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


Snow Fern

 Finished the Snow Fern hat.

PatternSnow Fern Hat (DK) by Kalurah Hudson
Size: Large

Yarn: Berroco Vintage® DK
Content: 52% Acrylic, 40% Wool, 8% Nylon, DK weight
Color: 2192 Chana dal

Needles: ChiaoGoo circular size 2 and 3

Cast On: December 23, 2023
Finished: February 3, 2024

Comments: This was a fun knit. The stitch pattern is so pretty. I didn't find it particularly difficult either. The only real problem I had with this is when I finished the pattern chart, the hat was supposed to  be 8 inches long. It was 6.5, but I just kept knitting the chart until it was 8 inches. I had to figure out where in the chart to continue, which turned out to be row 14.

 On the top I put a matching button I found in my stash because the fake fur pompom has a tiny elastic loop at the bottom for putting it on a button. When you need to wash the hat, you just pop the pompom off.

This is the hat from the back.

I think this late Christmas present will be well appreciated.

The weather has turned wet. Today it's just at that temperature where it wobbles between snow and rain. It's probably going to be that way this whole week. We need snow in our mountains. We've received way below average this year which usually leads to a very dry summer.

We've had a lot of furnace guys around here. When the new furnace was installed, it had a horrible rattling sound. It took 4 days to figure out why it rattles. The blower is defective. The last repair guy showed up this morning and figured it out. He put some kind of cushion between the blowers screws and the surface they're screwed to and the noise has gone away. I want them to just replace the defective blower. Not looking forward to the phone battle.

Over the weekend I worked on getting an Estonian mitten pattern put together. I'm picking the various parts from one of my mitten books called Eesti Labakindad Ilma Laande Laiali by Aino Praakli. It's written in both Estonian and English. It's been out of print awhile but I've found several places selling it, including Amazon. While doing this I've learned so much about mittens coming from that area of the world. It's been rather fascinating.

Live long and prosper. \\//


WIP Wednesday February 7, 2024

 We've got furnace guys all over and under our house. They're installing the new furnace. I can see the old one lying in the front yard on it's side, looking old and worn out, waiting to be loaded in the truck. Poor thing. I hope it gets recycled.

I'm getting two new projects ready to start.

1- A new sweater for Zoey. It will feature stripes of ruffles. The ruffles are made with ribbon yarn. The actual required ribbon yarn is discontinued and hard to find so I'm substituting a Red Heart ribbon yarn that is very similar. I have half the yarn so far. 

I've ordered purple ribbon yarn from Etsy. It's supposed to arrive some time next week. I knit swatches too. Got gauge the first time. (Whew!) That saves me from having to rewrite the pattern for a different gauge. Getting very antsy to start it.

I found a pattern on the Lion Brand web site that is so cute. I'm not actually using the pattern. I'm going to apply the idea to my own pattern I've customized for Zoey.

2- This purple yarn is for me. Several years ago I knit a sweater named Andoa. It was the first sweater I made for my son-in-law-now-daughter-in-law. I love the pattern so much and I've wanted to make one for me. I'm going to use Lion Brand Heartland yarn. I used some of it two years ago to make a hat for KnitWits. I've been wanting to knit a sweater with that yarn ever since. Luckily, Joann's had it on sale last month for a very good price.

I'm planning to make it short sleeved so I'll actually wear it because I'm almost always too warm. I need to make some calculations first though because, as usual, the pattern does not go up to my size. I hate math. Ugh! 

I'm seriously thinking about starting a third project so I have 3 going on at the same time. I'm not working toward a deadline for these so it would be fun to have that many going at once. I've got yarn in the stash. I just need to decide on a pattern and which colors to use. Going to do some Estonian mittens.

That's what's happening for WIP Wednesday.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Snezhan Socks

Haha! That title almost sounds like a sneeze!

Today is my birthday. I'm 65 and officially a Senior person. I've signed up for Medicare, though my card hasn't come yet. Sweet Hubby took me out for dinner to Applebee's, and my daughter has made a cake! I didn't have to make it myself. It's been a good day. 

