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


WIP Wednesday 12/31/08

This is the last WIP Wednesday of the year 2008. It seems like the year just whipped by. It was definitely an interesting year. No boredom on the Parkarosa for sure.

I am making slow progress on my Bayerische sock. But I am enjoying it. It's looking very pretty, if I do say so myself.

I also started a new project today. An actual grown up sized sweater, for me. I'll give more details and take pics of it later and show you. I've only got 3 rows done anyway. I started it at knit group today and admittedly did way more talking than knitting.

I wanted to share this picture. DD Ruth took it yesterday. It didn't snow, or rain, though it was rather dark all day and some pretty fierce winds blew (30 to 40 mph!).

The temperature was above freezing too. Bikini weather!

Have a great evening.


Jack Frost is a Mean Little Creature

It rained on Sunday. Melted at least half the snow we had. Sweet Hubby got all the snow moved out of our way. Yesterday the snow returned, with a vengeance! I got to drive in it when I went to get my weekly blood test in the morning. Oh what fun that was-NOT!

We got a foot of it by mid afternoon, then it rained for 20 minutes making it all weigh a ton, then it froze. My daughters car got stuck at the end of the driveway in the berm made by the snowplow whipping by. Took us quite awhile to get it unstuck. I'm so sick of shoveling snow I could cry.

One of the big news stories on last night news featured whining folks in Spokane having a fit cos they have to drag their garbage cans to the street cos the garbage trucks can’t go down the alleys due to snow? The gal they interviewed was way younger than me. I had to scream at the tv “You want some cheese with that whine?!” The distance from the alley to the street is about 1/4th the distance we drag our garbage can to the street every single week, no matter how much snow there is (and we have a hell of a lot more than they do). We don’t have an alley. It’s to the street or forget it. I have no sympathy.

The record breaking snowfall is having some very devastating effects in the area though. Roofs started collapsing right and left yesterday, including the roof of the popular Rosaures grocery store in Spokane. Fortunately, no one got hurt. They heard popping noises, a couple ceiling tiles came down, and everyone ran for the door-in a calm and orderly way. Everyone was out before it all came crashing down. I'm so glad Sweet Hubby got our roof shoveled over the weekend.

Right now we're having a little break, but the next storm is on it's way. It will be here in a few hours. In fact, it's gonna snow for the next several days.

I did get some good news this morning. I can now go in every 2 weeks, instead of every week, for my blood tests. Hurray!

I have been working on my Bayerische sock. I got one whole pattern repeat done. It is getting easier for me.

I was going to title this entry The Christmas Present That Did Not Come. I ordered a present for Sweet Hubby on December 17, which I paid $30 extra to have it shipped 3-day so it would get here before Christmas. Should have been here on the 22nd at the latest. Haven't seen hide nor hair of it. I called the company today and they say UPS claims to have delivered it to me on the 24th. I was home all day, and though it was possible it could have been buried in the snow on the front porch, it was all shoveled off over the weekend and there was no box hiding in it. Besides, I was home all day, hoping the truck would show up. There is NO way it got in our driveway without Tommy letting me know. He's our official UPS truck alert system. Anyway, they are going to ship another one. There is a little part of me that kind of hopes that come spring time we find a box buried. If so, I'll call the folks I ordered it from and let them know.

Have a great day.


It's Raining!

Wow. I got up this morning and there was no new snow. In fact, it rained all night last night. It's actually above freezing today. I am SO relieved! Now, what to do about the lake in the front yard...

Sweet Hubby is up on the roof now shoveling off the remaining snow. He moved snow all day yesterday cos we got up to a foot of new stuff the night before. I have felt so bad for him cos his whole Christmas break has been about moving snow. He says he is ready to go back to work tomorrow.

While Sweet Hubby moved snow, I did house work, and knitted.

I made some very small progress on my Bayerische sock. The twisted rib section went fine. However, the first three rows of the stitch pattern is another story. I spend 3 hours on those first 3 rows. I kept screwing them up and having to tink back to fix. I'm hoping that after the first pattern repeat it gets easier. In the meantime, I'm gathering all the little things that help me in a situation like this and using them. The stitch markers have been a huge help, though I don't like using them with yarn and needles this small cos they can mess up my gauge. I will just have to be extra careful.

Word to the wise-this is not a pattern that can be worked on in a hurry. One MUST have a nice relaxing alcoholic drink (or 2 or 3) and absolutely NO distractions (like laundry to do, and furkids).

Because of the huge amount of new snow yesterday morning, the boys decided they weren't going outside anymore. I left the room and returned to pee and poo all over the dining room carpet. I lost it and screamed at them to "KENNEL UP!" A small miracle happened.

Kennel up means to go lie down in your bed. I've been working on Tommy for over 2 years to teach him that. I know how to train dogs. I have had dogs in my past who won awards for the tricks I trained them to do.

