Saturday, March 25, 2017

Warming trend

While the week was still pretty cold, all of our snow has melted. And now it seems like temps are finally on the rise. The trees seem to know that spring is on its way.

Of course, now it's raining... but April (or end o' March) showers bring May Flowers, right?

Before the rain hit, I took the chance to check on the gardens. Between snow, freezing weather, and the oblivious roofers property management hired to re-shingle our roof, they've taken a bit of a beating over the last couple of weeks.

The front garden seems to be doing ok. Of course, it's the only one the roofers didn't mess with. But it got it's fair share of snow.
I think most of the darker leaves are tulips. Two years ago, Dad gave me a pile of bulbs from his gardens. They got planted that fall, and last year they came up but didn't bloom. I'm hoping we get a better show this year.

The lighter leaves are mostly Day Lilies, but there are some daffodils, hyacinths, and Tukistan tulips in there too. Oh - and I planted some grape hyacinths in the fall, so maybe the squirrels left me some of those. Sadly, the Jacob's latter that was coming up has disappeared. I'm hoping it makes a comeback.

The side garden, is mostly doing okay. Some irises and/or allium (not sure yet) got a little squashed when the roofers decided to store a few bales of shingles and a ladder there (seriously, who thinks a garden is a good spot for that??, but the Speedwell is doing well, as are the sedums.
 The peonies are just starting to poke through. This is their third year, so I'm hoping to see some blooms.

Out back in the Big Bee garden, the Black Eyed Susans got slightly squashed when the roofers moved my garden cart through it (in their defense... that garden was covered by snow at the time... but gee golly!) I think they will be ok. Everything else seems fine though - The daisies are robust, the Cupids Dart and Bachelor Buttons are doing well. The Delphiniums are just starting to make their debut.

I think this is the Echinacea. It could also be a weed. It got moved around and some had  bit of a mite problem last year, so maybe that affected it yet, but it is still too early to tell.

The Little Bee garden gets the most sun and is doing well - with the exception of the Heath. It's definitely dead. It was never a super healthy plant and I think it just finally had enough. The fate of the Crimson Glory (red) is up in the air. The only green part she had has been broken off (I'm suspecting roofers....) and what's left is looking a little sad. Maybe some warm weather will cheer her up. But the white Delphiniums....
 ...Dianthans, and Bleeding Heart are all sprouting. Hopefully more signs of life will follow.

Over in the Butterfly Garden... my poor poppies that were doing so well... they are looking pretty  rough. Hard to say if it was the snow or the roofers, but I've got my fingers crossed they will bounce back
The Red Iris got a little munched, but I think it will survive. (Again, roofers or snow? Hard to say)

With the exception of my big pink Oriental Lily, all my Lilies are showing signs of life
But the big excitement is the Bee Balm
It started coming back a few weeks ago. It's related to mint, and so pretty hardy. But also like mint...
It seems to spread....
And spread!!!! Now I don't need quite THAT much Bee Balm, so once it gets a little more established, I'll pull some of it up and see if it takes to being transplanted. I'm part of a garden trade group, so I'm sure there's someone who'd be interested in some Bee Balm of their own.

Of course, it will still be a few weeks before things really take off and start blooming. So to soothe my need for flowers, I picked up thislittle beauty just before St. Patrick's Day.
 Love those little blooms!
What's in bloom in your world?

Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Felines

Okay, she's totally not of the feline persuasion, but I had to share this beautiful pic Mom took of Jem the other day
I think she's looking for her girls... she really enjoyed the March break company.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Resurrection

With only the socks as a workable project right now, I decided to pull out a long-neglected WIP.
Just how old is it? Well I'm pretty sure it predates my blog, which I started in 2007!

But... long-time readers may recognize it... I dusted it off some time in 2010, but never really made any further progress on it...
It's the beginning of a Beaker stuffie I was designing for Dave.  As you can see, I got the body/head done...
 Even a leg! But then it got tucked back in it's basket and neglected for a half a dozen years... I'd originally put it aside because the DPNs I had were cheap and terrible to knit with. I have my knit picks now, so I really have no excuse. He just needs another leg, a couple arms, a lab coat and tie....
And I've got all the yarn I need. There's nothing holding me back! Can I finish him for the weekend?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Hammer-town sock

First, thank you for all the kind comments on my Hooter hat. It's always so nice to have my patterns so well received!

With that taken care off and Appleby off the needles, I've turned my attention to the next pair of train socks
This pattern is Hamilton. Hamilton is the end of the line, and my home station. The city is a former steel town, and lovingly known as "The Hammer", so I've chosen a nice, cool steel grey Top Cat...
.. and combined some garter rib and diamond pattern for a strong, industrial look. I'm playing some serious yarn chicken with the pair (which is part of the reason they are shorty socks). I've already knit a pair of fingerless gloves, and some heels and toes from it, so it's a part ball.  But the colour was just too perfect to pass up. I can dye up some more if I run out (this is an easily repeatable colour), but I'm trying to work from and not add to my stash if at all possible. We'll see how that goes.

