Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Not the best season for blanket knitting ....

... but what can I do, when there's an immediate need of a non wooly, large blanket?
Cast on!
Stripey acrylic blanket beginnings

Some time ago, last year, or the one before, I bought some acrylic yarn for a crochet blanket. I did some swatches, but it never went further. Good thing, because now I could start right away.

I've got Vanna's Choice in several colors to play with. I'm going to knit stripey strips, and with each one, the blanket will grow. It's supposed to be full sized.
Stripey acrylic blanket-Vanna's Choice yarn

I've put everything else on hold, except my spinning. I'm using 5.5mm needles, and am hoping that it's going to fly off my needles. It's mindless knitting, but I try to still be mindful while knitting it.

For some reason I don't understand, Denny is VERY interested in this "yarn". He leaves my wooly yarn alone, but I've been chasing him away from the baskets several times now. He also drops his squeaky toy into the basket, and looks at me like, it's not his fault he has to stick his nose into it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Robins nest

Last year a couple of Robin's tried unsuccessfully to built a nest underneath our deck. They tried really hard but nothing would stick, so they gave up.
This year, they were back, trying even harder to built a nest, schlepping on material for at least ten more nests, but the spring winds would blow everything away. Obviously in the end they did succeed, building one nest that would not be destroyed by the wind.

I can see the nest when sitting at my downstairs desk, and it was a pleasure to observe this little family over the last few weeks. I even got very protective of them.

May 23-101

When it was clear that there were eggs in it, and later I could see little wobbling Dinosaur heads appear over the edge of the nest, even the dogs had noticed them. Whenever we were out on the deck, Denny and Happy would run to the spot, where the chicks were right underneath, they started digging, and chewing the boards to get to them. Adding to that it was really hot, and the sun was burning down on the little birdies, through the cracks. Well, I put a towel on the boards, and put the drying rack on it, so it would not be blown away, giving them some shade. I did have to shoo away Denny every time we were out there, because a towel could not stop him from trying.

I watched the parents feeding them. Bringing on worms and caterpillars en masse, stuffing them into the waiting peaks. I noticed that they made sure every one of them got their throats stuffed, even if the strongest stretched out their neck above the others.

Over the last few days I saw that the nest was quite crowded. The three birdies lived in cramped space, and today one was pushed out of it. It was sitting beside the nest, wanting back in, but the other two would not allow it. Here he's watching me from the front. Then I walked to the other side...
May 28-3 Robin chicks leaving their nest-3

... and here he didn't notice me yet.... (his chest is starting to get the brownish-red color of Robins), AND can you see how they managed to smear poop on the roof of their home? :o)

May 28-3 Robin chicks leaving their nest-6

... but it didn't take that long, until he spied me.
May 28-3 Robin chicks leaving their nest-9

It was funny, because the two still in the nest thought, the one pushed out was now in a position to feed them, since it was the place where the parents sat when bringing home food.
After I took this last photo, and turned away, Maggie dropped a squeaky ball right underneath the nest, and with a startling whoosh, all three of them took off, barely clearing the surface of the pool, but they made it into the nearest tree.
Will be interesting to see if they come back to the nest for the night. I don't know if birds do that, once they are out of the nest, but I guess not.
♥ ♥ ♥

Monday, May 28, 2012

Very refreshing!

I've finished a pair of socks over the weekend. It's been a while since I've knit socks. Just didn't feel like it at all. Then I saw Wandering Cat Yarns Chroma Color in Cucumber, and the sock knitting spark was lit.

WCY-Chromacholors in green for one pair of socks-on Barn Cat

By now you all know how much I love green.
These had to be knit toe-up, to get all of the dark color at the toes. I'm using Fleegles toe-up sock recipe, and love it for the perfect fit.

Cucumber socks

Even Denny approved of them. He did the smell test.
Cucumber socks

pattern:Fleegles toe-up socks by Susan Glinert Stevens
yarn: Wandering Cat Yarns Chroma Color in Cucumber
needles: 2.25mm
size: 10.5
I had 4gr of yarn left over from each ball.

Cucumber socks

I've also joined another Mystery KAL, which starts on June 1. It's TTL Mystery Shawl KAL 2012 by Kirsten Kapur. I felt like a little mystery in my life. I'll be using another of Wandering Cat Yarns for this.
Since it's going to be a gift, I'm using the recipients favorite color for it. It's lovely Lilac on Wandering Cat Yarns Continental Cat. I've wound it into a cake, all ready to go.
WCY-Lilac-Continental Cat 100 % sw Merino-750yds

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Put on your party hats!

Today is my sweet Goofy's 3rd birthday!!!
Happy Birthday, Happy!

May 23-110-Happy

May 15-23

May 23-105-Happy

There will be a lot of splashing, running, and catching, with a special extra treat or two for him in between.

