My garden sometimes surprises me. We cut back the rose bushes this past spring, and I really didn’t expect anything from them. I’ve since learned not to underestimate my roses.  Well…the roses at the back of the garden. While the rose bush at the front of the garden continues its three year trend of producing nary a bloom but long branches that rival a rastafarian’s dreads, the rosebush at the back of the garden has produced at least one bloom (and there’s a bud coming up!)


Now, the bloom isn’t in the best of condition, but I photographed it later in its lifetime, and the garden at the back got minimal love this past spring.

Also, Max the Phrenology Head and I spent some time out on the deck this afternoon. I finally finished that HitchHiker scarf that I started back in April. One of the reasons I like the pattern is the utter simplicity of garter stitch. I’ve noticed that this has been a trend with me this year…garter stitch scarves, a baby surprise jacket or two…granted, my knitting production has been a little low this year, but I blame that on the fact that I no longer have a lot of time to knit at work (and I’ve started doing a lot more spinning).


The yarn I’m using was a X-mas gift one year from Robin’s Mum. There were two colourways of the same brand (Sweatermaker Yarns), and the first pair of socks knit from the first colourway felted so badly that I think they wound up going to either Chelsea or Sherri.  Usually my shrunken socks go to Sherri because size 9.5 socks that have shrunk usually seem to fit a size 6 foot. I was determined that the green yarn wouldn’t wind up the same way, so I figured that the shawlette was a better option. I think I chose well!  HitchHiker seems to work really well with really “busy” colourways.

I’ve now got another shawl on the needles, but that’s a story for another time 😉

Yarn winding and deck painting

I totally forgot that today is Wednesday. Good thing I remembered in time! So…what’s in progress around here? For starters…I’ve been working away at my spinning:


That’s Crown Mountain Farms Corriedale Pencil Roving in “Stonehenge”, for those who missed the last post on the subject. I’m enjoying spinning this stuff up, even though it’s not as soft as the last couple of skeins I worked on. It’s a change, and change is not a bad thing!

Speaking of skeins, I took myself off to Home Despot yesterday and picked up some PVC pipe, a few T-Joints, and some endcaps. Those supplies combined to form Voltron a new Niddy-Noddy for me!


I’ve been spending a little time reskeining some of my past projects, as my old method resulted in some pretty fat and hard to manage skeins. I can see that using the Niddy Noddy will definitely save me some time and energy when trying to wind plied yarn off bobbins. Also, it winds yarn at 2 yards around, so it’s going to make calculating my yardage a lot easier.

I’m also one bind-off away from finishing the last HitchHiker scarf that I cast on back in April. This means that once I’m done with it, I can consider casting on Zoe’s Shawlette.


I wasn’t certain whether or not I’d be able to squeak out another repetition of the pattern, so I’d put in a lifeline with the black sock yarn I keep in my bag these days for afterthought heels. It looks like I didn’t need to worry, but better safe than sorry! As with any project, it’s a matter of just knuckling down and getting it done. It doesn’t hurt that I’ve been working on it in an air-conditioned building, because as soft as the yarn is, this has definitely been “too warm for knitting” weather.

You may have also noticed something new in these pictures…my deck is blue!


We finally managed to get a stretch of really nice weather over the weekend, and managed to get the basic staining done. The railings are pretty much done, and the surface of the deck itself requires just one more coat. After that, it’s the stairs and any other trim we want to paint. Being almost done with it is a liberating feeling, that’s for sure. This is the first deck refinishing for both of us, and it wasn’t an easy job. The experience was valuable though, so if we have to do it again, we’ll be prepared.

The main thing, though, is that it looks good. It’s an attractive colour, and fairly unique for our neighbourhood – most of the decks we can see from our house are either stained to look like redwood, or match the generically putty-coloured siding on the house. We were somewhat inspired by the fact that our deck is made of pressure-treated wood and thus has a slightly greenish cast. We figured that the blue would cover that nicely and offset nicely against the dark-blue trim around our back door. Interestingly, our patio tiles are somewhat pink in colour, so the pink and blue actually work together quite well. The next job, once we have the second coat on the deck surface, is to move the BBQ up to the deck and get the patio clear.  That way we’ll be able to put up our gazebo next summer.

Lots of things happening around here!

What’s going on

I know that last week I mentioned I’d post up a picture of the sock I started at the Henry Rollins Spoken Word event.  Since I cast off my self-designed socks, I’ve been working on these almost exclusively, and the colours are ridiculously fun.  I’ve just turned the heel on sock #1, and am about to start the leg.


As an aside, I *did* finish the socks I’m designing, but I think I knit the lace pattern upside-down.  So I may need to bust out yet another pair of lace socks. Not that there’s anything wrong with this…but I may need to order in the right yarn for the job. Wonder if I can get my hands on a skein of Lorna’s Laces “Bigger on the inside” colourway?  Though, really, weeping angels really should be grey…

Anyhow, while I was outside taking sock pictures, I also caught a few snaps of the garden.  This is another “work in progress”, as I haven’t gotten to weeding as much as I should.




And yes.  There *is* a guy crawling out of our garden!  His name is Bob (though we’re considering renaming him Pete).  He’s our Garden Zombie.


I’m hoping none of the neighbourhood kids have bedroom windows that overlook our garden…

Weed or Not Weed?

Just up front: I’m not asking about someone’s preferences as to smoking sections, I’m actually trying to figure out what does and doesn’t belong in my garden.  Aside from the tulips, daffodils, chives, nameless plant that has really pretty purpley-blue flowers, non-blooming rosebush (what’s up with THAT?) and the rather deliberately-planted shrub, I’m generally clueless when it comes to gardening.

