Sunday, December 31, 2006


New Year's Eve is always a time to reflect. I hope that this doesn't sound like a pity party because I have so much to be grateful for. I just paid my taxes and had the money to do it. My new baby welcomed me home this evening with tail wags and snorts from his soft velvet snout. I am sitting here typing on a blog, something I thought I would never do. The house is warm and I certainly have more then enough to cover not only my needs but a bunch of wants. What happened is a Lawrence Welk Show on television. Now I have never been a Lawrence Welk fan. But...There was nothing but football and paid programming. Dare I say in Wisconsin that I am not a fan of football of any type. Now, I suppose I will be run out of the State. Even the history channel had war stories. I have had enough of killing, so I thought I would listen to the music from the Welk program while working in another pair of socks for Jade. The song that came on said when we have gone our separate ways, we will have these moments to remember and it set me off into the reflective mode. So please bear with me while I think about some other New Year's Eves. Let's see, there was the night of the aluminum foil dress. I have only told a couple of people my age that I am blogging. They are the only ones that might remember. In the 60's there was a push that we would all wear disposable clothing. I had this silver foil dress. Luckily it made it through the night without ripping into shreds. That was Madison, Wisconsin. There were several welcome to the New Year in Zion, Illinois. Those were the classic ones. Out all night and breakfast in the AM before going home. One year I had this great lime green dress with a matching scarf that had a rhinestone design. My ex said that dress doesn't look bad even on someone like you. Hey, I hung in there 24 years so don't think I took it too personally. However, there are some things you don't forget. Lets see, back to Wisconsin and more going out but Illinois once again loomed in the future. Seneca would have been fondue and pinochle or subs and charades. I usually had the party at my house. That way I put the kids to bed and was feeling a bit safer then being on the road. Back in Wisconsin we had the Year of the Blizzard. Some friends came down and unknown to me they were in the other room doctoring their coffee while I was cooking. Everyone insisted we go out. The weather was terrible. I don't know why I thought it would be safer if I went along. I wasn't the one driving. (Do you remember "friends don't let friends drive drunk") that always made me so mad. Did you ever try to take the keys from a drunk that doesn't want to give them up. Good luck. Anyway away we went. Once we hit the nightspot all I wanted to do was go home. By this time the roads were closed but that didn't stop the Ex. Lucky that there was a snowmobile that found us and took us to a four wheeler that was patrolling the roads. I think that was the last News Year's we went out. That one even stopped him. There were the years in Bloomington with Harry, a friend of ours and I falling asleep before midnight and everyone else waking us to bring n the New Year. I think that happened at least twice. There were a couple of Church parties in Brodhead. I really kind of liked those. We did games and had potluck as well as a prayer to issue in the New. In Texas the parties were at my house again. Always something going on. Now, it seems strange to be alone and remember. There was always so many people. Years and Years of people. Good times and Bad. The song is right. I will have those moments to remember. Lets make this one a good memory. Happy and Bright New Year to all. May you have lots of New Year's Memories to share.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Odds and Ends

I like to kind of finish things up this time of year. I had a bunch of little pieces of yarn left over from Jade's purse, her sparkle socks and some wool sock yarn so decided to see what I could so. The fingerless mittens that my pal sent me her pattern for are the result. I don't think the three colors do justice to her wonderful pattern but it does give you the idea. Now off to more sparkle socks. I didn't take the take to measure Jade's foot and I guessed wrong so they are way too small. My fault. Now I owe her another pair. She has picked dark blue sparkle. I don't know how the micro fiber is going to work up but I am about to find out.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

To honor the season

OK, I am all right at knitting but what I am really good at is sewing. I have not touched the machine in weeks and have had an old throw pillow that I needed to recover. I love bold as an accent and thinking of all the gifts, I finally took an hour this morning and went to work. I am not sure it even took an hour so shame on me. I really need to get back to my machine but this time of the year it is so easy to pick up my knitting needles and dump myself in the recliner. Anyway, The afghan is a counted cross one that I finished last year. I like it but it needed something that was bold to bring it out. So here is the result. I should finish up a pair of gauntlet today. My secret pal created that pattern and when she sent me a pair I asked for it. I think it is great. I may have to make another pair also but will see what transpires. There is so much I want to do. You all know what that is like.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Smells of Christmas-cinnamon, nutmeg and burned brussel sprouts

Just a note to those of you who are running around trying to get that last special gift for you little one and think that when the kids are grown all will go smoothly. This Christmas as I will be at my son's house and have a new dog to adjust to his new home so I kept the Christmas decorations to a bare minimum. That's saying a lot for a person that has 5 trees in the basement of various sizes and materials. Anyway, things were going along so smoothly that when I looked up at the curtains over the patio door and decided they needed to be washed it was a simple no brainier to get them sparkling white for the holidays. I love the smell of fresh washed fabric and between the clean curtains and the spices permeating the house it was really, I mean really nice. Now I admit it. I am one of those people who love brussel sprouts. My kids go yuk, little cabbages, but I have no one to please but myself and bought a nice large container. I cleaned them up and put them on the stove with just a tad of water, then I started to work with some wonderful yarn that my secret pal sent me in an earlier package. It was so relaxing. I have the last present wrapped. The ice cream is made. The house smells fresh and clean....WAIT A MINUTE. It stinks. Of no, I got so carried away with the knitting that I forgot I had the brussel sprouts on the stove. Nothing smells quite a bad as burned brussel sprouts. Hummmm...the only difference I can see with the addition of years is that as much as the house smells I am somehow finding it funny. Thank God for the ability to open the doors and the new sprays. So what is wrong with a lilac smelling Christmas? Nothing that I can think of. That will teach me to feel smug. Merry Christmas to all of you out there and may just a little something go wrong because there is no perfect. Better yet, I hope you enjoy the bumps in the road..they are what keep us alert.

