Monday, October 31, 2016

Hip-hip-Hallowe'en

Ruby slippers...
Check!

Cowardly Lion.....
Maybe not so check.... but it's his first Hallowe'en - we'll give him a little leeway.

Basket full of fun-sized candy...
Check!

Trio of jack-o-lanterns...
Check!

Okay... I'm ready.... bring on the kidlets!

....

I just had to share this picture of Little Miss Rowan. A couple weekends ago, she was down and enlisted me to scour the local thrift shops in search of a dress for her costume.... she wanted to be an undead bride.

We were worried at first, it was mostly slim pickings. But soon enough we found the perfect white dress, and already in her size. I made her a bouquet from dollar store flowers, and we got her some gloves and a veil.

This weekend her Mom let her lose with the fake blood so she could bring her artistic vision to life...
Jenn sent me these pics...
 I love the irony of the "Life is sweet" shirt
That's Auntie's little deranged sociopath... I've taught her so well!

EDITED - 9:34 P.M.

And here she is!




Sunday, October 30, 2016

Going, and going and going

The other day, I got an emergency text from Mom. Dad was still away moose hunting, and she got stuck at work longer than she'd planned. She needed someone to go up to loose and feed the wild ones.
With Dad away, they are a little more on edge, and a little harder to control. Especially by me, who they under no circumstances view as an authority figure of any kind.

Lovely Lady isn't too bad,
But Joker Jem....
Is an absolute fool. Of course, she's not even a year yet. But when she gets too out of hand, Mom discovered a way to get her back under control pretty quick...
Just shake a metal can with a few pennies in it. Seriously, this is my new best friend! It works like a charm.  On shake and she stops jumping and grabbing.

She's not a bad dog... mostly, she just needs a little extra help to wear her out...
Lady does what she can, but she's an old girl and tires out quickly.
Where Jem is like the Energizer Bunny....
A very silly Energizer Bunny.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Follow, follow, follow.....

I got the Hallowe'en socks done in record time. And while Mom and I are going to do a proper photoshoot for the pattern leaflet, I couldn't wait to share my initial snaps with all of you...
I've been calling them Hallowe'en socks, simply because they were designed to be part of my Hallowe'en costume for this year. And by those shoes, it shouldn't be too hard for you to guess what that is! The design will be called "Dorothy"!
They were definitely a fun knit with a cute result, and I hope to have the pattern together quickly.

Now if only I can convince a certain ginger kitty to be my Cowardly Lion.....

Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday Felines

First... thanks for the feedback on the pattern yesterday. It seems like we are mostly on the same page - that back is... unappealing. However, I think it's going to stay in the queue for a bit. While it might not be ideal to wear over my dresses to work... these chilly mornings make me think it might be nice to throw over a pair of pjs. The sleeves make it more practical than the blanket I currently have wrapped  around me...

But now... onto the main attraction!

When I first brought home a skittish little Ru, several of your predicted that he might get a little more snuggly once the weather cooled down. And I think you might be right.

Most evenings now, he jumps up beside me and snuggles in for a short cat nap (I've always got the good, furry blanket on, so that helps).

Since it's gotten colder, I've taken to using his favourite blue Cookie Monster blanket as an extra layer on the bed (it's nice and warm!) While I have to bring him up with me at bedtime, he's quite happy to spend most of the night curled at my feet. (He usually leaves between 4 and 6 am, so he's primed and ready for his 7 am thump-and-yowl-fest in the hallway downstairs... )

And last Sunday, both him and Peno spent a lazy morning in bed reading with me for a couple of hours. It was almost like having the boys back again.

So... we're gaining ground... but I think he'll always be a little bit saucy....

"Talk to the paw, Lady."

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Your thoughts.....?

Sally Melville just released this intriguing garment a few days ago.

The Easy Wrap Jacket
It's hitting all my buttons right now:
Quick knit (aran weight)
Look great in hand-dyed yarn
Super cozy! (It's gotten darn chilly out!)
Something you can just throw on over ANYTHING.

And while I shouldn't be casting on something new, I'm seriously thinking about it.... except for one thing...
I'm not entirely sure I like how it looks from the back....

What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Again....?

As you know.... I have a bit of an obsession with a certain style of dress from Old Navy. I just bought three more, bringing my collection to 17 of them.

What I haven't told you  is that a few days later, my friend Aneesha and I had another of our dinner/shopping dates and, naturally we stopped in at Old Navy. (It's her fault I found this dress style in the first place!). And wouldn't you know it... they had a previously sold out early summer print in the clearance section... in my size!
Naturally it came home with me. (Along with a t-shirt and some shoes for Dave, to make me feel a little less guilty about buying four dresses in less than a week). If you're keeping track, that brought the count up to 18...

