Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday Felines

Several years back, I bought one of those leatherette storage cube/footstools. Over time, one or another cat claimed it. For the last few years, it's been Peno's. The cube sits beside Dave's chair, so she can be at the perfect height for petting (she's never been a lap cat, but she does like to keep him company.)

Then along came Rupert. He was showing a preference for Dave (occupying the cube whenever Peno wasn't in it). In an effort to convince me that Rupert didn't really like Dave better than me, he just liked the cube (so I would stop saying we need a third cat*), Dave pushed the cube over to beside the couch where I sit.

It didn't really prove Dave's point, because Rupert then just split his time between the cube, and Dave's actual footstool. All it really did was tick Peno off because she was no longer at perfect petting height.

So I suggested we get another cube. I was telling Sam all this.... and didn't she have just the perfect thing at her store...
Peno absolutely loves it. She only sat on the old cube when Dave was in his chair. But she's in this one almost 24/7. And when she isn't...
Of course, Rupert knows his place, and is quite content to take bottom bunk...
Which is good, because Peno's not big on sharing.

* nothing will convince me we don't need a third cat... you'd think he'd know that by now!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Pattern Release: Fairies wear boots

Thanks to our little day trip, and Mom's fantastic photo skills, I can finally release my boot topper pattern!
I give you: Fairies Wear Boots!
They use a little more than half a skein of sock yarn (in this case Twisted Top Cat) and are a fun way to dress up a plain boot.
Lace and cables keep the knitting interesting and a ribbed sleeve keeps keeps the cuff firmly in place.

If you'd like to make your own pair - the pattern is on sale for just $1 until May 1st!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sheepy seduction

When Mom came by on the weekend she handed me her latest spin.
I've mentioned before that she's a bit of a perfectionist. It tends to work out in my favour, so I won't complain. In this case, she felt her spinning was too uneven. Or as she said "It's all thick and thin..."
 I don't know about you.... but I can't really see a problem....
And just look at those colours! Purple and blue, brown and gold with a touch of green and every shade in between. There's 550 yards of this 100 merino. If I pair it with a solid sock yarn for the ribbing, I should be able to get a short sleeve version of my favourite cropped cardigan.

I'm so bored with all my current projects, it's taking all I have not to cake it up and cast on right away.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Baa, baa white sheep...

Have you any socks?
Yessir, yessir - one sock done!!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Garden gaeity

Sunday was beautiful and I spent almost all of it outside... and have the sunburn to prove it! But the little pain will be worth it when things start blooming
These three pots con
 Triteleia
 Gladiolas
And Ranunculus (or Persian Buttercup).

These bulbs all came from the dollar store. They are in pots (also from the dollar store) because they won't survive the winter here. But if I pull the bulbs in the fall I can store them until next year.

In the new garden I added a couple Pink Star Gazer Lilies
As well as some black Lilies. The black Lilies were bought on a recent trip to Home Depot. It was the last bag and they were already sprouting, so I put them in the ground right away. They've only been in there for a few days, but one of them is definitely and over achiever!
It's already got buds!

I also tossed in a handful of Anemones.

In the Butterfly garden, I pulled up the dead Milkweed (it just wasn't coming back)
In it's place, I planted some mixed Crocosmia bulbs.

So while I wait for all that... I'm enjoying my red Columbine
 And the prettiest little Bleeding Heart!


Sunday, April 23, 2017

A spring day out

Mom and I had a little play date yesterday. I needed some photos taken, and she knew the perfect little spot - a park by a river that just happens to be near a quilt shop...
The Quilt Junction - a beautiful little shop inside and old train station
I managed to refrain from buying anything (though I did drop almost $100 online at Old Navy first thing in the morning...), but I helped Mom fill her shopping basket.
Right down there street there's also a couple antique markets. There I found the perfect little cat basket, but I'll save pictures for a Friday Felines post.

And as for those pictures we were taking... I can't show them all yet...
 But here's a little sneak peak

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Winter Sow Success

It's still too early to put any of them in the ground, but I think we can safely call the winter sow experiment a success.

Despite a few wind storms, and the lawn maintenance boys intentionally aiming a leaf blower at them.... everything its doing pretty well.

The clear winner are the Mammoth sunflowers
Soon that one sprout is going to get too tall for the jug and I'm going to have to set it free.
The Indian Blanket sunflowers aren't nearly as big, but they are nice and healthy.
Same with the Teddy Bear sunflowers (though they are squished to one side thanks to lawn maintenance blowing their jug across the yard.)
The Lupins are starting to look like Lupins with their signature five-leafed shape emerging.
The Holly Hocks are doing well. I'm really curious to what colours I will get (package was mixed).
Early or not, I am going to have to transfer the Butterfly Mix soon. It's running out of room. I'm thinking it will go into a large pot until I can sort out what plants are in there.
The poor Iceland Poppies took the brunt of the leaf-blower incident, but I think they will survive. I'm going to try to spread them out in their jug a bit (they are all to one side), but it will be tough because they are still so small and delicate

