Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Random Tuesday, cause it is...

So I woke up this morning to a cool drizzly, grey morning, the kind that feels like summer is ending.

You know the one... that morning where you smell the bite of winter coming.

I was a bit bummed. Winter is a long season around here and while we got off to a rocky start, this summer has been everything a summer should be. It's been full of sun, and storms, change and growth and fun.

Mr. Man got a new backpack that he won't take off, ever...


My avocado pit is finally growing... and although the hollyhocks along my neighbor's back porch aren't as lovely as past years, I still love seeing them when I glance out my kitchen window...




And I finally got around to frenching, blanching, and freezing some beans from the garden tonight...

Thank goodness the sun came out today and while it didn't get scorching hot, it still turned out to be a lovely day.

Cheers to summer, I'm not letting go yet!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Rug

I started a rag rug last week out of some old Barbie and Bratz bed sheets that don't fit the Superstar's new bed (and she's totally outgrown Barbie now anyway). I was pretty excited and this is what it looked like...



I was less than thrilled. I think my crochet hook was too small and I increased too much along the curves so it made this terrible wave. No matter how I pulled and tugged and I really pulled and tugged, this rug would not lie flat. So we went to the fair...

I bought a huge crochet hook in the city, frogged the whole thing and started again, using this you-tube video. Thank goodness for you-tube I tell you!

The second attempt is much better. I'm paying attention to my increases and the rug is turning out great! I love how fast it is to make. I'm not finished yet though, it needs more purple and maybe some more pink...


These are addictive and what a great way to use up old sheets or t-shirts! They also look great all over my old house! I'll be making more for sure. In fact Mr. Man asked for one for his room.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Renos are fun Right?

So this is what I got up to on my 2 weeks off work...





This is the Superstar's room. We promised her that it would be next on our reno list and since she's away at Grandma and Grandpa's for the summer (well part of it anyway) we decided to git her done.

These pictures are pre-primer. I got all the wallpaper off (really, there were layers and layers of the stuff. It was even on the ceiling) and B got the cracks mudded and roughed out her new closet. Amazing how much work this all is.

The Superstar picked a lovely teal colour for her walls and after I got the primer on and the ceiling painted a very bright white, I slapped it on. I'd show you but today is very overcast and that room is super dark right now.

I'll be painting the baseboards and B is putting up the closet frame and doors this weekend and then, hopefully I can paint those, do some touch ups, and then paint the floor. B will wire the fan/light and get all the plugs finished (she went from one plug-in and no overhead light to 4 plug-ins and a big fan/light).

Then it's time to move the furniture in... get the drapes up, the bed made and her stuff back in place before she gets back next week.

Think we can do it?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Buffalo Days


We took Mr. Man to the Regina Buffalo Days last weekend. He was super excited to go to his first big fair. Big is a bit of an understatement I think!


The bumper cars were the first ride the boys tried and Mr. Man loved them.


We walked a lot and played a carnival game, Mr. Man won a leopard stuffy. Then I spotted the corn dogs. I have a weakness for corn dogs!


We had to try the Merry-Go-Round. It's a classic. I thought it was funny how tightly he held on at first, by the end of the ride he was waving at me as they went by.


B created a roller coaster monster in Mr. Man. They went on all the "kids" roller coasters and he giggled and laughed through every one (Mr. Man, not B, although he was pretty delighted too).


The rain threatened all afternoon and there were a few big splashes when we were standing in line for this ride. B wanted me to go on it but I took one look and said I'd rather stand in the rain. Then I took a picture, it was so funny.


Mr. Man played another carnival game and won. He pumped his little fist and yelled "YES!". It was adorable!


We had a great afternoon. There was lots we didn't see though, a big vendor area and different acts on stage to watch. More greasy carnival food to eat...


Like these ribbon fries. Looked good, tasted good, but oh, the grease... And that was enough for us! We'll be back next year!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fresh Stuff


Here's a small glimpse of how wonderful my garden has been to  me these past few weeks! We have yellow beans, zucchini, tomatoes, and cucumbers, not in the picture are lovely golden beets and amazing beet greens and also swiss chard. Mr. Man has been picking raspberries every night for weeks. We also have beautiful potatoes too.

I love that I can come home from work and not have anything planned for supper, go out in the garden, pick whatever needs picking and come up with something delicious.



This is the easiest summer meal ever, just roast whatever veggies you have and some sausages until done in a 350 degree oven. Boil up a pot of your favorite pasta, rough chop the sausage and veggies and toss with the cooked pasta.

