Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

A Long Walk on a Beautiful Day February 20, 2010

Filed under: Books,Cycling,Dogs,House in Seattle,Seasons,Weather,Yarn shops — Janet @ 3:12 am

It was a beautiful clear day here in Seattle and the temperature got up into the 60’s Fahrenheit.  How’s that for winter mildness.  I’m afraid the bees are getting confused.  And the skiers are rushing to the slopes up in the Cascades before all the snow disappears.

I set out to go to the University District today.  I checked in at the house and found that all was under control and that progress was being made on the kitchen floor.  I walked down the hill to catch the bus along Market Street.  I just missed a bus and it was such a nice day I decided to walk for a while.  I knew there was a hill to climb but I didn’t realized it went on for so long.  I was rewarded with sweeping views of the snow-covered Olympic Mountains.  I finally reached the top and a more level stretch – and decided I had walked enough when I saw a lady waiting at the bus stop.  I figured a bus must be coming soon – and it did.  On I went to the University District.  First stop – Half Price Books.  Quite typically, I found a lot of interest, including 3 Larry McMurtry books, a Henning Mankell book, 2 knitting books, and a book on weaving rag rugs. 

 Then, resisting a strong urge to go to Weaving Works, I went for  lunch at the Pizza Place.  Refreshed, I walked to the bicycle store to pick up some blocks for the pedals on the tandem – now it will be easier for the girls to reach the pedals.  Smiley, the purveyor of tandems, also sells other bikes.  And he has just the bike for me.  I like the looks of it in the catalog and he can add a carrier and fenders and provide of saddle to my liking – i.e. customize it to suit me perfectly.  I am tempted.  He is smiling from ear to ear.

After the bike shop, I called in next door to a violin maker.  That was a treat to see his workshop.  We discussed violins for 7-8 year olds.  And then I paused for coffee at Hennekers – a brand I hadn’t heard of.  To be frank, the coffee wasn’t exactly to my taste but the ambience was fine.  Some interesting craft work on the walls.  Back to the University District, and yes I stopped at Weaving Works before I caught the bus back to Ballard.

   the bakery has been closed for the past few days – the baker was sick – but today it reopened and there were a lot of happy people and canines

   here is the man working on the kitchen floor

  the cherry trees are now in bloom – this is early – the weather here is about a month out   i.e. March weather in February

  another glorious fruit tree

  my book purchases – 3 Larry McMurtry, a Henning Mankell, and 2 knitting books, and a book on rag rugs

       posters on the wall at Pagliacci’s Pizza

  Weaving Works – lots of treasures inside this store


What Did I Unpack Today? February 12, 2010

Today Susan and I visited  a wonderful nursery – and I drove my son’s car there and back.  It was my first time driving in the States in years and years – so I had my tutor Susan beside me to help me with the mechanics of the car and the local traffic rules and most important of all, to stay on the correct side of the road.  Susan’s car failed us a few days ago and we had to be rescued by a friend.  And when we tried to go in her car again today it wouldn’t start – I think that car is destined for the scrap heap.  But that gave me the chance to say “let’s go in James’ car and I’ll try driving”.  James cycles to work so that leaves his car at home.  Riding a bicycle again was my other “first” last week.  

After collecting the girls from school, I went to our house to do some more unpacking.  What did I unpack?

2 whisks and other kitchen utensils

Ian’s heavy books

dinner plates

Ian’s heavy books

Some of my paperbacks

Boxes of photographs

More heavy books – Ian’s

2 lightweight garden chairs

Ian’s Enid Blyton Sunnyside Stories

a lovely warm jacket from Bhutan

4 lawn bowling woods, size 0 – my first woods, purchased in Kenya when I started lawn bowling at the Karen Country Club, Karen Blixen/Isak Dinesen’s former estate at the foot of the Ngong Hills.  When I used these bowling woods in Dublin I was told they weren’t acceptable for competitions as they were made in South Africa and did not have the official stamp of the British Association.  They are still very nice woods and I will use them here in Seattle.  Size 0 is possibly better for my small hand.

more of my craft books – some quite heavy, e.g. Peter Collingwood’s book on Rug Weaving – happily I have been clearing access to shelving in the garage and I can now shelve the books as I unpack them – that makes unpacking so much easier.

a number of my handknitted scarves – I usually take them to Kilternan Market in Dublin but now they are destined for a market in Seattle – maybe the McKee Family Market, which is going to be held once a month and where you can spend McKee dollars.  Ashley and Caitlin have spontaneously asked me to reserve a scarf for each of them – that warms a grandmother knitter’s heart!

