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


It Was a Great Christmas

So, I've been neglecting the blog the last couple weeks. That's because I've been super busy with the holidays and all. Things should calm down later this week. I was knitting mittens like crazy whenever I got the chance.

Mittens for Toddlers

Pattern: Classic Mittens by Bernhard Ulmann

Size: Size 5T

Needles: Addi Turbo Circulars in size 5.

Yarn: Plymouth Yarns Coffe Beenz
Content: 75% Acrylic/25% Wool

Cast on: December 16, 2012
Bound off: December 18, 2012

Yarn: Patons Canadiana
Content: 100% Acrylic

Cast on: December 19, 2012
Bound off: December 23, 2012

Comments: I like the rainbows.

I also made a hat to match the rainbow mittens.

Beanie For Toddlers

Pattern: I made it up.

Size: Size 5T +/-

Needles: Addi Turbo Circulars in size 7.

Yarn: Patons Canadiana

Content: 100% Acrylic

Cast on: December 24, 2012
Bound off: December 26, 2012

Comments: I modified the pattern Beanies for the Brave to make this hat, decreasing the stitches to 72 instead of 100. I don't know if this yarn colorway is still available or not. It's one that I carried in my shop so many moons ago.

I've had enough of making mittens for toddlers now. I've moved on to other things. I've managed to put a few more inches on the chevron pullover. I am going to finish it.


I had a fantastic Christmas. On Christmas eve we went to my brother-in-laws for dinner and it was fabulous! So much food, and all of it so good. I made a raw veggie platter with dip, and a French Silk Pie.

The pie was soooooo good!

Christmas morning we opened our presents. Santa was really generous. I got a brand new Nook HD. I've been having fun playing with it.

It's in color!

There's a lot it can do besides being an e-reader. It's going to take some time to learn everything. I love the web browser on it. I've also enjoyed being able to read in bed at night without turning on the lights.

I got an Amazon gift card too, which I've already spent on replacement earbuds and a portable speaker for my little mp3 player. The kittens broke my earbuds by knocking them off the table then dragging them under my rocking recliner where I sat down, rocked back, and crushed them. I almost cried. They had such good sound quality. I hope the new ones are as good.

I got a massage cushion. It feels so good. It fits nicely in the Hug too.

The box it came in.

I also got the biggest box of chocolates I've ever seen in my life! It will take months to eat them, and I shall enjoy every single bit.

Cable gives you an idea how large this box is!
Later in the day we went to our friends, Don and Phyllis, house for dinner and playing cards, as usual. I had a wonderful time too. The whole holiday was full of laughter and joy. One of my best Christmases ever.

Friday, the 28th, was Cables Gotcha Day. I can't believe we've had her for a whole year now! It went so fast. Didn't do much to celebrate though. I made Spaghetti and Meatballs for dinner and let her have some because it's one of her favorites. She was very happy after that.

We have snow. It's been snowing off and on for over a week. We've got just over a foot on the ground. The bird feeders are busy with all the snow around. Lots of House finches. At one point I had over 50 of them. There were so many in the tree it started to look like it had leaves again. Also getting the chickadees, nuthatches, magpies, and woodpeckers. Saw one Pine Siskin too.

Don't know what we're doing New Years Eve. I'm kind of contemplating staying home and going to bed before midnight. I'm kind of tired from all the holidaying, and I'm still struggling with the juicy cough. I think I'm gonna have to go to my doctor about it. I just can't seem to shake it.

If you don't hear from me beforehand, Happy New Year!

Live long and prosper. \\//


Red and Gold Elegance

I started this ornament cover in 2007. I made 5 bands in ladder stitch with the crystals hanging at the bottom, then it got set aside. I don't know what my plan was back then. But those 5 little bands have been sitting on my desk just bothering me every time I see them. So Wednesday I took 3 of them and made this.

I'm going to give it to a friend for Christmas. It's made with Japanese seed beads in 2 colors, 8mm Czech pressed glass beads, 4mm bicone crystals, and a few bugle beads. I think I'm going to take apart the remaining 2 ladder bands and use the beads in something else. I wish I could remember why I made 5 of them.

