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Archive for May, 2009

Facing Phoenix

May 31st, 2009 3 comments

After hauling this particular sweater from the UK though Germany to Hungary and back, it seemed like I really should finish it. I mean, after all, I have been knitting it (or avoid it) for months now. Admittedly, not as long as I diddled around with the Viking Ship Sweater, but certainly I should not leave it till next winter, now that it is too warm to wear it.

Remember that the sleeves were finished and set it. So it was a matter of deciding on the edging. After thinking about it – I decided to avoid both I-cord and ribbing. This, obviously left me with needing an edging that would create a nice, clean edge and cover up those steeks. I also decided that I did not want color variation in the edging, so using dark grey seemed the safest bet.

What follow is the step, by insane step, method that I used.

1) find long enough needle on which I could put the 165 stitches from each side of the front plus all those around both fronts and backs of the neck

going to the dark side

going to the dark side

then there is a long time of knitting in one direction and purling back (remembering to increase on the two neck corners so that they will be mitered at the end) while taking the occasional look at the inside.

facing and bit of steek

facing and bit of steek

In the next picture, I was checking to see if the facing was long enough yet. You can also see the line of yarn on the inside that represents all the stitches that have been picked up to make the facing. I will come back and pick these up at the end to complete the bind off on the inside.

not quite long enough yet

not quite long enough yet

when the facing is wide enough, I inserted a purl row for a turning row, then knit an equal width of facing which will be turned to the inside. When it is bound off, it will enclose the steeked edge.

close up

close up

might be a bit easier to see here. The top edge is bound off, the lower edge shows the open facing completel with the purl row. That faint bit of blue is actually the cable from this particular circular needle .

finishing up the neck

finishing up the neck

I just have some sewing down to complete around the neck in those places that were “steek free” plus a few lose ends to weave in.

almost done

almost done

Like I said, a few threads and then some badly needed blocking as soon as I pull out the woolly board.

Couple of thoughts for those who don’t believe that Kauni needs to be knit at 24/10 cm. I knit this at a much firmer gauge since I had no desire for a garment that was forever around. The result of taking out almost 20 cm? It is firm, it is heavy. and the hand is not as nice as my non-rainbow cardigan. A couple of projects that are in the queue are going to be put back to a lighter gauge as they are not outer, outerwear.

Categories: Knitting Tags:

Lotus – version I & II

May 30th, 2009 2 comments

There is the Lotus Blossom Shawl

Lotus

Lotus

complete with edging and bobbles.

details

details

I have to admit that blocking wires make all the difference in the world

Earlier this week I think I posted about a scarf variation of Lotus Blossom out of two balls of Regia Cotton Sock yarn on 4.00 needles with 48 stitches of pattern plus two stitches in garter at each edge.

almost two meters

almost two meters

It was an extremely fast knit, taking a bit of time over two days. With the lovely sunshine today, it was a perfect time to block and dry it in the sun.

the blossoms

the blossoms

the stem portion

the stem portion

Lotus Version II

Lotus Version II

It was completey dry by late afternoon. I am not pushing my luck and will leave it pinned for a couole of days, just in case.  I am going to do this one again, but with the blossoms on both ends next time…..

Audio

Good Omens -Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett

Change of plans

May 29th, 2009 Comments off

I popped into the office early today as there was to be a leaving breakfast starting at 0730. Sometime while I was out of town, the time was changed to 1230.

And me with late morning plans. Right.

My run to Croughton was moved up in the day a bit (lets see, more than an hour there, nothing opens till 1000, I need to go four places and then be back here by 1230. RIght)

All of this ranked right up there with trying to comunicate with the British Department of Motor vehicle registration. It seems that they still have me listed as the keeper of a car we sold in Jan. Never mind that I called them, or let them know (complete with copies of the German registration for the new owner) that it was no longer my car. It seems they want a late fee for not registering that car on time. By the time I was done attempting to converse with them and had convinced them I was not paying a full late fee, I truly had a migraine

Audio

The Heart of Valour by Tanya Huff. Good, solid, military sci-fi.

