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

10/2/22

Slippers For KnitWits

 Finally got some pictures taken of the slippers I've made for KnitWits.


Green Slippers



PatternFamily Foot-Warmer Slippers by Anne Baron

Size: Adult (8-10" foot)

Yarn: Big Twist Value Solids
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Colors: Light Green

Yarn: Red Heart Classic
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Colors: Dark Green

Needles: Circular size 10.5

Started: August 18, 2022
Finished: August 21, 2022

Comments: I held 2 strands of worsted weight yarn together to get a bulky weight. I like this pattern, but the shaping at the center is not very good. This is how I do it: On the knit row, the first decrease is Knit 2 together through the back loops. The second decrease is knit 2 together.
The purl row I purl 2 together for the first decrease, and purl 2 together through the back loops for the second increase. 

Blue Slippers.


PatternFamily Foot-Warmer Slippers by Anne Baron

Size: Adult Large (12+" foot)

Yarn: Unknown Acrylic, 2 strands held together.
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Colors: Light Blue and Royal Blue

Needles: Circular size 10.5

Started: September 9, 2022
Finished: September 29, 2022

Comments: Did the same shaping as above.

I thought I'd update on how I'm feeling. The worst of the Panic Attacks is over. I still get a little anxiety, but it's slowly subsiding. I hope I never have to go through that again. NOT fun!

I am still coughing. I was so hoping the new asthma medication (Symbicort) would end it. However, I have not had a single asthma attack since I started taking it. That is a very good thing! I was having 2-3 a week for awhile there. Hurrah! It's so nice to breath.

Spent some time out on the deck today working on Bear jacket. The pine needles are falling out of the Ponderosa pine tree near the deck. They kept hitting me. Ouch! Sharp little nasties. Ponderosa pines do this every autumn.

My daughter, Ruth, came out and knitted with me. Her knitting blows me away. She has surpassed her teacher (me). A couple weeks ago she decided to make one of Kaffe Fassett's sweaters, from his knitting book Kaffe's Classics. The pattern she picked is named Spanish Combs and has 27 colors in it. Fortunately, KnitPicks was having a great sale on the yarn she needed, so that was a good thing.

Kaffe, a fabric designer who lives in London, is the King of Intarsia and has a reputation for amazing color work. He has written many books, some on knitting, but most on quilting. He has his own line of quilting fabrics, and designs knitting patterns for Rowan yarns too

That's about it for today.

Live long and prosper. \\//







10/1/22

Bear Progress

Finally, some time to blog. I am making slow progress on the Bear jacket.


I've finished the knitting on the back and two front pieces. I am absolutely positive I don't enjoy knitting Intarsia. Those darn bears are my Nemesis on this project. It took me 3 days just to do the right front one. If there's a mistake to be made, I've made them all at least once. I'm really surprised I haven't tossed the whole thing out the window. I keep carrying on though. I cast on for the first sleeve last night. I'm hoping I can get through this bear easier. Sheesh, I've made 4 of them. I should have this down by now. 

I am really loving the yarn, which is Lion Brand Heartland. It's so nice to knit with. My fingers are happy. They've added more colors to this line. There are 32 of them now.

Last Thursday it rained. I mean, really rained. We got a whole inch of it. It felt so good, and it cleaned the smoke out of the air. It's helped a bit with local wild fires too. Now we're to have a streak of warm fall sunshine. Temps are to be in the 70's for the next few days. Deck knitting! Yeah! (Assuming the smoke doesn't come back.) 

Speaking of the deck, I can't  believe it's October 1st, and we haven't had our first frost yet! We usually have it some time in August. Not this year. I've had extra time to enjoy the Marigolds in the boxes on my deck. Look how beautiful they are.


We're getting quite a few wild animals in the yard now. Turkeys and deer mostly. We had half a dozen Mountain Blue birds yesterday. It's been years since we've had any. When we first moved here (1992) we had tons of Blue birds. They lived here. In the summertime they would play in the sprinklers, and when it was moth season, the blue birds would pick them off the side of the house and eat them. It was very entertaining to watch them and their little antics. 

