Saturday, December 27, 2008

Winter Wonderland

White stuff everywhere!

I'm beyond those years of desiring that puffy white stuff to fall from the sky. To me, it only means not getting to where I want to be. Most of all, missing Christmas with family and friends. When I can't get out it makes me very grumpy... grrrrrr! My driveway is about 1/2 mile long and curves in front of the barn and comes up hill to the house. The house on the other side of the barn is my closest neighbor. From the upstairs landing I can look down on the lower part of the driveway. I can't really see the drive since it's all a big white blur. The temperature is up above freezing! Flood warnings are now being broadcast from the melting snow and storm drains clogged with sand.

This shows the depth of the snow 12/25/2008.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pattens For Sale

For Sale - Patterns

All items are NEW Mother & Daughter Felted Hat in Atmosfera by Skacel pattern $6.50 includes s/h US. Fabio “Princess Dress” Vest by Skacel pattern $6.50 includes s/h US. Felt Hat II by Fiber Trends pattern $6.50 includes s/h US. Enterlac Throw by Ann Norling pattern $5.00 includes s/h US. I accept PayPal payments.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Holiday Christmas Stockings for the Troops

Operation Holiday Stockings Knitters here's a way for you to give to the troops that not only is fun but can use up some of your stash too. Sue needs these stocking before Thanksgiving for them to reach the troops in time for Christmas. The basic sock pattern is found in the The Story Behind Operation Holiday Stockings They are easy, quick and fun. You can doll them up using your own imagination. Have fun Everyone!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Life Happens

I have been rather remiss in posting... it's called, "life happens". My surgery in April went rather nicely.

May, of course, brought some unusual rains... yup, right into my basement with nasty brown water. Ohhhh, what a mess! To top that off I also needed to clear out the loft of the barn and bring all my leftover inventory to my property. Okay, still working on that part, but the inventory should be here before long. I will be listing a lot of stuff on my website and here because I need it gone!

In mid June I started the sad feelings because Ed's birthday and anniversary of his passing were coming up in July. I chide myself thinking, I should be beyond these bouts of great sadness... it just hasn't happened yet. This is what's been going through my mind... A few years ago... that real hot summer we had... I was working in my storage units when I realized it wasn't the roof dripping condensation but my head.

I decided to take a break and placed a chair up front to try and catch a little air hoping for a breeze to start cooling me. Boy, all of a sudden I really missed my guy~ I knew he would have set a chair up for me and gotten me a glass of water or whatever it took to make me comfortable... he was just that kind of a guy... sweet and caring. I started to cry softly and the tears streamed down my cheeks as others drove by going to their storage unit. I was heavy into my own sadness when I suddenly felt Ed's presence. I could almost feel his arms around me and I could smell him, his essence.

"Okay, if you're truly here, Show Me!" I stammered as I tried to think of something he, his spirit, could do.
I said, to no one in particular, just noting I wasn't crazy. "Show me," I thought of him shoving something off a shelf. I quickly decided that may not work and I'd never know if that feeling was him, but I was sure it was him. I wanted proof for me! "Show me," I continued to stammered, until I hit on the right thing. The sky had been one of those great Seattle blue skies, without a cloud and hardly a breeze and close to 90 some degrees. 

"Show me," I said in a confident voice, like, ah ah, caught you. "Show me a submarine!" I thought I was brilliant! I had no idea where he'd find a submarine in my storage shed but I really needed to know that the presence I felt was him. 

Just that fast, a big, huge, puffy cloud settled in front of my view, on the backdrop of the pristine blue Seattle sky. My eyes couldn't leave that huge mass of white, as a submarine, like the old diesel model, took shape before my eyes. It had the conning tower and looked very much like a side view of a sub he once served on. When the touches were being added to shape the tail fins, a small puff of a breeze distorted and pull the submarine out of proportion, as it slowly drifted away from me. I was pleased, stunned and mystified beyond words. I could only stand and stare as the white submarine slowly drifted into other clouds that had just as suddenly appeared. 

You may ask, why I've brought this up so many years later? I saw a Physic this past weekend and she also, confirmed that Ed had made the submarine. When I asked the Physic the question she took awhile to answer. Before she could say a word, bits of brown stuff came flying at me from my right side. I'm sure it was him since I strongly believe he was also there. The brown stuff was from a tree, but it wasn't to my right at all. She told me, Ed said, "Yes," so fast and so many times that she became unsure and asked him again. I really think it was him scolding me for asking. And yes, I know a lot of you are very skeptical. I'm fine with that since I know, what I now know.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

One Fidget Scarf Finished and Given

Wouldn't you know, as luck would have it, the sun came out nice and hot on the day I give the scarf. Even so, the recipient seemed pleased with his gift. I thought he looked very sharp sporting his Fidget. I did need to give instructions on how to wear it. People don't know what to do with a scarf that has buttons. I hope to be able to capture him in a photo wearing the scarf. He's one of the local poker dealers for tournament style poker. He had told me, if I was going to knit at his poker table I needed to make him a scarf. I felt it was a small enough price to pay to get good cards. The Fidget was knit using Kross by Mondial 100% wool. Buttons and yarn both came from my huge stash! I have plenty of this yarn left in red if anyone is interested? This is a fun scarf to make. It only takes a few hours to knit using one ball of yarn. It felt good to finally get one of the scarves completely finished, blocked and with buttons sewn on. Took longer to set up the blocking screen than to knit. (I set the screen over the bathtub where garments dry between wet towels for final shaping.) One more item I can now scratch off my to do list of gifts to knit and give. Woo Hoo!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Knitting Teacher: Goals and Patterns

