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

6/14/17

Today - Birds

The Parkarosa Bird Buffet is pretty busy lately. Mostly I have Chickadees, a Nuthatch, Pine Siskins, and various finches. However, there are some new birds hanging around lately I thought I'd share.

This year I hung a Hummingbird feeder in the buffet tree. It's getting customers.



I'm pretty sure this is a Calliope hummingbird. Haven't been able to see it's chest yet but we only get two types at my house and this definitely isn't a Rufous. The Rufous is brown.

A Black Headed Grosbeak showed up about 2 weeks ago.



The poor fellow seems to be alone. I've yet to see a mate.



He eats a lot too.



This last customer I call Birdus Squirrelus.



We've always had grey squirrels around here, but this is the first time any have bothered my feeders. He shows up while the front sprinklers are on which is why he's soaking wet. He spends a few minutes eating, then leaves. So I don't think I'm going to worry about it, unless he starts bringing friends. If that happens, I will be having a long talk with my cats.

Asa has new clothes. My sister, Jodie, made this dress to fit her.



She has some more she's made available for purchase on her web site, Jodie's Creations. If you have an Iplehouse JID girl, give her site a visit. Jodie's Creations

I've been working on Asa's kimono when I can. I have the body



and sleeves done.



I just have to put them together. It's going to fit Asa perfectly.

This is going to be my last post for awhile. We're heading out for Rhode Island to visit our daughter and son-in-law for a few days. I'll resume posting when I get back.

Live long and prosper. \\//

6/8/17

Adventures In Doll Kimonos

Had a very nice weekend. It was beautiful on Saturday. We'd had a couple days of rain so all the pine pollen was washed away. I was able to open the doors and windows and let the breeze go through the house.

Earlier last week 2 kimono patterns I'd ordered for dolls arrived, so I decided to get started on making a kimono for Asa. The patterns were difficult to understand without knowing something about kimonos, like how they're worn, why they were worn, etc. So I spent the morning googling kimonos. I learned quite a bit. The Japanese culture is so full of ritual. It fascinates me. Anyway, I could understand the patterns much better. I decided to make the kimono from a pattern designed for Ellowyne Wilde I bought from the Etsy shop DGRequim because it was the easiest looking.

Asa is just a bit bigger than Ellowyne, but kimonos usually fit loose. I took careful measurements and it looked like it was going to fit Asa.

There are actually 2 kimonos worn together. An under kimono with narrower sleeves is worn that is usually white, though any solid color can be used. The thing about this particular pattern is that she's designed it so it looks like there's an under kimono, but there isn't. However, the option to make one is in the pattern. I opted to make one. It turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself. However, it's just a tad too small for Asa. It fits Ellowyne perfectly.



The second pattern I have is a little larger than the first one, so I am going to try it out. It's from Doll Pattern Bazaar on Etsy. The first pattern above actually has some waist shaping in it, which is not put in a regular kimono. This pattern here doesn't have it. It should fit Asa fine width-wise. I just need to add some length to the body. I hope to work on this next weekend.

I am currently working with cotton fabric on this project. I want to know what I'm doing before I get into something fancier. In the meantime, I found a very reasonably priced piece of embroidered silk on Ebay that I've bought for the fancier kimono, when I'm ready.

While I was sewing for my dolls, my husband was working on the hot tub. If you'll remember, it developed a serious leak last fall. He thought he'd work on it during the winter, but that didn't happen. He finally started working on it a few weeks ago, mostly cuz I was whining about it. (Heh heh). He's been working on it for several weekends rebuilding the inner workings, as well as the skirting around it. He wanted to finish it and get it out of his hair (as he put it) this last weekend. It's been a big project. He got it done and set it up back where it belongs beside the deck. On Monday I cleaned it out thoroughly because it had pollen, dust, dead bugs, sand, and all manner of icky stuff in it. Then I filled it with clean water. I couldn't get it to turn on though. So I had to wait until Sweet Hubby was home from work. He said the pump needed to be primed. He did that for me and got everything working.

On Tuesday morning I finally got to sit in the hot tub for a good soak again. My back is so happy.

Live long and prosper. \\//

6/7/17

Layette Set #21 for KnitWits

Another set finished. This set is obviously for a boy.



The Cardigan

I wanted to do something different. I wanted to make a little cardigan in the style of a letterman's jacket. This is what I came up with.



