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


Aurora Borealis in Green

I am in Christmas ornament mode. At this time of year I get the strong urge to create something for the soon to come Christmas tree. I love Christmas trees. For most of my life I wasn't allowed to celebrate Christmas, or even admit to thinking the trees are pretty, because I grew up in a religious cult that was very anti-Christmas. In 1997 Sweet Hubby and I found the courage to leave it. Now I can have all the Christmas trees I want. I get very creative each year. Sometimes I choose a color theme (like purple, or blue), or maybe a subject theme. There was the year I knitted yards and yards of furry sparkly 'garland' with Novelty yarns. This year I'm going for good ol' Multicolor.

Here's the Aurora Borealis ornament cover I've been working on, all done. Believe me, the picture does not do justice to the sparkling beauty of it. (Click on the pic to enlarge.)

The pattern for this little gem can be found in Karen DeSousa's book Accent On: Celestial Series. I made some substitutions. First of all, instead of the Czech fire polished crystals, I used Chinese faceted round crystals. I substituted large sized bi-cones for the tear drops, and instead of using 12mm bugles, I used size 3's, and I substituted the long 30mm bugles with two size-3 bugles with a seed bead between them. I wanted to make this cover completely with beads that can be bought at Bead It so the boss could put it on display and not have to answer the "Where did she get that?" questions. I'm quite pleased with it.

I have finally made it past the 2 unruly rows in the swim suit cover. I've split for the placket and am on my way to the armhole shaping. The directions say to knit both sides at once, but I never do that because invariably I get messed up and make a mess. So I do one side at a time and take copious notes so they'll match.

Today I am going to do something totally crazy. I have made arrangements to meet a fellow knitting blogger in person. Marguerite, from Michigan, author of the Stitches of Violet blog, is coming to my area to visit family, so we're going to meet for lunch today. I admit I'm a little nervous, mostly cos as a rule I'm a very shy person. But I'm also very excited. We've been reading each others blogs for several months now and it will be fun to put a face to her.

Have a great day.


Happy Halloween!


Hangin' In the Bed

He has a long line of stitches along his abdomen, but they don't seem to be bothering him. Best of all NO DRAIN TUBES. I was expecting at least a couple, but as it turns out, they aren't a good thing in this case. Hurray! Doin' the Happy Dance!

Morgan is looking so good. His eyes are clearer. I'm convinced he must have been in pain before the surgery but wasn't complaining cos it was in his eyes. He's hangin' out in his favorite bed baggin' z's right now. So nice to have him home.

So, I managed to get the netted cap done on the Aurora Borealis. What an intense project! But it is going to be so gorgeous when it's done. I'm using shades of green and topaz. I'm taking it to Bead Group today to work on the fringe. I am going to make a substitution for the 30mm bugles and use 2 or 3 size 3 bugles in their place. I have a motive for doing this. I'm going to ask to display this in Bead It. I'm trying to use only beads that can be bought in her shop. All the crystals I've used are the Chinese faceted round ones she carries. I've discovered I really really like these crystals. They are very sparkley.

On the knitting front. I knit back those two rows I'd tinked on the swim suit cover, only to discover I'd knit the same mistake again. So I've had to tink them back again. I think a small rodent sacrifice to the knitting gods is in order. I must have a chat with the cats.

Off to Bead Group. Have a great day.


Morgan's Coming Home Today

Morgan had his surgery Saturday in the late morning. We got good news when the phone rang. The tumor was on his spleen, so they were able to remove it, along with the spleen of course. They also found a bit in the fatty tissue near the spleen and were able to remove that successfully too. He should recover completely.

I went to visit him Saturday evening. Oh, he looked so sad and miserable. They had him on pain killers and some sedative to keep him calm, and he has a big bandage completely around his middle. Poor little guy. I gave him kisses and ear skritches and told him we miss him at home and to be a good boy.

Sunday I could not go visit him because the hospital is closed. But the nurse who takes care of the animals on that day called to let me know how he was doing. Her words, and I quote, "He's doing very well." Sweeter words I have not heard in a long time. He actually went for a little walk, and ate his breakfast with a hearty appetite. I will be able to bring him home today.

On the knitting front, I've actually gone backward. We went to my brother-in-laws house for dinner and cards Saturday evening. I took the swim suit cover with me. I knit one row, then discovered I had a mistake 2 rows down. Had to tink it back. That's where it stands at this moment.

On the beading front, Sarah (and Frank) came over for some beading fun Saturday (Frank watched DVD's with Sweet Hubby and read a novel-at the same time.) around lunch time. I dug out the magazine I had in my stash with the Ogalala lace pattern in it. I was going to start the Aurora Borealis ornament cover from Karen DeSousa's Celestial Series book.

We set up on the dining room table and got about 10 minutes into things only to discover neither of us had all we needed for the intended projects. I was one strand short on the light topaz 4mm crystals I needed (I KNOW I bought 2 strands-so what's the deal?) and she needed one additional item for her lace. There was only one thing to do. Dash down to Bead It and get what we needed. I took the cell phone. Sweet Hubby promised to call me if he heard about Morgan.

We dashed home after acquiring what we needed, and got started. We had a good time, though, in all honesty, more talking went on than beading. I did get the crystal belt done on my ornament, and Sarah got a good start on her lace.

Last night I worked some more on the ornament cover. I got most of the netted cap done, only to discover I've done the whole cap wrong. Arrrghhh...... some times you just don't got it.

Today I'm picking up Morgan, then redoing that cap.

One more thing. My Mystery Socks are being featured on Fearless Fibers Yarn blog as the Monday finished object. Pop over and have a look.

Have a good day.


