Monthly Archives: June 2009

Yesterday was textures and contrasts thereof.
GridlockWhitesLinked
ThreeWhites2Three More

Oh, and some small beasties on plants.
Green ShinyJumping SpiderFucshia


A Good Time Was Had by All

A few of my better photos from the post wedding fun at the Gladstone Hotel.
Kiss!CentrepieceChandelierLegs
NephewsNieceYumminessStairs

nb: I realise that the factors that make a photo good in my eyes may be a little obscure to other people, but they’ll just have to live with that.


Chocklit

Oh how I love a sunny deck for blocking knitting…

It did take a fair bit of plucking and squooshing and coaxing and easing and all those things, but the afghan turned out nice and rectangular; you’d never guess that one piece of it was about 20% too big…

Evidence:
EZ Garter Stitch Afghan - Done!

I love it so much, I almost don’t want to give it away! Of course, the recent heat wave does ameliorate that feeling somewhat. Plus half the pleasure of knitting things is knowing that other people will enjoy them. It really is magnificently sproingy and airy and cozy without being in the least bit suffocating. The wool (sorry, I just can’t stop raving about the wool) is just soooo lovely. I’m smitten.

Visually, it makes me think of chocolate cake with vanilla icing.
CorneredEdgyPye Approves but No Can Has

Of course, being the craft dork addict -ista that I am, I made a card to go with it:
Getting Carded
I managed to find a box more or less the right size which I then wrapped it in coordinating paper, and tied it up in a piece of silk from the leftovers from lining my own wedding dress 4 years ago (which I dyed sloppily with some acrylic calligraphy ink since it was far too white).
Put a bow on itWrap it upNo loose ends

I do love a nicely wrapped present… I have to say, this whole process has been very satisfying; I highly recommend it!


All Tucked In

All right, so I managed to do the seaming, the i-cord edging, and the (shudder) weaving-in of the ends.

Here, a sneak preview:
Edgy

Tomorrow is still promising to be warm & sunny, which means perfect conditions for blocking the afghan on the deck, with at least 12 hours left over to wrap it up and whip up a quick accompanying card before heading to the wedding.

Awesome.

The best part (I mean, apart from having a kick-ass wedding present for my step-sister and soon-to-be-step-brother-in-law)? I’ve not allowed myself to start anything new in ages so that I would have to work on this, and now I can do the cute little summer shrug I’ve been envisioning. Yay!


I am the Queen of Smooshing

Afghan Update

The completed pieces, assembly begun.
Afghan Pieces Assembly
Now, you may notice something: there’s an awful lot of floor showing between the pieces that are supposed to fit perfectly together. This is entirely my own fault.

It seems I got really sloppy with tension especially in the last piece and therefore it’s substantially larger than it should be. I suspected this was happening, and yet did nothing to rectify it while knitting. Sad, pathetic really.
However, as I am indeed the Queen of Smooshing, I made it do this:
Afghan Pieces Smooshed

I may not be nearly meticulous enough (I even have a hard time remembering the word when I want to use it: serious mental block, folks) to maintain vaguely consistent tension on a project this large, but darned if I’m not expert at making imperfect things work anyways.

I am fervently hoping that a good blocking will make it all come together, though somewhat afraid that the imbalance can’t be saved even by the powers of water on good wool. We shall see. However it turns out, it will certainly be warm and cozy and squooshy and lovely in the middle of winter (at the other side of the year from now…)

Next up, i-cord trim and then (horror of horrors) weaving in the ends. Why do I so loathe weaving in the ends? I’m not sure. I suppose because for a long time I didn’t really know just how it ought to be done and went about it quite randomly, but now I have a better grasp on the process so that shouldn’t be a problem. Probably because when it comes time to end-weave, the project is done, I’m done with it and it feels like there shouldn’t be anything more to do. I guess I just don’t include it on my mental list of parts of the making process so it always feels extra.

Sigh.


The (nearly) immeasurable joys of summer

Things I love about having my windows open all the time:

1- the neighbourhood robin whose streetlight-addled brain thinks that 4:30 am is a good time to tell everyone all about his plans for the day. I hope you can only imagine how soothing it is to be serenaded by this on those mornings that I am inexplicably awake at that hour and trying desperately to go back to sleep.

