Sunday, August 13, 2017

Super Power Socks

It's hard to believe school is just around the corner. I have had my "Back to school" dream but quickly remembered "School's out FOREVER" in this household. The Tiger is starting a new school this fall and instead of knitting him a pair of "Lucky Socks" I thought I'd have him test some "Super Power Socks" and we'll see which work better in Middle School!
Pattern: Basic Ribbed Socks by Kate Atherley, Fish Lips Kiss Heel
Yarn: Carlton Yarns Sock Weight
Colorway:Garden Party
Needle Size: US Size 0

Saturday, August 12, 2017

A Summer Visit to ND

The Chick and I had been planning a visit to the NorDakFamily for quite a while. At first we had grand plans and were going to visit Canada and then drop down into North Dakota for a stay with family but then who would take care of Miss Zoey?
So we decided to reverse the trip until people began to tell us Canada to the Notrh is just like the area we live in.....hmm...prairie. So in the end we just traveled east and spend some lovely summer days with family and headed home!

Hubby had originally said he would keep the household going but as the summer progressed with the busy fire season he had no idea if he would be home or away fighting fires. I'm lucky my good friend Jo  stepped in and did the daily feeding and watering of plants.

The Chick and I brought our paddle boards and we spent three afternoons on the lake. The Tiger worked hard to improve his skills.

 Although there wasn't much piano practice we were able to listen to a concert from both kiddos. They have improved since the last time I heard them!
It was Troy's birthday month and so I brought a pair of socks to him.
Pattern: Vanilla Socks with Fish Lips Kiss Heels
Yarn: Carlton Yarns Sock Weight
Colorway:South Western Pottery and Regia 06619
Needle Size: US Size 1

And a pair for each of the gals.
Pattern: Vanilla Socks with Fish Lips Kiss Heels
Yarn: Knit Picks Bare Stroll Fingering Sock and Regia
Colorway: Hand Dyed Speckled Yarn and Green
Needle Size: US Size 1
Pattern: Fish Lips Kiss Heel and Mosaic Patten
Yarn: Knit Picks Bare Stroll Fingering Sock and Regia
Colorway: Hand Dyed Speckled Yarn and GreenNeedle Size: US Size 1

The hand dyed yarn was fun to do. I used various colors of Koolaid,  and a fork!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Summer on the Montana Prairie

As I usually do each evening, I sat down to watch the local news. Halfway through the newscast Bob McGuire announced that within the last 15-20 minutes a fire had started near our house. I hopped in the car to investigate.
It was close but could have been closer and within minutes planes were dropping retardant. Two hours into the fire Hubby texted me "On fire over ridge from house. Looks to be heading to interstate. Be ready to leave. Watch for the smoke column,"
I packed a bag with a few days worth of clothes, toiletries, my computer and charger, some extra sock yarn for nervous knitting, the NorDak daughter's China treat, and then dug out the cat carriers. Next it was time to gathered some family mementos.
 "The Antique" (NEVER to be left for kindling) a Christmas plate of my grandmother's from Germany so probably Great Grandparent Duis', The Hedges Bible, The Brewer Bible, a German book of my Grandmother's listing birthdays, coasters Dad brought back from the  Korean War and a cat my brother gave me years ago.
Cows my Dad made, Rosanna Fancher's tea pot, souviners from a trip to England and China, a Roseville vase Mom and Dad received as a wedding gift, books that were Maid Thomas', A childhood book my father received as a Christmas gift, Dad's stool he made when he was 12 years old and the rocking chair my mother in law received when she found out she was going to be a grandmother. (You can barely see the arm of the rocking chair)
Eight years of my journals, watches that were my father in law's, a shamrock plant my Dad grew inside the brass pot Mom bought at the Far and Away prop sale, my Great Grandmother Cheney's lace knitting needles.
Mom's mittens knit by her grandmother Jamison, a crocheted sweater knit for me by my Great Aunt Grace, and a kerosene lamp base owned by the Jamison's. (I decided to document this because should I need to gather things again in the future OR the girls want something more I'll have a ready list.)

Things began to calm down around 9:30pm and Hubby promised he'd call if I needed to leave during the night and at five this morning Hubby texted they were going to begin "mopping up." I haven't heard from him since so I'm unpacking the car and it's just another normal day in Montana.

