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


Simple Woman's Daybook for May 31, 2012

Outside my window...
The flowering plum is done blooming and now covered with beautiful maroon colored leaves. There are a couple chickadees sitting in it happily tweeting.

I am thinking...
it must have rained last night. Everything is wet.

I am thankful...
that replacement glasses for Sweet Hubby aren't as expensive as the first pair were. Did I mention Cable chewed his new glasses into pieces over the weekend? She was upset cuz we locked her out of the bedroom for a bit. Found the retribution laying in the back yard lawn.

In the kitchen...
the coffee maker has just beeped that it's turning itself off. I wish it would stay on longer than 2 hours.

I am wearing...
jeans and an old flowered print t-shirt. Dressed for cleaning and whatnot cuz I gotta get ready for our trip.

I am creating...
the Butterfly shawl. Made some serious headway on it this week so far. I've done the last increase row and now have to do 3 repeats of the butterfly stitch pattern. That's 72 rows of 385 sts. Takes me 20 minutes to do a row. I managed to do 6 of them yesterday. I've put my main focus on this project now. I need to get it done and out of my hair!

I am going...
nowhere today-except maybe take Cable to the groomers for a toe nail clipping. Gotta do laundry and pack. We're heading for the coast tomorrow morning, Westport to be exact. My sister-in-law is having a housewarming party to celebrate the finishing of her new house.

I am wondering...
Two things:
Why so many people in our government (or country, for that matter) are dumber than bricks. Case in point? This article:

North Carolina Considers Outlawing Accurate Predictions of Sea Level Rise

What was in the ziplock bag we found out on the lawn Tuesday morning? All that was left was the zipper. Clearly, Cable ate something she shouldn't have. She must have an iron stomach though cuz it didn't make her sick. Have I mentioned she loves to chew on plastic? Gotta do something about that.

I am reading...
Health At Every Size by Linda Bacon. It's interesting so far. I've long known that being fat doesn't equate with being unhealthy. Unfortunately, our society keeps insisting it does. Our society hates fat people and this is the lie they use to justify that hate. Fat people are faced with an overwhelming amount of bigotry and prejudice in this country. I'm hoping this book will help me learn to deal with it. 

I am hoping...
we have a good time on our trip. We're renting a condo on the beach and taking Cable with us. Our first real trip with her.

I am looking forward to...
taking Cable on the beach. It will be interesting to see how she reacts.

I am learning...
All that talk about being fat causing diabetes, heart disease, etc is not true. There are no studies that show being fat will cause someone to be unhealthy. In fact, studies show that healthy fat people live longer than a lot of thin people. Most of all, there are dozens and dozens of scientific studies proving that losing weight doesn't work and is almost impossible. Only 5% are able to keep it off for more than a year. Less than that can keep it off permanently. When you lose weight, your body fights it with everything it has to gain it back, plus more. It is very powerful when it comes to staying where it wants to weigh. Dieting CAUSES fatness. Fact.

Around the house...
the fur kids are pacing, hissing, whining, and generally being annoying. Cable wants to play with Chenille. Chenille wants nothing to do with her. Chenille has turned into a cranky old fart in her old age.

I am pondering...
what to make for dinner tonight. I think we'll have chicken. Perhaps I could persuade Sweet Hubby to barbecue it. If not, there's always the oven.

A favorite quote for today...
"It doesn’t matter how fat someone is, or why they are that fat, or what the outcomes of being that fat may or may not be. They deserve to be treated with respect and it is completely ok for them to be that size. Yes, even if they weigh 2000 pounds. Yes even if you think their weight is “their fault.” Yes, even if you would never ever want to be that fat. Yes, even if you can’t understand how they live. Yes, even if they have problems that can be correlated with being fat. Yes, even if they have problems that can be causally related to being fat. Yes, even if studies show that they cost society more. Yes, even if they actually cost society more. It is totally, completely 100% ok for someone to be fat. Nobody needs anyone’s encouragement, justification or permission to live in their body. Period. This is true whether or not people are able to achieve permanent weight loss – it is a matter of civil rights.

