Sunday, December 14, 2008

Blizzard Day means Knitting Day!

Today North Dakota, South Dakota and western Minnesota are experiencing the first blizzard of the year. Quite a few businesses in Fargo are closed, which considering that it is prime christmas shopping time, really says something about the weather. My church was cancelled this morning, which was kind of a relief, since I didn't want to drive in this mess.The view outside my window (a limited view, admittedly, since I live in an apartment with only eastern facing windows) is very hazy due to blowing snow. The garages only 15 feet away are shadowy and after that it's just a wall of white. You can believe that I am going nowhere today. I've even turned my heat on for the first time this year. Normally my apartment is pretty warm without the heat on. But I guess those 40 mile an hour gusts of cold wind are... well, cold. So on goes the heat.

It's a perfect day to stay home and eat soup, and read or knit or watch movies. I dread going to work tomorrow, but for now I'm going to stay home, read a sappy Christmas romance by Grace Livingston Hill and knit. On the Nodak Knitters group has been planning a Blizzard Knit/Crochet Along for a month now. Each participant chose their yarn and pattern a week or more ago and put them away from when the first blizzard hit. The pattern was encouraged to be a hat, mittens, scarf or other cold weather gear item. I was going to do a hat for myself, but the blizzard came before Christmas so I cast on the hat I need to make for my nephew for Christmas. I was going to do a cloche style hat like the one Angelina Jolie wears in the movie Changeling. I've already made one for my friend Astrid.
Here's a pic of the 1920's cloche hat that I knitted and felted for her. I like the slit in the back. I think I'll have to make another one for myself after the blizzard.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Portable Knitting Tote Pattern

I've had a lot of people compliment me on my felted tote bag that I take with me to my knitting night. It carries everything I need for an evening of knitting with the gals at the coffee shop. I have my wallet in the bottom of the bag, my knitting pattern and doo-dads in the pocket, and my knitting project in the bag. This is an extremely easy project. It has a round flat bottom so it sits upright on the floor by your chair as you knit. Gauge is not important and if your stitches are a bit wonky that disappears with felting. This is a great way to use up those left over odds and ends of feltable wool yarn. You could make stripes, or simple blocks of color. Make it as tall or short as you like.
Finished Measurements:

11" deep by 9.5" in diameter. Since felted projects are imprecise when it comes to shrinkage, these measurements may not be exactly replicated. But a bag doesn't need to fit, so just have fun.


*Approximately 3 skeins of Brown Sheep Bulky, or about 350-400 yards of bulky weight wool yarn.

*29" circular needle size 11

*double point needles size 11

*5 stitch markers, one different to mark the begining of the round.

*yarn needle


Cast on 30 stitches , place marker, cast on 60 stitches, place marker, cast on 30 stitches, place unique marker to mark beginning of round. The other two markers mark the handles for later. There is a total of 120 stitches. Join to knit in the round.

Bag Handles

*Round 1: Knit every stitch, slipping the markers.

*Round 2: Purl every stitch.

*Round 3: Knit every stitch.

*Round 4: Purl every stitch.

*Round 5: Knit to first marker, slip marker, bind off 20 sitches, knit to the next marker, slip marker, bind off 20 stitches, knit to end.

*Round 6: Knit to first marker, drop marker, cast on 10 stitches, knit to next marker, drop marker, cast on 10 stitches, knit to end. There are 100 stitches left, and only one marker for the beginning of the round.

*Round 7: Purl every stitch.

Bag Body

*Round 8-58: Knit every stitch in whichever color pattern you might like. You can knit fewer or more rounds as you please.

*Round 59-60: Purl every stitch

Bag Bottom

*Round 61: Knit 20, place marker, repeat. You will have 5 markers.

*Round 62: Knit 18, knit 2 together, repeat. Decreased 5 stitches.

*Round 63: Knit around.

*Repeat rounds 62 & 63 until you must switch to double points. When you have a total of 30 stitches left, decrease every round. When you have 5 stitches left, cut yarn and run through the remaining stitches. Pull tight and fasten off.

Pocket - work back and forth

*Cast on 20 stitches.

*Rows 1-3 Knit every stitch.

*Row 4: Knit 2, purl 16, knit 2.

*Row 5: Knit every stitch.
*Rows 6-20: Repeat Row 4 & 5.

*Rows 21-24: Knit every stitch

*Cast off.

Sew the pocket to the bag with left over yarn.

Felt the bag thoroughly. Before you start it might look huge and floppy,

but it will shrink. I ran mine through the hot cycle in the washer twice. The thicker your felted fabric is the stiffer the bag will be and will be able to stand up by itself. Dry it thoroughly. I put mine upside down over a plastic lamp shade. A plastic dinner plate could be put into the bottom, making the bottom of the bag stetch a bit and then the bag could be hung upside down to dry.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I am thankful for tea. A cup of tea doesn't actually cure all ills, but it helps calm the shattered nerves of a woman who has nursed her beaten car home from an accident. I'm thankful for friends give hand made mugs and elephant teapots to drink the tea from. I'm thankful for the concerned words from friends who care. I am thankful for a God who hears prayers. I am thankful for friends who are able to come over to look at the beaten car and pronounce it salvagable, even if only temporarily, and promise to look at it again on Sunday and get it drive-able again. I am thankful for a church where people care about one another. I am thankful for a quiet apartment where a woman can cry in private without an audience judging her. I am thankful for cats who look curious and sympathetic when they jump into a lap and purr.

I suppose the traditional thing at Thanksgiving is to be thankful for things that are a little more vague. But these are some of the things I am more immediately thankful for.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Look! Stripes!!!

Yes, the yarn that I dyed on Saturday actually creates stripes. I'm so proud!

Look!! Stripes!!

Well, it couldn't be helped. I couldn't stay away from the yarn I dyed last Saturday. I just *had* to know if the stripes would work. And they did! See?

Today was the last day to mail swap packages for early shipping points. I will not ship mine until probably Monday, depending on when a particular item flies to my door. But just about everything else is ready. There's yarn to pet, and chocolate to drool over and a few other fun things in the bag.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Yarn Dying Day

Well, it's been a long time since I posted, and I don't really have any excuse. But I'm posting now.

This weekend the Loopy Ladies got together to hand dye yarn. Sock yarn, mostly, but I put half a pound of merino roving in a pot. All in all. it went well. The burgundy dye wasn't burgundy; it was grape. The sapphhire blue and the sky blue were almost identicle. We tried to make eggplant by adding a bit of black to purple, but it turned out almost the same as the persimmon. Live and learn, eh? Still, a very productive weekend.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Here's the quiz for this round.

1. At the beginning of the book, Cornelius Fudge is talking to the Muggle Prime Minister. Which member of the Order of the Phoenix has recently been found dead?c. Emmeline Vance

2. What animal does Bellatrix Lestrange kill when she and her sister, Narcissa, are going to see Professor Snape?b. Fox

3. What time does Professor Dumbledore collect Harry from Privet Drive?b. 11 p.m.

4. What did Professor Slughorn transform into when he was trying to hide from Harry and Professor Dumbledore?a. An armchair

5. What grade did Harry get for Herbology?a. E – Exceeds Expectation

6. Herbert Chorley, the Prime Minister’s Junior Minster, has been entertaining the public by impersonating which animal?b. A duck

7. What is Professor Sprout’s first name?d. Pomona

8. What is Dumbledore’s idea of ‘a few words’?d. nitwit, oddment, blubber and tweak

9. Who is Marcus Belby’s famous uncle?b. Damocles

10. What is Snape’s mother’s name?b. Eileen Prince

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

On The Mend

I'm feeling better. I have made it through 2 full days at work. Got pulled into a room with the other two Process Analysts to be told my job had been eliminated. Nearly died of a heart attack before my boss went on to explain that we had all been promoted to a new position. I didn't quite catch the title. Operations Manager? I don't think it's that. She also didn't mention what the exact pay increase would be, just that it was "significant". It will bump us up into the next bracket for the Christmas bonus. Oh, and that our workload would be increasing. Figures. I can't handle the work I have right now.

