Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Back to Posting- Maybe

What's Up-
I'm in the process of trying to get over a case of shingles. It is quite unpleasant. It started August 7. I went to the ER several days  wherelater-a Saturday.  The doc didn't check the scalp, but based on palpating, and after a CT scan that ruled out mastoiditis. I got rounds of 2 different IV antibiotics, and was sent home with 2 weeks of po meds.

Sunday dawned with the swelling having spread, and considerably more pain, but I figured I needed to let the meds work for awhile.  On Monday, it was clear that something major was up.  Back to the ER, where the PA student took a picture of my scalp and neck, where the malady had spread to. I looked and said, "Shingles?" She didn't think so, but the head doc agreed with my suspicion.  So, a week of antivirals, a scant script for Percocet, and back to the couch.

It's three weeks later, and the discomfort is real. Having said that, it's not going to kill me, and I have friends and relatives with situations that are so serious.

I was told about arthritis strength acetaminophen- really makes it easier. Take 2 every 8 hours- they have some time release, so last longer, and don't wear off as suddenly as the regular ones.  Still, my hair hurts, and my ear feels like I slept with it flipped over. I'm also trying evening primrose oil, which apparently helps with diabetic neuropathy.  This isn't diabetic, but I figure it can't hurt.  And if it doesn't help, I'm just out a few bucks.

On the needles

I started Floozy, a pretty cardigan.  I'm knitting it in Neighborhood Fibers Cobblestone Sock. I'm down to the arm separation, so I put in a lifeline, and will try it on.  Here's hoping it's close enough in size that I don't need to make adjustments.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Wonderful Wedding Weekend

What's Up?

My nephew (one of my multiple nephews) was married this weekend, to a lovely young lady.

As usually happens at family gatherings, we had a wonderful time- joking around, sharing recent experiences, discussing the election and the World Series (sad that we can't claim a World Series win in the family,) and generally catching up on ours lives.  I represented The Husband and The Offspring, as they were all very tied up.  We do everything we can to all be there, but sometimes it can't be.  This is most of the family-- we were missing 12 people.

My sister-in-law, the groom's mom, liked the Light the Night shawl, for which I am grateful.  She is such a fantastic person -loving and caring, and organized out the kazoo- giving my new niece a lot of help and advice in planning the wedding.  Her caring continued throughout the weekend with my brother, as they ensured that we were all taken care of.  I spent a little time at their house before going to the airport, and she sent me off with a brown paper lunch bag with a sandwich and cheetos.   Such a thoughtful gesture...

Travels were gentle.  On the way to Omaha, both legs were offering really good incentives for volunteers to be bumped.  I got on my cellphone and checked the upcoming flights, only to find that all the flights were booked, and there was no way I would make it to the wedding.  The same thing happened in St. Louis on the way home, and I would have been glad to, but a young lady jumped up and ran to the counter as soon as they made the announcement.  I wasn't up for a battle.

In My Head

I'm on a break from Facebook.  I just can't deal with some of the craziness, and I'm afraid of engaging and posting something I'll regret later.  My trust is that the democratic system that has worked for us for over two centuries will prevail, that the president-elect will appoint good people, and follow the counsel of those who know what they are talking about, that he will listen, and act in the best interest of the people of our nation.

On the Needles

While flying, I made some progress on the "Just Keep Swimming" socks.  I want to finish them, because there are a lot of other things I'd like to get started on (and probably a few UFOs from years past that need to be finished.)

What I've Learned

Gerald Ford was born in Omaha.

Paradise By the Dashboard Light (Meatloaf) came out while I was stationed in Norfolk, and I totally missed it.

I still love the Midwest.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

What's Up?

