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


Spin In 2010

On Saturday my daughter Ruth and I attended the 2010 Log Cabin Spinners Spin In. It was held at a new location this year, Templin's Red Lion Inn in Post Falls. I have to say that I really liked the new location. It was so much nicer than the previous one.

We didn't arrive until after 11 (even though it started at 9) because Ruth and I were both slow to get ourselves out the door. By then the festivities were well under way. I bought my usual batch of raffle tickets (it's how they pay for the event), found an empty space on the floor for our chairs, sat down, and began Spin Inning. That consists of striking up a conversation with the nearest person to me (usually someone I don't know), followed by looking for and greeting everyone I know, perusing the market, eating lunch, perusing the market some more, attending one or two demonstrations, perusing the market yet again-all the while popping around to my chair every so often and knitting and chatting with the gals in the spinning circle my chair just happened to be in. As I was doing this, my shy daughter sat in her chair and worked on her sweater.

I forgot to take my camera (urg!), so I used my phone camera to take pictures, which isn't very good but it's better than nothing. Here they are in no particular order.

One view of the market.

Maybe it just seemed like it, but I think there were more vendors there this year. There were definitely quite a few new vendors I'd never seen before.

Linda (on the right) is concentrating on her spinning.

Daughter Ruth lost in her knitting.

There was a demonstration on this Great Wheel. It was very interesting.

She was using a pencil roving to spin.

This lady had rabbits with her

Another Great Wheel in one of the vendor booths.

Juaquetta looked so pretty seated in her booth.

Some more market.

And more market.

The raffle tickets I bought paid for themselves when my daughter won a crochet book. We had a good time. That's what's important. Already looking forward to next year.

Have a good day.


The Week in Review

It's been a busy week for me.

Tuesday night I attended my first Superintendent meeting for the fair. It was very interesting. I learned just exactly what I've signed up for. I was pretty worried that it might be way more than I could handle, but it's turned out to be way less that expected. I am relieved, and happy. The job is going to be a lot of fun. Most of the work takes place during the month of August, which is when the fair takes place. Before that it's monthly planning meetings, and afterward a couple more meetings.

There were a couple ladies there I wasn't expecting who I know. They are the Superintendents of the Crochet department now. I met these ladies shortly after moving here (from the San Jose, CA area) via my love for machine knitting. The three of us spent a couple summers or so putting on machine knitting demonstrations during the fair. I remember having loads of fun with them. Now, there we were. The three of us. Working for the fair. How did that happen?

I was also worried that this job would mess up our summer vacation plans. We are going on a road trip with my brother-in-laws starting mid June. We're planning on driving down and staying at Yellowstone National Park for a week, then on to South Dakota and Mt. Rushmore for another week. After that the brother-in-laws will head back home. Doug and I are planning to head for northern Michigan to visit my father. On our way home we hope to swing down to Kansas and visit some nephews and nieces. The whole trip is going to be about 4 weeks long. I'm really looking forward to it. Being Superintendent of Knitting will not interfere with the trip, or vise versa.

Wednesday was the weekly Yarnies meeting. I swear, I have not laughed that hard in a very long long time. The girls wit was in top form. I didn't get much knitting done because it's hard to see your knitting when your eyes are full of tears from laughing so hard. If you want a good time, and you live in this area, please come to our CDA Yarnies meetings. Every Wednesday from 10:30am to 12:30 at CDA Yarn and Fiber.

Thursday I went in to CDA Yarn and Fiber for my knitting class. No students showed up, so I went home and spent the rest of the day cleaning out my closet. I've been bitten by the spring cleaning bug. I pulled out 5 garbage size bags of clothes that I'm not wearing for various reasons-don't fit, don't like, don't have a lifestyle for wearing them anymore (that would be the dresses. I don't wear dresses any more), and there were even a few "why in the heck did I buy this?" items that I never wore or only wore once. I also got 2 bags of clothes Sweet Hubby hasn't worn in ages (including 2 very nice suits). There were also a few sweaters that I made him early in our marriage that he couldn't fit in if his life depended on it. All of the clothes are in excellent condition so I took them to the Food Bank Thrift store in Rathdrum. They were quite pleased.

I have been thinking about monetizing my blog. A new feature involving Amazon.com has become available to Blogger members that is intriguing. The idea my blog could generate some pocket money for beads/yarn is attractive.

