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


It's Star Wars Day! Woo Hoo!

We are going to see Star Wars The Force Awakens today. Woo Hoo!

I am looking forward to it. Going with some family, then going out to dinner afterwards to Cedars Restaurant. The only fly in my ointment is the cold I have. It's being relentless., and I'm out of Dayquil. Phooey.

Our power has been out a couple more times since the 24th. It went out last night and came back on this morning around 7:30 or so. Between that and the blinking on and off, the computer that runs our printer broke as a result, so I can't do any printing until we fix the problem. It did stop snowing on Christmas day. Even got a bit of sunshine. It was nice to have a break.

I did have a great Christmas. As I said, the snow stopped falling. I got awesome gifts and daughter and husband loved the gifts they got. I am amazed at how successful we were at getting ready considering the shortened time we had, but Christmas Eve we went to bed completely done and ready. Even the stockings were full.

My husband gave me a lightweight tripod as well as a photography studio lighting kit for Christmas, a water proof bluetooth speaker so I can listen to music in the hot tub, an "I'd Rather Be Knitting" license plate frame for my car, two music cd's, a lovely bottle of Crown Royal whiskey, and chocolates. Daughter Ruth gave me two new short cords for my Chiagoo Interchangeable Needles set (I really needed them!), a book that was on my Amazon wish list, and more chocolate. Yay for chocolate!

On Christmas day we went to our friends house for Christmas dinner and card playing, as usual, and had such a lovely time together. The dinner was delicious and the card game was fun. My favorite part of Christmas is doing this with them.

Well, I need to get ready to head out to the theater. Have a great evening.

Live long and prosper \\//, and may the force be with you.


Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and yours a very
Merry Christmas!

Live long and prosper. \\//


Help! Snow!

I've been home, but too busy to blog. Had to scramble to get ready for Christmas. We had a fantastic trip. It was hard to come home.

I caught a nasty cold the very next day after we got home. So I've been scrambling while feeling wretched.

On top of that, we've been inundated with snow the last few days. Over 2 feet so far. Trees are falling all over the area from the weight of the snow, knocking out power. Ours has been out twice in just the last 24 hours, and the snow just keeps coming down. We get dug out and 6 hours later we gotta dig out again. Would someone please send a St. Bernard with a brandy cask?

This is our Christmas tree for the year 2015.

Liked it so much when it got to this point I decided ornaments would spoil it. I wrapped the last gift about half an hour ago and put it under the tree. So I'm ready, I guess. Bring on Christmas.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Snowman Row

It's about time I blogged about this. I finished, blocked, and framed Snowman Row, the counted cross stitch project I've been working on for several years now. Yes, it's DONE! It's been done for awhile. I just hadn't got around to blogging it.

I apologize in advance for the quality of the pictures here. It's dark around here of late (especially outside where I usually like to take my FO photos) and I don't have any cool lighting for doing large photography projects. You can click on the pics to embiggen them.

I finished the stitching last February, then it was pushed out of my mind by life I guess. I had intended to get it framed and whatnot so I could enter it in the fair. I guess I will enter it next year. After the fair, I got about the task of framing it.

I ordered the frame and mat from Frames by Mail. I learned an important lesson from this. Let me pass it on to you. I washed my project (soaked it in hot water with a scoop of Oxyclean-came out gorgeous) and let it dry. Then I measured it, still all wrinkled and stuff, and got a measurement of 33 inches wide by 5 inches high. So that is what I based the size of my mat and frame on. They arrived the week before I went to Michigan.

That was a big mistake. Should have ironed and blocked the thing before measuring, because after I did that, the picture was three inches longer and one inch wider! So the frame and mat I bought was way too small. Insert big frowny face here.

I had to reorder the whole framing kit and kaboodle. Rats. Money wasted. I suppose I could have returned the not fitting frame, but I didn't feel right about that because it's my mistake, not theirs. So I've squirreled it away in storage.

Learn from my mistake. Press and block your picture before measuring for framing.

By the way, Frames by Mail is a great company to do business with. I am quite happy with them. The frame I bought is Pecan wood and the mat is a dark green. It's a beautiful frame. Very nice quality. I love how it enhances my snowmen.

