Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Spring is Kitten Season

Another Tuesday- I guess I think of Tuesdays as a good day to post here. As good a day as any.

I had coffee this morning with a friend that lived in one of the neighborhoods where I grew up. I say one of them, because we moved sometimes once a year, as my father was a contractor and liked to flip houses. Unfortunately, we lived in those place while he renovated. So I went to a few schools.

Anyway, it was fun to catch up with someone who I always liked, and it really doesn't seem like 30 years has passed. It was a good morning.

I have been faffing around quite a bit, because I ordered some needles to finish the sleeves on my Southwell Cardigan, and it seems I can't tell the difference between 40cm and 40". So I went to Romni and got what I needed. I swear I have never had so many setbacks with a project, at least, not that I can remember.

To keep myself amused, I have decided to master some knitted glovemaking skills. Well, I have made gloves before, but there are some ways of obviating the holes between the fingers and things like that. I really love the Shetland and Fair Isle ones, and you see, I have a bit of a (cough) stash.

There are alot of partial balls, as well as skeins (from the wonderful times where you could buy the yarn in a hank instead of those silly balls). There is also a few SQ's in there. But think of the possibilities.
These are called Benon Gloves by Hazel Tindall. She is a master knitter from Shetland, and probably can do these in her sleep. I did notice that in many of the patterns, the recommended needle size as well as the gauge varied enormously.
These OXO pattern gloves are from a book called "Knitted Fair Isle Mittens & Gloves"- some of these patterns call for a 2.25mm needle, which kind of baffles me. I am going to faff around more and see what works. (alot of faffing goes on around here....)

Let's get onto the "cute" section- it may not be what you expect. (If you are on Instagram you may have already seen this.)
I was out on Friday with my Buddy and I saw this car parked at the curb. Check out the mouse tail and the ears. A couple of guys got out, and I was laughing and saying how much I loved their car. They were so nice and even gave me a small replica of the car. Apparently, the ears are aerodynamic too.
I would so totally drive that. I case you're wondering, it's a pest control company.

Over at Miss Mew's, kitten season is in full gear. Chloe gave birth to 4 healthy kittens, and we're pretty sure they are all girls (it's rare to get a female ginger- they're usually toms). The one on the end is a calico, like mommy.

One of the babies had a twisted foot, and the vet is taping it as it grows. Can you stand the cuteness of the bandages? It's all I can do to control myself, and not place them in my purse and run away with them.

Okay, I'm fleecing out, or faffing, as the case may be.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

A Plan So Cunning You Could Brush Your Teeth With It

I've just noticed it's been a month since I've posted. This has been the most idle winter of all time. I have had no energy, and no inclination to do anything. The weather has been up and down- and outside, it looks like this:

I did manage to venture out before the storm on Sunday, to visit my buddy at Say Tea. Look what I got. It's amazing how much better your morning tea tastes in a great cup. I had the favorite niece along, so it was truly a banner day.

In knitting news, I am still working on my Southwell cardigan. I have finished the collar and button bands, but am at a standstill until I can get some circulars in 3.25mm. Yes, I have a ton of needles, but not in that size. I thought that I would be the one person who would be prepared for all knitting contingencies, but it appears not.

Fear not, for I have a cunning plan.

I have been thinking about making a tunic/dress in a Merchant & Mills pattern. For some reason, I envision it in a plum linen. I'll also get to use my serger. What could be better?

This is, of course, taking into consideration that I may not remember how to read a sewing pattern. Or, if I can read it, can I parse it? Hmmm. We'll see.

Today's guest kitty (one of my grandkitties) is Cindy Lou. She is wonderfully silly and floofy. We call her Cindy Roo, and Moulin Roo. Isn't she the best?

More Roo lovliness......

Fleecin' out for now.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Happy Valentino Day

In honour of my grey cat, Valentino, he wants to spread the message of love.
Hug your buddy.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

A Little Ironing..... and A Side of Cat Fur

 “If we are constantly consuming, then we are not creating.”
Joshua Fields Millburn,
Minimalism: Essential Essays

Last week was the one in the year where I endeavor to have all my medical appointments. I don't think anyone enjoys it, but I try to make it as painless as possible (see what I did there?). My doctor is very nice, I don't need any invasive exams and the lab where you do your bloodwork is in the building. I've done my mammogram, and will have my eye exam in March. Done and dusted.

I try not to be crabby about these things. There are so many people who have no access to good health care, and if they do, they can't afford it. I'm not about to get political here, but Canada does look after it's people. It's not perfect, but it's something to think about.

Hard to believe it's February. We're having mild temperatures and then freezing rain. I think I've worn my snowboots once. Very odd.

In knitting news, I have opted out of the KnitBritish KAL. The pattern I chose was just not doing it for me, so I frogged and will use the fabulous Cornish Tin for something else. I am working on my Southwell cardigan, which, at the moment, doesn't look like much.

Bear in mind, it is fingering weight, and you are doing increases and a cable top-down, so this isn't a quick project.

I'm all about quality-over-quantity now. At the start of the year I decided that spending is part of life. I realize that I do get caught up in buying frenzies- and ironically, am interested in buying less. If there is something I want or need (and there is a difference) I write it down. If, in a few weeks, I'm still jonesing for it, I re-think it. Interesting how many purchases are impulsive. I do get a thrill from the buy, but not so thrilled a few weeks later.