Morgan has always known what kennel up means. One time of showing him and handing him a cookie when he did it was all it took. Tommy, on the other hand, usually stands there with a vacant look on his face and a wagging tail. Never in my life have I met such a dumb dog. He just can't seem to learn things very well. So over and over, day after day, for over 2 years I've been showing him "kennel up" and giving him a cookie when he jumps into his bed.

Tommy kenneled up.

In fact, I called him to me and told him to kennel up again. He did it! The best present he could have given me. All was forgiven for the messes in the dining room.

Have a great day.


Recreational Fringing

I hope those who celebrate Christmas had a wonderful one yesterday. I know I did. Santa brought me the Pushing Daisies Season 1 DVD, a new toaster oven, and chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. Santa did good!

In the evening we went to a friends house for a Prime Rib dinner and games. We have such a good time playing games together. Usually we play Three Thirteen Rummy, which we did yesterday.

I was the first one up this morning, even though we didn't get home last night until 1:30 am. The fur boys don't believe in sleeping in. So I'll probably need to take a nap later today cos I've gone to bed past 1:30 am two nights in a row. I didn't think I could do that anymore-stay up late 2 nights in a row. I'm somewhat impressed by that.

Anyway, since it was quiet in the house while everyone else slept, I decided to work some more on the fringe beaded bead. I have decided on using turquoise, brown, purple, and black for my fringe beads.

I made a bead soup of 3mm to 6mm beads in the 4 main colors. I'm stringing four size 11's before the main bead in each fringe. Some of the 4-bead 'legs' are brown, some black, some the lighter beige color. I've been trying to be random with color combo's and bead sizes for the ends of each fringe. So far, this is what I've got.

I'm liking the color choices. This is a good way to use up leftover bits of 3mm to 6mm beads too.

I have been wondering why these start with a peyote base, rather than something quicker, like a 3-bead netted base or something like that. Now I know. You need the peyote base in order to get the fringe dense enough for it to stick out and cover the bead properly. I have to admit, using a 20mm bead means I've got a lot of fringe making ahead of me. Future fringe beads will have a smaller core bead.

I tried one little hint that was suggested in the businka-lisa tutorial. I bent the end of my needle to an angle of about 60 degrees. It makes it much easier to get the needle through the base beads as you go along. I've also been making sure I put lots of tension on the thread. I don't want any floppy fringes.

It has stopped snowing for a bit. We've even got sunshine and blue sky poking out amongst the clouds. The Chickadees and Magpies are chowing down at the bird feeders. They're making quite a ruckus out there.

Have a great day.


Twas the Night Before Christmas

Christmas Eve dinner with the family was fantastic! There was so much fun, food, love, and laughter. I enjoyed it immensely. Our gift exchange was awesome too. We declared the experiment a success.

The highlight of the evening for me was seeing my nephew Robert. He hasn't been home for several years. We all have missed him so much. He seemed to love the scarf and hat I made for him. He's not an emotional sort of person, so it was a bit hard to tell. The best compliment he gave was immediately putting them on and wearing them until he couldn't stand the heat any more. (When you cram 27 folks into that small of a room, it gets hot.) He finally put them near the couch. All evening long he would go back and look at them again. So I know he appreciated my efforts.

My nephew Daniel drew my name. He gave me a tiny Purple little knitted sweater ornament, a gift certificate to Borders (so I can get Thai Die, Monica Ferris's new book), and best of all-a small box of Godiva chocolates! SCORE! He's now my favorite nephew. Heh heh...

It snowed all day, then all night, than part of this morning. It has stopped for a bit now. Sheesh! It's gettin' mighty deep out there. More snow is predicted for later this evening. Who asked for the white Christmas? I'd like to have a word with them.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!


Recreational Beading

Okay, here it is. The coconut cream pie I baked yesterday.

It is, by far, the most perfect coconut cream pie I have ever made. The house smelled absolutely wonderful the rest of the day too. All coconuty and all. The recipe can be found here:

It tastes fantastic (I've made it before) and it's super easy to make. I did make one change, in case your interested. Instead of using a frozen crust, I used a fresh one (natch!). So instead of baking for the first 30 minutes on the bottom rack, I just went ahead and put it on the center rack for the whole baking time.

After posting yesterday I got a call from my SIL Sue, who's house we are going to for Christmas Eve dinner. She is totally stressed out and she was in a panic. She'd just discovered her sons girlfriend didn't put her name in the family Christmas present drawing and she's gonna be here for Christmas, sharing it with the Park family (The girl has guts-that makes her a winner in my book) and we're all exchanging our gifts at the dinner and..... Well, heck. Sue needed a hug in the worst way, but there was the phone system between us, so I did the next best thing. I volunteered to take care of the nephews girlfriend gift. Last night, I whipped this up. After all, I was looking for some recreational beading, right? And what girl does not like jewelry?

