Just squirrelly

I know it’s not Feline Friday, but I just had to share…

One of the things I love about working from home is being able to watch the wildlife. Mostly, I work in my office upstairs, but every so often (especially on bright, sunny days), I work from the couch which is right beside the large sliding glass door. The bird feeder is only a few feet from the door (as you’ve seen in previous posts), so it provides endless entertainment for me and the cats.

And I’m never one to deter the squirrels from feeding either. But the other day, I’d had run out of seed and hadn’t had a chance to get more. Most of what they’d knocked on the ground was frozen solid,  so one squirrel got a little desperate..

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“Excuse me sir… do you have any more seed?”

In case you didn’t know… squirrels can scale brick walls (every once in a while one pops up at my office window on the second floor) and it’s kinda crazy. I’m not quite sure what Rupert though of the whole thing. Burton was across the room, but it didn’t take him long to notice the visitor

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But Mr. Squirrel was not at all perturbed by the possibly vicious killers only separated by half an inch of glass.

He hung around for several minutes before determining no one was going to open the door and feed him.

I guess I’m going to have to pick up a bag of peanuts.

Sew snug

I’ve mentioned before that my studio is quite small  – I’ve never actually measured it, but it’s the tiniest of our three bedrooms – probably about 10′ x 7′ at most. And the word “studio” encompasses a lot of things: It’s my home office, personal library, sewing room, knitting stash, and crafting cupboard. I’ve shown a few little glimpses of it here and there, but I thought you’d like to see a better view of my sewing arrangement.

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(please ignore the messy shelves in the background. The sewing and yarn areas are nice and tidy, but I really need to go all Marie Kondo on the rest of the room!)

Because the room is so small, I have to make the most of every inch. I’ve mentioned before that there’s not enough room to have my full-sized ironing board up in there. Instead, I have a homemade portable board that fits nicely the end of my sewing desk. it’s just a piece of 1/4 inch plywood, covered in batting, and encased in a cotton case (much like and envelope style pillow case). When I’m piecing blocks, I just have to turn on my stool slightly, and I can iron and go right back to piecing. It’s also an ideal spot to layout more complex blocks (or have Leader and Ender blocks ready), so I make sure I piece things in the right order.

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And it’s small and light, so when I don’t need it (when I’m sewing blocks into a full top, sewing on binding, etc), I can tuck it down behind the machine where it won’t get in the way.

And  you may be wondering where I put Burton when I’m sewing. Well, nine times out of 10, if I’m sewing, he’s laying under that stool. I’ve gotten into the habit of feeling for him with the back of my foot before I stand up and push the stool back… he’s lost a few floofs off his tail when I didn’t realize he was there and caught him under a stool leg. You’d think he’d learn not to lay there, but…

Friday Felines

I am not the only one with Spring Fever around here…

Relic insists on being outside, but he’s been forced to find creative ways to stay out of the snow. My garden cart has become his new favourite perch. It also gives him a new vantage point to get my attention so I’ll let him in.

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Burton wants to get out after those squirrels. I’m still not sure if he wants to eat one, or he wants to be one.

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And Rupert, my little sun-bunny just longs for the days where the sun sticks around for hours and he can lounge in its rays until his heart’s content.

Getting busy

Work has been crazy lately, so there hasn’t been much time for sewing. Luckily, I’ve still had nights for knitting.

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The Business Casual socks are progressing nicely.  Since these are for me, they are shorty  socks – I did just two repeats down the leg. I’m through the heel and now working my way down the gusset.  I do really like the pattern, except for one thing… there are no rest (plain knitting) rows … you’re cabling on every row. It’s a simple cable, easy enough to do without a cable needle.. but still. I do miss those rest rows.

More spring knitting

Though March has begun, snow  and cold still holds sway here. The weather man says we won’t see any real spring until the end of the month – but then it should stay (unlike last year when we got a snow/ice storm in mid-April). So, I’m continuing my practice of conjuring spring with my knitting. With Calendula off the needles, I’ve started on a birthday present for our little spring bird – Miss Wren. She turns two in late April.

I want to make her another dress like the one I made her for Christmas. I have some peach seersucker fabric in my stash that would be just perfect. But like her Christmas dress, it needs a cardigan. So I give you the start of Lynnrina..

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The great yarn bag yielded up some Twinkle Cat (colourway is Solar Flare) that should ocmpliment the peach quite nicely. I’m making the largest size, which is marked 3T-5T… but  to be honest, I think it’s working up a little small. I’m going to finish it, block it, and then decide. If it’s too small, there will still be time to figure out something else – and this one can go in the gift basket for someone else.

FO: Kitty in the Sky with Diamonds

The pink thread to finish Sam’s camp quilt finally came in so on Saturday I finished up the quilting, then spent Sunday under the watchful eye of my snoopervisor…

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I finished sewing the binding. And with that I give you the completed Kitty in the Sky with Diamonds.

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It’s a pretty little lap-size quilt made from a fat quater pack (14 FQs) and some black yardarge. It got the pattern here (Gimme Diamonds). I’m not overly experienced with quilting pattern, but I think this one could have been written a little more clearly. But I muddled through and I’m happy with the end result.

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It’s a good pattern for showing off those fabrics you really love and don’t want to cut up too much. I especially love using black for the sashing because it makes it look like stained glass. Though in truth the black was chosen because Sam plans to take this camping and we wanted something that wouldn’t show too much dirt.

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Once again, I got insanely lucky and found the perfect purple fabric on clearance for the back. Plain black was really the only option for binding, in my view. It really just ties it all together!

 

FO: Calendula

After a vigourous blocking, Calendula is now on my shoulders…

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Of course, it’s difficult to take pictures of shawls on yourself. So I also threw it in the snow!

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It’s a pretty crescent shaped shawl that comes with several options on sizing. I went with the biggest size, though as I was nearing the finished line, I was worried it was still going to be on the small side. But I should know better – with a good soak all that lace opened right up and the shawl grew. When laid around my shoulders, the points reach my waist – no quite a full-size shawl, maybe – but definitely bigger than a shawlette.

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As mentioned before, the yarn is Top Cat in Jiminy Cricket. I used just under a skein and a half, which means I have enough left to make myself a pair of anklets – which is fantastic – I adore this green!

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It is hard to see the beads, but they add a nice bit of weight to the drape, and glint beautifully in the sunlight.

All in all – the shawl took me a month to knit. I can knit a shawl much faster, but as you know, I wasn’t working on it monogamously. Now the needles are open for another knit… and I think we’re going to keep this spring theme going… maybe it will finally chase the snow away!