Arches

From Ladenburg

From Ladenburg

Categories: Arches&Doors, home Tags:

Checking in

May 28th, 2009 Comments off

The simple, nice hotel with free WiFi did not offer the availability of printing boarding passes. I had downloaded them, but not printed them.

Foolish woman that I am, for some reason I did not bring long all the flight numbers or my reservation numbers. After all, it should not be that hard to pull them up on the airline computer, should it? Silly me – the machine happily spit out my reservation from Budapest through to Frankfurt complete with the plane change in München, but did not find my reservation from Frankfurt to Heathrow. Without the particular flight number, the counter person was unable to pull up my reservation. The suggestion of “do it in Frankfurt” I did not greet with great enthusiasm. After all, this meant that I was committed to claiming my luggage in Frankfurt, hauling it up to the check in and going through the lines again (to include security).

I will let you just imagine the late arrival into Frankfurt combined with my seat in almost the last row of the plane. Then there was this little man on the isle seat of my row who did not see why he should get out of the way for either me or the man next to me. Never mind we both had connecting flights, we should wait till the traffic in the isle cleared so that he could get his bag. Besides, he was getting picked up in two hours by his son, there was no hurry.

We did not knock him over, or strangle him, but it was close.

By the time I cleared passport control, claimed my luggage, skated through one terminal, checked in, slogged through the new trainee at security and reached the gate, they were checking in for my flight.

From there, things were smooth. Immigration at Heathrow wasn’t an issue, my luggage showed up on the carousel as I walked up and the 285 was puling in just as I got to the bus station. I even made the train at Feltham, but that was due to a late train secondary to “trespassers on the track” – whatever that means…..

The day ended well, the dog was extremely glad to see me. Especially since it turns out the Mole was not making it home tonight since he had additional tutoring scheduled in the morning.

Now, if the brownies would move in and clean my house, I would be ever so grateful.

Categories: Travel Tags:

Fighting Cats

May 27th, 2009 2 comments

I was reminded tonight that Budapest is significantly farther south than London. Twilight hits earlier and it is quite dark before 2100. Certainly it is starting to be not so exciting to walk back by 1930, especially when the skies are overcast, the wind is gusting and rain threatens.

The music of the cats continues. I haven’t seen any house pets or ferals on the streets. But at least the feline persuasion certainly exists. Howling, yowling and otherwise making loud verbal comments on the state of that other cat walking through it’s territory. Rather nasty remarks being traded, the reply is even more strident. Now, if the two of them would knock it off. Last night’s concert was sufficient, thank you very much. Just be glad that I don’t know how to record and insert an audio clip for you…..

Today’s conference went well, the speakers for the most part were interesting from the underground hospital

Constructed in WWII

Constructed in WWII

through to various risk communication and malaria issues.

And I got a free lunch. More than a free lunch – it came in this bag.

Baxter FSME

Baxter FSME

Pretty cool, huh? Looks like a knitting bag to me!

Lotus Blossum Shawl

picture of the details like I promised.

lotus blossoms

lotus blossoms

corner detail

corner detail

Lotus Variation I

Needing something quick and easy, I made up a variation on the Lotus – cast on six of the eight stitch repeats plus two additional edges stitches for each side using Regia cotton sock yarn. Buzz along on your 4.00 mm needles through the first 50gm ball.

Reverse side

Reverse side

right side

right side

When I get to the right number of rows on the second ball, I will switch to the blossum pattern from the stem and finish up the scarf. One ball provides about 6″ x 24″ of scarf not blocked.

My flight is early afternoon and I am (once again) going to make an effort to get up in the morning and go take a few photos that are not screen shots of slides.

And see if I can get everything in the suitcase. I came with a full suitcase and then added toys…..

Categories: Knitting, Travel Tags:

ISTM 11 – day 2

May 26th, 2009 2 comments

It is a nice 15 minute walk from my hotel to the conference center. The crowds were just starting this morning when I strolled along at 0730; students, workers, shoppers all bustling along the sidewalks and filling the trams. The center is on the Pest side of the river, more cars, fewer people early in the morning in this high tech IT area of business filling the neighboring buildings.

