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To the ends of the earth – or my garage

August 27th, 2015 Comments off

Driving to Wallhausen is fun, especially when I do it with someone else. We had a good time there and back. A stop at my house involved Nana and the kids books. And some old shirts for wearing, painting, crafting with kids.

I have the yarn I need which I promised people for later in the year. I have knitting projects for the next month (well, I had those anyway but….).

Gone

123 books to the good…. I mean to someone else. Nana, bless her heart, went through both the English and German children’s books and was easily talked into taking boxes home for nieces and nephews.

Categories: Books & Tapes, Knitting, yarn Tags:

Muir Woods

February 18th, 2015 Comments off

Drive up 580. Cross the Richmond Bridge (past the refineries that were voted closed by the city council last night due to safety reasons). South on 101, out California #1 and through switchbacks, double backs and really hairy hair pins just in time to get one of the few remaining parking slots at Muir Woods National Monument.

After a stop at Muir Beach, Bluebird Yarns (Sausalito) and the North Face Outlet we returned back to the house.

You have the photos of the best part.

Categories: Friends, home, yarn Tags:

Off! and done….

October 27th, 2014 Comments off

I felt my self become lighter and lighter as I managed to get off the Oasis in spite of there being no directions and no signage. Now I can understand why they don’t print the Gangway the night before – something might change. But is there anything wrong with signage? With something in their TV announcements?

In stead there is a button in the elevators that says “Gangways.” Ok, that works for all the people who take elevators, but what about the rest of us? Or perhaps a sign or five when you get off the elevator? It is a rather large ship and that might eliminate scads of people randomly milling around knocking into everyone else with their baggage.

Ah well, I had figured it that it was going to be Starboard (since my cabin was Port and overlooking the water) and midship figured to be a good bet. I didn’t quite dance down the gangway but it was close. Since all I had was my 19″ suitcase and a backpack self carry turned out to be brilliant. There were issues getting the luggage off the ship….

Anyway – took the shuttle to MIA. Took the Hilton shuttle to the MIA Hilton. Left my suitcase with the Bell Captain and hiked to the Post Office via Office Depot. They were out of tyvek mailing envelopes, but had bubble nylon envelopes. Since the Post Office turned out to be out of the good mailing envelopes (must not be the only one who turns them inside out…..) this also turned out to be a good idea.

The clerk at the next counter was a local young woman, my clerk with 28 years in the system is originally from Peru. We discussed hats, scarves, real winter and to remember that Lima is not characteristic of his country (big city = bit city). They both found the idea of someone walking in with $56 in change as a welcome event (me in Aspen). Meanwhile, packages to Coral Springs, Touano, Annadale, Brooklyn, Chicago and Berkeley to arrive anywhere from tomorrow to Sat.

I’m about to take the shuttle back over to the airport and hang out in the military lounge till Lufthansa opens its counter ~1400. Free Wifi is always good…..

Categories: family, Knitting, Travel, yarn Tags:

Bags!

October 5th, 2014 Comments off

Luggage, Suitcases, duffle bags, whatever. They had been located yesterday, escorted to a Lufthansa flight and directed to behave themselves till disembarking in Frankfurt. Lufthansa has a delivery service. My bags will be brought to me.

Bags? Yes, two. Normally I don’t travel all that heavy and certainly I didn’t start out that way at the beginning of the trip. But this was the northern crossing. The one that stops in Norway, Shetlands, Faroes, Iceland. How could I possibly visit these ports and not pick up wool, books or both? And then there were the sweater requests. Several were mailed off by friends in the US leaving me with just two that made the trip with me.

But still, there was wool. And books. And finished projects that came back to Germany and unfinished projects which weren’t completed through lack of the correct yarn. All of which meant I was coming home with more than planned.And towels. Remind me, exactly why do I persist in having towels be my gift from Royal? Perhaps we actually have enough towels for now….

Categories: home, yarn 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:

California Handweavers

May 19th, 2012 Comments off

Sometimes you can just be in the right place at the right time. My luck ran that way today. From what I think I read, it was the annual convention of the California Handweavers complete with classes, banquet and fashion show (last night) and a room full of dealers with lovely things to buy.