Now this is suppose to be commuter-only knitting, but I've cheated a little and have worked on it at home. I broke my only 4mm needle, so I can't work on the Empire Line Cardigan until the new one arrives in the mail. The only other thing I have on the needles is a seriously complicated lace shawl... and I'm just not in the right headspace for that.

I do feel a serious case of startitis coming on though, so stay tuned... something exciting may happen soon!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Pattern Release: Great Horned Hooter

Here it is!
 You can now make a Great Horned Hooter for yourself!

 It uses two colours of  Wandering Cat Yarns Fat Cat (or any DK yarn) .
It's a really quick knit - I had this one done in just a couple of evenings. And that owl is just too cute, if I do say so myself.

You can get the pattern for just $1 until the end of March! Don't miss out!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring!

FINALLY! It's the first day of spring.
There's still snow on the ground, and it's barely above freezing, but I managed to finish up a nice pair of spring-like socks!
The Appleby socks are done and I've got a new design on the needles (though I'll save details for another post)

Despite it being officially spring, it will be a few weeks before  I see any spring flowers here. So I brought a little spring home from the grocery store
Just the prettiest tulips I've ever seen!
Aren't they gorgeous? I need to see if I can get some bulbs for the gardens!

How's your spring so far?

Sunday, March 19, 2017

That's a wrap!

As I mentioned yesterday, Mom and I hopped in the truck with the girls and began the long trek north (three hours) to return the girls home.

Since I've been home all week, the commuter sock hasn't seen much love. I grabbed it before I ran out the door.
I managed to put quite a few rows on it, but it's still not done. Ideally, I'd like to finish it today, but I'm not sure if I'll find the time.

The first owl hat was also gifted to Jenn, (the girls' Mom) for her birthday
(Pattern will be released as soon as I find a moment)

I've got quite a bit on my plate today, so I'll leave you with this lovely shot of my nephmew, Zappa

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Squirrelly

Yesterday was the last day of March Break (as you read this, Mom and I returning the girls to their well-rested parents) and Mom wanted it to go out with a bang sooo...
We hit up the Flying Squirrel. It's an old department store that's been turned into an indoor trampoline park.

Luckily, Mom had the foresight to get waivers and tickets taken care of online. It was over an hour wait to get in without - but since we were all signed up, we were through the doors and on the mats in 15 minutes
Mom and I refrained from bouncing, but the girls had a blast. The place is huge and in addition to multiple trampolines...
There's rock walls
And other climbing aparatus
Monkey bars
And trampoline hoops

Mom paid for an hour of bouncing and at first was worried it wouldn't be long enough. I was tired just from watching, and Miss Pee tuckered out about 45 minutes in.

Rowan though...
Energizer....
Bunny...
On SPEED!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Friday Felines

I've posted pictures of the kitties cuddling before...
 But this is the first time it was Peno who was the instigator. Normally, Rupert pushes his way into wherever she is sleeping. But yesterday, he was first in the bed (she was in her scratcher) and about an hour later when I went to check on him...
They were quite the cozy pair!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A fine pair of Hooters

I finished up the Hooter hat.
Though if I'm honest, I'm a little dissapointed with it. I should have used a smaller needle.
And the stripey-ness of the handspun means the owls aren't as crisp as they could be. Sooo...
... for the purposes of the pattern photos... I've started another one. I had a nice bright blue in the stash that should show the owls perfectly.

Onward and upward!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Winter wonderland

I've had several people ask if we were in the path of the storm...and yep...
We were. That was the scene I woke up to yesterday. And it continued to fall all day. I think in total we got a little more than a foot and a half. Certainly more than the city 15 minutes northwest of us... I'm told by friends there that they got a little more than a heavy dusting. Thank you Lake Effect!
My poor seed jugs are absolutely buried! I'm trying not to worry. This method is supposed to work in January, so I think they can survive a snowy March!
I find it interesting that we always seem to  get the really big snowfalls when Dave's not around to shovel it. I managed to clear enough of a path for the mailman and called it quits. It was too cold out there and the storm brought on one heck of a migraine. In fact, I was in bed by 7 p.m.

The girls fared much better. There was talk of taking Jem sledding, but in the end, they decided to stay in
Yarn was dyed.
And fabric was sewn. Mom's been gather "galaxy" fabrics for a quilt for Miss Pee.
And I think they chose the perfect block.
Miss Rowie raided Mom's stash and found enough fabric for a simple purse to match her bunny
I think they only one who's unhappy about the weather is Rupert.
There's no sun to sleep in, and no birds at the feeder - not to mention the back door is frosted up so he can't see them even if they were there.

Hang in there little buddy.