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

2/25/17

2016 Knitting In Review

I was going to make a little collage of all the things I knitted last year and post it here with a review, but when I sat down and really looked at my Ravelry notebook, I discovered a collage is not going to work. I knit 73 individual projects in 2016. I am gobsmacked! Admittedly most all of them were small projects, but still...73! I have never knit that much in one year before, and I thought all year I wasn't knitting very much. Fooled myself, didn't I?  There will only be pics of my favorites.

So, of those 73 projects, I made 12 layette sets (4 pieces each equals 48) for KnitWits. This one is my favorite.



I also made 3 pairs of mittens and 1 pair of fingerless mitts, 1pair of socks, 2 adult hats,



14 doll outfits,



and 4 doll hats.




You'll find pics of everything but 3 of the doll hats on my 2016 Finished Knitting page.

I don't know if I'll be able to put out that much this year. I guess I'll find out. I am planning on doing more color stranded knitting for 2017. I'd like to get really good at it.

The weather has been pretty rainy this past week. There have been a lot of flood warnings for the various creeks and rivers in the area. I'm so glad we live on a hill. Today it's been a nice break from the rain. Actual sunshine has been so nice to see. I just wish it was as warm out there as it looks. No such luck. A cold spell is moving in. Snow in our future. Ugh.

Live long and prosper. \\//

2/17/17

Blue Mittens

I finished the mens blue mittens



Pattern: Little Garter Checks by Me
Knit For: KnitWits

Size: Mens Large

Yarn: Vintage by Berroco
Content: 50% Acrylic/40% Wool/10% Nylon
Color: 5178 Violetta

Needles: Circular size 5

Started: October 9, 2016
Finished: February 15, 2017



Earlier this week I purchased a bed for Zoey for the living room. She didn't know what it's for. She figured it was a giant stuffed toy that needed to be eviscerated. Fortunately I saw her trying to and managed to stop her before much damage was done. I put the stuffing back in and sewed up the hole she'd made. Today I folded up her blankie and put it in the bed. I think she's got the idea now.



I expect she'll use it more as she gets older. She's still a puppy.

Zoey is death on soft toys. Every single one I've bought her she has ripped open, pulled the stuffing out, spreading it all over the floor, and chewed the squeekers into little bits. Cable was so careful with her toys, and so were Morgan and Tommy. I am looking into toys that can't be destroyed. She also likes to chew apart rubber toys. She has incredibly strong powerful jaws for such a little thing. So far, though, she hasn't been able to damage her Kong toys. I will continue to get soft toys for her, on occasion, but I'm not buying pricey ones. They will have to be cheap, considering she only gets a few minutes play time with them.

Yesterday it rained, and rained, and rained. It melted quite a bit of the snow. Today was clear and sunny, which is not what the weather report said it would do. I enjoyed the sun coming in the windows. Tomorrow, and the next 4 days, we're expecting more rain. We have lots of flood warnings in the area. The ground is frozen so all the rain just runs off into the streams and rivers, and low spots. Temps have been in the low to mid 40's.

I so wanted to sit out on my deck today, but the table and chairs still have more than a foot of snow on them. So I've been cleaning house. I thoroughly steam cleaned the wood floors. I'm not real happy with my Bissel Steam floor cleaner. It's kind of wimpy, and the sun room floor was super dirty from mud and whatnot being tracked in. I went over it twice and it's still not quite clean. I need something more powerful than a 29 dollar steam mop,



so I've ordered a Shark Steam and Spray from Amazon. It has lots of good reviews, so I have high hopes.

The internet is having problems today, so I'm going to sign off while it is still working.

Live long and prosper. \\//

2/13/17

The Simple Woman's Daybook for February 13, 2017



Outside my window...
The sun is shining and it's warm enough that it's melting the snow. Yay! In another hour or so it will start shining in the living room windows. I plan to sit in a sunbeam for a bit and soak it in.

