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


Going Camping

It will be quiet here on the blog for the next few days. We're going camping. Heading for one of our local favorite camping spots on Priest Lake. We've always wanted to spend a whole week there. This is the summer we're doing it. There is no internet there, or cell phone service, except for that one little spot by the big tree down on the beach. I'm not that dependent on my cell phone to go to the trouble of finding it. There isn't even electricity, and the toilets are outhouses. I'm looking forward to a week of no technology. I will, of course, take some knitting and beading with me.

I have to come back on Wednesday for the Knitwits meeting. It's the last one for the members to give me their fair entries so I have to be there for sure.

Speaking of the fair, I've had quite a frustrating time finding out what I'm supposed to be doing. I missed the last training meeting (sigh) and couldn't find anyone who knew what my schedule was supposed to be. I finally got a hold of the right person tonight. I'm so relieved. I was starting to get really worried not knowing the days and hours and where I need to be and what I need to be doing. Now I'm all ready and feeling pretty good about my first year as Superintendent of Knitting. It's going to be a lot of work, but it will be fun. I'm especially looking forward to the Entry days when I get to meet the knitters in the area who are entering things.

 Tommy seems to be improving. He's been pretty depressed since Morgan has been gone. He was unusually subdued. Not his usual rambunctious self. He hasn't been eating much, insists on laying in Morgans bed with Morgans blankie and he just looks so sad. But the last couple days he's started getting back to his rascally little self. I think this camping trip is going to be good for him. I don't care what people say. Animals have emotions and feelings. There is no way you can watch Tommy the last 2 weeks and not see that he misses Morgan.

Well, I need to get back to packing. Have a good week.


Pepper Spray? I Want Some

I thought I'd address something that came up in the comments of my last post. About pepper spray and bears. Some are misunderstanding what I wrote.

I meant I was wondering if pepper spray would work to make a moose go away. Not a bear.

I am not having bear problems. If I had bear problems, the fix is easy. Call Idaho Fish and Game and they'll come right out, trap it, and haul it away far from humans. I know this because we've had bear problems in the past. This is how we solved the problem.

Pepper spray works on bears, by the way. Jack Hanna used it on a male Grizzly who charged at him recently. The bear ran away when that spray hit him. If it works on a male Grizzly ready to put another male in his place, it'll work on any bear.

Jack recommends that hikers have a can of pepper spray with them when hiking in the wilds. I'd never thought of pepper spray. It's good advice.

Our moose problem? Fish and Game refuses to come out and haul the moose away, or do anything at all. And they are a real problem for us. Imagine, if you will, at least a dozen of these big scary fearless things living in your back yard and you'll understand what we're up against, I hope.

Some years ago my husband was out in the front yard winding the garden hose on it's little hanger thingy. I was in the house at the time. I glanced out the window to see a very large moose standing right behind him. It was, in fact, sniffing him and he wasn't even aware it was there. It was a frightening thing to see. I slowly walked to the window, which was open thankfully, and whispered to Sweet Hubby to turn around. He's face to nose with a curious moose. If I had a can of pepper spray, I would have used it. As it was, he just stood still as a statue and eventually the moose lost interest and wandered away.

My husband is 6'5. That moose towered over him. They're BIG! Bigger than a horse.

And extremely unpredictable. I know I make jokes, and I take pictures of them, and I oh and ah the babies and I do think they're awesome and beautiful and it's exciting to see them, but Sweet Hubby and I have a very healthy fear and respect for these creatures. They are wild animals and very dangerous. We keep our distance. I have a telephoto lens on a darn good camera so I can take the pictures and remain safe.

In all honesty, I would rather not have these moose hanging around. I'd rather they were up in the mountains, away from here. I also know there isn't anything I can do about the situation right now. Until someone gets hurt, Fish and Game is not going to take this as a serious threat. I don't want me or someone in my family to be the one who gets hurt.

I need some way to protect myself, my fur kids, and my property. I can't use a real gun. It's seriously against the law to shoot a moose in these parts. Pepper spray sounds like a good idea to me. If it works on a grizzly, it will probably work on a moose.

This guy thinks he's my protector from moose.

Where does one get pepper spray anyway?

Have a good day.


Star Donut Pendant

I have finished my beaded donut project. Well, the donut part of the donut project. I still have to make a necklace to hang it on.



