Wednesday, May 30, 2012

If you don't like it, change it

This is a great philosophy to live by, but sometimes it feels very overwhelming and  difficult to make the changes you think you need to make your life better. Change doesn't have to be big though. It can be something small.... and that small thing can make you happy in a small way...... and if you do enough small things to make yourself happy.... pretty soon, you've made the change you needed, it just might not have been what you had originally thought you required

The change I made this week was to fix something that was bugging me.

Last summer I knit this top. I loved the pattern,  but wasn't thrilled about the colour or the fit through the shoulders....

so I did this:

I used Tie-Dye dye (as recommended for cotton) in Blue... Blue + yellowish = greenish

Which did this:

and I'm happy.....

What??? You were expecting something more profound???

Monday, May 28, 2012

Just what I needed *sarcasm*

Another craft....

I purchased a bunch of beads several years ago when I thought I'd make my own stitch markers (I made several, but found I don't like knitting with fancy stitch markers, so I stopped). The kids occasionally ask me if they can make me a bracelet or a necklace or something, but for the most part the beads sit. Until this weekend when I needed to repair Chey's charm bracelet and pulled out my beads and tools.....

I accidentally (if I didn't start with the intention of making something and it just kind of happened with no real purpose, it's still an accident, right??) made these

and these.....

Now I want to go and buy more earring findings.... which will mean more beads and probably a book or two about beading.... fortunately beads and their various implements are small and easy to store.... I can probably find room for them.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Zoological and a new knitting pattern

Immediately following the release of my last knitting pattern Mesh Panel Tee, I decided to downsize it and release it as a child's pattern. This was accomplished over a month and a half ago with only a final edit holding me back from publishing. And so it sat..... and sat and SAT... until FINALLY, today, I did the final editing (basically a spell check and some measurement conversions) and got it published on Ravelry (link to buy at the bottom).  I'm not sure why I didn't finish it before, but there you are.

The main purpose of this post is to show off the skirt I made for Chey. I've mentioned (many times) that my daughter is not very girly, but that doesn't mean I'm going to give up. She hates pink and loves green? I knit her an acid green skirt (Silly Frilly). She hates Barbies and Princesses... how about a Zombie Mermaid?? (check out the shirt in the picture linked for the skirt)?? I sneak in the girly in every way I can...nail polish, feathers for her hair, ladybug shirts, butterfly shirts, animal shirts with lots of sparkles. The result is that we're both happy. She gets her way and so do I.  It was with this happy medium in mind that I found a cute skirt tutorial on Pinterest and somehow stumbled onto the most perfect fabric at The Purl Bee. It's a black and white printed fabric with every imaginable animal: from ants, to crocodiles to zebras, to dolphins to rhinoceroses. I started it last week and finished it today. I didn't end up following the tutorial at all, it was more my inspiration, but look at the result.....

I interrupted video games for a photo shoot. She hides her mood well, no?

It's a very simple skirt to sew. I cut three strips of fabric, each twice as long as the last (the longest piece was two strips sewn together) and did a double fold hem on both the top and bottom of each piece. I threaded a piece of elastic through the top hem of the shortest piece and sewed it down on each edge. I then sewed each of the longer strips with the fold to the OUTSIDE of the fabric so that it would ruffle slightly above the ribbon trim. I created the ruffle by pinning the fabrics together in 1/8th sections and then bunched the excess between the pins as I sewed the pieces together. I then sewed a length of grosgrain ribbon over the ruffle seams and finally, sewed the whole thing together down one side..... Another win for the both of us.....

If you'd like to buy the pattern for the top she's wearing... It's my latest: Mesh Panel Tee: Child (perhaps I should try to use my imagination to come up with something more interesting for the next one??)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


It's been a while since I posted a completed knitting project. The Bathroom reno and garden projects (I was also quite sick for several days) have taken over my time in the past few weeks which has resulted in only ONE knit project in a month! That's nothing in the land of what Myrna knits. I'm normally in the 3-5 projects per month range and that sometimes includes spinning. Unfortunately, for my complete project pile, physical labour makes me not want to knit in the evening.... Fortunately, the major gardening is almost done....

Diagonal Lace Socks by Wendy D. Johnson knit in Cascade Heritage Paints. I did a wider toe and substituted a shadow short row heel for the heel flap (which made the yarn pool badly) and also did a twisted rib cuff and sewn bind off (I have no idea what kind of cuff the pattern has). I did make a little mistake which caused the second leg to stripe wider (I had a wider heel before I started the short rows), but I still like them a lot..... I'm not sure they'll stay up on the recipient, but slouchy socks are cool too..... I hope

Monday, May 14, 2012

Why try to deny it?

