After yesterdays blogging, I went outside to set up a chair on the lawn so I could knit in the beautiful sunshine, and promptly fell down the steps. I didn't break anything, but I sprained my right ankle, scraped the skin off my right knee, and have bruises all over. I guess I'm lucky to be alive. I'm glad there were railings. They saved me. So, besides the headache that won't go away, my ankle is swollen and throbbing, and I ache everywhere else too. I've tried all the pain killers in the cabinet. None of them are working. Sigh.
Alas, the show must go on. I will teach.
I hope April isn't as hard on my body as March has been.
The weather today is absolutely gorgeous. So warm I wore short sleeves and flip flops to the grocery store. The boys are loving it. Morgan has spent quite a bit of time out on the lawn, basking.
The printer has arrived today. The UPS guy left the box at the door, but did not ring the bell. By the time i noticed him and got to the door, he was gone. Rats! I wanted to have him carry it in the house for me. It weighs close to 80 pounds! My back can't handle that. There were plastic straps wrapped around the box, so I dragged it in, one inch at a time. I called hubby and told him it was here. He wanted me to unpack it and set it up. HA!!!! I can't get the darn thing out of the box. Believe me I tried. Stupid back.
Sarah has a job interview with Chief Architect next week. (That's were hubby and her boyfriend work). Keeping my fingers crossed. She really wants to work there. Graduation is May 12th.
Did I mention I have two genius daughters attending University of Idaho? Sarah will be graduating with a 4.0 in Computer Science. I'm SO proud of her. Ruth is majoring in Geology. My little rock lover. She's on the deans list.
I'm gonna go outside and knit. Gotta take advantage of the perfect weather when we get it. I finished knitting the slippers, but need to felt them. I'm gonna start a toy for Knit Wits. I think I'll do one of Jean Greenhowe's patterns.
A couple years ago I made a lovely pair of knit felted slippers for my Dad for Christmas. I used a blue denim colored Lopi, if I remember correctly, and a Fiber Trends slipper pattern. My Dad loved them. However, he didn't get to keep them. He took them over to his mothers house to show them to her. He said she grabbed them and wouldn't give them back. So I had to make him a new pair. For 2 years Gramma, with her size 8 womens feet, has been wearing mens size 13 slippers, and loving them. She wouldn't hear of me making her own pair at the time. Dad says it's time to chuck them and get her new ones.
I'm using some lovely purple wool and a hairy yarn that is pale shades of lavender and green, using the new Alpine Boot pattern I mentioned earlier.
Here's the first slipper, knitted. I still have to sew the sole seam, and of course, it's not felted yet. I do like the colors very much. Unfortunately, my Gramma is blind, so she won't be able to see them.
This is the new sock yarn I got at the Spin In. Isn't it pretty?
What is a Spin-In? It's a day when the local spinning group hosts a big get together for other spinning groups to attend, as well as the general public. There's usually vendor booths featuring stuff spinners like, like fleeces, rovings, yarns, dyes, wheels, and whatnot. Everyone brings their wheels, or maybe their knitting, or a weaving loom, and they fellowship, spin, eat lunch, and generally have a great time. It's a LOT of fun!
This was the first time I could spend the whole day at the Spin In. I packed a sack lunch, some knitting, and my wallet, and headed on down around 10:30am. Got to the fairgrounds at 11. Went into building 1 and the place was packed. I've never seen that many people at the Spin In before. There were more vendor booths than I've ever seen too.
I so enjoyed seeing everyone. Susie, Jean, Karen, Jennifer, Sabrina, Jacquetta, to name a few, and of course Cindy and Bill were there with their beads. I've really missed the spinning bunch. We laughed so much. Charles was there, from Sandpoint, too! He's so adorable. I was happy to see him.
I don't spin, but some day I'd like to have a spinning wheel and get into the craft. For now I'm content to knit with them, and they seem to be content to let me do so.
I found some treasures to buy. Fiber Trends has a new felted boot slipper pattern called the Alpine Boot Slipper. It features 2 sizes, short and knee high boot, with fur trim (made with eyelash yarn). It is SO cute. I need to make a new pair of slippers for Gramma. This pattern is perfect. I got some deep purple wool (from Harmony Yarns) for the slippers. I'll dig in my stash for some fur.
I got a new sock pattern with button-up cuffs. The cuffs are open, with button holes and buttons. They are really pretty. I got 2 skeins of sock yarn from the Southwest Trading Company made of superwash wool, soy milk, a bit of cotton, and chitin. They feel SO soft, and the colors are very bright. One skein is purples, pinks, and fuschia. The other is greens, aquas, and yellows.
