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


My Pulsera Capricho

As I promised, here is the beading project I finished yesterday. It's a bangle bracelet, for me.

 The pattern is named Pulsera Capricho and it is on a Spanish blog. It's a pretty simple pattern. You make a base of 5-bead netting with size 11 seed beads, then embellish with 4mm beads and size 15 seeds. 

 I used 360 eggplant purple 4mm glass pearls (I counted, because I wanted to know), bronze size 15's, and two colors of size 11's- matte gold and transparent rootbeer with an AB finish. Those last ones glow bright gold in the light even though technically they're brown.

 If I make this again, I will be making sure to have tighter tension. Mine is a little on the loose side, so it's a bit floppy. Other than that, it fits me perfectly.

I finished the first sleeve on the Navy Textured  pullover last night. Now, for sleeve two.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Just a Flower, but Oh, What a Flower!

I grew this.

It's a dahlia. A Spider dahlia, to be precise, in a lovely wine color. If not for this years weird weather, this would have never bloomed. We usually get our first frost in August, then a couple weeks or so of nice weather, then in September we start getting them regularly. That hasn't happened this year. We have yet to have our first frost.

I've put my hand in the pic so you can see how big it is.

Yup! It's a whopper. It takes up the whole vase all by itself. I was gonna give up on growing dahlias. I've changed my mind.

 This is grandkitty Lindy, She was taking a nap while I was beading out on the deck yesterday. I don't have very many opportunities left to do that this year so I grab them when I can. She looks so sweet and innocent.

When she's awake she has all the qualities of a stubborn red headed Siamese. She gets into all kinds of trouble. Yes, I like her best like this.

I finished the beading project. I'll post it tomorrow.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Stripping and Sanding

I spent the whole weekend stripping and sanding to the point my hands and arms are so sore I can't knit. That is some serious stripping and sanding. It has been a long time since I've done this kind of project. I'd forgotten how much work it is. I had this crazy idea that by the end of yesterday I'd have both pieces - head board and foot board - done. Ha! I got most of the head board done. Still have some to do on it, but I ran out of sand paper.
DEWALT D26441K 2.4-AMP Orbital 1/4-Sheet Sander with Cloth Dust Bag
I started the job on Saturday. I was stripping and sanding by hand and beginning to realize it was gonna take several weeks for me to get the job done. Sweet hubby came out to see how I was doing. I said "surely there must be an easier way to do this!" He left for a few minutes, then came back with his power sander which he taught me how to use. Wow! What a cool little tool. Instead of weeks, it's going to just take days. I just need to get some more sand paper.

Live long and prosper. \\//


New Bracelet in Progress

I've been wanting to make a particular bracelet ever since I saw the pattern. I started it yesterday. This morning when I got up the sun was shining through the window onto it. It looked so sparkly I took a picture.

The sparkly doesn't show very well. I wonder how one gets that to show better? I will have to look into that. Anyway, you can see what I'm doing. It will be a bangle cuff bracelet when it's done. Dark purple glass pearls will be involved.

I have been working on the first sleeve of the Navy Textured pullover. I'm about a third of the way done with it. Considering how little time I've spent knitting the last 2 days, that is pretty darn good. I'm getting excited about finishing the whole thing. It's been awhile since I've made an adult sweater.

There are so many things I want to get done. Sometimes I wish I could clone myself for a bit and be able to do them all at once. I want to finish my book, make a web site for selling my jewelry, make some tutorials for specific beading techniques, as well as knitting. Make gobs more beaded jewelry, finish the 3 counted cross stitch projects I've got on hold, and finish my Alice Starmore sweater. Oh yes, and there's the quilting I'd like to get into, spinning, and I'd also like to set up one of my knitting machines and start using it again. I love machine knitting. I'm missing it.
Findings & Finishings: A Beadwork How-To Book (Beadwork How-To series)
Sigh. So many crafts. So little time.

Did I mention a new bead store is opening up near me soon? In fact, it's opening up in Rathdrum, literally within 3 miles of my house. I don't know whether to be excited, or fearful. I think my bank account is probably scared. I've been wondering who on earth would do such a thing? Rathdrum is a pretty small town. There is a famous beader who lives in Rathdrum. I'm hoping it's her. That would be great.

