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

3/23/20

What I Did During The Great Pandemic Of 2020

So, here we are. Cooped up in our homes for an unknown length of time. I had hoped nothing like this would happen in my lifetime. It's all very scary for me. The first three days of staying home and watching all of my knitting group meetings being cancelled was pretty traumatic. I was an anxiety/panic attack basket case. I couldn't even knit. So I played games on my phone, cried a lot, and felt miserable. Eventually, though, I started to climb out of the black hole.

What am I doing during this dangerous and trying time now? Knitting. What else. And missing my knitting friends.

I've finished the knitting on the Crazed Scandinavian Cowl.



It's still on the needles because the instructions say leave it on while I work in ends, and steam block. Then I will be grafting the two ends together. I like it. It's a bit heavier than I expected, but that just means it will be nice and warm.



I made some progress on the mitten. I did this over the weekend outside. It was warm and sunny and perfect knitting weather. I put a chaise lounge out on the lawn and sat there instead of on the deck because the deck still had a huge amount of snow on it, which made sitting chilly-sunshine or not. The snow is officially melted off today, but the temperature out is considerably lower. It's cloudy and getting cloudier. Rain and snow are on the way.

Last night, I started my first Kep, which is a traditional hat from the Fair-isle Islands.



I don't think I've mentioned this here. A few weeks ago I discovered a group on Facebook, The Fair Isle Fisherman's Kep Page. This groups sole purpose is devoted to the above pattern, written by Anne Sinclair, which can be purchased only through the group. The pattern sales go toward the George Waterston Memorial Centre and Museum in Fair Isle, Shetland. I repeat, it can only be purchased via the Facebook group. You can't even purchase it directly from the museums web site.

Now, I would think having this pattern for sale in Ravelry and other places on the internet would be much more profitable, so having to join this group in order to purchase the pattern kind of mystifies me. It's the way they've got it set up though. If you want to join the group, you will be required to answer three questions and then read the rules if membership is approved. Then you can order the pattern, which is a bit of a process also, but not too bad. I got my pattern last month. I wanted to finish the cowl knitting before I started it.

I decided to use leftover Palette yarn from the Harriet's hat I made last month. I traded out the bright pink for some lime green though. Daughter Ruth just happened to have some. It's going to be a fun knit.

I had to do a bit of figuring because the pattern comes with several different charts to use. You have to plan out your hat. After I got done planning, I cast on. I did the first 5 rows, then took the above picture to post in the group. I couldn't sleep last night, so I knit in bed until 3 am. So there's a few more rows done. I plan to work on it tonight.

I don't know when I'll steam the cowl. Some time in the next few days, I suppose. Gotta clean a bunch of stuff off the dining room/crafting table to make room for the blocking board.

In the meantime, if sweet hubby and I don't kill each other during this time of house arrest, I'll be surprised. Just sayin'.

Live long and prosper. \\//   And stay well.

3/14/20

Layette Set #44 for KnitWits

I really am happy with this one.



The Cardigan



Pattern: Polka Dot Baby Set by me. Not available yet.

Size: 0-6 months

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver Jumbo
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Black

Yarn: Caron Jumbo Prints
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Spiced Ombre

Needles: Circular size 6 and 8

Started: February 22, 2020
Finished: March 1, 2020

Comments: I like how the color combo works in this set. Much prettier than expected.



It's a combination of stranded knitting and seed stitch.



I have the pattern all written up and it's being test knit now. It should be available in just a couple weeks or so.

The Hat



Pattern: Polka Dot Baby Set by me. Not available yet.

Size: 0-6 months

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver Jumbo
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Black

Yarn: Caron Jumbo Prints
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Spiced Ombre

Needles: Circular size 7

Started: March 2, 2020
Finished: March 2, 2020

The Booties



Pattern: Polka Dot Baby Set by me. Not available yet.

Size: 0-6 months

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver Jumbo
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Black

Yarn: Caron Jumbo Prints
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Spiced Ombre

Needles: Circular size 7

Started: March 4, 2020
Finished: March 5, 2020

The Blanket



Pattern: Elephants On Parade Edging by Laura Hickman.

Size: 36 by 30 inches.

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver Jumbo
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Black

Yarn: Caron Jumbo Prints
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Spiced Ombre

Hook: Size G

Started: March 7, 2020
Finished: March 9, 2020

Comments: My friend, Phyllis, found this edging pattern. I don't have a picture of it close up because I couldn't get a good one. It's the black yarn, but you can see it well if you click here ----> Elephants

I had to adjust it because the pattern is for holes that are 3/4ths of an inch apart and mine are half an inch. There is no skip blade that does 3/4 inch. First change I made was using half double crochets instead of single crochets for the foundation round so there'd be more of the variegated color showing. I repeated it. Then I changed to black for the elephants. I skipped 2 holes between elephants rather than 1, which seemed to work out just perfect.



