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


Ten Interesting Facts About This Blog

1. I started it for myself to keep track of my knitting, beading, and things important to me. I never expected people to actually read it, let alone want to. It has gone in different directions at times, but the basic focus is still there. I also started it to help myself come out of the depression I was in after having to close my needle craft shop in January 2006. Making myself do something challenging usually does that for me. It definitely did in this case.

2. I knew 0, Nada, Nothing about blogging or html programming when I started it.

2. I started it several months before the "official" start date, but I hated it so much I deleted the whole thing. Then I thought about it for awhile. What did I really want my blog to be about? I restarted it March 1, 2007.

3. As of today, I have written 1158 posts.

4. Since I added the visit counter, as of the time I'm writing this, I've had 165,323 visits. Wow! I average about 100 visits a day.

5. I've had 287,767 page views. Double Wow!

6. My most popular post  is You Can Block Acrylic. As of this moment, I've had 86,930 visits to that page.

7. The two top drivers to my blog are Google (people searching for information on how to block acrylic) and Ravelry.

8. 52% of my blog visitors live in the United States. The rest live all over the world. People from almost every country that has internet have visited my blog. Even countries I'd not heard of before. That's why I put the translator in the side bar.

9.  This blog is actually monetized, in a very minimal and not visible way. I earn about $30 a year in gift cards from Amazon with this blog. Thank you to those who have clicked on the links and bought something I linked to.

10. I'm not tired of blogging yet. Journaling is part of my genetics. My mother did it, only she had to use paper and pen. I had a diary when I was a kid. I wrote a journal when I was a teenager. It's just something I do. I like to go back and read my old posts. It's fun. It brings back good memories.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Woo Hoo!

I knit the last stitch of the body on the Chocolate Cephalopod. Woo Hoo!

Click on pic to embiggen,
It's 2 inches narrower than expected. It was measuring out to 42 inches when on the needles, but now it's only 40 inches. Insert panic attack here. I'm told it should fit the receiver fine though, which is a huge relief cuz I ain't reknitting this baby. My swatch SO LIED to me!!! That doesn't happen to me very often, but when it does, it really pisses me off.

I was mentally exhausted after I knit that last stitch last night, so I took the rest of the night off from knitting. The instructions say to bind off the neck stitches, and bind off the shoulder stitches. I didn't want to do that because I want to do a 3-needle bind off to put the shoulders together. It makes such a nice seam when done that way. Nice and firm, but with a little give, and a nice non-bulky allowance. It's my preferred method of putting shoulders together.

I also wanted the neck stitches open so I can just slip them on the needle, rather than picking up stitches, for the neckband. I'll need to pick up a few along the sides, but that's fine. So, anyway, figuring out how to do that took some brain energy. That, and doing fairisle knitting in purl. After the first neck band stitches are put on hold, it's knitting back and forth instead of in the round for the rest of the piece. I'm relearning skills I haven't used in 25 or 30 years! But I am having fun doing it.

On Friday I finished the first of another pair of slippers for Knit Wits.

It's what I worked on during the last session of my beaded knit bag class. I took it to class so I could show the students how to sew a vertical garter stitch seam on something large enough for the students to easily see. It's hard to get the technique across when working with size 8 perle cotton and 0000 size needles and everyone is squinting trying to see what I'm doing, including myself. I couldn't find the swatches I usually use for this. (Does anyone know where I put my teaching swatches for the finishing class?) I had a flash of an idea when I remembered I'd finished knitting the slipper but it still needed to be sewn together. So I took it instead. My idea worked. The one student who showed up got the technique quickly. (The other student who didn't come? Your loss.)

There's colored glitter in the dark grey fur.

On Saturday we went and saw the new Thor: The Dark World movie.

I really enjoyed it. I think it's better than the first one. Very entertaining. Wholly implausible plot that stretches the imagination to the breaking point, lots of action, a bit of comedy, fantastic costumes, great special effects, and lots of man eye candy. (Thor and Loki are very easy to look at, if you know what I mean?) What's not to love?

More news. I've bought another doll. This is Essential Prudence Wigged Out.