East of Petöfi Bridge

East of Petöfi Bridge

West of Petöfi Bridge

West of Petöfi Bridge

there is that which is obviously left from the previous era

from Cold War era

from Cold War era

I will spare you the 200+ pictures that I took during the day. This particular conference doesn’t publish either the lectures or provide much in the way of notes. Leads to a fair number of us using cameras during the presentations for screen capture….

different perspectives

Cat provides another way of looking at the issue of attendance/non attendance at weddings.  Of course, her rants are always interesting and well expressed. My eldest is certainly a capable, competent and self-assured young woman. She is her own person and makes good choices for herself and her husband.

Frank & Shana

Frank & Shana 2008

As there were no attendants and certainly no one “giving” her away, I think that a lot of issues were avoided. Their cakes were non-traditional and there were no toasts.  She was speaking to me on Saturday evening. Hopefully that will continue.

Knitting

Yesterday I was here with Lotus Blossom Shawl

5/6th

5/6th

blossum detail

blossum detail

which I finished up today

finished Lotus Blossom Shawl

finished Lotus Blossom Shawl

and will provide you a better picture tomorrow when it is light so that you can see details better (I did all those bobbles on the edge…..).  I am planning on getting up early in the morning to go hunting with the camera before the meeting.

Categories: Knitting, Travel Tags:

Memorial Day – 2009

May 25th, 2009 1 comment

Being at a meeting in Budapest leaves me a bit detached from thinking about Memorial Day. I looked back over what I have written before. Scary that both so much and so little has changed in the last five years….

31 May 2004, Monday – Memorial and Memories. Camp Doha, Kuwait

It is Memorial Day.

A time to reflect on those who have given their lives in defense of their country. A time, around the world, when military members should visit the graves of those buried in foreign soil. A time for us to remember; not to forget the cost of conflicts, battles, and wars.

In May of 2003, there were 27 different incidents resulting in one or more soldiers losing their lives in Iraq. This was just the month after the “War” was ended. In May of 2004, there were 43 such incidents, ranging from IEDs to bullets, that killed soldiers/sailors/airmen or marines.

We have seen men and women from all walks of life, religion, ethnic backgrounds, and rank die in this operation. No one wants to die, that is a given. But we have an incredible number of brave, uniformed personnel who believe in our country.

In past conflicts, we didn’t have the communications; we didn’t see the daily carnage. By broadcasting it, I think we have trivialized the sacrifice service members make, and make bleaker the future faced by their families.

I think it was clear, in the 1700s, the reason for our war; it was fought on our land, for independence. In 1812, WWI, WWII, Korea, we as a people, felt the reasons were valid, we did not start the conflicts, so accepted the responsibility and the war.

It became harder in Viet Nam to stay focused, to know what we were doing, and what was right. We had over 55,000 die in that conflict, all years, and countries combined. We have added since then: to the deaths, to those left behind.

None of this is to say that there should not be honor given to those who did what they were asked, and more.

Rather, our leadership needs to be worthy of the sacrifice our men and women are making for our country. And to make sure that it is in the name of freedom. That there are no other options, and that the civilian leadership puts the cost in lives clearly in their minds.

We honor the dead of this war, and the previous wars.

We should do them honor. The purpose of war is peace, that we may not battle in the future – that the swords may become plowshares.

Categories: military, Prose Tags:

on to Budapest

May 24th, 2009 2 comments

In the usual fashion of the cheap traveler, the shortest distance between Frankfurt and Budapest is via München. Yes, it takes longer. Yes, there is an additional take off and landing involved; but it saved almost 200€. I can buy a lot of yarn for 200€. For that matter, the savings are almost enough to pay this four day hotel bill.

This morning the DH dropped us (me en route to Budapest and the two (Ms Soprano and my college roomie) headed back to the States) off at the airport. Three passangers are cheaper by car as long as you have the kind, long suffering husband to do the drop off.

I didn’t bother with pictures either of or from Frankfurt. But München? Why not!

taking off from München

taking off from München

and then there is artistry

not exactly a crop circle

not exactly a crop circle

and smog, do not forget the smog. This is the clearest picture once we gained altitude. Ugly, huh?

yes, river and island

yes, river and island

The Corvin is an unpretentious hotel, not fancy (be warned, there is music on their website)

kind of Motel 6

kind of Motel 6

with apartment buildings

view from my balcony

view from my balcony

and a nice little terrace where I am headed as soon as I post this entry

suppose they serve....?

suppose they serve....?

