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


A Knitters Christmas Eve

This will be my last post of the year, for tomorrow morning we leave for our cruise. Sweet Hubby and I are so excited we couldn't sleep. I stayed up most the night reading a book and he stayed up reading reviews and whatnot about our cruise ship, fishing statistics (we have a deep sea fishing trip planned in Ixtapa), and whatnot on the internet.

I present to you a gift.

This is a poem that was posted on a machine knitting forum I used to participate in several years ago. I have never known who the author is, or I'd give proper credit. (If you read this, and know the author, please leave their name in the comments section for me.)


'Twas the night before Christmas and all around me
Was unfinished knitting not under the tree.
The stockings weren't hung by the chimney with care
'Cause the heels and toes had not a stitch there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
But I had not finished the caps for their heads.
Dad was asleep; he was no help at all,
And the sweater for him was six inches too small,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
I put down my needles to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tripped over my yarn and fell down with a crash.
The tangle of yarn that lay deep as the snow
Reminded me how much I still had to go.
Out on my lawn I heard such a noise,

I thought it would wake both Dad and the boys.
And though I was tired, my brain a bit thick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
But what I heard then left me perplex-ed,
For not a name I heard was what I expected,
"Move, Ashford! Move, Lopi! Move, Addi and Clover!
Move, Reynolds! Move Starmore! Move Froelich --move over
Paton, don't circle 'round; stand in the line.
Come now, you sheep will work out just fine!
I know this is hard; it's just your first year,
I'd hate to go back to eight tiny reindeer."
I peered over the sill; what I saw was amazing,
Eight wooly sheep on my lawn all a-grazing.
And then, in a twinkle, I heard at the door
Santa's feet coming across the porch floor.
I rose from my knees and got back on my feet,
And as I turned 'round St Nick I did meet.
He was dressed all in wool from his head to his toe,
And his clothes were hand knit from above to below.
A bright Fairisle sweater he wore on his back,
And his toys were all stuffed in an Aran knit sack.
His cap was a wonder of bobbles and lace
A beautiful frame for his rosy red face.
The scarf 'round his neck could have stretched for a mile,
And the socks peeking over his boots were Argyle.
The back of his mittens bore an intricate cable.
And suddenly on one I espied a small label,
"S.C." was duplicate stitched on the cuff,
And I asked, "Hey, Nick, did you knit all this stuff?"
He proudly replied, "Ho, ho, ho, yes I did.
I learned how to knit when I was a kid."
He was chubby and plump, a quite well-dressed old man,
And I laughed to myself, for I'd thought up a plan.
I flashed him a grin and jumped up in the air,
And the next thing he knew, he was tied to a chair,
He spoke not a word, but looked in his lap
Where I'd laid my needles and yarn for a cap.
He quickly began knitting, first one cap then two,
For the first time I thought I might really get through.
He put heels in the stockings and toes in some socks.
While I sat back drinking scotch on the rocks.
So quickly like magic his needles they flew
That he was all finished by quarter to two.
He sprang for his sleigh when I let him go free,
And over his shoulder he looked back at me,
And I heard him exclaim as he sailed past the moon,

"Next year start your knitting sometime around June!"

Author unknown

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



It's finished! The Lace Tunic cover up is completed, ready to wear, available for the cruise. It even fits! I can't believe it. Actually, I finished it 2 days ago. Just took me some time to get it photographed. Here it is lying on the floor.

Pattern: Lacy Hooded Tunic from the Spring/Summer 2007 issue of Vogue Knitting Magazine.

Tatamy Tweed DK in Oatmeal.

Size 6 circular.

This was a time consuming garment to make. Way more time consuming than I expected. The pattern is fraught with errors. The VK web site has corrections for some of them, but not all.

For instance, you are told to bind off all the stitches when you get to the end of the back piece. Later, when you're finishing the front, you are told to 3-needle bind off the front and back shoulder stitches together. Except, you have bound off the back. I had to undo the bind off, put the shoulder stitches on needles, bind off the center neck sts, then do the 3-needle bind off. Not hard, but a pain in the arse, if you know what I mean. A beginner would get to that part and wonder 'what the heck'?

I would not recommend this pattern for beginners for that reason. But experienced knitters should have no problems figuring out things along the way.

I changed the way the hood is constructed. Instead of picking up stitches around the neck, I knit it separate and attached it. I also used a needle 2 sizes larger for the band around the neck/hood and the edging on the side slits, mostly because I really blocked out the garment to open the lace.

