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


Mother of the Bride

ETA 6/9/2014: Lately I have been getting quite a few requests about where I purchased this outfit. I purchased it at Roamans. However, the outfit has long been discontinued.


I've ordered my Mother of the Bride outfit.

I love the color and the drape of it all. Only one problem. It's on back order until June 1st. I sure hope it fits when it gets here cos there won't be much time to exchange it for another size if it doesn't.

There is sunshine outside. I'm going to soak it up while it's around.

Have a great day.



Can We Do This Over?

Not having a good day.

What kind of cruelty is it when on Tuesday it's sunny, gorgeous, and 82F degrees, then on Thursday you wake up to snow? It's snowed off and on all stinkin' day.

Why are doctors such jerks? Is it the God complex? My skills are not worth anything cos they can save lives and all I can do is create art? Note to self: do not do any more commissioned bead work for doctors.

I need rum.



The Bugs are Out to Get Me

Over the weekend I got my first commissioned beading job. Several years ago a doctor was given a stethoscope decorated with a steer head carved from bone and beaded. Over time, and use, the beadwork had finally given way to decay. He wanted it re-beaded, in new colors. That's what I've been working on the last few days.

This is before, front view.

Before, back view

I've never done this kind of beading before, where you bead on the actual object, adjusting as you go. I was up to the challenge.

The first thing I did was examine it with a magnifying glass to figure out how it was constructed. It was fairly straight forward. A skeleton frame was tied on the carving using what looks very much like gut or leather thread. It was in really good shape, so I left it on. The beading itself, which was simple peyote stitch, had been done with cotton thread. Not a good choice as you can see. Cotton, being a veggie fiber, degrades quickly when you've got the oils and acids that come from human hands in the mix.

He wanted the head to be white with red patches and black eyes and nose. I chose crystal Fireline for the thread because it is super strong and lasts a long long time. I've discovered I love it for doing peyote. The rest was easy.

After, front view

After, back view

The finished project.

The weather has been beautiful, so I was able to sit out on the deck while working on it. Which brings me to the title of todays entry.

While working on the steer, out on the deck, minding my own business, something stung me on the top of my foot. I thought it was a yellow jacket, though I didn't actually see the assaulter. However, Sweet Hubby thinks it was a wasp (we have some really ugly looking big black ones around here that scare the you know what out of me whenever I see one) because of how the sting looks, and how my body reacted. Half my foot turned an angry red, the joints in my toes stiffened up, and I have never had a sting cause me so much pain. No amount of Benedryl or any other treatment took it away. It hurt for 2 solid days. Now, my toes are working again and it itches like crazy. That's a good sign.

Yesterday I was driving to the Rathdrum library for the Knotty Knitters meeting and something crawled up my pant leg and started stinging me. You have no idea how hard it is to drive while being stung. As soon as I could I stopped the car and hopped out. I stomped my foot and danced around to get the bug out (I'm sure passing motorists thought I was a nut job) and it fell on the pavement. It was a nasty black ant. I killed it, but I've got 3 lovely welts where it bit me.

Hasn't even been a week and I've been assaulted twice. That is why I believe the bugs are out to get me. That'll teach me for letting the spiders live that I found in the house this last winter. The ingrates!

Have a bug sting free day.



Cats (and mice)

I have decided to set aside the Honeybee Stole pattern for awhile and chose another pattern for a shawl to wear to my daughters wedding. I want something elegant, that looks hard, but isn't. I want to be able to take my time and knit Honeybee without stress. I don't think I can do that with the wedding coming so fast.

I've found a pattern called Fir Cone Triangle Shawl that fits the bill. We had a beautiful sunny day yesterday so I spent some time starting the shawl. So far, so good.

There is a mistake in the pattern though. (Arrgh! Does no one proofread and test knit their patterns anymore?) So, if you should decide to make this please be aware of the following.

Where it says :

"Now for the main lace pattern that is repeated until either you are driven stark raving loony or until the shawl is finished; it’s up to you. Instructions in (parentheses) are knit once on the first repeat, three times on the second repeat, five times on the third, and so on until either you are driven stark raving loony or until the shawl is finished; sense a theme here?"