Our weather sure turned on us. We were having wonderful days. Then the snow storm started yesterday. The wind howled and the snow blew all night long and it's still storming out. I hope this is winters last desperate gasp before spring. I want spring!

Keep away from the virus.

Live long and prosper. \\//

3/13/20

Simple Womans Daybook - March 13, 2020





Outside my window... is snow and wind. It was sunny out this morning, but now we're under a winter storm warning. I am so looking forward to spring.

I am thinking... this Corona 19 virus is a big pain in the butt. It's been handled so badly. I don't know whether to be scared or disgusted.

I am thankful for... my nice warm cozy house. It's keeping me well protected from the snow and wind raging outside.

From the kitchen... the dishwasher has just finished it's load. I made 15 Bean soup in the crock pot yesterday for our dinner. Instead of using the recipe on the bean bag - which I didn't really care for, I tried something new and it turned out so much better. I washed the beans, then put them in the crock pot. I added a small chopped onion and 2 cloves of chopped garlic. Also salt and pepper to taste. Poured 8 cups of water in and turned it on low for 8 hours or so. About 45 minutes before it was done I added some cubed cooked ham and the ham seasoning packet that came with the beans. Mmm. So simple, but it was sooooooo good.

I am wearing... black knit pants and a dark blue knit shirt with a purple and light blue print on it. I would describe the print, but I don't know what these things are. It has long sleeves.

I am creating... the pattern for the baby cardigan I designed. It's actually a whole set. Cardigan, hat, and booties. It's all written up and being test knitted now. I'm looking forward to having it done. I'm also done with chart 16 of the Crazed Cowl. Only 2 charts to go.

I am going... not far, I guess. The library has cancelled the Tuesday knitting group meetings until April. The NISS meeting for the month is cancelled too. I am planning to get to the Bi-mart membership sign up though, for sure. Bi-Mart is opening in 2 weeks in our little town. They have a tent outside that they're taking memberships at until then. I'm so excited. It will save me so many trips into Coeur d'Alene for things.

I am watching... Lots of Survivor. Since I now have CBS All Access, I decided to watch all the seasons of Survivor. I'm having a great time watching it while I knit.

I am reading... British Mysteries Boxed Set.
I got it for my Kindle for 99 cents. It's 350 classic British mysteries written by authors like Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Edgar Wallace, and whatnot. It's over 26,000 pages. I'm about a third done. I've read some authors I'd not heard of before. I'm enjoying it so much.

I am listening… to Josh Groban lately. I have a couple of his cd's that I play in the car. He has such a beautiful voice.

I am hoping… this virus thing doesn't last long and there's a minimal amount of death. I hope I don't get it. I have asthma and I'm already fighting a chronic cough as it is. I don't need more respiratory grief. It's going to have a devastating effect on our economy, which scares me.

Around the house... the husband is working on his thesis. All the fur kids are asleep. It's peaceful.

One of my favorite things... Purple.



I don't know what it is about the color purple, but when I see it I feel joy. I have a lot of it in my life. My bedroom and master bathroom are purple and green. I have purple clothes, purple purse, purple shoes, purple blankets, etc. If purple is a color choice when I am picking something out, invariable I will pick it. Bring on the purple joy!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Finish the cowl. I'm also thinking about starting a new sweater for Zoey. She loves wearing them on cold cold days. I've got yarn picked out. Just need to cast on. I don't know if I'll be going to knitting on Thursday or not. It's held at a coffee shop in downtown Coeur d'Alene. I guess I'll call them and find out later. Gotta remember  to stop by Bi-mart too.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing... where I'm at on the cowl.



If you want to join the Simple Woman's Daybook, click here.

Live long and prosper. \\//

3/1/20

A Blogiversary

Today is my blogs anniversary.



It's been 12 years since I started this blog. I'm gobsmacked that it's been that long and I'm still at it. I've always been a journal writer. I even had a locking diary when I was a little girl.

 I don't write in here as often as I used to, or as often as I'd like to. There are many reasons for that. I hope that eventually some of them will go away.

Knitting update! I've finished the 13th chart on the cowl. Only 5 more charts to go.



It's quite long now. Well over 5 feet. I was worried that I don't have enough of the blue yarn for awhile there. I think I'll have plenty though, which is good cuz the yarn shop I bought it at went out of business last year.

I finished the cardigan for Layette set 44.



You can see the fabric I'm using for the blanket. Using the cardigan pattern I wrote and said I'd publish last year. Didn't happen, of course. I got distracted. I'm back to working on it. Just need it test knitted now.

