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


Evening Grosbeak Invasion

It has snowed every morning this week. On Tuesday we actually had a snow storm. It piled up high enough that I had problems getting out of my driveway, and the county dragged the plows back out of storage so they could plow the roads. Records have been broken for the coldest spring since 1917.

Through all this depressing weather, there is a shining beacon of pleasure. Because of the snow getting in the way of their usual food supply, the Evening Grosbeaks have been hanging out at the Parkarosa Bird Buffet. Yesterday Ruth and I counted at least 30 of them chowing down on black sunflower seeds. I say 'at least' because it was hard to get an exact count. They stay still for about 2 seconds. I got pictures.

On this day, the snow was melting as fast as it was falling. Click on the pics to embiggen.

This is a male Evening Grosbeak. I love the bright yellow eyebrows.

  This is a female Evening Grosbeak. Notice her beak is blue. Their beaks are blue during the mating season.

 The guys dominated the feeders. Most of the girls were on the ground, eating their leftovers.

Or maybe it would be better to say they were cleaning up the mess the guys were making?

I got some knitting done. I'm working on the ribbing of the second sleeve of the Knitwits sweater now. I should be able to block it soon. I also got back to work on the second of the first pair of Entrelac mitts. I want to get them finished. I plan to work on the second of the Rainbow mitts during the class I'm teaching on it.

Sweet Hubby wanted to know if we've had snow this late before so I was reading some of my old blog posts to find out (the answer is no). I ran across a post about a vest I'd started making with some of Jacquetta's Garden Party Fibers yarn. I completely forgot about that project. I think preparations for my daughters wedding shoved it to the back hole of my brain. I should dig it out and finish it. I could use a nice quick instant gratification project.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Simple Womans Daybook for April 26, 2011

April 26, 2011

Outside my window...
It is snowing heavily. You would never know that over the weekend we had glorious warm temps,sunshine, and blue sky. It is, in fact, snowing so hard that I gave up trying to keep the satellite dishes cleaned off and turned off the tv. It's piling up that quick. There wasn't anything on the news but royal wedding stuff anyway. sigh...

I am thinking...
that I am justified in hating snow.

I am thankful for...
the weather we had over the weekend. I got so excited I dug the cushions and umbrella out of storage and set up all the deck furniture. I then knitted for awhile in the sunshine, enjoying it immensely.

From the kitchen...
Last night we had leftovers for dinner. I'd rotisseried a leg of lamb on the barbeque for Easter dinner. The leftovers made wonderful Shepherds Pie. I am thinking maybe, when I get done with this blog post, I will fire up the crockpot for some soup or something. 4 inches of snow, and climbing, begs for comfort food.

I am wearing...
my jammies and purple fuzzy robe. Eventually I'll probably change into some black pants and my light yellow t-shirt with the lace edging around the neckline.

I am creating...
as always. I am about halfway done with the second sleeve of the Knitwits sweater. I've been Kipping it. I'm surprised at how many compliments it's getting. I guess that stripes idea was better than I thought.

I am going...
to Rathdrum Knitalong today, come hell or high snowbanks.
Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All
I am reading...
a fascinating book titled Nailed by David Fitzgerald. It's about the actual historical evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ. The facts, not the lies.

I am hoping...
that the snow will stop and go away until next winter.

I am hearing...
the furnace, a clock ticking, the fridge humming, and Tommy snoring.

Around the house...

It's quiet. The house is still clean from getting it ready for Easter dinner guests (Dan and Sue). All the fur kids are asleep. The daughter isn't up yet. I'm enjoying the peace.

One of my favorite things...
is surfing the web looking for beaded eye candy. Here's the link to a site I enjoyed immensely over the weekend. Quite inspiring work: Bluepearls Perlen

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Well, assuming I can get out of the driveway, today I plan to attend the weekly Rathdrum Knitalong meeting. Tomorrow is Yarnies. Thursday is my knitting class. Other than that, it's the usual stuff around home.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing...
 I was making deviled eggs. I've never had this happen before.

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

Live long and prosper. \\//


Not Funny

April 22, 2011

I'm gonna go cry now.

Live long and prosper. \\//


'Mystery' Socks

Mystery Socks

Pattern: TTL Mystery Sock by Kirsten Kapur
Yarn: Knitivity Down Home Art Yarns SOCK
Color: mint/gray
Content: 75% Superwash Wool/25% Nylon
Needles: Addi Turbo Circular size 2.
Size: Ladies Medium
Cast on: March 15, 2011
Bound off: April 20, 2011

Comments: I enjoyed working on this project. Not for inexperienced knitters. Put a few pairs of sock under your belt before taking it on.

