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


Backless Cabochon

I took a knitting break yesterday. I worry, sometimes, that I'm gonna give myself carpal tunnel if I knit too much. So I decided to let my knitting muscles have a rest and used the beading muscles instead.

This months challenge in my Learn2Bead Yahoo group is to learn to do a backless cabochon bezel. Usually I do the type that requires the cab be glued to a backing (I use stiff interfacing) and the beads are then embroidered around the cab. After that, you glue a piece of suede or leather to the back, then sew beads to the edges and embellish from there. It makes for some pretty jewelry and I love doing cabs that way.

However, I've been intrigued by the idea of making a bezel with beads to hold the cab, so I joined this months challenge. Yesterday I was going to do the basic netted bezel, ...then I went to the mailbox. The new issue of Bead and Button had arrived. Wow-wow-wow!

It has a gorgeous beaded cab project featured on the cover. It uses St. Petersburg chain instead of netting. I HAD to try that one out right then and there! I gathered my beads and got started. Four hours later it was done. Here are the results.



If you're wondering what I put it on for a background, it's a Thimble Berry leaf. There's a big patch of them on the east end of the garden. Lots of flowers this year too. We might actually get some berries. That would be a first!

Don't know what kind of strap I'm going to do for this pendant. Something simple. Maybe a herringbone tube. I love the strap they have in the magazine pattern, but it's a little too much for this cab, I think.

It was hot yesterday. In the 90's. Still, I beaded outside, on the deck, at the table, under my big umbrella for shade. There was a nice cool breeze that blew every so often. I really enjoyed myself.

Have a great day.


WOW! Entry for June '08

I almost forgot to do this months WOW! entry. Whew! Glad I remembered before the end of the month.

Last year I went through this red phase when I wanted some really red sock yarn. Eventually I found my Shi bui, which I used for the I Love Gansey socks, but before I found that, I acquired this one from Harmony Yarns in Coeur d'Alene.

Name: Anne from Schaefer Yarns

Color: Don't know. It's not written on the label and I can't find it on Ravelry or the Schaefer site.

Content: 60% Superwash Merino Wool/25% Mohair/15% Nylon

Weight: 4oz., 560 yards.

Gauge: 7-8 sts per inch

Have a good evening.


Sock WIP Friday

Since I didn't do WIP Wednesday, thought I'd do it today. Features of the day-the socks I worked on during our camping trip.

I decided this would be th sock I'd use for the Socks on Vacation photo contest in the Summer of Socks 08 KAL. It's a nice bright color that looks good in nature.

I finished it on the hike, after I took my artsy sock photos. I submitted the photo I've chosen today. We'll know who the winner is in September. I'll post my photo then-winner or not. Wish me luck?

I started the second one later that afternoon (my sock Mojo was HOT), but an inch into the cuff I ran into a knot in the yarn. The yarns color pattern repeat does not match after the knot. There's a blob of tangled yarn because I was trying to fix the problem to no avail. In disgust, I tossed it aside and started my first pair for the Summer of Socks 08 KAL. I do not know what I'm going to do about this problem. I will mull it over for a few days.

I had originally planned to use the sock yarn I won in Barbara Bretton's contest for the first pair. However, last week I got a sudden and strong craving to knit with green. So, instead, I dug out my skein of Socks that Rock in Beryl. As my mother used to say, I'm a woman. I have the prerogative to change my mind.

As I promised myself, I challenged me to knit 2 socks at the same time on 2 circulars. I've been wanting to try it ever since I first heard of the idea. I found and printed out the pattern/tutorial Straight Lace Socks from Knitty and took it with me camping. I cast them on the evening of June 21, official start date for SOS 08.

Last night I finished both legs at the point where I start the heel flap. I've posed them so you can see the front and back. The front has a simple lace pattern on it, the back is in stockinette. I did a twisted rib instead of the 2x2 rib called for in the pattern. I really like the looks of a good twisted rib.

