Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

Reading Choices January 2, 2017

Filed under: Book stores,Books,Films,Reading — Janet @ 8:40 pm

I’m forever working through my pile of unread books.  The pile of unreads grows faster than the pile of reads.  Makes me think of the Walt Disney  film Fantasia back in the 1940’s.  One of the first films I ever saw – probably in the University Theater in Harvard Square.    The water kept coming despite Mickey Mouse frantically trying to keep ahead of the deluge.



img_2138  Here’s a book for the New Year 2017.  Truth Like the Sun by Jim Lynch.  An interesting fictional take on Seattle’s history since the World’s Fair in 1962.   I found this book 2nd hand at Eagle Harbor Books over on Bainbridge Island. It had lurked near the bottom of my unreads pile for about a year.


Women’s History March 10, 2016

In special recognition of significant women in history, I want to nominate Gertrude Bell, explorer extraordinaire among many other achievements.    I have read a number of her books and am now reading a biography of her – Gertrude Bell, Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations by Georgina Howell.

BellK_218_Gertrude_Bell_in_Iraq_in_1909_age_41  Gertrude Bell, age 41  (image from Wikipedia)


A film about Gertrude Bell was released in 2015.  Titled Queen of the Desert and starring Nicole Kidman.  I look forward to viewing it.       QOTD_poster

p.s. Gertrude was friendly with Lawrence of Arabia. Almost 50 years ago I saw the film about T. E. Lawrence at the White Rhino Hotel in Nyeri Kenya.  My boy friend (not yet my husband) and I drove up to Nyeri from Nairobi (a 2 1/2 hour drive) to see the film.  A spontaneous trip after I had played in a mixed doubles tennis match with someone else.  What a lark.  The film was LONG.  The seats uncomfortable.  Peter O’Toole was memorable as Ross.  The drive back to Nairobi late in the evening was even longer.  The things one did when one was young and fancy free.





Choosing A Movie For Family Movie Night January 31, 2016

Filed under: Family,Films — Janet @ 1:12 am

Ping Pong  This film, Ping Pong,  was a winner – at least for some members of the family.  The Ping Pong World Championships for the over 80’s!  Held in Inner Mongolia.


Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence January 12, 2016

Filed under: David Bowie,Films,World War II — Janet @ 2:25 pm

I along with millions of others feel saddened by the death of David Bowie.  A rare talent.  When I first heard the news, I thought of the film Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence.  Not a film I saw – too painful a subject.  But I have read the Laurens Van Der Post books on which the film was based.   Now I have learned so much more about this multi-talented rock icon.




Family Movie Night January 9, 2016

Filed under: Family,Films — Janet @ 6:45 pm

Friday night is dinner and family movie night.  Each week we have dinner and a film suitable for the whole family ranging in age from 5 to 80 plus.  Dinner is always good.  But sometimes we end up with a film that few, if any, family members really like.  That’s what happens when family members widely differ.  The teenagers wander off and disappear.  The 5 year old falls asleep.  The 6 year old reads an Archie comic in the dark.  The 4 adults wonder why they are there watching _______ when they would really want to be watching ________.

Recently we watched The Long Green Line.  Ever heard of it?  It’s about cross country running and a fabulous coach in Elmhurst Illinois.  Have you ever heard of Elmhurst??  Well I have but not for more than 50  years!  That’s where I went for my first real job interview upon completion of my Master’s Degree in Geography at Northwestern.  I’m not quite sure why I went – maybe more out of curiosity than anything else.  But I was ready to give it a shot if I got positive vibes.  No such thing – by the time I got there via the train to downtown Chicago and then another train to Elmhurst, I’m afraid that I was not feeling disposed to receive positive vibes if indeed there were any.  All the people  I met were very nice and courteous etc and Elmhurst was a nice looking town…..but a small suburb of Chicago was not for me at that point in my life.

