knitting, scarf, shawl

FO: Hitchhiker

I actually finished Hitchhiker quite some time ago – back in July.

Finishing it up, however, was so traumatic, I have only now been able to write about it.

The pattern said to knit until you have 6 grams left. Normally, I get a little nervous and never knit for as long as I’m meant to, end up with extra yarn left over, and scold myself for not trusting there would be enough. This inevitably leaves me with tiny bits of yarn left over that are far too small to be used in any other projects.

This time, I decided I would use every last inch of this Crock-O-Dye yarn, which is a lovely mix of superwash merino, nylon and silk. And besides, this is Hitchhiker, and it’s meant to have 42 points!

I could see that it was going to be a tight squeeze. Once I started to get apprehensive about running out of yarn, I starting running lifelines at the end of each repeat. I knit until I weighed it and the scale obligingly told me I had 6 grams left – just what the pattern said! – I was magic and on my way.

6 grams of yarn left to finish my Hitchhiker

I started knitting away at the last point. I started binding off. I got increasingly nervous. And then this happened. reaching the end of my yarn on HitchhikerI was knitting outside on our back patio, so I tried to keep the swearing to a minimum to spare the nearby children.

Then I remembered that I had encountered a bad spot in the yarn near the beginning and had to cut the yarn and start over. I wove in the ends where I had made the spit, and then took the leftover ends and spliced them desperately to the end of the yarn I was using to bind off. creatively adding ends to my HitchhikerAnd then I was left with four – FOUR – stinking stitches that I still could not bind off.

I was beside myself – I had believed the pattern, I had taken a risk I would not normally take, I believed those lying kitchen scales, I had spent a beautiful summer evening feeling completely on edge, and I was left here. Four stitches short.

But then, there was always that lifeline! But what would I do with that leftover six grams? No, I had come too far. Something else had to be done.

I went into the stash room and looked at my little basket full of odds and ends. I keep small scraps of different weight yarns to use for waste yarn, and there happened to be a fairly decent length of yarn left from my Clapotis. Sure, it didn’t match exactly, but I could cut out a blue piece and try to make it work.

And so I did. And I don’t think anyone would really ever notice. Even if they did, and unwisely said so out loud, they would regret it.

I think it’s beautiful, even though it’s only 39 points – not 42.Finishing HitchhikerIt’s a great light piece to wear when it’s just a little chilly. It has really been starting to feel like fall, so it’s already had one outing. Wearing Hitchhiker




holiday, life

Holiday recap: Olympics (way over due)

*As usual, all photos are taken by the talented Mr Snips, my master photographer.

So… a month late, and I will give you my report on the Olympics. Things have been very busy around here, including a visit from my in laws, so I’m a little behind.

On our first day, we started out with a trip to the field hockey. We saw New Zealand v. Argentina for an early game at 8:00 am. I’d never seen field hockey before, but my favorite part was when they would line up for a foul and stand sooo still before they started into the action:

Field Hockey

I decided before we left home that it was England, and no way would it be super hot all day, so I put on my jeans and t-shirt. It became obvious within 10 minutes of the game starting that it was wayyy to hot for jeans. I was sweating and ended up with a sunburn. In England! Which has only happened to me once in history! But the weather was beautiful, and I tried not to complain (too much).

So, as I said, the weather was stunning, and the sky stayed blue for both of the days we attended the Olympics. Here is a beautiful view of the Orbit with wildflowers – which were an unexpected pleasure that appeared all over the park. Orbit and Wildflowers

I wondered all morning where all of the Americans were, since I was feeling a little outnumbered by the Brits and their lions, and as we walked around the park, I found my countrymen. They were all at the Today show! There still weren’t very many Americans, so we managed to be in the front row to see Savannah, Matt and Al. I even shook hands with Savannah and Al! I’m sure we were on TV (did you see me on August 7 at 8:00 am?). See how close we were! We’re kind of a big deal.Today Show

The first evening, we went to taekwondo, where we were lucky enough to get tickets to a medal ceremony. We saw Jade Jones, a Welsh girl representing for Great Britain, win a gold medal! It was a great moment to see her win and hear “God Save the Queen” and watch the Union flag rise. 

We also got to see Terrence Jennings, an American, win bronze. I thought it was great to see him and the other bronze medal winner from Afghanistan shake hands and link arms. The Olympics really brings people together from everywhere despite everything, which you hear, and think it’s cheesy, but it’s true. I thought it was all very special. I was also touched to see the American flag wave, even though we didn’t get to hear the anthem. 