It is almost here

The 23rd already and I am still wrapping and cooking. Chewie, my new baby, does not understand why an rational human being would be up and in the kitchen at 5 AM. He is lying on the hassack and manages to list one eyelid to take a peak now and then but that is it. Smart dog. The last gift arrived by Fed-X last night and things are finally getting finished. I must just remember to breath deeply and slow down - everything always has gotten done and it always will. Anything I don't finish was not meant to be finished so it doesn't count. The 21st was my grandson Logan's birthday. We do only a small celebration because it is so close to Christmas. He gets a half birthday in June that is not so taken over by the Christmas holiday. Hummmm...I wonder what happens when Jade, his sister, figures out with a birthday in April she hasn't been getting a half birthday. She has a mind of her own so that should be interesting. Now, off to make peppermint ice cream. The kids like to watch it freeze so I will take it over to their house.

Friday, December 22, 2006

A Christmas Package

My wonderful secret pal came through just in time for the holidays. What a wonderful box all the way from Germany. Beautiful autumn colored lace weight wool yarn, lots of German Christmas goodies (I can hardly wait to try them) a very large chocolate Santa and a wonderful book to curl up and read with a holiday cup of tea. I am so lucky to have this secret pal. Happy holidays to her and to all my friends out in blogger land.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Secret Pal 9 Answers

The hostess is running a little "contest" where we get answers from our secret pal. I have a wonderful pal that not only spoils me with gifts but stays in touch on a regular basis so here are her answers to the questions. Another way to get to know someone well. Thanks pal I am fortunate to have you.
1) the oddest gift you have ever received (not asked for)
a bottle of hardwood floor cleaner from my mother for last mother's day (no, she didn't want to give me a hint, at least I don't think so because for that matter she would be pretty direct ;-) )

2) the oddest gift you ever asked for
a breast pump for my birthday right after my daughter was born. The one I wanted was rather expensive, so I asked my In-Laws.

3) the oddest gift you ever gave
that is still the joke in our family: I was rather young like 10 or 12 and money was short naturally and the sources where to shop in our town wasn't too good either. Anyway I gave the partner of my grandma some birdseed for Christmas (they had a bullfinch that he had found badly injured at his workplace. The bullfinch lived several years with them)

4) the worse gift you ever got
there are several but one was a plastic capelet (the ones you use for hairdoing so loose hair and dandruff won't get on your clothes) and shower cap from my MIL for one x-mas while we lived in the US. So fortunately I didn't have to look in her face when I thanked her ;-) Needless to say I don't use either of those things (and they didn't exist for too long in my household)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Nap time

I've been remiss in blogging for the past few days. Hopefully the picture tells the story. Meet my newest family member. This is Chewie...Because he makes sounds just like Chewbaca in Star Wars. He has some health issues that hopefully we can get all cleared up. He loves everyone and everything-even kittens and that is saying a lot for a Shar Pei. Knitting has taken a backseat for the time being.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Little Lucy

Things are a little hectic right now. The holidays are coming up and I am not even done shopping - much less wrapping. It looks like I should have a new companion soon. If all goes well he will be picked up in Illinois on Sunday and home that evening. He is coming from Arkansas and everything I have heard makes him sound so very very special. Pictures will follow once I get him home. Here is the Lucy bag for my granddaughter. I don't know why I keep thinking they are Anne bags, but I do. Off to the store to find a neat pin for it and it is one more thing ready to wrap. Wow, is anyone else as flaky and behind feeling as I am? Next week I start a little vacation and maybe I can get caught up then.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


I finally finished the second mitten. This is why I have to finish one thing at a time. Now I am trying to make Jade a quick little purse. She liked the Anne bags so I will see if I can get a small one done for her. I have never made as many of one item. I have a short bordeom factor, but this is the exception. I am still bored with all the plain knitting but they do go really fast. I am using a sports weight alpaca that is supposed to felt great so I will let you know.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Solstice Magic ball

I have really become addicted to these swaps. I have met some wonderful people out there. So I keep signing up. Here is what I am sending my latest partner. Her mother is battling cancer. She is getting a knit cap from the yarn so this is a soft suede acrylic so that it is not scratchy. My prayers to my partner and her family. Meanwhile, I was snowed in yesterday and I can't say that I really minded. The plow that gets me out didn't get to the house until about 4 PM so I had lots of tea and managed to finally get a book read in one sitting. I am currently finishing a mitten that is cabled and then on to other things. I am also now on a search for a new companion. I am sure that there is one out there just waiting for his/her new home. Meanwhile I have found a lot of caring people. Will keep you updated.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Sparkle Socks

I am back to work and keeping busy but I should have the toe done on Jade's "Sparkle socks" tonight. Like most 3 year old girls she loves things the sparkle. She even took the yarn home before I knit the socks so that her parents had to steal it back to me.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A second Pair

The felted mittens seemed so wooly and warm I did a quick second pair for my grandson. It has been extra warm here but the weatherman is saying snow in a few days. I am also working on sparkly socks for my granddaughter. She loves things that flash and shimmer. Been keeping busy and thinking that there is probably another rescue dog out there what would not mind being spoiled and hugged. My kids keep telling me I am better off if I have something around to spoil.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Sad News

I have been off the computer. I lost Napoleon. He was my buddy and companion and will be sorely missed. I will be back later.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Keeping my Hands busy

It remains touch and go with my dog and so I found the need to keep my hands busy. I am thinking it would be better if I were not off on vacation. Oh well, this is something over which I have no control. Anyway this is yesterday and this morning's offerings. They kept me busy counting away and I will finally have a pair of warm mittens big enough for my long fingers thanks to Ann, my kind partner at Knit kit. Hope you like how they turned out. Oh, it is another Lucy bag not an Anne bag. This is the taller version

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The last two mice

Here are the lady and gentleman mouse. I guess the cook will have to serve them dinner. Napoleon is still at the hospital and I am on vacation so will see what else I get done.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Mouse #1 the cook

One mouse is done and two to go. Napoleon has been quite ill so I have been busy and not getting online. But here is the mouse that went to my neighbor for her birthday. More as things get more settled down

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


See what wonderful things my secret partner sent me in the Knit-Kit swap. It came at a good time to help lift my spirits and the colors of the yarn are perfect to go with my winter coat. It won't be long before that is every day wear. Thanks again, you did a great job and this will go with me when I fly to Texas.