Three times should be 2 times. Five times should be 3 times. I ripped and reknit 3 times before I figured out I wasn't doing something wrong, the pattern is. Putting the marker at the center stitch helps so a person doesn't have to actually count the repeats too, making things so much easier.

We have a possible explanation for what ate the hole in my yarn.

Isn't she sweet looking? I love her pink toes. But don't be fooled. She's only sweet when she's asleep.

This is grand kitty Lindy. On Saturday morning daughter Ruth brought her up to spend a few weeks at our house because Ruth has quite a few things going on at school that would just make it hard for her to take care of Lindy right now. When Lindy is living with her mommy, she has to be an inside cat all the time. At our house, though, she gets to go outside so she loves coming for a visit.

The first thing she did upon arrival was establish her dominance over the sweetest sleeping spot in the house (poor Silver, relegated to the basement)

"The queen has returned. I expect respect!"

Within an hour after that she brought into the house 1 dead mouse, 1 dead mole, and 1 live mole which she let go and sent me and Ruth scurrying all over until we caught it to return it outside. Later that night Ruth woke up in the middle of the night because Lindy had a dead mole and was playing with it under the bed. On Monday evening we discovered yet another live mouse that she obviously had brought into the house and let go. It was hanging out in the corner behind my bedroom door (which explained why Tommy was going completely nuts over trying to get in there all day) Lindy needs to learn NOT TO BRING HER FURRY TOYS IN THE HOUSE!

It was suggested by a fellow knitter on the Yahoo Knitalk group that it might be a mouse that chewed the hole in my yarn. Well, it's probably more than likely under the circumstances I've been dealing with of late. Didn't even think of a mouse. I should have. They like that kind of stuff for nests.

The good side of this, I guess, is a lot of rodents are being exterminated this week (putting Chenille and Silver to shame if you ask me).

This is Lindy, laughing at me.

"Mom, how long do we have to have her here?"

Have a good day.



It's Here!

Upon hearing my husband say "Ya know, the critter is probably still in there" after showing him the hole in my beautiful Honeybee yarn I decided chucking it would be the better choice. So I wrapped it up in a couple plastic bags to cut off the oxygen to said critters and dropped it off in a dumpster in Coeur d'Alene this morning. I didn't want it anywhere near my house. It was hard cos that yarn was 50 bucks, but when considering how much all my other wool would cost to replace, it was hardly a pittance in the grand scheme of my stash.

I've gathered up all the wool I've had sitting out rather than in a plastic container of some kind, inspected it (it all seems to be fine), and put it all in my freezer for a couple weeks. I've also killed what looked like 2 wool eating moths with my bare hands.

The meeting cheered me up considerably. Pat was there, who hadn't been for at least a month (kids took turns getting sick, and then there was spring break). It sure was good to see her. Anyway, I got lots of sympathy and encouragement from my fellow Yarnie's. In addition, after much anticipation, this was in:

Cookie A's brand spankin' new book, Sock Innovation.

Hurray! I've been waiting excitedly for this ever since I first heard about it. I love Cookie A's sock patterns. This book is no disappointment either. It is fantastic!

There isn't a single pattern in the book that I haven't drooled over today. There's also some great information for designing your own socks. This book is full of awesomeness.

Not one to be beaten down, I have purchased new yarn to begin my Honeybee Stole again.

It's lace weight Alpaca With a Twist Fino which is an Alpaca and Silk blend. It is so soft, and has that sheen I like so much about silk. The color is called champagne. It just happens to be the same color as some of the beaded flowers I'm making for my daughters wedding bouquet, and since I'd planned to wear this at the wedding...it just seemed right. I will have to really bust my arse to get it done in time, so I'm setting aside a whole bunch of other stuff to do that.

Another good thing that has happened today.

I finished the sock I've been working on for weeks and weeks. The stitch pattern is from Barbara Walkers Treasury of Knitting Patterns Vol.1. I'm constructing this baby all on my own.

I'm going to write up the pattern, then knit the second sock to proofread it.

Have a great day.


Epic Tragedy of a Yarny Nature

Excuse me while I cry.....


