Showing posts from 2007

The Eagle has Landed

G'day all!

We are now in sunny San Jose!

Gosh it is good to be here. It was even better to see the sun - does a pall of cloud sit over eastern North America for all of late fall and winter? We only saw the sun once in Waterloo (a brilliant day with hoar frost! Beautiful!) unless you count the times we could see it through the clouds without hurting our eyes one bit.... Anyway sun is grand! Blue skies are wonderful!

Even more wonderful are the gum trees around the place. As an Aussie, I am attached to gum trees (eucalypts and their kin). I had only seen a couple in six months but here? Oz plants all over the place! I haven't crushed a gum leaf in my hands yet but it will happen and all those wonderful eucalyptus scents will carry me home for a little while.

We can't wait to explore, though after weeks of sitting on our butts and being inactive, our feetsies are sore after only walking about 3 miles today.... LOL. We are right near the light rail, most convenient as th…

Do you know the way to San Jose


Canada has been real but it is time for us to Get Real. Hope the planes know the way to San Jose cos I am not flying one!

Christmas socks 1

G'day all!

I promised pictures of socks. Well I have pics of one set of socks!

Made for my MiL in Hand Maiden "Casbah," a blend of wool with cashmere and nylon (10% of each). I chose a colour that reminded me of ice whilst being still in the realm of our favourite colour, aquamarine/turquoise. Yep I share the same favourite colour! When he discovered this DH was mildly concerned that he was marrying his mother....

The pattern is based on Rainy Day socks from Magknits.

MiL says the yarn is very soft. The socks seem to fit quite well too :-)

All round a win! See, I can make a matching pair of socks. Hooray!


Another White Christmas!

G'day all!

We had another White Christmas! This one was a *REAL* white Christmas! Snow! It even snowed a little today!

(Love the glowing butt on that reindeer....)

I hope each and every one of my reader friends spent their day with family and/or friends in fellowship and waaay too much to eat.

You will be proud of me - I managed to get two pairs of socks done for Christmas, a scarf mostly in handspun (and knitted combination-style) all whilst dragging the pair of us all over Canada. I even have pictures (and will get some more). I have a pair of birthday socks to complete within a week and apart from that? Time to relax! Hooray!

Less than a week until we are in San Jose. I think by then snow, slush and ice will be Old and I will be ready for some solid ground that isn't white and slippery. And COLD! And I'll also be ready for some sun! Oh please give me some sun! We haven't had real sun since we left Edmonton nearly a week ago!


Internet at last!

G'day all!

We are in Waterloo, an hour out of Toronto, Canada. It is snowing. It is white outside. With any luck we will have a white Christmas! Hooray! Plus we have an internet connection. Even bigger hooray!

I have been knitting lots, though you would not know it from my output. Three socks and a half, with that half needed for tomorrow. Plus I need to get some more stuff made/bought as presents for Christmas. Ack. I only have 12 hours. I'd better get cracking!

Have a Merry Christmas! I have lots of trip reports to make on Coloradoan Dreaming. And some knitting to show. And yarn crawl results. Did Toronto yesterday. If I remember the pictures. Ooops.


Signing off for a while

G'day all!

Today they come to pack all our stuff up. I don't know when I'll be able to blog again - Nathan's laptop's wireless card has given up the ghost and internet cafes seem to be a thing of the past.

If I don't get online between now and Christmas, which I think is unlikely, have a good one! Make it merry and safe and do all the things I wouldn't do ;-)


I am going to die

G'day all!

The madness continues here. The place is in a total state of disruption. I have half sorted stuff out and we've gotten rid of a heap of stuff. The packers come tomorrow and take our stuff.

But why am I going to die?

We land in Calgary on Wednesday evening. That night Calgary is expecting MINUS THIRTY-TWO DEGREES CELSIUS. Yep, -32C. OK that is including windchill but I am going to die! I won't be able to breathe. I'll have to muffle myself in about 5 gazillion scarves. My fingers and toes will go numb in seconds and I shall probably set a new world record for frostbite setting in. I don't deal with cold very well....

O holy cow, why did Calgary have to be the place with the available visa appointments? Why did it have to be the coldest large city in Canada (mebbe with exception of Edmonton or Winnipeg)? Why not Vancouver, where I would have a chance of surviving?

I am so getting me on a bus or plane to Vancouver once those visas are issued, assumin…

We're back

G'day all!

We are back, for a few days. Ack. In less than a week we will be cleared out of here.

