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


Still Alive

I am still alive. Still sick and miserable and it hurts so bad when I cough, and I'm coughing a lot. But I am carrying on. I have knit the last stitch of the Arrowhead shawl. Now all I have to do is block and wash it. Pics of that process will follow later this week.

The day was beautiful, even though I'm still feeling like death warmed over. I dragged myself, a big fuzzy blanket, and my knitting out to the deck where I was able to toast in the sun and knit for about an hour, then a big dark gray cloud blew in. That was the end of that.

Tonight the moon is full and it is big and orange outside the window. I wish I knew how to take a pic of it, but I've not delved into that yet where the camera is concerned.

Daughter Ruth knitted on a sock while we watched the Olympics today. Had to watch the gold medal edition of the Canada vs USA hockey game. (To be honest, I missed the center portion of it cos I was doing the baking in the sun thing).

I get such a thrill seeing her doing this. Probably silly, but, well, there it is. I'm tickled that she knits.

Time to watch the Olympics closing ceremony.

Have a lovely evening.


Chenille Gives Her Approval

I am so sick. I've got a bug that has filled my chest with congestion and every joint in my body aches. Even joints I forgot I had. So I'm not doing much of anything. Drinking hot tea cos it soothes the sore throat, watching tv, and surfing the net. I do not feel like knitting. That's for sure.

My daughters have been busily crocheting granny squares for afghans the last couple weeks or so. I had a bag of granny squares I made when I was in college (late 70's). While digging around in the stash closet I ran across them. Sarah volunteered to finish the afghan so I could give it to Knitwits. So she learned how to make granny squares, then taught her sister Ruth how to make granny squares, and now the two of them are GS obsessed. Anyway, Ruth is almost done with the afghan she's been working on. Last night she left it sitting on one of the living room chairs. Upon returning, she discovered that Chenille was giving it her stamp of approval.

It's turning out quite beautiful. It's nice to know my daughters have inherited some of my genes.

That is all the news I have for today. I'm going to go get another cup of hot tea.

Have a good day.


Anniversary #28

Our trip to California went fairly well. We got quite a bit accomplished despite the problems we had. First, our flight out of Spokane was delayed 2 hours. I was knitting while we waited. Dan, Sue, and Doug were sitting opposite me. The scene cracked me up. I took a picture. They can't live without internet for 5 minutes.

Sue's mom had a lot of stuff packed into her little house. Most of it is junk. I learned something important while going through it and segregating the good from the bad. Please, folks, as a favor to your children, before you croak (or have to be put in a home) please please please throw out all the plastic bags, padded envelopes, and little boxes you've been saving 'just in case'. Sues mom had mounds of this stuff. Every drawer, closet, shelf, bag, box, suitcase-anything that could hold stuff had carefully saved plastic bags, padded manila envelopes, and/or little boxes in them. Unfortunately we had to look in every one of them because she hid things-randomly-through out the house (mind you the hidden stuff was mostly junk too, but we never knew so we had to look.)

Let me also just state this.

I hate Publishers Clearinghouse.

They are a parasitic predator on the elderly of our society. Shame on them!! Just because they sell something with a certificate of authenticity does not mean it's valuable. It's still worthless junk people!

Anyway, on Friday I worked like a dog and accomplished a lot for Sue. Unfortunately, the next morning when I got up my gimpy leg had swollen up to a frightening size and hurt like crazy. My right leg was swollen too, even though it didn't have a clot in it. It scared me. I don't know why the swelling either. I was not on my feet that much. Most everything I dealt with I got to sit down to do. It put a serious crimp in my ability to work because I had to keep it elevated. I feel really bad about that too. We could have got a lot more done if that hadn't happened.

The weather there was wonderful. It was sunny until the day we came home. The trees are getting their new leaves, the flowers are blooming, the air smelled so good. It was a nice break from the cold gray at home.

On Saturday night we went out to dinner to celebrate our 28th wedding anniversary. Family went with us. We went to the Shadowbrook Restaurant in Capitola, which, if you ever get the chance, you must go there. It has the most wonderful atmosphere, and the food is outstanding. Take lots of money cos it's expensive, though worth every penny.

Because it was our anniversary, the waiter brought us a small plate with chocolate truffles on it, and candles. I thought that was so sweet of him. Here are some pics taken at the event.

