Maybe I brag too much., Another Knitting success story.

The finished product (size 10 1/2 shoe) with the pattern picture.
(Pattern Sheet is on 8 1/2" x 11" paper)

Another finished view.

The bottom of one, and the side of the other before felting.

Above pictureis before felting, one top and one side view beside a sock.
Yep, that sock is a man's size 10.

This pattern just didn't look like it was going to come together, until near the end. Then the knit pieces just didn't look like they would felt very well.

Then I had the courage to hand wash felt them ...

RESULTS!! YEAH! They look almost like the pattern pictures. The only disappointment is that I held two gray strands and one black together to make the opening ridge, and it really only looks gray. I was hoping for a more defined accent, shoulda used more black. But the finished product is pretty amazing, and they really didn't take long to make at all ... just took me forever to get started on them.


I Felted my Knit clogs by HAND

OK - no washing machine, that Felting requires. And even at the laundromat, the washers are all front-loaders (can't stop those along the way to check felting progress). So, I hand-felted the knit/felt clogs I've been working on. I took before pictures, and the nay-sayer in the house couldn't imagine them looking anything like clog slippers once they were felted, but walla!!

It took all day, boiling water, stirring hotter water into the sink, adding soapy water, measuring, stiring, boiling water again, I wore rubber gloves, and just kept moving the knit slippers around until after about 4 1/2 hours the felting process came alive.

Pictures in my next post. The took 3 days to dry, and will go in the mail to Denver tomorrow.

The Fiber Trends Knit Clogs patterns is great!!

STRANGER THAN FICTION - Blog post from the past

It was well over 30 years ago, we arrived at a couple's apartment for a cookout. We were greeted with a shout to, "Come on in." We stepped into the living room and Sachel, ("Say-shell") was there on her living room floor sorting through spools of thread. In a pile of unwound sewing thread, surrounded by all of her sewing items, and her hubby was nowhere to be seen, but the odor of a lit charcoal grill was wafting through the open windows. She didn't even look up, she just held up a large wooden spool of thread that she was UNRAVELING and stated, "Save your wooden spools, someday they will be very valuable, plastic is taking over."

To explain our lifestyle at that time, and our mindset would take all day. Lets just call it an alternate lifestyle. We were in the process of defining what we believed and who we were and why we existed, and filtering everything through the media reports and the "establishment." On our search for significance in these strange times, we experimented with several popular trends, and made idiots of ourselves in some instances, but worrying about plastic taking ov
er wooden spools simply didn't sound like a communist plot, or a conspiracy theory, or an underground cause, so I brushed off her comment, but like most conversations back then, she got obsessed on the topic. The evening went like this...new music from Santana, good food, and an entire evening discussing the consequences of future generations when plastic takes over the universe. We were glad to return home to our little NORMAL, whatever that was.

I said all this to say this - yep, Sachel was right, plastic took over.

Now wooden spools are so rare, you can order them
from craft supply stores, buy them in bulk on eBay (Why do people start the bidding higher than $.99? I'd bid if they didn't already name their lowest price. gee whiz, 10 wooden spools for $5.99), but I just want about 6.

I remembered a project I used to do in CampFire girls when I was 8. We had a wooden spool - with 4 little nails in the top, and some yarn, and yes, we made i-cor

Kind of a Chinese Finger Trap, or a French Knit Braid, but it is simply an I-cord. I recently found an apparatis that serves as a spool, called a French Knitter, or an I-Cord Knitting Spool, it is very cute, and nicely painted. I would like to have 5 or 6 of these because the kids that hang around our trailer are really into little crafts after school. I'm trying to send them home with different things about once a week. This week we did polymer clay molds and made some backpack decor to hang on their school bags. CUTE!


A Complete Community of Strangers - Up-Cycling People

This week we moved to our former camping location, behind a sweet little church in a rough part of Phoenix. There are several families from S America in the area, and this church does an outreach to them twice a week, with food, clothing and a church service. Thursday nights, starting this time last year, the Pastor's wife began holding a children's program at night. I helped with this several weeks last year, and returned to it a few nights ago.

The kids were excited that I had come back. This weeks lesson was based on the scripture, "Children are a gift from the Lord." The kids memorized it, won little prizes for their answers, then did a worksheet. The code pictures helped them fill in the blanks for a secret message, "God loves my family." A 7 year old girl beside me finished unscrambling the code, turned to me and said, "This says God loves my family, does HE?" I told her, "Yes, HE loves everyone in your family." She said, "Are you sure?" I said, "Yes, I'm sure, even if your family doesn't know it - HE loves them." She laid her head on my arm and said, "Oh, good!!" She sincerely did not know this truth.