We left and the temps were still getting into the 60s F, what high teens C? OK, some days were only in the noughties C. Today it is -6C or about 18F. There is SNOW on the ground out the back of our place. I guess the kids from the local not-Steiner pre-school won't be rolling down it much any more. At least the dog doo-doo will be obvious now.

Anyway, we had a lovely time visiting Chicago overnight then Minnesota for a few days, then Chicago for two nights, then Washington DC, then Chicago.... I think you get the picture. Basically Chicago is a major hub for Amtrak. Frigging cold it was too. Waaaay too cold for me, but I get home and it is waaaay too cold for me here too!

Plus I caught a cold and it has headed straight to my sinuses and my throat. I sound like a frog, have the worst smoker's cough you've heard in a non-smoker and often can make very interesting …

I'm dreaming of a white thanksgiving....

G'day all!

We are in Minnesota. So far we have seen lots of grey and drab brown, and some really funky old houses. It is SNOWING! It is only 24F outside. Brrrr! It is night time though... but it is SNOWING! And we have all of our luggage now which is sorta nice - some of it decided to stay an extra night in Chicagy.

Did I mention it is SNOWING?

Am I excited?

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it! And a happy Thursday to the rest of the world....


Train itinerary, I hope

G'day again all!

Here is our itinerary:

Saturday 17 November: Denver to Chicago, arrive Sunday arvo.
Sunday 18 November: Chicago
Monday 19 November: Chicago to Milwaukee
Tuesday 20 November: Milwaukee to Minneapolis
Wednesday 21 November: Friday 23 November: New Ulm
Saturday 24 November: Minneapolis - Chicago - Washington
Sunday 25 November: Washington, arvo
Monday 26 November: Washington - Philadelphia
Wednesday 28 November: Philadelphia - Chicago
Thursday 29 November: Chicago - Denver
30 November - home! But only for 5 days as we leave for Calgary on 5th December.

If you live around those areas or know of something good to do *and* we have not already arranged to meet up with you, let us know!


hey! No fair!

G'day all!

Yesterday I went to the Bad Place. I was told the Bad Place has cheap laptops. Yep! Found a laptop for less than the secondhand place we went to (like why on earth would anyone pay $380 for a secondhand laptop? A three year old secondhand laptop? $150 or so, maybe). OK, so it isn't the best built laptop in the world but if we look after it it should be fine, and did anyone say CHEAP?

Whilst I was at the Bad Place, I thought I would try on some pants. And some bras.

Can anyone tell me how it is possible for me to drop two dress sizes by coming to the USA and go up a bra size even though I've lost an inch or so off all my measurements?

The dress size thing? Easy. You guys have resized your dress sizes. Half the manufacturers in Oz have done the same thing - if you want to be a 12 instead of a 14 you pick out certain labels. Of course everyone wants to be smaller! (This is a warning for American women out there - prepare to increase your dress size if you g…

Half done

G'day for the umpteenth time!

I bring news, my lord (s and ladies!). We have a place to stay in Calgary (the youth hostel which is 400m from the consulate), tickets are booked for the trip up there and our Amtrak stuff on its way. I hope. Thank you all again for your good wishes.

I think you need a little something other than my stress flaring at you.

How about a little sock action? An actual finished sock! Yes I still do knit.

(Lenore pattern in the Raven series from Blue Moon Fiber Arts - you don't know how hard it is to type fiber, center, etc, instead of fibre, centre, etc. Plus the second one is on the needles! Me making a pair of socks! Unthinkable! Inconceivable!)

Interesting how the plying on the yarn makes those columns - I've seen that on Zarina and a few other yarns with a high twist angle.

Some more yarn pr0n?

Oh yes indeed you better believe that the yarn I've been showing you was not all of what I bought for me for my birthday. *blush* (But I did buy …

argh, kill me now!

G'day all!

Well the saga goes on. Today I realised the content of an email yesterday says "organise your own visa trip to Canada and we will repay you."

Poo, bottom and crap as I like to say in the vernacular.

Umm, with what money? OK, we are blowing money on a trip on the train. Maybe we shouldn't do that but it is our only known chance to go see Nathan's friends. The Calgary trip is going to cost at least $1200 in airfares (I think I have to book flights in and out to please the Canadian officials), plus another thousand at a hotel unless I can find us somewhere cheap but decent like a hostel or something... Are Canadian hostels as disgusting as those in the USA? Australian hostels are usually quite nice, especially the newer ones and ones not attached to caravan (RV) parks.

