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Updated: 2014-10-04T21:26:06.793-07:00


Asotin Creek


It's almost December, and the fear of cabin fever is running high. Luckily there is the Umatilla National Forest. The Wildlife Area follows Asotin Creek with a lazy two-track trail. The trail is enclosed by basalt canyon walls which harbor tough, drought-tolerant plants. This will be a great hike for spring and fall, and perhaps winter. The sunny grassy trail soon turned frosty. This Northern Pygmy Owl sat in a thicket of sumac and let us pass close by. The dogs loved this trail - plenty of scents and sounds. Although we kept them on leash due to the quantity of horseapples along the way. Nobody wanted to have to take a bath when we got home.[...]

Idaho hold 'em


In a misguided effort to boost the bloggage, I have signed myself up for a full round of self-revelatory and potentially embarrassing posts. I am now part of the Knitty Blog Stalker 2 webring. Yes, that sounds vaguely threatening to me too.

I missed post 1, so I'm skipping right to the juicy stuff.





Here is The Purse. I only have one. I like the looks of most bags, but I require a high degree of functionality. You will see.

I have carried this purse for 2 years now. I fully intend to carry it until either it or I am too worn and threadbare to continue to function. Every purse I have really used in the past 20 years (did I just say 20 years? no, I do not speak as I write. that is only for reading) fits this model:


The Star Fleet Standard Tricorder. What could possibly be more useful than that? Note the ever-present pen, ready for the draw:

(image) Let's peek inside. The flap is velcroed shut. The flap reveals a handy pocket.

(image) Unzip the flap and you will find my one nod to femininity. Yes, I have an extensive supply of tinted lip gloss. Along with bandaids, one lonely Sudafed tablet and the tampon that is not necessary until you don't have it along.

(image) More boy scout material: personal cell phone, albuterol, travel kleenex, and a calculator.


Now to the guts of it. Here, you think, is where it gets interesting.


Wallet, maxi-pad, work phone, work phone charger, work keys, tiny mirror (if there is any doubt, it clearly states MIRROR on its frame), and I kid you not, a swiss army knife.


That's it! Really! I'm not pretty, but dang if I'm not prepared for anything.

Pandas will love me


Here I am breaking new ground in the world of fiber. I bought this Blue Moon Fiber Arts Bambu because I have had a hankering for Convertible. The yarn for both projects was Blue Moon Fiber Arts Bambu in colorway Pebble Beach.


I thought this was a very clever construction, with its ability to wrap or scarf or shrug itself around me.

(image) (image) Pattern: Convertible from
Needles: #6 aluminum straights
Notions: 20 pearl blue buttons
Notes: I only did 14 pattern repeats, since I stopped when I got from one wrist to the other. I used 1 3/4 skeins.

To make the double-sided buttons, I used back-threading buttons with a flat bottom. That way they stayed together nicely when they were back-to-back. And instead of using wire, I just tied them together with the pattern yarn. I was worried about whether wire would catch on the garment, and also about my technical abilities with pliers.

This was a fun knit, interesting enough to keep going for the whole stretch of the wrap, and yet simple enough to let me watch Mystery! or talk. Or both.

Leftovers Dream Swatch

Waste not, want not! I took the last 1/4 skein of Bambu to whip up a Dream Swatch headband.

(image) (image) Pattern: Dream Swatch by Wendy Bernard
Needles: #3 aluminum straights
Notes: Easy Peasy! The yarn was a little splitty for the crosshatching stitch, but it worked.

Hooking the orifice


My yard sale find Ashford Traditional wheel had a few missing parts. Like a brake band, extra bobbins, a lazy kate, and an orifice hook. This post is about my cheapness and impatience, which result in a lot of DIY.

No ordinary orifice hook for me. No, give me some scrap electrical wire, a wire cutter and needlenose pliers (and a scrap of beauteous pink silk), and I get all McGyver on it.

Here is my new orifice hook. And the bonus is that it actually works!


