Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

A Day At The Races March 19, 2017

Filed under: Bicycling,Bike Racing,Sequim Washington,Weather — Janet @ 7:45 pm

It was extremely windy and cold at the Bike Races yesterday in Sequim Washington.  I was a spectator and was able to enjoy the day regardless of the weather.  I could retreat to the shelter of our car to watch the drama – or knit or read.  I was watching for son James in his bright blue helmet and Team Apex outfit.  Quite easy to spot as most of the other cyclists dropped out after 2 or 3 laps as the weather was so awful.

James’s starting group, Cat(egory) 3 was quite large.

IMG_2648  Warming up for the race at the Apex tent

IMG_2668    Off they go – Cat 3 group at 9:45.




IMG_2670  As they disappear in the distance

My instructions were to expect to see James in about half an hour.  He estimated a time of 2 1/2 hours to cycle the 60 miles.  1/2 an hour for each of 5 laps.   I had a wave from James after lap 1 or was it 2.


3 hours later here was James

IMG_2682  James in the lead (well of 2 riders – I didn’t know how many riders had rounded this corner already or which group they were in – Cat 3, 4, or 5.   It was confusing to watch and learn anything.  There were 3 groups of riders- Cat 3 started at 9:45, Cat 4 at 9:50, and Cat 5 at 9:55.  Cat 3 riders were supposed to do 5 laps round the 12 mile course.  Cat 4 4 laps, and Cat 5 3 laps  They was a fair degree of overtaking and mixing of the competitors out on the course.  And many dropped out.

A good day racewise despite the weather. Cold and very windy but at  least it didn’t rain n the rain shadow of Sequim’s location.  Several tents were blown down that added to the drama.       IMG_2677             IMG_2675


A Beautiful Morning January 1, 2017

A beautiful morning to start the new year 2017.   We had a dusting of snow last night and welcome sunshine this morning.

img_2120  my latest scarf on display

And my favorite bird, the Northern Flicker reappeared for the fist time in about a month

220px-Northern_Flicker from wikipedia  Northern Flicker



Steller%27s_Jay_b57-3-076_l_1  Steller Jay – ever present

img_2114  and of course a squirrel, entertainment for the cat


Avalanche In Far North Of Norway December 20, 2015

Filed under: Norway,Svalbard Norway,Weather — Janet @ 11:28 pm

Flash news item in today’s (Sunday Dec 20) Seattle Times. Saturday at about 11 a.m. North of the Arctic Circle in Svalbard an Avalanche. – during the time of complete darkness!!  Need I say more.  Norway must be well used to winter snowstorms and avalanches  But this was an even more severe  storm in an area well geared to  extreme storms.  El nino?  A situation graphically described in the book We Die Alone by David Howarth.

406677-norway-avalanche-afp                                                                      9781599210636_p0_v2_s192x300 David Haworth We Die Alone



Spiders September 15, 2015

Filed under: Nature,Spiders,Weather — Janet @ 1:49 pm

Weather in Britain = Spiders


Summer Days September 6, 2011

Filed under: Family,Family memories,Seasons,Seattle,Weather — Janet @ 4:08 pm

  As the warm weather continues here in Seattle – summer is here – this photo was taken back in Connecticut at my sister Nan’s lake in Middlebury.  It’s not really her lake but I call it Nan’s lake because it is where she hangs out on summer days.  The lake area is maintained by the town of Middlebury for Middlebury residents – and we were guests on that lovely day in early August 2006.   It was so much fun to have a swim that day with the grandchildren.    And a nice memory to reflect on as the sun rises higher in the sky this morning and the forecast is for temperatures in the 80’s. 

Work is still continuing to enlarge the deck on the back of our house here in Seattle so we will be here with the workmen.  Nice weather for them, actually too hot but at least it isn’t raining.  And we do have the usual signs of fall as the apples on our neighbour’s trees grow larger and redder.  We are gaining more deckspace but there’s not much left of the garden.  Redesigning what’s left of our gardenspace will be the next project.


What I Should Have Worn November 25, 2010

Do you ever go to a function or an event and only think afterward of all the outfits you might have worn, instead of what you happened to throw on that morning?  Well, that happened to me this past weekend.  This was Yulefest at the Nordic Heritage Museum.  A wonderful event – Nordic handicrafts, food and music spread over 2 days.  And a dazzling array of colourful sweaters was to be seen.  Plus many people in traditional dress as they demonstrated folk dancing and music from different parts of Scandinavia.  And it was a cold weekend so what a great chance to wear one’s heavy sweaters.   Yes, bitterly cold.  I thought I was back in New England as the storm swept in.

But before we even were able to enter the Museum, people were streaming out of the building because the fire alarm had just gone off.  And then it happened again later, as it had happened even earlier – 3 times in all.  No actual fire which is just as well but maybe a fault in the system??  Those warm sweaters were very welcome protection against the cold.

   the Seattle Fire Department on the scene

  waiting outside for the firemen to investigate

  this is an image from Annemor  Sundbo’s book Everyday Knitting.  The sweaters being worn by most people there at Yulefest were not the traditional handknits like theses but rather the Dale of Norway  machine knit ones – very colourful but I still don’t really like the feel or the weight of them.  I did find some Icelandic sweaters that were handknit and I thought long and hard about buying an unusual one done in black and red and yellow.  In the end I didn’t buy it, remembering that I already have an Icelandic sweater and I haven’t worn it all that much.  Still, the one for sale was very unusual and striking – who knows, maybe I’ll see it again and I will succumb, rather than getting around to knitting another one myself.

