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


Small Wonders

You can click on the pics to enlarge them.

Small wonders do happen at the Parkarosa. My tomato plant has tomatoes! The plants suffered some from heat and lack of water while we were away, but they're recovering nicely.

Second small wonder. My first Monkey Sock is DONE! Ain't it gorgeous? I love it love it love it. It's the first sock I've knit that didn't have holes in the corner of the gusset. Finally, I've conquered that problem. Very proud of myself. I've cast on the second sock already. I'm a motivated sock knitter! You'll notice on the side 2 new buttons (though I've yet to figure out how to turn them into links). I thought if I join a couple sock knit-a-longs maybe I'll get some of that huge stash of sock yarn used up.

Third small wonder. I finally finished the Sculptured Peyote Cuff. Beads used are size 8 transparent olive color-lined with lime, size 10 purple iris triangles, size 11 Japanese green lined a/b, size 15 silver lined bright lime. I'm very pleased with how it turned out and it was great fun to do.

Last week, just before we left on the camping trip, I received my swap pieces from the beaded spiral swap I participated in (a Yahoo group). This is one of the pieces I received. I just love it. The picture does not do it justice. It was made by Marilyn Southmaid.

This is a netted donut necklace with branch fringe and spiral ropes hanging from the center in white, lavender, and black. It was made by Loreta Scicluna.

I also got another necklace in white and amber, and a pair of teal earrings, but daughter Ruth has made off with the necklace, and I haven't had a chance to take a pic of the earrings yet. Suffice it for me to say they are gorgeous.

Yesterday Cindy, Jean, and I decided to do our walk at the Spokane Valley Mall. Afterwards, we went to Paradise Fibers in Spokane. It's a mail order place for yarns, fibers, weaving, spinning, and knitting supplies. I'd never been there. It was fun. Saw lots of stuff that I would love to have brought home, but we need to buy food and stuff like that. I did get a ball of 'manly' sock yarn. (I'm starting the Christmas presents now!). I got the navy colorway for Austermann Step Yarn. I'm not sure why they call it navy cos it's pastel shades of blues, greys, and browns. I found 2 books I couldn't live without by Elsebeth Lavold: Designer's Choice, Book One
The Viking Knits Collection and
Designer's Choice, Book Two The Sentimental Journey Collection. I love her designs. They're so feminine and fun. I got an older issue of Knitters magazine that had a really pretty sock pattern in it, and an electronic row counter. Twas fun.

My daughter says she and Frank picked up my new Grandkitty Monday. They've adopted a 1 1/2 year old male tabby from the local shelter. We're going to their place for dinner tomorrow, so I'll get to meet him. His name is Meadowlark. I'm looking forward to it. Sarah says he's very sweet and affectionate.

Have a good day.


Answering Elaine's Question

I got a comment today on my post What's In This Stuff from Elaine. She's asked for any tips I might have on the Pea Pod Cardigan.

Make sure you start the diamond stitch pattern in the right place so the fronts match properly in the center.

Do the 3-needle bind off for the shoulder seams, not grafting. Grafting stretches too much.

My suggestion is to do your own thing for the neck/button band. What's written in the pattern makes absolutely NO sense! If I were to do it over again (and I am-in yellow) I would knit the button bands first. Pick up 2 stitches for every 3 rows and knit garter stitch for first band, bind off. Repeat for second band, putting in the buttonholes. Then I'd pick up the neck stitches, including across the top of the newly made button bands and knit it, putting a buttonhole in the appropriate corner on the buttonhole side. It might take a little bit longer, but in my opinion it just plain looks better. Not that I can't figure out how to turn the corners if I do it all in one piece, but what a pain.

Happy knitting!

Family Camping Trip

I was exhausted from packing and coming home. Got some sleep last night, so feeling much better. I had the weirdest dream. I dreamed sweet hubby bought me a spinning wheel as a surprise gift. He paid over $700 for it, but it was a miniature one. Fully functional and all, but not much bigger than a shoe box. It's got no manual, and I know nothing about spinning wheels (which is true-I don't) In the dream I'm so grateful for his thought, but frustrated at the size of the wheel and lack of manual. I'm trying to spin some wool to make a pair of socks, and then a bunch of secret service guys crash into our house and arrest sweet hubby and haul him away for buying me the wheel. I woke up from the dream just as I was demanding from President Bush why getting me a miniature spinning wheel is a federal offense.

Does anyone know what the heck that means?????????????

The camping trip was a blast. There were 50 Park family members and their friends. We stayed at Lions Head group camp on the most beautiful lake in the world, Priest Lake. The campground was gorgeous. The weather was perfect. We had full hook ups for our trailer. We had a nice sandy beach all to ourselves, with a dock for the nephew Scott's boat. The water was as warm as bath water for swimming in, and crystal clear. There were lots of trees to provide shade.

There was lots of wild life around. There was a huge Mama moose and her baby hanging around camp. I think just about everyone saw her. There were deer, prairie dogs, Stellar Blue Jays (one of my favorite birds), Canadian Geese by the flocks, bald eagles, toads, and caterpillars for the kids to harass. Sweet hubby and daughter Ruth went on a kayak trip up the thoroughfare between lower and upper Priest Lake and saw 3 moose. One actually went diving for food in deep water. That must have been awesome to watch. My nephews Scott and his son Daniel caught lots of fish, which we cooked the last evening for dinner.

There was also a lot of mosquitoes and yellow jackets to cause trouble. Just about everyone got stung (I did not, thankfully). I took a brand new tube of Benadryl cream and it's over half gone now. It was pretty popular stuff.

Most of us ate dinner together. There is a very nice kitchen and bunk house that we were able to use. And the food. We did potluck buffet. Every night tons and tons of really good food. The tables were so loaded it's a wonder they didn't collapse.

For things to do, we had hiking, fishing, kayaking, swimming, volleyball, playing board games and cards, sitting around the camp fire, and napping.

My favorite moment. On Friday evening, as the sun was setting, the wind died down, as it does every evening, and the lake got smooth as glass. Sue, Kathryn (hubbies sister), and I, some paper cups, and a bottle of Southern Comfort, got into kayaks and went for a paddle. We watched the moon rise over the tops of the mountains from the middle of the lake. The water was so clear I could see the bottom of the lake in the moonlight. We just sat out there, in the cool peaceful quiet of the evening, watching this beautiful sight, and sharing funny stories. It was hard to paddle back to shore.

Second favorite moment. On Saturday afternoon a couple of the little girls and I sat at the picnic table and I helped them make beaded bracelets. Cassandra and her sister Kaitlyn-I think they are the daughters of my nephew Scott's wifes sister? (Not quite sure about that.) Cassandra has quite the imagination. She reminds me of Sarah at that age. She has lots of energy, and lots of questions. She wants to know how the world works. She was making a superhero bracelet to increase her super powers. I asked her what her super powers are. She replied "I can run fast, and I'm strong!"