The sun actually came out. All the weather reports were saying cloudy with rain/snow and the sun came out. It feels like mother nature has given me a birthday present. I went out and enjoyed it for a bit. It felt so warm on my skin. It's clear tonight and I can see the stars.

Yesterday I went to knitting at the library and the gals had brought a cake and a card. I was so surprised! I felt so appreciative and loved I almost cried. The cake was really good. Home made Apple Spice cake with Cream Cheese frosting. Yum!

I have finally finished the socks! Hurray!

PatternSnezhan Socks by Alena Malevitch
Size: Large

Yarn: Cascade Yarns ® Heritage Sock
Content: 75% Merino, 25% Nylon, Fingering weight
Color: Turquoise and Dusky Coral

Needles: ChiaoGoo circular size 2

Started: September 12, 2023
Finished: January 26, 2024

Comments: These socks were a serious challenge for me! I've done slip stitch socks before. In fact, I even wrote a slip stitch sock pattern for a friend some few years ago. So I was not expecting a challenge.

I had a very hard time with getting even tension this time. Especially on the needle changes. I kept getting ladders there no matter how tight I pulled the yarn. I never really solved the problem, but when I washed the socks, it went away. Everything evened out on its own.

There are actually two types of slip stitches in these socks. There's this one which combines both slip stitch and traveling stitches techniques. 

As you can see, the slipped stitches travel over a purl back ground and it's very 3-dimensional. It's a pretty cool looking fabric.

The sole has just plain slip stitch in stockinet. I like how the zigzag matches the traveling stitch pattern.

These socks have the sole gusset too, which is my favorite.

After finishing the socks I got busy working on the hat I didn't get done in time for Christmas. For the most part, it's done now. I finished the knitting over the weekend. I'm just waiting for a fur pompom I ordered to put on it. The pompom should be here tomorrow.

We are getting a new furnace tomorrow. Last week I had the furnace guy come for the regular maintenance check up I get every year. I mentioned to him the problem we had with the furnace not being able to keep up with the cold during our recent January very-cold spell. We discussed the condition of the furnace, the fact it was too small for the house, and it's 31 years old and getting close to failing. We arranged to have one of their sales guys stop by a couple days later. 

The sales guy was pretty good at his job. Gave us a good deal on a more powerful new furnace that will work better with our heat pump. We decided to finance it. I had the deal put in my name cuz my credit rating is super excellent. The financing is for 10 years, but I plan to pay it off in 5. There is no penalty for doing that. It is going to be installed tomorrow morning. I am excited!

So, what's my next knitting project? I'll talk about that tomorrow.

Live long and prosper. \\//


WIP Wednesday January 15, 2024

 I'm finally making progress on the socks. I finished knitting this today.

Needs some serious blocking. I'll do that later. I've cast on for the second sock. I sure hope it goes faster than the first one did! That's all I've been working on. The birthday of the receiver of these socks birthday is coming up and I am hoping to get them done in time, but I think I'm being foolish that I will accomplish that. It'll be late for sure.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Heat Please

 I'm talking weather today. Good grief! It  took a huge nose dive into freezing over the weekend! On Saturday it was -17F degrees when I got up around 9am. The floors were so cold I needed slippers. Our furnace was working very hard to warm the house up. It ran continuously the whole day. The warmest it got in the house was 58F. By the time it was evening and I was in the kitchen cooking dinner I could not stand the cold any longer. I dug out the wood stove. In other words, I pulled all the flammable stuff away from and off the top of it so it could be used. Then I sought out the husband and told him I couldn't stand it any more and we should be using the wood stove.

He went out to the garage and got some fire wood and brought it in the house and started a fire. It made a HUGE difference! We've been using it every day since. Saturday morning was the coldest, but it's been well below zero every night and days are getting barely into the single digits over 0. Bitterly bitterly cold. It's been years since we've had cold like this.

