Friday, August 17, 2007

A day at the fair

So today our local fair started. I'm not really sure what you would call it. Its not really a county fair and its not a total state fair. The title is the Western Idaho fair, so I guess I would have to say its more of a regional fair. There are entries from several county in the area. Well years ago when I first moved to Boise I started to enter crocheted items because at the time Super yarnmart would award 5,10 and 15 dollar gift certificates to the winners. So that was my way of adding to my stash. By the way don't you just miss that store? Well now days the local knitting guild will give out special prizes but for the most part the fair pays the premium money. So for the past few years I have entered a few things, mostly knitting but some times other things like tatting, crochet and even some hand sewn mini bears. For the past 20 or so years I have been wanting to win the Sweepstakes award. There are two one for just needle arts and the other is called the Grand Sweepstakes, the way you win these is by gathering the most points from the wining items that you entered. Well this year I just ran out of time to get enough items to enter or so I thought. Today as my husband and I were looking to see how I did I couldn't find any of my stuff. Well it turns out that I did win the Needle Arts Sweepstakes. So in a week I will get to bring home a really cool plague. I was so floored. I would have won the Grand Sweepstakes if I had entered items in 5 or more categories, I only entered in 3. The neat thing was I was just really wanting to win first with my Journey shawl, which I did by the way along with three of the sweaters, some yarn,and a couple of other things that are shown in the picture below . OK so I'm done bragging about my big win. I will say one more thing I think I will get started right away and try for the Grand Sweepstakes next year.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Life is a Journey what road are you on

Life is a journey. Some days you are riding on a smooth freeway and other days you are on what some would call a trail; but if you look closer, it's a trail that is covered with rocks to trip you as you go along. Well, for the last couple of years, I seem to be stepping on lots of rocks. I sometimes think I'm Charlie Brown( "...All I got was a rock.") At the beginning of the summer, a friend of mine started a blog called a Journey to a Shawl. The idea was to spend the summer spinning and then knitting a shawl. Well, I just loved the idea, but I took mine a bit further. My journey took me to a different path. This year I turned 40 and in a couple of days I will celebrate my 20th anniversary. As I began to think about this shawl, I also thought about my life. Somewhere along the way I seemed to have lost my joy. A couple of years ago I had a couple of friends hurt me pretty badly, but they didn't just stop at causing me pain, but they made sure others were involved and in the end it really hurt me and my family. Well, I got to thinking back in June that I really had had enough. So my journey started with some time of reflection on what was causing my pain, self doubt and just general feelings of gloom. I have spent lots and lots of time reading the Bible, praying and also reading a very life changing books called "Get out of that Pit" by Beth Moore. By the way, I highly recommend the book. Now I'm not all put together (not sure if I every will be) but like a journey, you haven't arrived until you are done. So I'm still working on a lot of the areas in my life that need help, but I am getting there. So as I was working several areas in my life, I worked on this shawl. I first set some goals. Now I have not reached them all, but I do feel that I'm at a place to do so. My goals that I set, in no particular order, were: 1. find my joy again. 2. have fun with the girls. 3. grow in Christ. 4. find a place of service. 5. loose 40 pounds, and finally 6. spin and knit the shawl. Like I have said, I haven't reached all of them, but I think I am ready. First, I think my joy is coming back. This summer my two youngest daughters painted their room, we had such fun with that. My oldest is planning a girls weekend soon to paint hers. Third, if you spend any time reading the Bible you will get closer to Christ, so I did. Now for the hardest one. I learned this summer in all of this heat that we have been having, I just can't loose weight. My plan is to get going in earnest in September when the girls are back in school, so I can work out with out passing out from the heat. Now for the shawl, I first had to choose a fiber that would suit the project. I chose a three tone purple with bits of olive green. The color was a very important part of the shawl I chose purple because when you feel like a failure in life you need to remember that if you are in Christ then you are part of royalty. What a better color than purple to remind myself that I am of value and that God loves me. Once you get that not only in your heart but in your head too, your joy will come back. After I chose the fiber, I had to choose the pattern so that I could figure out how much yarn I needed. I chose Sivia Harding's Diamond Fantasy. I first saw this pattern on Cat Bordi. She wears the scarf version just about everyday. She called it her comfort blanket, so I knew this was the pattern for me. I started to spin for the shawl, the pattern calls for sport weight at about 750 yards. Well after about a month of spinning (had to stop when it was really hot), I ended up with 695 yards. Not having enough I decided to knit until I ran out. I ended up knitting 8 repeats instead of 10. When I blocked out it ended up being 37 inches long anyway, so I'm happy. I have knit and spun many many projects, but I have say this ones really holds my heart. The spinning isn't perfect, there are thin spots and thick spots, but life isn't perfect either, so I think this shawl is a true reflection of life and all its trails that we take. Some are smooth and others are full of rocks, but really the journey is beautiful. By the way, the yellow dots in the picture are pins not beads. Enjoy your journey; stop and look at the view once in a while and you just might find it's beautiful too!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Monkey Sock -why not swap

