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

3/31/09

I Won Something

Last Saturday I attended the annual Spin In hosted by our local spinning guild, the Log Cabin Spinners. It's a lot of fun, even though I don't have a wheel. I just take my knitting with me. There are vendors selling all manner of luscious fiber, yarns, and tools for the fiber addict. There's also raffle tickets, which I always buy because that is how the guild pays for the event. I've been buying raffle tickets every year for years. Finally, I won something-twice!

First a rather humble niddy noddy. I've been wanting one for some time. I do, after all, have my own Navajo Spindle. I don't use it much right now, but I have every intention of doing so, some day.


The second prize is awesome. A skein of worsted weight hand dyed superwash merino.

What's even more amazing-purple is in the colorway. I think it's absolutely gorgeous. It's so soft to the touch too.

My daughter, Sarah, went with me this year for the first time. It was so much fun having her there. She took a crochet project with her (she's become quite the crocheter). She's making a beautiful jacket in 3 shades of blue. I'm quite impressed with it. So was everyone at the Spin In who saw it. I'm so happy she's taken up a yarny craft. She did inherit something good from me after all.

I am going to complain about the weather. Apparently spring is losing ground. We've woken up to new snow the last 3 mornings. By the end of the day it has usually all melted back to the way things were before it started snowing, but not today. We had a good 2 to 3 inches of new, and it's still snowing like crazy.

I admit it's starting to get to me. We have now surpassed all snowfall amounts in history since they started recording them. In other words, we've had more snow in the winter of 2008/09 than any other year. Even worse than the winter of '48. I didn't think that was possible. If not for all the wonderful birds at my bird feeder all day, I think I might go mad.

I took the Lunabead necklace with me to what I'm hoping is my last appointment for blood tests. I won't know the results until later this week. Anyway, I gave it to my personal vampire and she loved it. I mean really LOVED it! I'd made it in her favorite color. I find it interesting that the favorite color of someone who spends all day poking needles in people to extract blood should love the very same color that blood is. I guess she picked the right career. It is nice, though, to make a gift for someone and have them gush all over it with joy. I feel all warm and fuzzy about it. Still, I hope I never have to see her again.

Well, I guess I'll don my boots and jacket and trodd on down the hill to wipe the snow off the satellite dishes so I can watch a movie while I knit for a bit. Stupid snow.....

Have a nice day.

3/29/09

Red Today

I've finished the necklace using the first red Lunabead. It took me all day. I'm giving this as a gift to the poor unfortunate lady who gets to draw my weekly blood tests. She has to put up with a lot from me cos I'm a real wimp when there are needles about.

The woven part of the necklace is 3-bead netting.


A closer view of the strung part.


I plan to give her the necklace tomorrow morning. Hopefully, it will be my last blood test. They want to test for a blood clotting disorder for some unknown reason. If it's negative I get to go off the coumadine. If it's positive they want me to take it the rest of my life. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for negative.

Red Crossbills chowing down on black sunflower seeds.


Have a good day.

3/27/09

I Think I May be Out of Control

I have been shamefully enhancing my stashes the last few days. I shouldn't be cos we need to tighten our belts a bit (us owing the IRS money this year and all). But I've been running across some really great deals, and whatnot, and I have a couple projects that needed beads to finish them, so.... here's what I have, in no particular order.

Yarny buttons. I popped into the Dollar Tree store in Coeur d'alene looking for a gift wrapping item. I made the mistake of passing down the craft aisle on my way to the gift wrap. Big mistake. I spotted these buttons. They stood out like a giant florescent green sign amongst all the crafty crap. They're made of plastic, but they're so cute! And the whole package of 12 was only $1.00


Though they're not shown here, the buttons were right next to a whole bunch of packages of very very very nice pewter beads-which I would not have seen if the buttons had not been flagrantly showing off- at a buck a pack. Well, I mean, there was over 200 bucks worth of these lovely PEWTER beads for only 36 bucks....I bought the whole kit and kaboodle. I left none for anyone else-and I'm not sorry about it. I just couldn't pass up a deal like that! But I won't stoop so low as to show them off cos it would make my fellow beaders cry at how cool a deal it was.