I hope my partner gets a partner as great as I did.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Knit kit

I have been slow getting to my blog but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy. My wonderful exchange pal in the international scarf exchange sent me a knitting magazine from England. My neighbor immediately fell in love with some mice and begged to have me make them for her for Christmas. You guessed it. I have little mice parts filling my knitting tote. I will put a picture on when the parts are sown together. I usually don't knit things like this but my neighbor has been a wonderful friend so I gritted my teeth and found out it isn't bad at all. Meanwhile I managed to sign up for a swap and didn't know that I had. That's not a bad thing. I really like swaps and have been busy getting together to send a knit kit to Uruguary. I had a bit of a problem because the person I sent to has a blog but it is in Spanish. I am Spanish illiterate. I put a page of her blog in and think I have some of the things she likes. I hope so. Meanwhile here is what I put in her kit. Due to a possible problem in communication, I am sending two patterns and she can pick the one that she likes the best to make. She will always have the other one to do at a later time, knitting needles, beads if she chooses the one with beads, a bead stringer, Chocolate and fruit candy, flavored coffee and a tube of moisturing hand lotion. The yarn is from Italy and from what I can figure out her favorite color is blue so I went with one that would work up like a denim. Hope I guessed correctly and she enjoys it. Now, back to those mice!

Sunday, November 05, 2006


I am going to be gone for a part of November and so am working on getting together some things for my secret pal so I can send them before I go. I don't want her to think I forgot her and it may be a dry spell after that. Here is the bag I made for her on both before and after pictures. I always like felting. It is like magic. Everything shrinks down and comes together. If only it didn't take those honking big needles. I really prefer the small ones when it comes to my hands and fingers. I joined a mitten swap and signing in has been nothing but frustration. I am on the list. The hostess agrees with the email I have. When I try to sign in it says my email is not on the data base. Spam email isn't there either. Another one of those problems we techno challenged face. Oh, to my Germany pal. I forgot to tell you I finished the book and it was very enjoyable reading. I like to work on old houses to it really hit the target and it certainly came at the right time for home repairs. Thanks again and again.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Yarn Run

Did a yarn run today with a couple of good friends and fellow yarn addicts. Actually, I didn't buy much yarn.....GOOD FOR ME. I did find a bunch of new pattern books...Not so good. Now I will be out finding yarn to fit the pattern anyway. I also found a shawl pin to go on a bag I am knitting my secret pal over at secret pal 9 and a nice mitten pattern that would give some choices to my pal at KSKS. That is a little chancy because I signed up and got the congratulations but I don't seem to be able to log in so will have to see what happens on that one. I have written the hostess. I probably missed some step along the way. Oh, and of course what is a yarn run without something chocolate. How about that giant homemade peanut butter cup. A good finish for a long and productive day. Check the yarn in the corner. My granddaugher will love socks with sparkle. Yikes! Another thing to try and get done before Christmas.

ksks Questionaire

The Questionnaire:

What are your favorite colors? Lavendars, Purples, pinks Mauve sage greens almost anything.

Are you a new mitt knitter? How long have you been knitting mittens?
I have been knitting mittens on and off for about 35-40 years. Some years off and some years on.

Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn? I like either. I think the key factor is the pattern

What fibers do you prefer in mitten yarn? Something warm so natural wool or alpaca. I live in a cold state.

Where do you usually knit mittens? Sitting in a big recliner in the livingroom

How do you usually carry/store small projects? I have a tote that folds out that I take around with my smaller projects

What are your favorite mitten patterns? I like classic cable mitten and I have been doing some mittens with beads this year. I also like some of the figerless mittens or gauntlet style

What are your favorite mitten knitting techniques? I prefer to do them on a double pointed needles

What new techniques would you like to try? I have never felted mittens and this they would be really nice and warm.

What are your favorite needles for knitting mittens? I don't have a favorite need for mittens. I have been using quite a few bamboo needles lately as they seem to be kinder to my hands. I use all size needles because it varieds as to the pattern and style

What are some of your favorite yarns? Wool, alpaca, wool/silk mix

What yarn do you totally covet? Cashmere

Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object? White Cashmere with pearl like beads in a pewter or paastel color.

Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)? I like different needles for different projects. right now I would say I have been using a lot of bamboo.

If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be? Something wool Probably hand spun because it would vary in texture.

Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack? I like almost any kind of candy and love to try new and unusual things

What’s your favorite animal? Dog

Would you prefer super warm mittens or something more like fingerless mitts?I have a use for both.

If you were a color what color would you be? This is hard. Some days I would be a sunny yellow, others a dramatic red or purple and every tells me what I am is a calm green.

What is your most inspiring image, flower, or object in nature? A snow flake

Do you have a wishlist?

Anything else you’d like to share with the group today?

I am hoping that putting this on my blog is correct. I got I am in but can't find my name or any other items. Thanks

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Just a note

My secret pal got her gifts and it seems she is very happy with them. That makes me happy too. I always am excited to have made a good guess. Not much going on tonight. I had to have Napoleon to the Dr to have surgery on a root tooth. After I talked about his flossing...I should know better. No decay, no problems but he managed to break a tooth off at the root. It was very large and health. So large the vet said I should take it home because it was a whopper. Vet added that he couldn't believe the torque it would have taken to make that happen. Meanwhile Napoleon is laying in the doorway of the room snoring after getting a pain pill. When I picked him up he was still a bit groggy and worked around like he was drunk making noises like a hippo through that big muzzle. No wonder they call his particular muzzle rhino mouth. Guess I will get a cup of tea, have a tad of gift chocolate and do a bit of quick knitting on a felted bag I am making for my secret pals next gift parcel.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I probably won't get much if any knitting done this evening. It is time for the ghosties and goblins. Here are Logan and Jade after coming in from a brisk walk with their haul of goodies. Secret pal, They had to try the candy to see if it was like the American Gummie Bears. The consensus is that it is. Be back later with more pictures. We tried the shrug and figured out a way to make it work so will be back on that as soon as I finish the camasole that goes with it.
I also heard from my giftee secret pal who finally got her package. I have been waiting on pins and needles as I got mine from Germany faster then she got hers in Canada. Now at least I have an estimate of time. One of the things I sent was a tote that wraps up like a purse and when you pop it open it becomes quite large and has wheels to fit lots of stuff in for shopping at those yarn stores. She said the size makes her husband a tad nervous. Knitters unite....A yarn shop is no place for thinking small.