Niece Maria took this one of us, the happy couple.

Dan and Sue (also taken by Maria).

Niece Maria and Nephew Ryan. (Taken by me)

Nephew Mac, Ryans brother. (Taken by me) By the way ladies, he's single.

We had Ryan and Maria's son Ethan with us too, but all my pics of him turned out so blurry I can't even tell who it is. Sigh...

The trip was not all work. We enjoyed our breakfasts out, I got to walk on the beach at sunset on Friday evening, and we got to visit Ryan and Maria and see their house. So we had fun.

Coming home, again, our flight was delayed. This time only an hour and a half, and Sue and I spent that time in the airport bar drinking and watching the US vs Canada hockey game at the Olympics (We tromped 'em. Go USA!). It's the first time I've watched a sporting event in a bar. I see why folks like it. It's fun! Everyone cheering the team on and whatnot. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The guys were chained to a stand at the gate that provided internet access. LOL!

The flight home was uneventful, but I have to tell you, when I stepped out of the airport into freezing cold I about passed out. I adjusted to that nice warm California weather way too quickly.

Monday morning I awoke with a horrendous headache, sick as can be. Doug and I have both been sick ever since. Now I'm coughing, my chest is congested, and I feel like death warmed over. There must have been something in that house that was truly unhealthy for us. The swelling in my legs had gone down completely Monday morning, so that's a good thing.

I did not take socks with me on the trip. I took the shawl. Here's where I am with it at the moment:

I have half a pattern repeat and the top border left to do, and it will be done. Hurray!

Have a great day.


Simple Woman's Daybook for February 18, 2010

The blog is going to be quiet for a few days. We're taking a trip to Santa Cruz to help my sister-in-law pack her mothers belongings and get her house ready to sell.

February 18, 2010

Outside my window...
Frost. It got cold last night! Sunshine. Hurray!

I am thinking...
about what knitting I'm going to pack. Socks, or the shawl? Hmmm...maybe both?

I am thankful for...
Randy, my hair stylist. She does such a beautiful job of cutting my hair.

From the kitchen...
A pile of dirty dishes. I'll have to take care of that problem.

I am wearing...
my jammies. Later it'll be jeans and a t shirt. I like to be comfortable when I'm traveling.

I am creating...

quite a mess on the dining room table as I block the afghan squares. I've got 12 done now.

I am going...
to Santa Cruz, California. It's been several years since our last trip down there. I'm looking forward to seeing blooming flowers and green leaves.

I am reading...
Star Trek: Mere Anarchy. I'll be taking it with me to read on the plane. I've decided to put my knitting in my checked bag.

I am hoping...
the flight goes smoothly. It's been a long time since I've had one of those (a smooth flight). I don't know why it wouldn't. It's a direct flight, only 2 hours long.

I am hearing...
snapping sounds as sunshine warms the back of the house. The frost is melting quickly.

Around the house...
Little craft piles I've made all over the living room. I will clean those up this morning.

One of my favorite things...
snorgling Tommy. He gets such a kick out of it and starts robbling. (When extra happy, Italian Greyhounds make a funny sort of sound in their throat that sounds like they're saying "robble robble robble...")

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Accomplishing the task set for Santa Cruz. We're photographing and packing all of Sue's mothers belongings into boxes for storage, and cleaning up the house. We probably won't get it all done, but we'll make a good sized dent in it. Doug and I will also be celebrating our 28th wedding anniversary while we're there. We have made reservations to have dinner at the Shadowbrook Restaurant in Capitola. We went there years and years ago and I've wanted to go back ever since. Wonderful atmosphere, wonderful food. (I had my first artichoke there. Mmmmm)

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing...

"I wuv my piggy"

Have a great weekend.

If you want to join the Simple Womans Daybook, click here.


Patchwork Job

I doubled the size of the Arrowhead shawl while watching the Olympics last night. I have to be careful though. If I don't pay attention, I put yarn overs where they don't belong, and don't put them where I should. As each row gets longer, I'm finding it easier to get into a rhythm. Less mistakes occur when I have rhythm.