I spent some time at the Rec Center today, participating in the Aquathon-- 3 hours of free water aerobics.  I hate exercise.  I always have.  Don't know why, except that I hate to sweat, and I have exercise-induced asthma which, even after using an inhaler, makes it really uncomfortable.  At one point, my running was at about 4 miles per day, and I still hated it.  Running came to a halt one lovely day, when I slipped on ice and landed on my posterior.  Walking is ok, but really weather dependent for me (most of our year is too hot, or too cold,) and I don't like just walking unless I'm going somewhere. I can walk for miles in New York, but going through my neighborhood doesn't cut it unless The Daughter's dog is with us and needs exercise.  So water aerobics have been a welcome addition to my life.  I don't hate it, and my goal has been 3 times a week. It's something I can do here as well as in Blacksburg.  The goal has been pretty much met since the beginning of September, so I am determined to continue.

My Hokies won against Duke today.  It wasn't pretty, but they persisted. VT 24 Duke 21.

In My Head
The maple tree in front of the house is turning, and is joining the other trees to give us a beautiful Fall.  The colors this year are very full and rich, giving us a lovely palette of hues.

There is a reason that this is my favorite season-- in addition to Football (Go Hokies!)

The season reminds me that the beauty of the colors will soon be replaces by the grey and white of winter-- the circle of life.  Gotta grab for the gusto, and appreciate every minute that we are given.

Reading and Listening

I love Audible books, because I can do other things while listening. Like knitting.  And driving. And cleaning.  Most recently I finished listening to Toni Tenille: A Memoir, and In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson.   

Toni Tenille's autobiography told of her life as an emotionally abused, long-suffering partner to Daryl Dragon-- "The Captain,"  Whenever I saw her on television, she always looked positive and cheerful.  It goes to show, you don't know what's going on in anyone's life unless they tell you.

In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson tells of his travels in Australia.  Since I'll be "Down Under" in a couple of months, I wanted to get his take on Australia, and found out that it is large, has a lot of desert, and more types of wildlife that can kill you faster and more efficiently than anywhere else on earth.

I also enjoy listening to podcasts-- a discussion for another time.

What I Learned Today

Fall is still my favorite season.

Exercise makes me feel good, so I need to stay with the water aerobics, since I hate everything else.

Starbucks barristas are very nice.  I "online ordered" a sweet cream cold brew.  When I got to the store, she said that they were out of cold brew.  As I tried to figure out what I wanted, another barrista brought out a pitcher that was hiding.  It apparently wasn't supposed to be "done" yet, so I was given a sample cup to see if it was ok.  It was.  She mixed my drink, and it was a bit too full to get the lid on the grande cup.  Rather than pouring some of the mix, she put it in a venti cup, and I was able to add the rest of my sample cup.  Thoughtful.

Friday, November 04, 2016

For some reason, I'm a day off.  I wrote this yesterday, but the post from the day before was revised after midnight, so it was dated Nov 3.  So's not to confuse myself, I'll post this today, and then carry on with new posts tomorrow.

What's Up?

My Birthday!!! (Nov 3) That's what!  When I came downstairs, I found this from The Husband.  So sweet-- he left for work about 20 minutes before I got up, and he had one of the battery tea lights going next to a breakfast roll.  I'll be smiling all day.

What else?  Sleepy-- stayed up for the end of the World Series game last night.  One of the really fun things was the stream of texts that flew around among my siblings.  #3 Brother, who runs the Indians' ballpark, was most certainly up quite late, hosting thousands of Cubs fans who didn't want to leave the magic.

In My Head

I have a tendency to over-think things, to awfulize about the past, and to be overly concerned about my shortcomings.  I came upon this blog (Marc and Angel Hack Life) 25 Things You Need To Stop Wasting Time On.  I thought it would be the same ol' tips we've all seen a million times- sort the mail at the door, vacuum when the spirit moves you.... you get the picture.  Instead, this item is a treasure trove of things that keep us from moving forward.  I'm going to try to spend some mindful time with several of these, and might share some thoughts.  There are also a whole lot of article links that remained unexplored for right now, because they are undoubtedly a black hole that will be fascinating to fall down sometime.