Then I popped into Michaels. I had a specific purpose in mind. I have been making my beaded beads with some wooden beads for bases. The holes in them are hUmOnGoUs! So I thought I'd see if they had any 20mm plastic or glass beads with smaller holes. I looked in the beading aisle, but I didn't see anything I liked. I did see a lady who looked familiar to me. So I asked her if we knew each other (we've seen each other at Bead It in Post Falls) which led her to telling me about the beads she had that were on sale at a buck a strand, which then lead to her showing me where they were (not in the beading aisle, and very hard to find if you didn't know where to look), which then led to a feeding frenzy with me and 2 other beaders (who sneakily followed us). I managed to find some beautiful 20mm glass beads in the pile, plus some lovely copper beads-all for a buck a strand. Nice copper beads at that price are almost unheard of.


Well, since I was in Coeur d'Alene, I might as well pop into Bead Creative and see if I can find anything to go with the two beaded beads that are destined for real necklace projects. I found these.


They will work perfectly. The 4 red and yellow lampwork beads and the 4 Ruby quartz beads go in one necklace, and the purplish stone (I neglected to see what they are) is for another one.

Okay, remember that lace stole pattern I bought recently called Maplewing? I stumbled across the perfect yarn for that while in CDA Yarn and Fiber. It's the exact color I had in mind.


It's Fino from Alpaca With a Twist. Lace weight 70% Baby Alpaca/30% Silk. Very very soft to the touch.

Then, Andrea, the shop owner, being the enabler she is, mentioned that a sock yarn I'd been wanting but hadn't bought yet was down to one skein left. AAHH! Had to get that.


On Your Toes from S.R. Kertzer. Don't know why I like this colorway so much. I'm not usually one for anything that has orange in it.

Then, again because she's an evil enabler, Andrea showed me what just came in.


I have not seen that shade of teal/turquoise in a yarn in years! I LOVE that color. I bought all 10 skeins. They were at a discount, which made the experience a little less 'painful'. Lambs Pride Superwash Wool from Brown Sheep Co. As a rule I do not like Brown Sheep's yarns. I detest their sock yarn (Wildfoote?), and I've never liked their extremely popular Lambs Pride worsted or bulky because I don't like the twist. They're a Z twist yarn. It doesn't look quite right to me knitted up. The stitches are not as smooth and even. However, this superwash has the S twist. So I'm going to give it a try.

I feel kind of guilty for spending all this money. Sigh.... just doing my part to restart the economy, right?

Tomorrow is the local spinning guilds annual Spin In. I am going for the whole day. I expect the debit card to take another beating, though I'm going to try my best not to let that happen.

Have a good day.

3/26/09

Stuff

When I got up this morning the first thing I did was check out who was at the buffet (which has been refilled since these photos were taken). Yup! The tree and ground were loaded with Red Crossbills. I stopped counting when I got over 20 cos it seemed pointless. Here's a couple of the photos I took.

There are actually 3 males and one female in this pic.


Thirteen Crossbills and 1 Junco on the ground working on cleaning up the mess they made.

Of the trillion pics I took, those two were the best. It is hard to take pics of these guys cos they don't stand still for very long. Most of my frames were either empty or not what I was aiming at cos the birds had popped out of the scene before the camera clicked-which is saying something cos my camera is pretty fast.

Had my first Knitting Clinic class today. No one showed. However, I kind of expected this to happen. It's tax time-the slowest time of the year for a yarn shop.

I finished another Lunabead last night.


This time I used 4mm dark gold druks, 4mm dark red firepolished crystals, size 11 Japanese seed beads in a smoky transparent AB, size 15 in silver lined red and gold metallic.


Of all the bb's I've made, I like this one the most. (Can you tell I'm in a red mood?)

I have added 2 books to my stash.


If you are a seriously addicted knitter, you'll love this book. It's full of funny cartoons about knitters.

This is my other new book, Shaped Beadwork by Diane Fitzgerald.


I ordered this one from Borders, sight unseen. I am a little disappointed in it. I know Ms. Fitzgeralds talent and I found most of the shape patterns in this book are available on the internet for free in one form or another (written by other folks). I was hoping for some of her more spectacular designs. Oh well. I will be able to use it for some things.

The sky is a gorgeous blue and the sun is out today. I find it hilariously funny because the weather prediction was for a raging snow storm in our area. I'll take snow storms like this any time! We did get a little bit of snow last night but nothing like they were predicting. Spring is starting to win the war.

Man, I'm hungry. I think I'll go make some popcorn.

Have a great day.

