January 21, 2005


We returned home from Florida last Sunday, to find:

(1) Yes, indeed, the gizmo for the horse trough had kept the water warm throughout those freezing days and nights while we were gone,

(2) The cold spell breaking and the weather changing to balmy (highs in the upper 40s and low 50s) but seriously rainy -- the kind of rain that Seattle is steroetyped for,


(3) When I went to turn on my computer, it kept asking me for my password. Not that I didn't remember my password, mind you. And when I checked the prompt for the password, I discovered an unfamiliar question. It seems a certain 11-year-old member of my household had decided to change my password while I was away. And what did she change it to?


So now you know.

I've got lots of vacation photos I wanted to share with you, but the best of them are in Scott's fancy camera and I can't seem to download them in order to upload them. I've been thinking all week that Scott would get around to helping me. But he hasn't, and I can't keep you waiting any longer. So here's what I have, from my own camera:

After our cruise ship docked in Miami, we rented a car and drove across the state to Naples, Florida, where we stayed with

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Kitty and

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Tillie (here seated on the lap of Stacy). Tillie is a Jack Russsell terrier, and Kitty is a rescued barn cat who seems to have acclimatized well to Florida, don't you think?

Stacy is the woman from whom we got both our horse Mugsy and Mugsy's best friend and our lawn ornament, Chase. (Chase is a 12-year-old thoroughbred who has tendon problems and can't be ridden. But he helps to keep the pasture mown, here.) Stacy and her husband bought a winter home in Florida last year, thinking to stay 6 months in Florida, 6 months in the Pacific Northwest -- and they haven't been back to the PNW since!

Joining us for dinner that evening also were a couple who have an awning business in Naples. Scott and I met them at the awning convention in Pittsburgh last October. The convention's finale was a fancy-dress banquet, where I immediately gravitated toward Darlene, who was wearing a stole she'd knitted from Touch Me chenille. It was her first knitting project! And it was the only hand-knitted garment that I spotted at the banquet that evening (since my poncho was not done in time).

We said we'd keep in touch, so when Scott and I had the opportunity to visit Florida, particularly the Naples area where Stacy and her husband live, we looked up Darlene and her husband Mark. Mark's company manufactures awnings and also very beautiful railings and other welded architectural appointments, the kinds of detailing that you typically see on buildings like banks or condominiums. Downtown Naples is a small, elegant area, and all the buildings seemed brand-spanking new. After dinner, Mark gave us a walking tour, showing off the awnings over outdoor restaurants and the railings on banks and other buildings, all jobs built by his company, all of the welding of the highest craftsmanship. Scott, not to be outdone, couldn't resist dragging our party of six into the downtown Naples Starbucks, to show off the signage inside the store that was screen-printed by his company.

Back home, it's been a busy week for knitting. Monday evening, Allegra and I attended the Feral Knitters. Here's Allegra, modeling some beautiful beaded wrist warmers that Feral Andrea had knitted from Koigu:

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And here's Devorah, who considers herself a beginner at Fair Isle knitting, and who made this mitten and is in the process of making this glove:

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Certainly she has graduated from beginner status. I foresee a steek in her future.... Devorah also knitted this tam, using Jamieson's Spindrift (available at your favorite online yarn store and mine, Two Swans):

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The new Two Swans website went live on Tuesday. I felt equal parts excitement and anxiety -- would everything work properly?

I've been working with a young woman, Angela, who is very smart, a professional website designer, and who is not a knitter (yet!). I told her the kinds of things I wanted visitors to the site to be able to do, and she figured out how to make it all happen. Of course, what looked like a simple, 2-week job back last October expanded into a 3-month project. For me, this is always the case: Things always take longer than I think they will.

When the site went live, it did turn out that some things needed fine-tuning. And Angela and I are fine-tuning, still. (For instance, the rewards points -- we were quite sure that we had installed them, but they turned up missing. I'm working on adding them now. If you are someone who earned rewards points in the last three days, don't worry -- I'll get them added for you.) But overall, the site is working and I am very pleased with it. And Angela may have been too busy building the site to take up knitting just yet, but she is definitely a Kidsilk Haze aficionado!

Wednesday night was Guild, and the funniest moment was during Show n Share, when a young woman stood up to introduce herself and said, I've only been knitting since last November, and I've made 20 scarves.

This weekend, I am going to Oregon to visit my friend Anne, a veritable knitting phenomenon. She's ordered some yarns from me, and I am going to hand-deliver them.

Posted by Karen at January 21, 2005 07:32 PM

You have been busy since last posting! The photos are all great, and Allegra is an outstanding model. I can attest that Two Swans has wonderful service, but even I was surprised to be getting my yarns delivered personally! Don't worry, I won't expect it every time. Devorah is a very talented knitter and absolutely is beyond beginner status. Feral knitters are awesome!

Posted by: Anne at January 22, 2005 06:29 PM

i am glad that you are back in town. maybe one of these days i can acutally join up with the feral knitters, especially now that i have that skein of capercaille!

Posted by: marti at January 22, 2005 07:38 PM

Welcome back! The new site looks great. Is the new Di Gilpin book stranded work?
And the wonderful Ferals -- miss you guys!

Posted by: Janine at January 23, 2005 11:12 PM

Marti -- you are welcome at Ferals any time!

Janine -- I have not yet seen the Di Gilpin book; I expect to receive my shipment of copies by month's end. If I can infer from her past designs to what's in Shore Lines, I anticipate that some designs will be intarsia and some will be stranded color work. I believe that all of the designs use the Harris yarns. And, speaking on behalf of our little pack, we all miss you, too!

Posted by: Karen at January 24, 2005 01:41 AM