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

12/24/16

Purple Mittens for Katy

I finished the purple mittens I was making for my niece Katy.



Pattern: Classic Mittens No. 615 by Bernhard Ulmann Co.
Size: Childrens 6-8

Yarn: Knit Picks Mighty Stitch
Content: 80% Wool/20% Acrylic
Color: Eggplant

Needles: Circular size 5

Started: December 9, 2016
Finished: December 22,2016



Comments: I really like this pattern. It's easy and knits up fairly quickly.



I don't know if I'll be seeing Katy this weekend or not. Her family was planning to come over to ski. They don't celebrate Christmas so it isn't a Christmas present. It's just a present from Auntie me to Katy who loves purple mittens.

Now for some bad news. About 15 minutes ago I accidentally knocked my camera off the dining room table and it broke! 


It will only take pink blurry pics. I hope I can get it repaired. I love my camera so much!

We have got lots of snow at the Parkarosa. It's well over a foot deep now in the yard. We got 4 new inches just last night.

I'm as ready as I can be for Christmas. The presents are wrapped and under the tree. We're going to my brother-in-laws house for dinner tonight. Should be fun.

Live long and prosper. \\//

12/16/16

Mukluk and Fence

Well, it's amazing how nicely something goes when you're doing it right. I already got the first mukluk knitted, and I've started the second one.



There are a lot of ends to weave in. Not looking forward to it. I have a pair of leather soles somewhere around here to sew on, but I can't remember where I put them (2 years is more than my memory can handle) so I've ordered some more.

Zoey wanted her picture taken, so I obliged.



We have about 8 inches of snow on the ground now.



It's also very  cold. The high on Wednesdat was 15F. Yesterday it was 23F. Today it's 16F. When I got up this morning it was 8F. Brrrr. So I feel bad for the fence guys.

Yes! They showed up on Wednesday and started building the fence. They dug post holes all day, and they managed to find the cable to our satellite dishes too. Chopped it right in two. Fortunately, Dish sent someone out later that day to fix it so I wouldn't miss the finale of Survivor.

The fence guys returned Thursday and put in the fence posts. The fence will be 6 feet high. I got a real feel for it standing here. The posts are taller than me.



I was gone all day, so it did my heart good to return to all these posts sticking straight up. Zoey thinks they're great too. She got very excited and ran up and down the fence line several times until she got distracted.



She found a dirty chunk of ice to play with while I was taking pics.



She doesn't seem to be bothered by the cold. She isn't as excited about snow as Cable was, but she likes to play in it-mostly running in it and eating it.



Here's the view down the hill from the back door. It's pretty here in the morning when the sun is shining.



There will be a 6 foot wide gate so we can get to the dishes. Doug likes to mow around them in the summer, and we need to be able to go down and wipe the snow off them in the winter.

Wednesday I decided to clean the oven. It's self cleaning, so the job consists of turning on the self cleaning cycle, then waiting for the oven to cool off, and wiping the ashes out of it. I decided I needed to clean the door glass too. There are two panes. One inside the oven door, and one on the outside of the door. I just 'had' to clean the spills that had managed to get inside between the glass panes. I took the screws out to allow myself access to that space and I managed to break the plastic pieces that hold the outer glass in place. Sigh. Everything just plopped on the floor. I'm lucky the glass didn't break! So now I've got a broken oven door sitting on the floor in the kitchen, and I can't use the oven until the replacement parts get here next Tuesday. I need my oven! I need to bake some cookies today, and then there's dinner cooking too. Urg. I guess I'll find something else to do today.

Like, knit.

Live long and prosper. \\//

12/9/16

The Bicycle Hat

This project went really fast. I started it on the 5th and finished it last night. A Christmas present for someone. I call it the bicycle hat.



