Monday, October 31, 2011

What to do, what to do....

I have always loved Halloween.

When I was in school at good old Gatewood Elementary, in West Seattle, we would get dressed up over lunch hour and parade through all the classrooms. The kindergartners would go to the first grade classrooms and parade through, then upstairs to the second grade with the first graders jumping on board behind them. Next, the second graders would attach themselves on to the end of the line and this would continue on through the sixth grade and the third floor. Finally, the little guys would get back to their classroom and sit down, eat their treats and watch the older kiddos march through. Each class while sitting would eat their treats and when the entire school had paraded through it was time to go home.

It wasn't until I was a teacher that I realized the beauty of this plan!

These days the kiddos aren't allowed to dress up at our school. We have a party but no costumes. This weekend I wanted to plan a costume and dress up but it just wasn't fair to the kiddos to have a teacher all dressed up with them in their everyday clothes. 

What to do, what to do.....
Pattern: Fingerstache
Yarn: Bits and Pieces
Time to knit: 20 minutes!
Next year: Incognito

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sometimes charity knitting is for the birds

"As you may be aware the oil spill & potential disastrous effects to wildlife & environment off the coast of Tauranga (New Zealand) is frightening. A small number of little blue penguins have already been caught in the oil spilled to date with growing fears that more will be effected. Skeinz has been asked to help with the penguin relief by knitting small Penguin PJ’s to help protect the birds & prevent them from preening their feather & ingesting the toxic oil."

At this time all 289 little guys are covered.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Madam Rosalinda Louet has come to stay

Madam Rosalinda Louet

There's a new addition to the family! Since the 70's Rosalinda has been just a glimmer in my eye.  I've wanted to learn to spin but I'm so frugal that unless I know with absolute certainty I will use something that costs as much as a spinning wheel, I'll do without. However, since I started to watch and listen to pod casts the itch has once again resurfaced with a vengeance and this time I decided to take action. "When I retire and have more time," could have easily been my easy way out but the stronger nudge was, "If you don't do it now, you may not think you can afford a spinning wheel when you retire."

A big concern I had about spinning was - if I spin it will take away from my knitting time. I'll be honest, I knit so much that my fingers and wrists on both arms hurt most all the time, a quiet ache that I try to ignore with pretty good success.

I'm totally addicted knitting, and an addiction is very hard to curtail.  I love the process: finding a pattern, picking out the yarn, knitting and producing a finished product. Before I am even finished with the project in hand, I begin dreaming about the next. When I find a pattern I want to use, I envision the process the creator went through in its writing. The ins, outs, and possible problems within the pattern. Now added to this process I hope I will soon be starting with picking out of the fleece and spinning it into the perfect yarn for the pattern I plan to knit and produce into a finished product.

I've had a long argument with myself, going back and forth listing pros and cons, but finally talking myself into believing that I could continue to knit for the kiddos and spin for accessories. I'm hoping that the difference in the movements between knitting and spinning will give my hands some rest. Also, I'll be checking off something on my bucket list as well!

Madam Rosalinda Louet, had taken a few spins around the block before she arrived at the house yesterday. She has been staying with her namesake who is an expert spinner and knitter.

Spinning takes practice just like riding a bike, so in the effort to become a spinner I'm going to try to spin 10 minutes everyday - really I think I can take that much away from my knitting! Madam Louet and I are getting on great!

Ever the frugal one, I am planning a pair of mitts with my first spun yarn - good, bad or ugly, I just can't wait to show you!

Friday, October 21, 2011

This week's knitting

This week I worked on a quick little project for the emerging Diva in the family. It's her birthday next month and I think that the hat and scarf will be a great accessories for over the Christmas holidays!
Pattern: Waffle Knit Tam and Scarf,  by Cabin Fever Teens and Tweens
Yarn: Jojoland Tonic
Colorway: Chili Pepper
Amount: 2 skeins
Needles: US 6 and 7

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Semi-precious shawl

I've fallen in love with shawls! Pants, tee shirt, and throw on a shawl!

