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



Picasa has fixed whatever the problem was with my photo albums. They work properly now. Yay! Thanks guys!

It's going to be a really busy week for me. Lunches with friends, appointments, Knitwits, class, knitting groups, amongst other things. Then on the 4th we're heading out of town for a quick trip to my favorite hot spring resort. So, if I don't post much this week, you know why.

I didn't do a whole lot of crafting over the weekend. On Saturday I had one of my migraines. I can't take Naproxen Sodium any more (because of the blood thinners) and Tylenol doesn't do a thing for them, so I was pretty incapacitated for the day. I spent it in the hug with an ice pack on my head, which helps some. I can't knit or bead or do anything that requires working my eyes much because they hurt so much and have a hard time focusing. I watched dvds, slept, and moaned and whined a lot. How can so much pain happen in one head I'll never know. 

On Sunday I awoke feeling human again. I did laundry, helped Doug put the Christmas decorations back in storage, puttered about the house, and got some beading done. I finished the peyote beads for the Space necklace. Which reminds me, someone in the comments wanted to see the tiny little space shuttle bead I made for the necklace.

It's orbiting one of the little planet beads.

I did something I've never done before this weekend. I turned one of my knitting projects over to someone else to finish. I started this lace shawl for Knitwits some months ago.

For whatever reason I find myself not wanting to work on it any more. Ruth has volunteered to finish it. Who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth?

I've entered another blog contest. One of the rules for entering is posting the following picture and a link.


Live long and prosper. \\//


Lobster Goodness

Today I blocked my Lobster Cardigan pieces. As usual, I pinned out the pieces using my blocking wires, and steamed them.

The back and one front piece.

 The other front and the sleeves.

A pile of knitted yarny goodness.

The fabric is so pretty! I am going to love wearing this baby.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Simple Womans Daybook for January 27, 2011

January 27, 2011

Outside my window...
It is gray and gloomy. The sun was out most of today, but clouds are moving in. It smells like snow might be on its way.

I am thinking...
computers can be a huge pain in the arse. For whatever reason, the formatting of this post is all screwed up. I've redone it several times and it still isn't working. If it looks good to you (no Link Within stuff in the middle of the post, then repeated at the bottom) I've figured it out and all is well.

I am thankful for...
my husbands job. So many people are struggling right now, financially. We are very lucky that he has a good job during these trying times.

From the kitchen...
a frozen turkey breast is thawing for tomorrow. I have no idea what I'm doing for dinner tonight. I have no appetite for what was planned.

I am wearing...
Olive green short sleeved round neck sweater (store bought) and darker green knit pants. Also 2 band-aids-one on each hand. One from an accident, and one from getting poked for my blood test today.

I am creating...
a lot of stuff. I have a LOT of projects going on right now. Today I dug out the Star Trek sock and frogged it back past the gold stripes so I could replace them with a different color.

I am going...
no where tonight. I'm too pooped to party. I went to bed really late last night (1am?) and then I couldn't sleep so I ended up reading for a couple hours after that. I had a soft drink with caffeine in it yesterday at lunch and it really wired me.

Deadly Sanctuary (Kendall O'Dell Mystery series)I am reading...
Deadly Sanctuary by Sylvia Nobel. People are missing from a little town in Arizona. A reporter is investigating them in hopes of a big juicy story.

I am hoping...
that the problems I'm having with my Picasa Web Album gets fixed. It's not working with Firefox. The formatting is all screwed up, and it wouldn't let me upload photos to the blog last night. I had to do last nights post using Windows Internet Explorer (I feel so dirty now). It was a very frustrating experience. I spent several hours trying to figure out what is wrong and how to fix it. I've come to the conclusion it's Picasa's fault cuz everything I've tried hasn't solved the problem. I've left a message for their tech support people. In the meantime, it seems to be letting me upload photos to the blog now. But the albums themselves are still messed up. I think it also may be a factor in todays messed up formatting of this blog post because if I take the pictures out, all is well.

I am hearing...
the tv. Reruns of Seinfeld are on.

Around the house...

aside from the tv, it's quiet. All the fur kids are asleep. There's a surprising amount of yarn and WIPS laying around the living room.