Monday, October 30, 2006

My Wonderful Secret Pal

Oh my, look at all the goodies from my secret pal. She even remembered Napoleon, my dog. She has been reading my blog and even managed to find an appliance mystery in honor of all my appliances breaking down. Yarn to knit, chocolate to eat and a package of candy for the grandkids just in time for Halloween. To top it all off she send fingerless mittens that she knit herself with some additional yarn for me to make something to match. Perfect. I know I must have one of the best pals out there. Thank-you thank-you thank-you. I have been really fortunate in the people I have matched up with. PS..Napoleon is a pig, he already had to try a treat and he liked it a lot.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

A wonderful day

The sun is shining. The shrug is finished or at least 97% finished. I always put off weaving the ends. I will post a picture later. I have started a new bag for my secret pal. I had the pleasure of a friend to dinner today and she brought me the most wonderful glass wine bottle holder. She works in glass as a hobby and does a beautiful job. Got to stop knitting for a while, take the dog fro a walk and then off to making the necessary goodies for the Halloween cookout at work. Pumpkin caramel Swirl Cheesecake. So not a lot more to post but I continue to be euphoric over my goodies from my scarf exchange pal and now even more. More pictures in a few days.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

My Luck has turned

Here is the wonderful scarf made by my pal in the International Scarf Exchange III. It is gorgeous and I had even left a comment on the exchange stating how special it was, never guessing it would be for me. I keep thinking I have been sounding kind of pessimistic and I am really not a pessimistic person but this is the turn of the wheel. Not only did Dawn send me this gorgeous scarf but also lots of other goodies. I am going to drink a cup of tea from England tonight and just sit and admire all that she has done while nibbling on my Belgium chocolates. Again, Dawn, You are the greatest and I can't thank you enough or tell you have pleased I am.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Its getting longer

Been busy again so this is all I have accomplished in the past few days. The oven is now cooking, the washer is washing. The digital camera is taking pictures. I did just go out to start the mower and no spark. I looked outside in the front. I decided that I was only going to mulch the leaves anyway and I could do that in the spring. Maybe I will borrow the neighbors but for now I will get in the kitchen and whip up a couple of items for company. I'm feeling Italian. I almost folded and started something else while working on the shrug. I am hanging tough though. I will get this finished before starting another item. It is such a simple pattern and I keep having to rip it out. I think that's the problem. It has a lot of repeats and I don't pay enough attention to how often I repeat. The stitch markers help if I would just look at my knitting instead of checking out the news on the television I could probably get this done in a few more days.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Moving right along

It pattern that made no sense to me is finally coming together and really knits up quite quickly. Like all lace type things it will take a blocking and if anyone has worked with bamboo and has any suggestions I will be all ears when the time comes. The yarn has a great sheen and is so soft it's like knitting with a cloud. I can tell it will drape beautifully. Now, on to another subject. Our secret pal hostess is running a little contest and we are submitting something funny/bizarre about ourselves. I am sure there are plenty of people that could tell you that everything about me is a bit bizarre but I did think of the following behavior as being a tad more then the accepted normal. Early on one of the first warm spring mornings I roll up a newspaper and go out and beat the trunks of the trees in the lawn. A few weeks later I go out early again and I take clear glass jars filled with water and put them lid side down all around the veggie garden. (I do a lot of pretty bizarre things and I really don't want to have the neighbors see me beating the trees.)...There is a reason for my madness. The beating loosens the bark for the sap to flow and rabbits eyes catch the reflect of the water like a mirror and stay out of the garden. Actually most of the neighbors do this now because they wanted to know how I kept out the rabbits.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Better Days

The oven is working. So, it was a hefty check but at least I can bake again. I just threw up my hands and considered the 2 1/2 year old washer a "wash out" so a new is to be delivered on Monday. Ouch! That hurt the checkbook big time. Finally and best of all I have received a note from my secret pal that she has put a package in the mail. Oh, the anticipation. I love new things. Times are starting to look up. I have even figured out my mental block on the shrug and it is starting to take shape. A picture in a day or two.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


When I started this blog I am pretty sure that I mentioned that it seems my projects seem to reflect my life. I didn't mean it in quite the way it is showing up but right now it seems that all my appliances are breaking and repairmen just haven't had time to fit me in. I thought I would knit and wouldn't you know it....I must have pulled the shrug I want to make for Christmas 7 times. For some reason I had a mental block and just could not get the pattern to work. Last night I think I found the answer but to be on the safe side this evening I will just curl up with a cup of tea and a book. I think that sometimes that is the best thing that you can do. I do have one bright note. I hear from both my spoiler and spoilee regularly and am enjoying Secret Pal 9. I am like a little kid awaiting Christmas. What fun to both give and receive. Now off to tea and hope for a better tomorrow. Pal, if you are reading this. Don't worry I am usually an optimistic person. Just one of those times.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

They need blocking

The mittens need the finishing touch but they are the last items in the winter set for my daughter-in-laws birthday. I think the beads add a nice bright touch.

I have heard several times from both my spoiler and spoilee in the Secret Pal exchange and am having all kinds of fun getting a packet ready to send.