Knitting 2 socks at the same time turned out to be a piece of cake for me. Easy to figure out, easy to do. I thought I'd have a hard time remembering what sock I was working on if I set them down for any reason, then came back to them. Not so. I'm having no problem with it whatsoever. However, I DETEST IT! I don't know why, but I do. I did what I promised myself, I learned how to knit socks this way. I've learned, done it, had enough of it. At this point I am taking one sock off the needles and putting it on holders, then finishing the other sock before I finish the one on holders. I'm just one of those folks who likes to do them one at a time, and I do not suffer from second sock syndrome, so why bother with this fiddly annoying method of making socks.

For those of you who enjoy the 2 socks at a time method-more power to ya! I'm glad you like it. We all should knit the way we enjoy most.

Have a great day.


Hike up some Granite

I was really busy yesterday, so didn't have time to post these. Consequently, we are skipping WIP Wednesday so I can share some pics I took on the camping trip.

On Saturday we went on a hike up a creek. The weather was perfect for it. Sunny, but not too hot. I took almost all my vacation pics on this hike. It is my most favorite place to go on the whole earth. It is so beautiful! I've been to many of the national parks-Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier, etc. They all pale in comparison to this place, which, by the way, we stumbled across by accident on one of our exploring adventures last year.

We have to drive from the campground up a bunch of logging roads into the Idaho National Forest. At the end of one of these roads we arrive at the top of a ridge where there's a parking area. This is one of the views from that parking area.

A Granite Mountain

The mountains are all around us and they are made of solid granite.

The trail head

This is the direction toward the valley we are hiking up. (That's our Tundra pickup). The trail follows along a creek that tumbles down the valley on a steep granite slope.

Yellow Violet

One of the many wild flowers that were blooming along the trail.

Crossing a stream

The trail crosses 3 different streams. Normally they are shallow enough that you can wade through them. Not this year! With the record breaking snowfall in the mountains, and the unseasonably late snow melt, the streams were raging. Folks who had been here before us provided some 'bridges' for us to cross.

Stream #1

The logs we crossed were in front of this wonderful waterfall.

The main creek

This is it. My favorite place on earth. We were walking on solid granite. If not for assorted large boulders and logs, a person could ride this creek down like a water slide. It was exceptionally beautiful with the extra water in it this year.

Taking a knit break
I told you Monday I took a sock-in-progress with me to take pics. While I was sitting enjoying the view down the slope, I thought "Why not knit in the most beautiful place on earth?" Thank you, Sue, for taking the pic for me.

Down the slope

There seemed to be a large fountain spurting up down the slope. Everyone, of course, got curious about it, so we all climbed down to check it out.

The sock (and me) is awed.
The water was coming down the slope with tremendous power, where it slammed into this arrowhead shaped boulder and was thrown into the air 10 to 15 feet high. Awesome!

The view back up the slope

Beautiful, isn't it? Let me assure you, the pic does not do this place justice. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but it smells beautiful and feels beautiful too.

At this point, I stopped hiking with everyone else and stayed here. The previous evenings dinner was apparently having an argument with my digestive system. I'd been sick all morning and was feeling totally wiped out. So I decided to stay here and wait until everyone else came back. They continued on up the trail. I sat down in a comfy dip in the rock and knitted the sock.

I was feeling pretty bad about it, beating myself up because I didn't have it in me to keep going on up the trail. I know what's up that trail and I was not pleased about missing out on the sights. But my body was not cooperating. Then I had a thought. Here I was, knitting a sock, in the most beautiful place on earth. I'm living a fantasy here! As my daughter so lovingly pointed out later-how many other people have sat there and knitted? I'm the first! I stopped feeling bad and settled in for the long wait. I didn't expect them back for 2 to 3 hours.

A few other hikers showed up as I knitted. I wish you could have seen the looks on their faces when they stepped out of the bushes to find a fat lady in a cowboy hat knitting a sock on the edge of the creek. T'was priceless! LOL!

I finished the sock while I was waiting. It only took an hour. I was really disappointed because I figured I'd have another 2 hours to wait yet. I was feeling much better and was thinking about hiking on up and catching up with everyone else when I spotted brother in law Dan above me. They were back early. My daughter said I wouldn't have been able to go much further anyway. There was waaaay too much water in the creek and the trail was flooded further up. So they sat in a grove of cedars for a bit and ate the snacks we'd brought along with us. Then they turned back. Shoot! I would have liked to have seen that-though Ruth took pics for me.