3/25/09

The Parkarosa Buffet is Popular These Days

This morning in my poor little dwarf flowering Plum tree, chowing down, I had 11 (that's ELEVEN!) pairs of Red Crossbills, 1 pair of Spotted Towhees, 3 woodpeckers, 1 pair of Starlings, 1 pair of Nuthatches, 6 Oregon Juncos, 1 Flicker, several Chickadees of both mountain and black cap variety,..... and a partridge in a pair tree. (Sorry, couldn't resist that last one)All at the same time! That's a LOT of birds! They made my tree look like it has leaves-albeit rather active leaves.

11 pairs of Crossbills. That's 22 of them! Where did they all come from???

I'm going into Coeur d'Alene this morning for my weekly CDA Yarnies meeting. I think I'll pop into Home Depot while I'm there and get the sooper dooper economy sized bag of bird seed. We're going through it pretty fast lately.

Have a good day.

3/24/09

Lunabead Red

I am a very talented procrastinator. I can find all kinds of excuses to keep from doing what I ought to. Yesterday I was surfing French beading web sites and blogs looking for eye candy to avoid doing housework. I love to look at other beaders work. Especially if it's exceptionally beautiful, which I've found it is on the French sites. Anyway, while trolling for eye candy I came across this pattern called Lunabead. It about took my breath away it's so pretty. This morning I made my own Lunabead.


It's about 1.5 inches wide and 1 inch high.

I used Red Siam 4mm Swarovski crystals, size 11 white lined and red Japanese seed beads, and size 15 silver lined red and silver metallic seed beads. It's a challenging pattern.


I also got a package in the mail. This is some superwash Merino sock yarn in a colorway named Blackberry from Impulse of Delight. She sent me a hand made copper shawl pin as a gift along with my yarn.

Pictures do not do this yarn justice. It's much richer looking in real life. I could almost swim in its pool of blackberry goodness. This is a very special yarn.

Have a good day.

3/22/09

I Can Print Photos

I have been without a photo printer for quite some time now. We have a Canon inkjet printer that did a wonderful job with photo printing, but last year for some unknown reason it stopped printing black. I bought new black ink cartridges. Didn't work. I bought a new print head for it. Didn't work. I've tried everything there is to try and it just won't print black anymore.

Yesterday we went to Barnes and Noble and Best Buy in Spokane Valley. We went to B&N because I was looking for a specific book. No one in Coeur d'Alene had it. Fortunately, B&N did. Best Buy is across the street and Sweet Hubby and Ruth were with me. Them being geeky and all, we had to stop in. Shouldn't have done that. I saw the printers and it reminded me that I needed to do something about my inkjet printer problem. I ended up buying this:


It's an Epson printer/copy/fax machine combo and it was on sale for $99. It does a beautiful job of printing too. It's so much better than the old printer was. Now I can catch up on my photo printing.

You know what's really ironic? The new printer cost less than everything I bought trying to get the old one to work again. Sigh.....

I finally fixed the problem with the Honeybee shawl. I'm actually one row ahead of where I had to tink.

That is all for today.

Have a good one.

3/21/09

Signed Sealed Delivered


This morning we did our income taxes. They are done! Hurray!!!! Now life can move on to more interesting things.

We owe this year. That's okay, though. It's not a heart attack inducing amount. We owe the state of Idaho 6 bucks. As I stood there in the kitchen perusing the check written for 6 bucks, preparing to stick it in the envelope, it occurred to me that it is going to cost us tax payers more than 6 bucks for the government to process that check. That bothered me, considerably. I considered not sending them they're lousy 6 bucks. However, if I didn't the government would spend even more of my tax payer dollars coming after me for their lousy 6 bucks, plus they'd manage to heap thousands of dollars worth of penalties on top of the 6 bucks. It just wouldn't be worth it. So, to save my fellow tax payers, and myself, lots and lots of money I'm sending the check for 6 bucks. I expect thanks from my fellow tax payers for that.

I have learned a lesson from this.

Don't think about the way the government works. You'll just end up checking yourself into the nearest mental health facility.

Have a good day. (No, I am not suffering from an overdose of donuts.)

3/20/09

Delicious FO

Happy First Day of Spring!


I have FO's for you. Daughter Ruth is home this week for spring break. We've been having fun. This is what we did together today.


Making donuts. Yum!!! These are plain sweet milk donuts deep fried and covered in sugar and cinnamon.


Mmmmmmmmmmmm.....................!

I was going to take a progress pic of my Honeybee Stole, but I discovered I'd screwed up royally so I had to tink everything I'd accomplished the last 2 days. I mean everything! I'm back to where I was before I started working on it again.

I find it amazing that even though I've been knitting for 40 years and am a professional knitter I still manage to screw up just about everything I knit. You'd think I'd be over that by now. I'm going to blame it on perimenopause just because I want to.