This Sucks!

Yesterday I took Morgan in for another blood test. He's been on Prednisone for 6 weeks, in hopes his immunity system will stop attacking his red blood cells and start behaving.

However, there's been these little things that have been bothering me the last couple weeks. For one thing, he's losing weight, even though he's eating twice as much as he did before the meds. Pred usually causes weight gain.

The last few days Morgan has been reluctant to jump up on the bed. When he does, half the time he's not quite making it. Anyone who has Iggies knows they are quite the jumpers. Some are even known for jumping up on kitchen counters to steal Thanksgiving turkeys. We call this counter surfing. Tommy can jump over the couch, and does so often (sigh). So Morgan not making it on the bed is a real issue.

Thirdly, he isn't sleeping well. Iggies sleep at least 2/3rds of the day away, like cats. Morgan is barely sleeping at all. And he paces a lot. He can't seem to just relax and hang like he usually does. The pacing is driving me crazy.

I brought these up to Dr. Meyer. I like Dr. Meyer because he listens. He became concerned too. Especially about the loss in weight. So, after some poking and prodding he asked if he could do an x-ray because something didn't feel quite right in Morgans abdomen. I said go for it.

The news is not good, but at least we finally know what is causing his immune system to wonk out. Morgan has a fairly large tumor in his abdomen-about the size of a Kiwi fruit. It's attached to one of his internal organs. We can't tell specifically which one, but there's a fairly good chance it could be his spleen. Don't know if it's benign or malignant (I hate the sound of those two words. Don't you? They just have a nasty sound to them.) The only way to know for sure is exploratory surgery.

If the tumor is attached to Morgans spleen, it can be removed along with tumor and he will probably recover. If it's attached to something else, he's toast.

Life is so unfair. He SO doesn't deserve this. Morgan is the most well behaved little guy. Sweet, affectionate, loyal, loving. Especially loving. This really sucks.

I'm gonna go have a good cry now.


ETA: Noon

Took Morgan to the vet today. He is having his surgery as I write this. Keeping my fingers crossed while I wait for the phone to ring.

Sarah is coming over. She wants to learn how to do Ogalala lace (a beading technique). I searched the magazine stash and found the pattern. It will keep my mind busy.


ETA: 3:50 pm

Just heard from Dr. Meyer. The surgery went very well. The tumor was in his spleen so they were able to remove it all. I've asked them to send it to the lab and have it tested for malignancy, just so I know. They want to keep him there for the rest of the weekend. I will be going to visit him in just a bit.

I'm so relieved he's going to be okay.

Have a good day.


Fridays Feast 10/26/07

I have finished knitting the second Buccaneer's sock. I just need to weave in the ends. Hurray! I can't believe I did it. I knit 3 socks in one month. Of course, I haven't knit on anything else.

Before I go weave those ends in, it's time for a Friday's Feast.

Name a great website you would recommend to others.

If you're just looking for a good read, I'd say Behind the Counter. It's a blog written by a gal who works in the customer service department of a Walmart in Florida. It's very humorous, but scary at the same time.

If you're a knitter looking for a good read, The Yarn Harlot is great! A blog written by author Stephanie Pearl-McPhee about her adventures in knitting and the knitting world.

On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 as highest), how often do you dream at night?

9 - in vivid color.

Did you have a pet as a child? If so, what kind and what was its name?

A pet? I had dozens of pets! I had dogs, cats, ducks, chickens, mice, guinea pigs, gerbils, rabbits, (we won't talk about my slug farm), lizards, snakes, bugs, salamanders, fish...... My most favorite and treasured pet is Sheba, a German Shepard/White Samoyed mix. She was the most wonderful dog a person could have. I got her when she was 2 years old and I was 9, and I had her for 11 glorious years until she died of cancer. I still miss her.

Main Course
If you had the chance to star in a commercial, what would you choose to advertise?


What is your favorite kind of hard candy?

Hard caramels, like Werthers.

Have a great day! Now, where is my tapestry needle......


Some Earrings and Iggy Love

Yesterday's weather was awesome. It was so warm I could wear flip flops. I sat out on the deck, in the sun, working on the second Buccaneer sock. I tried knitting the fairisle part with a size larger needle and I am quite pleased with the results. Now I really wish I'd done that on the first sock. I've got the sock done all the way to the first few rows of the gusset. I'd have been further along but between the fairisle and the heel, I'd so messed up 15 rows that I frogged and reknit them. Sometimes plain ol' stockinette stitch can be the hardest stitch in the world to do.

Around 3pm I decided to take the boys for a walk on the Parkarosa. We did about 1.5 miles. Morgan and I walked. Tommy ran the whole way. He'd run ahead, then run back, then ahead, then back--all the way along. When we got back to the house, I took his leash off and he raced around the yard several times at top speed. He was such a happy boy! Oh if only I could have just a small percentage of his energy.

I have made three pairs of earrings. First is the Santa Clause in Brick Stitch. I made these for a class I was asked to teach. I made the pattern up myself, and it has been posted on my Pattern page. Feel free to hop over and print it out.

These are tubular peyote earrings. Another idea developed for a class. One that has yet to take place.

These are another rendition of Pamela Welborn's Alternative Dream Catcher earrings. I did them in metallic pink and silver lined crystal size 15's. They are incredibly delicate. I used DMC silver metallic embroidery floss for the thread.

Now for some Iggy love. Morgan says:

"Okay Mom, I know you've got treats in your pocket."

Tommy is daydreaming in the sun.

Morgan was right. I did have treats in my pocket. To get them, they had to pose for this pic. They did an excellent job of it too.

