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


WIP Wednesday 7/30/2014

As promised, a knitting post. In fact, it is even a WIP Wednesday post.

This is what I knitted while on our trips. Most of it was done while camping on Priest Lake.


I still need to block the four little tops and hat on the left, and sew the snaps in. I'll probably be finished with the knitting of the two started on the right by tonight. I've got the two patterns memorized now.

I am getting tired of knitting doll sweaters. I've never been one of those people who could do production knitting. I'm a "knit it once then move on" kinda girl. That's why I started writing knitting patterns.

Years ago (late 80's) I got into production knitting. I knitted for a designer in the San Francisco bay area who sold her knitwear in an exclusive boutique in San Francisco. Her designs were so beautiful, and I learned a lot from her.

 I also knit things to sell at craft fairs. Mostly toys and baby clothes. After about the 15th teddy bear I realized I was not a production knitter type. I hated it. I decided rather than sell the toys I was knitting, I'd rather write the pattern and let people knit their own. Precious Knits was born. I never made any money doing the pattern thing though. I can't think of one pattern I managed to sell enough of to pay for the cost of printing them.  (We didn't have pdf patterns then.) Selling knitting patterns is a lot of work, and I didn't have Ravelry to help me out. I did get some of my patterns published in magazines, which was exciting. I had knitting fans (still do, actually) but not enough to make a profit. I gave it up when we bought my yarn shop. Didn't have time for pattern publishing anymore.

Anyway, back to the subject, I needed a break from the doll sweaters, so I started a pair of socks. When we were in Rhode Island last spring I had my son-in-law pick out some yarn for new socks. He chose some gorgeous Ella Rae Lace Merino Worsted.

I thought it was fingering weight. I didn't notice it was worsted weight until a couple days ago when  I wound the skeins into balls. Oops! I'm making a pair of boot socks with it. It's knitting up fast and the yarn feels heavenly. I did all of that above while at the Tuesday Rathdrum Knitalong meeting. It feels good to knit something larger.

I still need to finish the mukluks. I've made no progress since the last time I wrote about them. Been too focused on knitting doll clothes.

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

Live long and prosper. \\//


Our Trip

Our camping trip was wonderful. The weather was perfect, though a bit hot. That just made the lake that much more enjoyable. We chilled the whole time there. Didn't feel like going on big hikes, or drives through the mountains, or long kayak rides. I just hung around camp, floated in the lake, knitted, took Cable on walks, and relaxed. Cable was absolutely wonderful the whole time too.

Our trailer was not so cooperative. Before we even left home one of the tires went flat. So hubby got a new one. He got 2 new ones, so we'd have a decent spare. When we left, we discovered the trailer brakes weren't working. The drive to the campground isn't a hard one, though, so we went ahead and drove without them. After we arrived at the campground, we were greatly anticipating a shower. Our trailer has a tiny bathroom in it, and we filled up our water tank at a dump station on the way up. The water heater refused to work. ARRGH! I did not want a cold shower. I went and threw myself in the lake. I washed my hair under the water faucet across the road from our camp site. It was icy cold. My brain actually started to hurt it was so cold, but the clean hair was worth the pain.

A couple days after arriving at the campground my brother-in-law offered to help sweet hubby figure out what was wrong with everything broken in the trailer. Turned out to be easy fixes. The contacts on the brake connectors were corroded, so weren't getting good contact. After some cleaning, they worked fine. The hot water heater has a little circuit breaker switch thingy on it that had tripped. They reset it and it started working just fine. So we did eventually get a nice hot shower. It was delightful!

On Thursday we headed home to pic up our daughter and head to Newport, OR. We took two days to get there because it's a long drive. We spent the first night at the Deschutes River State Park. The drive down the Columbia River Gorge was grueling because the wind was blowing very hard and we were headed IN to it. The trailer bucked and waved the whole way. When we got to the park, we were glad to stop for the night. We had hook ups in the park. Yay! Real electricity in the trailer. That night we went to bed tired, but happy. The next morning we woke up to wet floors. A pipe in the bathroom had sprung a leak. At this point, sweet hubby sat down, put his head in his hands, and said "I hate this trailer." (Yeah. I admit, it's lacking in quality. But I still love it.) We mopped up the water, packed up and headed to Newport.

When we got to Philomath, OR (yes, that's the real name of that town) sweet hubby got hungry and pulled into a McDonalds. While trying to park the trailer in the terribly too small parking lot, he managed to side swipe a truck that was innocently parked in a space minding it's own business. I took pics in case the insurance company might need them.

The truck we hit had paint scraped on (white) and off (orange), and the frame around the head light got a bit broken off it. Our trailer got the worst end of it. The back bumper was bent, and there's a nice long scrape across the side along with a bright orange stripe. Some plastic things got scraped off, a door hinge bent, but really, the damage was minimal. Paint will be the main cost of repairs.

