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


Simple Womans Daybook for May 28, 2013

FOR TODAY May 28, 2013

Outside my window... it's raining like crazy. I think at least half an inch has fallen in the last 15 minutes. There's a rainbow in the eastern sky too. Sucks to be my husband right now. He's riding home from work, on his bike.

I am thinking... about what to write in this blog post.

I am thankful... I am indoors all warm and dry.

In the kitchen... dinner is cooking. I've just finished the fried rice. The beef and broccoli is about done, and I'll pop the beets in the microwave after sweet hubby gets home.

I am wearing... black slacks and a t-shirt that is peach with red  small roses printed on it.

I am creating... a purple doll dress with a lace inset in the front yoke. I knit it and unknit it 3 times last night. Finally got it right. It added a nice amount to the number of rows I've knit toward the 1 million row goal. Yes, I count the ones I unravel. I knit them, didn't I?

I am going... on a little trip in June. My friend, Sandy, invited me to go with her to the Black Sheep Gathering, a fiber festival in Eugene, OR. I am very excited. It should be lots of fun.

I am wondering...  if sweet hubby is okay. That is an awfully hard downpour going on out there.

I am reading... two books. One is a work of fiction by Simon Toyne called Sanctus. It's one of those religion mystery thriller type books like Dan Browns The Da Vinci Code. So far a monk has climbed a very steep mountain and thrown himself off it putting everyone and everything into a panic.

The other book is non-fiction. Specifically, Don't Know Much About Mythology by Kenneth C. Davis. I have a huge interest in religious mythology. This book is about just that. So far I've been through the Egyption mythology, and have just started the Mesopotamian mythology. I like this book because it tells about what the cultures were like as well as what their beliefs were and why and in a lot more detail than past books I've read. I have read quite a bit on mythology in my life, and even took a couple college courses on it many many moons ago. I think it's fascinating.

I am hoping... never mind. I was hoping sweet hubby would arrive home. He just did.

I am looking forward to... sitting in our hot tub. Sweet hubby worked on it over the weekend, with help from Dan and Sue. It's all installed now except one problem. The pump doesn't work. It's in such bad shape it's not repairable. We've ordered a new one. A replacement was surprisingly easy to find via the internet. It should arrive here before next weekend when it will be installed. By Sunday evening I hope to be sitting in said tub enjoying it.

I am learning...   all about how to maintain a hot tub. There's quite a bit to learn.

Around the house... are some wet fur kids. Both kittens were outside when the rain started pounding down. I called them in and they got soaked running for the door. While calling the kittens in, Cable went outside just for funs. She doesn't mind getting soaking wet. The house smells like wet animal.

I am pondering... things that I do not want to share with the general public, so won't be writing about them here.

A favorite quote for today...  "Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behavior does." ~ author unknown.

One of my favorite things...  Chocolate Eclair Cake! It's a new favorite. One of my Facebook friends shared the recipe. I tried it this weekend for the annual Park family Memorial Day barbecue. It was so easy to make and it was fanstastic! I will definitely be making it again. Yum yum!

A few plans for the rest of the week: I've got a busy one ahead of me. Thursday is Yarnies, and lunch with my BFF Judy, who is visiting this week from California. I am so looking forward to seeing her. On Friday Judy and I are spending the day together doing stuff. Not sure what just yet. I'm sure whatever it is we'll enjoy it.

A peek into my day...
This made me laugh this morning.

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

Live long and prosper. \\//


Silver Fancy Flossy Shrug

Started this brainless project in January for Knitwits. Eventually, with a few minutes here and a few minutes there, it got done.

Silver Fancy Flossy Shrug

Pattern: Fancy Flossy Shrug by me

Size: Ladies, 56 inches from cuff to cuff.

Yarn:  Aldemir Lumos in Silver Lurex
Content: Polyester and Metallic, bulky weight.
Yarn: Mixed Fiber Novelty by Gala in White/Grey/Black
Content: Acrylic/nylon/polyester mix, worsted weight
Yarn: Unknown Acrylic in Dark Grey
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight

Needles: Addi Turbo Circulars in size 10 and 15.