Another finished project. I completed one of the bead crochet rope necklaces I've been working on. It goes with a bracelet I made last September. While I was digging in the stash for something I found a large yellow turquoise bead that I'd bought at a thrift store for a quarter, or something like that. Anyway, I was amazed at how well it went with the bracelet and decided to make a necklace to go with it using that turquoise bead.

Yellow Turquoise Necklace

Rope: Bead Crochet, 26 inches long, Size 8 seed beads in matte olive, matte silver lined pale yellow, matte iris green/brown
Bail: Peyote stitch, size 11 Japanese seed beads in matte olive and matte silver lined pale yellow
Fringe: Branch fringe using size 8 seed beads in matte olive, matte silver lined pale yellow, matte iris green/brown, size 11 seed beads in matte olive and matte silver lined pale yellow, 4mm crystals in topaz and olive green, 6mm crystals in topaz and olive green.

Yet another finished project. I had no time to knit socks this month for the SAM4KAL, or at least, I didn't think I did. I was lamenting about this on Ravelry cos I really want that D (for December) next to my name. Someone suggested I make baby socks. Now what a great idea. So after I finished up the lace tunic, I dug out some books and came up with Booty Socks. It's a combination of a booty pattern and a baby sock pattern. My own creation, if you will. I used some of the leftover Tatamy Tweed DK and some size 3 needles. They're actually knit flat, with a short row heel, then seamed up one side. (The last time I made socks that way was a Christmas stocking.) I put in a row of eyelets to string ribbon through so they can be tied on. Less chance of losing them off the little feet that way. I'm going to donate them to Knit Wits cos I don't know anyone who is preggers right now.

I am done with all the 'obligatory' knitting for this month. I can do whatever I want now. Margaret Tudor is calling me, and some socks I started for this month and never got to finish, and then there's the Honey Bee stole, and the Baby Pinwheel Sweater, and all those cable sweaters I'm dying to make ........

Have a great day.


Feeling So Much Better

I am finally over the tummy bug. I can't believe how much energy I have now.

Last night I finished all the knitting on the lace cover up. All I need to do is a bit of sewing and it's done. I'm planning on getting that started tonight. I'm amazed at how much easier it's been since I gave myself permission not to finish it. Panic Attack Anxiety Disorder is a strange thing.

One of my favorite web sites is I Can Has Cheezburger. It's a Lolcats site. It features a lot of funny photos of cats and kittens with appropriate captions, with the occasional other animal thrown in. Today I found this adorable one and had to share. (We are allowed to post their photos on our own blogs. They even provide the code to do so.)

With that, I wish you a good day.


Feeling the Crunch

On Tuesday, while at bead group, I suddenly had an attack of something awful on my tummy. By the time I got home I was in a bad way. Death warmed over would be an apt description. I was sick all the rest of that day and all day Wednesday. In fact, I actually got a fever, and I felt so bad Wednesday I slept most of it. (Still, I made myself go out to do grocery shopping. The fridge was getting rather bare.)

I am feeling the crunch. Even though I started plenty early, or at least, I thought it that way, I find myself running out of time fast to get ready for Christmas and a cruise at the same time. Having just been sick for 2 days didn't help. I fell even further behind. Along with the tummy bug (and I have no doubt that's what it was) I've been feeling totally stressed out. I'd think about everything I need to do, everything that isn't done yet that 'should' be, and before I knew it, I started having panic attacks. That will not do! Christmas, and a cruise, are supposed to be fun. I'm putting too much pressure on myself.

This morning I woke up feeling human again. I made the decision to prioritize. Figure out what's most important, and chuck everything else. I do not want to go on my cruise sick, on tranquilizers, and a basket case. Therefore, I will not be making, baking, or cooking any Christmas gifts for Sweet Hubby's family. I went to Costco and 'bought' something instead. I've let go of the Christmas cards. They should have been mailed out last week. I have not had time to do them. I'll save them for next year. (I hate doing Christmas cards anyway).

While drinking my morning coffee I made a list, checked it twice, then grabbed daughter Ruth, and we went out and finished ALL the shopping, and I mean ALL of it. The Christmas shopping is done. The 'getting ready for the cruise' shopping is done. (Do you know how hard it is to find sun block in north Idaho in December???) The 'Christmas Eve dinner food ingredients' shopping is done. I ran every errand I could think of. I can stay home for the rest of the time I have left and wrap, pack, and prepare for the dinner. I can't believe how much better I feel, stress wise.

You'll notice I haven't mentioned the Lace Cover up. I have not worked on it since last weekend. I can't work on knitting when I'm sick. Just can't. That was adding to my stress. I 'MUST' get it done! I've been blogging about it. What will people think if I don't finish it in time for the cruise? The pressure I've been putting on myself turned it into a nightmare project. I'm not enjoying it anymore. So, I'm letting go of it. I can still finish it. I've got the time, but I'm not going to pressure myself to get it done.

