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


Mukluks for Susie

In the last few years of my fathers life, my cousin Susie took care of him like he was her own father. She did it because I lived so far away and she loved my father (and me) so very much, and he loved her. I will forever be grateful for all the love she gave him.

In one of my trips back (northern Michigan) during the last few months of his life she and I went shopping together and she pointed out some Mukluks and told me that our grandmother used to make them when she was a kid and how much she loved them. I didn't know about this. It surprised me. She talked about how she wished she had a pair of them now.

Mukluks are a type of slipper. They're basically knit thick long socks with leather soles sewn to the bottom. They usually feature Native American stitch patterns in them because they are a Native American invention. After daddy passed away, I wanted to make her a pair to thank her, in a very small and inadequate way, for all she did for daddy and me. I found a cool pattern on Ravelry and for the last 2 years I've been struggling to make them. They looked like crap and I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. This fall, though, when I was working on the funky socks for the son-in-law, I finally learned what my problem was and how to fix it. Of course, right after I got the Christmas knitting done, I got back to those Mukluks and I've finished them. They are finally the quality of workmanship I expect from myself.

PatternKamchatka: Knitted Mukluk Slipper Socks by Erssie

Size: Medium

Yarns: Berroco Vintage
Content: 50% Wool/40% Acrylic/10% Nylon
Colors: Indigo, Black Current, Red, Cracked Pepper, Mocha, Butter Cream

Needles: Circular size 7

Started: December 9, 2017
Finished: January 29, 2017

Comments: This is an advanced skill pattern. So knit accordingly. I should note that the original pattern has a lizard under the eagle. I substituted a traditional snowflake because I didn't think Susie would like lizards on her slippers. This is the chart I used for the snowflake.

I have been asked several times where I got the slipper soles. I ordered them from Paradise Fibers. Here's a tip for sewing the soles to the slippers: stuff the foot part with something (I used paper towels). It's a lot easier to sew them on that way.

The antibiotics I'm taking are working. I am SO relieved! I feel so much better. The coughing has almost stopped completely, the fever is finally gone, my nose has stopped running, and my plugged ears have opened up some. I'm starting to feel normal again.

Yesterday morning it started snowing here and it's not stopped yet. We've got about 10 inches of new snow so far. The wind blew all day yesterday too, so it's been drifting.

Here is a pic from the cruise that I took with the new camera.

John DeLancie ("Q" in TNG and Voyager) was taking questions from everyone and answering them. (He was just a few feet from me.) It was the evening of the big costume ball. It was supposed to be out by the pool, but it was raining and cold out so they moved us into Thirteen Forward. He answered questions while we waited for the band to get set up inside. The room was so full no one could have danced if they wanted to.

By the way, Mr. DeLancie is an incredibly nice man. Not anything like the character he played in Star Trek. He really showed his appreciation to the fans too. I frequently saw him on deck walking around taking selfies with folks.

Well, I need to figure out what knitting project I'm going to start next. Of course, it will be stranded mittens. It's just picking a pattern. I've got so many of them. If you are into stranded colorwork, especially in mittens, I would highly recommend these books.

Mittens of Latvia: 178 Traditional Designs to Knit by Maruta Grasmane

and Selbuvotter by Anne Bårdsgård

I bought both of these before the cruise.

Thankfully, Mittens of Latvia is now available in English (I have the Latvian version too. It was available a couple years or so ago.). It's chock full of the most amazing mitten patterns. The book is about the history and traditions of mitten knitting in Latvia. All the mittens in the book are charts of actual mittens from a museum. The book is divided into chapters featuring mittens from each area of Latvia. They each had unique aspects incorporated into their mittens. It's very interesting. They are an important part of the Latvian culture.

Selbuvotter is in Norwegian, so I can't read it. However, it is still useful to me because it has literally hundreds of pattern charts. Like the Latvian book, it is about the mitten knitting traditions of Norway and all the patterns have been charted from mittens in a museum. There are some very cool pictures in the book too. I love the cover pic of all those beautiful black and white mittens. I am hoping that eventually they will publish it in English so I can read it.

Selbuvotter is difficult to obtain. It's available at Schoolhouse Press right now. When I was looking to buy mine, they were out of them and didn't know when they'd be getting more, so I ordered it direct from the museum in Norway. That turned out to be an expensive way of doing it because they didn't accept credit cards so I had to do a very pricey wire transfer, but I'm so happy with the book I'm just glad to have it. Even at the price I ended up paying, it is worth every penny to me.

Well, that is it for today.

Live long and prosper. \\//

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