"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either." ~ Elizabeth Zimmerman

8/25/16

North Idaho Fair 2016 Results

I helped man the North Idaho Secular Society booth at the fair yesterday as planned. I took the opportunity, while there, to check out my entries to see how they did. Not bad, if I do say so myself.

The doll outfit took a first place blue ribbon and the Superintendents Choice award.



This baby sweater and hat, which is part of Layette set #16, won a first place blue ribbon.



This baby layette set (#10) won a second place red ribbon.



My bracelet won second place red ribbon.



And most surprising of all, Snowman Row won first place blue and Superintendents Choice ribbons.



A couple of ladies, who saw my reaction when I found my doll, offered to take my picture with my phone. So here I am, grinning like a Cheshire cat.



I am a happy girl!

Live long and prosper. \\//

8/24/16

Layette Sets 14 and 15

I have finished two more layette sets for KnitWits. This one is number 14.



We'll start with the cardigan.



Pattern: Super Natural Stripes by Fawn Pea

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver
Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: 360 Cafe

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver
Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: Soft White

Yarn: Big Twist Yarn Value
Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: 5016 Medium Teal

Needles:  Circular size 6 and 8

Started:  July 12, 2016
Finished: July 15, 2016



The Hat



Pattern: Chibi Striped Baby Hat by Chiaki Hayashi

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver
Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: 360 Cafe

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver
Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: Soft White

Yarn: Big Twist Yarn Value
Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: 5016 Medium Teal

Needles:  Circular size 7

Started:  July 16, 2016
Finished: July 17, 2016

The booties



Pattern: Seamless Garter Tassel Booties by Karen Strauss
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver
Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: 360 Cafe

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver
Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: Soft White

Yarn: Big Twist Yarn Value
Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: 5016 Medium Teal

Needles:  Circular size 7

Started:  July 17, 2016
Finished: July 19, 2016

The blanket.



Pattern: Double Crochet edging

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver
Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: 360 Cafe

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver
Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: Soft White

Hook: Size G

Started: August 1, 2016
Completed: August 2, 2016

Detail photo of edging.



Layette Set 15



The cardigan.




Pattern: Super Natural Stripes by Fawn Pea

Yarn: Red Heart Baby Econo Solids
Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: White

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver
Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: Frosty Green

Yarn: Big Twist Yarn Value
Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: 5016 Medium Teal

Needles:  Circular size 6 and 8

Started:  July 20, 2016
Finished: July 25, 2016

The hat



Pattern: Chibi Striped Baby Hat by Chiaki Hayashi

Yarn: Red Heart Baby Econo Solids
Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: White

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver
Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: Frosty Green

Yarn: Big Twist Yarn Value
Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: 5016 Medium Teal

Needles:  Circular size 6 and 8

Started:  July 26, 2016
Finished: July 28, 2016

The booties.



Yarn: Red Heart Baby Econo Solids
Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: White

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver
Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: Frosty Green

Yarn: Big Twist Yarn Value
Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: 5016 Medium Teal

Needles:  Circular size 6 and 8

Started:  July 28, 2016
Finished: July 29, 2016

The blanket.



Pattern: Scallop edging from Lots of Knots blog

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver
Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: Frosty Green

Yarn: Big Twist Yarn Value
Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: 5016 Medium Teal

Hook:  Size G

Started:  August 3, 2016
Finished: August 4, 2016

Detail of edging.



Layette set 16 is almost done. I've got one bootie and the blanket to do. I entered the cardigan and hat in the fair. I'll find out later today how they did.

Yesterday I took a little break from layette knitting to work on a tiny doll dress for my Amber. I'll be posting more details later.



The garage is coming along very well this week. They built the upstairs floor, framed the upstairs wall, built the stairs complete with railing,



and installed the windows and man doors. Today they have started putting up the metal siding.

