Archive for the ‘Fiber’ Category

Found objects

July 28th, 2014 No comments

It is totally and completely amazing how many treasures appear when one is organizing and cleaning. Now we will completely ignore the yarn, fiber, patterns and fabric treasures. We all know about those hidden jewels, most of which are not all that hidden but easily forgotten: yarn bought by the bag at Ally-Pally because it was such a good deal with no project in mind; the rest of the bolt because it cost the same as 4 meters, those bright pretty braids of hand dyed wool seen hanging at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. All of which tells you how long some of those treasures have been hiding in bags, bins or cabinets.

But some found objects bring back good or interesting memories -

the long missing US pay-as-you-go stateside phone

the long missing US pay-as-you-go stateside phone

For example, there was this phone I purchased in Reno while at Renovation in 2011 which disappeared into the house sometime last fall. So there I was in the US this past Jan without a stateside phone. It turned up in the “important basket” on the dining room ledge. Now I remember putting it there, in a place where I could easily find it.

Then there are the various knitted objects – socks which saw a lot of use and a couple of hats which I think may still be pristine!

There is a princess dress still to be hemmed

costume for one of the girls? some time in the 90s?

costume for one of the girls? some time in the 90s?

A mitten (one of four) which I remember being on small hands that first winter we lived on Schlossberg and the kids went sledding down the cobble stones directly in front of the house.

hand puppet/mitten also mid 90s

hand puppet/mitten also mid 90s

And then there are the treasures which I brought back from various deployments, including handknits from BosFam (Bosnian Family Coop) of which Alison is going to have her pick this coming Decemeber

socks bought at BosFam ~1998

socks bought at BosFam ~1998

Categories: Knitting, packing out Tags:

Take a break and

July 26th, 2014 1 comment

pass along more “stuff”

Instead of our usual knit meet at Red, one of the members offered to have us all over to her garden.

I think it wound up being about a dozen all told. What was important to me, besides spending time knitting with friends, was that I took along a couple bags of knit magazines and multiple batches of spinning fiber. Perhaps about 25% of the mags found a new home and 50% of the fiber so I was well pleased.

George and Noah made several runs to the charity shop this morning – to the tune of 9 large bags of clothing and craft supplies, a large basket of knitting needles and several pieces of furniture.

I had spent the morning sorting out the last few boxes in my studio and trying to make it look a bit better than you saw in the last photo..

See! My studio does have a floor after all!

See! My studio does have a floor after all!

and in case you were wondering where everything else went….

all those nice containers prepositioned in the garage

see, my studio does have a floor!

Categories: Fiber, home Tags:

Brad’s Elephant

July 21st, 2014 1 comment

I have known the Harper’s since my first tour in Heidelberg. If I remember correctly, Brad transferred from Stuttgart after they closed in 1994, which I got there in 1993. Actually, it wasn’t “Heidelberg” then but the 130th Station hospital which had be there since WWII and had the distinction of having the Patton Room. (who knew it would be important to be the place where that particular officer died of complications following an MVA).

Any how, Brad, Cheré and their two girls overlapped with me and my crew. Since that time we managed to maintain our friendship over multiple PCS’s, deployments, countries and kids growing up. Cheré  and I also have a few hobbies in common, mostly having to do with sewing and other needle related crafts. Besides being a professional harpist, Cheré is a speech pathologist. Add all that up and you have fabric, sewing machines, books, craft supplies, several harps (one full concert size), key boards and stacks of music.

When I visited their new house in Virginia fall of 2011 Brad was complaining that he would have to take up Elephants for a hobby in order to have the same volume of “stuff.” He was absolutely horrified when I offered to give Cheré  the hammer dulcimer that I have been carting around for years but haven’t played for a couple of decades.  I suggested that perhaps he could learn to play it….

In reality, I don’t think there is excessive craft supplies in their house. Much less that we have in Heidelberg. But then if you take away the knitting, spinning and weaving it might be just about the same.

As of 8 August, the dulcimer will leave here with the rest of the household goods heading to the US. I think that it will be much closer to the Harper’s house once it arrives and it shouldn’t be all that difficult to ship it from California.  It has been my white elephant – I am going to make it Brads!

one each dulcimer, hammered in case with stand....

one each dulcimer, hammered in case with stand….


<h4>Detrashing update</h4>

Done with the three store rooms. Have the downstairs hall cleared out except for the top and two shelves of the bookcase.  Noah is taking out the three large garbage bags and two overflowing large boxes of trash.

Packed up toys, sweaters. Dropped off five boxes of books @ Librarys, some found items at LRMC PAD and have one more bag of clothing/shoes for the Humana bin and three bags for the Refugee Charity.

Categories: Fiber, home Tags:

Finished Forever

July 18th, 2014 No comments

As it turns out, forever is only a year or two. I started this afghan in Feather and Fan with a plan to use up all those odds and ends of sock yarn that had been hanging out forever. You know the kind – too much left to toss but too little alone to knit any kind of useful thing. And I am all about useful knitting objects – that is why I have two bins of scarves and shawls which are complete but still looking for the right home. Remind me if I ever spend more than 10 days in a row in the US to post them all in the Free/Trade section of my stash in Ravelry.

