Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 12:09PM
Janet Szabo

I had a long post almost completed this morning when I hit the wrong sequence of keystrokes and it vanished—poof!—into thin air. And that was after a week of thinking I didn't really have anything all that interesting to say. It's taken me three hours to get up the energy to redo it. 

Knitting: I have no finished objects to show you, although I am on the last skein of the afghan for DD#1 and if I knit a lot today I may get it done. I even hauled the afghan to church with me on Sunday. One of the women sitting next to me during our class time asked me why I was making such a big sweater. The plus side? It's big enough that it keeps my lap toasty warm while I work on it. 

I worked Saturday at Camas Creek and that was lots of fun. I like working with Bonnie, the manager. We didn't see much of Mecha, Melanie's daughter-in-law, because she was downstairs ("in the dungeon," she said) winding yarn for kits all day. Traffic was steady. I like my one-day-a-month at the store; if I worked every day I think it would lose its charm. 

On Sunday afternoon I gave a private class to a woman and her stepdaughter, who is visiting for the week. They both wanted to make a Fair-Isle style hat, but needed some guidance. It was fun for me because I almost never teach colorwork. We spent a very pleasant two hours and they left with lots of tips and tricks for making their hats. 

[Colorwork still isn't my favorite kind of knitting, but it's nice to be able to dabble in it enough to remind me why it isn't my favorite kind of knitting.]

It seems that we're teaching more private classes at the store these days. It's hard to schedule classes to meet everyone's needs—some people prefer weekend classes, some prefer evening classes, and some prefer daytime classes. I know that my Saturday classes are almost always full, whereas my evening classes aren't. 

Melanie and I decided that this year's Winter Retreat would NOT be held at the Izaak Walton Inn, where we've had it the past two years. The Inn is under new management and they jacked the room prices up to a point where we thought the cost would be unaffordable for a lot of our knitters. The Kalispell Grand Hotel—which is downtown and just a few blocks from the store—has put together a very enticing package, so we're moving the retreat to downtown Kalispell. Some people may not think that's much of a "retreat," but the Grand is a wonderful old hotel with lots of charm. 

Classwork: I am almost done with this semester's classwork. The end of the semester isn't until December 17, but I did not want to leave too much for the last minute. That's the beauty of online classes, where one can work at one's own pace. 

Homesteading and other adventures: The husband hung four red heat lamps in the coop the other day, because we are under an arctic air mass and the temperature when I got up today was -5 degrees with terrible winds. We didn't want the clucks to freeze. They seem to be doing okay and are still laying. We're still getting 6-8 eggs every day. And the thrill of having livestock seems to have worn off for the dogs (thank goodness). 

The husband shot a buck behind the other house about ten days ago. We took it to the processor, but he kept the liver and heart because he wanted to see what they tasted like. (I had a pretty good idea what they would taste like but I kept my opinion to myself.) I got home one evening last week and he was elbow-deep in flour. He had sliced the liver up and dredged it in flour and pepper and was getting ready to fry it with onions. I started to ask him how his day was and—without looking up from the stove—he said, "Don't talk to me, I am cooking." 

I suppose men aren't known for their ability to multi-task. 

I tried a slice of the liver. It was pretty tough, but the dogs loved it. We decided that next time we would make dog treats for them. 

I still haven't gotten to go hunting yet. Around dusk last night another buck ran through the yard, but it was moving so fast that even if I had had time to get the rifle, I would have had to track it a ways and it was just too cold outside. I am surprised at the number of bucks I see chasing does this year. Usually the bucks disappear completely once hunting season starts, but lately I've seen them at all hours of the day and night. 

Hopefully I'll get a chance this weekend, before the season ends. 

DD#1 is on her way home today. This is her first solo trip on the train (I got her a sleeping compartment). The trickiest part is getting herself from the college to the train station. I think she'll do fine. I have to remind myself that when I was her age, I was traveling all over Washington DC on the Metro by myself. We're excited to have her home for a couple of days. 

If I don't get a chance to check in again, I wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving (and lots of knitting). 

Article originally appeared on Big Sky Knitting Designs, LLC (
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