This morning I am heading to the Templins Red Lion Inn in Post Falls for the annual Log Cabin Spinners Spin In. It's an event hosted by the local spinning guild every year. Folks from all over the area bring their spinning wheels/knitting/crochet projects or whatever and spend the day together in yarnie goodness and fun. My daughter Ruth is going with me. Sarah was going to come too, but she has to go to work instead. Bummer. I will buy yarn in her honor. (heh heh)

Speaking of daughters, Ruth has started knitting her first sweater. I am so proud of her. She's making the Absinthe pullover from the book Pints & Purls. More details will follow as the project develops.

By the way, if you are fairly new to knitting, I highly recommend this book. It has wonderful projects and is well written for new knitters. I'm quite impressed with it.

Well, if I'm going to the Spin In, I better get my arse moving. Have a good weekend.


Fragments from My Mind

I'm starting something new on my blog. Something I've not done before (well, I've sort of dipped a toe in it a bit, I admit that) but the idea has crossed my mind on occasion. I have not been comfortable with the idea until now. Talking about myself. I mean, the real myself. The stuff that makes me tick. Especially things about my past. I hardly ever talk about my past to anyone. Not even my husband knows what lurks in the darkness of my mind. I have had strong walls around my soul for many a year because I need them to feel safe.

Feeling safe is something that is especially important to me. In fact, I would say it says everything about me. Yeah. I'm all about the feeling safe thing. It became important when I was very very very young because I did not feel safe as a child-ever, or a teen for that matter. As long as I was living with my parents I never felt safe. I'm gonna repeat that sentence cos, well, it's really saying something about me.

As long as I was living with my parents I never felt safe.

I have memories of events causing terror and fear going back to younger than the age of two. I figure I was about 18 months old at my earliest one. I was still crawling, I know that for sure. In fact, until recently I can honestly say I didn't even know what 'feeling safe' really meant. It's taken 51 years, but I feel safe now.

I had this revelation during the wee hours of this morning, in case you're wondering.

"Whoa!" you might be saying to yourself. "Linda Jo! Where is this coming from?"

It came from a conversation I had with my friends at CDA Yarnies last Wednesday. My friends were the only ones at the meeting. (Not even my daughter had come.) I know the conversation would never have happened if someone I hardly know had been there because I wouldn't have let it. I wouldn't have felt safe discussing it amongst people I hardly know. And when I think about it, that says a HUGE thing about the 3 ladies who were there. And I wish I could think of a way to express this to them.

I won't go into how the discussion started, or how we ended up at the point where this blurped out of me, but I suddenly found myself telling these 3 gals something I have never told anyone, ever. I'm paraphrasing here because the exact words escape me. Basically I told them about how, when I was a kid, if I misbehaved out in public my mother would lean over and hiss at me "Remind me to spank you when we get home!" and how much I hated when she did that because it ruined the whole rest of the day for me and I'd be worrying and debating all the way whether to remind her or not.

If I reminded her, then I was gonna get a beating (and I'm sorry, but that is the only thing that describes what Moms spankings were. Beatings). But if I didn't remind her, then I might escape a beating. However, if I didn't remind her, and then she remembered later, I'd get a beating way much worse than the one I'd have had if I'd just reminded her. It depended on how lucky I felt as to what I did when we got home.

My friend Andrea replied "God Linda Jo. No wonder you have issues with anxiety!" and the conversation moved on.

Side note: Folks. If you do this to your children- GET PROFESSIONAL HELP! You are a child abuser of the worst sort. Stop doing it right now.

That night I couldn't sleep. I had a serious case of insomnia. My brain would not stop buzzing. I read my current book (see side bar) all night because of it. I didn't know why I couldn't sleep. Just that I couldn't. I remember telling someone that I thought it was because I'd had a diet coke earlier that day and it had been a long time since I had caffeine.

Thursday night I was dead tired. So I figured I'd drop right off. Ha! So wrong. Again, I found my brain buzzing and it was so bad that even reading didn't help. I couldn't concentrate. I ended up spending most of the night with the lights out tossing and turning and wishing my brain would just STFU!

What do I mean by my brain buzzing? Random and unrelated thoughts and memories pop up and lead me into pointless conversations with myself that I get quite involved in even though I know it's all totally and completely ridiculous and why can't I stop doing this so I can go to sleep?! Usually reading a book knocks the brain off that track and I can fall asleep quite quickly. Not this time.

Now I know that something is bothering me. It's not caffeine, or the fact that I'm really enjoying the book. There is something deeper going on in my mind. An underlying anxiety. This is a symptom of my Panic Attack Anxiety Disorder. What, pray tell, is bothering me? Anyway, last night when I went to bed I was SO tired that I was hoping I would literally just pass out. I didn't have much hope though. I thought about taking a sleeping pill, but I hate doing that.

Oddly, I fell asleep right away and, darn that sneaky brain of mine, I dreamed the answer to what was bothering me. In my dream, me and Andrea are children on a shopping trip with my mom. For no reason, my mom leans over and says to me "Remind me to give you a spanking when we get home." and Andrea says "God Linda Jo. No wonder you have issues with anxiety." and then we went to the fair where I worried the whole time about getting a beating and didn't enjoy the rides and the animals at all (which made Andrea call me a kill joy). It was a really sucky situation. Not one I care to be in again.

There it is. The anxiety is coming from me knowing I'm starting a new job (Superintendent of Knitting) that I don't know much about. On top of that, what I talked about at Yarnies. An old more serious anxiety that I never dealt with has surfaced.

It is perfectly normal to be anxious about the job. But whenever an anxiety comes into my life, an abuse from my childhood that I have not thought about in ages comes to the surface along with all the long buried emotions that go with it and I find myself having to sit down and deal with it because I couldn''t at the time it happened. That's okay. I'm good with that.

All that got me to thinking about how I really didn't feel safe when I was a kid-something I'd not faced before, and the reasons why that is and the amazing revelation that I actually do feel safe now. Hmmm. A rather productive morning if I do say so myself.

Have a good day.


Simple Woman's Daybook for March 15, 2010

March 15, 2010

Outside my window...
A pair of Starlings are hangin' out at the Parkarosa Bird Buffet, along with 2 pairs of chickadees, a pair of nuthatches, two kinds of woodpecker, and a finch. It's a busy morning in my plum tree!
I am thinking...
that progress on getting over this cough is finally happening. I feel so much better today.

I am thankful for...
Wild Birds. They are so entertaining.

From the kitchen...
I have a craving for cake. I think I'll make one today.

I am wearing...
tshirt and jeans.

I am creating...

I have so many WIPS going right now it's getting hard to decide what I'm going to work on in the evening. I'm enjoying every one of them. I got 2 more feet done on the Ugly Yarn lace scarf.

I am going...
nowhere today. Just gonna chill at home.

I am reading...
The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins. It's about the evidence for Evolution. I am really enjoying the book. Couldn't put it down yesterday. It starts out with a couple chapters on gene manipulation done by humans to domesticate plants and animals for our benefit. Did you know that cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, Brussel sprouts, and Kale all come from the same wild cabbage plant? I've always been fascinated by genetics.
I am hoping...
the trend for getting over this cough continues in the positive.

I am hearing...
Chickadees at the buffet. They are quite a noisy bunch.

Around the house...
WIPs lying all over the place. Not just mine either. Daughter Ruth has left some lying around.

One of my favorite things...
Douglas Fir. I grew up with it. There were several of them growing in our yard when I was a kid. They smell good, and the wind makes such a pleasant sound when blowing through their branches. I was noticing yesterday how much the two babies near the house have grown since we moved here. They're big, fat, and sassy trees now. The chickadees seem to enjoy playing in them.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
If I'm up to it, I've got Rathdrum Knitalong tomorrow. Wednesday I'm scheduled for my monthly blood test. Thursday I hope to return to my knitting class to teach. I'm still coughing but I think it's down to a point where it won't be bothersome now.

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

Tommy has such a cute little butt.

Have a nice day.

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


It's Official

A couple days ago I made mention of something that I was excited about:

"Something amazing happened yesterday, but I'm not going to write about it until the paper work has been sign, sealed, and delivered. Just know that I am very excited, and happy."

I can talk about it now. I am the new Superintendent of Knitting for the North Idaho Fair and Rodeo. Doesn't that sound incredible? Superintendent of Knitting.

This job kind of fell in my lap. Someone at the fair emailed a friend telling her they were looking for a new SofK. She forwarded that email to me. I thought about it for a few days, weighing the ins and outs and whether I would have the time. I decided I will make the time. I emailed the fair that I was interested. They emailed me back with "Glad to have you aboard." It went way too easy.

So what does a SofK do? I will be in charge of running the Knitting dept for the fair. Organizing and taking care of the entries, deciding what can and can not be entered, creating and setting up the displays at fair time, taking down and putting it all away afterwards, keeping my portion of the Fair Entry book up to date. Stuff like that. There will be lots of people helping me, thankfully. It would be a huge job by myself. I'm just the one where the buck will stop. Most of my work will take place during the months of July and August. So it's not a 'full time' position.