A simple tennis bracelet made with seed beads and Swarovski crystals. Believe me, it sparkles way more in real life than it does in this picture! I used Sandra Halpenny's pattern, with a couple modifications. I put 3 beads in the horizontal sections instead of 2, and I added a bead between the squares along the side edges after I beaded the length I wanted.

The bracelet took about an hour to make. It was 2 hours before bed time. More time for recreational beading!

As I wrote last week, I've been sort of drooling over the fringed beads made by the writer of the blog businka-lisa and I want to learn how to make them. I found instructions in one of my beading books. However, businka-lisa actually has a tutorial showing how she makes them herself (Thanks to Linda in my Learn2Bead group for finding it for me!). I decided to try that method, which is quite different from the book method. It's all in Russian, but the Google translater did a fair job of turning enough of it into English and the pics are so good that I was able to figure it out quite easily.

You start by covering a bead in peyote stitch. This is the first time I've done it-covered a bead in peyote, that is. I'm quite pleased with the results.

Now, her tutorial is for an 18mm core bead, and she uses size 11 Czech seed beads. I have 20mm wooden beads that I bought to cover. I also have a HUGE supply of Japanese size 11's, which are just a little bit larger.

So I just did the pattern as instructed, hoping the increased size of the Japanese beads would make up for the slightly larger core bead. I did have to add 4 extra rounds of straight up beading in the center (before the decreases), but the width worked out perfectly.

It's turned out so pretty I'm reluctant to cover it with fringe. It was a lot of fun to make too. I think I'll go on a beaded bead binge for awhile.

More snow today. Sweet Hubby has taken the rest of the week off. He's outside right now blowing, shoveling, and plowing. We're gonna shovel the roof on the weekend.

Have a great Christmas Eve, and stay warm (or cool if you live in Australia).


Done, Finished, Completed, Through, Finite'....

I am ready for Christmas. The gifts are done, wrapped, and under the tree. The coconut cream pie is in the oven, the stockings are hung, and I've only got 2 loads of laundry left to do. I think this is the first year I've been ready this early. Usually I'm up past midnight on Christmas eve frantically finishing things up. I'm gonna sit back, relax, and do some recreational beading and knitting this evening.

I finished the spiral rope for Phyllis's gift.

I also redid the picot edging on the cabochon. It looked really cool before but it didn't want to lay correctly when worn, so I took it out and did something a little less complicated. I like this edging much better.

It has been snowing all day. The snow flakes are the kind that have the six points, lacy, and flat, and are simply gorgeous. I wish I could figure out a way to take pictures of them. My camera is good, but not that good!

We had a visitor this morning.

Are you following me?

I couldn't tell if it was a he or a she. It's unusual for us to see moose after we get snow. They usually stay by Rathdrum Creek during the winter, about a mile or so west of us, or head south across the Prairie.

Last night, while I was beading away, Chenille decided to show of her acrobatic skills.

That's a thin screened plasma tv she's balancing on. I guess she wanted to know what time it was.

The oven is beeping. Time to take the pie out.

Have a great day.


Fuzzy and Black

Whew! I got these done in time! Friday night DD Sarah called and asked if we could get together Sunday night to exchange gifts because they are going out of town for Christmas (it's Franks parents turn) and didn't want to wait until they got back. I had not cast on the second black fuzzy fingerless mitt yet. Good thing it was a fast knit. I cast on yesterday morning, and bound off three hours later. I wove the ends in this morning. They're all wrapped and ready to go now.

DD Ruth consented to model them for my camera.

Fuzzy and Black Fingerless Mitts

Pattern: Noro Fingerless Mitts by Michelle Molis.

Fluff by N.Y. Yarns in black (100% nylon). Softee Baby by Bernat in black (100% acrylic).

Needles: Size 9-24 inch Addi Turbo Circulars.

Cast On: December 17, 2008
Completed: December 20, 2008

Comments: An incredibly fast knit. Very well designed and well written pattern. Calls for a gauge of 4 sts to the inch. I achieved that by combining one strand each of the above yarns and using a size 9 needle. They turned out so soft, warm, comfy, and skwooshy.


We're gettin' down to the wire now. I'm completely finished with all the knitting gifts. Well, technically, I still have to block the nephews scarf. I'll do that Monday. However, I know there are some of you who are probably panicking right now. I've got a link for you:

You can thank me later.

We, as in, DH, Me, both DD's, and the future SiL went Christmas shopping at the Spokane Valley Mall yesterday. Wow! It was crazy! Absolutely crazy! But, oddly, fun too. We had to wait in long lines to pay for anything and everything, or use the restroom. I was feeling relaxed and not in a hurry so it didn't bother me. However, when it was time to leave? Hell on earth! It took over an hour just to get out of the parking lot. They had the police there directing the traffic, but it wasn't helping much. We had planned to stop at a couple stores on our way to the freeway that are not in the mall. Could not get to them-no way, no how! By the time we got to the freeway on-ramp, Sweet Hubby just wanted to get as far away from the place as possible.