Knitting

Thought you would appreciate this -

all but the edging....

all but the edging....

and my plane knitting project is Fiddlestick’s Lotus Blossom Shawl in a lovely sock weight merino I purchased this January at Imagiknits (San Francisco). Starting yesterday afternoon, I have made excellent progress. 3.75mm needles do feel huge.

through row 111

through row 111

stem detail

stem detail

The shawl is knit from the top down (usual three stitch start) combining one pattern for the stems and a second for the blossoms on the bottom of the stems.

Audio Books

First I listened to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell  Me….. before finishing Asimov’s Naked Sun. Then it was time to figure out what to hear next.

After listening to a few minutes of this and that – I settled for non-fiction. Pultizer Prize New York Times columnist Thomas L Friedman‘s Longitudes and Attitudes. This collection includes both selected column’s and diary records from the period shortly before and then after 11 Sept 2001. He is articulate and thought provoking even if you don’t subscribe to his politics.

Just a few Reception Photos

May 24th, 2009 5 comments

All from 23 May 2009. The younger crew hung out on our terrace after the wedding while waiting for reception time.

The VW is one of those restored by Frank and might just have been the cause of them arriving a bit late. Something about spending time and effort on hairdos… and not wanting to get blown by the wind. I captured a few photos, then put the camera aside in favor of relaxing. Sorry I didn’t get any of the dancing (either of the salsa or the insane small kids doing their version of disco..

Categories: home Tags:

Nice is not important

May 23rd, 2009 2 comments

I never claimed to be nice. I can be kind, but I detest niceness—it is pretending to be someone you aren’t in order to gain social approval. I’m not looking for anyone else’s approval. I already have my own. -Holly Lisle

My youngest three understand this quite well, and at various times of their lives have been quite upset when I haven’t  sugar coated respsonses. At the same time, they can depend on me for truth, objective opinion, and support. Unlike other teenagers who I hear complaining that “my parents think that everything that I do is great” – mine don’t share that. I always love them. Always, even when I don’t like what they are doing.

Separation of behavior and person. A good person can do stupid things; a great child can not try her/his best. We are all stuck with being ordinary most days.

I can love all four without agreeing with what one of them does or understanding why. I can also understand why a path is chosen, but choose not to support the decision. This is not the military; I am not obligated to support a commander and make those decisions my own. They are my children, entitled to do what they like with their lives. Doesn’t mean that I have to support actions, only them.

All of this is a long explanation as to why I am sitting here at 1245 on the 23rd, a beautiful Saturday afternoon while my DH, the teens, and a good friend are on their way to Weißloch for the Eldest’s wedding. After long thought, I simply could not go. Her husband is a nice man, he loves her. The ceremony they had in Denmark last year was civil. It bothered me, but not that much.

Since they had been together almost three years, I was over the worst of it. Sitting Shiva would be pointless and harmful to both of us. She doesn’t really care about religion all that much, her fundamental morals are solid. His mother cares, I think a lot. This daughter has always wanted a wedding, complete with dress, flowers, etc. They are doing this today, at his parent’s church.

And I simply can not go. By going, I would be supporting the wedding: the idea, execution, the ceremony. She is entitled to do what makes her happy. I don’t have the right to thwart her happiness by making a big deal about the whole thing. Quiet is better. I will attend the reception tonight. It is not a religious ceremony. This takes me back to the original quote – yes, I might be sending a message to others by not being there. There have been no family photos scheduled. Almost no one who is attending has ever met me. I am not sure that my absence will be noted.  If it is, it is a statement about me, not her. What others will think is less important to me than how I would feel about myself in compromising a fundamental belief.

I don’t believe in mixed marriages and especially don’t care to see any of my children in a christian wedding ceremony of any kind. One of the hazards of being a politically liberal person: I believe in the right of an individual to chose for themselves even when I don’t care for the choice.

She has to live her life, and I have to be comfortable in my own skin.

The shawl was finished and she will be wearing it tonight at the reception.

