Sunday, September 25, 2011

Gorgeous Autumn Sunday

It's been a long and busy business season, and now that things are winding down for water gardeners, I get to enjoy a little peace and quiet on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in autumn.

I have almost all I need.  Sunshine.  Chair.  Knitting.  The only thing that would make my afternoon complete.....somebody feeding me chocolate!  Oh, wait.  And a million dollars!  LOL!

Knitting socks (Vickies) for Mum
for Christmas

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Farewell Sterly Whirly Fluffster

It was with very heavy hearts and tear filled eyes that Nick and I took Sterling, our 16 year old Himalayan cat to the vet this morning.  He hadn't been eating or drinking for four days, and had withered away to just 4lb.  Unfortunately, he had fluid on his lungs, a severe heart murmur, and a very large, and almost certain, cancerous tumour in his right kidney.

We buried him in a memorial garden where my beloved Tallie (dec. 2006) lies.  A lovely little concrete cat statue pays homage to his long and happy life.

We will always love you Sterly and you will be missed.  RIP.

A tribute to you Sterly:

2 months old

2 years old

2.5 years old

6 years old

9 years old (together with Tallie)

11 years old (together with Shelby)

12 years old

15 years old (together with Shelby and Sandi)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I've Got BIG Plans

For Fall and Winter knitting that is!

I'm not too sure where the inspiration came from...but I'm guessing a lot of it had to do with two fabulous gift certificates I received early this year - Briar Rose Fibres GC from my family (bless them) for my birthday, and Colorsong Yarns GC from my family (bless them again) for Christmas.

I asked Chris from Briar Rose whether she could custom dye some Robusta for me.  Robusta is a highlander, bulky weight wool, with the same twist, loft and feel as Bluefaced Leicester.  This yarn comes in massive 500 yds per 16oz skeins!

Chris asked me for a colourway, and I simply said "chocolate swirls".  Well, my chocolate swirls came in a big box, and if it hadn't of been yarn, I'd have eaten it!
Chocolate Swirls; Briar Rose Robusta
I have a very special project in mind for this yarn - Harwood by Sarah Hatton from the Rowan Studio 2 book.  Harwood is a mid-thigh length, cabled, long-sleeve jacket with pockets and five buttons.  Remember the buttons I bought at the Kitchener/Waterloo Knitters' Fair???  Yeah!

It took me a little longer to decide on yarn from Colorsong Yarns.  But once I found Killorglin by Carol Feller from the Contemporary Irish Knits book, my choice was much easier.  Killorglin is slim-fitting ribbed jacket utilizing interweaving ribs on the front and back to create a sophisticated and complicated-looking jacket.  A high collar and zipper closure finish the piece very neatly.  It's knit from the top down in one piece, the sleeves are picked up afterwards and set in sleeves are worked using short rows.

My yarn choice for this jacket is Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester Wool, aran weight.  This yarn is 100% Blue Face Leicester Wool; 185m/202.3yds; 125g/4.4oz.  Since this jacket is so amazing, I wanted a semi-solid colour that simply screams out "look at me"!  I chose Ruby Red!

In addition to these two jackets, I have taken a shine to GreenGable Hoodie by Mari Muinonen/ Tikru which was published in Vogue Knitting Fall 2008.  GreenGable Hoodie is a cabled, hooded pullover. I purchased the yarn for this sweater at the recently attended Kitchener/Waterloo Knitting Fair.

Headwater Wool, Bulky
And then I purchased a bag of Galway Heathers worsted yarn from Cotton By Post, with Tinder by Jared Flood in mind.  Tinder is fitted and textured jacket with six buttons.

What was I thinking??  Three jackets and one sweater over Fall/Winter!  AND in between all that, a trip home to Australia!  Whoot!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Yarn Love at The Knitters' Fair

We'd waited all year, and even counted down the sleeps!  Finally the day arrived - the Kitchener/Waterloo Knitters' Fair.

Laurie very kindly agreed to drive again this year, and her carful was rounded out with Barb, Lynn and I.

As in previous years, the fair did not disappoint in terms of vendors, yarn and fibre.  The halls were abuzz with frenzied shoppers, shopping bags and yarn and fibre love.

I had a mission this year.  I'd done my research and was prepared with two patterns requiring yarn, and a list of accessories.  Disappointingly, many of the items on my list were not were not crossed off (stitch markers, addi turbo natura bamboo circs, shawl pin).  It's not that these things weren't available at the fair....I just didn't like what was available, or the size I wanted wasn't there.