Note to self: Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT go to any mall the weekend before Christmas!

We've never done that before. We usually get the mall shopping done sooner than this. However, life has been getting in the way for Sweet Hubby so we found ourselves in a jam. He's still in a jam. He didn't find what he was looking for so he's starting to panic a bit. We've still got 3 days. He can pop into a store or two from work on his lunch break (he still hasn't found my present. Now I'm wondering what he's looking for cos what I asked for is easy to find).

It's snowing out. Just what we needed...NOT! This storm is supposed to leave us a few inches. It already has. I'm wondering what the weatherman's idea of "a few inches" is.

Have a great day, and stay warm.


All is Well, and Snowy, on the Parkarosa

I'm chugging away on the Christmas knitting. Roberts scarf is done, except for weaving in 2 ends, and blocking. As you can see, it's got a curling problem.

Since the scarf was done, I was sort of casting around for another simple portable project to take with me to knitting group on Wednesday (yes, I was crazy enough to go out in the storm. This happened before the tractor broke but I could still get out of the driveway). I don't really want to start a pair of socks until after the holidays. My eyes fell upon a ball of black Fluffy (N.Y.Yarns) that I bought last year to make a pair of fingerless mitts for Sarah. I'd promised those to her for last years Christmas. I better get them done. The first mitt is done, more or less.

I need a gift for one of my best friends, Phyllis. I have decided to give her beaded jewelry. I had a project in mind, a fringe bead necklace, inspired by the eye candy on this blog:


This gal is so incredibly talented with her use of color combination and whatnot. She's an inspiration to me. I spent hours yesterday feasting my eyes on her eye candy. I just wish I could read Russian.

However, I don't know how long it will take for me to learn how to make fringe beads (I have the info, just need to put it to use). Besides that, the subject for this month in my Learn2Bead group is spirals. You know how much I LOVE making spirals! So this morning I decided to finish the necklace I was going to make with this cab and give it to her.

I'm making a spiral rope for the necklace part. The cab will be the pendant. I'm trying something just a smidge different with this spiral. I'm going up 2 core beads at a time, instead of one. So far, I'm liking it. Gives the rope a more svelte appearance, and the core color is showing more, which is what the goal is.

After I get this done, I will attempt to make a fringe bead. If I get it done before Christmas, she can have that instead.

Sweet Hubby got the tractor and the snowblower fixed yesterday, and cleaned out some paths in the snow for us, and the animals. It didn't stop snowing until about 5p.m. Coeur d'Alene got 37 inches of snow in 35 hours. All records for snow amounts achieved in one 24 hour period have been broken. Doncha love global warming. Heh heh.....

Anyway, the sun came out this morning, and I have to admit, as much as I hate snow, it is absolutely gorgeous when the sun shines on fresh snowfall. So I took a few pics to share with you this morning.

Down the hill in the back yard. Sweet Hubby blows a trail to the tv dishes so we can wipe them off when they get covered with enough snow to block the signal. I am amazed how many deer tracks criss cross down there.

The backyard. Those sticks around the little cherry tree on the left are 4 feet tall.

I was standing on the back porch when I took the above pictures. I looked up, and saw this fascinating curve of snow hanging over me. The wind blew it that way.

The view down the driveway.

My daughters poor car (the green one) . Believe it or not, these cars were cleared off yesterday, even though we weren't going anywhere. I love the pile of snow on The Closet (our storage shed). It makes me think of marshmallows. Yum...marshmallows.......

I'm glad the wind blew a bit last night. It helped decrease the roof load. We're probably going to need to shovel the roof off this weekend. The snow is really light and fluffy, but if it gets warm enough to start melting it's gonna get really heavy.

The fur kids seem to be handling the snow fairly well. Having trails blown around the house helps. They can go out and run around a bit. Sweet Hubby blows a trail all the way around the house just for them.

I need to get crackin' on that beading, and knitting. Less than a week left to go!

Have a great day.


Please Send the Saint Bernards

You know, the ones with the brandy caskets on their collars? We need them.

Well, I don't know what we did to piss off the snow fates, but they are really really pissed. We got 3 feet of new snow yesterday, and it's still coming down like crazy. At this rate, we'll have another 3 feet by the end of today.

Things getting worse? You bet! Our tractor broke down last night while Sweet Hubby was plowing his brothers driveway. So, he left the tractor there in disgust and came home. Started up the snow blower, and it broke. So, aside from the old fashioned shovel, we have no way to move the snow.

Have I mentioned how much I HATE winter?

Have a great day.


The Ice Age Has Arrived

Contrary to popular belief-global warming- an ice age has arrived at the Parkarosa. It started Friday with snow falling all - day - long. By the next morning we had about 8 inches of snow on the ground. Then the wind from the north arrived. It blew and blew. In fact, I think I could safely say it blew about half our snow down to southern Idaho cos we only have about 4 inches now. I know it didn't melt cos temps have been barely over 20F degrees at the most since Thursday.