I am thinking...
it was good that I took the trouble to refill the bird feeders at the Parkarosa Bird Buffet yesterday. They hadn't been refilled since before we went on our cruise. I didn't do much of anything when I was sick. I certainly didn't go outside any more than absolutely necessary. I did try about 5 days ago to do it, but the snow goes all the way up past my hips and I just couldn't walk through it to get to the tree. Sweet hubby used his tractor to dig the snow out for me. I was worried the birds had left my neighborhood, but they haven't. They are back at the feeders already entertaining us.

I am thankful for...
the new camera. At first, I wasn't real happy with it, but now that I'm getting to know it, I'm feeling better about it. Yesterdays pics were taken with it. I am also thankful that my blood test had good results this morning. My blood is back to the thickness it should be. Now it's just a matter of keeping it that way.

From the kitchen...
I'm planning to make meatloaf for dinner. I love my meatloaf. It will be accompanied by baked potatoes and a veggie. Probably cauliflower, since there is one in the refrigerator.

I am wearing...
blue jeans and a lavender t-shirt with crocheted lace trim around the neckline.

I am creating...
mittens, as I wrote yesterday. I am thinking about getting back into beading. I miss it. Haven't really been doing it because my eyes were giving me so much trouble with the dry eye thing. However, they are doing much better now that I've developed a care routine for them. I don't have problems with dry eyes nearly as much as I used to. I think I want to make a Christmas ornament cover.

I am going...
well, I'm not quite sure about tomorrow. Normally I would go to Rathdrum Knitalong, but I've got a crew coming to repair our heat pump tomorrow morning. I don't know how long it's going to take, so I won't know if I can go until the moment it's time for me to leave.

I am reading...
Sarek by A.C. Crispin. Last Tuesday, at Rathdrum Knitalong, one of the members gave the book to me. We meet at the library. They are having a sale on books they no longer need where you fill a bag with books and it costs a dollar. Barb bought a bag of books, including this book for me. I thought that was so sweet. She knows I'm a Trekkie. I am enjoying the book.

I am hearing...
the television. Sweet hubby is watching the movie 2012. He took the day off from work today because he had to move some snow so we can open the gate into the back yard so the repairmen will be able to get to the heat pump. The snow has become hard, like a rock, in that area. I can actually stand on top of it. He worked on it yesterday, but it turned out to be a much harder job than he thought it would, so he finished it today. It took a propane torch, a shovel, and a large pan of boiling water before he got all the snow out of the way of the gate. I am longing for spring.

By the way, did I mention our fence is done? They finished it while we were away on our cruise. I am so happy to have it now. We taught Zoey how to use the doggy door and now she takes herself outside to the back yard whenever she wants, and I don't have to worry about her.

Around the house...
there are fur kids laying around taking their naps. It's nice and peaceful. Zoey is sleeping on the chair, beside me, with her head on my legs.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
On Wednesday I have a North Idaho Secular Society meeting to go to, and on Thursday is Yarnies, as well as another blood test. It's going to be a busy week. I'm feeling up to it too. That is a good thing.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing...
On the cruise we often found towel animals in our cabin. Here's an alligator.



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

Live long and prosper. \\//



2/12/17

Mitten WIPS

Since my last post I am feeling almost completely normal again. I had a few days this past week where I just wasn't quite right. Part of it was the last antibiotics I was taking (had to take them for 10 days) and then on Thursday I found out my blood was rather 'thin'. I take Warfarin because I have a genetic blood clotting disorder. Apparently, the antibiotic I was taking interacted with the Warfarin making my blood too thin. No wonder I felt so weird. They kind of panicked at the Anticoagulant clinic where I get my blood tested regularly. I was told if I should have a fall between then and Monday, to go immediately to Emergency at the hospital. So I've been very very careful about that. No falls for this girl! I took my last antibiotic pill on Thursday.

My head is finally clearing up and I feel normal. I have a blood test early Monday morning and I expect things to be better. I've eaten spinach a couple times, plus my Warfarin dose was adjusted accordingly. Whew!

I seem to be in a mitten frame of mind in the knitting department because that's what I have for WIPs. I've got 3 pair on the needles.