Back to the Afghan – I cast on a lot of stitches – like hundreds and hundreds to that it would be nice and wide. For a while I knit on it regularly but then it became just to heavy to carry around comfortably. My ability to finish a row or two was limited by an ache in my wrist. Given that there is so much else that I want to knit – it went on hold, for, oh lets say a few months, a year or maybe more.

Now, with cleaning out the house and deciding what yarn moves and which projects stay here it announced it was sulking. I should just finish it already. Taking out my trusty measuring tape in inches since that was the only one I could find in the studio chaos I checked twice. It was 7 feet wide and 4 feet long? Hello? Lets make that four feet wide and seven feet long. Time to finish. A garter bind off doesn’t look pretty but it is functional.

A quick pix -

and a pile of afghan it is

and a pile of afghan it is

just a bit closer

just a bit closer

Now to take care of all those pesky ends. Oh, wait – Strikktreff tomorrow!

Categories: Knitting Tags:

One complete

June 18th, 2014 No comments

Today was a sea day. Time to knit. And watch lectures. And listen to Takedown Twenty-One, but mostly to knit.

Reflections is completed except for the fiddly weaving in of a half-dozen ends and blocking. It badly needs blocking.



and Downover started and section I completed.

known as Downover

known as Downover

Also a Cheryl Oberle shawl pattern, this one knit in two sections, with the second triangle being picked up from one side of the first. The yarn is Zauberball in two different color combinations. One is shades of blues, the other purples-blues.

Categories: Knitting Tags:

Watching the World Cup

June 15th, 2014 No comments
location is everything

location is everything

It seems, unlike last fall in Australia, that RCI doesn’t have a difficulty recognizing that passengers just might be interested in The World Cup. I mention last fall because the Melbourne Cup wasn’t even on the Radiance’s horizon. Admittedly racing and fuss ball are completely different sport but still. When you are sailing out of Australia it might behove the Cruise Director’s Staff to take note of local/regional main sporting events, celebrations and holidays.

Back to Fussball (aka soccer for the North Americans). However, let us not be completely naive, there is an opportunity for Royal to make money. The previous day’s games are broadcast on Chanel 41 so that anyone who missed them can catch up.

the perfect set up for watching reruns

the perfect set up for watching reruns

Today’s games? Available to you on multiple screens only in specific locations around the ship. Locations where you might just be interested in purchasing some refreshments to improve your viewing pleasure.

My personal favorite

My personal favorite

for when I am hanging out in the CL or DL and have access to the coffee machine. The choices for the World Cup are more limited: the outdoor screen by the Pool Deck for a couple of the games – otherwise a couple of the bars when it is dim, loud and beer is on tap. The choices do not include the DL (Diamond Lounge) on Deck 14 where I could hit happy hour between 1700-2030.

The problem with the pubs is the lighting… can’t easily knit where I don’t have enough light. I did discover while watching Switzerland squeak by Ecuador that the Indy’s new policy of allowing 3 drinks per evening during normal club hours meant getting my Sprite Zero without charge while sitting at the bar in On Air.

Starting another shawl

The shawl is a Cheryl Oberle pattern which starts with a central section, then adds a couple of wings. Written for sport weight yarn… but I don’t have much of that so the blue is an Opal yarn I found in the back of a closet, the multi-color is from my Crazy Zauberball stash. Both are sock weight.

the latest project

the latest project

Categories: Knitting, Travel Tags:

On the Indie

May 5th, 2014 No comments

What counts to me this time is that I have a balcony on which I can sit, knit and relax. Not lie in the sun, unfortunately I wan’t thinking and am below an overhang but still I am on starboard which means warmer side.
the couch and sitting area will be enjoyed by inviting in friends. I am contemplating just a small group of knitters on this cruise.

Then there is the kettle. I have my own. The coffee pot is not much, but then the coffee in the lounge down the hall is so weak that you can clearly see the cup walls through the expresso…








start of a sleeve

start of a sleeve

On my way out the door Sat morning I was desperately seeking a Rauma stranded project which I didn’t find. This shawl popped up, finished all but the bind off. Now all I have left are all the loose ends and blocking. The yarn is that infinite cone of alpaca. The pattern is one of those mystery shawls which I started intensely disliking after the first three clues and changed the pattern to suit me.

I still don’t like it. I think it needs to find a new home.

that shawl

that shawl

Remember that I mentioned nice cabin? Well here are the pictures…..


Besides attending the various travel med meetings which are a total blast ..

Hi – my name is Holly and I am a travel junkie…..

I have been completing a series of on-line courses (free) through Coursera. I can download the videos and readings to work at my own speed. Remember I said that I wasn’t taking any more exams? This applies here as well. I am skipping the forums and writing assignments because the ship schedules don’t complement the learning time lines. The other major purveyor of courses is EdX. Their courses don’t work for me simply because of the web layout. Rather than have a clear landing page, you have to forward through each module and attempt to make sure that you have all the videos.

I just completed a Clinical Neurology Review and a Challenges of Diabetes. Partway through both an Art History Course (I know nothing, this is fun) and a Fantasy and Science Fiction (for which I had previously read all the recommendations). On the hard science side – there is Volcanoes, Dynamic Earth and Healthcare Innovations & Entrepreneurship (this last also falls into the professional ed category).