On Thursday daughter and I went into Coeur d'Alene-even though we got a foot of new snow the night before. I had to get out. I had errands that HAD to be done. We went to Yarnies and then did the rest of our Christmas shopping. I am done! Bwuahahahahahahahaa....! It feels so good! Today I wrapped up everything and put it under the tree.

Tomorrow I'm cooking. Panettoni bread time.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Ribes Jumeaux Socks

I finally got some decent photos of the socks. I came up with a name I like for them. Ribes Jumeaux (Ribs Joo moh) is french for Twin Ribs which is the stitch pattern I used. Aren't I clever? Anyway, the finished socks.

Ribes Jumeaux

Pattern: Ribes Jumeaux by me.

Size: Mens medium

Yarn: Knitivity Down Home Art Yarns Sock in Patina
Content: 75% Superwash Wool/25% Nylon

Yarn: Red Heart Heart & Sole in Navy Blue
Content: 70% Superwash Wool/30% Nylon.

Needles: Addi Turbo Circulars in size 2.

Cast on: November 18, 2012
Bound off: December 4, 2012

Comments: I loved working with the yarn. I love the Patina colorway. In all honesty, it makes me think of a river in Montana that we camp near on occasion. But Bull River socks doesn't sound right to me.

The stitch pattern is super easy. Only two rows to memorize.

Navy blue was the perfect color to put with this yarn. I put two stripes in the twisted rib cuff.

The heel is my favorite slip stitch heel flap pattern with rounded turn.

Then I matched the wedge toe to the cuff with stripes.

I think the pattern is great, but I'm biased. It's being test knitted, and I plan to publish it in January. It'll be sooner if the test knitters are fast.

This particular pair of socks has been shipped to the east coast. They're a Christmas present for the son-in-law. I hope he likes them.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Toddler Mittens for KnitWits

More finished knitting to show.

Mittens for Toddlers

Pattern:  Classic Mittens by Bernhard Ulmann

Size: Size 5T

Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash
Content: 100% Superwash Wool

Needles: Addi Turbo Circulars in size 5.

Cast on: December 8, 2012
Bound off: December 15, 2012

Comments: Quick to knit. I used the leftovers from the hats I made for my nephew. I adjusted the pattern I used to make it better. A matter of personal choice. The pattern is fine as is, but there are increases and decreases that don't make much sense and aren't really necessary for good fit so I removed them.

I may write up my version of the pattern. Haven't decided yet. The important thing is I have two pair done for the next KnitWits meeting. Yay!

I've already cast on for the next pair. I'm using the leftover Coffee Beenz yarn for them.

When I went to bed last night we had 8 inches of snow on the ground, it was coming down like crazy, and winter snow storm warnings were blasting all over the television. When I got up this morning, half the snow was gone and the rest was melting like crazy, the wind was blowing, the temps were above freezing, and slush was falling, Slush fell off and on all day. Slush is slightly frozen rain, or snow not frozen enough to call snow. It's heavy, wet, cold, icy, globby, blobs falling from the sky. Ick. It's slick too. I had to go to the post office and had quite a time getting out of the end of my driveway.

Getting ready for Christmas is moving along smoothly. Pretty much done with most of my shopping. May need to pick up a few small things here or there. Ruth and I have decided we're making Panattoni bread for the family again. It was so good, gotta repeat it. I'm going to try baking them in regular loaf pans instead of the round paper pans, just to see if it can be done. If so, it will make life much easier. Trying to figure out what small things I could add to that. Last year I put a new dish towel and pot holder in with each loaf. So that's out. I need something different. Ideas are not entering the brain.

Well, that's all for now.

Live long and prosper. \\//


A Lace Neck Warmer

You may be wondering where I've been? I've been here. Just very busy. I've finished all the Christmas knitting plus more, including the blocking. Here's one of those projects.

Lace Neck Warmer

Pattern: Mericash Neck Warmer by Jean Gray

Size: One size to fit adult.

Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine
Content: 50% Wool/30% Nylon/20% Alpaca

Needles: Addi Turbo Circulars in size 5.