I also picked up a couple skeins of cotton boucle'. I took some terracotta colored acrylic to make a hat for Knit Wits as my project for the day. I'd also taken a ball of furry yarn that matched it. I'm using the Swirl hat pattern by Ann Norling. Anyway, one of the booths had this very nice boucle' that was multicolored with pastel blue, mint green, lavender, black, and the terracotta. I liked it better than the fur idea, so I got a couple balls. It was on sale for $2 a ball. I'm just about done with the hat. I'll take a photo and post it when it's done.
That was the full extent of my purchases. Didn't find any hand dyes that grabbed me or anything. Paradise fibers wasn't there either, so I couldn't spend money at their booth.
Last night Sarah and Frank came over for dinner. Sarah brought me a present. She found the cutest little mint green lamp work elephant beads on Ebay and bought them for me. She's such a sweetie.
[INSERT PHOTO OF ME DANCING A JIG HERE!!!! (if I had such a thing)]
A couple years ago or so I bought a color laser printer for the shop. It was a very inexpensive HP that I got at Costco for $350. I loved it. Slow on the color, but it did such a beautiful job. I used it for all the shop stuff (signs, newsletter, etc, etc). I also used it to print and publish the bead knitting patterns my then friend Meryl and I were producing to sell (another heart breaking story I shall not share at this time.) After closing the shop I brought the beloved printer home. I had every intention to continue the little pattern thing with Meryl, but, sadly, it died an untimely death.
Shortly after this death the yellow toner cartridge ran out of stuff. So I ordered some new cartridges from my favorite online source. However, I made the HUGE mistake of buying refurbished cartridges, rather than brand new. I was buying 4 carts. At $99 apiece, that's a lot of money. So I was trying to be a little more wiser about the spending. Arrghh! Never again!
I carefully installed the new yellow toner cart. Turned on the printer, and printed that first test page. POOF! This huge cloud of yellow puffed out of the printer. Ah...NO...PANIC ATTACK! The toner coated everything inside the printer, including the thingamajiggy you're not supposed to even touch (name escapes me at the moment) plus it stuck to stuff outside the printer, including my shirt front.
I spent a couple days carefully cleaning the insides, and outsides for that matter, in hopes things would be okay. My sister-in-law even told me how to clean the thingamajiggy (we figured it's lost in it's current condition anyway, so why not?). My efforts were for naught. My printer prints large vertical yellow stripes down the front AND back of every page that goes through it.
So then I looked into getting it fixed by a professional, and replacing the thingamajiggy. To my great horror and dismay-just the thingamajiggy costs more than the whole darn printer did! We're not even talking the labor $$ the pros want. What's with that???? So, in frustrated disgust, I shut the printer down and changed my default printer to my little Canon inkjet. Sigh. Symbolically, shoving it to the back of my closet with the unfinished knitted items that stumped me to deal with another time, when I'm ready. That was over a year ago.
I'm ready now. Brought the subject up with hubby over dinner a couple evenings ago. I'm paraphrasing, sort of.
Me: "I miss my laser printer."
Hubby: "I do too."
Me: "What are we gonna do about it? I'm thinking taking the plunge, getting it repaired, and calling it an expensive lesson."
Hubby: "It would be cheaper to get a new one."
Me: "I know, but I hate just throwing it away. It's not very old, and it worked so great!"
Hubby: "I think tax wise we'd be better off throwing it out. Remember, it was a store item. We need to look at how that effects us tax wise in closing the shop. I think it would be just easier to list it as damaged and throw it out."
I thought a bit and realized he was probably right. As much as I hate adding something large to the already nasty problem of over sized landfills, this beast has to go. It can't just sit on my desk in it's powdery yellowness for ever. Nor do I want to spend hundreds of dollars getting it fixed. There needs to be a balance between being 'green' and being financially wise. So I agreed, we'll throw it away. When the new printer arrives, we will hook it up, try it out, and then I'll have hubby carry the dead one out to the garbage bin. I can't bear to do that myself.
To start, here is my Purple odd count peyote spiral. I used s/l size 6 amethyst seeds, size 8 purple iris seeds, size 10 matte purple iris triangles, size 11 s/l lavendar seeds, size 11 s/l dark purple seeds, and size 15 s/l fuschia seeds.
Second we have a set I finished last week. The necklace is made of size 3 iris purple bugles and size 11 Czech seeds in clear with a brass lining, some goldtone round beads, and a couple lampwork beads I found at Michaels ages ago. The bracelet is made of the same. The center of the necklace is spiral bugle stitch and the strap part and bracelet are a chevron chain. I found both of these patterns on Diane Fitzgeralds web site in the articles section.