On The Needles

I went to the Knitting Group at Martha Washington library, and made some progress on the second Keep on Swimming sock.  I told of achieving the nearly perfect toe by watching the KnitPicks YouTube video for Kitchener, and following along step by step (or rather, stitch by stitch.)


The Big Honkin' Asia/Australia trip is coming up this winter.  I spent time getting Australian visas for The Husband and me, and The Offspring.  I need to review excursions, and get some scheduled.  I'll outline the trip in more detail in a future posting.

Closer to now, I'll be off to Omaha next week for a nephew's wedding.  It will be lovely to see my sibs and their offspring.  I'll miss the Hokies vs Georgia Tech football game-- the only type of thing that could cause me to miss my Hokies is a family event of great import.

What I Learned Today

I've been missing something by not watching Marvel movies.  Dr. Strange was pretty darn good.
I need to finish blog post revisions before midnight, so I don't mess up the days.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

New Beginnings

What's Up?

When I last posted, I was considering retirement.  I did make the decision to retire, and it was the right decision.  Being a nurse is stressful, and we cope in different ways.  I recalled several times when I comforted some of our youngsters, handing them tissues to handle their tears.  They'd apologize, to which I would respond, "When you stop crying, it's time to move on."  I'd been through some pretty wrenching situations, and then, I stopped crying.  It was time to follow my advice.

Writing has been important to me throughout my life, and I continue to write, although I lack the discipline needed for consistent production.  It's been a long time since I've blogged regularly, but I've been thinking about it, and was inspired by a Facebook posting from Rosemary, a friend from the Knit Happens days --  (mis) adventures of spindlerose.

So I'm going to attempt to blog daily through November.  We'll see how it goes.

In My Head

It's the last day of this year, for me.  Tomorrow I increment my age again. The goals that I set for myself these days are not huge.  I try to stay active and healthy, involved and interested, productive and continually inquisitive.

I'm watching the World Series with two of my favorite teams.  I'm favoring Cleveland, because my brother runs the ballpark, although I've been a Cubs fan since childhood.  It's been fun, liking both teams, because I'm ok with it, either way, despite my leanings.
Late entry: Cubs won.  I'm ok with it, but not as ok as I'd like.
And then there's the upcoming election.  I just don't know what to think as I see appalling things from both major candidates.  Facebook is full of vitriol, and I mostly ignore what I see.  Prayer has never been more important.  Thank heaven for baseball, or I might be truly bonkers by now.  Prayer and baseball-- the two constants.

On My Needles

I am LauraRN on Ravelry.  Details of my projects including pattern links, yarn, needle sizes, etc are on my project page.  If you want more info on my projects, please stop by, and be my friend.

Right now I'm getting ready to continue the second "Just Keep Swimming" sock for Niece #2.  She had a baby about 2 months ago.  The baby is home and stable, but has a significant issue that will require ongoing care, and possibly surgery.  I was really grateful to be able to give background info to her, based on my NICU experience.  The nurses in NICU and a specialty unit at Lurie Children's Hospital made a sign for his crib with Finding Dory -- "Just Keep Swimming."

So when I saw a pattern on Facebook for "Just Keep Swimming Socks," they needed to be made for #2 niece.  I bought some really great yarn at Wool Workshop in Roanoke, and started to make pretty decent progress, but then realized that the multicolored yarn had long runs of dark purple and blue that caused the fish pattern to disappear. The picture shows some discernable fish, but as I continued in the pattern, they truly disappeared.  Not to worry.  After frogging, the beautiful wool will become socks for The Daughter.

Before purchasing the yarn at Wool Workshop, I had ordered yarn from Craftsy-  which seems to be preserving the fiddies a bit better.  Sock #1 is complete, and I'm through the first pattern on #2.
Off My Needles

Awhile back, I started a "Grandmother Shawl" for one of my sisters, who-- imagine this-- became a grandmother.  After finishing, I decided it wasn't long enough, then discovered that the yarn had disappeared from the face of the earth.  Yes, I checked with the website where I got it.  Yes, I checked all the stashes on Ravelry.  Yes, I checked eBay.  The colorway was just too lovely for this earth, and everyone who ever had it has either knit it up, or is holding on to it for dear life.  So the lovely shawl I started is now a rather large lap blanket.  It will find a good home.