With the wind came the ice age. At this point, we're thinking in temperature terms of 30 degrees being a heat wave. Well, actually, maybe 20 degrees is the heat wave cos on Sunday, when sis-in-law Sue and I went to Walmart, we saw teenagers wearing shorts, t-shirts, and no jackets. It was apparently a 'balmy' 18 degrees out. (What parents care so little about their offspring that they don't even teach them the proper way to dress for temperatures?)

When the weatherman says the high today is going to be 10F degrees, you know it ain't warm. I'm sorry, but 10F is NOT a high. It is cold. As my daughter might say, it is Butt Freezing cold. (Now I understand why sis-in-law Sue got a car with heating seats. I want! Though I have to admit it was one of the strangest feelings I've ever had.) It's the kind of cold that the furnace can't keep up with, even if it blows 24 hours a day. It's the kind of cold that makes it hard to start my car, and impossible to chip the ice off the windshield. It's the kind of cold that requires a cup of hot cocoa with a dash of whiskey, and an Iggy under the blanket with me. I know, cos that is what I finally had to do to get warm yesterday.

The deep freeze is scheduled to remain all week, with snow in the future. Fun fun!

Okay, I've had enough winter. It's time to move on to spring. (Are you listening weather fates?)

I got quite a bit of knitting done over the weekend. I have less than an inch left to do on Robert's scarf and I'm done. So I expect I'll finish it after I'm done with this blog post.

Morgan is doing about the same. Peeing a lot. He was definitely uncomfortable for part of the night cos he just couldn't seem to settle down much. Kept tossing and turning. Poor little guy. This morning he didn't eat much of his breakfast, though he was a little pig over the weekend. Morgan is definitely losing weight. He's lost 2 pounds since September. This is bothering Sweet Hubby a lot cos he keeps mentioning how skinny Morgan is getting. We still don't know what to do. Or maybe we do, but we're just afraid to make the decision and get it done. We're talking about it. It's so hard to decide to say goodbye to a much loved family member, even if they are covered in fur. We know we have to. It's just deciding when.

Ruthie is home from school. She arrived yesterday, with Lindy. It's good to have her home. Some how it's comforting under the circumstances.

Well, my feet are freezing despite being covered in blankets. I think I'll go get a cup of hot cocoa, an Iggy, and settle down to finish Robert's scarf.

Keep warm today.


Say Hello to Fenmore

I stepped out this morning to check out the weather and who did I see up in a tree? Fenmore, one of our neighboring Kootenai Gnomes. He was watching the snow fall.

He was all dressed up in his holiday finery. He said he was heading to an office Christmas party later today. I talked him into coming down and sitting for a photograph.

Fenmore, the Kootenai Gnome

Pattern: Yuletide Gnomes by Alan Dart

Yarns: Caron Simply Soft Eco in Pine and Wine Country
Sensations Cello in white
Bernat Disco in Sizzlin Silver
Unknown 100% acrylic in Peach.
Small bits of acrylic worsted in white and black.

Needles: Size 5-24 inch Addi Turbo Circular, Size 10-24 inch Addi Turbo Circular.

Cast On: November 24, 2008
Completed: December 10, 2008

Comments: I knit the size medium. As usual, I used worsted weight yarn instead of sport weight. His eyes are embroidered french knots with black worsted acrylic. I wish the silver metallic strands in his beard showed in the picture. He looks very festive.

Yes, it's snowing out. It's not supposed to stop until Monday, or melt away cos we are now in a deep freeze. Glad I have nowhere to go. Sounds like the perfect day to make home made chili and biscuits for dinner.

Have a great day.


Kiwi Green Stulpen

They're done, blocked, and washed. Just need to be wrapped now. I had to soak and wash them twice to get all the coffee out. I got a bit worried for a bit there. Thankfully, it all came out the second time. I've come up with, in my opinion, a clever way to display them for a photo. I made a model of my hand with cardboard. Took all of 10 minutes (most of that time spent looking for a piece of cardboard to use). Now you can see how they look on the hand, and off.

Kiwi Green Stulpen

Pattern: Stulpen by Petra

Opal Uni Solid 4ply sock yarn

Content: 75% superwash Wool/ 25% Nylon

Colorway: #1266 Kiwi Green

Needles: Size 2 Addi Circulars.

st on: November 28, 2008
Completed: December 4, 2008

Comments: I love these. They look so elegant, but they really were very simple to make. I did make a change. The pattern calls for sport weight yarn. I used fingering weight sock yarn. So, if you wish to do the same, here's what I did.

I cast on 72 sts instead of 60. In the chart, I added 2 purls and 1 knit on each side. I started with Knit 1 on each round. This centered everything nicely. I then followed all the rest of the instructions as written except for where I put the thumb increases. You put them after stitch 36, and before stitch 39 for the right glove For the left its before stitch 1 and after stitch 70. It worked out perfect!