Last, but not least, is the cabochon I talked about yesterday. It's made of dichroic glass. I used size 8 purple iris seeds, size 11 s/l dark purple seeds, and matte s/l celery green Delicas. I put branch fringe around it upper left and lower right. I haven't decided what kind of necklace I'm going to make to go with it, but I sure like the way it came out. A funky look for a funky cab.
It was a beautiful day for walking. We walked on the Coeur d'Alene Centennial trail in Post Falls. We could see the falls from the trail. We also found some Buttercups blooming-HOORAY! Spring has sprung.
I am not exercising today. My feet and knees would divorce me if I did. So I'm going to call this a bead day. I've got bead group this morning, so that will be fun. I've started a cabochon project. A few years ago I bought some cabochons from a booth at the Spokane Fair. This fellow worked with dichroic glass. He had a basket full of his 'mistakes'. Cabochons that he wasn't happy with, so he was selling them for a buck apiece. I bought a few of them. I used one already. You'll find a pic of it in my blog titled Red Peyote Spiral (Dichroic in Black).
The cab I'm using now is funky in shape. It's sort of a rectangle with rounded corners. I say sort of. You'll understand when you see the finished photo. Anyway, the cab is clear with spots of green, teal, yellow, celery, purple, and a bit of silver in it. I'm using celery green and purple for the bezel. I'm thinking about putting branch fringe around it. Something funky for a funky cab.
I've been sitting on my butt all winter. The thought of riding with him was not pleasant to me. My hubby is a hard core bike rider. He rides his bike to work in the summer time. That's a 20 mile ride one way. He likes to ride UP mountains. Three summers ago he actually did 100,000 vertical feet total. If I ride with him, in the time it takes me to go a mile or two, he's buzzed up ahead 5 miles and back. It's frustrating for me, because I'd like to be able to keep up with him. But back injuries and surgery have slowed me down considerably, and then there's the aging too (which SUCKS!). I love riding my bike, but it is difficult so I don't do much of it. My favorite ride is the Hiawatha trail up in the mountains. It's 16 miles, but all downhill. I usually buy a ticket for the shuttle back up the mountain. I admit it. I'm a wimpy rider.
Well, I got talked into going today. I was considerably anxious all the way to our starting destination. What if I can only go a mile, or even less. I will be so mortified, embarrassed, etc etc. The usual anxiety attack I get in these situations. He promised it would only be a couple miles. 45 minutes at the most he said. HA! I should have known better.
We started at the Black Rock trail head and rode all the way to the Meadowmont trial head and back. That was 11 miles!!!!! The truly amazing thing is I WAS ABLE TO DO IT! Oh, don't be fooled. I hurt. I'd like to have my right knee removed because it aches so bad. But, I did it! Wow. There's hope for me yet.
Tomorrow I'm supposed to go walking with Cindy and Jean--2 miles. Groannnn.... I sure hope I can. Aleve is probably going to be the word of the day.
Sarah was on a mission. Not sure what she's making, she wouldn't say. But she had definite ideas on what she wanted. To start, I took her to the new bead shop in Coeur d'Alene called Bead Creative. They have lots of lamp work there because one of the owners does lamp work. I found an awesome pendant. It's hard to describe, but inside it looks like a bright explosion in the dark night sky in 3-D. I'd take a photo, but it wouldn't do it justice. Just trust me, it's like nothing I've ever seen before.
After Bead Creative, I decided to take Sarah into Spokane Valley to the Beyond Beads Gallery. By now I'm understanding she's looking for a Chili Pepper, and some delicas. Surely BBG would have a Chili Pepper? Alas, it did not. But we had a good time looking. This store has so MUCH to look at. Definitely the largest selection around. Lots of Czech beads, Swarovski crystals, seeds, and semiprecious stones. No Chili Peppers or delicas though.
We then went to Cindy's place, Beading Buddies, in Post Falls. Darn if she didn't have everything Sarah wanted. Even the Chili Pepper. Should have gone there first, but then we wouldn't have gone to the other shops and had so much fun together.
I had no idea rocks could be so beautiful. Every color under the rainbow was represented by rocks. Every shade and hue. Reds, purples, blues, greens, yellows, oranges, pinks... I'm amazed, awed, and madly in love with rocks.