I came upon the Philosopher's Stone KAL on Ravelry, and felt up for some mystery.  The pattern is by Erica Jackovsky of Fiddle Knits, and was knit with KnitPicks Stroll Glimmer in Peacock.  As the shawl took shape, I realized how much joy it gave me.  It has everything- lace, cables, beads, loveliness.  The shawl turned out nicely, and my sister is happy with it.
What do we do when the stuff hits the fan?  We knit.

One of my sisters-in-law had a battle with lymphoma 5 years ago, and was doing great.  She is now facing a recurrence.  Her incredibly positive attitude is an example to anyone facing adversity. My wonderful brother is great support, and their offspring have been handling the situation with the grace that can only come from the steadfast example of their parents. The family participates each October in the annual "Light the Night" walk to raise awareness of leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood cancers.  Around the same time, she updated her What Friend Do blog. So what did I do when I read the news?  I trotted myself out to get some yarn to knit.  Lymphoma's "color" is lime green. Since my modus operandi seems to be making shawls for major events, I decided that a "Light the Night Shawl" was in order.  I remembered Carolyn Wiens'  Light and Up shawl, and adapted it liberally.
Completed but not blocked- Picture shows colors a bit more yellow.

Earlier- in progress-  Colors are more true

What I Learned Today
Dorito tacos are pretty good- especially when they're free.
Sort of close doesn't work when soldering. You can't fix a bad join.
I never get tired of seeing my brother behind home plate at an Indians game.

Also In My Life:
Things to address in the future or from time to time



Reading and Listening

Thursday, June 26, 2014

It's A Little Bit Scary

So..... I'm trying to decide whether to retire or not.  My employer has been very generous in granting me a leave of absence to clear my brain and make the decision.

After 16 years of being a nurse as a second career, I'm getting tired.  Although I absolutely love my work, it seems that it's time for the young chicks to move up. I have so many interests that I would like to pursue-- and I would seriously like to get a handle on this whole housekeeping thing.

As I get older, it's apparent to me that I need to take advantage of the time I have, while I still enjoy good health.

I look forward to continuing my knitting endeavors.  It's given me focus, comfort, and an outlet for creativity. I started making jewelry-- first beading, and now metalworking, which I love-- cutting, hammering, soldering, finishing--- and I'd like to work on getting good at designing.

Meanwhile, I hope to travel and share more experiences with The Husband.

Monday might be my last day at my job.... we'll see.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April 16th

We Remember

We Remember

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Actual Knitting Content- Believe It-- or Not

The Bunting and Hat
The Daughter's bestie had a babe, so of course, I needed to knit something.  Since his mom and dad are Hokies, it needed to be something of the Hokie persuasion.  I've always been a fan of buntings, so figured that would be a plan.  I used superwash Shepherd's Wool,  knit it in the round, and took my first crack at steeking (eeeekkkk!!!) and it turned out pretty well.  I inserted a zipper, and a bottom drawstring, and there it was. (The top zipper edge wasn't completely finished in the pic above)

Isn't he unspeakably cute?
And it almost screamed out for a coordinating earflap hat....

The 2/3 Shawl

We had some sadness in the extended family. What do knitters do?  We knit.  So I knit a shawl for the primary person.  At the same time, I was struck down by what I think was a strain of the flu that wasn't covered by my annual flu vaccine. Being out of work for 2 weeks, with a round-trip to Blacksburg in the mix, I was able to make great progress on this: (Yes, I know it's sideways.  I've rotated and saved it a bunch of times, and no joy--- but you get the drift). The pattern is the 2/3 Shawl by Wendy Johnson, knit in Schaefer Heather in the Willa Cather colorway.  I quit at the end of 2 skeins, not completely finishing the pattern, but since I used size 8 needles, it is plenty big.  I ran out of enough yarn to bind off, so ended up doing a sewn bind-off, which took forever, since it was the entire outer edge of the shawl, but it looks nice, and I had 18" of yarn left.  I love the colors, which remind me of crocuses blooming in the spring.

