Sunday, May 7, 2017

Spring Blooms

Spring is popping up around here. It's been cool and damp, but flower are blooming in the garden and I love that!

It's been ages since I've posted and time is flying by quickly. I still have my foster cat, Mya. I don't think I mentioned -way back when- that she was diagnosed with a tumour last November. All things considered, she's doing well. As it happens, the animal rescue group I volunteer with had a Gala last night to raise funds for our rescue work with dogs and cats. It's not often I get out of jeans these days so that was certainly an occasion to do so.


Back to blooms. It seems to me that the small amount of effort it takes to plant bulbs one fall is disproportionate to the amount of delight they offer for years to follow.


Tulilps. My fondness for them likely comes from a childhood in Ottawa and the annual Tulip Festival.


A touch of blue.


Sunny blooms in the backyard.


A spring medley. Here's to this season of rebirth! 
Do you have a favourite plant that gives you pleasure this time of year?



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Noro Kureyon: Bring on Some Colour!


I was surprised and intrigued when a representative from Yarn Canada contacted me to ask if I'd review Noro Kureyon yarn. In the interest of trying new things, both the yarn and a review, I accepted the invitation and offer of yarn. From the forty Kureyon options available (yes, forty), I chose three skeins which were promptly sent my way. The only request made by the representative was for my review to include a link to the beautiful colourways available.

With a black jacket and purplish parka in mind, I decided on #359 (Green, Blue, Grey, Purple). I tend to lean more towards monochromatic garments and thought theses hues would add a smidge of much-needed zing to my winter outerwear.

The hand-dyed, worsted-weight yarn has luscious colours. It's 100% wool from Japan and feels soft on my skin. The 50 gram (1.7 oz) skeins are 100 metres (109 yards) in length and 4.5-5 mm (7-8 US) knitting needles are recommended. The gauge is 14-16 stitches and 22-24 rows per 10 cm (4 inches). In other words, it wouldn't take ages to knit up something cozy, even though my skills are more comparable to those of the proverbial tortoise as opposed to the hare.

Picture winter walks in the woods and strolling by the lake under a big, azure sky on a crisp day. Mulling over ideas of what to make (a cowl or scarf came to mind), I landed on the idea of mittens. I have an ancient pair of heavily insulated mitts for frigid days but thought a pretty pair for less polar-bear-weather strolls would be welcome.

The pattern is free on Ravelry. I've dubbed them my Meandering Mittens but their proper name is ABC (Awesome Basic Cable) Mittens. I had wondered if the cables would show to advantage with the self-striping Kureyon and I think they do. Looking at the palm side, it's evident that plain knitting would be lovely too as the colours themselves create a pleasing design. I used 4.5 mm needles for the mittens, with a slightly smaller size for the ribbing because my wrists are small. Initially, I had been a bit taken aback by the thickness of the yarn in some places and the more tightly spun thinness of it in others. I needn't have been concerned because it knit up beautifully.

Originally, my plan was to try to match the mittens, but given the way the colours changed and the individual nature of each skein, I decided to embrace my burgeoning funky side, merrily knit, and see what happened! It paid off. Who says symmetry is always best?

Having used most of 2 skeins for the mittens, I thought a hat might be in order with the third one. Sometimes the hood on my parka or a toque pulled down over my ears is a bit more toastiness than is needed. The top of this hat, along with the rolled rim, appealed to me.

This pattern is also free on Ravelry and is called the Noro One-Skein Hat. I knit the top/down version on 4.5 mm double-pointed needles, switching to a circular one when it started to grow. Round and round it went, the Kureyon colours allowing an easy pattern to turn into a snazzy little wearable item!

C'est moi sporting my new chapeau.

Three skeins, three items. I enjoyed working with the Noro Kureyon yarn and love the finished projects: a colourful rolled rim hat and some fun and funky mittens. Anyone up for a walk?

To see some other Noro Kureyon colourways, please pop over and visit Wendy at September Violets. She's been working on a scarf in warm, rich tones and it's beautiful.

Thank you for visiting.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A Little of This and That


I hope you're enjoying the holiday season. At my home, a couple of old friends came for dinner on Christmas. I have a renewed appreciation for my mother and all those decades she produced turkey and all the trimmings! It's safe to say I have numerous little packets of turkey, rutabaga, Brussell sprouts, stuffing and more in the freezer. Some of the bird (and cranberry sauce) went home with my guests for turkey sandwiches.

Mya, my foster cat, was happy to greet visitors and decidedly uninterested in the fir tree. She inspected a branch one day and that was it. I'll count myself lucky.

I did a bit of knitting in early December. This was part of a gift for a Secret Santa exchange at a party for the volunteers at a local animal rescue group. Not knowing who would receive it, I was opting for something suitable for a man or woman. I've since seen the recipient wearing her scarf, so that's a good sign. It's easy to knit and the free pattern, called Christian's Scarf, is on Ravelry here.

There is something fun about the delivery of a package. This one arrived in November so I'm hoping to finish up a project in the next week or so. More on this Noro Kureyon yarn later. 

Right now, it's time to decide between sorting out my TV room or starting the Gail Bowen mystery I picked up at the library this morning. Hmmm . . .

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Hello, Again


Hello, again. It's been months since I've paid any attention to my blog and thought I'd make a bit of an effort to get back to it. I find it too easy to be a homebody these days, so took advantage of a recent sunny day and headed out to a local conservation area. I was rewarded by the sight of oak leaves. When I was growing up (not where I live now), I remember seeing oak trees all the time. So pretty.

Along with the wooded areas, my walk took me by areas of milkweed. I did spot an orange butterfly, which I assumed was a monarch, staying rather late in the season. Carrying on, I paused on a viewing platform by the marsh.

A stroll by the lake was also part of the trek. The woods, marshlands and a huge lake, all in an hour or so.

If you'd been with me, perhaps we would have lingered here, sitting and talking about whatever came to mind.

The moon was the incentive to head out for a stroll this evening. Various old songs have been playing in my head. Just now I thought of the lines:
The moon belongs to everyone
The best things in life are free

I hope you're enjoying the moon too.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Quiet Sunday

I thought I'd say a quick hello to you. It's a quiet day. Mya the foster cat is snoozing, laundry is swishing and the fridge is partway through a good cleaning. I'll watch Vera, sip a cup of coffee and iron away. Not exciting, I know, but there's a certain peace that comes when things around me are brought back to some kind of order.

I started to play in the garden this past week. Colours are appearing and I've been raking some leaves and pulling a few weeds. Do you have a gardening routine that you follow? Things get out of hand here, as spring turns to summer, and each year I promise myself things will be better!

Planting bulbs in previous autumns: that is an act of delayed gratification that offers a big payoff! Some flowers now and tulips to follow.

A few pansies found their way into pots. I thought this was such a pretty blue.
 
Also, fragrant hyacinths are blooming and magnolia buds are just about ready to flower. Spring. I love it.

I hope your new week is a good one.

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