Cast on: January 2, 2013
Bound off: May 23, 2013

Comments: I didn't do any double yarn overs in this one, just single yarn overs, and I like it so much better. Takes a bit more yarn to do it that way.


Close up

It's 54 inches from cuff to cuff. I tried it on and it fit perfectly. The cuffs go all the way to my wrists where they belong. It's wonderfully warm and soft too.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Of Dolls and Dresses

As planned, a post on the doll clothes I've finished this past week.

Modeled by Debbie

 Mink Purple Elegance

Pattern: Still in development by me.

Yarn: Jo-ann Sensations Mink in Black
Content: 100% Polyester, bulky weight
Yarn: Nomi Lee Lorraine in Black
Content: 100% Acrylic, lace weight
Yarn: S. Charles Collezione Ritratto in Purple
Content: 53% Rayon/ 28% Mohair/ 10% Nylon/ 9% Polyester, DK weight

Needles: Addi Turbo Circular size 0 and 1

Cast on: May 11, 2013
Completed: May 15, 2013

Comments: I love how this turned out! Wasn't easy designing a way to use that bulky yarn on a garment that is 8 sts to the inch. Lets just say I used slip stitch. There are 3 snaps in the back opening.

Fits perfectly. 1x1 rib edges the neck, sleeves, and hem.


Modeled by Debbie

Little Red Dress

Pattern: Still in development by me.

Yarn: Queensland Collection Sugar Rush in Red
Content: 100% Sugar Cane, sport weight

Needles: Addi Turbo Circular size 0 and 2

Cast on: May 6, 2013
Completed: May 22, 2013

Comments: I absolutely love the yarn I used to make this dress. It's made of Sugar Cane. It's so soft and has wonderful drape. Perfect for dress knitting. I've put 4 snaps in the back opening and edged the neck, sleeves, and hem with 1x1 rib.

I have embellished the neckline and sleeves with some tiny white seed beads.

I'm very happy with it, though I think I probably should have stopped the hem a half inch earlier than I did.


Modeled by Ellie

Little Grey Slacks

Pattern: Still in development by me.

Yarn: Queensland Collection Sugar Rush in Grey
Content: 100% Sugar Cane, sport weight

Needles: Addi Turbo Circular size 0 and 2

Cast on: May 9, 2013
Completed: May 16, 2013

Comments: I wasn't so sure these would fit right because they looked so big before I sewed the seams. Turns out it fits perfect. I did forget to put in a fly at first. Sewed the front center seam all the way up to the waist, then realized that wasn't going to work. I picked up some sts along the front edge and did a few rows of garter stitch. It's not perfect, but it works. Next pair the fly will be knit in as I go. There's one snap.

The waist is done in 1x1 rib and I did 3 rows of garter stitch for the hem.

The little pink tunic Ellie is wearing was knit by my daughter Ruth. It's done in lace weight alpaca. The slacks go perfect with it.

So, now you know what I've been knitting.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Fire and Blood

It's been more than a week since my last post! How did that happen? Been busy busy busy. I'm posting a FO today.

2x2 Ribbed Fingerless Mitts

Pattern: Fingerless Mitts by Amanda Gill.

Yarn: Mixed Fiber Novelty by Gala
Content: Acrylic/nylon/polyester mix, worsted weight
Color: Gold/Red/Brown

Needles: Addi Turbo Circular size 6

Cast on: May 2, 2013
Completed: May 22, 2013

Comments: I altered the pattern some. Did my own thing for the thumb gusset. This is one of the yarns I found at BigLots!.The yarn is difficult to work with because the red/brown is a strand of boucle' that likes to get caught on the needle tips, but other than that, I like it very much. It's soft and warm, and machine washable. Can't argue with that.

I made them for Knitwits.

The past week has been very stressful. It's hard to take care of my father from such a long distance. Over the weekend I did some gardening, helped work on the hot tub, and knitted. On Saturday we went and saw the new Star Trek Into Darkness movie. I love it. It's one of the best movies I've ever seen. Lots of fun, action, explosions, humor, and entertainment. I really like the way J.J. Abrams makes movies. I want to go see it again. I will be owning the DVD.