Fiber Haul


In which our heroine attends a rummage sale and comes across vast quantities of alpaca fleece

The sign said alpaca fleeces for $5 a bag. I asked the nice young lady if any were left, and how large the bags were. These were 30 gallon trash bags, and did I want the white, brown, or black? Yes please.

Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full.

A closeup of the white fleece:

The brown is a lovely cinnamon, which for some reason the camera is rejecting. There is no grey in there in real life.

More fibery closeups:

And the black is breathtaking.

Even the guard hairs are pretty! But out they must come.

So concludes this chapter.



A satisfying project for those lovely lonely single hanks of spendy yarn - Flora! Modelled here by the incomparable Natuzzi.

Pattern: Flora from
Needles: #8 bamboo straights

Yarn for the blue one is a wool/silk blend that I got from eBay. I have no background information on this yarn except that it was lovely to work with.

(image) The scarlet scarf is made from Tilli Tomas' Simply Heaven, 100% silk in colorway American Beauty. Gifted to me from the wonderful Ali! Thank you, darling!

Stamens on both scarfs were made by holding a strand of the main color with a strand of Noro Kureyon. The buttons came from my Random Button Collection.

I chose not to make the flower removable, since I did not trust the leetle buttons to secure it against random neck twitchings and double-takes.

And I'm thinking of a third for that single hank of candy-pink banana silk. And I have the perfect button for it too...

Where oh where have you been?


Where is me Momma? Where has she gone?Don't worry Little D! Momma's been a-knittin' and soon will be home!In chronological order, the objects of my obsession: Stockinette Tube ScarfThis is a stockinette tube scarf, knitted to the specifications of the Darling DH. We came up with the pattern ourselves, although as you continue reading you will witness the paucity of my genius.I was hoping this pic would display the slipstitch edge, but it more faithfully represents the hairiness of the alpaca:Yarn: 2 strands of AlpacaWare alpaca yarn held togetherNeedles: #3 aluminum circular BoyesPattern was easy:CO 30 stitchesrow 1: Knit one row in the round.row 2: K 14, slip 1, K 14, slip 1.Repeat rows 1 and 2 until the scarf is "Long Enough", your fingers crack and fall off, or your brain turns numb.Bind off using 3-needle bind off. Sew up the beginning seam. Weave in ends.Shedir This was my second Shedir. I love this pattern, the way it all comes together at the top is sheer genius.Pattern: Shedir from Knitty.comYarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, 1.1 skeinsNeedles: #2 aluminum Boye circs and #2 aluminum Boye dpns (from grandma!)Modifications: My last Shedir was a bit long, so I left off one set of the row repeats. This one came out quite nicely, I love this yarn!MonkeyHonestly, I made two. I swear it! This pattern was such a joy, I had no problems with Second Sock Syndrome whatsoever. And here is a shot with my knitting muse.Pattern: Monkey from Knitty.comYarn: Fleece Artist Merino Wool sockyarn in Wild Flower colorwayNeedles: #2 bamboo dpnsNo modifications required, this is a Cookie pattern! Thanks for all your beautiful work, Cookie![...]

Keeping warm


I love capelets! Love them! So I whipped one out from Wrap Style:

(image) It is a simple wrap, and it has its flaws, such as the bottom edge rolling up in an unflattering way. It was a great introduction, and the yarn was yummy to knit with.

Pattern: Eyelet Capelet from Wrap Style

Yarn: Online Linie 157 Tessa, 50g, 5 skeins (or 6? I don't remember)

Needles: Boye #9 aluminum circulars

Notes: Lucky me, the gauge was spot-on, since I really wanted to make this pattern using this yarn. I followed the pattern to the letter, and really had fun with it! Once I gave the edges a light steam, they stayed put much nicer.



Finally, to match my Clapotis, an Odessa!