Categories: Knitting, Travel Tags:

Wasn’t that our station?

May 3rd, 2014 No comments

I know that you are not going to believe me, but I am really not a magnet for anything and everything that could go wrong on a trip. Really! In spite of some rather definite challenges in the last couple of months, I remain completely and totally optimistic. I plan (usually), I pack (mostly) and I always leave early for the airport.

So imagine my surprise when our train is blasting along after clearing Mannheim through an area that isn’t all that familiar. Then the train comes to a halt. There is a four minute pause before this young voice comes on the tranny. Same young woman who apologized earlier for the seat reservation lights not working – we hope you are understanding and not too inconvenienced. This time she says “we were switched to the wrong track and are bypassing the Airport. The engineer is requesting we back up and get back on the correct route.”

Another wait. No, we have missed the Flughafen and will not be stopping there today. As before we are not stopping at Frankfurt Main Station. For those needing the Flughafen, get off at Frankfurt-Sued and change to the S-Bahn to Frankfurt Main (Tief) then cross the platform to 103 where you can get the S-Bahn to the Airport.

Ok – I check my BahnApp. It says something different. I first go to the wrong platform then figure out that I want to put in Flughafen – not the long distance station as my destination. Yes – better but I now have one minute to get to the correct plan form and collapse against the wall as the door slides shut behind me. I wind up talking to another woman who had been on the same train. She is working in Stuttgart and is on her way to Helsinki to board a Costa Ship (I think the Pacifica) for four days before flying home from Riga. I get the impression that this is a special for Travel Agents as normally there is not any boarding in Helsinki…. It is short notice for her, but “someone had to do it!”

We get off the S-Bahn at the Main (Underground) Station. Sure enough, we are on Platform 104 and just a few steps away from 103. Much easier than going up to the main station and taking a regional train back. From then on it was easy, check in, go to lounge. Drink lots of coffee.

One of the interesting things I noted yesterday is that the SAS Lounge has a kids room. If parents/kids are anywhere else and disturbing others – they are asked to remove themselves to this area. With Lufthansa had the same. I honestly don’t know why they sell children’s fares in business class, but it kind of defeats the purpose.

There was this family with a small screaming girl. You know the type of parent “please honey be quiet…” Yes, in business class and a couple of rows behind me. Worse, the child screamed, howled and had temper tantrums all the way across the Atlantic. Even worse, older (late 40s) German dad and early 30s (maybe) French mom. I was wrong about one major thing. It wasn’t a child making all that noise, it was twins of age about 18 months complete with a 4-5 year old sister who would poke, pride and tease when either of them finally shut up for five minutes.

Glad I arrived without killing anyone but it was close. In reality, I think I would have had to take a number. The cabin attendants were fielding continuous complaints. I know the airline wants to make money, but this is not the way to do it.

This just might be the way

The new comfort pack

The new comfort pack

I did get some progress made on the sweater….

the front - the sun

the front – the sun

the back - the moon

the back – the moon


Categories: Knitting, Travel Tags:

Knit, Needle and Hook – Day 3

April 18th, 2014 No comments

Well, looks like we are initially organized. Jenny, the lovely stuckee from the ship has given us usage of the conference room on Deck 3 from 0900-1000. After that we had thought about the Viking Crown Lounge but looks like it is pretty much booked. Our fall back (and original suggestion from Tye) was the Solarium. So up we moved at 1000 after a lovely hour of chat combined with a lot of catching up.  Turns out the Solarium is not a bad choice. There is water, coffee, tea and the Park Cafe opens at noon. Well, 1300 but that is another story related to the fact that the ship is making the time zone changes in the middle of the day.


From what I can tell, there is Jewel of the Seas (Spring 2012), Vision of the Seas (fall 2012), Mariner of the Seas (Spring 2013) overlap between me and half the group. The rest of the group seems to have overlaps between them as well to include Brilliance of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas and Whichever of the Seas. My head started to ache. Guess we don’t need any six degrees of separation, so far it seems to be two degrees at max.

Categories: Knitting, Travel Tags:

Seems like old home week

April 17th, 2014 No comments

Yesterday morning I took the hotel shuttle to the airport and purchased a bus transfer from RCI. My intensions were to wait in the Military lounge (been there while awaiting my flight to Phoenix on the 4th). The “gentleman’ manning the desk informed me since I was not in “air transport” mode today, he could not allow me into the lounge. This was of course after he informed me that I had to tuck my luggage into one of the closets including my backpack. When I informed him that I wasn’t going to do that with my electronics, he simply said I could store the backpack after I took out my computer? What the heck?

I didn’t even bother with asking to see the rules. Heaven forbid I should sully his completely empty lounge or tell him that I had inquired the last time I was there and had been told it wasn’t a problem to wait for a shuttle bus. In transit, from the previous staffers point of view was in transit.

Anyway, there were only two of us on the bus to Port Everglade. In fact, it seemed that there weren’t any ships going out of Miami today and only two out of FLL. Since I wasn’t taking the Queen Victoria, Legend OTS was the obvious other destination.

