want to discourage our fans from buying locally, we’re offering our Canadian customers 25% discount using the coupon code CAD25. **
We’ll be leaving this open f until rates change, but we’re also discussing other options with our shop.

** This offer is for Canadian customers only. All other purchases that use the code will unfortunately be cancelled. Thank you for understanding.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

At rest

Dave and I are generally introverted creatures, other than a few very close friends, we don't go out a lot, and we rarely have people in. But on Thursday, Dave decided he wanted to have a couple of work friends over for dinner on the weekend.

So that mean a scramble for me to get the house in up to receiving guests. And it gave a bit of a boost to the decluttering effort.
Just look how clean Grandma's table is! I was even able to re-hem an old set of curtains for the dining room window - something I've been trying to find time to do since we moved in.

And all the work was worth the effort. We had a lovely dinner and a lovely evening. And now it's Sunday, and with the exception of a few extra dishes, I have no housework to do! And you know what that means....!
Just look how far those eight rows a day got me! Just the ribbing left on the sleeve, and then the bands. Do you think I can finish the whole thing up today...?

We'll just have to see...

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Felines

... has gone to the dogs...
Because how can you resist a face like that?

Wednesday after work, I went up to meet the new arrival. Her name is Jem and she's settling in quite nicely.
 She's a typical puppy, all sweetness and cuteness when she's sleeping....
And a complete maniac when she's awake...
I'm pretty sure she's part piranah
Everyone is still adjusting to her presence.
Mr. Tibbs is not overly amused, but he's mostly just staying out of her reach. Deuce will give her a swat when she gets in his face (no claws) but otherwise, he ignores her.

Lady has the biggest adjustment to make
She's too used to being an only dog.

But I think in a week or so...
... they are going to be best friends.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Rocky vs Old Man Winter 2.0

If there's one thing you have to admire Rocky for, it's pure determination...
"Okay... Mom's out here filling up the bird feeder... how bad can it be?"

"Hmmm there's still snow down there.. maybe just one paw."

"Oooooooh darn that's cold.... there's got to be a better spot"

"Oh yes... look... a bare spot!!!"

"Hmmm... looks kinda small. What happened to all the nice bare ground that was out here last week?"

"Darn.. this isn't gonna work... "

"Maybe it will be warmer under this rose bush..."
"Oh yeah.. my favourite rose bush is over there... it's got to be warmer over there...."
"Hmmm... I don't remember this rose bush being so close to the wall before.. it must have moved closer... cause I'm not getting fatter.. I'm not! Just a few more steps... and I can get to my favourite bush..."
 "Okay... nope, nope, nope... too far... too cold... too wet... too far!!!"
"This sucks...."

Don't worry Rocky Boy... spring is only nine weeks away. And besides.. look how cute your little toe prints look in the snow