Wednesday, 16 August 2017

A Room Without A Roof

I am feeling optimistic today, for a few reasons.

1. It's getting darker earlier, and the CNE is starting on Friday. That's when you know Autumn is almost here.  Locals call it "The Ex".

2. Just went to my wonderful doctor, had some moles checked and they're nothing to worry about.

3. I started my light therapy, as I seem to be having Seasonal Affective Disorder, and after 3 days I can notice a difference.

4. I've been making things, and that's always a good sign.

To that end, here is a Sock Monkey bag I made for a gift.

I added a Gummi Bear stitch marker. I love Gummi Bears. Haribos.
Another gift- this is the Rilo hat. I probably should block it, eh?  I ended up making the child's size, as this is a large hat- to make it snug. A wonderful pattern, and free. Let's make that 5 things to be happy about.
I began my Halyard sweater, and this yarn is epic. Soft and beautiful to knit with.  You begin with the sleeves, and they have a nice roll back cuff. This is a new colour called "Smoke" which is now on the website.


And certainly not least, but last, my darling Clawed. He makes me so happy I want to sing. He is always nearby, if not sitting in my lap- and he's just soft and cute and smells nice and does the cutest things. I made him his own mousie out of handspun, and he carries it around in his mouth, and meows.

Happily Fleecin' out.



Monday, 7 August 2017

Bigger On The Inside

Good morning- I meant to post all last week, however I wasn't able to offload my camera, due to someone (cough FC) faffing with the computer. But all is fixed now.

I realize in reading other blogs and things that I haven't done a book review in yonks- and I have been reading quite a bit. This is actually funny- read on- you'll see what I mean. See what I did there?

But first I will share my latest FO, which happens to be a pair of socks.
 Ta-Da! My self-striping Straycat socks. I had so much fun with these- and I think they'll look great with Birks. I know this is an in-progress shot, but I really did finish. Honest Injun.

Okay- the books. A while ago I was looking for some great fiction. I am mainly a non-fiction reader, but sometimes you have to branch out. I decided that a writer I really like is Margaret Drabble and had read a few of hers before.  I Wiki-peed it for you- she is A.S. Byatt's sister.

So if a few were good- then were they all good? I ordered copies from my beloved Awesome books- most of them were in the bargain bin, and it probably cost less for all of these than one new bestseller. So I had a binge of sorts, and they were all great. She has been criticized for writing books that there aren't alot of conclusions to, but her writing is intelligent, and the people have quirks and alot of realism. I particularly enjoyed "The Pure Gold Baby"- which was published in 2013- so she's been around a long time.
This one has intrigued me for a while. The author and her husband live as Victorians. They are so fascinated with the age that they live in an old house with no modern amenities- they even have a paraffin heater and a woodstove. No cars- they bicycle everywhere- he even has a rare "Ordinary" known to most of us as a Penny-farthing. He rides it too. She makes most of their clothes- it would be fascinating to have a talk with them. If you love time travel- this is great.

I would ask her, given the chance- why she wears her corset at night. I'm pretty sure our ancestors took them off every chance they had, and I know they didn't sleep in them. She also seems to be obsessed with the word "quotidien" which means "daily" in English. But other than that- this is interesting. A modern insight into time travel as a chosen lifestyle.

I picked this up at Book City on remainder. I have the other one "Devil In The White City"- which I haven't got to, as it's an e-book, but anyway- this is about the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915. We all know about the Titanic. The Lusitania was a luxury passenger liner owned by Cunard- and she was the victim of a U-boat. Back then, they really didn't think that U-boats were a threat. They also didn't think the Titanic could sink. The boat went down in 18 minutes.

I like the authors style of writing- it's almost like a novel- but all the facts are there and all your questions are answered. I will read more of his for sure.

Gratuitous kitten picture courtesy of Miss Mew. Our Nuggins is getting to be a big girl- and oh-so-cute.

Fleecin'.




Tuesday, 18 July 2017

The Halfway Point

Hey- we've passed the midway point of summer. I figure it this way- summer is June, July and August (I know, the equinox isn't until September 21st, but this is my logic). After July 15, or thereabouts, we're halfway there.

Despite the humidity, it's not been a bad summer. But all I can do is look forward to cooler winds and falling leaves and oh, everything. I can smell the burning wood now......