One of my favorite things...
Taco Bell Tacos. I guess it was reported that their taco meat is only 40% meat. The rest is filler. I'm wondering why people are surprised by that? Just the texture alone should have clued them in. I like it anyway. From my point of view, it's more vegetarian than meat.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Not much is left of this week. Tomorrow I'm planning on doing some house cleaning, a load or two of laundry, and some beading. We'll see how that works out for me.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing...
Doug, Ruth, and Me at Yellowstone Falls last June.

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

Live long and prosper. \\//


WIP Wednesday 1/26/2011

I don't know if you've noticed, but I have a lot of projects going on at once. I used to be a one-project-at-a-time kind of person. I was almost anal about it. I could not start anything until the current one was finished.

I don't know exactly what happened, but about 10 years ago I started doing more than one project at a time. Now I have several going at once. I'll work on one thing, then if I get tired of it, bored, or the eyes just can't take it any more, I'll switch to one of my other projects. Some days I'll work on several in one day. Some get set aside for months, but eventually I end up finishing them.

On rare occasions, like with the Margaret Tudor sweater, I realize I've made a bad decision starting it in the first place and frog it, then go on to use the materials for some other project that I would be happier with. Sometimes I will start something, force myself to finish it, and then be really unhappy with it just because I don't like it. If that happens, I put it in time out for awhile, then after suitable time has passed (I stop hating it with passion) I will take it out and make the changes to make me happy. I find it's always worth the hassle to do this. I'm totally pro-making myself happy.

I find that I'm much more productive than I used to be. I'll go along working on this, working on that, start feeling like I never get something done, and then boom! I'll have 15 things done within a month.

Anyway, when I first started getting into polymer clay (yeah-I do that on occasion too.) I was teaching myself about making canes and I did a cabochon (my first clay one) with some matching beads that I turned into a necklace I called Planets in Space. (I am so proud of that tiny little space shuttle.)

I've never been quite happy with how it turned out. So I've taken it apart.

This month, in one of the beading Yahoo groups I'm in, we're doing a 'challenge'. The topic is flat tubular peyote. In other words, peyote that is beaded flat, and then sewn into a tube. I'm using this challenge to fix the Planets in Space necklace. I'm making a whole bunch of tiny little peyote beads. So far, I've got 21 of them. My goal is 40. I'm using black iris delicas with random metallic gold delicas here and there. It's supposed to represent space and stars.

I'm going to take the fringe off the cabochon too cuz I hate it (it doesn't hang right) and do something else. I'm not sure what yet. I intend to use all the other beads that were in the original necklace too (in that bag in the picture).

That's my WIP for today. If you're interested in participating in WIP Wednesday, please join us.

Live long and prosper.\\//


I See a Trend

I follow the blog of an indie dyer, Ruth Stewart of Impulse of Delight. Every once in awhile she does a colorway that I just can not resist. That happened recently.

This is Summit Sock in her new Alpenglowing colorway. It's based on a photo she took.

I think the dull lack of color in winter has had something to do with falling in love with this. It feeds my spring-longing eyes.

While I was taking the above photos, I noticed something.

Yeah. Clearly I'm in the mood for a specific color lately.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Cenotes and Beaded Beads

I have come up with a name for my new sock pattern. I will call it Cenotes. Cenotes are small lakes formed by caves collapsing underground and filling up with ground water. There are lots of them on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. When we took our trip down to Tulum, Mexico a couple years ago I swam in a couple different Cenotes. They usually have very clear, deep, fresh water in them and are the color of blue that is my socks. Some of them have beautiful tropical fish in them too.

Picture of a Mexican Cenote

Another Mexican Cenote

Over the weekend I did some beading. I have this huge pile of peach colored 10mm Chinese crystals that I just love. I've been trying to think of something to do with them. I have tried all kinds of ideas that did not work out, so I finally gave in to my usual, the Octahedral Cluster.

I've been wanting to do something in peach, white, and teal/aqua. After making that bead, I thought I'd try an Octahedra in size 8 and 15 seed beads. I got this tiny little beaded bead.

What has been on my mind most, though, is the pesky peyote covered beaded beads. I started doing a bit with them last year, but got sidetracked. I'm back to doing them. I want to get proficient at them.

I covered two 12mm plastic beads with size 11 seed beads. They are a bit harder than they look. The number of beads used has to be adjusted depending on their specific size. For instance, the above beads are both done in size 11 Japanese seed beads made by the same company. However, I had to increase to 30 beads around to cover the peach one, but only 24 beads around on the teal one. The peach beads are just a tiny bit smaller in height.

