with wool

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I love making these crochet animals! There is just something about a homemade baby gift that I can’t resist. Baby quilts are lovely, too (and a bit more practical) but these cute creatures are so quick and easy to make. This chimpanzee (and as such, no tail to make!) was given to a friend of mine for her grandson.

I’m getting a bit more involved in spinning these last few months, and because I’m extremely inconsistent, I’m happy to use it to make animals. Crochet hides a multitude of sins! The first batt that I spun was called a “felting batt,” which was kind of coarse and had a lot of nubbly bits in it. I’m not sure if most of the inconsistencies are a result of the quality of batt, or skill of the spinner (leaning toward the latter) but at least I know what the end product will be. One of the things that turned me off of spinning a few years ago was that frustrating question, “So what do I make with it?”

Waste makes me feel guilty, so to have left-overs in the yarn bin, or worse, whole skeins of good wool with no purpose really bother me. Just…waiting there for inspiration. Guilt no more!!! There are going to be some very quirky animals crocheted in the next little while!

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tussock

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I probably should have been an entomologist, what with the strange fascination for weird and beautiful bugs. Isn’t he great? He’s going to turn into a tussock moth, but he shouldn’t be on my Nanking cherry bush; supposedly he prefers apples.

My apple tree is on the way out, though, and maybe he knows it. That poor tree has girdled roots and now root borers at the base of the trunk. I’m only keeping it alive long enough to harvest the apples that are on it, and then it’s replacement will go in. Although I have no guarantee that the borers will not move into the new tree, I’ll take my chances. We had a saying at work this spring; there are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.

Time to try something new! (And if the apple doesn’t work out, there is always plum!)

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love

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The girls don’t cook independently. I’m not at all concerned about this; cookbooks are great for learning from, as the ones that I’ve purchased most recently (Scandinavian Comfort Food) read as though someone is in the kitchen right with you. Almost more art than cookbook.

And Elena has decided to transcribe my everyday cooking into a book of recipes just for herself. Since our “favourites” were sourced from cookbooks new and old, magazines, Internet and friends, it’s a sweet idea to have them all in one place; however much a work in progress it may be!

Sonja cooks as inspired. Most recently, it was this bee cake for her cousin’s 20th birthday. She made all the parts, including three different types of icing; the buttercream, the drizzle, and the royal icing bees. Hours of labour, and sweetly turned out.

Cooking really is an act of love sometimes.

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season

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The lilies have finished for the season, but they were pretty glorious. Even though the leaves did end up with quite a few holes from the lily beetle, I managed to “pick and squish” my way ahead of that hoard. Orange fingers were the result of that, but I’m happy to do them in with that satisfying crunch.

Bugs are fun; and I had more ladybug larvae this year than I’ve ever had before. That was neat to watch, as the infestations of aphids were devoured by those helpful garden friends.

It’s been so very dry this summer, and I don’t enjoy hauling out the hose, so the plants have (for the most part) been surviving on their own. And so, we’ve enjoyed saskatoon berry season, raspberry season, and sour cherry season. All from the backyard. The only harvest that seemed affected by the lack of rain was the raspberry, but even it did well enough that I’ll be able to make a batch of jam.

And then I’ll be inspired to make scones to go with it!

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street scene

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Chadd’s flat tire gave me the opportunity to take the bus to my dentist appointment. The only upside of the whole experience is that I got to people-watch from a whole new perspective.

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new project

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Not sure how long it takes wool to dry…

Not sure what the end of this project will look like…

Not sure if I’ve even done this right…

And I’m really not sure that my neighbours don’t think I’m crazy. (I would.)

It all started with a stranger advertising that she had a new, freshly shorn sheep fleece.

Then there was rainwater and sheep sweat, brewing in a tub in the back yard.

Now it’s drying racks made out of window screen and leftover wood lattice.

Next comes the borrowed combs and bits of fluff and many hours later!

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animals

Nothing else to see here…and to top it all off, the hippo hasn’t had his photo taken yet.

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