I am hoping to finish the second sock tonight. If I do, there is a way to fix the fairisle in the first sock without unraveling the whole thing. I'll write more about that when I get to doing it.

It's another sunny day today. But not warm. Definitely not warm. It's amazing the way the weather changes.

Have a great day.


Two Down, One to Go

I finished the first Buccaneer's Booty sock last night. HURRAY! Pics to follow when I get the second one done.

Unfortunately, the official rules of the SAM4KAL do, indeed, state that the socks in a pair have to be a matched set. Rats! Rats! Rats! I will have to burn some midnight oil if I want to get that 'O' next to my name--which I DO! I've cast on the second sock and got the cuff ribbing done last night.

Had a great time at Bead Group yesterday. I made another Sidewinder bracelet. I used the matte silver lined tan beads again, but this time with Garnet Red dyed pearls. I put a copper toggle clasp on it. Oh, it is SO purty. I dropped it off at Bead It on my way home. I'm going to teach a class on it next month, so I left it there so people can oggle it. I'll try to remember to take my camera next week so I can get a photo of it.

I also taught one of the gals at group how to do her own Sidewinder bracelet. It is so much fun sharing my skills with other people. Doing my part to beautify the world.

I found the web site for the Sidewinder bracelet. I used www.Archives.org to find it. It's a handy device for finding stuff that 'isn't there' anymore.

The weather yesterday was AWESOME! It was sunny, 70 degrees, sparkling blue skies. I enjoyed it. It's supposed to be that way today too, so I'm gonna knit outside on the deck. Soak up those sun rays while I can!

Have a great day.


Stash Enhancement - Woot!

What a great weekend I had. Friday evening Sarah and Frank came over for dinner. We talked a lot and played the Munchkin game after dinner. It was very enjoyable, though I still don't 'get' the game. I've come to the conclusion that children are much more fun when they're all grown up cos then you can become friends. I consider Sarah one of my best friends. We have such a good time together.

On Saturday I worked on the Buccaneer's Booty sock. I've made some good progress. I might actually get it done before the end of the month. I've made a change to the pattern. Rather than using red for the body of the sock, I've used black. I'm using the red for the heels and toes. I didn't have enough for two socks worth of leg and foot. I like it this way.

I have learned something about fairisle. Actually, I should say I've RElearned it because it's something I forgot. Fairisle doesn't have very much stretch. It's just a little bit tight going over my heel when I put it on. You need to keep your tension loose in the strands across the back. I would suggest you knit the fairisle parts of socks with a size larger needle too. For instance, in this sock I am using size 2 needles. I wish when I got to the skull pattern I'd changed to size 3, then back to size 2 at the next stripe. I am going to do it for the second sock. I'm not entering these in the fair, and the recipient really won't notice the difference, except one will be a bit easier to put on than the other.

On Sunday Sarah and I went to a bead show for some Stash Enhancement. Bead Stampede was at the Spokane fair grounds. It's not so much a show as it's a market with vendors from out of town, as well as local bead shops. There were so many cool things there. It was hard to decide what to get. I got thoroughly inspired by some of the finished items on display too. Here are some glass beads I picked up. Admittedly, they were not cheap. But they're different from anything I can get around here.

One of the vendors was selling really nice strands of stone and gem beads. If you bought $100 worth, you got it for half price, or $50. Sarah and I went halfies on some stone. We got some round Fire Agate, disc shaped green beads with bits of red in them (I don't remember the name of the stone), some Blue Goldstone carved in the shape of leaves, and some round Appletite (the aqua blue)

Pig & Panda Inc. was there. I took advantage of the opportunity to pick up one of their Sophea lampwork focal flower beads. This bead is about 2 inches long. The hole is vertical. It's my favorite color too. I have specific plans for this bead.

After the bead show we went to TGI Fridays for a late lunch. I had such a great time with Sarah. She's a lot of fun to go places with.

In the evening we ended up going to Frank and Sarah's for dinner. They made White Chili. It was SO good. We played Michigan Rummy afterwards. It's one of my favorite card games. Sweet Hubby managed to win, though we're still scratchin' our heads as to how he managed it because he was losing right up until the last hand.

This morning I opted to skip walking with C and J. Morgan was really restless last night, so I didn't get much sleep. I decided to take a morning nap, then bead some. While I was beading the UPS truck arrived with more Stash Enhancement. My Opal solids sock yarn order arrived from Little Knits. Such yummy colors!

I got the bracelet done I was working on today. I can not show the whole thing because it is the second bracelet for the bracelet swap. I used deep purple transparent size 15 seed beads and 4mm silver dyed pearls. I love the silver clasp on it. It is so dainty. I will post the whole photo after my partner has received it.

Have a peaceful evening.


Darn That Yarn!

I tried to work on the second Garter Rib sock yesterday. I actually took it with me when I went to lunch with the girls and worked on it at the restaurant, but last night I was forced to give it up in frustration. Besides being 1.5 ounces short, the last half of that skein is a disgusting mess. Clearly, it had to come that way from the factory because the first sock, which I knit from the center of the skein, went beautifully.

Last night I kept running into cuts (where the two ends were not knotted together) and knots in the yarn, which wouldn't be so bad cos I know how to handle that kind of thing, but the problem was the cuts and knots were messing up the pattern. The first sock knit up in a pattern of stripes that go beige, brown, blue-in that order from the top down. The sections of yarn coming out last night were not knitting up that way. So, after coming to the third wrong colored stripe, I had a bit of a fit and ripped the whole thing out in frustration, logged onto the web, and ordered another ball of yarn. (I missed who done it on CSI because of that-stupid yarn.) I will have to take my chances on dye lot.

