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. So...off 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.