A disaster has struck here at the Parkarosa. I've been leaving my Honeybee stole on the coffee table between knitting-easy access, and it's presence a constant reminder to finish it. It was just fine last week. Just fine. Something has happened to it in the last couple days. I picked it up to work on it and there was this perfect little hole in the yarn ball. It was Small. About 4mm in diameter. But it's deep. After poking at it to see just how bad it is, I've taken a picture.

Dozens of little frayed yarn ends in my beautiful (not to mention expensive) lace weight merino. AAAAAAAAAHHH!!!! Something got hungry, on the coffee table.

I've never had this happen to my yarn before. I just don't have problems with yarn eating pests in my home. I wonder what has invaded? I need to figure it out quickly so I can start my war.

I don't know what to do. I could continue knitting, weaving in the ends when I'm done. I don't think the yarn is really knittable at this point. There are dozens of little yarnie ends in that hole. It would be like trying to knit with pieces of spaghetti. Or I could chuck it and start over.

The way things have been going lately, I'm beginning to think maybe I'll just put this whole project aside for awhile (translate-3 to 30 years) and work on something else.

I need a hug.

Have a good day.


I'm a Mutant!

My daughters will get a kick out of the idea that their mother is a mutant until they find out they're probably mutants too and what the ramifications are. My blood clotting disorder is caused by a missing gene. That is how it's inherited. On the spiraling chain of my DNA there's an empty spot. My doctor says "it's a mutation....." I wanted to kick my grandmother.

I can go off the Coumadin if I want. However, since I've already had 2 nasty blood clots in the past few years, and the older I get the bigger the chances are of another-I'm in a situation where it would be pretty irresponsible not to stay on it-assuming I'd like to live for awhile longer. I was seriously considering dropping the Coumadin until he told me about one of his other lucky mutant patients who sprained her ankle recently and got a blood clot from it. I sprain my ankle at least once a year (cos I'm a clutz). That gave me cause for rethinking the plan.

I expressed why I dislike taking blood thinners so much. He offered a compromise. The thing I dislike the most is the weekly blood tests. I don't like getting poked so often with a needle, but more than that, I dislike the weekly drive there too. I don't have to be on such a high dose now that the clot that caused all this hoo-ha is completely gone. I can go on a lower dose and just get tested once a month. I could live with that, I think. I'll talk to Sweet Hubby and get his opinion.

Easter was good. I got some flowers for the ocassion. I wanted an Easter Lily but I couldn't find one I liked. I realized that it was the white. I really don't need anymore white in my life right now (definition: snow) so I decided to go for these.

Rio Samba, my favorite rose. Nice, bright and cheery.

It has the most wonderful scent. Kind of a blend of peaches and strawberries.

Easter Sunday was the annual big family brunch shindig. I made Ham and Cheese casserole. I used this recipe: Sandra Lee's Ham and Cheese Casserole Recipe It's a new one for me, but it ended up tasting pretty good. The family seemed to enjoy it.

I've not done much cooking with ham because in the religious cult I grew up in pork/pig/ham was not allowed. Consequently I hardly ever think of cooking with it. Just doesn't come to mind, out of life long habit. To be honest, once it became okay to eat it I didn't care for it anyway. Then I tasted my SIL Diane's ham. It's really good. I don't know what she does to it to make it taste so good, but she's darn good at it.

I got my first easter bunny.

When we arrived at Chet and Diane's house for easter brunch Jacob shyly handed it to me and said "This is for you." I was so surprised! The fellow in the yellow shirt is Jacob. He is the grandson of a friend of mine and Diane's.

He didn't give any one else a bunny. I feel so special. That's SIL Diane on the left, and my daughters on the right.

After eating we taught Jacob how to play Dominoes. I think he felt pretty grown up playing the game with me, Diane, Sarah, Ruth, and his grandma. I got beaten soundly in all hands, but it was fun just the same. Of course, after awhile one wants to do that thing everyone ends up doing with dominoes.

Setting them up on their ends and making them "fall like dominoes".

The doomed spiral

The spiral is falling....

It was fun.

This is what Silver did on Easter. "zzzzzzzzz....."

Have a good day.



Holiday Greetings

To all my fellow Ravelers

Have a wonderful cupcakey bobtini day!



Fascinating Statistics

You never know what you'll learn on the internet.

Scale is based on the average worldwide traffic of knitting in all years.