Have a good day.

3/19/09

Stupid Furnace!

My furnace is trying to kill me! It's trying to bake me to death. It got up to 76 degrees in here today and I had a door and window fully open and the furnace turned off! It's not actually turning off, even though it says it's off. This is the same problem we had before. I called the furnace guys. They sent Jeff over right away.

Jeff has figured out what is actually wrong with it this time. One of the heating elements is broken and was touching something inside the furnace that was grounding it so power was flowing through said element, thus keeping it heating at all times. He has disconnected the offending element and will call me as soon as he can find out how much a new element is gonna cost. He did not leave us heatless though. We still have some elements that work properly so we won't freeze.

In the meantime the weather predictors are saying 50's by the weekend. Ooooo.....I could get into that!

I never did write about what was keeping me so busy over the weekend, did I? On Saturday we threw the official Engagement Party for Sarah and Frank. I was busy planning and executing the party. Whew! It was a lot of work, but it went marvelously. I picked Saturday for this occasion because it was Pi day-- 3.14. One year ago that day Frank proposed to Sarah and she said yes. He picked that day because it was Pi day. (Have I mentioned my daughters are a bit on the geeky side?)

No more parties now until it's warm enough to shove everyone outside onto the deck. It was shoulder to shoulder standing room only in our little house. Everyone had a good time though, including the honored couple.

We had tons of food too. I asked family to bring some things. I rotisseried 2 good sized beef roasts on the bar-b-que grill. They turned out so tender and delicious. I'm quite proud of myself. When they were done I had Sweet Hubby bar-b-que what turned out to be a very good large salmon fillet. I made potato casserole, green salad, and bought an ice cream cake all decorated for the event. All that added to the casseroles and side dishes brought by the family made for a nice delicious huge pile of food to eat. Twas yummy!

Unfortunately, I was so busy keeping the guests happy I didn't have a chance to take photos. I know some folks did though. Maybe they'll share with me? Please?

I gave up on finding the buttons and went and got some more. Now I just need to sew them on on the cardigan.

In the meantime, I've gone back to working on my honeybee stole. It feels good to be back at it.


Have a great day.

3/17/09

Buttons, Wherefore Art Thou?



Happy St. Patricks Day



I have finished the cardigan, except for the buttons. I know I bought some that are perfect for it. I could have sworn I stuck them in my knitting bag along with the project. Do you think I can find them? HA! So, here's a pic of it so far. The trim yarn is ONline Linie 174 Pinto .



When I find the buttons and sew them on I will take and post the 'finished' pic along with all the pertinent information.

Have a nice evening.

3/14/09

She's Awesome

I thought I'd pop in real quick just to let you know the problem I was having with downloading Anne Hansen's Maplewing shawl pattern has been fixed and I now have it in my hot little hands. What a gorgeous design. Y'all MUST go see it!

I've got a busy day ahead so I'm signing off. I'll tell you about it later.

Have a great day.

3/13/09

You CAN Block Acrylic, You Should Block Acrylic

I am a reader of Anne Hansens blog, Knitspot. She does the most awesome lace shawl patterns in the universe. She has just released her new Maplewing shawl pattern. It's absolutely the most stunningly gorgeous pattern she has come up with yet! Unfortunately, I had problems downloading the pattern after I purchased it. I've run out of downloads (you get 3) trying to download it and still don't have my pattern. After having a right good panic attack for about 45 minutes, and emailing her shouts of help, I need to settle down. Anne has excellent customer service so I'm sure the problem will be resolved. I just need to be patient and wait until she can help.

Take large cleansing breath here.


Okay. I'm feeling a little better now. On to todays topic.

Being a member of Ravelry, I get to read all kinds of wonderful information on the subject of knitting, crochet, spinning, etc. It's a veritable fountain of all things knitterly. However, there is one thing that pops up in the forums every so often that just makes my blood boil. The myth that Acrylic can not be blocked. I've found the hand knitting community seems to believe this to be true. Even the celebrity designers and whatnot.

Wrong-in epic proportions!

Acrylic CAN be blocked. Let me repeat that.

Acrylic CAN be blocked!

In fact, it should be blocked. From my observations, I would say someone along the line made an acrylic sweater, blanket, or whatnot, blocked it in their usual 'wet blocking' manner and it didn't work. Therefore, acrylic doesn't block-warn everybody. No, it can be blocked. You're just doing it wrong.

I'm gonna tell you how to do it right.

