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



It's been a very busy time since my last post. Never a dull moment these days. Must be August.

Last weekend was adventurous, if nothing else. The biggest excitement happened on Saturday night. We went to Dan and Sues for dinner. While relaxing and enjoying ourselves I suddenly noticed the dogs-Cable and Tripper- were not in the room with us. They were, in fact, outside. Ruth and I went out to call them in. After some time, Cable came running up the steps ------ covered in porcupine quills!

Tripper followed somewhat later, also porcupined. Oh what a nightmare! Thankfully, Cable cooperated while Doug and I removed them with a pair of pliers. She had a lot of them in her face, nose, chest, paws, and even inside her mouth imbedded in her soft pallet and under her lips. It was so painful for her and she bled quite a bit but she stuck it through as we pulled each one out.

Tripper was another matter. He did not cooperate at all! It took quite some time to get them out of his face even though he had less of them in him because he squirmed and jumped and tried to escape the whole time. He is an amazingly strong and slippery dog and he's much more afraid of pain. It took as many as four of us to hold him down while Dan pulled them out. Poor little guy.

I bet neither dog takes on a porcupine again.

Sweet hubby and I spent the daytime hours of the weekend shopping for a new pickup truck. Our Toyota Tundra is 12 years old and showing it's age. So we made the decision to replace it. We looked for something that will handle pulling our camping trailer better than the current vehicle and had a comfy back seat with plenty of leg room for all. We found what we want and 'bought' it. We have signed all the paperwork to purchase a Ford F150 XLT crew cab with towing package in Ruby Red Metallic. It will look somewhat like this (the front grill may be different.)

2015 Ford F150 XLT

However, the actual truck we bought is at another dealership. You see, we found the perfect model on our local lot except it had one flaw. It had regular side mirrors instead of the bigger ones for pulling trailers. Sweet hubby insists it must have the larger mirrors. The dealership claims that to install the larger mirrors on the one in stock will cost more than for them to go get one from another Ford dealer, so they did some research and found one about 800 miles away. They are currently trying to arrange an exchange and trip to that dealership to bring it here for us. It was supposed to be here tomorrow, but there's been a problem. So maybe next week. It's frustrating to go through all that hassle and take nothing home. Urg. And when did pickup trucks get so darn expensive?

I went to the fair yesterday. I'm working the North Idaho Secular Society booth for 3 shifts. I took the very first one on Wednesday morning. Of course, I dashed off to see how my four entries did. I got 2 blue ribbons, one red, and one white ribbon. I will have more details after I get good pics, which I'll be doing tomorrow cuz I've got my second shift in the afternoon. I took my camera with me yesterday, but I forgot to bring it home. Left it on the floor under a chair in the booth. Can't pull the pics off it and put them on the laptop if it's there instead of here at home.

We are still having blistering hot dry weather with thick smoky air. We've had some days of nasty wind too. The visibility has been between 1 and 5 miles for the whole week, with unhealthy air warnings.  It's miserable right now. I almost want winter to come, but not quite. Rain would be good. Rain would be really really good.  I could go for a whole week of rain! They are predicting some rain for the weekend. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Some other news. Doug and I are registered to go on the Star Trek Cruise in 2017! I mean, we are going! Really going! (Barring any unforeseen circumstances between now and then) An email came telling about this cruise. William Shatner is going to host it. Jonathon Frakes (Commander William T. Riker), Mirina Sirkis (Deanna Troy), Robert Picardo (The doctor from Voyager), James Darren (Holodeck character from Deep Space 9), and Denise Crosby (Tasha Yar in Next Generation) are scheduled to go too-so far. They are working to add more.

I have wanted, my whole life, to go to a Star Trek convention but have never been able to. It's on my bucket list. William Shatner is the last of the 'big three' stars of the original series. Deforest Kelly passed away some years ago, and then Leonard Nimoy passed away earlier this year. Time is running out. William Shatner is getting old and I don't want to miss seeing him. When Doug got home from work I told him about the cruise and how much I wanted to go. We discussed it and decided to do it. I am so excited! It will be the trip of a lifetime!

