*****I was going to call this post Project 300 because I focus on my 300th project on Rav. But as I get closer to the bottom, I see this is more about art than about my shawl, so I have re-named the blog post.****
I always feel that I should not blog until I have finished objects to show. And that's how I sometimes end up not blogging for a month. Ahem.
So then I make up for it by a lot of twaddle and blather and random photographs, and then my posts end up being massively long. If I were a podcaster, I'd put out one episode a month and it would be 3 hours long.
Since this is likely to be the only blog post for July this year, I'd better make it count. (And I'm coming up to my 6th anniversary of blogging next month. How did that happen?
Well, as usual, I will let the photographs in chronological order be my guide.
I was walking somewhere and noticed an unusual dragonfly on the ground. I've never seen one with the spots on its wings like this before.
We get lots of cruise ships pulling up at the Port Authority. Occasionally they do so in the fog. There's one particular cruise line (which escapes me at the moment) which plays the theme from the Love Boat when it departs. The first time we heard it last year, I cracked up. No one else around me understood why I was laughing. You know you're old when....
It's not everywhere that you can step out onto your balcony at work and take a photograph of a cruise ship in the mist.
Speaking of getting old, it's the Lad's birthday today. He's 25. And it's my birthday next week and I'll be 50. 50. 50???? How on earth did that happen? I figure if I say it enough times it will stop being scary.
50. Jebus. I have to go lie down.
The Lad is still in Alberta visiting The Girlfriend. He doesn't get back for another week and a half. And Princess has just flown the coop. She is moving to Victoria BC to live with her boyfriend. So at the moment I am all alone with 3 cats and 3 dogs. It will be odd without Princess here. The Lad is going to move down to the basement, and that means I get his bedroom as a spare room / office / second yarn storage area. Win win.
The Lad took the Thug Kitchen book with him, which is a bit of a pain. It's got fabulous recipes. We made chick pea and broccoli burritos. Even I am capable of chopping, mixing and roasting.
When the Lad returns, we'll be eating mostly vegetarian.
We're both good with that.
I got myself a yarn bowl from a local artist shop. It's kind of an art collective run by the various artists. The yarn bowl was really inexpensive. I love the glazes. And I'm a sucker for oak trees. The artist is ?Laurie? Walsh. She's local. She had this one in yellow and greeny/earth tones and another one in green which I liked less. She referred to them as "Knitting bowls".
I tend to do most of my knitting here at my desk, and I use yarn bowls or Yarnits rather than project bags. I love project bags, but the zippered ones always end up snagging the yarn. Mostly I keep yarn in the project bags. But that doesn't stop me from lusting after them.
I finished some of the socks which were patiently awaiting mates.
I finished the Hedgehog Fibres socks. When Princess saw them in the boxosox she oohed and ahhed. Sigh. I can take a hint.
I did a 2x2 rib for 20 rows, did a band of one k row, 2 purl rows, and another knit row, then alternating 3x1 with knit rows (can't remember what that's called - broken rib?). I switched to 2.0 mm needles for the heel flap and continued down the foot (but decreased from 72 to 70 stitches). Started May 7 and finished June 26.
Verdict? I really like the Hedgehog Fibres Sock yarn. It's nice and thin (which is how I like it). It's a 4-ply (I prefer 3 and 4-ply to 2-ply). It feels a bit like cotton (which I don't mind) and it's nice and smooth. It's a little more loosely plied than some, but I can forgive that. I am glad I have another 4 or 5 skeins in stash.
On July 1 I decided that I would spend the summer knitting mostly with Canadian yarns. That also largely means knitting from stash. Which, of course, is not a problem.
I did a pair of birthday socks for The Girlfriend. I did the first sock on July 1 and the second sock on July 2-3. The yarn is CaterpillarGreen's MCN sock yarn in the Earthy Hues colourway. It's one of the skeins I purchased about 2 and a half years ago before everyone had heard of Catherine's fabulous yarns. Back then some of the colourways weren't super saturated. But since The Lad was going out to see The Girlfriend, I knew I had to get cracking. So crack I did. They're just a plain vanilla pair of socks with a Fish Lips Kiss heel.
Comment in the yarn journal: "It's been a long time since I've worked with MCN. I'd forgotten how soft it is."
They are completely matchy matchy. I always make note of how long a tail I'm using and where in the colour sequence I am starting. That enables me to get virtually identical socks from a single skein of self-striping (assuming the pattern repeats are reasonable).
The perennials have been blooming along. I have black (really very dark purple) irises and some type of clematis which seems to have double flowered this year.
Doesn't that thing on the chicken wire above the top flower in the bottom photo look like a stitch marker? You know you're a knitter when...
This is the first year the peonies have come out properly. I think they've been there for 3 years now? So excuse the peony spam.
The iPhone won't even capture the colour of the fuchsia peonies, so I'm not going to bother putting any of them in. But they were pretty glorious as well, although not double petalled the way the white ones were.
I took Bastian for a walk down around Quinpool a couple of weeks ago. There are some just adorable houses in the area.
It was warm but crazy foggy that day. It was almost impossible to see across the Northwest Arm to the other side.