Some other things happened at work that we are not allowed to discuss yet. Suffice it to say that it drove me and a co worker to Paradiso for a glass of wine. Ya gotta love CMS.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Usual Crap

I have been sick since Wednesday. Sore throat turned into a nasty cough (yes, instant replay of the week after Labor Day) and headache and really bad raspy breathing. My inhaler doesn't work and neither does the Singulair. I sound like I'm gargling gravel in my chest when I breathe. On Thursday afternoon my boss told me to Go Home. I called my doctor's office, but she had no openings until the following week. Sad, isn't it, when your primary care physician can't see you? Why are they called "primary care" when you end up only seeing them for your annual physical? Anyway, I went to the walk in clinic and they said, of course, sino-bronchitis and borderline pneumonia. I got a Z-pack and the cough syrup and took them religiously. Went to work the next morning and made it for an hour. My stomach was violently unhappy. After breaking into a sweat, swallowing a sudden flood of hot saliva and heaving fruitlessly into my wastebasket I gave up and went home. I hadn't been eating much of anything for a couple days and I think the codeine-ated cough syrup made me sick. I quit taking it. I'd rather cough than barf. But it would be nice to lay down and not cough, I admit. The nausea persisted for about 20 hours. Yuck. Give me pain any day. On Saturday night my temp was 103.4. I called the clinic hotline and asked if that was really bad. I was told to monitor my temp carefully and if it went up anymore to come in right away. And to drink lots of water and rest. Yada-yada. I didn't even go to church this morning. I'm a Sunday School teacher. One of these Sundays I'm going to have to go to church and teach, huh? I didn't go to my Sunday afternoon knitting group, either. I'm not going to work tomorrow. Where I work we get our birthday off with pay. Good. I won't have to take any vacation time tomorrow. Happy birthday to me.

I think I may be on the mend now. I made supper and ate a healthy portion. It's the first day I've eaten much of anything since Wednesday. I dropped almost 6 pounds in the last 5 days. I've been awake for several hours at a stretch too. My temp is hovering around 100.8. I cast on a hat for one of the evil aunties. I changed my sheets. See? On the mend.

And the kitties have been very solicitous. They sleep right alongside me and keep the bed warm when I get up to take another hit off my inhaler or get a drink of water. Ain't they sweet?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Coronation was a great event for me. I got to see friends I don't see often like Petey and Daye, and I got to meet some new fun people like Carol (Sigred?)and Sionach (spelling on that last name is off, I'm sure). Before morning court actually got started I showed Sionach how to spin. She had some lovely wool and a nice top whorl spindle. She picked up spinning very quickly. It wasn't until the peers went to swear fealty to the new royals that I realized she was a laurel. She was very easy to talk to. I hope I get to see more of her. During morning court I saw that Carol had brought out her knitting, so I got my Ugly Sock project out to work on.
Speaking of socks! I brought the socks I had knitted for Lusche and gave them to her. She was gracious about it. She made me feel really appreciated. It's nice when someone is like that when you give them something you spent hours on. All of my SCA friends ahd been very nice about the socks I've made for them.

I got to talk to almost everybody I had wanted to. It's funny, but I see my local friends more often at events than I do at home. I went out to lunch with Una, Toramassa, Giulia and Meredith. Meredith's new baby is a doll.
For supper Christiana and I went out to Perkins. It was really great to spend some time with her. She's one of those humble people who does more than her fair share of the work, but only says that she enjoys it.
After we finished we went back to site and sat with Darcy and Isabel while they were finishing up the last remove of feast. Christiana hadn't met them before. I'm so glad they were able to come. It was a really small turn out for Kingsom event, but with the cost of gas, I suppose that's normal. Darcy is looking really good. He's considering a Norman/Saxon persona

All in all, it was a wonderful event, and thank goodness I was feeling well enough to participate and visit with friends. My next event will be Crown in Midewinde, thanks to Hrodir helping me financially.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Long Time, No Write

Yep, summer is finally coming to a close. Yay! I'm probably in a very small minority, but I don't like summer. I want cool weather, the kind when you want to curl under an afghan while you read or watch TV.

What's going on with me right now?

1. I had a root canal on Tuesday. Feels much better now.

2. Caught a cold on Monday and although I forced myself to go to work Wed and Thursday I let myself go home early today.

3. A bag that I knitted for my Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap was selected to appear on Knitting Daily TV. Unfortunatey I had to decline because I gave the bag away and don't have it to send. The bag was meant to be a "Hufflepuff" sock knitting bag. See?

4. In order to comfort myself after the root canal I went to the yarn shop and spent too much money.

5. Since I wasn't able to attend Gimli (thank you very much, rotten tooth) I will be able to go to Coronation. Can't decide if I should wear my Japanese or if I should wear the Byzantine. The new king has a japanese persona. I should wear japanese. If I wear Japanese it would not be correct to wear the baronial coronet. But this is coronation. The coronet is part of the pageantry of the day. Besides *thrust lower lip out* I want to wear the coronet!

Off to drink Nyquil and nap.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap Package Arrived!

That's right, Ladies and Gentlemen, I have in my possession, all the way from historic Utrecht in the Netherlands, a very large box full of wonderful goodies! The chocolate, royal mints and stroopwafels are to die for. The yarn is heavenly, the patterns appear challenging and the bag is delightful! And best of all for a SCAdian like me are the small illuminations of medieval saints from the Cathedral of St. Maarten.

This is going to be a lovely evening. I have a good book to read, imported chocolate from Europe and a running air conditioner.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Tomorrow at work was supposed to be a nice quiet day of getting leisurely caught up on the things i've been putting off. Today started out a little rushed. I punched in at 7am (my usual time) and read and answered emails until 8, when I had a computer class. That ended at 10:30 so i went back to my desk and answered the next round of emails and answered questions for the staff. Meeting for the PAR goal at 11. Healthy weight pep talk at noon. Supposedly I could get some work done from 12:30 to 2, when my next meeting for the Quarterly Release was. But no, that was at 1. So I rushed in there a little late. It was a pretty quick meeting though and I was out by 1:30. Back to emails and answering questions. So far, a pretty regular day. Then, at 2:00 my day went south.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) had made a request for a 200 page spreadsheet to be compiled and turned into their office by July 1. My boss had completely forgotten it. So at 2:00 one of the gals who would normally compile that data gave me a crash course in how to do it. It took her about three weeks to learn how to do that. I got 15 minutes and a couple pages of hastily scribbled instructions. From 2:00 to 4:30 I got most of ONE page doen. Oh, good. Only 199 left.

We have 28 people working in our department. Guess how many will be in tomorrow. Give up? Me too. 4. We will have four people in my department tomorrow. There's no way on God's green earth that i can have that spreadsheet put together. That's bad enough. Even worse is the fact that on my way out the door my boss stopped me to tell me that that *&%^&($ lawyer wants another fax sent. Last time I sent him a fax (after spending two hours doing something I have not be trained for) I made an admittedly stupid error and he had me reported to the Vice President and the company policy says that if such an error is reported it must be followed up. That was the day I bawled like a baby in my boss' office for an hour and offered to put in my notice. Now I get to go through all that again? I'm not sure I can.

I hope I survive tomorrow without having a hysterical weeping fit.

I am depressed and not dealing with it well. I have a sick feeling in my stomach and can't decide if i wish tomorrow would never come or if I'd rather just get it over with.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Busy, busy

I've been keeping myself pretty darned busy the last couple of weeks. I've been spinning and dying yarn, writing my romance story and sewing a camping tunic for Bayard the Turner. He and his daughter have been great additions to our shire. In turn he's making me some drop spindles. Did I mention that he's a wood turner? A camping tunic should be made of a nice natural fiber so it breathes better in the heat. This is a 55% linen, 45%cotton. It's an ugly but very period color. I'm calling it baby pooh green. I couldn't find any store bought ribbon or trim in my stash so instead I did a bit of simple embroidery with wool yarn around the neck and wrists. That was a littel more work than I had planned to do for a simple camping tunic. but what the heck. This will work great for camping events and some demos.
As I said I've also been doing some spinning and dying. Here are a couple of the skeins of yarn I made. The top one I'm keeping for me, but green one I'm sending off to my Slytherin Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap partner. Strangely, I have not been doing any knitting lately. On Tuesday July 1 the local baseball league game is going to be themed Stitch aand Pitch. I have tickets, one for me and one for a friend. I don't know how much knitting I'll actually get done, but I'm saving the foot of Lusche's sock for Tuesday night. Good old plain stockingette is what you want to take to the ball game, right? Something small like a sock is perfect. And now that i'm down to the foot there's no counting, no purling, just plain knitting.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Calling 911

At about 11:20 tonight I heard the neighbors fighting. There were several loud crashes, like someone being shoved into a wall or something breaking against the wall. Or slamming doors. My whole was apartment jarred by it. It sounded like a man and a woman fighting. I couldn't distinguish words. At the end of this episode I heard a woman's voice shout loudly "Help!" I debated a few seconds and decided to call 911. I wasn't about to go down the hall toward what might be a violent fight in my nightgown. But I didn't want to cause extra work for the police if this was nothing. The police arrived in about 5 minutes and they went to the apartment I had indicated and found only 2 men there. Hm. They knocked on my door to get clarification and to tell me they had found nothing next door. They said they would check out the apartments below me and above me and I haven't heard from them since. Either they found nothing or they found something and took care of it.

I know I didn't imagine or misunderstand the word "Help!" There has been no further disturbance. I hope those people the police questioned don't hold a grudge against me. Everytime I hear a loud noise I get a scared feeling in my stomach. I was going to say it brings me back to my childhood except that as much as mom and dad fought they never got physically violent. So what's my problem? What is the chance that whoever it is would want to get revenge on me?

Anytime a woman asks for help she should get it . Actually, anytime anyone of either gender calls for help they should get it. Did I do the right thing? Or did I stick my nose into something that is none of my business?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Hats! My New Favorite Project!

My first knitting love is socks. They are the perfect project. Small enough to go anywhere, with a vast range of yarns and patterns. Socks can be super easy and mindless, like plain vanilla stockinette, or intricately challenging like lace or colorwork.They can be made in any weight yarn. And as a gift you can't beat socks. No one has too many socks.

But I just finished a hat and it made me fall in love with hats. Almost everything I said about socks goes for hats too. And they have one wonderful advantage over socks: you only have to make one!

Here's a hat I finished today for my friend Tarik. I know he would love the pattern. There's only one small problem with it: somehow it turned into the size that would fit a ten year old boy. Sigh. Sorry, Tarik.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Let There be Yarn!

I spun that blue/purple/lavender/black roving I bought at the Fiber Fest on May 10 and I gave it to my Secret Sister at the Loopy Ladies Secret Sisters' Exchange on May 18. I was shooting for a worsted weight, but I think it was a bit heavier. I did a two ply yarn. It wasn't the easiest stuff to spin. the black kept clumping, so there are some slubs in there. It came out to approximately 180 yards. There should be enough there to make a hat, which is one of the things she loves to knit.

Oh! And we're going to have Fiber Festival right in my backyard! (Figuratively speaking, Bonanzaville is in my backyard) It's going to be on July 26-27. It's going to be called the Bonanzaville First Annual Fiber Arts Festival. That means there may be more each year. I suppose that means I'll be spending money I can't afford on more fiber. :) At least I won't have to rent a car to get there.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Shepherd's Harvest Wool Festival