I'm working at the fair today. I'll be helping out with the booth for the North Idaho Secular Society. I'm looking forward to it. I hope it doesn't get too hot or smoky. There are several wild fires over in the Spokane, Washington area and the wind likes to blow the smoke this way. It got pretty thick on Tuesday. It cleared out yesterday because the wind shifted. I hope it stays that way. Mostly, I hope they get the fires out. Nothing scares me like wild fires.

Live long and prosper. \\//

8/18/16

Choke Cherry Jelly

My daughter Ruth went back to college this week, on Monday. I am alone again during the day. I will really miss her. I'm glad we got to do a project together that turned out to be a lot of fun.

Last Saturday morning she surprised me by going out and picking a big bucket of Choke Cherries so we could make jelly.



Choke Cherries grow wild all over our property. There are several bushes growing along our driveway. I've been living here 24 years and every year when the wild Choke Cherries are ripe I say "I should pick some cherries and try making jelly" but I never got around to doing it.

I was so surprised by this 'gift' from Ruth. I had plans for that day, but I totally threw them out the window and we spent the whole day making jelly.



I found a simple recipe on the internet that consisted of the cherries, pectin, sugar, and a lot of elbow grease. I dug around in my cupboards and found 7 jelly jars. I've never made Choke Cherry jelly before and I didn't think we'd get much out of that big bucket because 90% of a Choke Cherry is pit. The rest is sour bitter that is slightly cherry in flavor.



Boy, were we surprised! I had to dig out some old pint jars. We processed a batch, then had to find more jars for a second batch! We got 15 jars of jelly! 7 small jelly jars, and 8 pint jars!

I wish I'd made it years ago. We've been missing out! It's absolutely delicious! I've been eating it on everything.



I'm so glad my daughter and I got to make the jelly together. We had so much fun. I will treasure this memory forever.

Live long and prosper. \\//


8/17/16

It's Fair Time

It's North Idaho Fair time. Yesterday I hauled mine and Knitwits items to the fairgrounds to be entered in the fair. I only had 18 entries this year, 5 of them mine. That's way down from last year's 47 entries.

One of our members is entering her things under her own name, rather than Knitwits, this year because in past years she's entered half her items through Knitwits, and half under her own name. She usually has lots of items to enter each year, but only half of them are needlecraft items. Anyway, when it comes to paying the prize money for all the ribbons she wins, the fair people always get horribly confused and mess everything up, so we decided to let her do all her entries herself to avoid this. Counting hers, we 'technically' probably have closer to 30 entries for Knitwits, but that's still down. We lost two of our more skilled and prolific members this past year who also used to make lots of entries. I miss both of these ladies very much, for they were awesome people to have in my life. But, unfortunately, human lives are limited.

As I mentioned, I entered 5 items this year. Three are knitted, one beaded, and one counted cross stitch.

The first knit project I managed to finish yesterday morning.



Originally I was going to finish a very complicated beaded necklace, but by Saturday I knew there was no way I was going to accomplish that. There was just too much left to do on it, so I looked at what I had in knitting that could be finished in time. This outfit fit the bill perfectly. I entered it as you see here, on the stand. I even made the jewelry to go with it.

My second knit project I entered as a 4 piece infant set.



That would be the cardigan, hat, and two booties. I didn't enter the blanket.

I don't have a pic of the third knitted entry, which was a 2 piece infant set. It is the striped sweater and hat for Layette set 16.

In beading I entered the recently finished Magnesite bracelet.



Last, but not least, is Snowman Row.



It will be interesting to find out how I do. I'm working at the fair for 3 days this year, starting next Wednesday, in the North Idaho Secular Society booth, so I will know then.

The garage did not get much done on it last week. The walls were supposed to be all framed, the garage doors installed, and the electrical done. But all that got done was a little bit of framing on the front. But it started to look like a garage at last.



The building crew got more serious this week and have showed up every day so far. It looks like this now. All the framing is done on the front



And the sides.



There's just a little bit of framing left to do on the back.