We hiked back down the valley to the truck and headed back to camp.

A mountain goat

When we got back to our cars, Sue spotted a mountain goat way up on the slope above us.

Zooming in
We always have heard the goats are up here, but this is the first time I've ever seen one. So exciting!

Very long waterfall

On the way back to camp we stopped so I could take a pic of this long waterfall coming down off the steep side of the mountain.

Mountain Penstemon

There was some Penstemon growing along the side of the road

Silky Lupine

as well as lots of wild lupine.

All in all, it was a beautiful hike on a beautiful day.

Have a good one.


Hello, I'm Back

I had a wonderful camping trip. The weather was almost perfect. I say almost because the last night (Saturday) it rained like crazy getting everything left outside wet. Wasn't much outside cos I'd heard the rumor around camp that rain might come. It sure rained hard though. I was really really glad we have a trailer and don't camp in a tent anymore.

We camped on Priest Lake at Indian Creek. I consider Priest Lake to be the most beautiful lake on earth. I love camping there.

I didn't take any pics of the lake itself this time, or much of the campground either. Whenever I was out walking, I usually had 2 dog leashes in my hands, so I didn't take my camera with me.

I took sock knitting with me. I took the shawl too, but never got around to working on it. Socks were the order of the weekend because I've joined the Summer of Socks '08, so I'm an even more motivated sock knitter. There's a contest for vacation sock pics in SoS'08, so I dragged a partially knit sock with it's needles and ball of yarn all over the Idaho national forest looking for picture opportunities that might win me the contest. I know for sure these won't, so I'm sharing. I took them the first day. After we arrived and set up camp we all sat around and had a nice drink and conversation. I talked my sis-in-law Sue to hold 'the sock'. That's BIL Dan on her right, and nephew Nathan on her left.

The puppy behind them is our newest member of the family. He showed up at their house a few days before. Not sure if he was dumped, or just ran away. Since no one in the neighborhood knows the puppy, we suspect dumped. He's a really really nice dog, so Dan and Sue, who have been dogless for some time now, have decided to keep him if he doesn't end up having a locator chip (Sue's taking him to the vet this week to check on that.) She's notified all the proper agencies too, but no one seems to be looking for the little guy. He's such a sweetie. Why would anyone wanna just dump him out in the boonies? We've named him Roho, which is Spanish for red. He got along really well with Tommy.

Not so with Morgan. However, there are extenuating circumstances which I will get into later.

Next we have Sweet Hubby holding 'the sock'. He is reading his Fathers Day gift, a Spanish/English learning book. (It's where we got the idea for Roho's name).

We are going to Mexico on a vacation next January and he's decided he is going to learn as much Spanish as he can between now and then. He purchased some Spanish lesson software, and an Ipod to haul it around in, and he's been practically glued to that Ipod ever since.

This is a Stellars Blue Jay. He pretty much lived with us at our camp spot, grabbing bits and crumbs whenever the opportunity presented itself.

There were 3 Grey Jays too, but they never sat still long enough to get a decent pic of them.

Well, that's all for now. I'll write more tomorrow. We went on a hike on Saturday, and that's when I took most of my pics. I need to figure out which of them to post here. I took a lot, and of course, I have to decide which of the sock pics I can post too. I need to decide which one I'll enter in the contest. Sigh....it will be a tough decision. Maybe I should hold a contest?

Have a great day.


Goin' Camping

I am pooped, I tell you, pooped! That bug really whomped the tough out of me. I got everything done yesterday that I wanted to get done though.

I even managed to work on the shawl. I have 5 rows left of the beehives. I tried to get those last 5 done before going to bed, but I was just too pooped. The eyes refused to cooperate. So I'll do them when we get to our camping destination this afternoon. I'm anxious to start the next stitch pattern. It looks fun.