The snow is melting fast. We had 2 very warm sunny days this past week. It was 57 on Thursday. I dragged a folding chaise lounge into the back yard and placed it in one of the bare spots of grass, thinking I was going to sit and knit in the sun. A large cloud drifted in the way shortly after I sat down. Five minutes later I was shivering because even though I was on bare grass, there was tons of snow all around me, so went back into the house. I am longing for spring.

My asthma is much better. The lung specialist prescribed Prednisone and it works. I wonder how long I'm to take it? I should call and ask.

I'm coughing a lot less too. I figured out it was acid re-flux, also known as GERD. I've been taking Prilosec, changed some things in my diet, and stopped eating 2 hours before my bedtime. It's made a big difference. I still cough a couple times a week, but it's getting better slowly but surely.

I've been thinking about selling my Liz Frost Ruby doll.



I'm not really attached to her. I want a hot tub in the worst way. I miss having one. I could get a nice used one for the amount I could sell the doll for. I've got a couple outfits I could sell with her to sweeten the deal too.

I gave up on the doll clothes selling business. I wasn't having much luck with it. Maybe I'll try again another time.

Well, that's the news for today.

Live long and prosper. \\//

2/21/20

Layette Set #43 for KnitWits

Hey! It's FO Friday. Well, will you look at that? I finished something. Yet another layette set. Will it never stop???



Cardigan



Pattern: Super Natural Stripes by Fawn Pea

Size: 0-6 months

Yarn: Unknown Acrylic
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Heather Gray

Yarn: Unknown Acrylic, no label but I think it might be Canadiana
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Medium Jade? or Sage? Assuming it is the Canadiana.

Yarn: Unknown Acrylic
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Black

Needles: Circular size 6 and 8

Started: February 5, 2020
Finished: February 13, 2020

Comments: It's been awhile since I used this pattern. I still love it. I let a couple members of KnitWits choose the colors to go with the blanket fabric. I like their choices.

The Hat


Pattern: Chibi Striped Baby Hat by Chiaki Hayashi

Size: 0-6 months

Yarn: Unknown Acrylic
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Heather Gray

Yarn: Unknown Acrylic
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Medium Jade? or Sage?

Yarn: Unknown Acrylic
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Black

Needles: Circular size 6 and 8

Started: February 13, 2020
Finished: February 13, 2020

The booties



Pattern: From my head, not published.

Size: 0-6 months

Yarn: Unknown Acrylic
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Heather Gray

Yarn: Unknown Acrylic
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Medium Jade? or Sage?

Yarn: Unknown Acrylic
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Black

Needles: Circular size 7

Started: February 14, 2020
Finished: February 15, 2020

The blanket



Pattern: Chevron Edging by me.

Size: 36 by 30 inches.

Yarn: Unknown Acrylic
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Heather Gray

Yarn: Unknown Acrylic
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Medium Jade? or Sage?

Yarn: Unknown Acrylic
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Black

Hook: Size G

Started: February 16, 2020
Finished: February 17, 2020

Comments: I Googled for hours trying to find a zigzaggy edging for this fabric. I could not find a pattern. But I did find a photo on Pinterest of what I was thinking of, so I counted stitches and figured something out from the photo. I'm so proud of myself, cuz this is crochet, which I'm not nearly as knowledgeable about as I am knitting.



Here's the pattern: 
Chevron Edging

Please note, this assumes you are crocheting an edging on a prepared piece of fleece fabric. Adapt it to whatever edge you have. ch1 = chain one, sc = single crochet, dc = double crochet. Here's hoping I can write a decent crochet pattern.

Rnd 1: Join yarn to edge at a hole, ch1, sc in same hole. *Ch 1, sc in next hole. Repeat from * all the way around to last hole.Ch 1, slip st in first sc.

Rnd 2: Slip stitch to the first ch1 space. Sl stitch in the space. Ch3 (count as a dc), 6 dc in same space. *Skip next ch1 space, sc in next ch1 space, skip next ch1 space, 7 dc in next ch1 space. Repeat all the way around ending with a sc in ch1 space. Sl stitch in top of ch3 in first ch1 space. You may have to fudge on this round because sometimes the stitch count doesn't quite work out.

Rnd 3: Ch1, sc in same st. Sc in next st. 3 sc in next st, 1 sc in each of next 2 sts, sc decrease in next 3 sts, *1 sc in next 2 sts, 3 sc in next st, 1 sc in next 2 sts, sc decrease in next 3 sts. Repeat all the way around from *. Eventually you'll get back to the first st. Join with a slip stitch.

Repeat round 3 as often as you want changing colors as desired.