Instead, on the way home from Coeur d'Alene today, I stopped into Fashion Bug and found 2 really pretty shear blouses that will work perfect as cover ups for my suits (They were clearance, 60% off too!) . One is purple to go with my black and purple suit. The other is the same blouse, except in brown, to go with my brown suit. If I don't get the lace thing done, it's okay. I have backup. To be honest, after I did that, I was filled with such relief I actually started feeling like I want to work on the lace cover up again. So I will probably get some done on it tonight. I'm not making any promises.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Have a great evening.


Christmas Stockings

I thought I'd share pics of our Christmas stockings. I've made all of these.

This is Sweet Hubby's stocking. He loves to ski. I machine knit it on a Brother 970 machine using Millor's Trenzado yarn. It's a 100% acrylic with a crepe twist. A very nice yarn. I designed the stocking myself. I hadn't had the 970 very long so I messed up a bit. First of all, the red and white stripes were supposed to be diagonal, not horizontal. I accidentally programmed in the wrong stitch pattern. I didn't see the problem until the stocking was all knit. I was not going to redo it. Second of all, I made it with the toe pointing the wrong way. One of these days I'm gonna fix it. Doesn't matter to Sweet Hubby though. He loves it.

This is my stocking. Again, I made this on my 970 Brother knitting machine. I used Millor's Trenzado yarn, and some 3/15 weight gold metallic. The pattern is loosely based on a pattern that was in an old magazine, if I remember correctly. I painted the decorations on the tree. (I didn't bead back then.) I entered it in the 1997 North Idaho Fair and won the Grand Champion ribbon on it, so I'm pretty proud of it.

I hand knit this stocking to be a model for my shop. It's an Ann Norling pattern. I used Cascade 220 wool in Christmas Green, Red, Natural, and Black. I used a gold metallic yarn for the belt buckle, and real Angora for the Santa beard and suit trim. I don't remember the needle size, or gauge. This was a fun knit. Sunday night I embroidered Frank's name on it (in gold). He doesn't have a stocking at the moment, so I'm going to give him this one.

I love to make the felt appliqué kits. This is a craft that I got into when I had the shop. I carried the kits and learned how to do them to make models for display (and to help the customers of course). There's lots of little parts that have to be cut out, appliquéd by hand, and embellished with sequins, beads, cording, and embroidery. They really are a lot of fun to do.

I ended up making quite a few of them for my family too. Until last year, Ruth was using a store bought stocking. It took me awhile to find one I wanted to make her. This one has a music theme-perfect. All the pieces are stuffed so they look 3-D. I made it last year, it was the most challenging one I've done so far. More parts than you could shake a stick at, but it was worth it because Ruth absolutely LOVES it!

When Morgan joined our family, he had to have a stocking. I'd just started carrying a brand of felt kits that you don't usually see in stores. I'd worked pretty hard to get that account, and was very proud of it. They had this adorable stocking with Santa and a puppy. I just had to make it. Between Christmases I had it on display in the shop. It sold a lot of kits for me.

Of course, if Morgan has a stocking, then Tommy has to have one too! This one was just too cute.

I made one for my Dad and my daughter Sarah too, but I don't have pics of them--yet. Of all the stockings I've made, the one I did for Sarah is my favorite. I'm going to have to take my camera to her place and get some photos of it.

We have been whomped with snow. It's making it hard to get around. Sweet Hubby is tired of pushing snow around the front yard. Poor fellow. He looks so tired. Rumor has it that we will be getting snow all the rest of the week. Sounds like Mother Nature is going to make sure we really appreciate our cruise.

Have a good evening.


Snow Bunny of Doom

I finished knitting the hood for the lace cover up, blocked it, and installed it over the weekend. I've also done the shoulder seams, and wove in a bunch of ends.

All I have left is to sew the sleeves in, sew the side seams, knit on the neckband/hood edging, knit the edgings for the side slits, and weave in all ends that are left. It's actually quite a bit of work yet, but I can do it before Christmas. Especially since I've finally given up on the idea of getting a pair of socks done for the SockAMonth KAL. As much as I want the D next to my name for December. I just don't see it happening.

On Saturday evening I did something kind of unusual for me. I offered to 'babysit' and feed my nephew Scott's kids so he and his wife could go out for dinner and a movie. They were wanting to leave them with my daughter, but since she and Frank were coming over for dinner, I told them to bring the kids over here too. While I was cooking dinner, they all went outside to build a snowman. Actually, they built a snow bunny. When Uncle Sweet Hubby got involved, the ladder was brought out so they could make a HUGE snow bunny. Here are the builders and they're creation.