Color me productive. 

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Happy New Year

Pretty tatted star from a friend
I met on the Panama Canal cruise
Well, I got my "winter fix." Living where we do, winter is frequently pretty wimpy, with feeble attemps at snow, which completely paralyze the greater DC metropolitan area.  I spent most of this week in the City of Big Shoulders- Chicago--where people know how to drive, the public works people know how to clear snow, and everyone shovels, scrapes, and acts like this is normal. It was great.
We had a wonderful time with the family, and it is always amazing to see how the 26 cousins pick up where they left off.
The snow caused some travel problems, as The Daughter and I had a flight canceled last night, but it meant another night at my Dad's, and a chance to see the Oklahoma-Alabama game. Since we had to leave for the airport at 3 a.m., we hit the sack at halftime, and saw the score this morning.
The flight was fine,  but had to wait over an hour for the gate-checked luggage. If (Small plane, full flight.) What the what? Then the scraping and snow removal from the car. 2 hours after arriving at National,  we finally got on the road.

In other news, the DNA Helix scarf turned out quite well.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

What a wonderful Christmas we had. For the first time in a number of years I was off work on the actual day. As a nurse, working holidays and weekends is part of the deal. Since the extended family gathers in the Midwest for New Year's, and since my wonderful Husband and Offspring are flexible about what day we designate as Christmas, I usually end up with the tiny ones on Dec 25. This year, however, it just worked out for me to be off. And I was more organized than usual, so the shopping was all done (mostly online--and almost everything arrived), the tree was up, packages wrapped, and I was amazed. In years past, I "lost" the stocking gifts, and struggled with the last bits of clutter, adding to more unnecessary stress. This year I wrapped the stocking stuffers in a package under the tree (and remembered to mark it so I could find it) and wrapped the last bit of can't figure out what to do with it" in a box marked "Do not open-ever". Of course, I'll deal with it-- probably after the tree  comes down.

Among the presents were a beer-making kit for The Son, a picnic/tailgate wine and cheese thing for The Husband, and finally, the DNA helix scarf for The Daughter. It was done, but not "finished"-- in a package without ends weavednin, and un-blocked. That was today's project.
Ends weaved in
Into its bath (note to self: Madelinetosh Vintage bleeds. A lot!

Then blocking. I love my "blocking board" which I picked up at an after-Christmas sale for $4 a few years ago.

Right side-a Sponge Bob tic-tac-toe game. Flip side-a blocking board for a fraction of what the knitting pro shops and websites charge.

So- done for now. Can't wait to see it when it's all dry.

Now to work on completing the bunting.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Various stuff

Had a great weekend in Blacksburg-- the weather was misty-- sort of like Ireland, but the Hokies had a win against Pitt, the bratwurst was yummy, and we had a great time with our friends.
To top off  the day was an evening of great football, with a heart-attack special, 4-overtime Penn State vs Michigan game (no overwhelming loyalties to either team-- just great football) and a cliffhanger for Ole Miss vs Texas A&M.

Almost done with The Daughter's DNA scarf.  I have a few more projects that I really need to get charging forward on... not the least of which is the bunting.  Gotta do it! Soon!

Thought I'd share these Helpful Technology Tips I saw online this morning.  Who knew?

Our hospital has the Magnet Survey visit this week.  Such excitement!  Then a couple of more shifts, before Sunday, when our family will see Da Bears vs the Redskins. I don't think I've ever been to a pro game, and I grew up in Chicago.  It'll be great to be with The Offspring at such a fun event.