Anyone know anyone in Calgary?

I have to go book a plane ticket or two.


Is it wrong

Is it wrong to be up at 3:15am cataloguing and photographing your sock yarns?

Y'see the sleeplessness continues so I decided maybe playing with pretties would help me some, or at least distract me. It is not normal for me to have insomnia, but I ate something yesterday, oops two days ago, that is having ongoing repercussions and one of those is racing brain that will not sleep.

Now I have to choose what yarns to keep out of the removalists' mitts so I can make me and others socks and stuff whilst we travel around Canada. And the USA.

I have an *awful* lot of sock yarn. And I mean that in the sense of awe, not aw shucks. And I left a lot of sock yarn at home too. Hmm. I guess you'll want to see the pictures, but not quite yet - I think my brain is finally slowing down. Hooray! Maybe I will get some sleep by 4am! Or mebbe not.

My name is Lynne and I am addicted to sock yarn.


Scheduling is no fun

G'day all!

Thank you everyone for your kind wishes after my last post.

(Gosh it is another day! I started this post on the 13th I thought but now it is well and truly the 14th.)

DH is chucking wobblies left right and centre. I am trying to figure out how on earth we can schedule in the people we want to see on our train trip. We need a laptop - DH won't survive a week without a computer and since we are going to be travelling for the next six or so weeks.... Plus his PhD is not finished and he is extremely unhappy about that cos he wanted to finish it this week before we left. If it is not finished we realllly need a laptop. The cheapest we've found locally is $380 for a secondhand laptop of unknown provenance. Seems awful dear considering we can get a bottom of the range brand new Dell for $500 (plus tax).

Anyways, I think I have developed a plan, to be ratified by he who must be gruntled. We go to Chicago and arrive Sunday 18th November. Then we go to Niagara Falls, …

Can't see the forest for the trees

G'day all!

At the moment I am totally surrounded by decisions. Completely hemmed in.

I don't "do" decisions.

I am having to plan everything, work out what fits in with what and work out what is best. This doesn't come easily to me either.

Funny, isn't it that whilst I am rather laissez faire and prefer to take things as they come, the fact that we are in visa limbo AGAIN, for the second time in a year, is crippling me.

Y'see we have to fly to Calgary to get our visas. We don't know how long it will take to get the visas after the interview. It might take a day for processing and a day for delivery (but there is a weekend in the way) or it might take a week or longer. Now I am sure Calgary is a nice place but it is going to be winter and we are going to be a long way from home with absolutely no friends or people we know nearby. We have limited funds (people have offered us loans if we need them but y'know I am really loath to ask for money) so it…

Even More Birthday Stuff

G'day all!

I thought I should abuse your eyeballs with some birthday presents. Presents-wot-I-didn't-organise-myself. Surprise presents!

The lovely mrspao sent me some goodies all the way from England:

yummy choc-rice things and some Hipknits sock yarn in a colourway that is very me. Nathan says "too pale" but those pale colours look good on me.

And my blogless friends M and M in Oz got a bunch o' people to contribute to rectifying a Great Problem - can you tell what it is from this pic?

Oh and it was not just one block of chocolate - the big pic shows that I have a 14 week supply! However, under stress it will probably last about 10 weeks. My *Very favourite* chocolate cos I have never poisoned myself with it, though with that many blocks I probably could if I tried to eat it all at once 8-)

Lovely prezzies! I really appreciate the thought you guys put into the things you sent me :-)

Now for a pic taken last night at a friend's house. He has two lovely grey …

More birthday yarn pr0n

G'day all!

I said I went a bit ballistic last weekend, and here's the rest of the proof.

Two skeins of Claudia's Handpainted, the same two skeins that I eyeballed way back in March. They waited for me. Isn't that sweet?

Two skeins of Shibui Knits in an eyewatering bright colourway. The lady at Woolen Treasures joked with me about how bright they are - we agreed that they would be visible from half a mile away on a dark night. She likes them too.

I can't get a representative colour of the Crystal Palace Yarns Merino 5, but the lovely Sheri at Loopy Ewe has a BONZA pic! The colours look about right on my screen - it is a lovely two tone violet colour with leafy green in it. The yarn is squishy and very soft. Mmmmm. It is a new release, which would be why I've never seen it before. I had to bring two skeins of it home with me, even if they are not enough for decent size socks, they will still make great handwarmers or gloves or mittens or something.

