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

9/15/18

New WIP

Christmas is coming so I figure I better get the present knitting going now or forget about it. I have started a pair of stranded socks for the son-in-law.



The pattern is from the book Socks Socks Socks and called Bob's Socks. However, these will be Frank's socks. The above picture is how they looked this morning when I got up. I decided to spend the morning working on them. About 2 hours and several rows later I discovered I made a HUGE mistake in the very first row I'd knit this morning. I had to take it all out. So now it sits on the coffee table where I glare at it. No progress today. I will give it another go after I'm done writing this.

Our weather has been good. It cooled off to perfect temps of upper sixties and low seventies. We even got a couple days of rain that knocked all the smoke out of the air. It's been very nice. We had frost earlier in the week, so summer is over. The leaves are turning already.

Sweet Hubby is doing well in school. He's enjoying it too. This week he made a robot move. He was very very excited about it. He's enjoying the homework and he's been "hired" to work on a research project too. He'll get undergrad wages (don't know what that is yet) for about 10 hours work a week.

He has also been told they are arranging to give him a teaching fellowship, which is kind of like a scholarship, but he will have to teach a class or two. It's not a lot of money, but it will come in handy. The fellowship also includes free tuition, so that is good.

I got a new knitting book, Lithuanian Knitting.



It's a neat book. It's half about the history and importance of knitting in Lithuania, and half patterns for mittens, gloves, and socks. I did not get this from Amazon. I went there looking for it first, but the price was over $3000! Um, no. Nuh huh. No way, no how.



That is a ridiculous price. Not paying it. I found it on Schoolhouse Press's web site for $34.99. Much better price.

Some day I'm gonna be knitting like a Lithuanian.

Live long and prosper. \\//

9/10/18

I Can Knit Like A Latvian

I think it was 4 years ago (?) I decided I wanted to learn how to knit those fancy Latvian/Norwegian style fairisle mittens that are done with fingering weight yarn and small knitting needles that look so incredibly fabulous in pictures. I'd acquired a few books about them over the years. In November 2014 I started with the Warm Hearted mittens, but it didn't take very long for me to figure out they were a little over my head and I needed to start with something easier. So I put them in hibernation until further notice.

Then life got in the way and I put the whole idea on the back burner. Last year the idea came back, and if you will recall, I decided to do a pair of children sized mittens for my first project. I took them on the Star Trek cruise with me and worked on them pretty faithfully until done.



More time went by and then around May I joined the Knit Like a Latvian group on Ravelry and was inspired to get back to the Warm Hearted mittens.

I ripped out what I'd already done before hibernation and started over. They were a HUGE challenge for me, but I got help from folks in the group, my books, plus Google videos and articles. Eventually, I figured out the proper way to knit them. I am so excited because I've finished them!



PatternWarm-Hearted Mittens by Yvette Noel

Size: Womens Medium

Yarn: Knitivity Knitterman's Fingering Blog Reader Special
Content: 100% Superwash Wool
Color: Variegated fuschia, violet, white, and brown

Yarn: Cascade Yarns® Heritage
Content: 75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon
Color: White

Needles: Circular size 1

Started: May 30, 2018
Finished: September 8, 2018

Comments: I learned a lot of new things making these. Some of them have improved my knitting overall. I have to say the second mitten went way faster than the first one. I would not say they are good for a first time fairisle mitten project, but good for learning the more advanced techniques needed to make them. 

Mittens in the style of the Balkan Islands (Latvia being one of them) usually have one stitch pattern for the back, one for the palm, at least one for the cuff (sometimes more), and one for the thumbs. In the case of these mittens all the stitch patterns are fairly complicated. I knit them exactly as written. The instructions are fairly well written. Better than a lot I've looked at.

This is the back of the mittens.



Here is a close up of the back stitch pattern.



This is the palm side. I love this stitch pattern.



A close up of the palm stitch pattern.



Close up of the cuff stitch pattern.



This particular cuff includes 2 Latvian braids, which I found very easy and fun to make.



This is the back side of the thumb.



This is the inside of the thumb. One of the interesting things about these style of mittens is they have stripes on the sides. This hides the jog one normally gets when knitting stranded patterns in the round. You can see that in this thumb. The round started with the center column of colored stitches.



I am quite happy with them, but not happy enough to be entering them in the fair. They will get hauled around for a bit in my knitting bag to show them off to all my friends, and then go to KnitWits.



It's time to start my Christmas knitting. I've decided on socks for the son-in-law. I think I'm going to see what's available in Latvian sock patterns.

Live long and prosper. \\//

8/31/18

Layette Set 32

This is the 32nd layette set I've made for KnitWits.



The Cardigan



Pattern: Little Avery by Taiga Hilliard Designs

Size: 3-6 months

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Bone

Needles: Circular size 7

Started: June 29, 2018
Finished: July 13, 2018

I have been wanting to try this pattern for quite some time. I like it. It's easy to knit and looks so cute. 



 I embellished it with some embroidery just to feminize it. Just because it's tan in color doesn't mean it has to be for a boy.