First of all, as I said above, acrylic projects need to be blocked. It gives the yarn it's final finish. In other words, the yarn itself will look much better if it's blocked. We all know how sad an unblocked acrylic garment looks. All wrinkly, uneven, and kind of like it has morning bed head. I sometimes think acrylic gets it's bad reputation amongst the wool lovers because of this very situation. (Never mind they didn't block it right to begin with.)

Acrylic is basically a form of plastic. It requires steam blocking. It's the way it's done in the professional garment industry. It's the way we should be doing it.

It's quite easy to do. You pin your pieces out on your blocking board to the measurements required, making sure the straight edges are straight and even, and the curves are curved properly. If your gauge is just a little bit off so the piece is a little too small, you can stretch it out to where it's supposed to be. The change will be permanent once the blocking is complete.

I use blocking wires for this purpose. I love my blocking wires. In fact, I consider blocking wires the best way to pin a garment out for blocking. Takes way less pins, you don't end up with those scalloped wavy edges, and it's much more accurate for blocking to schematic measurements. Make sure, if you get some, to get a set that has the thin flexible wires for doing curves as well as the regular straight ones. Curves need blocking too.

For the most part, I usually pin things wrong side up. However, if the fabric has a deeply textured pattern in it, like cables and twisted stitches I will pin it right side up to prevent the texture from being flattened.

After pinning it out, you steam it, gently. I own a Jiffy Steamer for the purpose because knitting is my obsession. However, a good steam iron works just fine. Make sure you hover over the garment. Do not touch the fabric with the iron or it will melt. Do not over steam it either or you'll kill it. While steaming I will gently pat the fabric with my fingers to smooth it out. That's pat, not slide. Sliding your hand over it will cause it to stretch where it shouldn't. If there are cables, I'll pinch them a bit so they stand out a little bit more.

Killing is another one of those misunderstood issues. Killing acrylic means to overheat it to the point that it loses it's elasticity. Just steaming it a bit won't kill acrylic.

Sometimes a person wants to kill it on purpose, in which case, kill away. Killed acrylic has a wonderful silky drape that is quite pleasant, and unique. I have on occasion killed some acrylic on purpose for just this reason. Makes wonderful pleated skirts this way.

Here are some comparison photos of the baby cardigan I'm currently making. Please click on them to get enlarged versions.

Not blocked

A little wrinkly, the stitches are uneven, the ruffle wants to curl in an unattractive way, the button band curves and the edges inside the button band are puckered.

close up



Blocked


The fabric is smoother, the button band is straight, the inside edges don't pucker, and the ruffle lays as it should.

Close up of same corner as above.


Now, lets see side by side views.


Close up
Which one would you rather be seen in? (Assuming you're the same size as a 6 month old baby of course) I don't want to hear any more "Acrylic can't be blocked". Okay?

By the way, I steam block almost everything. Wool responds beautifully to steam blocking. I prefer it to wet blocking. If the professional garment industry can steam block, so can we.

