Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Knitting Review

Socks: 27 pairs
Sweaters : 4
Boot Cuffs: 2 pair
Stuffed Toy: 1
Hats: 6
  Premi hats: 4
Baby Sweaters: 2
Scarves: 2

(Mitered Square Sock Blanket: 160 squares for 2014, total 346

Grand Total of knit Items for 2014: 46 plus 160 squares

Favorite Item:
 Favorite photo prop for knitted item:
   Craziest thing knit this year:
Favorite hand dyed item:
 As the saying goes: Knitting is like sex: If I love you it's free, if not you can't pay me enough!"

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Last of 2014 hats and socks

Hoping to keep Sarah's noggin' warm this cold North Dakota winter.
Pattern: Rolled Brim Cap by Sue W.
Yarn: I Love This Yarn, Soft Secret
Colorway: Peacock, Light Denim
Needle Size: US Size 7 & 8
Pattern: Vanilla Fish Lips Kiss Heel by Sox Therapist
Needle Size: US Size 1

Monday, December 29, 2014

Denali's first Christmas

When we put the Christmas tree up, I told everyone we were not going to battle little Miss Denali Jane over the tree. Each time she tipped it over, I wanted whoever was there to document it with a photo and then put it back in an upright position. I envisioned a wonderful blog post, from beautiful tree to a Charlie Brown tree with ornaments strewn all over the floor.
Well, the joke's on me!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014

Tossing aside tradition The Chick drove down on the 16th of December and the three of us were off to North Dakota for Christmas. 

We were happy to see our grandkiddos and they happily made some delicious Christmas cookies.
Our little Charlotte Ivy has grown into a beautiful kitty who has the good sense to stop and smell the roses!
We were able to attend Sadie Lou Who's Christmas concert.
(a sad photo taken on my iphone
The Tiger had been saying he was getting a computer for Christmas from Santa since Thanksgiving.  A little elf had told me a computer was not in the Tiger's future.

So early one morning a few days before going to see Santa I asked him about the wish list he'd made for his visit to Santa. I was prepared to burst The Tiger's bubble and figured it was better six days before Christmas than on Christmas morning.

A shocked look appeared on his face and The Tiger quickly told me the elves in the workshop where busy making computers at that very moment! Well, I went into quick thinking mode and told The Tiger, no Santa and his elves in fact did not make everything and electronics were one of the items being outsourced, The Tiger was just going to have to think of something else to ask for this year. He thought a moment and then said to me there wasn't anything else, he had everything!

Sadie Lou Who jumped in trying to help out. She asked what about the DS Game ----. To this suggestion The Tiger responded, "Why would I use up a good Santa gift for a $23.00 DS Game I could buy myself?"

OH, my goodness!

Monday, December 22, 2014


Like any dedicated knitter I was careful to pack plenty of yarn for our time in North Dakota. In truth, most knitters pack more than enough.  we don't ever, ever want to be without a project. Disaster struck on Friday I was sitting next to the Christmas tree happily knitting on a sock when the unexpected happened - I broke my Size 1 Addie circular needle. The wire just broke off an the end of the metal needle!

I quickly went into solution mode. "Where," I asked frantically, "Can I find knitting needles?"

Remember I'm in Jamestown, North Dakota, and the answer to this question is: NO WHERE!!!

In desperation I went to Walmart but I knew in my heart that I wasn't going to find anything but a stiff, plasticy, Boyce size 8 needles. So what to do for the next three days until we went to the thriving metropolis of Fargo?
Crochet a baby blanket! It's not done and I think I'll just keep it in the car should another emergency arise.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Fast and easy yoga socks for Christmas!

Each year the adults in our family draw names for gift giving but no matter who's name I draw I like to do a little knitting for everyone. Socks have been the go to gift lately....

The California Dreamin’ Gurl has a very specific order for her Christmas Socks:
1)Yoga Socks
I’m not fond of knitting black yarn but decided with no toes or heels I could put up with a little bit of knitting in the black. Even knitting only in daylight these were a very fast knit.To achieve the third request I found this pattern and knit these socks in a twisted cable. I think I'll use this little twist in many other toed socks.
Pattern: Women's Yoga Socks by Rebecca Bathje
Yarn: Cascade Sock Yarn
Colorway: Black
Needle Size: US Size 1

...but the California Dreamin' Gurl was also the family member name I drew and so when she sent me her list of possible gifts and I saw DRYER BALLS I was delighted!! I got on YouTube, found a tutorial, and was quickly I was making dryer balls. They were fast and inexpensive hope they do the job!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Finishing a last minute Christmas Gift

This year has been the year to knit socks. I've enjoyed every sock knit. Being able to put the project in my purse and take it anywhere has been the best. I feel like I can be adventurous in colors and patterns knowing the recipients will still wear the finished product - after all, they only have to slip on a pair of boots if they really find them offensive!

I've always tried to have my Christmas presents bought, or completed by Thanksgiving so imagine my surprise when I went to wrap the NorDak family gifts and realized that I didn't have the Big Boy's socks completed!

Quickly I got the THREE skeins of sock yarn, picked out a favorite pattern, and began knitting!
Pattern: Vanilla Latte Socks by Virginia Rose-Jeanes
Yarn: Patons North America Kroy Socks FX
Colorway: Cadet Colours
Needle Size: US 2.5

All wrapped and ready for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas socks for Gabriel

I happily knit a pair of socks for one of my biggest sock fans!
Pattern: Pin Striped Socks by Julia Gabriel
             Fish Lip Kiss Heel
Yarn: Patons North America Kroy Socks Ragg Shades
Colorway: Brown Striped Ragg
Amount: 2 skeins
Needle Size:  US 1 needles

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Ditching the family

Thanksgiving and the Griz/Bobcat annual game happen about the same time each year.  The NorDak Family came the weekend before Thanksgiving, and we were at the football game when they walked into the house, The Tiger declared they had been "ditched"!

I hope he felt we made up for it before they left today!

It was a busy week. The family met our kitty Denali for the first time and fell in love. It took several days for her to come around. She travels with us and was visiting her "kitty cousin" while we were at the game. She helped with her first Christmas tree...
But once we got home Denali went into hiding for a day and a half under the covers of our bed - evidently on overload after a trip, the kitty cousin, and four new bodies at the house! Then all of a sudden she came out and jumped into the mix!  Later in the evening the tables turned and kitty cousin came through the door to visit Denali in her world!

We played our favorite game, Ticket To Ride!, and discovered a "new" old game Spoons. The kiddos worked on missed schoolwork some afternoons. The grownup gals went Black Friday Shopping - thanks to them for pushing me out out door thus continuing our tradition and getting most of my Christmas Shopping done!! We all got a chuckle when Sadie played basketball with the kitten.
 The Tiger and Sadie Lou Who decorated a gingerbread house.
 AND Gram's favorite... decorated the Christmas Tree!
What a fun visit, Thank you family for coming!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Griz/Bobcat Game 2014

Every year we look forward to the big rivalry game between the Griz and Bobcat teams.
Each team switches hosting the game, this year it was at Washington Grizzly Stadium. It is always scheduled as the last game regular of the season and so we can expect cold weather, this year was no different. Rain was predicted at kickoff turning to snow before game's end.  We arrived prepared:
The people in our section, the infamous N-Zone, have gotten to know each other over the years. We worry about missing fellow fans that usually sit around us (new babies or surgeries perhaps??) and are often asked about our latest trip up from Billings. This week as we settled into the stands for pre-game chatter, one of our oldest Griz buddies handed Hubby a piece of paper with his phone number and said he'd heard the passes were going to get hammered with snow, possibly closing by the game's end. He added that all the motels in the area were full so if we wanted to stay the night at his house we would be more than welcome. We were touched by his caring and kindness but THAT'S how the Griz Nation rolls!

We enjoyed a great game, Griz 34 - Bobcats 7. Although it was cold we were able to beat the snow and arrive at our planned destination without incident. Now on to the post conference quarter finals next weekend!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hats are going to my head!