Then, in July 1995,we had a frightening freak storm (some say it was a tornado.) that blew down 70% of the trees around our house. Suddenly, our whole environment changed within about 15 minutes. Instead of shade all around us, it's been sunny. The rare endangered Lady Slipper plant growing down the hill died, and many wild animals that lived around us disappeared, including the Blue birds. It took several years for me not to get anxious when the wind started blowing. I hope to never experience something like that again.

Our forest is slowly returning. There are lots of young Black Pine and Firs around us. The Blue birds were checking out the bird house Doug built and put in the back yard. They only stayed for the day, and then they left.  Maybe they will return next year, and stay.

Speaking of birds, the Hummingbirds have left for South America. I miss them already. Sigh. Winter's coming.

Live long and prosper. \\//



9/11/22

Embrace The Tangle

 I have been working on the Bear jacket back all weekend. I'm doing the bears chart. The pattern says to do them in Intarsia, and I have done so with part of them, and did stranded work with the rest. Kind of my own brand of hybrid. Before I got started, though, I did some research on Intarsia to see if there were some tips, tricks, or advice that I wasn't aware of that could make it easier.

For those knitters who don't know, Intarsia is a method of working colors in your knitting without floats. Basically, you use a new ball of yarn for each color change. It's used for making pictures, or shapes that have large areas, like the big black bears on the jacket. 


Usually, the yarn is wound on bobbins for each color change. In the case of the bears, I would have a bobbin for each white section, and a bobbin for each black section. Knitting with that many bobbins hanging is a pain in my back side. They are difficult to manage because they spin around, getting caught and tangled up with each other

As a rule, I don't knit much Intarsia because I don't really enjoy it as much as other methods. These bears are about what I thought they'd be in the enjoyment knitting category. Anyway, back to the subject.

While googling, I found a blog about knitting Intarsia without bobbins. The title of the blog article is "INTARSIA: THE FULL BALL FALLACY AND OTHER TANGLE TIPS" by Kay Gardiner.

The article is about knitting Intarsia by taking 3-5 yards of yarn and just start knitting it, leaving the yarn hanging, without being on bobbins. You end up with a tangle, of course, but she says it's a lot easier to deal with than trying to keep the bobbins straight and says to "embrace the tangle". The author makes a lot of sense, so I thought I'd give it a try. If I don't like it, I can frog it out and find my bobbins.

I have to say, it's so much better than bobbins! Here's my sweater back with the tangle, which is that yarn mess on the right side.


You have to keep the tangle loose so you can pull the yarn you need out of it. I've found I hardly ever have to untangle tight sections. It all has been staying relatively loose. My only complaint about this method is that I will have more ends to weave in because I started out only cutting 3 yard long strands. As I am knitting, I find it easier to use longer pieces. I've been making my strands 5-6 yards long and having no problems with it. I'd like to get used to having longer strands than that eventually.

Here's how my sweater looks from the front at the moment.


I've been doing the tree in stranded 2-color knitting rather than Intarsia because it's easier. I did stranded on the legs too. I switched to Intarsia when the legs were done. I currently have 3 strands of white, and three strands of black. I'm getting close to having the bears done. Only a few more rows. I can honestly say I'm not looking forward to making 4 more of them (two fronts and two sleeves) but at least it's a bit easier now.

I say, chuck the bobbins. Embrace the tangle!

Live long and prosper. \\//


9/9/22

This Weeks WIPs

 I have good news. I'm feeling so much better this morning. The panic attacks have stopped, at least, for today. Haven't had to take a Xanax at all. I feel human again. My doctor has prescribed a new asthma medication for me (Symbicort), but I'm a little afraid to take it after the last few weeks. I've not had one asthma attack since I stopped taking the Trellegy Ellipta. Even with smoky air. That tells me it really wasn't working for me at all, but was making things worse.