Have a great day.

~~~~~~~

3/23/2011 Update

I am constantly being asked if steam blocking acrylic is permanent, or will it have to be reblocked after washing? The answer is it's permanent. So feel free to toss that gorgeous acrylic garment in the washer and dryer.

3/12/09

Stash Enhancement

I was going to post a letter to all Canadians asking them to please take back the frigid freezing subzero colder then hell weather they sent this way, but I've changed my mind. Besides, I doubt they'd take it back no matter how much I beg. Sigh. I am taking comfort in the weather prediction for 50F degree weather next Tuesday. (Knock on wood.)

Last week I acquired some stash enhancement. Haven't blogged about it yet because I hadn't taken pics.

My daughter, Sarah, sent me a belated birthday gift via her father (they work at the same place). She gave me beads! I have raised her right.



I love the little kitties. They are so cute. I think I'll make a pair of earrings with them. The lampwork beads are actually dark green. Doesn't show all that well in the photo.

I have started working on a secret project (like I need another wip). I'm using Cascade 220 Superwash for it. I had to order a specific color from an online source because none of the local shops carried it and I didn't want to ask them to order it when all I need is one ball. I got it from Yarn Country but the shipping was gonna be kind of high for just one ball of yarn. You get free shipping if the order is over $75. Well, I mean, you gotta do what you gotta do, right? I added sock yarn to the order so I could get free shipping.


It's Berroco Sox Metallic. Yup! There's bling in it.

There's a thin metallic gold thread running throughout. It comes in 4 oz skeins with lots of yardage, but I went ahead and got two each of my desired colorways anyway. I'm sure I'll find a use for those extra skeins.

I have not heard from Mama May, the contest winner, yet. If I don't hear from her by tomorrow 10am I will draw another winner.

Have a great day!

3/10/09

Ramblings

Yesterday I spent a good deal of time getting to know my new phone. I read the manual, which really doesn't help much when it comes to answering my questions about things. So I went to the Verizon wireless web site for the answers. I'm kind of disappointed in the little fun things on the phone. My old phone had pretty ringtones, cool wallpaper, and a couple neat games to play. Now, if I want that stuff I have to buy them separately. ('cept for the wallpaper. I can make my own, so I will be setting up some kind of pretty yarn configuration soon for the camera) That just truly sucks. So, no games for me right now.

I had to have a decent ringtone though. So I figured out how to purchase one and download it into my phone. I decided I wanted cheerful music greeting me. I found the most cheerful tune I could think of. Now, when I get a call I will get to hear Singing In the Rain, as played by Clockwork Orange-whoever that is. At least, I assume I will. I guess I won't know for sure until someone calls me. Oh yes, and it's PURPLE!

Jack Frost was having a temper tantrum all day yesteday. The end result was about 6 inches of new snow. I'm not upset though. Not even when I had to shovel a path for the dogs so they'd go outside to do their business cos I know that by the weekend it will have all been melted off. Miss Spring's fu is stronger this year. My friend already has crocuses sprouting in her garden.

I don't know about you, but I find this disturbing:

On AOL News

Fox News

Canada.com

Freedom Under Fire video (Lou Dobbs on CNN)

I think Morgan is almost completely blind now. Poor little guy. He seems to be adjusting fairly well to his handicap though. He runs around the house like Speedy Gonzales and throws his toys around in the air like he can see, but I know he can't. If I put a box on the floor and he doesn't know it's there, he runs into it.


He misses when he tries to jump on the bed now. Twice this past week he thought he was jumping on it and wasn't even pointed in the right direction. So I am now training him NOT to jump up on the bed. I pick him up instead. I am worried that he could seriously injure himself, like breaking a leg. Don't want that to happen.

I've noticed that if he and I are going through a doorway he 1) waits until I am in the doorway before approaching it. 2) If I'm standing on the left side of the doorway he goes through the doorway fine. 3) If I'm standing on the right side of the doorway he runs into the wall. 4) If I stand in the middle of the doorway he runs into me. I need to make sure I stand on the left, don't I?

I'm really paying attention to him. He can't see at all. I think that just sucks. He's always been such a good boy. He doesn't deserve this.

I have finished one sleeve on the baby cardigan and am about 2/3rds of the way done with the other sleeve. Yazi shots earned-8. (I've only consumed 4 of them.)

Have a good day.

3/9/09

Winner!

And the winner is...........drumrolllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

MamaMay

Congratulations MamaMay. Please email your mailing address and what color you want your stitch markers to be, to thebeadknitter AT yahoo DOT com, or you can private message it to me on Ravelry. My ravatar is Beadknitter.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What I did on my weekend. Helped Sweet Hubby with a couple projects. Then we went shopping for the ultimate cell phone-for me. Taa Daa!


My other cell phone was so old that Verizon has been calling me for several months asking me to please update my phone-even going so far as to offer me free ones if I'd just update. I waited until they had a phone I actually wanted. Didn't get this one free, but I did get a mighty good deal on it. It's PURPLE! Hurray!