(Post script – the reception was lovely. Lots of their friends and relatives with children all over the place. The Grenzhof is lovely with excellent food. The musicans were good and almost everyone danced a lot. As in salsa and rock. The Eldest is speaking to me. I will try to upload pix later. The night was really warm, too warm for a shawl…..)

Categories: Jewish Life Tags:

Ladenburg

May 22nd, 2009 Comments off

One of the oldest cities in Germany, it was established by the Romans in the first century C.E.  As if that was not enough, each succeeding wave of conquerors seemed to come across this area along the Neckar and dwell a time. As a result, the wall foundations have been layered on top of each other.

With the advent of the 1200s, the churches really went into build mode. Parts of the city have survived from the 1400s with other buildings dating in the 1500s, 1600s, and 1700s. I have referred you to the German Wikipedia article as neither the English version or the city website are worth viewing. A small town, there are excellent museums and historical preservation has resulted in a wonderful look and feel. Unlike Rotenburg a. der Tauber, it is not over run with tourists.

Categories: Travel Tags:

Comparing countrysides

May 21st, 2009 Comments off
quiet English land

quiet English land

shaving cream clouds

shaving cream clouds

approaching Frankfurt

approaching Frankfurt

Frankfurt Skyline

Frankfurt Skyline

and, of course,

stadiums are a must have

stadiums are a must have

Sunny skies the whole way….until I arrived in Heidelberg to be greeted by snarky skies and wet. Phoneless, I was surprised by the DH who had been waiting almost an hour at the station (I am not talking about all the rail delays on this particular German holiday. Sitting on a stopped ICE for 25 between Frankfurt and Mannheim is not my idea of a good time….)

Categories: Travel Tags:

Just add Sunshine

May 20th, 2009 Comments off

The solution is to sit outside and watch what you are doing…. (With any luck, I should be able to pack it later tonight.)

trying it again

trying it again

of course, iPod and other knitting in hand.  No clue why I haven’t taken an updated pix of Pagode

Categories: Knitting Tags:

Damp

May 19th, 2009 3 comments

Of course, there are those times in ones life where common sense might just be overwritten by intelligence. We all know the stories about the brilliant, but absent minded professor. There is nothing gender specific about this, trust me. Traditionally, the image that comes to mind is a middle aged man with spectecles wandering around with messy hair, a confused look, and leather patches on a tweed jacket.

(In the old days, we would all have added a pipe to his pocket). The female equivalent normally has her hair messily in a bun, wire-rim glasses, dumpy clothes and sensible shoes. (Interesting isn’t it that we don’t bother about mens’ shoes?)

Now, fast forward to the less than organized knitter. An individual who others around her view as bright, knowledgeable, and competent.

There is this shawl blocked and slowly drying that needs to go in a suitcase on Thurs and will be used in a wedding this weekend. It was sunny out. There is this picnic table outside.

blocking mat on table. Shawl staked to mat with blocking wires and pins. Sunshine on pale ivory.

Nice. It should dry.

Suddenly it is 2200 and my mind says – oooohhh it is dark out. When the temp drops the dew starts landing on everything here because of the humidty.

I . left. the . shawl. out. on the picnic table.

Rescue run, it is a bit less damp than before the whole brilliant attempt to speed things up, but not as dry as it was at 1830.

And me without a hairdryer.

Categories: Knitting Tags:

See!

May 18th, 2009 2 comments

and here it is complete with the blocking wires borrowed from MaryHenry

end detail

end detail

end detail

Just hoping that it dries well enough to pack on Thurs.  I am actually not as pleased with it in this yarn (Louet Gems sock weight 7+ skeins which turned out to have some rather strange color variations even tho it was supposed to be a solid.  Ah, well. it is done….

Audio Books

Still working my way through the Miles Vorkosigan series. They make excellent listening. The two on sale “Undead and ……” by MaryJanice Davidson have finished and I am not going to bother with any more. They are much more difficult to hear than to read. Some characters are excellent and the rest you just want to strangle. If there are people that stupid in the world, I just don’t want to play. Shoes are not my thing, nor is “fashion.”

