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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….

p.s.

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:

Adelaide

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!)

ER2C4201

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:

CalTrain

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.

IMG_0792IMG_0793

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.

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Postcards

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

completed

completed

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.

Sleeves

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

this.

this.

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.

Analucia

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:

Sleeves

July 31st, 2013 4 comments

The problem with both of my current projects is that they do not fall into that lovely category of mindless knitting so necessary to audio book lovers everywhere. Now I could have hauled the Forever Afghan off hold and onto my lap, but the thought of all that nice, snuggly warm wool in this weather made me shudder. The Oregon Vest won’t work – see complicated stranded below. And, amazingly enough, I have knit enough scarves and hats for the moment.

So there it was – Sleeves by Martina Behm, the hitchhiker hat and scarf woman.

It take about as much fingering weight yarn as a really large shawl but is knit out of multiple colors.

?Hey? I have multiple colors, all the in same ball! Out comes the Papagei (parrot) colored Crazy Zauberball. After my blocking challenges with the hats, I am not knitting this in either singles or loosely. Requires about 250gm of yarn. I have two packages equaling 380 gm minus that second baby hat. Should be ok.

Next challenge is finding a short enough 2,5 mm needle. After that? Seeing – when your “four balls of yarn” are actually 9 given that they came from the end of the production run – whether there is any possibility of matching the colors. I am hoping that this is not a case of a 425 meter pattern run… As a result, I am going to have to settle for pretty close, rather than exact.

starting with the garter triangle, then moving on to endless circles of knitting.

The Start of sleeves

The Start of sleeves

by the end of the day, I was decently pleased.

decent job of matching

decent job of matching

Updates on the other projects

I’m liking the way the pattern is developing

current status on Rauma

current status on Rauma

And thought you might like the hitchhats in three sizes

hats in three sizes

hats in three sizes

And then there is Analucia which is lacking 8 rows before the next clue which comes out on Friday

Clues 1-5.5

Clues 1-5.5

Categories: Knitting Tags:

Two rows, oh rats

July 27th, 2013 3 comments

There is a truism somewhere that talks about stranded knitting and talking. Not quite the same as walking and chewing gum which I think is entirely possible but more like the walking and texting which has proven to kill off more than a few pedestrians.

It was a Saturday afternoon. Bright, cheerful and hot. Let us not forget the hot.

I hauled along all the hitchhats and other projects which just needed an end or two woven in, the baby hitch hat which required me to pick out the provisional cast off and graft the two edges and a few things to show off. The stray ends were easy – thread, bury, snip and done.

Grafting? Probably should have, but get real. Just because I know how to graft garter stitch doesn’t mean that it is fun. Three needle bind-off and the busy work was done.

side 1

side 1

side 2

side 2

3/4 most recent

compare the sizes, two bigger ones have the brims folded

compare the sizes, two bigger ones have the brims folded

Since I was just too insanely warm to deal with alpaca, I headed for Rauma (it needs a name).

I started here -

 

Center front

Center front

1/2 the front

1/2 the front

and then started chatting. I did a couple rows, no problems. Knit a couple more and stopped to double-check since I didn’t remember any location with 30-40 stitches of any one color solidly. Oops. For the next hour I very carefully tinked rows 30 & 31. Took less than 10 minutes to reknit both. Rational sense says an hour to get two rows meant it was time to go home!

updated front

updated front

updated center

updated center

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she doesn’t need to be art

July 26th, 2013 1 comment

For the last decade she has been sitting quietly on the top shelf of the bookcase watching over the back hall. For reasons that I have never examined too closely, I never felt comfortable having her on display in the living room nor that it might be necessary to do so.

ER2C8289

ER2C8270

I vaguely remember her creation – I was youngish. Maybe about 6-9? But certainly long before my teens. I don’t spend a lot of time remembering that portion of my life. There was reading, there was home where I did a lot of reading and school which I detested with every last fiber of my being. The only thing worse at that time of my life was riding the school bus. Which means, if I want to narrow down a time frame, it must have been when we lived in Hopkins on Drill Lane since I don’t remember my mother doing much sculpting after we moved out to Excelsior. It is stunning to realize, when I count back that this means my mother at the time was about the age that our Eldest is now.

Never seeing a likeness nor understanding her slightly asymmetrical face I had relegated her possession to somewhere in the back of my mind. Even when Maus created a self-portrait bust I didn’t see a resemblance. Stubborn set to the chin – no question but to me the face/head are generic. I also don’t remember exactly when she came into my possession. I know that my sister managed to get Atlas to me after we moved to Heidelberg. I am still wondering what happend to the Giant in chains who I always appreciated- but the Lady?

Then today I had hats to photograph. After doing various assorted standard flat things, it occurred to me that a bust might be just the ticket.