Last fall I brought home 2 (that's THREE) boxes of afghan squares, both knitted and crocheted, that was donated to Knitwits. Actually, I should say I brought home 3 of the seven boxes of squares. My task is to sew them together into afghans. Urg. Not a task I'm particularly thrilled to do. However, it was last fall I took this on and I'm a woman of my word, so I better get busy. Two of the boxes have the squares pinned together with safety pins in the order the original maker intended them to be. That helps immensely. The first one I'm tackling is rather Christmasy.

I am going to have to weave in ends and block all of them because no two are the same size. I'm going to block them all to the size of the biggest square, which is 8 by 10 inches. I got 6 blocked yesterday.

Today I have Rathdrum Knitalong, as well as foraging for food in the Grocery Forest. Have to do some laundry too. I so hate doing laundry. It's a wet mushy day out there. Raining like crazy.

Have a great day.


There was Sunshine!

First of all

I hope you and your special loved ones have a wonderful day.

Yesterday the weather was glorious. The sun was shining, and it was warm. The shade was cold (somewhere around 35F) but being in the sun was wonderful. I got to spend a whole hour on the deck sitting in it. True, I was dressed in a sweater, and had a blanket, but it was very comfortable with the sun shining on me. I worked on a lace shawl that I started last week for Knitwits. While I knitted this is what I had for views.

To the east:

and to the north:

As you can see, there is no snow to speak of, though if you go tromping in the woods you'll find a lump or two. In Coeur d'Alene the crocus, daffodils, and tulips are already sprouted-before Valentines day! Looks like we are heading for an early spring. I've heard El Nino is responsible for this.

I got quite a few rows done on the shawl, then discovered I'd made a horrible glaring you-couldn't-miss-it-unless-you-were-blind mistake. One of the vertical lines wasn't vertical. It had a big hole and a jog in it. So I frogged it back. By then, it was too cold to stay outside any more. The sun had gone behind the house. I guess you could call yesterday's knitting a practice session.

This is where I was when I went back in the house:

The pattern is Called the Arrowhead Shawl. It's available as a free PDF download on Ravelry. I'm using some Caron Simply Soft for the yarn.

Tip Alert: I'm using a 40-inch size 10 Addi turbo circular needle. I had to use 2 rocks to get the needle to stay in place for the picture. It was all curly cued up and stiff. It's been driving me crazy. I decided to take my own advice. The advice I give everyone else that has this problem. Put some boiling water in a bowl and dip the cable in. I've never actually done this myself. I've just been passing on info I've heard from others. I'm relieved to say it worked! In fact, it worked very well. The cable is now nice and straight and it's not stiff anymore either.

This morning I figured out where I am in the stitch pattern (it's a 20 row repeat) and I'm back on track.I plan to knit while watching the Olympics.

Go team USA!

Have a great day.


Birthday Loot

I don't usually get much, if anything, for my birthday. This year was different. My birthday was last Saturday.

My first Mink! Isn't it adorable? (SQUEEEEEEE!!!!!)

It came in a lovely quilted bag-which is that fabric under his little keester. My sister made this teddy bear out of old mink coats. She has started doing this as a business. So, if you have an old fur coat that isn't worn any more but you don't want to get rid of it for whatever reason, you might consider having her make it into a bear for you. You can find her at Fairy Godmother Creations.

My sweet hubby gave me Clear Converse Chuck Taylor All Star shoes.

Now when I wear my awesome knit socks people can see them (not that it really mattered if they couldn't-but it's nice anyway).

He also gave me a bottle of Crown Royal Reserve. It's very tasty with ginger ale.

My daughter and her husband gave me beads

in a bag she crocheted. They also gave me a skein of sock yarn in purples and browns (no pic of that).

They took me out to dinner at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, which I think I mentioned a couple days ago. My family is awesome.

I have finished the 'unfinished' sweater. It now has bands and buttons and is all ready for a child who needs it.

I decided to start a new project, even though I have a couple other projects that have been on hold for awhile. Oh well. Maybe next time. I'm making a lace triangle shaped shawl with worsted weight yarn for Knitwits. I found the free pattern on Ravelry-of course. I'll give more details when I actually have something worth taking pics.

I also dragged out a bead crochet project I started on our trip to Tulumn Mexico last year. I had 7 of 9 yards of beads strung. I finished the last 2 yards yesterday. Now I can start crocheting. Originally I planned for this item to be a 40 inch lariat (which is why the 9 yards of stringing), but I'm thinking maybe I want something shorter with a beaded bead focal, or maybe a cab that will go with it. We'll see. The important thing is the worst of it is done-the bead stringing. The rest is all fun!