Categories: Knitting Tags:

chomp

May 17th, 2009 Comments off

She had a good day. No need to finish up shawls, borrow blocking wires, study or take trrains to schools.

All she did was have to hang out and chew on the bone I picked up at Croughton on my Friday mailrun.

If course, she does not get distracted by either computer games or audio books…..

Categories: home Tags:

Panic Attack

May 16th, 2009 Comments off

There I was, down to the last three repeats of the border pattern on Scherezade. On the second half, just so you understand.

I reached in my yarn bag, but there was no more yarn.

None.

For the next several hours I tore apart the house: living room, dining room, office, bedroom, sewing/fiber area. I even went through the three kids’s bedrooms without success. Thinking back, I am not sure why I didn’t clean my way along, it certainly would have made my life a lot easier.

This is the shawl for the Eldest’s wedding this coming weekend. The one that I finished up the first half quickly, then ignored for several months while I knit other projects.

It was rather late in the evening when I decided, just for the sake of form to change the sheets on the bed.

This turned up.

natural color, Louet Gems

natural color, Louet Gems

Categories: Knitting Tags: ,

Near the Thames

May 15th, 2009 Comments off

Lit up at night, this Ferris Wheel is located near the Thames, just behind Windsor Castle. The cars are completely enclosed, increasing safety but really getting in the way of a photo addict. Of course, from the outside it would have been easier with a tripod this late at night.

Categories: Arches&Doors, Travel Tags:

Royal Windsor Tatoo

May 14th, 2009 Comments off

The performance this year was excellent. Front row seats and a great time for the first 45 minutes. Then the sky opened up on all of us. (except for those fortunate enough to have seats up under the roof or in the Royal Box (distinguished attendant tonight being The Princess Royal).

I give up easily as far as getting my camera wet, so the pictures are of marginal quality. Didn’t seem to slow down the pipers or the horses at all.

Categories: military Tags:

long, long day

May 13th, 2009 Comments off

Looking sadly at me when I went out the door this morning at shortly after 0600, I can be only grateful that the dog did absolutely nothing rotten to the house while I was gone.

Lakenheath is a good two+ hours drive from the house. A long drive in UK traffic on the M3, M25, M11 motorways before haring off into the back of beyond. It was a good day, an efficient use of time day. I managed all of the following: optometry appointment, mammo, bone density, credentials office, noon time CME and a visit with a friend before hitting the road at 1430.

In the back of the car were some boxes that I had mailed over from Germany; magazines and cones of yarn. Driving to Larling, I met with Sue from Norwich (Ravelrys UK Spinners Group) and passed off the Spin-Offs. In return, she is going to take the weaving stuff in hand to send on further. It also was nice to get lunch, even if it was at 1530.

By the time I was home it was after 1800. Poor pup, not that you could have told it by her. She was just sooooo happy to have a person back. Go figure.

Categories: home Tags:

Boxes

May 12th, 2009 Comments off

The library at Camp Doha used to receive up to eight boxes of new paperbacks every month which were then put out on the shelves for all anyone traveling through or permanent party. She gave me a number of empty boxes – they were obviously sturdy. The librarian was more than happy to let me make off with empty boxes.  This one dates from July 2003. It made the trip back to Germany at the end of my tour and since then it has made several more trips via MPS. This final time it brought spinning and weaving magazines to the UK.

Next on its stop is Norwich and from there to a Carmelite Monestary in Herts.

Funny how such a simple object can trigger off a cascade of memories…..

Pagode

progress...

progress...

Ok, so this is not a great photo. But I have finished the striped section completely and am now about to start the decreases for the sleeves

no clearer this way...

no clearer this way...

but use your imagination (grin) as I go from one wrist to the neck, down a front, around the bottom of that front, across the bottom of the back and the second front before turning up the second front and finishing out at the second wrist. Much more believable is that the decreases have taken me under 700 stitches per round…..

Scheherazade

Deadline coming up – I am making progress again…

chart + completed on second half

chart + completed on second half

Categories: Knitting, military Tags: ,

Distractions

May 11th, 2009 3 comments

I know I should be taking more pictures of Scherezade. I finished the first half, complete with the edging and the first chart pair of the second side. I am now well into the second chart pair; leaving me the third, part of the fourth, the fifth and the sixth to go. I have eliminated almost a full chart from both sides in an attempt to make it a more reasonable length (daughter’s request).