So, we really do need more knitters in the world. Click on the above graph for more details.

You know that wonderful smell that you get when you open the doors and windows to air out the house after a long stale smelly cold winter?Why haven't they figured out how to put that smell in a can?

I have found another vest pattern for the Juaquetta yarn. Won't need any contrasting yarn for it, and according to the instructions it only takes 130 yards for a size large. I have calculated the necessary information to enlarge the pattern (it is one size fits most-Ha!). However, I'm afraid to start it after this afternoons' fiasco.

It's absolutely gorgeous out today. I knitted out on the deck for awhile. I knit 2 rows on the Honeybee stole. Then I had to tink 2 rows on the Honeybee stole (don't ask). So then I reknit 2 rows on the Honeybee stole and added a new third row. I think maybe I'll just put the knitting away for the rest of the day and find something else to do. Maybe I should go clean the kitchen.

Have a nice evening.




Today's appointment with my doctor has been postponed until next Monday. So the wait continues on the status of my blood clotting disorder. That's okay. I can wait.

The weather has been beautiful, but tonight will be the end of it. I expect to be getting snow by the weekend. They're saying rain on the news, but that's for Spokane who's temps at night will barely be above freezing. So ours will definitely be below freezing. I am going to mentally prepare myself for it so I don't get depressed. At least we know spring is here. My crocuses, daffodils, and tulips all sprouted yesterday, as well as the buttercups being in full bloom. Get a little sun around here and everything pops out in the open. I saw kids walking home from school today wearing shorts, tank tops, and flip flops. Now, it's been warm, but I don't think it's been warm enough for that! Kids....

I started a knew knitting project. I have some Juaquetta yarn.

Juaquetta is a local spinner who makes some very interesting yarns. Most of it is bulky weight, but it has lots of interesting textures, and wonderful color combinations. I have 4 skeins of a brown and teal colorway with bits of purple called Wildwood that I've been wanting to make into a vest. I need a mindless project. You know, something easy to take to knit group meetings. I picked a pattern which also requires a solid color for contrast. At first I thought I'd use that teal Brown Sheep stuff I bought a couple weeks ago. I knit a good 3 inches of it, but it's such a wonderful shade of teal screaming at me that it wants to be a cable sweater. I finally frogged it. I'm back to figuring out a solid contrast. I'd like to use brown. I spent some time digging in my considerable stash yesterday looking for brown. I don't have any. Once again, I have to buy more yarn. All that yarn in my stash and there's never the right color! Maybe I'll rethink the pattern I want to do with this stuff.

Tommy says "Mmmmmm, sunshine"

Good night.



More Ramblings

I don't know why, but I feel a certain obligation to be posting pictures whenever I post something on my blog. I don't really have any pictures of what's on my mind at the moment, so I'll post this.

This is Marley.

Marley is one of Andrea's employees at CDA Yarn and Fiber. She's a sweet little Pug. Her job is to collect as much luvs and head scritches as possible from the customers. I took this picture with the camera in my new phone. I think it did a pretty darn good job for a phone camera, though not nearly as good as my digital camera. It's nice to know it will do in a pinch.

Creatively speaking, the weekend was a disaster for me. Well, not totally. I did get 2 rows done on the Honeybee stole. I worked mostly on a beading project that, in the end, I slashed apart with a very sharp pair of scissors and surrendered to defeat. I didn't think my readers would appreciate a picture of bits of thread and loose beads. This morning I thought of a different way of accomplishing what I have in mind, so the battle will be on again later this week.

Yesterday the weather was GLORIOUS! Yes, I screamed. It was that good. The sky was blue. The clouds were fluffy. The sun shone brightly and it was warm. 60F at my house. I could sit outside on the deck and bake. In fact, I did. I got the cushions out of storage and set the deck furniture up. I didn't knit or bead, I just sat with my eyes closed, glass of coconut flavored Crystal Lite on ice in hand, and baked. I sat so long Sweet Hubby came out to warn me about sunburn. Kill joy. By the way, for those wondering where I got coconut flavored Crystal Lite-try Mexico. I brought loads of it home from our trip.