It has been a long time since I have done any significant weaving. Years and years as a matter of fact. The Glimakra drawloom went to live in PA in 1993 and I sold the AVL leaving me only various toys and an 8-H Baby Wolf. My interests drifted over to spinning and knitting.

The guys dropped me off late morning. I intended to buy a day pass and then join them in a shoe-shopping-for-the-boy expedition. Instead I texted them back saying I wasn’t going to be done till about 1700.

It was easy to spend a couple of hours in the dealers and exhibition hall. First looking at the fashion and weaving displays then wandering from booth to booth feeling all that luscious fiber. Carolina Handspun had a number of spinning wheels to try and I have now managed to talk myself out of buying a Schacht Sidewinder. I have a portable wheel which I really don’t much like (Louet Victoria) and was hoping to find an alternative. I managed to avoid all the fiber and all but a couple of skeins of yarn.

Then there was this dude with glass earrings. If I hadn’t already had plans for Thursday evening i would have been over at the Oakland Center taking a class from Harlan. As is, I just had to settle for indulging in a couple pairs for me.

I spent the remainder of the afternoon in a class taught on finishing techniques for handwovens. Daryl Landcaster started out in haute couture and tailoring taught by her mother. Weaving was a later addition. Reviewing seams, edge-finishings and hemming all of it is applicable to “normal”

I will give you the photos as a gallery – click to embiggen…

Categories: Fiber, fiber toys, Sewing, Spinning, Weaving, yarn Tags:

Stash Building

January 24th, 2012 1 comment

It is not like I needed more yarn and I showed you most of it the other day.

I had mentioned alpaca on cones that were my share of the treasures brought back from Bolivia to my friend Carmen. With the exception of the Paprika, these were all natural colors in light fingering weight. (I drooled over the other dyed cone which was a boucle. Alpaca Boucle? Then I thought of the many skeins of such I already have languishing in my stash. What would I do with it? Never mind, after fondling it for a while, I put it back in the box).

I had forgotten to mention this

lavendar merino lace

lavendar merino lace


or the rest of the merino lace which was on sale.
it was on sale, cheap

it was on sale, cheap

Now all I have to do is upload the pix to Ravelry. Somehow it always feels nicer to hit the “use yarn from stash” button when I start a project. Only thing is – I really shouldn’t be starting any new projects.

Categories: yarn Tags:

Sunshine and Straßenbahns

October 19th, 2009 Comments off

Heidelberg Meddac personnel are just incredibly helpful. The security guy is going to check and find out why I need to do another set of fingerprint cards. If actually required, he will help me get them off to Ft Sam. The Medical Librarian is an old friend and found me several articles. In return, I got her signed up on Ravelry. Perhaps I did not do her a favor.

But most importantly, the optometry clinic personnel decided that there was more wrong with my military issue glasses than bent frames, found me an appointment this afternoon and replacement glasses on order for me.

All of this put me in an obviously cheerful mood as I headed into the Altstadt at the end of the business day. I found the mate to Ms Maus’s fleece jacket, only in black. Somehow I can’t see myself in mint green and the only one they had left in the nice red was a size large.

To thank her for both suggesting the jacket and giving me directions – I found this

Flushi in green

Flushi in green

which should coordinate with her jacket, highlighted by two of her other favorite colors – yellow and orange.

(This is the only one of my offspring who has not spent months in the I will wear anything as long as it is black phase of teen age fashion).

Rödel now stocks KnitPro needles (KnitPicks for you US based knitters). They are more expensive than mail ordering from the US but have the advantage that they were right on the rack in front of me. The woman who forgot to bring along sock needles. US price = $6.79 EU price = 5.95€.

Oragami

Since the body of the cardigan is not all that portable,

sides and more than 1/2 the back

sides and more than 1/2 the back

the sleeve came along with me today.

19 more cm to the sleeve cap

18 more cm to the sleeve cap

I am making progress, but it is really slow going. 50 gm of yarn makes 12″ or about 31 cm of sleeve (the magic number is 49 cm to get to the sleeve cap shaping this is looking like a really good train knitting project.