Live long and prosper. \\//


Pullover for Layette 3

Baby Raglan Pullover #2

Pattern: From the Top Mock Turtleneck by Amy Thompson

Size: 3-6 months
Made for: Knitwits

Yarn: Pingoun Sport Crylor (discontinued decades ago)
Content: 90% Acrylic/10% Vinyon, Worsted Weight
Color: 56 Pale Green

Yarn: Red Heart Classic
Content: 100% Acrylic, Worsted Weight
Color: Maize

Yarn: Red Heart Supersaver
Content: 100% Acrylic, Worsted Weight
Color: Black

Needles: Size 7

Cast on: August 5, 2015
Completed: August 18, 2015

This is the second time I've knit this pattern and I've decided I like it. I wasn't so sure about it the first time. It's knit from the top down in the round so there are no seams. The neckline is short rowed so the front is lower than the back, which makes for a nice fit, but it makes it weird if I want to do stripes. As you can see in the pic of the back, that first stripe is much lower from the neckline than it is in the front.

I'm not sure how I'd do them higher up, if I wanted to, that is. I had been thinking it would be cute to do stripes all the way over it in 3 colors, as in: 2 rows A, 2 rows B, 2 rows C, repeat. I will have to think about it. In the mean time, this is the pattern I did.

I love the bit of yellow in there.

Here is a pic I took today of the view down my driveway. The smoke is really thick. It's blotting out the sun. I can't even see the little mountains that are just a mile away, behind my brother in laws house.

 Here's a view of the side yard.

It feels like the whole world is burning up. I know it isn't. Just feels that way. This is the natural disaster we have to live with in this area (as opposed to tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes). Wild fires. I am staying indoors.

Live long and prosper. \\//


It's Fair Time

Yesterday I took my entries to the North Idaho Fair. This year I only had 4. I've done lots of projects, just not much variety. Since we're only allowed one entry per class, this is what I could enter.

This baby set minus the blanket. I entered it as a 3-piece set.

The Polarized hat in black and pink.

The Brick Check mittens.

I entered one beaded item, my bead embroidered bracelet.

I have not done much beading this year. Usually in July I make an ornament cover and I didn't do that this year. I need to make some time for beading. I need to get that ornament cover started. I have too many other projects going. Which reminds me, I am working on my Hummingbird cross stitch. I've got the back stitching half done. So excited about it!

Along with my own entries, I also entered all the Knitwits items. There are over 40 of them. It took an hour and a half to get it done. My friend Phyllis and her son showed up shortly after we (we being me and Ruth) did and they helped us. I am very thankful for that. It would have taken a lot longer without them.

Temps cooled off here this week to perfect for deck knitting, but the smoke from wild fires is so thick I can't be outside. I can barely see the mountains that are just a mile away. A bad air quality warning was issued this morning. We need some rain! The blistering heat returns tomorrow.

My yard has become wild life central. We're a green tasty oasis in the middle of a dried out forest. There have been deer every day for at least the past week. Yesterday we saw 2 deer and a coyote. The deer are grazing on the lawn. I think the coyote was thinking he'd graze on the deer, but Cable changed his mind. There are also an unusually large amount of birds, which I don't mind. The side yard was thick with Robins this morning hopping around eating bugs and worms. I haven't been putting bird seed in the feeders because the deer eat it. They have figured out that if they tilt the feeders with their heads, the seed spills out on the ground where it can be easily eaten. I don't want to encourage that behavior.

Sweet hubby is away this week. He's doing the Ride Idaho bike ride. I worry about him breathing all this smoke. Hopefully it's not as bad where he is right now.

Well, enough rambling. I've got things to do.

Live long and prosper. \\//


How About Some WIP's

Got some WIP's to share.

First we have the beginning of Knitwits Layette set #3. A raglan pullover.

To go with this fabric.

It's ready for crocheting the edge. All the holes are cut with that magnificent Slit Edge Blade I got for my rotary cutter. I actually found yarn at the last Kitwits meeting that matches the pale green, more or less, and there was quite a bit of it, so I chose it for the main color. I'm using black and more of that maize yellow. (Good god, I think I have enough of the maize to do a hundred layettes.)

While I was preparing the above fabric (2 pieces of it), I prepared the next one too (also 2 pieces). I have 3 skeins of orange yarn that matches the triangles in this perfectly. I also have some deep denim blue, and white.

I have started the 15th pair of mens mittens. I've been using the mitten projects for KIP knitting at places where I have to have a small mindless project. Haven't decided what stitch pattern to use on the body of it yet.