These are coming up right beside my daffodils.  I think there are two different plants here, but I’m not sure.  It’s also choking out a garden light. What I’d like to know…is it a weed (and thus to be ejected from my garden) or is it a keeper?


Again, no idea who this guy is, but he looks deliberately planted:


Finally, this dude.


He’s hanging out beside a bunch of what I suspect are very fine chives? At least, I think that’s what they are. I know my mother was flabbergasted when she originally saw how much in the way of chives were planted in the garden, and warned me that they would spread like the dickens if I didn’t take care to cut them back.

I’ll be taking pictures of the little side-area plants, once they’re all uncovered (including at least one “chive” patch, as this is where they apparently “ran wild”), and the back garden. The back garden is going to be a challenge, as it’s about twice as deep as the first garden, and has a bunch more plants that I’m generally clueless about.

If anyone with some Mad Horticulture Skillz could please give me a heads-up in the comments, my garden would be grateful. Particularly as I’m doing my best to try not to kill anything I shouldn’t 🙂

The day so far…

It’s hard to believe my Saturday has been going so quickly!

First, we got busy doing some yardwork. I have no idea what these purple blooms are, but they’re coming up in our garden.


The lawn was mowed and my Dad came by to fix an issue we were having with the siding of our house.  I got busy pulling weeds and disentangling some of the neighbours’ garbage from our “decorative fruit trees” in the back yard (I’m not sure if it’s the wind around here, or just that our neighbours are lazy, but there’s a bunch of stuff in our back garden that we didn’t put into the yard to begin with).


I am pleasantly surprised at what kind of pictures my iPod takes.  Seriously.  Those are some really pretty blossoms (and they smell gorgeous!).

We have plans to get the yard clear and then put up the gazebo that my folks gave us, and put in the fire pit that the husbeast’s folks gave us.  Between those and the garden lighting, our yard should be really pretty!


After that, we got on our bikes and took a nice little ride on the Greenway Path, which is right down the street from our home.  We learned a couple of things: The bike path now extends all the way to 96th Ave NE (which is at the very top of our community), and that motorists in our area are insane and need to slow down.  Seriously. We couldn’t get across one of the streets to get to the path system, so had to join traffic. I really could have done without the gratuitous engine-revving.

Next up?  BBQ with some friends to round out the evening.  Sounds like the perfect end to a pretty close-to-perfect day!

Need a little rain

Sometimes it takes a couple of days of searing heat to make me appreciate a good rain shower.  I rained on Friday.  It’s Sunday now, and we’re just wishing that the sky would open up and cool things down.  You have absolutely no idea how glad we are that the guys who built our house put fans in the living room and bedroom.

Makes me appreciate the rain, though.  That’s for sure.  I know my garden likes it too.

I love the fact that there are little cartoony animals cavorting on the plate...

Didn’t wind up taking many pictures this weekend, though we did get some adventuring done.  We went out to sushi on Friday at a new restaurant, and tried out Ethiopian on Saturday (we were celebrating a friend’s birthday, and Ethiopian seemed to cater well to both the carnivores and the vegetarians attending). We also got a little wandering around done down in Inglewood, where they were holding a street festival. I’d have taken pictures, but we were having enough trouble navigating the crowds without a camera strapped to my forehead.  Got to stop in at Tea Trader and the Spice Merchant, though. Hooray for flavourful herbal stuffs that will make my dinner tasty!

Hopefully it will cool down soon so that I can actually cook…

Perky Fleurs

Woke up this morning & stumbled on down the stairs to make a cup of tea, and what should I find waving at me through the garden windows?  Bright, cheery, unashamedly perky flowers!


It seems that the gentlemen who previously owned our house left us a few pleasant surprises in the garden for springtime…now I just need to find time to get up before the bees to pull some weeds and do some pruning of the old stuff!

We have pink and yellow tulips, and when I went to take a picture from a better angle, I spotted this lonely little girl standing off in a corner by one of the garden lights…


Absolutely gorgeous.  Made my morning, as I woke up with my back screaming at me and all sorts of other unpleasant girly things that I won’t go into.  My back has been giving me problems for a couple of months now, and only just finally got around to making a visit to the chiropractor’s office.  Since it’s been years since I last visited, they did a full assessment, and I’ll find out the results today.  I got a pretty good idea from Dr. J, who made some pretty telling comments about my hip being so out of alignment that my left leg is slightly twisted & consequently shorter than the other by about an inch or two.  Yeah, that will cause some problems.

So while I was waiting for all this to happen, I whipped out the Robinsock and did a few rows.  Apparently they see quite a few knitters, and have to tell them to stop hunching over their work.  I guess I shouldn’t be telling them that I’ve been spinning too… 😉

Robinsock goes to the chiropractor

Yes, that’s their website address.  If you need a chiropractor, I highly recommend them.

Finally…since it’s the weekend, I leave you with the following example of “Ur Doing It Wrong”.

Ur doing it wrong

I was getting ready to leave work the other day, when I noticed that the silver car ahead of me was parked rather oddly over the lines.  Notice that there is plenty of space to park on either side of it.  Little black car comes whipping into the lot, pulls up *proportionately* next to the silver car, and this girl gets out and hurries into the building (license plates have been deliberately blurred to protect privacy).  You notice that she didn’t even stop to consider that maybe…just maybe….she was doing it wrong?

Maybe it’s just my sense of symmetry that’s affronted, but c’mon…

Happy weekend!