I am amazed at what phones can do now. This phone not only does the whole phone call thing, but it also has a 1.3 meg camera, a video camera, plays music like an Ipod kinda gizmo, has an alarm clock, an organizer, bluetooth so I can hook up to the internet and stuff wireless, and all manner of strange and wonderful things. Course, all I will probably use it for is taking or making phone calls. It's nice to know I can do all that stuff if I want to though. And it's PURPLE!

Have a nice day.

3/6/09

Progress is Happening

I have been such a busy little bee.

First, the furnace is fixed. Thankfully, it was an easy diagnosis, and he had the part in the truck. However, them furnace repair places really have a racket going don't they? My goodness it was expensive to have that one little piece replaced in less than 30 minutes.

These are not very good pictures, but they'll do.

Carnations: I have 3 down, 2 to go.


The first one took me 4 hours to make. The 3rd one took much less time. I've got a routine/system/rhythm going now. (I did not notice the sun was shining on that vase until I downloaded the photo into the computer. Kewl! Sunshine!)


Here is the main piece of the baby cardigan.


See how well the novelty yarn will go with it? I am happy.

I am hearing the mating call of the Rufous Towhee's. They're back! Ah...the hint of spring is in the air. It snowed all day yesterday, but it was wet slushy fast melting snow. If the temperature had been 1 digit less, we would have had a whole foot of the nasty stuff.

I also wanted to tell you guys about the 3 AM KIP basic bag. I won one last summer while participating in one of the many sock KAL's? The Loopy Ewe is carrying them. It is the best sock project bag in the universe.



I highly recommend them if you like carrying your socks around for KIPing.

That is all.

Have a great day.

3/5/09

Wednesday Fun

Yesterday was a very very nice day indeed. Doug jury rigged the furnace so we could have heat without burning down the house. Requires a bit of effort on our part to turn it off and on, but it's easier than going outside and digging through the frozen snow to find some firewood for the wood stove. Life's conveniences. We need them.

The sun was shining. There was intensely blue sky and fluffy white clouds. It was warm-well, warm to us who live here. At this time of year 47F degrees is a veritable hot spell. The Parkarosa bird buffet was well attended. All kinds of birds were chowing down.

In the morning I went to my weekly knit group meeting. There was way more laughter than knitting going on, but that made it extra fun. I unknit the last few rows I had knitted before at another meeting on my Kimono jacket. I have found that even if I take something that requires almost no thinking to a knit group I can screw it up. In this case, I knit 6 rows before I remembered that I was supposed to start decreasing- six rows back. Got it all squared away despite the weak attempts by Judy and Gloria at making me screw it up again. (Ha! My knitting fu is strong this week!)

I had lunch at Carl's Junior. Their Six Dollar Burger that isn't $6 is pretty darn good. I enjoyed it. It has bread and butter pickles on it, instead of dills. I found myself extremely pleased by that.

After lunch was the March Knitwits meeting. Oh what fun! Again more laughter than knitting. But I did get a few more rows done on the jacket-and they're right! I don't have to tink them. Hurray!! We acquired a few more new folks to the club. That is exciting because for the last couple years membership was declining. Looks like that trend has reversed. We've added new members every month this year so far.

Someone has donated 4 huge boxes of old knitting and crochet patterns to the group. We could pick out and have anything we wanted. Items being fought over went to the winner of the fight. I saw Workbasket magazines from the '40s and '50s, doily patterns from the '30s. Old Bernat knitting patterns and even found a real treasure there. It was very very tempting to load them all up in my car and take them home. But I exercised restraint. The feeding frenzy was fun to participate in though. Heh heh.

The real treasure was a Mcalls Needework magazine from the 60's. When my mother-in-law passed away I inherited all her knitting 'stuff'. One of the things in her pattern stash was a xerox copy of a lovely little aran style jacket and bonnet for baby. I have used that pattern many times to make the jacket as a gift for coming babies. Now I have the original magazine the pattern is in! Hooray!!! That is all I took for me.

I picked out a few of the older crochet magazines to give to my daughter, Sarah, too because she is very much into crochet right now and I want to encourage that as much as possible. I found a few ancient issues of Annie's Attic Crochet Newsletter, and some other now long gone Crochet magazines. I hope she likes them.

This morning I have what, hopefully, will be the last session of the sock class I've been teaching. It's not that I want the class to end cos I'm tired of it. No no. It's because the student has been having a hard time wrapping her mind around the concepts so we've had to add an extra session. I want her to leave today knowing what she's doing! However, I expect we'll need to add one more session after today. That's okay though. Gives me another excuse to not be home so I can't do the laundry.

Furnace Guy is coming this afternoon to see if he can figure out what is wrong with ours. I hope it's something fairly simple to fix, or replace. I really don't want to have to buy a new furnace right now.

Have a great day!

3/4/09

No Happy Medium

