Friday, November 06, 2009

En Route

The first leg of the journey across the pond is complete. We are now pond-adjacent. Greetings from Kennedy Airport, New York City.

View of the tarmac, JFK

As usual, I don't know how I got here. Yes, I know there was an airplane involved. But the bit before that has gone all fuzzy.

I've spent about the past week dancing my customary work-pack-work-pack two-step to the beat of Harry singing "My Old Man Said Follow the Van" and "Land of Hope and Glory" to "get us all into that London-type mood."

And then Mrs Teitelbaum, ever the helpful neighbor, presented him with a copy of Useful English Vocabulary for Americans Abroad. He's been frantically brushing up his English ever since. Our bathroom is the loo; our cookies are biscuits; the grocery delivery truck is a lorry; and when Dolores sent him to the corner store for a pack of cigarettes, his new vocabulary almost got him punched in the mouth.

Speaking of Dolores, she's back. She returned from the ashram two days ago, swathed in a baby blue batik caftan that she claims was dyed to match her newly renovated aura. She doesn't look any different; maybe a trifle thinner, but it's hard to tell with a caftan. Harry says last night he heard her chanting in the shower, and this morning she snapped at me for running over her chi with my roll-aboard.

The most difficult part of packing was, of course, figuring out the knitting. This is going to be a two-week trip.

I envy dedicated sock knitters the ease with which they must pack for this sort of thing. One set of needles, plus maybe a spare set. Chuck in a couple balls of something cute, and close the suitcase.

I brought along the neck warmer that's been my project-in-chief since I finished the Transatlantic Scarf. If you think that sounds like an awful lot of time to spend on a neck warmer, you're right. Unfortunately, after scanning every pattern on Ravelry tagged "cowl," "neck," "warmer," "gaiter," and "dickey," I realized I wasn't going to be happy unless I made up my own. Not because there were no good patterns–there are some spectacular patterns. But somehow nobody has posted a pattern for knitting up the finished object in my brain.

Twelve swatches later, we have this.

Cables at Kennedy Airport

I had to take the picture with the computer camera, but perhaps you can still get the idea. I had very particular notions about how I wanted to treat the edges, and spent six of those twelve swatches working on the cast-on and the first eight rows. The other six were swatches were to work out the cables, which I based on a Bavarian twisted stitch motif in the third volume of Liesl Fanderl.

Process knitter heaven. Product knitter hell.

I've also brought along a new lace project: Sharon Miller's Unst Lace Stole from Heirloom Knitting. I keep flitting around that pattern the way some folks put a copy of Middlemarch on their nightstands and leave it there, untouched, for twenty years. I think six days on a boat may help me launch it at last.

I'll report in when I can. E-mail and Internet will be sporadic from here out. At the moment, I see an American Airlines gate attendant motioning frantically from the direction in which Dolores wandered five minutes ago, so I'd better sign off. And Harry says he needs to go to the loo.

Toodle-pip, and what what.

57 comments:

Ted said...

"...when Dolores sent him to the corner store for a pack of cigarettes, his new vocabulary almost got him punched in the mouth."

Honey: I have been in your neighbourhood. I doubt this. (There may have been a group of men following him home, though.)

Hope you and Tom enjoy your trip overseas.

Anonymous said...

Safe travels!

Diana said...

Lived six years in England, and I know what Harry said...I'll never forget the shock it gave me when I first heard it in a pub!

You WILL make that pattern available, right?

Alex said...

I say, spiffy!

NeedleTart said...

Dear lord! Don't tell me Harry asked someone to knock him up in the morning? Then again cross-Atlantic misunderstanding can be so *interesting*.

kmkat said...

Say hello to the Queen while you are there, m'kay?

Diane said...

I sure hope you'll share that pattern. Our spinning guild is doing a gaiter exchange. You put 4-6 oz. of fiber in the pot, take someone else's contribution, spin it & knit it into a gaiter by next May.

Your pattern is one of the most appealing ones that I've seen yet.

Anonymous said...

Two weeks in England. I'm pea green w/envy. Enjoy your trip. London is spectacular. If you should get to the island of Unst, check out Gunniston rock. Nope. That's all I'm going to say about it.

Alwen said...

I can't wait until the day you wake up from a dream of knitting a fish.

Maybe by then I'll have finished knitting the fish that was in my head when I woke up a couple of years ago.

It's a good fish. I'm sure it wants to be a finished fish.

Anonymous, too said...

Did the gate attendant never see a sheep belly up to the airport bar before?

Or did Dolores forget that she can't smoke in airports anymore?

Enjoy the trip. Hope you get down to Dorset -- go see Lyme Regis (where Meryl played "The French Lietenant's Woman), Bere Regis (the church inspired "Tess of the d'Urbervilles"), the giant at Cerne Abbas (inspires lots of "OMG!"s), and Portland Bill (I'm not saying).

adriene said...

Enjoy London! I used to live there years ago, and my favourite place was Greenwich Market and Greenwich Park. I think the market is only open on the weekends, though.

As far as the language goes - I'm married to a UK man, and I speak British English at home, and Canadian English everywhere else. Have fun with it! You never know where a misplaced word will get you!