We arrived about 1230 and slid right through security and check-in. Since I had had enough sun in the last few days I figured to wait in one of the lounges on Deck 9 where it rapidly became old home week. With in the first hour, I found friends from Key Largo with whom I have been on two transatlantics, three other cruisers from past on-board knitting groups and several of those on the BCC: line of this note. And then there was Betty who said she had just been waiting to meet me in person after reading the blog for the last several months.

Ok, now I have to finish editing all those pictures and upload them to the blog. And, it looks like set up a knitting/whatever group on this cruise since so far I have run into over a dozen who have been on one TA or another in these last two years.

For those that have an interest in such things (Crown&Anchor) it appears to be 24 Pinnacles, 225 D+, 600+ D, and all the rest but for the rare few are in the Platinum, Gold or Emerald category.

Categories: Knitting, Travel Tags:

Chilean Towns

March 18th, 2014 No comments

Sunday there were two Aalparasios. There was the port town at Sunday rest with homeless dogs and men sleeping piled in dirty rags along building that have been long closed. There was a bustling vegetable market feature fresh produce, watermelons being prominent. A few buildings sported traces of their former glory, but mostly it was cement accented with grilled windows and barred doors.

Then there was the old city, seen through the eyes of some friends who did a walking tour. Featured were gloried of the past. The city had been modern and and rapidly expanding at the turn of 1900. There were docks, chandleries, hotel supporting the sux months of sailing around the Horn. The future was bright. A hotel stands today that was built in 1913.

But it never opened. Almost from one day to the next growth was stopped and the future was gone. In 1914 the Panama Canal was opened. Eliminating the risk of months at sea, dangers of ice flows and speeding goods.

So when we talk of the new canal being opened one should not think of greatness and speed of cheap goods from china being delivered sooner without also acknowledging e unforeseen consequences on many lives in multiple countries.

La Serena was similar in that it was a working port town. You could hike from the ship through the fish market + local artisans market which featured a lot of locally made handicrafts of various skill levels and almost nothing from China. Postcards and magnets weren’t options, but lots of things from string, shells, copper colored wire and alpaca were on offer.

I hike along a major street under construction along the port front stopping to watch the sea lions. Not a zoo location you understand but just a bunch out for a free lunch of heads and guts from the fish market. Like most port towns situated in a bowl shaped inlet the streets climb the hill with the upper part being mostly accessible on foot by stairs that zig-zag back and forth. The main street served both pedestrians and traffic. Like most of the other South American towns we have visited, all the streets were one way which helped a bit.

I looked in various stores, found several that featured yarns and sewing supplies. One woman (she with her Spanish and my with hand signs) told me that all the yarns for sale were acrylic, mostly novelty yarns. No one wants anything fine but the grandmothers who crochet. The younger women don’t buy either wool or alpaca so she had neither.

I had a delightful time just walking around and looking at buildings that obviously dated from the turn of the last century when wooden doors were common and signs handpainted. Many of the merchants had commissioned murals on their outer back and side walls. Apparently the best way to avoid the graffiti!

Categories: Knitting, Travel Tags:

Montevideo – Manos del Uruguay

March 4th, 2014 No comments

It is raining. Not that I remembered to bring an umbrella or anything. No longer being in an Aqua Class cabin it turns out that there is not a free umbrella in the closet. But as the lovely lady in the leather store says – I am not exactly made out of sugar. One of the leather shops offered a free van from the port. According to the woman in the store, about 1:5 wind up buying something so it is not exactly a hardship on their part to introduce the extras to their leather goods. Nice jackets etc, but not as nice as I found in Buenos Aires. I looked around the shop anyway and we discussed the Wizard of Oz (not the Wicked Witch of the West either) and then I headed down San Jose toward Manos del Uruguay which I proceeded to not find.

Having passed a cafe/bar with an open door and a WiFi sign in the window you can guess where I am for the moment.

The directions from the website are clear, so I think the store must be one of those with the metal shutters clamped down tight to avoid nighttime visitors.

So I am about to head out again and will try to update this post once I both find the store and ….. buy an umbrella….

1215 -
1214 Update.

Well, Carnival is starting soon. And the Manos del Uruguay Outlet is closed for the day. Following the instructions given to me by the lovely lady at Tannat Restuarant I boarded the 121 Bus and rode it out to Puntas Carretas which is one of the major shopping centers. They also have a Manos del Uruguay store which I found most easily. Lots of hand knit sweaters and scarves, but no yarn. They are out, which is why the outlet is also closed at the moment. I looked up the location of the other two stores but they are a significant distance from the port. I don’t need yarn badly enough to spend more on a taxi than on the yarn itself….

1400 -

so I walked back to the lovely restaurant where I started. It was about an hour. Humidity high but the rain held off. Am treating myself to a late lunch….


oh, and don’t get in the middle of a French tour group trying to get off the ship. Apparently chatting is much more important than a steady flow down the stairs or having ship’s cards in hand when checking out…..

Categories: Knitting, Travel Tags:

Oops – yet another schedule change

February 20th, 2014 No comments

BTW – a group of penguins can be called a huddle. A large group is a rookery…. according to the Web gurus anyway.

I guess it goes without saying that the only thing you can count on as far as the weather in this region is that it is going to change. Plus the entertainment last night with the crumpled metal davit (the device that raises and lowers the tenders) means that our schedule is a bit different.