We have a great heating system as long as it doesn't get below 22F degrees out. We have a heat pump which is a very efficient way to heat a house. When it gets below 22, though, it doesn't work because it's too cold. As back up we have what has turned out to be a gutless electric furnace. I'm so glad we have the wood stove!

Speaking of last week. One of my Christmas presents was a powered portable car battery charger. It can be used to start the car if the battery dies. I took it out to put in my car's little trunk. My Prius is a hatchback, and under the floor is what I call my little trunk. It's just some storage space where I keep a few things like a can of tire inflator, bungie cords, the original license plate frame that came with the car, and stuff like that. 

Anyway, when I opened it up it was completely full of bird seed and bits of shredded insulation! Our local squirrel is using my car for winter food storage! I cleaned out over half a 5-gallon bucket worth of bird seed. I threw it out because it had insulation mixed in it which isn't something I want to feed the birds. I need to find some way to get that squirrel to move somewhere else!

Rumor has it that the temperature is going to go up into the 20's tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it.

Live long and prosper. \\//


WIP Wednesday January 3, 2024

I'm going to try and do WIP Wednesday more often this year, so I'm starting now. I am currently actually working on the two following projects.

I started this sock in early November. I was having a terrible struggle with stitch tension. I'm getting laddering where I change from one needle to the next. Normally, if I'm going to have that problem it's at the second join, as the round ends and the new round begins. Usually, if I pay more attention to tightening the first two stitches as I change needles, the problem goes away. But this sock is different. I'm having problems at the needle change in the middle of the round. No amount of stitch tightening is working for me. Urgh. I'm continuing on because it's less as visible as it was, but man! What is the deal?

This second project is a hat.

I gave up on the cat socks. My tension problems there were caused by me having to stop every few stitches to look at the chart. I have been under way too much stress to give them the attention they need, so I'm saving them for another time and making this hat instead. Oh, I forgot to mention. They were supposed to be a Christmas present. So this gift is gonna be late. The pattern is Fern hat, or something like that. It's cables, which I've not done in quite awhile since getting obsessed with colorwork. I'm enjoying it way more than I thought I would.

According to Ravelry, I finished 31 projects in 2023. Not bad. I'm working on a finished projects page today. 

I have actually bought a sweater! Facebook has me pegged. This ad popped up in my feed and I just love the abstract design

I wasn't very confident it would fit because it's from China, but I chose the size wisely and it fits great! Not the best quality so I'll have to be careful with it. Didn't even have care and content tags. It says on the web site it's a cotton blend. Feels like acrylic. Washed well on the knit cycle. Laid it flat to dry. Very soft fabric. It's a white sweater that has the picture printed on it. Kind of odd. I'll wear it with my black jeans.

The weather in the last half of December was decidedly dry and somewhat warmish. It's been in the 30's during the day and below freezing at night. We've had a couple days just before Christmas when we got a skiff of snow, so it was white out there. 

Live long and prosper. \\//


Happy New Year!

 It's a new year ripe with new challenges and opportunities. I hope they're all good ones. 2023 was okay, though it didn't end so good. I'll talk about that later. Right now, I want to talk about Christmas. I had a wonderful one, despite the bad stuff before.

We had a peaceful Christmas Eve watching tv and I puttered with the knitting needles. We needed that. I roasted a nice Turkey Breast for dinner that was so moist and tender. My gosh, it was amazing! Mashed potatoes with gravy, and string beans. No dessert because I'd spent part of the day making dessert for Christmas Day.

Christmas morning I got up pretty early-7 am. I couldn't sleep, so I thought maybe I'd get up and fall asleep in the recliner. I do that sometimes and it works. It didn't. So I got my Christmas stocking and dug around in it and logged into Facebook. Later when Doug got up I brewed some coffee. Ruth was really late getting up. Ugh! I wanted to open my presents! Had to wait for her. After our coffee, we finally opened presents.