Today it is sunny and beautiful. I am planning to strip the finish off a head board and foot board set for my bed so I can refinish them. They're made of solid knotty pine which will match the rest of my bedroom furniture perfectly. In all the years we've been married, I've not had one on the bed. My friend Judy had one she needed to get rid of. She sold it to me for cheap cheap. It's been years and years since I've done this kind of project. I sure hope I can remember how.

Live long and prosper. \\//



As promised, todays post is about a finished beading project. I started this ornament cover months ago but it got set aside for other things--like the extremely busy summer. I got back to working on it last week and finished it Monday night.

The pattern for this cover is in Karen DeSousa's book Accent On: Regency Collection. It's named Medieval. The main stitch used is netting. I used 4mm Druks that are a sort of marbled light sage with browns for the round beads. They almost look like some kind of jasper. I also used size 11 brass-lined seed beads, and size 15 seed beads in a matte green.

I used some gold 6mm glass pearls and some pale green 10mm bi-cone crystals for the embellishments.

The pattern actually calls for size 14 seed beads which I just couldn't find around here, so I used the 15's and adjusted the pattern. The original has 6 sets of vertical sections. I put in 5 and adjusted the amount of pattern repeats between each accordingly.

All in all, I'm quite pleased with it. It will make a very nice addition to this years Christmas tree.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Knitting WIPs!

Technically, I should be waiting until tomorrow to post this (Wednesday WIP day) but it's been so long since I've blogged about my knitting wips I can't wait until then.

It took awhile to get the following pictures off my camera and onto my blog. That's because I'm using new software to do it. There's a learning curve. I had to upgrade Paint Shop Pro to the current version. It is vastly different from the version I was using before. Why is it that every time programmers get a hold of a program they have to move the damn buttons around? Or give them a different name? Sheesh guys! If it isn't broke, don't mess with it.

 I had to find a new photo downloading program too because the one that came with my camera is not compatible. In fact, it was the program that brought my new laptop down when I tried to install it. There's a work around on the Sony web site, but I decided it was more hassle than it was worth. I'm using the Corel Photo Downloader now. It will take a bit of getting used to.

So, here's what I'm knitting at the moment. You'll notice no socks. I've put the socks aside for a bit while I get the Navy Textured pullover done. It's supposed to be a Christmas present for someone, so I better get crackin'. Anyway, one of the things I have not mentioned is that while on our long road trip I worked on this sweater. I had the back done, and was half way through the front when I suddenly realized I had knit the wrong size for the back. I thought I did size Medium, but in fact did size Small. I noticde it because the back was not as wide as the front. That's what I get for not taking a highlighter and marking all the numbers that apply to the size. I got extremely frustrated and tossed the garment across the trailer. Then I picked it up, stuffed it in the knitting bag, and banished it to the "I'll think about it" closet in my brain.

I had 2 choices, reknit the front to small and hope it fits (Ha ha ha!!!! I crack myself up!), or frog and reknit the back. I decided the second choice is the wiser. So, after I finished the front I did another back, this time the right size. Rather than unraveling the 'wrong' back into a ball, I just knit right off it, unraveling as I went. It worked out pretty good that way. Somehow it made the whole sorry situation easier to face. I got the back done in record time. I've attached the two pieces together via the shoulder seams.

The instructions said to bind off the shoulder stitches, then sew the seams. Instead, I put the stitches on holders, then did the 3-needle bind off. It makes such a nice shoulder seam to do it that way. Firm, yet stretchy, and very little bulk. I'll go to a lot of trouble to put shoulder seams together this way.

Here's how it looks from the right side (unblocked)

This is the seam from the wrong side.

Along with the sweater I've also been working on a lace stole for Knitwits. I'm using a pale yellow Red Heart yarn in sport weight called Soft Baby.

It's working up nicely and it's easy to do. I can work on it while chatting with folks.

I have finished knitting the purple boucle' shrug I am making for Knitwits. It just needs to be blocked and the sleeve seams sewn.