It's going to take some time for the order to get here. In the meantime, October is ticking away and I still want an O next to my name in the knit along. What's a girl to do? I started another pair. With any luck, I will get the first one done in time. No where in the rules does it say the pair has to match.

So, after doing some digging, and some unraveling because two of the colors I want to use were knit into a bit of sock that I started a few years ago then decided I didn't want to make after all so stuffed them at the bottom of one of my big knitting bags, I started the Buccaneer's Booty Socks. I discovered this free pattern (click on the pic to go to it), written by Anne Kuo Lukito, a couple months ago with great happiness and glee because I have a certain loved one who will absolutely adore them. They shall be a Christmas gift for her. This will be an incredible challenge for me. I've never knit a pair of socks where I changed colors (as in stripes), nor have I knit a pair of socks with fairisle. In fact, I haven't knit anything in fairisle in years. I'm more of a cables and lace kind of girl, or intarsia. I do love a good intarsia pattern.

I am going to make some changes because I do not have enough red to do the main body of two socks. So, I am going to make the body black and the heels and toes will be red. I'm using a much brighter red too.

I find myself stuffed full of questions about knitting fairisle socks. Like how to deal with the ends that will need weaving, where to start the heel, as in are the jogs in the stitch pattern centered at the back, or on the side somewhere, etc, etc? I will have to do some research in my books and on the Web. That's one of the things I enjoy about knitting. Even though I've been doing it all my life, there's still a LOT for me to learn.

If you have any advice on this subject PLEASE post it in a comment. I could really use the help.

This evening Frank and Sarah are coming over for dinner. I've got a boneless leg of lamb hanging out in the freezer that needs to be eaten (actually, I took it out last night to thaw). I love roast lamb. I don't get it very often because it's so darn expensive. So, if there's a sale (usually around Passover/Easter time) I will buy a couple and toss them in the freezer for later enjoyment.

I've asked Sarah to bring that evil Munchkins game so I can give it another try. We also have the new Transformers dvd to watch. So it will be an evening of fun.

Have a great day.


A Sidewinder Day

So, I'm sitting there, looking at the Raspberry bracelet, which I posted about yesterday, and thinking about the recipient of this bracelet. I know that it is not appropriate for that particular person. There's NO way she'll wear it. Gail has never been a froo froo flowery kind of gal. She's very classic and refined in the way she dresses. I decided to dump the Raspberry idea and make her something I'm SURE she would wear.

Immediately I thought of the Sidewinder Bracelet pattern. It's a pattern that I found on the internet 4 years ago. Unfortunately, that web site is no longer there. I'm so so so glad I thought to print the pattern out and put it in my files. It's saved me some self recrimination.

I dug in the stash and found some leftover 4mm freshwater pearls that have been dyed a sort of taupe/gold color. I have some Japanese size 11 silver lined matte tan ab beads that go great with the pearls. The result? Definitely, without a doubt, most certainly something Gail will wear.

Yes, I took the magnetic clasp off the Raspberry bracelet and put it on this one. I also attached a piece of safety chain. Ha ha! That was a funny one. The chain kept glomming itself to the clasp in a most annoying way. Safety chain plus magnetic clasp does not work. So I made a beaded safety chain instead.

I did the laundry, vacuumed, cleaned up the sun room, and actually managed to add a couple inches to the swim suit cover too. I was screaming hot yesterday, in a productive kind of way. Not in a hot flash kind of way--though I do get those on occasion too.

I'm ready for lunch with the girl friends. I'll let y'all know how Gail liked the gift.

Have a great day.


ETA 2:15pm

Just got back from lunch with the girlfriends. Gail LOVED LOVED LOVED the bracelet. Whew! I'm so glad I changed my mind on that one. We had lunch at Azteca, which is in the big new Riverstone complex with the multiple screen movie theater. Someone let slip that it was Gail's birthday, so the staff came to the table with a funny sombrero, a Mexican style dessert, and we all sang happy birthday. Gail said she was embarrassed. But I'm sure she was secretly pleased. We all had a great time. The food was really good too!

I can remember when there was hardly any place around Coeur d'Alene that was worth eating at. I think Sizzler was pretty much the best place. Sizzler has long since gone out of business, and now we've got all kinds of wonderful eating spots.

The weather today is very Autumnish. Cold, dark, rainy, windy. The air is filled with colorful leaves blowing all over the place. The trees are getting much more bare looking. Winter is just around the corner.

Have a great afternoon.


I Think I've Been Short Yarned

On my way to bead group, yesterday, I stopped at the post office and asked Roger to weigh the Garter Rib sock and the left overs of the skein. A person can do those kinds of things in a small town post office. I wouldn't try it in a larger city though. They'd probably get irritated.

Anyway, Roger weighed the sock and said it's .9 ounces. The skein weighs 1.1 ounces. He then declared "You have enough." What I found interesting was that I don't think it's the first time someone has asked him to do that. I thanked him profusely for his help while the customer behind me laughed her head off. She thought the whole thing was hilarious. Here's the first sock. Isn't it purty?

I've cast on the second sock. However, a question comes to mind. 1.1 oz + .9 oz = 2 oz. This is supposed to be a 3.5 oz skein. Where is the missing 1.5 ounces??? I'm seriously suspicious. I think I've been short yarned. I've been knitting from the center (after all, that's the whole point with pull skeins, right?) and I've been quite frustrated with how much the inside is a tangled mess. Huge globs of knots have had to be undone while working on these socks. This just adds evidence to the possibility of having a short yarned skein. Sweet hubby said "What difference does it make if you've got enough for the second sock?" I paid close to 20 bucks for 3.5 ounces. Not 2. It's the principle of the thing. Sigh...I don't want to think about this anymore.