It is wrong to find a group of people who are identifiable based on how they look, calculate their supposed cost on society, suggest that it’s not okay for them to exist, and then declare war and attempt to rid the world of them." ~    Ragen Chastain

One of my favorite things...
the fresh earthy smell of the air after a quick summer shower. 

A few plans for the rest of the week:
packing, cleaning the house, having a great time in Westport.

Picture thought to share...
Look at the size of the smiles on these faces. Are they happy or what?

If you want to join the Simple Woman's Daybook, click here.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Weekend Beading

Twas a busy weekend. Despite that, I managed to whip up this baby.

It's the third in a series of 5 beaded bead patterns being featured in Beadwork magazine this year. It's in the current June-July issue.

There are some 4mm blue druks, 4mm fire polished amber crystals, and seed beads. I like that this bead is hollow.

They're having a contest. After the last pattern is published, participants (like me) will be making a necklace and submitting it to Beadwork. I've decided to try it out. I've never entered a beading contest before so this will be interesting. I haven't made the first two beaded beads yet. I wanted to decide on a color scheme, then get the beads for it, first. Now that I know what I'm gonna do, I will make the rest. Still not sure how I'm gonna make them into a necklace yet, but I've got an idea niggling in my mind. With any luck, I'll figure out how to do it.

Live long and prosper. \\//



Just a quick update post. Yesterday I woke up with excruciating pain between my shoulder blades and up into the back of my neck, and despite ample pain killers, I haven't been able to get rid of it yet. So nothing complicated could be done. Brain not functioning so well. I decided not to take a chance on screwing up the butterfly shawl and took on something new and very easy.

Not one for Fad knitting, I am quite surprised to find myself knitting one of these scarves with the yarn that ruffles. My most favorite colors are in it. Couldn't resist.

You cast on 8 sts, then pull each edge loop through the sts and continue in this manner until you're out of yarn. Then bind off. Voila, you have a very ruffled scarf. Easy peasy mindless knitting, just what I needed. Don't know what I'll do with it when I'm done. It's not something I'd wear.

I also worked some on the Laura McCabe necklace. I've begun the embellishment phase.

I'm luvin' the pearls. The pic doesn't show it, but they are very shiny and bright.

Live long and prosper. \\//


WIP Wednesday 5/23/2012

It's WIP Wednesday!

First I have a current pic of the Butterfly shawl. Slow, but steady progress.

Since I've finished the mitts yesterday, I am now working on the baby aran cardigan I started last month for KIP knitting. I'm halfway done with the back.

I finished the spiral rope base for my Laura McCabe necklace. I need to weave in the ends, but I'm going to do that after I've embellished it. It's 20 inches long.

That's all for today.

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

Live long and prosper. \\//


Stacked Olives Mitts

I finished a knitting project this morning! I designed these for Ray at Knitivity.


Stacked Olives Fingerless Mitts

Pattern: Stacked Olives Fingerless Mitts by me
Size: Womans

Yarn: Knitivity Phydlbitz
Color: Lakewood Berry
Content: 75% Superwash Wool, 25% Nylon. 430 yards / 113 grams

Needles: Addi Turbo Circular size 3.

Cast on: March 3, 2012
Completed: May 21, 2012

Comments: I can't believe how long it took me to finish these. It's not that I didn't enjoy working on them. I don't know why it's taken so long. I like the yarn but I think the stitch pattern would show up a lot better if there wasn't black in the colorway.


I've incorporated 2 different slip stitch patterns into the design. This one is a twisted slip stitch pattern of ovals stacked on top of each other.

The palm side features a 3x3 slip rib.

They are very comfortable to wear. I'm satisfied with the results.

Today I worked on creating stitch pattern charts for the pattern. My first ones. I downloaded and installed a knitting font which took a bit for me to figure out how to do. Then I created a table in MS Word and carefully typed in each symbol. Took me a long time to do it because I don't have a lot of experience with creating tables and I was combining that with learning the font. I'm glad it's done. My daughter, Ruth, is now test knitting the pattern for me. I want to get this thing out the door! Ray has been waiting way too long for it.

