Twins bound by a love of knitting talk about knitting and more.

Archive for May, 2008

It’s been a fowl day here in Geneva…

Dear Jan,


Today’s theme – waterfowl! 

Geneva is at the tip of Lake Geneva and has two rivers flowing through it.  The prettiest places to walk are along the water, and many feathered friends accompany you on your journey.  I believe they are hoping for almond croissant crumbs.

dsc02060.JPGIn addition to many waterfowl, there are many pollarded sycamores.  This horticultural technique always fascinates me in a kind of creepy way.  Such bizarre forms result – it always looks to me like the tree is a mass of arms waving fleshy multi-fingered hands around.  They look better after they leaf out.

And here is another wild sight – giant chess!  It was a hoot watching this intellectual game turn physical.  dsc02082.JPG  dsc02078.JPGPeople would kick their pieces to move them, the little kids tended to lift captured pieces over their heads in triumph and there was a constant buzz of excited analysis.  There must have been a dozen of these big boards. 

dsc02095.JPG I sat on an island in the river drinking alpine herb-flavored wheat beer and knitting along on my sock.  dsc02094.JPGOn the airplane on the way over I got another BSJ started.  This guage definitely means it will be for a newborn.  I know you’re thinking I’m cutting it pretty close with two projects for this week long trip.  Don’t worry, I brought a third one along.

Tomorrow starts the conference fun, so likely no post.

Keep taking your antibiotics!



Check it Out!

Hi Ellen!

I got us added to the “Top 100 Knitting Sites” — as 100 sites aren’t registered yet, we’re on the list…and not at the bottom of it! I’ll figure out how to get our banner added someday.

Also, amazing how one day on the right meds can yield benefit. I can now swallow without hard pain and have some energy. Good thing, I leave for Maxwell Air Force Base in about an hour.

Love, Jan

Changing time zones and seasons

Hi, Jan,

dsc02035.JPGdsc02038.JPGIt’s definitely late spring in Geneva.  I’m wide awake at 1:30 in the morning, so no better time than to recap my enjoyment of the weather here, and the lovely spring blooms.  After the long cold spring we’ve had, walking off the plane to low 70’s and sun is quite the luxury.

dsc02034.JPGI am amused by the giant lizard bench outside of a school, as well as by a pond full of bullfrogs in the midst of a merry spring ritual.  dsc02031.JPGThey certainly aren’t shy about making lots of noise while they tryst – one could barely hear one’s thoughts walking past this pond which was full of splashing and calling herps. 

The hotel is very modern and flashy, tdsc02030.JPGhough the surrounds aren’t so nice – right on top of the convention center, which makes for views of concrete and glass.  But they did have this lovely field of linseed right out back.  That’s my kind of landscaping.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll be enough over my jetlag to take some knitting shots.



Knitting Block Lifted!

Dear Ellen,

I know it may be a while before you read this as you are questing for cashmere in Switzerland, but I thought I would share the fact that I have managed to break through my knitter’s block. I still feel lousy (no I haven’t gotten that throat culture yet…if it were one of the kids I would have hauled them into the clinic, but I’m too tired to do that for myself), so I think it truly was being caused by the issue with the mixed yarns.

I finally decided that if the brim were offset with a puffy pon-pom and chain stitch embroidery in a Sale Yarn Capfreehand pattern around the main body, that the difference in color would indeed be a design feature. I didn’t mention that the actual fiber content of the yarns is different as well — the brim, et al, is definitely all acrylic…the main body is an acrylic/wool blend. Had I opened all the bags this would have been tremendously obvious, but at $0.50 each I won’t complain too much. I’m reasonably pleased with the results — the pon-pom does cover the star effect I had intended from the way I increased the circumference as I knit the hat (a combination of YOs and K2TOGs), but at least now I feel I have a contribution that some young lady will be glad to have instead of something that looks just plain wrong.

Dale and I spent a number of hours this morning sorting boxes and purging in the basement in preparation for the move. It’s really too bad we didn’t do this sooner. A lot of the stuff we got rid of was stuff we’ve just hauled from house to house and for which we have had to find storage space. It was liberating and will make this next move much easier. I’m putting all my quilting fabric into storage while we’re in Colorado. I’ll eventually get back to it, but I doubt it will be till I am ready to leave the Navy so I may as well put it out of sight and make my crafting closet easier to negotiate.

Hope you are finding lots of cute little mountain goats and some yummy yummy chocolate!

Love, Jan

Boom goes the dynamite!

Hi, Jan,

1.jpgWilson ran a 5k this morning. It’s a work sponsored event, on the corporate campus, and he was recruited to join a team of 20-somethings. He trained really hard for it, not wanting to be the weak link. Here is the team, named “Boom goes the dynamite!” I think that is what computer programmers say when they launch a new batch of code.

2.jpg3.jpg4.jpg5.jpgHere he is at the start, one mile, two mile, and end of the race.  I thought I was going to have time to knit between miles, but he was too darn fast.

6.jpgWell everyone ran a great race, and guess who came in 3 minutes ahead of the others? You got it.

Check out that time. I was pretty happy for him.  Being Wilson, he wished it were under 24:00.  It would have been under 24 if he weren’t so polite, starting at the back of the pack.

11.jpgI would have knit on the second of these if I had the chance. I am so much happier with the sock after reworking the heel flap to be narrower. In fact, I think I may have discovered that with my skinny ankles and larger calves, I need to pinch in all my socks at the ankle bone and then increase, which is what I did here. You can also see some shaping I did on the foot – increasing at the point my high instep starts. It is very comfy. 21.jpgI’m happy with the bind off I unvented – a 2×1 rib with a picot done over the 2 knit stitches.

I should get some serious knitting done in airplanes over the next week – off to Switzerland in a couple of hours. I planned my travel on this one to give me an open day before the conference in which I plan to sight see and yarn store see. I’ve also located a Geneva knitting group that is open for all comers on every Wednesday, and I hope to stop in.

Time to finish packing. I hope you are on the mend.



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