She was released in the spring of 2008. She's Ellowyne's friend. She came with 3 wigs and the outfit you see here. I love her, but I was a little disappointed she doesn't have glass eyes. For some reason I thought she would. Probably got my Prudences mixed up. Anyway, I'm glad she's joined my little doll family.

I also opened my web store, Wool in the Wilde. I currently have two hand knit dresses available.

I hope someone buys them cuz I need to earn back what I've paid for dolls.

It has been frigidly cold for the past few days. We've had two nights that got below 10F degrees. The days have been in the 30's, barely over freezing. No snow though. It's definitely sweater wearing weather. I've actually been feeling cold. I'm wrapping myself up in sweaters and blankets, and cats. Cats make good lap heaters. I think my hot flash days are finally coming to an end. (It's about time!) The cold is bothering me a lot more this year than it has in the past.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Octopi in the House

What a weekend. Saturday morning I woke up to 6 inches of new snow. Also, no running water. The power was out at the well house. It took most of the day for it to be fixed. So I didn't do the laundry, like I was planning, or anything else having to do with running water. Instead, I knitted, and knitted, and knitted. That's what I did the whole weekend, actually. I've been working on Chocolate Cephalopod as much as I can. I finished the Octopus chart. Hurray!

This is what the sweater looks like at the moment.

It was a challenging chart to knit. I made lots of mistakes, most of which I tinked back to and fixed. But there was one that I left in. No one is gonna notice it, so I decided not to bother. I love the bubbles, which is one of the modifications I added to the chart I used.

Now, on to chart 4!

One other thing I did was got our Wool in the Wilde site up. (I had to take breaks from the knitting.) I have two of the Ellowyne knit dresses I made up for sale. Hopefully, someone will buy them. I don't know. I might have to start on Ebay with this stuff. I guess we'll find out.

Live long and prosper. \\//


WIP Wednesday 11/13/2013

The current Christmas knitting projects as of this moment.

Chocolate Cephalopod is moving along nicely.

I'm 1/4th the way through the octopus chart. It's going very smoothly, too, now that I got everything figured out. You can see the arms starting to take shape at the top. The Syfy channel had a Star Trek movie marathon yesterday. I appreciated that very much while I knitted on this baby.

The beaded cowl is also moving along nicely. I am currently using it for my public knitting.

I was having problems starting each row of the lace pattern in the right place, but yesterday I added the yarn marker and that has eliminated the problem. I have to move the marker over 2 stitches every other row, but that's better than tinking back to fix something all screwed up every few rows. I'm just over halfway done with it.

I'm fairly confident I'll have the cowl done in time, but not feeling that way about Chocolate Cephalopod. I've got so much to do on it yet, and the clock just keeps ticking.

My mouse kind of croaked a few days ago. It refuses to scroll up, and the rubber broke off the scrolling wheel. I've just plain worn it out. It's a fairly old mouse given to me by sweet hubby after my last purple mouse broke due to doggy abuse. Anyway, I ordered a new one.

I got a Logitech M325 wireless mouse designed specially for web browsing. It arrived yesterday and I LOVE it! Fits my hand perfectly, and works very well. I hope it lasts longer than my previous purple mouses did. If I keep it away from the dog, it should last a long time.

It's so cold today. Grey and cold. I won't be surprised if I get up in the morning to snow, though I don't know what the weather forecaster says is coming. I think I'm gonna sit in the hot tub for a bit and warm myself up.

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

Live long and prosper. \\//


Adding to the Chocolate

I've been busy the last few days. On Friday I taught the first session of a beaded knit amulet bag class. In this class, instead of using my pattern, we're using the book Bead Knitted Pendant Bags by Teresa Williams. I was told 3 students signed up, but there were only 2. It went fairly well. We worked on stringing their beads onto their thread. We'll start knitting at the next session.

On Saturday I worked very hard going through yet another set of boxes that are some of what I brought home from the closing of my shop and have been residing in the sun room. I eliminated several things, put other things away, and cleared out the whole space they were in. Then I moved all the boxes for Knit Wits stuff from the dining room into the newly cleared out space. I am so happy to have finished that task. I've been thinking about it for weeks. We had company coming for dinner Saturday evening, so I decided to tackle it and get the job done before they came so we could actually have dinner at the dining table. It's so nice to have my dining room back! Woo hoo!