The stitch pattern is simple and easy to memorize.



The hat



Pattern: Chibi Striped Baby Hat by Chiaki Hayashi

Size: 3-6 months

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Bone

Needles: Circular size 7

Started: July 14, 2018
Finished: July 21, 2018

I used the same hat pattern I always use. Just put the stitch pattern from the cardigan in the cuff instead of garter stitch.

The booties



Pattern: Seamless Garter Tassel Booties by Karen Strauss

Size: 6 months

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Bone

Needles: Circular size 7

Started: July 24, 2018
Finished: July 26, 2018

Just like the hat, I used the usual pattern with some alterations, including using the stitch pattern from the cardigan in the cuffs.

The blanket


Pattern: I wanted something feminine in the edging, but not scallops. I found a very cute picot edging.

Size: 30 by 36 inches

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Bone

Crochet Hook: Size G

Started: July 22, 2018
Finished: July 22, 2018



Live long and prosper. \\//



8/30/18

Layette Set No. 31

I am behind in posting finished knitting. I intend to catch up over the next few days. Here we have Layette set 31, which I started in June.



Cardigan



Pattern: Super Natural Stripes by Fawn Pea

Size: 0-3 months

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Chocolate

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Bone

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Off White

Needles: Circular size 7

Started: June 5, 2018
Finished: June 17, 2018

Close up of button.
 


It's a size smaller than what I've usually been making.



The Hat



Pattern: Chibi Striped Baby Hat by Chiaki Hayashi

Size: 3-6 months

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Chocolate

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Bone

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Off White

Needles: Circular size 7

Started: June 19, 2018
Finished: June 20, 2018

Booties



Pattern: Seamless Garter Tassel Booties by Karen Strauss

Size: 3 months

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Chocolate

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Bone

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Off White

Needles: Circular size 7

Started: June 20, 2018
Finished: June 23, 2018

Blanket



Pattern: I winged it

Size: 30 by 36 inches

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Chocolate

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Off White

Crochet Hook: Size G

Started: June 29, 2018
Finished: June 29, 2018



Since my last post we got a night of rain and the temperatures dropped dramatically for a couple days. The smoke was cleared out by the rain and it was gorgeous for a couple days. However, the fires are still burning and the wind still blows so it's already back to unhealthy levels of smoke in the air. I sure enjoyed the two days of clear though. It was very refreshing.

I went to the fair on Monday and picked up all the fair entries. I've got them all ready to take to the KnitWits meeting next week. I'm looking forward to it. I wasn't able to go this month and I really missed it.

Sweet Hubby has had his classes for 1 1/2 weeks of school and he's lovin' it. I haven't seen him this happy since before he had his stroke. I feel like I got my life back, too, having him gone for a part of each day.

Yesterday the college had a Luau for the students and their families in the evening. Sweet Hubby and I went. I met one of his professors who praised Sweet Hubby a lot. He is very happy to have Sweet Hubby attending the school. This is really going to be good for Doug. His self esteem has been unbelievably low since the stroke and having so many problems at his former job. This is going to do a huge amount of healing for him. I know I was extremely resistant to him going back to school when it was first brought up, but I am seriously glad we took this route in our life. It is the right decision.

I am having a very hard time doing my blog. Blogger made some changes recently and now it runs so very slow. I type a sentence and I have to wait for the words to catch up with my hands. I insert a picture and it takes almost a whole minute for it to appear. It's frustrating. It's like having a 256 baud modem again. I hope they fix this problem soon.

Tomorrow I will post another finished layette set. Until then

Live long and prosper. \\//



8/25/18

It's Indigo Blue!

My cell phone battery, in a Motorola Moto X, which I've had for a few years, would no longer hold a charge more than 4 hours. The battery could not be replaced because it was firmly glued in. (Needless to say, that pisses me off a bit. $500 for a phone and you can't replace the battery?). I've been living with it like that for months and months. It's been very frustrating. Well, I finally had enough and I bought a new phone.

I looked for a smart phone that had good battery life, at least 32 gigs, a nicer camera than the old phone, a model from 2018, and all for under $200. I know that last one is asking a lot, but I found one!

It's a Motorola Moto G6 Play Indigo Blue.  Silly me wanted to know what that Indigo Blue in the name meant, so I googled it. Turns out, that is the color of the phone's case. I felt rather silly after that. I found the phone on Amazon. It's an exclusive Prime deal. So glad I'm a Prime member.



My phone arrived Tuesday morning and I spent the day moving my old phone stuff into my new phone. It was not as easy as they'd like you to believe, but eventually I got it all transferred.

It's a pretty phone. The blue is so deep it's almost black, and very shiny.



I'm very happy with it. It's a little bigger than my old phone, so the screen is easier for my eyes to read. The screen resolution is actually less than my old phone, but that just means everything is a little larger-again making it easier for me to read. The camera is amazing, and it's a 32 gig phone, so I've got lots of room now. My old one was giving me messages of being full, so periodically I had to go through and delete something. It has fingerprint security, which is kind of cool. The print reader is on the back, under the camera. It came with a clear silicone case too, so I don't have to purchase one.