On to more positive things. At bead group I finished a Biva Nepal style bracelet. I call this the Raspberry bracelet. I started it last spring, but got side tracked. Decided to finish it yesterday because I've got a friend with a birthday coming up tomorrow. I'm going to give this to her. I think I'll pop a little piece of silver safety chain on it first though. There's a magnetic clasp on this bracelet. They tend to come apart if snagged on anything. I don't want my friend to lose her bracelet because of that.

This is the polymer clay button I made for the swap bracelet. Not my best work, but it is the best I could do. (I've still got a LOT to learn about working with polymer clay.) I don't know how to smooth that top out any more than I have. I used my Dremel to polish it as best I could. It does have a nice sheen to it that doesn't show in this photo though. I'm not showing the whole finished bracelet because there's a chance the partner who gets this might visit my blog. I want the bracelet to be a bit of a surprise. That's part of the fun of a swap like this.

I took this picture of my Burning Bush yesterday. It's getting prettier and prettier each day.

Oh yes, one more thing. I was a bad girl last night. I found a really great sale on Opal yarn at Little Knits, an online knitting catalogue. At 47% off, I couldn't resist. I've ordered some solids. I've got tons of printed sock yarns. I need some solids for the more intricate stitch patterns I want to do.

Have a great day.


Excuse Me While I Panic!

I finished the first garter rib sock last night. It's beautiful. Even sweet hubby likes it. This sock is a bit larger than I normally make. I did that on purpose.

I don't think I have enough yarn to do the second sock.


I just had to get that out of my system.

I went to Paradise Fibers web site to order another ball and they are out of that color.


So, there is no hope of getting the same dye lot. That's okay. I'm fairly certain another dye lot will match close enough that no one will notice that each sock comes from a different dye lot anyway. What I don't understand is WHY? I thought 100 grams of this stuff would make two socks in the size I'm making without a problem.

Maybe I'm jumping the gun a bit. Maybe I'm panicking for no reason? Wouldn't that be unusual--NOT! I'm gonna go to the post office on my way to bead group and ask them to weigh the sock, then weigh the ball of yarn. With any luck, the sock will weigh less than the ball.

I hate it when this happens. A knitters worst nightmare. Wish me luck.

Oh yes, and have a nice day.


Star Trek - Yes!

Monday is Star Trek day at my house. I love it!

Starting at 8:20am on the G4 channel I can watch episodes of the original Star Trek show until 1pm. Then I can pop over to Spike and watch Star Trek Voyager until 3pm. I get a one hour break, then at 4pm on the Science Fiction channel I can watch Star Trek Enterprise until 8pm. Sometimes I change the channel from G4 to Spike an hour or two early cos then I can catch an episode of Deep Space Nine and/or Star Trek Next Generation.

I don't just sit there, like a zombie, all day long watching Star Trek. I putter around the house cleaning, vacuuming, doing laundry-all that housewifely stuff. I can listen to it while doing that. I've seen all the episodes several times already, so I don't actually have to see to know what's going on. In the afternoon, though, I usually knit or bead during my Star Trek marathon.

Life is good.

Hope yours is too.


Beautiful Weekend

We are having the most beautiful weather this weekend! Yesterday the sun shined all day, the sky was a cloudless crystal blue, and it was so nice and warm. Sweet hubby and I puttered in the yard, getting things ready for the winter. Blowing out the sprinklers, draining the pipes in the trailer, cleaning the icky stuff out of the garden and stuff like that. I soaked as much of the suns rays as I could while I was at it.

Ruth is home for the weekend, being lazy. She needs the break. Last weekend she had a nasty accident on her Geology field trip to Nevada. She fell down a steep slope, getting bonked in the shoulder by a very large boulder that ended up going down with her. She's very lucky to be alive. Even luckier still, nothing got broken. Just a bruised shoulder (where the boulder struck her), some scrapes, a sprained lower back muscle, some bruised ribs, and scared wits.

Last night Frank and Sarah came over for dinner. We played a game called Munchkins. I know it must be a very fun game because you're collecting treasure, casting curses on the other players, and whatnot. But for the life of me, I just couldn't seem to get the game. It was very frustrating. Maybe I can talk them into bringing the game over again some time for another try at it.

Today is yet another gorgeous fall day. Sweet hubby and I are in agreement. The fall color is especially brilliant this year. We usually have pretty coloring in the fall, but this year stuff that isn't ordinarily brilliant is downright gorgeous. Even my Burning Bush is pretty. I've had this bush a good ten years and it's yet to actually get red leaves in the fall. Usually they turn a dark burgundy, then all fall off. They're supposed to be a brilliant florescent red. Well, this year about 1/3 of the bush is it's proper fall color. I'm enjoying it very much. I have to admit, though, I gave it a good scolding last week. I found it interesting that later in the day of the scolding, red started to appear. I wish I'd thought of it years sooner.

I am waiting, at this very moment, for the polymer clay oven timer to 'ding'. I finished the bead weaving of the first bracelet I'm making for the bracelet exchange. I couldn't find a proper button to use for the clasp, so I'm making one using my polymer clay. I'm not very good with PC yet, so it's not going to be a professional looking job, but it will be much better than what's available in the stores around here. I actually used some of the beads in the button. Just pressed them into the clay. I'm anxious to get it done. I'm pretty excited about the whole thing.

Oop! There's the ding! Have a great day.


Friday's Feast 10/12/07

Friday's Feast time!

When was the last time you were surprised?
Yesterday. My daughter bought me lunch at Applebees.

Fill in the blanks: My eyes are _Brown_, but I wish they were _not needing glasses_.

If you were a Beanie Baby, what would you look like and what would your name be?
I'd be a fluffy kitty, and my name would be Cashmere.

Main Course
Name two things you consistently do that you consider to be healthy habits.
Eat my veggies (Yum!) and walk a lot.

What brand of toothpaste are you using these days? Do you like it? Why or why not?
I'm using Colgate whitening with the tartar control. I like it. It tastes good and gets my teeth clean.

Have a great day.


I Have a What?

Yesterday was my annual physical. I hate them, but they're a necessary evil. For the most part, I passed. I'm doing fine. I was hoping nothing new would be found, but, alas. I have a hernia-right under my belly button. It's not bothering me, so we're gonna leave it alone for now. But now I've got one more thing to watch out for. No heavy lifting of any kind or I could have serious problems.

This growing older thing really SUCKS!!!

I asked what would cause this kind of hernia? Answer-lifting something heavy. Suddenly, I knew when it happened. This summer I tried carrying my kayak all by myself. The next day I noticed my 'inni' belly button was an 'outie'. Nothing hurt so I didn't think much about it. Phooey... I have to STOP doing this to myself! I need to accept that my torso just can't handle what my arms and legs can. Sigh.

I watched Pushing Daisies, a new show on ABC. Wow! I LOVE it! I loved it when I saw the first episode last week. It's so refreshingly different. Pure fiction, entertainment, silliness. It's almost Dr. Suess like the way they do it. Lots of bright colors used on the sets, wonderful dialogue. If you've seen the movie Big Fish, it's a lot like that. Pure fantasy. There's even music. One of the characters sang a song-like a musical, but not quite. I loved it! But last night, I was completely sold on the show when the big burly private investigator took out his knitting because he was feeling a little stressed and knitting stockinette stitch relaxed him.

The characters name is Emerson Cod. He's the business partner of the main character, Ned, who can bring someone back to life by touching them for 1 minute, then he has to touch them again to return them to deadness. The two go around touching murdered people, asking them how they died, and collecting rewards for solving the murders. Emerson is not wimpy, or a pansy in any way. He's a rough and tumble manly man PI who just happens to like knitting. I laughed so hard I almost wet my pants when he knit some matching red gun cosies, which he wore under his hand knit sweater vest. Then, near the end, he saved the day because he just happened to have some expanding circular knitting needles in his pocket (in case he felt like doing a rib knit hat) and which he used to save their lives!!!! I LOVE this show! I hope the knitting theme continues.

Have a great day!


Project Update 10/10/2007

It's time for some project updates and news.

First of all, I got some bad news about Morgan. Took him in for a blood test. His red blood count is actually down from the previous test taken two weeks earlier. This means he has to continue on the big dose of Prednisone. The problem with this medicine is that it increases the appetite and thirst. So poor Morgan is thinking he's hungry all the time, even when he isn't. He's drinking 3 bowls of water a day too, which means more peeing. A good deal of it he's not waiting to go outside to do. The little turd peed on my favorite coat yesterday morning. Here's the culprit. "Who, me???"

I have a gorgeous purple suede coat with Mongolian wool fur trim. I was getting ready to leave for bead group. I took the coat out of the closet and threw it over a chair in the dining room. When I left the room Morgan peed on it, then Tommy joined him. By the time I returned, they'd had a real pissing contest. Boys! Arrgh!! Here's the accomplice. "I din do nuthin'."

So, why are they still alive? They didn't get any on the suede. Just the fur trim. I very carefully soaked the assaulted fur in a bowl of warm water with Oxyclean in it. My experience is that Oxyclean will take out odors as well as stains. Then I carefully rinsed it in water the same temperature (I did NOT want any felting). I squeezed gently in towels, and laid flat to dry. Darn, if it didn't come out just fine. Whew! We won't be having Iggy stew for dinner tonight.

I have finished a beaded knit project. It was one of those days last month when I didn't feel like doing any of the usual fun stuff. This roll of beaded thread had been sitting on the coffee table for awhile. I just picked it up and started knitting. I got most of it knitted, then set it down and never got around to finishing it, until Monday night. I picked it up, knit the last 2 rows, bound off, sewed it together, and I put the strap on it last night. This is from the Fiberspace pattern called Mini Pendant Bags. It's one of my favorites. I used DMC size 8 Perle cotton in color 3041 and some silver lined Czech size 11 purple seed beads. I used seed beads, 6mm glass pearls, 6mm fire polish crystals in a matte lavender, and some 4mm silver colored round beads for the strap.

I have joined a Bracelet swap. I've got 2 partners, and a deadline of November 6th. I figured out what patterns I would make on Monday. Not an easy decision. There's so many to choose from. For the first bracelet, I decided on a pattern that's in the Aug. 2007 Bead & Button magazine. It's sort of a cross between right angle weave and peyote. I'm using size 11 Japanese seeds in matte metallic lavender , dark bronze, and dark bronze size 8 drops. The pattern is for a 7 inch bracelet. I have to shorten it, which has turned out to be a bit of a challenge for me. Cindy helped me figure it out yesterday.

Here's a photo of the second bracelet I'm making for the swap. As you can see, some assembly is required. Heh heh heh.......

On the knitting front, here's the first Garter Rib sock, so far. I love the colors.

This is the Pinwheel baby cardigan. If you want to see what this is going to look like when it's done, visit the Pinwheel Sweater page on Elann web site. I'm using shades of brown and purple.

This is the front of the Lace Tunic, also known as the swim suit cover. I made considerable progress on it last night.

Today I have my annual physical. I hate it, but it's a necessity of life. Hopefully, nothing will be discovered I don't already know about.