Off to pack – it is back to München in the morning.

Categories: Knitting, Travel, yarn Tags:

Loot

October 12th, 2009 2 comments

Since today was a totally boring day, I will, instead, admit that I bought a few things at Ally Pally.

A pack of discontinued colors at a great price (14 skeins)

Jamieson's Shetland

Jamieson's Shetland

A bright and cheerful scarf kit

J&S Scarf Kit

J&S Scarf Kit

The new Hanne Falkenberg Kit. I am still contemplating swapping out the cream for navy

Donna

Donna

and last, but certainly not least – a bit of buffalo. Incredibly soft plus I love the color.

Buffalo Gold

Buffalo Gold

Now, I just need a couple of life times…..

Categories: yarn Tags:

Volunteers and the rest of the stash

July 12th, 2009 1 comment

So where, you might be thinking, is the rest of the stash?  It is tucked in here.

organiized. Finally.

organiized. Finally.

Seriously, this closet contains the total and complete UK stash not including WIPs and the sock yarn. I have a sweater envelope with the handspun, two bins of lace yarns, the large box is Kauni, a bag of Smart, Drops and Dale, and the rest of various yarns. I could knit at top speed between now and when I leave the UK and not use it all up. There is definitely some which will find a new home rather than be transported back.

Last evening saw (heard?) the first annual RAMC (V) Band Concert. The members are all in the Territorial Army which makes them Volunteers who more than likely put in much more time than they ever will recover in either drill credit or pay. From Marches through Overtures, Regimental Songs and a Fairy Tale, it was a great program. I only regret a few more people didn’t get themselves out for the program. Did I mention that it was free? Or that I was not organized enough to bring along my camera?

The gym is closed on Sunday, so I substituted some spinning wheel treadling –

singles

singles

two ply

two ply

but have no clue as to what it will eventually become.

Categories: military, Spinning, yarn Tags:

Sock Yarn Stash

July 11th, 2009 Comments off

I don’ think that I mentioned cleaning, organizing and moving the furniture in my bedroom. Or maybe I did, with apologies for my lousy memory. As part of the straightening, Ms Soprano and I moved all of the fiber related stuff (from there and the living room and the back office) up to the top floor.

After a couple of days of getting my strength back (plus putting the DH on a plane this morning back to Germany) it seemed time to tackle the disorder with detours out to get running shoes for the daughter and an exercise hour at the gym.

George had purchased this wonderful huge basket for me several years ago at a German craft fair. It is lined which makes it safe for yarn. Rather than dribs and drabs of this and that – I decided to load in all the sock yarn.

just a few skeins and balls

just a few skeins and balls

Did I mention that he is 61 today and we took him out for dinner last night? That I still need to find him a present? There are always the usual fall backs: books, music, luggage…. Knitted things are rarely an option: he either tucks them away or runs them through the washer and dryer which does not do much good to a handspun, hand knit vest.

Since he is on his way back to Germany, I rewarded myself with a trip to the gym and a bit of spinning – with fiber from LimeGreenJelly

BFL

BFL

Categories: Spinning, yarn Tags:

a find

June 6th, 2009 Comments off

We are all booked into the Hotel La Florida on the hill over looking Barcelona. It looks like it is right above the city. In reality, we are a bus ride to nowhere with polution obscuring the view of the city.

looking over the city

looking over the city

A bit clearer on the weekend

A bit clearer on the weemd

We meandered around the city a bit,

doors and

doors and

arches

arches

and old ceilings

and old ceilings

saw Gaudi architecture

Gaudi House Windows

Gaudi House Windows

Gaudi - balconies and mosaics

Gaudi - balconies and mosaics

and found this:

leading here. Run by Jennifer (kamikazeknits on Ravelery) she has all sorts of goodies in her store. Including the 3.00 mm KnitPro tips…

shop interior

shop interior

This stop made up for dinner which was late and featured dead stuff of both fish and flesh variety. Their alternative for me was Risotto.

slime flavored with mushroom

slime flavored with mushroom

as apposed to yesterday which featured this wonderful custard.


and tomorrow we head home….