Cast on: September 17, 2012
Bound off: November 15, 2012

Comments: I added one full pattern repeat for a better fit. It was a little too narrow for my taste.

The stitch pattern was fun to knit and easy to memorize.

I finished the socks too. I will post them later this week. The pattern for the socks is all written and now being test knit.

I've knit 2 pairs of mittens so far for KnitWits. I'm starting a third pair tonight. I'm a mitten making machine.

We have been getting snow this weekend. It's about 5 inches deep, and falling pretty good right now. We're getting lots of birds at the bird buffet too. Mostly Chickadees, Finches, and a pair of woodpeckers.

Last night we went to see the new Hobbit movie. It was absolutely wonderful! I enjoyed it so much. It isn't often the audience applauds at the end of a movie, but it did with this one. Of course, the plot is great. It's very well acted. The background scenery is breathtaking. The special effects blew me away. I couldn't tell were real ended and CG began. The costumes are amazing and beautiful. I was impressed with them from the very first minutes of the film. In fact, I was captivated by the whole thing from start to finish. It's almost 3 hours, but I wanted more when it was over. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Red Dots Cocktail Ring

I've made a ring to wear with the new necklace.

Basically, I made a peyote stitch ring 6 beads wide.

Then I embellished a section of it with fringe and loops.

I will wear it to the company Christmas party tonight.

It is cold today. When I got up it was only 19F degrees. The sun was shining all day, but it never got above freezing. Brrrrr.

Knitting update: I finished knitting the not-argyle socks. Haven't blocked them yet. Since all the Christmas knitting is essentially done-and way early for me-I went back to working on the chevron sweater. I have 6 inches of the front piece done now.

I am going to start knitting mittens for the rest of the month. We have an emergency request to KnitWits for mittens for 25 girls and 15 boys in sizes 4T-5T. So I will concentrate on that along with the Chevron sweater. It'll make good portable knitting. A project that small can fit in the purse.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Red Dots

Hubby's company Christmas party is Saturday. I made myself a new necklace to wear with the same outfit I wear every other year. Not that I can't get a new outfit. It's that I love it so much I keep wanting to wear it. It's a sleeveless black lace top with empire waist embellished with silver and crystal beads, and black velvet slacks. It's one of the few things in my wardrobe that I feel really beautiful in. This necklace was inspired by the works of Tatiana Tatonka.

I had the perfect pewter toggle clasp in the stash.

The strap part is made with Chenille stitch, which is a variation of netting.

Initially, I was going to use a round metal finding for this part, but I decided to do it in peyote instead. I like it. It gives the whole necklace a Native American feel.

I made bead soup and used my electric bead spinner for this part.

I'm looking forward to wearing it to the party.

And now for some really good news! The first trailer for the new Star Trek movie is out.

Live long and prosper. \\//


The December KnitWits Meeting

As regular readers know, I belong to a charity group here in my area called KnitWits. I joined it 5 years ago, I think. It may have been 6. It was after I closed my needle craft store in 2006 but I can't remember exactly how long after. But I'm digressing.

KnitWits is a group that knits and/or crochets items for charitable donation. We make all kinds of things for various organizations in the local area. We make afghans, baby things, toys, hats, gloves, mittens, shrugs, shawls, sweaters, socks, scarves, etc. Whatever is needed someone in the group makes them. We meet once a month where we bring what we've finished to the meeting. Our esteemed leader, Jan, takes what we make and stores it at her house. She also brings yarn every month which we pick up and take home to make more items.

At the December meeting, we don't do the yarn part. Jan brings everything we've made for the whole year carefully bagged and tagged for each organization they are going to. Then the recipients come and pick it up. It's my favorite meeting because I get to see how much we've made, and I get to see it being donated. Here is what happened at this years December meeting.

That's a lot of things we've made! About 1992 items. (A few more were added after the official tally, so it's actually just a bit more.)

Here is daughter Ruth standing among the piles, organized by who gets them. This year we had 13 different organizations who asked for donations from us.

This is Jan, counting to make sure it's all there.