Our second day at the Olympics, that Thursday, we went to handball. It was Sweden vs Hungary. The atmosphere was the best we experienced because they had so many Swedish and Hungarians there. Those Europeans are really into their handball. I had never seen it before, and I was impressed. It was fast paced and a little crazy, but definitely fun to watch.

We also saw the most amazing save ever – can you see the ball between this man’s leg and torso?! I cannot even fathom making a save like that – I am not that flexible – but I suppose that’s why he is an Olympian!Amazing handball save

We had a fantastic time at the Olympics. It really was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we felt lucky to be a part of it. I had way more fun than I even anticipated, and really loved the atmosphere, the parks and the events.

I’ll leave you with this beautiful image of flowers planted to make a Union flag.  We saw  this near Canary Wharf where we went for dinner one evening.Union flowersThanks for a great Olympics, London!


Keep me where the light is

If you were expecting the next installment of holiday recap, you will be sorely disappointed today. Though I swear it will come, it is much more important for me today to do this from my laptop on the couch than spend a lot of time in our office on the desktop uploading endless photos.

If you were expecting knitting news, you will also be disappointed, but I am working on amazing pair of fingerless mitts in bright orange, which I will share soon. Obsessed is the word I would use for that.

Today, you are getting my thoughts on my favorite John Mayer song, Gravity. John Mayer is my absolute favorite artist, so picking a favorite song is kind of a big deal for me. Gravity takes my breath away. It moves me, and is even more powerful at live shows. It is one song that I cannot tell you the literal meaning of the lyrics. Normally, this would bother me because I obsessively learn the lyrics to all songs and listen very carefully. This song, however, is maybe more powerful because it’s more of a feeling, an impression. It’s being overwhelmed by big things that you can’t necessarily control, and finding a way to keep yourself where the light is.

That’s something that really resonates with me on difficult days like today. Mr Snips and I have already had a stressmare (have I just made up that word? I think I have! I like it… maybe I should trademark it?) of a week with work, even with a short week, and this song was the perfect cure. We listed to my Live in Los Angeles records on my record player, and I baked zucchini bread for a work bake sale. It was a lovely and peaceful way to spend the evening.

So for now, I leave you with this video of his Where the Light Is performance (sorry about the ad – you can skip it). Enjoy.

holiday, life

Holiday recap: Paris

Mr Snips and I went on a whirlwind trip to Paris during our holiday. We left very early on the Eurostar, arrived in Paris, walked and ate and walked, and then returned on the Eurostar very late.

This trip was part of my birthday present, which was an amazing gift from Mr Snips. It was a beautiful, sunshine-filled day in Paris.

The best part of the day, in my opinion, was breakfast. We picked up pain au chocolats, an eclair and coffees from a little patisserie. We set out to find a nice place to eat outdoors and happened upon a beautiful square all set up for public viewing of the Olympics – a giant screen, fat boy beanbag chairs, and cafe tables and chairs covered by large umbrellas. We grabbed a little table and ate our delicious food.

Paris breakfast: Eclair and coffee

Public Olympic viewing area

We wandered around, touring Notre Dame (which I had been inside of, but Mr Snips had not). I love the starry ceiling they have in some parts of the cathedral:Notre Dame's starry ceiling

We went to a beautiful church called Sainte-Chapelle, which neither of us had been to before. It is small but stunning, simply because there is stained glass everywhere. There are few solid walls. Pictures don’t do it justice: Sainte-ChapelleWe went to the Musee d’Orsay, primarily because I love Van Gogh and they have a great collection. We weren’t allowed to take pictures there, though. We got Nutella and banana crepes from a little shop near the museum – yum!

We also strolled by the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. I would imagine most of you know what those look like, so we’ll skip the pictures there.

We finished the day with dinner and a super speedy trip to Sacre Coeur. I’d never been there before, and we were only able to see the outside. I recognized much of it from the movie Amelie. We did a quick scoot by a chocolate shop and then ran to the Eurostar. We narrowly made it back to the train on time. Our lateness was also compounded by the fact that the French border agent would not let us go through the EU line together (though we do in England) and that the English border agent wanted to have a chat about how complicated the forms are to fill out to travel to the US.

More soon on our Olympics adventures…

P.S. – I realize that all of these French words are missing accents – and that’s simply because I couldn’t be bothered to figure out special characters. Sorry!