Saturday, October 28, 2023

Halloween walk

It's been a while since I shared a taste of my neighbours' Halloween decorating finesse, so you might need to brace yourselves. Some of these are scary!

Starting small, here.

Inflatable ghosts: always a popular choice, and you can dress them up or down for scary as the need arises.

Skeletons and spiders are also thick on the ground, or rather, trees. Ambitious decorators often have them crawling all over their houses... I've spotted two now with skeletons trying to get in through the upstairs windows. Creepy!

But... is anything creepier than a clown? 

This guy stands about eight feet tall... and his eyes light up red at night. Between him and the tree skeleton this place is not exactly welcoming. Maybe that's the point?

Also not welcoming: the giant Scream inflatable brandishing a knife at anybody who dares approach the driveway. I took this from a safe distance, so as not to terrify.

Didn't even try to minimize the horror of this 10-foot inflatable. I know, I know, I could be showing you something that's 10 INCHES tall, after cutting out all the reference elements like car and house number. But trust me, this thing is heart-stopping, unless it's lost its air and is sprawled flat over the lawn, which is how it spends at least 12 hours of every day.

Okay if the others didn't scare you...

Like, there wasn't even any wind when I took this photograph.

(I kid. It was super blustery.)

We need a palate cleanser now so I'm gonna finish up our tour with my favourite.

It doesn't quite show here, but Skullface's mouth has some depth, enough to accommodate a large sleepy dog or perhaps a lady who's walked a long way and can't wait to get home to snuggle up on her sofa. I have never impersonated such a person or asked anyone to take a picture of me in this monster's mouth, but I think about it every. single. time.

Okay, the sun's shining here and I should get out into it. Hope you're getting out for something fun this weekend too! Thanks for joining me and I'll see you next week.

Saturday, October 21, 2023


 I've been settling in nicely at Instagram the last few weeks, having found my way to a wonderful community of booklovers (come visit!) and I can't help noticing there is a LOT of overlap with knitting. And not because many of us indulge in both passions, either. After all, what is a To Be Read pile if not a Yarn Stash? and read books on a shelf are not unlike yarn scraps.

Of which I have many. Some people never reread books but keep them to fill their shelves as a record of where they've been, and I suppose you can do the same with yarn scraps. I know I recognize many of these yarns and remember the beautiful things I made with them. Still, you *can* reread a book. And you can use up yarn scraps too.

I could almost certainly cobble together a pair of Frankenstein-esque socks with what's lying around in my scrap box. Or embroider something, or even make a rug. Tie up a gift parcel. Braid long strips for drawstrings or tiebacks. Leave some outside strategically for our animal neighbours to use in their nests. And let's not forget the ol' loom. Weaving is the audiobook of the knitting world, in that it allows you to get through stashed yarn very quickly and frees you attack the next thing on the list.


Or I could just leave all these scraps in their protective cases in a box in a cabinet to come visit every so often, remembering the diehard knitter I indulged for all those years when I didn't the time or tranquility I needed to tackle a short story, let alone a full-length manuscript. One of which I hope to wrap up in the next few days (or even this weekend, cue the nail-biting)!!! I've only been working on this thing for 14 or 15 months... I am overdue a completed if creaky first draft at this point, don't you think?


And on that note, I will take my leave of you for another week, a bit abruptly, but only because I really, really need to wrap up this story.  Hope you have a great weekend and, as always, thank you for spending some time with me today. 

Okay, okay - one more scrap tray! These are the bigger leftovers, generous enough for sock cuffs or handknit pockets. If you have ideas or favourites, I'd love to hear 'em.

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Knitting love

This last week suddenly I felt hugely motivated to knit, not from pressure or because I like the feel of yarn in my hands but because the motion of knitting into a stitch and sliding it over the needles is so wonderful.

Which means I made a ton of progress on the sock I'd messed up all those years ago! Here we are at Chompy Sock, no less, that delightful stage following Heel Flap.

I re-stained the deck post caps last week too, and they look so clean and new now. Even whiter than the white stripe in this colourway.

Knitting with frogged yarn isn't so spectacular but I stuck with it and, since I'd added in the two stitches that should have been there in the first place, I hit unknit yarn before I got too far into the heel flap. The frogged section from the leg is really bumpy, isn't it.

The other big Yay was that I am really enjoying the needles I found in the bag where I'd stored this mistake sock while I made up my mind what to do with it. They're square metal double points from KnitPicks and when I first bought them to supplement my original and much-loved sets of Kollage square needles, which were somehow no longer available, I found my skin was reacting to the nickel finish. I kept them only to store live stitches when I needed my original needles for something else. Well, that allergy issue seems to have resolved, and now I can enjoy the super slick surface and sheer speed of knitting on them. 


The bad news: Knitpicks has changed over to doing square double points in wood only, which I've tried and didn't love, so I can't get more of these needles now that I like them.

The good news that washes right over the bad: Kollage needles are available online now and the needles, now produced in aluminum, even come in blue! Guess who's getting new double points for her Christmas stocking?

If you haven't tried square needles, they really are great. It's a subtle difference in grip with a big payout in reduced hand strain. I wouldn't make socks on anything else. However: you do have to go up a size owing to the lost circumference with the squared-off edges, so I use 2.5mm squares to sub in for 2.25mm round sock needles.

Okay that's enough from me for today... I hope you're enjoying a beautiful Saturday and once again, thank you so much for sharing your time with me. See you next week!

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Sweater weather

At last! The temperature around here has finally dropped enough to reach for a sweater before heading out the door. I know summer is a popular season for a lot of reasons but for me: it's all about autumn.

I've been such a snail with my knitting the last few years, not only in speed but in terms of finger agility (as in, sticky where it isn't zero). Still, I couldn't help noticing this particular project - not a sweater, it's another Hatcowl - is almost done.

You may recall me moaning about this thing a year ago - and likely on many other occasions - because I'd cast on with lace-tipped needles and they are SO STABBY. But I also loved the Viola-dyed yarn enough to persevere well into last spring. And it's paid off: I'm pretty close to doing the eyelets, which immediately precede another few rounds of ribbing. Which, by the way, will not number as many as the initial very deep ribbing section. YAY!

If I sit down and focus, I could have this thing ready to wear out on a walk next week. Which probably isn't necessary as it's not *that* cold yet, but still. A girl can dream, as I always remind myself when imagining the impossible.

No pictures to accompany this bit of exciting news, but our tiny home is, at last, on its foundation! Turns out putting even a lightweight shed on twenty feet of sand takes some extra intervention. Like, for example, helical piles that go down even deeper, with engineer-designed bracing at the top. Next week with luck we'll also get power, something that involves serious trench-digging by Pete and company before our electrician arrives. We won't have water for the foreseeable. However, we don't need to wait for that for the septic hookup, and we might even be able to harvest rainwater for non-potable uses, so it feels like progress.

Crossing my fingers I actually get out there to see it and take a bunch of pictures for you this fall... the actual building is quite plain, but the land it's on is gorgeous. As proof, here's one of the few images I've been offered that doesn't feature a tractor, taken from our cousins' driveway next door on balmy day in September:

I mean HONESTLY. Who wouldn't want that view every day? Admittedly it's theirs and not ours, but I gotta think there's another vantage point further in that's just as stunning.

Okay that's it for me. Random episodes of exhaustion are still pocketing my Covid recovery, but I'm feeling good enough right now to take a magical sweater-weather walk, and I've learned to grab those moments.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend (and a wonderful Thanksgiving if you're Canadian like me!) and I look forward to meeting up again next Saturday. As always, thanks so much for stopping by!