I had plans to spend my day out on the deck working on a new project, but the smoke is thick, so I have to stay indoors. Blogging it is. Here are pics of what I'm currently working on.

I have started a Christmas present. It's a jacket with bears on it. I'm working on the back piece. I'm loving it! I may have to make one of these for myself.


I may have mentioned I've finished a pair of green slippers. Still need blocking. I'll take pics later. I have started a second pair in blue. They're made with bulky yarn, so I'm putting two strands of worsted together. They are also knitted flat and seamed. This is part of the sole. They're super easy to sew together and only takes a short time, so I'm not bothering to figure out how to make them in the round. I think I'd involve Judy's Magic Cast on to do it though.


That's it for knitting, for now.

I don't know if this shows very well, but I wanted to share this petunia. For years, I've planted petunias in pots on my deck and never had one thrive. Oh, they hobble along, surviving best they can, making pretty flowers, but I've never had one drape like this one is. I figured out the secret. A dose of Miracle Gro every 2 weeks.


Here's a close up. They're deep blue with tiny white dots.


Well, that's it for now.

Live long and prosper. \\//



9/8/22

Last Hat For Knitwits For Now

 Today, I feel well enough to blog. The last 2 weeks have been very difficult. The panic attacks got to a point where I was having days unable to function. Even for someone with Panic Attack Anxiety Disorder, it was far beyond normal. Turns out, the new asthma medication (Trellegy Ellipta) I'd been taking for 3.5 months was causing it. A somewhat rare, but not unknown, side effect. I stopped taking it last Thursday. I am starting to feel human again. My doctor is making arrangements for me to start taking another asthma med called Symbicort. It's expensive, so they're going to enroll me in a government program that will significantly lower the price. I'm super happy about it. I hope this one works for me instead of against me, and the stupid cough goes away.

One thing that has helped me the past few weeks is my knitting and cross stitch. I have to focus on what I'm doing so it helps me ignore what's going on with my body. I actually finished another hat for KnitWits. It's the last one cuz we've got what we need in hats now. So, the hat.



Pattern: Basic Norwegian Star Hat by Cara Jo Knapp
Size: Adult

Yarn: KnitPicks Mighty Stitch
Content: 80% Acrylic/20% washable wool, worsted weight
Color: Canary

Yarn: Big Twist Value
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Light Green

Yarn: Red Heart Classic
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Dark Green

Needles: Circular size 6

Started: August 4, 2022
Finished: August 8, 2022

Comments: I made a little change by using the little zigzag pattern twice instead of using the third stitch pattern.

Here's the back side. This hat came out very good. I should have entered it in the fair.


After I finished the hat, I decided to start making slippers because KnitWits is really low on them compared to what we need. I wanted to use one with stranded knitting. I looked at quite a few. Even bought a couple. Started knitting one and ended up frogging it. The instructions were not clear enough for parts, and it was NO fun to knit. I moved on to another pattern.

The second pattern started out rather promising, but the way it was constructed was downright ridiculous, and definitely NOT fun. I frogged it. 

I read through other patterns in my library. Couldn't find one I liked, so I gave up on stranded knitting for now and went with something easy, and fun. I used a modified version of my own slipper pattern. I'm making them for men, so no furry cuffs, and making much larger. When my brain is working better, I might try adding stranded motifs to it.

Another project I've been working on is an apron with a stamped cross stitch pattern on it. I saw a kit like this a few years ago on Ebay and thought it's perfect for my oldest daughter. who was taking painting classes at the time. I didn't buy it cuz it was way too expensive. I've searched high and low for that kit ever since, not finding it anywhere. Then I got a Mary Maxim catalogue in the mail. Lo and behold, they have an apron very similar. Ordered it right away. I'm making good progress on it.



This will probably be her Christmas present because there is no way I'm getting the bicycle picture done in time. Not with other things on my list that need doing.