OK so as you all know I am on a sock kick this summer. One pattern I have really wanted to try but just haven't gotten to yet is Cookie A.'s Monkey sock from Well I came across a monkey swap blog and I just had to sign up. Not only will I get to make up this pattern but I will make it for someone else and someone will be making me a pair, sooooooooo I can't wait to get started. If this sounds like fun to you why not check out the the blog. but hurry sign up end on the 31st of August.
Below are my answers to my monkey questionnaire.
Monkey Sock Swap THREE Questionnaire
The basics:
Do you consider yourself a beginning sock knitter, an intermediate, or have you been doing this so long you could probably knit a pair in your sleep? In my sleep
The measurements:
Shoe Size: Foot circumference: 8 inches
Foot length: 9 inches ( I wear a size 6 1/2 to 7 shoe)
Yarn Preferences:What colors do you love? green, purple, most jewel tones
Do you prefer solids or variegated? both
Do you prefer wool, cotton or acrylic yarn? wool ( hate acrylic)
What colors would you never wear? orange
What are your favorite brands of yarn? online, Koigu, JaWoll
Are there any new brands you would like to try? Cherry Tree Hill, and Socks that rock
Cookie A. Patterns: Which of her patterns have you already knit? Twinkle toes
Which pattern(s) would you like to knit and don’t already own? Twisted flower
Other pertinent information:
Would you be willing to have an international Monkey Pal or do you prefer one in the US? US
Do you have any allergies? walnuts
Will your knitting be exposed to smoke or animals? dogs
Are you on Ravelry yet? If you don’t mind having new friends, what is your Ravelry name? not yet but I'm on the list

Monday, August 06, 2007

Off and running on my next project a shawl

My next big project has really been one that I have been working for a most of the summer. I first spun the yarn. It seemed to take me forever. The main reason was the heat. It has been so hot that I haven't been able to spin as much as I would like. The yarn came out at about a sport weight and I have 695 yards. You can't really see it very well but the purple yarn has three shades of purple and then some olive green. I got started on the knitting last night. The pattern is called Diamond Fantasy and is designed by Sivia Harding you can purchase a copy at
The pattern called for you to do ten repeats for a shawl. I don't quite have enough so I'm hoping for 8 or 9, but we will see.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Yes the sock kick is still going. I this make 7 pairs this summer. Which is huge for me considering I usually only make one or two pair a year normally. These aer my second pair of knee highs in as many weeks. I do have to say they were fun to knit. I chose these because of the fair isle heel. The pattern came from Interweave Sock! a Spin off special publication. I use Silky wool and some odds and ends from my stash. These were knit with size 3 dps. I know its kind of hard to see but the colors are light denim blue, green, red, white and dark blue. I couldn't get a closer shot and still show the total sock. I do plan to wear these this winter with a long denim skirt that I have and my berks. I wouldn't want to hide the heel in a regular shoe after going through all that work. By the way my next project is a shawl. I think I will give socks a rest for a day or so.

Friday, August 03, 2007

What's better then Chocolate and Fiber?

So at some point in a persons life the question will come up..
What is better than Chocolate and Fiber? The answer is I fiber and Chocolate swap. Today I received my goodie box from Dee. Oh what a box. I received three different fibers The white is from a giant angora, the pink is alpaca and the grey is mohair. There is enough to spin for socks, but I think I will wait until is gets a bit cooler. Also in the box was some stitch holders, yarn threaders, and mini sock blocker and least but not least some really and I mean really good chocolates. Thanks so much Dee what a fun swap.