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


Guess Where I Am?

Need another hint?

I am in Westport, WA with a goodly portion of my husbands family. We all decided to come visit sis-in-law and her in-progress house for the weekend. I was able to find a beautiful condo on the beach at the last minute at a reasonable rate. How sweet is that? The first pic above is the view from my balcony.

Only one itty bitty complaint about this place. We're on the 3rd floor. Unfortunately, there is no elevator. My legs are talking about detaching themselves and beating me to death. The gimpy one is especially upset. They're just gonna have to get used to it cuz I am not leaving. I will probably be dragging my body up with my hands and arms in another trip or so, but that's okay.

Ruth and Tommy were with me when I went for a nice long walk on the beach. I think this might be Tommy's first time seeing the ocean. I don't think he's particularly fond of it. The wind is chilly (and being a whimpy greyhound type, he's shivering all the time.) and he got stung multiple times by a very angry bee-which we are still trying to figure out where it came from because there were no flowers around us, just sand and driftwood- poor little guy. He's exhausted and wrapped up in a nice warm blanket on the cushy sofa right now, eyes at half mast.

Anyway, it's so beautiful here. The sun is shining and the sky is blue and our next activity on schedule is coming up, so I'll just sign off until later.

Live long and prosper. \\//


WIP Wednesday May 25, 2011

Before I get into the WIPs for this week, I have something I'm very excited to show you. I woke up around 5 a.m. this morning feeling absolutely wretched (aches and pains). Since I wasn't going to get back to sleep, I got up. The bathroom window was open and I could hear some rather strange birdlike noises going on outside. I went to investigate and got this picture.

This is a tom Turkey down by the satellite dishes, doing his "I'm too sexy for myself" dance for a couple girl Turkeys. (I apologize for the blur. I was far away and had to use my telephoto lens. Haven't quite mastered focusing that one yet.)

It was quite a fascinating show he put on. What amazed me is how his head went from bright red to that incredible bright blue while he was strutting and dancing. The girls were very impressed. An orgy followed, which I declined to photograph.

There are days when living on the Parkarosa is magnificent.

Now, on to the WIPs.

I have 2 new ones to show you. I've been in a starting, rather than a finishing, mood of late. First is this entrelac fingerless mitt.

I started it last week so I could knit along with the class I'm teaching. I'm modifying the pattern for a different design, which I plan to put up on the pattern blog later. I was curious how entrelac looks with the self patterning sock yarns. I'm getting some squares that are solid and some with spots. It's kind of cool.

This is a baby sweater I have started for Knitwits. 

I am definitely NOT in the mood for knitting socks right now-which is odd cuz I've been in a sock mood for 3 or 4 years. I needed a brainless kipping project, and I needed a Knitwits project. This works nicely. It will be a baby sized gansey style sweater. Last week I purchesed 6 bags of clearance yarn called Eco-Ways by Red Heart from CDA Yarn & Fiber. There were 4 colors left, including this beautiful celery green. It's perfect for something with lots of stitch design in it.

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

Live long and prosper. \\//


Some Beady Indulgence

The weekend was not a sit-out-on-the-deck kind of time. Saturday was sunny enough, but there was so much smoke in the air from a neighbors burning garbage that I  couldn't stand it, so I stayed indoors (asthma and all that). Sunday was gray and rainy.  So, instead of doing yard work, I indulged in that beading I've been wanting to do.

I decided to make another fancy beaded donut, this one in blue and white.

Side view.

The pattern is online for this, and free. It comes in 4 languages. You'll find it here:

Close up.

I had some problems with this one not wanting to lay flat. It was sort of wavy and almost twisted. I think the 8's were a little larger than the norm and my tension may have been a little too tight. I solved the problem by pinning the donut by each corner to my blocking board and steamed it until it got warm enough to relax the thread. Then I piled 3 heavy books on top until it cooled off. Since I used Fireline 6lb thread for the project, and Fireline is made of plastic, it softened from the heat just enough to relax. Then when it cooled it held the shape. So, essentially, you could say I put my knitting skills to use and blocked it into shape.

The back.

Once again.

Now I'm wondering what I want to do for a neck chain to hang it on. Maybe some tubular peyote?

This morning the Parkarosa Bird Buffet was visited by a male Black Headed Grosbeak.

There have been a lot of Turkeys hanging around too. No amount of Tommy chasing is discouraging them. In fact, I think they like it. Saturday evening we were heading into Rathdrum to go out for dinner. There were 3 Turkeys hanging out on the road. I stopped the car so as not to run over them. Sweet Hubby opened a window and gobbled at them. All of them raised their heads up. One gobbled back. Hubby said to them "Come on now. All three of you-gobble gobble gobble!" and they all started gobbling like crazy and came  closer to the car. It was pretty funny. We're calling Sweet Hubby the Turkey Whisperer now.

