Thursday, June 30, 2011

Airports are noisy

And I should know. It's 3:30 am and I'm lying flat on my back listening to the racket. Yet I can't hear any voices. No announcements. Strange-- there was a "report any suspicious baggage" announcement about 10 minutes ago, but otherwise I haven't heard any loud speaker announcements nor music in hours.
Yet the sounds are crazy loud. It's all the people mover things clanging and grinding with the occasional cleaning machine that provides quite the din.
I had an amazing long trip yesterday that turned into 2 days.
This time my third flight was whacked. Chicago: not my home town. A bummer with thousands of people. Huge lines. Stupid check-in kiosks placed in front of counters so you have to get in long lines to use them. (United is going to get quite a response to their survey.)
The sequence:

  • Sitting on a plane with the doors "secured" yet we remain at the gate. 
  • Precious minutes tick by and at last we are I informed of an electrical problem. 
  • I can almost anticipate what's next: waiting for someone to come check it out. 
  • Waiting. Waiting. Yep, there's a problem. 
  • Is there a quick solution or do they have to go looking for a part? 
  • Times for possible departures are given for several scenarios. 
  • And at last, take everything with you; we are switching to another aircraft.

Arrived late in Denver causing 75% of the flyers to miss a connecting flight. Me included. Only there are no more flights until the next morning. Some people were told the July Fourth weekend had started and they might be stranded-errr, for awhile.
So I go to customer service to politely request a hotel voucher to be told that they didn't have any more rooms to give out. Ok I'll get reimbursed instead, however, there are no rooms available this side of the Continental Divide. Masses of people were picking up and putting down phones at the hotel call center. No one was getting anywhere. Then I called my hub and told him I'd be spending some time on the floor tonight and minutes later my phone rang with a agent booking me in to a hotel a mere 12 miles away. I was off. All I needed was transportation and a very nice Iranian man gave me a price and said, "We go now." I climbed into his 12 seater van and off we went. (Boy, did that thing need shocks!)  At 65 mph he was tapping various addresses into his gps. And when we arrived at said hotel, guess what? He says, "I wait to make sure this is the one.". I'm glad he did because there was no reservation for me and no room.* We spent the next hour at other prospective lodgings with the same result. I admitted defeat and told him to take me back to the airport. "Why? What would you do there?"  Spend the night? He hesitated, then asked if I would like to stay at his home. What a dear man. Really there was no proposition, just that he was appalled that there were no rooms. And he did his best to get one for me. I declined and we chatted on the way back. He had a great story, works hard and has a young family. I felt sorry for him having to take me back to the airport at midnight when I knew his shift was over hours ago and the airport is definitely in the opposite direction from home. I probably would have been treated nicely, returned to the airport the next day with a boat load of experiences and money in his pocket.
But instead I'm lying here flat on my back.
My corner at the airport.

 I expect that by 5 am the airport will be bustling, but for now I'm pretending to be a homeless person, huddling among my meager possessions with my jacket over my head--and my iPod plugged into the nearest outlet.
Sent from my iPod
The train at 5:30 AM immediately refunded my money.  While I was on the phone they called the motel and verified that they didn't have a reservation and didn't get paid.
No compensation yet from United;  I can claim up to $100 in accommodation costs... but I'm going to try to get reimbursed for the limo/van.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Princess Top revisited

I remember starting and re-starting this one.  Then I hemmed up the sleeves because they were too long.  Not anymore!  It's a real top, and not a tunic as originally worn.  It gets thrown in the washer and dryer, and still looks great.
Details here:  Princess Top

AND in 24 hours I'll be over the Atlantic, halfway through my 32 hour day.  Wish me luck and lots of knitting.  It's what keeps me semi-pleasant when I'm folded up and squeezed on long flights.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Verdict

What did I decide to do?  Without any votes... I should have made it a contest ???
D:  None of the above should have been an option, because I won't be finishing the vest which is spared from frogging.  AND the sweater from years ago is now converted to a vest.
And the real kicker is how nice the back looks.  When my daughter requested an embroidered rose on the back, I thought she was crazy, but now I like!
The cabling is only on the collar.
The duplicate stitch pattern is borrowed from my other rose sweaters.
And to answer Brenda's question:  Is Angora froggable?  I don't know... the sleeves remain intact.  Maybe they'll be re-attached!!! LOL

Back to work on the other vest...  Some people just never have enough purple wool vests!  LOLA  What a lucky knitter I am!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

What keeps me busy these days?