Voila! Instant deliciousness!


 Yum!

Friday, August 5, 2011

FO - Sweet Jazz

Mary Rose on Ravelry gifted me with this pattern and I had to drop everything and knit it. So I did!



I had a skein of TFA in Deep Sea left over from my tank top and I knew this would make a beautiful scarf. Unfortunately I didn't read the yarn requirements properly and I really thought one skein would be enough, after all, most shawls on Rav are the one skein variety. Or at least the ones I've knit.



So I had to get creative and search the yarn store for something that would work. I found a skein of Noro Silk Garden Sock in a cream/beige colourway that I thought wouldn't look too terrible and really the contrast is pretty slick. I was able to knit all the lace in TFA and finish the last 2 rows in the Noro.

I've had great luck with stretchy bind offs lately and so I thought I'd try the EZ sewn bind off... If some of you  are thinking I'm crazy or if you're rolling on the floor laughing at me right now, where the heck were you when I was ready to bind off? I sure could have used the warning!

750 stitches are a lot to bind off...  to many to use this method... the yarn kept tangling, splitting, shedding and generally was a real pain in the rump.

Never use this bind off on this shawl... you will cry... especially as it took me over 8 hours to do (I'm so not exaggerating here)!



I had a bugger of a time blocking this (steam blocking isn't a very exact science) so the scarf has a ruffle. Seeing as there is a bit of a ruffle trend going on right now, I'm not overly concerned with stretching it out.


Thankfully I bought the perfect shawl pin at the Folk Festival a few weeks ago...


Also this scarf is long... really long...


Ok, so I'm complaining... but I'm finished now... it really is a fabulous thing this sweet jazz... I'm thinking of knitting another but in eye popping purple and bright green (I'm insane, must be the heat) ... it would go wonderfully with my charcoal peacoat...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

FO - Arroyo



This is called Arroyo and it's a free pattern by Sarah H. Wolf. I knit this shawl/scarf from a skein of Malabrigo Sock yarn that I've had in my stash for over a year.

It always feels so good to use up stash... I try not to buy yarn without a project in mind but sometimes a skein is just too pretty to pass up and this yarn with it's turquoise, blues and earthy browns was very pretty.

It knit up into a fabulous scarf although I wish I'd have cast on for a few more lace repeats. I have lots of yarn left over.

I liked that this pattern started with the lace edging and then the body was knit after. I've never done a shawl that way and it was easy.



I did a few mods of course:

...the first was knitting the body in stockinette instead of garter stitch. I was nervous I wouldn't have enough yarn (garter stitch eats yarn like crazy) and really my first mod was using sock weight yarn instead of worsted weight (quite a large mod actually) so I was freaked out about running short.

...I also decided I didn't like the edging along the neck. The pattern has you just cast off which is fine if you did the garter stitch but stockinette will curl and this scarf needed a proper edging to finish it off, so the next mod was the eyelet row just before casting off

Here's what I did:
Final edge: Purl one row… next row {k2tog, yo} repeat thru to end of row… Purl one row... bind off in Jenny’s stretchy bind off purlwise….

I blocked very aggressively because I knew this scarf was on the small side and there you have it... Arroyo... Perfect for wrapping around your neck for a bit of colour and style in the office...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

going... going... gone...

So you all know I live in an old house right? It was built in 1901 and probably around the same time someone planted 4 lovely spruce trees (well actually 6 but today I'm only telling the tale of 4 of them).

Unfortunately those 4 grew rather tall and being very close to the house, they decided to do what all big trees do when cramped for space...

they wreaked havoc...



they have heaved the ground and made a mess of the driveway...


dropped all manner of cones and branches and needles everywhere making it impossible to grow anything around them...


they throw pitch at you and your car whenever you are near...


and they started dropping loads of pitch on our new tin roof which I'm told causes the paint/finish to come off and the roof to rust...


I have to admit even with all the reasons we had to take them down I just about shed a tear. I feel like I'm in mourning...

I'll miss the birds, the squirrels, the presence and the history of these 4 beautiful trees...

Fortunately as I sit on our porch breathing in the fresh pine smell,  I dream about apple trees and wildflowers and white picket fences and soft grass and morning glory and...

Change isn't always bad...

Out with the old and in with the new

As I mentioned in my last post, we got a new camper last summer. I've been ready for an upgrade for ages. I loved the freedom that the...