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Archive for the ‘Rework Needed’


Episode 63 — Still Crazy After All These Years


In which we discuss a fun new craft-a-long with Mastering the Knits, how California’s drought is really all of ours, anniversaries (36 for Jan and 35 for Ellen),  crazy highjinx at minor league baseball games (did I mention cowboy monkeys?), boondoggles to Lake Tahoe for frozen toes, some fun finished objects, a review of “A Knitter’s Gallery of Mitred Squares – 45 Unique Designs in color, Texture, and Lace” by Jill Begelow Suttell and Jane Bigelow, and Jan’s new pattern and at the begining of which Jan gets to congratulate the Knitmores on new baby Rex!

Downy or Hairy?

Dear Ellen,

img_5819.JPGDo you like your peckers downy or hairy?  Sorry, upon reading my opening line, I realize it sounds way to much like the language of our spam commenters, but to be clear, I am talking about woodpeckers.  I believe this lovely bird is a hairy one.  The two are remarkably similar with differences only in their beaks and outer tail feathers as far as I can tell.  If those are black bars/spots on her outer tail feathers (yes, I can tell she’s a female — no red patch on the back of the head), then I’m wrong, she’s a downy.  But I would expect to see the black spots a bit better and her beak is far more chisel-like than I saw on the pictures of the downy.  Tough call.  I’ll let you know after I post this over in the “Knitting Pipeline” group on Ravelry.  Paula’s an expert.

dsc04161.JPGI’ve made good progress on Manly.  I have almost reached the “joining of sleeves” point in the body entirely with the first skein of Eco+ — was very pleased to see how far it went.  I started the next skein, but realizing I’d need sleeves to join soon, decided to work on those before I continued on the body.  I’ve got one ready to go and am about a third of the way up the second.  I’d be there in no time if I hadn’t picked up two new projects that I need to crack out quickly.

dsc04160.JPGThe first of these is a helmet liner using that fabu pattern, Gusseted Helmet Liner from TwinSet Designs.  I’m sure your familiar with it.  (By the way, when I created my project on Ravelry for this, I became your 200th project.  Do I get a prize?  Oh wait, I already got one — that lovely Columbia roving and fun, fun gifts from China.  I am particularly partial to the finger flashlight.  Thanks!) I’m making this for a buddy who deploys in a few weeks. I found out he still only has the government issue crappy acrylic helmet liner and asked him if he’d like a good one. He was thrilled when I said I’d make him one.  I’m making great progress, but am not thrilled with the stretchiness of my cast on — believe I will finish the helmet liner and then try to pick up stitches near the cast on, pick the cast on out and then bind off using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Cast Off.  Also, instead of doing a provisional cast on for the resumption of knitting in the round after the neckstand, I used two circs as the base and did a figure eight cast on to yield two lines of live stitches — one line oriented up and the other down. It worked great. When I go back to do the ribbing around the face opening I’ll simply pick up the stitches on the sides of the neck stand and be in business.

dsc04163.JPGThe next one will be a shawl for my friend Ann.  You may recall that I designed Ann’s Cap for her when she first came down with ovarian cancer.  She’s been in remission for a few years now, but her last scan showed that it’s back.  Surgery is Monday.  I’d like to be able to bring this shawl to her sometime week after next.   The pattern, from Wrapped in Comfort is perfect — named Bigfoot, I’m naming this project Ann’s Big Heart.  Her feet aren’t that big, but boy her heart is!  (I have been meaning to knit from Alison’s book for a while, but was not able to lay my hands on it.  It showed up a few weeks ago when I unpacked the last boxes from the move.) I’m doing it in Socrates — a yarn that has a very warm, very soft feel to it.

dsc04162.JPGFinally, I decided to join in on a KAL on the Knitting Pipeline boards.  Quince and Company picked up a pattern that Paula designed and it is lovely, called Piper’s Journey (click through to see a preview on their site).  I’m not a Piper, but I’ve so enjoyed her podcast and being a member of the Ravelry group, so I couldn’t say no.  Mine’s called Pipeliner’s Journey.  It will, however, have to wait till I finish the other priority projects.  As it’s not yet available (it should go on sale within the week), I may finish them up just in time.  I’m making mine in Quince and Company Chickadee in the glacier colorway.