Well, That's That for now.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Getting Ready to Cast On Again

Before we get started-- I've noted some strange links that popped up in orange after I posted this.  I did not insert these, and I suspect that Blogger has arranged with some entities to get some bucks for picking up on words.  They appear to be innocent-- but annoying.  My links are blue.

Nope-- not finished with the Aranami shawl. It goes on, and on, and on-- my own fault, really, because I wanted it to be larger, and the geometric increase is impressive in terms of time and yarn.  Did I mention that I just ordered MORE yarn so that I can finish it?  Luckily, it's KnitPicks Pallette, which is affordable, and has about a thousand colors which remain consistent through several orders.  The disadvantage is that it has about a thousand colors, so if you can't remember which of the dark browns you need, you end up like me, with enough extra balls in the wrong colors to make several more projects. (In fairness, KnitPicks WILL take them back, but hey--- I can always use more yarn, right?)  I am halfway through the top row, which comprises short-row scallops that flatten out the pointy parts you see on the left half of the picture.  Then to cast off about 300 stitches, followed by a marathon of weaving in hundreds of ends before blocking.  I might have it done before the end of the year.

Nope-- not finished with the DNA scarf either.  I'm making great progress, but it's a surprise Christmas gift for The Daughter (who wouldn't be caught dead looking at my blog), and I need to be working on something else when she's around.  I figure I'm about halfway done-- a few inches past the start of the second skein of yarn. I was able to spend a few hours at Mosaic in Blacksburg last Friday with Gina and her crew.  I purchased the first of the MadelineTosh Vintage for this project at Mosaic and I love to spend time there. Delightful

So, since I have 2 active projects, I clearly need to cast on for a third.  Typical me. The baby's bunting is going to be part of a joint present for The Daughter's Friends' baby from The Daughter and me, so I need to appear to be working on it.

This one is going to require some prep work.  I really need to check gauge, although there is some wiggle room in baby projects-- and this one is expected to be rather large (Mom and Dad are both rather tall).  I also want to make sure I can steek before I start this, because I want to put a full-length zipper in, and steeking seems to be the best way to have clean lines and a minimum of bulk.  So I will swatch, and then steek the swatch, and hope I survive the drama.

Don't want to lose this link to Jogless stripes in circular knitting. It is going to be very important when I start the Bunting.

So a couple of days of trying to get myself together before a work trip to Orlando next week.  Should be fun-- and a guaranteed several hours of knitting time on the plane-- what to take... what to take....

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Great Progress

The Nerd Project
The DNA scarf for The Daughter is chugging right along, and is about 2 feet long.  It's not nearly as stressful this time for several reasons-- not the least of which are paying attention to what I'm doing. The color is a rich, bright maroon (MadelineTosh Vintage Tart) that is a bit washed-out in the pic below.

--> I decided to use larger needles this time. I think I was using 5's before, but everything was so scrunched, that it was just a hassle. So this time around I'm using 8's which makes perfect sense, since it's worsted. The original pattern is done in fingering, but dear heavens-- I'm doing another big project in fingering right now, and as I've mentioned before, life is short.  And I have a few more projects to finish before the end of the decade. (Gauge???  I didn't even think about it-- nor will I.  It's a scarf, for heaven's sake, although a swatch of the cable might have lead me to larger needles for comfort sake.)

-->  I modified the pattern, using  a 5-stitch seed border, and a 2-stitch reverse stockinette separating a single twisted stitch on either side of the cable pattern.

--> Stitch markers!!!!  What on earth made me think I could keep track of what was where without using them?  I've never been opposed to them, but holy cow! What was I thinking?

-> Cable needle.  Many knitters I admire don't use them, and apparently I thought I was that good.  I have cable needles, but can't find them right now, so have been using the needle part of a very expensive ebony circular that separated from its join. It makes me feel good to put it to use-- and I like the feel of the ebony.  I haven't dropped stitches, and it's easier for me to keep track of what I'm doing.