Last month I found the Semi-precious shawl on It was love at first sight and I knew this shawl was for me. I even followed the recommendation and ordered Silky Merino Malabrigo Yarn. From the photo of the yarn, I thought it was a gray marl. However, when I received the package in was green. My fear was the shawl would look like a Montana hunting shawl -something knit in camo!

We have a saying at the yarn shop:" KNIT TEXTURE OR PATTERN BUT NOT BOTH"  I began planning the purchase of several boxes of black RIT dye to try to get a solid color. But decided to block the shawl first......
Success! I received several compliments on this shawl today!

Pattern: Semi-Precious Shawl,
Yarn:Maabrigo Yarn Silky Merino
Colorway: bosques ( greens)
Needles: US size 8

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Laundry day memory...

Hubby and I again flew (in the car) up to Missoula, watched the Griz football game, and arrived back home by nine last night. A fast and furious day, but fun. Today however, it's back to real life and getting everything back in shape for another week. I've been doing the laundry this morning and began thinking about the old dryer we had when I was a teen in Mssoula.

The washer and dryer we recently bought are great, they do bigger loads, use less water and are now upstairs in what was called the "pet bedroom" for many years. When we had Millie, the basset hound, no one wanted to share a room with the stinky dog so the laundry room on the main floor was where she slept, ate and where the kitty box resided. Millie is gone and when we purchased the new washer and dryer we decided have the appliances placed in their rightful place. Now its a quick chore, seldom do I leave the clothes in the dryer to get wrinkly because I have a musical alert when they are done. The little song  plays is from a classical piece of Schubert's work, "The Trout" but I wish it played the song my Mom's dryer did in Missoula.

We moved to Missoula in the mid 60's. Rainbow Drive to be exact. It was what is called a starter ranch now. Mom and Dad had purchased two other houses by this time so it wasn't their "starter" house and in fact we were thrilled because it was so "modern". The beach house and the house in West Seattle had both been older homes and although we loved them, their charm was only found in houses their age. Oddly placed bathrooms, small closets, and creaky floors to name a few endearing  features.

The house in Missoula was a compact three bedroom home with turquoise kitchen appliances and a pink washer and dryer. Even back then then we found the an color odd a attempt at being ultra modern but not quiet getting there.  But since all appliances were in working order, until one broke down and the repairman couldn't patch it back into working condition, they would not be replaced.

We were quite surprised when the first load of clothes had dried in the dryer  and it alerted us by playing:

How dry I am
How dry I am
Know body knows
How dry I ......
(as long as we lived ther it NEVER played the last note!

Today I wish I could change Schubert's "The Trout" to "How Dry I am"!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Were my Inlaws outlaws?

I've known the story about Hubby's family for many years. The Weaver brothers, featured in the following articles, were the brothers to Hubby's Great-grandmother. Elizabeth, the mother of the three brothers, was Hubby's Great-Great-Grandmother.

Published in the New York Times:
April 20, 1886

Three Brothers Lynched
Anthony, Kansas.
April 19.

This morning the city of Anthony was the scene of a tragic affair. About two months ago a fight occurred in the village of Danville, near this palce, between three brothers named Weaver and a man named Adel Sheard. The latter was fatally wounded, and the Weaver boys were arrested and hurried away to avoid mob violence. Last week they were returned for trial, but their cases were continued for the term, with bail fixed at $10,000 each. At 1 o'clock this morning a mob of 40 armed men surrounded the residence of the Sheriff. where the pisoners were under guard. The guard, hearing them, rushed the prisoners out of the back door and into the basement of the new school building. The Sheriff was taken prisoner by the mob and guarded. The Deputies finding it useless to resist, surrendered. The Weaver brothers defended themselves, in their struggle for life, with a revolver which they had taken from one of the Deputies. They were finally overpowered by the mob and disarmed. Ropes were placed about their necks, and preparations were made to hang them to the rafters but the tramp of approaching feet frightened the mob, so they fired 15 or 20 shots into each of the brothrs, literally shooting them to pieces, and mounting their horses rode rapidly away. The mother of the boys, and the wife of one of them, witnessed the tragedy.