Insurance info was exchanged, phone calls were made, hubby bent the bumper back to it's proper position, and then we were on our way.

Our stay in Newport was good. We parked in an RV park located in the port of Newport. We had full hookups. Sweet hubby fixed the leaky pipe. But the park had nice showers, so we used them instead.

Mac and Alicia's wedding was awesome. It was held in a park near Newport. The weather was perfect for it and everything went beautifully. I adore his new wife and her children too.

Besides the wedding, while in Newport we visited the Oregon Coast Aquarium, and ate in some very tasty restaurants. I ate my first crab. I'd never eaten crab before. It was against the religion I grew up in. I've been missing out. It was very very good. We got to see lots of family we hadn't seen in awhile. Our daughter Sarah and son-in-law were there too, so we got to spend a little bit of time with them.

Phone selfie

It was a hectic 4 days. Through it all, Cable was an absolute angel. The reason we camped in Newport instead of getting a hotel room was because of Cable. I didn't want to kennel her. We needed to leave her alone and since hotels won't let you do that with pets, the trailer went with us. Cable was so well behaved I kept wondering who was this dog and where was Cable? It was one of those occasions where I felt so inadequate with our ability to communicate with each other. I wanted to tell her how so very proud of her I am, but she doesn't understand English. We did get an opportunity to take her to the beach and let her off her leash for awhile. She loved it! She ran and ran and ran and played in the waves and chased seagulls. She was so full of joy!

We drove home in one long 13 hour trip. The drive went much better. No wrecks, but we did have a flat tire. We were glad for the brand new spare. It took us just a few minutes to change the tire and then we were on our way. We were glad to be home. Then, to turn on the kitchen faucet and have water come out? That was awesome!

You may be wondering why so few pics. I didn't take many. I was a total failure as a photographer this time. I had the camera with me. Just didn't feel like using it. I was more into feeling the trip rather than photographing it this time. If it weren't for my phone, there probably wouldn't have been any photos at all.

Next post will be about the knitting I did while away.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Yes, I'm Back

We got home from our trips a week ago. I've been really busy since then. Today, though, I can take a break and do some blogging.

The well is fixed. The parts arrived while we were in Newport, OR attending my nephew Macs wedding. Nephew Shawn, niece Holly, and a couple friends installed the new pump before we got home. It was so wonderful to return home to running water. I appreciate so much that they didn't wait until we got home to fix it.

We installed a larger pump. The old one was 5hp. The new one is 15hp. With 5 houses on one 5hp, we had to stagger our lawn watering schedules so everyone would have water pressure. On occasion, we would accidentally all be using large quantities of water all at once, and someone would then try to take a shower and get nothing but dribbles. With the new pump, we won't have to worry about that any more. There is more than enough water pressure for everyone.

We still need to install new pressure tanks. Last weekend the guys worked on the well house getting it ready for those tanks. They are improving the well house nicely. They plugged up holes in the outside walls so bugs and  rodents can't get in, put in new insulation, then covered it with plywood walls. They put in a new baseboard heater for keeping things from freezing during the winter. A concrete floor will be added, as well as protection from lightening. Then the new pressure tanks. We shouldn't have any problems with it for the next 20 years.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Going Offline For A Bit

I had plans to take my camera outside and take some pictures today. Clover is growing thick in our lawn this year. Our lawn needs mowing, so the clover is blooming. It looks gorgeous at certain angles. Then I was going to work on packing our trailer for a camping trip we are planning to start tomorrow. However, my day didn't go as planned, so not only do I not have clover pics, but I have no pics at all. And no packing got done.

Life is never dull at the Parkarosa.

Last night, around 11pm, our water well croaked. The pump quit working, permanently. I'm blaming it on Sue. She's the one who was trying to do her laundry. (I love you Sue!) Actually, the pump is more than 20 years old and it's died a natural death of old age. It's something we all hoped wouldn't happen before we could actually plan to replace the pump on our own terms. Didn't happen that way.

Needless to say, there was some panic. We are having the hottest temps of the year right now. Not having water is a bad thing. It's going to take time to get our well back into working order, and it's gonna cost a LOT of money. My in-laws and husband kicked into action very quickly. I'm quite impressed.

So, I spent the day running errands, including buying a whole lotta bottled water. I have potted plants all over my deck that need water, or they're gonna die. Did I mention it's HOT? Upper 90's today. It's supposed to get up to 100F degrees tomorrow. Also, daughter Ruth is not going on the camping trip. We needed to set things up so she'll be comfortable without running water. We're using the hot tub water and a bucket to flush the toilet. Paper plates and disposable utensils will be used for food consumption. She's planning on using the employee restroom where she works for cleaning up. If she needs a shower, friends have offered their facilities.