I have another finished project I'm kind of proud of to share. I have a lot of knitting bags, totes, what have you, but this one is my favorite. It's the one I use the most.



It's an Ellen's Originals tote, made with upholstery fabric. I've had it for years. Since I had my yarn shop. I carried Ellen's Originals knitting bags, needle cases, and crochet hook cases. They were expensive, but well worth the price because they were very well made and so beautiful. They sold like hot cakes in my shop. Ellen's used the most amazing fabrics in their bags. Unfortunately, they went out of business shortly after I closed my shop. It's a shame because they really were wonderful. No one else makes bags like theirs. Sigh.

After all these years, the zipper broke on my bag. It was one of those nylon/plastic zippers. They just plain wear out after awhile because nylon is a shitty thing to use for zippers. I needed to replace it, but had no idea how. I Googled of course. I found a tutorial, bought a heavy duty jacket zipper, and fixed my bag.



This zipper will never break. Here's the link to the tutorial: How to Add a Zipper to a Finished Tote Bag.

Live long and prosper. \\//

2/20/20

Pretend It's WIP Wednesday

I meant to post this Wednesday/yesterday. Progress on current wips. First we have the Crazed Scandinavian Cowl.



I am 2/3rds done. Over 450 rows. I wish what little purple there is would show in the picture. Another thing you can't see is that the tension was kind of uneven until just below the row of hearts. I stopped there to work on Harriet. When I went back to it, everything is so even and smooth it looks blocked. Harriet improved my tension. What I'd like to know is why didn't the previous 300+ rows do it? Whatever.

I started a pair of mittens from a Selbuvotter book.



I'm calling this my bed knitting. I'm having problems with insomnia. I decided rather than laying there in the dark wishing I'd fall asleep, I'd do something productive. Thus, the mitten. Interestingly, since getting my asthma under control this past week, I'm starting to be able to sleep more, so I expect I'll have to finish this in the recliner.

There's a definite fairisle trend in my knitting this year. I need to start a public knitting project. Something easy.

Sunshine this week. Colder than Antarctica, but it's been pretty. It's hard to be grumpy when the sun shines at this time of year.

Live long and prosper. \\//

2/10/20

Harriet's Hat


Finished my hat.



Pattern: Harriet's Hat by Harriet Middleton
Size: Adult

Yarn: KnitPicks Palette.
Content: 100% Wool, Fingering Weight
Colors: French Lavender, Eggplant, Iris Heather, White, Safflower, Lady Slipper.

Needles: Circular size 3

Started: January 28, 2020
Finished: February 7, 2020

Comments: I love this pattern! It's so fun to knit, and works up remarkably fast considering the yarn and needle sizes. This is a good project for learning fairisle knitting in the round.



I love the star on the top.



I don't know why I made this. I don't wear hats, as a general rule. I guess because it's so pretty. I'll save it to enter in the fair. I want to make another in a different colorway.



Here's the cardigan for the next KnitWits layette set.



The fabric for the blanket has such odd colors. In one light it looks like navy blue and pale turquoise. In another, grey and mint green. I went with the second one. I'm liking the yarn we picked out. I say we because I had help. I started this project at the KnitWits meeting last week and a couple ladies helped me with the decision.

I finished chart 11 on the Crazed Cowl last night. It's coming along nicely. I am concerned I don't have enough of the teal/blue/purple yarn. I'm well into the second skein (I only bought 2). I just started the second ball of white last night. Unfortunately, the shop I bought this yarn at is no longer in business. Sigh. I guess I'll go as far as it will take me and end there, though I really wanted to knit the whole 80 inches.

It was a beautiful sunny day today, but no warmth in the sun. Very winterish feeling out there. We got quite a bit of rain last week, and it cleared up over the weekend. The driveway is thawing already. Everyone is hoping for an early spring. The predictions for this week are upper 30's and low 40's during the day and more or less dry. Of course, that could change.

Our internet is working again. Apparently Frontier was able to fix it from their end. It started working on Saturday. So I watched the first episodes of Picard. I love it. Romulans, and intrigue, and  mysteries. A very good show.

I am watching Star Trek Discovery now. I love that show too. Interesting plots. Plenty of Vulcans, Spock's father, and extremely nasty looking Klingons. I think they went a little overboard with the ugly, but it sure makes them look alien. The last episode I've watched so far they have ended up in the mirror universe. I'm tickled to death! Definitely Star Trek.

Time I started dinner. It's gonna take some time to make and the family is home from school/work. I'm trying a new recipe tonight. A Hamburger Casserole that is all comfort, and probably calories. Sometimes, though, that's what a person needs. I'm having a nice salad with it. Here's hoping it's good.

Live long and prosper. \\//