Third favorite moment. Just before sunset the first day, I walked over to the campfire and there was a whole bunch of folks sitting around it-noses buried in their fresh new copies of the new Harry Potter book. I cracked up laughing, it was such a funny sight!

Did I knit? Yes, a little. I am now to the toe of my Monkey Sock. Didn't touch the baby cardigan, I'm ashamed to say. Did I bead? Yes, a little. I worked on my beaded box, and a cab. Did I read? I did. I took The 5th Horseman by James Patterson. I enjoyed every word of it too.

So, now, you're probably asking "Where are the pictures?" Arrgh. Sigh.......... I took my camera, I swear. But I was so busy having so much fun I didn't even get the camera out of it's case. I didn't take one single picture. Okay, okay--I've NEVER said I'm a photographer. I apologize. Hubby took pics. I'll see if I can get some of his.

Have a great day.


Better Late Than Never

I'm back from the family camping trip! Will post more about it later. For the time being, I need to catch up on my Fridays Feast.


Describe a toy you remember from your childhood.
My doll, Angelique. Mom ordered her from one of the Christmas toy catalog's of my youth (J.C. Penney, Sears, Montgomery Wards????) She had long red hair, and was dressed in a little sleeveless grey wool dress with a red and green plaid jacket, and a matching beret (she was supposed to be French). I loved that doll more than any other I ever owned. She had a special smell that still gives me the warm fuzzies if I think of it. I still have her. Her hair is still in good shape, but her original outfit has long since disappeared.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being highest) how observant are you?
I'd say about an 8. More than average, but I do miss things on occasion.

Where would you rather be at this very moment?
Back on the beach on Priest Lake, Lions Head group campground, Idaho State forest. Sigh.....twas beautiful. Perhaps the most beautiful place on earth.

Main Course
When was the last time you learned something new?
Today. I pretty much learn something new every day. I make it a point to.

Fill in the blank: I have _eaten baked Alaska_ but I haven’t _ever made it, nor do I intend to_.

Have a great evening.



I seem to have caught some kind of intestinal bug. Today I was going to go do the shopping for the camping trip and get the trailer all packed because we're leaving tomorrow. Ha! I can hardly stand up. So I'm resting.

Have a great day, and rest of the week.


It's Over

Rathdrum Days has been done and is history. I will not be doing it again. I didn't sell one thing. Not even one tiny little pink ring. Sigh.....it was a total waste of my time. Oh, the people loved my jewelry. Just weren't buying.

On the first day no one was selling anything. Hardly any people were there, other than vendors. Note to self--craft shows on a Friday are a waste of time. As we (Bill and I) were sitting there in our booth, we started asking why they were having this thing on a Friday anyway? Most people are at work.

Saturday the place was pretty crowded. But still, people weren't buying. Hardly any of the vendors sold much over the whole two days. Some of them even packed up and left early they were so disgusted. Thankfully, Bill sold some beads, so it wasn't a total wash out. I would have really felt bad if I'd talked him into sharing that booth with me and then he hadn't sold anything at all. I just wish I could have sold one or two items. The booth cost me $35. I would have been much happier if I'd at least broke even. Oh well. You don't know until you've tried it. Clearly, this was not the proper venue for my jewelry. Or anyone else's for that matter. There were 5 other vendors with jewelry who did just as bad as me.

My brain feels like mush today. One thing about show booths is they are very exhausting to do.

I did get some beading done at the show. I finished my chevron peyote bracelet, and started a pink dutch spiral. I would have got the baby cardigan put together too, but when I opened my knitting bag I discovered I'd left the sleeves at home. Can't sew something together if half the pieces are not with me. I did have the book with me, and some bright yellow yarn, so I started one for Knitwits. I'm making some changes to the pattern though, so it turns out nicer.

Now that It's over, I can move on to other things. I'm going to get back to working on my book. I've mapped out the next pattern design. Now I just need to string the beads and start knitting.

Next event in my life-the family campout at Lion's Head.

Have a great day.


Fridays Feast 7/20/07

Rathdrum Days today. Thankfully, it's cooled off for the weekend. It should be quite comfortable. I've got all my offerings priced and ready.

I got my bead swap items yesterday. They are all so beautiful. I'm quite pleased with them. You will have to wait until after Rathdrum Days to see pics of them though. If you want to see everything that was made for the swap, you can see them here:
Spiral Swap 2007

This is my first swap ever. Basically, the way it works is everyone could make up to 4 jewelry items with a spiral theme. When we finished our items, we sent them to the swap organizer, Pamy, along with postage for the things to be sent back, and a note telling her if there's a particular color you hate. We had a deadline of June 15. After all the items arrive at Pamy's, she mixes things up and sends back like for like. In other words, if, like me, you send in 3 necklaces and a pair of earrings, she sends you back 3 necklaces and a pair of earrings-but they're made by other folks participating in the swap. This way you get to share your bead work, see other people's bead work, and end up with something in the jewelry box you may not have otherwise made. Of course, you run the risk of getting something you don't like, but that's part of the adventure of it. There wasn't a single item in this one that I didn't like. All in all, my first swap has been great fun!

On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being highest) how much do enjoy watching sports on television?
1 she says as she watches the Tour de France. Sigh.......

If you could completely memorize any one work of fiction, which one would you pick?
Today I would say The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I love the way the words are put together. Might be something else tomorrow though. There's so many cool ones, it's hard to choose.

What is your favorite breakfast food?
Cheesecake. Is there any other?

Main Course
Name something fun you can do for less than $10.00.
Bead weaving. Five bucks for beads+one buck for nymo thread+79 cents for a package of needles=hours of fun.

How long does it usually take you to fall asleep?
About half an hour.

Have a great day.


Black and Gold Dutch Spiral

Remember a few days ago I talked about a fawn that was laying on the lawn with no mommy in site? I'd said I tried to take a pic, but the battery went dead on my camera. Well, apparently, it snapped the pic before it died (the camera, not the fawn). I am quite surprised. We haven't seen hide nor hair of this fawn since. I'm hoping it found mom.

This is the finished black and gold Dutch Spiral. I'm very pleased with how it turned out.

This is the baby cardigan, all blocked out.

Last night I started putting it together. I figured it would take a couple hours at most. HA! I did the shoulder seams-using the three-needle bind off rather than grafting. You don't want to graft shoulder seams because it's too stretchy. Shoulder joins need to have some firmness to them. 3-needle bind off gives just enough firmness without being too bulky.

Then I got to the business of doing the button/neck band (it's all one piece). You pick up stitches all the way around, and it's done in garter stitch. I got kind of frustrated with it because the instructions are very confusing. You place markers and knit to markers, and do this and that and it's NOT clear what to do. In fact, it's not even clear where the markers go. I finally decided to do it the way I thought made most sense-which isn't quite what is written. If I was a novice knitter, the instructions would be useless. So, I guess, unless you are an experienced knitter, I would not recommend this book because it's not very well written.