Thurs Feb 20 at Sea
Fri Feb 21 – Beagle Channel Glaciers (cruising 1130-1630)
Ushuaia, Argentina (overnight – 2200 on
Sat Feb 22 – Ushuaia, Argentina till 2000
Sun Feb 23 Cape Horn (Cruising (0600-0800)
Mon Feb 24 – Schollert Channel, Antarctica (1100-1300)
Paradise Bay (1400-1600)
Tues Feb 25 cruising – Elephant Island – 1400-1800
Wed Feb 26 at sea
Thurs Feb 27 at sea
Friday Feb 28 at sea
Sat, March 1, Montevideo, Uruguay
Sun – March 2 – Back to Buenos Aires.

as you can see -back to the original number of ports with the schedule in a slightly different order. The only thing that really matters is that the all antarctic locations are back on the list.

So literally – we are at sea.

Oh, and there are a small group of us getting together for knitting, etc in the morning up in the Constellation Lounge on 11. At 1015 we can be entertained by the Morning Brain Waker’s Trivia
and at 1115 by the Progressive Trivia. Besides Chere and I, we have found an Australian woman – Meg – who is knitting the most beautiful shawl out of fingering weight yarn (her own handspun) and Sharon who was part of the Transatlantic knitting group on the Vision (Fall 2012).

I have just about finished up the Zimmerman baby surprise jacket and need to go back and finish the two shawls in progress.

Categories: Knitting, Travel Tags:

Third day home

February 8th, 2014 1 comment

And my head is still spinning a bit. Nothing has changed, but it does feel like I have distanced myself even that much more from all the “stuff” in the house which is a great thing. If  I can live without everything for 3 months at a time, I probably don’t need it.

But wait, I think, what happens when I can’t travel. If I ditch everything then I won’t have yarn and needles and patterns and fabric or a sewing machine or spinning wheels. What about all my books. Since I am not a clothes horse – that part of the equation doesn’t even exist. Nor are shoes high on my list of importance. In fact, my husband has a lot more shoes than I do. Never mind that all of his look the same, it is the principle of the thing.  I have my stock four pairs (flip-flops, keens, sandals and running shoes) on the road and two pairs of heeled shoes, one pair of flats , a pair of white sandals and an extra pair of sport shoes. That is my entire shoe wardrobe. I haven’t even had hiking shoes for years since my Keens have become my do-all shoes for just about anything other than the treadmill, the shower or a dressy evening (which is where those two pairs of sandals come into play).

It still was extremely easy when packing up for the Saturday Strikktreff to toss in some yarn and fiber in hopes that it would go home with someone else.  It was lovely seeing everyone and it was even nicer being able to handover all those magazines that I have been lugging around since Hawaii (yes, early Oct for those who are counting).

Now, if I could figure out when to sleep…….

Categories: home, Knitting Tags:

Rocky Seas

December 11th, 2013 No comments

again which is no surprise since the Tasman sea is know for that. Me? I got caught up on a bit of sleep after an early morning visit to the gym.

Hat Update

just a standard exeter

just a standard exeter

in standard guy colors of grey, and lighter grey. Morris & Sons estate yarn (4 ply australian wool) knit on 2.5 mm needles

Categories: Knitting, Travel Tags:

Last Day again ….

December 9th, 2013 No comments

Just to let you know, I have still not uploaded the photos – need to find an affordable way to do so. The ship is not it, just in case you had not figured that out….


Today is another pack up day. I am moving to my last of six cabins (five cruises + one change in the middle of the first). Headed down to deck 4, outside this time to see how it goes. I have booked fairly far forward so hopefully will out of the worst of the noise.


Tomorrow is early arrival in Sydney and hopefully access to upload some photos….


(Made a hat for one of the crew, he is headed to NYC and home and I didn’t need him to arrive and have a cold head. Not a bad exchange for mailing a package of three hats to upstate NY).

Categories: Knitting, Travel Tags:


November 14th, 2013 No comments

Or Adelaide, as laid back.

Since Maus & I were here for several days in 2010, my goal this time was simply to spend time with friends. If I saw anything at all, it would be a benefit.

So there I was, standing by the train station and waiting for a ride. My friends Helen and Kath bailed me out of Port Adelaide (not exactly next door to the city) and took me off with them for the day. We had a marvelous breakfast (now if I could just figure out how to order coffee in Australian, I would be just fine. What the heck is a “flat white” anyway? What if I just want a cup of coffee, non-instant?)

Any way, I had the best day in the whole world. Sat and chatted with friends. Got caught up on a number of on-line courses. Finished the exam for my CME module and started the patient simulation. Which of course has to be completed within the next seven days or it times out. Probably should have finished but I was freaking out.

Sent my post cards from Port Adelaide, then watched the wind/kite/para surfers on the beach before boarding the ship (less all the goodies I was able to pass off!)


It was still light out when we sailed out past waving crowds on the shore. The next time I come back, it won’t be with deadlines hanging over me which will leave me more time with great friends.