The thing that I really got the most out of was seeing the rocks in their natural 'how it looks when you find it laying on the ground' state. How on earth would anyone know what was inside them? They look like ordinary brown/grey/black rocks. They had beautiful displays in cases in the entry hall showing examples and samples of different rocks, how they are cut, what types of things they can be used for making, where they come from. I had to look in them over and over. Mother Nature is truly awesome.
Of course, I could not get out of that place without buying something. In fact, I went a little crazy. I got Ruth a rock hammer. She's gonna need it. She's a geology major! I also got her a book of American rocks or something like that-for identifying rocks one finds. Kind of like the Audubon Book of North American Birds, only for rocks.
Forget bead shows for stone cabochons. Go to a Rock show! You will find picture jasper, agates, fossils, and gem stones galore to tickle your fancy. I bought 11 cabochons that we could not live without. Most of them were inexpensive ($3 apiece). But the 2 creams of the crop, so to speak, were a slice of stalactite, of all things, with amethyst crystals growing around it, and a cabochon that is literally florescent green with teals, royal blue, red, green, and black. The fellow I bought it from told me what it was, but I can't remember. Chryso-something. I should have asked him to write it down on the back of his card for me. Yes, I got his card. He does beautiful work with his rocks. I WILL want to buy from him again.
Yesterday, while I was away at bead group, Ruth made use of her rock hammer. She went out to the gravel pit by the big field and did some hammering. She found garnets in our back yard. Now, that is cool!
Yesterday I taught my first Odd Count Tubular Peyote class. While doing so, I made an observation. Teaching beading is way more intense for me than teaching knitting. After 2 hours I'm exhausted! My neck, shoulders, arms, and back ache, my brain feels like the life has been sucked out of it, and my energy is gone. It's all I can do to drive home. But, I have a lot more fun doing it. So what's with that? Makes no sense to me.
The class went great, by the way. I was honest with the students from the start. There is no way they can make the bracelet that was chosen as the project in 2 hours. I pointed out the title of the class was "Odd Count Tubular Peyote Stitch", not how to make this bracelet. I guaranteed they'd know how to do OCT Peyote by the end of class, and darn if they didn't all know how to do it when we were done! They didn't all necessarily like it, but they knew how to do it. Mission accomplished! They also said it was the most fun they'd ever had in a class. You have no idea how good I feel about that.
Ruthie is coming home for spring break today. I am looking forward to it. On Sunday we're going together to the Rock,Mineral, and Gem Show at the Spokane, WA fairgrounds. I'm hoping to find something cool that I can make jewelry with. Ruth just wants to see rocks. Geology majors have a thing for rocks.
Sarah is coming home tomorrow. I won't be here when she arrives though. I've got 5 students who have registered for my Odd Count Tubular Peyote class, so off to work I'll be going.
Knit Wits is a group that knits for charity. They accept yarn donations. The yarn is brought to the meeting each month. We can pick out the yarn we want, take it with us, and bring it back as a finished project for donation. We knit at the meetings. I'm working on an afghan.
I didn't know, when I started it, just exactly what they'd be wanting, so I just pulled a couple skeins of yarn out of my closet and started knitting the infamous diamond dishcloth pattern. You know the one, you start out with 4 sts, increase at the beginning of every row until you get to the right size, then decrease every row. You end up with a square, but it's been knit diagonally. Looks kind of cool.
I've not tried it as an afghan before, so I'm kind of winging it. I'm using 2 strands of worsted weight yarn and size 13 needles. I'm over halfway done now. When I got to 130 sts across I started decreasing, so there are less sts with each row. I'm using red and white acrylic yarn. I'm anxious to get it done. I don't really enjoy knitting afghans. They need knitted or crocheted toys, so I've volunteered to fill that need. I LOVE making toys.
In fact, years ago, I used to sell machine knitting patterns for toys that I'd written and published. Here are some pictures of my designs that I found hiding on my hard drive (from when I used to have a web page). The pics aren't very good. They were taken before digital cameras, and the scans of those pictures didn't turn out as good as they would now. So I apologize for the quality.
These are Curly the bear (and Curly small), Dancing Dana (that's my daughter Ruth when she was little dancing with her), A little red car, a blue pickup truck, and 3 dolls I called Precious Friends. All of these were made on a Brother standard gauge knitting machine.
Finally refilled the suet cages hanging on the plum tree out front. Lots of birds are happy with me. Today there was a male Flicker. He was so beautiful. Had bright orange/red on his tail and head. Two different types of woodpeckers, 2 small black birds, 2 Nuthatches, 3 Juncos, and the usual herd of Chickadees. The cats love to sit on the window sill and watch the show with me. Better than TV any day.