Cleaning off a thick layer of dust gave me an idea of exactly how long she has been ignored and neglected. Both the block of the base needed careful tending. She is porcelain clay with a glaze.

Then I tried on the hats!

Categories: family, home, Knitting Tags:

Rauma 053-5

July 25th, 2013 8 comments

There I was, wandering around in Stavanger Norway when the Husfliden just grabbed me by the neck and dragged me in. What is worse? They had files and files of older Rauma Patterns. End result is that booklet 053 came home with me. I had been pretty good up to that point – not buying yarn, that is in spite of temptation…. But I needed something stranded in just a couple of colors that might just be portable (dreaming here) …

And then  I saw it, hidden inside one of the binders.

Rauma 53-5A

Rauma 53-5A

With this variation

53-5C

53-5C

which is knit in a heavier gauge yarn.

So I bought yarn

three colors of Finnull

three colors of Finnull

[black, charcoal and WineRot] and cast on ribbing which was as far as I was going to get till I got home. No way was I writing on the original pattern. That chart

would you believe 204x 180+?

would you believe 204x 180+?


totally eliminated even the remotest thought that I could keep my place without scanning, printing, enlarging and colored pens.

Been there – knit both Viking Ship and Phoenix – I know better than to assume my eye is not going to wander somewhere in the middle of the row.

So here I am – ribbing complete – project started on Ravelry and the first 16 rows knit -

side seam

side seam

and across the front

and across the front

There was an option of knitting a busy, tiny circles pattern on the back but I am not completely insane. It is actually more fun to knit a large pattern four times (two reversed) than it is to knit a repeat of 4×4 stitch circles.

So -what do you think?
 

 

Categories: Knitting, Travel Tags:

smaller knitting

July 24th, 2013 1 comment

I added up my projects the other day (the real WIP – not the on hold till I am completely grey) and realized that I had

1) Analucia KAL -

Clues 1-4

Clues 1-4

which is being knit in Paprika fingering weight Alpaka. Now since clues come out on Fridays – that leaves me six days of being literally clueless.

I finished another Hitchhat -

alternating stripes

alternating stripes

with 75 stitches on size 3.00 mm needles and more of that recycled german sock yarn; this time alternating from two different balls in order to tone down the colors and see what happens.

And started a yet another – 80 stitches this time

more crazy zauberball

more crazy zauberball

which was 1/2 finished in one day. Mindless knitting to go along with listening to Kerry Greenwood’s Unnatural Habits in audio. In case you are not familiar with her – Stephanie Daniel is just amazing. Couldn’t find squat about her to reference. But the Pryne Fisher Mysterys are a real hoot.

Which just leaves me to tell you about Rauma 53-5 tomorrow.

Categories: Knitting Tags:

Hitchhats and Ruffles

July 22nd, 2013 No comments

Since I am trying to catch up on projects – it just seemed easiest to post here in addition to Ravelry and not drop emails in everyone’s box since about half the people on my email letter are not knitters.

HitchHat

I am still in love with this pattern by Martina Behm. Her patterns are clear, fun and well worth purchasing. (at which point I found a pattern I don’t have by double checking the link. It just went in the queue since it looks like a great way to use up all that fun sock yarn that I have).

Anywho -

Hitchhat - recycled self striping yarn

HItchhat – recycled self striping yarn

I had four 100 gm balls of sock yarn that I frogged out of a Drops Sweater (2009) that I really, really didn’t like.

This hat is the Hitchhat, knit in one piece flat then grafted together at the end eliminating all sewing which makes me more than happy. Knit of 70 stitches on 2.5 needles it is a comfortable, close fitting hat that I think is going to be great for fall/winter hikes and jogging. Keeps the head warm with no excess fabric.

really long scarf - same yarn

really long scarf – same yarn

While on the Constellation, I knit “Just Enough Ruffles” out of Schoppel Gradient after falling in love with the idea at a Saturday Strikktreff. But I have all this sock yarn in just my colors (see hat above). Taking the pattern which called for 200 stitches in worsted weight, I started with 300 in sock weight, then changed to 10 stitches for the short row increases. Started with ~100-150 in the middle after the garterstitch edge. When all the short rows are complete it got insane. 3:1 increase meant almost 900 stitches for about six rows before knitting a garter edging and binding off. I thought I was never going to get it finished.

just enough ruffles.

just enough ruffles.

But stretched out – it is about 2 meters long and almost 20 cm wide in the center section. It wraps around my neck at least three times with nice ends to tuck in.

If I do it again, I will knit a couple of extra garter ridges and on a smaller needle than I use for the body just to insure the edge doesn’t roll. Option would be 6-8 rows of ribbing which might work even better.