While visiting the California Dreamin' Family, Chloe-A-Little-Bit asked me for a new hat and glove set. I sat down and knit several hats this weekend - never quite finding the perfect pattern but loving the knit anyway! Enjoy the hat fashion show.....
Pattern: Izmir Hat by Shana Schasteen
Yarn: Patons North America Kroy Socks Stripes
Colorway: 243455 Sweet Stripes
Amount: 1 Skein
Needle Size:US Size 6
 Pattern: Hat No. 5 by Kara McKinley
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted Solids & Heathers
Colorway: Ecru
Amount: Less than 1 skein
Needle Size: US 8
Pattern: E-ola (Reversible Hat) by Muriela
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Pacific
Colorway: French Blue
Amount: Less than one skien
Needle Size: US Size 7 ( calls for a size 8)
Pattern: Women's Peaked Hat by Patons
Yarn: Cascade Yarn Pacific
Colorway: Navy
Amount: Less than one skein
Needle Size: Crochet Hook J (two sizes larger than called for)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Styling tunic for my leggings

I love one piece sweaters and this is just a little different from the usual. I enjoyed knitting this sweater after so many pairs of socks. There were a few changes from the printed pattern, I knit the yoke longer, didn't decrease before the waist and increased two extra times from the waist to the hips. The tunic was knit much longer than the suggested length in the pattern.  To quote a blogger, "If you are over 18 and you don’t live in the Playboy Mansion, you must wear your leggings with a top or tee that's long enough to cover your hoo-ha and your booty. No exceptions, ladies."

For this sweater I used an unusual choice of yarn. I didn't want it to be to warm, and knowing I would be wearing something under this short sleeve sweater I used an 60% acrylic/40% wool yarn. After wearing the sweater to work I'm happy with the choice but the sweater did receive a couple of snags throughout the day.

It's not easy to take a selfie in this house!
Pattern: Irish Coffee by Thea Colman
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Pacific
Colorway: Clover
Amount:5 Skeins
Needles: US Size 8

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Poor Kitty

No kittens for Denali and she's feeling poorly! 
We've noticed when the girl is stressed out or a little "under the weather" she likes to be wrapped under a blanket. She spent three hours on my lap feeling pitiful.

Friday, November 7, 2014

A quick trip to California

Friday, instead of Trick or Treating I hopped on my broom and flew down to California for a visit with the California Dreamin' Family! It was so much fun to see the family and catch up on what has been keeping them busy.

First, we just had to go see Bake Sale Betty. She was busy behind the scenes at the bakery but Gabriel managed squeeze in a quick fan photo for me...
The pirate has been busy creating a board game based on Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (a current favorite novel series of his). We played several rounds critiquing his game and I was proud how he carefully listened to the advice and went back to the drawing board to improve his creation. By the time I left the game was ready to be ordered online.
We woke early Sunday morning and went to the Flea market. I found dickered on a piano stool. I had thought it was for the NorDak family but quickly realized the California Dreamin' Family loved it and so left it for them to enjoy.
We then hopped into the car and drove to the Napa Valley where we once again enjoyed Calistoga Hot Springs Resort. Many changes have taken place in just the few years since I was there last.  Although there is room for many more occupants the activities spred throughout the facilities allow the pool to never feel crowded.
 We all enjoyed playing a game of Boule and returning for another dip in the pool.
Bri and I had our first mud baths and although we had a blast there are no photos as we were in our birthday suits at the time!  Would I take a mud bath again? In an instant! We left feeling relaxed and hmm, so CLEAN!
 Relaxing outside our bungalow with a glass of wine, we were in Napa Valley!
After a tough day at the pool and spa it was time to kick back, and relax in our brand new bungalow. The pirate took to it in stride like the star he is...
Our visit to Trader Joe's led to a little silliness...
On my last day in California we went for a hike in the Oakland Hills where there was a giant fire in 1991. It was and interesting walk. We could see the new McMansions, replacing the burned homes, mixed in with the old homes that existed before the fire.
 Thank you family for such wonderful time and great company.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A real prize for a Christmas Gift

Last year I was winning drawing after drawing at ravelry. An item I won was a skein of Madelinetosh tosh merino DK in Winter Wheat on the Traveling Sock Knitter podcast. I've heard about Mad Tosh yarns but had never knit on any.  It was a delightful knit and I think the finished project is beautiful!
Pattern: Bertie by Kate Blackburn
Yarn: Madelinetosh tosh merino DK
Colorway: Winter Wheat
Needles: US Size 6

A great Minestrone Soup

I found this soup recipe on another blog. It's delicious and I'm afraid I'll lose it if I don't post it. Give it a try, and thanks Patty!