--> I photocopied and cut out the chart and chart legend, mounted and laminated them. I was using a Post-It note to keep track, which worked well until yesterday, when the sticky failed, but I found a really good solution.  In the stationery section at Five Below, I found a very lightweight magnetic board for $4.  Now I have another magnetic board that I purchased at a needlework store many moons ago (originally I used it for counted cross-stitch).  The pattern was too large for the board, so it didn't work.  This is great, and there's room for extra notes (and I can write directly on the board, as well.) I keep track of my rows with a magnet from my refrigerator, which reminds me of happy vacations in Missouri with my family. (RIP, Ryan's Resort-- we had a great time there for several FolkFests.)

--> LOOK AT THE CHART!!! I can't go on my merry way, because I'm not that smart. This is not a simple 4-row cable (but it's not difficult or complicated, either).  It's not rocket science (or even Biochemistry), but the pattern traverses many rows.  When I look at the chart, and keep track of what row I'm on, the pattern looks like it's supposed to-- duh!!!! People with ADD need structure.

So, I'm mostly done with the first skein of Madelintosh Vintage (Tart), and will wind another ball tonight (and I have a spare).  Meanwhile, I have two more skeins in the Sequoia colorway-- a tad duller and less blue.  Hmmm.... wonder what I'll do with that????

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Back in the saddle--- Again

It's been nearly a year. And the bottom line was that I lost my knitting mojo.

I did one project-- a takeoff on "Age of Brass and Steam" scarf that included beads and a picot bindoff.  After finishing it, I wasn't happy with the size-- just too small to be useful for me.  So I plan to pick up stitches under the picots and keep adding on to it.

Then, The Husband and I took a much-needed vacation, and wonderful it was indeed. We had 17 glorious days aboard Norwegian Jewel, leaving New York, transiting the Panama Canal, and arriving in Los Angeles, with a night in Los Angeles followed by a 3-day cross-country train trip back to the DC area. Knitting opportunities galore!

The cruise was such fun, and what contributed in no small part was the knitting group that met on at-sea days in Malting's Bar. We were a diverse group. Knitters and crocheters from across the country and Canada. As happens with fiber addicts, we followed each other's progress, got ideas, and shared our stories. On the zip-line excursion in Costa Rica, we discovered that three of us were in the group.

My onboard project was the Aranami shawl designed by my friend Olga. I started it many moons ago, and then when packing for the trip, there it was!!! I made the dubious decision to make it a few sections larger. Warning! It geometrically increases the time and yarn commitment. I ran out of one color during the cruise, but since it is done in sections, I could carry on with the darker color.

It's done in KnitPicks Pallette- a fingering weight that comes in a bazillion colors.  This is a problem only because I needed to get the same colors I was using.  There are about 15 shades of medium brown, and as many in dark brown.  In order to finish the shawl, I ended up purchasing enough skeins in different colors to do a couple more small projects (mittens?) in many shades of brown.

I'm in the final phase, doing the top tier, short-row scallops. Then to handle the loose ends and block. I hope to have it finished next week.

Will I make another? Probably. But rather than knitting with fingering on 3's, I'll probably use a worsted on 7's. Life's too short...

Also on the needles...

Yes, I'm a Nerd, and I raise them.

The Daughter is a biochemist, and I'm knitting a scarf for her that has the DNA helices made in cables.  I started IT quite awhile ago, and then misplaced it.  When I relocated it, I remembered that I'd made an error or two, and ripped down those rows, so I could fix them.  I tried.  But darn it, it looked awful.  Despite having about a foot done already, I decided to frog the whole thing and start over.  Good decision.  While on the road to Hokie football games, I hope to get it done within a few weeks, and give it to her for Christmas.  I'm knitting it with Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage, and already made a hat with helices.  Realizing that I don't have enough to make the scarf a respectable length, I ordered what I thought was the right color from Loopy Ewe, and then discovered it was a different colorway-- close but no cigar.  So I found the right stuff online at Imaginknit in San Francisco-- and it should arrive tomorrow!!!

Hopefully, there will be pictues soon.

Life is good