Categories: Knitting, Travel Tags:

knit update *

October 17th, 2013 2 comments

* yes – not very brilliant with blog post titles at the present

hat for Ms Soprano (it is Zauberball, Exeter pattern and is really stretchy)

Exeter Hat

Exeter Hat

Both of the following are also from yarn gained on the last Schoppel run as is the hat.
Baby Jacket completed

Which means that I started another baby jacket (larger size this time) Which is knit in two halves then joined

So given that I was sick of baby stuff – it was time to start something for me.

The pattern is in Interweave Knitscene. Although sport/dk weight is called for – I am using fingering. Alpaca blend grey and part of some zauberball called Kleiner Fuchs for the contrast.

Categories: Knitting, Travel Tags:

yes, hats

September 26th, 2013 No comments

Just to let you know that I am knitting

another baby hat

another baby hat

as well as reading – starting with The Color of Magic since Amazon had a nice deal on the first five Discworld books.

Categories: Books & Tapes, Knitting Tags:

yes, knitting

September 19th, 2013 2 comments

It wouldn’t be a good idea to let a week go by without saying something about knitting.

Two projects complete since the last time I think I posted anything:

A hitchhat for me (70 stitches, size 2.5 needles

Crazy Zauberball

Crazy Zauberball

The matching scarf

scarf messy

scarf messy

scarf neat

scarf neat

which has the distinction of being a full 42 thumbs.

Somewhere along the line I managed to misplace a cloth bag containing three hats for Dani. I still had one that needed the ends woven in. Now I am just searching vainly for which box, room, location is hiding them from me. Could be Seattle but I am thinking San Francisco.

purple #4

purple #4

Now on the needles:
have a cruise companion who’s daughter is presenting her with the first grandchild in Nov. She is just starting to knit so I thought I might contribute a jacket to the critter.

drops pattern - all garter

drops pattern – all garter

I like the pattern but it is coming out a bit denser than I had planned. Also I calculated the yarn and don’t think there is enough given this is mill ends from Schoppel. Might just frog and alternate bands of garter with plain.

Categories: Knitting Tags:


September 16th, 2013 No comments

It was a lovely morning – I went to the post office on Pine Street. On the way over I followed the Bell Captain’s directions. And went up the hill and down the hill and …. (and on the way way I just hiked down Larkin to Sutter and completely skipped the big hill).

Since my time here is limited, I mailed out packages – two to a fellow BookCrosser, yarn (what else?) to the ScrabbleQueen who can just post when it arrives giving her an excuse for her third blog post this year – hats to a couple of friends, and of course hats plus treats to Maus & Co. At this point, my mind is blank which means that there could have been another package there completely slipping the mind.

A nice long walk down 4th after a stop at the hotel to grab the goodie bag for Alison and I managed to arrive at the Cal Train station exactly 2 minutes after the train left. Since the next one was leaving at 1107 with a 1203 arrival in Palo Alto I figured I was ok since we had agreed on a noon meet-up.

(and here I will skip the Alison not having my email address, me not having a stateside phone and needed to find wifi resulting in about a 30 minute scramble till we found each other). After a short debate – we wound up at Tava which was a lovely find. Sort of fast food, but not. You pick your rice, your dish, your sauce, toppings, spice level. Of course there is both Raita and Chutney to tempt the palate. Meat eaters can get chicken and lamb, the rest of us have a variety of choices.

So there we were, tying up a table and chatting for almost three hours. I have this lovely skein of red malbrigo for me, just the right amount for a hat. And I (sneaky woman that I am) managed to gift out a bunch more from my stash which makes me quite happy. Follow the above link to her blog if you want a pix. At this point the duffle bag is almost 1/2 empty having the cruise, Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand friends to go.

A ride back to the train station, CalTrain north to SF. A stop at Macy’s and I was back at the hotel in plenty of time to miss happy hour. Morning I am off to Chicago.

Categories: Knitting, Travel Tags:

Calgary – here I come

September 6th, 2013 2 comments

It was not with enough sleep on board this morning when I caught the 0547 train to Frankfurt airport. It wasn’t that I stayed up and packed – except for a few odds and ends that had been done for over a day.

It was all the other things – like trash and garbage and wondering why I hadn’t remembered to leave my keys where I could reach them rather than in the bottom of the backpack.  And talking to kids, and making sure bills were paid and …. you get the idea.

So I made the airport then had to wait till Air Canada was able to get computers up and running. They don’t have a lounge, so the Lufthansa one did just fine. At the gate I made an interesting discovery – Air Canada is willing to fill extra business class seats with its top ranking frequent flyers.  Air Canada’s frequent flyers and not Star Alliance. Lufthansa status didn’t count.

It would have been nice. Coach was almost full (10 seat belonging to those now sitting/laying in business class. But I wound up with a nice seat companion returning from time in Italy spent with her father and all the Italian relatives. Her husband was still in a good mood after being overwhelmed by in-laws.

I finished the purple hat and did 3/4 of a hitchhiker. Snoozing off and on, but not sleeping. Might as well knit!

Canadian immigration asks a lot of questions including the Why are you here? Hello? Don’t you want tourists to come, look and leave money? So after 25 minutes in line for my five minutes of grilling I collected my luggage and headed toward the exit.

On the other side was Marise. She and her husband Mike met me and gave me a ride to the hotel. We then proceeded to go for an early lunch.