Have a great day.


Another Parktoberfest Done

Last week was very busy. I've already talked about bead group. So I can move on from there.

On Wednesday I went to spinning group. We discussed the beginning plans for the next spin in. March 29th is the date for the festivities. We also talked about a project contest. Someone has donated a whole bunch of fleeces and we're thinking about having a contest to see what we can create with it. In other words, I'd be carding, spinning, and making something for the contest. Should be interesting.

I worked on the Garter Rib sock first, during the meeting, until I got done with the heel. I'd forgotten my heel turning instructions, so I had to stop. I still had half an hour of meeting to go, so I started the new project for Knitwits.

It's a cool pattern that I found on the Elann yarn web site called the Pinwheel Sweater. It's knit in a circle with sleeves added to it, and an interesting I-cord trim around the edges. In machine knitting we call it the pie crust edge. I've never done it by hand before, so should be interesting. Anyway, so far, the pattern has been a breeze to knit.

After spinning was the Knitwits meeting. I turned in the yellow aran baby cardigan. Everyone loved it. I worked some more on the Pinwheel sweater. I had a good time. Betty and Darlene were there to keep me laughing. I also got to know member Ruth a little better too.

Just before the meeting started I delivered a knitting machine to one of the other members, Lois. At September's meeting I'd told her about my wonderful Toyota standard gauge machine that is in new condition, only knitted on once or twice by me to make sure everything is in working order. Someone had dropped it off in the shop, just giving it to me, with all it's entourage which consisted of a ribber, intarsia carriage, lace carriage, books, patterns, and whatnot. That owner had never used it. The tools were still in their original packing, never opened. I told Lois about it and she made an offer to buy it, which I took. She was going to get it cheap--$100. I was thinking that it would be nice to get it out of my life because I'd never use it, so it's just collecting dust and taking up space I could be filling with other things-like more yarn, heh heh.

So, last Tuesday night I was going to dig the machine out, dust things off, make sure everything was still in good shape, and get it ready for it's new owner. HAH!!! I couldn't find it! There's only so many places something that big will fit in around my house, and it wasn't in any of them. I did find the box it used to be in. It was housing my Brother Bulky ribber. Arrrghh!

Apparently, I was under a lot more stress at the closing of my shop than I'd realized. Hubby remembers me selling it back then. I do NOT remember that. Not even a glimmer of memory of it. So, I had to call Lois and tell her about my memory gap. Talk about embarrassing! Before I called her, though, I'd come up with a solution, or, a counter offer, if you will.

I've had a Studio standard gauge in my possession for some time. Technically, it was given to my youngest daughter by an elderly lady I used to know. Ruth used it a bit, but eventually lost interest. She's just not a stitching knitting kind of gal. So she gave the machine to me. I have no use for it. So I offered to give it to Lois, for free. It isn't as nice as the Toyota was, but it does have a color changer, and I've taken very good care of it. Thankfully, Lois took my offer. So I gave her the machine. She wanted to give me something for it, but that is not necessary. She has no idea how much of a relief it is to have it out of my house.

Thursday was lunch with my friends. We went to Michael D's in Coeur d'Alene. I had a blast, as usual. My friends are so much fun. I ran some errands afterward, since I was in Coeur d'Alene. Might as well take advantage of it. One of the errands was to stop into Harmony yarns and pick up another size 9 Addi Turbo circular needle. I wanted a longer one for the baby sweater. I was pleased to see they have brought Plymouth Encore in. They only have a few colors at the moment. They'll get more as time goes on. I'm excited. It's one of my favorite worsted weight yarns. There are far too many yarn temptations in that store. I was fondling Alpaca, and Bamboo, and Cashmere. There's some mighty nice sock yarns too. Ha! I need more sock yarn like I need another hole in my head.

Friday I cleaned house and baked cookies for Parktoberfest. Oh yes, and I turned the heel on the Garter Rib sock.

On Saturday was Parktoberfest. It's an annual party all us Parks attend, along with friends we've invited. Everyone who attends brings food. Usually I make white chili, but I decided to make a dessert this time because we're usually heavy on the main dish side and lacking on desserts. I made a huge batch of Snickerdoodle cookies. My favorite!

My brother-in-law makes a couple special beers for the event. I had a glass of the blond wheat he made. Oh was it ever good. He'd put honey in it, so it was a little bit sweet. I like beer that way. So it was a pleasure to drink. He's getting pretty darn good at making beer.

We play games like Tossing a Caber, The Hammer throw (for the guys), Throwing the Iron Frying Pan (for the girls), Sawing the Log with an old fashioned two-man saw, and the Goof Ball tournament. There's prizes, and heckling, and lots of fun. Usually everyone gets thoroughly plastered by sunset, so I go home because I'm uncomfortable amongst a lot of drunks. But this year, everyone pretty much stayed sober-even sweet hubby. I had a wonderful time and stayed until Sweet Hubby wanted to go home. I took my knitting with me so I could keep my hands busy while sitting around chatting with folks. I worked on the baby sweater.

Whew! This is a long post, but, as I said at the beginning, I've been busy busy!

Have a great day.


Fridays Feast 10/5/07

It's been a really busy week with Bead group, Spinning group, Knitwits meeting, meeting with friends for lunch, running errands all over the place. Whew...looking forward to a quieter next week. Will get into more detail tomorrow. It's time for Fridays Feast today.

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how much do you look forward to your birthday?
6. This is a hard one because I look forward to it with great anticipation-mostly excited that I've managed to make it to another year. There are years in my past when I almost didn't, so it's a big deal for me. But at the same time I know I'm in for some disappointment because my family rarely acknowledges it.