PatternLittle Coffee Bean Cardigan by Elizabeth Smith

Size made: 6 months

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver
Content: 100% Acrylic, Worsted weight
Color: Denim

Yarn: Lion Brand Pound of Love
Content: 100% Acrylic, Worsted weight
Color: Light green

Needles: U.S. size  7 circulars

Started: May 2, 2017
Finished: May 18, 2017

Comments:  I used the Little Coffee Bean Cardigan for my basic pattern. I had to use Intarsia in order to make this little cardi. It's been awhile since I've done Intarsia. Glad to know I still know how. I did 2 by 2 rib for the welt, cuffs, and button bands because that's what the pattern said, but I wish I'd done 1 by 1 rib instead. The stripes would look better. Other than that, I'm very pleased with how it came out.

I love the buttons. I found them at Joann's. So appropriate for a sporty type of garment.



All in all, I think it turned out pretty good.



The Hat

With the cuffs and whatnot being striped, I wanted to incorporate that into the hat so it would match. I also wanted something a little more masculine looking. I decided to do 2 by 2 rib. I winged this one. No pattern involved. Just my brain.



Pattern: I winged it.

Size made: 6 months

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver
Content: 100% Acrylic, Worsted weight
Color: Denim

Yarn: Lion Brand Pound of Love
Content: 100% Acrylic, Worsted weight
Color: Light green

Needles: U.S. size  7 circulars

Started: May 20, 2017
Finished: May 23, 2017

The Booties

Used the same pattern I always use. Just made the cuff 2 by 2 rib instead of what I usually do.



PatternSeamless Garter Tassel Booties by Karen Strauss

Size made: 6 months

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver
Content: 100% Acrylic, Worsted weight
Color: Denim

Yarn: Lion Brand Pound of Love
Content: 100% Acrylic, Worsted weight
Color: Light green

Needles: U.S. size  7 circulars

Started: May 23, 2017
Finished: May 30, 2017



Blanket



Pattern: None

Size made: 30 by 36 inches

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver
Content: 100% Acrylic, Worsted weight
Color: Denim

Yarn: Lion Brand Pound of Love
Content: 100% Acrylic, Worsted weight
Color: Light green

Hook: U.S. size G

Started: June 1, 2017
Finished: June 2, 2017



Close up of edging. It's 2 rows of Sc, Ch 2. One row of Dc in next 2 sts, sk 1 st. Pretty straight forward. I started out doing a Dc in every stitch, but the Supersaver is thicker yarn than the Pound of Love, so it got ruffled. Skipping one stitch fixed that.

I'm thinking about keeping this one to enter in the fair.

Live long and prosper. \\//

5/31/17

Asa Willow Park

Good things have been happening the past 24 hours. First of all this box arrived.



My new doll had arrived. Introducing Asa Willow Park, my second Iplehouse JID doll.



She has such a pretty face. She came with pale blue eyes.



I put this dress on her that I knit a few weeks ago. This pink looks pretty good on her.



She has what is called Normal colored skin. I like how pale she is. She is my little Japanese girl.



I have bought a pattern for making her a kimono and ordered some silk yesterday. I think I'll try brown eyes on her. I love the blue eyes, but not necessarily for her. The hard part is remembering where I put my doll eyes. Hmm.



The second great thing that has happened is I got a picture of my baby flowering Crabapple. She is in full bloom. This picture does not do her justice. She's pale pink. She's a happy tree. This is the prettiest flowering she's had thus far.



I took down all the little fences I had around my baby trees a few weeks ago and I can't believe how fast the trees are growing and spreading out now. They are happy to be free. I am happy to have a fenced back yard so I could take the little fences down.

The third happy thing that has happened is we are on the roofers schedule to get a new roof for our house. HURRAY! Our roof needs replacing. It's 25 years old and leaking. Earlier this month I called local roofers for estimates. I've hired Mountain States Roofing. The owner, Rich, really impressed me, and the estimate was way lower than I was expecting. He also was highly recommended by a friend he did a roof for last year. He will start working on our roof on June 22nd. That will be the day after we return from visiting my daughter and her husband. We are getting a metal roof so we won't have to go up and shovel snow anymore. It will just slide off. My Sweet Hubby is getting too old to be getting up on the roof.

It's gonna be a busy summer.