There is an error in the pattern for the 64 sts version. Row 2 of the heel turn says P5. It should say P3.

This particular color of yarn is unique. Ray, the dyer, was experimenting with colors.

It didn't turn out as planned, so he offered it up as a Blog Reader Special on his web site.

I really do love the look of this stitch pattern. It looks great with a light colored yarn.

Live long and prosper. \\//


WIP Wednesday April 20, 2011

As promised, update pics of a couple knitting WIPs. The ones I'm currently paying the most attention to at the moment.

The second sock. I need to get this done before Friday. I will probably be staying up late to do so.

I will be glad when it's done. I'm tired of working on it.

Next, we have the sweater I'm finishing for Knitwits.

Having finally decided what to do with this headache, I've regained my impetus to finish it. As a reminder, this is what the sweater is supposed to look like. As you can see, to solve the problem of not having enough white to make the yoke and both sleeves, I decided to stripe the yoke and make one sleeve this lovely shade of wine red. I like it. Didn't think I would. I'm surprised. I am 12 rows into the second (wine) sleeve. This project is my 'social knitting' because the stitch pattern is simple enough I don't have to think too hard about it, therefore freeing up the brain to chat.

This last photo is just proof that Tommy gets absolutely no luvin' whatsoever in our house. No siree. We are above that sort of thing. (Um, wait....)

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

Live long and prosper. \\//


Bead WIPs

I thought I'd show you the current beading projects I'm now working on. First is the project from the beadalong we're doing in the Yahoo beading group.

  I don't have much of it done, and what I've done I'm not very happy with how the colors are working out.


 I'm thinking about taking it apart and starting over with the colors arranged in a more pleasing way.

This is what I've been calling The Big Project.

This is a trip into art bead embroidery. I've been planning this project for a couple months. I have glued these items I picked up on the beach in front of my sis-in-laws house last February on to a piece of fabric and I'm going to bead around them in an artistic way. I have just started the beading there in the lower right corner. It's meant to be a picture of a spot on the beach. So, there will be a beady representation of sand and foam at a waves edge. The sand on the coast of western Washington is very dark gray. I've made a dark gray bead soup for the sand. I intend to frame this when it's done so it can be put up on the wall in her new house as a house warming gift.

Tomorrow I will update on the knitting wips.

Spring is having to fight it's way in here. Yesterday it snowed all day long. It was so depressing we closed the blinds so we wouldn't have to see it. There's still a bit on the ground this morning, but it's melting nicely. We're getting sunshine at the moment, but I see dark clouds headed this way. Rumor has it that our weather is supposed to warm up a bit as the week progresses. Oh, how I long for a beautiful sunny 70F degree day.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Entrelac Mitt Pattern is Up

Okay, it  turned out to take less time than I thought it would. So, I have posted the pattern for the Rainbow for My Hands Entrelac mitts on my pattern blog. To be honest, I'm not quite done with the test knitting yet, but so far I've not found any errors. If I do, I'll update the pdf file and post an announcement. In the meantime, if you knit it and find errors, let me know in the comments on the pattern page.

Live long and prosper. \\//


One Hand Down

One to go.

Not the best knitting job I've ever done, that's for sure. I actually found a dropped stitch after I was all done blocking it that I had to fix. Yikes! I like the fit though. It's very comfortable on my hand. A few others have tried it on and agree with me.

I'm going to be teaching a class on this in May. It's scheduled for two sessions on May 19 and 26, from 11:30 to 1:30, at CDA Yarn and Fiber. Contact them for registration. Basic knitting skills are required. (No beginners please. If you don't know how to cast on-I will ask you to leave.)

Now, to finish writing the pattern...

Live long and prosper. \\//


Beady S.E.X.

I had a good weekend. On Saturday Sweet Hubby and I tackled getting the taxes done. Didn't take long, fortunately, but misery just the same. We are getting a refund from the Federal, but have to pay the State, so it pretty much evened out.

On Sunday Awesome Daughter and I had a Beady S.E.X. That is Stash Enhancement EXperience. We went to a rock and gem show that was held at the Spokane Fairgrounds in Washington. We pretty much go every year. I don't know what it is about that show. Seeing all the variety of colors and types of rocks, stones, and gems that are found on this planet is fascinating to me. I usually ask questions of the booth vendors while I'm there so I'll learn something new about different stones. I also go every year with no intention of purchasing anything and end up coming home having spent too much. This year was no different. I bought 3 cabochons and a small string of beads.

This first cab is made from a fossilized dinosaur bone. I love the way the orange and yellow glow, like lava pools on a rocky landscape. It is 2 inches(50mm) high by 1-3/8th inch(35mm) wide.