2 – the two small boys who live next door and seem to spend all day every day playing in their back yard, one (or both, I can’t be sure) of whom sounds eerily like Ralph Wiggum from The Simpsons. Since they have a very tall fence surrounding their yard, and I’m not nearly sociable enough to have made any effort whatsoever to get to know our neighbours in the nearly three years we’ve lived here, I have only the vaguest notion of how these boys look. Therefore I have constant images like this flashing through my consciousness all day…
Ralph

3 – the a**hole down the street with his (I’m assuming it’s a male, I could be wrong but I doubt it) ludicrously souped up some-sort-of-small-Japanese-car, who loves to rev through the laneway behind our house (of which our bedroom windows get excellent acoustics) with his ‘roided out stereo thumping at about 11:30 pm, also known as just about the precise time I’ve managed to fall asleep.

4 – the fact that the aforementioned neighbours had a new a/c unit installed on their roof two years ago, directly opposite our bedroom window. I mean, if you’ve gotta have central a/c, I’m all for rooftop units in general, but could they not have put it ANYWHERE else on the roof? Did they not see the window Right. There. ? Actually it wasn’t that bad the first year, since it is very new, probably expensive and therefore remarkably quiet, as these things go. But last year it developed a rattle. Just a little one, a little cyclical rattle of some little loose piece that they’ll never hear themselves. Of course since I don’t know the neighbours at all (see above), I have forced myself to get used to it and it’s really not that bad. Really. Except when I notice it.

But I still prefer all this to the canned feeling of central air and closed windows. Really. Though I’ll likely say differently in a few weeks when the nighttime temperatures stay in the 20’s and the sleep deprivation turns me into a sweaty, weepy pile of pathos.


I wish I could just lie here all day…

The sky from my deck this morning:
Wispy cloudsWispy smileWispy clouds

You’d think having the sky smile at me in the morning would keep me happy for the day. But instead I seem to have developed a case of a certain type of melancholy that I sometimes get in the summer. It’s a feeling like I should be lying on a dock, listening to the splish-splap of lake water gently kissing the boards and feeling the sun on my skin while reading some kind of serious classic literature about women in big skirts with lots of servants. And drinking iced mint tea.

Sigh.

And the constant remembering that in fact I’m in a big city with constant noise from internal combustion engines, which in this particular case is becoming exceptionally littered with piles of garbage even though it’s only day 2 of the public employees’ strike. Which also means no swimming pools and no ferry to the island, things that might otherwise temporarily quell this feeling.

Again, sigh.

Don’t get me wrong, the self-employed life is pretty darn sweet in regards to leisure time (though currently somewhat lacking on the resources side of the equation, to be frank), and I appreciate pretty much every tasty second of it, but it’s just what summer does to me. At least I have my deck: maybe I should buy a kiddie pool… toss the cats in for amusement.

Speaking of the deck (with apologies to Maggie); a close up of the first bud on my Calendula.
Close Calendula
[Edited to add:
The same flower, late afternoon Close Calendula]


All about the plants

Yesterday’s little harvest from the deck garden:Harvest101
A bunch of herbs and the first radish from one of the tomato pots. Today is just salad greens, which aren’t as pretty, and are likely going to be bitter…

I found this gorgeous peony on the walk home; almost like half chrysanthemum (one of the cool spiky ones, not the pretty-but-plain ones on everyone’s porches in October) inside the outer peony. I couldn’t decide which picture was best, so you get three.
Funky PeonyFunky PeonyFunky Peony

Isn’t that pretty?


Small Beauty

The orchids are in nearly full bloom now; the purple one just has one bud left and its spike is seriously heavy.
like so:
Orchids Together

and so:
ClusterBirdseye OrchidsGet close

Orchids: not nearly as fussy as you think (at least not these ones), totally worth the effort.

But I think I need a yellow one for balance…


In case you’ve ever wondered…

where squirrels sleep?
Sleepy Squirrel

how indoor cats and outdoor cats feel about each other?
You just better stay where you are...

or what a group of teeny tiny dwarven engineers would look like?
Hi-ho, hi-ho.

That’s what I’m here for.

I knew I’d be useful for something one day.