Spinning continues too…am through the 4 oz. braid of silk and merino and I have a question.  What do you do when you can’t find the end of your single?  Mine somehow disappeared after it broke during the spinning process and now I fear surgery will be the only way to recover it.  As I’d like to ply next weekend, your advice will be valued!

Love, Jan

 

The Long and The Short of It

Dear Ellen,

dscn2263.JPGdscn2270.JPGdscn2269.JPGI had been mulling it over, and then when you cut your hair, I knew I had to take the plunge.  Let me say I feel liberated!  I will be sending the shorn locks (which the stylist curled up on the shelf for the duration of the haircut — looked like a small animal sleeping) off to Locks of Love…excepting the few for Joan’s capote and Cricket’s fly tying.  (We did get the signed agreements not to include in any voo doo activities, right?)  I am saving at least 20 minutes a day now…it takes about 45 seconds to wash and rinse and when I step out of the shower a quick towel-dry and finger comb are all that stand between me and being fully styled.  Yay!

dscn2277.JPGThis freed up sufficient time for me to finish the knitting and seaming on A Stitch Away from Genius.  If you read the Ravelry notes, you’ll see I botched up some ends-weaving.  (A real D’OH!!! moment!)  As a result I’ve been inspired to extend the project to include some embroidery.  I’m going to get a nice rich red and chain stitch a pattern on the two front pieces…maybe add some accents to the hem areas as well.  Then I’m going to find some great red and purple buttons.  I think it will not only solve the problem, but will make it that much better.  I do love red and purple together.

dscn2276.jpgI also made good progress on both Not So Naive and Sea Glass.  In fact, this picture of Not So Naive is out-of-date as there is now about 4 inches of yoke added to that collar.  The collar will fold down to the inside and be sewn in place.  This gives it some firmness and it will stand up nicely.  I’ve tried it on (I’m avery-and-narcissus.jpgloving that about the top-down approach) and it gives me just the right amount of freedom for my neck.  As I mentioned before, the yarn is from Narcissus, pictured here with his owner’s daughter Avery.  I checked with my source at Table Rock Llamas and Fiber Arts to verify and she pointed out that although they had produced the yarn, Narcissus was not one of theirs.  He was one of their friends’.  Sadly, she also shared that Narcissus was older and is now deceased.  He was much loved and is missed.  I thank him for his fiber as I knit in tribute.

dscn2271.JPGdscn2272.JPGI’m pleased with Sea Glass, though it is definitely a knit to save for moments of alert knitting.  It’s not that the pattern is so difficult…it’s not…but for some reason I am finding myself wanting to reverse the directions of the decreases.  Maybe this was a phase.  With one completion of the basketwork pattern (62 rows…really??!) it is hopefully out of my system and I can stop the tinking.  I go on travel this week…this project will stay home for sure!

Sock Wars V starts up this week, so all my projects will go on temporary hold while I knock out a pair of socks for competition.  The pattern releases while I’m on travel.  Hopefully I can find access to a printer so I can work on it in transit home.  Wish me luck!

Love, Jan

P.S.  I’m glad we hired that Dr. Yarn guy…he’s not bad!

A Deep Breath Before the Next Week Starts

Dear Ellen,

Sunday afternoon or evening is often when I carve out the time to post about activities in general and activities in knitting.  The act of slowing myself down enough to capture some thoughts for public consumption is calming even when I feel there are more urgent items on my to-do list.  More and more I feel like it is my chance to take a deep cleansing breath before I dive into the insanity to come.  And then the act of knitting (which I do try to squeeze in daily, even if only for 10 minutes) is my lifeline that will pull me back to the surface in time to get another breath.  I’m so glad we started this blog!  And believe it or not, our two year anniversary is in just over a month!  I’m going to try to read some of our old posts to get some perspective on from whence we’ve come….and maybe thoughts on to where we might decide to head next.