So, you won't be hearing from me for a few days. Where I'm going there is no cell phone service, no tv, no internet, no radio stations. I'll be lucky to find a toilet that flushes (not counting the one in my trailer of course). Sounds heavenly, don't it? The weather is supposed to be absolutely perfect. I'm taking the camera, so there'll be pictures. (I will miss the ice maker in my new fridge though.)

Look out Priest Lake, here we come!

Have a great weekend.


How....... ???

No WIP Wednesday today. I haven't worked any more on the sock. I've been working on the shawl, which isn't much different 'cept it's longer. I have 1 1/2 repeats left to go before I start the bee swarm stitch pattern. Instead, I have questions.

I love Bearded Iris. On the front side of the house I have a little patch of them. (Please ignore the weeds. I don't weed in the rain, but they sure weren't shy about growing in the rain!). This is the ONLY place I've ever planted Iris in my yard. The patch consists of the following colors: peach, yellow, black, light blue, and one deep deep royal purple. In fact, I think that's the Royal Purple one with the bud on it.

Yesterday morning my daughter headed out the door to go to work. She turned right around and came back into the house. I thought maybe she forgot something. No, she came in to tell me there's a purple Iris blooming. "Come see it Mom!" So, I did. Only, it wasn't in the Iris patch. It is here-the little purple spot that black arrow is pointing at.

This is across the driveway, in the 'wild' part of the front yard. And it's purple. Completely different than my deep purple one. Here's a close up.

Question 1: Where did it come from?

Question 2: How did it get there?

Weird! Totally weird!

My favorite part of the Bearded Iris is the little hairy thingies. They're so---hairy.

Besides knitting, I planted some flowers I'd bought before the great rains. They've been hanging out on the deck in their little pots, waiting patiently. I also started preparing for our camping trip.

On Thursday we are leaving for the first camping trip of the season. We're heading for Priest Lake, one of my most favorite places on planet Earth. I did laundry yesterday, and cleaned the inside of the trailer from top to bottom. I've also been making lists, planning meals, and whatnot. Today I'm going grocery shopping, and them I'm gonna start packing. I have very little energy after being sick for 4 days. I do not recover like I used to. Must be the age thing. So I thought I'd better start hauling stuff out today so I'm not totally wiped out before we even get to the camp ground tomorrow. I will be packing some knitting, of course. Socks, and the shawl.

I've got a lot to do, so I better get busy.

Have a great day.


A Mom and Her Baby

Last Friday evening, just as the sun was setting, we had a couple visitors to the Parkarosa. I took pics of course, but I waited until today to post them because I wanted to focus on WWKip Day over the weekend. It's over now, so I can post away.

A very young mother Moose showed up with her calf in tow. I believe this is her first child. I have never seen a moose calf this young before. Isn't it absolutely adorable? (click on the pics for a larger view)

Mama and baby

Wasn't the least bit afraid of me.

Look at that face! I could smother it with kisses.

Checkin' out the lawnmower shed.

Movin' on. Those tiny little ears are sayin' "But Mom, I don't wanna go yet!"

At this point, Sweet Hubby got out the paint ball pistol and started shooting at Mama's rump. She has no business bringing a baby that young this close to us. It worked. First shot got her going at a trot and they both scrammed outta here.

I have recovered some from whatever bug I caught. I'm feeling a bit better today. I've worked on my sock a bit. Wow, I'm likin' it. 'Course, I'm biased.

I've decided I'm going to write this one up into a pattern and post it on my pattern blog. I've never written a sock pattern before, so it will be an adventure. The hardest part will be putting into words how I do the gusset cos I do it differently than usual for 2 circs.

It's gorgeous out, so I think I'll take my sick butt outside and soak some rays, while knitting of course. I've got a shawl that needs attention.

Have a good day.


WWKIP Day Report

It was a beautiful day at the park. Perfect weather. When I arrived folks were just finished up with some athletic event so the park was packed with people. I had great hopes for the day, despite the fact that I was ill and had spent all night throwing up.

Very few attended the event. Mostly me and my kids. One gal from Spokane, name Jan, came too, for about half an hour. She spun some gorgeous yellow fiber. I appreciate her efforts to come even though she couldn’t stay long.

