Monday, July 27, 2015

Summer's Whimsy

There's something rather whimsical abut capturing the colours of summer.  There's always a surprise in the garden, from the wild roses pouring over the fence from the neighbour's yard (these beauties are my absolute favorite with their intoxicating fragrance.  And they require minimal care). 
Staple of Nova Scotia: wild roses
To the wild flowers announcing their arrival and joining lovely green space in the lush backyard (wild phlox and some variation of Queen Anne's lace). 
Nature's natural beauty
Even something as mundane as laundry hanging on a clothesline can be beautiful.
Rainbow clothesline
Beauty lies all around.  You just have to open your eyes and see it.

PS (I'm on vacation and where I'm going there 's little or no access to internet.  I'll see you on the other side--and yes, I will bring my knitting. )

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Perseverance, Progress and Patience

Every crafter, including me, needs the three Ps: perseverance, progress and patience.  What do they mean?
Finished afghan with completed border
1) Perseverance means eventually I will finish a project given the appropriate effort (i.e. not leaving it in the bottom of a basket hidden in the back of the closet!).  For example, my long languishing Bernat Mystery CAL from 2010 is finally finished!  Yup, got the border done and am now slowly working through the finishing process (i.e. weaving in all those pesky ends--lots of ends!!).
Detail of border/edging
2) Progress means that work continues on current WIPs.  For example, my Cashsilk Fern scarf continues to grow.  It's almost 20 inches which is nothing to sneeze at.  I continue to peck at that daily, even though it's slow going (go figure that thin yarn takes longer to grow, but grow it does).
Halfway for Cashsilk Fern scarf
3) Patience means having to wait before I embark on a new project.  On our last foray into the big city, we visited LK Yarns .  Having been there before, I knew the shop had products at many price points, but some lovely Handmaiden's Mini-Maiden tempted me.  It's ruby colour and soft silken feel whispered in my ear until I could resist no more.  At $30 a skein, it's some of the most expensive yarn I've ever bought (I bought 2 skeins).  Based out of Halifax, Handmaiden Yarns makes luxurious hand-dyed yarns that command a luxurious price.  Lucky for me, most of the Mini-Maiden was discounted, and I suspect it might have been because the labels were missing (So really I saved money.  And periodically repeating that to myself assuages my guilt, LOL). 
Handmaiden Mini-Maiden in Ruby
Special yarn needs a special pattern.  After many hours spent searching for the right pattern, I decided on the larger shawl version of Ashton Shawlette .  Although the pattern was highly recommended by knitters at Ravelry's Beginning-Lace-Knitters Group, I feared the project might be a wee bit above my skill level.  Even with all my lace experience, my projects tended to have simple lace stitches with simple rectangular shapes.  My only shawl project was a simple garter-stitch shawl.   
Drops Fabel in Sunset for first lace shawl
What to do?  Use less expensive yarn (I'm looking at you Drops Fabel) and attempt a simplified shawlette to learn about shawl construction.   The Oaklet Shawl with its stockinette body and lace border should fit the bill nicely.  It'll be my traveling/airport/try-not-to-freak-out-on-the-plane project.  Then when I feel more braver, I can use the expensive stuff.  

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Almost There . . . !!!

Afghan detail
Yup, I've been very good--a good little crafter!  Last weekend I started working on a long-standing WIP from September 2010, Bernat's Mystery Afghan Crochet-along (Ravelry link). It's been sitting in a bag at the bottom of a basket, hidden in the back of the closet.  I'm sure you have similar places in your own home--that place where discontinued or unfinished projects go to hide in shame. 

There were only a few squares left to attach, maybe 4-5.  Much to my chagrin, one sad little square was missing!  Yup, I was one square short of a finished blanket.  One measly mitered square . . . Argh!!
Almost an afghan --minus one square in the upper left hand corner
So I quickly searched for my pattern (it was clue #5), but couldn't find it anywhere.  Seriously?!  I know I packed it when we moved, but heaven knows where it went.  A thorough search led to no pattern.  Was it even still online?

When Bernat became part of the umbrella group at Yarnspiration, the old website went away and the old pattern never made it to the new website.  Thankfully I found the old archived Bernat blog (I think I used the wayback machine).  Follow this link:  old entry for Nov 2010 .  It'll take you to the entries for November 2010 (clues 8 and 9 can be found there).  If you click on September through December on the sidebar, you should find the blog posts with links to PDF files for all the other clues, from #1- 10 (last clue is for the border).
Missing mitered square . . . 
With my clue printed off, I proceeded to work the last mitered square.  As I recall, some of the participants complained about how wonky this particular square looked.  Check out the old Ravelry group for that project.  Although not active anymore, there's still lots of useful tidbits and photos shared by fellow Ravelers.  Looking through the comments, I remembered I had used the suggestions to use a larger hook, chain 50 instead of 46 and work the decreases very loosely.

Here's hoping my motivation sees me through to the end of this project!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy Canada!

Feeling really grateful to be living in this wonderful country (in spite of our current prime minister).
photo courtesy of
Wishing everyone a great Canada Day!  Enjoy!
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