Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Peace of Being Snowed In!

My needles are in hand. My coffee cup is hot. My kitty is warming my lap. My bird feeders are full and covered with chick-a-dees, jays, sparrows, and finches. My deer are bedded down in my valley. So even though the snow is piling up, covering the deck, road, and meadow, we are safe and warm. Who could ask for more?

Even Neko knows that life is stopped for a day or two. He seeks out my warm lap and snuggles in. He will stay there as long as I don't try to pet him. He thinks he is stealing the warmth from my lap, but actually he is added some heat to me.

I love days like this. It is like the world is telling us to stop and just enjoy the snow. So far, we have about ten inches and it is supposed to continue snowing until late tonight. We have nearly white-out conditions but since we don't plan to go anywhere today, no problem. I will do a little baking this afternoon to add to the warmth, as well as create wonderful smells to our home.

We filled our birdfeeders yesterday in anticipation of the storm, and our birds are ever so thankful today.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Babs Cowl - Free Pattern

I have a lot of single -- or orphan -- skeins in my stash. I usually use them to make hats. If I don't have enough of one skein, I add a brim with another color or similar yarn. Lately I have been getting into cowls. They are great because they do just about anything a scarf can do without the tails. I also seem to lose scarves more often when they fall off the back of a chair or while walking. Cowls just stay in place.

I used this wonderful Chalet Alpaca yarn which is lusciously soft! I purchased one skein of this yarn without knowing what I wanted to make with it, but I had to have it. Touching this yarn is similar to putting your hand into a cloud. It comes in natural colors and I may have to locate some more to make a hat. 

I named this cowl after my cousin Babette. She is only about six months younger than me, and we have basically spent our entire lives together. I grew up on a farm and Babs would come about and spend summers on the farm with me. We had no idea that our childhoods were so perfect.

Babs Cowl

The Babs Cowl is elastic and loose-fitting, a perfect accessory to keep your neck warm on a breezy day. It is knitted in the round in a rib set off by a garter stitch that is very easy and fun to do and creates a beautiful rib. The nice part about these cowls is that they can be made with just one skein of yarn of approximately 100 yards. 

1 skein Chalet Yarn by Classic Elite Yarns (70% Baby Alpaca, 30% bamboo)
98 yds/50 gr ball)
Size 10 (4mm) 16” circular needle
Stitch marker
Yarn needle
Gauge: 2” = 6 stitches

Cast on 104 stitches. Join being careful not to twist the stitches. Place marker to note the beginning of the round.
Row 1: *K
Row 2: *K1, P6, K1. Repeat from * around to marker.
Continue these 2 rows for approximately 5 inches or until you have enough to bind off. Bind off loosely in pattern.
Cut yarn, leaving an 8” tail. Cut yarn and secure tightly.  Weave in ends.

This free pattern is also available on Craftsy pattern store.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Neko and the Birds

It is lightly snowing today. These are my favorite days. Nowhere to go, just Ken, Neko and me watching the flakes pill up on our deck. Our feeders are covered with our feathered neighbors, such as sparrows, chick-a-dees, jays, and finches, all enjoying the suet and that sunflower seeds.

We often joke that the only reason we spend $50.00 each winter is to entertain our kitty Neko. That's why we also built this bird stand for him to sit by the window.

What is even more entertaining is our black Neko hiding in the black sink, waiting for the largest number of birds to show up at the feeders, then pouncing toward the glass, making them scatter.

But the birds always reassemble for their dinner once the kitty returns to his perch in the sink. They seem to know there is no danger from the tiny panther behind the glass.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Lacy Rib Cowl

Mini Mochi in Seaview
 I love the color changes of Mini Mochi yarn, and this cowl takes only one skein.

I purchased a skein of Mini Mochi because I thought it was the same color as the skeins I already had, but when I got home, it was a different color. So what can you do with only one skein? How about a cowl with a lacy rib stitch. I don't like too much around my neck unless it is really, really cold, so this loose cowl is perfect. I just continued until I was about out of yarn and then bind off in pattern.

The Sadie Cowl

I am now offering this pattern for sale for only $4.00  at

Mini Mochi in Redzone

Friday, February 1, 2013

Finally, Pictures of our Mountain Lion

In case you didn't believe me ...
It is 11:40 at night. We looked out the window before going to bed, and the mountain lion was sitting there just outside the window. That is a planter just under him and that is on the inside. We grabbed the camera and tried to take some pictures through the glass. Then he turned and stared at us with those amber eyes. I felt a shock through my arms and legs. I guess that primeval fear is deep in our DNA. Then he got up and walked away into the night. I am still a bit unnerved.