Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labour Day

Was anything but...

In the morning we went to the PFRA for a walk minus the Superstar. She was busy using her last morning before school starts to do what any self respecting teenager would, namely sleep in.

It was a great walk, bug free and lovely. I got some decent pictures of the elephant that I knit for our upcoming swap in the Itty Bitty Group on Ravelry. I can't share them for another month or so, secret swap you know...

In the afternoon we took the kids to the old metal bridge and went fishing... well Mr. Man did (B helped). The Superstar played in the mud, and I, well... I knit of course, in the sun (it was sooo hot) and took pictures...

Don't you just love long lazy weekends?

Cheers :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Gnomes in Progress

Well yes they are... In progress, but really when you think about it, I knit these six in a day, felted them the next, am planning their faces as we speak (will be doing those the day this post gets published) and then... gnomes will be born... destined to eat my double pointed needles (dpns). Thank gnomeness!

Prefelting... Knit Picks Palette in (from left to right) Clove Heather, Mustard, Pool, Oregon Coast, Safflower, and Kumquat Heather. The faces are done in Oyster Heather and the hats are Serrano.

I knit them on size 4.5mm needles. A bit loosey goosey but the pattern says that's okay. I also knit the 7 inch length as many of my dpns are long... As well, I knit them in the round. Why seam if you don't have to?

Kumquat during the felting process. Very enjoyable when listening to podcasts... I caught up on the iMake podcasts... Very nice podcast. Inspiring really. I can't wait to try some other crafts like candle making, and glass art... I've been dreaming about learning stained glass... but I digress, back to the gnomes...

Felting is an amazing thing really. It turns normal knitting into dense, thick fabric. All you need is hot water, soap and friction.

Seriously... How cute is this hat?! I love it! And the macro function on my camera!

Here is the difference between the unfelted hat and the felted one. It shrunk, but not by much...

Kumquat Gnome is felted... hat and all...

He's faceless, but tomorrow after he dries I'll add his beard and needle felt his eyes. I have a needle felting kit that NrsMoo on Ravelry sent me last year that I haven't used. I can't wait to break it out. I'd love to decorate the tubes with some flowers and vines... so much fun!

Here is the Clove Heather colourway prefelted. I love these heathers from Knit Picks, especially the Oregon Coast one. They are so pretty!

Gnome Hats... awaiting gnome heads...

This is my gnome felter helper... Mr. Man thought the whole thing was good fun. So I put him to work...

Look Ma! A worm? A snake? A gnome? Ya right!

Gnomes hanging upside down... Gnome Hats in a row and zucchini seeds...  All drying in the window sill...

I can't wait to make the faces! When you read this, I will be... creating little people destined to eat my dpns. I'm totally tempted to make more... more and more. Enough to take over the world! Or at least send to my Itty Bitty friends!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Garden Update

This what I did yesterday with Mr. Man while B worked and the Superstar had yet to return from a trip to a friend's farm...

We picked the beans and threw the plants in the compost bin, picked the parsley to dry for later...

Picked the rest of the carrots and zucchini. I do believe certain young people ate a lot of carrots out if the garden this year, and yes, they are red on the outside, dragon carrots they're called...

Dug up the rest of the potatoes. I made a potato salad yesterday and will make some soup in the next few days... Yum! Fresh potatoes are really worth growing!

These are called Dragon Beans (clearly I had fantasy on the brain when I placed my seed order in the spring). They are such a fun colour but unfortunately they change to plain old yellow when cooked. I frenched and blanched them to freeze for winter today.

I also had the Superstar grate 3 of the zucchini today to freeze in 1 cup portions for baking, stews and sauces later this winter. I tend to throw it in where ever I think I can get away with it. No one knows (or can taste it) and I can feel good about feeding good garden food to the family...

Here are my Hubbard Squash from Seeds of Diversity. I'm so excited about these! I've had the seeds for a few years and finally planted them. I was afraid after our crazy flooding this spring that they would suffer seed rot but they grew. In fact we had to trim back the plants a few times. They were crazy invaders!

They grew lovely fruit, the size of tennis balls to start. The largest one in the picture above is the size of a volleyball.

I have high hopes for the taste of these after they cure a bit. I also plan to save the seeds and offer them in the Seed Savers catalogue for 2012. I love the idea of helping to preserve a bit of gardening past and pass on the genes to the gardens of the future...

This is one of my composts. We have 2 and I alternate which one I fill. This year it's the little one. The big one (you can kind of see it next to the little one) is just sitting all nice and rotting this year. Next spring we'll empty it into the garden and turn it into the soil. Then the little one will sit for a season as we fill the big one.

