Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

Three Examples of Excellent Narrative Pattern Writing June 30, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janet @ 1:53 pm

The Sweaty Knitter, Weaver and Devotee of Other Fiber Arts

I love the reductionist-style knitting patterns from Continental Europe. Drawing from the Norwegian knitting patterns of my youth and the reductionist-style German knitting patterns, I created my Neo-Norsk pattern construction method. (See my blog posts The Reductionist Pattern, A Very Reductionist Pattern, Deconstructing the Very Reductionist Pattern, and The Neo-Norsk Pattern Construction Method.) But many (many) knitters are more comfortable with the narrative form. Well-written narrative-style pattern also takes skill; just because one is able to write in English doesn’t mean s/he can write a good pattern.

Following up on my dissection last week of Bay Bay Poncho, this post compares the commonalities of three patterns written in narrative format by skilled knitwear designers – ones who also write excellent pattern instructions: Linda Marveng (Norway), Wei Siew Leong of Kiwiyarns (New Zealand), and Kate Davies of Kate Davies Designs (Scotland).

SprigFintryAs pattern writing skills can (and…

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Rodrigo Lopez, Royal Physician June 19, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janet @ 3:10 pm

The Freelance History Writer

Dr. Rodrigo Lopez (left) speaking to a Spaniard by Dutch engraver Esaias Hulsius (1570-1624)

Queen Elizabeth I of England suffered from intermittent fevers, a bothersome leg which caused her to limp occasionally and incessant rumors of female troubles among other illnesses. But overall she was in good health and lived to the ripe old age of seventy. Because she lived so long and had many ailments, it was necessary to have a large staff of physicians to deal with the aging monarch.

The older Elizabeth got, the thinner she got. One physician examined her in 1566 and was so alarmed by her skeletal appearance he feared she was becoming consumptive and developing kidney stones. Many royal doctors did not want the responsibility for keeping such a frail woman alive believing she was too fragile and weak. But she would have the last word as she outlived all of them.


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My Ancestors (2) – Anna Charlotta (Westlin) Peabody – 1865-1944 June 17, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janet @ 2:29 pm

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons

Anna Charlotta (Westlin) Peabody, daughter of Anders Westlin and Anna Brita Kling.

Anders Westlin was born November 20, 1830 at Nas, Delarna, Sweden, . He married Anna Brita Kling, born June 24, 1829 at Rodon, Naskatt, Jemptland, Sweden. Her father, Johan Kling was born in Delarna, Sweden and her mother, Katherina Tjarnstrom was born in Jemptland, Sweden.

Anders and his wife Anna had four sons, none of them living beyond the age of four, before Anna Charlotta was born on May 13, 1865, and Christina was born August 30, 1866, at Ostersund, Sweden.

In 1882, Anders Westlin and his wife sold their property in Ostersund and sailed with their two daughters to New York in the “City of Rome”, arriving at Castle Garden on June 24, 1882. Anna Charlotta would have been just 17 when they landed.

Their destination was North Dakota, and there they established a cattle ranch on…

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Tippi and Nicky June 4, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janet @ 6:22 pm



When God created kitty cats,
He had no recipe;
He knew He wanted something sweet,
As sweet as sweet could be.

He started out with sugar,
Adding just a trace of spice;
Then stirred in drops of morning dew,
To keep them fresh and nice.

He thought cats should be soft to pet,
Thus He gave them coats of fur;
So they could show they were content,
He taught them how to purr.

He made for them long tails to wave,
While strutting down the walk;
Then trained them in meow-ology,
So they could do cat-talk.

He made them into acrobats,
And gave them grace and poise;
Their wide-eyed curiosity,
He took from little boys.

He put whiskers on their faces,
Gave them tiny ears for caps;
Then shaped their little bodies,
To snugly fit on laps.

