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

2/1/21

Rainbow

 I have finished a beading project. This is a necklace done in the Peyote With A Twist, or Peytwist, method. 


I started this ages ago. Christmas knitting brought it to a stand still for awhile. There wasn't a whole lot left to do. Just bead caps and clasp. I was able to work on it this last weekend and I finished it today.


The pattern is called Rainbow by Bev Baines. It's available free via the Facebook group Peyote with a Twist - Not Crochet. It's actually a bracelet pattern. I just kept beading until it was long enough to be a necklace. It's about 20 inches long.



The original is white with silver and bright primary rainbow colors. I chose matte black, gold, and pastel rainbow colors. As usual, I made my own beaded toggle clasp in matte black and gold.



I also beaded some bead caps, and put gold colored bead caps on the end of them. I used these gorgeous flattened oblong black beads with gold dots on them, some obsidian round beads, and gold 4mm beads.



I am extremely happy with the finished project.



Grandkitty update. The wound on Boba's tummy got suddenly worse last week. Ruth took him to the vet. He had developed a deep abscess. He needed surgery right away. 



He had to have a drain tube in for a few days and, of course, the cone of shame has to be worn. He got the drain tube out today. We're keeping that cone on until the wound is done healing. He's doing quite a bit better. He's sleeping on one of my knitting bags in the picture above.

A little weather news. Our weather has been unseasonably warm. Over the past couple weeks we've had a considerable amount of rain. Last Monday we got 2.5 inches of rain in 24 hours. I'm so glad it wasn't snow. It would have been well over 2 feet deep! In the meantime, the 2 feet of snow we had a few weeks ago has been melting very fast. We can see our lawn, in February!



There is talk of an early spring. I'm not holding my breath though. This could turn into a frigid nightmare in no time.

In knitting news, I've finished the knitted layette pieces. I need to cut the holes in the fleece edges so I can crochet the edging. That's why I finished the above necklace. It was taking up the room on my table. I needed to finish it so I could have room to do the blanket stuff. I have KnitWits this week, but I'm not going to have the blanket done by then. I can wait to turn it in for March. Maybe I'll have a second set done too.

The dog sweater is about 3/4ths done. I'm looking forward to seeing it on Zoey.

We got rid of our racoon so I've put the bird feeders back out. I've got lots and lots of birds coming to them. Mostly Chickadees and House Finches. I'm hoping something different drops in for a bite.

Until then, live long and prosper. \\//



1/17/21

First WIPs of the Year

 After finishing the Cowichan sweater, I took a short break, then got back to the knitting. I've got 2 projects going. First is a sweater for Zoey using the usual pattern.



I'm just about to the leg holes. I wanted to try another houndstooth check. I am using a brightly colored variegated yarn with white for the background.



It's looking pretty cool.


I started the first layette set of the year too. I've knit this pattern before. I'm working on the second sleeve.


I've also been beading. I bought three beading kits from Mary Maxim for some really cute Icicle ornaments. I'd planned to make them for this last Christmas, but didn't actually get to do them until the weekend after New Years. These first ones are done with wire, glass beads and Swarovski crystals.



I tried getting some pics of them hanging in a tree (I've put the Christmas tree away), but it was just a little too windy. Best I could get.



This second set is plastic beads and wire. Not the same brand as the kit above. The tiny pearls are kind of cheap quality, but the larger ones are very nice.


I don't know when I'll get to the third kit. I'm not in a big hurry.

So those are the current knitting wips and finished bead projects.

Live long and prosper. \\//

1/13/21

Happy New Year

 I've been neglecting my blog. Not for lack of wanting to post something though. I just found myself surprisingly busy. Before I get into that, I want to wish you Happy New Year! I hope it's better than 2020, but so far it looks like it's working toward worse. 

One more thing I want to blog about is our new member of the family. My new grandkitty.



A few weeks ago a little black kitten was staring in our sliding glass door. It ran and hid when we opened the door.  After a few days we began to realize it was still hanging around. Eventually we figured out it was living under the house. My daughter Ruth set about the task of catching it. She put food in a little dish under there every day and after a few days or so was able to coax it close enough to grab it. I had her bring it in the house because it was cold and snowy out there.

The poor little thing is a boy and he was so hungry, cold, absolutely terrified, and had some very nasty wounds on it's belly. They looked like deep tooth marks. Perhaps some coyote tried to get him? Nothing looked infected, so we swabbed some Neosporin on it, fed it, and let it rest. We kept the doggy door closed so he couldn't get outside (not that he ever has tried). We took care of him while we searched to see if someone had lost him. Had no success with that. Then the Sunday after New Years I noticed his wounds were much larger and looking very nasty. We took him to the emergency vet for care. He was actually better than he looked. They cleaned him up and prescribed some meds for us to give him. 

He had no chip. I think he was dumped by someone. The vet said he's about 6 months old. Still haven't found anyone looking for their lost kitty, so we decided we'd keep him. Ruth named him Boba (as in Boba Fett) and he's hers. Thus, new grand kitty. He is very healthy now and quite a sweetie. The wounds are healing nicely. He has gotten over his fear and tears around the house like he's never been anywhere else. He's got tons of energy and has revitalized our other two cats, Merino and Cashmere. They're not just lying around depressed about winter anymore. They're playing with their toys and racing around the house just like Boba. Boba gets along with them fairly well. He loves Zoey too, so where ever he came from, he was around dogs. He's made himself completely at home.

If you remember, in the beginning of November I decided to knit a sweater for my husband for Christmas. It's probably been 30 years since I'd knit one for him. I saw that he could really use a cardigan in his life, so I got myself a pattern for a Cowichan and ordered the yarn. The yarn required was chunky. I misunderstood and ordered some Brava bulky from KnitPicks. I knit up a few different swatches, but was unable to get gauge. I wanted to use the yarn I'd bought so much I decided to get worsted weight yarn to add to it in similar colors. I wanted identical colors but KnitPicks didn't have them in Brava Worsted (they were out of stock), so I settled for near colors in Mighty Stitch.

For the next several weeks I knit on the sweater like crazy. Every time I thought about blogging, I would think "I need to get the sweater done by Christmas". Then I would sit down and knit. I knit so much my hands started to ache 24/7. I didn't get it done before Christmas, but I was close. I did the final stitch on New Years Day. 



Pattern: I'm The Dude Jacket by Bernat Design Studio

Yarn: Brava Bulky by KnitPicks
Content: 100% Acrylic, bulky weight
Colors: Solstice Heather, Umber Heather

Yarn: Mighty Stitch Bulky
Content: 80% Acrylic/20% Wool, bulky weight
Color: Cream

Yarn: Mighty Stitch Worsted
Content: 80% Acrylic/20% Wool sport weight
Color: Cream, Navy, and Bark

Needles: Circular size 11 and 13

Started: November 20, 2020
Finished: January1, 2021

Comments: This pattern is actually quite challenging. I had to alter it, too, because my husband wears Tall sizes and has long arms. It was scary because I forgot about that when I ordered the yarn and didn't get extra. I wasn't sure I'd have enough to complete the cardigan with added length, but, as it turned out, I did. The cardigan fits him very well and he loves it. He's worn it every day since I gave it to him. Hurray!

There are Thunderbirds on both sides of the front, as well as on both sleeves. I knit them in a combination of Intarsia and Fairisle. The geometric design is Fairisle.



Ordinarily a Cowichan has a zippered front, but I didn't want to deal with installing it, so I did button bands instead. The buttons are 1-1/8 inches and Navy blue with a light blue slash across one half. I found them on Joann's web site. They didn't arrive until after Christmas.



Here's the back. The Thunder bird is considerably larger than on the fronts and sleeves. 



It has more detail in it.



I am glad my husband loves it so much. It makes all the work worth while.



After I finished the Cowichan, I rested my hands a few days so the ache could go away, then I started two new projects. I've been promising Zoey a new sweater for months. I started one, in houndstooth check. LOL!



I've also started my 50th layette set for KnitWits. More about that later. Hopefully in a couple days.

Live long and prosper. \\//




11/23/20

Snow Set For Everett

I have finished the snow set I was making for my new family member, Everett. 



Patternb13-5 Winter Snuggles by DROPS Design

Size: 6-9 months

Yarn: Bernat Baby Sport
Content: 100% Acrylic, sport weight
Colors: Indigo and White

Yarn: Patons Astra
Content: 100% Acrylic, sport weight
Color: Dark Rose

Needles: Circular size 2 and 4

Started: May 13, 2020
Finished: November 16, 2020

Comments: I would not recommend this pattern to a beginner. The pattern is not well written. It assumes you have certain standard knowledge in your head that more advanced knitters would know. It's also originally written in Norwegian and translated into English, so it's lost some things on the way to English. 

One of the things this pattern has that may give folks problems is single stripe rows. If you're knitting on circular needles it won't be a problem because you just slide the work to the other end of the needle and start the next stripe. So don't knit this on regular straight needles or you'll find yourself in a quandary.



I made 2 major changes to the pattern. The first thing is I added a 3rd color. It really adds to the outfit. I took a look at pics of what other Ravelry members had done knitting this and saw a couple with 3 colors and really liked the look. One of the good things about Ravelry.

I used pewter buttons. Originally I was going to use white ones but I couldn't find any I like around here. A knitting associate suggested pewter, which is perfect for this outfit. I got these buttons on Amazon.



I made an adjustment in the dot pattern. I put 4 rows between the rows of white dots instead of 5. It just looked better to me.



I've never knit baby pants like this before. It was a real challenge for me.



There are some pattern errors and one in particular is in the pants pattern. The waist ribbing is supposed to be folded in half toward the inside and hemmed down. I used the contact link in the pattern on Drops web site about it and got a very quick reply letting me know they'd accidentally left it out. So if you do have questions, they are quickly answered.

One aspect of these pants that I really like is you do some short rowing just below the waist ribbing to add a bit of fabric to make room for a diaper. It's pretty clever. You can see it in this pic, the area with no dots just below the waist.



The challenge for me in the hat was continuing the dot pattern while decreasing the top. They don't write out the specific rows, so I had to guess and hope I did it right. It looks like I did.



The socks turned out way too big for a 6-9 month old baby. I probably did something wrong, but I'm going to just leave them. He'll grow into them.



All in all, it's turned out pretty good. I hope I get to see it on Everett later this winter. I need to get this to his parents before the end of the month.



Live long and prosper. \\//

11/5/20

Layette Set 49

Layette set is finished, and turned it in yesterday.



Cardigan



Pattern: Polka Dot Baby Set by me.

Size: 6-9 months

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

Yarn: Big Twist
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Red

Yarn: Universal Yarns Uptown Solid
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: White

Needles: Circular size 6 and 8

Started: October 10, 2020
Finished: October 31, 2020

Comments: My daughter started this to test knit the pattern for me. She ran out of black yarn before the sleeves were knit, so lost interest. I asked her if I could finish it. 

Since the yarn she used was an unlabeled Acrylic that was donated to KnitWits, I couldn't just go get another skein. I picked 4 different balls of unlabeled black donated yarn and found 3 of them would work, but the colors were off just enough to be visible. I solved the problem by putting red stripes in-between the 2 blacks so the difference doesn't show. Then I made the neckband, bottom band, and button bands red to make it look like it was meant to be this way.

Hat



PatternPolka Dot Baby Set by me.

Size: 6-9 months

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

Yarn: Big Twist
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Red

Yarn: Universal Yarns Uptown Solid
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: White

Needles: Circular size 7

Started: November1, 2020
Finished: November 1, 2020

Booties



PatternPolka Dot Baby Set by me.

Size: 6-9 months

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

Yarn: Universal Yarns Uptown Solid
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: White

Needles: Circular size 7

Started: November 2, 2020
Finished: November 2, 2020

Blanket



Pattern: Unisex Blanket Edging

Size: 30 by 36 inches

Yarn: Big Twist
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Red

Hook: Size G

Started: November 3, 2020
Finished: November 3, 2020

Comment:  I found this edging by googling it. It was fun to do.



I'm glad to have this set done and out of my hair. There are a couple other projects I'd like to get done, or started, as the case may be.

The yarn for the Cowichan cardigan has arrived. I love the colors. Made my test swatches yesterday. I'm going to be knitting with size 13 needles , which feels weird to be working with such large needles. This is the pattern:



Looking forward to making it.

The baby snow set got set aside for a few days so I could finish the layette set. I'm back at it today. Got the button bands almost done and the hat half knitted. Hoping to finish it this weekend.

Last week I met with my C-PAP therapist and got a new mask. The one I was using wasn't quite working for me. It wasn't keeping it's seal and I'd be wakened by the sound of air escaping, which sounds like loud farts. Richard found one that works perfect. He did an exchange so I didn't have to pay for it, and gave me two extras along with it. It's amazing how much better it works. I've had 4 nights in a row where I actually got 4 solid hours of sleep. For me, that's almost miraculous.

I've been learning about cooking for a diabetic, and trying new recipes. It isn't as bad as I initially believed. The literature Doug was given had an extreme diet in it. A moderate one actually allows for pasta and potatoes, and what not. I've made some adjustments that I can live with and Doug is doing much better. He's even lost a few pounds.

The snow has melted away. The temps have warmed up into the 50's and we're getting rain now, which is much more normal. We did have a couple nice sunny days earlier this week.

Well, that's the news for today.

Live long and prosper. \\//

10/25/20

WIP Update

 I have finished knitting all the main parts of the Snow set. I blocked them yesterday.


I still have a hat, socks, and button bands to knit. Should be able to get them done this week. I plan to have the whole thing done by the end of the week because I have yarn coming for another project.

I've decided to try getting a sweater made by Christmas for a gift. I'm going to make a Cowichan style cardigan. The pattern calls for bulky weight yarn and big fat needles, so I figure it should knit up faster than my usual adult sweaters.

Did I mention I was getting new glasses? I have been using cheap magnifier glasses for seeing things close since the cataract surgeries, and taking them off to see things far away. It's okay, but there's this distance from me that I just cant's see-right where my laptop sits on my lap. My left eye went a little blurry on the far distance too, so I decided full time glasses were in order. This is me.


It's so nice to be able to see the laptop screen. The frames are purple. It was easy finding purple frames because about 90% of the frames in the shop were purple. I guess it's a hot color for glasses right now.

Fall ended last Friday. It snowed. I mean, it SNOWED! We got 7 inches, in October! What's with that? I took this pic Friday while it was snowing. It's from the front door looking towards the driveway.


This is the next morning in the side yard. It was pretty, but friggin cold!



All of our baby deciduous trees still have their leaves. Only 2 of them have their fall colors. The rest are still green, so I went out Friday afternoon and shook the snow off them. The snow was heavy and I didn't want branches to start snapping off. I was going to go out and do it again before bed, but the wind started blowing a bit and took it off for me. All was well in the morning.

It was 9F degrees when I got up at 8 this morning. It's too early for that. The weather forecast for next week is supposed to be warmer temperatures, so hopefully this will all melt off. Something tells me we're gonna have a crazy winter.

Live long and prosper. \\//

10/12/20

The Simple Woman's Daybook - October 12, 2020


For Today




Looking out my window

It is decidedly autumnish out there. Half the leaves have blown off the flowering plum and it's dark and raining out.

I am thinking

Summer went way too fast. It's just not long enough here. When we lived in the San Francisco bay area, the thing I loved the most was how long spring and summer were. Winter was so nice and short.

I am thankful

I don't live further north. I think I would be miserable in Alaska. I'm just not a winter kind of person. I've always dreamed of living in Hawaii. I've been there 3 times and I love it.

One of my favorite things


Garlic peeler. Unfortunately, mine is broken/torn. I found it that way in the kitchen drawer over the weekend. I shouldn't complain. It lasted way longer than the last one. I was amazed how well this thing works the first time I saw one. You put your cloves of unpeeled garlic inside, press down, and roll it on the counter. The peeling comes right off. It's made of silicone, so if there's a sharp edge nearby, it will probably end up sliced one way or another. I think that's what happened in the drawer. I need to get a new one.

I am creating

The cardigan for Layette set #49 is under way. I figured out how to deal with running out of black yarn.


I just put a little red in. I put red at the hem and neck so it looks like it's supposed to be this way. Then I put 4 rows of red garter stitch in where the held sts on stitch holders are put back on the needles. That way the color difference in black yarns doesn't show. I had to worry about shininess and thickness as well as color. The original black has little to no shine in it and is rather thick; more aran than knitting worsted weight. I found two leftover balls of yarn in the stash that will work. I think I am pretty lucky finding them.

I am wearing

Black pants and a black and red button down blouse with 3/4 length sleeves. The blouse is one of my favorites.

I am reading (read) /watching (watched) / listening to

The Closer, on the television. I miss this show. Glad it's being played on one of the cable channels right now, though no new episodes are being made.

I am hoping

the new C-PAP machine works for me. I've had 4 nights with it now. It's going to take some time getting used to it. It's not the noise. The thing is surprisingly quiet. It's the apparatus itself, wrapped around my head and pressing against my face. It is uncomfortable.

I am learning

how to use the C-PAP machine. It's kind of a cool little gizmo. It has a built in humidifier, and a tube heater that warms the mist and tube attached to the mask. I learned what happens if it runs out of water during the night. Pretty much nothing but a funny smell. I woke up to use the bathroom and smelled a warm plastic smell. I checked the water tank and it was empty. It's easy to fell. It only holds about a cup of water. It lasted 2 nights the first time. Only 1 night the next time. Probably because I turned the humidity up one notch. My nose was feeling very dried out. Not enough humidity.

In my kitchen

it's been frustrating for me. Hubster was diagnosed with Diabetes a couple weeks ago. Figuring out meals has turned into a bit of a nightmare. Life without pasta and potatoes is no life in my opinion. Especially since I'm not the one with the problem. I've been making meals without them, and I'm feeling rather resentful about the whole thing. I have no idea how to deal with this situation. I also have no idea what I'm making for dinner tonight. He was given a booklet with meal plans but their suggestions were absolutely horrible, Blah, lifeless things. What about flavor?

In my garden

I've been trying to grow stuff in the flower bed across the front of the house ever since we moved here in 1992. The soil is gravel. I've not had much luck with it. Three years ago I read about Daylilies. Apparently they'll grow just about everywhere. I got a catalogue from a well recommended dealer, ordered a bunch of bulbs and planted them that fall. The next year nothing sprouted. Not one darn bulb. I planted some annuals for the year and went back to looking. I decided to try Peonies. I bought 3 and planted them. The next spring the Peonies sprouted and even had a couple flowers. Hurrah! Success! So this spring I purchased a package of Peony rhizomes. I went out to plant them and noticed ---- the Daylilies sprouted. All of them! The plants are small babies, but they're growing. One has actually bloomed. Behold!



Board room

This refers to Pinterest boards. We're to share one of our favorite pins. So, here's one. Cinderella Red.


This is a ball jointed doll that I want very much. I was just about to order it when husband lost his job. I was told no new dolls unless I earned the money for them. At the time I was teaching knitting at a local yarn shop. I started saving the money I was earning. Then, suddenly, the shop went out of business. I only had half the money saved up and no idea how I was gonna earn more. Then, to add salt to the wound, the doll sold out. So, even if I got the money, she's no longer available. I've been searching for a used one, but no luck so far.


Post Script
Supposed to share a link here. I'm sharing the one to my pattern blog. I have a bunch of free patterns I've written.


Shared Quote
{share a favorite quote}
 
This is a quote I've found to be totally true from Elizabeth Zimmerman, a famous knitter. "Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either." 

Closing Notes

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

Live long and prosper. \\//