Both sides are so pretty I see it as a reversible pendant. Basically it's a bezel for a donut. I was attracted by the star in the center. I'd never seen a donut done this way before.  I used a 40mm stone donut (I don't know what kind of stone),  size 11 and 15 seed beads in metallic brown, and size 15 seed beads in silver lined light topaz. The pattern calls for delicas. I do not have a local source of delicas, so I used the regular Japanese 11's and adjusted the pattern accordingly to make up for the larger size in the beads.

The pattern for this is on the French blog Bienvenue Chez Fly. Look for the November 8, 2009 post. I can't link to it because the way she has her blog set up the link changes when she adds a new post. You will need to click on the picture of each pattern page, then save the picture on your hard drive, or print it.

I finally got the elusive Miss Turkey in my camera lens. She started running just as I clicked the pic, so part of her is blurry. She sure is a shy one!

Excuse the mess behind her. A moose keeps knocking the bird bath off its pedestal, so in the interest of keeping it from breaking (it's developed cracks), I've decided to leave it that way for now. Oh, and the moose also keeps knocking over that little feeder. I'm starting to think about replacing my paint gun, though after watching Jack Hanna on Good Morning America this morning and his deadly encounter with a Grizzly Bear, I'm wondering about pepper spray.

Have a nice evening.


Judy's Herringbone Rib Socks

Herringbone Rib for Judy

Knitting Socks With Handpainted YarnPattern: Herringbone Rib by by Kristi Schueler from Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn
Yarn: Berroco Sox
Color: 1452 Bonham
Content: 75% Wool/25% Nylon
Needles: Addi Turbo Circular size 2.
Size: for Womans Size 9 shoe 
Cast on: July 6, 2010
Bound off: July 24, 2010 (in Indiana)

Comments: I love the stitch pattern in these socks. It is fun to knit. Be advised, though, that it is a yarn hogging stitch pattern. Make sure you have extra yarn, or don't knit the stitch pattern in the foot. In fact, even if you don't carry the stitch pattern into the foot, have extra yarn. The Berroco Sox is nice to knit with.

The stitch pattern close up.

A Beauty shot.

See the perfectly matched stripes?

They match in the foot too.

All in all, a dandy pair of socks.

Have a great day.


A Day of Finishing

Yesterday turned out to be a day of finishing projects. The weather was perfect-not too hot, not too cold, so I was out on the deck all day enjoying it while I created.

In the morning I finished the double spiral bracelet.

 I changed some of the beads I was going to use. The dark green really wasn't doing it for me, and the real coral beads were too big. I thought about using white pearls instead but that isn't what I wanted. So I popped into Bead Creative in Coeur d'Alene and found some pearlized deep coral pink druks. They are perfect, just what I needed. I love the results. It reminds me of ribbon candy.

So, just for those who want to know, this bracelet is done in Double Spiral stitch with 4mm druks in pearlized dark coral pink, 4mm Swarovski crystals in Chrysolite green, size 8 seed beads in a light green, size 11 seeds beads in the same light green, and size 11 seed beads in coral pink.

I worked on and finished the second of the Herringbone Rib socks in the afternoon/evening. I will post pics later this week. It was some pretty intense knitting. As I was knitting away on the foot I started wondering if I had enough yarn left. The ball was getting so small. So I stopped and unrolled it, trying to figure out how many colorway pattern repeats there were. I came to the conclusion I didn't have enough yarn. So I'm knitting away, 'knowing' I don't have enough yarn and trying to figure out what I can do that will work well enough that I can still enter them in the fair. I just kept knitting, getting more and more frustrated. By the time I got to the toe, I realized I must have counted wrong because clearly I had enough. Just enough though. There was no wiggle room. (I'm so glad I decided NOT to carry the stitch pattern down into the foot portion.) It's a relief to have them done. I was getting pretty stressed out for a bit there.

This morning I dug out the Blackberry Ricks. I think I have time to finish them for the fair too. I sat out on the deck this morning working on them. I'm definitely in a sock knitting mood.

A couple nights ago we were visited by a Moose mama and her twins. These are new for this year. Unfortunately, it was too dark for me to identify who the Mama is and she was too shy to get close enough for my camera. But I got a semi-decent pic of the babies.

Today it is hot out. So I'm hunkering down in the house with the air conditioner going. I should probably go grocery shopping because the fridge is getting pretty bare, but I really don't want to go out in that heat today.

Have a great day.


I Banished the White Stripe

Remember this?

It looks like this now.

I am awesome. That is all there is to it.

What did I do? I frogged back to where the white begins and cut the yarn there. Then I cut the other end of the white part off the main ball. So that removed the white-which I gave to Judy since she seemed to form an instant emotional attachment to it when she heard I was taking it out.