(image) Pattern: Odessa from MagKnits

Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Twister in Blues and Greens, about 100 grams

Needles: Boye #3 and #4 aluminum circular

Notes: I did not use beads, since this yarn is very speckly already, and I am too lazy to stop and figure out beading. I also squooshed the yarn down to gauge with teensier and teensier needles, until the numbers came out correctly. Had I stopped to think about the pattern, I would have used the proper needle size of #8 or so, and reduced the repeats. Now the hat is the correct size, but lacks spring and so doesn't cling to my noggin like it should.

Ah well, live and learn! And I still love the hat!

Past is Present


DH's friend made me this hand-carved spindle top, it is his first attempt. I am going to finish the wood somehow, I thought that a wax finish would make it smooth and good for spinning. Any suggestions are welcome!


Here is an excerpt about the craft:

Salish women were considered virtually unrivalled in their ability to produce beautiful textiles that had social and spiritual significance. The ancient art of weaving Salish-style blankets was revived in the 1960s and it continues as a vibrant expression of cultural identity.

Many Salish spindle whorls have sophisticated and powerful carved designs -- human, animal and geometric. The whorl was placed on a wooden spindle to add the weight needed to maintain the spinning motion, and to prevent the wool from falling off the rod as it was being spun. As the whorl turned, the designs would blur together, mesmerizing the spinner. This trance state was considered vital: it gave the spinner the ability to create textiles imbued with special powers.

Coast Salish Spindle Whorl
Spindle Whorl Samples

Sharing the Love


There must be a lot of love in the world for this much to land in my mailbox. Thanks to the thoughtful Ali for putting together the Knitty "Spread the Love" VD campaign!

From Knitmonkey, I just got a pile of rocks. Just kidding, they are the edible kind, lovely and yummy! Oh, how did you know how much I love these?


And my special Secret VD infector was CelticCoyote! Yarn, yummies, and some wonderful muscle creams. Love-in-a Box!!!

Look closely and you can see the specially engraved WonkyRock (tm):

What? I got more! A surprise gift from Ali herself! In a beautiful bag:

Were these lovelies! And a lot of delectables as well, unfortunately they did not survive long enough to make the photo shoot:


And I can't leave out the lovin' from my dear man!

* sigh *



I am sliding down the slippery slope of sock knitting addiction. Witness!


Pattern: Hedera from

Yarn: Lana Grossa Meilenweit colortweed

Notes: Fun! I love the laciness, and it looks great with a striped yarn IMHO.

Christmas Blog-o-rama!


After long months stashed in the closet, the gifts I made for Christmas can finally come out! Wait, that's not quite what I meant.This year's theme: Toasty Heads and Necks. Previous years, I made cookies and helped add to that winter weight. This year, I'm getting us all out of the house and into the weather with some warm hats and scarves.I have an obsession with Noro Silk Garden and found its perfect use: Entrelac. What a fun technique, and with the color changes in the yarn, I never got bored. In fact, I couldn't stop until I ran out of Noro. Three different scarves, using the Entrelac technique.Yarn: 3 skeins Noro Silk GardenNeedles: US #8 Bamboo straight needlesPattern notes: Cast on 18 stitches, and use 6 stitches per triangle. More Noro! Now I find myself with single skeins of Noro Kureyon, and found a great pattern for beanies. This was a great quick knit, and a wonderful way to show off the beautiful colors in this yarn.Pattern was based on Kureyon Skull CapYarn: 1 skein of Noro KureyonNeedles: US #9 and #10 circulars and #10 dpnsNotes: I did this pattern in the round rather than knit flat. I also did not want to do the crocheted edge, so I increased the number of rows in the straight stretch from 11 to 18.Two-Movie HatPattern: Two Movie HatYarn: Encore Plymouth, one 100g skein each of grey, brown, and charcoalNeedles: #6 circulars and #6 dpnsNotes: This was a bit loose for an adult head. For the boy's pattern, I modified the pattern as follows: Use US #4 needles, and cast on 76 stitches. On row 8, increase by one more than the pattern says. Knit straight for slightly more than 5 inches. Skip rows 31 and 32.Mom's hat and scarfMy So Called Scarf and Marsan WatchcapYarn: 1 skein of Schaefer Marjaana in Jane Addams colorNotes: I really loved My So Called Scarf! What a great way to show off a variegated yarn! This is a closeup of the stitch pattern:Merry Christmas everyone![...]