This second cab is made from a piece of Picture Jasper. It is 2 inches(50cm) high.

The pattern on it intrigues me. I see a view of the inside of a very large cave, looking toward the sky at the cave opening.

This third cab is made of Pietersite. It is 1.25 inches high.

I love the colors in this one so much-Navy blues, golds, and reds. This stone has a beautiful iridescent quality that does not show in photographs. It's also rather expensive, which is why I can only afford a small cab.

I also picked up this small strand of 4mm Chrysocolla beads to go with a Chrysocolla cab I bought a few years ago (at the same rock show).

I did a little bit of beading over the weekend. The Yahoo beading group I'm in is doing a mystery project together in tubular peyote. I got mine started. I'm not real happy with the way the colors I chose are working up, but I will finish it just for the learning experience.

For the past few years I've been trying to grow dahlias, with very limited success. My biggest problem is we have such a short growing season that by the time they are ready to start blooming, it is also the time we start getting heavy frosts. I'm lucky to get 1 or 2 flowers before everything is turned to green mush. A couple weeks ago I decided to try starting dahlias indoors. I wasn't sure if such a thing could, or should, be done. However, thanks to the internet, I found out it's actually a good idea and there is a great deal of information on how to do it. I got them planted in some pots and set them up on a table in the sun room. They started sprouting right away. I mean-the very next day! They are going great guns.

They are growing much faster than they usually do when I start them outdoors after all danger of frost has passed. I have at least 6 more weeks before I can put them outside. I am afraid I will have a jungle in the sun room by then. I am excited!

Live long and prosper. \\//


Knitting Update with Turkeys

In the interest of finishing my angel necklace, I didn't get as much knitting done this past week as I would like. I have some accomplishments though. I got the thumb figured out on the entrelac mitt pattern I'm writing. I am almost done with it. I will then test knit the pattern to make sure it's correct. I see it being done in about a month, assuming things go as planned.

I finished the first Mystery sock.

I cast on the second one right away. I finished the cuff last night and did the first 2 rows of the leg. I'll be glad when these are done. I have to get them finished by the end of next week, or I'm in deep doo doo (figuratively speaking).

This morning a flock of turkeys showed up in the front yard. There was a tom and 12 hens. I tried to take pics. They are so shy, it's hard to do.

The tom is the one in the foreground, in the shade of the house. Right after this shot, Tommy dashed out the doggy door and chased them away. They all flew up into the trees. I'm amazed how high they can go considering how large they are. Most of the time Tommy has to stay in until the turkeys leave on their own, but every once in awhile I let him chase them away. I don't want them to get too comfortable. Having turkeys hang around on a daily basis is asking for trouble. They can do incredible damage.

This is something weird. We got bits of hail on and off all day yesterday (along with all manner of weather). I took pics of a hail stone. It's about a quarter of an inch in width.

I need to work a bit more on focusing this close to something.

This morning the sun is shining and the sky is blue. I have my fingers crossed it will stay that way because if it does, as soon as it's warm enough I'm going outside!

Live long and prosper. \\//


Tra Gli Angeli

Tra Gli Angeli is Italian for 'Among the Angels'. That's the name of the pattern from the Italian internet bead class I took last month. I finally assembled the necklace, and I am very pleased with the results. Click on the pics to embiggen.

The pendant box is open above, so you can see the little angel. Below-close up and closed.

I found the chain I used at Hobby Lobby. It was the only place I could find around here that had gold metallic chain. Everywhere else only had silver.

Along with the chain I used some 8mm round pressed glass beads and some clear/ab rondelle Swarovski crystals. The beaded beads are hollow and done with delicas in peyote stitch with 4mm Swarovski bi-cone crystals in opal topaz and delicas for embellishment.

The angel is, of course, delicas.

The necklace is about 42 inches from clasp to clasp, if it had a clasp.

I've had a very busy week, being the first week of the month. The weather has been busy too, changing every 5 minutes or so. We've been through the whole gamut from snow, hail, sun, rain, wind...definitely spring weather. And that was just this past hour. I'm getting some knitting done here and there. I'll write more about that tomorrow.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Day Seven: Your knitting and Crochet Time.

Your knitting and crochet time.

Write about your typical crafting time. When it is that you are likely to craft – alone or in more social environments, when watching TV or whilst taking bus journeys. What items do you like to surround yourself with whilst you twirl your hook like a majorette’s baton or work those needles like a skilled set of samurai swords. Do you always have snacks to hand, or are you a strictly ‘no crumbs near my yarn!’ kind of knitter.

 I don't get nearly as much time for crafting each day as I'd like to. An hour or two a day, at most, is the usual. Occasionally I'll get to spend several hours none stop at it, but not very often.

