Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Corp of Discovery Fatigue Hat

Here it is - finished! I actually ran out of yarn before I was able to really finish it according to the pattern - but it works anyway. I think the Ex will like it - he should have been born 200 years ago - he would have loved the Lewis and Clark adventure!!
I did let the Yarn Shop know that there wasn't enough yarn and they forwarded the info on to The Imperial Stock Ranch who provided the kit - and they e-mailed me with an offer of a free kit - but told them it wasn't necessary because I made it work. I just wanted them to know that I was short!

I had one of the worst days at work - just everything was stressful - too much to do, too little pay and no thanks for all the hard work - I hate it when that happens. But came home to two lovely ladies having fun together! Dinner cooking and all! Now they're both out and about for the evening so it's quiet and can get something done! Right! Since I ripped out the pink socks I've got a lot of catching up to do - they were too big I decided!! Knit on!!

Happy evening to all!

Monday, November 28, 2005

An interesting Day

This day started out with no power - literally. M2 daughter woke me after her morning shower to say the power was out - so guess who didn't get a shower this morning? Then it started to snow....and snow....and snow. All day. Luckily the power came back on - but then just before I got home from work it went out again! While it was on the furnace repair guy made it here to get us heat - didn't do much good because the power went out just after he left. It was out for about 3 hours this evening so it was a great excuse to go out to dinner!

Knitting in the dark leaves all lot to be desired - I was grateful I didn't have to knit to have warm clothing! Here is what is on the needles today - Fixation - pretty cute socks for my father's lady friend.

So it's off to a warm bed tonight and a good rest. Hope the power stays on to keep us warm.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

A weekend to knit!

Hurray - I don't have to go anywhere this weekend - the girls are working and I can sit here and knit - thank you! I still have half a vest, 1/3 of a hat and two pairs of socks to do before Christmas!! I've kinda of got knitters block though - I can't figure out how to finish the vest to my liking. I've got the bottom of the body finished and am ready to divide for the arm holes etc. Can't decide how to do the neck and front - 'V-neck'? Then how do I do a collar or button band. Maybe I just crochet around all edges with a contrasting color - black? I wish the picture would do the yarn justice - it's really pretty.

I almost wish I hadn't done a textured stitch - I think the color would have been better if I hadn't - oh well.

I did get some of the Christmas lights outside - we've been so socked in with freezing fog last week that it was just too cold to be outside - but it's lifted now and they say we'll have snow tonight. Wish I'd had time to get the rest of the leaves up - guess that will have to wait until after Christmas. We usually have an unseanabley warm spell in Feb - maybe I can do it then!! It's so easy to put things off isn't it?

Daughter M2 is really having a struggle these days. First her car needs about $2000 worth of work that we weren't anticipating - all things that should have been caught by the mechanic who looked at it last spring when we bought it - it's got a ton of oil leaks that have been there for years! So much for getting a friend to look at it before you buy.

Then her financial aid for school was cut by about 75% - That's a lot of money - what she got won't even cover all the tuition for one term! What are they thinking? So I don't know if she'll go back at all now......It just seems like it's one thing after another for her - always has been - what is it that stuffs all the hard stuff on one person and then then next seems to get it so easy! Especially since she's the one unequiped to deal with constant struggle! Hopefully it will just make her stronger.

Well enough for today - off to knit and see what I can complete today.
Happy weekend to all!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Too Tired to Knit

I must be ill - I haven't worked on the Christmas pres very much - I'm just too tired these last few nights to knit!!
But - I did accomplish something worthwhile - I painted my living room this weekend - I can't believe it took me 9 years to do this. It looks so great. I tired taking a picture, but the color - Golden Ecru just doesn't show up. I was surprised how fast it went. A friend with a big ladder did the cutting in on the 12 foot ceilings and I rolled the rest. Looks wonderful and changed the look of the whole room - much more Northwest than with white walls!
I will try to get a picture of my knitting in the daylight and post it soon. It really is pretty.
Best to all and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Road trips for a lifetime

I have wanted to actually write about this ‘defining event’ in my family’s life for a long time. I think it will take more than one post – but here goes.

Eleven years ago I divorced my husband and became an empowered single mom of three incredible children. I promised my self that as soon as my 20 acre farm sold we would take a trip the following summer. My kids were 11, 10 and 6 at the time – so Disneyland seemed the logical choice.