We had our friends Don and Phyllis over for dinner. I made roast leg of lamb, roasted red potatoes with rosemary, steamed green beans, and strawberry spinach salad. Oh my goodness, was it good! I outdid myself on the cooking this time. Don and Phyllis enjoyed it immensely, which makes me pleased as punch. After dinner, we played cards until late in the evening, stopping at one point to take a break and eat some of the apple pie I'd baked. All in all, we had a blast.

Sunday I recovered from Saturday. I woke up so stiff and sore from hauling all those boxes around the day before. Urg. I spent some time in the hot tub with my morning coffee and a good book. It helped. Later Ruth and I went to a meeting of the Inland Northwest Freethought Society. It's the 2nd time we've attended. We had a very good time too. I did a little bit of knitting during the meeting, working on a pair of slippers for Knit Wits.

Today I devoted the whole thing to working on the Octopus sweater, which I'm now calling 'Chocolate Cephalopod' because the brown makes me think of milk chocolate. I played Star Trek DVD's while knitting. (Got through one movie and 5 episodes of the third season of Voyager) I finished the second chart and started the Octopus chart. HURRAY! Here's where I am at the moment.

Isn't it gorgeous? I am so pleased.

I had a difficult time getting the octopus chart started. I had a math mistake that took quite a bit of time for me to discover. There's supposed to be 126 stitches across each side (front and back), plus 5 steek stitches between. I had my chart set up for 122. I don't know how, but I managed to add 90 + 32 and got 126. Once I got that mistake figured out, I got the first 2 rows done, but they still weren't coming out right. I then discovered I made an error in counting when I put in the steek stitches, so one side was 125 stitches and the other was 127. I am NOT taking it out and redoing it. I decreased a couple sts on the 127 side and I'm just gonna go with 125 each side. Two stitches are not going to make enough difference to worry about. I've gotta get this sweater done. Hopefully, it will go a lot smoother now that I've got the thing going. Here's to keeping my fingers crossed-figuratively speaking, that is. (It's hard to knit with crossed fingers.)

Live long and prosper. \\//


Embellish Me Too

I taught the second part of the beaded knitting class on Saturday. It went very well. We stopped for lunch, and then I taught them how to make the beaded strap. I don't usually do that because it's a knitting class, not a beading class. But they all brought the materials to do it and were so enthusiastic. All in all, the class was very fun to teach. Having enthusiastic students sure makes a difference.  The students finished their little bags. All of them turned out great. I finished mine too, and here it is.

Embellish Me Too

Pattern: Embellish Me by me.
Size: 2 inches by 2 inches

Yarn: DMC Perle Cotton, size 8.
Content: 100% Cotton
Color: Pale lavender

Beads: Czech size 11 seed beads in Purple Iris

Needles: Size 0000.

Cast on: October 25, 2013
Completed: November 2, 2013

I embellished it with a strand of beads on the front containing a 4mm bronze Czech firepolished crystal, 8mm purple rondelle crystal, 4mm golden shadow Swarovski crystal, and 10mm lavender round crystal. Then I added 3 little loops of size 11 seed beads at the top of the strand.

I incorporated the same beads used in the embellishment for the 24 inch strap.

I've been scheduled to teach the class again in December. I hope it fills up and did as well as the one just finished.

On Sunday I was a complete and total recliner potato. I watched movies with Sweet Hubby all day, played on my computer (I've discovered the game called Candy Crush), and did some knitting. I actually got the Octopus sweater out and worked on it. This is where I am on it now.

If you'll remember, one of the cats had damaged it, so I had to frog back to that spot and do it over. I got rather frustrated with it, so I put it in hibernation. However, it's supposed to be a Christmas present, and Christmas is coming fast. I need to get it done. I spent about 3.5 frustrating hours on it frogging and rewinding balls and getting it into a point where I can work on it. I've got it figured out now, and it should proceed forward, rather than back.

It has been bitterly cold around here. It's been dipping in the 20F's at night, and not getting over 50F during the day. Sunday morning we even got a bit of snow. Today it started sunny and cold, but as the day progressed, clouds moved in. It's supposed to snow tomorrow. Joy joy.

Live long and prosper. \\//