Typically, I craft in the afternoon and/or evening when I'm at home. If I'm beading, I'm most likely sitting at the dining room table.

If I'm knitting, then I'm sitting in the Hug. Usually the television will be on and I'm  watching/listening to movies. In the evening I'm probably watching my favorite shows, like Survivor, CSI, The Closer, Criminal Minds, Big Bang Theory, No Ordinary Family, or something we've recorded on the DVR. I love movies and television. Always have, probably always will.

If it's warm and dry outside, and not too hot, I'll sit at the table out on my deck in the shade under the umbrella to knit or bead. My favorite time of year for doing this is when my lilac bush is in bloom. The air smells so good then.

Crystal Light Fruit Punch Drink Mix (12-Quart), 2.04-Ounce Packages (Pack of 4)No matter where I've planted myself to craft, I typically have a cold drink on hand. With all the medications I take, I have a constant problem with dry mouth and sipping on something ice cold helps. It can be anything from a tall glass of ice water or Crystal Light to even a nice Apple Martini or shot of Southern Comfort.

I do quite a bit of knitting away from home too. I'm in three different knitting groups so I typically knit when meeting with them, though often I'm spending more time helping out the other members with knitting questions than working on my own projects, but that's okay. That's what I'm there for.

I find myself in waiting rooms a lot more often than I care to think about, so I knit while waiting. I go almost everywhere with a knitting bag, just in case I find myself waiting. I've even been known to get a few rows of a sock done while waiting in a traffic jam on the freeway. Waiting just feels so much like I'm wasting time away. Like parts of my life are being frittered away at someone else's convenience.If I'm KIPing, I'm recovering that time at my convenience. Something constructive is happening, and it makes the waiting time go faster too.

Wow, I've done it. A got through the entire Knitting and Crochet Blog Week. It's been an interesting one. I'll be looking forward to next year.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Day 6: Something to Aspire To

Something to aspire to

Is there a pattern or skill that you don’t yet feel ready to tackle but which you hope to (or think you can only dream of) tackling in the future, near or distant? Is there a skill or project that makes your mind boggle at the sheer time, dedication and mastery of the craft? Maybe the skill or pattern is one that you don’t even personally want to make but can stand back and admire those that do. Maybe it is something you think you will never be bothered to actually make bu can admire the result of those that have.

I'm making a confession. Now that I've done Entrelac, there really isn't any unknown knitting skill I feel like tackling in the future. I'm currently content with where I am. There really isn't a technique or pattern that I feel I can't do when it comes to knitting. I'm not saying I know it all because I'm sure I don't. I will continue to pick up new techniques and skills as the years go by, but I'm pretty certain I've hit all the major ones, and quite a few of the minor ones too.

That doesn't mean I don't have an aspiration in my knitting though. There is one thing I want to accomplish in the worst way. I want to write and publish at least one knitting book that becomes extremely popular.

I started a book shortly after I started this blog. I sat down and outlined what it would be about, how it would look, came up with more than two dozen design ideas, worked on it like gang busters for a few months, and then just stopped. I'll admit it, I got scared. I started making inquiries into the hows of getting it published and ended up feeling horribly overwhelmed and under skilled. When I feel overwhelmed, I start procrastinating. I'm an expert at procrastination when overwhelmed.

So, there sits my 'book', on top the file cabinet, in plain sight, waiting to be finished. Always niggling at my conscience, calling to me quietly "Hello! I'm over here! Please, come finish me?" But the fear of the unknown keeps me paralyzed. I wish I knew someone in the knitting book publishing industry who could/would help me. Sigh. In the meantime I am thrashing around trying to find something inside myself to give me the courage and desire to finish my book, if for no other reason than to say to myself I could do it. How do I get myself back at it?

Live long and prosper. \\//


Day 5: And Now For Something Completely Different

And now for something completely different.

This is an experimental blogging day to try and push your creativity in blogging to the same level that you perhaps push your creativity in the items you create.
There are no rules of a topic to blog about (though some suggestions are given below) but this post should look at a different way to present content on your blog. This can take one of many forms, but here a few suggestions:
  • Wordless, photographic post
  • Video blog post
  • Podcast
  • Cartoon/sketch of an idea
  • Write about a subject from a different perspective (for example, you could write about a day in the life of a knitted sock from the point of view of the sock).
  • Interpretive modern dance (why does someone always suggest this?
  • A poem or piece of rhyming verse
  • Stop motion animation

There once was a yarn gray and mint
That had not a decent shape to it
Then along came a knitter
Who had a long winter
Now it's almost a sock with a heel in it.

Hey! At least I tried. (It's a limerick!)

Live long and prosper. \\//