Saturday, October 25, 2014

Getting ready for spring

Today I tackled a few jobs that I really should have done while on vacation (but I just couldn't motivate myself)

But with November fast approaching, time was really running out. Yup - it's spring bulb planting time. I was in Canadian Tire the other day, getting a new pair of pruners (how I've managed to lose so many pairs, I'll never know) and I walked by the bulb display.
I have a load of tulips bulbs that Dad gave me from his gardens... but how could I resist? Mom used to have these when I was a teenager, but they didn't survive the move to Smithville.  They've always been my favourite tulip.

And then there was this...
I'd never heard of it before, but tt's also known as Spring Snowflake! So pretty.

I mixed the Queen of the Night tulips in with the bulbs Dad gave me...
...and planted them throughout the Lily and Tree gardens out front. It's hard to say what colours are in the ones Dad gave me, but it could be yellow, white, red, and pink and combinations thereof. They were a bunch he dug up when moving his gardens around.

The Spring Snowflake I planted all around the base of the tree. Now, lets hope I can keep the squirrels appeased with the black walnuts this winter and they leave my bulbs alone. If so, it's going to be a riot of colour with the Daffodils and Turkistan Tulips that made it through this spring.

While out there, I cleared out the dead plants and leaves from this summer.
The black clover has taken on a lovely red hue with the changing season.
The violas are still blooming away. Both of these will come back next year. Next year, I'll focus on getting some more fall plants - I've got spring and summer pretty well covered now.

With the front taken care of, I turned my attention to the back yard.
After much research, I've discovered that garlic is supposed to be a good repellant for Japenese beetles. I was already planning to plant some in the vegetable garden, but after reading that decided to plant some aroudn the roses too.
And would you believe the roses are still trying to bloom??? It's October! At least it seems I've picked good ones to weather the winter!

With the garlic planted, it was time to tackle a job I'd been putting off for far too long
Yup - that's the Gooseberry and Josta Berry chopped right back. The plan is to pull them out completely, but I think I'll wait until spring to do that (plus I think I'm going to need some man-muscle for that particular job).

The sparrows and Bun Bun aren't going to be happy about it. But I'll make it up to them next year when I replant. I'm thinking a Lilac and a Butterfly bush, and maybe a Raspberry Cane or two but we'll see what I can get when the time rolls around. Do you have a favourite flowering bush?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Old knits are the best knits

The Spidey hat is going slower than I expected, but that's okay - I haven't messed it up yet!
I'm almost to the decrease section, so the end is in sight.  The pattern continues the red through the upper web section, but I decided to keep the webs all in blue. I'm quite pleased with how it looks.

Since I don't have much current knitting to show, I've got an oldie. Years ago when I first started knitting, I knit a chunky chenille poncho. Despite the fact that it turned out way too big, I still love it. It's comfy and warm and I pull it out every autumn and frequently wear it instead of a coat. Today was no exception. And when I got home from work, I tossed it on the couch so I could sort out my bags and get the cats fed. When I came back out, I discovered Rocky on it, doing the paw dance with a blissed out look on his face
And really - who can blame him? It really is that comfy. But then I moved in for a closer look and realized....
He was also sitting on my keys.... what a cat!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

In need of a superhero or two.

I've been felled with a wicked head cold, so I've had lots of time to follow today's news.

Looks like our world could use a few more superheroes. All I can do is work away on the spiderman hat
It's coming along well. As always, the Fat Cat is lovely and makes the colourwork that much more enjoyable.

Now if only we could knit the world into a better place...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The squirrel has found his nuts

Remember how I brought some black walnuts home and how the squirrels didn't have much interest in them?
Well, I put the remaining walnuts in an old cat litter bucket and put them up on the stand I had out back - they were starting to mold in the plastic bag I'd brought them home in.

I didn't think much of it until I noticed the bucket was looking a little low. And sure enough, I looked out the door this morning before work and there was Mr. Black Squirrel nibbling daintily away on one. He was gone before I got back with the camera, but it looks like he had fun while I was at work...
I put them all back in the bucket but left it on the ground for him. Looks like I'll have to steal some more from Dad.

In knitting news... after hitting post last night, Dave walked in the door. So I made up some fresh garlic bread to go with his lasagna, and before I knew it, it was bedtime. Not a stitch knit.

I made up for it at lunch today
The second Pip Squeak is started. I love the fraternal yarn!