Oh yes, remember 2 weekends ago I planted a bunch of pansies and marigolds in the flower boxes on the deck? We had a frost. I lost all the Marigolds. The Pansies are fine though. I'm so glad I decided to bring the tomatoes in that night.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Another Machine Knit Toy Pattern

I almost forgot  to tell you that a few days ago I posted yet another of my machine knitting toy patterns on Beadknitter Patterns. This one is the Pillow Pickup.

It was a natural progression to go from car to truck. There is one more toy pattern I want to post, but it's not on the hard drive of my current laptop, so I need to find the cd it's on, load it, and do some small edits. Now, if I could just remember where I put that cd. (sigh)

MOTOROLA Droid 2 A955 Purple Rubberized Hard Protector CaseLast night I spent the evening playing with the Droid. I never thought I'd be that much into a smart phone. When Sweet Hubby got his a couple years ago, I scoffed at him. Now, here I am, practically attached by umbilical cord to it. I purplfied it this week. It now has a nice purple case that matches my purple leather purse perfectly.

I downloaded some apps last night. One was a Tetris game (I'll never get tired of it), a collection of solitaire games. I found one that makes my phone able to read Bar Codes and then tell me what the current prices for said item is on Amazon.com.  Another app turns my phone into a document scanner that turns said scanned documents into PDF files.

My phone is a Row Counter. I was kind of surprised how many of these apps are available. Me, being cheap, went for a free one. I am quite thrilled with it too. It works great, and will supply most of my counting needs.

I installed Adobe Reader for Android a couple days before, and I was really glad I did. I went to Yarnies yesterday and forgot to take my pattern with me. I was able to download it on my phone and keep on knitting.

I hope the novelty wears off soon so I can get back to knitting.

Hmm...I wonder if Lemmings is available?

Live long and prosper. \\//


About that Fancy French Donut

Have you ever started a project with an idea in your head and when it's finished it's even better than you could have imagined? That has just happened to me. Last night I finally finished the fancy French donut necklace and I absolutely love it.

The strap is just a simple Spiral Rope made with size 15 silver lined seed beads and 2 colors of size 11 seed beads all used in the donut. The bail is done in Peyote with size 15 silver lined seed beads.

I made a toggle clasp to match.

ETA:  The pattern is now available for free on the designers blog. It is in four different languages.

Gorgeous weather today! I spent a couple hours out on the deck browsing some of my beading books and knitting a little bit on the St. Brigid, then tinking on the St. Brigid, then knitting on the St. Brigid. In the end I came out 2 rows ahead, so I guess I can say I won.

I do not feel like knitting lately. I think it might be spring. Or maybe I'm playing with my new Droid too much? I must admit, I've been having fun with it. I'm at level 15 in Angry Birds.

I've done a little knitting, but not as much as I usually do. I did start a new pair of fingerless mitts, finished the second of the first pair of Entrelac mitts, got those rows done on the St. Brigid, but that's it. Hardly worth taking pictures and posting here-well, except the finished Entrelac mitts, but they are currently in the washing machine.

I've been bitten by the beading bug. So I'm gonna go ahead and indulge myself a bit.

Live long and prosper.\\//


A Stroll in the Yard

This weekend I took a stroll in my yard and took some photos of the various wild flowers currently in bloom. Click on them for an enlarged view.

Blue-Eyed Mary was the most difficult for me to photograph for two reasons.

1. The wind was blowing so it wouldn't stay still at all. 2. It's 1/8th of an inch wide. The large light colored sticks blurred in the background are pine needles. Just so you know.

 This is a Grape Hyacinth. They don't normally grow wild around here. In fact, it's never been here before. A seed must have been carried from someones yard.

I found it just a couple feet from Morgans grave.

This is a blue wild Violet. They are all over the Parkarosa right now.

I've never seen so many of them as we have this year. They must thrive on cold wet springs.

This is a Pipers Anemone.

A clump of Violets in a redder shade of purple. These are rare on the Parkarosa.

 The Serviceberries are just starting to bloom. This one is the first to open near the house.

Looks like we may have a nice crop of Wild Strawberries.

The berries are so small, though, that it takes an hour or so just to get a cup of them. I usually leave them for the wildlife to eat.

Oregon Grape is not quite open yet. Give it a couple more days.

This is a rainbow we had a few days ago. One of my favorite things about spring. We see lots of them at this time of year.

So, can you guess what this fuzzy grape looking thing is?

It's a bud on my French Lilac bush.

There are 51 of them. It has never had this many buds before. Hopefully there won't be a freeze so it can bloom. I can hardly wait!