What is one word you don’t like the sound, spelling, or meaning of?
The infamous 'f***' word.

Do you wear sunglasses when you’re outside? If so, what does your current pair look like?
Yes, sort of. I have some clip ons I can put on my regular glasses. They're sort of square shaped lenses with a black silvery frame.

Main Course
If you were to write a book, to whom would you dedicate it?
My sweet hubby.

Name a beverage that you enjoy.
Peach Ice Tea.

Have a great day.


It Looks Like a Knitting Blog

I know I don't have a whole lot of knitting content on here because I do more than just knit, but there's enough that I would define it as a knitting blog. I learned how to change the background images in the sidebar today. I am so proud of myself. Now it LOOKS like a knitting blog.

Next--figuring out how to change the big purple/wine rectangle at the bottom. Originally, I started with a Blogger prepackaged theme called "Thisaway Rose" by Dan Rubin -one that I could tolerate. I've been learning how to make it my own one piece at a time.

As for the kaleidoscopic banner and background images, I intend to change them on a monthly basis just cos they're so darn fun. I've got dozens of them.

I had bead group today. I worked on a little class project. I created the cutest little brick stitch Santa earrings. I mean, I created the pattern myself. I was going to use someone else's, but I didn't quite like it. So I made up my own. Unfortunately, I've only got one earring done at the moment, and it's on display at the shop. I will post a pic when I get the second one done. The newsletter came out and describes the class as 'Peyote Santa Earrings'. Arrghh...that was my fault. I had peyote on the brain when I talked to her about the class and just said the wrong thing without realizing it. Gayle is aware of my mistake and can inform the potential students.

I forgot to mention that the Aran Baby Cardigan came out nice and soft out of the dryer. It feels great.

I also didn't mention the satellite dish got fixed. The repairman found a loose connection, which he tightened, and realigned the dish. It was knocked off kilter. We can get our HD channels again. He was quite impressed by who damaged it.

I wonder if I should get my Kayak out. It's raining pretty hard out there.

That's all for today. Have a good one.

Addi Turbo Lace Needles-An Opinion

As planned, I started the next pair of socks yesterday. I've decided on the Garter Rib pattern in Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch. I'm using Austermann Step yarn in the Navy colorway which is a variegated in light navy, tan, brown, and grays. It stripes, but not in a fairisle manner.

A month or so ago I bought a pair of 24 inch circular Size 3 Addi Turbo Lace Needles because I wanted to try them out. The claim is they are more flexible and easier to knit with on thin yarns. So I cast on the new sock on them.

I like them. They are definitely different than the regular Addi Turbo circulars. I don't know if I'd say the cables are more flexible. They seem the same to me. What I like is they stamped the size and length on the cable--and I can actually read it! That is cool.

The needle tips are sharper than the average. It makes it so much easier to knit smaller stitches. So the tips are a hit with me. I've often wondered why needle manufacturers insist on making them so dull on the ends.

The finish on the needles is very very smooth, but just a bit sticky. This bothers me because I'm used to slick needles. But it's making less dropped stitches, and I can see the advantage if I were doing a lot of K2togs and pass overs. A definite plus when knitting lace, so I will get used to them.

Really, my only complaint is the length. When I knit socks on 2 circulars I prefer 20 inch needles. 24 is just a bit too long. 16 is way too short. 20 is just right. Unfortunately, Addi Lace don't come in 20. The extra 4 inches is driving me CRAZY! I can only hope that eventually Skacel will offer these needles in a 20 inch length.

I have been thinking about trying to knit 2 socks on 2 circs at the same time. Not with this project because the yarn would make that difficult (I want the socks to match, more or less). However, I have plans for some solids and I'm definitely going to try knitting both at the same time. In that case, 24 inches will probably be perfect.

I also bought a set for making the Honey Bee Stole. I'm glad I did. They'll work wonderfully for the project.

Have a great day.


It was a dark and dreary day....

It is dark, dreary, and wet outside today. There's snow on top of the taller mountains nearby too. Goodbye sweet summer. I shall miss you. I am already planning your return in 2008. I've got seed catalogs to browse in the bathroom.

No walking today. So I'm going to start some new socks, cast on the front of the swimsuit cover, and do a bit of beading. Sweet hubby has gone out of town for a couple days so I shall play with my toys, lay around in my jammies, and eat take out, or microwave food. Which ever takes the least effort to obtain when I'm hungry.

I have joined yet another Knit Along. However, there's no pressure on this one. My Margaret Tudor sweater has been languishing all spring and summer, wishing I'd give it some attention. Someone on Ravelry invited me to join a knit along for the Tudor Roses book by Alice Starmore. It's for people knitting patterns in her book. They are extremely challenging patterns, so getting together with others to encourage that we keep plodding along to finish is a GOOD thing. I have joined.

May, a member in the group, actually finished Margaret Tudor last August. It's gorgeous. You can see it here, should you so desire.

One of the sticky problems about Margaret Tudor that crosses my thoughts every so often is the buttons. There are 56 pewter buttons on this sweater. Where am I going to find 56 pewter buttons--all the same? (Not to mention the money for 56 pewter buttons!) The problem has been solved. May used beads. Now why didn't I think of that??? It's a brilliant idea! I have a tube of 3mm sterling silver beads that will work wonderfully. Buttons-I cast you aside! I don't call myself Beadknitter for nothin'.

Speaking of Knit Alongs. I must confess I have taken on too many sock Knit Alongs. I was thinking that I could do 2 pair of socks a month. I was wrong. So, which ones do I give up? Sigh.....

Well, it's toy time.

Have a great day!