Something else

There are so many things happening around here that I'd love to show you -- but can't -- yet. I really don't mean to be a tease, but there it is.

Please rest assured that all will be revealed in due time. For now, please enjoy this first glimpse of Valentine Rose, a new sock pattern informed by the spirit and aesthetic of The Real Tuesday Weld:Some of you might like to know that this is my fourth TRTW-inspired sock pattern -- some of you may have lost track. I'm not even sure why I'm still keeping track any more, myself. Old habits die hard.

Oh, and if you're looking for Cupie, you'll find him here.

First sock; Last Werewolf

As far as I'm concerned any day when something drops off my needles is a good day. Today's objet du jour is the first of a pair of socks I'm making for Thomas; working title: Tomsox 2.0.Once again assorted bits of fingering-weight yarn come together to create a riotous -- but still masculine -- sock. In fact, these are probably the most (only?) masculine socks you'll ever see with hot pink angora/merino in.

It was while working this sock that I accidentally sacrificed one of my very dear (in both senses of the word) rosewood needles. I allayed the mourning process by promptly buying another set. That's retail therapy in action.

And speaking of action, at present I am thoroughly engrossed in Glen Duncan's new novel The Last Werewolf. To say that it has me by the throat is an understatement. Mr. Duncan has outdone himself this time.

I know it's over

My tulips are finally finishing. They look almost as lovely on their way to the compost bin as they did in full bloom.In the hopes of hastening them on their journey into the afterlife and eventual rebirth - I have marigolds waiting to occupy the very same real estate - I snipped their fading blossoms off. While doing so I caught myself singing some of the mopier bits from The Smiths' classic The Queen is Dead. How's that for a memento mori -- or should that be a memento Morrissey?

I hope you Nice People will forgive me for that one.

"Yes sir, yes sir..."

"...Three bags...""...FULL..."...of Malabrigo.

This turned up on my doorstep mere minutes ago. Once again, neither Schnecke nor Bubo can believe how much complimentary yarn nice people will send me to play with. Perhaps "play with" isn't the best choice of phrase -- more like work with. As I have no less than two new patterns coming out in Malabrigo Book Four I will most definitely have my work cut out for me.

Now if you'll excuse me -- I have a pile of yarn to play with.

Out now: William, It Was Really Nothing aka. the Hippo socks

I'm a wee bit behind schedule here, but out -- as they say -- is out. And the William It Was Really Nothing socks are most definitely out.
Click the button or head on over to Ravelry to procure your copy. The pattern should also be turning up in my Etsy shop in a little bit.

Now blue faience hippos may be your thing, or they may not -- but on the off chance that they are, but socks are not, please keep in mind that we offer the coordinating William It Was Really Nothing mitten pattern as well. It may be Summer now, but the Cold will always come again. Don't let it find you under-dressed.

Buddha Machine Mitts + Socks

Happy news for those who are fans of both ambient music and knitting -- surely, I can't be the only one -- the patterns for the Buddha Machine Mittens and the Buddha Machine Socks are now available. If you're not familiar with the Buddha machine -- the wonderful little fetishistic device that it is -- right this way, please.

And here they are now, the mittens:
...and the socks.
Pick up the patterns themselves by clicking the wee buttons beneath their respective images, or get them on Ravelry -- clear here for the mitts and here for the socks. With any luck they should be popping up in my Etsy shop shortly.

And, of course, the mitts and socks shown above will soon be flying away to Hong Kong to live with Christiaan and Zhang -- the dudes behind FM3 (and the Buddha Machine) themselves. All in all this was a great project that I'm honoured to have been a part of.

Next, please -- it never stops. Why should it?

At first sight

As those close to me can attest, it's good to know a knitter, especially (but not necessarily,) around the giftier times of the year.

