Category Archives: gardening

Yard work, and the hot dry summer

It’s too hot to knit without air conditioning. It’s also too short a life to spend the sunny summer inside, especially when you live in a rainforest. If I have spare time I spend it in the yard taking care of the new plants we planted in late May. The side flower garden still needs some time to fill in, but the back yard potted veggies are looking very green and have grown so much. We’ve had more sunshine this June than we get during whole summers. The whole country is dry this year, and it looks like it may stay that way for a time.

My partner and I have been cleaning debris from the side of our rented house since we moved in a year and a half ago. Just when I think I have found the last puzzling discarded item another piece of something comes to the surface. This weekend it was an electrical box, and some plastic cutlery. It makes gardening a bit dangerous as rusty nails and glass shards can still be found on occasion. The last renters used the side of the house as their own personal dumping ground.  I should have taken pictures from the start as it would have been a dramatic “before & after”. There will be more pictures soon, but I thought I would share these iPhone snaps that my boyfriend took this weekend as we watered.

flower2  fern



It is exciting to plan for next year even while this year’s plants are still growing. Next year I will be able to build on the perennial plants already growing.  My garden goal is exemplified by my neighbours yard. You should see it! The house looks like a hobbit home, and the garden is so lush and beautiful.  Our neighbour also raises bee pollinators as part of a UBC study. Her garden is really for the bees, but I enjoy it also. I will get some pictures after the forest fire smoke clears.

Speaking of forest fire smoke, I am suddenly aware of how lucky we are to breath clear fresh air on most days. The smoke is so thick right now that I find it irritates my throat and eyes. You can look directly at the sun. It’s a bright deep orange sphere in a dirty sky. It’s impossible to see past the end of the block. I realized clean air is something I have taken for granted all this time, and I miss being able to take a big inhale of air that feels cleansing and unlaboured.

Reading this blog by my friend Nao helped me feel better about things lately. Some great pictures in this post, and some comforting words: Honey Grove


Get yer Mom to build a rock wall, and then dress like Charlize is your BFF

My mom came over early Saturday morning. She is probably the best person to call if you ever have a project you need to get done ASAP. If moms had a tagline, my mom’s would be something like, “Why wait to do work you can do right now?”  I like to casually mention any big project plans to Mom in advance that may require some mastery and stamina. Things like sewing curtains, making atriums, repairing furniture, painting, and gardening – she did all the cool stuff in the seventies before the hipsters knew about it.  I have yet to present an idea to my mom she hasn’t tried before. This weekend after a trip to the plant store (I wanted all the things!!) she suggested we build a small rock wall to help reinforce the flower garden along the side of the house. It was a job I knew would eventually have to be done, but perhaps another day?  When the dust settled we had a small rock wall to reinforce the soil along the side of the house, and all my plants were in the ground. I love my new flower garden, and most of the great things about it were my mom’s suggestion.  I am so excited for everything to start growing.

Besides gardening, my other obsession the last two weeks was Mad Max. I loved Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa! The movie was something I might not have anticipated loving so much, but the action was so intense that my heart ran fast for the entire movie, and the fact that the kick-ass hero was a woman really won me over.  If Charlize was kick-ass, her stunt double blows my mind.  Check out this article about Dayna Grant, who did all the dangerous stuff, plus met her husband during filming.  Inspired by so much awesomeness, I thought that in the same spirit as my earlier posts matching InStyle editorials with Ravelry patterns I would list some knitting designs that may have fit into the movie. I have always felt knitting was a post apocalyptic life skill so this seems right on a few levels.

I have followed Morphe Knitwear on instagram for some time and these designs were the first thing I thought of when contemplating designers. The Nix Vest pattern is available on Ravelry, or through the Morphe Knitwear site. Check out the lookbook style collection photos on the site too, like: Ash, Blood, and Bone. Really gorgeous designs, with more cool factor than I could ever hope to pull off, but I really like the whole aesthetic. The garments are made with holes, and I think probably the best fit for a Mad Max clothing item that wasn’t leather. Admittedly, nothing posted here will save you from road burn. You’ll have to stay off the war rigs in these.


Nix Vest from Morphe Knitwear

I actually found a whole book of knitting patterns called “Doomsday Knits: Projects for the Apocalypse and After” edited by Alex Tinsley. I especially like the Oh Bondage! cowl, and the Rattlebone gloves, but the book is so well executed! The cover image gives you an idea about how committed the book is, but all the patterns are very wearable. I think these designs could easily fit into other dystopian movie costume sets as well. I can see the Hunger Games and Divergent in the styling. Perhaps it would be more Mad Max-esque if you sprinkled lots of dust on them, but this is the best collection of dystopian future knits I could find.

AlexTinsley Oh Bondage

Oh Bondage! © Vivian Aubrey


Rattlebone © Vivian Aubrey


Oxygenate © Vivian Aubrey

Alex Tinsley has more of her designs on her website dull roar. This Sharona Redux scarf got me thinking about actual Mad Max fibre recommendations. “Glazed Pecan” by Madeline Tosh might be the perfect Mad Max colourway. Perhaps mixing in some “Graphite” for balance?

Other links: