The Outdoor Shower Is Complete!!!!

It feels so good to get this project finished! IMG_20130825_122552_570

My original plans were:

Primitive Shower PlansThe outer structure consists of 4 premade cedar fence panels and 6 cedar 4×4 – 8’.


We used 4×4 posts dug 3 feet into the ground to connect the panels and create the outer structure.  There are more details here


For the floor, we used big patio stones with a 1.5” gap between each stone and then the gaps are filled in with small pea stones. There are more detail son how we did the floor here.


Next, we build two benches (using the Anna White Simple Outdoor Bench) one for the front and one for the back of the shower.


The we measured the length of the inside back wall and the inside short 3′ panel to create shelves.  For the 3′ panels, we just sued some 1x4s cut to size (and stained) and connected to the supporting 2x4s of the panel.  These shelves are just the right size for the shampoo, etc.


The back shelf was a little different, we used shelf supports and a 1×8 along the entire back end of the shower  so we can store other items in bins.



We also installed plenty of hooks to hang your towels IMG_20130825_123341_131

For the water system, I found a propane water heater + water pump + water filter that we are using with a rain barrel.  My husband did all of the work getting this set up, so in his words, here’s what was done:

First – my wife is a beautiful, brilliant, creative woman. I love her very much. I know that there are so many things I never would have done or learned to enjoy without her. Including buying an Island. That we have an island is pretty cool. That we now [on something completely off the grid] have hot showers on demand – even cooler.
In addition to the kit above [just getting started with the additions] – you’ll need a water barrel or some water source less than 5 feet away. The pump is rated for 6 feet. Couple of that footage has got to get water from the ground up to the shower. Not sure how the reviewers got it to pull from a stream or a river with this pump.  Still a great shower/pump combo.
We went with a deck box to house the business end of the system, to protect it from weather and it looks nice. Here’s what we bought from Menards. They are pretty much cheaper than anybody out there AND had it in stock.

IMG_20130818_113904_257 IMG_20130810_100304_758We lined the deck box with plywood cut to size to reenforce the floor and give us something to secure the water pump to. It’s not supposed to move around. A propane tank is pretty heavy as is a 12 volt marine battery so reinforcement – good idea.

IMG_20130810_103513_411SO you are buying some plywood to now.  And you need a saw.

We use a small gas powered Generac generator to run the electric saw, and other power tools. This generator is a one pull start every time for three years, except when I let the oil run low. And fortunately it wouldn’t start. Brought it in to a local shop – they added oil and started right up.  I love this generator.

All the hose & clamps you need for the water barrel were included with this rain barrel to connect it to the water pump. Thing is solid doesn’t leak either. And it’s got a broad top for rain collection.


Cut a 3/4″ hole in the deck box with a drill bit / battery drill to get the hose from the rain barrel into the deck box and connect to the water pump’s filter.IMG_20130818_113919_694What was tricky was the inlet adapter used a 3/4″ inlet and the outlet was 1/2″. Had to get extra braided 3/4″ hose to get this connected.  Used a box cutter to cut the hose. Went to the local Ace to get all the hose and adapters to make it work. A bit PITA but worth it when we got the first hot shower.


The water pump’s power runs off a 12v marine battery – power connecter clips purchased at Menards – [not furnished w/water pump kit]. Used needle nose pliers to crimp water pumps wires into the clips.


When the power is not needed – we clip it to the plastic handle so it doesn’t drain the charge.

They recommend a fuse in between – I ignored that. Didn’t expect a lot of unexpected surges…

BTW – the reviews say it pulls with a hose from a river/stream just fine. Not so for us. Found out later that it has a 6ft max pimp distance so river 25ft away – not gonna happen.

Drilled 2, 3/4″ holes through the back of the deck box through the shower’s wood fencing directly under the thankless water heater/shower.  One for water one for the propane.
Once you hook those two up to the shower unit it’s pretty much done.
IMG_20130810_162319_856We now are using a solar trickle charger to keep the battery charged so we don’t have to swap batteries out.

IMG_20130825_133056_024So far so good. Hot showers on the island – awesome.