A lady and her daughter came (and her parents showed up for a minute). She claimed she was there to knit, but then she asked me what my shirt meant and there were no knitting accouterments, so I knew she was not being truthful. After that she asked me if I go to church. I knew I was in trouble then. She was there looking for converts for her church, not to knit. Eventually I had to chase her off-in a nice way of course. Sheesh!

My shirt said “Yarn is a 4 letter word” with a list of 100 4 letter words to do with knitting under it-like purl, knit, sock. Geez! If you’re gonna lie to someone at least make half an effort to make it believable.

The park got busy again with families having picnics. Our biggest audience were the ducks though. They got really curious about us with our yarn (I think they were wondering if it was food) and actually walked right up and put their heads near my lap to sniff it. It was very entertaining.

I had signs up and whatnot, but no one asked us about knitting, or crochet.

That’s it. I am disappointed there weren’t more. Especially since so many had told me they were going to be there. However, I did enjoy spending the time with my 2 wonderful daughters and my awesome future son in law. And the park was gorgeous.

Next year I have more time to plan and advertise, so it should be better. WWKIP is always on the second Saturday of June.

Here are a few photos I took:

Our set up

Our first curious party.

A marmot dropped in for a snack.

The crew. From left to right: Ruth, Sarah, and Frank.

Here come some more curious onlookers.

Hey! Watcha got there?

Now, that's intense concentration!

I worked on my sock while at the park. I got the heel flap done, but got stuck on the turn. I forgot to take my pattern instructions with me, and for the life of me, I could not remember how to start the turning part. Arrgh.

I am still feeling sick. I've caught a rather nasty bug for sure. I'm home alone right now. The family went for an adventure up in the Coeur d'Alene forest. It's what their Dad wanted to do for Fathers Day. I love going up there, but I just feel too sick to go. So I'm staying home, resting, and writing this blog.

Have a Happy Fathers Day


I Danced in the Sun

It happened! The sun returned to us yesterday, around 4pm. I couldn't help myself. I had to go out and dance in it. It felt so good.

I had to knit on the deck. Heck with housework. There's sunshine to soak in! I needed to put another repeat away on my shawl. However, I had an overwhelming desire to start a sock. I've been purposely waiting until June 21 to start another pair because that is the official start day of the Summer of Socks knit along, which I'm participating in this year. I couldn't' wait that long. Besides, I need a portable semi-brainless project on the needles. So, I gave in. I dug in the stash for a skein of Opal, in a Petticoat colorway. I decided on a simple 4 by 2 garter rib stitch pattern. I cast on and in less than 2 hours had half the leg done. Yup! I needed that sock.

I can't believe I'm that addicted to sock knitting.

This morning, when I got up, the sun was coming up. I grabbed my knitting and a cup of coffee. I've got 7 repeats done on the shawl now. Only 3 left and I get to start a new stitch pattern.

Please don't forget tomorrow is World Wide Knit In Public Day. If you don't have an event you can attend locally, perhaps you could just pop over to the park, the mall, or some public place and just sit and knit for a bit.

If you live in the north Idaho/Spokane, WA area, I've got one planned. You can get information on the place/time/etc here:

Please come! We're gonna have a great time!

Have a great day.


Beadage has Happened

I got some beading done this week. I've made a pair of the cutest butterfly earrings ever. My friend Tami is celebrating a birthday today, so I made these for her.

I'll be having lunch with her today, along with a few other girlfriends, so I'll give them to her then. I used Czech fire polished crystals and size 15 seed beads. The pattern is an adaptation of one in the book Introduction to Beadwork Earrings, Brooches, Fringes, and Tassels by The Beadworkers Guild (Such a long title for such a small book!)

This months challenge on the Learn2Bead group is a cabochon surround. I started this one about 2 or maybe 3 months ago. Didn't get very far before it got shoved aside for more interesting things. (I do suffer from startitis when it comes to beading.) I decided to finish it in honor of the challenge.

The cab is a blue dyed slice of agate I bought for a buck at one of those souvenir shops inside a gas station/convenience store in Wallace, ID. I was killing time while waiting for Sweet Hubby to show up at the end of a long bike ride (He was riding. I was picking him up. I don't ride up mountains.) and decided to wander 'round inside the shop. They had quite a collection of rocks and agates.

The rumor still persists that the sunshine is coming today and for the weekend. I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed. I really want nice weather for WWKIP day. It rained all day yesterday, along with thunder and lightening. At least it didn't snow!

Have a great day.


WIP Wednesday 6/11/08

Pierre the Pirate is starting as a pair of pants.

I have finished 5 whole repeats of the current stitch pattern in Honeybee. I've got 5 more to go. I know I'm a bit biased, but I think it's stunning so far.

I have survived yesterdays monstrous weather. The snow did not stick at my house. However, some areas got as much as 1 1/2 inches on the ground. The last time it snowed in June was in 1901. Wow. Today the temps are supposed to go up, the clouds are supposed to clear, and we're supposed to get at least a week of 'normal' June weather. I can hardly wait! I wanna go back to knitting on the deck in the sunshine each morning.

There is a new knitting magazine that has hit the market. I haven't found a copy of it around here yet, but it's being talked about a great deal in a most positive way, so I checked out their web site and have ordered a subscription. If it's anything like they are saying, it should be a good one. There's over 50 patterns in the premier issue. I want to make the lace tunic. Check it out, Verena Knitting Magazine.

Have a good day.


What I Did Last Weekend

As I write this, it is snowing out. Yes, snowing, on June 10, 2008. No one can fathom the depths of hurt I feel right now because of the snow fates betrayal. This only serves to make me hate them more.

I have, in fact, given up totally on having a veggie garden this year. I am putting the seeds I bought in a ziplock bag and saving them for next year. It's just too late. The strawberry patch seems to be happy though. It's growing like crazy, and loaded with flowers. My tomato plants are doing well on the deck too. So I will spoil them rotten with tender loving care this summer-if summer ever gets here.

Now, to the subject. What I did last weekend. I did this.

My first french beaded flower. It's supposed to be a poppy. I think it's pretty good for a first effort. Lots of room for improvement though. I have a hard time holding the frame wires straight when doing the petals. I need to make my loops closer together too. I will need to practice quite a bit before I can feel good enough to do my daughters wedding bouquet.

Did I mention that? She wants me to bead the wedding flowers? I think I did. Anyway, the weekend was pretty much about that. Sarah and I met at Beading Buddies on Saturday to buy beads (since they're having a going out of business sale-might as well save some money). That's when I found out bright royal blue is not one of the wedding colors. Her bright royal is another persons turquoise. Yup! Turquoise and chocolate brown. That will be so pretty. I love those two colors together.

Anyway, we loaded up on turquoise and brown beads. On Sunday, she came over and we started learning how to make french beaded flowers. She wants to help make her wedding flowers, which I think is incredibly fantastic. We are gonna have so much fun working together!


I also took this funky internet quiz-What color green are you? I'm teal.

You Are Teal Green

You are a one of a kind, original person. There's no one even close to being like you.
Expressive and creative, you have a knack for making the impossible possible.
While you are a bit offbeat, you don't scare people away with your quirks.
Your warm personality nicely counteracts and strange habits you may have.


This week I'm working on my book. I worked out a new lace pattern for the next project yesterday. It was much easier than the previous project. My idea actually works in lace. Now to figure out how to put the elements (Beads, lace, garter stitch) I've got going here into a pleasing shape. I've named the pattern Genie Bottle.

Tommy was a veritable pill yesterday. Don't quite know what got into him but he was causing all kinds of trouble. He got into the kitchen garbage several times and dragged gross things into the living room to eat. I got tired of taking it all away from him and finally emptied the garbage so there was nothing for him to find. So what did he do? He went outside and found something gross to drag into the house and eat in the living room.

On top of that, he wouldn't stop chasing the cats, barked at anything and everything, and was just a pain in general all day. He was living dangerously, I tell you!

I am leaving you with this photo. I took a close up of one of the french lilac flowers that I am quite proud of.

Have a great non-snowy day.

(My apologies to Australia. I have done my best, They won't leave. Did y'all do something to offend them?)