Patty’s Minestrone Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 rib of celery, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. hamburger
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 –  64 oz. can V-8 Juice
  • 2 – 15 oz. cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup catsup (optional)
  • 3/4 cup pasta of choice (small is best)
  • 1-1/2 cups green beans, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup chopped cabbage
  • 1 small zucchini, quartered and sliced
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
In a large sauce pan or dutch oven heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion, celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Stirring often, cook until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.  Increase temperature to medium high and add hamburger and garlic and cook until meat is browned, about 7 minutes.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Pour in wine, and be sure to scrape up the brown bits from the pan.  Add chicken broth, stewed tomatoes (I like to make sure the tomatoes are chopped somewhat small for my kids), catsup, and V-8 Juice.  Bring to a boil and add green beans, cabbage, bay leaf and Italian seasoning.  Cook at a low boil stirring occasionally about 15 minutes until green beans and cabbage are softened.  Add pasta, zucchini, spinach and beans and cook until softened about 12 more minutes, until pasta is cooked.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Remove bay leaf and add fresh basil just before serving.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Crazy Zauberball Socks!

I finished another pair of socks and I'm very grateful that my brothers don't seem to mind my crazy socks at all! In fact, they claim to love them. I have bought the Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball several times and the yarn looks so fun in the ball but then I'm a little scared as I knit the pair of socks because there is never a repeat in colors, they just seem to flow from one tone to another. If you're a free spirit they are lovely!
Pattern: Vanilla Socks with Fish Lips Kiss Heels
Yarn: Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball
Colorway: Schokolandenseite 2092
US Needle Size: One

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Griz football

Denali, our little kitty, continues to travel with us. When we go to Griz games she hops in the car and happily arrives at the Chick's house to raise a little heck with Abby. Interestingly, the trip home is a little testy. I think she's just on overload after a weekend of fun and games with her kitty cousin!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sock knitting continues...

I've been such a lazy blogger lately. Knitting but not posting! Three pairs of socks have been knit and are ready to put into the gift basket!
Pair #1
Pattern Name: Simple Skyp Socks with a Fish Lips Kiss Heel
Yarn: Patons North American Kroy Socks 4 Ply
Colorway: Winter Eclipse
Amount: 3 skeins
Needle Size: US Size 1

Pair #2
Pattern Name: Socks for Euni with a  Fish Lips Kiss Heel
Yarn: Rowen Sock - Wool and cashmere
Colorway: Denim
Amount: 1 skein
Needle Size: US Size1

Pair #3
Pattern Name: Pin Striped Socks with a Fish Lips Kiss Heel
Yarn: Patons North American Kroy Socks Stripe
Colorway: Sweet Stripes
Amount: 2 skeins
Needle Size: US Size 1

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Knitting for a preemie

About a month ago a friend had a preemie granddaughter born. I've never knit preemie hats before, I wasn't sure if babies in our local hospital were allowed to used them, but when this little 2 pound 3 ounce darling was born I quickly knit up three little hats. I thought that even if the hats weren't used they would be great to look at years from now surely with the comment "You were so little that these hats were to big!"
I started the first hat with a published pattern but thought that they would be to big and so went down to a size 1US needle and sock yarn instead of a 5 needle and sport weight yarn. As you can see, the hat is still a bit big but happily it is being grown into!

 Hat for a Two Pound Preemie

Cast on 80  stitches
Knit 25 rounds in ribbing
Knit 25 rounds in stockinette
Decrease evenly around every other row until 8 stitches remain.
Run yarn through the 8 stitches and sew shut.

One hat has a ribbed brim, one a rolled brim, another had a ribbed brim with a top that was just knit across with pink yarn balls on each side. On October 1st I knit this cut little pumpkin hat:
The curlie cues were very easy:
Cast on 30 stitches
Knit in the front and back of each stitch
Cast off!

Now a month later this little baby is three pounds and may go home in two weeks! I knit a baby pink sweater for a five pound baby.  With this exciting news it may be to big for her homecoming!