Anyway, back to the cardigan. I was just making button holes when suddenly the power went out. Poof! We're sitting in the pitch black dark. Don't know why either. There was no wind, no storming, no snowy blizzard (bite my tongue!). Perhaps someone knocked down a power pole in Rathdrum with their car again? We scrambled to shut off all the computers (they're all on UPS's), then went about the business of finding some light. The power was out at the well house too-which means it's a major outage for us. (Again with the no flushing of toilets.) Did I say there's never a dull moment at the Parkarosa?

To make matters worse, it's been a boiling hot day, and it's a boiling hot night. It took no time at all for the whole house to turn into an oven. We opened windows, but there was no breeze. After sitting and complaining for awhile in the light of a little battery operated lantern, the three of us went to bed. Sweet hubby was snoring within 2 minutes--the dirty rat. I could not sleep. In fact, it was so hot my dogs were panting and laying on top of their blankets, instead of underneath. Do you know how hot it has to be for Italian Greyhounds to do that?????? So I turned on the lantern and tried to read a book.

Then it started. Lightening, thunder, wind, the house shook. We got rain--cooling rain! It was wonderful. The temps outside went down. Still couldn't sleep though cos now the dogs are upset. Thunder and wind scare Morgan something awful. Around 1:30 am the power came back on. I got a couple fans going in the bedroom to cool things off, and to dampen the sound of the thunder. Eventually the boys calmed down and went to sleep. It stormed all night, but I was finally able to drift off.........

This morning, as I write this, it's cloudy and cool out. Blissfully cool...actually under 70F. I'm wallowing in it. Heh heh.

Have a good day.


What's In This Stuff?

Didn't get much done at bead group yesterday, mostly cos I was yakking too much. Every couple rows I'd have to undo what I'd just done cos I screwed up. I worked on a chevron sculptured peyote bracelet I started a few weeks ago. I was going to finish a pair of dream catcher earrings I was making for Rathdrum Days, but I discovered I am about 10 beads short of finishing, and the color I need is not available around here because the shop I got it at is out of business--specifically MY shop. I used one of the beads I brought home with me. 10 beads short. I can't believe it! I will have to take the earrings apart and rework the pattern a bit so I don't need those 10 beads. Anyway, in disgust, I chucked them back in my case and got the bracelet out.

Cindy was there-hooray! She's finally shaking the creeping crud, but now Bill is feeling it. I can't have a sick Bill. He's supposed to be doing the Rathdrum Days booth with me. Arrrgh...

When I got home from bead group, well, first of all, you need to know I was wearing my new jeans and some cute sandals. I stopped the car, shut off the engine, put my foot outside the car and promptly got stung-twice!-by a Bee, just under my ankle. Not a Yellow Jacket, a Bee, of the honey making variety. Apparently I disturbed it while it was having it's way with a clover flower and it didn't like that. Oh man, but it hurt! I've been stung by lots of Yellow Jackets, but none of them hurt as bad as this did. I hop-ran into the house. Couldn't find the bee-sting stick, so grabbed a tube of Benadryl and smothered the sting in that. Wow! I got instant relief! This morning there's no pain or swelling. Just two tiny little red spots where the dirty deed was done. I don't know what they put in that Benadryl stuff, but I sure like it.

It has never occurred to me that a pattern, other than the traditional spiral, could be done in Cellini. But someone has done it. Check out the black and white bracelet on this site:

Awesome Eye Candy

Just in case you don't know, Knitpicks is having a sale. 40% off all their books. I ordered, of course. Cindy showed me a couple books I'd not seen before I just had to have. Not Just Socks and Not Just More Socks by Sandi Rosner. I also ordered The Opinionated Knitter by Elizabeth Zimmerman. I'm not really a Zimmerman fan, but I would like to make her Adult Surprise jacket, so I need the book.

Today I get my stuff ready for Rathdrum Days. Gotta price it all and whatnot. Fun fun!

Have a great day.


Not Much to Say

I'm in a mood for Plaid. Thus, the blog changes. I finished the black and gold Dutch Spiral necklace. Will take pics tomorrow, after bead group. Didn't do much yesterday. Too wiped from Saturdays float.

No walk this morning. Cindy is still sick with the creeping crude. Please think positive thoughts for my friend Cindy.

Today I have been 'organizing' my office in the sun room. It's time to exorcise the House of Needlecraft. I've packed up all the files that were in the file cabinet. Will be moving them to "the closet" (our storage shed) later this week. I need to wait a day or two to make sure I got everything in the boxes. I'm feeling sad now cos I've been reminiscing while packing. I miss the shop.

Cleaned off the desk. Wow! I'd forgotten it had a nice cherry wood finish. (Just kidding)

Doing laundry today too. I still love the new dryer. It does a wonderful job.

It's still hot, but down in the lower 90's today. Supposed to get back to triple digits by the end of the week--just in time for Rathdrum Days. Sigh...... Outdoor booth, no air conditioning. Not gonna be comfortable.

Note to self: Pack LARGE cooler with water, drinks, and lots of ice.

Have a nice day.


Beating the Heat

Sure enough, we had triple digit temps yesterday. It was roasting out. So we piled all the floating devices we could find in the back of the truck along with food and drink, stopped to buy some more floaties, and headed for the north fork of the Coeur d'Alene River. Sarah and Frank went with us, as well as daughter Ruth, Dan, his wife Sue, and son Nathan. We went into the river about an hours float above Beehive bridge and got out 5 hours later at the bridge they used when they made the movie Dante's Peak (I can't remember if it has a name or not).

I had a great time, despite my anxiety initially. Ever since June of last year, when I had the nasty 'almost killed me' accident with my kayak on the river (literally-I almost died. I got caught in a nasty current and ended up trapped underwater under a large downed tree. I'm still not sure how I got out of that mess. Quick thinking on my part, and a whole lot of luck!) I get extremely anxious about getting into it again. I respect the river. Always have. But now I find myself fearing it too, which I shouldn't. I'm hoping that over time the fear will eventually go away. I will keep making myself go in until it does.

I don't know what it is, but when everyone is floating the river, it's just one big happy family. You find yourself hooking onto the tubes of complete strangers and carrying on conversations with them, even though you'll probably never see them again.

When we first got in, there was a young fellow who spotted my bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos. He yelled "I love Doritos!" and all the rest of the way, every time he saw me, he would mention again how much he loved Doritos. At one point, we were in a really slow part, so I got to talk to him and his party. It was their first time. They hadn't brought any food with them. Just some beer. You can't float for 5 hours on the river without food. You need something to give you energy, cos believe me, it's a tough thing to do physically. You have to paddle your way properly through the rapids, or you'll find yourself or your tube impaled on a branch, or chopped up on some rocks. So I gave them a good scolding, and handed them my Doritos. They needed them way more than I did.