A more down note. Now the motor in my washer burned out. You would think these are old appliances and they are not. The washer is just a tad over 2 years old. What ever happened to things that lasted. Better yet, where did all the repair men go now that everything needs to be repaired? If you have the answer let me know. Right now I am ovenless and washerless. Grrrrrrrr!
No promises as to when they will be fixed just they will get to them. GURRRRRRR!

Friday, October 13, 2006

The oven is out

Next to doing handiwork I love to cook. I especially love to cook when the weather changes. It was supposed to be 28 degrees last evening and I think it made it all the way down to there. But... my stove isn't working. How can you bake fresh bread when the oven is out. I called and called and finally after a few days a repairman answered. He came in a day and said he would have to order an new igniter. Now this stove isn't very old. You guessed it. He told me the new ones (igniter that is-just aren't lasting.) Then he said it would be in the next day. Yea! Then he said...But I don't know when I can get back to put it on. Now I have all the other kitchen gadgets microwaves, crockpots etc. Plus the top of the stove works but no oven. I really have to go and work on a mitten. That should make me feel better and I need to get it done so I can go on to something else. I have to do it this way. I really admire those of you who have all kinds of projects going. I would never get anything finished that way. I know. I used to try it and for me it didn't work. Lucky multi taskers. Off to balance the checkbook and then knit.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Secret Pal 9

I got my pal for the secret pal 9 and am having a great deal of fun rushing around getting together items I want to send. I think our hostess did a wonderful job of matching us up. Another big plus is just reading her blog gave me tons of ideas. Looks like this will be a great way to excuse my shopping in yarn stores for at least a couple of months. Got to go and work on the other mitten. One done and one to go. Then finally I should be able to start that top and shrug. I know. I know. I need to get at all those Christmas presents. I will manage a few at least. Oh, cold here in Wisconsin. The first snow of the season when I walked the dog. He is going to have to give up and use the yard soon. I'm pretty hardy but it is starting to get too cold for me.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Some new projects

I've been "under the weather" with a case of flu. When not sleeping, taking Tylenol and slurping down lots of liquid I did manage to do some work on a cold weather set I am making my daughter in law. I showed you the potato chip scarf earlier but somehow it needed something else. Here is the hat and start of the mittens. It needs weaving in the ends and blocking, not my favorite things to do. I did start to wonder if she would be getting a different coat. This won't go with everything. Ah well. Wisconsin has lots of variety when it comes to fall and winter and if nothing else it is sure to go with a jean jacket. I am also starting a shrug and matching tank top out of the green bamboo yarn. - Yes I have lots more, the picture is just for the color. I'm not sure about the shetland brown but I know I will find something. The pink project is for one of my granddaughters. She says her favorite color is pink so I thought why not make her a felted carryall in a nice soft pink color. As usual I have too many things going for Christmas but what I don't finish in time will be nice for a surprise gift during the year. The nice thing about the flu is it doesn't seem to affect you fingers. I will admit the neighbor found me asleep in the recliner with the knitting on my lap.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


What a day! I am afraid to touch anything. I can't get the speakers to work on my computer. I went to take a picture with the digital camera and it didn't work. (that was batteries and repaired) then Jade came to visit and we made chocolate cookies. They were all on the sheets and ready to put in the oven. Yeah, the oven didn't light. We'll Dad came to pick her up and the cookie dough went home with them. I might be a good time to knot out the frustrations of the day. I did finish the ribbon top and will put on a picture. I also made some stitch markers. I hope they don't catch on things. I had an old antique crystal necklace that broke some time ago. Lots of the crystals were lost so this may be a great way to use them up. I did get some coral yarn wound and can start the hat to match the potato chip scarf I showed a couple of days ago. to the recliner. The weather is great, crisp and cool and I can sit by the bay window and work on something where I don't feel as inadequate for a while. Batteries-tech tools-broken ovens.....UGH!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Just a note

Nothing much this PM. I have to get back and finish that ribbon top. I also have completed one mitten and have the yarn to make a muffin topper to match a potato scarf. That doesn't include all the other projects I have going with the holidays coming closer and closer. Then, as though I didn't have enough I got some things to make stitch markers. I am letting things get out of hand. I hope I have some projects completed with pictures to add soon. Got to go and get knitting.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


The rest of the ribbon yarn arrived so I can finish my grand-daughter's top. I need to get as much Christmas stuff done as I can put away. Lots of projects going. My grandson know wants a scarf with points. I am thinking of the ripple afghan and going from there but if anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them. Meanwhile have to edit my questionnaire for Secret Pal 9. I already realized I forgot something. Wish me luck with the wide ribbon yarn. I will really be glad to be finished with this project!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Secret Pal Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I like to knit with the soft wools, silk blends and bamboo. There is nothing I really hate. There are some nice synthetics out there but I had to use them for many years because it was so difficult to find naturals that I avoid them now

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? I have a tote and a large needle container for my needles. I also have a couple of kits but am giving those to my daughter-in-law who is learning to knit.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I am 60 years old and been knitting since I was about 8 years old. I was taught by a woman who knitted for a living. You used to be able to go to a Department Store in Milwaukee Wisconsin, it was called Schusters. You rode the elevator upstairs and there was an area with lots of yarn. You picked the yarn and pattern and hired the women who sat there to knit it. Although she was not a relative my family was always adopting people and she was one they adopted. One weekend she brought a large pair of wooden needles and taught me to knit. I have taken many breaks from knitting during the years as I also like to sew, crochet. garden, read and craft in general. I don't think of myself as a great knitter but most patterns I use are in the intermediate range. I am quite sure I could do advanced if I found something I just had to make. Skill is in the eye of the beholder but I could figure out most patterns. I do like larger charts..The eyes are not what they once were.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Although I shop through Many internet sites I have never made a wish list.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.) Bamboo tea is my favorite followed by lilacs

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Unfortunately I love chocolate

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? No I don't spin. I sew, crochetand garden. Actually anything different catches my attention but those are the ones I keep the most busy with.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) Sorry, I am 60% deaf and so music is really not my thing although my computer does have the ability to play MP3s.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? I like most colors although black is nice and dramatic it is something I don't like a lot of.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I am divorced and live alone. I have a dog named Napoleon. He is a Chinese Shar Pei. I do have kids and one of them lives only about 7 minutes away so I see his family which includes wife and 2 small ones a lot. The others are living in TX so I don't see as much of them but will be going there in November to see their new house.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? I don't wear many scarves. I do wear hats mittens and ponchos.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? I don't think there is a favorite. I like some of the fast things like socks and mittens but I also enjoy making some more elaborate tops for the granddaughters and others. It is the pattern that catches my eye and that becomes the favorite while I am working on it.

