Friday, 15 May 2009
Keep my feet on the ground
As I looked out my airplane window at our wing actually wobbling up and down, due to turbulence as we approached London, I suddenly realised that I am really done with flying for a while. In just the last few months I have done London/San Francisco/Hawaii/Hawaii island hops/San Francisco/London in February, London/Chicago/Indianapolis/Chicago/London in April, and this week London/Amsterdam/London to attend a three day training course in Rotterdam in The Netherlands. Flying is not fun, it is not glamorous, it is lots and lots of hanging around airports looking at overpriced food and goods, breathing canned air and lots of queuing up. It is screaming kids, people's elbows knocking yours off the armrest, not enough leg room, lots of noise and occasionally a bit of variety such as the drunk that had to be removed from my Chicago/London return trip. I don't know how regular business travellers do it.
Normally I do one big trip abroad per year, or maybe per 18 months. My cup has runneth over lately, and I am looking forward to several months on the ground.
However, one thing travel is good for, is lots and lots of travel knitting. My Pi Shawl is really coming along now, after I started it just before my Paducah trip. I have just completed the 48 row section and have doubled my stitches to 576. I am doing a version I found on Ravelry, where the centre is stockinette and there is a 'simple' lace diamond pattern in the 48 row section. It probably is simple, with a 16 stitch repeat, but I frequently found I had either 15 stitches from forgetting a yarn over, 17 stitches from inadvertently increasing due to not knitting off this fine baby alpaca laceweight yarn off cleanly, or yarn overs in the wrong place (from just plain dumbness and not paying attention...). I was reduced to counting every repeat as I knit it, endlessly counting to 16, someone watching me knit would see my lips move. So I'm glad that part is over. In the next section I am going to try Elizabeth Zimmermann's 'gull wing' lace pattern. I've put a tea towel into the shawl in the picture so you can see the stitches. You can also see one of my trusty 'Knowknit.com's bags, which are just the best things ever for travelling with a small portable project.
And these are the socks I knit on my Hawaii trip, the 'Potpourri' socks from 'Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn'. They've actually been finished for several weeks, I just hadn't got round to darning the ends in and photographing them. This is a Koigu yarn, I think, and although I like them (and the colours seem very Hawaiian), it does not show off the pattern as well as the sample in the book, which is knit in a more semi-solid colour. Did I tell you that Kaffe Fassett described yarns like this Koigu ,that change colour too frequently, as being coloured like 'vomit in the wind' in his lecture in Hawaii? In fact, he may have even have said 'clown vomit'. When we were knitting together at Starbucks on one of the island hops, I teased him about it. This pattern features an unusual wrapped stitch, which gives the textured ridges. I also liked the cuff, which is a knitted in hem with a picot edge.
I can't believe it is May 15th already. I need to put binding and a sleeve on the fan quilt I brought back from America as I have entered it into a show in June, and I need to bind another quilt that I have promised to a friend for a June fete. And I still have other quilts waiting for binding after my christmas quilting binge. Meanwhile the 'new' stuff I have brought back from Paducah languishes in the cupboard. By the time I get to it, it will be 'old' stuff, and possibly even replaced by 'newer' stuff. Wouldn't it be nice to take a year off, and finish all our outstanding projects until we had a clean slate? (only I think I might actually need about five years...)
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