I have a small ball of yarn that I had to more or less 'throw away' when figuring out where to cast on the second sock in the colorway pattern so it will match the first (I kept it just in case I would need it at the end of the toe. Remember, I'm not quite sure I have enough yarn for the whole sock). There was some pinky/purple in the ball, but not quite enough of it, so I pulled a bit of the other end of the main ball of yarn until I found that funky pinky purple. Thankfully, it was just a couple feet in. I cut enough of that pinky part so when combined with the first piece of pinky purple it would give me the same length as the white piece I cut out plus a few inches for joining. Then I Russian Joined everything together and voila! It's fixed.

Have you seen a more perfect match of stripes between two sock legs in all your life?

No applause please. You'll make me blush. I'm ready to start the heel flap now. Hurray!

I've started working on the shrug I started last month for Knitwits. I worked on it Tuesday at the Rathdrum KAL group meeting because my brain was so distracted I didn't think I could handle anything more complicated. I managed to get a few inches done.

The green knitting bag I'm carrying it around in is a knit felted little number I made a few years ago.

It's the pattern My Constant Companion by Janet Scanlon. I love the pattern so much I've made 3 of them - 2 of which I kept for me. You should check out her patterns. She has quite a talent for felted bag/purse designing.

I had my class this morning and actually had a student. She had a whole list of questions about how to do this and that and the other thing. I taught her all the answers and she went away feeling learned (and like she'd got her money's worth). I call that a successful class.

Speaking of class, I found this wonderful tutorial for a really easy way to do a Provisional Cast On. I don't know why I didn't think of doing it this way myself. It's so simple.

Have a good day.


What I Knitted on the Trip

Thank you to all the folks who have sent me good wishes after the passing away of my little boy, Morgan. I greatly appreciate it. You have given me more comfort than you know.

Monday was, I think, the hardest day of my life. I'm glad it's over. Morgans kidneys were failing, and he was choking because his trachea kept collapsing. I couldn't let him suffer any more. The experience was not as horrible as I thought it would be. It was surprisingly peaceful, and the last thing he felt was me kissing his little ears and telling him how much I love him.

As promised earlier, I will tell you what I knitted on the trip. I only worked on two projects. The monkey socks in yesterdays post, which I completed. Then I started the second pair of socks for Judy. I cast the first one on as we were crossing Indiana and have finished it.

I just love the stitch pattern.

It's called Herringbone Rib and is in the book Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn by Carol Sulcoski. It's a slip stitch pattern, of sorts. It's an easy peasy 2 row 12 stitch repeat, but a bit labor intensive in that it takes a bit of time to knit it. I decided not to carry the stitch pattern into the foot because it uses more than the average yarn. As it is, I'm not sure I have enough for the second sock. I weighed the leftovers and there's just 2 tenths of an ounce more left than the finished sock weighs. That is cutting it close!

I cast on the second sock a few days ago. I was very careful to make sure I cast on in the same place of the colorway pattern repeat so the second sock will match fairly well. I've run into a big problem.

See that white stripe? There's a defect in the colorway pattern repeat right there that is nowhere else in the skein. It's supposed to be the pinky/purple color (see finished sock). Somehow, it didn't get dyed in that spot. I have an idea on how to fix it, but I don't know if I have enough yarn. It's a bit tricky. I'm thinking about it, and will tell you how I fixed it after doing so.

I started a beading project yesterday evening. My niece Lynne really made our visit wonderful so I want to thank her with a bracelet. It took me awhile to select the beads I'm going to use.

I had an idea for a double spiral, but it didn't work, so I've frogged it. I really wanted to use the round coral beads (they're real coral from a necklace I bought in Hawaii several years ago), but they are too big. Phooey. Time to come up with another idea.

Have a great evening.


Judy's Monkey Socks

Monkey Socks for Judy

Pattern: Monkey Socks by Cookie A.
Yarn: Fibranatura Yummy
Color: 41361 Purples
Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool
Needles: Addi Turbo Circular size 2.
Size: for Womans Size 9 shoe 
Cast on: May 23, 2010
Bound off: July 5, 2010 (in Indiana)

Comments: I love this pattern, I love the yarn. Judy loves the socks. Can't be better than that. I finished these socks while driving through Indiana on our vacation.

Have a nice evening.


Goodbye Sweet Boy

At 5:50pm today Ch. Willowmeres John Morgan Park crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

Rest in peace my sweet little boy. You will be missed. I'm happy to have had the honor of having you in my life and being able to love you.