This last week really was one of insanity.  The new boss is finally on board and he seems to have the notion that he’s in charge.  I’ll have to disabuse him of that quickly.  I’ll talk to his wife.  He’s a pretty good guy, but the “new boss” period is always stressful.  dscn1926.JPGdscn1925.JPGIt was also stressful to frog all of what I had accomplished on the right front of my Einstein jacket (A Stitch Away from Genius).  I have screwed around with the pattern due to the gauge yielded by the bulky alpaca I’m using and I decided I got it wrong after about 3 inches.  Here you see a new scant inch where I modified…and added mini box pleats to account for the fact that I’m severely pear shaped.  Now I think I want to frog this and do it once again adding a few more pleats or to change them to distributed decreases.  I don’t know I’ll leave it aside for a few days.

Saturday we drove to Quarryville (where our property is) and bought some stuff from an Amish guy named John.  He and his brother do custom furniture and sheds and we bought both.  We had decided that for our anniversary we would get furniture for the deck here…a bistro set since a full patio set would be too large.  Looking at John’s stuff I got the notion that we might just enjoy the beautiful spruce glider chairs better…most excellent lumbar support.  Dale fairly quickly agreed and we ordered two and an end table.  We had gone in to order a shed for the property.  We did get that too…a very nice one with room for storing the tools we’ll be using to clear paths and landscaping and to keep camping gear between visits.  I’m looking forward to our first night on the property…but not till we acquire some suitable gear!  We did some work too…cleared the 12X12 foot area (of course cleared more than that) at the edge of the woods on which the shed will sit.  dscn1927.JPGAnd we cleared debris and brush from where the entrance had become overgrown and obstructed over time.  I felt we had very much earned our stop at Maplehof’s Dairy where we had sinfully delicious ice cream cones.  On the way up I studied.  On the way back I got the second of the Desert Skies Socks started.

Today I woke early, managed to find a means to fall back to sleep and then wasn’t out of bed till 11:30AM.  Even so, I am ready to go to bed now.  I did do some more work in my office — arranging, unpacking and doing homework.  It was a very good weekend and with this deep breath, I feel like I can face the coming week.

Love, Jan

Knitting in PCS Status

Dear Ellen,

“PCS” stands for “permanent change of station.”  PCS status is when you have checked out of one duty station and are on your way to the next one.  For us, this meant a 28 hour drive across country.  You would be correct in assuming that it also meant a good bit of knitting time.  The projects I worked on included the “Hopeful Booties,” “A Boa for Marie,” “A Stitch Away from Genius” and “Desert Skies Socks.”  No, I did not finish them all.

dscn1880.JPGdscn1878.JPGdscn1879.JPGIn fact, the only project completed was “A Boa for Marie” — which on Ravelry I’m calling “Beautiful Boa.”  Please no comments on the photos.  Dale and I had to horse around a bit while taking them.  I made this to show my support for Marie’s burlesque efforts…how many mom’s would do this? The result is actually quite good. I knit 10 stitches across for 2 skeins…quite a long fuzzy scarf. Then I picked up dscn1884.JPGstitches down the longitudinal center of the scarf and knit 3 rows and bound off. Then I picked up stitches down the longitudinal center of the other side of the scarf, knit 3 rows and bound off. The result is a scarf with an “X” cross section…and lots of fuzz and a good heft for throwing about one’s shoulders. It packaged up nicely.  And I have to admit…taking the pictures was kinda fun! 😉

The boa was the only project I actually finished on the drive.  I did almost finish the “Hopeful Booties,” and have since finished them…in fact, I finished a second pair.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that since then I seem to have totally misplaced them.  No pictures.  And unless I find them soon, I’ll need to start a 3rd pair as that baby isn’t holding back on growing in order to give me time to find them.

dscn1918.JPGI did get pretty far on another footwear object, this time in my size.  (Good thing as these are for me!)  The “Desert Skies Socks” are a very pretty mix of turquoise and browns in the Crystal Palace Maizy yarn.  It’s 82% corn fiber and 18% elastic and nylon.  The same yarn as for the booties…I liked it well enough with them that I picked up a few balls for adult-sized socks.  They sat there on the counter for a while waiting to go into my stash for packing…and somehow never made it.  Instead they went into my knitting bag and I cast on for them on the first day of our drive.  I could have finished at least one on the trip, except I ripped out the insole about 3 times.  I was trying to do a very cool stitch pattern with following stitches and crossing lines.  First my mind screwed me up (now there’s a first) and had me thinking public and wrong side rows since I wasn’t knitting the stitch pattern all the way around as I did the foot of the sock.  Duh…it’s still all public rows as the sock is in the round even if the instep doesn’t go all the way around.  After 1 1/2 complete pattern repeats (18 row repeats…yes, 18 row repeats) and wondering why the heck it didn’t look at all right, it came to me in a blinding flash. I did the dscn1917.JPGobligatory whining and moaning and then ripped it out and restarted.  This time the pattern looked far better and I finished 2 whole repeats.  It was at that point that I had to overcome my denial and say that although it was now correct, it still was not right.  The yarn characteristics and the colorway caused the pattern to be lost.  This time I kept the sole stitches on the needles and dropped all the instep stitches and kept the boundary stitches and sole stitches intact.  dscn1915-1.JPG(The soles are princess soles in reverse stockinette.)  I rethought the whole thing and decided that stair-stepped cables would be simple and would be more effective with the yarn.  I was right.  This time the foot moved along nicely, the gussets looked smashing and I was on the leg by the time we were accepting household goods at the new place.  I finished the first sock of the pair this weekend and intend to get the next one cast on tonight.

dscn1921.JPGI also plugged away a bit on my Einstein Coat, that I call “A Stitch Away from Genius.”  My substitution of a bulky for the chunky is driving a few adjustments in row counts, but the schematic gives plenty of info to work it out.  I’m about 2/3 around my hips for the bottom part at this point.  It’s a great knit for when I get home at night and am brain dead.  As long as I remember to start with that slipped stitch, I’m golden.  And there have been a few frogging sessions as I’ve managed to forget it a few times.  That’s how porous my brain is some nights!

More on our move and on the re-establishment of my knitting rhythm in a few days.  I still hate you for getting to go to Sock Summit.  I really hope you had a BLAST at Sock Summit.   I expect pictures.

Love, Jan

Muscle Relaxers and Lace Knitting

Dear Ellen,

You knew from the title that this post would contain some very bad judgment.  It does.

dscn1609.JPGFor some reason I decided that working on Fichu, Gesundheit — the next Vanessa project — would be  a great way to fill time while I was nursing a bad shoulder spasm that started last Thursday.  Yes, I was taking flexeril(tm) and trying to keep my left arm immobilized, but that didn’t stop me.  As the photo shows, I did finally make some progress, but it was only after roughly 8 hours or knitting, tinking, frogging and more knitting.  When I finally realized I was misinterpreting a chart symbol it went a lot better.  MAYBE this could have worked had I already done a few repeats of the pattern, but I had only done the garter stitch neckband and hadn’t even studied the chart.  Oh, wait…studying the chart.  I suppose that might have helped too.  I can report that today the shoulder is much better and when I finish here, I plan on doing another repeat…with a clear head.  I hope the foregoing builds your sense of confidence in our senior military leaders.

dscn1615.JPGdscn1616.JPGA very sensible person would have picked one of the other projects already underway.  For instance, I’ve only gotten about 4 inches into the skirt part of A Stitch Away From Genius — hours to go before I’d have to think of anything other than remembering to dscn1614.JPGslip the first stitch of each row.  And the Robin’s Egg Vest is at point where I can do it pretty much without thinking.  Cinnamon Tee takes some counting to keep track of when to decrease for the fitting, but other than that it’s stockinette…so with so many better options, what the heck was I thinking?  I guess I just needed a challenge…and I had not a bit of sense in between my ears at the time.

dscn1608.JPGdscn1613.JPGAnd evidently, I’m not done with the startitis.  I’ve got this lovely Alpaca from gentle Narcissus of Table Rock Llamas — she’s not pictured on their web site as she’s not for sale.  With it I intend to make Not So Naive with the “Ingenue” pattern in Custom Knits.  It is a great boatneck sweater with a quasi-standup “portrait” collar.  And I’ve committed to make one of two pair of booties for one of the young Lieutenants who has done so much for women in the Navy (including getting the senior Navy women organized on Facebook!) and is now expecting twins.  I’m calling them Hopeful Booties as her first name is Hope. I’m using the Baby Life Ring Booties Pattern from Cat Bordhi’s Magical Knitting site.