I find the guy reactions to this building project very funny. Yesterday the UPS guy showed up with a delivery. I opened the front door and he was standing in front of it staring with his mouth open. Finally he said "What's going on here?" So I told him. "That is a beautiful building!" he said with as much awe as a person can have. He was very very impressed.

The electrical is scheduled to be installed tomorrow. I don't know if that's going to happen.

Live long and prosper. \\//.

8/11/16

Blue Magnesite Bracelet

Hello! I'm back! We had a lovely camping trip. The weather was great, except one day where it was cloudy and chilly all day, but we didn't mind. We had a camp fire. Other than that, it was perfect. I relaxed and enjoyed myself the whole week.

I know I said I was taking my camera and some of my dolls for photo fun, but I promptly forgot to pack the dolls. I didn't feel like taking pics without them. So that's that. I did take my knitting with me and got a lot done. More on that later, after everything has been washed and blocked. Got lots of baby stuff done.

It's fair time so I've been busy getting some entries put together. I'm going to have 5 items this year, assuming I get the last item done. I've knit a LOT of stuff this past year, mostly for baby layette sets. But I can only enter two of them. They've decreased the number of categories considerably this year. All the work I did to make the categories great has been undone by a new Superintendent of Knitting. We went from 8 pages of categories to 2. For instance, I had sweaters divided up by type: plain knit, solid textured knit (i.e. cables), open textured knit (i.e.lace), colorwork knit. Not anymore. Now it's just Adult sweater. Period. We can only enter 1 item per category.

We also had several categories for afghans, divided by size, small, medium, and large, which has been around forever. Now it's just adult knit afghan and baby knit afghan. Urg. There will be a lot less entries because of this. I'm not happy, but, oh well.

So, I'm entering 2 of my baby sweaters. One with the matching hat and booties as a 3 piece set, and one with just the matching hat as a 2 piece set. That's it for my knitting. I'm also entering my Snowman Row cross stitch, and 2 beaded items. Which brings me to my bracelet, which I finished 2 days ago.



It's made with Magnesite dyed blue. I bought these beads the last time we visited Yellowstone National Park from a rock shop in West Yellowstone, Montana.



The base is right angle weave and I've embellished it with 3mm Swarovski crystals and size 15 seed beads.



I didn't use a pattern for this project because it's fairly simple and just rolling around in my head. I've made it several times before.



I told my daughter now I'll need to buy an outfit to go with it. Yesterday a pretty tank top I ordered weeks ago and forgot about arrived. It goes perfect with this bracelet. My subconscious must have been working without my knowledge.



I used a gold plated toggle clasp I bought from Firemountain Gems. Not pure gold, but it'll do.




Here's hoping for a blue ribbon.

Live long and prosper. \\//

7/31/16

Some Bad News, Some Good News

This is a long post because it's been crazy around here the last two weeks. I am going to start with the bad news. I took Mollie back to the shelter where we got her last Monday. We'd had a very bad 2 weeks with her and we realized we could not live with a dog that has the aggression problems that she has.

You see, the builders have been working on the garage/shop and she would not stop barking at them. I could not even put her on a leash and approach them to introduce them to her. She snarled and lunged and pretty much acted like she wanted to take a huge chunk out of them with her very powerful jaws. It's been very frustrating.

Then, there was a big family wedding. My nephew Daniel and his fiance Jordan tied the knot on Saturday the 23rd. Family came from all over the country to attend the wedding including my daughter Sarah and son-in-law Frank. We had family coming and going all weekend and during that time Mollie was frighteningly aggressive. She even attacked my daughter and her husband in the house right in front of me. Fortunately, they know how to react in a situation like that. She didn't bite them, but she definitely pinned them in place with ferocious barking, lunging, growling, and teeth baring. I was so afraid she was going to bite them. She was being a very aggressive guard dog and it was terrifying. We weren't able to introduce her to any of the rest of the family because she just wouldn't let them get near. We had to keep her away from everyone. That is not the kind of dog I want.

