Thursday, June 30, 2016

Return of the bun

Is it the last day of June? Can anyone tell me where exactly June went? And how it went so fast...

At any rate, the end of June has apparently brought on...
... bunny season.

After Rocky died, the bunnies seemed to disappear.  I know it's silly, but I like to think that maybe they were mourning the loss like I was.

But this week, they started making an appearance again. The other day, there were two of them chasing each other around the yard, and Rupert was keeping an eye on the from the door.
It's nice to see them again, but at the same time, it makes me a little sad.
Of course, it's hard to be sad for long when you catch sight of that fluffy white bum...
Welcome back, Mr. Bun!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Questions and flowers

More questions from KathyB and more blooms from my garden
Where do you keep your favorite old patterns?
I try to keep them in binders, organized by garment type (ie socks, cardigan, etc) but I'm terrible at keeping up with my organization, so most are just stacked in random piles around the house at the moment.

When was the last time you got to bottle feed a baby?
Oh geez... I'm not big on babies (unless they have fur...). So I'm not one to get all excited and involved when their a baby around. I'm guessing probably when Paisley was a baby... so 12 or so years ago.

What knitting will you pick up and enjoy today?

I'll probably be working on my silk cardi. The silk is so nice to work with.

Can you do a flip turn?
Nope. I'm not a great swimmer to begin with. though I love being in the water.

You just won a raffle. Craftsy online class? Independent yarn dyers sock yarn? Mystery yarny gifts in a wrapped box? 
Let's go with the mystery box. Mystery is always fun!

You can photograph anything perfectly and show us on your blog tomorrow. What will it be?
That's easy... the butterflies in my yard. I've seen lots of White Cabbages, a few Red Admirals, and even a Swallowtail... but I haven't been able to get any on film. They are too fast!

Name something you only drink in summer
Lemonade. I like to slice up lemons and limes to put in it too!

You are give a new skill. Do you choose
a) talk to the animals
b) talk to the dead
c)talk on the radio and have your own show for a night

That's easy... talk to the animals! Of course, I already do.. but it would be nice if they could talk back.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


 Apparently Little Miss Rowan found this little stray... and well... I'd like to introduce you to...

...Princess Poubelle-a Johnson
 Or Bella for short. She's my new niece and the newest member of the Johnson family.
She's made herself right at home in everyone's hearts. Even Mr. Zappa.

Welcome little baby... you've suckered the right family!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Just a little silk...

The hot and humid weather has struck again, putting my garden project on hold for a day or two. So instead of melting in the hot sun outside, I stayed indoors and knit...

Oh don't worry, I didn't do anything sensible like cast on for Dave's birthday sock. Or even work on one of the other projects already on the go.... heck no... I cast on for another project! In fact, I cast on for two! (But I'll save the second for another post)
This little wisp is the beginning of Kawaru.
 I'm using Willow Street Silk. I bought it at the Woodstock Fleece Festival several years ago. It's been languishing in the stash ever since. I also don't have a basic white cardigan... which really is a staple. And if you can have a basic white cardigan in silk... even better!

I only have two skeins of it, so I'm going to have to make some mods - but thanks to top-down and seamless - that's easy to do!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Bloom, bloom, bloom

No knitting to show still ...but there's plenty of garden distractions (which is actually why there's no knitting. I'm in the middle of an exciting project, so stay tuned.)

The pink Delphnium bloomed
 It's a very pale pink and the flowers are much more delicate than my blue one - but they are pretty. Once it fills out in a year or so I think it's going to be quite spectacular

The first orange Lily has bloomed
Over the next several weeks, they will provide a nice pop of colour at the front of the house. There's about double the blooms as we had last year, so the show should go on for a while

For the moment, the only thing in bloom in the side garden is the Speedwell
It droops a little in the heat, but those droopy pink spikes make me smile every time.

Also making me smile is this little blue guy
 ... and his several friends. These guys are popping up, all around the lilac and butterfly bush... a little gift from the birds... and all the seed they spilled over the winter.

I'm hoping my Bee Balm will bloom soon
The leaves have gone a little twisty at the top, and I'm hoping they will open to reveal buds. I think I bought red Bee Balm, but I can't remember.

I wasn't sure if I'd see flowers on the Red Black Eyed Susan this year..

But it looks like I will. The yellow replacement one I bought is budding too. So there will be flowers all the way into fall.

In the mean time...
The daisies are putting on quire the show...

What's blooming in your garden.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Memorial meows

It's been a rough season for the Johnson family and their pets. Last week,  my brother and his family lost their beloved Mr. Chu unexpectedly.

He was several years younger than Rocky, so as you can imagine it was quite a shock and the girls were pretty upset. My brother is in the process of rebuilding the backyard, and has built them a little memorial garden.

I wanted to do something special for them, and I already had plans for a little memorial of my own. You see, on the morning I got home from the vet after saying good-bye to Rocky, I opened my email to find this picture...
Sam's Mom has sent it to me, not yet knowing about Rocky. But it couldn't have come at a better time. You all know how much Rocky loved to be in the garden, and what better way to honour him than making one just for him.