When I told them I was interested in the job, I believed it to be a volunteer position. In other words, no money. However, I have since found out they will be paying me. That surprised me. I'll find out how much when I go to my first meeting.

My first meeting is March 23. I sure hope this cough has decreased a lot by then.

Speaking of coughing, I got out of the house yesterday. We were just about completely out of food (It had been more than 3 weeks since my last grocery store trip). I felt a sense of urgency to fix that situation. I dragged Ruth along to be my slave labor and went into Rathdrum to forage for food. I also stopped at the post office, the liquor store, and the drug store. I coughed the whole time and was exhausted when I got home, but I lived through it. I chatted with folks as I went along and found out just about everyone in town either has a cough now themselves, or family members who are coughing. Glad to know it's not just me.

Have a good one.


Signs of Spring`2010

I saw my first robin. So, even though as I write this wet snow mixed with rain is falling outside and getting my car all slushy, I know spring is here. Some signs.

My Bleeding Heart has sprouted.

So has my Iceland Poppy

My Chive plant

A Pine bud

And the Pussy Willow bush down the hill.

That last one was taken with my telephoto lens. The nearest branch with any fuzzies on it was over 8 feet high. Moose like Pussy Willows so they've eaten everything lower.

I'm still coughing. Nuff said.

Something amazing happened yesterday, but I'm not going to write about it until the paper work has been sign, sealed, and delivered. Just know that I am very excited, and happy.

I need to start a new pair of socks in the worst way. I promised someone my next sock project would be test knitting her new pattern, but I don't have the yarn and I haven't been able to go get it with this horrible cough cramping my style. So I've decided to start something with stash yarn to work on until I can get to the yarn shop.

I want to do another more complicated textured pattern, so I chose Rick from Cookie A's Sock Innovations. (I remembered to go get the errata off the Interweave web site for it too.) The pattern has a 60 stitch cast on. I've decided to do 72. I'll have to figure out how I'm going to deal with those extra stitches when I get to the heel. Anyway, the twisted rib cuff for the first sock is done.

I am using my Blackberry superwash merino from Impulse of Delight for these socks. I'm luvin' it!

Have a great day.


Current WIPs

 I worked on the lace scarf last night. It's just over 2 feet long now.

Here's a pic of the skein of yarn.

As I was knitting away I suddenly realized I'm working with yarn that is older than me. That's kind of weird.

I also worked on the next snowman of Snowman Row.

This is what it's supposed to look like when done, except in color of course.

It's sunny this morning. They say snow is coming later this week. I'll believe it when I see it. In the meantime, there are two tulips poking above the ground in my yard. Yay! Sweet Hubby found a Buttercup in the woods too.

You know spring is coming when there's Buttercups. There was a pair of Towhees, and a sparrow at the feeder this morning. I'm keeping my eyes open for Robins. They should be coming along pretty soon. I wonder if we'll have the Red Crossbills this year.

I love spring!

I got almost all the laundry done yesterday. I'll finish up whats left today. I also hope to sit in the sun a bit this afternoon-assuming the coming snow clouds haven't arrived yet.

Have a good day.



I am still coughing! I'm getting better, but it's in such small increments I could scream. Today I forced myself to do stuff around the house. Mostly laundry. Doug didn't have any clean pants to wear to work, so I felt I better do something about that.

Today is the first day that I can breath out and not feel bubbles in my chest, so I know I'm getting better. I just have to be patient and take care of myself. I do wish I'd gone to the doctor sooner-like as soon as I started coughing. I know I'm in a bad way when I get a cough. I need to be more pro active when one comes knocking at my door-or lungs, as the case may be so this doesn't happen again.

Over the weekend I had a Star Trek Movie marathon. Then I watched the first 2 DVD's of my new set.

It arrived Saturday. Way sooner than I was expecting. All the disks seem to be in good shape (there are a lot of them so I checked). Hopefully, they will all play properly. It's going to take awhile to get through them. 176 episodes, 7 years worth. It will be fun watching them.

I did a little knitting. I was given another unfinished sweater from Knitwits to finish. It's a tank top. It needed armhole and neck bands-all of which are done now. I had enough yarn to do both, thankfully. It desperately needs to be washed before I take pictures of it. It's made of a very nice dressy wool with a crepe twist in an off white. The knitting job on it isn't very good. Lots of uneven stitches, and a few mistakes too. For instance, on the front they decreased two stitches in from the edge on the armholes, but the back is decreased 3 stitches in. The bands look fantastic. (ha ha!) This must have been made by a very inexperienced knitter. I'm hoping washing and blocking will improve how it looks.