We came to realize that the shelter had been lied to about her. They were told she loved people and other dogs. No, she doesn't. They were told she's good around kids. She is definitely not! They were told she rides good in cars. No, she doesn't. She was fine at home with just my husband, me, and daughter Ruth, and was the sweetest most loving thing you could ever meet, but she became dangerous if anyone or anything else came around. Now, initially, I thought I could train her away from this kind of behavior, and even considered hiring a professional trainer to help me, but  I was lying to myself. I can't. I am not physically strong enough to handle her and I can not live with a dog that dangerous. So we made the painful decision to take her back.

The shelter was very understanding and kind about it. They said we did the right thing. They will find her a home that will be much more appropriate for her temperament. Someone strong, who wants a guard dog.

So now we are dogless. I cried for 2 days. I've let Mollie down horribly. I love her very much, but she scares the shit out of me. We will look for another dog with a much gentler personality, but for now, I'm just going to remain dogless for a while.

Now I'm moving on to the good news. They started building the garage. HOORAY. I've got pictures.

On Friday, the 15th, the building crew showed up and started digging holes for the garage poles. They finished them on the 19th.



On the 20th they started installing the poles in the holes.  We have a 4 man crew. They braced each pole in the holes. They couldn't fill the holes with concrete until they'd been inspected.



It was fascinating to watch how they did it. All the poles went up very fast using the little machine they had.



On the morning of the 21st an inspector arrived to look at the holes. He had them dig one just a little deeper, then declared them good. Then three concrete trucks arrived to fill in the holes with concrete.



On Friday, the 22nd, they installed the first roof truss, which is basically a facade on the front of the building. The day ended with it looking like this. They let the concrete cure over the weekend and we had the wedding going on. Lots of family came by the house  to see the progress on our garage. This building is much larger than I was able to picture in my mind. It's pretty impressive to stand in.



On Monday, the 25th they installed about half the roof trusses. It was interesting to watch these 4 guys lift them very high and manipulate them with their two machines and get them installed. I am very impressed with their skills.



They finished installing the trusses the next day. Then they started working on the boards that connect between the trusses. If you click on the pic below to embiggen it, you'll see one young man standing on a truss way up high to nail one end of the boards in. You couldn't pay me to do that.



On Thursday they worked on the sophets and got them installed.



On Friday they installed the roof insulation and metal. I told them to smile for Facebook.



We can stand inside and stay dry now. Or shaded, as the case may be. It was over 90F degrees that day.



I went grocery shopping after they quit for the day and could not resist parking in the garage when I got home.



That's it's status at the moment. Tomorrow the builders will arrive and get busy with the next step. However, I will be missing it. In fact, we'll be away until Friday. It's the annual Park family camping trip up on Priest Lake. I'm kind of sad that I'll be missing the progress and won't be able to take pics of it, but I am so looking forward to camping. We didn't get to go last year and I really felt bad about it.

I should mention the wedding was wonderful. It was fun seeing so much family and the venue was fantastic. It was held at Riverview Mill Ranch in Post Falls. I enjoyed it very much.



Through all of the last two weeks I've been knitting like crazy. I've been feeling so stressed and anxious so I turned to knitting to relax. I've made 2 layette sets (# 14 and 15), except the blankets. I hadn't cut and prepared the fleece fabric for them until today. So I will be taking that along with me to crochet the edgings so the sets will be complete. I've started the cardigan for layette set #16. No pics until after I get back.

My daughter, Ruth, has been home from college and was bitten by the layette bug a couple weeks ago. She is helping me knit them for KnitWits. We're having a blast doing them. She's made 3 sets so far.

We'll be coming home on Friday. My husband is participating in Ride Idaho this year and needs to be home so he can get ready and head south to Ketchum, ID for that. Otherwise, we'd stay until next Sunday. I'm taking my camera, and maybe a couple of my dolls too.

Until then...

Live long and prosper. \\//