.

Categories: Arches&Doors, Travel, yarn Tags:

Not bad

February 19th, 2009 Comments off

Trees

Is it the hard part or the easy part? The vest is complete. Except for the steeks and the ribbing. About now is when my brain goes out to lunch and wants to move on to other projects….

front - knitting complete

front - knitting complete

Back - knitting complete

Back - knitting complete

Scheherazade

I did mention that the Eldest decided that the periwinkle was too busy? Moving on – I am going to knit it again in cream – Loüet Gems. Since the yarn has now arrived – I really don’t have much of an excuse not to start it.

Loüet Gems - cream sock weight

Loüet Gems - cream sock weight

Phoenix

But I also picked up some more Kauni from ScandinavianKnittingDesign the other day.

Kauni - solid purple

Kauni - solid purple

Kauni - solid red

Kauni - solid red

including this wonderful color which I think would be fine as one of the colors in a Phoenix. (Meg Swanson’s Knitting Book).

Kauni - EU

Kauni - EU

Of course, I should catch Raverly up with my projects as well… One of these days

Categories: Knitting, yarn Tags: ,

Added yarn

February 18th, 2009 2 comments

I don’t often admit how much yarn I have much less when I add a few balls more to the collection. Or skeins in case that is the option. So I will just explain that I bought the sock yarn last week in München (on sale), the silk/wool sock yarn is for a couple of small scarves and the Malbrigo is because I really want to try it for some lace.

ah, the Munchkin? I got it as a contrast color for a stranded vest.

Of course, I could just add all of this to the stash and take out something that is a bit more aged…….

Categories: yarn Tags:

Redwoods

January 10th, 2009 3 comments

If you want to understand where you really fit in the size of the world – go to Muir Woods National Monument.  Walking along, being dwarfed by trees while traversing the occasional ray of sun which makes it through to the forest floor, it was peaceful and quiet in spite of all the hikers.

towering Redwoods

Towering Redwoods

Looking at a cross-section from a tree harvested 90 years ago –

from before 1100

from before 1100

that started growing about 1000 years ago.

The day is gorgeous, about 16°C with the sun shining and a crisp wind blowing. The bay has an amazing lack of sail boats out on the water. Perhaps they are not allowed?

SF Bay

SF Bay

Janet picked me up this morning and we are cruising- military and interesting sites. We are not quite the same as when we worked together at 5th G Emergency Room in the early 80s. Life has happened to us. But underneath those changes, there has been steady treelike growth with the ability to weather challenges.

The Presidio has passed from Army hands to those of Immigration –

Officers' Club - Presidio

Officers' Club - Presidio

remains, the housing is now rented by private individuals, Letterman has been closed for almost 2 decades.

In other locations, the Park Service or Coast Guard has taken over former Army sites so that you can now take pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

or walk on the beach/study marine mammals on a former Nike Missile site

Beach at Marine Station

Beach at Marine Station

We lunched at Saul’s Delicatessen in Berkley then took a side trip to Oakland. Small store there with the unlikely name of Article Pract. Yarn store. We spent time both looking around and adding to our respective stashes.

I found some interesting sock yarn called Mini Moochi, a merino and nylon blend.

Mini Moochi Sock Yarn

Mini Moochi Sock Yarn

and bought three colors of baby Merino Malbrigo lace. Neither the photos or the monitor really does these amazing luscious feeling skeins justice.

Reds - malbrigo lace

Reds - malbrigo lace


Tourage - Malbrigo Lace

Tourage - Malbrigo Lace


Blues - Malbrigo Lace

Blues - Malbrigo Lace

Griffin Vest

I finally managed to get past the ribbing on the Griffin Vest –

Griffins - started

Griffins - ribbing joined

ok – from the right side you can start to see the feet!

Griffins - feet

Griffins - feet


with the base and first six rows of the pattern knit

Scheherzade

I had only 20 rows knit when I got on UA 901 yesterday. Finishing the third set of charts put me at 150 rows and about 25% complete. This is for the Eldest. The color is periwinkle and the yarn is lovely. Even so, I don’t think it is going to turn out to be what she wants. So sometime between now and 23 May I might have to squeeze in an alternate shawl.