13. What are you knitting right now? Wow, I am finishing a top out of wide ribbon for my oldest granddaughter, a hat to match a potato chip scarf that I made my daughter-in-law, I have one mitten done for myself because I wanted to try them with beading and I am making a tank top with matching shrug that. Lots of projects in the works.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Sure, there are lots of handmade gifts I enjoy.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?I like circular needles. I prefer either bamboo or aluminum.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? I don;'t have a winder but I do have a swift.

17. How old is your oldest UFO? I really don't know. As I got older I make myself finish things. But there was a time when it would have been years and I am sure that one is tossed long ago.

18. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas

19. Is there anything that you collect? Vintage fabrics, baskets, antiques

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? The only magazine I have a subscription to is Interweave knits. Right now there is no particular pattern but if I see one that could change. I'll post it if I see it.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? If it is there I would be willing to give it a try. I just can't think of anything in particular at the moment

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Yes, I knit socks for lots of people but I have never knit myself a pair. My foot is 9 1/2 inches long and wide.

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) My birthday is 02/11

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Meditation and the Curly Scarf

I just finished a curly scarf for both my grand-daughter and my daughter-in-law. They will eventually have some matching hats but I started some beaded mittens and those come first. There is something about hand work that is a form of meditation, a spiritual act. It is not only that it is creative but that there is a disassociation from self as you become focused on the stitches. You feel the yarn running across your fingers. You hear, without hearing, the sound of the needles. After a while you both focus on what you are doing and yet let your mind wander to larger things. I am always amazed when people say they don't have time to knit, crochet, sew -whatever. Whenever I have had a crisis in my life I have always reached for something to make. The other day I heard someone call it all that "knitting-make it crap>" I have to admit that I was insulted. What is wrong with doing an activity that you feel promotes your spiritual well being? I don't know what they do to go "out of themselves" that creating is one of tools I use as a response to daily stress as well as crisis.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Saving My Sanity a Stitch at a Time

I just want to thank all the knitters out there with one in particular in mind. I have a job that is considered stressful. Most of the time you let things roll off your shoulders like rain. However, there are days when the rain becomes a torrent and you feel overwhelmed. I had several of these days in a row. I was starting to believe I was going down for the third time when a fellow employee who is also a fiber addict gave me a wonderful gift. Look at the great stitch markers she made this weekend and then she gave me some. Just what I needed. When I was wondering where to go from here I caressed my package of stitch markers to remind myself that I would be going home at the end of the day. Then when I got home what was in the mail but a new pattern book and a pattern that I ordered. These items both got here in record time. Some how I find it comforting that there are people out there that are happy just counting their stitches and maybe doing a little kneading of homemade bread on the side. I don't know how people who don't have creative hobbies make it when times get tough. Take a close look at those stitch markers. They are great! With a special thanks to Stacie,,,,I will be back tomorrow, I might not want to be, but I will be back.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Trying again

I put taking a break in for the title and then I must have hit the wrong thing. It will be listed all my it's lonesome. Oh well, that is what I am doing. I'm taking a break from the ribbon top. I rushed to get it done and of course I ran out of the ribbon yarn. Lucky for me there was more in stock so I will be waiting for the mailman to get this finished. Now I have an excuse to start on some beaded mittens. Although it is only September there have been some nights that reminded me winter will be here in the very near future. Today was a lazy day. After mowing the lawn and pulling some of the bean plants in the garden I make stew and homemade dill bread. There is something about fall that says Chili and Stew. One of the last city wide rummage sales was in a new by town yesterday. I didn't rummage much but I did find a nice old used drop spindle. It will give my craft room some ambiance. Napoleon is barking that he wants his supper so will leave for now but I will pull out the yarn for the mittens and see if I can get it wound into balls so I can get started. Then I will have to force myself to go back to the top. Somehow like in other parts of my life I find that if I tackle the things I don't like much first it is the best way to get them done and out of the way.

Taking a break

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Struggling on

I am continuing with my wide ribbon project. I have to get it finished because I have something that I am really anxious to start. There is a top and shrug set on page 19 of Interweave knits that I adore. I am so glad I have a granddaughter in the grownup area. I like knitting both kinds but I think this is something special. Also am looking at baby hats. This is thanks to my knitting pal Stacey and the book she just purchased. I don't expect any more baby to knit for but a couple of them are so cute that my poor scarf exchange may be stuck with a new baby hat..The only person I know is pregnant right now. There is one thing about getting older. First you and all your friends are having babies. Next your "babies" are all having babies and then there is a dry spell. This is when we borrow babies to knit for from others. Kind of fun and no pressure.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

perseverance wins out

Here it is. The ribbon top. Lucky for me the granddaughter that is going to get this falls somewhere between a size 1 and 3 or I think I would just toss it. My secret pal on the scarf exchange, who by the way is very good at staying incognito, suggested a plastic bag. Sounds good to me. Anything that would help sounds good to me. She also suggested I not worry about keeping the ribbon flat. It will certainly be much easier that way. The table kind of blends with the ribbon so you can't see the pattern down the middle but it is coming along and I hope to get the finished item on for viewing one of these days. Thanks Pal! I appreciate the assistance.