I was also given a partially knit scarf to finish. There isn't enough of the yarn to finish it as it came to me, in a sort of broken rib pattern. Yesterday I unraveled the whole thing. It's made of a very very old fake mohair called Dawn Mohspun (Now there's a blast from the past-the 1950's to be precise), knit with 2 strands together. 100% Orlon Acrylic, and a very ugly green/brown color. The yarn is in great shape, but feels kind of yucky. Oh well. I'm now knitting it up into a lacy scarf using my Mohair Lace scarf pattern. I'll get a whole scarf with the amount of yarn I've got with this pattern.

Well, the dryer is buzzing so I better get to work.

Have a nice evening.


Simple Woman's Daybook for March 4, 2010

March 4, 2010

Outside my window...
Sunshine. Hurray! And a whole lotta Magpies.

I am thinking...
It feels good to breath in and out without coughing my lungs out every time.

I am thankful for...
Medicine. I'd have been dead a long time ago if not for it. I went to the doctor yesterday and was diagnosed with a bronchial infection. He gave me antibiotics. I'm already feeling better and breathing easier after the first dose. The diagnosis did not surprise me. I always end up with some sort of respiratory infection if a virus gets in my lungs or sinuses. The little bugaboos know when I'm down.

From the kitchen...
I haven't been cooking. Haven't had the energy. Sweet Hubby has been bringing dinner home each evening.

I am wearing...
my jammies. I will probably get dressed some time today. I'm not in any hurry.

I am creating...

Not much lately. Coughing too much to bead, and I've finished two knitting projects. I'm wondering what I want to work on next. I did start the next snowman in Snowman Row a few days ago. Maybe I'll work on that.

I am going...
out on the deck as soon as the sun hits it today.

I am reading...
Breaking the Spell by Daniel C Dennet. It's a book that "calls for a scientific, rational examination of religion that will lead us to understand what purpose religion serves in our culture." So far, it's very very interesting. I think it's a good idea. Religion is so important to humans. So many will actually kill, or even commit suicide, for it. It permeates every culture on this planet. We need to know if it's really a benefit to humans or not.

I am hoping...
the trend for getting over this cough continues in the positive.

I am hearing...
the little bubbles in my chest when I breath out. I also hear the fridge humming, the tv, and the birds outside chirping.

Around the house...
It's a total and complete mess. Not only am I sick, but Ruthie has been sick too. So no housecleaning is taking place, though I did manage to get two loads of laundry done so we could have clean undies.

One of my favorite things...
is the Star Trek The Next Generation series. The complete DVD set is on it's way here even as I speak. Found a really outstanding deal on it via Amazon. Sweet Hubby said order it. Hurray!

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Knocking the bejeebers of this infection out of my body once and for all, then getting the house back into proper order. Also, I need to figure out which of the half dozen or so knitting projects on the table I'm going to tackle next. So much yarn, so hard to choose.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing...
Sharing the blanket:

Have a great weekend.

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


Belated and Bambooed

Hello Blog land. I am still coughing and wheezing like crazy. But the rest of me is starting to feel human again. I have not had a cough this bad in a long time. It is getting better though. I have periods when there is no tickle in the chest today.

Yesterday was my Blogiversary. I was coughing too much to even think about posting. I want to have a contest in celebration just like I have before. But I'm going to wait until I feel better. I don't even know what I want the prize to be yet. Suggestions would be appreciated in the comments.
On the knitting front, I finished the Bamboo socks last night.

Pattern: 4x2 Garter Rib by me
Yarn: On Your Toes Bamboo by S.R. Kertzer
Color: Iris Print
Content: 75% Bamboo/25% Nylon
Needles: Addi Turbo Circular size 2.
Size: Ladies Medium (size 8.5 shoe)
Cast on: August 4, 2009
Bound off: March 1, 2010

Comments: I really like working with this yarn but there's not as much yardage as there is with wool. 328 yards to 100 grams, as apposed to 400-450 yards from wool. So be advised, if you have large feet. I just used my basic sock pattern with a 4x2 Garter Rib. Nuthin' fancy.

I think it's funny that the cuffs, heels, and toes match perfectly, but the striping in between is different.

There wasn't very much yarn left either. I was sweating a bit on the last bit of foot.

I have told someone on Ravelry that I would test knit her new Star Trek sock pattern next. Unfortunately, they're made with DK weight yarn, so I will have to go yarn shopping first. Darn! ;-)

Have a nice evening.