Fate stepped in and changed our lives forever. My best friend (who was not only a neighbor, but who I worked with and is the mom of my children’s best friends) moved to Wyoming. It was a big blow – everything seemed to be changing at the same time. But we decided immediately to meet in Yellowstone National Park the next summer – instead of going to Disneyland.

Since I didn’t sell the farm that year cash was a huge issue, so the kids started saving their pennies. I told them they each had to buy a meal and a tank of gas and their own souvenirs. (Gas was cheap then). We planned all winter – mapped out a route from Central Oregon to Wyoming, checked out campgrounds and roadside attractions. Figured out how far we could travel each day, what we’d have on the menu, how we’d pack the car. We had all the details listed out, maps marked – the whole deal.

Each of the kids had a different road job every day – navigator, cashier, journalist, DJ, illustrator, cook, clean-up, set up…..they loved it and learned so much.

It was amazing – we had the BEST time. We fell instantly in love with Yellowstone, Wyoming and Montana. We stopped at every Oregon Trail site, at every Lewis and Clark site. We bonded. There just aren’t words to describe what that first week long trip was like. We had always been close – but this cemented the deal.

We have gone every year since except two – one year we skipped and one year we went to the Redwoods instead. We have explored, fished, camped and laughed our way across Idaho, Western Montana and Wyoming for two weeks at a time for the last 10 years. We all learned about Lewis and Clark, the Oregon Trail, Native Americans – we visited museums and historical sites. We wrote stories, played games, laughed, sang songs, listened for wolves, slept under the stars.

We have often met with our friends from Wyoming and my family (Mom, Dad, sister and her family) have joined us. Middle daughter has attended college in Bozeman. I’d like to retire there someday.

Each January after the first trip the kids started saving and planning for the next summer. Summer jobs were accepted only on the basis that they could have two weeks off to go to Montana. Christmas presents were new sleeping bags. In 6th Grade Social Studies each child did their state project on Wyoming. I still have a duffle with the car games we carried along when they were younger. We bought a Suburban after the second year because the kid’s legs were too long and we had too much stuff in the car for two weeks on the road.

We have detailed lists from each year – the itineraries so detailed I knew what town to buy gas in ahead of time! I have all the menus, all the maps, all the stuff we picked up along the way. Silly to say – but - tons of photos!

Each year we shopped for that best artwork from the area we visited. Our home is filled with photos of our favorite fishing spots. (We’ve never caught any fish – but we’ve fished the greatest fly-fishing rivers of the West) There are places in Yellowstone that just the thought of, brings the shivers on. We’ve gone from driving only 5 hours a day max when we started, to pulling 12-15 hours on the highway, just to get there or stay another day!

This last year, son M1 took his first vacation in two years with his mom and little sister to go to Wyoming. We camped and visited Sister M2 who was working for the summer in Jackson Hole. We rendezvoused with our friends from Wyoming and celebrated 10 years of this trip. We fished the Yellowstone and the Madison, floated the Snake and sat in our favorite meadow in Hayden Valley. We watched thunderstorms over the Tetons parked in the middle of a huge herd of bison. And had one of our few dinners in a rainstorm!

We had gone camping each summer before this trip – but only for the weekend or so. I personally had grown up in a camping-outdoor family. Fly fishing and bird hunting were family activities. Living in Oregon you never had to travel far to get out there! But taking my kids to Yellowstone was the start of something remarkable. It wasn’t just the place – it was the event.

I do have great kids. They are hard working and successful in their endeavors. I am very proud of each of them. But what I find so amazing is that they really like being together. They truly enjoy each other’s company. They each have their own pursuits and separate lives, but their bond is so strong. I know that these road trip adventures had a significant impact on them. We almost always play the ‘remember when…’game when we are together.

As they get older I doubt we will all be able to find these two weeks to go together. Everyone is now working and/or going to school. I don’t want to leave one home and I don’t want to go alone – what fun is that. But the pull to the area is so strong that I may retire there someday – Northwest Montana maybe near Seeley Lake.

Middle daughter M2 has always said that this trip was our sanctuary – and I’d have to agree. It was a time and place that seems mysterious and amazing now. I also realize that it wasn’t just the actual trip that was important – but the process as well, the planning, the individual participation of each child as we anticipated what this summers trip would bring, what we would see and do. I can truly say that this road trip adventure was a defining event for all of us. I wouldn’t change a thing!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Why won't profile work

OK - I even tried changing the template - my profile is still at the bottom of the screen and not the top like everyone elses - why!!!

Ramblings I guess...

Well the new REI store opened to Friends and Family last night - Daughter M2 works there - great store - they have really preserved the integrity of the old mill building. We got great discounts last night only so Daughter M3 got her Christmas present early - at least I know that she loves it and it fits! - What else could I ask for in a present for teenager! Had dinner with M3 , Son M1 and outlaw ex (OX) husband. (My childrens names all begin with "M" and for blog purposes decided just to number them - yes they are way more than a number to me - just want to protect the privacy thing a little!

Spent a huge amount of time at work checking out other peoples blogs (Very bored with boss gone I am way too efficient!)- really need to learn more HTML to tweak my template - especially since my profile is now at the bottom of the page...I did make a button.....

But it looks like I need to do a little work on the bottom text.....
Need a better font that will show up more...keep trying away.

Thanks Pat for the info about - a great place to learn more stuff. OK why can't I put that in as a link. Hey - I did it!!! Pretty tricky for me.

I did realize that a lot of the blogs are written by ---shall we say --- way younger folks than me and they often knit way cooler things than me (Oh my gosh are my kids thinking what is mom knitting for me now?) I've been knitting longer than most of them have been alive it seems. Oh well - just glad there are many who enjoy!

Quiet night here at home - ER and knitting - yippee! Have got to really start flying on those needles if I'm going to get everything done for Christmas. So better be off.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Circular knitting -

OK Knitters - I have this cool device to count rows when you are knitting circular - socks etc.

Each stand has loops that you move down as you go around the sock or whatever - I make them different lengths - short ones for short patterns and longer - like 12 loops too. I can't knit without them anymore - plus they are pretty.

I'd like to figure out how to market them if there is an interest - any ideas?

Did go to my LYS this weekend - forgot to take a counter - and spent way too much money as usual. Am knitting a vest for a Christmas present - beautiful Manos de Urugay yarn - I'll post picture when I get enough to photo. I've taken it out three times so far trying to get the gauge that I want. I'm kinda making up the pattern as I go along....knitting it in one piece til the underarm. I want a shawl type collar - so I guess I'll pick up the front borders when I have the body finished - not sure how to do the collar so any suggestions would be appreciated.

Also - how do I format these pictures - really wanted the pictures on the left and the text on the right.....I'm new at this stuff.

Hope all is well with all!!


Friday, November 11, 2005

Corps of Discovery

200 Years ago today - Lewis and Clark reached the Pacific Ocean after spending a very stormy night trapped on a dangerously narrow beach of the Columbia River - so narrow that some men were sleeping in canoes. But in the morning the Ocean was sighted - what a wonderful feeling that must have been - to finally reach the journeys destination after so many months of uncertainty. I just can't imagine what an adventure they had - the things the saw and learned. An incredibly valuable resource of natural history before the settlement of the west.

Luckily I am not spending the next few months camped in a wet rain forest on the Oregon Coast - but I am working away on my Corps of Discovery hat - sitting in front of my warm fire! Pictures tomorrow after a visit to my LYS so I have more to tell.

New Hat

The hat is coming along - the yarn is a little rustic (which I guess if it's a Corps of Discovery - Lewis and Clark - replica - then it's ok. It has bits of straw in it once in a while. And of course the knot right where you don't want it. I may start over anyway because I'm not sure I did the short row wraps correctly when you come across all the stitches and pick up the wraps. It doesn't look right to me - leaves a big bump. Wasn't there an article in the last year or so in some knitting mag with pictures about short rows?? I use them all the time in my sweaters - but this just doesn't right. Luckily will have the entire weekend to figure it out.

The girls are both working this weekend so they will be busy. Molly is working at REI and they are opening a new store here next week - for those of you who don't know - REI is a really hip outdoor equipment store - started in Seattle years ago - very successful.

In Bend they (Developer not REI) tore down the old lumber mill that was Bends main reason for being and have built a beautiful retail area on the Deschutes River. Many of the original buildings have been converted to shops (The Old Mill District) - REI is in the original Power House for the mill - I understand it is really a spectacular building. We get to go to Friends and Family night next week before the big opening. Should be fun. We get big discounts that night too!!

Marianne is babysitting and then going to a on-the-job interview at a new Pizza place opening just down the street. She's going to work for the evening just to try it out I guess. They told her to stop in anytime and she could work for a few hours to see how she liked it!!

