Knit your greens

IMG_4473I admit… I’ve been neglecting the barnyard cardigan. The heat and humidity have returned. And even though the A/C is on, it’s still not nice to sit there with a pile of stinky, smelly, itchy wool in your lap.

Instead, my knitting time has been focused on Dave’s birthday socks. The first one is done. As mentioned, the pattern is Petty Harbour, and it’s a nice repetitive pattern that creates a lovely bit of texture. It doesn’t show up so well when knitting, but when the sock is stretched out on a foot, or blocker, it’s much more apparent.

While socks are great, I still have to think of something else for his birthday. I had tickets for us to go see Guns n’ Roses on July 13th, but thanks to COVID, it’s been  postponed, and will likely be cancelled altogether.

Any thoughts?

FO: Spin Me Right Round

On Saturday, I stopped in at the parents’ to visit with Dad, and whip out the quilting on Spin Me Right Round.

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It didn’t take long. It’s not too big – 47′ x 57″

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It’s either a small lap quilt, or a big baby quilt. Either way, it was a great way to use up from 5″ scraps and practice my pinwheels.

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There’s so much colour in this one, I really couldn’t go wrong with backing and binding. Both of these came from the stash, which when combined with the scraps, make for one satisfying project!

Now… onto the next!

Garden treasure

Over the years, my garden has collected many treasures.

The newest is FROGGY! (All caps because he’s just so WOW with all that bright yellow)

He was a gift from neighbour Krista this year. I got Dave to hang him on the wall above my potting bench. I think it’s the perfect spot for him.

And then just last week she surprised me with another little treasure.

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I’ve named him Winston. This one she painted herself. And oh my… the detail she put into it!

I am so lucky to have a neighbour like her!

HK used to sit in the basket where Winston now resides..

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But now she hangs out with indoor plants by the fence.

These little mushrooms came from the dollar store, if you can believe that!

They are supposed to be chimes (the tops are on springs) but it would take gale-force wind to make them make noise that low to the ground. They are cute though.

This little toad house came from the garden centre the second year we were here. It think it was my first garden treasure.

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I’ve never seen a toad in it. It mostly collects slugs… but still, I love it.

G’Nomeo (my very first gnome) came from a former boss. Her mother had bought him for their garden. Her mother had passed away, and my boss was NOT a gnome person. But she felt bad about throwing him out, so I offered to adopt him.

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I gave him a new paint job a few years back, but it looks like he’s in need of another one. He peeks out from underneath the blackberries, but as you can see, he still gets a good amount of sun – hence the need for a refresh.

The gnomes out front get more shade

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But the sedums have really overgrown their space… I’m going to have to do some cutting, or find a new home for them.

I showed you Heffalump a few weeks back.

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He got moved to beneath the lilac, because I put the cauldron fountain in his former spot. I’m hoping a little more shelter will encourage the birds to come down for a little drink.

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You may recall that this had a couple Coleus planted in the sides. They weren’t doing too great (too much sun) so I moved them, and planted some snap dragons seedlings and they seem quite happy there.

Siamese kitty guards the side garden.

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He was bought on a shopping trip with neighbour Krista a few years back.

So was Mr. Snail.

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Right now he’s growing some sunflowers for me (which will get transplanted when they are big enough.)

I love my antique bird cage

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It’s not very big (it was probably just a decor piece), but it’s perfect for my hens and chicks. I love hens and chicks, but the squirrels here are murder on them. I have a hard time keeping them in the garden.

Speaking of…

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This little chickie is normally brimming with Hens and Chicks… but… squirrels! She’s got just two left!

And last…

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No birds have taken up residence in my dollar store wicker bird house, but I love it just the same. It hangs in the lilac, and provides a bit of interest now that the blooms have died away.

What treasures can be found in your garden?

 

Snakey, snakey in the grass

Yes, this is a post about a real, live snake, so if that’s not your thing, feel free to skip.

 

Now if you decided to stick around…

 

Many of you may remember Bowie, neighbour Krista’s ball python. The other day she brought him outside for a little summer sun

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The neighbourhood kids think he’s pretty cool, and he had quite the audience for a while. Some of the neighborhood adults weren’t as thrilled, but they were content as long as Bowie stayed on his own lawn.

His colouring is “Banana Pewter” and I think he’s one of the prettiest pythons ever.

After having some fun in the sun, he decided my dress would be an ideal place for a wee rest. There couldn’t be a sweeter snake in my books.

Rose-coloured glasses

It has begun!

The roses are blooming!