The list could go on and on but I guess you get the idea.  At the end of the day, I’m beginning to think Ian actually has more books than I do, but it would be interesting to either do a count or do a weigh-in.

Now a few pictures –

  left hand side of the garage – it’s almost clear all the way to the overhead door – that computer monitor and the boxes on the left are not mine so I’ll have more space when those items are taken away.

  Koi (Carp) at the nursery

  the task for tomorrow – the right hand side of the garage

   shelving on the left hand side of the garage

  the empty boxes are piling up along the side of the house – this is almost my favourite part of unpacking – the satisfaction of adding another empty box to the pile – the recycle people are coming again on Monday so I’ll put all these boxes out for them to collect


A Parallel Universe? February 11, 2010

Filed under: Books,House in Seattle,Reading — Janet @ 6:28 pm

My husband tells me that he is settling in to a pattern of going out for lunch and then taking a swing round to the book shop to see if they have anything new – and he usually finds something to buy.  6000 miles away I have been following a similar pattern.  Not unfamiliar.  After all, we have tended to do this from our earliest days.  In Nairobi before we were married we often met for lunch and then would wander around a bookshop.  And this pattern has continued through the years whenever possible.  So that’s why there are so many books to unpack and I have to figure out where we are going to put our books in our new house.  Is it surprising that James and Susan have similar interests and are great book collectors and readers also? 

  James reading The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart to Caitlin and Ashley.  James was hoping he would like the book as well as the girls.  The jury is still out.

  Baby Ethan spreadeagled

   More unpacking to be done – I’m chipping away at unpacking the boxes which filled the garage.  When the repair work is completed in the bedrooms I’ll have much more room for distributing the contents of the boxes as they get emptied.

  I’m piling up things in the living room but these things will gradually be distributed to more appropriate places – the repair work in the kitchen and in the downstairs bedrooms and hallway should be completed withing the next 2 weeks.  Oh happy day when that happens.

  Now I have cleared the way to some shelving in the garage and am able to place books there.  That makes the unpacking so much easier.  No more lugging heavy books and photo albums etc. upstairs.

  I found something for Ethan in the unpacking – a surprise from Grandad

  Caitlin is now able to read on her own – a marvelous breakthrough!


Downs and Ups In Seattle January 22, 2010

We thought we were all ready to go with the flooring in our new house.  The men arrived promptly at 8 a.m. and we discussed at length the direction and angles of the laminate which was to be put down.  Then we went upstairs to look at the floor which had been done earlier.  Ma’me – there is water up here – oh,oh.  There wasn’t water there yesterday so this was a new development.  Alas it turned out that the problems which everyone thought had been sorted out, in fact had not been sorted out.  So we now have water damage again and the floor could not be laid today.  That’s a set-back.  But I was able to get on with more unpacking and all will be resolved eventually.

Below is our dining area, very kindly furnished by a friend.  Ian’s pills and glasses sitting on the tray from Kenya – but that’s another story.  Note the empty boxes on the right.  The photo was taken late yesterday, before the water appeared this morning.

Dare I show some of the clutter as I proceeded with the unpacking- happily that orange and white towel was handy this morning to mop up some of the water spreading across the kitchen floor

Ethan enjoying playing with some of our DVD’s – and you can admire him wearing his Elizabeth Zimmermann Baby Surprise Jacket  ( and the rug in the background is one I wove – it’s a Peter Collingwood corduroy rug – a mock rya – fun to weave and I really like it, I must say.)

Today wasn’t all bad news.  It was Market Day for the 2nd grade at school and budding textile artist granddaughter Ashley had made colorful crowns from felt to offer for sale at her stall.  The children earn special market dollars and then have these to spend on Market Day.  It was great fun, as you can see from the photos.

The children had their various wares spread out all around the classroom and they took turns shopping and selling.  There was a buddy system whereby your friend minded your stall while you went off to shop and vice versa.  James and I were visiting shoppers and we were soon joined by Susan and Ethan.  Caitlin is in Kindergarten so she missed out – how she would love to participate.  She is another entrepreneur in the making, showing promise at an early age.

Ashley’s crowns – I bought the green one with money kindly supplied in advance by Ashley’s teacher – I’d better do a good deed, or do well in my spelling test, etc. to earn that money

And for my knitting readers – here is another Blanket, now finished, to add to the Blanket Series.  Blanket Number 7 (?)

And to close – a picture of Knitting Graffiti – a Knitted Tree Cosy on a neighbour’s tree