I bought a whole bunch of annuals-Marigolds, Pansies, Violets, Sweet William, and Snapdragons, and 4 tomato plants for the deck planters. I planted everything except the Tomatoes. There is a chance of snow tonight, so I'm going to wait a bit. I don't want to take any chances.

The Dahlias I sprouted indoors are doing fine. A little leggy, but now that they're getting to spend a bit of time outside each day, they are getting a little fuller. I've been pruning them when they get over 2 feet tall, so they're starting to get some branches. I hope to put them and the tomatoes in the ground in a week or so.

We had very nice weather over the weekend. On Saturday it got up to 81F degrees! Sunday was warm and nice for half the day, then it cooled off and started to rain. Right now it's raining. We've had 2 inches in the last 24 hours. Seems wrong, somehow, but snow is expected tonight. I am so over snow. Give it up already!

Live long and prosper. \\//


A Teddy Bear

I was going to do a WIP Wednesday post, but Blogger was down for a couple days, so I will save it for another day. Today I am showing off another one of my machine knitting toy designs.

Before I bought my first knitting machine, I got a few magazines to see what kinds of things I could make on one. Such beautiful things. One issue had 2 patterns that I wanted to make in the worst way. One was a blue plaid suit jacket with matching skirt. The other was an adorable teddy bear. Both were written for the 4.5 standard gauge Japanese made machines. However, I ended up buying a Swiss made Passap.

My Passap came with 10 free lessons (of which I got 6 before the shop owner closed up the shop and disappeared in the middle of the night. I went to my 7th lesson and discovered an empty shop. She was later found in another state-having fled there to get out of paying a lot of debt.) At one of my lessons I asked my teacher about making this teddy bear. She said "Oh no! You can't make stuffed toys on a Passap!" I thought her statement to be ludicrous and figured she just didn't want to be bothered with helping me figure it out. So I determined to figure it out myself.

Oddly, that magazine disappeared. At first I thought I'd left it at the shop by accident, but when I went back to look it wasn't there. I don't know what happened to it. I never found it, so I figured out how to make a teddy bear completely from scratch-after just 3 lessons on my Passap. It took me just one week. This is the result, Curly the Bear.

I took my first Curly to my next lesson so I could let that teacher know that stuffed toys can be made on any knitting machine.

I made the little one first. Then, when I decided to write up the pattern and publish it I developed the larger size too. I have put this pattern up on my pattern blog. However, it is NOT written for the Passap. I got so many requests from 4.5 standard gauge machine owners that I convert it to their machines I went ahead and did that. It is the version I make available, for free, now.

The weather has been up and down. Wednesday was abolutely gorgeous. It got up to 74F degrees at my house. I was too busy to sit outside and enjoy it though. Yesterday it rained, and we're supposed to get lots of rain over the weekend (like we need more-the local rivers are almost at flood stage now). For right now, though, the sun is shining-for just a couple hours. I'm going to go take advantage of it and finish that second entrelac mitt I've been working on.

Live long and prosper. \\//


It Was Another Life

In the 1990's I got into machine knitting in a very big way. I don't remember how I found out such a thing existed, but when I laid eyes on one I fell in love. In May of 1989 Sweet Hubby bought me my first machine, the Passap E6000 (I do not believe in starting small). It is a Swiss made double bed machine with a computer on it. It can do amazing things. I seem to have a natural ability for it because I caught on very quickly and made my first sweater within 2 weeks after bringing it home. I  became obsesssed. Soon I owned all the attachments that go with it.

They say knitting machines are like potato chips. You can't have just one. For me, it was true.

My next machine was the Brother KH970. It is a Japanese made standard gauge machine with 200 needles and a computer. I also acquired all the add-on's and attachments that go with it, such as the ribber, garter carriage, color changer, lace carriage etc.

All in all, eventually I owned 9 different knitting machines. When I closed my needle craft shop in 2006, I sold or gave away 5 of them so now I just have my favorite 4. The Passap, my Brother 970, a Brother bulky punchcard machine, and the Incredible Sweater Machine.

In the mid 90's I started designing patterns for machine knitting. I started with a few toys, then went into afghans. Some of my patterns were published in Machine Knitters Source magazine and others I sold at various machine knitting seminars around the country and by mail order. I also did quite a bit of teaching both at seminars and here at home. I wanted to have my own knitting machine dealership very much, but it was not to be. I did have an Artisan dealership for a short time, but gave it up in disappointment due to lack of support and broken promises.

I had plans to write garment patterns too, and even had some in the works, but the industry took a serious nose dive, eventually coming very close to death, so those plans got shelved. Now the Passap and Brother are no longer being made. In fact, the factories were actually torn down and replaced with what the companies felt would be more profitable endeavors. Now, as far as I know, the only machines still being made are the Silver Reed.and the Artisan and there is very little support for them, which is a shame because knitting machines are a barrel of fun. By the way, it's not cheating. Machine knitting is a whole unique craft unto itself.