One loneso…

Calling those in USA

G'day all!

This is a particular message for those of you in the USA. Sorry to those who read this post without knowing it doesn't have much for you, unless you want us to pester someone as our train rumbles by.

If we can wrangle our finances into some sort of order, we may end up doing a Grand Tour (thanks to cheap Amtrak passes) of the USA this month and early next month.

So far we've been offered a place to stay near the Twin Cities MN for Thanksgiving, Philadelphia, Phoenix AZ, San Diego CA and a couple of other places that don't seem to have Amtrak anywhere near them.

Anyone else got a spot or want to meet up in between trains somewhere? We are loud and brash Australians :-) On short stays we are relatively neat and try to keep things clean. Admittedly I am a PITA cos I can't eat dairy or gluten or various flavour enhancers and detest HFCS (everything with it in it tastes like tropical bubblegum, not my fave flavour! Plus it is just plain icky ;-). Oh and I a…

Birthday pr0n

G'day all!

I thought I should blitz you with some sock yarn pr0n. After all I won't be buying much yarn soon!

Hmm, let's start with the yarn I bought at a recent sale and hid (most cunningly under a pile of clean washing and mending) for a couple of weeks.

A new Online sock yarn. There were a whole range of colours that I thought very pretty - grassy green, pink, turquoise, and look what I walked away with:

Yep, GREY! ME! Choosing a yarn with a grey background. I just thought the the colours poppedreally well out of it.

Then there was some (new to me) Araucania sock yarn called Ranco Multy. Anyway, it looks very pretty, 75% wool, 25% nylon so it should be tough. It isn't machinewash though.

Do you see that colour? Brown! OK, brown with some green and blue and golds and reds in it but brown. Me? I must be mad!

This one might be a little more what you expect...

Yep, safe territory there - blues, reds, greens, purples, all sorts of colours in between. Much more what y…

Happy Birthday to Me!

G'day all!

(Argh, not posted for a whole day cos apparently I didn't close a link in my html, not that blogger kindly tells me where I didn't close the link)

Happy birthday to me!
Happy birthday to me!
Happy birthday dear me-ee,
Happy birthday to me!

(I have to sing it to myself cos I haven't got anyone to sing it to me - DH doesn't do that sort of thing plus he hasn't organised a cake or made one or anything - if he has, he's been very sneaky cos none of my cake mixes are missing.)

Thank you to those who have sent birthday wishes, and bigger thanks to those who have sent cards and even presents! I must say the post is very slow at the moment, well I hope it is very slow - Nathan has received more parcels than me this week! Humph!

Yesterday, after I picked up our hire car, I drove up to Wyoming, took a right and ended up in Nebraska (mrspao, I have to do a little piece on western Nebraska for you). After a left and a loooong wait in some roadworks, I ended up at…

Ripped off bad!

G'day all!

So busy at present, and rather introspective too. An upcoming birthday, getting older (one day makes all the difference!), Mum would've been 77 (!!!) the other day (in a way I am glad I watched her get old in a few months rather than over the years). I have a project or 10 that are totally out of control and taking over the house....

Anyways, I get on Amazon today cos it is my birthday on Saturday and I wantses me some stuff, money be hanged. Nathan asked me to get a couple of compact flash cards for a project he is working on. It says all my stuff is in stock and will ship shortly, whilst the flash cards will be two or three days before they ship.

So what do I get this evening, six hours after ordering? An email saying my order is in TWO shipments, and Nathan's has already been sent. The one that would not be sent until after the weekend. Mine is still waiting to be picked and packed.

Spewin'. (That's Strine, classic Strine. It means that I am mode…

Evil BMFA!

G'day all!

I got my latest Socks That Rock club installment yesterday. Can I just say this is the only one this year that I've gone OMG, I MUST knit these socks! Others are nice but these? Already on the needles...

Can I also say that they are evil evil b@stards too?

In the bag with the yarn, I saw a spider. A plastic spider. Yeah yeah, whatever. After all Halloween is coming up and spiders (fake and real) and booglies are everywhere here. (They are trying to find warm places for winter. As long as the spider is not a black widow/katipo/red back, I mostly let them live, or shove them outside.) So I put my hand into the bag to grab the most droolsome yarn, a different spider wriggled in a most life-like way. I nearly hit the roof! LOL

I would show you a picture but I most foolishly upgraded my computer last weekend. I didn't realise that the new version had only been released that day. What a STUPID idea! Whose dumb idea was that? I had hoped it would fix some pr…

List mode

G'day all!