I am now dead on my feet and going to sleep. With any luck I can meet up with Richard and Donna tomorrow (Granduer TA 2011) for coffee before meeting George at the airport mid-afternoon for our ride to Banff.


Categories: Knitting, Travel Tags:

Hat of the Day

September 3rd, 2013 2 comments

Since packing is boring – there is also this hat which was knit out of mills ends of Schoppels Zauberball.


by casting on 120 stitches, increasing to 150 when the ribbing was completed (k3,kfb) then decreasing ten evenly distributed locations around the crown when it was time. Oh yes, 2,5 mm needles followed by dps.

Categories: Knitting Tags:


August 31st, 2013 No comments

I have been watching the post – all but one of the cards which I mailed from the Med have shown up -

Spain is prompt

Spain is prompt

The one that is missing is from France – Marseille on the 19th of August. Now those cards were mailed from the post office which I found following a long and arduous (ok, not so hard) hike around town and up into the city overlooking the east side of the harbor. I bought the stamps and mailed them right there. I think all the rest have shown up in the US but I still need to check. I would have thought Germany would take less time but one never knows.

My afternoon and early evening were spent at Red. Saturday knit crowd of course and I had a fun time. Managed to pass off a couple of more books but wasn’t able to drop off at the Neugasse bookshelf as planned. It seems like there are those who are not using common sense. If a book has been sitting on your shelves for, lets say 30-40 years, what makes you think anyone else is going to want to read it?

Anyway, the shelves were seriously overloaded with oldy, moldy books and tattered magazines. I didn’t have the energy to spend time cleaning so just let it go. There are supposed to be other bookshelves around.

Categories: Books & Tapes, Knitting Tags:

That purple hat

August 30th, 2013 No comments

turned out like this!

partway done

partway done



which was a lot more fun than the other things that I was supposed to be doing (cleaning, sorting books, contemplating next weeks departure…..

Categories: Knitting Tags:

The Hat Parade

August 29th, 2013 7 comments

The current and just completed hat parade. I am down to just one hat on the needles

the lonely hat which doesn't know what pattern it is going to be

the lonely hat which doesn’t know what pattern it is going to be

And the rest are all completed.

I like these two tops

And finally – the reversible slouch hat which is knit out of fingering yarn and used up the rest of the 100 gm skein that made the one hat above.


Now all I need to do is write up the 7/1 slouch and the reversible slouch decently and post/pdf. I think that might even be more fun that finishing Analucia (there is this small matter of an awful lot of beads and a picot bind off…..

Categories: Knitting Tags:

Knit Toys/Tools

August 28th, 2013 2 comments

Well, not actually toys, but knitting tools. One always needs more knitting tools – right?

First, in one of those 1€ type stores I picked up some inexpensive #5 crochet cotton for provisional cast ons and these two little cuties for 1.5€

a latch hook and a double ended crochet hook

a latch hook and a double ended crochet hook

and then there are the KnitPro treasures. I don’t use DPs all that often- mostly for the ends of sleeves or that last bit of hat. Maybe an I-cord since I haven’t knit socks for a while, but these Rosewood beauties were too nice to resist. The first time I stopped in All You Knit is Love (Barcelona) I purchased one set. The second time through I picked up the rest of the sizes.

Although they are nice -The Karbonz are fabulous. Carbon fiber, which I tried in the other brand and did not like at all. But this time someone got smart and fixed the problem of stitches clinging to the tips of the needles. These are capped and are almost as sharp as Silhouettes or Chia-Goo Lace.

And then there is a different version of the yarn needle with an easy to thread nylon eye

in three sizes

in three sizes

But the nicest? The Signature Silhouettes that George brought back for me from the states. These are the cable & stem switchable. Not between sizes, but being able to swap out cable lengths has some real advantages to your average shawl knitter. I just wish they had small sizes (below 3.25 mm) and cable lengths to create 14-16″ total length with the 4″ stems.

lovely, color coded & labeled with size

lovely, color coded & labeled with size

Color me a happy knitter….

Categories: Knitting Tags:

Knitting update

August 23rd, 2013 3 comments

I am at sea, you are where ever and not everyone cares about knitting. I would rather knit than pack, but it is not like there are a lot of choices should I want to get off the ship tomorrow with all of my stuff.

The great thing about not having any household things to do at all is the amount of knitting that one can accomplish

Three hats

Three hats

The first thing to mention is that I am knitting a lot of hats. These three were the first but certainly not the last

The baby hat is off the Hitchhat pattern

As is the rose pink cotton hat for the 2 year old sister of the above baby

about size 2-3

about size 2-3

And then I switched my attention to a simple striped hat (2×2 ribbing, then the body in 7/1 ribbing)

which will fit over dreads

which will fit over dreads

Since the Maus likes bright colors – I knit her first a simple cap out of Zauberball singles then went on to start a Cayenne.

The project that actually took the longest was the smaller size of the Ribboned Baby Jacket (instead of the baby surprise because my book has been borrowed and not returned so I didn’t have that pattern on hand).

The jacket is knit all in one piece with some short rows.

There is more, but I think this post has gotten long enough!