He gave them eyes as big as saucers,

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They Came from Faraway Places June 3, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janet @ 4:12 pm

Family Tales from Gail

img015 (4) Old German Homestead

All my ancestors came to United States in the 1800’s from faraway places.  They came from Germany, France, Belgium, Scotland, England, and Canada.  The first ones to come to the United States came in 1834 from Scotland, but didn’t stay in the US.  They went to Canada and most stayed there except for my Great-Great Grandmother (born in Canada), came to US in 1865.  Her husband came to the US in 1851 from England.  Both the ancestors from Scotland and England came on sailing ships which meant the average trip took 43 days.  There was usually a lack of food, sea sickness, lack of privacy, and the spreading of illnesses.  Once here they had to travel to their final destinations.

In the case of the Scottish Ancestors, they made their way to Nassagaweya, Halton, Ontario.  They arrived in New York on August 12, 1834 so I assume…

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Weekly Photo Challenge – All-time Favourites May 31, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janet @ 2:26 pm

HX Report

All-time Favourite.

For the non-bloggers amongst MB’s many legions of followers who will not be aware, this is the last Weekly Photo Challenge set by the blog website, as they reorganise and move in a different direction. The king is dead, long live the king; and all that.

MB has made many online friends through this weekly challenge over years past and thanks all for the comments, interactions and general banter which he has enjoyed immensely. MB is grateful for the forbearance shown, noting that all followers, to a man & woman, have not much minding that MB is just generally spoofing and telling tall tales under the guise of showing his photos. Much much appreciated.

But regardless of what the website may do, MB will continue to churn out a weekly photo challenge of his own to keep the punters happy. Hopefully, other bloggers will follow suit and the world…

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A Short Analysis of Emily Dickinson’s ‘As imperceptibly as grief’ May 30, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janet @ 2:10 am

Interesting Literature

‘As imperceptibly as grief’ describes the passing of summer, which happens so slowly and subtly that it is almost missed. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing: it happens ‘as imperceptibly as Grief’, suggesting that something is coming to a close but brighter times are just coming into view. An unusual take on the onset of autumn, admittedly, but one of the many reasons why Emily Dickinson’s poems repay closer analysis: they avoid the obvious take on things, and offer a strikingly individual perspective on the natural world.

As imperceptibly as Grief
The Summer lapsed away –
Too imperceptible at last
To seem like Perfidy –
A Quietness distilled
As Twilight long begun,
Or Nature spending with herself
Sequestered Afternoon –
The Dusk drew earlier in –
The Morning foreign shone –

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Colorful Travels with Victoria Finlay May 29, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janet @ 6:01 pm

A Scholarly Skater

colors Robert Antoine Pinchon, The Ile de Croise with the Colors of the Sun, 1908. Private collection. Photo via the-athenaeum.org (Public Domain).

In Victoria Finlay’s Color: A Natural History of the Palette (New York: Ballantine Books, 2002), you’ll learn dozens (if not hundreds) of facts about colors and where they’ve come from throughout history. The book is a sort of color-based travel narrative. Finlay went all over the world to find the sources and stories of history’s main color pigments. She went to some pretty great lengths in her quest, venturing far beyond what the typical tourist would ever dare to travel.

I might dedicate a fun facts post to one of the things I learned in the book, but you’ll have to read it for yourself to find out the rest. Just be prepared if you do. The stories behind a surprising number of common color pigments are quite unsettling, and a…

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Thank God for the Hens of Ireland May 27, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janet @ 7:08 pm

HX Report

It’s high time the hens of Ireland were given due recognition. Yes, indeed. High time.

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Remembering My Mother

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janet @ 7:01 pm

Note the photo of my graduation from Middlebury College.

Janet's thread

I’m remembering my mother especially today – Dorothy Friend born on April 7 in 1912 in Minneapolis Minnesota.  She lived a full life and passed away peacefully at home in Maui Hawaii in the year 2000.  May she rest in peace.

  1912, a baby photo in Minneapolis

IMG_0002  Omaha Nebraska, growing up

IMG_0003  1936, newly wed

IMG  1943, Mother and me on the left

IMG_0001  1958, Middlebury College, a proud mother of a proud graduate

IMG_NEW family reunion, 1977?, Mother is the happy woman wearing the blue cardigan

more photos to follow as time and searching permit

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