It's still blistering hot around here. It's also very smoky, so no more puttering in the yard for now. There's a fire north of Spokane, WA that is causing a great deal of grief right now. Homes are being evacuated. It would be nice to have a couple days of rain to knock it down.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Layette 2 is Done

Okay, my second layette set is done. I finally sewed the buttons on the cardigan

Baby Raglan Cardigan in Teal

Pattern: Little Coffee Bean Cardigan by Elizabeth Smith
Size: 6 months
Made for: Knitwits

Yarn: Caron One Pound
Content: 100% Acrylic, Worsted Weight
Color: Ocean

Yarn: Red Heart Classic
Content: 100% Acrylic, Worsted Weight
Color: Maize

Yarn: Red Heart Baby Love Solids
Content: 100% Acrylic, Worsted Weight
Color: White

Needles: Size 7

Cast on: July 16, 2015
Completed: August 10, 2015

I like the pattern very much. It avails itself to some good modification ideas, making it a flexible choice for this project.

Here's a close up of one of the buttons.

This pic is for my own benefit, in case one of these days I say to myself "what was the stripe pattern I used on that sweater?".

I wish I'd done 1x1 rib instead of 2x2. But, all in all, I'm happy with it.

I also finished the matching booties. Actually, I finished them some time ago. I did a different pattern from the yellow booties made last month. I decided I didn't like sewing seams on them. They're so small to begin with, and then having a seam allowance to deal with and all. I just didn't like it, so I looked for a seamless pattern. I found one on Ravelry and I'm quite pleased with it.

Pattern: Seamless Garter Tassel Booties by Karen Strauss
Size: 6 months
Made for: Knitwits

Yarn: Caron One Pound
Content: 100% Acrylic, Worsted Weight
Color: Ocean

Yarn: Red Heart Classic
Content: 100% Acrylic, Worsted Weight
Color: Maize

Yarn: Red Heart Baby Love Solids
Content: 100% Acrylic, Worsted Weight
Color: White

Needles: Size 6

Cast on: July 30, 2015
Completed: August 4, 2015

Instead of a crochet chain for the laces, I made a cord. I like it much much better.

So, Layette 2 in Teal is done.

I am going to enter the jacket, hat, and booties in the North Idaho Fair as a set. I take all the fair items in next week. Can't believe it's fair time already!

I have one more FO to share. I sewed some belts for doll outfits I'm making.

I stuck a quarter in the picture so you could see their size. They're so cute!

Live long and prosper. \\//


Mens Mittens for Knitwits #14

I've finished another pair of mittens for Knitwits

Little Brick Checks Mens Mittens (for Knitwits #14)

Pattern: Little Brick Checks by me.
Size: Mens Large

Yarn: Plymouth Encore Colorspun Worsted
Content: 75% Acrylic/25% Wool, worsted weight
Color: 7596 Natural

Needles: Circulars size 5.

Cast on: June 25, 2015
Completed: August 7, 2015

These ones turned out so pretty.

With a little bit of effort, I was able to make them match fairly well. Here's a close up of the stitch pattern.

I only had a few yards of yarn left when they were done, so I was sweating that last thumb. 

I've already started pair number 15.

I finished the teal layette set last night. It is completely done. I will post photos later.

When daughter wasn't looking, I borrowed her knitting bag so I could take some good pics.

Here's the cute button I found for it.

And the back.

The pattern for this bag is here:  Charm Pack Tote Bag

If you've never worked with Charm packs before, be warned. They can be addicting.

We had a couple cooler days with a bit of rain, but the heat is back. It's being relentless this summer. So glad for that air conditioning!

I am almost done with the revamping of the flower beds. The front is completed and about 2/3rds of the back. Sweet Hubby helped me out with it on Sunday. I need 10 more bags of beauty bark to finish. What's done is sure looking nice though. The Forsythia bush I planted last spring is doing very well. I think it likes it's new home. I'm looking forward to seeing it bloom next spring.

Fair season is coming upon us. I've got 47 entries for the Knitwits this year. They are all registered, tagged, packed, and ready to go. I turn them in next week.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Orchids in Bloom

It was a boiling hot day today! It is also extremely smoky out. Thick dirty smoke making my eyes burn and my asthma angry. Urg. So I spent the day indoors, puttering. I've been doing a lot of puttering of late. Puttering is when I drift around the house cleaning and organizing small areas that have been neglected (like organizing the junk drawer, and the cup I keep my crochet hooks in, or cleaning the top shelves where I can not see, let alone reach). I've changed light bulbs, replaced batteries, repaired things that need gluing, hemmed pants that needed hemming, finished little projects that needed finishing. I have actually been quite productive, but if you walked into the house you wouldn't know it.

I wish it would cool down a bit and the air clear out. I want to get busy with my newspaper mulching. I bought 20 bags of beauty bark that I have stacked neatly in the front yard. I have quite a few piles of newspapers from friends and family (Thanks guys!).