Friday we were invited to lunch by the Director of the Teen Challenge in Phoenix. We met several of the men in the program, and briefly heard a few of their stories.

The Director has such passion for the people he serves. People in all different stages of recovery, each one has assigned duties, and required community projects, along with advisers and incredible support from leadership.

In their workshop they have come up with a beautifully designed wooden cross decorated with barbed wire, lashed with indented stripes and burned with the Teen Challenge logo ... they sell them at Quartzite's Largest Swapmeet on the AZ CA border and to visitors - they gave us our pick. We spoke there in Chapel one morning last week, and came back to meet the Director yesterday.

I'm hoping to help them start an ETSY store to sell the crosses. They are definitely ETSY quality, the guys loved the term, "Up-Cycling." As they feel like that is what recovery is doing in their lives. They pick up old beat up furniture from yard sales and flea markets, and dump sites, and cut up the wood for the crosses. Some crosses have bolt holes still in them, from their former lives, others have impressions of drawer knobs, or indentations from damages ... the guys say that these marks show the former life, (a little reminder of the past).

Great analogy.


TAKEN the movie - my critique - as if that matters.

Yep, my sister and I went to see Taken.

My absolute first reaction? Well, I think I remember seeing the previews a few times, so I knew it was a teenager being abducted, but that was the limit of my knowledge.

READ NO FURTHER IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE AND DON'T WANT TO KNOW THE ENDING, because I'm going to critique this movie as a mother and grandmother.

OK first impression ... a Dad who loves his daughter but messed up somewhere along the way and only had visitation on BIRTHDAYS what was that? Too busy Dad, just about didn't like the movie from the start, but then enters, daughter. Cute, bouncy, confident, a birthday lunch - with Mom tagging along, oh, dread by the Dad.

OK the real reason Mom is along is to persuade Dad, because a manipulative Mom is definately going to have more impact than a manipulative daughter, or double-teaming him and lying to him about the details is going to serve their purposes well. Oh, my goodness, the manipulation from the start really turned me off to the story line.

Now finally the lying daughter travels to her chosen location with an older girl, and as soon as they arrive they share a cab with a total stranger, giving away their location, and almost immediately are abducted.

The father, through his previous work experience, investigates, hunts down and single handedly kills just about everyone involved, until he rescues his daughter. It's intense, not very realistic, frightening, but the manipulation on the part of the daughter and Mom leaves the plot with way too much to be desired ... kinda like Whoa Mom what did you expect lying and manipulating this trip, didn't know the girlfriend was also lying about where they would be staying...hmmm are parents really that lame?

Well, I know that children can beg and beg, but I also know that parents have the final say, and have many resources for investigating the details before saying yes. I have met way too many women, who lied to their parents as a teenager, and are still trying to get a lifestyle that is "normal."

The movie was good, intense, but not very realistic for parents who care, make their marriages work and PARENT their children. Now that we've imparted fear to all little girls who see this movie, I'm sure we've also taught them to lie to their parents, have Mom help them manipulate Dad, and believe girlfriend's over Parent's advice ... and that Dad will rescue you from your lies, manipulation and deception by killing everyone involved.

Well, did I mention I didn't really appreciate this movie?


Back to Saige by Berroco

Well, knitting a little cape for our 2 year-old granddaughter has been a lot of stops and starts (a lot like life itself). I set goals for myself, and they seem to be tabled as many times as they are met ... eventually they are accomplished, and sometimes just on schedule, but usually not without interruption.

My biggest hurdle since the first of the year has been my knitting slump that I have referred to several times in the last 6 weeks. Just not seeing any blocks of time as knitting time, although there have been several blocks of time where I kinda draw a blank, and cannot focus on the pattern. I had committed to the Knit Felt Clogs and the Sweet little Saige Cape, yet, with my brother-in-law's funeral, and my sister's adjustment to her NEW NORMAL, I found myself re-looking at everything I do through the filter of, "...what if that were me?"''

Wow, now that I've had prayer for the nightmares I've been having, and I've been going to prayer meetings and sharing my heartfelt concerns for so many family members going through STUFF, I feel much better, and am finding a stronger FAITH that God is truly in control. Dog-gone-it I knew that all along, I just slumped for awhile. Can't say it won't happen again, but I said all that to say this,

Somehow I found the time to knit both clogs - right now they look very much alike, yeah!!

Just not felted yet, I need a top loading agitating washer - the laundrymat here is a front loader ...