So, that was Tom on his great work.  Thi shower does work awesome. On the lowest settings this is a very hot shower!


We just need to find out it the rain barrel alone can collect enough water (it does have a large screening opening on the top, or if we need a backup rain barrel or if we need to add some gutter system to the back f the shower to collect more water.  But only time will tell!

The rest of the weekend was also awesome, i have some great pictures, but the post is getting extra long, so I will hold off and try to post on that tomorrow.

Finally, the island update…

I have meant to post on the island for a LONG time, but just have not seemed to get a round to it.  Could be I was avoiding it because it was just so depressing.

This spring, it flooded…BAD there was 4 feet of water over the WHOLE island!!!  We did not leave much, but almost everything was destroyed.  The platform we had built (in hope of making a tree bog) was just high enough that everything there was untouched.  But our tent, chairs and some tools and the shed itself was destroyed.  And the picnic table and a large part of the dock were also washed away.  😦


But, the flooding this spring (and again more flooding this June/July) taught us a very good lesson before we built too much.  The west end of the island we were building on we had chosen because it was the open area (no tree cutting!).  But we found that there is really only one area of the island (the north end) that was not flooded this summer.  It is a little higher than the other areas.  Although there are many trees that we will have to cut to build here, it does have the best view and has the sandiest beach.  YEAH! (I’ll have to take a picture and post that!)

This last Wednesday was the first day that the flooding had gone down enough that we were able to stay on the island.   We were off for the week, so we headed out to get started on projects.

Project one: new picnic table and rebuild the dock. We got a picnic table kit, added some wood preserver with color.  Looks great.


Of course it had to be dog approved first….



The 12×4 piece of the dock floated away, so we had to replace it.  We also found that the water is much more shallow on the northeast end where we had to put the dock (there was only one spot that did not have to many fallen trees).  So in rebuilding we went with 2 8×4 pieces instead.  The end of the dock is still very shallow, so we may add more piece to the dock later.  We used a modification these plans for the dock.



The big 8×8 piece of the dock did survive, but it was up in the west side of the island in a lot of mud, that was NOT fun getting that piece back into the water to move it over to the new position.  A little muddy, but I like the results…



While putting in the dock, I also found some really cool, old railroad ties that I was able to use to make some great steps down to the dock.  (Sorry again, I need to take a picture and post).


Next project: an outdoor shower.  I have designed a really quick shower we are sure we can get up in one weekend, so we’ll do that project next.  I am using cedar-fencing panels so it should go up super fast!!!  For now, the shower will just be for solar camp showers (those plastic bags).

We used them before and they do get hot!  We may upgrade to a nice propane outdoor shower later, but we want to figure out the well first and see if we could pump water to the shower from there.

Here is a sneak peak at me design.

Primitive Shower PlansFor the benches, I am planning on using Ana White’s simple outdoor bench.

I think I will change the 1×4 legs to 2×4 and the 1x3s for support also to 2×4.  I want to be sure it is sturdy,

Long term goal is to get a yurt on high decks or a cabin on stilts put in.  We kind of envision…

island north end

I hope to update with the results when we finished project 2.


Star Trek Next Generation Beer Cozy – Free Pattern

Wow, so I have not posted in a VERY long time!!!!!!

I had the idea for this pattern after creating the pattern for the original series Star Trek Cozy, I knew I need to add more Star Trek versions.  I created the design a long time ago, and finally got a round to trying it when a friend told me that Captian Picard was his favorite Star Trek character.  So for Christmas, I made the prototype na dgaveit to him as a gift.  This weekend, I finally got around to making another so I could write out the pattern.




The pattern is a little overly complicated, but it was the only way I could see that it would look like Captain Picard’s shirt.




You can download a pdf version of the pattern here

Or find it on Raverly

Or use the pattern below:



Project Yarnway – Back to the drawing board

I loved my original idea for my Project Yarnway – Night at the Opera challenge, but when I started working with the beads and thread, it was not coming out they way I wanted.  The beads are really a pain to work with and I was planning on using a lot.  So I am making some serious revisions to the design. Sorry, I had a red pen, but this should be black!

