Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wyoming John, named MVP

Our good Wyoming friends, Kendy and John, have been on vacation. Flying to Alaska, a train ride through Denali National Park and way up to North Pole Alaska, then a cruise back to the lower 48 with a stop in Seattle see their daughter, rockyroadknitter.

Rockyroadknitter asked if the Wyomingites wanted to go to Stitch and Pitch Night to see a Mariners game. At $15 a ticket they were all over it! It was amazing to hear that there was an entire section of knitters at the game having a great time. The two non-knitting Wyomingites just sat there watching the game, although someone tried to get John to take over the knitting of a sock!

During the seventh inning stretch it was announced that an entire row in the Stitch and Pitch section had each won a door prize and it was the very row my friends were sitting in! John made a big deal, exaggerating excitement about the win and later learned he had been featured on the large screen in the outfield! Rockyroadknitter kept her bag, Kendy gave hers to a friend who wants to learn to knit and John brought his home and gave it to me! Just take a look at all the goodies...
A project bag, crochet hooks and holder, sock yarn, a pair of bamboo needles, scissors, tape measure, a How To Book and a great project book entitled, Knitting at Home.

Slam, a homerun! Thanks John, you really took one for the team!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Beartooth Mountain Mitts

This pattern was inspired by my love of The Beartooth Mountains and the early summer trips we take each year to the top.  The road is only open a short time each year. If the snow can be plowed from the road prior to Memorial Weekend it opens and will remain open until after Labor Day. To get to “The Top Of The World” one must go up - and then back down -  a narrow two lane switchbacked road.
Pattern: Beartooth Mountain Mitts by Emptyknitster
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heather
Colorway: Galaxy
Amount: 1 skein
Needle size: US 3

Beartooth Mountain Mitts
FINISHED MEASUREMENTS
Cuff circumference: 7 inches (unstretched)
Length: 6.25 inches

MATERIALS:
Cascade 220
1 set of US #3 needles
Approx. 12 inches smooth waste yarn in a contrasting color
Tapestry needle
 
PATTERN NOTES:
BHC – (Back Half Cable), Knit in front of second stitch from needle point then knit first stitch on needle slide both stitches off needle

FHC - (Front Half Cable), K in back of second stitch from needle point then knit first stitch on needle slide both stitches off needle

DIRECTIONS:
Left Hand
Cable CO 44 sts. Set stitches for the magic loop method.

Work 4 rounds in 1x1 Rib.

First Switchback:
Knit 2 stitches, 1Front Half Cable (FHC), knit 1, FHC, knit to end of round
Knit 3 stitches, 1 FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round
Knit 4 stitches, 1 FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round
Knit 5 stitches, 1 FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round
Knit 6 stitches, 1 FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round
Knit 7 stitches, 1 FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round
Knit 8 stitches, 1 FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round
Knit 9 stitches, 1 FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round
Knit 10 stitches, 1 FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round
Knit 11 stitches, 1 FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round
Knit 12 stitches, 1 FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round
Knit 13 stitches, 1 FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round
Knit 14 stitches, 1 FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round
Knit 15 stitches, 1 FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round

Second switchback:
Knit 15 stitches, 1 BHC, knit 1, 1 BHC, knit to end of round
Knit 14 stitches, 1 BHC, knit 1, 1 BHC, knit to end of round
Knit 13 stitches, 1 BHC, knit 1, 1 BHC, knit to end of round
Knit 12 stitches, 1 BHC, knit 1, 1 BHC, knit to end of round
Knit 11 stitches, 1 BHC, knit 1, 1 BHC, knit to end of round
Knit 10 stitches, 1 BHC, knit 1, 1 BHC, knit to end of round
Knit 9 stitches, 1 BHC, knit 1, 1 BHC, knit to end of round
Knit 8 stitches, 1 BHC, knit 1, 1 BHC, knit to end of round
Knit 7 stitches, 1BHC, knit 1, 1 BHC, knit to end of round
Knit 6 stitches, 1 BHC, knit 1, 1 BHC, knit to end of round
Knit 5 stitches, 1BHC, knit 1, 1BHC, knit to end of round
Knit 4 stitches, 1 BHC, knit 1, 1 BHC, knit to end of round

Third switchback:
Knit 4 stitches, 1FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round
Knit 5 stitches, 1 FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round
Knit 6 stitches, 1 FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round
Knit 7 stitches, 1 FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round
Knit 8 stitches, 1 FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round
Knit 9 stitches, 1 FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round
Knit 10 stitches, 1 FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round
Knit 11 stitches, 1 FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round
Knit 12 stitches, 1 FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round
Knit 13 stitches, 1 FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round