I stopped machine knitting around 2003. I seriously injured my back, resulting in surgery for a burst disk. I wasn't allowed to use my knitting machines for several months. I just never got back to it after that. One of these days I hope to find, or make, the time to get back to it.

In the meantime, I have decided to put the few machine knitting patterns I wrote up on my free knitting pattern site. I'm starting with this one, the Pillow Car.

The idea I had behind this toy is something little guys could play with that would be relatively quiet and could be used for a pillow when nap time rolled around. It's about 10 inches long and the little passengers are 5 inches tall. It's written for the 4.5mm Standard Gauge machine and made with 3/15 weight (fingering) acrylic yarn. It's designed to be completely machine washable and safe for babies. If you happen to be interested, the pattern can be found on the Beadknitter Patterns site. And just so you know, I am working on a hand knit version of this toy.

Motorola DROID 2 Global Android Phone, Sapphire (Verizon Wireless)So, how was your Mothers Day? Mine was very nice, despite the severe lack of sunshine. Sweet Hubby took me to a Verizon store and bought me a Droid 2 for Mothers Day. He and Ruth also took me to see the movie, Thor, which I declare to be awesome. I enjoyed it a lot. After the movie we went out to dinner. I wanted steak in the worst way, but all the places around here that serve good steak were packed with 2 hour waiting lists, so we went to the Mongolian Barbeque instead. It was very tasty, and probably a lot healthier than the meal I originally planned to have. ;-)

I didn't get much in the way of crafting done over the weekend because I was playing with my new phone. First thing I did was download Angry Birds and start playing it. Now I understand why it's so popular. It's a fun, not to mention addicting, game.

Rumor has it that we are supposed to be having some really nice weather with temps getting up into the 70's. I say IT'S ABOUT TIME!

Live long and prosper. \\//


Post Falls

We have had one whole week without a single flake of snow. Hurray!!!! The weather has been mostly wet and rainy, but on Wednesday it was glorious. Got up into the 60F's with blue sky and fluffy white clouds. I was out and about most of the day with the Yarnies meeting, then Knitwits meeting-both of which were much fun. After that I didn't really want to go home yet. I wanted to have a little adventure in the spring weather.

Here in north Idaho is a town only a few miles from me named Post Falls. It is named that because of the waterfall that exists there named, you guessed it, Post Falls. There is a wonderful little park there with a trail you can walk up to see the falls. That was my little spring adventure. I wanted to see the falls. They are quite spectacular at this time of year. My daughter Ruth was with me. I took some pics, though it was with my phone, so the quality is not that good.

The trail starts at the parking lot. It skirts around a large pond. There was a family of geese enjoying the sunshine in the grass. The babies were sound asleep.

Dad was keeping an eye on me, making sure I didn't get too close.

Then the trail goes uphill on a very very large chunk of granite. Lake Coeur d'Alene is to the side of this rock. There is also a dam there right where the lake drains into what becomes the Spokane River. The river cuts right through this rock

The gates on the dam were wide open. It's too bad you can't hear the falls. It is incredibly powerful. The ground vibrates and the water roars. I've seen large logs shoot down this falls, bobbing around like toothpicks. The power of water is incredible.

I'm not sure what it is, but I always feel really good after watching a waterfall for awhile. I once  read somewhere something about the water releasing negative ions which makes a person feel better. I don't know if that's true or not, but it sure seems to be for me.

After drinking in the view for awhile, we headed along the trail down the other side of the rock. All over the park the Glacier Lilies were in full bloom. There were thousands of them.

We seem to have an unusually high bumper crop of them this year. I'm seeing them growing in places I've never seen before. They sure are a joy to see after all those months of dull grayness.

In another week or two the wild Camas will be blooming. I intend to go back to the park and take pictures at that time because it will be covered with them.

I'm hoping for nice weather for Mothers Day. I want to get some yard work done.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Almost forgot:

I'm entering a blogiversary contest and need to link it. The link is under the pic.

Nadiaperles Blog


Part 1 is Finally Done

I changed my mind about redoing part one of the beadalong project and finished it. The color scheme is growing on me.



Now, to do part 2.

Sunday was a beautiful day! Sunshine, blue skies. The birds chattered so much. I think they were happy. I spent some time on the deck, beading the above project while soaking up that sunshine. Oh, it felt SO good!

Tommy enjoyed the weather too, by rolling and rubbing himself all over a pile of turkey poop. He came prancing up on the deck all proud of himself, covered in green and brown slimy goo, and smelling so bad it was all I could do to breath. Needless to say, we went straight to the nearest bathtub. I didn't feel a bit bad about ruining his fun either. I then locked him in the house so he couldn't run back out and re-filth himself.

Live long and prosper. \\//