Back, with tail.

from left to right clockwise: Ruth, Frank, Daniel, Kaitlyn, Sarah, Sweet Hubby, Gavin in front.

Front again (Sarah wanted a pic with her standing next to Frank. Urg....)
Left to right clockwise: Frank, Sarah, Daniel, Kaitlyn, Sweet Hubby, Ruth, Gavin in front.

It is, by far, the biggest snowman ever built in my presence. It had a pretty evil look at night. However, after getting snowed on overnight, it looked fluffy and friendly the next morning, in the sunlight.

We had to move the Christmas tree over the weekend. For some unknown reason, Morgan and Tommy kept peeing on it at the 'new' location. I've washed the tree skirt so many times I wanna cry. I put one gift under the tree, and they peed on it too. So, we moved the tree to where it was last year, in front of the living room window. It was quite a feat. I got down on my hands and knees under the tree and pulled on the stand, sort of sliding it across the carpet. Sweet Hubby held the top to steady it. We only dropped two ornaments off the tree, and they didn't break. I call that pretty darn good. The boys are leaving it alone now. I guess they don't like Christmas trees in the dining room area.

That's all for today. Have a great evening.


Bracelet Swap

First, the big news. I finished knitting the hood for the lace cover up last night. Whoo hoo!!! Need to block it now, and find the instructions for the super stretchy bind off that I tried once and liked-argh. (Was that in the pattern for the Christmas garland I knitted 3 years ago? sigh)

In November I participated in an internet bead woven bracelet swap. The way it worked was we signed up, listing our favorite colors and the colors we hated, plus our wrist measurements. The Swap Mom then matched everyone up to a partner. When our bracelets were done, we sent them to Swap Mom, then she sent them on to the proper recipients. I had 2 partners, so I made 2 bracelets. I've been waiting until my partners got theirs before posting the pics I took of the bracelets. I didn't want to ruin the surprise for them.

As it turned out, one of my partners was Swap Mom. I think she did that cos we both love love love purple. That way we both get to bead something purple, and receive something purple.

This is a pattern I made up. I started with the Sidewinder pattern that was on the Howling Rabbit web site, which no longer exists. (I'm so glad I printed that pattern out.) It's basically a chevron stitch. I used that as my base, and went from there. I'm really pleased with the results. (I almost didn't send it in.) I used size 15 transparent purple seed beads and 4mm silver pearls.

My second swap partner mentioned she liked lilac and black, amongst other colors. So I put the two together, more or less, in this right angle weave bracelet. The pattern is in the August 2007 issue of Bead and Button magazine. The name of the pattern is 'Stripes Forever' and it's on page 110. I used dark bronze size 11 seed beads, satin finish lilac size 11 seed beads, and size 8 dark bronze drops.

I wanted to use a button for the clasp, but could not find one I liked. So I dug out the polymer clay and made one.

This is the second bead swap I've done. It's a lot of fun. I haven't received my bracelets yet, but I know they're on the way.

If you would like to see all the bracelets that were made for the swap, you can. Swap Mom took pics of them and made an online album. Click on the link:

Bracelet Swap 2007

Ruth is coming home for Christmas break today. She's bringing Lindy with her. I sure hope my fur kids remember her, and remember her fondly.

Have a great day.


Christmas Knitting is Done

All the Christmas knitting I had planned is done. The last item blocked. This was the last one.

Garter Rib Wristwarmers/Gauntlets

Pattern: I made it up.
Yarn: Austermann Step
Color: #15 Navy
Needles: Addi Turbo size 2 lace circulars.
Gauge: 7 stitches to the inch

Now I can concentrate fully on the Lace cover up. I'm over halfway done with the hood.

Thought I'd share my other Works In Progress. My beading class preparations are taking up quite a bit of my time of late. I've been teaching bead crochet. I am crocheting along with the students, as usual. Here's the one I started for one class. Size 8 beads, size 8 thread. The beads are matte olive, matte silver lined pale yellow, and matte iris green/brown.

For the second class, I started this rope. It's an experiment.

All I've done in bead crochet is working with one size bead in a striped spiral pattern. Haven't been real adventuresome in this department yet. So I decided to try with two sizes of beads. I've got size 8's in silver lined purple, matte ab tan, and size 10 Charlotte's in amethyst iris. It's really interesting.

Tomorrow I'm starting a series on Dutch spiral. I've been doing one in pink as a model for the class.

Then, there's this.