The Bicycle Hat

Pattern: Bicycle Patterned Knit Hat by Heidi Arjes
Size: Adult

Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash
Content: 100% Superwash Wool
Color: 227 Bachelor Button

Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash
Content: 100% Superwash Wool
Color: 211 Cocoa

Needles:  Size 9 circular

Started: December 4, 2016
Finished: December 8/ 2016

Comments: I really modified the pattern because it's kind of plain and not well designed. First of all, I did a 2 color corrugated rib for the cuff just to fancify it. Then I did a lovely Latvian braid. (They're fun to knit.) After finishing the bike chart I continued in stockinette stitch until the hat was 5.5 inches from the cast on edge (rather than just 3 rounds as the pattern instructed). The decreases on the crown are not correct in the pattern. They decrease down much too fast. I added one round of knit between each decrease row, and did a second round of K2tog on the last round so I had 5 stitches left. 



I am very pleased with how it turned out.



Clearly I am on a stranded color work knitting roll. I'm really enjoying it now that I can do it properly. After finishing the hat I've decided to try those Mukluks again that I started knitting in 2014 but could never get to turn out nice. I've already cast on and I'm well into it now.



It has been snowing all day long. It hasn't amounted to much though. Maybe an inch. The snow is very light and fluffy and it is windy. I suspect most of it has been blown over into Montana before it could touch the ground. It's also bitterly cold. We haven't been above freezing all week long and it's been dipping into the low to mid teens at night. It's supposed to snow pretty much all weekend.

I've been promised that our fence will be built this next week. I'll believe it when I see it. They'll have to work in snow and frozen ground. I'm assured they will have no problem with that.

I've been Christmas shopping this week, mostly online. It's just so much easier than driving all over trying to find what I want. I just sit here in 'the hug' and everything I want gets shipped to our house.

I really should get the tree out of storage and start putting it up. Perhaps that is what I'll do this weekend.

Zoey is playing with her toys. She is very good at playing by herself. Right now she's got her pink pig in her mouth and is running around the couch in circles with it, squeeking it as she goes. Silly girl.

Live long and prosper. \\//

12/5/16

Fibonacci Socks

I can't believe I have finished the socks. Hurray! This has been one of the most challenging things I've knit in a long long time. I learned so much doing them. I feel like I could take on any fairisle/stranded color work project now.


Fibonacci Socks

Pattern: Fibonacci Socks from Op-Art Socks by Stephanie Van Der Linden
Size: Mens size 8 shoe

Yarn: Down Home Art Yarns Sock by Knitivity (discontinued)
Content: 75% Superwash Wool/25% Nylon
Color: Blog Reader Special Dark Greens

Yarn: Fearless Fibers Classic Merino Sock Yarn
Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool
Color: Lime Kiwi

Needles:  Circulars size 2

Started: October 8, 2016
Finished: December 4, 2016

Comments:  I can't believe how long it took me to make these. I had to unravel or just plain rip out so much before I got it right. I did not knit these exactly as the original pattern is written. I didn't think they would fit the person I've made these for (Christmas present), so I modified. I cast on 72 sts and did 1.5 inches of twisted 1x1 rib, then sort of used the stitch patterns over my usual pattern for making socks. I've done a Dutch heel on them too just because it's my favorite.



I love the stitch pattern on the sole. I'd like to make a pair of socks using just that pattern.



I do like how the heel turned out. My standard Dutch heel.



There are mistakes in both socks that I chose not to fix. I had a lot of trouble with the gussets and that's where the mistakes are.



I sure hope the recipient of this gift likes them. All that work!

Snow has come to the Parkarosa. We actually got a couple inches, and then it all melted. Yesterday we had a very weird weather day that ended with just a little bit of fresh snow. Here's how the yard looks now.



The temperatures have dropped low. I woke up this morning to 14F degrees. It did not get above freezing today. Zoey doesn't seem to mind it, which is weird considering how little fur she has. She isn't particularly thrilled with snow, but it doesn't bother her either. She likes to eat it and that's about it. Maybe if we get some deeper snow her opinion will change. Right now it's crunchy and not much there.