As soon as the garden centres opened this spring, I bought up the pots and got a special plant .
Rocky loved the roses, so I got a beautiful little mini rose for him. And finally last weekend, I got painting
I mimicked his markings the best I could and he now has a permanent place in the yard.
And of course, I made one of Mr. Chu for the girls. Rowan is going to find a special plant for him and I'll deliver him the next time we get together.
But for now, he can keep Rocky company.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Friday felines

I agree Peno... it's been one of those weeks...

Thursday, June 23, 2016

More garden goings on...

We had a spate of really humid weather, and now that its passed, Tournament of Roses is blooming all over the place.
Popcorn Drift started blooming too. She was a little mad about being moved this spring, but has bounced back nicely.
The purple lavender looks so pretty beside the white snapdragons.
One of the new plants I bought was a pink delphinium (I got a white one too!) I can't wait until it blooms.
This Sweet William was another recent purchase. My grandma always had Sweet William in her garden, but I'd forgotten all about it until I saw this one on clearance.
To me, it's never really summer until the daisies start blooming... and start blooming they have.
And that means it won't be too long for ripe raspberries...
The blackberries will take longer, but they are worth the wait...

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Halfway Humpday

It's Wednesday.. and we're halfway through the week. And...
I'm halfway through Dave's birthday socks!

While the knitting mojo is still mostly playing hooky, Dave's birthday is now less than a month away, so I've got to get cracking. And the only way to get plain socks done is to just sit down and get to it.

So last night, I put on a movie (The Wolf of Wall Street) and did just that. Thankfully, it was a pretty long movie, and I was able to finish the remaining few inches and the toe.

Now... let's see how long it takes me to start the second one.....

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Kwestions from KathyB

Butterflies or Hummingbirds?
I don’t think I could choose. I’ve built my gardens around the butterflies, but I wouldn’t mind a hummingbird visitor or two.
I don't think my milkweed will bloom this year... but maybe next year I'll have a yard full of Monarchs.
Boxed water or bottled water?
I didn’t know about boxed water until this post, so I looked it up. I don’t really see the difference (both containers are recyclable here) but it’s all tap water anyway, so why bother with the waste at all?
For next to your skin softness, do you prefer angora, cashmere, alpaca, or acrylic?
Angora and cashmere. Alpaca can be a little on the itchy side, especially if it’s not part of a blend. 
Love my Twisted Top Cat Cardi... cashmere/merino blend.
Do you have an interchangeable needle set or do you prefer the individual circs?
I have an interchangeable set, but I prefer fixed. The interchangeable cables tend to undo at in opportune times. I love my Chiao Goos.

Do you prefer an alcoholic drink before, during or after your dinner?
After. I find before or during tends to upset my stomach.
What cuts into your knitting time more, others in your home or your own wanderings on the internet? 
Oh, definitely the internet – though Rupert is proving to be a  pretty big distraction…
Would you rather have a snowstorm as in Blizzard, or a heatwave with violent thunderstorms. 
Thunderstorms… always fun to watch. Though snowstorms are alright too – everything is pretty after they are over – and it’s nice when they force the world to stop and relax for a little while.
You just won an all expenses paid trip to a Fiber Festival.Would you go alone or try to bring a knit pal along? 
I don’t think I’d be allowed to go without Mom…

Monday, June 20, 2016

Here we grow again

It's not my fault... I just can't walk by a plant sale... (or a shoe sale, but that's already well documented...) it's like financial kryptonite to my pay cheque...

And almost all the garden centres around me are doing clearance sales. I won't detail everything I got in this post (I'll save it for others as things start to bloom), but I got a new rose bush, some things for the bees, somethings just for me, and some things for the bees...

And as a result, I had some digging to do on Sunday
The little bee garden isn't so little any more. In fact, it's more than doubled in size. And that's after a few of the new plants got tucked into existing gardens....
The front garden got this Jacob's Ladder... Those pretty little petals just couldn't be left behind.
The side garden got this Speedwell, which should bloom any day. It also got come Crocosmia, which I hope will bloom in a month or two, and some more mystery colour Columbine. I won't know what colour it is until next year when it blooms again.

The Butterfly garden got a huge Oriental lily (it should bloom by the end of the week, so I'll share pics then), as well as another Latrius (purple this time)
And they had a a few orphan tomato plants left, and I just couldn't say no to their plight. This one is a yellow pear tomato.... just something fun and different for this year. It's happily at home in a pot beside my grape tomato.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

FO: Twinkle Cat Octopus

It took longer than it should have (of course, only knitting a few hours a night will do that), but Nora's Octopus is done.
 This is the fifth time I've knit this pattern, and as always, I'm absolutely thrilled with the final result.
I used Twinkle Cat DK to give this particular octopus a little more pop. Some purple Stray Cat provided a nice contrast for it's underside.
Pipecleaners, folded in half not only make it poseable, but allow you to get that fantastic realistic curl on each tentacle.
Because I love making toys, I keep a stock of safety eyes on hand. The pattern calls for embroidery for the eyes, but I think the safety eyes take the realism up a notch.
I'm afraid my knitting mojo didn't return with the end of the project... but it was fun, with a great result at least.