Thank goodness for the firefighters!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

One thing just led to another

I've been experimenting with dyeing speckled yarn.
My first try turned out okay but I thought I could do better so out came more dye and I gave it another try. I liked the result but didn't want to waste the leftover dye and so out came the dye pot, more yarn and I dyed a multiple colored tonal yarn.
When I put the two together it was clear another hank needed to be dyed and I needed to knit a "Find Your Fade" sweater.
It's been a fun knit and I look forward to showing you the finished project.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

There's a Monster Hidden Deep Inside

Who would have thought there was a needle killer hidden in this adorable little kitten?  

Polly's currently chewed up three pairs of my Addie Turbo Sock Rockets. I've tried to do my part and be more diligent by putting them away after each use but she dives head first into my knitting bag! So I finally dug out the needles I ordered from Ebay a few years ago for sixty cents a pair. They are Chinese needles and have crazy sizing and metal cables (instead of the plastic Polly appears to be teething on) But they work and seem to be doing the job.

 At the time I didn't know why I bought the needles, I had so many already. Now I know they were a necessary item for my little orange shorthaired kitty to keep her happy home.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

What ya' knittin' kitten?

During the month of June I worked very hard to deplete my Red Heart stash. Often, when non-knitters learn I knit they will offer me their grandmother’s stash. I accept with the dream the stash will be cashmere but it’s always been a stash of Red Heart. Over the years I’ve acquired quite a big box. Every kitten bed I finished was Polly's favorite until I finished another, then the new one was her favorite. In total I completed thirteen cat beds and twelve cat blankets for the vet.
Pattern: Cat's Craddle by Comfort for Critters
Yarn: Red Heart Worsted
Hook: I
Pattern: Sunflower Pet Blanket by Maryann
Yarn: Red Heart
Hook: I
Polly is now the proud owner of one of the cat beds.
I also finished forty-three preemie hats for a sum total of 8,518 meters.

Friday, June 30, 2017

California Dreamin' Kiddos 2017 Summer Visit

Yesterday the kiddos headed home after another visit to the old homestead. We started the visit in the usual way - a trip to the public library. The kiddos found a great stack of books knowing it would keep them happy for their three week visit. I happily checked the books out on my library card.

I've had my card for over forty years and even though I'm asked from time to time if I want to update it I've kept it just for old times sake, until this visit. As I was putting the card back into my purse, it just broke in half. I was shocked! The kiddos laughed at the look on my face. It forced me to replace my Parmly Library card with a new flashy Billings Public Library Card and in that second there went my ties to two libraries and thousands of checked out books! A little thing with a BIG impact...
We spent our days as we usually do reading, hiking, paddle boarding, playing card games, watching a little tv. One day we visited the Top Of The World on the Beartooth Pass and another we hiked with Hubby so he could show us the pictographs he found last year.
Sadly, the kiddos are getting older, schedules fuller and the trips shorter but always the best thing is we always enjoy being together for whatever time we have together.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Baby Quilt #7

I enjoyed making the baby quilts this last winter and told the girls I'd make more as gifts for their friends as needed. The Chick was the first to take me up on the task. This quilt is for a baby boy whose room will be decorated in a nature theme. The owls are a great touch!
I was worried about the owl's background color and later I found out The Chick had been too. No worries, it's perfect and I just love how this quilt turned out.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

2017 First Fawn of the Season in the books

It's that time of the year again, with a big difference. Hubby and I weren't the only people playing this year.  There were a few additional contestants with family visiting earlier this summer.  The California Dreamin' family and The Chick were quickly made aware of the rules of the game:

Really there is only one BIG rule: It must be a confirmed siting, involving PHOTOGRAPHIC PROOF.

Everyone got into the swing of it, carrying their cameras on all walks. As usual Hubby saw the first fawn but the proof was nonexistent in his photo. Bri was right behind him with her camera but disqualified herself because all you could see was a very small bum - or tree stump, we're not sure. It didn't take long for the next siting. The next evening Chloe ALittleBit was just finishing her walk, and  heading up the driveway when there by the garage was not one fawn but TWO! How are your skills at finding those little guys?
Way to go Chloe, 2017 winner of the First Fawn of The Season competition!!

Polly meets the family

The California Dreamin' Family and The Chick came to visit this week. We've been hangin' at the house relaxing. The Chick brought Zoey for the visit too. She was surprised by the new kitten but they hit it off immediately and it was as though Polly had found her mom once again.
Polly played "no holds barred" while Zoey used her newly found adult restraint.
They would chase each other around the house in the morning but Polly would find a lap to nap in all afternoon. 
Where was Denali during all this fun? Under the bed, she will soon start her third week there!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

My Safer Than a Nail File Socks

It was while knitting these socks on the train from Guilin to Gangzhou I acquired the World Title of Fastest Knitter In The World clocking in at 150 mile per hour!
The socks will also be remembered for their part in being pulled over by security. We had been through security time and time again during our trip through China. So imagine my surprise on  the last leg of the journey, Hong Kong to Tokyo, being pulled aside and asked to remove a sharp object from my purse - no, not my knitting needles but a nail file.