I had a hard time figuring out how many rounds to go up before I start decreasing too. I tried over and over to start at one end and work my way to the other all in one piece, but I just can't get it to look right that way. If I make two pieces starting at the end and working toward the middle, and then zip the two pieces together I have much more success. Oddly enough, both these beads needed a total of 18 rounds, so even though the peach ones are a tiny bit shorter, they are the same size in width to the teal beads. Weird, huh?

I think I have this figured out now, at least for me. I got pretty frustrated working on those two little beads because it seemed like I was having  to take apart and put together way too much, but I'm glad I worked it out. Sometimes it pays to be stubborn.

I did work on the first Lobster Cardi sleeve last night. It's about a third done.

The day started out with fluffy snow falling, and has ended with big gloppy rain drops. Fun fun!

Live long and prosper. \\//


Starmore Thoughts

The sun is shining today. It looks so pretty with the fluffy clouds in the blue sky. Unfortunately, it's only 33 degrees, so I won't be hanging out on the deck. I am longing for spring and those wonderful days of sitting on my deck with a tall glass of ice cold Crystal Light soaking up the warmth of the sun, listening to the birds, and knitting (or beading-depending on the mood). This being indoors crap is getting tiresome.

I've been thinking a great deal about my Margaret Tudor/Alice Starmore sweater. (One must really weigh the pros and cons before knitting one of her patterns because they are not for the faint of heart, or inexperienced knitter.) I started it, I think, 5 years ago? Might have been before that. I was quite a bit thinner then. So if I finish her she won't fit, unless I make some adjustments. I don't have enough yarn to do that, and the makers saw fit to discontinue the yarn so getting more will be difficult.

This sweater is challenging. It's made up of several vertical strips knit separately, then sewn together. It's not possible to knit it all in one piece, or front piece and back piece sewn together. I know, cuz I tried to figure out a way to do it in less pieces.  The gauge of each strip is different, so they have to be knit separately. It's also one of those patterns that has to be done in the quiet, without distractions. One of the charts is 44 rows long, every row different. You don't get the luxury of just purling back every other row. I don't have much of it done.

I've been perusing my Starmore books. I've decided to put Margaret Tudor in the back of the closet. I'm not going to finish her for the time being. I will start a search for more of the yarn. In the meantime, I'm going to start a new Alice Starmore sweater. One that is not quite so difficult, but every bit as gorgeous. Let me introduce you to St. Brigid.

St Brigid is in Alice's book Aran Knitting, which was recently republished. St. Brigid is my next favorite of her patterns, Margaret Tudor being my most favorite. Last week I ordered yarn for her. Lots of yarn, so I can make the necessary size adjustments.

I'm not using Alice's yarn. I don't like her yarn. It's beautiful, but it itches me to death. Instead, I've chosen a lovely heather green/brown, called Mountain Green, 100% Alpaca from Alpaca With a Twist.

 I did some research on Ravelry and it will work just fine. It will be a little softer looking than Alice's yarn, but the stitch definition should show the pattern quite well. The color is gorgeous! (One of the things I love about Ravelry. Seeing pictures of the yarns knitted up.)

With Margaret Tudor weighing heavy on my mind, I decided to read the book Sweater Quest by Adrienne Martini. It's about the authors experience as she spent a year knitting one of Alices fairisle sweaters from the Tudor Roses book, the same book that Margaret Tudor is in. It's been a very interesting read. Not only does she talk about knitting the sweater, but she talks about Alice Starmore herself, and the story of what happened that took her yarn and books off the market, which was devastating to me at the time because I carried her products in my shop. (She also writes about why knitters refer to Alice as She Who Must Not Be Named. It's quite a story.) She interviews various other 'celebrity' knitters about knitting, Alice, and what it means to be a knitter. I've enjoyed it quite a bit and highly recommend it.

The alpaca should be here in a couple week. I will finish the Lobster Cardi before I start her. I intend to get St. Brigid done by August. That is going to be my '2011 Knitting Goal'. I want to enter her in the fair. I'll be blogging about her, of course.

Which reminds me, I've finished the right front of Lobster Cardi. I'll be starting a sleeve later today.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Thinking of a Name

The first of the new socks is finished and blocked.

I'm trying to think of a catchy name for this pattern, but I'm drawing a blank. So for now it's the Slipped Garter Rib sock. An artsy photo:

I'm lovin' this shade of blue. It's soothing to the eyes after a couple hours of working on the Lobster cardi. It's also making me wish I was in a warmer place, with sandy beaches and palm trees (and cute cabana boys, but that's a whole 'nuther topic).

