The Life and Projects of An Avid Hobbyist

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Europe 2009: A Great Trip!

We rounded out the trip by visiting friends and going to Stonehenge. While we were there near the solstice, it's closed to visitors during that time.

It was a long bus ride out to Wiltshire, but it was great to walk the grounds of a place I've read and studied so much about. Its a great piece of history, ad to actually be there was such a treat!


l'arc du triomphe

Had to find fibre, I couldn't resist!

Palace of Westminster in London aka Big Ben

Friends old and new.

A Blankie for (Another) Baby

For several years I lived just outside Boston as I worked on my doctorate in social policy (no, I don't talk about it). During part of that time, I lived with Lea. While we began simply as roommates, we quickly became friends. Our mutual dislike of most things Boston strengthened the bond between us. I don't get to see her often so we keep up through email and occasional phone calls.

I was pleased to pieces to find out that she was expecting her first child at the end of summer 2009. As is often the case when my friend's become preggers, I searched my knitting books to find the "perfect" pattern. Lea's full name is often mispronounced as "uh-zeyl-yuh" (like the flower) so when I saw this pattern I knew it would be perfect. Lea also likes bright (often mis-matched) colors so I had to pick something bold.

Lastly, most of Lea's work is international, splitting her time between, Haiti, Rwanda and South Africa so I wanted something durable and something that could withstand multiple laundering applications.

I recently met up with her whilst in Boston on a business trip to give it to her...she loved it!

At the Boston Sheraton

Stitch definition close up.

Crochet bound off edging.

Project Specs

Pattern: Azalea by Marianne Kinzel in the First Book of Modern Lace Knitting

Yarn: Dream in Color Classy in Golden Experience purchased here.

Time on the Needles: March 5th - May 25th.

Comments: There were several fits and starts because I had a hard time understanding the vague pattern instructions of yesteryear. While I loved knitting this doily on worsted weight yarn and I love semi-solid yarns, I wish I had played closer attention to the variation in the veiled dyed yarn. In some parts it makes what looks like rings that I think are distractions to the pattern.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Europe 2009: Amsterdam

As part of the circuit, we made a trip through Amsterdam. This is not my first time to this glorious city. In 1996 en route from Ghana I had the occasion to spend some time here. I was most pleased to be able to visit again. Unlike some Americans, what I appreciate most about the city is not the legalized canibus. I love the culture of the Netherlands, the laid-back attitude, great (often local) food and great beer...hello Heineken.

I just had to indulge.

As is to be expected, we took the canal tour of the city. What a beautiful place. And we were blessed with great weather.

Successive canals view.

Requisite nekkid local-in-the-window,

Boat house.

Lunch was at a local restaurant where we dined al fresco and took in the sights.

GrilledVeggie Sand
Grilled veggies with local cheese...divine.

On the list of places to visit included Knopenwinkel, a local button shop. The storefront is just too cute and inviting.
Shoppers are greeted by a giant button.

And the offerings inside were too numerous to count. I added greatly to the great button stash (photos at some other time).


We later took the Stena Ferry from the Hook of Holland to Harwich. It was a lovely ride.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Europe 2009: France

During the world wind 2009 European vacation, I made my way through Paris. I absolutely love history and Paris architecture has not shortage of great buildings. High on the list of places to see was the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Parisian seat of the Roman Catholic Church.

The stone detail work is exquisite.

We later traveled down the Seine to see the sights including:

le Tour Eiffel

On the Siene near Notre Dame Cathedral

Having done a fair amount of internet research before arriving, I had a list of places I intending to visit and Le Rouvray, a small patchwork shop near Notre Dame was on the list. Cutest damn patchwork shop in Paris. I was a bit disappointed at both the exchange rate (damn recession) and the number of fabrics that were imported from Asia. Nevertheless, I was able to find these small bundles of regionally produced fabrics.


All this...and fabric?! A girl could get used to this! ~ksp

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Europe 2009...Wimbledon

I am an avid tennis fan. As has been noted on these pages. So needless to say, I was so pleased when I scored damn good seats to Wimbledon's Centre Court. Wimbledon definitely has a different vibe than the US Open. The crowd is just as brisk but a lot more civilized. Everyone seems to know the etiquette of the sport, and more importantly, they're willing to follow the rules. Not once did I hear the chair umpire ask someone to take their seat, or to "quiet down".

So damn civilized.

Vinay with Richard Williams on the grounds.

We watched tennis while eating well and drinking loads (English sports venues allow folks to bring their own liquor...who knew?).


Me drinking a pint during the match. I'd rather my cucumber in my salad...not in my drink.

We walked the grounds, It's so interesting to actually be somewhere you've only seen on television. It was surreal to read the wall of champions while watching the champions of my day. Determined to get the entire experience, we sat on Henman Hill and watched a few matches.

We were told that it was untypical weather for England (warm and sunny). In fact, this was the first year of the retractable roof and there was never a need to use it...go figure.

Drinking a Pimm's (I'm not a fan) and knitting a sock in the colors of the Union Jack (coincidentally the US flag also)

Loopy on Henman Hill.

Had a great time! ~ksp