So it will be a quite knitting weekend for me - Oh yeah - I have to go to my LYS and get something Red for a vest I need to make - that's my Saturday adventure.

Will keep ya posted - ttfn

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Yippee - New yarn in the mail - which of course means I can't continue with socks for me - now it's socks for my Dad. He has diabetes and cold feet at night - and he likes cotton socks. So Cascade Fixation is it. Not very exciting - but it works. I think I will try a larger needle size this time to have them be less tight...make any sense. We will see.
Opps - it's not sock yarn - it's a kit for a a hat from the Imperial Ranch here in Central Oregon - Trouble is I don't have any 20" circular needles - but plenty of shorter ones and double points to make it work.... OK so how do I format this picture in the right place? Sorry!

The march to Christmas has begun - late but begun.

My entire family will be at my house this year - a big first!! It's about time. My mom recently passed away and so my family is up to spending Christmas somewhere else this year. Although my children and I have spent the Holidays here at home- my extended family has not. I am really looking forward to the chaos and not having to travel. When I purchased my home, one of the first things I thought of was - a great place for the Christmas tree - that was over 10 years ago!! So I have a lot of prep work to begin - despite the fact that I have tons of knitting to do! Too bad!

Beautiful sunny day here - but probably only in the 40's - winter is upon us I guess - mountains are full snow clad.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Promised Pictures

Here is Chelsea's Mittens - for a friend of my Daughters - my first commissioned work!!

And below is what I look at everyday - too bad! (Thanks JAG for letting me borrow the picture)

No Visitors

OK - so no one has visited my blog yet - so am going to join a few knitting rings today...hopefully that will bring me some on-line contacts to share knitting stuff with!!

Finished Chelsea's mittens last night - there is a picture on one of my earlier posts, but I'll take a new one tonight IF I REMEMBER - too many senior moments these days.

Have started on a new pair of socks with Mountain Colors - I think these must be for me I like them too much! It's about time I get some warm socks!

At work now - bored and wish I were somewhere else - any ideas?

Monday, November 07, 2005


Oh my gosh – I just realized I have to knit – 1 hat, 1 vest, 1 mens scarf, 3 pairs of socks and 14 washcloths in the next 7 weeks – can I do it – I have to pick out the yarn for the vest and washcloths too. Plus all the regular Christmas stuff….it’s not even Thanksgiving and I’m overwhelmed! Why do I put if off so long!! Oh well tis the season! Time to get on-line and order some yarn. Any ideas for the best cotton for the washcloths? Never made them before, but thought they’d be cute for the ladies with a bar of homemade soap.
Happy Monday!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Things about me

One Hundred Things about Me

1. Knitting is my Sanctuary
2. My daughter used to call our Suburban our Sanctuary because we’ve spent wonderful time on road trips.
3. I’m an Oregon native – but love Montana
4. I have three awesome children
5. My mother died of Breast Cancer and my father has a girl friend already!
6. I have two jobs
7. I love one job and hate the other
8. I see mountains everyday
9. I’ve been single for ever it seems – which I really don’t mind.
10. I had natural red hair – but lost the color to my kids
11. I grow a big vegetable garden that I hate to weed.
12. I want to retire in Montana
13. If I could read and knit at the same time I’d be in hog heaven
14. I don’t like audio books
15. My sister is my best friend
16. I’m concerned what my life will be like when my children are all out of the house (two years and coming too fast!)
17. I don’t ask enough questions
18. I love chocolate and oranges together
19. I love my house – which is why I loathe the thought of moving anytime soon.
20. I belong to a great book club
21. I’ve read too many books to pick a favorite.
22. I love good literature – but enjoy a trash novel once in awhile.
23. I don’t mind cold snowy winters, but look forward to spring and summer
24. My daughter is bi-polar and she is an incredible young woman.
25. My son is a work-a-holic-geek –
26. My other daughter is a straight A student and as sweet as can be.
27. How did that happen?
28. I love the West. It’s people, it’s history.
29. I used to train birds of prey to return to the wild.
30. I used to be called ‘The Bird Lady”
31. I read a lot of ‘natural history’ books
32. I never remember a good joke.
33. I’ve had a home computer for 21 years.
34. I never moved until I graduated from college.
35. I love my car.
36. I had three best friends in High School and have no idea what they’re up to now – how sad,
37. I’m fortunate to have some wonderful friends – but they don’t live near me!
38. Only one of my friends knits and she lives in Montana
39. I’m a Gemini – and very typical
40. I am very optimistic and enthusiastic about what tomorrow may bring.
41. I am adventurous
42. I am not athletic and don’t get enough exercise.
43. I bought a road bike last summer with my tax refund.
44. I need to find a riding buddy to inspire me – Lance are you listening?
45. I love rivers.
46. I’m a flyfisherperson – don’t catch much but can cast far and accurately.
47. My favorite Christmas memory is listening to my parents drag presents down the hall on Christmas eve.
48. I love Christmas – bought my current home because I knew just where to put the tree.
49. I wish I had a boat.
50. My entire family is coming for Christmas and I can’t wait.
51. I miss my mom.
52. I miss my dad too – he’s alive but living in California.
53. I haven’t had any ice cream for almost two weeks.
54. I love to knit socks – instant gratification.
55. I bought a farm so I could finally have a horse
To be continued…..