Tomorrow morning, very early, Mike (a member of the family who worked in the well business until he retired) will be bringing in a crew to pull the pump out. It's at the end of over 350 feet of pipe down there in the ground. Today sweet hubby and his brother got the area around the well house ready for the job. Small trees were taken down, the brush was mowed to make room for the trucks and all that pipe being pulled up, and they removed the roof over the pump. We're ready.

After the pump is pulled up, a list of parts and things we need to order will be made. Then most of the Park clan is going camping. We figured since we've gotta live like we're camping anyway, we might as well go ahead with our planned trip. The park has actual running water and toilet facilities. Home does not. I will do that trailer packing while the guys pull the pump.

On Monday morning Mike will order the parts. With any luck, they will come by Wednesday, at which time he'll call us. We'll pack up and come home to get things installed. If that goes well, we'll have water by Thursday.

Now, on Thursday, we are scheduled to drive over to Newport, Oregon for a wedding (We're camping on this trip too). One of my nephews is getting married the following weekend. (Originally, we were leaving the campground on Thursday morning, coming home for a quick shower and exchange of dirty clothes for clean, then heading on our way to Newport.) Hopefully, the plan we have now will work out and we can get out of here on time for that wedding.

I'm so glad I didn't grow a veggie garden this year.

If the well was gonna croak, it actually picked a good time to do it. Everyone was taking the week off from work anyway for the camping trip. We're making improvements while we're at it. I mean, since it will be taken all apart anyway, might as well upgrade it. When it's all fixed, our well will not only be better than it was originally, but it will be good for another 20 years.

Keep yer fingers crossed. I'll let you know how it all went when I get home in a week.

Live long and prosper. \\//


How Could I Forget?

It has just dawned on me that I never posted on here that my Sweet Niggles sock pattern has been published. I did so the last week of June. Oops!

It's in PDF format. You can find it on my pattern page here:  Sweet Niggles

Live long and prosper. \\//


I'm Busy

The title says it all. It's summer time. Lots is going on in my life.

I've been knitting quite a bit, but most of it is doll stuff. I did these just this past week.

I've almost got the patterns memorized. That will be nice. I need to sew up some seams and weave in some ends, of course. I've also perfected the fit to exactly what I want. I've upped the needle size to 3's, double stranded the lace weight mohair, and adjusted the pattern accordingly. I am very pleased with the results

I received a large order of embroidered lace tulle trim for making skirts. These are just a few of them.

I ordered 15 different ones, but they sent me 3 extra free, which I thought was kind of cool, so I have 18. I spent quite a bit of time cutting them into skirt appropriate pieces. Now I'm waiting for the lining fabric to arrive that I ordered. Should be here in the next day or two. I've also been teaching myself about sewing doll clothes, and working with certain fabrics. There are lots of tips on the internet that have been extremely helpful.

One tip is use Freezer paper for cutting out small pieces. That is the coolest tip I've had so far this year. I did not know it could be used in this way. I tried it out yesterday and it works pretty well.

I did work on a knitting project that ended up frogged. I started the gloves that go with the fairisle hat I made for a shop model. If I thought the hat pattern was a mess, it was nothing compared to the glove pattern! I've never seen so many typos and math errors in one pattern. I don't think it was ever test knit. It was, quite frankly, unknittable as written. I wrestled to the top of the thumb gusset and stopped there. There was no point in going on with it. I would have to completely rewrite the thing to make it work. Since this pattern is in a kit the shop wanted to sell, I advised them to skip that idea. If they sold the kit, they'd have to add my rewrite, which is then just knitting a pattern I wrote. Not the original. Besides, who wants to support such a badly written pattern financially anyway. I frogged the glove and gave the materials and pattern back to the shop owner. She won't be carrying that kit.

I am amazed at how prolific errors are in published patterns now. Especially the ones from publishing companies. We, as knitters, shouldn't put up with this kind of thing. We pay for these patterns, they should be error free.

I have done very little beading this year. What time I can spend on crafting, I've been spending on doll clothes. So this last weekend I made myself sit down and bead. I worked on a project I started quite some time ago that got stalled due to frustration on my part.

I've figured out what I'm gonna do now and the project is back in progress. It is going to look much different than what I started doing. Sometimes the beads want to be something else from what's in my head. I hope to get it done in time for entering it in the fair.

Had a very nice 4th of July. We went up to my sister-in-laws cabin on upper Twin Lakes for a family barbecue. It was too chilly for swimming, but there was lots of good food and drink and it was nice to catch up on what everyone has been up to. We watched fireworks going off around the lake after dark too.

The weather here has turned hot and muggy. Typical July weather. I'm enjoying it. I like it so much more than snow.

Live long and prosper. \\//