Update: Contact Knitivity for availability and price of this pattern.

Had a nice weekend. It was a beautiful sunny day on Saturday. I spent part of the day gardening. I dug up part of the front yard flower bed and planted a couple rose bushes and three 1-gallon dahlia plants already blooming that I found at Lowes. One of the rose bushes is pale yellow (can't remember the name at the moment) and has a wonderful scent. The other is one that was in the back flower bed called Rio Samba (my favorite!). It was being shaded by a shrub so I decided to move it to a better, warmer, sunnier location.

After the gardening I sat down and did some beading. I worked on the Laura McCabe project. Almost have the spiral rope base done.

Saturday evening brother-in-law Dan and wife Sue came over for dinner. I barbecued Pork Spareribs. It's only the 3rd time I've made this dish. It came out SO unbelievably GOOD! I think I can safely say I've mastered the fine art of barbecuing ribs. We also had baked potatoes, tossed green salad, french rolls, and I made a Strawberry pie for dessert.

Sunday I was a lazy thing in the morning. All the gardening I'd done Saturday made me ache from head to toe so I got a cup of coffee, my Nook, and sat out in the morning sun for awhile reading. Later that afternoon we went up to my sister-in-law Kathryn's for dinner. She had burgers and salads. The burgers were very very good. It was nice visiting with her and other family that showed up.

Today it rained all day long. We even had some thunder and lightening. I had planned to do some more gardening, but I don't do it in the rain so I worked on finishing the above mitts instead.

Tomorrow is supposed to be another rainy day. I have Rathdrum Knitalong to attend. Looking forward to that.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Playing With Paintshop

It's been hot today. Got up to 85F. I am actually enjoying it. So much nicer than snow. After the shade hit the deck this afternoon I poured myself a hard ice tea on ice and went out and sat in that shade and knitted for awhile. There was a nice breeze blowing. Very enjoyable and I got a few rows done on the butterfly shawl.

After dinner tonight-which consisted of roast beef cooked on the barbecue grill, boiled potatoes, and strawberry spinach salad- I decided to play with my Paintshop Photo Pro X3 program creating tiles for blog backgrounds. (Yes, I know they are up to version X4 now. Haven't upgraded.) Believe it or not, the current tiles I'm using I created starting with the close up picture of the Fairy Slipper in yesterdays post. I had way too much fun creating it. I discovered some tile making tools, and some very interesting color changing tools that I find quite intriguing. There is so much this program can do. I made a few different tiles which I thought I'd post on here and give permission for you to use them if you so desire. Just right click on the image and save it to your hard drive. They are all jpeg format and 144x144 pixels in size because that's the size my blog template prefers. Use them as they are, or stick 'em in your own paint program and change the colors. They are all from that same Fairy Slipper pic.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Mission Accomplished

Caution. Lots of photos. Click on them to embiggen.

I had an awesome Mothers Day. It started with the day being sunny and warm. I lazed around most of the morning drinking coffee and surfing the net. Then Sweet Hubby and Ruth took me out for breakfast. We decided to try a restaurant right in Rathdrum called Country Nook. I had scrambled eggs, corned beef hash (Yum!), and toast with Blackberry jam. The food was very good. My eggs were cooked to perfection.

After that we headed east to the Coeur d'Alene National Forest. I wanted to go north of where we entered the forest in hopes of getting over the ridge and coming out on the Montana side by the Clark Fork river. That's where I've seen Fairy Slippers in the past, so that's where we needed to go if I wanted to see them again. We tried route choice 1 first. Didn't get very far before we were blocked by snow. So we turned around and went route choice 2. We got further, but eventually ended up blocked by snow. As we drove along, I kept my eyes open for pink.  We found a whole colony of Fairy Slipper orchids on the east side of the mountains just a short distance from the blocking snow. Needless to say, I got very excited. It made my whole day finding them.

Calypso Bulbosa, the fairy slipper orchid, which has been called the most beautiful terrestrial orchid in North America. There are actually 4 varieties. We happen to have this one.