Perhaps the muscle relaxers are still affecting me…I do have to be ready to move in less than a month and I’m going to start more projects?!

With that thought in mind, I think I’ll go knit.

Love, Jan

P.S. I was very busy the last two weeks of silence…several trips and mandatory fun.  No need to bore you with it!

I Love My Lace Tunic!

Dear Ellen,

dscn0038.JPGdscn0033.JPGdscn0034.JPGYay!*  I really think I got it just about right this time .  Do you see how I’m smiling?  (The last shot included as Dale thinks I look very much like some of your pictures in it.  I told him we were identical twins after all!)  I didn’t account for having such a high wasitline.   if I had done so, I would love it more — but as it is, I’m darned pleased with how this turned out and I am going to be wearing it a lot.  It dresses up a plain t-shirt nicely so it will give me a good option when I’m out and about or at a casual party.   And, it’s another WIP completed.

I do have an issue with the next target…turns out I knit two different sizes of sleeves.  I have a plan though.  Since it’s mohair, I’m going to trim down one sleeve (after having mattress stitched into place) and then whip stitch the seam to secure the it from fraying.  I’ll also whip stitch the opposite seam so the bulk will be the same in each shoulder.  I’m telling myself this added bulk will actually add some definition to the shoulder, which should look nice on this slightly fitted cardigan.  We’ll see.  Worst case is I’ll take the sleeve back out, frog down to where the sleeve cap started and reknit.

Love, Jan

*I am bothered when people spell “yay” as “yeah.”  One rhymes with hay, the other is a casual version of yes.

Curls, Projects and a Mountain Hike

Dear Ellen,

It was good talking to you today. I do think we need to plan our mini-break in celebration of the upcoming milestone. Something involving fiber would be fun, but any time we get to hang out will be fine with me. Let’s see what we can come up with.

Curly Haired JanRemember my asking about the curliness of your hair when you were in DC for Marie’s wedding? Well, I got mine trimmed the other day and the stylist asked if she could have some fun and “encourage my curls” during the blow-dry. I gave her the go ahead and here’s the result. I think it’s pretty cute…and can do it myself, but my usual habit is to pull it back or put it up when I get out of the shower — this will be fun for special events though.

mystery-knit.JPGWhat do you think this is?

Hint: it’s not a Baby Surprise.

See if you can work it out and I’ll tell you at the end of the post.

I finished the socks I worked on during part of our trip west. I’m quite pleased with them now, but they really drove me crazy during the process of completing them. I finished the first one and bound it off and then decided It was too short. troublesome-socks-w-flash.JPGHere’s the saga — Okay, the second sock is already on the needles, so I’ll knit it to a better length and then go back and add on to the other. The ends aren’t yet woven in, so at least it won’t be too hard to frog back to the last row of knitting. Okay, this length is much better. Now to try it on…What? Crap, what was I thinking…this is a standard-bind off instead of an elastic bind-off. I’m going to have to redo it…but not tonight. Okay, it’s a new day, let’s get that bind-off fixed. Gee, in my hand this bind-off is fairly elastic, strange that it was so unforgiving on my foot. Well, it’s redone now, let’s try it on. What the @#%$??!! Double crap! I just redid the bind-off on the sock that was too short! Good grief, that sock will end up with three bind-offs by the time I’m done with it. Okay, settle down and pick up the LONG SOCK. This is definitely it…redo the bind-off and now it fits great. Now, pick up the SHORT SOCK and frog back to the meandering rib pattern and add four more repeats and then bind-off using an elastic bind-off. meandering-rib.JPGAm I out of yarn already? Oh brother! I picked up the wrong leftover yarn to add on to the sock…now I have to add yet another length of yarn. Back to business…and FINALLY finished. And they do fit perfectly, so in the end it’s worth it. I like the pattern stitch. I made it up on the fly when I decided I didn’t want just plain ribbing to the top…I’m sure it’s in some stitch dictionary, but I’m calling it meandering rib and think it looks like a nuance of mock-cable.

taking-form.JPGDoggy Romping Figure it out yet? Here’s another picture in process to help you guess. At this point it should be fairly easy. And here’s a shot of how the dogs have stolen it for a bit of a romp. (I confess, this shot is only included because I love the look of Ruby galloping.)