Our weather has warmed up. We actually got rain last night. There I was with daughter Ruth, sitting in the hot tub, getting pelted by a big fat downpour. I enjoyed it anyway. Still luvin' my hot tub. Anyway, rain is predicted for the next few days, so that is good. I'd rather have that than snow while we're away.

This is my last post before my trip. We're leaving in the morning. You'll hear again from me after we get back.

Live long and prosper. \\//


I Actually Have FO's.

For the past few weeks I have been knitting and I do have a few fo's to share.

Twig Brown Mens Slippers

Pattern: Family Foot-Warmer Slippers by Anne Baron Designs, made for Knitwits.
Size: Mens Large (10-12 inches)

Yarn: Northern Worsted by S.R. Kertzer (discontinued)
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Twiggy

Needles: Addi Turbo Circular size 10.5

Cast on:
November 3, 2015
Completed: November 8, 2015

You know, it's really too bad S.R. Kertzer discontinued their Northern Worsted. It's wonderful yarn. Oh well. This is the last Knitwits item I'm doing for the year. I turned it in yesterday at the December meeting just to give Jan, our fearless leader, a hard time. It was our distribution meeting where we hand out everything to the 12 charity organizations we knit/crochet for. Here's a pic of everything we made for the year, well over 2300 items.

At the beginning of the month of November I began working on 5 Christmas themed outfits for Ellowyne Wilde dolls that I wanted to put in my Etsy store. I was doing great until the week of the storm and power outage. After that everything just seemed to go to heck for me and I didn't get them done in time. There's a very small window in which one can sell holiday themed doll clothes and for me it's over. If I wasn't going on the cruise I would be fine, but I am going on the cruise, so, no Etsy for this holiday.

I have everything but the jewelry done, which wouldn't take long but when I started thinking about all the photography involved and then getting each listing written and put up on Etsy, which is hours of work, I became overwhelmed.

The past few weeks have been incredibly stressful. Besides the week of storms and power outage, there was Thanksgiving, and I've also lost 3 family members (including Cable) in 3 weeks, and the loss of Cable hit me very hard. I got sick from the stress which put me out for a couple days, so something had to go. I'll do Valentines themed things for February and save the Christmas stuff until next year. Anyway, for my own record keeping, I'm posting the sweaters and hats I've made. These are all my designs, patterns not available.

Made with lace weight Elann Silken Kydd on size 3 needles. Size 8 silver line red seed beads are knit in the neck ruffle. The fabric in this feels a little too thin and flimsy for my taste. I decided after this one to start using 2 strands held together.

This one was knit with 2 strands of Cascade Yarns Kid Seta in red which is a lace weight mohair, silk, and nylon blend. It's nice to work with, as mohair goes. I used a different lace pattern in the ruffle than in the beaded one. I like it a lot better. I also like the fabric much better using 2 strands.

I used Cascade Yarns Kid Seta in Pewter for this one. I did the same lace pattern as the red one, and knit with 2 strands held together.

This one is knit holding 2 strands of the lace weight Elann Silken Kydd on size 3 needles. I love how it turned out.

I started getting a little tired of mohair, so I dug in my doll yarn stash and found a skein of  Lion Brand Vanna's Glamour sport weight yarn in Topaz Gold. It's an acrylic/polyester blend with a gold metallic thread. I love love love the way this one turned out! I added the lace pattern at the bottom hem and I definitely need to do more of this design.

I knit hats too and decorated them so they would be Christmasy.

I used Cestari Ash Lawn Collection in natural white for the first one. This yarn is a cotton/wool blend and I love the results. However, it comes in just a few rather spring like colors, so I had to change yarns for the rest of the hats.

I decided to try Ella Rae Classic Sport which is 100% wool and made this heather green one. I used one strand, which is okay, but I like a firmer fabric. I definitely like this yarn for hats though.

So I made a second one in Ella Rae Classic Sport, this time knitting with 2 strands held together and the same needle size (5). It's perfect! Oddly, I got the same gauge, but a much firmer and more 'hatty' fabric. I love this particular color too. It's brown heather with green and red mixed in. Perfect for a Christmas hat.