Fourth Switchback:
Knit 13 stitches, 1BHC, knit 1, 1 BHC, knit to end of round
Knit 12 stitches, 1 BHC, knit 1, 1 BHC, knit to end of round
Knit 11 stitches, 1 BHC, knit 1, 1 BHC, knit to end of round
Knit 10 stitches, 1 BHC, knit 1, 1 BHC, knit to end of round
Knit 9 stitches, 1 BHC, knit 1, 1 BHC, knit 8, using waste yarn, k7; slip these sts back to left needle and k them again using working yarn; knit to end of round
Knit 8 stitches, 1 BHC, knit 1, 1 BHC, knit to end of round
Knit 7 stitches, 1 BHC, knit 1, 1 BHC, knit to end of round


Fifth Switchback:
Knit 6 stitches, 1 FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round
Knit 7 stitches, 1 FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round
Knit 8 stitches, 1 FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round
Knit 9 stitches, 1 FHC, knit 1, 1 FHC, knit to end of round

Top of the World!
Knit 9 stitches, 1BHC, knit 1, 1 BHC, knit to end of round
Knit 8 stitches, 1 BHC, knit 1, 1 BHC, knit to end of round

Work 4 more rounds in 1x1 Rib.
Bind Off
Break yarn and draw through last st. Thread yarn tail on tapestry needle and sew yarn tail to beginning of BO round. Weave in end.

Thumb:
Carefully remove waste yarn and place resulting live sts on two double-point needles; there will be 7 sts below the opening and 6 sts above. Attach yarn and k the 7 sts on lower needle; using a second needle, pick up and k 2 sts in space between upper and lower needle, k first 3 sts from upper needle; using a third needle, k remaining 3 sts from upper needle and pick up and k 2 sts in space between this needle and lower needle. 17 sts.

K 6 rounds.
1x1 rib 4 rounds
BO loosely

Weave in ends.

Left Hand thumb change:
Work as for Left Hand, EXCEPT work Fourth Switchback Knit 9 stitches, 1 BHC, knit 1, 1 BHC, knit to last 7 stitches of round, using waste yarn, k7; slip these sts back to left needle and k them again using working yarn;

FINISHING
Steam block lightly if desired.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Living at the end of the road

We live where we do because each day brings us such treasures....
Every time I drive up the hill into our subdivision and pass the "hanging tree" I experience the feeling of release and contentment knowing I'll soon be home.

The cares of the day literally just wash away as I drive by this spot. When I mentioned this spot and the feeling I get when passing by, my neighbor/coworker she just laughed and said, "It's by this tree isn't it? My girlfriend and I call it the hanging tree! It's where we hang all our cares and worries of the workday. We vow not to pick them up again until heading back to work in the morning." Such and appropriate name, and I've try to drop my worries at the "hanging tree" ever since. 
Our house is at the end of the road and it does have a few inconveniences but they're outweighed by the contentment we feel by living here. In the winter there's only Hubby and the man below us plow the snow from the road - we've never missed a day of work and always enjoy the solitude of a quiet snowfall. Because we live so far out of town there is no water service. We have tried to drill a well. We drilled over 300 feet into the ground but pumped up less than a gallon a minute. So Hubby stops by the "watering hole" and gets a load of water on his way home. Truly, not a big deal I boldly write and Hubby would - maybe - agree.
When we built the house all three girls lived at home and were told to be careful of their water use. No longer could they toss a lone pair of jeans into the washer just for the sake of style. No more 20 minute showers. No more running the faucet until the water was ice cold, use ice in the drink of water. Hubby and I must have done a great job because the girls haven't lived here for over a decade but they continue to be careful with their water use and have begun to teach their children to conserve the water as well.
This was evident last week when The Tiger wanted to take a bath, mostly to float a new Lego boat. His mom drew him a bath, about four inches of water total. The Tiger wanted more water but was given a firm no. He immediately asked, "WHY DIDN'T GOD PUT A RIVER HERE?"

I've wondered the same thing. If He had I'd be living in paradise!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fingerless gloves continued...