Today we're being couch potatoes. I'm wiped out from yesterdays float. In fact, I'm surprised how sore my shoulders are, and my neck. Why on earth is my neck sore? It's hot outside, so we're hiding in the house with the air conditioner on high, watching movies on the tv. I think I'll bead for awhile.

Have a great day


Couldn't Help Myself

I should have been beading yesterday. I've only got a week left before Rathdrum Days. It's my own fault. I was thinking about my Monkey Sock. I made the mistake of getting it out to look at it (It's so darn pretty!). I ended up working on it for a couple hours or so. I'm almost done with the foot. I'm going to take it with me to Rathdrum Days and work on it (or it's mate-more likely) between customers.

I was reading some of my favorite blogs and I can't believe how prolific some of these knitters are. There are some who are making a pair or two of socks a week, plus everything else they knit. Arrrghh.... I wish I was that prolific sometimes. Think of all the wonderful things there would be in the ol' closet if I were. But, those folks probably don't do half a dozen other hobbies like I do either.

There was something odd that happened yesterday. It starts with late Thursday night. I let the dogs out to pee before going to bed. We have motion sensor lighting all around the house now, so if a wild animal comes in the yard we can see it, and stop the dogs if necessary. Well, that night the yard at the north end of the house was completely in darkness, but Tommy went absolutely nuts, just barking his little head off. I couldn't see anything in the dark, so figured maybe one of the cats was perched on the garden fence or something (though he doesn't usually bark like that at the cats). I chased Tommy back into the house and went to bed.

Friday morning, I let the dogs out for their morning pee and that's when I saw it. Laying on the lawn, by the garden gate, just as still as a statue, was a tiny little fawn. It was so beautiful. All creamy white spots and red brown fur. It was adorable. My dogs didn't even notice it. I watched it for a while, then walked around a bit looking for it's Mom. She was no where. We've had lots of fawns in the yard, and the moms are always nearby, within view. But not this one. The fawn was so still, and panting like crazy. Now I understand that if a mommy deer says to baby 'stay', they stay. But it is not logical for a deer to 'hide' it's baby on a lawn. The poor little thing was right out where all of us could see it. Not in the bushes where it belonged. Sweet hubby said keep an eye on it, and if it's still there later on in the day, call game control.

Stupid cat. Shouldn't have let her out. Chenille decided it was the biggest mouse she'd ever seen and stalked the fawn. I started yelling at Chenille to stop. She wouldn't. Eventually she got close enough to scare the fawn. It got up and walked away-though it was very slow and wobbly. It wandered into the bushes.

Later that morning Ruth and I went out looking for it. We didn't find it, though we followed it's tracks until we lost them in the brush. I'm hoping it found it's mother. I sure hope it isn't alone and lost. Especially in this heat! The thought of a baby suffering to death makes me want to cry.

By the way, I did attempt to take a photo of the fawn. The battery went dead in my camera. (insert pic of me banging my head on a wall here)

The heat was relentless yesterday. My outdoor thermometer is in the shade, and it read 100F. In addition, in the early afternoon a storm started moving into the area with strong winds. Riding on the wind was dust from the fields over in Washington. It was so thick I couldn't see the mountains, my nose ran incessantly, and my eyes felt like the backside of my lids were made of extra coarse grit sand paper. The winds were pretty fierce, so Ruth and I battoned down the hatches, so to speak, and hunkered down. We got a few spits of rain, a few flashes of lightening, no thunder to speak of, and lost no trees. I'm relieved. Spokane, however, was not so lucky. They got womped. I think, though, by the time it got to us the worst of it had been worn out. The lightening did start about 30 wild fires, but by the time I went to bed all were under control and due to be out soon.

It's going to be another triple digit day, with more thunderstorms coming in the evening. I get nervous. My biggest fear, living here, is fire. The woods get so crackly dry in July and August. We have a plan should one happen, but I don't want to have to use that plan.

I have a class scheduled today. Supposed to teach a Christmas ornament done in right angle weave with wire and size 6 beads. Usually the boss calls me on Friday to let me know the status, but I didn't hear from her. I finally called the shop and she's not in town. The employee who answered the phone told me as far as she knows, no one has signed up. I may pop into the shop at class time anyway, just in case.

Keep cool and have a great day.


Fridays Feast 7/13/07

Fridays Feast is late this morning because I couldn't get to the computer at the usual time. It's Le Tour de France time. What does that have to do with it? Well, when I'm working on my blog, I'm usually sitting in hubby's recliner, using the keyboard and monitor for the computer in the living room. But when Le Tour de France is on, hubby is sitting in his recliner watching it. He gets up at the crack of dawn, and watches it until the end of each stage. Usually they're done by 8 or 8:30am. The race didn't end until after 9 this morning. Personally, I don't enjoy watching bony rear ends bobbing on bikes for 3+ hours, but he loves it, so I endure (for 3 annoying weeks!). And it is endurance for me. I don't want to get up at 5 am to watch this, and I don't. But I don't get any sleep either, cos he's got the volume turned up so darn loud they can probably hear it over in Montana. So I lay there for an hour or so feeling miserable, then get up in disgust and sit and watch the darn thing with him. That's what you do when you're madly in love with someone.

I got lots of knitting done during it this morning. I finished the second sleeve of the baby cardigan--HURRAY!--and threaded all the pieces with blocking wires. When I get done here I'm going to get out the steamer and the blocking board and get busy.

I prefer steam blocking. I'm not saying it's the best. I'm saying it's what I like the best. Especially for acrylics and wools. I use blocking wires, lots of T-pins and my Jiffy Steamer that sweet hubby got me a few years ago. I have an awesome blocking board that is 51 by 33 inches with a grid of inches, angles, and whatnot. It folds up and has carry handles. Using these 3 items makes for a very professional finish on my knitting.

Yesterday, to get a rest from the heat, my daughter and I went to see the new Harry Potter movie. It was A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!!!! The best Potter movie yet! About half an hour into the movie I was so wrapped up in the story that I felt like I was in it, rather than sitting in a theater. I was totally mesmerized the whole 2.5 hours. They did a good job of following the book, which had to be difficult cos it's so long. Obviously, some things had to be left out. There were scenes in the book that I would have liked to see in the movie, but I totally understand why they weren't there. In a movie they try to keep the main focus of the story moving forward and those scenes wouldn't have done that. They had all the most important parts there. Anyway, if you're a Potter fan, you will NOT be disappointed.

Now, on to the feast.


What is your favorite fruit?