Tonight is brisk. I love the cooler air and the idea of fall coming. Working with worsted weight yarn is starting to sound really good. Then there are the smells of fresh homemade bread and stew wafting through the kitchen. Autumn is really my favorite season. I lived in the south for a few years. It had advantages but I love this time of year in the Midwest.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I don't think I like to knit with wide ribbon

Started a top yesterday with wide ribbon and I will finish it but am not sure I am going to go there again. Maybe it is the way I am doing it. The book I purchased on knitting with ribbon says to keep the ribbon flat on the needles. With wide ribbon that seems to call for twisting all the time or I end up with ribbon that is a mess. Does anyone have any ideas. I knit the old fashioned way carrying the yarn in my left hand.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

My scarf is finished!

For all my ruinating at the beginning, my scarf is done and I ended up really enjoying knitting for my scarf exchange pal. I put on the ISE blog that I got the impressions through her blog and I have to say I really liked what I saw and read. Liz, if you are reading this have a great day and enjoy the scarf. I may be wrong but this is what I tried to convey. The st stitch is traditional and yet always strong and lovely. The dimple stitch is a bit funky and has a mind of it's own. A garter stitch is simplicity and that earth mother touch. I bound it together with a rib that includes family and friends. It also makes it a bit less bulky around the neck. Stay warm when you wear it this winter. I watched the geese pull a curtain of grey over the sky last night. Those of us in the Midwest know that winter is not far in the future.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Things do fall into place

If you wait long enough and are persistant things do eventually fall into place. I finally created a pattern I like for my scarf and now am tearing along on it. I think I just had to find something I liked for the yarn and there wasn't a pattern out there. It had to be simple so the yarn was what was important and not the pattern. Lat night after ripping out starts several times something I liked started to evolve and that was all it took. Now all I have to do is knit like mad to finish it. I have a ribbon top on the needles and Jade is waiting for butterfly socks. (Crocheted top of sock with butterfly beads) so it is time to stop worrying and move along. Knitting is like life. sometimes you seem stuck and then things start to fly.

Things do fall into place

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Remember when?

I had it all planned. It wasn't going to be a fun day but I was finally going to get the ceiling fans cleaned and get those pieces of mystery meat out of the refrigerator. Now that it stays dark longer, Napoleon lets me sleep in,,,sometimes until 6 AM or later. I would get up slowly, take my time and go to work. I did get up after 6 AM but to the sound of grandma! I'm here to visit. Jade, the littlest of the "kidlets" came to help me out and keep me company today. Her Mom just had some surgery last week. She is doing well but her Mom went home last evening and so I had a surprise Jade visit for my day off. I didn't do any knitting, maybe that will happen later this evening. What Jade and I did was bake. We made home made Italian bread and chocolate/butterscotch chip cookies. Jade's idea of the perfect lunch was hot dogs and cookies so it required us doing some stirring up and baking. Boys or not my kids always cooked and baked with me. I ended up having some men that are pretty good chefs if I do say so myself so the "kidlets" (by now you have figured this is the name I use for the grandkids) always cook with Gram. The best part though was always licking the spatula and the beaters so if you remember when you did this or your kids maybe it will bring back some pleasant memories. I hope so.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Rain Rain

It's still raining here in South Eastern Wisconsin. I like to know that everything is getting its moisture for the long winter ahead but it would be nice to have a few dry moments. Napoleon and I have been walking morning and night. For me it takes a rain jacket and a can of mosquito spray per walk. Long rains do give me time to curl up at night and work on my scarf as well as some other projects. Tomorrow, into the garden, that is if it dries up at all. The squash, tomatoes, cukes and onions will either be huge or rotten. I am not sure which one I am hoping to find. I love the first "fruits" of the garden but by this time of year I could take a little break. By December I will be craving the taste of that fresh tomato. Humans, it seems that we are never satisfied least I'm not. My youngest is using the computer tomorrow but I will see if I can't find time to chat if not I am not giving up my daily post. I will admit there will be exceptions and this is one.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Short and Sweet

I promised myself I would try and get something down every day but this posting is going to be short and sweet. It continues to rain. Last evening a friend emailed me a curly scarf that she thought was cute. Crocheted and fast. I could see both grand daughters loving it. If you get the chance give it a try. You can find the directions on the blogger web site. I had one that would work for the 3 year old in only hours and I am sure the 14 year old will love one too. Now to find some funky colors. Great stocking stuffers.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

You can tell I am techno challenged because for some reason I managed to post the title below the posting. Maybe it was my excitement. I was just accepted by Secret Pal 9. I have wanted to do a secret pal thing for some time and most required a blog so now I am set to go. Life is easier today. I went back to the Sheep and Wool Fest and found some wonderful yarn that looks to me like a starry winter night. You can see it in the picture of the swift. The yarn is all so the simplest of scarves is now being made. Scarf Exchange Pal if you are out there I am finally on the way.

Secret Pal 9

Saturday, September 09, 2006


I admit it. I almost lost it last night. I came back from the Sheep and Wool Fest with another idea for my exchange pal's scarf. I wound the ball, cuddled up in my chair and started to knit. Two hours later I hated it. I mean the yarn was great but it wasn't what I had in mind at all. I tried some other yarn and a different pattern. Nothing worked. I am never going to get this scarf done. There is no way. Dragging myself to bed a couple hours later then usual I tossed and turned. (At least as much as I can toss with the dog taking up the majority of the bed) I should never had signed up. I can never knit a scarf that will work. Whatever am I going to do? Finally with sleep evading me I reminded myself that I could knit a scarf when I was 10 years old and that was 50 years ago so if I have to make a garter stitch scarf to get over the block so be it. I would like to say that the self talk took care of things but minutes later I was back in my chair trying another pattern. I still haven't found what I want but there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. I will just have to go back to the fest and buy some more yarn. I will find something that is right. I know I can. I know I can. I know I can.