The fourth hat is made using Lion Brand Vanna's Glamour in Platinum (2 strands held together). It has a silver metallic thread running through it. I shortened the brim and rolled it up a bit.

I need to figure out what knitting I'm going to take with me on our trip.

I should be able to re-purpose all the sweaters and hats for Valentines outfits. I sewed the decorations on the hats, so I can easily remove them. So not all is lost. I look forward to finding Valentine fabric that will work with them. (I see visits to my favorite quilting shop in my future.)

I restarted the Mukluks again I began a year ago for my cousin. This is the 3rd try and I'm not happy with it. I am having a very hard time with them. For some reason, I can't get the tension right when changing needles (knitting in the round). I'm frustrated with it. Actually thinking about just chucking this project and finding some other pattern to knit for her.

This week I've spent my time getting ready for our trip. There was a lot to get done. We're leaving day after tomorrow. I'm very excited. It will be good to get away for a bit. I need the break. Especially to somewhere warm.

The weather has been very cold. Didn't get above freezing since Thanksgiving day. Today, though, it finally warmed up a bit. We actually got a bit of rain which melted some of the snow off our roof. (Did I mention we got about 3 inches of snow?) Forecast is for more rain over the next few days. I can live with that. I would prefer our house not get buried in snow while we're away. I don't want it to be difficult for my sister-in-law Kathryn to get in and out of the driveway. She's going to be taking care of our cats while we're gone.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Cable Knit Park

I've been trying to write this post for several days now, and not having much luck. We've had a really rough time the past couple weeks here at the Parkarosa. First, we had a storm that knocked out our power for 3 days. It was the worst storm damage to the power grid in this area ever. We had winter temps to go with it. We got our power back, and then a couple days later a real tragedy happened.

Saturday night, the 21st, my beautiful dog Cable went out of the yard out onto the road in the dark. She was hit by a car and killed.

I am devastated. I could hardly function for about 3 days. Then I started to come out of it and go back to living my life, without her. I still hurt so very much though. I miss her more than I can say. We don't know why she did it. We speculate that perhaps she was chasing deer because she was hit where the deer are known to cross the road in front of our place and we've had quite a few of them around lately.

The person who hit her took off and left her dead in the middle of the road. We were unaware of this at the time. A few minutes later a lady was driving by and saw her. She stopped to check and see if Cable was alive, which she wasn't. So she pulled her to the side of the road, then drove up our driveway and knocked on our door to inform us. She gave me a ride back out to the road. I could not believe my eyes. My precious Cable is dead. I immediately burst into tears.

Doug walked out to the road from the house, so the lady stayed with a semi-hysterical me until he arrived. Then she left. I thanked her for telling us what had happened. Doug then walked back to the house to get our pick-up truck because she weighed 60 pounds and neither of us wanted to carry that much weight that far.

I was bawling like a baby on the side of the road holding Cable. Another lady drove by and saw me. She stopped, got out of her car, and asked if I needed help. I told her my husband would be here shortly to take my dog back to the house. She offered me a hug. Initially, I turned it down, but she walked over and grabbed me anyway and hugged me. I bawled on her shoulder. She stayed until Doug returned with the truck. I thanked her for the hug, and for caring.

We buried Cable later that night at the edge of the hill in the backyard, where she liked to lay and watch for wildlife down below to chase away.

The car that hit her suffered some damage. There is broken plastic all over the place. It gives me some small comfort knowing that.

Despite my grief, I am quite touched by the two very caring strangers who stopped by that night. When I think about it, it's really quite amazing. It's nice to know there are still caring and kind people in the world who will stop to help and comfort someone they don't even know.

So I've been somewhat depressed the past few days. It's so different without her. I find myself doing things like opening the door to call her in the house, cooking an extra piece of meat for dinner for her, and making sure I don't step on her when I get out of bed, despite the fact she's not there any more.

I am so glad we were able to take Cable to see the ocean. She loved it there.

And we took her with us on our trip to Michigan. She really enjoyed that trip. She loved riding in the car, looking out the windows, and just being with us.