It is still unseasonably hot here. Still getting up in the 90's. Fire season is going strong now. We're having smoke around the house, though it isn't near as bad as past years have been. Hoping for cooler, and maybe a little bit wetter weather.

I heard today that Queen Elizabeth has died. She is 96 years old. She was on the throne for 70 years. She was already queen when I was born, so she's the only one I've seen on that throne. I have always admired her for her strength, courage, grace, and dedication to her role in the British government. She made a large impact on the world, and especially on the relations between the USA and Britain. 


She will be greatly missed. 

Live long and prosper. \\//

8/29/22

2022 Fair Results


 The North Idaho State Fair is on. My daughter, Ruth, and I went last Friday. The weather was nice for it. In the mid 80's, which is far better than the previous week's 90's.

Here are the results of my entries.

Starting with my peyote stitch necklace, it won a 1st place blue ribbon and a Top Special Entry award.



This is the first time I've seen the Top Special Entry ribbon. I don't know what the qualifications are for this ribbon. I guess I'll have to find out.

In knitting, my child's fairisle mittens won a 1st place blue ribbon and a Top Special Entry ribbon.



The Argyle mittens won a Second Place red ribbon.



The Norwegian snow set won a 3rd place white ribbon. It also won the Superintendents Choice Award!



The adult fairisle hat didn't win anything. The ones that won were pretty spectacular, so I understand why.


All in all, pretty exciting results.

I have not been feeling well the last couple weeks or so. My Panic Attack Anxiety disorder has reared it's ugly head. I'm having almost constant panic attacks now. I went to my doctor about it and I've got a new medication, but it's going to take a few weeks for it to kick in. They also had me install an app on my phone called Mindful Thinking which is helping some, and I've been instructed to read a book called Feeling Great by David D. Burns. It claims to be a revolutionary new treatment for depression and anxiety. I'm about a fifth through it.

The weather has cooled off just a bit this past week. We've also been having thunderstorms. Friday night we got good and whomped by one. Lots of rain came down. It was great!

I can't believe summer is almost over. Out in the woods the leaves are starting to turn. Autumn is coming.

Live long and prosper. \\//

8/9/22

It's Fair Time

 Today I took some entries for the 2022 North Idaho State Fair. I had just a few for KnitWits. 9, to be exact. For myself, I've entered just 5 items. 

I have 4 knitting entries.

Lovelia, of course, entered as a whole set.


The Bonnie Isle Hat in Adult hats.


The Argyle Mittens in Adult Mittens.


And the Orange Children's Mittens


I also entered the Peyote necklace with Black and White Checks. It was made the year there was no fair because of the pandemic, so it was okay to enter it.


That's it. They have severely decreased the number of classes to enter in, and you can only enter one item per class. They also charged to enter things like they did last year. I had to pay $1.00 per entry. This will be the last time we'll have entries for KnitWits at the fair. With such a drop in entries, and having to pay, it's not worth it to go to all the trouble.

I did manage to obtain some free tickets. The Crochet department supervisor needs two clerks to help her on judging day, which is this coming Thursday morning. Her clerks have crapped out on her and aren't coming, so I will help her. It's about a 2 hour job, and free tickets are well worth it.

We did get a few days of cooler weather. Last Thursday it was one of those rare absolutely perfect days of blue sky, a few puffy white clouds, a nice cool breeze, and the temperature was in the mid 70's. I enjoyed it so much.

On Friday the air got smoky from a large wild fire a ways west of Spokane, Washington. The winds were blowing pretty stiff so I stayed indoors. Then the heat returned. It was 91F today and it's going to get hotter over the next couple weeks. The last blast of summer, before autumn starts tiptoeing in. I can't believe it's almost over already. 

How about a cat picture? My boys were looking so cute laying together on their favorite chair.


Some territory disputes have been happening between them and Boba so they've banded together a lot lately. Doesn't matter. Boba is still winning because young and sassy.

Live long and prosper. \\//