I haven't slept much in the last few days or so. I have been trying very hard not to let the difficult personal stuff going on in my life bother me, but I'm failing miserably. The stress has taken it's toll. Besides being unable to sleep, on Tuesday my bladder started bleeding. I didn't really understand that's what was happening though. I thought all that red in my urine was dye from all the Fruit Punch Mio I'd drank the day before. Not one of my brightest moments.

Early Wednesday morning (about 3am) I asked my husband to take me to the hospital emergency. I was in a great deal of pain, bleeding, and unable to pee even though my bladder was very very full. As it turned out, the blood in my bladder had clotted and was blocking up the plumbing. While at the hospital, I managed to push it out. Very painful at first, but oh! When the dam broke it felt sooooooo good! They took some blood and urine for tests. They found nothing wrong. No reason for it other than stress. No infections or anything else could be found. I have been taking Coumadin for a few years because of a blood clotting disorder. The doctor said bleeding in the bladder can happen for that reason, combined with the stress. I was sent home with instructions to rest and follow up with my personal doctor in a few days. So that's what I've been doing. Resting. I even managed to get some sleep last night. The bleeding stopped after I got home. I still feel so tired though. It'll be a couple more days before I'm back to normal.

As I said, I've been knitting. I've finished the red doll dress and the knitting on the silver shrug. I need to sew up the sleeve seams and it'll be done too. All of my little knit projects are done. I guess I'll have to start casting on some more. Can't decide what to start with. So many choices! Maybe I'll start with another pair of fingerless mitts with the second color of the above yarn. I have some in a pretty silver gray with a gold/brown boucle' strand in it.

Stuff has started sprouting in the garden. I mean-stuff I've planted. Not just weeds. We have baby Sunflowers, Beets, Sweet Peas, Carrots, and Turnips. The Dahlias and Lilys I planted in the pots on the deck are sprouting too. We got a nasty frost last night, but everything seems to be doing fine despite it. The air is thick with pine pollen right now. It's that time of year. I've had to use the inhaler more than usual as a result. Yesterday it rained pretty much all day, which beat it all to the ground so the air is much cleaner today.

I'm planning for my next post to be about the two doll dresses and the pair of slacks I've finished. Hoping that works out for me.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Service Berries

Last I left you, I was about to tackle defrosting the freezer. Well, I did it. I'm so proud of myself. Daughter Ruth helped.

First we turned the freezer off and emptied the contents into the camping coolers. Then I set up the big box fan across the room from it (it's a tiny room. It sat on top the washing machine). I left the freezer door open with the fan blowing in it. This melts the ice faster than if I didn't use a fan.

One of the things I hate the most about defrosting it is that I have to empty a cake pan of water every 10 minutes. There's a little drain in the bottom of the freezer that leads to a little hose that comes out the bottom. It is very low to the ground so the tallest pan I can use and have it still work is a cake pan, which fills about every 10 minutes. It's a messy and boring process. However, this year my brain must have been on fire or something cuz I came up with a fantastic idea that removed the pan emptying step out of the process.

You can see the little gray hose in the picture. The hammer is anchoring it down. I made a chute out of aluminum foil and some wood pieces, set it up at an angle out the front door, and just let everything drain outside. I don't know why I didn't think of that before. It made the whole job a piece of cake. Took about 3 hours. While this was going on I knitted, puttered in the yard, cleaned house, and had fun. After it was done draining, I wiped it down with some warm water and a sponge, dried it with paper towels, turned it back on, and put everything back in. Job done.

Saturday was the hottest day of the year thus far. It got up to 88F degrees! In May! In the FIRST HALF of May! I did some knitting out on the deck in the morning. Then we headed into Coeur d'Alene to visit Home Depot to purchase supplies needed to install the hot tub. Spent all day there, pretty much. Spent a couple hours roaming around looking for what we needed. Then we went to Zip's for a quick lunch. While at Zip's Sweet Hubby remembered a couple more items he'd forgotten. So we went back to Home Depot for an hour. Finally, we headed for home.