The hardest thing for me to do was to get my favorite ringtone into the phone so I could use it. Gotta have the theme to Star Trek TOS as my ringtone. I eventually figured it out.

And that is enough about my new phone.

Live long and prosper.

8/24/18

One Latvian Down, One to Go

I finished the first Latvian style mitten at Yarnies yesterday. It fits!



It's been quite a challenge for me. Now I need to cast on and get knitting it's mate.

The smoke is a little less thick this morning. The wind is blowing pretty hard too. Perhaps it's blowing the smoke out of our area. I can't believe how dry it is in the woods. Very crunchy. I'm staying indoors today.

Sweet Hubby started classes this week. He is quite excited and enthusiastic. I've not seen him this happy in a very long time. I'm enjoying having the house to myself for part of the day too.

Live long and prosper. \\//


8/23/18

Results for 2018 North Idaho State Fair

Even though the air is still thick with smoke from the surrounding forest fires, I braved it and went to the North Idaho State Fair to see how my entries did. Not bad, not bad at all.

Dogwood and Hummingbirds won 2nd place.



My necklace took First place.



Infant cardigan won Second place.



Infant set-2 pieces won First place.



My Entrelac set entered as Infant set-3 or more pieces won First place.



My Sporty set entered as Infant set other than listed won Second place.



The KnitWits members entries did well too. I took pics so I can put them in this months newsletter, which I need to get out by this weekend. Urg!

I didn't have one single asthma attack while there, at the fair. I'm quite surprised by that, and relieved.

I haven't been working on anymore layette sets this week because I'm out of yarn. I don't have enough brown to put trim on the blanket for the current set, and I have no black yarn which I need for the next set coming down the pike. I'm trying to decided if I'm going to buy yarn, or wait until the next KnitWits meeting and hope I can find what I need there.

Anyway, so I've been working on the Latvian style mittens I started a couple years or so ago. I actually finished the first one at the Yarnies meeting this morning. I'll try and take pics and post about it tomorrow.

Live long and prosper. \\//

8/15/18

Summer Update

As I said yesterday, It's been a busy summer. Here's an update.

The Ocean Spray we transplanted has died. Gonna try again.

My knee is healing, slowly. I have periods with no pain now. I've been getting Physical Therapy which is helping quite a bit.

We went on our annual week long camping trip to Priest Lake. It was a lot of fun. I did a lot of walking, which was hard on my sprained knee, but I think in the long run it was good for me. Despite the knee, I find I'm in much better physical shape than I've been in a long time. For instance, the walk from our camp site to the beach involves a steep hill. I've always had to huff and puff my way up it. This year I didn't huff and puff. That was a surprise.

One day we went on a hike up Lionshead Creek trail. I wanted to go up to my favorite place on this trail.

I forgot my main camera, but I had my phone with me. It took surprisingly good pictures. One of the granite peaks viewed from the parking lot of the trail.



I made it there! I haven't been able to do that hike in several years. It's all uphill to my destination but I managed it just fine. I admit, though, I did use my cane. Here's my favorite spot along Lionshead creek.

Lionshead Creek

 I was so excited when I got there I started to cry. I didn't think I'd ever see it again. Ruth took this pic of me and Zoey by the creek.



The hike aggravated my knee, but it was so worth it. Here is Sweet Hubby looking at one of the small pools made by the creek.


This is a view of the creek downhill. It's very steep so I didn't try to go down.



We hiked back to the truck. Then we went on a drive on the logging roads in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. We went way up in the mountains where the Alpines grow. At one point we got a phone signal, so Sweet Hubby insisted we stop so he could check his email. We got out of the truck and explored the woods around us. There was a tall green plant loaded with green flowers that I'd never seen before. Ruth is standing next to it here. It's just a bit taller than she is.



It's called Indian Hellebore. It's a member of the Lily family. It has long droopy stems loaded with little bright green flowers.



Here's a close up. The flowers are about half an inch in diameter. The plant is very poisonous, so we were cautious around it.



We also found a patch of Huckleberries. They had a few ripe berries on them ,which we picked and I put them in a fruit salad for dinner that evening.



After we got home from our trip I got busy getting all the fair entries ready. The fair is next week.

My husband has officially been accepted to University Idaho. He will be working on a masters in computer science. Classes start next week, I think. Thankfully, he will be attending the Coeur d'Alene campus so we won't have to move. It will be weird having my husband going to school.

I did quite a bit of knitting while camping. I have finished layettes I want to post about, but I will have to wait until after the fair.

We are having very nice weather this week. Perfect temperatures for deck knitting, but the smoke from nearby forest fires is so thick I can't handle being in it for more than a few minutes.  Can't even see the mountains a mile away. My asthma is giving me all kinds of grief, so I'm staying indoors. A day or two of rain would be appreciated.

Our daughter, Ruth, is going back to school today. One last semester and then she'll graduate.

That's the news for now.

Live long and prosper. \\//