Beautiful weather these last three days. I've been out and about a bit. But that is not what I want to talk about! Actually I don't know what I want to talk about. I have no plan at all.

I've been spinning so much that I could hardly walk up or down the stairs today - I have a double treadle wheel but one leg obviously was taking the strain. I have stuff to destash - even though we've only been here for a little while I have already managed to accumulate stuff I know I won't use in the short or even medium term, so it should move on (eg all the recycled angora yarn that I won't need to use now that we are moving to San Jose, assuming the visas come through). I have an FO I still need to have a photoshoot of. I have an almost FO that I need to frog back to make longer. The Mystery Object is continuing and looks totally bizarre at present. I have to show of my new slipper too - there's only one yet, but the second one will have pics take…

What is it?

G'day all!

What on earth is this weird thing?

And what could this be the start of?

A hint on the latter. It has two strands held together, one of sock yarn and one of in my version a recycled angora yarn:

It is cold here today. We had a humdinger of a change come through - yesterday got to about 28C, today it reached six degrees Celsius, and is heading rapidly for 0C and below. Our first proper freeze!

What is it?
As it is cold, I am glad I am really getting moving on the cold weather gear. This picture helps out a bit with working out what the grey thing in the first photo is.

Yep, it is a face mask/neck warmer/whatever for wearing whilst riding the bike. This one is for Nathan and is too big for me cos it has to go over his beard. I've tried it out and it really made a difference. It is made out of cashmere. How on earth can someone with my budget afford cashmere? Recycled cashmere from a thrift shop sweater (or in Oz parlance an op shop jumper) costs say $5 for the sweate…

Some Taos, since everyone is at Rhinebeck

G'day all!

Feeling very jealous of all those off to have fun at Rhinebeck. I'm not amongst them! Mebbe next year....

So I shall enthrall you with pics from the fibre festival at Taos.

Taos is host to a festival with probably about 60 vendors. Not all of them deal in fleece and yarn - some are weavers, some have ready made knitted or felted articles or sheepskins and so on. IMO there are too many alpaca and llama shepherds, but that is because I am jealous! I am allergic to those camelids, yep the ones that are hypoallergenic! (It isn't the first time I've come out in a rash to hypoallergenic stuff - I can't use Neutrogena for example.)

So whilst various bloggers are pushing their way through the crowds at Rhinebeck, I give you pictures to reflect upon at Taos:

(The tent on the left is the one where I did the most damage...)

I actually had to say, "Excuse me!" to someone at one point when I had to shove past them to get into a tent! The worst traffic was…

Kauni question

G'day all!

Here's a question for all those who have got Kauni yarn and/or made a cardi from it.

How soft is the yarn? Y'see with my hoped for tax return, I want to buy me some Kauni yarn for my birthday. However, I am one of these people who has difficulty wearing the softest, finest merino next to my skin. Anything the slightest bit prickly has to be worn over two layers, not just one.

Anyone got a little bit (of Kauni) they could send me? Just offcuts/scraps? I am one of those people who gets an idea of how wearable a yarn is by rubbing it against my neck. My neck will prickle to most wools, especially if I am sweaty. Too much information?

I have a small FO to show off, when I get organised and get pics of it. It is nice and warm. Mmmmm. Warm.

I've spend the last two afternoons riding around Fort Collins with the bike trailer hitched up, buying LOTS of groceries. I sorta went berserk yesterday at Vitamin Cottage cos they have a big range of different gluten fre…

Taos goodies

G'day all!

The stress continues here in Fort Collins. The other job offer is proceeding and they are trying to get us into a visa interview ASAP. To do the visa interview, we have to leave the US. This means Mexico or Canada. Much as I would like to go to Canada, the wait is 43 days for an interview whilst in Mexico it is 2 days. DH has been inspiring me with stories of this particular town in Mexico, so looks like we will be going to Toronto instead. We know people who live just outside To, and I "know" some bloggers who live in To. If we go to Toronto, we are unlikely to leave until after Christmas as Nathan's parents are coming here and then to Toronto around Christmas, so maybe their plans change again.... If all goes well, the new job wants Nathan to start early in the New Year.

So to distract ourselves from fussing, let's look at goodies. The goodies I got at Taos.

An ounce of polypay top. We don't have polypay in Oz.

And some cormo (*American* co…