Oh, Helen Viola Overboard

Oh, Helen Viola Overboard

Yesterday, March 2, 2015, would have been my mother’s 100th birthday.

Helen Viola in 1938
Helen Viola in 1938

About a year ago I found some wonderful hand-dyed yarn at Dyeabolical Yarns and told my sister Lisbeth about it. We chuckled over the name of the yarn, “Viola Overboard”, because our mother, Helen Viola, did everything at 110% — definitely Overboard! Then Lis found a scarf pattern on Ravelry called “Oh, Helen!” And an idea was born! Lis knit two Oh Helen scarves in Viola Overboard and so did I.


She sent her extra to our sister Mern and I sent mine to our sister Barbara. We gave them very explicit instructions to open the packages on March 2nd, not before (I can’t begin to tell you how difficult this was for the two of them!). When they opened the packages, a note told them about the project and instructed them to send a photo.

Here’s our tribute to Helen Viola — we still miss her!

Mern (Mary Helen) in North Carolina


Lisbeth in Pennsylvania
Barbara in Idaho


Gretchen in Washington
Entrelac Scarf

Seahawks Heart Stopper!

I was so excited after the Seahawks division win, that I forgot to post about what I knit during the game! I did get some knitting done in the first half, but at the end  I think my needles fell to the floor! Almost had cardiac arrest — best 5.5 minutes of football EVER!

Here’s what I finished just before the game —

Seahawks Cowl
Seahawks Cowl

I worked on two projects during the game, but between discussing the game with my husband (who was wearing his Seahawks Socks!) texting and talking with my sister Mern, my BBF Pat, and my son Kent, I didn’t get much done during the first three quarters. And zero work done during the cardiac arrest and the party!

But here are the projects I’ve finished since then —

Surprise That Shall Not Be Previewed!
Surprise That Shall Not Be Previewed!

I actually finished two of these. No hints — but I call them the OHVO! I’ll save that for a special post in the future!

Test Knit Mitt
Test Knit Mitt

This is Claudia’s new pattern. It doesn’t have a name yet, but this is the test knit I completed. I love this mitt. The thumb fits perfectly. I’m going to cast on a pair for myself!

Here are the two projects currently on the needles. Of course I always have a pair of socks going, and these are for Kent — the yarn is CoBaSi, a great sock yarn for those who prefer non-wool. The photo is not B & W, but the yarn is black, grey and white!

Basic Socks for Kent
Basic Socks for Kent

And one of my favorite knits — this is my first entrelac knit — a scarf for my daughter-in-law, Clare! Love the colors in this Noro yarn!

Entrelac Scarf
Entrelac Scarf
Entrelac Scarf

Off With the Old — On With the New!

Out of curiosity, I checked my Ravelry projects page to see how many projects I had finished in 2014. Boy, was I shocked! I’m not sure how this compares with other knitters — more than some, less than others. But I’m happy with this list:

  • Socks — 9.5 pairs
  • Hats — 7
  • Cowls — 5
  • Sweaters — 3
  • Vest — 1
  • Shawls — 3
  • Mittens/Mitts — 3
  • Egg Cozies — 3
  • Wash Cloths — 3
  • Blanket — 1
  • Bag — 1
  • Knitted Knockers — 5

At the start of  2015, I have four projects on the needles!

Willow Cowl
Willow Cowl
KAL #10 Seahawk Socks
KAL #10.2 Seahawk’s Socks
Entrelac Scarf
Entrelac Scarf
Surprise That Shall Not Be Previewed!
Surprise That Shall Not Be Previewed!
Painting by Eric

Knit or Clean House??

That is the question! To complete my Business Casual sock or get rid of the dust and dirt? Well, cleaning won out this time. I’m not the world’s worst house cleaner, but far the best. In my defense I really did win the “Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow” award in 1962 when I was a senior at North Clarion High School in Leeper, Pennsylvania! (Full disclosure — it was a written test, not a practical application.) My Mother was a superb house keeper and she worked full-time and she had seven kids. I have no idea how she did it, except that she would work at it half the night. My sisters and I now call that — Doing a Helen — and we generally avoid it!

But today I had to at least dust, clean the kitchen up and tidy up the bathrooms. But today was different — today I had NORWEXIA!

That’s what my niece Colleen calls it and she is so right on! She introduced me to NORWEX products and they are awesome. The Norwex mission statement reads, “Improving quality of life by radically reducing the use of chemicals in personal care and cleaning.” And they mean it. In addition, I did the dusting, kitchen and bathrooms (2.5) in no time at all.

I didn’t take photos of the kitchen and bathroom cleanings (who wants to see that!), but they’re sparkling and I only used water, the Norwex Blue Diamond All-in-One Bathroom Cleaner (no odor!), two Enviro Cloths (one for kitchen and one for bathrooms, and a Window Cloth. I can’t wait to get my Bathroom Scrub Mitt (it’s on order) to help out with this!

I did take photos of the dusting. Honestly, I don’t dust often, but I did hire a guy to clean about a month ago. He did a lousy job even by my standards! He won’t be coming back. But today I used my Norwex Dusting Mitt (all surfaces), a damp Enviro Cloth (for light switches, phones, remotes, and the stuck on stuff  – you know, the “how the hell did that get there?” stuff), the Envirowand with  the Telescopic Mop Handle and the Rubber Brush. I went from one end of the house to the other and dusted EVERYTHING in no time at all!!

First of all, I have really high ceilings and get lots of cobwebs — gone! Then I have a huge oil painting (Driftwood painted by my favorite son-in-law, Eric, a master with oils) on the wall above my piano —

Painting by Eric
Painting by Eric

The top of the frame is way too high to get the dust, but check this out —

Envirowand  with Mop Handle
with Mop Handle

And the results —

Dust on the Wand --Not on the Piano!
Dust on the Wand –Not on the Piano!

Then —

Rubber Brush -- Dust All GONE!
Rubber Brush — Dust All GONE!

When I was finished with the cleaning, I rewarded myself with a bit of Timeless Relaxation Rescue Gel (chamomile, arnica, etc.) —

Really, this is "Ahhh....." in a bottle!
Really, this is “Ahhh…..” in a bottle!

… and of course, a little knitting!