At this rate, I should be on to blocking this weekend.

Meanwhile (grin), I took a detour to the second Phoenix sleeve, picking both a different chart portion and a different color.  The color changes are both the yarn and the lighting.

the sleeves

the sleeves

I like the cuffs -

completed cuffs

completed cuffs

which are bound off with both strands to give a slightly firmer control. I also knit them fairly firmly so that they are not floppy, nor will they particularly push up.  If I have calculated properly, they are going to be too small around for any of my wonderful daughters to poke their lovely paws through.  

Audio Books

Moving on to Haunted - Kelley Armstrong. This is Book 5 (as I remember) of her Women of the Otherworld series. I read them all a while ago. The narrator is doing a credible job and I am enjoying how well Armstrong has dropped hints of character twists, relationships,  and turns for later novels.

Categories: Knitting Tags: , ,

Reprise

May 10th, 2009 Comments off

You remember Phoenix, right?

It must be almost a month since I had it out, busy being distracted by other projects. It is now my reward knitting.

I looked at the cuff recommendations. Once I got over the error in the book (staring with 50 stitches for a 48 stitch cuff) I decided I didn’t like the recommended portion of the pattern anyway. I wanted something that I liked.

Taking a bit from the final of the four charts, and deciding that the cuffs were not going to match -

Phoenix head

Phoenix head

which is almost impossible to see from your direction. But when I look at it from mine, it is just fine. 

As you also might have guessed, Scheherazade is on the needles again. Now that it needs to be completed in the next two weeks I don’t have much excuse……

Audio Books

Dime Store Magic – Kelley Armstrong

And no, I did not clean house, pick up or do laundry. Maybe tomorrow……

One happy camper

May 9th, 2009 Comments off

The whole house is a flipping disaster.

The Mole

(digression here – might have to come up with a new moniker – he has cut his hair so that you can actually see a bit of his face. More than that, in this house he lives on the top floor with light and the windows open. So open that the rest of the house is chilled. In the way of his kind – the floor is still covered routinely with detritus making it dangerous to walk in not proceeded by a vacuum cleaner. On the other hand, he is at the “I will wear anything as long as it is black” stage. That fits a mole…..)

and I made a shopping trip. Seems that the mighty people at school who run the laundry gave him back a bag on Friday. Great kid that he is, he wanted everything clean for the weekend to avoid having to come home and hang next to the washing machine and dryer rather than do important things like sleep. You can guess the punch line already. Laundry bag was his, but not the contents. This left him only literally with the clothes on his back.

Since he has lost significant weight, I had planned on getting him some new jeans anyway. (skipping the bitch, moan and whine about teen-aged boys and sagging pants.) And a belt. I view a belt as essential everywhere but the airport security line.

Then there is the issue of the suitcase that British Airways lost and never found with their wonderful Terminal 5 Heathrow opening.

End result is that we found t-shirts, underwear, socks, pants and jeans on sale. He found a decent rolling suitcase (it is brown, he swears it is grey. But he likes it ok so I have shut my mouth) and a pair of shoes.

Just as we were leaving the 4 Seasons – a couple passed by with a couple of huge dog treats. We got one for the fuzz.

Would you believe she was pleased?

What a treat!

What a treat!

He is back at school and I am back to knitting the wedding shawl.

Categories: home Tags:

what is it?

May 7th, 2009 Comments off

blooms (hopefully) to this

I am resting up. The house is a disaster and I need to get back to the Eldest’s wedding shawl.

Listening my way through Brothers in Arms – Bujold.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Owww

May 6th, 2009 Comments off

It has been a long and tiring day topped off by a dog who for some reason howled to get back into the house. Not satisfied with disrupting my brief sojourn in the sun, she had to imitate a cat twisting between my feet while I was headed up the stairs. Nothing broken, the bruises from tumbling make quite an interesting pattern.

Innocent?

Innocent?

Crawling into bed, my knitting is on hold for the evening in favor of quietly reading.