And now I'm knitting Saige: here's another look at this darling cape, take a close look, by double-clicking on the picture - can you see those cute little pockets? On size 2 - they are 2" square!! So cute.

Well, I sold a purse, this weekend, mailed it today, and now I'm ready to submit a purse I've designed to a Knitting Contest.

Here's a KNITTING CHALLENGE to my readers:

I'm going to knit the purse I've designed.

Once I've knit it and written out the pattern,
  • I'll print the pattern and mail it FREE or a download .pdf to the first 5 (five) who want to knit and felt this same pattern.
  • The only requirements will be that you report back any errors you find as you knit it, you'll be my knitting testors!!
  • And I will want a picture of the finished project to post on this blog.
  • My goal to have this ready for publishing, April 1st.
  • If you want to be a part of this design TEST, please sign up to follow this blog. (TOP RIGHT - it says FOLLOW THIS BLOG)
Right now the bag will be relatively large, with two outside pockets and a chunky i-cord purse handle ... it's in my head, and mostly on paper, and I want to start knitting it in about 1 1/2 weeks. BACK TO SETTING GOALS - I feel better already!

I love hearing from my readers!!


I know I'm getting old when ...

I get this cramp in my hip when I swing my leg over my motorcycle to get on it and ride.
I nearly lose my wits when my cell phone won't take a charge.
I find myself repeating stories, and see the, "Is she for real?" look on people's faces.
I have to stand for a few seconds to get my balance when I get out of a low chair.
I cannot remember if I bought creamer for my coffee the last trip to the store or the one before that.
I have to wear another layer of clothing and it's only 65 degrees outside.
I need a brighter light, and my eyeglasses and larger print, in order to read.
I plan my day around some free time to knit.

I see more grey in my hair than that color it is supposed to be, what did they call that, dishwater blonde?
I choose to eat in the camper rather than going out to eat, because it's hard to decide what I want.

I have a son who turns 40 this week, there I said it ...



I sold a purse on Etsy.

Well, besides a rose in a bud vase, and a giant 1/2 pound Hershey's Kiss, I just got another Valentine's Day gift. I sold a purse on Etsy.

Now I officially have 5 sales. When I finish the knit/felt clogs I'm working on currently, I'm planning on finishing the sweet little cape for Aven, then GET STARTED ON MORE BAGS ... the other day the hubby handed me a full-size ad from Macy's. I could not believe Macy's has a line of Knit/Felted Purses!! Yep, the prices are much higher than mine, but I believe my prices are fair!

Hearts to all my readers!!


We're Moving Again

No, not permanent, just moving the trailer from one church parking lot to another. We have a different church we're going to be working with for the next 6 weeks. It's a pretty simple move, just gotta secure everything in the trailer, pull in the slide outs, hook-up and pull it about 4 miles (around the mountain) as a crow flies it probably isn't even a mile.

We love our job!!


Working with a new church is pretty fun, it's the creativity and enthusiasm that is attractive.

Tonight's Valentine Banquet consists of tickets that were handed to families, a free Banquet for the couple and free meal and children's program for the kids. All church members are cooking, serving and clean-up. We're hoping for a big crowd, the table is set, the food is cooked, Happy Valentines Day!!

Levels of Disappointment

I've had to process the plans and future that is completely altered when someone dies. The death of my brother-in-law, my sister's life changes, her move to an apartment, her daughter's reactions, one of her granddaughters yesterday kept saying, "Where is Granddad?" over and over. She wasn't even able to say that sentence one month ago, when he died, but she was Norman's buddy, and it seems like when things get tense she misses her Granddad!

Death causes us to pause and reevaluate life's purpose.

There are levels of disappointment, grief, loneliness, I'm sure. There are different ways to react also. I'm not real good at being comforted, I'm kinda the one that expects to be strong for others, so when I get hugely disappointed, I shut down. Others get angry outwardly, or fall into the arms of those who care.

Anyway, while I was spending time with my big sister, helping her move and simply spending time with her, a lady we're working with in Phoenix lost her sister and brother-in-law to carbon monoxide poisoning in their camper. Evidently the brother-in-law had hooked up an extra large propane tank to the camper so he wouldn't have to change it as often, but he connected it wrong, there was no carbon monoxide detector in the camper, her sister had fallen asleep in an easy chair, and the brother-in-law was found by the door to the camper, the dog was also dead, the cell phone was dialed up with 9-1-1 but send was not sent. A fellow camper had noticed they had not walked their dog that morning and went to check on them ... this lady lost her sister and brother-in-law and is diligently working with her niece to settle family things. So much to think about, every day brings a different level of disappointment, another form of grief.