My daughter and I were especially excited to have Doug open his present because he'd been out of town for a few days and we'd figured out what to get him. It is a Shaq office chair. He really wanted it. In fact, we visited Office Depot a couple months earlier because he wanted to check it out, but they're so expensive! We were out and about Christmas shopping and I mentioned it to Ruth. She suggested we go look at it. I'm glad we did because it was on sale! It was a great deal too! 

I put it on my credit card. I haven't used my credit cards at all for almost 3 years. We usually use them when we travel, like on cruises. Haven't been doing that kind of stuff since Doug started school. Earlier this year I'd lost my Capitol One card because of that. Capitol One closed my account. So I have been looking for ways to use the second card I own because I don't want that one cancelled too.

It came in a huge box that was pretty heavy. Quite frankly, I was surprised it even fit in my car. Thankfully we own a hand truck so when we got home Ruth and I were able to wrestle it into the house. We bought extra large wrapping paper and wrapped that giant box. Geez! That was a difficult thing to do because the box was so heavy we had to slide it around to move it. Picking it up was a strain even with both of us doing it together. We would lean one side over a bit and slide paper under it, then lean the other side. Trying to get it all flat and even around the box was almost impossible. I was pretty tired when the wrapping was done.

Anyway, Doug is pretty happy with the chair. Ruth is happy with her main gift, which was the Chiaogoo Twist interchangeable Mini needle set. There was chocolate and nuts and snacks and silly things like felt tip pens and stuff too.

My main gift was a huge surprise. I am the proud new owner of an iRobot vacuum cleaner! I love it!

I was never keen on these things, but a few month ago I started wondering how much help it would be with my war on loose fur floating all over the house. I will spend half the day carefully vacuuming every nook and cranny in the whole house to get rid of it. Then, I'll be leaning against the pantry door observing how wonderful the floors look, and a giant grey fuzzy ball rolls past me. I hate it! I just can't keep up with it. 

Well, I've been sending the iRobot, which I've named Fuzzkiller, all over the house and it's working! It doesn't get every bit of it because there are places it can't get into, but I can't believe how much better it is in this house! I've been running it every day. At first, it was filling up pretty fast with fur, but the last trip it was only half full when it was done. The floors look so much better. I'm very happy with it.

My daughter, Ruth, knit me some beautiful fingerless mitts. I love them! Tiny stitches and tiny needles and they're so perfect. They fit me perfectly. I will enjoy wearing them.

Husband also got me a couple chargers. This first one was in my Amazon wish list. It's a solar powered portable charger for charging phones and stuff like that. I think it will be great for camping.

The above pic is the side with the solar panel. It's pretty cool! I put it in the window to charge it up. It was cloudy out, but it still charged. It'll be great for when my Kindle runs out of juice in the middle of the camping trip. I'll just plug it in to this thing and it'll charge that Kindle right up.

The underside has a compass on it. One end has the usb ports.

The other end has some extremely bright led lights. I can set them to flash if there's an emergency too. I'm pretty happy with it.

My husband also got me a NOCO Boost Plus, which is a portable device to jump start your car if the battery should go out.

I've got it all charged up and ready to put in my car. I hope to never have to use it, but it's nice it will be available should the need arise.

Two Fridays before Christmas Doug's nephew called to tell him his mother was really sick and could he come over? She lived over in Westport, WA. Doug was in the middle of grading papers and projects because it had been finals week (He taught a class this semester.). He said he couldn't head over until Wednesday. Then, as his sister progressed to worse, he ended up going over on Tuesday. She passed away from Congestive Heart Failure an hour before he got there.

Doug came home Friday. Saturday I got word that my dear friend, Early, passed away from Congestive Heart Failure. I'd just seen her a week before! We had lunch together. I met her when I had my shop. A group of ladies started coming to the shop to eat lunch and knit together every Tuesday. After the shop closed, we got together once a month for lunch. Been doing it for more than 20 years. Early was such a kind wonderful person. I will miss her a lot. So, I'd been crying a lot by the time Christmas eve rolled around. It was a difficult week. I'm managing it okay, but --- darn!