Who is someone you consider as a great role model?
This is a hard question because there isn't really anybody I can think of. Everyone is human, so everyone has imperfections. There are character traits of various people I admire and try to emulate, but no one who I'd want to be like 100%.

There is a woman I knew in California when my daughters were really small, though, who's mothering skills made her my role model for being a mother. She had 7 children. At the time I knew her they ranged from age 17 down to age 4. Sandy Miller was her name and I never saw such a wonderful mother as her. Here she had all these kids, all different personalities (a couple of them stubborn red heads like my oldest), and every one of them the most well behaved well adjusted sweeties you could ever meet. I used to ask her for parenting advice. What she gave me were pearls of pure wisdom that helped me become the mother I wanted to be. In fact, she's the one I give credit for my daughters turning out as wonderful as they are. Unfortunately, when we moved back to Idaho I lost contact with her. I've often wondered what successful things her children ended up doing as adults, for I'm absolutely sure every one of them is successful.


If you were to spend one night anywhere within an hour of your home, where would you choose?
Probably a camp ground on Lake Pend Oreille (pronounced Pon de ray-it's french)

Main Course

Name something you do too often.


Fill in the blank: I really like _Idaho_ because _it's so beautiful_.
There's lots of things I like. How do I choose just one???

Have a great day.


Froggin' Fun

I took the baby cardigan to Knitwits. I had decided to start the second sleeve. The stitch pattern is easy enough, or so I thought, that I shouldn't have any problems. Heh heh. No, I didn't have a problem with the stitch pattern. I could talk and laugh and knit just fine. I put away a good 6 inches of that sleeve. However, about 10 minutes before the meeting was over, I realized I'd forgotten to switch to the larger needle after the ribbing was done. Rippit, rippit! I waited until I got home though. I was too embarrassed to do it at the meeting. I reknit everything I had to frog last night while watching a James Bond dvd (I needed a Pierce Brosnan fix after frogging that much).

It amazes me how, even after 39 years of knitting, I still make the stupid mistakes. This little sweater is a prime example. I've made several mistakes in it that I've chosen not to correct, simply cos they're not bothering me. That is not normal. I'm usually obsessive about getting it perfect. I've been known to rip out whole pieces over and over until I get them right. Could sanity and reasonableness be setting into my brain?

Now, if I was gonna enter it in the fair, or giving it as a gift to another knitter, I'd have gone to great lengths to make it as perfect as I can. But the receiver of this gift is not a knitter, so she'll never know the difference.

For instance, I didn't start the diamond stitch pattern in the right place on the left front piece. Not my fault. If you saw the chart, you'd be confused too. So it doesn't quite match up at the center front. It still looks way better than a store bought sweater though.

She'll never know that one sleeve is 1 stitch wider than the other. That would be the first sleeve. I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out where I added the extra stitch. Not so that I could frog and fix it, but so that I could make the same mistake in the second sleeve so they're identical. That way it's a design feature, rather than a design flaw. Heh heh. However, after counting and scrutinizing for over an hour, I can't figure it out. So, I guess it will just have to be different. The only ones who will know, though, are you and me. If you squeal, I shall have to have you killed. You've been warned.

On my way home I popped into Sears to return the dryer cord and hose that they insisted I needed to buy for the new dryer. What I already had on the 'old' one was just fine, so the installer told me to take 'em back and get a refund. Oy! They're having a really good sale! I got 4 beautiful cotton tunics for $5.99 each. I get giddy when I come upon bargains like this. It was a lot of fun. Anyway, I traded the dryer stuff for the tunics.

You may ask, whatever happened to my Monkey Sock? It's waiting, patiently, until after Rathdrum Days. Just one week and 1 day to go. I'm getting nervous. It's been years since I've done a craft show booth. I need to figure out how I'm gonna do this.

Gonna be over 100 degrees F today. I think I'll take Ruth to a movie at matinée time. Get a respite from the heat. We have an air conditioner in the house. Well, technically, in the window of the house. But when it gets this hot it doesn't keep up too well. It was over 80 in the house yesterday, and I had the thing chugging on high all day long.

Keep cool, and have a great day.


I'm Melting, I'm Melting......aaaahhhh..........

We are in the grip of a terrible heat wave. Upper 90's predicted for today, triple digits for tomorrow through the weekend. Not only that, but it will be muggy (also known as humid). We don't get muggy around here. That's for the midwest, or the south. Not here! I see a float down the Coeur d'Alene river in my future.

When it's this hot, a float is the only cure. The whole family dons swimming suits, gathers our floaties and coolers full of beer, soda pop, water, sandwiches, and snacks, and we head for the north fork of the river-where everyone else in the county is. The water is usually shallow, and slow, except for the occasional rapid just for fun. It's like a huge summer party with everyone within 100 miles. You can practically walk across the river on floating tubes without getting your feet wet. But it's sure fun.

A couple weeks ago I bought us some floating recliners, complete with cup holders. Looking forward to trying mine out. We bring a small rubber raft to tow along for the coolers too. North Idahoans know how to have fun!

Cindy was not at bead group yesterday. She still has the creeping crud. GET WELL CINDY!

I worked on a black and gold Dutch spiral to go with the bracelet I made last weekend. I just LOVE making Dutch spirals. They are so much fun, and so cool too. I bought more beads to make more spirals. I'm hopeless. Sigh.....

Today I have Knitwits. It's too hot for me to want to knit, but the meeting is in an air conditioned building, so I shall soldier on. I will get to turn in the Nautiloid today. It will be interesting to see how everyone reacts to my weird little creature. I'm going to work on the second sleeve of the baby cardigan. I need to get it done so I can give it to Charo. I think I will make another one in yellow for the Knitwits. It's a fun little sweater.

Keep cool (or keep warm if you live in Australia) and have a great day.



As you can see by the ticker counter at the top of this blog, something wonderful has happened.

We have booked ourselves a Mexican cruise!

I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! I've been bouncing around with invisible Maracas ever since. We- being me, sweet hubby, daughter Ruth, brother-in-law Dan, his wife Sue, and nephew Nathan- are taking an 8 night cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Star from Los Angeles, CA to Acapulco during the week of New Years eve. That's right. A New Years Eve party on a ship! If that isn't a fantasy come true for me! We'll be stopping in Cabo San Lucas, Ixtapa, and Puerto Vallarta, as well as Acapulco. A tropical break from the oppression of winter. I like that! Lets just hope there aren't any rogue waves. I don't want a repeat of the Poseidon adventure. Heh heh.....

We went on a Caribbean cruise two years ago, our first. In fact, it was literally 2 days after I closed the doors of my store forever. What a trip that was! Just the cure for the Shop Closing Blues-and believe me I had them. Closing that shop was giving up a lifetime dream for me. Sue came up with the cruise idea. We went without kids that time, just the four of us. When we were standing on the deck of the ship, waiting to get underway, waving at all the people down on the dock, and I realized where I was I started to cry. Growing up as poor as we were when I was a kid, the idea of ever going on a Caribbean cruise was preposterous. Yet, there I was, on a real ship. It was actually overwhelming for me emotionally at the time.