♥ ♥ ♥

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Handspun Friday - Downton

Today's yarn is made from Greenwood Fiberworks fiber club May 2012, and some SCF Fiber Club February 2012 semi solids "Citrus Splash".

SCF-Fiber Club-February 2012-Citrus Splash-organic merino wool top-110gr
The bases are Polwarth and organic Merino (semi solids). I should have spun up the semi solids in mini skeins (each color is 1oz), and knit some colorwork, but it's too late now.

Greenwoodfiberworks-fiber club-May2012-Polwart-4oz-Downton & SCF semi solids-2

I made a true 3ply yarn, 407yds, 6oz.
Greenwoodfiberworks-fiber club May 2012-Downton-407yds-3ply

Greenwoodfiberworks-fiber club May 2012-Downton-407yds-3ply

It's quite soft, and squishy. I made a swatch, to see how it would knit up. I like it. I still don't know what I'll knit with it eventually.
Greenwoodfiberworks-fiber club May 2012-Downton-407yds-3ply-swatch-4mm needles-30stitches

I'm not going to wish you a wonderful weekend just yet, because I'll be back tomorrow with a special post. :o)

Until then, be well.

♥ ♥ ♥

Thursday, May 24, 2012


I can't remember if we have ever used the pool in May, except for the dogs of course. This year May 15 was the first day that we humans jumped into the pool, well, not me, but I really wanted to.

Today I could resist the urge no longer and sucked it up, and went in. Holy cow was that cold! I've read somewhere that cold baths are good for you, and with that in mind, I inched slowly further in, only to be sprayed with the hose from behind. So mean! I was out of the pool in seconds, and had turned the hose on my assailant, who barely got the door closed on his cowardly retreat.

Well, I was wet, and cold already, so I took a deep breath and jumped in. Breathtaking!

Then the dogs were let loose. That's Happy.
Happy May 24

And Denny.
Denny May 24

And Maggie! That's right! Last year she didn't go into the pool by herself. She "accidentally" fell in a few times. But this year, she went in (did you here me squeal in delight?), and now we can't get her out! She loves it.
Maggie May 24

I had such a great time with the pups. The hardest part was not to drown. Both Happy and Denny swam after me, a little excited that I was in there too (or at all). Happy wanted to play with me, but Denny wanted him to get away from me. A water fight ensued, and I just got the heck out of there (two steps to the  left). So much splashing. It was wonderful.
Hopefully many more of those days are to come. :o)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Just another Denny story ....

I've been meaning to tell you this little story, where I felt quite silly at the time.
I was in the kitchen, chopping veggies. I saw Denny from the corner of my eyes, lying there, waiting for some veggies to fall off the counter, as usual.
All was quiet, the White ones were downstairs, sleeping, not doing anything bad for sure, when it suddenly hit me!

Wait, that's not Denny!

Where the heck was Denny? Never a good sign, you can't let him out of your sight (still, maybe once he's 8 years old?).

Well, I found him in the dog bed in my studio, chewing a dish towel. No photographic evidence for that one. I asked him to join me in the kitchen, for real this time.


Anybody could have made that mistake, right? Meanwhile, Happy has come upstairs to check on things. I threw Denny a veggie, to keep him from getting bad ideas.


Celery? Are you kidding me?


That's not one of his favorite treats, that's for sure.

♥ ♥ ♥
edited: I forgot to say, and this is quite important to the story, that it was Denny who dragged the stuffed dog downstairs, from Maggie's room into the kitchen. Did he do that on purpose, to fool me? Placing a decoy, so he could slink off, to do bad stuff, with me off his back? ;o)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Handspun Friday - Old Rose

This was a fun spin. May's colorway of the month from FatCatKnits was Old Rose. I ordered mine on Falkland. So as it wouldn't feel to lonely on the long trip from New York to here, some semi solids jumped into the package too.

FatCatKnits-Old Rose and semi solids on Falkland

I decided to spin it for socks, a true 3ply, with one ply Leaf Eater (green) and 2 plies Old Rose.

FCK Old Rose & Leaf Eater on Falkland-6oz-for 3-ply sock yarn

This is what I've got: a huge skein of 3ply, 654yds.
FCK-Old Rose & Leaf Eater, 3-ply, 654yds-Falkland

FCK-Old Rose & Leaf Eater, 3-ply, 654yds-Falkland

I'm quite happy with it. But I had some left over Old Rose on one bobbin, and an equal amount of Leaf Eater on the other. I also had some left over from another spin on another bobbin, so I decided to make another 3ply with the left overs. The blue ply was spun a little thicker, and I didn't have as much on the bobbin.