While the grandkiddos were here I knit several pairs of gloves toward Christmas giving. They are a quick knit and I've enjoyed knitting them.
Pattern: Fetching
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heather
Colorway: Sapphire
Amount: Less than a skein
Needle size: US 6
Pattern: Elphaba by Valarie Johnson
Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks FX
Colorway: Camo colors
Amount: 2 skeins
Needle size: US 2
Pattern: Beartooth Mountain Mitts
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers
Colorway: Galaxy
Amount: Less than a skein
Needle size: US 3

Monday, July 18, 2011

Family time was great.

This last week many of the family came home to visit. The kiddos played with each other without to much turmoil. The Chick and NorDak Purl Gurl got their knitting "mojo" back. The Chick knit a beautiful baby pink Helena, she is becoming such a good knitter! I love this pattern and look forward to a girl baby making an appearance so that I can knit the pattern up. The NorDak Purl Gurl knit a favorite of mine, The Wonderful Wallaby, what a great pattern from Cottage Creations - size 2 to 44 all in one pamphlet!
In the middle of the week we took a drive to "The Chico" and The Tiger was in heaven! When we weren't in the pool we were playing a game that is new to the family, Left Center Right. This is a great game for a little guy that is learning his left from right. We also played with nickels so it was a true lesson in good sportmanship! The kiddos loved the game - I had intended to send it along with them but forgot!
 
We had great meals and did a little shopping- a relaxing, fun time!
Thanks guys for coming to visit, Dad and I had a great time!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The garden

Because we live where we do, a vegetable garden is out of the question. The soil is terrible, and the deer constantly taste anything growing. Several years ago Hubby gave me a small greenhouse because I had mentioned that when I retire I'd like one to putter around in.  I had hoped to be able to a grow a few vegetables within the greenhouse. I soon discovered that it gets too hot to grow anything but tomatoes in the hot summer months. Even with the tomatoes I must keep a fan going or the door open or the plants will wilt under the hot Montana sun. Last year the door was open and the mom to the triplets got in not once but twice and ate the tomato plants right down to the stalks. They never recovered.
Hubby build me a gate for the doorway and in an effort to conserve water we also planted the tomatoes in buckets.
I saw this idea in a magazine article and thought it was worth a try. You need two buckets. (Costco Laundry soap buckets)The outside bucket has a hole drilled out about one inch above the bottom, the second (inside bucket) has a hole drilled out on the bottom and a pvc pipe is place through the hole. The pvc pipe also has small holes drilled all around the bottom. You then put the two buckets together with the pvc pipe slipped through the hole in the inside bucket. Fill with dirt and plant your tomato. Water through the outside hole of the bucket. The plants are doing great!
First tomato of the year July 10th
Next year I think I'll try a zucchini and green pepper.

Gingersnap Bars

"The Chick That Flew The Coop" arrived Friday night. I wanted to have a treat for her but it proved to be a problem. Hubby and I have really tried to cut down on the goodies but the only way for me to cut down is to cut them completely out - not even potential ingredients can be residing in the house. (I love to bake but need others around to eat the product) When I began looking in the cupboards, there were no chocolate chips, The Chick doesn't like nuts, and very little sugar.

Then I remembered this recipe. It's tasty with little time or effort put into them. The Chick loved these chewy bars and asked that I post the recipe, a real stamp of approval!
Gingersnap bars in sight of the terra-cotta piggy (given to Mom from her sister, Merab)
Gingersnap Bars

Combine in bowl:
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg
3 T molassas
3/4 t soda
1/2 t salt
1t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t cloves
Blend until dough forms. Spread in 13x9 pan. Brush with water and sprinkle sugar over top. Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool, cut into squares.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Knitting

I've just finished Sadie's Christmas sweater. Ends are worked in and buttons are on. It's going to be quickly and quietly slipped into the gift drawer because the NorDak grandkiddos arriving Sunday.  As they get older I've noticed their interest in my knitting basket has increased!
Pattern: Kid Felicita Sweater
Needles size: 5
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Pacific
Colorway: Dark Teal
Amount: 5 skeins

I'll be working on fingerless gloves this next week - gifts for adult friends. I'm finding such a great variety I may end up knitting several different kinds!
Pattern: Fetching
Needle size: US 6
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heather
Colorway: Turtle
Amount: less that 1 skein (@110 yards)
Pattern: Susie's Reading Gloves
Needle size: US 5
Yarn: Jojoland Rhythm Superwash
Colorway: SW 62
Amount: 200 yards

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Its Twins!

This morning Hubby called as he was heading into town. He had not only seen the first set of twin fawns in the neighborhood but had taken photos! A bit blurry but I am pleased that he has taken on the yearly fawn challenge!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Celebration!