Sweet Hubby asked me to take some pics of the boys by the Christmas tree. Morgan cooperated quite nicely.

Tommy, on the other hand....

I gave up trying to get him to sit by the tree. He was just too excited about getting his picture taken. So I tried to get him to sit in his bed on a chair (in hopes he'd calm down a bit). I got him posed all perfect. Snapped the picture, and got this.


Several tries later, he finally settled down, and even gave me a sweet smile.

Silly boy!

Have a great day.


WIP Wednesday 12/10/08

This is the garter rib scarf I'm making for my nephew. So far, so good. I'm about halfway done with it (it's folded in the picture).

It does seem to want to curl on the sides, which surprised me with all the garter stitch in it, including the edge stitches. I'm hoping blocking will fix that. Please pardon the white hairs all over it. The animals are shedding like crazy right now.

Now, for a finished project, the hat that matches the scarf.

And my other finished project, the Christmas tree.

If you click on the picture, you'll see a larger version of the picture. Notice the garland on it? I knitted that a few years ago. I made four 15-foot garlands using one strand of S.R. Kertzer Fizz in purple, 1 strand of Fizz in champagne (Fizz is now discontinued), and a strand of Ironstone Yarns Paris Nights-which is a rainbow colored slub novelty yarn that sparkles- all held together. If I remember correctly, I used size 17 needles, cast on 15 feet worth of stitches, knit 2 rows, then bound off VERY loosely. It was, by far, the most expensive tree decorations I've ever bought. Cost more than the tree, because it took several balls of yarn, it weren't cheap yarn, and some major assembly was required before I could put it on the tree.


I talked to our vet yesterday. She was sent the ultrasound pics taken on Monday. She said the tests show no tumors, but the walls of the bladder are abnormally thickened. So, he still may have bladder cancer. We'll just have to wait and see how he does. Since Morgan has been exceptionally feisty the last 2 days and definitely has his appetite back, I have decided not to medicate him for the moment. He seems to be doing pretty good. Perhaps it was just a stone passing, or something like that.

This morning I went to the first meeting of a new knit group that has started. We haven't named the group yet. Need to think about that, but we're meeting each Wednesday morning at Coeur d'Alene Yarn and Fiber from 10am to Noon. All knitters, and crocheters, are invited to join us. We're just knitting and chatting. Nothing formal. I had a good time. It was nice to get away from the Morgan worries for a bit.

While I was away Morgan went 4 hours without peeing. That is something to celebrate!

Got up to just a skiff of snow this morning. They're predicting a major dump on us for the coming weekend, and subzero temps. It's time. I want it to come. Lets get winter over and done with so we can have spring!

That's the news from the Parkarosa. Have a great day.



That's what I've been on, emotionally, the past few days. A friggin rollercoaster!

Took Morgan to the second animal clinic for another ultrasound yesterday. I was referred there by the first vet because their ultrasound machine is way better. It could show much more detail of the mass found in the wall of Morgan's bladder.

They didn't find anything. No cancer, no mass, no tumors. His bladder is 'just fine'.

How is that possible? How can 2 vets find such different results?

And what IS wrong with Morgan? He's not over the problem.

I am so frustrated right now, I don't know whether to be relieved, or more concerned.


Meanwhile, on the knitting front I have finished the hat for my nephew and I'm now working on the scarf. I frogged the scarf 3 times before I got the pattern to work the way I have in my minds little eye.

One of those frogs was yesterday while I waited to be called in for my weekly blood test. Another lady was sitting in the waiting room with me. I wish you could have seen her horrified look when I suddenly blurted out "This needs an inch of ribbing at the beginning" and promptly ripped out the whole 6 inches I'd done and started over. T'was priceless! I have about 14 inches done now, and I'm happy with how it's working up. I also have to say I'm really liking the Superwash Cascade 220. It's very nice to work with.

I have posted a new pattern on my Beadknitter Patterns site. It's the lacy scarf I made last month. Click here to go to the pattern:

Have a great day.



My worst fears have come true. Morgan has cancer in his bladder.

Darn! Rats!


The clinics ultrasound machine couldn't show enough detail to tell how bad it is, so I'm taking him to Kootenai Animal Hospital on Monday for one more ultrasound. They're machine is much better and can give us more details. Like, how long he has left.

There is medication he can take to make the remainder of his life more comfortable. I'll get more details on that on Monday.

Right now, he is beside me, wrapped in a blanket, all warm and snuggly, sleeping peacefully.

My heart aches.


Poor Little Guy

I'm probably going to ramble because I'm stressed and distracted. I had to take Morgan in to the vet this morning. He wouldn't eat, he wouldn't stop pacing the house, he was clearly in pain, in 15 minutes he went out 10 times to pee, and there was blood in that pee. I called the hospital and they said bring him in. They thought he might have a bladder stone, but after a battery of xrays, blood tests, and urine tests, they think he might have Bladder cancer. Ultrasound will tell if he does or not. I'm waiting to hear from the doctor as I'm sitting here typing this.