About 2 years ago, just before I closed the shop, I was working on a sweater for Tommy from the book Dogs in Knits, the one on the cover. I'd made one for Morgan in red, and wanted one for Tommy too. The 'going out of business' sale, then packing up and clearing out, all got in the way, and the sweater got put on hold. It was put in a box and brought home. After I kind of settled down a bit, I got this sweater out to work on it. I found the sweater and the book, but could not find the yarn for it. Well, I found it yesterday. Hurray! (While I was looking for something else which I did not find, boo hiss boo!) It's about 3/4ths done. I will finish it after the holidays. I'll have to dump that cable needle sticking out of the yarn ball. I don't need it anymore. Heh heh....

This is a picture of the view out my back door this morning. We got a few inches of snow last night.

Have a nice day.



A couple evenings ago I glanced over at the couch and spotted this. I thought it was so funny I took a pic to share. Tommy cuddling with Dad. He really knows how to get comfortable. He fell asleep like that and slept for quite awhile.

I got the lace cover up blocked. Here's the back, all pinned out and steamed.

I laid the front on top of it so you could see the size difference before and after blocking.

The first sleeve.

Sleeves before and after.

The yarn is an acrylic/cotton blend. After steaming it has a wonderful soft drape. I'm working on the hood now. Got 4 of the 14 inches done. The directions have you sewing the shoulder seams, them picking up stitches for the hood. However, I realized that it would be difficult to block if I did that. I want the lace to be really open, so I've done a provisional cast on and I'm knitting it separate. After it's done, and blocked, I'll attach it to the neckline.

Yesterday afternoon I worked on fixing the Buccaneer Booty socks. If you'll remember, in the first sock I used size 2 needles for the whole thing. But for the second sock I switched to size 3 needles for the fairisle skull section. There was a considerable difference in stretchability between the two. You can see the size difference there at the yellow arrow.

size 2 ---------------------- size 3

So, I decided to take out the skulls in the size 2 sock and graft in a newly knitted (on size 3 needles) skull section. Should only take a couple hours, right?

Around 1pm I had this glorified idea that I'd take lots of photos and create a tutorial on the subject, but it didn't work out as planned. The black yarn was a huge problem, not just in photographing it, but in actually working on it. Despite all the lights and magnifiers I own, including an Ott light, I could hardly see the stitches to graft. I got pretty frustrated by 3pm, so I took a half hour break and cleaned up the kitchen. I then decided to scrap the tutorial plan, and just get the darn thing done. Taking an hour out of there for making and eating dinner, I got the sock done just before 10:30pm. So much for "this should only take a couple hours". It was still quicker than knitting a whole new sock though-at least, for me. Now the socks are equally stretchable and the same size.

and I know how to use the delayed timer on my camera. (Whoopdeedoo!)

Have a great day.


Busy Knitting

It's been a few days since I've posted. I've been busy knitting, among other things. Also, Chenille broke my camera. I've got it working again, so will have progress photos soon. I'll post more info in a day or two.

Have a great day.


Knittage Has Happened

No Fridays Feast. Got other things to talk about.

It's not blocked, so it's kind of wrinkly at the moment, but I have finished the first of a pair of Garter Rib Wrist Warmers (Christmas gift). See? I told you I'd come up with something to do with the extra ball of Austermann Step #15 Navy. I made the design up myself. I want to write it up as a pattern. It goes nicely with the Garter Rib socks, doncha think?

Haven't had a chance to block the lace cover up yet. Forgot I had stuff to do in Coeur d'Alene yesterday. Had to meet friends for lunch (thanks for calling and reminding me Phyllis). Then, hubby's company Christmas party is tonight so I had to get something to wear. Wasn't home all day as a result. Did find an awesome outfit to wear though. Found a really pretty top that's all drapey purple, white, and black with silver sequins, and a pair of gorgeous black velvet slacks. I even found a sexy pair of dressy low healed shoes. What's more , it was all on sale for half off. Can't complain about that.

Can't do it today either. Got errands to run, hair to get done (for party), and then the party. I'm not worried, yet. I'm certain I can block it over the weekend, and finish it up next week.

Sheesh! It's been a busy week.

I managed to get the ornaments on the Christmas tree. It's officially 'done'. As you can see, we have a slim tree. I really like it a lot.

This is a close up of the skirt. I crocheted this for our tree on our first Christmas, which I'm thinking was in 1997? (Will have to ask Sarah. She'll remember what grade she was in at the time.) It's a pattern from either an old Annies Attic magazine, or maybe Hooked on Crochet magazine. There's gold sparkles in the yarn, but they don't show here.