It was pure bliss. I didn't have to cook, and yet there was always food available. And I mean ALWAYS! You wanted pizza at 3 am? You could get pizza at 3am. And it was good food too. Some one else cleaned the cabin and made the bed. In fact, it was pretty much wait on us hand and foot. There was always something fun happening on the ship that you could do, so there was no excuse for boredom. Or you could just laze by the pool, or simmer in a hot tub. All we had to do was enjoy enjoy enjoy. Believe me, I enjoyed!

We stopped in Grand Cayman, where we swam with Sting Rays and snorkeled a coral reef. We stopped in Cozumel, Mexico where we went and saw some awesome Mayan Ruins. We stopped in Belize where we hiked in a jungle and floated an underground river (and I saw wild Toucans-that was a thrill!). We stopped in Costa Maya, Mexico and visited more Mayan Ruins, as well as spent a few hours in a small Mexican village drinking Margaritas and lazing on probably the most beautiful beach I've ever seen in my life. One of those white beaches, with the palm trees, and the aqua blue waters like you see in the commercials. It was quite a trip.

Another cruise. I can hardly believe it!

We did not walk yesterday. Cindy was sick with a bug of some sort, Jean is out of town, and it was just plain too hot to venture outside. Instead, I surfed around in blog land again and found the prettiest lace sock pattern, and it's free. You can find it here:
Saucy Socks by Cider Moon

They also have a pattern for a Beer Bottle. I think that is so cute! I have to make some for my brothers-in-law for Christmas. You can see that pattern here:
Knit Your Own Brew by Cider Moon

If you like making toys, like I do, there is an adorable vintage pattern for a tiger and a lion that is free. You'll find it here:
Lion and Tiger Toys courtesy of The V & A Museum

Today is bead group. I'm making a Dutch spiral necklace to go with the black and gold bracelet I made over the weekend. The necklace is, of course, black and gold. After making 4 dutch spirals so far this year, you would think I could remember how to start one. HA!!! Mind was a total blank. It took me an hour to find my book on the subject (Innovative Beaded Jewelry Techniques by Gineke Root). I ransacked all my 'spots' where that sort of stuff ends up. Not there. It never occurred to me that I might have put it on the book shelf where it belongs when I was done with it last time. Is there anyone else out there who does stupid stuff like this? Eventually, as a last resort, I checked the shelf and found it.

Have a great day.


Weekend Bracelets

It turned out to be a fairly creative weekend for me. I got the first sleeve finished on the baby cardigan, and some beading done too. I also got the strawberry patch weeded. Considering how hot it's been, that is quite an accomplishment for me. I did get a slight overdose of sun which resulted in a nasty headache last night. Should have worn my hat while weeding. I seem to be okay today.

First pic, our new deck. I spent quite a bit of time out on it over the weekend, cooling off in the shade of the umbrella. It looks so pretty with the flowers blooming in the planter boxes. We're really pleased with how it's turned out.

First weekend creation. I did a bit of experimenting with tubular netting. Came up with this bracelet doing a 2-bead netting rather than 3-bead. It has a small bit of stretch to it, which I really like. I used two colors. A Japanese matte pink size 11 with silver lining, and some size 10 seed mix I got at Michaels for cheap that are sort of a pearlized transparent white lined with bright colors. I used a silver toggle for the clasp.

I like the pink one so much I decided to make a black and gold one. These are Japanese black opaque and silver lined light topaz seeds. You'll notice the stitch makes a spiral pattern. Kind of neat. I'm wondering if there's a way I could create other types of color patterns with this, besides a spiral. I will have do play around with it a bit.

Some months back I'd done a cabochon with branch fringe around it. After it was done I didn't quite know what I wanted to do with it. I knew I wanted a necklace, but what kind? I was surfing around on Rubysbeadwork.com and found an interesting necklace she'd made using a donut and a spiral rope. She'd put a couple peyote rings on the back of the donut so you could thread the rope through them and have a really cool necklace. It's a very clever idea. I decided I could do that to my cab. It took awhile for me to get around to it, though. It's finally done. I made a 45 inch lariat using the Spiral Rope stitch. The rope has a core of silver lined green size 11 Japanese seeds, and the outer spiral is a soup mix I made myself with several kinds of size 11 purple seeds. I really love the way it turned out. Click on the pictures to see larger versions.

Fun With a Purple Cab Necklace

A view of the back side of the cab.

The rope and cab separated. I can wear the rope knotted or cabbed. I like versatility.

Have a great day folks.


Fourty Three Minutes

That's how long the first load took to dry in my new dryer. How sublime. So much better than 90 minutes to two hours. I am happy happy happy.

It's another scorcher today. Sweet Hubby left this morning to ride the Coeur d'Alene Bike Trail for 30 miles or so. Personally, when it's hot I'd rather find ways to get cooler, not hotter. But that's my hubby. He loves riding his bike.

While he's gone, Ruth is sleeping in, so I gave myself a luxury. I watched the 2004 movie of Andrew Loyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera musical.

This movie has probably the best beginning of a movie I've ever seen. We start with a black and white movie. People are coming to an old run down theater to attend the auctioning off of old stuff. At one point, they present to the bidders the old chandelier that used to hang in the center of the theater. When they yank the cover off the chandelier, the organ starts out with a powerful piece of music, and color sweeps into the theater along with the music as if to blow away all the detritus and decay and everything becomes bright, shiny, and fantastic. It sends chills and thrills up and down my body every time I watch it.

The music is so heavenly. I love the voices of Gerard Butler (the Phantom) and Emmy Rossum (Christine). They are amazing talents. Gerard Butler has awesome voice control. Such passion in his voice. He can sing the highest note so lovingly and so softly you can hardly hear it, and then suddenly belt it out like nobody's business full of rage and anger. Emmy's voice is what I would expect an angels voice to sound like. Clear and sweet as honey, it slides soothingly over the eardrums. I like to just sit and close my eyes as I listen to these singers perform. It brings me the most wonderful peace. Of all the Phantom movies out there, this one is the best.

Last night we went out to dinner with Sarah and Frank. They were dying for us to go to the Bonsai Bistro in downtown Coeur d'Alene. I have to say, it is one of the nicest places to eat I've been to in a long long time. They feature scrumptious Asian style food, served family style. I had the Loin of Lamb-tender slices of seared lamb with a ginger, rice wine, and garlic sauce and green beads and such. It was pure heaven. We also had Mongolian Beef, Honey Glazed Chicken, Thai Peanut Chicken, a Lamb salad with a lime dressing, rice, and garlic noodles. Everything was cooked to perfection. Even the veggies!. Not overdone and soft, but nice and crispy, the way they should be. My taste buds danced a jig the whole time.