I was going to hang ornaments on the tree today, but Sweet Hubby has to get the boxes down for me. He hasn't done that yet, though I asked at least a dozen times today. He's out in his workshop building something. He can get as obsessed with his little projects as I get with my knitting and I totally understand that. So I'm just fine with waiting. I'll get him to take them down when he comes in tonight.

Besides, I'm too distracted to think about hanging ornaments right now. This is something we've sort of been expecting, but hoping wouldn't happen-Morgan getting cancer, that is. He's had too many benign tumors in his history.

I don't want him to be hurting. If he has bladder cancer, it's a death sentence. A painful one at that. Sigh. It sure sucks to get old, doesn't it? Even for sweet little dogs. Why does this have to be happening now?

I should be knitting. I did start the hat for my nephew yesterday. It's the first time I've worked with the Cascade 220 Superwash. What a nice yarn! I'm making up the pattern as I go. So far so good.

Well, I can't think of anything else to say. I need to go back to the hospital now anyway.

Have a nice evening.


Sleep Was Not an Option

Didn't get any sleep last night. Something was up with Morgan--well, actually, I was up with Morgan, all night. I swear, that dog is psychic. Somehow he must know I've made an appointment for him to see the vet. It's time for his Rabies shot, and I want to have something done about the cyst that just won't go away-the one he had surgery for early last year? It came back. Gonna have to have another surgery. And since I am well enough to handle taking care of him after something like that now... also, I want the doc to check his eyes again. (Someone suggested he might have Glaucoma, which can be helped with medication.) However, it's not until next Monday afternoon.

Anyway, he had to get up every 15 to 30 minutes to pee. Never seen anything like it in my life! I finally weighed the options:

1. Put his bed out in the living room, open doggy door, and take a chance on a coyote being in the neighborhood.

2. Stand in front of an open door on a freezing cold night waiting for a dog ----all---- night---- long.

I chose option one and went back to bed. Unfortunately, I got to listen to the doggy door slapping shut for the next hour. Then, thankfully, he finally settled down and went to sleep. Around 5 am I fell into a fitful sleep, dreaming about peeing, but it never stops. I'm just walking around, pee squirting out of me continuously. Even when I elegantly flapped my arms and took flight over a city. (The residents thought it was raining.) Totally weird weird weird. I woke up at 6am and decided sleep was not an option for my sanity. Now I have a raging headache.

Morgan seems to be okay now. He ate his breakfast, and now he's sleeping peacefully (the traitor!). If it starts up again (his peeing, that is) I shall call the vet and beg to be squeezed in today.

I finished knitting the second of the fingerless gloves last night. Hurray! I'm gonna wash them before I take pics for the blog. They just don't look all that great with coffee brown spots on them.

Next to be cast on: scarf and matching hat for nephew Robert. I got his name in the family gift draw. This will be the first time we've done this. Usually, we all go practically bankrupt every year in the gift category (my husband has a very large family). When one niece suggested the idea to try drawing one name each and doing just one gift-every one of us thought it is a FABULOUS idea. Especially with some of our family members having lost their jobs recently.

On Wednesday, after Knitwits, I headed over to Coeur d'Alene Yarn and Fiber and got some black Superwash Cascade 220. It is so soft, and I'm sure black is a color that Robert will like. I'm thinking garter rib. Just can't seem to get enough of that garter rib lately.

Have a good day.


She's Got Talent!

The Knitwits meeting was great. Everything we made through out the year was brought to the meeting (several carloads full). Then it was put in bags according to the requests made (we need 12 hats, 60 afghans.....) and labeled for each organization. Reps from the orgs came and picked the bags up. All in all, it was kind of thrilling to see it happen. I got warm fuzzies from all the thank you's.

As expected, someone from the press was there. I actually got interviewed too. And they took my picture. I don't get the paper so I won't know if I'm actually in it, unless someone I know gives me a heads up. One of the questions I was asked is 'how much do I knit in a week?' Sheesh! How do I answer a question like that? I told him" a day does not go by that I don't pick up the needles". He found that fascinating.

The dessert was awesome. Terry made snowman cupcakes. They were so good, with cream cheese frosting. My favorite. They were so cute too.

Did have one disaster. Lois was sitting across the table from me. Cathy was sitting next to Lois. I was working on the fingerless gloves. I had both the finished one and the unfinished one sitting on the table, as well as the finished scarf I made last week. Me and Cathy went and got a cup of coffee. When we came back Lois accidentally knocked Cathy's coffee over. The brown wave was headed straight for me. Lois saw my projects in danger and started shoving them back as fast as she could from the brown wave-and succeeded in knocking my coffee over too-right onto the projects. The wave enlarged and dumped in my lap. Whoo! It was hot! I didn't know I could jump that fast.