Live long and prosper. \\//

5/30/17

The Four Week Old Calf

I can't believe we're at the end of May already. It has been very busy for me. I keep hoping things will slow down, but that isn't going to happen. It's going to be a very busy summer.

Earlier this week, we had a little adventure here at the Parkarosa. On Wednesday morning, after Sweet Hubby left for work, I was sitting in my chair knitting, with Zoey sleeping in my lap, when I noticed movement out the living room windows. There was a pure black calf trotting across the yard. It went around the back of the garage to behind the garden fence, then headed off into the woods. It was a bit disturbing. I'd not noticed any calves in my neighbors pastures, so it was a stranger to me. If I had known who owned it, I would have called them, but I didn't. So I hoped maybe someone missing a black calf would stop by sometime during the day. The calf hung around all day long, passing by the living room window every 2 hours or so.

In the evening, the owners came looking for him with a large group of people to help. They live more than a mile from us. That morning they had the calf and a few other cows in a trailer. They were driving by our house when the calf jumped out of the trailer. They saw it go down our driveway, but decided they should get the rest of the cows home first before another one jumped out. They wanted to know if we'd seen it, and which way it was going. We told them, and Sweet Hubby went out to help them look. We figured it was in the woods to the northeast of us. It was getting dark though, and after some searching, they gave up for the night not having found the calf. We decided to leave the gate open on the back yard on the chance it might, during the night, wander in and then we could close the gate and trap it.

Thursday morning I got up and that was the first thing I checked. It hadn't. I closed the gate so Zoey could run around for awhile. I went back into the house. Five minutes later the calf trotted by the living room window. Sweet Hubby and I both jumped up and ran out the door. The calf was standing behind the garden fence. Sweet Hubby went to open the gate near the calf, I went the other way, through another gate, hoping to keep the calf from taking off into the woods again. But I am slow, so it got a bit into the woods. I was determined to get this calf into the back yard so I headed in after it.

There I was, in my fuzzy purple bathrobe, trying to get this huge calf to go back toward the house, in hopes I could herd it into the back yard. I've never herded a cow before, so I really didn't know what I was doing. I kept yelling for Sweet Hubby to come help me (which he ignored) as I went toward the calf, then the calf would trot away, and I would change direction. Slowly, but surely, I managed to actually herd that calf right back to the gate and through it. Sweet Hubby closed the gate. It was caught! I herded a cow! All by myself. HURRAY!! I was so excited!



I ran back into the house and called the owners. They came down, licketysplit, with their trailer. Now they had to catch the thing. They tried laying a looped rope on the ground in hopes it would step in the loop and they could catch it by the leg first, but it was too smart for that. It ran around the backyard eluding us. Eventually it went into the corner beside the house which is a narrow area.



Aha! We could catch it there cuz it was a small space. I put myself into a position that would block the calf from getting out. They chased it into the fence and grabbed hold. It took some work to get a rope round it's neck because it was a big and feisty fellow who did not want to get caught. It bucked and ran and bucked. They got a rope around his neck. Despite the rope, though, no one could get a hold of it.



Then the rope got wrapped around a tree. Now was their chance!



It took 3 people, but they got it on the ground. They tied it's feet, and put a sweat shirt over it's head so it couldn't see what was going on. It calmed down after that.



The calf was a big boy. He was born 4 weeks ago and weighed close to 300 lbs already. Now we had another problem. How do you get a 300 pound calf all the way around the house, through the gate, and into the trailer? I got my gardening wagon because it can carry up to 500 pounds. Sweet hubby joined in to help, but 4 of them could not lift the calf into the wagon. It was too heavy. Then someone said "It's too bad we don't have a tractor." Sweet Hubby has a tractor.



He got the tractor and carefully put the bucket flat on the ground beside the calf. They gently rolled the calf into the bucket.



Then Sweet Hubby lifted the bucket and drove the tractor around the house, out the gate,



and to the trailer



 where they gently rolled it into the trailer. Problem solved.



The whole incident made for a very exciting morning, and we got to meet some of our neighbors.

I haven't posted much this month. Mothers Day was nice. I slept in, puttered around the house, and took it easy. I was feeling very tired that weekend for some reason. In the afternoon we went to see the movie Guardians of the Galaxy 2, which I enjoyed very much. Ruth was home for the weekend too. It was a nice relaxing day for me. We didn't go out to dinner because I didn't feel like it.