When we got home Sweet Hubby discovered he'd bought the wrong sizes for two of the required supplies. So back to Home Depot I went. No one human would go with me though. So I took Cable. She enjoyed the ride immensely.

When I got home again I declared no more trips for me to Home Depot for the rest of the weekend! I was exhausted! By the way, I should mention, the air conditioners were not working at Home Depot. It's only the first part of May.

Sunday was Mothers Day and it was a good one. The weather was a bit cooler, and cloudy all day. My daughter Sarah and her husband sent me a lovely basket full of Jonquil bulbs. They've sprouted right away and are growing like crazy. I'm looking forward to them blooming. I spent the day knitting and working on planting the garden.

Sweet Hubby worked on getting the electrical set up for the hot tub installation. He had to go to Home Depot again. I refused to go. It was Mothers Day. I don't have to go to hardware stores on Mothers Day.

We went out for dinner to La Cabana, a Mexican restaurant in Rathdrum. I was in the mood for enchiladas. Dan and Sue went with us and we had a good visit.

One of the wild flowers that grows around here is Serviceberries. They have a dark purple berry that is actually pretty tasty, but by the time I get around to thinking about picking some, the birds have eaten them all. They are in full bloom right now. So beautiful. Here is the biggest one growing in our yard.

It stands about 14 feet tall. It's extra beautiful this year. Here are some close ups of the flowers. The sprinklers were on when I took this pic.

Oddly, they smell horrible. Not unlike the inside of a garbage can. So I don't bring cuttings of them into the house.

The petals are such a pure white.

A smaller bush by the deck has this on it.

There's a star in the center.

Monday was cold, gray, and wet. It rained pretty much all day, which is fine because we needed a bit of rain. Today I have Rathdrum Knitalong, and some errands to run. The day should be drier and just a bit warmer. The fridge is in need of restocking, and I need to go get a State Park sticker for the pick-up truck so we aren't charged extra when we go on this summer's camping trips. The sticker will give us free entrance to the parks too.

The new Star Trek opens this coming weekend. Hurray! I can hardly wait!

Live long and prosper. \\//


A Hat

I knit a hat for my dolls.

Fur Hat

Pattern: Still in development by me.

Yarn: Aldemir Yumos
Content: 100% Polyester, bulky weight

Needles: Addi Turbo Circular size 3

Cast on: May 5, 2013
Completed: May 5, 2013

Comments: It's a prototype and I'm making some changes before I make the next one. I knit this with way too small needles (size 3!). I could use much larger ones and get the same look with less yarn.

Still, it's a cute hat. There are brown metallic strands that glitter in the light mixed in with the gray and black.

I think Debbie likes it.

I've also been working on a little red dress

and a pair of gray slacks. Blocking and sewing are in my near future.

I've made a pair of pink slippers too, though I need to put the pompoms on them.

I have been knitting a lot this week, sitting out on the deck with a cold sweet ice tea and my phone playing Pandora, watching the hummingbirds visiting the feeder between rows. Yesterday I got this crazy idea of creating a channel based on Star Trek movie sound tracks. Best idea evar! I knit a lot faster when I'm knitting to Star Trek.

The weather this week has been so fabulous! I've enjoyed every minute that I can. The seeds we planted in the garden are sprouting. I plan to plant the rest tomorrow. Mothers Day weekend is THE garden starting time around these parts.

Rumor has it it will cool off over the next couple days, so I'm taking advantage of this one last hot day and defrosting the freezer. It's a task that is long overdue. I don't have one that automatically defrosts itself. I have to do it myself-a chore that is a monumental pain in the arse and I hate very much. It's 20 years old, but still working wonderfully well, so I can't justify replacing it. Still...

If anybody out there is listening-I want a self-defrosting freezer for Mothers Day.

Well, I better get busy on that much hated chore.

Live long and prosper. \\//


A Major Goal Accomplished

Yesterday was a great day! Yesterday was a fantastic day! Yesterday is the day I FedEx'd the final payment on our house! WOO HOO!

It's ours at last!

