Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

Back To Knitting June 28, 2018

Filed under: Africa,Ceramics,Knitting,Voodoo Masks — Janet @ 9:11 pm

IMG_2238                  IMG_2344

IMG_2327  a sampling of the ceramic masks hanging on my backyard fence.  The masks are made by a local potter named Faye.  I’m attempting to transfer the Voodoo Mask idea into knitting.  And I’m working with shades of brown.


Mt Kilimanjaro – Highest Peak In Africa December 4, 2017

Filed under: Africa,Books,Mountaineering — Janet @ 10:56 pm

IMG_4811   A good read for mountaineering  enthusiasts



How We Met March 27, 2017

Filed under: Africa,Friendship,Hotels,Kenya,Memoirs,Memories,Northern Ireland — Janet @ 3:00 pm

A few years ago, 18 to be more precise, I wrote a memoir which I called 8 Countries, 62 years.  Now at age 80 I plan to write the sequel and fill in a few gaps.  Yesterday at church coffee hour I was asked the conversation starter question – how did you meet the man you married – or words to that effect.

It’s a long story – or a very short story.

Step 1 – we met in Kenya in August 1966.


IMG  Ian at the Nairobi Show, September 1966


African Carvings January 14, 2016

Filed under: Africa,Carvings — Janet @ 7:38 pm

After my post a few days ago about seeing the African masks at a woodworkers home, I started looking at our own collection of African carvings.  They seemed to be everywhere – some of them I had completely forgotten about.  More memories came flooding back.


from Ghana – bought in the open air market in Accra, 1988

IMG_9647  I can’t remember where or when we acquired this carving

IMG_9643    the black carving up on the high shelf in our kitchen is also from Ghana

IMG_9652  purchased in Machakos Kenya in September 1966 this was the first of many expeditions with my new boy friend who is now my husband of 48 years.    We sat on a hillside near a stream and watched the man carving these figures.  We were young.  Now many years later my husband now uses a cane like this Kenyan mzee.  I never had to tote water like this woman but she was certainly representative of Kenya at that time.






Busy Days December 24, 2014

Filed under: Africa,Authors,Book stores,Books,Kenya,Reading — Janet @ 2:21 am

Yesterday we went to Half Price Books over in the University District. Not that I needed any more books, but I always like to browse. I’m currently reading Black Star Nairobi by Mukoma Wa Ngugi.  A crime novel set in Nairobi Kenya.  It was  a surprising find back in early  November in the Toadstool Bookstore in Milford New Hampshire.          IMG_4904     It is quite good but I am not doing it justice by reading only 5-10 pages late at night.

The Toadstool Bookstore also had birthday cards and this is the one Ian chose for me – this was a month early but you can see that maybe he was thinking ahead of getting a cat.  (We got Katerina shortly after we arrived back in Seattle after our trip to the East Coast.)



I did not do justice  to the previous book  I finally finished.       IMG_4797   99 Girdles on the Wall.  A memoir about holding it in, letting go and coming to grips (to quote the cover), by Elena Louise Richmond.  I bought this book from the author who was selling it along with her paintings and cards at a craft fair at the Finnish Lutheran Church.  I found it rather a strange book with a lot of angst and guilt and surprises and a happy ending.   Again, only reading a few pages at a time – and trying to knit as well.

IMG_4888  and this is the result, Scarf 7


To return to browsing at Half Price Books – guess what caught my eye  – a favorite which I have read many times but no longer own.  I decided it would be a good addition to my shelves and that I wanted to reread it.IMG_4905  Out of Africa and Shadows on the Grass by Isak Dinesen









From the Kenya Side of My Life September 26, 2011

Filed under: Africa,Environment,Kenya — Janet @ 9:56 pm

My blog entry for today is from the Kenya side of my life.  Namely the time now 20+ years ago when we were  living in Nairobi and were very involved with activities at UNCHS and UNEP and the U.S. Library of Congress.

  this photo is from the BBC.  Wangari Maathai is receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.  She was the first African woman to be honored in this way.  Sadly she has now died, at the age of 71, undergoing treatment for cancer.  A strong activist and a woman to be much admired.


Mud Cloth From Mali March 8, 2011

Filed under: Africa,Art works,Design,Dyeing,Weaving — Janet @ 4:22 am

Yes, Mud Cloth from Mali, that’s what the tag says on a little bag I bought today.

Simple, elegant.

To quote the tag:  “The traditional cloth of Mali is called “bogolan,” known here as mud cloth.  Historically, men weave the white cotton and women create the intricate designs, although the roles have become interchangeable today.  It starts out as hand spun cotton, made on site.  Then an elaborate process of dying (sic) with the mud and bark takes place.  It is said that mud cloth was first dscovered when a hunter chased an antelope into a river in Northern Mali, getting mud on his tunic.  When his wife tried to clean the tunic, she could not remove the mud stains.  This same river provides the best mud for making cloth which is now used for everything from scarves to table runners to handbags.”

  map of Mali from the Lonely Planet website