I had said to myself (and anyone that would listen) that I wasn't going to buy a fleece this weekend when I took my Mom and Harold out to see sheep shearing, but I lied. I knew, even as I spoke, that I was telling a giant whopper and yet... I continued with the farce.... I continued right up until my friend Heather agreed to split a fleece with me in about the first three seconds of our arrival at the farm.... and ended up splitting two fleeces (although one is not in my hot little hands so it doesn't count yet, right?? ) with her.

The kids had a blast playing with the newborn bottle-fed lamb and feeding the sheep (until Eli started vomiting, but that's a whole different story.... a 12 hr story... Let's just say that large ziploc bags are now a permanent part of my necessary driving supplies and listening to your child vomit into said ziploc bag should be added to the "distracted driving" laws, but I digress)

Zippy the Lamb 

A very friendly wether (neutered male)

I love alpacas... they remind me of Dr. Suess characters

My Mom was fascinated by the shearing. I think she was really missing her farm days.

Poor Eli, this picture should have been my first clue that something was very wrong....

And finally...... my new fleece which may or may not be from the exact same sheep as last time.... A South African Meat Merino

I promise I won't try to deny my lack of self control next time. I'll own it!

Thursday, May 10, 2012


It's been about six weeks since I started our Vermicomposting project and I think it's coming along nicely. The worms are eating most of our vegetative waste and can consume approximately 7 litres (2 gallons) per week. I'm hoping that will increase a bit more as the worms reproduce, but, overall,  I'm happy with the results. I've learned that my worms don't really like bread products, so I no longer include them. They also prefer their meals to be cut up, but I am far too lazy to cut up all of our waste into itty-bitty bits for the worms... I've got picky kids and I'm not catering to worms... they can chew an apple core whole, thank you very much.

The hardest part of the whole process is the retraining of the male parental unit of the household. The miniature humans mostly remember about the compost bucket, but the MPU is still rather unlikely to contribute to our effort. He's probably not doing it to tick me off though.... probably.

Other than that... Vermicomposting seems to be an easy way to compost year round in Calgary.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ouch, my aching back....

We've been going crazy around her the past few days (actually, Dale has done very little after the initial removal of the sod... work and all that) starting a new landscaping project. Our plan is to remove ALL of the lawn in the front yard and replace it with a rock garden. We are also extending our driveway by about 30inches because apparently I don't know how to share either the garage OR the driveway, causing Dale to park partially on the lawn,,,, which has been disastrous for that section of lawn. Our plan is to tackle the project in 3 stages. Stage I: the first half of the rock garden; Stage II: extending the driveway and next year, Stage III: the second half of the rock garden.
Before... not too bad, but not great either

You can really see the horrid condition of the lawn here

We started off by renting a sod remover thingamajig (no idea of the technical term, but "wondrous, spectacular remover of sod" comes to mind) which Dale put to good use on Friday after work. He removed most of the lawn that we had marked out and left a little for the next morning..... when it decided to snow.... Not to be deterred, he completed his task in the snow and voila! his job was complete (I'm not helping with the concrete,

My job then began. I had to clear all of the sod off the new garden area and remove the brick from the small raised bed in front of the house. My next step was to dig out and transplant a spirea shrub and three tea roses (those suckers are SHARP) all while defending myself from the very angry ants who seemed to be very pissed off (I had a gentler word there, but the harsher profanity seemed to fit the situation better) that I would ruin their home so cavalierly. I then had to fork and turn all of the exposed concrete in the new bed (I'm pretty sure it's dirt or at least clay, but it felt a LOT like concrete), I then added some zeolite and topsoil mix and forked it again. Then I had to break up the bits with a rake and level everything out. I ran to Burnco for some paving stones (I only brought home a few in the van... those suckers are HE-AVY and my poor van wasn't happy) and dug them into the prepared dirt base. My final step of the day was the addition of the purdy-ness.... and I am done.... Well, sort of done.... I have to finish the paving stones and add the gravel/rock part of the rock garden, but I wanted to show you the semi-finished product as the rest is going to have to wait until my back stops hurting.....

The kids helped me lay out the plants 

It'll be REALLY pretty in two years when the perennials grow in.

The pavers will wrap around to the side of the house, next week.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Two Loves

Sheep or gardening... sometimes I don't have to choose....

This super awesome sheep planter was purchased at London Drugs for $29.95 (it was on sale from $49.95, I think)..... Fibre lovers better run and grab the rest before they are gone......