About me for starters!

I have no local knitting friends – so thought I’d try the online bit and see where it leads me.

I’ve been an active knitter for the last 15 years or so and thought I was pretty accomplished. Then I started visiting other blogs and realized I may love to knit and stash yarn and drool over patterns etc – but I’m not very accomplished. No big deal – but the truth hurts! I’m in to hand dyed yarn and love making socks – instant gratification! But have recently turned out three pairs of mitten/gloves with the flaps for my daughters and friends. They’ve been fun and quick. Lorna’s Laces has been my yarn of choice but my LYS doesn’t always have it so I’ve tried some other sock type yarn too.

I like to browse the patterns and then make my own up – but have not been totally successful. I’ve done a great Philosophers Wool sweater in the round – steek and all, which motivated me to do another in the round with a made up pattern. Worked great.

So then I spent a long time finding just the right yarn – I actually was in Montana (My favorite place) and was looking for Mountain Colors – of course the shop didn’t have exactly what I wanted so settled on something else yummy. Anyway I spent a lot of time figuring out the cardigan pattern I wanted to do (In the round, cables, etc) and started out after what I thought was carefully working on the gauge to get the correct fit – all was well. Tried it on mid way and thought the button bands would ease the tightness – I was that sure the gauge was correct. All finished now – cut the steeks in front, did the button band etc. It looks beautiful – but it’s too small – I didn’t take into account the cable effect of pulling in the yarn. So I took it to the cleaners to be blocked and they didn’t. So sad – all that work ! I think I need to stick with socks for a while before I tackle another big project. But do have my eye on something already….

With the holidays fast approaching I doubt I have time for my own projects – but have yarn stashed for many Christmas gift socks – luckily my family appreciates them!

A little about me:
I am a 50 something, Oregon native, single mom with three awesome kids – one out on his own, a college student living at home for a while and a high school junior. I live on the east side of the Cascade Mountains at the edge of the high desert in Central Oregon. (We went for years without a local yarn shop – now that knitting is hip again we have two very good ones.) Besides knitting I love spending time with the kids, working in my garden – I had the biggest tomato plants this year, and our summer adventures in Montana/Wyoming. I don’t belong to a knitting group – I did for a long time with a group from where I worked, then I changed jobs and the group eventually disbanded (this was way before knitting was hip again). Then I joined a group of local teachers from the high school who knit together, but decided I was stifling their conversations since I had kids who were their students and just wasn’t comfortable. So now I’m groupless and looking! Oh I do belong to a Book Club – I’ll post a list of what we’ve read recently. A great group of ladies – but no knitters.

I am hoping that this blog will generate some new knitting friends for me – you can never have too much knitting advice! So knit on!

I’m on my way to the big city this weekend – Portland – of course we are in the middle of the first major snowstorm of the year. Unfortunately I don’t think I’m going to have much knitting or shopping time – but you never know.

My mom recently passed away – breast caner – and I’m getting together with my sister to get mom’s things cleaned out. We’ve been putting it off for months and now seems a good time since my Dad is in California for the winter – that’s a whole other story for another time.

So now that I’ve fed you lots of info that you may or may not want to know it’s time for me to actually get some work done today – (Boss is out of town)!

I’m hopping someone out there will see this and start a conversation! Happy Knitting!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

New Picture for profile

First Pictures Post

Here are two significant pictures -
my knitting jewels and hamming it up on the Yellowstone. Thats the kids - not me!

Knitter new to blogging

OK – so none of my friends are knitters – so thought I’d try the online bit and see where it leads me. This is my first post and will keep it simple til I get this all figured out.