I know that Cable was a very happy dog who knew she was loved, and I know she loved me. I was very lucky and privileged to have her in my life for the 4 years we did. I wish I had protected her better.

Rest in peace my beautiful girl.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Weekend Projects

I managed to accomplish some goals over the weekend. Not as many as I'd planned because I felt horrible the whole time, but that's okay. Saturday was devoted to the husband and daughter. They wanted to go computer shopping. Daughter needs a new computer for college, so that's what we did. Also went to Costco, which was a madhouse! I think the holiday shopping season is here. We bought the new computer there, as well as the usual food stuffs. I felt nauseous, achy, and miserable the whole time and was exhausted when we got home. I seem to have caught some bug

On Sunday I woke up with a massive headache so bad I didn't even want to open my eyes. I also have a cough, so I've definitely caught something. I spent the first half of the day sleeping. Around 2pm I started to feel a little better, and the headache eased up some, so I set up the sewing machine and got busy. Despite feeling like death warmed over, I sewed 5 doll skirts. I am doing Christmas themed outfits.

I got 5 little sweaters knit. I have one sweater almost done. It needs a snap sewed on the back opening yet. It's the only one I put beads in. I don't like it as much as the others. I knit it with one strand of lace weight mohair. The fabric feels too thin for my liking.

I finished the knitting of 4 sweaters, but need to sew them up. I used 2 strands of lace weight mohair held together, and knit the pattern the same. Got the same gauge, but the fabric feels much better. I'm a lot happier with them.

Took pics of 2 of them thinking I was done for the evening, then found myself casting on another one and by the time I went to bed I'd done 2 more. I did not get anything done on the apron I was going start.

Today most of the aches and pains are gone, but I'm left with the cough. It's a very goopy cough. Thankfully, I've got Mucinex in the cabinet. It helps a lot.

I have the last session of a sock class to teach this afternoon. It's been an interesting one. I've got a young man taking the class. He's about 10 years old and he's been putting the women in the class to shame. He caught on very quickly and already had finished the whole pair last week. He was going to knit his dog a Christmas stocking for his homework (his idea). I'm looking forward to seeing how it's going.

I also need to go to Costco again. Urg. The computer we purchased will not charge the battery, so it's defective. Hopefully, we can get this problem resolved with a quick exchange.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Sierra in Perla Rosa

I hope you don't mind another doll post. I got a new dress for Sierra.

It's the Iplehouse Perla Rosa dress.  I purchased it from a fellow member of the Iplehouse Facebook group.

It comes with a pretty little necklace.

Sierra met Mr. Froggy, who keeps guard at the front door.

She doesn't know what to think of him.

Have a good Saturday.

Live long and prosper. \\//


It's All About Shoes

Today's post is probably going to be boring to most readers. I'm writing it for a specific audience. That audience is those who own or plan to own an Iplehouse JID doll and they're searching for shoes that will fit her.

I have been doing a LOT of research on finding shoes for Sierra. They weren't easy to find. Of course, one can order shoes from Iplehouse that will fit her perfectly. I did, and received 2 pairs of shoes for her high heel feet. I got these really cute satin pumps

and some boots to go with that first outfit. They fit beautifully. No clodhopper feet with these.

But the prices are a little steep and the shipping was way too much. It was $28! I realize they're coming from Korea, but still, 28 bucks! So that's when I got really serious about finding more reasonably priced shoes for her. After much googling, I found a recommendation on a doll forum that said shoes that fit the 14 inch Kish dolls fit the JID flat feet well, and a link to an Ebay store named Deb's Adorables that sells them. The prices are very reasonable so I ordered a few pair hoping the quality and fit would be as described. It was hard to choose what to order because the selection is HUGE!

They fit Sierra's flat feet perfectly!

It's like they were made for JID girls.

They are well made. Look how perfect her feet fit in these sandals.

And these sneakers are absolutely adorable!

The sneakers come in several different  colors. I chose purple because, well, purple!

I bought 7 pairs in all and I'm very very happy with every single pair.

Deb's Adorables shipped the shoes quickly, and they were well packed.

I have not yet found a source for shoes that will fit her high heel feet. If you should know of one, please leave that information in the comments.