I have decided I'm pulling out the rose bushes in the front yard. I've had them for years and they have never amounted to anything. They get about a foot tall, have 1 flower each, and that's it. They should be big bushes by now. I need to plant things that will actually like the poor soil, though I don't know what their problem is. I give them rose food, and they are in an area where wild roses grow like weeds. Urg. It's not fair!

The azaelas and forsythia I planted last May are doing fantastic. So there are things that like it out there.

The woods are very dry and crispy now. We've seen deer every day for a week nibbling on our green oasis. I have fences around all the baby trees so they are safe.

Indoors my orchids have been blooming quite nicely for more than 4 months now. I've taken a few pics. I have 5 Dendrobium orchids. 2 haven't bloomed this year. They are pretty small plants so I'm not surprised. One finished blooming last month and I never got pics of it. But these two are still going strong.

This one has a most unusual coloring. This is the last flower on the plant. It had a total of 3.

This one I've had for a few years. Long enough that I couldn't remember what color it was, so I was quite pleased when it bloomed this year. It's a pale green with purple stripes and red lip.

There are tiny red spots on the yellow throatr.

This is the Pansy orchid Sarah and Frank sent me for Mothers Day. It's still going very strong. Has lots of flowers yet.

Today also was my daughter Ruth's birthday. Finally! I could give her the knitting bag I made for her. She loves it! Hurray! This is what it looks like.

Oh darn! I forgot I took this before I put the button on it. It has a lime green and white polka dot button for the tab. Perhaps I can steal it back a bit tomorrow and take a more current pic. Anyway, the pattern for this can be found here: Charm Pack Tote Bag

This is my first project using a charm pack. It is a Moda My Sister & Me pack that apparently is no longer available cuz I was gonna link to it and I can't find it anywhere. I must have bought the last one in all the world.

Well, that's the news for tonight. Hopefully the nephew will be by tomorrow to finish his work. He's leaving for football camp later in the week and I would be quite unhappy if he couldn't finish for me before he leaves. He's got a football scholarship to the University of Idaho, if I'm remembering correctly. He is working very hard to be ready for the football season. He's quite good at it, though he doesn't want to make a career of it. He plans to major in Political Science

Live long and prosper. \\//



While Sweet Hubby was away on his bike trip I put an ad in the Nicklesworth and sold our Kayaks for a very nice price. We hadn't used them for a couple years and lost enthusiasm for them, so we decided to send them on to someone else who would give them the loving attention they needed. As soon as the money was in the bank, I ordered a new doll. She arrived yesterday.

This is Ellowyne Wilde Brrooties.

She came out a few months ago. I love the outfit! In fact, I didn't really want the doll as much as I wanted the outfit she came in. I searched for someone selling the outfit without the doll, but apparently it's so popular no one is willing to let it go. Lots of dolls without the outfit, though that didn't help me. I finally decided to buy the doll with the outfit and then I could sell the doll separate. Now I have her and she's too pretty to give her up! My goodness, look at that beautiful face!

I've fallen madly in love with her. She comes with the fur hat, fur cloak, and jacket. Underneath is a very pretty dress,

 and those boots! They're absolutely scrumptious!

I love her hair too. It's such a rich gorgeous color and it's a wig. All in all, I'm pretty happy I bought her. I'm not letting her go ever.

Speaking of dolls, I gave Penn some eyelashes today.

My sister, Jodie, had some she didn't need and sent them to me. I think it improves his appearance considerably.

He came with the lower lashes painted on, but only black eyeliner above his eye. It looked a little off. Some people have said it gives him a bit of a creepy factor. He just needed a bit of eyelash is all.

My nephew came yesterday to work on my weedy flower beds. The job has turned out to be more work than I really thought it would be. He worked on it for a bit yesterday, then came back today and worked on it some more. He's just about done, but will need to come back to finish it. He said probably Monday because he's busy tomorrow.

It's been very hot the last couple days. Upper 90's. Makes it hard for nephew to work outside. Tomorrow is supposed to be 100F. Then things will start to cool down again. This afternoon, on top of the heat, smoke moved in from a fire somewhere. Hopefully it will clear out tomorrow.

I frogged the baby bootie I was making. I just didn't like how it was looking. I got to wondering if there was a similar looking bootie that was knit seamless and there is! I downloaded the pattern and knit the first one this morning. Just need to weave in the ends and get the second one done.

Live long and prosper. \\//