But then, last Friday, I had a lull in work. I don't know what possessed me, but I suddenly found myself on the internet typing in www.oldnavy.ca.... I certainly wasn't expecting to find any new prints. They usually retire it for the winter, and wait until February  to bring out new ones in anticipation of spring. But I guess they are really good sellers, because there they were.... in SIX new prints. (Well - technically five... they've had a plain black one a few times....)

Thankfully, I only liked two of them.
Something about the combination of blue, gold and red really caught my eye. And the floral motif has an almost formal, opulent, Victorian feel to it. The colours make it super versatile - because I can pair it with any one of those colours. And black of course.

With the last order, I'd bought the white dress with red flowers mainly because I wanted a dress to wear with my red shoes. I've been wanted a red dress for a very long time, and it seemed like the white one was the closest I was going to get for a while.... but wouldn't you know it....
Damn you Old Navy!!!!

So yes.... those two dresses are now winging their way to me and should be in my closet by the end of the week. Because really... the collection should just be an even 20!

I am happy to report, they were on sale for 50% off, so I don't feel as guilty as I probably should.
And, as much as I'm dreaming about cardigans to knit for them, I really don't have the time now.

And.... I was only a few dollars away from the free shipping offer.... and there was an additional 25% anything that wasn't already 50% off so....
This open front cardi might have jumped into the cart. (You'll notice it's already paired with the grey dress I bought a few weeks ago.... that may have swayed my decision just a little).

And this ochre one insisted on coming along too....
I'll be able to wear it with the black print dress I just ordered, as well as the gold striped one I bought earlier this year... and the purple/gold floral one.... and the pink paisley one... and possibly even the teal/beige floral one from last fall....

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Priorities

As I hinted at yesterday, it's time to knuckle down and get my craft priorities in order. As much as I want to knit lace tunics and cast on for new cardigans  I've got Corvin to knit for the looming November baby on the way, as well as a couple quilts to get together.

But most pressing are the Hallowe'en socks. In fact, I've got just five days to finish them!
Luckily, they are ankle socks, I'm almost ready to start the heel, and I have fairly small feet. The deadline is pressing, but I'm sure they will be done in time... even if I have to knit well past the witching hour!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Whoopsie!

As many of you know, it's rare when I knit a garment and don't make some sort of modification to it to make it fit better, or just a little more to my liking.

A few of you have complimented me on my skill in doing so. But I think it's only fair to share.... it doesn't always work out.
That is the first completed sleeve for the lace tunic (but it won't remain completed for long). I was modifying it to make it shorter (3/4 length) and more narrow than the pattern.

But I was so focused on getting the length right, that I didn't pay enough attention to the width. And it wasn't until I got it off the blocking board, that I realized it was going to be far too narrow in the upper arm.

So.... I've got to frog back to at least the first v-pattern above the lace border, and re-knit it all again. With some well-placed increases this time.

But.... it will have to wait for a few weeks at least.... but more on that tomorrow.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Freak du Chic

The other day, it was raining after work. That usually means the traffic going home will be bad (and it's rarely good on a sunny day...). Before I left the office,  I took a look at the traffic maps, and sure enough, it was a catastrophe.

Fortunately, there's a decent discount mall not too far from work, so I figured it would be a good place to wander for a few hours while I waited for traffic to ease.

While I did go with a bit of a mission to find a pair of cheap white ballet flats (which I did... along with a grey pair and a pink pair.... hey... they were 3/$10), I wasn't really planning on spending much money.

But I'd wandering into Winners to see if they had any  jeans Dave would like. They didn't so I moseyed a little further into the store towards the shoe department. On the way there, I passed the toy department, and something jumped out at me...
I've been keeping my eyes out for an inexpensive Frankie Stein doll for my collection. I almost bought one a few weeks back, but her outfit was a little on the dull side.

This Frankie is anything but - she's absolutely magical!
Frankie is the daughter of the Frankenstein monster of course, an had the neck bolts to prove it!
Of all my monsters, she's probably got one of the sweetest faces - and I love the mismatched eyes!
I love the Bride of Frankenstein inspired hair
And of course..... those boots!
I'm gonna need another shelf soon!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Going My Way....

.... is still going

It's my travel project, and for the longest time, I'd been forgetting to take it when  I went anywhere.

But after I got Maeve finished, I did a proper accounting and organization of the WIPs. Everything got put in it's project bag. And  GMW's bag is handy for me to grab on the way out the door.

As a result, she's gotten a few rows added on her over the last week or two - mostly over lunch at work. But every row counts.

