The Day before December

Today I woke up to the lightest dusting of snow - so light, in fact, that the term "icing sugar" sprang to mind. It was quite pretty - and all the prettier since it is exactly the kind of snow that will be gone by mid-afternoon.

I took this chance to nip out to the back garden to rescue a couple of ladies-in-distress that I had been keeping an eye on for the past little while. Some thyme just had to come with, since it smelled incredible when I stepped on it to save the ladies in question.And here they are together, all happily snuggled up in their new home - one of my collection of old caper jars. I realize that I have probably violated several basic tenets of flower arranging, of which I am acutely aware. Luckily I belong to the "fill an old caper jar with water and insert the snippings" school of floral design, so I can't say that I care too much. I like my arrangements like I like my gardens and that is wild.

My lovely ladies are hardly themselves in these frigid temperatures. Heritage is normally a beautiful blush, but out in the cold she has deepened to something closer to a lipstick pink......and the usual creamy white petals of Evening Star have developed blush and greenish tones.Now the jury is still out on whether or not they will properly open, but I am hoping that the warmth of the house will help out a bit. Still, they are exceedingly pretty in their budded state and I will enjoy them regardless.

The Wolf Pack

Yes, an entire week later and I am still very much in the clutches of my three handsome English werewolves. It seems that, while I thought that I might make my escape more swiftly, they had other plans in the meantime. Still, I managed to elude the first of them last night, and today? Both the wer and the wulf aspects of Number Two are both fully complete. Here he is, The Clerkenwell Kid in woollen form, alongside his woolly lupine alter ego.This, of course, was taken prior to their Joining - a messy undertaking much like any other surgical procedure - hence the lack of photographic documentation. Still, together or apart, I daresay that both halves turned out quite cute, and I am truly hard-pressed to decide which of the two I favour more. Perhaps the wulf? I always did have a thing for chest hair and he is sporting quite the pelt indeed!

Some of you have been asking if the pattern is one of mine and (unfortunately) it is not - though I wish it was as it is completely, utterly brilliant! It's by Annie Watts and you can find it on Ravelry here. Simple in its complexity and complex in its simplicity both at the same time - I can't say enough about this one. LOVE.

Me + Mr. Wolf

I am in high production mode today - polishing off the first of three handsome knitted werewolves. At present he is still very much a work in progress, but I am, erm, over the moon about how he's coming along.Soon I'll be joining the two halves together - now that shall be a proper mad scientist moment!

No, the fact that I am producing (were)wolves out of sheep's clothing is not lost on me. Nor is the fact that the wool in question is Shetland wool - which will be returning to the UK shortly, but in wolf-form.

If you'd like another taster of the lupine persuasion, allow me to offer up this delicious morsel - it's the brilliant new animated film made to accompany The Real Tuesday Weld's equally brilliant song, "Me. + Mr. Wolf" - and it's even better than I thought it would be.
Sexy, violent and violently sexy - call it Red Riding Hood Noire.

Get Persnickety!

Hey, Nice People! Did you know that the pattern for my Persnickety mittens is currently FREE on Ravelry until tomorrow night? Yes, FREE - no tricks, treats or strings attached.Grab it while you can! Knit Persnickety and have Fun!There are more FREE surprises yet to come - please consider yourselves warned!

George the Toad + Wovember

This is George. He's a toad.He likes slugs, long hops on dark rainy nights, and...hanging about in people's studios.

George turned up in my studio late last July, just in time to help me bang out a new pattern (using LOFT, no less!) for Brooklyn Tweed's forthcoming publication Wool People 2.

And yes, it is quite diffcult to work when someone won't get off the book that one is trying use...George.Luckily I knew of someone else who has a couple of lovely studios that I knew George would absolutely love. Besides, George shares Tom's predilection for flamboyant headgear.From what I understand they are now getting on quite well together, which makes me happy. I hope you're behaving yourself, George!

Another thing that makes me particularly happy (happy? More like ecstatic as a raving crazypants LOON,) is WOVEMBER - the month-long celebration of REAL SHEEP and REAL WOOL that has been organized and executed by Kate and Felicity. In a burst of utter JOY and LUST to celebrate WOVEMBER I promptly swooped down upon Felicity's Etsy Shop and picked up a couple of her limited edition WOVEMBER 2011 tweed-covered badges. They turned up in the post just the other day......accompanied by the sweetest note. Thank you, Felicity - I will now be properly decked out for the rest of this WONDERFUL, WOOLLY WOVEMBER. Baaa!

This is Happening

This may be news to some of you, but to others not - in any event I will cut to the chase - yes, there is a book in the works. My own book, full of my own patterns, that you will be able to buy wherever it is that you like to buy books.I don't think I ever properly announced this impending bookdom, as it began humbly as a couple of idle tweets between Shannon and myself on a sultry morning this past July. Which is why I found myself speeding down to Cleveland on a similarly sultry morning this past August.Once I found my way into knitgrrl studios, Shannon and I sat down and started talking BOOK. Imagine my surprise when I noticed that this conversation was taking place almost ten years to the day that I had similarly sat across from a woman behind a desk and had...well, the exact opposite of this conversation. It's funny how history twists, turns, repeats itself...and provides. Had you told me ten years ago about where I'd be now I wouldn't believe you.And, you know, while I want to say "I wouldn't change a thing," that's not exactly true. What I do know is that I like where I'm at and I like Shannon A LOT better than that other lady - we share a comparably inappropriate sense of humour, for instance......and the sarcasm. Mustn't forget the sarcasm.

But yes, BOOK! My BOOK! Will keep you all posted as details become available that I am able to share.

The Bulb-bening, 2011

Well, this year's batch of bulbs has been planted - I even have the sore back (from improper bending) to prove it.The usual suspects are out in full force; weirdo tulips abound - odd blends, some frilly, some splotchy, some ruffley - but we have some new offenders on the roster as well this year. Swathes of daffodils, drifts of crocus - some commonplace, others not. I look forward to meeting them all in the Spring.Black Passion Blend tulips? Yes, please!

And just in case anyone of the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed persuasion even considers helping him- or herself to a bulb-snack, I have added a little something extra to the mix:I hope you squirrels are in the mood for Indian tonight!

And though my bulbs are currently napping under their chili-seasoned soil duvet, I clearly still have tulips on the brain - just look at what I picked up from Meadowview Alpacas:There was no way that I could've said no to saturated colours like that! This palette will surely help tide me over under the tiny wee bulb-noses appear in the garden.