Longhorn Diva said...

Ravelry is SO confusing me lately...aren't gaiters for the legs? Not the necks??
Anyway, glad Dolores is back, and that knitting is purty.

Anonymous said...

aloha,

gaiter, like a scarf? so...we don't wear many scarves here. i do miss london. go to the national gallery. ooh and aahhh for me.

mildawg said...

Loving the neckwarmer progress!

Anonymous said...

sorry I can't make it to London to se you this time but the good life in France is a tad difficult to leave. Enjoy London-lived there for years and wouldn't know where to start for things to do. Try the markets ( Borough Market near London Bridge for food - drool) travel safely

Roggey said...

Poor Harry. It's a rough world out there when one is in training to be culturally sensitive...

Safe travels to all!

woolyjooly said...

aw just tell Harry to pop those f*gs in the boot on the way to get some petrol. . . Franklin - I'm surprised you're not going to knit a new waistcoat whilst you're in GB. Cheerio!

Anonymous said...

Have a great trip, Franklin. Can hardly wait to see the posts. -- Joe-in Wyoming

SusieQ100 said...

I SO wish I could hop over the channel to be able to hear you at IKnit on the 10th, and to get my "It Itches" copy signed! Have a great time, and don't forget to check out the christmas lights!

anne marie in philly said...

safe trip old bean, eh what?

YAYZ for dolores coming along on the voyage with harry and you!

HL said...

Hey! I object to that. My copy of Middlemarch has only been languishing for about six months.

:) Have a wonderful trip!
Abs

Anonymous said...

"somehow nobody has posted a pattern for knitting up the finished object in my brain."

Finally, the perfect words to describe the "dammit, I'll just have to figure it out myself" moment! Thank you.

Laura

FiberQat said...

The warmer's brill, Frank. Have a splendid time.

~RaenWa~ said...

Have a wonderful trip enjoy yourselves.

Sally Webster said...

Van Franklin, your groceries (shopping) would come in a van, unless you were ordering a lifetime's supply in which case they would come in a lorry......only in Scotland they wouldn't be groceries...or shopping....they would be messages (bread, milk, etc) You get the message? Have fun!

Holli said...

Enjoy your travels, and have fun keeping Dolores under wraps!

Lily said...

so it must be an old wife's tale that you can't take knitting needles on a plane in case they're used as a weapon in a terrorist attack?

Wool Free and Lovin' Knit said...

A wise choice to knit something you can wear home so you have room for all the NEW yarn you acquire while you are on the other side of the pond.

Jane said...

Give my regards to the UK. As a Brit living in the US, I can sympathize with Harry. Those subtle differences in language can be quite enlightening. (chuckle).

Suse-the-slow-knitta said...

and remember- it's a bumbag, not a fanny pack.....

alala said...

Have a wonderful trip! Wish I were going too!

Jackie said...

No, no, it's not "Middlemarch," it's "Bleak House."

I have become convinced that "Bleak House" was the original model for Borges' Book of Sand. Perpetual.

Seanna Lea said...

I love your new neck warmer. I'm still trying to decide if I'm a process knitter or a product knitter, but I'm leaning to I just hate to do finishing knitter. I think I would have done the same thing with the cast on edges. It's gorgeous.

dana said...

what yarn have you selected for the unst stole? i want to know. (i've read Middlemarch and i've knit the stole. i feel like you should tell me.)

Ann said...

Franklin, please tell Harry to not overdo the biscuits at tea time. He wouldn't want to outgrow his ball band, right?

evalem said...

Middlemarch. Ahem. Five years at the most. Then I chuck in in the GoodWill box and let it go off to a new life on someone else's nightstand. In a few month's I'll buy another copy and start the cycle over again.
Six days on a boat? Please do report and send pictures. Sounds like wonderful trip.

Anonymous said...

Seanna Lee,

If you're a "hate to do finishing knitter," you're probably really a process knitter. Product knitters want to finish the current product and go on to the next one.

Laura

Anonymous said...

Dickey. Giggle.

kaykatrn said...

I really like the cables. The edge looks kind of like Annie Modesitt's i-cord edging. Very spiffy!

Cskin99@nventure.com said...

If you have time check out the towns of Bath and York! Can't wait to hear all about it. Take good care, Cindy

Gerri said...

Wait, "six days on a boat"? Again??

Karen Frisa said...

Sure wish I could see your face better in that picture. Kinda looks like something's missing...

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Wudas said...

I just found your blog through my daughter and found it charming. My husband is a spinner and taught me to spin. He even "gave" me his old wheel. Okay, so I claimed it after he deserted her for a new love. Anyway, in return for the spinning lessons I taught him to knit. We went to a knitting shop in Sonora, CA on his birthday to see what discount he would pull out of the cup of dpns. (A birthday treat at that store.) I was approached when we entered and proclaimed we were there for my husband birthday. They were redfaced and apologized all over the place saying they had promised themselves not "profile" who a knitter is. One of the store owners is a man who knits. It's a lovely store and if you ever find yourself in the Gold country of California stop in and be treated like royalty. We make it Sunday jaunt since we don't live nearby.

Love your cowl.

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