Last night I made a necklace and bracelet set to go with the new outfit. I wanted something really sparkly, but sort of delicate, rather than my usual chunky spirally stuff. I used size 15 black and silver lined crystal seed beads, 4mm clear ab Swarovsky crystals, 6mm dark purple iris fire polish Czech crystals, and 8mm amethyst AB fire polish Czech crystals. Just a simple stringing project, but I sure like how it turned out. (Click on the picture for a larger view)

Well, I got things to do, so I better get busy.

Have a great day!


Our Knit Wits Donation Meeting

To all my loved ones who might be reading this. A pic of me might be in the newspaper, if not today, than some day soon. Don't know if it was the Spokesman Review, or the Coeur d'Alene Press. I didn't ask. There was a reporter and a photographer at our Knit Wits meeting yesterday, and pics were taken of us sitting at the table knitting (and laughing, as usual). They interviewed some of the members, but not me. I think I was too young. I noticed they interviewed the members that were 80 or over. Left us young 'uns alone. Just took lots of pictures of us.

Why the attention? It was the official 'Donation' meeting, where all the stuff we've been making all year is brought to the meeting (bags and bags and bags of stuff) and given to the various organizations we've been knitting, and crocheting, for. We had a total of 1636 items. Not bad for a couple dozen yarnaholics. I felt so good about being a member of the Knit Wits at that meeting. It is wonderful to be able to use my passion to help others. By the way, they're calling me the groups toy maker. There were lots of toys, I only made three of them, but I'm the toy maker. I thought that was funny.

Wait 'til I start making Gnomes!

Jan didn't bring the yarn to the meeting. Our yarn is stored at her house and each month she packs it all into her car (I mean STUFFS it all in her car. When she opens the door upon arriving, a bag always flies out under the pressure.) and brings it to the meeting. We unpack it, have a feeding frenzy, then pack what's left back in her car. She didn't bring the yarn because her car was stuffed full of bags of donation items. No room for yarn.

The funniest thing that happened at the meeting? Someone else brought a donation of yarn in a small bag. Geez! The feeding frenzy that followed was hilarious! You'd think some of these gals hadn't seen yarn in years! Got projects to make for next year! Need yarn! I managed to snag some purple cotton. Stocking up for Gnomes.

I am really impressed by the output of some of our members. Some of the ladies will get 2 or 3 afghans done in a month, or half a dozen shrugs, or a dozen slippers, or 5 baby outfits. My measly little one item every 2 months seems so... pathetic.

If you live in the Coeur d'Alene, Idaho area, and you have machine washable yarns that you won't be using, we would love to take it off your hands. You can leave your donation at the

Lake City Senior Center

1918 Lakewood Drive
Coeur D'Alene, Idaho

Or leave me a comment with your email address and I'll get a hold of you about picking it up if it's necessary.

If you wanna join our group? We meet at the Lake City Senior Center the 1st Wednesday of the month at 1-3pm. There are no dues or fees. You just have to knit the yarn we have into donation items. We get free dessert and coffee too, plus lots of laughing. Laughing is always good.

Have a great day.


Must. Have. Gnome.

I have some interesting blogs in my Bloglines feed subscription. One is about knitted toys. I love to make knitted toys. Yesterday someone posted their latest creation. Knitted Gnomes. They are the most adorable cutest most fantastic toy pattern I have every seen in my life. I MUST have that pattern!!!!

I thought about 'stealing' one of the Gnome pics to post here, so you could see what I'm talking about. But, I just couldn't do that to the knitter. So, do me a favor, click on the below link, look at them, then hit the back button to come back here and finish reading this post.

The most adorable knitted Gnomes in the Universe

Oh, wait. I found one I can steal. I've Googled until I found the information I needed. I share it with you so you don't need to do the research.

This is a pattern designed and written by a fellow named Alan Dart that was featured in a UK magazine called Simply Knitting a few years ago. Apparently, it's so popular they've put it in a new book, which I have ordered, just so I can have this pattern. The book is actually patterns from past issues of the magazine. I'm looking forward to seeing what else it has to offer. I've always loved British knitting patterns for machine knitting. (I used to pay a fortune to subscribe to a couple of them.) I would expect the hand knitting ones to be just as nice.

Upon more investigation, I found Alan Dart has a whole bunch of really neat toy patterns, which are sold by Sirdar. A very talented fellow, but I like the Gnome the most.

Must. Have. Gnome.

Why isn't his stuff being sold in the U.S.? There are some really really talented designers in other countries. Today I am so happy to have the internet. Without it, I would not know about these other designers.

Today I am so happy to have a credit card. Can't have Gnomes without it.