We had a really great morning yesterday. We got up pretty early for a Saturday and headed over to Barr Mountain. The dogs came along for what turned out to be a max-christens-the-trail-head.JPGmountain-view.JPGdoggies-and-jan.JPGthree hour tour hike. (Did you hear the theme song to Gilligan’s Island as you read that?) It was GORGEOUS. We started out with Max christening the trail head — his own form of adoption. (BTW, did you know that dale-and-doggies.JPGhummingbird.JPGthis area has the highest population of Wiccans in the country?) Every time you turned a switchback you saw another view of the foothills leading up to the Rocky Mountains. And the trail was bordered by some very impressive boulders. We didn’t see a lot of wildlife (after all there we’re many hikers), but I did spot this hummingbird. It looking-around.JPGqueen-of-the-world.JPGkindly lit on this tree to let me take its picture. After we had been on the trail for a while (passing and being passed by many other hikers, some of whom had their dogs off leash), we decided to try Ruby off leash. We thought she’d be unlikely to charge off without us as she was sticking pretty close. She did great…seemed to love the extra bit of liberation and did stay with us very nicely. She even followed instruction when we would call her to the side to let a runner go by. (Comment on the runners — they’re crashed.JPGinsane. The trail was very rocky in places, lots of “ankle grabbers,” and in places quite steep. The one guy on the mountain bike…forget it!) Based on her fine performance we let Max off lead as well and he did nearly as well as Ruby. We stopped for water and to climb some rocks…the dogs thought they were king and queen of the world! When we got back to the car we were all pretty well bushed, but Dale and I didn’t have the option of just crashing like someone else.

Doggy Boneruby-and-dog-bone.JPGYes, you’re right! It is a doggy bone! It has the sound device from one of the dog’s favorite toys inside…they loved that toy so much that when it totally fell apart I decided I’d have to knit a replacement of some sort. I used nylon cording to try to make it as non-destructible as possible and I modified a commercial pattern for a felted dog bone. Ruby is quite appreciative, but she has a bit of trouble picking it up. Max carries around quite nicely, but wouldn’t let me get a picture of him doing so.

Enough for now back to working on my first Baby Surprise.

Love, Jan

On the Road Again

what-a-peach.JPGDear Ellen,

That week with John and Betsy flew by pretty darned fast. And before you knew it, we were seeing giant fruit as we traveled down I-85 towards Athens, Georgia. We stayed there for a few days with Allen and we got to see him graduate from his Supply Officer Basic Course. He’ll be in Athens till July for a few shorter courses, all getting him ready to report to the fast attack submarine USS PROVIDENCE diploma-received.JPGnavy-family.JPGfamily-tradition.JPGout of Groton, Connecticut. Sadly, he and Tina have broken up, so being close to NYC will no longer hold as much of a draw, but he is quite excited about getting to his first real assignment nonetheless.

arch-st-louis.JPGThe morning after graduation we got back on the road…and drove for a long time. We did get to see some fun things along the way…the Arch in St. Louis was impressive. We stopped just on the west side of St. Louis the first day. I was very grateful that we had planned the trip so that we would drive the longest distance the first day with each subsequent day about 100 miles less than the day before. It made it much easier to get up in the morning and face the car again. tornado-refugees.JPGknitting-up-a-storm-ha-ha.JPGWe stopped in Hays, Kansas on the second night of the drive and we had the added fun of spending most of the evening in the hotel basement avoiding tornadoes that were touching down all around the area. I was glad to have my knitting with me. The dogs thought it was an adventure and a chance to play with the children who were staying in the hotel. No harm came to Hays and we were back on our way the next morning.

us-70-westbound.JPGLet me tell you, the drive through Kansas on I-70 is one long straight shot. There are, however, a few interesting sights to see along the way. You can, for instance, enjoy the many fields of eco-friendly windmills that stretch out over the plains. wind-power.JPGwindshield-cleaners.JPGAnd sometimes you see funny handsome men trying to scrape some of the several thousand dead bugs off of your windshield. I had enough time to take the two balls of SWTC A-Maizing ribbon yarn that I won in a guild raffle and knit 3/4 of a Baby Surprise jacket. Then I ran out of yarn. I decided it needed frogging anyway — I could see where I managed to mess up the mitreing when I was first starting…I had the count wrong. (No, I didn’t use the safety pins to mark the stitches as EZ had recommended.) As it turned out it didn’t really matter since I didn’t have enough yarn anyway. The EZ Baby Surprise will have to wait a little longer.