Which, for some reason, reminds me of when I was getting professional counseling to learn how to deal with my panic attacks. My counselor would have me 'go to my blue place', which is a memory of a place that was beautiful. My blue place is a beach on the Nepali coast of the Hawaiian island, Kauai. The water was that shade of blue. So it was fitting to call it my blue place. I still have to go there on occasion.

Yesterday, after Yarnies and errands, I dropped into Fancy Beadery, in Rathdrum, and picked up some delicas for my Italian beading class.

The ones in the tube are lavender with shiny metallic gold bits. The others are sort of a light topaz, almost green, sort of color with a weird finish that I don't really know what to call. I got the crystals from Firemountain Gems. They are opal sandstone/ab in color. I also picked up a package of metallic bronze delicas just in case I don't like the weird finished ones. I am ready for the class.

It's snowing today. Blech.

Live long and prosper. \\//


WIP Wednesday January 19, 2011

Featuring something different on today's WIP Wednesday. My felt stocking.

 I gave Santa eyes, eyebrows, and a nose last night.

The white dots on his eyes are french knots. It's the first time I've done french knots and got them right the first time. I kind of got excited about that. It's nice not having to take them out and redo them.

I also got 6 inches done on the right front of the Lobster cardi, and I'm about halfway down the leg of the second slip rib sock. (I bet y'all thought I'd forgotten that one. I haven't.) On the weekend I wrote up the pattern, and now I'm test knitting it while doing the second sock. I've found 2 mistakes so far. So glad I'm test knitting it before publishing it.

I got the most wonderful surprise in the mail yesterday. My friend Judy sent me mittens that she knitted for me.

No one has ever knitted me something before. I almost started crying. What a wonderful thing to do. I love you Judy! Thank you so much. I will treasure them. Don't worry, I will wear them.

My daughter, Ruth, is having an interesting week. Jury duty. She actually ended up on a jury. I'm happy about that. The experience will be good for her.

This morning I woke up to clear blue skies, sunshine, and 11F degrees. Brr. I'm going to see if I can soak up a bit of that sunshine without freezing my arse off. I need the vitamin D.

Today I have Yarnies. I will take the finished little red sweater with me. The owner can pick it up at the shop.

If you're interested in participating in WIP Wednesday, please join us.

Live long and prosper.\\//


Weekend Accomplishments

As I mentioned in my last post, I finished the left front of the Lobster cardi. Finally got a pic of it.

I cast on and did the first 8 rows of the right front this evening right after dinner. I'll do some more after I get this blog entry done.

Another accomplishment over the weekend is my first sweater finishing job. I worked on the button and neck bands over the weekend, as well as weaving in all the ends, and fixing some minor problems I found in it. Today I bought some Lady Bug buttons and sewed them on. Warning, you may need sunglasses to look at the following picture.

Yes, the yarn is that bright! It was very hard to photograph. The baby who gets to wear this little sweater will be easy to spot from outer space, but it is so cute with those buttons.

Over the weekend the weather warmed up and rained. When I say warmed up, I really mean it. Upper 40's and low 50's. Most of the snow has melted. The roof, which had close to 2 feet of snow on it last week, is now completely bare, and all the ice in the driveway is gone.  The ground is still frozen, so the water has no where to go. Some areas near us are getting flooded because of the quick melt. It's times like this that I'm glad we're on a hill.

I started a new project over the weekend too. A not-knitting project. One of the crafts I enjoy a lot is felt applique. I've made quite a few Christmas stockings from kits.  I used to make at least one a year, but haven't done one in a long time. I took advantage of the After Christmas sales and bought a really cute stocking kit with Santa and a Christmas Tree decorated with Poinsettias. When it's done it should look something like this.

On Saturday night we went over to Dan and Sue's for dinner to discuss Hawaii. We've been wanting to go there for quite some time. Plane fares have dropped considerably the last couple weeks, so we decided to go for it. We bought plane tickets for Maui next December. I'm working on finding a condo to rent for the week we'll be there. I've found one right on the beach that is fairly reasonably priced. I've started rental proceedings. It's all in the timing. If you plan far enough out, you can get some mighty good deals for vacations. I wonder if there are any yarn shops on Maui?

Live long and prosper. \\//