Have a great day.


Simple Woman's Daybook for February 9, 2010

February 9, 2010

Outside my window...
Another cold gray dreary morning. Rumor has it, though, that it'll be a bit sunny later today.

I am thinking...
that if I want some coffee this morning, I'm gonna have to go to the kitchen and get it myself. Rats! Be right back....

I am thankful for...
Drip Coffee makers. Remember what it was like before we had them? You had the percolator coffee pot. Fill the little doohickey (I never knew what it was called) with coffee grounds, and water in the pot. Then heat it on the stove. Wait and wait and wait until it was brewed-and God help you if you had the heat too high. Boil over anyone? Then picked the grounds out from your teeth while you drank it and wondered why on earth you like this stuff. Ah yes, the good ol' days.

From the kitchen...
I think I'll make Mustard Tarragon Chicken for dinner tonight. Emeril was making it on Good Morning America this morning. I make mine a little differently, a lot healthier. I don't put whipping cream in mine. I use white wine. Good heavens! That guy is gonna die of a heart attack some day!

I am wearing...
my jammies at the moment. Later I will put on jeans and a t-shirt of some sort.

I am creating...

not quite sure. I am at a spot where I can start something new, or finish something that's been languishing away hoping for my attention. I am still working on the second Bamboo sock. In fact, I worked on it yesterday at the doctors while I waited for them to call my name so I could get my monthly blood test (which was fine, btw).

I am going...
no where. I'm gonna stay home all day. I shall putter in the house, and figure out what knitting project I'm gonna attack with gusto.

I am reading...
I finally finished People of the Silence. I didn't expect the ending it had, which is nice. I like a little unpredictability in my reading. Now I'm reading Star Trek: Mere Anarchy. Purely for entertainment.

I am hoping...
for a nice Valentines Day.

I am hearing...
the clickety click of Morgans toenails on the kitchen floor. He's on his way to the water dish. I also hear the whistle of the Towhees calling to each other. They haven't come to the feeders yet this season. Soon, I hope.

Around the house...
My goodness but Morgan has a lot of toys! Aside from those scattered all over the place, the house looks really really good right now. So nice and clean, and organized-more or less. I still love the new floor.

One of my favorite things...
is chocolate cake, which I got over the weekend. My friend, Phyllis, brought a wonderful chocolate cake complete with birthday candles to our Super Bowl party. Mmmmm...caaaake.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Make some posters to advertise a beading group I'm going to attempt to start up in Post Falls. We'll meet the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month, 10:30 am, at the Bead It store. I talked to Gail about it yesterday. I am going to give up the teaching. It's a lot of work for hardly any reward. I didn't even have half a dozen students last year. Anyway, I don't know if beaders get together just to bead and chat like knitters do. I guess I'll find out.

I need to get busy on the knit theme Christmas tree too. I sure hope I haven't put too much on my plate.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing...

Playing Farmville is exhausting.

If you want to join the Simple Womans Daybook, click here.

Have a good day.


Aran Baby Cardigan is Done

Aran Cardigan for Ethan

Pattern: Aran Baby cardigan from McCalls Knitting Book 5 (1972)
Size: 6 months
Yarn: Plymouth Encore Tweed #2334 Sea Foam
75% acrylic/22% Wool/ 3% Viscose
Addi Turbo Circular size 6.
Cast on: December 30, 2009
Bound off: January 29, 2010

Comments: This is, of course, my favorite baby sweater pattern. I think I should use a larger needle next time though. Like a size 8, perhaps. Wouldn't have to stretch the pieces as much when blocking.

The buttons came from my stash of antique buttons that I 'inherited' several years ago.

The yarn is wonderful to work with.


This is what I'm working on now.

Three more unfinished items were donated to Knitwits-all with no patterns accompanying them, so I've been assigned the task of finishing them. This is a child size sweater. It came to me with half the bottom band done, and still on the needles, which made it so convenient for me. (I don't have to guess or swatch). I'd say this project was probably started close to 30 years ago, maybe more. I'm just going to do what will look good since I have no idea how it is supposed to be finished.