Categories: home Tags:

Sleeves

May 5th, 2009 2 comments

If I did not know better, I would swear that these sleeves are bound and determined to drive me nuts.

Pyramid

Pyramid

It is an optical illusion. I knit, and knit, and knit some more. And what do I have? Stripes. Stripes on a sweater sleeve that look no longer than what I had before I started knitting.

I have counted the edges. There are fewer stitches on the needle every six rows. I must be making progress, really, after all if one knits and knits and knits – (well, let us not talk about the knots and tinks) then the sleeve should be growing?

I managed to finish up the next section of Pagoda. Doesn’t look like much here does it?

next section complete

next section complete

I am listening my was through the Miles Vorkosigan series (Lois McMaster Bujold). They are twisty enough themselves that they complement the knitting.

Categories: Knitting Tags: ,

Pagoda

May 4th, 2009 Comments off

Mindless knitting, that is what I am doing. Back and forth in endless contemplation of stitches sliding along my needles too many to count.

starting the stripes

starting the stripes

I am doing well to remember to change the colors in this section every four rows which means every two ridges. The decreases are on the right sided rows. As it gets blurrier with the rows increasing my mind has been known to wander. In contrast to the other HF (Pyramid) on the needles where I am down to double digits for the rows, I think I am still well over 800 stitches per row. It takes forever to knit a row (she whines further).

and more to go...

and more to go...

Can you blame me for being a bit bleary eyed after a full day of staring at the computer screen at work followed by this?

Categories: Knitting Tags: ,

Blooming

May 3rd, 2009 Comments off

It only takes a couple of days of sunshine and the back garden is starting to get lush.

I have the small bells -

some kind of flowering bush

ready to open

ready to open

and

and of course, the holly

of course, the holly

Not too shabby, I can identify one out of three…..

Pagoda

Since it is hard to see what this jacket is going to look like when knit, here is what the original looked like -

Pagoda - colorway 5

Pagoda - colorway 5

borrowed from the Hanne Falkenberg site. See what I mean about knitting it in one piece? Starting at the top outside of one sleeve, down the front, out to the side, across the back, into the front, up and out.  It …..should… work with me having to complete only the top half of the back when all of the decreasing is done. Where you see red – think burgundy. Purple has become grey Black the outline color.  That weird berry color changed to navy. Now, only if I had remembered to weigh the cones and balls as I went I could be more assured of not running out of yarn…..

Categories: home, Knitting Tags:

Swinley Forest

May 2nd, 2009 Comments off
Oh, that is where we are!

Oh, that is where we are!

According to our Walks around Surrey book one parks along Vicarage Lane just past the church in Bagshot to have a nice walk on the

Surrey Heath 1

Surrey Heath 1

Surrey Heath 2

Surrey Heath 2

We are less than 30 miles from London, my two walking companions and I

we are where?

we are where?

Spending several hours wandering up and down hills, squinting at the booklet, dodging runners and dirt bikers before blowing off the directions and finding our own way out of the trail maze.

I am always stunned to find such open space so near a major city.

but I guess, if you are royalty, you are entitled to keep your grounds? Who knows – perhaps one day again you may well need to hunt for your food…….

Categories: Travel Tags:

Start – Pagoda

May 1st, 2009 Comments off
working in

working in

I have mentioned Pagoda, right? Knit as written it would be two fronts and a back seamed together for ever under the arms. I looked at it and thought about knitting it in one piece till the decreases ate up all the fronts. About half way up the back if my memory serves me right.

I was only drinking coffee when I figured this out. Not any alcohol containing beverage, just swiss mocha. Perhaps it was the chocolate and coffee together? Even without caffeine?

Did I give you the numbers? 130+170+86 per side + 142 for the back. With four paired decreases every ridge that means that my total number of stitches only goes down 8 (eight!). At this point, I am knitting just over 800 stitches per row, rather than 9xx+. It is still insane and it seems like forever till that last of the six markers hoves in sight.

The only thing I can say with certainty (other than I have no clue as to how much yarn this is going to take) is that at least the sides will exactly match….. There is that. Matching is a good thing. I have to keep telling myself that. And that I will be able to finish it prior to going completely grey.

Categories: Knitting Tags: ,
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