On Saturday it slowly dawned on me that yes, I too had a few colourful Scandinavian items but the cold snap had come so suddenly that I hadn’t made the transfer clothingwise.

  this is my Icelandic knit, which I designed myself and knit with Lopi Lite

  another one of my handknits which I designed myself.  I knit it from the top down.  And I used an old Norwegian book  published in 1965, Norwegian Knitting Designs.  Now out of print.  It had straight forward and simple instructions for how to go about knitting a sweater that way.

  I did wear this scarf and received many compliments.  It is a Shetland knit which I purchased in a shop on the Royal Mile leading down from Edinburgh Castle.  At the time I just wanted a sample of Shetland lace knitting.  That was before my trip to Mull in 2004 when I met Liz Lovick and actually tried a bit of lace knitting myself.  I think that shop on the Royal Mile is long gone now, sadly.  They were in the process of closing when I was there.  Alas, no more Shetland yarn to be purchased there. 

Incidentally, speaking of Mull and things Icelandic, a friend and I found several books of Lopi Icelandic designs when we rummaged on the lower shelves of the general store in Fionnphort where you get the ferry to Iona.  Fionnphort is also where I found a few of the Jane Duncan My Friends paperbacks which I have mentioned elsewhere.  A man supporting the R.N.L.I. had used paperbacks for sale in his garage and all proceeds went to that worthy cause.

  waiting outside the Museum for the all-clear

  these dancers from the Skandia group were wonderful

  my Norwegian classroom was transformed into the Bodega.  Good spiced wine available there!  Just right for the next day when I came in after riding my bike in the cold (this was before the snow which came the next day).

  another very Norwegian looking item in my wardrobe.  Ian bought this for me in the Joyce Forsythe shop in the Cornmarket in Edinburgh

  I couldn’t resist purchasing these items at the Yulefest – beautiful handknit mittens.  Fingerless mittens.  And a crochet lady – isn’t she a gem!  I never thought the day would come when I would find such an item attractive.

  the tin whistle and the accordion in the Kaffestuger


Colours of May in Hong Kong June 2, 2010

Filed under: Colours,Seasons,Weather — Janet @ 11:54 am

Each month, a number of enthusiastic colour watchers post the colours of the month in their particular part of the world.  For the month of May, my travels are giving me the opportunity to do the monthly colours from another part of the world – photos from Hong Kong in the last week in May. 

If I have to name one colour, it is going to be black although black is not really a colour, I am told by my art teacher.  My primary impression of Hong Kong is black.  In wikipedia the definition of black is as follows


 Black is the color of objects that do not emit or reflect light in any part of the visible spectrum; they absorb all such frequencies of light. Although black is sometimes described as an “achromatic”, or hueless, color, in practice it can be considered a color, as in expressions like “black cat” or “black paint”.

In any event the idea of black is a subject all in itself.  Early on in my visit I went to a dinner party at the Hong Kong Cricket Club.   I knew about this dinner party in advance and had carefully purchased and packed my “party frock”.  A very flowery spring type light number from Cath Kidston.  But as I dressed for the party, it stayed in my suitcase and I chose another combination instead.  A Cath Kidston dark skirt and a bright pink top, also newly purchased for the trip.  For readers not familiar with Cath Kidston, it is a fashion store based in London and its items are easily recognisable and admired for their distinctive cheeriness. I have been a fan since they first opened in Dublin over a year ago.  At first their items seemed a bit quirky but now I feel that many other brands are copying them.

The dinner party was a fun celebration of the big 40 for one of my sons.  As I looked around the table, it slowly dawned on my that almost everyone was wearing black, in some form or other.  Well, after all, they were bankers.  The appearance of dark colours was only relieved by the late arrival of one guest who, surprise surprise, was wearing a white dress.  Only relieved I say by the guest in white, and also by me wearing my pink top and what I thought was a dark skirt but not dark enough in that company.   I could only think to myself, I should have worn black – and very relieved that I had not worn my Cath Kidston summer garden party more light hearted number.  Not that any one would have cared – after all, I was not the center of attention and it was a good hearted gathering of close friends.

I was reminded though of a friend here in Dublin newly married years ago who went to a traditional Irish funeral.  In her case possibly it mattered more.  She had been told that times were changing in Ireland then and that mourners no longer wore only black so she decided on a bright green outfit, newly purchased.  To her mortification, she found she was the only person not in black and the mourners walked behind the hearse  through the streets of the town.  She felt that she, initially so proud and pleased with her green outfit, stood out like a sore thumb.

Well, not only was black the predominant colour at the private dinner party but also I was very conscious of the general population busying themselves about the streets and stores of the central area of Hong Kong.  Not that brighter colours were not worn and not in the shops, but black was certainly outstanding for its omniprescence.

Now for a few photos but they won’t necessarily be black. 

This is an advertising billboard in Happy Valley, near the center of Hong Kong.  A year ago when I was here the billboard had a big picture of Obama.

  View of Hong Kong from the Matilda Hospital, Victoria Peak, high above Hong Kong

  view from the apartment in Tai Tam

     view of a container ship – Hapag Lloyd, in a busy shipping lane far below the hospital

the downtown area is a bit like a Lowry painting, with people moving everywhere        

  lush vegetation and flower pots in a very densely populated area

  laneway in the middle of Stanley Market

the buildings are so tall and built so close together – when one is downtown one tends to be looking up quite often, or looking along narrow laneways