Categories: Knitting Tags:

Productive day

July 1st, 2013 No comments

I can’t say as that I made any resolutions on getting my act together. Non the less, looking around this disaster of a house I will have to admit having at least some of the responsibility. Can’t dust or vacuum if I am not here but that isn’t most of it.

Most of it is all the “stuff.”  I have mentioned before not really being horders, more like being packrats. Horders save everything, packrats save the [to everyone] useful items in case their time comes around again. Or if the IRS wants to go back 15 years or they might want to re-read a paperback or perhaps sew something out of polyester double knit. Ok, that last one was a free-bee; I got rid of the last of the really horrible fabric prior to moving to the UK. At least I think I did. Can’t think of any where it might be stashed.

But I will acknowledge that most of the books, yarn, craft supplies and fiber stuff belong to me right in the same breath as saying that George has the vast majority of movies, albums and files. We both have at least some clothes but not beyond what really fits in the closets. He has more shoes that I do, even if he denies it. I am just not a shoe person.

Anyway, I started today early with a train station run followed by an Eldest pick up/drop off. I then came home to coffee and a task list. On that list were a number of items including

    finish up registering and releasing another 50 books on book crossing
    finding the next batch of books to go
    contacting a number of people in follow up of Saturday including finding fiber and burning off a couple of CDs
    downloading and backing up files
    finishing, blocking and photographing the last couple of weeks worth of knitting as well as posting to Ravelry
    cut almost a foot off my hair to take it to mid back (last time I did that was a two years ago when I whacked it back to my shoulders. Not having to wear it up all the time is wonderful)

So it is now 2230 at night. I have a bag of books ready to be dropped off and about 50 more to be registered tomorrow. Ravelry is updated which means all that remains is some blocking), computer is up to date including weeding out files. Notebook is started for the next cruise. I also have personal cards printed and mailing labels for post cards. My bills are paid, the kitchen is still clean and I managed to sneak in a bit of reading in the sun.

Categories: Books & Tapes, home, Knitting Tags:

Multicolored yarn

June 14th, 2013 1 comment

Other than get up early, go to the fitness center then eat, there was not a whole lot that I really had on my schedule today.

There are always books that can be read and yarn in the drawer.

ER2C8811

In this case, I have a couple of balls of 6-fach sock type yarn from Schoppel that I bought on one of the factory runs. Given that it is green, pink and a bit of blue it is not exactly my normal color scheme. What I decided to do was go ahead and knit a particular Drops vest pattern that I had started last winter in a completely different yarn, then frogged when it became all messed up.

This time it might just turn out ok.

ER2C8812

Categories: Knitting, Travel Tags:

Heidelberg Strikktreff

June 8th, 2013 3 comments

I am sitting on the terrace listening to the quite noisy birds and enjoying the evening’s good weather. Not so earlier this afternoon when, in spite of blue skies and the rare fluffy white cloud, this cloud parked itself over our heads at RED and let fly with a downpour.

Sheets and a heavy pounding of rain enough to obscure drivers vision and encourage backwash onto the disgusted bicycle riders. Desperately trying to call home I was unable to reach George leaving me to imagine my drenched laundry drooping on the rack.

It was just luck, good fortune or the opportune placement of a few smokers this afternoon that had us sitting inside rather than out under the overhang. At first it had been only me sitting and wondering if I had once again failed to find the right place or just had the group willing to stand me up. By 1630 there were eight of us ( do I count the small howling one or not?). I was able to find a home for several paperback mysteries and sampled an excellent piece of cheesecake.

The rain lasted only about 20 minutes after which the air seemed clean and drops sparkled on the edges of all the outdoor cafe furniture that won’t likely be seeing use for the rest of the evening.

I am off to load more books into Bookcrossing and will drop them off on the way out of town tomorrow.

Categories: Knitting Tags:

Knitting Update

June 7th, 2013 No comments

Haven’t done one of these in a while, so a couple of the current projects

the first is for a friend out in San Francisco

another hitchhiker

another hitchhiker

and this is one of two shawls started on the last cruise

Winter Fichu

Winter Fichu

the finishing issue is -

the 12 row knit on edging

the 12 row knit on edging

Categories: Knitting Tags:

also in St John’s

May 31st, 2013 No comments

(and note today that I managed to remember the apostrophe?)

There are houses with bright colors -
IMG_1492

and – at 238 Hamilton (which, despite what the website says is not really a short walk from the historic old town. Took me over 25 minutes and I walk fast….)

Wool Trends

Wool Trends

which is an old converted house – multiple rooms upstairs and down, all stuffed to the gills with a huge variety of local, UK, EU and South American yarns

bright, cheerful and lots of choices

bright, cheerful and lots of choices

It is a good thing that I don’t need yarn, patterns or I might be tempting. I did pick up a great needle gauge…

Categories: Knitting, Travel Tags:
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