In addition to the Fairy Slippers, I found some of my mountain favorites to photograph.

Growing among the Slippers were some Pioneer Violets.

Trillium (Trillium Grandiflorum) was the first flower we came across. There are lots of them blooming right now. The live on the lower slopes of the mountains.

On the upper parts of the mountains, especially up on the ridges, I was surprised to find a lot of Glacier Lilies (Erythronium grandiflorum) in bloom. 

They were done 4 weeks ago down here in the valley where we live.

Along with them were tons and tons of Western Spring Beautys.

Both pink and white ones living together in beautiful harmony.

There were a lot of Blue Eyed Marys blooming on the hillsides along the roads. They are so tiny. About 3-5 millimeters in width, but the blue is so bright that a patch of them just grabs your eyes.

We saw some beautiful views from up on the ridges. This is a view taken at the north end of Lake Pend Oreille.

After turning around because of snow blockage, Sweet Hubby decided to see if we could get through from where we entered south to the Silver Valley area. The flowers were different in that direction. Lots of wild sweet peas, yellow daisies, and Pipers Anemones all over the place which I chose not to stop and photograph. Eventually we were blocked by snow and could continue no further. Before turning back and heading for home the way we came, we stopped a bit for a rest at that point and walked around and I found this.

I have no idea what it they are, but they were growing near a stream and some snow.
Update: They are called Idaho Goldthread (Coptis occidentalis).

Extremely delicate and small, I almost missed seeing them. They are in the Ranunculaceae (Buttercup) family and are the first spring flower in upper elevations.

These last two flowers are also unknown. The first one is extremely tiny-2mm. They were growing with the patch of Blue Eyes Mary's of which I took the above photo.

These were growing on the very sunny top of a mountain along with Spring Beautys.

By the time we got out of the mountains, it was well into dinner time, so we took Cable home, then went out for dinner at the Chinese restaurant in Rathdrum, Wha Hing, and I had a very tasty dinner of Sweet and Sour Pork, Almond Chicken, Fried Rice, and Chicken Chow Mein. It was all very delicious.

Speaking of Cable, she had a fabulous time.

Looking at flowers on the roads edge, so leash must be worn.

We stopped fairly frequently to look at flowers and hike a bit. She had a lot of fun exploring the forests and running around.

On a trail overlooking Lake Pend Oreille.

She was exhausted when we got home and slept like a log last night.

Can we go home now? I iz so tired.

I did too.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Gotta Say It

We're doing something special today. I've asked to go for a drive up into the Coeur d'Alene National Forest to look for wildflowers, so that's what we're gonna do. I'm taking my camera. I'm hoping to find some Fairy Slippers, and maybe some yellow violets. Maybe we'll even get stuck in some snow. I'm looking forward to taking Cable. I don't think she's ever been up there. It will be interesting to see spring in the mountains.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Ocean Sky

After ripping out the fringe and redoing it, I am finally happy with my little African stitch amulet bag. I've named it Ocean Sky because that's what I see when I look at it.

The pattern for this bag is here: African Amulet. It does not include instructions for the fringe.

The bag is made with 3 colors of size 11 Japanese seed beads.

I used 4mm pink Czech firepolished crystals, pearl white bugle beads, and glass rice pearls in the fringe.

I got the pink glass rectangle bead from a friend several years ago. It came with a bunch of other beads. I've always thought it rather ugly, but when I saw it this morning, suddenly it was beautiful and perfect.

I got the idea for this netted overlay embellishment while I was pulling out the unacceptable fringe. A "what if..." came into my mind. I had to try it.

I love it. It just really adds a nice texture to the whole thing visually.

All in all, worth the hair pulling frustration I went through while figuring out how to make it all work. I'm glad I got it done before the deadline for the bead along too.

I also made some beaded stitch markers to send with the contest prizes. I made used some freshwater pearls and glass flowers from the stash.

Not my best work. I had to use the crimping tool. I don't use it enough to be good at it. I hope Terri likes them.

Well, that's it for now.

Live long and prosper. \\//