Fluffy stuff


Okay, so the beating on my bloggy door is no longer ignorable. I'm afraid there is no knitting fit to post, so instead I give another Wonky travelogue.

On Saturday we went snowshoeing on Moscow Mountain. We hiked up to one of the peaks, and following are my pics of the trip.

This is the road that winds its way up the slope.


More height, more snow!


If you look out the horizon, beyond the stretch of heaven that hovers below the peak, you can make out the peaks of the Blue Mountains.


To the right is the peak of the range, but let's just pretend this was as high as we could go.


My breath lay white on the tips of my hair like the snow and frost on this lonely pine.


Mom will be proud this winter


Three hats! Just in time for fall and a cold Idaho winter!Alpaca Beanie Pattern: HJS Studio Beanie No. 212Yarn: Alpaca Warehouse Superfine Alpaca Yarn 1 50g skein in olive melange, held 2 strandsNeedles: #4 Boye aluminum circulars, #3 Boye aluminum circulars and #3 aluminum dpnsNotes: The pattern calls for #4 needles, which I started with. Then when DH tried it on, he said it seemed too loose, so I switched to #3's. This proved to be fatal, as the hat was then too tight for a brim, so I went with a beanie style instead.I also changed the ribbing to be all 2x2 ribbing, and at the top where the pattern decreases, I changed the decrease portions to be k1, slip 1, k1, psso, p1 at the beginning of the needle, and then at the end: p1, k2tog, k. This kept a kind of ribbing along the decreases.The beanie was still too small for DH, so I think this is a present for the nephew. Alpaca Beanie with Brim Pattern: HJS Studio Beanie No. 212Yarn: Alpaca Warehouse Superfine Alpaca Yarn 2 50g skeins in olive melange, held 2 strandsNeedles: #4 Boye aluminum circulars, #3 Boye aluminum circulars and #3 aluminum dpnsNotes: The first beanie was too small, so this time I used the same yarn, double-stranded, and the #4 circulars and dpns. I also followed the pattern, since DH was disappointed that his last beanie was not vintage. :-)Success! The hat fits nicely and DH loves it! I highly recommend this pattern, it is simple and quick and fun to have. Isn't he cute in it? Shedir Uh oh, it seems someone has a gauge problem.But wait! It's nothing a little spin in the washer and dryer can't fix! Hooray! And now we know it's machine washable too!Pattern: Shedir from Knitty.comYarn: Frog Tree Pima Silk, 85% pima cotton, 15% silk in plum, 2 50g skeinsNeedles: #4 Boye aluminum circulars, #4 aluminum dpnsNotes: Ayyy! Hubris hit me hard. I swapped the Frog Tree yarn for the Rowan Calmer, which is specified in the pattern. The gauge was almost the same, and I did not swatch. Well, the hat was a little big, much less for a hairless head. Into the washer and dryer! This pattern was really very fun to knit. The cabling can be a little fussy but I loved watching the twists take shape, and it was constantly interesting. And as entranced as I was with the cables, the snowflake top is the best!The first picture is the best representation of the color of this yarn, the other pics were taken at night because I was too impatient for daylight. The fabric was just heavenly to touch, I am hoping that the cotton/silk blend will be a little warmer than the Calmer's cotton acrylic.Yay Pima Silk![...]

Ah HA!


My Knitty Secret Pal was Glittrgirl! Her packages have been such wonderful surprises, it really made my summer to get such sweet gifts from her!

I opened my final package to find these confections:


Sorry, Glittrgirl, but that pretty wrapping paper didn't last long! And how on earth did all that expand into this?