Here is the promised photo of my red Peyote Spiral necklace.
I'm working on a purple one now.
Went to bead group this morning. I worked on the purple peyote spiral. I also got some beads to do a double spiral rope. I'm using a sort of creamy ecru pearl color and a matte copper/tan/pinky sort of color. I'm anxious to get it started. I think if I make one of these for Gale to see (Gale owns the bead shop, Bead It, that I teach beading for), I'll be able to teach a class on it. I haven't done one in ages. So it will be fun.
Here are a couple more of my masterpieces.
A variation on my friend Cindy's Western African necklace pattern. I used peyote tubes instead of netted tubes.
There was some new and interesting things I'd never seen before-like the jewelry made from cut Moose antler and wood. Unique and beautiful. Wonderful artwork made from dichroic glass. Usually you see it in jewelry, but these folks had done framed wall hangings, some quite large. Very three dimensional and colorful. I wish I could have taken a picture or two, but cameras were not allowed, nor was taking notes or making sketches. Wouldn't want anyone taking home ideas now.
Some things I noticed. No Knitting booths! Usually there's at least 2 booths selling knit felted hats and a booth with shawls and/or sweaters. Nothing like that this time. There were, instead, crochet booths. 2 featured hats and scarves. a third had stuffed animal toys and baby clothes too. They were quite cute. Lots of people in these booths, so crochet must be getting popular now. Could the knitting craze be over? I sure hope not. It would be sad to see all those new knit shops in the country go out of business already. I got out of the business at the right time, I think. (For those who don't know, I had my own needlecraft shop, featuring knitting, crochet and counted cross stitch, until I had to close it January of last year.)
Second observation--all the hand thrown pottery booths had blue, purple, and green. A sad lack of yellow, gold, browns, oranges, pinks, and reds. It was disappointing to my sister-in-law because she likes peach, apricot, and orange in her dishes. So much for finding a cool turkey platter.
Saw some gorgeous hand carved agate cabochons and pendants. I was drooling. One pendant was white with what looked like red and green ferns in it. I should have asked what kind of agate that was. It sure was pretty. I did buy a few slices of agate from them. Cracked leftovers, but pretty none the less. I'm sure I can make something out of them.
I looked at a lot of beaded jewelry. Some of it was so beautiful. One booth had bead embroidered hair clips. My sister-in-law was quite fascinated with them. I'll have to make her one.
I noticed the most popular clasps are lobster claw and spring rings. I've made note of that. I'm thinking about maybe getting into craft shows with my beading in a year or two. I know there's a market for what I like to do, cos I didn't see anything like it at this show. Gives me food for thought anyway.
The Bead Knitter Photo Album
Last night I finally finished the red and gold tubular peyote necklace I started a couple weeks ago. I will post a pic of it later, after I take one. It looks very similar to the green one I did 3 weeks ago. I came up with this wild idea and decided to try it out. I used size 6 S/L seeds, size 8 Aqua lined Topaz, size 8 transparent dark green, size 11 AB medium green, and size 15 S/L lime green. The strap part is done in 3-bead netting. The clasp is a simple silver toggle. This is the result pictured here:
- About.Com: Beadwork
- Bead Pattern Central
- BeadDust - free bead crochet patterns
- Beadwork How To
- DB Bead - free software for designing bead crochet rope patterns
- Jewelry by Vavara
- Jewelry Making
- My Favorite Beady Links
- Peralili - in french, but wonderful patterns for rings.
- Rubys Beadwork
- Sandra Halpenny
- Shala's Beadwork
- Alan Dart - awesome knit toy patterns
- Boogie Knits Links to Free Sock Patterns
- Cider Moon (free patterns)
- FiberSpace Patterns
- Giant Knit Pink Bunny - art you can see from space.
- Jennifer's Knitting Bookmarks
- Knit Picks.Com
- Knitting Font (free)
- Knitting Fool
- Knitting Universe (Knitters Magazine)
- Knitty Chick Free Sock Pattern Links
- Knitty.com E-zine
- MetaPostModernKnitting (Knitting E-zine)
- The Daily Knitter Ezine
- The Inside Loop (Knitting E-zine)
- The Sock Knitters
- The Walker Treasury Project
- Vogue Knitting Magazine
- Alenka's Printables
- Mardars Stuff
- Mirkwood Designs Templates
- Package Tech
- Paperworks Biz Inspirations
- Rainbow Graphics Printables
- Webshots Printables
If you're reading this, then I thank you. I'd love to hear from other folks into my three obsessions, and maybe even make some new friends.