I'm wrapping up my month in Norway, visiting my daughter and granddaughter.  Sometimes I wonder what I'll do today, and then the day is over!  There's some frustration living 8 time zones away from "grandpa", knowing he'd love to be sharing the experiences.  Yet, when I call him at midnight, he doesn't always seem enthusiastic.
The plan from before I packed for this trip was to bring back beautiful cashmere yarn that my daughter had purchased but was languishing in my stash.  I started a scarf, and meant for it to remain in Norway.  I revamped the scarf idea, and here it is, two weeks later...  looking like life with a toddler strikes again.  Of course, the yarn is coming home with me... I'm almost up to the armhole split, and I've purchased another yarn to complete the project because I'm quite sure I won't have enough of the cashmere. I'm using it doubled.
Here's the updated picture for today:

But wait, what's this?  The finished sweater?
 Why, yes!  It is finished... and surprisingly like the one I'm currently working on, only the one I'm making is a vest.  YET.... it's been requested I remove the sleeves of this sweater because it wishes to be a vest...  notice the lovely cabling on the sleeves. hmmm....errrrr.
 I knitted this many years ago, before I was a Ravelry member.  It's an Elsebeth Lavold design/pattern made in Elsebeth Lavold Angora.
Future blog vote, please:
A:  Title:  Third Time's A Charm.  Above vest is frogged, and revisited yet again as... something in single weight yarn.
B:  Title:  Twins!  A finished garment during toddler visit.
C:  Title:  ______;  Well, maybe there's no blog about it again.

Month of June: I have knitted and finished a hat and a mouse and sewn a cover for a clothes drying rack to convert it into a playhouse.  Under construction are some quilt blocks, and frankly, I'm not sure what else!  They just seem to crop up, and there I am-- making something I've never done before!  That's toddler progress!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A repeat...

In case you missed the big "two year" celebration, I'll redirect you to a previous blog.

If you didn't miss it but are just SOOOO taken by my grandchild and you can't get enough, I'll redirect you BACK to my previous blog, which now has MORE pictures in the slide show.

By the way, the weather has been behaving itself!  Sun and no rain for 3 days!!!  (Not NM sun, for sure, but Norway sun.  Teehee...)

More about knitting tomorrow!

Previous Birthday Blog

Monday, June 20, 2011

One Mid-Summer Night

Date:  June 15, 2011,  Bergen, Norway,  just before midnight.
I noticed something strange.  First, I noticed it was a gorgeous night, then I realized that the chunk missing from the moon was odd.  Could it be... an eclipse?
This is more like the lighting at midnight in mid-June at 60º N latitude.
I googled it, and sure enough, it was the end of an eclipse.  Being surrounded by mountains, and the sun going down around 11 PM made this an event I almost missed.
Friday night (June 17), sunset 11:09 PM, Saturday morning (June 18), sunrise 4:09 AM.  One hour of 'night' between dusk and dawn!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Weather in Norway

Meteogram, next 48 hours

The meteogram: Bergen
*Nedbørssøylene viser maks- og minverdier for nedbør per time. 
This is just SAD!  The chart doesn't even go over 20ºC...
We are just laughing it off, in fact, at this moment it's quite bright out, like there's sun somewhere, but the cloud cover is shrouding the mountains.  I'm SOOOO glad I'm not a tourist here for the day! LOL
Sorry about the pasted chart above spilling over into other columns, but you get the idea.
Today we had a mini birthday party for our 2 year old.  The puddles under the swings was VERY popular, as was the splash at the bottom of the slide!
We kept the cupcakes under foil and everyone was cheery as if the sun was shining.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Mouse

Cutest darn thing!!
Mousie Mousie
The original pattern calls for thicker yarn and needles, but this one stands a proud 5 inches tall.


Bits of yarn:
Lanette superwash wool by Sandnes Garn (Norway)
I intend to use this for, "I'm looking for a mouse!" playtime.
I used my new "short" KA Switch needles in size 2.75 mm.  Very uncomfortable... I felt like I was using baby needles.  I came really close to switching to my regular length dpns then I realized I had about 20 stitches to go.  I think I will use the 'shorts" only if I "need" to.  This project was done flat, and I could have used 5" dpns.  The needles sure are cute as a mouse!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Chess Master in Training

Papa was pretty excited to discover Juju studying up on moves.

He has been studying a lot, preparing for a chess tournament in Croatia next week.