I was also keen to find some bulky yarn for a cable-rich hoodie that I'd fallen in love with from the Vogue 2008 Fall magazine.  There was so much yarn at the fair, but a lot of it was heavily variegated and simply not suitable for cables.  Some semi-solid colourways would have worked, but quantity was short......

Finally I found The Needle Gnome, suppliers for Headwater Wool.  Their yarn is 100% Romney wool and made in Latvia.  The perfect yarn for the hoodie.

Romney Wool; Mustard Seed.
The perfect buttons for a car coat project I'll be starting soon!

Another skein of Black Welsh Mountain Sheep Wool.  Now I can make mittens to match the hat from last year.
Some circular needles; though not in the size I required.
Some more fabulous SOAK for my wool washing.  And a new foot's cucumber and smells yummy!

And to top things off - on Sunday I received a call from a friend to say that she knew a woman who'd been knitting her whole life and wanted to destash entirely!  What was I to do, but go over and see what she had!  I came home with about 5% of what was there:

100% wool from Norway!  This lot is mostly worsted, and only $2 a ball!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

London International Quilt Festival - The Quilts of Hawaii

The London International Quilt Festival is a one week event which takes place every August at the London Convention Centre, 300 York Street, London, Ontario.

The Festival focuses on bringing the culture and history of different countries/regions of the world to London.  This is achieved by having, not only quilts and fibre art from the visiting country, but also the artists who create some of the quilts.

Each year the workshops offered reflect the artists' concept of their country in fabrics, embellishments and techniques.

This year the quilt show celebrated "The Quilts of Hawaii".  There were over 125 Hawaiian quilts on exhibit.  Local quilts and fibre art were on display as well.

My part in this show was to set up and look after the Cotton By Post fibre and yarn booth.

The event was simply amazing.  I'll let the photos below tell the story.

Cotton By Post Yarn Booth

Close up of the Fleece Artist and Hand Maiden display

Amazing huh?  Next year promises to be even better with the theme being "Canadian"!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What's a Blog?

And, well you might ask!  I'm ashamed to write that it's been almost six months since I've blogged!  It's not a lack of material, I assure you.  It's a lack of time.  My old boss would be so pleased to learn that those "time and task management" seminars I attended so many years ago have really paid off [tic].

Work is my worst enemy...namely The Bloomin Bog.  Gotta make hay though while the sun shines!

According to my KnitMeter, I've been productive since 17th March....a total of 4,320 yards of knitting!  The list of finished projects is long and boring, so I'll just post a few of the highlights:

Featherwieght Cardigan by Hannah Fettig
Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Lace; Siena

Galaxy Hat by Rose Beck
madelainetosh pashmina; copper
Make up Your Mind by knittedblissJC
Kollage Yarns Luscious; Cherry
Sally Secretary Monkey by Patons
Patons Wool Classic and Cascade 220
Obviously this post is going to get way too long if I delve into my life over the past six months.  Dot points are pretty crappy, but it makes me feel better when I read that life wasn't just a blur....

  • March 27:  My mother in law died following 7 weeks of intensive daily care.
  • April 1:  New employees started at The Bloomin Bog.
  • April 7-10:  My sales manager and I worked The Bloomin Bog booth at the London Home and Garden Show.
  • May:  Cool and wet weather made a slow start to our business season.  Thankfully by Victoria Day the place was hopping!
  • June:  One of our male employees was roped into learning how to knit!  He's doing really well - his first real project is Turn a Square by Jared Flood.
  • July 1:  Canada Day - we went to a bbq and saw some wonderful fireworks.
  • July 9-10:  Customer Appreciation Weekend at The Bloomin Bog.
  • July 16:  I received a phone call from Suzanne at Cotton By Post inviting me to run her yarn booth at the London International Quilt Festival.
  • July 31:  All Bloomin Bog employees finished their work contracts - except for the sales manager.  Roxanne worked another two weeks.
  • August 2:  Visit from the Environmental Officer from DNR - we got a smack and a fine for selling bullfrog tadpoles!
  • August 4:  Donated some of my delicious O+ blood to the Canadian Blood Services.  I believe that I will convert one Canadian at a time into an Aussie [LOL].
  • August 8-14:  London International Quilt Festival - The Quilts of Hawaii.
  • August 15:  Rescued a beautiful little gray male kitten.  I called him "Smokey".  I enjoyed his company for a week until Hillside Kennels picked him up for adoption.  So sad...
  • August 16:  Notified my family that I will be "coming home" for Christmas this year!

A certain highlight of the year to date was the London International Quilt Festival.  What a totally amazing event!  I had a blast.  Will make this my next post cos there are a lot of photos.

Well that's quite enough from me.....more soon, I promise!