I'm doing great, and my sis is really coming along as expected - whatever that is. She'll be fine because she has an assurance in her faith, she just misses Norman so much, but she is surrounded by people who love her and are helping best they can, I'm so thankful for each of them, and for the time with her.

NO the clogs on my post earlier today are not the ones I'm knitting, I only have one done and they are two-color Grey and Black. It is a stock Google Photo.

This is the finished look I'm trying to accomplish. (not the finished project)



YEAH!! I'm finally knitting again, and one clog slipper will be done in the next hour, the other started sometime this weekend. I've had the thought of getting a cheap ticket and flying to Denver to felt these, to my son's foot.
That good ole' feeling of accomplishment is returning. Just in time for our schedule to be too busy to knit. We have set-up for an outreach Valentine Banquet today, the neighborhood, couple's only banquet is tomorrow, then a sweetheart bike ride Saturday, speaking in two churches Sunday, meeting with leadership for Run For The Wall (May 2009 Cross Country Ride), Monday, Meeting with Teen Challenge Director in Phoenix Tuesday, whew...next Wednesday would've been my first block of time to finish this project, but we have to move. We're so glad to be busy with our ministry, and I'm glad to be beyond my FOF* that makes me periodically shut-down.

The little church we are set up beside (in our camper) and helping with outreach, got a complaint about our camper, so we have to move (some zoning code). We will be setting up in a different location probably next Wednesday. OK, Thursday is my first chance to finish these, still hoping our son has cold floors in Denver so that slippers are needed in March. Dog-gone-it, I intended to have these done by January - phooey...I really don't like these delays. Oh well ...

I got an invitation to teach a workshop at a Women's Retreat in Indiana in May. I met these ladies at an Art Fair, they loved my work, and want me to teach the process at their retreat!! I'm honored.


My longest knitting slump, and where's my luggage?

OK, a true test in patience, and I need a new hobby. I'm just not real good at having down time without something to knit or read. Spent some time in a bookstore today, great way to relax and get new ideas. I'm always tempted to buy a journal. When I buy them I only write in about the first 3 to 15 pages, then move along to another journal, why, why, why, I have a lot of why's right now.

My baggage had knitting needles when I returned from Little Rock to Phoenix, so I went to UPS the evening before I left Little Rock and had them put my suitcase in a box and ship it to me. Ken's Knit Felt Clogs are in there (well sort of, the needles, the yarn and the pattern - I've not knit one stitch of his slippers, maybe Colorado will have a late winter)...Aven's sweet little cape is in there about 1/3 finished, the needles for that are about 19" long and 2.4 mm in diameter, they certainly look like weapons of mass destruction, so the yarn for one "wing" of the cape, and the pockets, is in the bag...also I have my jewelry (all costume jewelry that I've had several opportunities to wear in the last 3 days) and of course some laundry, as we never got the dryer hooked up when I went to help my sister move into her apartment. SO-o-o-o today, I shopped for Valentine gifts for our grandkids, and I bought myself a Knitting Book ... I'll read it till I get my yarn, then I'll knit while I'm catching up on the laundry.

My carry on was 1/2 the normal size carry on and it still would not fit in the overhead compartment on the little Puddle Jumper that took me from Dallas to Arkansas, so a nice gentleman offered to hold it for me while all passengers got seated, then worked his way to the front to have my bag tagged and placed in the underbelly - something I checked on before getting on the plane, but was told, place it under the seat in front of me - well, my purse barely fit under there ... I took the same flight back to Dallas, this is where UPS came in. To check the bag and wait on it at my final destination would have cost 15.00, I sent it home and it cost 18.00. Now I wait.
This is no exaggeration, what part of carry-on and a personal item is this lady taking serious? If it's a case of "don't leave your bags unattended ..." she failed that one too! OK I'm done. Now I get it -LIFE AIN'T FAIR!!

I'm still processing my sister's loss.

Today is her birthday,

I'm sure she's struggling and will have many "anniversaries" to face in the near future, but her birthday was always a special event with Norman, 43 years of marriage, you make a lot of history together, I still cannot believe he's gone. While I was with her last week, we were buying a few electronic items for her apartment and I was unsure of what she already had at the house, so I had the thought, "We should call Norman and make sure we aren't duplicating our efforts here." I'm so glad I didn't say that out loud, in the same instant I realized he's gone, there's no calling Norman. We miss you Normie.

You can buy this poster.