Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Alright. This have been done for some time. Clasps from Nordic Fiber Arts in NH found at

The second sweater is a hand knit Norwegian sweater I found at goodwill two days after I returned from the Nordic Knitting Conference.

Ready for Fall!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Traveler's Dilemma

So, I went to Seattle and was gone for four days. I took a carry-on and an admittedly large purse. I packed travelled with three options in footwear, two knitting projects, four knitting books, exercise clothes, and gifts. It wasn't a completely pared down existence.

When I flew home, I knew I was going to be in trouble, and a bit of strategy was necessary. First of all, I flew out with quite a few of my double pointed needles, and I really, really wanted to return with all of them. I prepared for the eventuality of security seizing them by placing the metal ones in a padded envelope, weighing it at the Post Office, and traveling with enough stamps to mail them to myself from Seattle. But at the conclusion of the conference, my needles weren't neatly packed in their holder. I had several sets dispersed through my bags, stuck in samples, mittens, and other projects. It might look a little weirder to the scanner operator.

Secondly, I may have bought some yarn. Just a few balls here and there. Daily. Some was even given to me, and I really didn't want to look ungracious, so, I took it. May have found some, too, and you know what they say about "found" yarn. Then, there were the pamphlets and instructional handouts. And calendars. In any case, I was traveling home with more than I left with.

Once I reached the airport, I found a nook and put down my carry-on, purse, and two bags of yarn. My last purchase had been 1 gallon ziplocks. I opened the suitcase and put on my biggest/thickest/densest clothes, and started the clothing Tetris game. Every bit of space was utilized, and balls of yarn were squished into ziplocks. And... it all fit! I was thrilled!  Then, I hoisted the backpack, staggering under the weight, and practiced a face which looked like it was as light as s feather. In retrospect, I'm not really sure what that means.  I guess I tried to look happy and clueless -- perhaps not the best angle to approach security.  I tried not to grunt when I hoisted my purse, and headed to security an hour early. There was no way the carry-on would fit into an overhead compartment, but I wasn't going to be the one to bring that up.

I queued and de-shoed and waited, inching forward through the "we see you nude" cameras,  until I heard those decisive words, "will you step over here, ma'am?"

It was the backpack.  I smiled and assured the lady that I had been to a knitting conference, and she probably will have never seen so much yarn in her life.  She was very polite as she unzipped the backpack and promptly got both zippers gummed up in yarn.  I gently released it, and she began the searching process.  "Did I have tweezers in there?" No.  Really, I had tweezers and dpns in my purse, but I have no idea what she was looking for in the suitcase, unless it was more needles.  Evidently, she didn't know either as several minutes later, I was free to go, but, of course, the fun had just begun.  Now we needed to fit everything back in.

She strained and pulled.  I pushed and zipped, but I was hampered somewhat by uncontrollable laughter.  She offered to sit on the case; I pushed and laughed.  She finally called a brawny guy over and all three of us finished it off.

Hats off to you, LL Bean, for your strong zippers and fabric.  I half expected it to explode with the force of yarn in the plane's cargo hold, and be delivered to me in a plastic bag, but, somehow, it held it together.

This is the final product, minus all my clothes and toiletries.  That is, this is all the extra stuff I got on the trip for the most part.

And Fall is Ablaze

It will take just one really good sneeze by Mother Nature to make it all go away, but in the meantime, I'm loving this crisp, Fall days!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Nordic Knitting Conference

It is Sunday night, October 7, 2012, and I am sitting in the Seattle-Tacoma airport waiting for a flight home. The fourth biennial Nordic Knitting Conference has just ended, and my brain is mush.

It all started Thursday morning, at 4am, when I got up and slipped out to the Indi airport. I checked in and boarded with multiple double pointed needles (thank goodness they made it through!), a project in progress, and fun knitted goods to wear, as well as other goodies.

I flew through Houston and made it on time to Seattle where my friend Karin picked me up, as well as knitting/spinning teacher Carol Rhoades. We boogie to downtown to Carol's hotel, went to the nearby Weaving Works shop, where we ran into some of the other teachers, then went back to the hotel for dinner. What a delight! I got to meet Mary Scott Huff, Evelyn Clark, Pat Brunner, Mary Germain, Sandy DeMaster, and Annemor Sundbø! And, the food wasn't bad, either. For the conference the next day, local teacher Susana Hansson joined the others as well.

The Nordic Museum in Ballard, WA

Classes began Friday morning, early, immediately after the yarn went for sale from two vendors on the main floor and the gift shop with their newly imported yarn from a scrumptious Swedish mill.  Let's just say I was distracted there little while...

After I collected myself, and my new yarn, I boogied over to the Sunset Community Center for my first class, Latvian Mittens á la Irma, taught by Mary Germain and Sandy De Master.  What a delightful class!  These two ladies are knitters and spinners extraordinaire from Wisconsin.  They spoke of their history of knitting, and especially their friendship with an older Latvian mitten knitter in Milwaukee. Their handouts were excellent, and we went on to make a miniature pair of Latvian mittens.

That night, we had a lovely wine and cheese in the main lobby of the museum, and had fun talking with teachers and students and lots of freebies were given away.  

Saturday was Danish Traveling Stitches taught by Carol Rhoades, an excellent teacher, knitter, and spinner.  She is known for her work and editorial work for Spin-Off Magazine, and her multiple translations of books from Swedish and Norwegian to English.  I ended up with a nice wrist warmer, and plans for bigger things.

I also had a lovely surprise of seeing a dear high school friend, Anne, whom I had gotten out of touch with.  She lived in walking distance from the museum!  She came and collected me, and we walked to her house where she regaled me with stories and filled me up with warm potato soup and brownies!  Good stuff!

Saturday night was the banquet where Annemor spoke.  What an incredible story!  I think I will have to comment on it in another post, just so I can get this one published, but she is such a lovely women, so humorous and knowledgable, and just saved thousands of knitted goods in Norway from being shredded, then studied and wrote about what she learned.

Sunday was an all-day Norwegian Design class with Annemor.  Tickled the tired brain.  She really was a hoot as she shared the basics of a Norwegian mitten, insights on the symbols and designs, and a lot of funny stories.  

Lastly, what trip to Seattle is ever complete without a visit to Archie McPhee's?  You know how a picture is worth a thousand words?  I think this one counts.