You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.
-Erma Bombeck

It's a quiet fourth for me this year, no Flathead Lake - Hubby is at work, the NorDak crew are happily at the lake in North Dakota, the California Dreamin' crew are on the Pacfic Coast, and the Chick is enjoying peace and quiet after a very patriotic show of fireworks this spring while the legislators were visiting her town. So I have time to pause and reflect on 4ths gone by....
Dad and I on a boat ride
I suspect that my favorite fourth of July celebrations will be the times in my childhood when we spent them on the beach. It was at least a two family endeavor with my aunt and her family living next door. Sometimes my father's sister and her family would be there and other times my Great Aunt Kit would be visiting.
Aunt Verna visiting from Utah
I remember the day was filled with anticipation and waiting for the big event in the evening. There was a wash tub filled with ice and Shasta pop and we were allowed to drink as much pop as we wanted. A great thing for my brothers and I because we only had pop on the Fourth and New Year's Eve. (Do you remember: "It hasta be Shasta!"?)
Steve, Mary, Me, Bob, and Kit
Along about sunset a bonfire would be started, the hotdogs, chips (another luxury) and marshmallows would be brought out. The kiddos were allowed to use sparklers. Usually one child was slightly burned and rushed off to my aunt's kitchen for an ice cream cone to soothe them. When it was completely dark the big fireworks would begin. As far as I know it was an unspoken neighborhood rule that only one family at a time could light their fireworks. From the navy fuel depot to the small town of Manchester all sorts of roman candles would shoot out over the water, the sound echoing out over the water. Big old rumbling wooden cabin cruisers would drop anchor just out of reach of the fireworks and as the property owners shot their fireworks, the people on the boats would shoot theirs. It was quiet a sight!
Dad, me, Mike, and Steve (In their beachcombers and blue Hawaiian shirts)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A visit to the Beartooth Highway and "The First Fawn of the Season"

Hubby and I decided to drive up to the top of the Beartooth Mountains Thursday. This is something we usually do at the annual opening of the highway on Memorial weekend. The Highway Department was right on schedule and opened the road Friday before Memorial Day but after a snowfall during the night it was closed the rest of the holiday weekend. We had forgotten about going until a comment was made on the local news about the amount of snow still on the mountain, we both looked at each other and off we went.
Also, the "Annual First Fawn of the Season" Contest came to an end as we drove down the highway. Hubby stomped on the brakes when a new fawn hopped out of the tall grass and decided to run across the road. In confusion the fawn ran back and forth several times. I don't think it liked the feel of the pavement and was rather shaky before it finally headed back to where it's mom had left it - hopefully the fawn learned an important lesson and will stay where momma places him in the future!
So, Hubby saw the fawn first but once again I took the photos! I'll just call the 2011 contest a tie....

Friday, July 1, 2011

Old Blue

The NorDakPurl Gurl commented on yesterday's post:
"Your newly knit blanket is in much better condition than the VERY much loved "bluie"!! I hope the next little one finds even half as much comfort it their blanket as your grandson found in his!"

The Tiger truly loves his blanket - the second one since his birth. As a baby he had it with him for naps, nighttime and comfort. Once when he was visiting The Tiger became sick in the middle of the night, up chucking everywhere including Bluie.

The NorDakPurl Gurl paniced because this had happened at home and caused quite a problem. The Tiger had insisted on sitting atop the washer and dryer (with a bucket in hand) while his friend Bluie was cleaned. An hour long process was made to seem much longer by having a tired momma standing in the basement with a sick baby in the middle of the night.

However, being the ever resourceful Gramma that I am, I had recently finished another circular blanket. I quickly went to my "handknit gift drawer" and pulled it out. Handing the new blanket to The Purl Gurl I said, "DON"T turn on the light!!" It was only later that she realized the temporary Bluie was white. In the morning The Baby Tiger looked at the blanket in his crib and was rather please to see a different color!

When BlueII was knit I wasn't sure there would be an easy transfer of affection but The Tiger was so happy to see a new improved model of Bluie that he never looked back! At that time I also made "Mini-Blue" thinking it would be easier to carry around - it didn't work and I have no idea were mini-blue is these days!
Last March Tiger's sister had a veterinary birthday party. On the invitations the kiddos attending were asked to bring their favorite stuffed animal to the party for some "doctoring". The Tiger wanted to bring Bluie but his momma was finally able to to convince him that Fred was a better choice.
The Tiger has told me, "Momma says I must take care of Bluie, you won't make me another." Just asked baby boy!