I wish I'd discovered this during the summer. I'd be making Gnomes for all my loved ones for Christmas. Gnomes Gnomes, beautiful Gnomes.

How did I manage to live all these years without a Gnome? I shall make Gnomes for Knit Wits next year. Lots and lots of Gnomes.

Have a Gnomey day!


Cool Sock Club

I've been knitting like crazy the past couple days in an effort to catch up to what I lost being sick. (I am feeling so much better, btw). I finished the second sleeve of the cover up--HURRAY!, and I've started a new project meant to be a Christmas present (the last of the knitted presents, whew!). I even worked on a long neglected beading project (I'm gonna need it later this month for a class) I won't be able to get to the blocking of the cover up until Thursday. Today I had a bead crochet class to teach. Tomorrow I have bead group and then another bead crochet class to teach. Wednesday is spinning group and Knit Wits meeting. Sheesh! It's gonna be a busy week!

Whilst blogging this morning, I came across a really cool Sock club that is easy to join. It's designed specifically for those of us who already have large stashes of sock yarn, thus aren't willing to join the 'usual' sock clubs (where you pay money and get yarn and pattern in the mail every month or so). It's really easy to do too. Click on the colorful graphic above for more information.

Also found a description of the most awesome retirement home ever on the Go Knit In Your Hat blog. When I get old, I want to go to Purlin' Acres.

We are having a pineapple express in north Idaho. Sunday afternoon the weather warmed up and it's been raining like crazy ever since. The ground is frozen, so the 7 inches of snow that was there is melting fast and forming lakes everywhere. I had to wade through 4 inches of water to get to my car this morning. Very sloppy, to say the least. I'm glad I live on the top of a slope, and not at the bottom. I'm also glad I own a kayak. It may come in handy.

I've been sort of keeping an eye on the rising prices of knitting designer Alice Starmore's Out-Of-Print books over the past few years, since she pulled them off the market. As you'll see in my list of projects in the works (in the side bar), I'm working on Margaret Tudor, which is in her Tudor Roses book. I am amazed. A year ago you could get this book for less than retail ($29.95). Now it's going for as much as $350-used. I have copies of all her books. They came with the shop when we first bought it. I'm starting to think of them as my retirement savings. They aren't anything really special. Just knitting patterns. But folks are practically worshiping them these days. Who would have thought?

(Don't ask if I'm willing to sell any of mine. I'm not.)

Have a great evening.


Christmas Meme

I found this Christmas Meme on Rae's World and thought I'd do it. It's been kind of fun. Feel free to 'steal' it for your blog should you so desire.

(Btw Rae, you left out Vixen.)

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?

Most of the time it's wrapping paper, and I love decorating with ribbons and stuff afterwards. I'm well known for my creative uses of leftover yarns on present wrappings.

2. Real or Artificial tree ?

Fake. See post about Cats and Christmas Trees.

3. When do you put up the tree?

The day after Thanksgiving, though it usually takes me the rest of the week to get it decorated.

4. When do you take the tree down?

January 2nd.

5. Do you like Eggnog?

Yes I do, but I have to go easy on it cos it upsets my tummy.

6. Favorite Gift you received as a child?

We didn't celebrate Christmas when I was a child.

7. Do you have a nativity scene?

No. Until we get our beliefs sorted out, Sweet Hubby and I have chosen to leave the religious aspect of Christmas out for now, and celebrate the love and family aspect.

8. Hardest person to buy for?

Sweet Hubby, cos 9 times out of 10 if he decides he wants something, he just goes and gets it, leaving me nothing to surprise him with.

9. Easiest person to buy for?

Daughter Sarah. I always know what she'll like.

10. Worst Christmas gift ever received?

That would be the Black and Decker Scum Buster. When it first came out, we were in a department store and I saw one. I said, and I quote, "Oh, that looks interesting." Sweet Hubby interpreted that to mean "I really really really really want that for Christmas." It was, and is, a piece of junk. A good old fashioned scrub brush and some elbow grease is quicker and better.

11. Christmas Cards...Snail mail or E-mail?

When I send them, it's by Snail mail.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?

White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Danny Kay.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?

Around October.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

Yes I have.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?

Sister in law Sue's Christmas cookies.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?

Changes from year to year. This year it's clear. Last year was multi. The year before was strictly purple. The year before that was blue.

17. Favorite Christmas Song?

White Christmas

18. Travel at Christmas or Stay Home?

We usually stay home cos that's where Sweet Hubby's family is. This year, though, we're leaving Christmas day to go on a cruise to the Mexican Riviera. I can hardly wait!