Incredible as it might be, Dale and I never got on each other’s nerves throughout the trip. (The NPR podcasts of “Car Talk” and “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!” get some of the credit.) However, the dogs kept asking if we were there yet. great-view.JPGtraveling-pals.JPGRuby made it a point to find the best vantage point to watch the road markers. And Max was extremely happy when he finally saw the sign for entering Colorado Springs! As you can tell, Dale was too!! Fortunately, it was pretty easy to find our hotel and we got settled in pretty quickly. We’ve got a two bedroom suite that is small, but very nice — and on the ground floor, a definite bonus with dogs to walk! (My next post will show you some of the things we see while we are out on our daily early morning 1.5 mile jaunts.)

dee-at-needleworks.JPGneedleworks-group.JPGDale more than earned credit for investigating a knitting group for me to go to just two days after we arrived. Unfortunately, they meet on weekdays, so now that I’m back at work, I won’t have many opportunities to join them. They were a great source of information and I sure enjoyed spending a morning with them.  I’ll try to make it back again some time in the future.

I’ve been at work for a week now and I have to say it’s going pretty well. There will be more than enough for me to do to make sure I’m earning my paycheck, but I actually think I may be able to have some work-life balance…even possibly schedule some leave! I’m going to enjoy it. Enough for tonight…

Love, Jan

Mayday…Mayday…err, um, I mean May Day

Dear Ellen,

“Rabbit, rabbit.” For 28 years I have been saying “rabbit, rabbit” on the first day of each month. One of my buddies at my first duty station maintained that it brought you good luck for the rest of the month. I have no idea the logic behind it, but I suspect you are actually supposed to be saying, “rabbi, rabbi” — at least that would have some sort of connection to a prayer of some sort. Regardless, I like the idea of invoking the favors of small, furry creatures so I’ll stick with the rabbits.

RonniePossumHere are some more furry creatures — Ronnie and Possum are Marie and Heidi’s relatively new kittens. They get along famously with their older cat, Monkey, who is both camera shy (and therefore not pictured here) and looks remarkably like a younger Black Pearl. (Big sigh!) Ronnie has enormous paws for a kitten and Possum purrs at about 150 decibels…and he does it non-stop.

Side YardRosebudMax Standing AroundRuby and RoseAnd enjoying the springtime beauty of our backyard, here is Max just standing around and Ruby amidst the roses. I have to admit the yard is really nice right now…and the roses are gorgeous and fragrant.

As for me, I am trying to get over yet another nasty cold/sinus infection. Like the last one, this one is accompanied by a really sore throat — my tonsil “stumps” are enlarged, red and angry and it is very painful to swallow. (Possibly TMI…sorry!) I sure am glad there are no tonsils left in there…I can only imagine what that would be like! I imagine the prudent thing would be to go get a throat culture tomorrow. Even more prudent would be to slow down and not travel so much. I don’t foresee that happening any time soon.

I haven’t knit very much in the last few days. I’m not sure if that’s because of the malaise I feel from the cold or if it’s because I’ve discovered that the “sale” yarn I snatched up for use on knitting charity caps for kids is not the same dye lot. I’m trying to figure out how to make this a design feature on a cap that is 90% complete at the point where I have to add the new yarn (which was also the point at which I discovered the issue.) I’m thinking that since the remaining portion is the brim, it would be okay for that to be a different hue and that I could also add either a pon-pom or some kind of duplicate stitching/embroidery to blend the shade difference (which is really quite significant now that I have the yarn out of the unlabeled packaging.) I think I’ll go to bed early and sleep on it.

Love, Jan