Still waiting for the fence company to come build our fence. I'm getting frustrated now. They keep saying "Next week." Well, we've 'next weeked' a whole month away now. In the meantime, Zoey has decided she doesn't need to come when I call her if she's off leash outside (our trainer said she's entered that stubborn age). So no more off leash for her. She wants to take off into the woods. She did it twice last week and I had quite a time getting her back. We need that fence!

One more session of dog obedience class. We went today, but not much happened because Zoey and I were the only ones who showed up. I felt like we should still be getting taught, but the trainer disagreed. She did a little bit with me to teach Zoey to not jump up on people, so I guess I did learn something new, but after about 10 minutes, that was it. I did purchase a collar and tag for Zoey after class. With her taking off, I think she needs to have a tag on her with our phone numbers on it, just in case.



I made the last of the reservations for our Star Trek Cruise. I got us plane tickets and hotel rooms. Can't walk to Miami from here. We decided to arrive 2 days early and spend a bit of time in Miami, also flying home the day after we get  back to Miami. With weather in the winter, I didn't want to take a chance on missing the boat because of bad weather.

My next knitting project will be a pair of stranded color work mittens for another Christmas present. They're done with worsted weight yarn, so they should knit up fairly quickly.

Well, that's the news for now.

Live long and prosper. \\//

11/28/16

Ruby - Light Peach by Liz Frost

Two Saturdays ago a box from Australia arrived at our house.



I opened the box and unwrapped the contents.



It was my new doll, Light Peach Ruby from Liz Frost! YAY! I installed the grey eyes that came with her, and put a red wig on her head. Oh my goodness! She's gorgeous! Look at that sweet little face.



I had a new outfit waiting for her that I got from JackisCreations on Etsy. It's perfect for Ruby.



I love the little knit sweater and crocheted hat.



I ordered another outfit for her from FantasyFrocksDesigns, also on Etsy. It arrived today. So here are a bunch of pics I took with Ruby wearing it.



I really love this doll.



She's posing on my piano.



The light wasn't very good because it's winter now and our days have been depressingly dark lately, but my camera managed to do a decent job.



So glad I ordered her.



Live long and prosper. \\//

11/27/16

Ramblings

November has been such an incredibly busy month for me. Besides taking care of Zoey, I taught 3 knitting classes a week, plus all my normal busy stuff. To top it off, I have not been feeling well. The anxiety disorder has been giving me a lot of problems. I finally went to my doctor last Tuesday. He's changed my medication. I was having nasty side affects. I had them earlier in the year and he increased my dosage plus added a second medication. I was fine for awhile, and then they came back worse than before. So now I'm taking something new. I sure hope it works like it should. The last few weeks have been a nightmare.

Add to that the bad news we got. One of my very best friends son was diagnosed with brain cancer. I was devastated. Cried for almost a week. He's only 29. Too young for this kind of thing. My daughters grew up with him, so he's almost like a son to me.  It's pretty serious. He had brain surgery the very next morning after the MRI results came in. The surgeon was able to get about 80% of it out. My friends son started chemo and radiation therapy a couple weeks ago. He, and his parents, are keeping a positive attitude about it. We're hoping he can beat that nasty cancer and send it packing.

Zoey news: The puppy obedience class is going well. I'm learning a lot. We've discovered Zoey has a stubborn streak in her though. She's very smart and catches on fairly quickly to learning new things, but she's also figuring out ways to get around stuff she doesn't want to do. I'm trying to teach her Leave It, but she doesn't want to learn that one. I'm going through training treats like crazy (not to mention kleenex-the thing she's supposed to leave alone). Buying the large bags.

Trying to help me fold laundry--not.

On the potty training front, she went in the house just a few times this last week, so we are making progress. The good thing is she doesn't go in her crate, ever. She also goes on command when I take her outside. This will be great when we travel with her.



By the way, she's up to 22 pounds and her back is just above the top of the coffee table.

I finished the first of the Op-Art socks. This pic was taken with my phone camera and the colors are off some. They're much brighter and greener in real life.