It's a small house. Not a fancy house. But it's OUR house. How sweet is that?! (By the way, Sweet Hubby mowed the lawn on Saturday. Looks like the Dandelions don't care. That is okay. I have a new gardening tool on order that will fix them!) We will be having a party soon to celebrate. WOO HOO!

A friend of mine gave us a hot tub too. She GAVE us a hot tub! Thank you Dorothy!

Sweet Hubby and his brother brought it home after work yesterday. Now we need to install it. Wow! We have our own hot tub! I can hardly wait until it's all hooked up and ready to get in.

Yesterday is also the day the flowering plum out front burst into bloom. It was 84F degrees and I guess it accelerated things a bit. No open flowers on Monday. All open flowers on Tuesday.

This is the prettiest it's been ever.

Such a lovely shade of pale pink. And it smells so good!

Life is good!

Live long and prosper. \\//


Christmas Pen

I've been wanting to learn how to bead a pen for quite some time. They'd make awesome gifts. So when an internet beading friend asked for help to test a pattern for her, I had no problem saying "yes!" This is what I beaded over the weekend.

It's a pen with a Christmas tree. Isn't it pretty?

Done in Peyote stitch with Delicas.

I had a ball doing it. Should you be interested in this pattern, visit Carolyn's web store. The tree is not available just yet, but she has lots of other patterns you can try out while you're waiting for this one.

Live long and prosper. \\//


A Wonderful Weekend

It's been a wonderful weekend. The sun has been shining, the skies are blue, and it's been in the 70F's degrees, Pure heaven! I've puttered in the yard and spent time in the sun on my deck beading and knitting. I even got 3 loads of laundry done.

Here's one of the things I worked on.

It will be a pair of fingerless mitts when it's done. I got this yarn at BigLots! last Thursday. I popped in to see if there was anything Knitwits could use. They were having a sale! The $1 skeins were 80 cents each. I found the worsted weight novelty yarn above-which is a gold yellow with a boucle strand in shades of red, and a grey w/browns similar to the one above, and bought all I could find of both-which turned out to be 40 skeins. What a deal! Can't wait until next months meeting!

On Friday I got an email from Paradise Fibers. They were having their first ever tent sale. I had domestic plans for Friday (can you say laundry and house cleaning?) but I dropped them all, called my friend Sandy, and we went into Spokane for the sale. I found some things I couldn't live without. So did Sandy, and my daughter Ruth. Specifically, I found 3 gorgeous balls of pure Cashmere yarn (brown and black) for 40% off that I'm going to use to make myself a pair of fingerless mitts.

It is soooooo soft to the touch.

 I got 3 skeins of fancy sparkly novelty yarns called Ritratto for making doll clothes-not on sale.

 I glommed on to a skein of Madeline Tosh sock yarn in shades of browns, blues, and black that just screamed "Make me into a pair of socks for Frank!"

It wasn't on sale either.

After that we went to A Grand Yarn. I'd never been in it before. It opened when I was still running my shop and just never got over there. It's a very nice little shop. They had some clearance yarns that will be perfect for knitting doll clothes. It's called Sugar Rush and is made from sugar cane fiber. It's so soft and silky. Should make beautiful dresses and slacks.

What's more, I got it for $2 a skein (reg. $8). I picked up a few skeins of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Baby too that were on sale.

Yesterday we went and saw the new Ironman 3 movie-in good ol' fashioned 2-D. It was awesome! I go to movies to be entertained and this one is very entertaining. I love movies that just suck me in and I completely forget I'm in a movie theater. This one did that for me.

We went to Applebee's for dinner afterwards. I had their Sirloin steak. They have such good steak there. It came with garlic mashed potatoes (yum!) and broccoli. I had a Peach Sangria too that was so delicious! It was a very tasty meal.

This evening I found a dead gopher laying next to my car. One of the kittens has finally made his first kill. I suspect it was Merino because he hasn't come in all day. He's been stalking the weeds all around the garden. After that first rodent sacrifice to the knitting gods, they get addicted and have to do more! Should be some awesome knitting this week, thanks to him. Heh heh.

Live long and prosper. \\//