Some of the group members milling about. A couple brought new items in and they were placed on this table. I like this pic cuz it represents a LOT of what happens each month. We stand around the table of finished things brought in, admiring, discussing, and asking each other "what pattern did you use?" What yarn is this?" My friend Tami was taking pics of the piles like I did. ;-)

Jan is about to get a hug from one of the very grateful folks we make things for.

Another happy recipient with her bags thanking Jan and my daughter.

After this pic, I sat down with my fellow members and we knitted/crocheted, chatted, and ate Christmas cookies while celebrating the day. Another year of goods distributed. It was a good day. It makes all the work worth it.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Caturday 12/1/2012

The boys were napping on the chair yesterday.

They are a bit larger than when they napped on the same chair 2 months ago.

Merino is considerably larger than Cashmere now by a good 2 pounds. They still cuddle and hug though.

Love cats? Care to join in the fun? Go here: Tanya's Caturday

Live long and prosper. \\//


Feeling Better Today

My lungs are feeling much better today. Not coughing nearly as much. It's a relief. Here is a picture of the first not-argyle sock.

Originally I had planned to knit the whole toe in navy, but I really like the striped look. The navy also brings out the blue in the pastel variegated yarn. I've already cast on the second sock and am halfway done with the cuff ribbing. I'm motivated to get it done!

I can't believe how early it gets dark now. The sun is setting before 4pm! We have Christmas lights on the house that are coming on after it gets dark. It helps some. Only 4 more weeks and the days will start getting longer again. Then winter really gets serious!

Today we had a bit of sun, though it didn't get above 36F. It came and went so quick. They are saying rain tonight. I expect it will be frozen into fluffy white crystals.

Started my Christmas shopping today. I'm not one to shop really early, or to do the Black Friday thing cuz I don't like being in big huge crowds like that when shopping. I admit, Sweet Hubby and I do most of our shopping online. It's just so easy to sit in my big leather hug in my jammies and surf web sites. I'll do some shopping locally, though. Some things can't, or shouldn't, be bought online. I like to do it during the week when everyone else is at work. It's easy to find parking and the lines are short. ;-)

I'm at a loss as to what to get for some gifts, but at least I've figured out a couple and ordered them. Once I figured out what my daughter, Ruth, wants from Santa I was pretty excited (that I knew-she is very hard to shop for). Then I discovered what she wants is almost impossible to find. I've spent literally days Googling and emailing shops trying to find it. I think I did today though, thanks to a friend who suggested where to look. At least, I hope so. I've ordered it. I'm hoping I don't get an email tomorrow saying their web site was wrong and they don't really have it in stock. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Keep warm.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Christmas Tree

Warning. Not for the feint of heart.

As you can see, I've Christmasfied the blog. Now I'm doing the same to the house. Ruth and I finished decorating the tree today.

It was an interesting time putting it up. Sweet Hubby and I got the stuff out of storage and brought it in the house Saturday. It was a beautiful day though, so I decided to take advantage of it to do that one last thing I hadn't done yet that needed doing before the snow flies. I pruned the Japanese Flamingo Willow. This is the first time I've done it right. I decided to Google how to prune the darn thing properly. It looks quite nice now and won't be looking all raggedy and out of control come spring. Working on it took the wind out of my sails though. Cold, damp, and smokey air is apparently bad for the asthma. So I settled down and knit for the evening.

Sunday I was looking forward to Ruth and I setting up the tree, putting on the lights and decorations, etc. I forgot she wasn't going to be home. So I ended up doing it by myself.

First, I grabbed the tree box, cut the tape, and lifted the flap. Then I screamed and dropped it. There were about 40 stink bugs crawling around under that flap. I grabbed the box and tossed it out the back door. I don't want those bugs in the house! I got a broom and went outside to brush away the bugs and get them out of the box. While I was doing that, of course, they all started letting off stink bombs (which is why we call them stink bugs) which led to me having an asthma attack. I started coughing and gasping and nearly passed out from lack of air. I sat down and grabbed my inhaler off a nearby table, popped the cap off and inhaled.

