Saturday, July 19, 2014

Mid-year check-in

 Okay - so we're a little passed mid-year, but it's close enough. Remember those knitting goals I set back in the beginning of January? Well, I thought it would be fun to step back and take a peak and see how I was doing on them...

Well... out of the 12 projects I chose... I've completed one....

Susie Rogers Reading Mitts
And yeah - I'm shamed to admit, it's the smallest one on the list.... but I did make a pair!

So... I think it's time to revise my outlook.. especially given the list of other things I've got planned for this year (including new designs, KALs and gift knitting...)

So without further ado, here are the seven projects I'd really like to complete by year end. (In no particular order):

A Better Bucket
How hard can it be to knit myself just one hat? I knit five hats last year!
This was a birthday present from SmokingHotNeedles and I have some perfect copper cotton for it - and it will go with eleventy billion things in my wardrobe. It must be knit!
I promised myself I'm going to knit this one this year - and by golly - I'm going to do it or die trying. (or attempt it an throw it in the wip pile and finish it next year... but at least I will have made the attempt.)

Before I got consumed by  Lestrange, I'd planned on starting this. But I didn't think it was wise to have two fingering weight lace cardis on the needles at one time. I may knit a heavier non-lace cardi before this one, but I really want to get it done this year.
Lace shawls take me two weeks tops.... why haven't I done this one? This year it shall be done!
Pirate Danger
I need at least one pair of socks on the list. It's gonna be pirates or nothing! (actually I've turned the heel on Vanellope so I may be starting this one soon...)
Watershed
Short sleeves, worsted weight, cropped length. If I can't get this one done this year.... I never will.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Five alive

You may have noticed that the shop is closed today.

You may also have noticed that we opened the shop five years ago this month. It's hard to believe it's been five years already - but I'm guess that's because it's been so fun.
It’s  never been about making bags of money, but just enjoying what we do and and sharing our love of yarn and knitting. We like to keep it stress free and it gives us a little extra cash to indulge in patterns and fibre from other people just like us.

So to celebrate, we've closed the shop in preparation for a big sale. The shop will re-open on Saturday morning, with markdowns of $3- $5 on all skeins. You may even find some new stuff going in at the marked-down prices.
 So thanks for helping us make five years - and be sure to check the shop out tomorrow!

As an additional thank you - all my patterns are on for 50% off for the rest of the month - use the code fivealive

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Meanwhile back in the garden...

1) The black clover has flowered
2) And I better keep my eye on it because these guys LOVE clover
 
3) The Armeria is pushing up flowers like crazy and they look a lot like clover flowers too!


4) Speaking of things that look like other things, Cupid's Dart looks a lot like a Thistle flower as it starts to bloom.
 5) The lone remaining sweet pea  - instead of growing up, has grown out and is now sporting four new vines... I really hope it starts growing up the trellis and flowering sometime this summer.
6) The roses are putting on a fantastic show. I've got a few blooms on the pink one, and the white one has pushed up 12 new buds
7) And who could forget about the dainty little forget-me-nots
8)  The Jalenones are doing REALLY well. I have a total  FIFTEEN coming so far. I think there will be hot-pepper- jelly-making session in my future. I've settled on this recipe as it's much like the jam I made last month. There's a hot pepper jelly lover on my Christmas list, so I think I have his present in the bag.

9) After a tip, and some research, I've learned that the strawberry look-a-like is probably not a wild strawberry at all, buy an imposter. I'm going to wait until it flowers just to be sure. However - it's almost berry time on the other plants!
10) Tomatoes! The first harvest is a little late this year compared to last (and I'm not harvesting just yet - you can't see it but the other side of that tomato is completely bug eaten), but that's not surprising considering the longer winter and much cooler weather this year.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

And the saga continues

Lestrange collar is blocking
I just did a light block on this one because it was already big enough - so I really just soaked it and let the lace open up, and lightly pinned the points.

Now I'm on to the bottom ruffle
I'm cautiously optimistic that I'll have it blocking this weekend... though I have to keep reminding myself, I have a pretty full weekend ahead of me... but I really want to finish this one up (have you noticed how monogamous I've been? Scary!!)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Spinning my wheels

...or Mom is anyway...

Those that read her blog will know that she has a new obsession. Spinning.

While she's pretty much neglecting her knitting, it's working out well for me, because I have a new supply of handspun yarn!
I brought these three beauties home on the weekend

While I love the idea of spinning, and love the fairytale-looking wheels, I'm not ready to go down that rabbit hole yet.... so I'm going to live vicariously through Mom.... and steal her yarn whenever possible!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Conquered

You were probably expecting a post yesterday.

So was I.

I was determined to get the collar of Lestrange off the needles and on the blocking board  and follow it up by penning a triumphant blog post.

I had just 14 rows left - and despite the fact that the rows were over 600 stitches long, four of those rows were simple purl-back rows. How long could it take?

Famous last words....

I plunked myself down on the couch at 11 a.m., and gave myself what I thought was a generous estimate - I'd be casting off by 5 p.m, blogging with blocking pictures by 6 p.m.

5 p.m. came and went. Then 6 p.m. By 7 p.m. I badly needed a break for a some dinner and a hot bath, but I was back at it by 8 p.m.

Dave rolled in from work around 9:30 and I was still working away. I stopped to make us a pot of tea and a bedtime snack, but got right back to it. By the time 11:15 pm hit, I was finally beginning the cast off.

And a full hour later
Yep - that pile of complexly knotted string is the Lestrange collar.  It's going to take at least half an hour to get her laid out and pinned, so I tossed her on the table and headed up to bed where I promptly collapsed from knit fatigue.

She'll get blocked tonight, though I'm thinking I'll give myself and evening's respite before casting on the bottom ruffle.

Of course, at one-third the amount of stitches, and two-thirds less rows, it's going to seem to just fall off the needles.... right?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Hung out to dry

One of my favourite things about summer...
...freshly dyed yarn on the line, hung out to dry.

That's an afternoon's worth of work - a mix of Barn Cat and Slinky Cat.

And now the evening shall be devoted to Lestrange... as is my soul....