I watched a documentary by these guys. It didn't really reveal anything I didn't really know or consider before, but the context is interesting. It shows people on Black Friday Sales beating each other and lining up. Do people ever see themselves? Companies like Apple really do have it figured out- make people believe they can't live without the latest Iphone or watch or whatever. 
Onward and upward. I have put out my bulbs- after I did a major clean out of the kitchen. I don't know what colour these Hyacinths are, as it was a mixed pack.
And this little guy is keeping FC's shirts warm before I iron them. So helpful,
Clawdie. A little cat-hair always adds to the experience.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

A Toy Mousie By Any Other Name

Kathy has some questions on her blog this week that are fun play along:

1. What fear have you conquered? 
2. What’s your favorite spicy  food?
3. What’s a color you never wear? 
4. When sock knitters want a bigger needle project, what do you knit?
5. When did you last read Shakespeare? 
6. Are you gregarious or solitary?
7. What’s your favorite cookie recipe and why?
8. Do you dip your PB and J in milk? (Fireman!)
9. Do you feel you are becoming a better knitter or have your skills leveled off?
10. When’s the last time you broke a needle?

1. Any fears that are I have (the crawl space, air travel, some spiders and being alone at night) still exist. I can, however, kill any insect that invades. Even those milliepedes.

2. Nope. Don't do spicy on any level.

3. Red. Some shades of pink. Makes me look like a white lab mouse.

4. A hat.

5. I admit it, I don't "get" Shakespeare. Never did.

6. Solitary by nature.

7. Ginger molasses- they're scrummy!

8. My son is highly allergic, and even if he wasn't, I wouldn't.

9. Better- I like to challenge myself and master new skills.

10. I broke an Addi Turbo and exchanged it- they're guaranteed. In the fall when I was working on Alex's gansey.

I think I have the January blahs. I feel like drinking at least 3 pots of tea in the morning, and I have the urge to clear everything out of the house. Because I don't access the crawlspace (see question 1) I have to wait for FC.
By then, the urge has passed. I really need to deep clean the kitchen and the china cabinet, and I haven't. C'est la vie.
I am working on my Sandness shawl for the British Knits Blacker Podkal. I did change my mind about the other one, but I am using Cornish Tin II. The centre is the boring part- so maybe this is contributing to my ennui.
I am also doing some Crofthoose fingerless gloves- but these have partial fingers. I have a huge stash of Shetland, and these are quick and fun to do.

My big boy, Tino, has discovered a cache of mousies in the basement, and likes to announce his kill, in a very LOUD voice. Of course, I praise him, and tell him what a wonderful big game hunter he is, for bagging a big one.

Too much.

Fleecin' out.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Midwinter Musing

"We are all in the gutter,
but some of us are looking at the stars"

Oscar Wilde

Hello there, on this, the second week of January.  I don't think I went out all last week, except to the store. Oh yes, and Fabricland to get quilt batting.

Miss Mew and I decided to do a skill exchange, she will put a zip in her brother's hoodie, and I will finish her table runner. So I did. This is Moda fabric- really beautiful. She has to hand sew the binding on the back.

Also, I finished the lace edging on the shawl, so all my projects from 2016 are done and dusted. This puppy is huge, and took well over 2300 yds, so the pattern estimate of 1700 is way off. I just have to block.
Over on the KnitBritish Podcast, Louise is having a Blacker Yarn Kal/Cal.
I adore Blacker Yarn- and bought up some limited edition Cornish Tin II. My friend and I have chosen the Fallston shawl by Dee O'Keefe. She is a standout among the bajillion designers on Ravelry- and I love her patterns and aesthetic.This begins on January 19th- March 4th. It's a runner up to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, which I won't be attending. (rats).

I have cast on a new project, Southwell Cardigan in the nicest yarn ever, Sherwood Yarn BFL in Holly Blue. It is a fine gauge, so not a quick knit, but wonderful to work with.

I think that's enough yarn porn for today (like there can be enough...) so let's see what Clawed-y is doing.
Oh dear- I seem to have interrupted his mid-morning nap.

Fleece out.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Pack Up Your Troubles In A Green Garbage Bag.....And Smile.

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”

 John Anster, The First Part of Goethe's Faust 
Well, as you can see I didn't post on the first. I am only now regrouping after a great Christmas, and indeed, holiday. I will show you some, but by no means all of the haul. But the real haul is friends and family. 

I decided to start a new blog, for a new year, for a new attitude. I have been hanging onto alot of things, both emotionally and physically (a green garbage bag downstairs awaits donation) and have been thinking about letting go. I realize there are things I will never get to (and that's okay) as well as things I can never change (and that too is ok) and I want to focus my time and effort on things that matter. They may not matter to others- but to me personally. I don't feel the need to justify it to anyone, and I have earned it.

(wouldn't it be great if we could pack our emotional baggage in a green garbage bag?) Moving on.......

I received some fantastic books. The second one is Kate Davies "Shetland Oo" in hardcover, which had a limited run of 500. Mine is 349. No patterns but a pictorial done by her husband. A great collaboration. I am halfway through The Shepherd's Life, gifted by my sister.
For a make-up junkie like myself, this holy grail came from Miss Mew. It's truly gorgeous.

From a dear friend, an Emma Bridgewater jug ornament. It will be out all year.

Also from the evil twin, this Bavarian jug with sheep on it. It lives on the kitchen shelf.
Before New Years, some of us went to Stratford. We stopped at the quilt shop in New Hamburg and bought some fabric. Then we had club sandwiches with fries and gravy, so it was truly a banner day.

On the knitting front, I had one project left from last year. Anyone who has done any lace knows that doing a sideways edging can be the equivalent of purgatory, but for some reason, I am happy to finish it. This is a "Two Old Bags" pattern, "Mountain Pines". It has the center square, and you pick up and do the border in the round, marking the corners. It is a pattern I have had in the queue for years.

Clawed is having his mid-morning nap, prior to his late-morning nap, on my bed. Tino is on Alex's bed, and Howard is on his blanket on the upstairs sofa.

All is right with the world. For now.

Fleece out.