She started by moving a whole set of books by Garry Kasparov on Modern Chess.  They are real page turners.  Except the King reminded her of a butterfly...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Short Needles

I 'heart all over the place' my KA Bamboo Switch Needle set.  I've had the size 5-13 set for years, use them a lot, and I think they're like sliced cheese when I travel.  (I know--it's supposed to be sliced bread, but sliced cheese is better.)
Then I wondered recently about smaller sizes, and there they were:  Switch Short in teeny tiny sizes.  I purchased them online from Paradise Fibers, and they arrived quickly.  I love their service...
I feel like I'm knitting Barbie doll clothing... It's really a little "mouse" knitted in a smaller size than the pattern calls for.  I just wanted to use my Lanette baby yarn that was given to me; perfect for a swatch.

Finished, it will be in the shape of an upside down cone.  Mouse nose in the air.  Cute, fussy and fun.
Friend Pattie bought a set at the same time.  I'm eager to hear what she has to say.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Knitting and Crafts

My daughter, who is in the process of uncovering boxes of... a previous life, after a one year hiatus, is full of ideas to implement.  The sudden burst of creativity is spurred on by my presence, and I'm expecting there's some sort of collaboration intended.  There's a quilt or two in the making.

Then there's the miles of yarn uncovered that has been bagged with inches of projects started.  Some are reincarnated as something altogether new.  For example, I give you the yarn that was a sweater which is missing the pattern.

I swatched this hat for gauge.  I can be a good girl... don't always go to such lengths, but, hey, it's a great hat!

The rest of the yarn is going in my queue for the Corrugated Asymmetrical Sweater for my little one.  According to my gauge and sizing of the pattern (in Loop-d-Loop), I have until the summer/fall of 2014 to complete it!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

buttons... I didn't know...

I didn't know how much I like to look at buttons, but HATE to sew them on.
I have ten of those orange and green buttons, but by the time I sewed one on, with a second button backing it, I didn't like them anymore.
So I did the six in front with stabilizing buttons on the back, because the sweater is unwearable without them!
One fancy button is enough, don't you think?   (The original plan was for each of the diamonds to have a button.  Forget THAT!)
Other blogs about this sweater:  Here and here.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

No complaints!

I've been a bit moany about Bergen's weather.  I'm not the only one, which makes me feel less ungrateful-- because-- There have been some nice days, like today. Though I took no pictures today was the first time, I went without a jacket, and dared to show my bare toes in public.  Just to cover all bases, I wore my Europa shawl around my neck and visited a yarn shop.  Got a compliment, too, from the shop keeper, and I returned the favor by helping her find the right word for tourists who were appalled that the shops would be closed totally, both Sunday and Monday.  Yes, it's the great celebration of 'Pinse' or Pentecost.

 And last week... although not as warm, it was nice weather for a walk.
The re-planting of gardens in the parks is on-going.  Everything was ship-shape for the 17th of May celebrations, but not quite up to par a month later.
Hills to negotiate with a stoller.  

Real hills...
A walk through the Botanical Gardens.  Being a nice day there were loads of students soaking in the sun.
 And a friendly cat as our guide.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Yarn shopping begins!

Even though I am two minutes from the nearest yarn for sale, I haven't been there yet.  I relish the thought of being so close.  I walk by, and look in the windows, and in the door, letting my mind run wild with the pleasures of DROPS Alpaca.
Instead, I walked 5 minutes to a hobby store that had a very limited supply of very tempting yarn.  Mostly tempting because... well, you know, all those yarn qualities plus inviting colors.

A brand called:  Marks & Kattens (M&K) found on Ravelry.

The scene a few minutes later:
The toddler, who paints with no mess, drops a container of beads... instant purchase!  Is that a beautiful Icarus Shawl I see?  Well, yes, it is!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Mothers everywhere!

Toddler alert:
Can you get finger paints out, open the jars, hand your two-year-old a brush, and expect to spend the rest of the day removing paint from floors, furniture, and clothing in a 5 mile radius?  That's what I thought.
This is a child who does not get paint on herself.  Not a drop on the floor, no apron/smock, not on her clothing... cute little dress, not on Mommy...  I don't know how it happens, but now I've seen it, and I believe!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Crossing the Prime Meridian