Wow! An extravaganza!

  • Look at the center - ZOMBIE BEAR! Yes, a kit to make my own Zombie Bear! Whoo hoo!
  • Thread and beads to make a MaryElla. Yes!
  • Sheer flower socks for summer!
  • Wonderfully minty Black Bullets
  • Specially wrapped lollipop (too funny!)
  • 3 cool pins - a pirate, "Knit Case" (oh yeah, that's me!), and "Make Scarves Not War" (indeed!)\
  • Mr Kipling cakes magnet (how did you know I love to kiple!)
  • Postit notes with a butterfly!

And such funny sock monkey cards you have, I'm gonna miss you as a secret pal, Glittrgirl!



I finally have a pair of the long-coveted Jaywalkers!

Pattern: Jaywalkers from MagKnits

Yarn: 2 50g skeins of Schachenmayr Regia Ringel, 75% New Wool, 25% Polyamide. Yarn was kindly gifted by the Flying Poodle. Thanks, Poodle!

Notions: 5 aluminum Boye dpns in size #1 US

Notes: I have size 7 feet, and thin legs, but I made the larger sized sock all the same. I tried twice before with the small size, but could not get the sock over my foot.

I loved making this sock, especially with a stripey yarn like this Regia where it makes the zigs zag so well.

For Art


For the sake of art, and a very sweet knitting artist, I have spent hours making white acrylic garter stitch squares. If you want to, you can also Spare a Square.

One square...

(image) 18 squares!

No yarn, no pr0n


Sorry folks, just words today. DH has gone away with the camera, otherwise I would be flashing the yarn pr0n all over your eyes like sticky on skin in the summer.

Today is the one month anniversary of my Stashalong pledge. Now, to me it is a bit too easy to pledge to 3 months of only buying yarn once a month, and with 2 strikes thrown in. So I went all in and pledged to one year, no monthly purchases. No yarn at all, unless it is necessary to complete a project.

I have begun the rediscovery of all the yarn I bought thinking this one more pack will fulfill and complete me. Buying online is the worst, it feels like I have some secret admirer sending me fluffy love through the mail. Well, now I just managed to make my anniversary sound sad and pathetic. Maybe spending days in the cool basement alone with the dogs wasn't such a sound idea after all...

Felt Accompli!


The purse for my MIL is done! Here is the picture of the finished object.


And now my MIL can take a 32 oz. square Nalgene bottle with her wherever she goes! It just happened that this bottle was a perfect candidate for blocking the bag as it dried.


Someone had asked for the pattern, so here is what I did.

I really like the look of Sophie from Magknits. I started with that pattern, and made some modifications.

Yarn: coned wool, probably DK weight. MC = dark pink, A=light pink, B=seafoam green. I am guessing that I used about 100g of MC, 50g A, 50g B.

Needles: #6 and #8 Boyes Aluminum interchangeable circular

Notions: stitch markers, 3 stitch holders, and a button or bead for closure

First, I mapped out the pattern I wanted. I knew I had 3 colors to work with, and I wanted hearts. I made this chart for the colorwork. The grid paper was easy, I just made an Excel spreadsheet and made the columns and rows equal, then printed it with gridlines to have a blank sheet to work with. My pattern will work with any chart that is an 8-stitch, 7-row repeat.


With a #8 needle, CO 39 stitches in MC, with yarn doubled for extra strength (note that you should use #6 needles here to have a clean, square bottom). K 28 rows in stockinette stitch.

Pick up and K 13 sts along the left edge of the rectangle just worked. Pick up and K 39 stitches along the CO edge. Pick up and K 13 sts along remaining side. (104 stitches)

pm. K 4 rows in MC.

K 42 rows in chart, beginning with the row that has color B (first MC row in my picture is superfluous).

K 4 rows in MC.