The atmosphere was wonderful too. They had a pool with koi fish in it, and there even was a little island in the middle with a few small tables on it. It was very pleasant and peaceful.

After that we took a walk in the cool of the evening on the Coeur d'Alene dock. Then Sarah insisted we go to Dockside (a restaurant in the Coeur d'Alene Resort) and share a banana split, also known as Monkey Business on the menu. Sarah ordered one, with 5 spoons. I had my doubts one banana split would be enough for 5 of us, but I was wrong. It was HUGE! The dish itself was over a foot long. Two sliced bananas smothered in fudge, strawberry, and vanilla ice cream, real whipped cream, thick gooey chocolate sauce, real strawberries, shaved bits of toasted almonds, and a large coconut macaroon cookie (which I divided into 5 slices so we all could have some). Oh yes, and topped with 2 cherries. Mmmmm..... was it ever tasty. I'd forgotten how good a banana split is.

Have a good weekend.


Fridays Feast 7/6/07

The chef at Fridays Feast is away this week, so I did an older one from before when I started doing them. (Does that make sense?)

When you were a child, which crayon color was your favorite?
Magenta-- I just liked the sound of the name, and the color is pretty too (magenta is not a color choice for fonts here on blogger-sigh).

On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being highest), how likely would you be to change jobs if it required you to move?
1 -- It took us 10 years to get home. There's no way we're leaving again.

Take all the numbers in your birthday and your phone number and add them up, one by one. What’s the total?
83 Does this mean something???

Main Course
Have you ever “re-gifted” anything? If so, what was it and who did you pass it on to?
Yes, I have re-gifted a few times. I don't like to waste gifts, and I don't return gifts to stores.

The last time was a couple Christmas's ago someone gave me an early present (in other words, I didn't have to wait until Christmas day to open it). It turned out to be one of those little gift assortments of lotions and bath oils and stuff. It was a brand I'm allergic to. My sister-in-law loves this kind of stuff, so rather than chuck it, I repackaged it and gave it to her for that same Christmas. She loved it. My packaging was nicer too.

Name something you need from the store.
Mayonnaise. I used most of what we had on the pasta salad I made last Wednesday.

My new dryer comes around lunch time today. I'm so excited!

Have a great day.


Baked Idaho Anyone?

My goodness but it's hot here today!!!! 100 degrees F. I saw that it was 82 degrees at 8 this morning, so I knew it was gonna be a scorcher. I've had the air conditioner on ever since.

It was hot yesterday too. About 91 degrees here. It's times like these that I find myself thinking:
"If there's a heaven, the man who invented the air conditioner deserves to be there."

I hope he at least got rich for his efforts.

I don't go out when it's this hot, nor do I do much knitting. I wilt like lettuce, so I've been 'playing'. I've got laundry to do, but decided to wait for the new dryer.

So, first thing I did was upload camping trip pictures to the Flickr Album. You'll find them in the set labeled "Indian Creek Camping".

Yesterday I got a free download of BeadCreator Pro, a bead pattern drawing program. It's an older version than what's on the market now, which is probably why they're giving it away free. A marketing ploy is what you'd call it. Get the old version, fall in love with it, then have to buy the upgrade. Anyway, I've been playing with it a bit. It's complicated, as bead design programs go-so I'm not sure if I like it. But eventually I'll get it figured out. I've created a new bead knitting pattern and maybe a bead crochet rope pattern. I won't know for sure if I know what I'm doing or not until I've actually tried making the rope.

This heat wave will continue for a few more days, then it's supposed to cool down a bit. We have entered the Dog Days of Summer. I guess I should enjoy it while I can cos winter is not far away now.

Have a good one.


Changes are Afoot

First of all:


I have two internet photo albums. I've got the one on Picassa for this blog (which is set Private so no one else can see it) and I've had my Yahoo photo album, which is public for all to see. Yahoo owns and operates both Yahoo Photos and Flickr. They've decided to close Yahoo Photos and concentrate just on Flickr, so all my Yahoo photos have been moved over to Flickr. It works quite differently than what I'm used to. Just figuring out what they mean by Collections and Sets was enough to make my hair curl, but I'll get it eventually. In all honesty, I liked Yahoo Photos better. It was a lot easier to organize my photos, and there were lots of little cool things that just aren't on Flickr. Oh well, maybe in time they'll add them in.

In the meantime, for those of you who like to check out my album, here's the new location.


This is the reason I have not put up my camping photos yet. Transfering took time. I will be doing it this week though. Gotta share with the family that wasn't there because later this month we're havin' a huge family camp out up that way. We've rented the Lions Head group camp on the east side of Priest Lake. So far, there's 42 on the 'coming' list. I would like to give them a preview of what's ahead.

Yesterday, at bead group, I worked on a pair of dream catcher earrings that needed finishing until I ran out of beads (I have more in the stash, but they weren't with me), then I attempted to start a Cellini spiral, but my idea wasn't working. I have delicas in pale pink, size 11 medium pink silver lined matte, and 4mm druks in a dark a/b fuschia. I need something between the 11's and the 4mm. Maybe some 8's, or 10 triangles would be neat, but it has to be a medium to light sort of pink. I will have to dig in the stash and see what I can find.

Now, the BIG news. I went and bought a new dryer yesterday afternoon. My fancy schmancy computer controlled dryer of 5 years old (maybe 6) just got to be too much hassle. I don't know if I mentioned this, but last winter the control board on it went bad. It was gonna cost $468 for a new board (not counting the labor charges), so I said no. The repairman told me it would work fine for years if I used the timed settings. Just no more automatic computerized control anymore. He also told me he'd never buy one of these computerized dryers cos he has to repair them more than any other.

Over the last 2 weeks, the timed settings have ceased to function properly. It's taking up to 2 hours to dry a load! Maybe the moisture sensor is going belly up, or the blower isn't blowing right cos it gets nice and warm inside. I used to be able to do a full load of jeans and towels in 45 minutes. Sweet hubby suggested I call the repair man. AUGHHHH!!! Forget it! That just brings back the wretched $468 control board issue.

Last week I was in Sears for a bit and looked at the dryers. I told the sales person, Georgia, my sob story. She was quite surprised cos Kenmore Elite usually is a good product. I think I just got a lemon on this one. Cos my matching washer works like a dream. Anyway, I explained I did not want any computer controlled crap. She showed me the perfect dryer. Not only did it have the features I wanted, and not have the features I don't want, it was ON SALE! For $415, regular $509, plus FREE delivery. A brand new dryer with all I want for less than it would cost to fix my current dryer? YES!

