Saturday, May 16, 2015

The End Is In Sight

I was starting to think of my mystery shawl as the shawl that never ends, but I have finally started the last clue.

It is getting quite large and detailed. The 300 rows of the 9 stitch narrow border was the part that seemed endless.

It is a dull day, so it is hard to get good pictures. However, you can see the narrow cabled border at the top of the picture.

My Ravelry Project page says I started April 11, so I guess it hasn't been that long. I just want to see it finished, so I know what it looks like.

I am now at work on a 25 stitch lace border. I have 306 stitches to work into the border so it is going to take awhile! ( about 612 rows)

My Ravelry Project Page.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Guerilla Gardening?

Guerrilla gardening is a term used to describe the unauthorized cultivation of plants or crops on vacant public or private land.

Today, we discovered that some of that had happened in our yard.

Under the pine tree, in the side yard, we found this.

Next to the composter, we found this.

We quickly checked the neighbours' gardens, looking for more, but no one nearby has anything like this.

They do seem to be the same type.
I am pretty sure they came from the local squirrel "Bulb Relocation Project" which occurs around here in the fall. A delightful surprise, in unexpected places. The tulips in my garden don't look nearly as nice.

Yesterday, a local chapter of the Stephen Lewis Foundation Grannies Helping Grannies held their annual garden sale. The Grannies (as they call themselves) raise money to help grandmothers in Africa who are raising their grandchildren orphaned by AIDS.

I bought a new teacup birdbath, for my garden.

The cup and saucer reminded of my mother, so it seemed like an appropriate gift to myself, for Mother's Day.

Happy Mother's Day.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

A Bit of Knitting

A local school is collecting baby things for a Mother's Day shower, for a home for teen moms. I decided to make another Twisted Cuff Baby Hat.

Lacking a baby to model, I made a call for volunteers.

I think this model is perfect.

A better view of the hat.

I also finished the second clue in my MKAL shawl "Earth"

The wingspan is getting quite wide.

The final shape and design is still a mystery, to me. Clue 4, the final clue, is was released on Friday, so I am officially one week behind now.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Flowers, at last!

From late October until late April, there are no signs of life in my garden. After 6 months, it is very exciting to see things coming alive again.

Today, with weather that could be called spring, I wandered around taking some pictures.

The forsythia in a sheltered corner of the fence made an appearance on the weekend.

The one, more exposed to the elements, on the outside of the fence, opened up this morning.

We have had this bush for nearly 30 years, and although we feared that the city works department had killed it by digging it up, a few years ago, it was much tougher then that, and is back to delight me again.

Under the bush, there are scilla.

They seem to be on the outside of the garden edging. They do like to wander.

Nearby, I found some mini daffodils.
These are about 6 inches high, but they are making a big splash.

The bloodroot will be open tomorrow, I think.
The hepatica need a couple more days.
And this picture is for Maggie.

My husband brought me in some flowers, the other night, and put it in a handy "vase"

Monday, April 27, 2015

Spring Retreat 2015

This weekend, I again got the opportunity to spend the weekend with quilting friends, quilting to we wilt, talking, laughing, and, of course, shopping!

My major project for the weekend took longer then I expected. It might have something to do with the liberal use of my stitch ripper, since I kept sewing sections together backwards. You know, you put two pieces together, put them under the presser foot and sew, open it up and discover you  have sewn down the wrong side of the block, so now you have the opposite of what you wanted. I sewed one block together completely, and had somebody else come to look, and immediately pointed out that the four patch in the centre was turned 90 degrees to the rest of the block. That required that I take nearly the whole block apart to fix. At least it was found before the whole thing was sewn together. Thanks, Joanne!

On to some pictures. I am saving the pictures of my major project until I have it finished, but here are some others.

I started the weekend by making another knitting project bag.

Note that my table is fairly tidy at this point. It went downhill from there.

I challenged myself to make my pieced project entirely from my stash, so I used the monochrome feature on my camera to sort the fabric into lights and darks.

Four of these fabrics made the final cut.

Around the room there was a lot of other activity.
Lynn's I Spy type quilt, with squares that button together.

Doreen's flowers.
Joanne's "Oh My Gosh" quilt - each retreat she collects scraps that we are throwing away because they are too small for another use, and she adds them to her bag of scraps for this one. The 4 patches are 1/2 inch on a side.
I can understand why the pattern is called "Oh, My Gosh". I won't be trying it.

And Margaret's paper pieced stars. I have this book, but I haven't done any of the patterns in it.

There were lots of other projects happening, but I didn't manage to get a picture, no doubt because I was too busy ripping.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Spring Visitors

Yesterday was cool and dreary, so we decided to give the pets a bit of entertainment. We placed peanuts on the window sill, and waited to see who showed up. ( The pets were on the inside of the window.)

This squirrel was taking the peanuts, one at a time.

The chipmunk had a better plan. See the  peanuts.

See the full cheeks! I believe we counted 4 peanuts go in before he left.

On a sunnier day, I found these poking up in the lawn.
Good signs of warmer days ahead.

My mystery shawl is starting to be revealed. This is the end of clue 1.
I have 24 rows left of clue 2, before the next clue arrives, tomorrow. I am keeping up pretty well. I like what I see, so far. Should be ready for shawl weather.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Twisted Cuff Baby Hat

I made one of these last summer.

The pattern I used is no longer available, so I created my own. The internet is a marvelous place. I found the measurements for baby hats here. There is a video on how to do the twisted garter cuff here. A three stitch i-cord tutorial is here.

Twisted Cuff Baby Hat

Needles: 2 - 2.5 mm straight needles
               5 - 2.5 mm double pointed needles
               5 - 3.25 mm double pointed needles

Yarn : About 20 - 25 gm. of sock yarn (fingering)

Using the 2.5 mm straight needles, cast on 100 stitches, leaving a tail to sew the seam later. Knit 5 rows of garter stitch (knit every row). Next row, twist the stitches, as shown on the video.
Continuing to work flat, begin K2 P2 ribbing, transferring the stitches to the double pointed needles, either as you go, or after you have completed this row. (24, 24, 24, 28).  Join in a circle and continue the ribbing for a total of 10 rounds.
Change to the 3.25 mm needles and knit even for 3.5 inches. (9 cm.)
Decrease Round 1: *K8, K2 tog. Repeat to the end of the round.
Round 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14: Knit
Round 3: * K7, K2 tog. Repeat to the end of the round.
Round 5: * K6, K2 tog. Repeat to the end of the round.
Round 7: * K5, K2 tog. Repeat to the end of the round.
Round 9: * K4, K2 tog. Repeat to the end of the round.
Round 11: * K3, K2 tog. Repeat to the end of the round.
Round 13: * K2, K2 tog. Repeat to the end of the round.
Round 15: * K1, K2 tog. Repeat to the end of the round. 
Round 16: *K2 tog. to the end of the round (10 stitches)
Round 17: *K2 tog. to the end of the round (5 stitches)
Round 18: K2 tog., K1, K2 tog. (3 stitches)
Knit a 3 stitch i-cord for about 2.5 inches.
Cut the thread and run it through the stitches, pulling them tight and finish securely. Tie a knot in the i-cord. Using the beginning tail, close the seam in the garter twist cuff.