Recently more detailed information came to light:
Published in the
High Plains Observer
written by Virginia Scott

As the items mentioned above prove, Our ancestors took many routes to travel to their final destination of Lipscomb County. Each document helps us understand their journey better. Some of these journeys are kept secret until many years and generations later. For the next two columns, I will tell you the story of the Weaver Family how they came to homestead in Lipscomb County. If you have one of our History Books (the big white one) read about the Jacob Weaver Family on page 559. Jacob was the son of Phillip and Nancy Weaver born in 1850 in Indiana and married Elizabeth in 1873 and settled in Harper County, Kansas. They arrived in Texas in 1887. Our book does not state why they left Kansas and the Family did not ever consider anything unusual with their migration until they found an article in TRUE WEST, March-April, 1969 entitled "School house Lynching : This Time the Three R's stood for Roughhouse,Rafter, and Regret" by Ivan L. Pfalser.

This article outlines the troubled history of Harper County, Kansas. On the night of April 19, 1886, Harper County disgraced itself by the only recorded mob action ever taken by its citizen by lynching three brothers. It started when a Weaver family settled on a farm near the town of Danville. Considered well-to-do, the Weavers took possession of several quarter sections of land under mysterious circumstances since no money transaction was ever recorded.

The three sons- Phillip, Henry, and Oliver- ran roughshod over the other settlers and became the terror of the community and since their parents backed them they soon became lawless in their actions and was intimidating neighbors and running them off their land and taking possessions of the abandoned acres. Hatred for the Weaver Boys soon spread through out the County. In February of 1886, the Boys had a fight with Dell Shearer who had earlier given Henry a severe beating. This time, the three boys shot Shearer and left him for dead.

Sheriff I.P. Couch arrested the three boys and took them to the county seat, Anthony, for a preliminary hearing. Tempers and rumors were circulating about a lynch mob so as a precaution the officials took the prisoners to Wellington, the nearest jail. They were kept there for several weeks and word was received that Shearer was not dead. They were returned to Anthony on April 18 to stand trial. When the citizens of Danville heard that bail was set and that the boys might be freed, tempers and rumors began but this time, talk was not as vocal and The sheriff was not prepared for the fifty men who appeared at his house where the prisoners were being held since there was not a jail in the pre dawn hours of April 19th.

 II- Schoolhouse Lynching.

I have received a copy of the newspaper clipping found in the family bible after the death of Leora Turner in 1966. This article has more information about the Lynching than the True West article, so I have to back up a little before describing the unfortunate ending to this story. First Phillip was a Jr. and he, Oliver, and Henry were three of five sons to Phillip and Nancy Weaver. The other two sons were Jake(Jacob) and John.

The trouble between Shearer and the Weavers was over the failure of Shearer to show up at a dance held by the Weavers to provide the fiddle music. This feud between them lasted many months ending in the shooting and beating of Shearer.

The True West article states the lynching occurred on the 19th of April but the newspaper clipping reports that it occurred on the evening of Friday, April 23. A mob of between 40 and 80 men approached the Sheriff's house armed and masked. The Sheriff had seen them coming and sent the Weavers with his deputy our the back to the nearby schoolhouse.
 Unfortunately the mob saw them and followed them to the schoolhouse and demanded the group to surrender. The deputy came out of the basement, but the Weavers had the deputy's gun and began shooting. The mob responded by getting hay and setting fire to the building. The Weavers came out without shooting since they had run out of bullets.