Weather news. They keep saying it's going to snow but so far it hasn't happened. It was cloudy and rained off and on yesterday, and the wind was bitingly cold, but no snow. Today we're expecting more rain. It's very dark out right now. The clouds are thick and threatening. Rain and wind predicted for the next 5 days.

Planning to sew this afternoon. Gotta get those outfits done! I've got one mohair sweater finished, and have started a second one.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Simple Woman's Daybook for November 11, 2015

I haven't done a Simple Woman's Daybook post in ages. In fact, it's been more than 2 years. Time to get that back into my life!

November 11, 2015

Outside my window...
The sun is shining low in the sky as fluffy clouds float by. It will be setting in just a couple hours even though it's only just after 3pm here. I can see Rathdrum Bald mountain with it's first snow cap of the season.

I am thinking...
that I am proud of my daughter Ruth. She has decided she wants to go back to college and get a degree in Computer Science. She made this announcement after we got back from our trip to Michigan. I was totally bowled over with surprise! She is serious too. She applied to return to the University of Idaho for the spring semester. They have accepted her and she's been working on everything she needs to do to get ready. She registered for some of her classes, and finding out how to register for the rest (special circumstances apply) from her faculty adviser. I hope she finishes this time. I have a feeling she will because this time she really wants to do it.

I am thankful for...
the sun. Without it there could be no life on this beautiful planet we call our home.

From the kitchen...
silence. No one is in there right now.

I am wearing...
Blue jeans and a collared polo shirt with a bright hawaiian print on it of blue and teal tropical flowers. The shirt cheers me.

I am creating...
doll clothes. I am determined to make some new things for my Etsy store. I dragged out my fabric cutting tools, and cleaned off the dining room table so I can set things up to start cutting fabric. Along with the doll clothes, I'm also going to cut the fabric for a Christmas present I'm making for someone. I'm in the mood for making aprons!

I am going...
on our cruise in less than a month! I can hardly wait! I need to start thinking about what I am going to pack, including knitting.

I am reading...
two books, actually. I'm about halfway through the 5th tome of the Game of Thrones collection, A Dance With Dragons. I'm having a hard time keeping at it. The books have several very interesting story threads going through them but they are moving along so slowly that I'm losing interest. The writer puts so much tedious unnecessary detail into the writing that it slows everything down to a crawl. I know the stories don't end with this book, that there will be another one after it. 5 huge thick books so far, and nowhere near an end. You know, if this author wasn't such a wordy guy, the books would be about a 5th the size they are and I'd know what happened by now.

The second book I'm reading is The Martian by Andy Weir. I started reading it before we went to the movie. It's a very very good book. I think I will set aside A Dance With Dragons, and finish The Martian first.

I am hearing...
The theme music to Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix. I have Pandora playing on the Roku. Listening to my Sci Fi movie channel.

Around the house...
are definite signs I have fur kids. Bones and toys lying all over, blankets covering every chair and the couch. Fur balls drifting across the bamboo floor. Cable is asleep on her big huge bed I got at Costco. I've got a dryer full of fur kid blankets drying right now.

One of my favorite things...
is movie soundtracks. Being a formally taught violinist who has played in several orchestras in my past, I really enjoy classical orchestra music. I've found movie soundtracks to be our modern orchestral music. They have a lot of similar characteristics as symphonies, concertos and sonatas can have. I love listening to the harmonies and the blending of the instruments, and how each one contributes not only to the melodies and harmonies but to the rhythms as well. Music is used to generate emotions in us. Some of my most favorite composers, besides Beethoven, Mahler, Respighi, Handel, Mozart, and all the other 'greats', are John Williams, James Horner, Jerry Goldsmith, and Hans Zimmer. These are our generations classical composers. Listening to their music makes my soul sing.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
I have Yarnies tomorrow, and lunch with some friends on Friday. Somewhere in there I hope to get some sewing done, as well as getting some little sweaters knit. Come the weekend I will probably work on these things.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing...
Today is Veterans Day.
Thank you to all the veterans who have served our country. This is a picture of my father when he was in the Army. If I remember correctly, it was taken in 1957. 

Live long and prosper. \\//

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