I do this because I'm a lazy composter... I don't turn them, or water them or follow the "rules":  green matter, brown matter, soil, repeat... I just let them be and magically, they produce lovely fragrant black organic soil, every spring. Seems to work...

This is my rather sad looking garden as of yesterday. I have lettuce going to seed and some parsley still producing. My beets and Swiss chard are still growing well and are so delicious! I'll pick the rest of the beets soon, and the Swiss chard I'll leave until the frost takes it.

My poor tomatoes! I had to cover them in sheets last night. We had a frost warning! Already! It got to 3C (37.4F) with pockets of freezing which is unfair if you ask me. I have lots of green tomatoes that would really like a wee bit more time on the vine, so I'm asking the weather guy to hold off on the frost for just another few weeks. As this is just the beginning of September I don't think I'm asking for too much.

So there you have a fall garden update complete with lots of pictures and lots of rambling. I hope your growing season is still going strong and all the fresh lovely produce you get to pick is nourishing and delicious!

Cheers :)

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Right now!

I wrote this list of chores to do...

so sorry about the blur...

and I can't wait to dive into this box...

And knit one of these gnomes!

photo by Tinyowlknits
You can check them out here...

Happy Saturday :)

Westknits Mystery Shawl

I bought the Westknits Mystery Shawl : Earth and Sky pattern on Ravelry in late July. This was my first mystery pattern purchase and I absolutely love how it turned out.

So the whole idea behind this is: buy the shawl pattern and an email will come every Monday in August with a link to the next clue, so by the end of the month you'll have knit a complete shawl.

I chose to use yarn that I had in my stash already (a goal of mine for the next 6 months). I chose Quince and Company's Tern yarn in a lovely brown and blue called Barnacle and Boothbay, and the rest of a skein of Noro Sock that I bought to finish the Sweet Jazz Scarf.

Here is Week 1 - Clue 1...

Week 2 - Clue 2

Week 3 - Clue 3

I waited until clue 4 was out before I finished clue 3 so there isn't a picture.

Week 4 - Clue 4

This shawl blocked out great! I ended up knitting the medium size and the Option 2 edging to end the shawl.

I had moments knitting this when I thought I didn't like it but now that it's done, I find myself drawn to the bold colours and shapes. It's really soft and warm! Here are a few FO shots taken during a super hot afternoon last week!

So would I do another mystery shawl?

Short answer...Yes.

It was fun!

Friday, September 2, 2011

FO's - Adrift in the Night

I seem to like to post on Fridays. Unfortunately I have so much to say this time, such a post would go on and on!  I guess I need to set aside some time thru the week to blog. I'll do my best, but no promises, school starts on Tuesday and September is always such a busy time.

I really wanted to show off the Superstar's room but her front door isn't on yet and I haven't got her curtains up. It also looks like an alien invasion attempt happened right in her room. I wonder if all almost 13 year olds have that problem! I'll try to get everything done this weekend and get a post up next week to show you how cool that room is, the best in the house right now.

I can share with you a knitting project though. I finished my Adrift Cardigan by Carol Feller. I called it Adrift in the Night since it's knit in black Malabrigo Sock yarn on size 3.25mm needles. I didn't use all 3 skeins of yarn, I still have more than half a skein left. I should have knit the arms first and then knit the body. I could have added some length and used up all the yarn that way. I'm sure I'll find a use for this yarn somewhere though, it's great stuff.

I did a few mods mainly around not getting gauge. It was small, my gauge, but I figured I could fudge along as this cardi is a generously loose fit in the pattern schematics. If you browse the finished projects for this pattern on Ravelry you'll see most are very loose and flowing. I wanted to have that look without doing all that knitting and also have it just a little more fitted. So that is my rambling reason why I chose to keep the small gauge.

I didn't do all the waist decreases. There were too many for what I wanted and although I did add a bit of length, I could have used another few inches.

I'm not so sure about the short rows at the neck. It really feels (now) like it was unnecessary. I probably wouldn't do them again. 

I think I knit an extra small and the arms are a bit tight to prove it. They relaxed enough that I don't feel the need to reknit them but I'm not sure they would fit over a t-shirt. Because they were so tight when I was knitting them I didn't do a single sleeve decrease. I would definitely pick up more stitches and knit them just a bit looser next time. I also knit a 3/4 length which isn't a mod as the pattern gives you the choice.

I'm so glad I got this cardi done! The evenings are starting to cool right down here and even my garden is getting ready for the end of growing season. This is the perfect weather for this cute little sweater.

Peace out! Ha ha, I can so hear the Superstar telling me what a geek I am right now! Snort!

Don't you just love that skirt though? I bought it on 13th Ave in Regina at a little store where I usually buy my hats (I like hats). It's a silk sari skirt and a wrap around one. I adore it!

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...