BO 46, place 6 on holder. BO 46, place 3 on dpn, remaining 3 on holder. Make an I-cord with the 3 stitches on the dpn until the cord is 20 inches long. Place stitches on holder. Make a second I-cord with the last 3 stitches until it is also 20 inches long. Twist the cords together and join with the 6 stitches on the opposite side using kitchener stitch.

Using crochet stitch, make a loop that will serve as the closure.

Felt and dry. Add the button or bead where the closure loop will reach and stay taut.

Can't see the FOs for the trees


Okay, the purse is still drying. I've cast on for Jaywalkers in Regia, this pseudo-fair-isle blue colorway. It's fun enough, but I'm bored. So if you are here, and still reading, I know you too are bored.

Last weekend we did the Goodman Creek Trail off Highway 58 in Oregon. Here is the trail in the first 1/2 mile or so.

This is Goodman Creek, our destination. The trail was only 2 miles to the creek, but it was a fun Sunday afternoon hike. The best part was the water along the trail and in the creek - the dogs loved it! If only they had loved it less and stayed still for a moment, I would have some pictures of them too.


One of the viewpoints along the way looks down into Lookout Point Reservoir.


Now back to cuffing that durned sock!

Button, button, who's got the button?


I do! Poor old-timey Wonkyknit now can proudly enter the blogosphere with its very own button, thanks to the superspectaculofabulous Penny Karma!

Hooray for the gifted and talented!

Felted Purse Step 2


I finished the purse last night, a perversion of weird wool and fair isle and Sophie. Pictured here is the purse pre-felt. So if I do end up making a mashy pulp of a bag, you will have something to remember it by.

You know that clever idea I had to double the strands on the bottom of the bag? Well, if you choose to take that route, I am now legally bound to tell you that you should use the same size needles on the bottom and top. See that bulgy baggy bottom? Case closed.

Now for the ego-stroking. Here are the floats! No, it's not a parade, it's fair isle!


Well, all right, it's not so hot but I'm damned proud!

Now I'm off to the laundry room to take this bag down to size.

Silver bullet package from my SP!


This weekend the postman brought a shiny silver package all the way from the UK. I'm cashing in on some good karma here. I have no knowledge of exactly how and where and to whom my good deeds were bestowed, but I'm willing to acknowledge my exemplary behaviour if it results in this:


Runner's World Magazine (yay summer and sunrise runs!)

Marigold tea (mmm, calming relaxing evening tea)

Cute choco-crazed woman card (yeah, baby!)

And best of all, my own Lily of the Valley Perdita in a soft green with lovely emerald beads and sequins! Displayed here on my pale scrawny wrist (somehow it fits perfectly too!)


And I have to point out that the fastening is even more beautiful, with these exquisite silver roses:


Wherever you are out there, thank you Secret Pal!

Exciting experiment #1


And now I will attempt a felted bag, Sophie from MagKnits.

The following factors will contribute to the drama of this plan:

  1. This is my first felted bag
  2. This is my first bag
  3. The yarn is some generic wool I got on eBay.
  4. I am making up my own fair isle pattern to go on the bag
  5. I have never done fair isle before
  6. I have 1.5 weeks to complete this project
  7. The bag is for my MIL
  8. It is my MIL's 70th birthday
  9. My dad is coming to visit this weekend, which will drastically decrease my knitting time
No pressure!

I did a swatch last night. This yarn is scritchy! Ow!

This evening I hand-felted it with hot water and soap, here it is still wet:


Okay, I'm starting to enjoy this more.

My plan is to make the bottom and handles with the dark pink color. I am also going to double the yarn on the bottom, just to make it more sturdy. I had read a few other comments about the bag needing this if you want it to sit on its own. Since I am going to have a 8-stitch repeat pattern, I am going to not do the decreases. There is probably a cool and clever way that I could accomplish the decreases, but I do not have the time for that kind of mental anguish.

MIL is a very sweet woman, I want to give her a nice present for her big day. Wish me luck!