I found a purse form (YEAH!)

and got some shiny silver fabric and different yarn that has some shimmer to it.  My new plan is to cover the plastic purse for both sides with the fabric and knit the same shape in an eyelet diamond stitch with some beads included.


The stitch should look like this in black with some beads included.

I love the large beads I got and I am hoping I can sew these one over the closure.  Still have to figure that part out.

I hope this new design works better!

Treads & Tracks Scarf – New Free Pattern

I finally finished making this scarf and writing the pattern.  I got a hat from Gap that I love, but I could not find any gloves or scarf to match.  At Windy Knitty I found some wool that MountainTop Crestone by Classic Elite Yarns is also very warm!  I started with the gloves, an adaptation of Treads, which you can see in the picture above or on my post Seriously Warm Gloves.  I create a pattern fro a scarf to match the gloves and I am pretty pleased with the results.

You can also  find the pattern at Raverly, or download the pattern here.

Treads & Tracks


8 Skein of Classic Elite MountainTop Crestone

US size 8 needles


19 stitches and 25 rows = 4”x4”

Lateral Braid:

M1 add that stitch back to the left needle.  * Knit into the back of the second stitch, knit into the front of the first stitch on the left needle. Remove the two stitches from the left needle and then add the last stitch on the right needle back to the left needle.  Repeat from * to the last stitch.  Move the last stitch to the right needle and pull the second to last stitch over the last as in a BO.


CO 62 stitches using the long tail cast.

Rib Start

Row 1 (RS): S1 K1 *P2 K2 rep from *

Row 2 (WS): S1 P1 *K2 P2 rep from *

Row 3 (RS): S1 K1 *P2 K2 rep from *

Diagonal Section:

Row 1 (RS): S1 K1 P1 *P2 K2, rep from * to the last three stitches. P1 K2

Row 2 (WS): S1 P1 K1 *K1, P2, K1, rep from * to the last three stitches. K1 P2

Row 3 (RS): ): S1 K1 P1 *K2 P2, rep from * to the last three stitches. P1 K2

Row 4 (WS): S1 P1 K1 *P1 K2 P1, rep from * to the last three stitches. K1 P2

Repeat these 4 rows 7 more times.  (32 total rows)

Stockinet Section:

Row 1 (RS): S1 K1 P1 K to the last three stitches. P1 K2

Row 2 (WS): S1 P1 K1 P to the last three stitches. K1 P2

Row 3 (RS): S1 K1 P1 work in Lateral Braid to the last 3 stitches. P1 K2

Repeat Rows 1-2 (starting and ending with row 2) 19 times.

Repeat Row 3.

Repeat Row 2.

Work diagonal section followed by Stockinet Section 6 more times.

Work one more diagonal section.

Rib End

Row 1 (RS): S1 K1 *P2 K2 rep from *

Row 2 (WS): S1 P1 *K2 P2 rep from *

Row 3 (RS): S1 K1 *P2 K2 rep from *


Project Yarnway – A Night at the Opera

For this challenge designers must create some thing that is for a night at the opera or that is inspired by an opera.  The piece must be multicolored, include a new stitch (one you have never used) and include “furbelows”.

Each designer has 3 months to complete the challenge and all photos are due before the end of April 2012.  The challenge began 2/1/2012.

I am making a handbag for a night at the opera that is inspired by and old 1920’s bag my Grandma used to have.  The bag was beaded and very loosely netted.  You would but a silk handkerchief in as lining, and that way you could make the bag match any dress.

I finally got to the store for supplies for my night bag.  I got some great beads – some are larger & magnetic for the top of the bag, it should keep the bag closed and I hope qualifies as furbelows.  I got embroidery floss and hemp string…need to play around with them.  It think I still need to pick up some very small black beads to twill be carried through out the bag.

I am planning on copying the stitch from this old market bag I bought at Whole Foods (that is now starting to fall apart).  I think it is just many cords then knit them together, take them apart….but it is something I have never done before!