FCK-Old  Rose-Leaf Eater-Angelina-3ply-60yds

FCK-Old  Rose-Leaf Eater-Angelina-3ply-60yds

Still some left over of Old Rose and Leaf Eater (I really spun it thin). So I made a 2ply, and chain plied that.
FCK-Old Rose & Leaf Eater, 2ply then chain plied-23yds-2

FCK-Old Rose & Leaf Eater, 2ply then chain plied-23yds

I REALLY liked how this came out.

Now I wondered what the little skeins would look like all knit up, so I knit them up into swatches.

Old Rose swatches

Both are knit with 2.75mm needles, but the right one could have used a larger size needles, but I was too lazy to go upstairs to get some. Still one can see how it looks just fine. I love both of them, but others who saw the swatches on Ravelry liked the blueish one better. Too bad there's not any more of either yarn.

A comparison of the skeins: big one 654yds, blue one 60yds, green one 23yds.

FCK-Old Rose & Leaf Eater, 3-ply, 654yds-Falkland-6 & left over skeins


Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

♥ ♥ ♥

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Chew Toy

It's always so exciting to get a new toy, right Denny?!


Oh, wow Happy! You get to play with it too?! (all smiles)

Do you like it?

Heh! What'cha doing?




The END!

the END

♥ ♥ ♥

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mothers Day

Mothers Day was over too fast, as all weekends are. It was a lovely day, inside, and outside.
At the end of the day, shortly before the sun was down, she made our tree glow.

May 11
So beautiful! The blossoms in the shade looked purple.

During the day I had fun with the dogs.
Denny & new toy

Denny was worried that I was going to take away the new toy, since it was a present for me. It makes me happy when I see them playing with new toys.

Carrot Cake

The day before Mothers Day my DD and I baked a carrot cake. It's gluten free, and I was not sure how it would turn out. We've used coconut flour for it. (this above photo was taken after the cake was in the fridge for a while)

best carrot cake ever

I shouldn't have worried, because this was the best carrot cake I've ever tasted. Especially right after we had assembled it, and cut it, the cream cheese icing was still a little soft. Yum!

best carrot cake ever

In the afternoon, I finished spinning some fiber, which will be sock yarn soon. Here's a bobbin shot.

FCK Old Rose & Leaf Eater on Falkland-6oz-for 3-ply sock yarn

Oh, and I've got a new sheepy coffee mug, look, it's eying my piece of cake!

new sheepy coffee mug

With all that cake eating, we finished the day off with a nice walk with Denny, Happy, and DD and I.

♥ ♥ ♥

Friday, May 11, 2012

Handspun Friday - Shipwreck & Longest Night

April's SCF fiber club had two beautiful colorways to offer:
SCF fiber club April 2012-sw Cheviot 110gr-Shipwreck

and Longest Night:
SCF fiber club April 2012 - sw Cheviot 110gr - Longest Night

Both are superwash Cheviot, new to me fiber. As soon as I took it out of the bag, and handled it, I knew it would turn into something other than a garment or anything else near the skin. It was just too rough for my taste.
Spinning it was super easy, but there were a lot of coarse hairs to be picked out, which I did in the beginning, and eventually let some of them go.
I also knew, that I wanted them to be together. I spun a 2-ply yarn from each colorway, and plied them together to get a cabled yarn. 279yds total.

SCF-fiber club April 2012-Shipwreck & Longest Night cabled yarn-279yds- 

Now, what to do with it? I loved how it looked, but was pretty scratchy yarn. I decided to make some kind of container with it. I haven't done any crochet in a long time, and I'm happy to report, that my hands could handle the whole bag without too much pain. Well, yes, I made a drawstring bag.
SCF-fiber club April 2012-Shipwreck & Longest Night cabled yarn-279yds

Here it is! I love it! Open:
Shipwreck & Longest Night crochet drawsting bag-
and closed:
Shipwreck & Longest Night crochet drawsting bag-

I asked Denny to come with me to do a photo shoot!
Nudge, nudge!
Shipwreck & Longest Night crochet drawsting bag-

Shipwreck & Longest Night crochet drawsting bag-

Shipwreck & Longest Night crochet drawsting bag-

Shipwreck & Longest Night crochet drawsting bag-

His payment was in the bag. :o)
And here it is on my desk.
Shipwreck & Longest Night crochet drawsting bag

This was a fun, fast project. I started out with this pattern, but modified it. I really like the look of single crochet, it's almost like woven. The base is not really round
Shipwreck & Longest Night crochet drawsting bag-

I could have made it round, but I was following the pattern. The base is 6 1/2 inches. Then I crochet up for 7 inches, did the eyelet to get the leather bands through, and after that crochet another inch or so using a 4mm hook. I'm quite happy with it.
Wishing you all a lovely weekend!
♥ ♥ ♥