There is quite a bit of the green yarn left, and just a bit of the cream. It's a very old Bucilla yarn no longer being made, Bucilla Civona-Sport. It has an unusual hand. Sort of feels like soft nylon that is very stretchy, but it's 100% Orlon Acrylic. I like it. It's soft to the touch.

I've finished the bottom band. It needs button and neck bands now. I've got the buttonhole side done, and the button side just has 2 rows left.

As I was working on this yesterday I wondered who started this project? Was it for a grandchild? A friend? I wonder what they would think if they knew I am finishing it in the year 2010? It will be worn by a child who really needs it. I think they would like that.

I dug in the stash of antique buttons and I've found some that will match it quite well.

Yesterday was my birthday. I had a very nice one too. I got presents (more details on that later), and taken out to dinner. I was craving Mexican so we went to Toro Viejo here in Rathdrum. I love their Enchiladas Rancheras. It is sooooooooo good! My daughter slipped it to the waitress that it was my birthday. So I ended up getting to wear a huge purple sombrero while everyone sang Happy Birthday, and they gave me Flan for dessert. Mmmmm, flan......

It's absolutely beautiful out right now. Blue sky and sunshine. I hope I can spend a little time out on the deck knitting in the sun before the game. We have folks coming over to watch the Superbowl Game. A little party, if you will. It's the only football game we watch. I'm not sure why we watch it. We're not football fans. Doug says it's an American tradition, and he thinks it might be against the law to not watch it. (LOL!) I've got Dilled Pot Roast in the crock pot. I need to get the dip made and set things up in the kitchen for a buffet.

Have a good day!


Simple Woman's Daybook for February 2, 2010

February 2, 2101

Outside my window...
Dripping wet and gray. No snow, just rain. The tractor is the brightest thing out there with it's green paint job and bright yellow trim.

I am thinking...
I need to get busy in the kitchen soon.

I am thankful for...
scotch tape. It really is a remarkable invention if you think about it.

From the kitchen...
I'm baking a cake today. It's my turn to take dessert to the Knitwits meeting. It's also my birthday week, so I'm going to make my favorite-Velvet Spice with cream cheese frosting.

I am wearing...
blue jeans and a purple top.

I am creating...
the second bamboo sock. I'm well into the leg now.

I am going...
to Rathdrum Knitalong this afternoon. It will be interesting to see how the sock knitters are doing.

I am reading...
old beading magazines of late. I'm looking for a ring pattern. I can see it in my mind, but I can't remember what issue it's in.

I am hoping...
to finish the baby cardigan today. I'm taking it with me to the Knitalong meeting to work on it. All I have to do is sew in the sleeves and the side seams, oh, and put on some buttons. I need to dig in the button box and find something appropriate.

I am hearing...
Sigmund Freud trying to tell Data what his nightmares mean. He's failing miserably. Yes, I've got Star Trek The Next Generation on. Syfy is having a marathon today. Woot!

Around the house...
there is a marked decrease in the number of boxes stacked around here. Ruth is making good progress unpacking.

One of my favorite things...
When all the fur kids are asleep. They are all quietly snoozing right now. Chenille is curled up on my lap. She looks so sweet and innocent when she's sleeping.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Lets see, tomorrow is Knitwits, then my knitting class on Thursday. I'm going to finish that baby cardigan for certain. I also want to get back to work on the Mystery Shawl. I've decided to frog it and redo it with darker colored beads. It's become quite evident that the beads need to show up in the design.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing...

If you want to join the Simple Womans Daybook, click here.

Have a good day.


I Blocked the Baby Cardigan

Over the weekend I finished knitting the second sleeve.

Then I blocked all the pieces. They are all made with Plymouth Encore, which is 75% acrylic/25% wool. I pinned out the back and two front pieces to size first.

I steamed them. Then, while they dried, I pinned down the two sleeves. I was extra careful with the measurements to make sure they'd both be the same size.

Here's an artsy shot showing the texture on the back.

The front and back after blocking.

The sleeves after blocking.

I think I talked about this project a couple months ago. Someone asked me to finish this sweater. It didn't have the button/neckband on it so I put one on. I finally got around to sewing the buttons on it. I will turn it in to Knitwits later this week.

We had some snow over the weekend, but by this morning it was gone.

I can't believe it's February already. That first month of 2010 went way too fast.

Have a nice evening.