My daughter Sarah gave me a wonderful Mothers Day present. She bought 2 plane tickets to Rhode Island so we can go visit her in June. I am so excited! We're going to spend a whole week with her and Frank.

One of the projects I got done this past week was the reupholstering of the deck furniture. I did the bottom cushions last fall, if you'll remember. It's been bothering me a lot that I hadn't finished that project yet. I spent all day last Wednesday making a pattern for the back cushions and cutting out the pieces. and All day Friday I worked on sewing the new covers and installing them.



My daughter, Ruth, helped install them, which I greatly appreciate because it was a big job. We hand sewed the covers closed after pulling them over the cushions.



I love this fabric. I think it looks fabulous. It's a very good quality fabric, so it should last a few years.



It was such a relief getting this project done.



This last weekend the weather was wonderful. The sun was out and it got up into the 80's. I would have liked to have the windows and doors open, but the pine pollen is very thick right now. Thicker than usual because of the wet spring. Everything is coated in a layer of yellow and the air is full of it. I turned on the air conditioner for the first time this year.

On Saturday Ruth and I went to Westwood Gardens Nursery and bought plants for the pots and boxes on the deck. We spent the afternoon planting them. I got Marigolds, Snapdragons, and Sweet William (also known as Dianthus) this year because I don't have to worry about moose and deer eating them. One of the benefits of the new backyard fence. Hurray! I also bought 3 beautiful flower baskets full of petunias and such. Ruth swept up the winter dirt and pine needles off the deck. Now the deck is ready for use. I'm ready for summer.

Live long and prosper. \\//

5/7/17

Random Newsy Stuff

Spring is here. Yay! My flowering Cherry is in bloom. It has 4 small bunches of flowers on it.



Not as good as last year, but I'm not complaining. At least it's blooming.



My daffodils are in full form too. These ones were planted the year we moved here. We had a huge bulb garden. Unfortunately, the deer thought it was their personal smorgasbord. The only thing they didn't eat was these daffs. We planted grass and turned the bed into part of the lawn. The daffs survived and are 25 years old now. I admire their persistence.



This past week I've been working on a baby cardigan for the next layette set.



I got an idea to make it look like a lettermans jacket. It requires knitting in Intarsia if I want to knit from the top down and have no seams to sew. Haven't done Intarsia since I had my shop. I'm happy with how it's going so far.

I had intended to do a Caturday post yesterday, but my plans were altered. So I'll post the pics of my kitties now instead.

Chenille is hangin' in her window bed. She loves this silly thing and spends a lot of her time in it. It's just her size. The boys are too big to fit in it.



Here she is atop the cat tree. I actually took this before we moved the tree to the dining room. Just never got around to posting it. She loves posing for the camera.



I got Merino on the cat tree a couple days ago. He has his "I'm a ferocious panther" expression.



That changed when I started giving him chin scritches.



I could not get Cashmere to sit for a photo. I had to wait until he was asleep. When the boys did this, I had to grab the camera. They don't sleep together very often. There isn't quite enough room for both of them on this chair.



Some news I haven't shared yet. I was texting with my sister earlier last week, talking doll talk as usual. I brought up the subject of an Iplehouse JID doll I've been wanting. I've been saving the money I make teaching knitting classes for this doll. I went to the Iplehouse site to get the link so she could see it, and we ended up both talking each other into ordering new dolls. They were on sale. A good sale at that! Price was knocked down $150. I've ordered JID Asa. She'll have the same face-up as in this photo, and I've ordered that beautiful black wig for her as well. I could not get the red outfit. Not to fear, though. She's the same size as Sierra, so she'll fit in clothes I already have.It's no longer available I guess. She will be here in a few weeks. I'm excited.



We were discussing how hard it is to find clothes to fit these dolls. It's the biggest complaint about them. We're going to see if we can fill that need a bit and make clothes to sell.

Speaking of doll clothes. I've already been working on some dresses to fit the JID girls to sell in my Etsy store. The knitting is done. One is pink.



The other is light yellow with blue fur yoke.



Not very good pics (I took them with the phone while texting sis), but you get the idea. I'm making jewelry this weekend to go with them. Then it's official photo time.

It's a beautiful day out today. I think I'll go get some sunshine.

Live long and prosper. \\//