Honey Perfume wins the honour of being the first rose to bloom this year. As you can see, she starts off as a beautiful golden honey yellow, and then fades to a gorgeous apricot as she opens. By the end she’s the palest of peaches.

I have to admit, I’m a little dissapointed with my new rose – Chinook Sunrise. This is what I was expecting.

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And at first that’s what they look like…

… for five minutes, but as soon as the sun hits them…

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… bam – tiny flowers, wide open with barely any petals.

I wrongly assumed it was a large-bloomed Tea Rose from the picture on the label. But I should have done my homework – it’s a shrub rose. When it’s done blooming, I’ll probably move it to a spot out front that’s better for a shrub rose. I’ll look for something better for this space in a month or so.

And that’s not to say I’m against shrub roses, per se…

IMG_4345 This is Navy Lady, my only other shrub rose . She sits at the corner where the driveway and walkway meet. This means I have to keep her well trimmed (she likes to snag my dresses as I pass by), but she’s a real beauty once she gets blooming.

Her blooms are small, but many-petaled, and are the most beautiful shade of deep, rich red I’ve ever seen.

Still, the Tea Roses are my favourite (Floribundas like Honey Perfume are a close second)

This beautify is Garden Party/ I usually only get a couple blooms off her, because she doesn’t get as much sun as she should. Perhaps I should put her where Chinook Sunrise is… she’s a beauty that really deserves a chance to shine.

And though not a rose…

I just have to share my peonies. They are so big and beautiful this year. Unfortuantely they are also leaning over like mad because they are so top heavy. Neighbour Krista used tomato cages to keep hers upright, so I will have to try that for next year. I’ll probably clip the really floppy ones here and make a bouquet for the house.

It’s also Dianthan season

I have a couple of each of these in almost every colour they come in. I bought them as “annuals” several years back. But they come back every year and put on an incredible show in June.  If you’re looking for bang for you buck (they are usually only a few dollars a plant), these are a winner.

And last….

Lily season has also begun. So far it’s just my trumpet lilies, but there’s lots more colourful lilies to come!

Berry sampler

I showed you Mom’s sampler quilt on Tuesday. Here’s mine so far.

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I’ve got the first 10 blocks done, with 10 more to go.

I’ve made some minor mods to a couple of the blocks (ie, the heart block is solid in hers, in mine it’s patchwork). Mine will have white sashing too. I’m not sure what I’ll do for borders. I love the geese on Mom’s, but I’m not sure I’ll have enough fabric for that. I’ll worry about it when I get there though.

 

Socking it to Dave

Dave’s birthday socks are underway!

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The yarn is some BFL I dyed up specifically in colours I could use for man socks. This colour is “grasshopper” and while it looks a touch bluish here, it’s more of a vibrant grass green with just a touch of yellow.

The pattern is Petty Harbour. I’ve seen a few of you knit this one, and it’s a nice bit of texture to keep a man-sock interesting. I haven’t decided if I’ll carry the pattern down the foot yet. I’ll worry about that when I get there.

And while these socks have a deadline (July 20th), I’m still trying to stick to my self-imposed goal of one ball a week on the barnyard sweater… so I’ve got to put these down for a bit and work on that stinky thing… sigh….

Not-so-simple sample

I gave you a glimpse of the sampler blocks I’m doing for Mom to fancy quilt, but I thought you might like to see a little bit more of her version while I’m working away on mine.

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This is her completed top. As I mentioned, she used a range of pastel solids for hers (whereas I’m using ditsy prints). I convinced her that the dark grey Grunge fabric was the way to go to make all those colours pop. She was unsure at first, until she got it all together.

Now she’s working away, block by block, and quilting the devil out of it!

I’m having a lot of fun watching her, and it will be interesting to see what she does with my version.

 

FO: Arabella’s birthday skulls

The  skull heart hat was completed in plenty of time to give to the birthday girl.

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It’s nothing too fancy – just a fingering weight beanie with the skull chart (adapted from this pattern) four times around the hat.

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It fits me (I have a small head) so it should be good for Arabella with a little room to grow.

It’s fingering weight, so it’s nice and light. Alley Cat for the main yarn, and Twinkle Cat for the skulls – adding just a touch of sparkle.

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Arabella’s Dad sent me the above picture not long after we drove by and dropped off her present. If you’re wondering about the beard – her day had a pirate theme. When we were there, she  had a tricorn hat on – but no beard.

But as you can see it’s a perfect fit, and apparently was a hit with the birthday girl – so I’m happy.

Now I’ve got to get moving on some birthday socks for Dave… I’ve got just over a month left to get them finished!