 “Madam, you see the file has a sharp end.” the security officer said as she moved her finger over the point. I agreed and quickly gathered my things and moved on.
I must admit I felt just a bit smug as I knit my way to Japan.
Pattern: Vanilla Socks with Fish Lips Kiss Heels
Yarn: Regia Arnie and Carlos
Colorway: Tinn
Needles: US Size 1

Three pairs of socks knit in China, not a bad knitting adventure!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Yangtze River Socks

While on our trip we spent four days cruising up the Yangtze River giving me time to sit on our private balcony, knit and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
 Pattern: Vanilla socks with a Fish Lips Kiss Heel
Yarn: Schachenmayr Regia Pairfect
Colorway: 0719
Needle Size US Size 1

Monday, June 5, 2017

Heavenly Socks

It might have been a hot day and humid day in Beijing but a Knitter’s gotta knit! Enjoying the sites at Temple of Heaven.
 I made sure the socks were in progress, on the needles and the cuff done when going through security. There was no problem getting them through the airport. However, I was worried enough something could happen I put a spare pair of needles in my checked luggage, can't imagine not knitting a stitch for 3 weeks!

Pattern: Vanilla Socks with Fish Lips Kiss Heels
Yarn: Regia4-Fadig Jacquard Color 4-ply
Colorway:Black, Purple, Blue, and Oatmeal
Amount: 1 Skein
Needle Size: US Size 1

I had decided to knit vanilla socks during our trip. I knew they would keep my hands busy without drawing my attention away from the sites.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Introducing Polly Pickett!

I have been wanting a orange kitten for a long time but in our household two cats make up the pet family and happily our cats are very long lived. Eighteen years is a long and great life for a cat! Three years ago Hubby REALLY wanted a Bengal and we now have Denali and do love her so much!  This moved me into first in line for the choice of a kitten this winter when Grace moved  Florida. We decided not to even look for a kitten until we got back from our trip. For some reason I thought a orange kitten would magicly appear and I would be greeted at the airport with a kitten. Instead I had to wait for almost three weeks for one to appear!

Meet Polly (Hayward) Pickett...

 I've been saving her name for many years. When working on the family genealogy I discovered my third great grandmother's name was Polly Hayward and she married Gilead Pickett making her Polly Pickett. I instantly loved the name and thought it would be a great cat's name...I'm pretty sure the human Polly Pickett thinks it's fine and loved cats herself!

Polly's estimated birth date is March 25, 2017. She was found in a boat with her brother. The Vet Tech found them on May 17th. She thought the Momma kitty was moving them around from one place to another - probably for safety. The Vet Tech watched but Momma didn't return and so she took over the kitten rearing. They were turned into the Animal Shelter on Friday night, I checked the web site and found her the next day. I was there within the hour!

Polly is tiny, not even two lbs. Usually the shelter doesn't release their kittens until they are spayed or neutered and they need to weigh 2lbs. I must have looked like a responsible Cat Momma because they let me take her home immediately and we'll do the deed later. She is DARLING.

We like to have our cats sleep on our bed with us at night. It just makes Hubby and I feel more peaceful. Last night I put her on my pillow as I got ready to go to bed, hoping she might settle down somewhere on the bed. The lights went out and within two minutes Polly settled into the crook of my arms and didn't move all night, BLISS!!

Yes, I am a crazy cat woman. And yes, future  great-great-great grand children can name their kitten after me!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Maiden Voyage for the New Trailer

 Hubby had been planning this camping/gold panning trip all winter, who was I to say no? I knew I could nap and blow my nose in the trailer as well as at home….

So I made and froze several meals ahead for the trip:
1 ) Stuffed Green Peppers
2) Easy Chicken Pasta Bake
3) Taco meat for tacos
4) Lentil Soup
5) Cookies, and bran muffins

We loaded up the new trailer for her maiden voyage and down the road we went.  It was a quiet weekend, Hubby would leave early and get back around six. Denali and I spent time knitting, reading, playing solitaire, and yowling. (You decide who is doing what!)
I like the new digs - it’s nice to have a Murphy bed (it just disappears and the trailer becomes a living area but then Denali has no safe zone and that’s been a trial.) We have a bathroom and that’s great…’s one reason not to be a pioneering woman.