I have been busy. My Boundary Waters shawl is almost done, just the last chart and the edging to do (which takes awhile) and I have also been sewing.
This is the Cleo dress from Tilly and the Buttons.  I actually made 3. The first was a mess, and the second I made for Miss Mew because I had enough black denim. I salvaged the shoulder straps from the first so saved some time there. This is mine in an indigo denim and it's really comfy. I would love to do a corduroy one sometime.

I will say this- don't hesitate to purchase from T&B's. The instructions are laid out step by step in a booklet, and you really cannot go wrong (unless you're me and figure you know better...). Well worth the price, especially if it something you'll make more than once.
Tour de Fleece is humming along, but I haven't done alot. This is the first bobbin of Fat Cat Knits (what else?) BFL Mon Ami. I have taken my time as I wanted to do a good job and I am happy with this.
I did finish this "Robin Redbreast" and got 300 yds. This was spun in a gradient and once again, the genius of Ginny has captured the colours really well. I look forward to doing something nice with this.

This little package has thrilled me beyond all reason. I came across this Etsy seller on a podcast, and fell for the self-striping perfection.  I know it says that she's not taking any custom orders now, but she did, and this is BMO, and Autumn & Mint. You can get sparkle too. Imagine.

On the kitty front, Valentino and Howard are still having episodes where they howl and hiss at each other. I have Bio-calm in their food, some stuff in the water, a diffuser and some food with Valerian and some other stuff in it. It has been recommended to me to get fox urine and spray the perimeter of the backyard so other cats will stay away. Even if I find a fox, how do I make it pee in a bottle?

Stay tuned for that. Fleecin' out.


Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers On Kittens......

We're coming up on another long weekend- which is known as Canada Day- this year is special because it's 150 years since Confederation. FC and I were going to spend a couple of days in Ottawa, visiting the National Gallery, but it will have to wait until the festivities are over. I hate crowds.

I have been a busy beaver (see what I did there?)- I have just this morning finished my Merchant & Mills dress-
I had a bugger of a time with the inset sleeves- which is why I probably make sleeveless garments mainly. But it's all serged, and came out pretty well.
I used a William Morris print for the back facing, and it adds a nice touch. I also did a straight hem. I would for sure buy again from M&M, the patterns are simple and unfussy. I am currently waiting for this to show up, as I have some indigo and black denim. I am doing the knee length version.
    
My finished Elizabeth shawl looks pretty good with it. I have begun a new Two Old Bags projects- the Boundary Waters, which has been in my queue for yonks. I celebrated my 10 year Ravelversary on June 18. Where did that decade go?
In between projects, I made this for a new little boy. I added a 3 needle I cord bind off.

On July 1st, Tour de Fleece begins. I am spinning for Team Fat Cat again. The spinning mojo has been missing, but hopefully I can get some of my stash spun.

And speaking of kitties, here is the Nuggins.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

I've Got Cat Class and I've Got Cat Style

Well Summer sure showed it's face in the last couple of days. If you will excuse the expression it was hotter than Satan's buttcrack. We're getting a few days reprieve, but then it's back to steamy heat.

Every year I try to remember all the things I actually like about this time of year, for example hanging laundry on the line, white peaches, black plums, wearing sandals, crazy toenail colours......what else? Birds and flowers I guess. Oh yeah, bbq'ing. I will try to remain positive.

I have been knitting, not sewing, not spinning, not alot of anything. I do have a few fo's I will show you, but they are upstairs drying after being blocked. I am currently:
Making these Halloweenie socks- the yarn is Stray Cat.
I can recommend this yarn for the packaging alone, but it reminds me of Stray Cat Strut. Gotta love that hair.

I also got a package of Hedgehog sock yarn. I first ordered some laceweight yarn from her back in 2010- but admit to being intrigued by these neon speckle colors- the black will be a contrast. I highly recommend this shop- shipped quickly and put in some colorful stitch markers.

Also, I was mentioning this Hinterland Range yarn, and this colour was not on the website. I love it- a medium grey tone, and Rambouilett/Alpaca. This will be my September project- something to look forward to after surviving another summer (I promised I wouldn't do that....)
(one of the culprits)
Howard and Tino have been scrapping- some aggression thing. I have tried Feliway Friends, some stuff you put into their food- Bio Calm, and Bach Rescue Remedy, but the howling and snarling continues. Next step is medication- probably for me.

Okay, Fleecin' out. Stay cool, cats.

Monday, 22 May 2017

SO I forgot to say........