The only ones that weren't a success were the Chives and the Sweet Peas. Both were a gamble because winter sow method is really meant for perennials. I still have half a package of both left; the Chives will probably be tossed directly in one of the gardens once the threat of frost has passed, and I'll try the Sweet Peas in a pot again (I can get them grow, just not bloom), otherwise, Bunbun just eats them

Elsewhere....
Finally a tulip!!! I think my tulip problem is not enough sun (this one is right on the edge of the garden so it gets a little more than the rest). Later in the summer, I'm going to dig up all the bulbs, and either dig a new garden, or put them in the back gardens. I really miss that spring colour.
The weather has cooled off a bit , but it hasn't slowed the Bleeding Hearts which are just beginning to emerge.
And the raspberries have really  leafed out. Boy am I glad I tidied them up when I did. I have a few stray sprouts to pull (raspberries spread like wildfire if you let them), but they are miles better than they were last year.

What's the garden like where you live?

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Felines

While she has a constant running fountain of cool, filtred water... Peno is just one of those cats who would rather lick condensation from the windows...
or drink from the plant...

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Shorn

Here's one of those deadline projects I was talking about yesterday
A pair of socks, loosely based on Summer Grazing. I condensed the chart a bit, so they are a few inches longer than ankle socks, because I'm using all scrap balls - a mix of Jungle Cat, Alley Cat, Twinkle Cat and Barn Cat.  It's a fun little pattern that's moving very quickly  - which is good because the deadline for these is mid-May.

And while we're on the subject of sheep... let's talk about shearing...
The other day after work, I got off the bus and headed into the salon and chopped it all off. While bleaching and pink hair is fun... it is hard on your hair and I got tired of all the tangles. Time to start fresh...

Kinda like spring cleaning.... for my head!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Slump

I'm in a slump with Empire.
I have zero desire to work on it, but I'm forcing myself to put a minimum of one pattern repeat (eight rows) on it each day. As a result, I'm almost to the armpit of the first front. It will go faster then, because I'll also be decreasing the neckline...

But... then I have to do the second front... and TWO sleeves....sigh...

But... I'm trying to get a much done on it as possible, because I've got two projects with deadlines coming up. Empire will be shoved in a basket for a few weeks. The more I have done before that happens the better.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Round and round the garden

It truly feels like spring is here now. The winter coats are tucked away, and I'm getting ready to swap over to my spring/summer shoes. And every day the gardens gets bigger and greener. I won't bore you will every little growth spurt - but here are a few highlights
The grape hyacinths have made and appearance. If these little guys are anything like the ones at the old house, in a few years we'll have a carpet of them!
The first Turkistan tulip has bloomed. I have a feeling this may be the only one to bloom... the tulips (of all kinds) don't seem to be making a great showing this year.
It looks like we'll have Bleeding Hearts soon. I'm definitely going to have to get a couple more of thse.
The Red Columbine had bloomed. It seems really early to me - but this particular plant gets a lot of sun and warmth. The flowers are still pretty small though - it should get a little more robust in May.
I'm very pleased to see my Double Blooming Oriental Lily coming back... but it looks like some buddy make a little snack of it.... and I think I know who...

Monday, April 17, 2017

Post-bunny-day

I hope every one had a good holiday. As predicted, our was nice and quiet. And while it's still a holiday for some (school children and government workers), most are back to the office. Including me

Which means, I'm also back to the Port Credit socks
These feel like they are moving exceptionally slow to me. Though I started them at the end of March - I'm just barely past the heel (and that's only because I cheated and put some rows on this weekend)

Part of the slower speed is due to the pattern - it's cabled (which is always slow for me) and you have to pay attention. I already had to rip out a whole repeat because I got day-dreaming and some of those side ripples went wonky.

I also haven't been going to the office to work much (rarely more than once a week) because it's just been easier to work from home - but that means less train time. Hopefully this week I can put a bigger dent in them. I'd love to have the first one done by the weekend.

In other news, and since it's still technically Easter. I wanted to share with you a new houseplant I picked up the other week.
At first I thought it was a Christmas cactus, but it's leaves are longer and...
It's flowers are a little bit different. The sign at the store just said "potted cactus" and the girl working the cash couldn't tell me anything about it.

But... a little googling did confirm that it's not a Christmas Cactus.. it's a... wait for it...

...

Easter Cactus!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Hoppy Easter!

I hope everyone one is having a wonderful Easter. I ordered enough Chinese food on Friday to feed a small army, so I haven't had to cook all weekend. It's been nothing but knitting around here. I've been resisting startitis, but it's hard.

I'm making progress on the Empire, but haven't gotten any decent pics. Instead,  I give you a sale!
Mom set up an Easter Weekend sale running  to Monday April 18th. Just Use the coupon code Hoppy20 at the checkout for 20% off all yarns. Minimum purchase is only $15. There's lot of pretty spring yarn to choose from...
Don't miss out!