On Christmas Day we went to my best friends house for food, fellowship, and fun. I took dessert, which I made the day before. I made a Chocolate Victoria Cake. Just an idea I thought up. Looked in my cook books for a nice cake recipe that used powdered cocoa (The Joy of Cooking won.) and went with it. I put Raspberry filling and whipped cream inside and fresh Raspberries on top. Oh my gosh, that cake was SO good! Definitely gonna do that again some time.

That's all I want to write about tonight. I hope your Christmas was a good one too and I wish you a very 

Live long and prosper. \\//


2024 Finished Knitting

 Knitting completed in 2024

Snezhan Socks

Started: September 12, 2023
Finished: January 26, 2024


Snow Fern Hat for Ruth

Cast On: December 23, 2023
Finished: February 3, 2024



Octopus Hat

 Christmas knitting project number 2 is done. And sent. 

PatternClassic Octopus Hat by Molly Kent
Size: Adult

Yarn: Berroco Vintage
Content: 52% Acrylic, 40% Wool, 8% Nylon
Color: Mochi

Yarn: Berroco Vintage
Content: 52% Acrylic, 40% Wool, 8% Nylon
Color: Mocha

Needles: ChiaoGoo circular size 8

Started: November 30, 2023
Finished: December 7, 2023

Comments: This pattern turned out to be a huge frustration. Gauge was supposed to be 5 stitches to the inch with a size 5 needle. Cast on was 96 stitches. I could not get gauge with the suggested needle size. I knew that before casting on. So I went up 2 needle sizes to 7. The hat turned out very small. I mean child size. I did some math and yeah, it's the pattern. 96 divided by 5 is 19. So I added 16 stitches and went up another needle size to 8. The average adult head is 21-22 inches around. This time it was the right size.

Close up of octopus.

After getting this done I immediately started the next Christmas project. The cat mittens I started in early September and ended up frogging. I chucked the pattern and found a different one. I also decided on different colors. Instead of white and brown, I went with white and purple. I have frogged them 3 times. On the fourth try.

Again, it's the pattern that is the problem. The cast on is only 60 stitches, in fingering weight yarn! Needle size is 1. I couldn't even pull them on, so I went up to size 3. The cuff is still a little snug, but useable. The hand was impossible! The designer must have very small hands. I have frogged back to the cuff and did some reading. 

Now, you have to remember that mittens in fingering weight and stranded are a big challenge for me. I'm having a difficult time with them, but I'm determined to conquer them. Mostly, it's a tension issue. I don't know why, but I can knit stranded socks without any trouble, but the mittens? ARRRGH!!!

Earlier this year I purchased two books that are the word on "stranded" style mittens. Estonian Knitting Volumes 1 and III. It was a little difficult to find these at an affordable price because they are out of print. My google-fu is strong though, and I found them, in English!

I decided to look into volume 3, which is about mittens and gloves, and do some reading. Yeah. 60 stitches is ridiculous. The smallest cast on I could find in that book was 70 stitches. So I decided to add 10 stitches to the pattern. There is one row of straight knitting between the cuff and the beginning of the charts. I did the increases there. I  guess we'll find out how they work out. In the meantime, there is no way I'm going to have these done by Christmas. I'm hoping I will get at least one done by then. The targeted recipient is local, so one with a promise of it's mate will do fine.

We got this years Christmas tree up. Purple theme this year.

Saw a tree on Pinterest that had this wide mesh ribbon. I decided to try it and I love the result. I bought some more plastic purple ornaments too. I really love the plastic ones. They're getting really pretty. If the cats get into the tree and knock them off, they won't break.

Weather this week has been warmer than normal. We have snow from two weekends ago, but it's melting away. It's rained quite a bit. Expecting more as the week progresses. In Coeur d'Alene there is no snow. We're expecting no new snow before Christmas. Kind of unusual, but not unheard of. I remember in the early 2000's when I had my store we had a winter that I only had to have the parking lot plowed three times. So, not unheard of. 

Live long and prosper. \\//