I Have Returned

I have returned from our adventure on the roads of this beautiful country. Actually, we got back last Sunday evening but I've been so busy unpacking and trying to get things caught up after being away so long as well as trying to clean up a whole bunch of viruses off my computer (sigh) this is the first chance I've had to blog.

The trip was great. Our group consisted of brother-in-law Chet, his wife Diane, and their grandson Brendon, brother-in-law Dan, his wife Sue, and their son Nathan, me, Doug, and our daughter Ruth. We took Tommy and Morgan too. It started out kind of tough, but got better as we went along. It seems our trailer decided it was gonna fall apart bit by bit as we went across the country. It started right away with getting a flat tire before we'd got 2 miles from home. So we spent a couple hours at the Les Schwab tire store getting it fixed.

Eventually, we got on the road and headed for Fairmont Hot Springs, Montana where we spent the evening soaking in the pools. The next morning we headed for Yellowstone, stopping in at Earthquake Lake on the way.

We also stopped in West Yellowstone to visit a bead shop that one of my friends highly recommended, New Pioneer Indian Trading Company. Oh wow! I went crazy and spent way too much money there. There were so many unusual and beautiful beads!

Yellowstone is gorgeous in June. It's green and the wildflowers are blooming like crazy.

Actually, they were blooming like crazy everywhere we went the whole trip. We got to see baby Bison. They're so cute! We also saw a couple bears (running into the woods), Elk, Antelope,

and assorted smaller animals and birds. (Surprisingly we only saw one moose the whole trip-and it wasn't in Yellowstone) We camped in Yellowstone Park itself and spent two days taking in all the sites. I was really struck by the colors of the hot springs, mud pots, and whatnot.

 Such a variety of textures too.

 I took a lot of pictures to reference later for beaded jewelry inspiration. I got quite sick of the smell of sulfur though. I also got very very tired because sis-in-law Sue, the planner of the first half of our trip, was a slave driver. She is one of those high energy people who can't sit still and she ran us ragged. So I got a lot of exercise, missed a few meals, and lost a bit of weight.

After Yellowstone we headed for South Dakota and Mt. Rushmore. We stopped in Cody, Wyoming to visit the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. We could only spend a couple hours there, so we had to choose what we wanted to see the most-which was hard because there are 5 museums there. I took in the special exhibit they had on Native American bead work. Needless to say, I was thoroughly impressed and was wishing I'd taken some of my beads with me on the trip.

On our way through the town of Custer, Wyoming there were artfully painted Bison all over town.

When we arrived in Mt. Rushmore National Park we set up at one of the campgrounds just a couple miles from the monument of the Presidents. We saw the monument 3 times. Afternoon,


 and again the next morning. I also saw a Mountain Goat while I was resting on a bench. It came right up to me.

We visited Jewel Cave. This particular event made me terribly nervous because of the gimpy leg. The tour required walking up and down over 700 steps. I didn't know if I could make it, but

 decided to give it a try. I wore an elastic stocking on the gimpy leg, in hopes it would not start hurting and swell up like it usually does. Thankfully, I made it through the whole tour (which was amazing, btw). I was really tired and sore the next morning but I made it. The elastic stocking kept my leg from swelling so I ended up getting more (Did you know there are Walmarts all over this country?) and wearing them on the days I knew I wouldn't be able to put my leg up much.

We took a tour of the National Museum of Wood Carving in Custer, South Dakota which was pretty fascinating. All the parts were hand carved wood and animated with little machines.

We took in the Crazy Horse monument, which has grown quite a bit since the last time I saw it. They've built a beautiful museum of Native American artifacts, and made some real progress on Crazy Horse himself. One of the highlights of the museum for me was the beaded clothing and whatnot that had been made by Native Americans. I fell in love with a pair of moccasin boots made of moose skin

 and there was the corner of bead heaven. They have jars of antique seed beads that were used

 by the Indians to make bead work back in the 1800's. Needless to say, I stood there drooling for quite some time.

We also drove through Custer State Park where we saw more Bison,

 Elk, and wild Burro's as well as fantastic views and landscapes. It's such a beautiful area.

Eventually it was time to continue on our trip so we split from Doug's brothers and headed for Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, where my Dad lives. Sweet Hubby would not let me plan the route for this part of the trip, which frustrated me. He has a Droid phone with a GPS application on it (with an incredibly annoying female voice) and insisted we let the Droid tell us how to get there. It chose a route I would not have chosen. We zigzagged our way from Mt. Rushmore to Daddy's house up little highways almost the whole way. However, the roads were good (better than the freeways!) and the drive was beautiful. We saw much more of the country than I would have otherwise.