The store I went to does not have any fabric, so I still need materials for the lining.  I may end up doing exactly what grandma’s bag did; you would use a silk handkerchief as the lining.  But I am afraid that would not have very clean lines if I do that.  I am hoping to using some small buttons at the top of the bag to attach the lining, but I hope that does not prevent the magnetic beads form doing their thing.  I am so glad there are three months for this challenge, I have never tried anything like this before and it is going to take a lot of trial and error!

Spring is just around the corner?

I could not believe it, it is the beginning of February and the spring flowers are already starting to pop up!  We have had a very mild winter.  I just hope we don’t get a big freeze now….I am not sure what that would do to all the bulbs that have come up.

I’ve almost finished my scarf, I was really hoping I would be able to finish it this weekend.  But it is nearly done 6 out of 8 balls completed!!  I really like the way this came out.  I designed this scarf to go with he gloves I made in my previous post.  I am planning on writing up this pattern after it is finished and post it here.

I am also trying to get started on some gloves f0r my husband.  He loved how warm the gloves I made for my self were and wanted some for himself.  I am having to make a lot of adjustments to the pattern, his  hands are as wide as the pattern is for, but much shorter…

Project Yarnway has started again as well, with some changes: challenges now last 3 months, not one.  The current challenge is Night at the Opera.  I am planning creating a hand bag that is knitted and beaded and is similar to an old flapper bag my grandma used to have.  This bag was so cool.  It was beaded and netted and you would put and handkerchief in it for the lining.  That way you could just change the handkerchief and you have a bag that matches any outfit! I have not gotten around to sketching yet. The challenge as says we must use a new stitch and it must be multicolor.  I am hoping the lining counts as multicolor…..need to do some research into stitches before I start sketching.

Free Star Trek Beer Cozy Pattern!

Happy Holidays!!

Star Trek Beer Koozie

It’s been a long year, and I have not done much knitting.  This year I started a new job and got married, so I but knitting on the back burner.  But I have decided it is time to change my Star Trek Beer Cozy pattern to a free pattern.

Star Trek Beer Cozy Pattern

I hope to post more knitting soon!

Knitting Chart–Translated.

I had a comment on the difficulty reading my pattern fo the Bobble Cable Ascot.  If you are a new knitter, and have not used charts before, I can understand how this could be confusing.  The original pattern is :

This pattern I designed to look like the Bobble cable Ascot that was sold at anthropology in Fall 2009.  Here is a picture of the Anthropology version:

Here is a translation from my pattern that used charts, hope this is helpful t any one trying to learn!  Lines from the pattern are in italic and the translation is below.


Cast on 8.

(Begin the 8 center sts of the cable pattern. Work the cable pattern rows 1-20 once times then rows 1-15, omitting the bobble in the last cable. At the same time increase one st each side every other row 4 times (first increase at row 2),)

Row1: K1, P6, K1.  (the center 8 stitches row 1 from the cable pattern).

Row2: K1, M1, K6, M1, K1. (10 sts)

Row3: K2, P6, K2.  (the center 10 stitches row 3from the cable pattern).

Row4: K1, M1, K8, M1, K1. (12 sts)

Row5: K3, P6, K3.  (the center 12 stitches row 5 from the cable pattern).

Row6: K1, M1, K10, M1, K1. (14 sts)

Row7: K4, P6, K4.  (the center 14 stitches row 7 from the cable pattern).

Row8: K1, M1, K12, M1, K1. (16 sts)

then every 4th row 5 times. (26 sts)

Row9: K5, P6, K5.  (the center 16 stitches row 9 from the cable pattern).

Row10: K5, C3R, MB, K4.

Row11: K5, P6, K5.  (the center 16 stitches row 11 from the cable pattern).

Row12: K1, M1, K14, M1, K1. (18 sts)

Row13: K6, P6, K6.  (the center 18 stitches row 13 from the cable pattern).

Row14: K18.

Row15: K6, P6, K6.  (the center 18 stitches row 15 from the cable pattern).

Row16: K1, M1, K16, M1, K1. (20 sts)

Row17: K7, P6, K7.  (the center 20stitches row 17 from the cable pattern).