I've made some mistakes in them that I decided not to go back and fix. The thick green line along the sides from the toe is supposed to go all the way to the heel. I didn't have the pattern with me when I worked on that part and guessed wrong. Oh well, the second one will be correct. I am proud of the workmanship just the same. No puckering in the pattern, even at the needle changes. The floats look great on the inside. YAY!

I started the second sock right away. I'm just starting the third (and last) pattern repeat in the leg. Getting close to the heel part-which is my favorite.

I've been sort of working on a pair of mens size mittens for KnitWits. It's my Knitting In Public project when I'm going someplace where I can't have something that takes as much concentration as the socks.



I have the pattern memorized so I don't have to hardly think about it when I'm knitting along. I'm using a skein of Berroco Vintage that I bought a few years ago when I was back in Michigan taking care of my Dad right when he'd had his stroke.

I had a very nice Thanksgiving. It was my turn to host. We had 15 people at our table this year, family and close friends. We had tons of food. My turkey turned out perfect. So juicy, tender, and delicious. My stuffing was good too, but I wasn't happy with my mashed potatoes and gravy. I tried something new and I'll not being doing it again. Everyone else seemed to like it though.

We are moving stuff into the new garage now. It's already getting crowded. There is lots of lumber. Part of it is leftovers from the building of the garage. The rest is stuff  Sweet Hubbies brother brought over. The biggest problem we have is no shelves or cupboards to put things in, or peg board to hang things on. So the day after Thanksgiving Dan, Sue, nephew David and his girlfriend came over and helped Doug hang sheet rock on the walls so he can start building shelving and all that. It was so incredibly nice of them to do that. They got the whole job done in just a few hours. Now we can start getting things to put stuff away in and get organized.

Last week I bought plane tickets for our Star Trek Cruise. The ship starts in Miami, Florida. Just a month and a half away. I'm getting excited!

I got a new doll. More about that later. Gotta get some photos taken.

I am not ready for the Christmas season to be here. Guess I better get ready though. It's here whether I want it or not. I have no classes to teach in December. That should help some. I'm hoping things slow down just a bit, and my medication works properly. Life would be so much better if I was feeling good again.

It's raining right now. I am so sick of rain. It's been raining for weeks now. But, at least it isn't snowing.

This week the fence is supposed to be installed. Hoping it happens.

Live long and prosper. \\//

11/24/16

11/8/16

It's Election Day

Hey all my fellow American  citizens, it's Election Day.





Live long and prosper. \\//

11/7/16

Layette Set 17 for KnitWits

I have finished another layette set, which I turned in at last Wednesdays meeting. It's the last set that will go to this years distribution. Everything I make from this point now goes towards 2017. The year went so quick. I like how this set turned out a lot. I used a variegated yarn with long color changes.




The cardigan.




PatternSuper Natural Stripes by Fawn Pea

Yarn
Invention by Jojoland
Content: 80% Acrylic/20% washable wool
Color: 2Wva

Yarn: Red Heart With Love Solids

Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: 1805 Bluebell

Needles:  U.S. size 8 circulars

Started: September 11, 2016
Finished: September 23, 2016


I found this incredibly cute button at Knit-N-Crochet.




The hat




PatternChibi Striped Baby Hat by Chiaki Hayashi

Yarn
Invention by Jojoland
Content: 80% Acrylic/20% washable wool
Color: 2Wva

Yarn: Red Heart With Love Solids

Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: 1805 Bluebell

Needles:  U.S. size 7 circulars

Started: September 29, 2016
Finished: September 30, 2016


The booties




PatternSeamless Garter Tassel Booties by Karen Strauss

Yarn
Invention by Jojoland
Content: 80% Acrylic/20% washable wool
Color: 2Wva

Yarn: Red Heart With Love Solids

Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: 1805 Bluebell

Needles:  U.S. size 7 circulars

Started: October 4, 2016
Finished: October 6, 2016


The blanket




Pattern: Shell stitch

Yarn
Invention by Jojoland
Content: 80% Acrylic/20% washable wool
Color: 2Wva

Yarn: Red Heart With Love Solids

Content: 100% Acrylic
Color: 1805 Bluebell

Hook:  U.S. size G

Started: October 23, 2016
Finished: October 25, 2016





And now for some Zoey news! Ruth came home from school for the weekend. Zoey remembered her and got so excited when Ruth came in the door. They played together a lot over the weekend. Zoey definitely loves Ruth.