19. Can you name Santa's Reindeer?

Yes: Prancer, Dancer, Dasher, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen, & Rudolph

20.Do you have an Angel or a Star on top of your tree?


21. Open the Presents Christmas Eve or Morning?

Both. Christmas Eve we open the presents the family exchanges at dinner we have together. Christmas morning we open up what's under our tree.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?

The stress.

23. Shopping...mall or online?


24. Do you decorate outside for Christmas or just inside (or at all?)

Mostly inside, but I do manage to get Sweet Hubby to put some lights on the house. We used to have a whole set of those white lighted reindeer too, but they don't work anymore.

25. Favorite Christmas cookie?

Anything Sue makes.

26. Do you own Christmassy clothing or jewelry?

Well, heck, yes! I have a whole collection of tacky Christmas sweaters which I wear proudly every year.

27. Do you believe in Santa?

No, but I like to play the game.

Have a great day.


I Had Hoped

to post pics of the finished cover up sleeve, but I've ended up feeling so lousy I went to bed instead of knitting. Does someone know the phone number of the roto rooter man? My head is plugged.

This is the list of the things I did get done yesterday:
1) Scooped litter box.
2) Put folded laundry away (that I'd folded the night before).
3) Put 14 ornaments on the tree.
4) Washed tree skirt after dog peed on it.

After that last one I called it quits, curled up in my leather hug (also known as the recliner) and thumbed my nose at the world. It's hard to have a cold when you have asthma.

I just realized, I never checked the mailbox yesterday. And no visits from the delivery guys.

I have found 3 badges that I can post on the blog for finishing NaBloPoMo. The first is Meh, the other two I like. I can't decided which one I want. (It will go in the side bar). Any opinions out there?

This is the 'official' one, but it seems kind of bland:

This is one created by Subversive Cross Stitch:

This one was created by Mrs. Fussypants:

I'm going back to bed now.

Would someone please bring me a hot cuppa tea?

Have a great day.


The (cough) Last (sniff, urghh) Post

Wow! The new DSL connection is working. It's waaaaaaaaay faster.

It's the last day of NaBloPoMo. Thank the gods! It was quite a challenge, and I did it! I love doing the blog thing, but not every day. I wish to apologize to my readers (I know I have a few, and I thank them for that) for those few days of the absolutely boring posts about nothing and thanks for enduring with me. I'm looking forward to posting only when I want to say something.

That having been said... I feel wretched. When Ruth called to tell us about Ringworm (which is a fungus, not actual worms), she had just come down with a cold. Unbeknownst to us, she left some of those germs here before she went back to school. Sweet Hubby came home last night feeling terrible with a headache, sore throat, and stuffed up nose. I told him to stay away from me, but it was too late. I was feeling lousy last night myself. All achy and no energy to speak of, but I attributed it to the going up and down the step ladder a million times and dragging boxes here and there while I decorated in the house. After all, my legs were cramping up. Ha! Little did I know.

I woke up in the middle of the night coughing and gasping with an asthma attack. I coughed all the rest of the night, I had to use my inhaler twice, and now I have a sore throat, a headache, and a stuffed up head.

Thank you Ruth. I love you anyway.

Speaking of Ruth...

While decorating, I was listening to the news on tv and heard a story about a girl who committed suicide after being picked on via her blog, or something like that. What an incredible tragedy. Anyway, they were saying to find out what your kids are up to on the internet, Google their name. Well, that got me curious. I know Ruth has a fictionpress.com account. She loves to write and has been posting some of her writing there. I hadn't read it in a couple years, so I decided to see if I could find it by Googling her name. I did, and I read some of her stuff, and the motherly pride began to swell to monumental proportions.

She is writing a fictional piece called 52 Dragons. It is one of the most clever things she's written yet. She's writing a chapter each week about a dragon, one for each week of the year (thus 52 dragons), but each chapter is exactly 52 words long. Each chapter has a clever, and often humorous ending. I loved every word of it. If you're inclined, please visit her 'blog' and read this story in progress. Come back here and leave a comment on what you think of it please? Inquiring mother wants to know.

52 Dragons

And while your at it, if you have the time, read her Ode to Chocolate Pudding and her story The Adventures of Jack Bunyun and Flamin Pete. She wrote that last one a few years ago and actually got offers to publish it. For some reason, she turned them down. Silly girl. We may have the next J.K. Rowling in our family.

One more thing. UPS delivered a package here last night around 5pm. It was for Sweet Hubby from Huppins. I was ordered NOT to open it. Hubby left with it this morning-unopened. Could this be the contents of the mysterious package?

I think Santa's alias this year is Huppins.

Have a great day.