However, I do not make large purchases like this without consulting Sweet Hubby first. He was kind of for it, but kind of not. We discussed it, but a decision was not made. Yesterday, after he left for work, I thought about it. The sale was ending that day. It was now or never. I have laundry to do. The thought of waiting 2 hours for each load to dry was oppressive. I checked the bank account for it's contents. There's money there! I decided I was gonna go buy it, and he can just live with that. So, I did. It will be delivered on Friday. I've heard it said it's easier to get forgiveness than permission.

It's white. My washer is Almond. Apparently they aren't doing Almond now. I want a dryer that works right. It could be Avocado Green for all I care.

I started the first sleeve of the baby sweater. Hope to make more progress on it today.

Have a great day.


The Relative Visits

It's true, the rumor that is. My cousin Jerry, from Detroit Michigan, did stop in for a visit on his way to Vancouver, British Columbia. He called yesterday afternoon to let me know when he'd be here. I haven't been so nervous in ages. This was the first of my relatives to come visit me at my home since we moved to Idaho. I hardly know him. Why is he visiting me? What was I going to talk about? Should I serve food? Drink? Will he be offended by my cluttered house? What if the dogs bite him? What if......??!!

My anxiety disorder reared it's ugly head. By this morning I was pacing the floor and feeling sick. Ruth, my darling daughter, told me not to worry, everything would be okay. I'm a nice person. Just be myself.

He arrived late this morning, with his wife Sharon. I think the last time I saw Sharon was when I was a teenager, maybe my early 20's. We have all aged I'm afraid. I wouldn't have recognized her if my life had depended on it. Jerry, though, looked the same, except the dark brown hair is now kind of on the Grey side.

We had a nice visit. The dogs did not bite anyone. In fact, the opposite. Tommy practically fell in love with Sharon. He was all over her lap. We talked a bit about Jerry's trip (they're traveling all over the US for 4 weeks, including a 4 day cruise to Alaska), about Idaho, and stuff. I took them on a little tour of the Parkarosa (so they could see 'the spread'), and then they left. It was short, but sweet, and I enjoyed it. What a surprise.

I think Jerry stopped here to see me for my Dad. They love him dearly. That made me feel good. I'm so far away from him. It's nice to now his family is concerned for his welfare.

As for the clutter of my house, it was pretty clear I'm into 'crafts'. Beading and knitting projects litter my house, that's just the way it is. They asked about it, I told them the truth. I'm obsessed with knitting and beading. We all laughed. I don't put my stuff away cos I don't want to. I like my projects on hand at all times, so they are. I learned a long time ago that I will never be one of those neat orderly housewives that keeps her home looking like a showcase for Beautiful Home magazine. My house isn't dirty, but it is lived in. Hubby and I both like it that way.

I finished the second front piece of the baby sweater. Now, I start the sleeves.

Have a great day.


My First Bead Crochet Rope

Here it is, my first bead crochet rope. Taa daa....

I used dark purple silver lined Czech size 11 rocailles, clear silver lined Czech rocailles, and some clear lavender lined Mill Hill seeds I'd brought home from the shop. It's a 6 bead rope, 40 inches long not including the branch fringe. There's purple iris 10 mm pressed glass fluted round beads between the fringe and the rope. They don't show up real well in the photo.

The necklace is draped over a piece of slate and a chunk of really beautiful north Idaho granite from my daughters stash (she stashes rocks, I stash yarn-heh heh).

Went to the bead show with Sarah. It was so much fun, I think cos she was with me, rather than me being alone. We both found wonderful treasures to bring home. There were some awesome lampwork beads that neither of us could live without. That's were I spent the most money, but they were so worth it. This lady does outstanding work.

There was a booth loaded with 16 inch strands of stone in every shape size and variety, all for 8 bucks a strand. I loaded up on some jaspers I'd not seen before. One is green and sort of camo looking (I can't remember the name of it), I got some Silver something-it's cream with silver, grey, pink, and brown inclusions. I got some 4mm cubes made of something that's mostly white with pale lavendar and green in it, and a beautiful strand of 12mm squares of snowflake jasper. This is the first time I've bought a bunch of stones. I'm mostly a glass beader. But it's time to break into the more expensive stuff I think.

Sarah really splurged. She bought a strand of watermelon tourmaline cut into faceted rondelles. Very sparkly, very expensive. But she is very happy.

Charo and Trishia's baby shower was so much fun. I found out Trishia is having a girl, Charo is having a boy. I bought stuff for Trishia, mostly cos there was no way I could do 2 sweaters at once right now. She loved what I got her.

For Charo, I bought a cute little toy, and took a pic of what I had done on the sweater and put those in a gift bag, with a card explaining the pic. She thought it was very funny, and loved the picture so I think she'll like the sweater. Here's the pic I gave her.

I'm having a lot of fun with this pattern. Surprisingly, I've found it very easy to memorize, so I haven't had to refer to the book for every row. Not even for the cables on the center front. Here's a close up of that front.

The yarn has been surprisingly nice to work with. I'm using Caron's Simply Soft. It sort of feels like cotton, but has all the wonderful elasticity I like in acrylics and wools. It has a nice sheen to it too, like mercerized cotton. Don't know how it'll wash up yet.

Something else I'm trying is a new way to make cables-using NO cable needle. I found this tutorial while surfing around one day. I put a link to it here on the blog in the side bar, but hadn't really tried it yet. I have to say, I LOVE IT! It's easy. It works beautifully! I'm sold. No more cable needles for me. Give it a try.

Knitting Cables Without a Cable Needle by Grumperina

Last but not least, my Opal came. On Fathers Day weekend I was surfing Ebay. I like to look at what people are selling in the way of Opal sock yarn. In the past I've bought some wonderful colors not available in the US. A gal in Germany was offering a deal I couldn't refuse. 7 skeins of Opal in the Petticoat colorway for what worked out to be 12 bucks a skein (it's usually 18 bucks here). That included shipping. She took Paypal.

I've not ordered yarns from overseas before, but my mother-in-law did. She got beautiful wools from Greece all the time and was always really happy with her orders. So, I gave it a try. The yarn arrived yesterday-which considering where it came from I found remarkably fast. I am SO pleased with it. It's a little different than the US Petticoat, which is okay by me. Unfortunately, the seller doesn't have an Ebay store. Just auction/buy it now stuff. So I can't put a link to her. But to find her just search for seller silkandmore.

When I get the Monkey Socks done, I think I'll try the Jaywalker with one of these.

Rumor has it my cousin Jerry from Detroit, MI is stopping by for a visit today or tomorrow. He and his wife are driving to Vancouver to board an Alaskan cruise ship? I haven't seen Jerry in years and years and years. I find it ironic, though, that the first family member to visit me since moving to Idaho should be one I'm not close to. My father and sisters have never seen my home. I doubt they ever will. This makes me really sad if I think about it, so I won't. Anyway, I guess I better clean house a bit just in case he does show up.

Have a great day everybody.