We went through the bad lands in South Dakota. What a fascinating place. Very interesting visually with all it's pointed pillars colored in stripes of pink, red, beige, brown, and gray.

When we crossed into Minnesota we did have an excitement. A major thunderstorm broke over us. I've never seen 4 inch wide rain balls before (I'd call them drops, but they were definitely balls). There was a tornado warning, the wind and rain were so hard we couldn't keep driving. Fortunately, there was a rest area we were able to pull into. The caretaker was there and had us park our trailer beside the building so it blocked the wind some, and we hunkered down inside the building until the worst was over. We were given permission to spend the night there in that spot. I thought that was very kind of them to let us do that.

Seeing Daddy was a bit of a shock for me. It had been 11 years. He's 73 and has aged quite a bit. I knew he would look older, but actually seeing the faded hair (used to be bright red, now it's a pale apricot), and the wrinkles, and seeing how hard it is for him to walk now was hard. I'd also forgotten how redneck he and his family are. But I got used to the new look of my Dad and had a good time visiting him and my relatives that live in that area.

Ruth and I took one afternoon to visit what I have always called 'Souvenir Row'. It's a two block section of Portage Road full of little souvenir shops. I always want to go there. They are interesting shops. I always visit the Minnetonka Moccasin shop too, and buy new moccasins. This time I got black shoe moccasins made of the softest Moose hide I've ever felt. They're so comfortable. I also admit to a certain 'sick' satisfaction in being able to walk on a moose.

We also toured the Soo Locks while we were there, riding a tour boat through the locks. If you ever get the chance to take that in, please do. It's very interesting. They just happened to have the very first 1000 foot cargo ship there in the locks when we were there. It actually has the number 1 painted on it.

Eventually we had to say goodbye to Daddy and head for Kansas where we spent two nights at our niece and nephew Lynne and Wayne's house. They have a farm there where they grow corn, wheat, and soy beans.They also own the local grain elevator, which was interesting. They were very hospitable and spoiled us rotten. It was good to see them, and the kids-oh my, the boys have grown so big!

Sweet Hubby got to drive one of Wayne's huge tractors around the block. He was SO thrilled about that. He said it was the highlight of the whole trip for him. (What is it with guys and tractors, anyway?)

It took 3 days to get home. We experienced another nasty thunderstorm that was so loud the trailer shook.

We camped in an RV park in Wyoming that was surrounded by huge fields of wild yellow Sweet Clover which filled the air thick with it's sweet spicy smell. I love the smell of Sweet Clover.

We lost another trailer tire (it split apart) and had to buy a new one. Other parts of the trailer broke on the trip too. The front board over the bed fell off. It had 4 holes drilled in it, but only 2 bitty screws. Then the next day the bed pullout track broke, so we couldn't pull the bed out. Sweet Hubby fixed it with new brackets that were much sturdier than the originals. Stuff like this kept happening. I muttered something about it falling apart all over the place and Sweet Hubby cheerfully replied "no it's not! It's getting better!" Every repair he did he made better than the original construction. By the time everything has fallen off that can we'll have a pretty sturdy little trailer!

Vulcan's Heart (Star Trek: The Original)The Tenth Gift: A NovelI managed to read 2 novels via my Nook. I read a Star Trek novel (natch) called Vulcans Heart and a mystery novel titled The Tenth Gift. I enjoyed both of them, but The Tenth Gift was a very pleasant surprise. I couldn't put it down it was so interesting. It's a historical mystery novel about a woman in the 1600's who lives on the coast of England. She is kidnapped (with a bunch of her fellow townspeople) by Muslim pirates, taken to Morocco, and made a slave. There is another theme in the book too of a modern girl who is looking for proof of this story. There's needlecraft involved too-which was a surprise I wasn't expecting. Anyway, if you get a chance to read it, I highly recommend it.

All in all it was a great trip. I did get a little bit of knitting done too which I'll write about later. For now, I just want to get this posted.

By the way, I may go missing for a few days. As I mentioned at the start, my laptop is having virus problems. We don't know where they're coming from or how they're getting on so it's been frustrating. As soon as we get them off my computer with a virus removal program they reinstall themselves all over again. One of the problems that is really annoying is my google searches are getting redirected to lame ad search sites. So it looks like Sweet Hubby and I are going to be F-disking my hard drive and reinstalling everything from scratch. Hopefully that will get rid of the problem because everything else we've tried hasn't worked.

Stupid hackers!!!! I hope all your hard drives fail!

Have a great day.