Heeeyyy.... it's been a while. This is the Monday of the May two-fer, or Victoria Day weekend. It's sort of the unofficial beginning of summer for us, but traditionally it marks the time when you are safe to plant outside, because there shouldn't be any risk of frost.

I did actually spend alot of time outside, planted up the urns and moved some plants around. FC was a star and dug up some trees and bushes, pulled weeds and cut and fertilized the grass. As I am typing, he's putting away some stuff in the crawlspace, because we all know that's someplace I never go.

I've been busy- here, I'll show you:

Started sewing a linen dress, and used some beautiful William Morris fabric for the back facing. This is a Merchant & Mills pattern, the Dress Shirt. This appeals to me because it's a simple, but effective project, that has some classic details. About my speed.

I had a conversation with my bestie about why we never get around to doing the things we want to, the things on our lists. Our Ravelry queue (my 10 year Ravelversary is June 18). I am way too susceptible to distractions, and I have really been trying not to let the new and shiny get in the way. I can't do ALL THE THINGS. But I will probably die trying.

To that end, we decided that we love making the same project at the same time, so we came up with a project that we've both been jonesing about, and it's this:

The Elizabeth shawl, by Dee O'Keefe. I have a number of her patterns queued, because they are so beautifully charted and written. You don't have to lock yourself in a room or drop acid before embarking on them. As some of you may remember, I used to be an avid lace knitter. Then I got distracted. This is in some Woolen Rabbit Whisper lace- my favorite and discontinued.

(is it me or is purple the hue de jour?)

Okay, I have a couple of rants- in no particular order.....

a) Why is it that when someone poses a question to somebody, on the news or in an interview, the first word they say is "so". As in "Mr. Jones, I hear you've invented the first (whatever)" and he replies "SO I've been working hard on this....blahblahblah" What does that mean?????

b) (and this one really gets me). Individuals on social media and wherever who RE-WRITE HISTORY. We know their story is bullcrap- we were there at the beginning. What makes them think they can invent a whole nonsense portrayal of their lives, how much money they have, whatever, and people aren't going to see it for what it is? Are they kidding themselves? I find it insulting because my radar is highly tuned. I know shit when I hear and see it. Are they not interested in facts and truth? How do you get away with that. Is your life based on a lie? Wow, just wow.

c) Those "cold shoulder" tops that everybody likes to wear. What the actual. You usually can't wear a bra underneath (one of my all time peeves) and you're going to the office? Huh?

d) Those ripped up jeans that people pay a fortune for. Even worse, daisy dukes. We don't need to see it.

Now that I have got that done, what is everyone up to? I have no plans to go anywhere this year as we are having a major wedding in November, and I have a bridal shower to plan, and I am so happy, and everything. Exciting times.

Hopefully the summer won't be nasty. I have ordered some yarn for a cardigan I have been thinking about since Christmas- the Halyard*. I have had a major bee in the bonnet about it (more of a wasp nest) and I have some things to finish before I start. Oh, and yes I did fix that glove- I can't believe I did that.

*the yarn is Range Hinterland, which happens to be the name of a great series we just watched. Someone was telling me to order the yarn.

Fleecin' out.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Spot The Difference

I looked at the last time I posted and it's been almost a month. Wow, time really does get away from you when you're not paying much attention.

Not really alot happening here. I got out and cleaned up the front and back yards, as well as the flower beds. All that bending and raking always kills me this time of year- but it's fairly maintenance free, just weeding and planting up the urns- I have cast iron ones and just plunk flower baskets in them.

On the knitting front, I am still doing the sleeves on the cardigan-of-dread, and managed to distract myself by finishing another pair of gloves.
I kept the colours in these subdued- and now that I am looking at them I see I FORGOT TO ADD THE LAST PATTERN ON THE ONE ON THE LEFT!!!!  How out of it am I?  Day-umm. Edit: I have since chopped off the fingers and will add the missing pattern- and knit 4 more fingers.

Moving along- I have also been distracted by cross stitch. I love cross stitch, but not the twee, cutesy ones.  More "primitive" country-ish.
This is a pinkeep- and I have a mini pompom trim.

Okay, I have some off-the-Richter cute here:
We brought the baby to the vet- she's the one with the twisted legs. I am pleased to report that she's developed the muscles and is now motoring around no problems. Miss Mew let me hold the Nuggins and now we are at the point of not giving her up for adoption. Of course, my three brutes would have something to say about that- but maybe she could keep her and no one would notice?

I'll let you know how that pans out (eyeroll)........

Fleecin.