Urg! Something solid got sucked down into my lungs. I then started choking and coughing. After a bit of this, an earwig flew out of my mouth and landed on the floor-where it then meekly crawled away. I was shocked!  EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEWW!!!!!! That was just too much for this woman to handle. I was totally grossed out. Now I'm really coughing and gagging (and screaming-or trying to anyway). I dashed to the bathroom and threw up. Yuck!

I can't stand earwigs. They freak me out, the ugly little b&*%#$s. It must have crawled into my inhaler through an opening in the top. Ick ick ick! Having one take a trip into the lungs and back out again....shudder! I've been coughing pretty much ever since then. There's an itchy irritation where that earwig went in. Got hardly any sleep last night. I'm hoping I'll be over this by tomorrow.

Note to self: Check inhaler for bugs before putting it in my mouth.

Despite the horrifying experience, I went back to setting up the tree and installing the lights. Man, it's a lot of work putting the lights on a 7 foot tree. It's especially hard when 2 little kittens won't leave it alone. They were trying to climb it before I'd even had it halfway assembled. I finally grabbed them both and tossed them outside in the sunshine for a bit to get them out of my way.

Today Ruth and I hung the ornaments and finished the tree. I also have finished the knitting of the first not-argyle sock.


Pics later this week. I'll be casting on the second one tonight for sure.

Live long and prosper. \\//   (cough, cough)


Katey's Mittens

Katey's Mittens

Pattern: Classic Mittens by Bernhard Ulmann

Size: Childs 2-4

Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash in heather purple
Content: 100% Wool, worsted weight

Needles: Addi Turbo Circulars in size 4.

Cast on: November 29, 2012
Bound off: November 21, 2012

Comments: This is an old pattern published so long ago it's now in the public domain. Some of the instructions aren't the standardized we have for today so I did get a little bit confused when working on the decreases for the top. There is a typo error in the pattern, for this size, after slipping the thumb stitches on a piece of yarn to be held. Where it says "There will be on needles... sts 3", it should read 30.

I don't really know why I chose this pattern, except maybe I knew where it was and could lay my hands on it quickly.

The yarn, as always, was a dream to work with.

Hopefully, I will be seeing Katey tonight at our annual Park family Second Thanksgiving dinner celebration. I'm taking the camera so I can get pics of her modeling them. We have this dinner every year. We all bring our leftovers and eat and laugh together.

I had a wonderful first Thanksgiving. There were just 10 of us, plus 3 dogs. Cable loves to play with her fur cousins. The food was amazing! I made Brandied Cranberries, Green Bean Casserole, Berry Jello Salad, and Pumpkin Pie for the occasion. Sue did the turkey-which was especially moist and tasty this year, mashed potatoes and gravy (her gravy is in a food group all by itself. Yum!), dressing, smoked roast beef, and Apple Pie. So much tasty tasty food! Afterwards we all watched Punpkin Chunkin on tv, then a movie.

I got some knitting done during this portion of the evening. The not argyle sock has a nicely turned heel.

Today I plan to bead a bit before we head over for more fun and food.


ETA-- Here's Katey with her new mittens.

She likes them very much.

Live long and prosper. \\//


It's Thanksgiving Day

A random list of just a few of the things I'm thankful for:

-My wonderful husband who lets me be me.
-My two lovely daughters and my awesome son-in-law.
-My fur kids who bring so much into my life.
-My inlaws.
-That I live in my little house in the woods, in north Idaho, in the United States of America.
-Yarn, knitting needles, all the people who have contributed to making the craft of knitting so fun and satisfying.
-My friends
-The guys who invented the little tiny seed beads that bring me so much joy.
-My new car.
-To Toyota for creating the hybrid technology that is in my car.

- Tape
-The farmers who grow our food for us.
-The truckers who ship our food to the stores.
-The stores that we can buy our food from.
-The turkey who gave up his/her life for today's meal.
-Glasses. Without them I couldn't see to do much of anything.
-Toilets that flush.
-Bath and Bodyworks Sensual Amber lotion.
-The color purple. Well, actually, ALL colors, but especially purple.
-This blog and the people who read it.

Everything else I haven't mentioned that I'm thankful for, but mostly,

I'm thankful to be not dead.

Live long and prosper. \\//