Scheherazade - first three charts

Scheherazade - first three charts

It is late and I am not sure at all about my body and the time zones. Helpfully, it is still 10°C here while it is -12°c in Heidelberg and 3°C in Camberley. I think I have the best of the three locations.

TP

September 24th, 2008 1 comment

I know that you have heard this rant before. There absolutely has to be genetics involved. Or at least the absence of a Y chromosome and age past teen years.

You would not think it was such a hard thing to accomplish: the taking off of an empty roll, opening a package and placing a brand new roll on the hanger. Doesn’t take skill past that of the average 3 year old, or maybe a two year old if the number of rolls lost to kittens and toddlers is any indication.

Classic appearance

Classic appearance

In the presence of an open package, the process should become even easier.

Open Package

Open Package

So why is it that mothers seem to be the only ones in a household capable of hanging a new roll of toilet paper? Who don’t find it impossible to go beyond the laziness of plunking the new role down on the toilet back, the floor or the nearest handy surface?

the reality of upstairs

the reality of upstairs

I think it was a mother at wits end who came up with the idea of super-sized rolls just to decrease the hassle. Double size rolls should mean half the incidence of the above noted nuisance, right? Instead, I have noticed that the consumption of toilet paper has increased. Perhaps it is the impression that the roll is so big it will last forever or some other factor beyond my ken.

The end result is almost as many empty cores as before gracing the bathroom at close to double the expense. It boggles the mind which needs to turn to knitting for sanity.

Yarn

This ball of yarn –

Noro Silk Garden #265

Noro Silk Garden #265

is destined to become this hat (for those of you who are on Ravelry).

Books

.Blood Noir – Laurel Hamilton. Amazingly enough, this one actually has a story line separate from sex and violence. I really don’t remember Anita being such a wimp and so doubt filled. I wonder if the author is trying to make her a bit more real and sympathetic. Instead, she has lost some of the good character points while not gaining much of anything.

On the Speakers

In the Wake of the Wind – David Arkestone.
.

Categories: Books & Tapes, home, yarn Tags:

Putting it off

July 10th, 2008 1 comment

I have been procrastinating. There is only so much that I can accomplish at the office. Much of what currently needs to be done, I must do at home since it involves printing, scanning and emailing. The British Army computer system currently at AMD only talks to itself; it is not connected to the outside world. This is wonderful in terms of computer security, but sucky when it comes to transferring documents.

And then there is the fact that I really should make a list of those things which I absolutely need to get done, just so I don’t miss any. But even the idea of that list is giving me the willies. If I acknowledge everything, it feels like it will be overwhelming. If I don’t make a list, something is going to fall and cost me more than just time and money.

If I group items, the list will be shorter. If I don’t, it will seem like I am making headway as I check them off.

What a dilemma.

So I solved it by driving to RAF Croughton. My putative excuse was needing to fill out paperwork for the new gas program card. And the mail, can not forget the importance of the mail run, especially when it nets lace weight yarn from KnitPicks.

Yarn

Agean Blue Gloss Lace

Agean Blue Gloss Lace

BlueGlass Shimmer

BlueGlass Shimmer

Berry Shimmer

Berry Shimmer

Happy Trails - Gossmer

Happy Trails - Gossmer

Audio Books

Variable Star – Robert Heinlein and Spider Robinson. Read by Spider, it is a great story and the perfect blend between the old Heinlein juveniles and Robinson’s own great style. Perfectly safe for public listening, teens and adults (yes, there is mention of sex, no, none of it is described in detail in the script).

Poison Heart – Mary Logue is on the car CD player. It is an excellent choice for driving distances. About relationships, small town Wisconsin, and “how is she going to solve it” rather than “who dun’it” I was entertained but not distracted.

Arbiter Chronicles – Man walks into a bar by the Prometheus Radio Theater. Full cast decent production, quality really decent. There is a whole series of short stories in 3-6 parts available for download.

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