I started these mens mittens some time ago. They're my back up KIP knitting project in case other projects aren't worth taking for 'public' knitting. I've finished the first mitten and have started the thumb gusset on the second.



I started this pair of childrens mittens right after I finished the Norwegian mittens. I felt the need to knit that evening, but I was still sick so I didn't want anything complicated.



Last week I started a new pair of Norwegian style mittens, this time womans size.



 I started with white and yellow (Cast on Feb. 4th), but it wasn't enough contrast. If I'm gonna go to all this work doing stranded knitting patterns, I wanna make sure they can be seen, so I frogged and got some mint green instead (on Feb. 7th). I'm liking it much better.

We are supposed to have warmer weather this week. Predictions are low to mid 40's all week with sunshine some days, and clouds others, but no precipitation. Boy, I sure hope that's what happens. We've got to get rid of some of this snow we've got. It's deep and it's downright oppressive for sweet hubby and me. We both are battling with winter depression. I think, if we hadn't got so sick as soon as we got home, we'd be feeling different. But the two of us are really struggling with winter right now. Quite frankly, I could use some Spring.

Live long and prosper. \\//

2/4/17

Mukluks for Susie

In the last few years of my fathers life, my cousin Susie took care of him like he was her own father. She did it because I lived so far away and she loved my father (and me) so very much, and he loved her. I will forever be grateful for all the love she gave him.

In one of my trips back (northern Michigan) during the last few months of his life she and I went shopping together and she pointed out some Mukluks and told me that our grandmother used to make them when she was a kid and how much she loved them. I didn't know about this. It surprised me. She talked about how she wished she had a pair of them now.

Mukluks are a type of slipper. They're basically knit thick long socks with leather soles sewn to the bottom. They usually feature Native American stitch patterns in them because they are a Native American invention. After daddy passed away, I wanted to make her a pair to thank her, in a very small and inadequate way, for all she did for daddy and me. I found a cool pattern on Ravelry and for the last 2 years I've been struggling to make them. They looked like crap and I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. This fall, though, when I was working on the funky socks for the son-in-law, I finally learned what my problem was and how to fix it. Of course, right after I got the Christmas knitting done, I got back to those Mukluks and I've finished them. They are finally the quality of workmanship I expect from myself.



PatternKamchatka: Knitted Mukluk Slipper Socks by Erssie

Size: Medium

Yarns: Berroco Vintage
Content: 50% Wool/40% Acrylic/10% Nylon
Colors: Indigo, Black Current, Red, Cracked Pepper, Mocha, Butter Cream

Needles: Circular size 7

Started: December 9, 2017
Finished: January 29, 2017



Comments: This is an advanced skill pattern. So knit accordingly. I should note that the original pattern has a lizard under the eagle. I substituted a traditional snowflake because I didn't think Susie would like lizards on her slippers. This is the chart I used for the snowflake.



I have been asked several times where I got the slipper soles. I ordered them from Paradise Fibers. Here's a tip for sewing the soles to the slippers: stuff the foot part with something (I used paper towels). It's a lot easier to sew them on that way.

The antibiotics I'm taking are working. I am SO relieved! I feel so much better. The coughing has almost stopped completely, the fever is finally gone, my nose has stopped running, and my plugged ears have opened up some. I'm starting to feel normal again.

Yesterday morning it started snowing here and it's not stopped yet. We've got about 10 inches of new snow so far. The wind blew all day yesterday too, so it's been drifting.

Here is a pic from the cruise that I took with the new camera.



John DeLancie ("Q" in TNG and Voyager) was taking questions from everyone and answering them. (He was just a few feet from me.) It was the evening of the big costume ball. It was supposed to be out by the pool, but it was raining and cold out so they moved us into Thirteen Forward. He answered questions while we waited for the band to get set up inside. The room was so full no one could have danced if they wanted to.

By the way, Mr. DeLancie is an incredibly nice man. Not anything like the character he played in Star Trek. He really showed his appreciation to the fans too. I frequently saw him on deck walking around taking selfies with folks.

Well, I need to figure out what knitting project I'm going to start next. Of course, it will be stranded mittens. It's just picking a pattern. I've got so many of them. If you are into stranded colorwork, especially in mittens, I would highly recommend these books.

Mittens of Latvia: 178 Traditional Designs to Knit by Maruta Grasmane



and Selbuvotter by Anne Bårdsgård



I bought both of these before the cruise.

Thankfully, Mittens of Latvia is now available in English (I have the Latvian version too. It was available a couple years or so ago.). It's chock full of the most amazing mitten patterns. The book is about the history and traditions of mitten knitting in Latvia. All the mittens in the book are charts of actual mittens from a museum. The book is divided into chapters featuring mittens from each area of Latvia. They each had unique aspects incorporated into their mittens. It's very interesting. They are an important part of the Latvian culture.

Selbuvotter is in Norwegian, so I can't read it. However, it is still useful to me because it has literally hundreds of pattern charts. Like the Latvian book, it is about the mitten knitting traditions of Norway and all the patterns have been charted from mittens in a museum. There are some very cool pictures in the book too. I love the cover pic of all those beautiful black and white mittens. I am hoping that eventually they will publish it in English so I can read it.

Selbuvotter is difficult to obtain. It's available at Schoolhouse Press right now. When I was looking to buy mine, they were out of them and didn't know when they'd be getting more, so I ordered it direct from the museum in Norway. That turned out to be an expensive way of doing it because they didn't accept credit cards so I had to do a very pricey wire transfer, but I'm so happy with the book I'm just glad to have it. Even at the price I ended up paying, it is worth every penny to me.

Well, that is it for today.

Live long and prosper. \\//






2/2/17

I'm Back

It's been almost a month since my last post. I have my good excuses.

First we went on the Star Trek Cruise. It was fantastic! The trip of a life time. I am working on a post about this event and will post it when I get it done (it's gonna be a long one).

One of the things that was included in our trip was getting our picture taken with our host, William Shatner. Here's the pic.



We only got 15 seconds to be with him cuz there were 2500 fans getting their pics taken with him that day. I thanked him for doing this. He said it was his pleasure. Can you imagine being 83 years old, sitting on a stool all day (he got breaks every couple hours) getting your picture taken with fans? Geez! I don't think I'd do that myself.

We returned home on Jan. 16th. Let me just say, I hate flying. It's so uncomfortable with everyone jammed in tight like sardines in a can. It's ridiculous to torture your customers that way. Urg!

Anyway, the day after we got back I came down with the flu and it hit my really hard. I haven't been that sick in years. Having asthma, the flu then turned into a very bad respiratory infection. I've been sick with that ever since. I've had a low grade fever for days now and I'm tired of coughing and feeling like crap. I'm on my second round of antibiotics and we're hoping it will do the trick. I do feel a bit better today. I did not go to knitting on Tuesday, Knitwits yesterday, or knitting today. I'm staying home doing my best to shake this infection.

I did knit on the cruise. I have set a knitting goal for 2017-I want to improve my stranded knitting skills with small circular projects and get into Latvian mitten knitting. I think I've had this goal before, but didn't get very far with it. In just the first month of this year I've already learned an enormous amount, so I expect a successful year of getting good at it. So, I took the supplies with me to knit a pair of children's mittens in the Norwegian style (starting easy, working my way up).



Pattern: Starfish Mittens by Annemor Sundbø

Size: Childrens 5-7

Yarn: Patons Astra Sport
Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: 2767 and 2783

Needles: Circular size 1

Started: January 7, 2017
Finished: January 23, 2017
Here is a close up of the back stitch pattern.



This is the thumb.



The palm side.



This pattern is in the book Norwegian Mittens And Gloves: Over 25 Classic Designs For Warm Fingers And Stylish Hands by Annemor Sundbø.



 I had some difficulty understanding the instructions for the decreases on the top of the hand. So I just did what I thought looks good. 

Well, that's all I have time for today.

Live long and prosper. \\//



1/6/17

Beam Me On Board Scotty!

Headin' out for our Star Trek cruise. I'll be back to posting after we get back.



Live long and prosper.\\//