Just ask Anna whom, among other things, has had mittens named for (and gifted to) her, received a sparkly silver Birch for her birthday last year and now gets to live with these two critters:These delightful slippers are none other than the Hopsalots by Stephanie Dosen (aka. tiny owl knits.) They are adorable -- both as bunnies and as footwear. Clearly, she's outdone herself this time!

Sometimes the perfect touches are lurking right under one's nose. This was the case with both their eyes (vintage mother-of-pearl buttons) and their tufty tails (half-felted bits of natural grey roving.) Once again, my everything stash came to the rescue. An ample stash isn't just nice -- it's vital.After chasing the bunnies around the back garden for some time, I bundled them into a shoebox (with air holes poked in) and gave them a carrot to share while they made the five-minute trip chez Anna.I think I frightened her a little when I handed her the box, told her that I found "them" out back and to open it -- slowly and carefully.

Luckily it was Love at first sight -- how could it not be?

This is happening

Fresh from the studio -- blue faience hippo socks.You do remember William, yes? And his eponymous mittens? Well they're about to be joined by coordinating footwear -- convenient for those of you who live in places where one doesn't need mittens -- or for those who just love hippos.

As I have officially switched over into High-Production Mode, expect to see this pattern out by early next week.

Now I'm off to knit.

In the Pink

My new favourite colour (this week) is Lipstick Pink. This is closely followed by Shell Pink, Blush Pink and Bubblegum Pink. Yes.At present I'm scratching that itch by spending time with the denizens of my newly-planted Rose Garden.Will this current infatuation come out in my work? That remains to be seen. You will forgive me if it does, yes?I do hope so.

The Earth Moved

I have mud on my knees and dirt in my hair, but I also have a rose bed-in-progress in the back garden. Oddly enough, those three things are related.Perhaps you have heard me speak of how cold and long this past winter was in my neck of the woods. Yes, my jaunt to London/Brussels/Reims offered a delightful taste of Spring in March but upon returning home I was thrust back into veritable Hibernation. It was in these days that I developed the fiercest of loves for roses. It was not long thereafter that I Promised Me A Rose Garden.Fast forward a month-and-a-half to the present and you will find me with no less than five of the rosy little darlings (three Floribundas and two precious David Austins) snuggled up in the sunroom but longing to stretch their roots out in a proper garden -- that doesn't exist yet. Oh, it exists in potentia, it's just that at present it's covered by sod. This is where the digging comes in.This is the part of the show that finds me on my hands and knees hacking cathartically (read: viciously) at the turf with my beloved Ho-Mi -- a smallish handplow of Bronze Age Korean origin that can move mountains (eventually, I suppose.) "No, thank you," I say to the nice lady from the building out back who stops by to offer me a better shovel, "I'm fine." And I am. Back to it -- Hack, hack, hack.With each stroke the Ho-Mi bites into the turf. Slowly -- and with effort -- the top layer of sod rolls up like a carpet and peels away from the yellow-grey clay beneath. Right now I could kick whoever decided to put SW Ontario on top of this clumpy, clammy, unforgiving stuff. I silently curse both geology and the settlers of New France. Living on the bottom of an ancient ocean is nowhere near as cool as it sounds.The work grows easier with time. In the process I forget myself and lapse into all those (I like to think charming, but I could be wrong) habits that I have -- talking to insects, apologizing to plants, chatting up the kitties that wander down the walk. I half-wonder what the neighbours must think, and then quickly forget all about it.I always lose track of time when working out here. When I pop back in the house for a glass of water I am always shocked at how much time has gone by. I don't mind too much -- it feels wonderful to get my hands dirty.Back outside, back to work. I begin to sing. I can't help this as much as I can't help telling the worms I meet how much they're going to like living in my vegetable bed. Over time I've noticed that two songs in particular float to the surface while I'm gardening: Snowbird's Where Foxes Hide and The Real Tuesday Weld's Daisies. I'm sure the neighbours are terribly impressed now.It doesn't matter, really -- they don't have to be madly in love with me. I just hope that they enjoy the garden as much as I do.