Friday night I realized that Zoey is growing, as she should be. But I hadn't really noticed how much until I saw her playing with Ruth. They were having a spirited game of tug-o-war. She is actually bigger than all the cats, so I weighed her. She's now 20 pounds. She's gained 4 pounds since her vet visit 2 weeks ago. Whew! That's some heavy duty growing! No wonder it hurts so much when she leaps into my lap at full speed. She is 17 weeks old. We've had her 3 whole weeks.



On Sunday, my husband had to go to his brothers house for awhile, so he took Zoey with him. She got to spend a couple hours with Tripper. I heard they got along very well. Zoey has a new doggy friend. It is important to us that Tripper and Zoey get along so I'm pleased with this news.

This morning we have the second session of our Dog Obedience class. I'm looking forward to it.



Live long and prosper. \\//





11/2/16

Newsy Stuff

A few weeks ago I complained about the fall foliage not being very good. I spoke way too soon. I take it back. The fall foliage was spectacular this year. Here's my Burning Bush, finally behaving as it should in the fall.



I took this pic a few days ago. It's totally leafless now. Glad I took the pic when I did.

The weather in October was wet wet wet. We had record breaking rain totals for October. The most rain in a month ever since records have been kept. That's all months. Not just October. The result is a lawn covered in toadstools and fungi of all sorts, sizes, shapes, and colors. I was going to take pics, but before I could Sweet Hubby mowed the lawn and cut them all down during a brief dry spell on Sunday. I'm sure we'll have new ones soon.

That Fibonacci sock I was working on? Remember I was frustrated because I was having a problem with float length when I changed needles? Well, I found a video that helped me solve the problem. YAAAAAY!!!!!! You can see it here:  Fairisle Knitting on DPN's and Magic Loop  Even though she doesn't go over doing it on 2 circular needles, the Magic Loop instructions work just fine. You can not imagine how excited I was to find this video. On Thursday, at Yarnies, my friends helped me unravel the sock down to the ribbing (it's a 3 person job you know. LOL!) and I started knitting it following these instructions and it works beautifully. No more puckered sides!



I am so happy. Now I can do all that fairisle sock and mitten knitting I've been wanting to do so bad. Remember the Mukluk slippers I was making for my cousin? See here. I quit working on them because I couldn't get the sides to stop puckering. I can restart them now and they'll come out right. WOO HOO!

I also finished the doll dress I was working on. It ended up being a little too loose for my Ellowyne dolls, which I suspected would be the case. But it fits Sierra perfect!



I know what I did that made that happen, so I'll be able to reproduce it. I see a new line of doll clothing for my Etsy store in my future.

On Monday Zoey and I went to our very first Puppy Obedience Class. My vet recommended Petco's obedience classes. She said they were very good. I don't know about the rest, but our first day of class was awesome. There were two other puppies besides Zoey. The class was about teaching them to respond to their name, and why it's necessary. The teacher explained it very clearly. I would have never thought I could learn so much just from that, but I sure did. That one class made the cost of the whole 6 weeks worth it. In the meantime, Zoey, Maggie, and Jax were let off leash and played together. Socialization is important. All the students and their moms did very well.

Shaking her pig. The white stuff all over the floor is Kleenex.

Because of that one class, I've taught Zoey to fetch already. She's an incredibly smart dog. I throw a stick, she brings it back to me. Just like that. She's getting very good at coming and sitting too. That wasn't the assigned homework of course. We did that too, and she's excelling at looking at me when I call her name. I'm looking forward to the next session.

Today I've got Knitwits. It's the last meeting for turning in finished items. (I have a new layette set done. Pictures later.) Next months meeting is distribution day. Sheesh! The year has gone fast.

Live long and prosper. \\//