Wow! What a great weekend. After I got over the idea that I had to rent a car to be able to get there it was really wonderful. It's true that I did have about $70.00 less to spend on yarn, but hey, that's how it goes. Petting the yarn was really nice, but I was focussed mostly on the fleece. I bought 4 ounces of a nice purple/blue/teal roving with sparkly angelina fiber in it. Very soft and nifty. I also bought 5 ounces of a striking purple/blue/lavender/black romney roving. Romney is one of my favorite breeds to spin. The cat really likes to spin it too. See?
I picked up a nice two-toned spindle. It doesn't have as nice a balance as I would like, but it was only $12.50, so I can't really complain. I looked longlingly at the fancy $50.00 ones but decided that I couldn't afford one of those.The most expensive thing I got was a new niddy noddy, in lovely maple wood, which was needed, since I have only a home made PVC one. probably the thing I'm most excited about is the half pound of the cleanest most gorgeous cormo fleece I've ever petted. It's so clean you would think it has already been washed. The crimp is nice and the color is a nice creamy white. I can't wait to spin it. But first I have to spin the the stuff in the pic so I can have yarn to give my secret sister in my local knitting group.
I had a really wonderful time visiting with friends. Me, Giulia, Sete and Giovanna spent most of Saturday either shopping for yarn or knitting. It was a great weekend. I hated to have to miss the event, especially since friends I don't see very often were there, but I had never actually been to a Fiber Fest before. Boy, was it great!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I'm in!

I am so proud and happy to be able to anounce tht i have been accepted to Hogwarts and sorted into House Ravenclaw! This is going to be a WONDERFUL swap!! To find out more, go to Main HSKS Site.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap 5

I've signed up to be part of this swap again. I took part in it the first time it was held. That time was a bit confusing. It was the very first swap I had ever taken part in and tho I got my package off in time my partner had been delayed in getting things together and sending my package due to her pregnancy. So at that point I had decided that swaps were not for me. Then a couple months ago I joined the Hogwarts Sock Swap 3, and I got hooked again. I saw that the Sock Kit Swap was still going strong and that now the headmistress was encouraging swap pals to contact each other on a regular basis to prevent anyone not getting a package.

I hope there are spots left. i registered as a new student, since it had been a year since I took part in this swap. Crossing my fingers!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Hogwarts Sock Swap package arrived!

Look at all the great stuff I got as part of the Hogwarts Sock Swap! Not all the stuff is even in the picture, like the strips of film that have images from the movies of Mad Eye Moody and Dumbledore, and the bag of hard candies made from maple syrup. My swap pal is from Canada so I got nummy Canadian candy. I got Soak, the wool wash, and a bar of heavenly scented soap (mango, from the Bosy Shop) and a Hufflepuff lapel pin, a 40" Addi circular needle, a pendant yarn cutter and stitch markers. I am SO looking forward to using all this good stuff.

The socks themselves are marvelous. Bright and bold stripes of yellow and black for Hufflepuff. They are the Back to Basic socks from found here It is a Cat Bordhi type architectural sock pattern, where the shaping is at the top of the foot and along the top of the ankle. Have you seen the new Cat Bordhi book called New Pathways for Sock Knitters? The socks are so cool. I've been wanting to try a pattern like that but I'm just plain too intimidated. So now I get to have a pair of these without the work!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Hogwarts Sock Swap Package Mailed!

It's done! I had a goal of Sunday April 13th for the socks to be done, and Wednesday the 15th for the little gifties to be finished and I made it. Between getting settled in the new place, making stitch markers and the Harry Potter box, and getting ready for Coronation this weekend I was really pressed for time. But it's done, and done well, if I do say so myself. I mailed the package on Thursday on the way home from work. I put in a skein of hand painted merino wool sock yarn, a 40" circular addi turbo needle, a pattern I downloaded from the internet and some stitch markers I had made. I'm so glad to be done with it because now I can knit for me!! On The Needles: a camisole tank top in Knitpicks Shine Sport. Yay!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hogwarts Socks Swap 3

OK, I'm excited. A little nervous, but excited, about taking part in the Hogwarts Sock Swap 3. I did a sock kit swap last year, but this time I'm going to make a pair of socks in my pals House colors. i took the quiz three times at two different sites, but I'm ALWAYS a Hufflepuff. Sigh. I know there's nothing wrong with that, but honestly, they sound so BORING! The only redeeming thing is that the House colors are Black and Gold, the same as Northshield. At least my assigned name is kinda fun. Chrysta the Cursed. Has a nice ring, doesn't it?