The Long Green Line was inspirational.  A good choice for 3 of the 4 adults at least.

the long green line 2008





Birthdays of Note June 4, 2015

Filed under: Actresses,Birthdays,Films — Janet @ 3:39 pm

Angelina turns 40 today.          Angelina Jolie wallpapers (33447)

Angelina Jolie


Angelina Jolie is an American actress, film director, screenwriter, and author. She has received an Academy Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three Golden Globe Awards, and was named Hollywood’s… wikipedia.org


Book and Film Recommendation October 12, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Films,Riddles — Janet @ 5:21 am

It is rare for me to read a particular book and also see the film.  This was particularly special because one of my granddaughters has reached an age where we can  enjoy sharing our reading and viewing choices.  She and her mom recommended both the book and the film – so I read the book and then five of us watched the film  together (husbands and grandfather were included). *

200px-The_Fault_in_Our_Stars  This is the book and Wikipedia has the following to say about it.

The Fault in Our Stars is the sixth novel by author John Green, published in January 2012. The story is narrated by a sixteen-year-old cancer patient named Hazel Grace Lancaster, who is forced by her parents to attend a support group where she subsequently meets and falls in love with the seventeen-year-old Augustus Waters, an ex-basketball player and amputee. The title is inspired from Act 1, Scene 2 of Shakespeare‘s play Julius Caesar, in which the nobleman Cassius says to Brutus: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” A feature film adaptation of the novel directed by Josh Boone and starring Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort and Nat Wolff was released on June 6, 2014.[

Fault_in_our_stars filmHere is a photo from the film.


I enjoyed both the book and the film and they both received critical acclaim. Five stars to both from me.


“This makes me think of a riddle which my father used to pose – “This man’s father is my father’s son but brothers and sisters I have none.  Who is speaking?  I must ask my sisters for the answer to see if I am remembering this correctly.


The Slender Thread July 21, 2011

Filed under: Films,Friendship,Memories,Move to Seattle,Seattle — Janet @ 9:48 pm

From that title you might think I was going to get back to doing a blog entry about knitting or spinning or even sewing.  But no I’m still going to be off-topic as far as the original intention of this blog is concerned.  The Slender Thread is an old black and white film starring Sidney Poitier and Anne Bancroft.  It was made in 1965, 3 years after the Space Needle was built in 1962.  The interest for me in viewing this film was that it was filmed in several what are now familiar locations – houses not far from where we are now living, the church we are attending, Golden Gardens which is near us, etc.  But, as I said, the film was made 50 years ago.  The viewing last night was for a small audience, one of whom exclaimed “that’s the house!!”  – there was some sort of family connection, her parents or grandparents lived there.  Not only did she recognize the house but she also recognized many of the people in the congregation in the scene taken in the church.  And the preacher was the one who preceeded the current preachers.  It was all very interesting.  And the opening scene of Anne Bancroft driving tensely on the fast moving freeway system could have been of me trying to drive on these freeways today.  Back in 1959-60 when I lived in Seattle we did not have this elaborate fast moving big freeway scene.  The traffic as it was then and the road system did not seem so daunting.  And of course in younger years fast moving traffic was easier to handle than it is now.

What was of further interest about going to this film was that the showing was in The Swedish Cultural Center, 1920 Dexter Ave. N   My first job was with Puget Planners, a small urban planning and consulting firm, headed by John Nordmark and located in a house on Dexter.  The date on the Swedish Cultural Center building was 1960 – was that building being built when I was working in that house across the street??  I don’t remember – what I do remember is that from my desk I had a lovely view of Mt. Rainier.  That was enough to impress any Easterner like myself.