And tonight when I got home, I started on the Spiderman hat. just a few rows knit, but I'm about to get back to it.
That's if someone will share the couch...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Spider season

I did indeed give some love to Hitofude yesterday and managed to put one more repeat on her. As nice as it is to knit with the yarn, it's very slow going so she's weekend only knitting for now.

In the mad dash to get back to work this morning, I forgot to grab Miss P's socks, so no love for them!

And when I came home, it was time to make dinner, love the cats and all that fun stuff, so there hasn't been a chance to knit a stitch today! However, as soon as I hit post, I'll be heading to my needles. I considered picking up Old Town and beginning the process of  picking up all the stitches for the arms an body, but my head just isn't in the right space for that.

Instead, I'm capitalizing on the great feeling of getting my Christmas stuff done early. With the Cranberry Bonnet out of the way, the next on the dock is a toque for a rather young man. His Mom said his favourite colours are red and blue and I know he's an avid Superhero fan... did your spidey senses starting tingling too?

I found this hat on Ravelry. I already had some Fat Cat dyed up in red and black (left over from Nora's Ladybug jacket. It was nothing to dye up a skein of superhero blue
The hat on Ravelry is knit in fingering, but with a little bit of math, I should be about to work it out for the DK.

So I better go get these skeins caked up, before the evening slips away all together!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The great knit-cation: Day 9

As all things do, the great knit-cation is coming to an end. I spent the morning finishing up the Christmas Cranberry Bonnet.
I ended up going with a slightly darker bead (number 1, for those who remember.) It still doesn't have quite the pop I wanted, but it works. It doesn't show well in the picture, but looks quite lovely in person
A nice bit of sparkle to an already pretty little hat. This one is modded as well, details are on my Rav page. Now there are only four Christmas presents left to knit!

The rest of the day was spent cleaning in the bedroom. The closets and dressers were long overdue for an overhaul. Rocky came up to supervise.
He knows that when I start searching under the furniture, favourite old toys are going to emerge
It took all afternoon, but I've now got three garbage bags full of clothes for donation, and much more room in the dressers and closet!
Clearly, supervision is hard work.

Oh, and after two days of mulling over it, I decided that the bleached hair was just a little too stark. My eyes are too dark and my complexion is too pink. So I popped out the store and picked up a box of Golden Blonde.
It softened the colour up nicely - I like it MUCH better!

And now tomorrow is back to work. But there's still a few hours of knit-cation left to enjoy. So as soon as I'm done my dishes, to the couch I go to give Hitofude some love!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The great knit-cation: Day 8

There was one big road trip left for the great knit-cation: The Woodstock Fleece Festival!
It's about an hour and a half away, so I trundled up to Mom's, loaded her into the car an we hit the road!

We went to the WFF a few years back and I loved it. All the great vendors of the Toronto Frolic, but without the massive crowds. Well... apparently word has gotten out.... it's still all the great vendors... but the crowds are there now too! We managed to squeeze our way through. Mom got some lovely fibre to spin (from a vendor who has a shop 10 minutes from her house... but hey...) and I was on the lookout for something special.
Last time we were there, there were several rug-hooking vendors (something that I haven't seen at the Frolic). Two of my favourite bloggers hook rugs... and I've been wanting to give it a try for a while.

Sadly, the kits were well out of my budget, so I'm going to do a little more research and save up some money for next year.

Instead, I consoled myself with a beautiful hand made shawl pin
That happened to go just perfect with Lestrange.

And then I found a clearance bin with a pile of Himalayan silk.
None of the skeins match perfectly, and they are all different weights, but I just loved the colour and texture. The plan was to make a large, oversized tunic, but now I'm thinking it would look nice mixed in an afghan with a few other yarns....

Mom also made a new friend
And if there was a way we could have gotten her in the car, we probably would have tried. She was an absolute sweetie.

We took the backroads home, enjoying the fall colours and ended up going through the area where I grew up. We started reminiscing and decided to hit a little farm store we used to frequent to get a cup of hot apple cider.

Well that little farm store isn't so little any more. In fact they were quite the little tourist trap. It wasn't as packed as the festival, but there was quite the crowd! Certainly not how we remember it.
Especially in pumpkin season!
We got our hot cups of cider (and a jug of cider, and some candy apples...) and I grabbed a few little gourds to put on the front porch

 Though they look so nice on the table... they might just stay there!

Now, there's just one day left to knit-cation - so I'm gonna get knitting!