More hand spun - hand dyed

From the Sheep and Wool Fest

Friday, September 08, 2006

Wool and Sheep Festival

The Sheep and Wool festival is in Jefferson for the weekend. They had an early opening for those that were interested in purchasing from the booths. Lots of hand spun and hand dyed yarns. I was especially caught by those from Blackberry Ridge. This is located out of Mount Horeb, Wisconsin..Only about 60 or so miles from me. Tight month or not I folded and had to buy. Now I really am in a quandary. Wouldn't it be nice to make my scarf for the Scarf Exchange form some "local" yarn. I may end up with so many ideas I never get started. I'll put some pictures of some of the yarn on tomorrow. I think the colors are so rich that they are positively decadent.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Let's get started

I received my pal from the international scarf Exchange III today and have so many ideas that nothing is coming together. This is the first time I've done something like this and have to admit that I am a bit intimidated by the pictures of her knitting on her blog. I've sort my yarns and searched the internet. I've emailed her with suggestions. After all of this I remembered that I had purchased some soft Merino yarn for myself a scarf in a deep rich red, one of the colors she said she likes. This might be the one. I hope so or at least that I don't keep locking until the night before the scarf is due.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

resting after a heavy session of dental floss

Yarn as a Dental Floss?

To day was Napolie Ollie's well vet check. Funny where you learn things about yarn. The vet is doing the standard looking at his teeth and wanted to know how I kept them so clean. The only thing I can figure out is he likes to chew on yarn. Wouldn't you know I would have a dog that doesn't touch a thing except yarn. He is a rescue Shar Pei and if you don't tell him it is OK to take a treat he won't touch it but he has this thing about yarn. He will sit very still get a twinkle in his eye, grab the yarn and take off running. I finally gave him an old crocheted throw all for himself and he has a nightly chew session. I kind of worried but he seemed so happy. The vet tells me that the yarn is like dental floss. The problem they have is most dogs won't touch the stuff. No, he doesn't eat it. He just chews it like gum. If you are ever in the market for a dog and have older children I would certainly recommend this breed. I found Napoleon at Shar Pei Savers on the internet and can't say enough about how great they are to work with. Oh, I just read the part about older children. I don't want to make Shar Pei sound like child haters. They are just very strong dogs with dominant personalities. Napoleon relaxes while my 3 year old granddaughter covers him with a blanket to play house but he is exceptionally laid back.
Off to see if I have my pal for the International Scarf Exchange. This is the first time I have done anything like this and I am really excited about getting started. I've put in a link to Shar Pei savers if anyone wants to take a look.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Sunflower Socks

Well I finally finished the never to be famous sunflower socks. This is the first time I attempted to dye with regular dye and not Kool Aid. I purchased some watermelon yarn and decided, "I can do that." Next I thought, "why stick with watermelon?" There are all kinds of things out there to use as inspiration. Fall is coming. Why not Sunflowers? Famous last words. My yarn dying pal and I ended up dying in the rain. The socks are just not what I visioned them to be. Oh well, It gives me a chance to dye again. Maybe next time I will be closer. Logan, will like them. Does anyone else have a problem making clothing items for boys. I raised all boys. Now I have 4 grandsons and 2 granddaughters. I hate to admit it but there is something a lot more fun sewing a frilly dress then a sports jacket. It isn't that I love the boys less but it is just more fun making items for the girls. Lucky for me Logan will wear the socks and be happy but he won't be so happy wearing funky socks when he is older. Maybe I will have moved on to less dramatic things by that time.

Oh, I did discover one thing. I used a permanent marker on the yarn that was, of course, running low on ink. The spots came out light and didn't show as dramatically as I wanted. I gritted my teeth and used a new marker after the socks were knitted. I am never going to run around putting marks on yarn again. I will just put the dots on the finished item. Much faster and lots more control of where you put the color.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Rainy Labor Day

It is a rainy day here in Southeast Wisconsin. Kind of a harbinger for the Autumn days that will be here soon. It gave me time to finally start on my blog. Now who would have thought that an old broad - by the way I am allowed to say this but no one else can - would ever decide to do a blog, and on knitting no less. I am hoping to find some people out that enjoy the crazy craft lifestyle so we can exchange ideas and share the laughter and tears that come with committing yourself to create. I've been knitting for years along with almost every other craft I can manage to try. Right now knitting seems to be the in thing and so I chose knitting as the primary craft but I can't image not writing about others. I have to say that after years of only knitting once in a while I have been working at it on a regular basis. I think the difference is the yarn that is available. When I was a kid there were some nice places to buy great natural yarn, then it seemed as though almost everything you saw was a man made fiber. Now I have nothing against man made fibers but I cherish the feel of wool sliding across my fingers. Anyway, it's gone full circle and I have found some wonderful new things out there that I just have to try. I just finished one of my grand-daughters a top out of hemp. I can hardly believe how soft it is once it is washed. If I can figure out how to put a picture on this I will add one so you can see for yourself.

I first learned to knit when I was about 8 years old by an "adopted" aunt that knit for a living. There was a large department store in Milwaukee, WI, I think it was named Schusters. You went to the knitting department, picked your pattern with the yarn and the ladies would knit what you chose. Aunt Ella was visiting one weekend when I wanted to learn knit. She gave me some large wooden needles and yellow yarn. For some reason I still remember the bright yellow color. She showed me how to knit and purl. That one hour or so was the only lesson that I have had. Most of what I do I learned by reading the instructions and experimenting. I'm sure some of you with years less of experience will know how to do things much better then I. I hope if you do that you chime in when I am ruinating about how to do something. Meanwhile the good news is that she taught me to throw my yarn with my left hand. For years the few people I knew who did knit thought that was weird. Now people want me to show them how so I no longer feel like the odd man out.

More later but I have to go and work on a sock I am knitting out of my first hand dyed yarn. Another experience but something I will post on later. I will see if I can add the picture and then check to see if I have really created a blog. How exciting! I had to come back and say I think I have the picture thing solved. Yes, she is a teenager and really that slender. Good thing she is my grand-daughter or I might not like her. (kidding of course)