Yesterday was quite the day for looking over the years.  In 1959-60 I lived on 28th Avenue West in the Magnolia section of Seattle.  Yesterday I went searching for the house where I used to live.  I lived across from the elementary school so the house would have been near the corner of Smith and 28th.  I can picture the small 2 bedroom house with a slight step up and a longish walk to the front door.  Yesterday I couldn’t find the  house as I remembered it.  Possibly the foliage has grown and hidden it now.  I am asking for help in finding the address.  My sister tells me she has an old address book where she might have a record of that address – I hope she finds it.  The house was owned by a retired judge and his wife – he had been a judge at the Nuremberg trials following World War II.  Three of us shared the house.  One of my housemates is still here in Seattle and she can’t remember what our address was either.

Another item for yesterday – July 20 – it was the anniversary of my brother’s birth July 20, 1924.  We always think of him especially on that date and miss him sorely.  He passed away in 1992.

More memories for July 20 – I had a phone call from my friend Rachel in Colorado – Rachel who back in 1959 was teaching elementary school here in West Seattle and whom I came to visit and ended up staying here myself.   Now here we are in 2011 and Rachel is in Colorado – she phoned to ask if I could remember where I was 48 years ago – yes I said, Happy Anniversary.  48 years ago on July 20, 1963 our friend Lucy and I were the bridesmaids at Rachel and Jim’s wedding in Gardner Massachusetts.  Memories!!  Rachel, Lucy, and I were friends from Middlebury College days 1954-58.  (How Rachel and Jim met is yet another story.)

Rachel and Jim came to visit back in May.  Pictured are Ian, Rachel, Mary Ann (my housemate in Magnolia) and Jim


In the Garden May 11, 2011

Filed under: Films,Gardening — Janet @ 11:51 pm

   A few varieties of Rosemary and Herrenhausen Oregano – planted in my garden this morning.  Hope they don’t get engulfed by weeds.

Meanwhile, yesterday marked the monthly meeting of the Film Club over at the Nordic Heritage Museum.  This month it was Iceland’s turn with The Seagull’s Laughter.  Very good indeed, but attendence was sparse.  I wonder if that reflects the number of Icelandic people here in Seattle compared with the Danes, and the Swedes, and the Norwegians.  Or maybe it was just because it was such a nice day and most people wanted to be outside to enjoy a day of Spring.  Next month it’s Finland’s turn.  Each of the films shown so far have been good – Elling (Norway), the Swimsuit Issue (Sweden), Adam’s Apples (Denmark), and now The Seagull’s Laughter (Iceland).

  photo from the internet


Soup and Cinema March 9, 2011

Filed under: Dyeing,Films,Friendship,Knitting,Yarn shops,Yarns — Janet @ 5:46 pm


 soup and cinema at the Nordic Heritage Museum.  This is what we did yesterday.  Allt Flyter/The Swimsuit Issue  was a Swedish film so we had a Swedish soup – it was delicious – a kale soup and a nice bread to go with it.  The film was wonderfully done.  Excellent acting, an unusual centerpiece for the story line – the formation of a men’s synchronized swim team.  So that was the offering this month.  Last month it was a Norwegian film, Elling.  Next month is Denmark’s turn with the film Adams aebler/Adam’s Apples.  And then in May it will be Iceland with Mavahlatur/The Seagull’s Laughter.

As we enjoyed our lunch I reflected on how yet again I didn’t think to wear something Scandinavian.  Rather ironic since it is the colourful knitting and weaving tradition of the Nordic countries which is part of the big attraction for me.  I did wear something handknit at least.  Handknit but not by me.  It was a vest knit with handspun naturally dyed yellow/green yarn.  I’ve had that item a long time and wore it very often when I was working in Kenya.  I bought it at the Spinner’s Web, just around the corner from the Norfolk Hotel.  The Spinner’s Web stocked those balls of naturally dyed yarn with the Kenya Leo label.  They also sold items knit with that yarn and I was a frequent admirer and purchaser.  Thinking about all that, part of my association with the Kenya Leo label is that I knew one of the founders, if not the founder.  She lived upcountry but she used to come to Nairobi for the Kennel Club Dog Shows.  I always looked forward to the Shows – and also the chance to visit with Jean.  That’s all long ago now.