For the past few days I've been living under the mistaken belief that I have been plagued with way more hot flashes than is even unreasonable to have. Yes, I am at 'that' stage of life. I look forward to the day when it's over.

Lately I have been asking Sweet Hubby way too often "Is it hot in here, or is it just me?" He never answers the question properly. He always says "I'm not cold." Sometimes he says "I'm cold." The fact that I didn't ask him if he was cold or not is beside the point. Sigh. I hate it when he does that.

Like when I ask him when we're leaving to go somewhere and he answers with telling how long it'll take to get there. I didn't ask him how long it'll take to get there. I asked what time we're leaving to get there. There is a difference!

Anyway, the last few days he's been saying the first answer. That leads me to believe that I'm perfectly justified in feeling all hot and sweaty.

Monday the heat got overwhelming in the house. I turned the furnace down (usually it's set at 70F), and opened the windows. I even slept with the bedroom window open and no blankets that night. I still was too hot. Stupid menopause.

HA!

Yesterday I had both the front and back doors open, plus 3 windows, and it never got below 76 degrees in the house. Mind you, I completely shut the furnace off. Theoretically there would be now power getting to the furnace. It was only 42F degrees out too, so where is all this heat coming from?

After dinner I had to open the back door and let some cool air in. Sweet Hubby even complained about it being too warm for him. Where is all this heat coming from? I've got the furnace completely shut off!

NOT!

We figured it out last night. Heat was still blowing out the vents. Very gentle breeze, but hot breeze none-the-less. What the...?

After some investigation with a flashlight, Doug figured out what is wrong. Apparently the heating element in the furnace has not been shutting off. The fan has, but not the heating element. We are lucky the house hasn't burned down! He had to disconnect the element to get it to shut off. I will be calling a repairman as soon as they open at 8am.

Now we are freezing our arses off.

At least I'll appreciate the next hot flash when I get it.

Have a good day.

3/3/09

Success Unexpected

I had to go into Coeur d'Alene yesterday to meet my friends for our monthly lunch get together. As usual, I had a great time. After lunch I decided to pop into a yarn shop and found a novelty yarn to use for the trim on the baby cardigan.



I've been lamenting for a couple weeks the sudden lack of novelty yarns around here. I need some to trim the hem, cuffs, and collar of the cardigan. I wanted something short, with a pile, but not chenille (I do not put chenille on baby stuff.) I thought I'd visited all the shops but I forgot to check one. How I managed to do that I will never know. The important thing is I thought of them yesterday, so into Harmony Yarns I went to find they still have some and they even had the perfect yarn in the perfect shade of coral pink. Hurray!

Speaking of the baby cardigan, I have finished the main piece. Now it's sleeve time. Yazi shots now earned-6.

This afternoon is the meeting of the Rathdrum knitting group. I'm looking forward to it.

I leave y'all with a joke I found on Ravelry that made me laugh so hard I had tears spurtin' out the eyes.

Sherlock Holmes and Watson go camping. That night, as they get ready to sleep, Sherlock asks Watson, “Watson, when you look up, what do you see?”

Watson replies, “Well, Sherlock, I see a vast sky filled with all the stars of the universe.”

Sherlock nods, and asks, “What does that mean to you?”

Watson replies, “Well, I think the vastness tells us how meaningless and insignificant we all are in the grand scheme of things, merely specks in the world, ants on the Earth.” Watson spends a few minutes reflecting on the deepness of it all, and then asks Sherlock “why, what does it mean to you?”

“It means someone has stolen our tent.”

Have a good day.

3/1/09

Blogoversary II

In honor of the second anniversary of my blog, I am going to have a contest. Here is what the prize will contain.

One skein of Montana by Interlacement Yarns. I raided the personal stash for this.


This is hand dyed by Judy L. Ditmore in color 204/Summer Fruit. (Note: I do not know who Judy is. That's what it says on the label.) Shades of purple, orange, and pink, it's very bright. The picture does not give it justice. An 8 oz. skein containing 400 yards of 42% Mohair/25% Silk/25% Wool/8% Nylon. There's no gauge on the label, but I'd guess worsted weight or thereabouts. I'm not sure why I brought this home originally. Must have been the colors that got me. I have no intention of ever using it. So let someone else adopt it who will give it proper use.

By the way, it comes from a smoke free environment, in case that is a concern.

One 4 oz. jar of very famous North Idaho Wild Huckleberry Jam.


Very tasty, made here locally. Nuff said.

A set of six beaded stitch markers in the color of the winners choice. Thus, I have no pic of them because they haven't been made yet.

The Rulz:

Contest entries will be accepted from now until 5 pm pacific time Saturday, March 7th. To enter, leave a comment in this post. ONE comment per person. No anonymous comments will be accepted. So if you don't have a Blogger screen name, please put your name in the comment.

On Sunday, March 8th I will write down the names of everyone who has entered on little pieces of paper and have Sweet Hubby draw the winning name from a hat.

I'll announce the winner on Monday, March 9th. Within 4 days that person will need to email me their mailing address so I can send them their prize. If I don't hear from them, I will draw another winner.

Have a great day!