I should mention that Tommy is doing fine. He's all healed up now. I am now working on teaching him to be calmer when another animal comes in the yard. I don't want him chasing after them. The judicious use of a squirt bottle is working wonders with the boy, though I've got a long ways to go yet because it takes him a long time to learn anything.

Tomorrow, the plan is to show pics of my latest beaded ornament cover. I finally finished it last night. Woot!

Live long and prosper. \\//


Fair Report 2010

Being the Knitting Superintendent for the North Idaho Fair does not prevent me from entering knitted items. That is because I do not judge the entries. Judges are a separate department all together. So I entered 3 pairs of socks this year. I also entered 4 beaded items.

Ndebele Bracelet: 1st Place

I was kind of surprised that I only had 7 entries this year. I usually have a lot more. It's not that I haven't made a lot of things. It seems I gave away almost everything I made, including 3 of the above items which I gave to their new owners after the fair. Really, I ought to consider making something for me to keep one of these days.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Knit On

Hello! I'm posting this from my new laptop, which is back in good working order. Hurray!

Yes, it's purple!

 I called Dell tech support and a really nice fellow with a good sense of humor helped me fix it so it works again. Let me impart a bit of wisdom:

Before installing old software, make sure it's Windows 7 compatible.

There are web sites that you can visit to get that kind of information. I didn't think it was an issue because it never had been before. However, the new computers are 64 bit, which is very different from all the older models. Apparently when I installed the software that came with my camera, it was not compatible and brought the system down. We thought the hard drive was bad because Sweet Hubby ran some diagnostic software (that came installed on my laptop) and we got messages about corrupted files and bad disk errors. Thankfully, the messages greatly exaggerated.

The solution to the problem was to reset my laptop back to what it was when it left the factory. It meant I lost everything I'd installed, but that was okay. I could redo it all again and this time do it right.

So, with this post I'm hoping life will continue to improve. The last 3 weeks have been no fun. Besides the death of Chet and my laptop, other bad things happened too. For one thing, my best friend moved to California (sigh). I miss her something awful. But we have Facebook and txt mail which makes keeping in touch easy. We've both got web cams now (my new laptop came with one)  and as soon as she gets organized enough we're going to set things up so we can video chat with each other.

The day of Chet's memorial service we got home from it exhausted to the bone. All I could think of was how much I waned to sit in the big leather hug and zone out for awhile in front of the TV. I got to sit all of 15 minutes before the next disaster. A coyote came in the front yard and before we could stop him Tommy had dashed out the dog door and taken it on. He lost, and I got to do a panicked rush trip to the emergency pet hospital.

Tommy suffered a nasty gash in his side and toothmarks in his butt. Not much, really. It could have been a whole lot worse. He spent the night in the hospital, got his stitches, and  then I brought him home. He's just about completely healed now, and back to his old rascally trouble making self. I can tell he's learned nothing at all from this experience.

I had planned to continue journaling about the fair experience but it's kind of pointless now. So I will do a post about my own fair entries and how they did later this week, then move on to life as it happens.

I have been knitting. In fact, knitting is what has been keeping me sane.I hauled my knitting bag everywhere with me. Oddly, it helped me with all the deep emotion I've been going through. Very comforting in some strange way. My nephews were even teasing me about it. (Tyler: "I can't believe you're knitting! Do you knit everywhere???") I've been working on 2 projects that don't require much thought. A lace stole with a simple 4 row repeat, and the sweater for my son-in-law.

Though I'm not really a fan of hers, I think of what Elizabeth Zimmerman said: “Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises.” She definitely gave us a bit of wisdom there.


Big Sigh

The new laptop arrived Saturday. I was loading software on it Sunday. The hard drive croaked. I hate computers.

So I'm using the iPad again. Me and the Dell tech support guy are getting to know each other.

Have a better day than I'm having.


Temporarily Crippled

Have you ever heard the saying "When it rains it pours"? It's doing that to me of late. Tommy broke my laptop last week. Sweet hubby has lent me his iPad until my new laptop arrives in a few days so I can web surf. But using it for Blogging sucks. I will return when my new Purple laptop is up and running. Until then, take care.