Row18: K20.

Row19: K7, P6, K7.  (the center 20 stitches row 19 from the cable pattern).

Row20: K1, M1, K5, MB,C3R,K6, M1, K1. (22 sts)

Row1: K8, P6, K8. 

Row2: K22.

Row3: K8, P6, K8.

Row4: K1, M1, K20, M1, K1. (24 sts)

Row5: K9, P6, K9. 

Row6: K24.

Row7,K9, P6, K9.

Row8: K1, M1, K22, M1, K1. (26 sts)

Row9, 11, 13, 15:  K9, P6, K9.

Row10: K10, C3R, K10.

Row12, 14: K26.

In this section, you are separating the piece into two different knitted pieces that will come back together at the end. 

Next Row: Slip1 st on the holder/another needle, k1, Slip 1 st on the holder/another

needle, p1, * rep to end.

Next 12 rows: 1×1 rib

Do not cut the yarn!

Using the stitches from the other needles/holder and yarn from the another skein (or the other end of the skein)

Next 13 rows: 1×1 rib

Cut the yarn.

Now, you reconnect the two pieces:

Back of ascot:

Row one: K1 from the front needle, K1 for the back needle* rep 4, P1 from the front needle, P1 for the back needle* rep 2 more times, K1 from the front needle, K1 for the back needle* rep 4 more times (First row of the cable pattern).

(Continue the cable pattern until repeated 5 times

ending with row 19 (WS).)  You just did row one, so on the first of the 5, start with row 2.

Row 2, 4, 6, 8: K26

Row 1, 3, 5, 7, 9: K10, P6, K10.

Row 10:  K10, C3R, MB, K9.

Row 12, 14, 16, 18: K26

Row 13, 15, 17, 19: K10, P6, K10.

Row 20:  K9, MB, C3R, K10.

Start decrease:

Next Row:K2tog, P2tog* rep to end.

Next 13 rows: 1×1 rib

Increase again:

Next Row: K1, M1* rep to end.

(Begin the cable pattern starting with row 15 and omit the bobble in row 20.)

Row 15, 17, 19: K10, P6, K10.

Row 16, 18: K26

Row 20:  K10, C3R, K10.

(Work the cable pattern once, then

rows 1-6. At the same time, decreasing one st (starting with row 2) every side ever four row 5 times, then every other row 4 times.)

Row 1: K10, P6, K10.

Row 2: K2tog, K22, K2tog. (24 sts)

Row 3&5: K9, P6, K9.

Row4: K24.

Row6: K2tog, K20, K2tog. (22 sts)

Row 7&9: K8, P6, K8.

Row8: K22.

Row 10: K2tog,K6, C3R, MB, K5,K2tog. (20 sts)

Row 12: K20.

Row 13, 15: K7, P6, K7.

Row 14: K2tog, K16, K2tog. (18 sts)

Row 15: K6, P6, K6.

Row16: K18

Row 17: K6, P6, K6.

Row18: K2tog, K14, K2tog. (16 sts)

Row 19: K5, P6, K5.

Row20: K2tog, K2,MB, C3R, K3, K2tog. (14 sts)

Row 1: K4, P6, K4.

Row2: K2tog, K10, K2tog. (12 sts)

Row3: K3, P6, K3.

Row4: K2tog, K8, K2tog. (1Us  sts)

Row 5: K2, P6, K2.

Row6: K2tog, K6, K2tog. (8 sts)

BO all stitches.

SuperDog Cooling Cape: Project Yarnway June 2010

This  challenge was to design an item for a vacation.  This design is for my dog, who loves to go with us out camping/boating/fishing.  I design for her a SuperDog Cooling Cape.

My original design is at:

I was disappointed that the cotton stretched SO much when it is wet (which is how this is intended to be used), but I still think it is so cute!  So I had to abandon the under the arm design, it was to big when it stretched out and the dog is not the best model at a fitting, she will not sit still to allow you to make adjustments.

But you can tell she does like…look at that smile!

SuperDog loves to go fast too!

Wish us luck!

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