"They met a volley of shots, Henry fell and was left for dead. The other two were dragged up in the partly constructed building. Ropes were fastened around their necks and then passed over the rafters. They were repeatedly drawn up for the mob to shoot at Henry, left lying in the basement and probably dead, was pulled up to be hoisted up and shot at like his brothers. "

The sheriff appeared and tried to stop the mob but was overpowered and forced to watch. Their aged mother arrived and begged for their lives, but it was too late. She was soon joined by the young wives of Phil and Oliver and their crying and screaming added to the general horror of the scene. The father with sons John and Jake came in from the farm after the massacre to find the mother and wives crying over the dead bodies. "By this time most of the mob had dispersed and the family was allowed to take the bodies away in peace. Phil was riddled with 20 shots, Henry had six, and Oliver had eight. More than 300 bullets holes were later counted in the walls and rafters of the building."

No attempt to punish the mob was made. Feelings against the Weavers were still strong and the county still seem bloodthirsty against the Weavers. The Sheriff and his deputies had to provide continuous police protection to the family. The Harper Sentinal of May 1 carried the prayer: "Oh, we wish this cruel war was over." The same paper advertised the sale of the Weaver land.

Dee Shearer recovered from his wounds and he and the Weavers left the county. The Schoolhouse was completed but seems to have been jinxed. After graduating its first class of three girls and one boy in the spring of 1888, it was struck by lightning and burned to the ground.

This lynching is considered the most brutal and luried lynching that ever took place in south-central Kansas all because a fiddler failed to show up for a dance.

Our thanks to Jim Bussard and LaVaun Kraft for sharing this family history. We are very glad that Lipscomb County was here for the Weavers to provide them a home.

In the 1969 True West Magazine article Pfalser states, "The boys were interred in the Spring Grove Cemetery west of Anthony and a shame faced public erected a monument   over the grave."

Monday, October 10, 2011

Knitting update

Last week I attended  a two day workshop for school. I knew I wouldn't be able to just sit for that amount of time so as I went out the door I scooped up a partial ball of yarn and my emergency knitting bag and set off. Here is the result:

They took just the right amount of time, less than 12 hours and as I went out the door they went off the needles!

Pattern: Fetching
Yarn Plymouth Classic Wool
Colorway: natural marl
Needles: Size US 5

I've also been working on a sweater I'd hoped would be for The Tiger (giving him a set of stripes, don't you know!) But I'm really not sure that it should go anywhere but in the charity pile - we'll see if the NorDak mom wants it sent her way.

It's all done but the buttons - I went to the store with a list of things to get, including the buttons, and then forgot all about them! They'll have to wait until my next visit into town.

Pattern:The Complete Book of Reglan Sweaters
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers
Colorway: various
Needles US size 7 and 5

OH, AND BIG NEWS!!!  I learned to knit backwards on this sweater. I thought it would be so hard but it proved to be SIMPLE - I wish I'd taken the 5 minutes to learn this skill ages ago!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Birthday surprises!

I recently celebrated a birthday and received several surprises at school. One little girl brought a card and I was touched at how carefully it had been picked out.
When you pull the kitten out it meows the song Happy Birthday. As I was admiring it she quietly said."And look at the basket that you pulled it out of,  I know how you like balls of yarn." Oh, in one short month she's got me all figured out!

I also received a potholder from a little guy that worked all weekend on my late birthday gift! How thoughtful! He said at least five times during the day."I hope you liked the potholder I made you." He was so proud!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Homecoming Weekend

Hubby and I left at noon on Friday to head up to the Zoo and Homecoming weekend. When we got there we shot over to Rockin' Rudy's and did a little shopping. Unfortunately we didn't score another gift like we did last year. I guess Fred the Iguana is a once in a lifetime score. Soon we moved on to Five Guys for a totally calorie and fat filled meal of fries and a bacon cheeseburgers, smothered in sauteed mushrooms and onions, delicious!

A parade in Montana is filled with politicians, babies, horses, and old farm tractors ...
Max Baucus and new wife
future Griz cheerleaders
Montana transportation
The farm workhorse
 and Missoula always adds a little quirkiness to their parades, shade wearing dogs, roller derby gals and interesting people...

 Saturday was also a trip down memory lane with the parade marshal, Hal Stearns my junior civics teacher...
Griz beat Northern Colorado soundly!