This yarn has crossed the prime meridian three times.
A lousy picture of such beautiful yarn:  Mongolian Cashmere, is a delicate lilac.  Purchased in Colorado, flew to Norway, back to NM and now resides in Norway again.  I'm trying my best to be sensible about this.  I love to knit.  I love to start new things.  I love to shop for yarn... and plan new projects.  Somehow this yarn has languished in a bag/box for years waiting for just the right project.  C has already used some of it for a scarf.  One of many scarves that are needed in Norway, it still has languished among other scarves because of a minor defect.  It can be overlooked because the yarn itself carries the beauty of the scarf.  I was unaware of this scarf.  I only saw the skeins of unknitted goodness, and longed to help it mature into a garment that could be caressed and appreciated for its wonderful qualities.  So I did this:
My lovely reversible cables... all smooshy, and touchable.
It now measures 114 cm/44 inches long, and needs another skein to be complete.
I really like this pattern and the yarn... and...  I've decided to frog it.  Yes.  Fine (as in music-talk).  It came about when my daughter gently explained that I needed to stop the madness--she has numerous hats, gloves, mittens and... scarves.  Too many to wear? I ask.  She admits that she likes having lots to choose from.  After all, scarves are worn most months, year round.  (Two days ago, I kicked myself for forgetting to wear my Europa shawl around my neck-- it was a particularly chilly wind, and bordered on rain.)
But my main motivation for frogging a beautiful scarf, and getting consent to frog the first scarf that has been worn, and knitted by my daughter, is I found a pattern! 
I'm on my way... several rows into it, with cables and texture, using this cashmere doubled, I like what I see, and it will be just as nice to touch.  It's this pattern in Ravelry, and it was a free download from Knitting Daily.   Interesting name too:  Eco Vest.  Exactly what makes it "eco" is probably the yarn I'm NOT using, but it's a lovely pattern.
I have a little less than three weeks to prevent it from making two more crossings of the prime meridian: Losing hours, and gaining hours, it's just too much to be expected of this lovely yarn.  I will attempt to refrain from knitting on another project that I brought with me, and from the other two toddler sweaters purchased today.  I tell you, it's quite the temptation here!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What Doing?*

I've been busy, but I also feel like I've neglected my blog.  Does anyone else feel that way?  Does anyone else notice?  I notice, because I like to read my favorite blogs, and ... and... they are doing the same thing as me-- neglecting their blogs.
Brenda, I don't mean you!  I need to make a convenient link to your blog so I'll have NO excuses.  HERE

My days are full of little errands, baby-sitting, and watching the weather.  In NM, there is little weather to watch:  Sun, sunny, mostly sunny, scattered showers possible, clear.  Here in Norway:  Rain, rain, more rain, partly sunny, and fog.  It's just how it is. I'm not complaining because when you see the cute rain gear, you can't help but smile!
I went button shopping today.  So hopeful that I would find something to match other buttons.
For this "completed" project I need 6 buttons down the front, and 11 buttons for decoration in the diamonds.  I have 10.
I wish you could see how lovely those buttons are. They are a shiny orange and exactly the same green as the sweater.  Looks like 3 buttons one on the other.  My daughter bought them years ago, just because they are beautiful.  She has them in this orange and green combination, and another set in pink shades.
The shop still has the pink ones, but not the orange/green.  Bummer.  They just don't photograph well.

*Favorite expression of my 2 year old (minus 2 weeks) granddaughter when she sees someone.  

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Poncho from the past

Here's a creation that is still being used.  The people are the same, just 14 months later:
Cozy in March (2010)
 Yes, a poncho for two!
Cozy in May (2011)
Hand knitted hats too!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fast Forward to Fourth Flight (of four)

My connections were so "tight" that one of them I didn't have time to sit down or look around.  The ultimate non-stressful perfect connection happened in Newark when my 1/2 hour late flight pulled into the gate NEXT to my connecting flight which was calling the last few rows to board.  NICE! I stood there in a daze when I saw the gate number mere steps away.  I still listened carefully, just to be sure, to the final announcement while buckled in on the plane when they say, "This is the final confirmation that this is flight #123 to Copenhagen."  That's where I wanted to go, so I sat back and relaxed.
Here are a few pictures of my wait in Copenhagen.
A sculpture on the wall.

A treat for me!

Something to keep me occupied and out of the 1,000's of shops.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Flight One (of four)

A long day flying thousands of miles.  Not as much fun as I hoped but full of experiences!
My first flight is always the loudest, the most isolated and most beautiful:  Over the Rockies.

See the propeller?  LOUD.
Nineteen seater means one seat on each side, so no seat companions.  Isolated.  Can't talk anyway, (LOUD) although I heard one woman shout a conversation with someone in the back of the plane, THE --- WHOLE ---- HOUR---.  TG for noise canceling headphones.
See the snow still on the peaks?  Last day of May.  Early morning.  Nice.


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