I always found when I was teaching that a new knitter does NOT know what should be hard. If you tell them they can and have a positive attitude, they will knit it and complete the project. I started all my beginners on circular knitting needles and making a simple cardigan, tank top or hat. Requirements were that the garment must have shaping of some sort and use only stockinet stitch. The item needed to be for themselves or someone they truly wanted to receive a gift of love. My goal was to create an independent knitter in 4 - 8 weeks during 1 1/2 hour classes. After that amount of time people were unable to absorb anymore instruction. I limited class size to 5 - 7, the number of students I felt I was able to get around to during class time. I wanted to get a knitter over being afraid to try a pattern and knit whatever they wanted. All students learned: 1. to read a pattern 2. be able to see and make a knit and a purl stitch 3. to do the frog stitch 4. to pick up stitches 6. to increase and decrease 7. work with light enough color to see the stitches 8. to assemble the finished pieces 9. to block the finished garment 10. NO novelty yarns. Patterns: Knitting Pure and Simple Fiber Trends Ann Norling Patons Cascade The above patterns were hands down some of the easiest to read and knit of the patterns available. They all helped to create successful knitters. I do think it was a big help to take classes from the Craft Yarn Council of America where I'm a Certified Instructor for Knitting and Crochet. Being a good knitter does not make a good teacher. The best way to solve a students knitting problems is for an instructor to be a good listener. Even though my knitters started with circular needles they all had the brand that worked best for them. There were times I would explain a technique many different ways until I saw the light come into the students eyes. That's when I knew they truly "got it"! There is nothing more rewarding than teaching a person to knit, it will be their best friend for life. I have seen knitting be the life line for many people in different situations that were beyond their control. You can view a few of our knitters and their finished garments at, If you are thinking of being a knitting instructor remember, S M I L E a lot!! I wish you the best, it's so rewarding, Arlene

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Poker Sweater

Been working on Cottage Creations, Babies & Bears Sweater for Grown-ups. I apologize for the poor color on my second photo. I couldn't get it to appear in the proper shade. It's been fun making this sweater since I can still play poker while I knit. I'll do anything to put some of those poker players on tilt. No, casino's do not allow knitting needles. They are considered a weapon. This is pub - tournament poker and sometimes the players over deliberate their move to the point of distraction. I needed something to keep a calm non-caring poker face and Zen knitting is it. I love the way this pattern starts at the cuff and knits up the sleeve. There are a number of circular knitting needle lengths required to complete each half of the sweater. The longest was 36". This is required for holding all the stitches from the front, side and back on one needle. I played with making this in two colors. It took a bit to get the right combination of rows but I did rather luck out. The one thing I did not do was mark every 10 or so rows to keep count for ease of matching the right sleeve length to the left. I was reminded by a dear friend to go to the inside with the purl bumps and count those. They are so much easier. Even doing that, I lost count and had to resort to using a marking yarn by dipping under each 10th row. I am so intrigued by this design that I only waited a day or two after completing the left side to start on the cuff for the right side of my "poker" sweater. (Gee, I wonder how it got that name?) I was rather concerned I'd wait too long to continue and would totally loose interest in completing my poker sweater. I've only taken a short break to knit a couple of fidget scarves, which still need to be blocked.

Monday, January 14, 2008


This came to me in the middle of the night, a few nights before my husband died. It woke me in a flurry to find pen and a pad, to jot down what was appearing in my minds eye. I have shared this with a few friends that have also had big losses. Maybe it will help you as it has me. When I read it to my husband the next day, a tear slid down his cheek. If it helps anyone to have understanding or gain peace, that makes it all the more wonderful.


By Arlene Ritzhaupt

Where will I be
When I’m going to be me?
How will I know when I’m me?
Since it’s all about me?

When my color turns gray,
Will it truly be me?
Do I sing?
Do I cry?
Do I want me to be me?

Will I fit?
Can I stand it?
Will the skin be too tight?
Will it be comfy and cozy?
With my sweet home in sight?

Will I want to be me from bone to bone?
Will I say I’m happy as if I were home?
Will it fit for me, to be at home with the me that I be?

Where will I be when I’m truly me?
Will the being me be the best of the being?
Will I have earned my stripes and enjoy being me?

Can I truly be me?
For if I don’t like me what shall I do?
Can I remake me all over and new?
From scratch this time, I hope to be me.
What can I add that will make me be me?

More like the me of me,
The me I must be.
The me I should be.
The me I want to be.
The me I will be.
The me I can understand as me.

Please could you tell me, the me I’m to be?
Please give me a clue of who this me should be.
There is a me inside that’s grown beyond this me.
There is a me that’s not the me, as I know it to be.

For it follows me.
It whispers to me,
It taunts me, to be me.
But I still don’t hear what this me must be.

Tell me for sure in words that I hear.
Who is this me that I must be?

Tell me of this me that I am to be.
How can I now change this me that I be?

Can I now muster to improve the me that I be.
For I feel the pull of the challenge to be just ME.

Copyright 2003
Arlene Ritzhaupt