I also repotted my baby tomatoes. Yes, again, I am attempting to grow tomatoes this year. I keep hoping. I started the seeds about 3 weeks ago. They've had a hard life though. The fur kids seem to have some kind of vendetta. They've been knocked off the windowsill several times by the Chenille. Last Friday Tommy knocked the little seedlings off, then stomped on all of them. I don't know what he has against my tomato seedlings, but whatever it is, he sure took it out on them. I thought they were all going to die. They were broken and their tiny little leaves had been smashed to green mush. I quarentined them in the kitchen and after a day they started to perk up. Now they are happy and growing in their nice roomy new pots, out of reach of the Tomster, or any other furry kid in this house. If they can survive that kind of experience, think how well they'll do when they get moved out to the garden.

My cat, Silver, is going to be 16 years old later this month. We are concerned because in the last 2 weeks he's slowed down a lot. I mean, a lot. He moves so slow a snail could beat him in a race. He's sleeping on the floor more and more, rather than up on the top of the cat tree, or the couch, like he doesn't have enough get up and go to get any higher. He looks old. He acts old. Heck, he is old! I don't think he has much time left. I'll be surprised if he makes it even a few more months. He's worn out, tired. I can see it in his eyes. I will be giving him extra attention cos our time left together is limited, but I still have lots and lots of love left for him.

Aging really sucks.

Today I am meeting Marguerite for lunch. She is my knitting blog buddy. She lives in Michigan and writes the Stitches of Violet blog. That's how we met-mutual admiration for each others blogs. She's in town this week to visit her son.

I thought I'd mention a little change in my blog format. At the bottom I've changed the comments section. One of my favorite things about the group forums on Ravelry is the reaction buttons. On the bottom of each post are these little buttons you can click if you're not in the mood to actually post something but you want the author of said post to know how you feel. The buttons there are labeled funny, interesting, educational, disagree, agree, and love. I have figured out how to add some to my own blog. Is that not cool? I'm starting with just three. I may add, or subtract depending on how these do. If you too want reaction buttons on your blog, click here for info:

Have a great day.



Something for Alma

The last few days the weather has been depressing. This is what it was like yesterday.

Then, on top of that, no one came to my knitting class, and I got the blood test results back. Sigh...

I have a blood clotting disorder. It's genetic, caused by a missing gene. I have no doubt it comes from my Mom's side of the family. When I got to thinking about it I realized I should have known given my relatives history for strokes and heart attacks caused by blood clots. Arrgh..... this just sucks royally. I did not want to have to take blood thinners the rest of my life, but it looks like I will be doing just that. I have an appointment with my doctor to find out the details and alternatives. We, as in Sweet Hubby and I, want to talk to a specialist in this sort of thing though. I don't have a lot of confidence in my regular doctor after what happened with my surgery.

I have 2 FO's to report.

I have made a bonnet to go with the little cardigan I made for Sarah's friends baby girl. I don't have any spare heads laying around to use for models so I've used an appropriate size ball of yarn.

Side view


With it's mate

And here is the ruffled cardigan completed, with buttons sewn on.

The buttons are not white. They are the same color as the trim. Just a little shiny.

The details

Cardigan-b6-3 Cardigan and socks by DROPS design

Bonnet-b18-1 Bonnet and scarf by DROPS design

Size: 6 - 9 months

Yarn: Candy DK by King Cole Yarns in Cinder Toffee, ONline Linie 174 Pinto in Coral Pink

Needles: Addi Turbo Circulars in sizes 4 and 5.

Comments: I enjoyed knitting the cardigan. The hat was a little bit difficult. The English instructions are not very well written or organized (it lost something in the translation) and it was a pain to sew together because the directions weren't clear to me. One of the reasons I don't care for origami knitting. I kept thinking "surely there must be an easier way to make this design". Maybe some day I'll figure one out. All in all, I think the outfit turned out nice. I hope Alma and her mother like it.

Took a test today:

Are You a Knitting Addict?

My results:

You scored 77%. You have the optimum level of addiction; beginning knitters strive to be you! You'd knit almost anywhere and anytime, but there are times and places where even you know knitting is not permitted. Like, maybe, a wedding or a funeral. Tell your family they don't have anything to complain about.

If you take this test, let me know what your score is.

Enjoy your evening.