Two cups in one minute. That's gotta be a record of some sort. I declared her most talented at the table.

After cleaning up the mess I teased Lois a bit to get her laughing. She felt terrible, but as I pointed out, it's superwash wool. Not a problem. Now, if it had been cashmere??? I'd have been arrested for murder!

Interesting experience knitting with coffee scented wet wool.

Have a great day.


Bad Tommy!

This morning Morgan got up with great enthusiasm. He even dashed around the back yard at the speed of an Italian Greyhound. He was feeling really good, and he was hungry! I gave the boys their little bowls of dog food. Morgan started eating with gusto. I left the room to visit the ladies room. When I came back, Morgan was cowering in the corner and Tommy was munching down Morgans breakfast.

Ah HA! Now I see the problem. Tommy has been giving Morgan food aggression. He's stealing Morgans breakfast, the little pig. Bad Tommy!

Whew! Glad it's that and not a health issue. I chased Tommy off and tried to get Morgan to eat. I had to put the food in a fresh bowl. Wouldn't touch it with Tommy's aggressive germs on it. He ate about half of it, while I held Tommy prisoner in my lap for awhile. I'm gonna have to play food security guard for a few days to nip this in the bud.

I spent about half my day, yesterday, putting up the Christmas tree with it's new lights.

I put the cats outside first, or they'd have been continually getting in the way. They absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE the Christmas tree. They get so excited when I open the box. So, anyway, the tree is up with lights on it. Whew! What a job that is when I have to do it by myself. I miss having the girls home to help me. The rest will have to wait until later. The cats are pleased. I am enjoying the new lights. I can't believe that I'm getting my tree up this late. I usually have it up the day after Thanksgiving. Too many other things have been distracting me.

There is sunshine outside. Hi sun! I've missed you. It's been foggy and rainy the last few days. We don't have snow on the ground though. We did over the weekend for about 24 hours, then it melted. It's kind of weird to have bare ground in December. I'm enjoying it though, while I can. (heh heh)

I have my Knitwits meeting today. Looking forward to it. The December meeting is when we distribute everything we've made to the various organizations we knit for. The press will probably be there, so I'm gonna dress up just a tad. Slacks instead of jeans, and whatnot. I will take the scarf to turn in, and I think I'm going to knit on the fingerless glove during the meeting. Gotta get those Christmas gifts done.

Have a good day.


T'was a Busy Weekend

Sorry it's been so long since my last post. I've been busy knitting, eating, hangin' with the family. All in all I had a great Thanksgiving weekend. Lots of fun and great food. But I think I've paid for it cos I didn't feel so good yesterday.

Due to the fact I took my knitting everywhere I went all weekend, I have finished a couple projects.

Lacy Scarf for Knitwits

Pattern: Mohair Lace Scarf from House of Needlecraft.

Yarn: Fluff Print from N.Y. Yarns in Evening Blue and a strand of Bernat Softee Baby in Bongo Blue

Needles: Size 13 Addi Turbo Circular.

Cast On: November 19, 2008
Completed: November 27, 2008

Comments: I love love love this pattern. It's one of my favorites for scarves. I plan on publishing it on my pattern site in the very near future, since I own the copyright for it.

Opal 1292 Socks

Pattern: My basic top-down 2-circular needle sock pattern with the following stitch pattern for the leg and instep:

Rnd 1: K2, P2.
Rnd 2: Knit.

Yarn: Opal Petticoat sock yarn, 2/24 acrylic for reinforcement thread.

Color: #1292. Reinforcement thread is pastel mint green.

Needles: Size 2 Addi Turbo Lace Circular.

Cast On: November 12, 2008
Completed: December 1, 2008

Comments: I can't seem to get enough of garter rib patterns. They look so good with the self striping yarns. I made these socks just a little wider and longer to accommodate my slightly larger left limb and they fit really good.

I also started a project. One of my daughters has requested fingerless gloves for Christmas. I found this really cute pattern on the internet called Stulpen by Petra.

I dug in the stash and found the Kiwi Green Opal sock yarn. Perfect color for Sarah. She wears variations of this color quite a bit. I cast the first one on the needles and couldn't stop knitting until I'd finished it. I sat in the hug most of the day Saturday working on it. Could not put it down. It's incredibly fun to knit. I made a couple changes to the pattern because I'm using fingering weight yarn, but the pattern calls for sport weight. I'll address them later.

By the way, if you follow the link to the pattern (Stulpen), scroll down if you don't speak German. It's in both German and English.

I'm a little worried about my Morgan. He has refused to eat his breakfast the last two mornings. He doesn't refuse to eat anything else, so what's the deal? Not hungry in the morning any more? Tired of having the same dog food day after day? Other than that, he seems to be fine. Very odd.

Have a great day.