I'm still quite a ways from being done. I plan to knit this one until the yarn runs out. And there's still a lot of yarn left.

But those stitches add up!

Just keep knitting, just keep knitting, just keep knitting....

Friday, October 21, 2016

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Jungle-fied

As mentioned in a previous post, part of my garden chores was to get the indoor plants back into the house before the frost hit.

This really wouldn't be a big issue, except we are short on indoor space with enough light.... and I might have doubled the amount of house plants we had this year. Dave made more than enough snarky comments about the "jungle" last year... I was really worried about how the main floor was going to look after I got everything inside.

Luckily, I was able to sneak my plant stand in the space between the fish tank and Grandma's table.
And as you can see... Rocky is front and centre. His rose bush didn't do well, do I got him a nice Philodendron instead.
I think it suits his personality.

And look....
Mom was right about putting the Christmas Cactus outside to get it to bloom!
 
The Cronton appears to have enjoyed it's time outside too. I didn't know they bloomed! It's found a home on the floor in the kitchen beside the snake plant.

I recently got moved to an office with a window at work, so I took the few remaining orchids I had there....
... which left room on Grandma's table for the Stephanotis, Corn Plant, and a few clippings I have rooting.

The Passion Flower didn't bloom this summer

But it grew enough that I had to re-pot it. I reused the pot and trellis from the pear tomato I bought this summer. It should be able to live there for a good while before it outgrows it.

The big worry was the Hibiscus. You haven't seen much of it, because over the winter, it got a horrible white fly infestation.  I almost lost it, but it spent all summer recuperating and despite not blooming yet, it's doing really well.

However, over the summer, Sam's Mom gave me a 60-year old Jade tree. It spent the summer occupying the Hibiscus' winter spot at the back door. Both trees need the sun, and we're severly limited on spaces big enough with enough sun.
Thankfully I was able to squeeze them in together!

And Dave has barely made a peep about it all..... yet!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Little lacy bits

With Maeve off the needles, I decided to behave and focus on my WIPs instead of casting on something new.

Hallowe'en is inching closer, so I've got to get the second costume sock done. Over the weekend, I was able to whip through the cuff pretty quick.
Once it was done, I had to let it block out for a day or two before continuing on. So I turned my attention to the Lace Tunic.
Isn't this a blast from the past? This is the lace tunic I started back in January. I got the front an back finished, but as the weather started to get hot, I set it aside. I'm knitting it to wear with my leggings and boots, so there just wasn't enough drive to work on it. All that's left is the sleeves, so if I keep at it, it won't take me too long to get this one finished.

There's also the boot toppers
Though admittedly, this project isn't as pressing as it was. I tried on the boots again, so I was able to get the zippers done up all the way. It's great, because it means I've lost a little bit of weight, but it means the toppers can be move to the back-burner while I finish up more pressing projects.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Preparation

The only real problem with not having last week off is it's the week I usually use to prepare my gardens for winter. I have a serious back issue, so as much as I like to be out in the dirt,  I have to break large jobs - like mulch and weeding - up into mini-sessions.

Friday, I was able to get all the indoor plants back inside before the chance of frost. (More on that on another day).

Sunday, I carved out some time in the morning to attend to the Little Bee and Butterfly Gardens. They were the two gardens that got the most in terms of new additions, so even if I can't get to all the gardens,  I wanted to make sure the new additions were well-prepared for winter. So under the watchful eye of the rookie garden supervisor...
I set to work. I also had some more planting to do. One of the plants I ordered from Breck's didn't grow, so they offered me something else. I chose some Aliums.
I got 30 bulbs of the "Eye Candy" mixture. Here's hoping the squirrels don't find them all and at least some make it through. I also tossed a handful of grape hyacinth bulbs in the front garden too, while I was at it.

I don't generally do a lot of trimming until after the frost hits, but I had to get a few of them under control before I got the mulch down. The Lavender was crowding out the Poppies, the Bleeding Heart was in danger of running over the Sweet William, and the Blanket Flower....
... was working on taking over the whole Little Bee garden. IYou can see it pushing over the Crimson Glory Rose. I didn't realize until it was too late, but it completely shadowed the Double Bloom Susan, killing it. It was getting perilously close to the Delphiniums, so it was time to trim it back.
Past time apparently! Look how far it's grown out from the original stalks. Once all the trimming was done I laid down the mulch, bulking it up around the base of each plant.
The Little Bee garden is nice and clean, and everything can get the last bit of sun to root deep before the frost hits hard.
The butterfly garden looks nice and tidy now... and still so lush and green. It's hard to believe winter is on its way.