Handspun sugarskulls

When I showed off the sugarskull hat I made for the fair, I was given the suggestion that someone on my Christmas list might like one too.

So Mom gave me some gorgeous gradient handspun she made


And here we go again! I’ve only just got to the start of the skulls, so I’ve got aways to go, but this hat is a fun knit. I’m using some leftover Zarina for the white parts, and it’s a beautiful smooth merino – a perfect contrast for the handspun.

This is the toughest of the Christmas hats I’m making, so I thought it would be best to get it out of the way first. I hope to have more to show you soon.

New project

As you know, I’ve been itching to start a new quilting project. You also know that I love star blocks.

Ever since completing Deep Sea Stars, I’ve wanted to do something similar for myself. But I didn’t want to do the block exactly the same.

I had a couple charm packs of this beautiful collection called Marseille (I do love those French florals)


I sat down, did a sketch and made some notes.


I did one as a test, and then another to refine the process a bit.


It’s going to take a while, but these blocks are going to pile up to make a very pretty little quilt!

FO: Bullfinch socks

And the second pair of heavy man socks is done!


Again, nothing fancy for this pair. In fact, they are even less so than the last pair. This pair is just plain vanilla.  Same yarn, but this pair’s colourway is Bullfinch.


I think it’s another great capture by the yarn company!

And this is the last of my December birthday presents so now I can focus on Christmas hats… stay tuned!


Making the cut

I’m still undecided on what to start for a new quilting project, so I figured I’d turn my attention to the disappearing nine-patches I’d sewn at Mom’s last month.

They needed to be cut and disappeared. The cutting part is pretty simple, you just slice each nine patch in half both ways.


Then you turn the pieces to create a new design. There are a number of different ways you can turn them.


But in the end, I chose the layout that creates a whirlygig in the middle.


In a short afternoon of sewing, I had all the block cut and reassembled, and then even sewn together in the full layout.


It’s now just a wonderful jumble of beautiful fall colours.  Because of the crazy whirly-gigs, I’m calling this one “Autumn A-Whirl”.

Of course the top isn’t done yet. It needs a border or two. But that will have to wait for the next batik sale at Lens… those batiks are beautiful, but spendy!

Another fall hike

Last Sunday, I pressed my good friend Aneesha into service to help me get pics of all the socks for my pattern ebook.

Both of us felt we hadn’t seen much of fall, and the spot where I wanted to take pictures is along the Bruce trail where we hiked last year.  We were hoping to see a wonderful autumn bounty, but once we got there…


We’ve finally had that hard frost and a big wind storm and there wasn’t much colour left! (And we’ve had a good dumping of snow since this picture was taken)


There were a bunch of wild pears left on a tree. I’m going to have to remember that for next year… we can harvest a little free fruit!


Looks like those wind storms did some damage and knocked this tree across the path.

We didn’t hike as far as last year, but we explored the immediate area a little more and came across a little creek.


This is where it flows under the train tracks…


And then continues on it’s long journey to Lake Ontario. If you look closely, you can see a little ice around the edges. It was quite chilly out.


Our final destination was the rail line the runs through just before the hiking trail starts climbing the escarpment. I’m saving the sock pictures for the pattern release…


But here’s a little sneak peak of all 12 beauties together!

Garden surprises

I know I said the other week that that would be the last for the garden… but I wasn’t quite right. Though we have had some pretty freezing temps the last week or so, the last of the Toad Lilies still managed to bloom.

I may order more come spring because I just love these little guys!

And despite the frost, these little guys were still trying to bloom. Clockwise from top left: Dianthan, Snapdragon, Beard Tongue and Stonecrop.

And you may remember how beautiful the last of my Chicago Peace roses were…


Well before the frost hit, I cut the last few budded stems and brought them to bloom inside.


What a difference! You’d never know they were from the same bush!

Any surprises outside your house?