But first, there were train tracks.
My dog is super adorable.
And of course there's the ubiquitous cloud porn.
The Lad made The Girlfriend a stuffed whale for her birthday. Apparently they had seen a fabric stuffed whale somewhere along their various travels, and The Girlfriend admired it. So the Lad decided to make her one. I'm not sure what he did for a pattern. But he went and bought 2 metres of fabric and borrowed a sewing machine.
There was a LOT of swearing involved. It took me back about 40 years to when my mother attempted to sew on her sewing machine (a skill which, sadly, she never really mastered). The air was blue with curses. "Oh f*ck the bloody thing!" she would roar. The Lad was a little more restrained, but not much.
Anyway, all was well in the end.
Good grief. I've just discovered that photos which my kids send via What'sApp end up in my photo stream. I was wondering where these all came from. Talk about a blast from the past. So I'll include them for fun.
This is Princess's birth photo. Yes, she had that much hair. She was two weeks overdue. The next two are from one of her birthday parties when we still lived in Calgary. I made the crab-shaped bread and then we hollowed it out and made a dip to go inside it (and used the cubed bread for dipping).
And the bottom one is the Snow White and the 7 Dwarves cake and cupcakes. I painted the Snow White onto the cake with food colouring and did the dwarves the same way. These are all photos of photos and weren't taken from the best angle in the first place. My God, I used to be a crafty/creative parent.
There's also a chocolate cake with the Wicked Witch (or Maleficent or whatever her name was) in the crab bread photo. That was also hand painted onto white icing. I used to do that a lot. Haven't done it since, though.
After I finished the Earthy Hues socks for The Girlfriend (who apparently liked them, or so I'm told...), I decided to do a Torquata. I love the pattern and have several of Ambah O'Brien's patterns. I wanted to use some stash yarn, so I decided to go with some of my Tanis Fiber Arts Purple Label (70/20/10 MCN).
I thought Spearmint, Mallard and Teal went well together, and then I decided to add Deep Sea as well. Each skein has some of the colours from the previous one. I ended up going from light to dark and back again. I was originally going to use Charcoal as the contrast skein, but it was too dark against the Teal and the Deep Sea and even against the Mallard. So I used Sand instead. I had about 2 metres left over after I finished the bind off last night.
According to Rav, this is my 300th project. That's one of the reasons I wanted something special for it. Tanis' yarn was perfect. I love the pattern as well - super intuitive.
I added an extra 4 repeats per row (so an extra 32 stitches), and I did 6 sets of the pattern repeat per section instead of 5. I wanted this thing to be big. And it's a pretty good size. I'm sure it will grow after blocking, but you know me and blocking. It's not unlike me and vacuuming. Just sayin'....
I have plans for another Torquata using some of my TFA Blue Label in the pink / red range with Charcoal as the contrast. But I might wait a few weeks.
So that's basically what I've been up to craft-wise over the last month. Work has been screamingly busy as usual, and I have had lots of nights where there was no knitting at all.
This was the start of last night's dinner. Tomato / avocado / bocconcini salad, and I added cucumbers, peppers and spinach.
We had a mad crazy thunder and lightning storm yesterday evening. At one point it was all so close that I was sure it had hit one of the houses.
Apparently I was not alone in that thought. A fire truck came to investigate one of the houses. It was around 7 pm. So it wasn't dark, but it was dark. The fire fighters shone their flashlights all over but didn't see any apparent damage.
I am absolutely loving the Prisma App in Instagram. I think I want to paint this picture of Sebastian. It has a very Grant Leier-esque feel to it.
And Bastian as a Piet Mondrian painting amuses me no end.
Speaking of paintings .... we did our work community event on Friday and went to the Berkley (which is an independent living facility for seniors) to assist with their lunch and some after-lunch activities. They have the most amazing artwork on the walls. Of course it's what I gravitated to....
I have been very restrained and have not ordered any yarn in a month. At least.
I did get my July Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles club package last week. The colourways are Flip Flop (the one with the screaming yellow) and Shimmer.
I still can't believe I was dumb enough not to notice that I was ordering singles instead of sock weight. And of course I have lusted after all the sock yarn offerings I have seen. So at some point I'll do some kind of a shawl out of these, but I am opposed to brioche in principle. I'll find something else to do with them, thank you very much...
And in the last of the art category, The Lad's Girlfriend had a solo show yesterday somewhere in Alberta. The Lad sent through these photos. The Girlfriend (whose name is Claire Markle, in case anyone is interested in purchasing her works) works in paint and conte on linen. Her works are very large. These are all about 4' x 8' or some as large as 12 or 15' long. She was nominated by her professors at NSCAD for the BMO Young Artist awards. I don't know who will be the actual pick from Nova Scotia, but I hope it will be her. Her work is amazing.
So for all the people out there who scorn art school and who think it's not a real course of study or worthwhile, I give you these. Accountants can't do this.
And on that happy note, I am off to continue working on the sock I cast on last night.
I will be going to Victoria to visit Princess in August. That should be a ton of fun.
Hopefully I will blog again before I go, because undoubtedly there will be umpteen thousand photos of the trip.