Categories: Knitting Tags:

Sleeves, completed

August 5th, 2013 1 comment

Since I rewarded myself for early morning industry by spending the balance of the day with three delightful women from the Saturday knitting group (four if you want to count the grinning, drooling toothless wonder on her matt holding her toes and crowing) I thought it more appropriate to update you on the knitting projects rather than discuss the wonders of salad, cheese sandwiches and ice cream.


At last update, I think I was here

the two sleeves completed

the two sleeves completed

which lead

to attaching them in order to start the back

to attaching them in order to start the back

which progressed to



I finished up the shrug on Saturday evening

looking at the back

looking at the back

but it isn’t easy to see the overall construction. I wanted to avoid huge blocks of color in those last few rows so you can see the “alternating ends from the ball”

Folding the shrug with the front up

you can see a couple of pins on the facing

you can see a couple of pins on the facing

while the back

just looks like a folded up sweater sleeve without an attached body

just looks like a folded up sweater sleeve without an attached body

If I can get it together, I will get a photo of it on a person which will make it much clearer.


Clue 5 came out a day early on Thurs eve and I started messing around with it. If you knit as writ, the shawl will wind up with a kind of log-cabin appearance with strips of different lace patterns.

Since that is so not my thing, I have been doing sections of each pattern across the whole shawl interspersed a few rows of stockinette and lots of beads.

Since I am not using a terribly long needle -

it is hard to get an impression of the lace

it is hard to get an impression of the lace

panels or the final size of the shawl. I am not worried about running out of yarn – there are only 1-3 clues left and I have a lot of alpaca left on that cone!

Categories: Knitting Tags:


August 2nd, 2013 11 comments

Doing too much laundry in the heat (36°C in the shade) including running a couple of loads through the dryer before intelligence kicked in might just be my only excuse. I was sick of the pile of dirty things on the floor and the mess of the laundry room. Additionally I needed laundry baskets so I went hunting.

And that must have been when insanity struck. There were a number of partly full baskets stacked around my husband’s side of the closet. Consolidating them was simple. I had started with the thought that I might even put some of it away but the realization hit me with exceeding rapidity. The shirts were crumpled – it was going to be iron or re-wash. Duh – no decision there. The rest could be folded quickly. Almost, but not quite. Socks do not fold quickly.

By the time I had them all gathered up, those sucks socks had multiplied into dozens and dozens of single smug individuals daring me to make a fuss. So back I went to the laundry room to gather up all the orphans and give them a wash in the next load. If I was going to do this – might as well maximize the results and toss the rest.

months and months - or years? of socks

months and months – or years? of socks


So I informed the socks who were trying to slither out of sight under the couch or inside pairs of jeans. Match or be discarded, I informed them. They sneered at me in their multi-sized, colored, and shaped glory. Make us!

So I started the division. It became rapidly obvious that there were far fewer of white, or had be born out of the package originally white

in at least three lengths

in at least three lengths

Where as the black/brown/grey/navy crew had proliferated exuberantly and had no interest in being made to function in sedate pairs.

instead holding a football scrum in defiance

instead holding a football scrum in defiance

Even an attempt to line them in orderly ranks dissolved in the face of variety of size, shape and design much less position as displayed. Do you know how many shades of black exist?

If I line them all up, they pitch fits and throw themselves on the floor.

If I line them all up, they pitch fits and throw themselves on the floor.

I won a partial battle

and so declared victory.

and so declared victory.

I am going to do a last sort tomorrow in strong daylight before tossing all the excess in the garbage. Wonder how smug those unrepentant partnerless socks are going to be then …..

Categories: family, home, socks Tags:

itchy bumps

August 1st, 2013 4 comments

It has been an extremely wet year which may explain why I woke up covered in mosquito bites. Well, no, the reason I have been bitten has something to do with the current German temperature and the appauling ignorance of screens in basic home design.

For a people who are so meticulous about everything else, I just don’t understand why there are no screens on the windows.

I thought of a few possible reasons starting with traditions – we don’t put on screens because we never have put on screens. Now admittedly, most of Germany was never the swamp of the Netherlands and home grown malaria was not the issue here that it was in the low lands (last cases in the 1950s). Many more people lived in cities, but that would to me say flies which are also not pleasant company besides being such excellent disease carriers in all those years before completely modern waste disposal.

So I went looking for other reasons. It is hard to air your bed linen out the second floor windows if you have to deal with screens. Now shutter which close at night? Those might help but how do you breathe in the stifling heat? Harder to water your window flower boxes perhaps? Or there might be the simple issue of screens being a relatively modern development. There might be the small matter of double hung windows which slide up and down vs whole window assemblies which swing in or down. See comment about bed linen airing, wash hanging and window boxes above.

This year has been the worst in my memory which admittedly only includes most, but not all of the German summers of the last 32 years. Stray wasps, bees from the hives next door and the occasional fly, but I don’t remember ever being this badly bitten. I guess I should be glad that thus far malaria has not reinvaded Western Europe although Dengue has gradually been moving north from the Mediterranean. Mosquito born diseases are so not much fun. But then again, at least they are not the size nor are they numerous as those I grew up with in Minnesota, the monsters of Alaska or the disease ridden dive bombers of Kenya.

But, as I tripped over it on the way out of the bedroom this morning, I now understood the small bottle of Bullfrog insect repellant kicking around the floor.

Categories: home, yarn Tags: