The Church of Bluegrass

Or, Day 1 Wintergrass Knitting Report

Thursday night at Wintergrass is always sort of low-key. The “real” Wintergrass doesn’t start until Friday night, and the crowd is always a bit sparse, with only one performance venue instead of the four or five that they have the other days. The “real” bluegrass fans show up on Thursday, though, and park their butts in a chair and never leave.

I didn’t take the camera, for a number of reasons. First is that it’s dark in there, and my pictures never turn out. Second, I’d have to put the knitting down to take pictures. Last, a few years back I lost* my binoculars at Wintergrass when I went to the bathroom and left my bag by my chair.

The highlight of last night was the group Bluegrass, Etc. They’ve been around forever, but for some reason I’d never heard or seen them before. Byron Berline was playing fiddle with them, and boy can he play. They all are top-notch seasoned musicians, but their guitarist, John Moore, is just spectacular.

Here’s the knitting progress. I did work on the two-color sock a bit, until we decided to move closer to the stage and I didn’t have enough light to see what I was doing. I’ve finished the gusset decreases (again!), and am speeding towards the toe.

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After I put those aside, I worked on the new socks for the rest of the evening. I cast on for these a week or so back, in anticipation of needing a mindless round-and-round project for the festival. Here’s what I accomplished last night.

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This is one of the Opal Rainforest colors, in Ladybug. I have a bunch of Opal in the stash, but have never actually used it before. It’s lovely yarn, I must say. It’s also lovely having a plain round-and-round project after all that two-color, cable, and lace stuff that I’ve got going.

I have had a couple of questions in the comments about my needles on the two-color sock. They are Lantern Moon ebony dp’s. They are a dream to knit with; smooth, perfect points, short enough to not be in the way. The needles in the Opal sock are bamboo needles from S. R. Kertzer, purchased here. I love these; I also have a bunch of the circulars and a few of the straights. They are lightweight, flexible, and have perfect points. They are also a lot more economical than the Lantern Moons, which are a bit spendy. If I snapped one of those, I’d probably cry; if I snapped one of the Kertzers, I would say a bad word, then go buy another set.

Someone is making me bacon and eggs and grits (cheese grits, Kris, but not the instant kind!) for breakfast, so I’m off till the next post!

*”Lost” is of course a euphemism for “some sorry-ass person who can’t possibly be a true bluegrass fan swiped them right out of my bag”.

Bluegrass Knitting Time!

I have no pictures to post today. It’s gray and rainy here, but more importantly, my knitting progress pictures would look just like the last ones. I’ve been mostly working on that two-color sock, and got as far as finishing the gusset decreases and starting the round-and-round-to-the-toe part, which is my favorite part. I stopped to try it on, decided that the heel flap needed to be longer, tore it back, in the process losing the freaking instep stitches. I had to rip out the whole heel flap to the beginning, get it all back on the needles, and redo it. I’m now into the gusset decreases again.

Sigh.

On the bright side, I got to go out last night to one of the weekly knitting groups that I sporadically attend when work allows. There is just not much better in the world than sitting in a cafe, gabbing and knitting. We even managed to drive one guy out, after he gave us a very dirty look. I guess he’s not a knitter. Or a gabber, for that matter. It certainly seemed like he didn’t appreciate either activity.

On an even brighter note, Wintergrass starts tonight. For those of you who have stuck with me for awhile, you know that bluegrass is next to a religious belief for me. Give me a hot banjo man anytime, and I’ll be happy. I can happily expound on who the best players in the world are: banjo, dobro, fiddle, mandolin, guitar. Just ask. Wintergrass is an annual four night festival held right here in good old Tacoma. It runs Thursday night, Friday night, then all day Saturday and Sunday. Perfect, if you ask me.

The lineup this year is pretty good. There are a few “big name” bluegrass groups (if there is such a thing!). One of the “headliners” is an acoustic singer-songwriter named Guy Clark. He sings more Texas-style country folk than bluegrass, but he’s been one of my favorite artists for years. My other picks for “don’t miss” artists are the Grascals, Uncle Earl (an all-girl group), the Wilders, and Laurie Lewis, a perennial favorite. There are always one or two new groups every year that light up the stage, though, so my view is that you can’t miss any of it, just in case.

I have my bluegrass knitting ready, my festival pass printed out, and I am so ready. I’ll be back when they hang up the last fiddle.

Madrona

Well the Madrona Fiber fest was a blast. I didn’t sign up for any classes, as in my typically clueless fashion I didn’t know about the festival until they were all booked. I went anyway, Friday night to listen to Stephanie talk, and then again on Saturday to add to the stash.

Friday night I met Kris and Marti for dinner and the Harlot’s talk. We strolled up the street to a nearby Thai restaurant for dinner after meeting in the lobby. They both were a delight to sit and visit with, and yet more proof that you all are not “imaginary friends”, as my husband refers to you. The biggest hoot, I have to tell you, was sitting in a Thai restaurant packed with knitters, all talking about knitting, some of them actually knitting. I can’t even imagine what the restaurant people thought.

Here’s a picture of Kris and I. It came out a bit blurry, but proves that without a doubt we exist. For some reason I didn’t get a picture of Marti. And none of my pictures of the Harlot’s talk came out. Honest, I had green tea with dinner, nothing else.

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Saturday I went again, this time to the market to shop. There were several local shops represented, and a few not-local. My favorite was Blue Moon Fiber Arts, famous around the blogs for Socks That Rock yarn. I have a couple of skeins of this in the stash already, but that didn’t stop me from getting more, as they had a fine selection of colors at the market.

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From left to right, Yosemite, Spinel, Prove It All Night, and Heavy Metal. Only the fact that I already have enough sock yarn to last the rest of my life kept me from buying more. One of these will just have to be the next pair of socks once I finish the two pair I already have cast on.

Which reminds me, my one and only NY resolution this year? To have enough hand knit socks by the end of the year that I don’t have to wear commercial socks unless I want to.

I also bought this, which was a totally unnecessary purchase:

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It’s pink, very pink. And alpaca, and it has just a touch of a silvery glimmery yarn spun into it. This will be a pretty little scarf, perhaps all for me. This is where we need that “touch me” feature in Typepad; this stuff is heavenly soft in person, not so much in the picture.

After the shopping, I went out to the lobby of the Sheraton, which was full of people knitting. I joined a little impromptu knitting session with these bloggers:

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That’s Meg, from Knitting Knot. Go to her blog and tell her how sorry you are that we made her unravel a whole sweater on the spot. What are friends for??

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That’s Jessica, from Rose-Kim Knits. She’s working on her Knitting Olympics project, and I learned a few new swear words from her on Saturday.

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And that’s Rebecca, from Supergirl’s Blog. She knits at Warp 10, really. I kept staring surreptitiously at her hands, wondering how the hell somebody could knit that fast.

I met with Kris again, who was getting a lesson in the lobby from a spinner, Blogless Betsy, on how to use a drop spindle. And met Kris’ family, including that adorable child of hers, Anna Grace. If I could have been guaranteed offspring that cute, I might have been convinced to reproduce at one point in my life. I didn’t get a picture of Betsy either.

Now it’s back to reality, though I got a real gift this morning at 7 AM. I had signed up for an extra day of work today, for some reason that totally escapes me. (My husband reminded me that it was no doubt to pay down the yarn debt, which is starting to rival the national deficit.) As I was getting my butt out of bed, grumbling to anybody who would listen, the phone rang. It was from one of my partners, to let me know that they weren’t busy enough to need me, go back to bed. Free knitting time!! Here’s where I am on the sock:

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That two color heel was truly a pain in the ass to do, though it looks very cool now that it’s done. There’s no need to remind me that I need to do a second one.

All in all a fun and productive weekend!

Project Update

Or, Picots are Pretty!

On the knitting front, I have actually been knitting. That two color sock looks just the same, as I haven’t worked on it a bit in the past week. I have picked up the Jo Sharp eggplant sweater from several posts back (the one with the misbehaving schematic measurements). It is very difficult to take pictures of dark eggplant colored yarn, let me tell you. Well it’s actually not hard to take pictures of it, it’s just hard to take pictures that show any detail. Here are a couple of attempts.

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I also started a new lace project. It is the Estonian Garden Wrap; here’s a link to a photo. And here’s mine:

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The yarn is Zephyr lace weight, in a bottle green that doesn’t look nearly that washed out in person.  I’m loving this pattern so far!

And one new one. Though I didn’t sign up for the Knitting Olympics, I have one project that will be worked on for much of that time. Around the Knitting Doctor house, the third week in February is the Week of Bluegrass, better known as Wintergrass. I have tickets for the whole four day festival, right smack in the middle of the Olympics. I have one heavily cabled project on the needles, one lace project, and one sock in two colors, all of which require a decent level of light and the ability to count. None of these will work at a bluegrass festival that is mostly in the dark and involves a lot of foot stomping and clapping. So I started a new pair of socks that will be the 2006 Wintergrass project.

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The yarn is Opal, I think the color is one of the Rainforest group, Ladybug. It’s my first attempt at a picot edge. I used Claudia’s excellent instructions, found here. Other than the picot thing, these will be just plain socks. Perfect for knitting in a dark music hall!

I just love those little picot points! Very girly!

If any of you are going to Madrona this weekend in Tacoma, I’ll be there for the Yarn Harlot’s talk tonight, then shopping at the market tomorrow. I didn’t sign up for classes, but can’t resist the possibility of yarn that I might not own already. Hope to see some of you there!

I Never Knew These Things

I just had to post this one! My favorite is number 9 on the second list. That might explain a few things.
This one came from Ryan. Stick your name in that box below and click “Go” to find out the Ten Top Trivia Tips for you!

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Lorette!

  1. The blood of mammals is red, the blood of insects is yellow, and the blood of Lorette is blue.
  2. It takes forty minutes to hard-boil Lorette.
  3. Lorette was named after Lorette the taxi driver in Frank Capra’s ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.
  4. A female ferret will die if it goes into heat and cannot find Lorette.
  5. Duelling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are Lorette.
  6. The word ‘samba’ means ‘to rub Lorette’!
  7. Lorette cannot jump.
  8. If you toss Lorette 10000 times, she will not land heads 5000 times, but more like 4950, because her head weighs more and thus ends up on the bottom.
  9. Without Lorette, we would have to pollinate apple trees by hand.
  10. The book of Esther in the Bible is the only book which does not mention Lorette.
I am interested in
– do tell me about

Ten Top Trivia Tips about The Knitting Doctor!

  1. India tested its first nuclear The Knitting Doctor in 1974.
  2. It takes 17 muscles to smile, and 43 to frown at The Knitting Doctor.
  3. Only fifty-five percent of men wash their hands after using The Knitting Doctor.
  4. A The Knitting Doctorometer is used to measure The Knitting Doctor!
  5. If you lace The Knitting Doctor from the inside to the outside, the fit will be snugger around your big toe!
  6. It is bad luck to walk under The Knitting Doctor.
  7. In the Spanish edition of Cluedo, The Knitting Doctor is the victim!
  8. Scientists have discovered that The Knitting Doctor can smell the presence of autism in children.
  9. If you put a drop of liquor on The Knitting Doctor, she will go mad and sting herself to death.
  10. The Knitting Doctor can taste with her feet.
I am interested in
– do tell me about

For Kris

This one is for Kris, who at this very moment is packing all her worldly belongings to move to the great rainy state of Washington. I received an email from her Monday in which she asked, somewhat plaintively,

When it rains each day, is there even a portion of the day where the sun peeks through…. even if it’s just for a few minutes?

Well, yes, indeed. We’ve had one of the rainiest winter seasons that I have seen in my five years living here. Our dock is nearly under water. We got a letter recently from the lake association reminding us that if our docks weren’t attached to the pillars, to get out there and secure them before they float away. We do get those “sun breaks” though, just often enough so we don’t all start shooting holes in the kitchen appliances due to cabin fever.

Here are photos from Monday to prove it.

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Note the level of water under that dock. We are leaving the canoe out there for now. If that lake gets high enough to float the canoe off, I promise to show pictures.

I Forgot

It happens, it’s probably all that bourbon. I intended to add these two items to the last post, then screwing around trying to get that stupid quiz thing to fit into the blog window distracted me.

First, Washington (the state) has finally arrived at another major turning point in civilization. It only took them 29 years to do it, but we’ve extended civil rights to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination. The right wing promises to fight this one by a ballot initiative, but hopefully common sense will prevail. (Though as my mother always said, “common sense isn’t all that common”.)

Second, the Yarn Harlot’s TSF campaign has topped $100,000 in the past year. Think about it, people. $100,000 is a lot of money from any one group. I plan on making this an annual donation. I can spare a little yarn money, how about you??

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One Finished, Another Restarted

The blue scarf is finished. Before I say anything else, if your name is Linda, and you’re my sister, and you’re expecting a gift from me, don’t go any further if you want this to be a surprise.

If your name is Linda, and you’re my sister, click here instead so you have something to do for the next few days until this arrives in the mail.

Here it is, for those of you not named Linda, and not related to me.

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Pretty, eh? Project details:

Pattern: Lead or Follow Lace Scarf, by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer. Her website is here.
Yarn: Richesse et Soie, by K1C2, a cashmere-silk blend; color is #9633, which is a pretty cornflower blue.
Needles: 3.75mm
Started: July 2005. Actually I started this a couple of years ago, but it sat in hibernation for awhile, so I had to restart it because I couldn’t figure out where I was in the pattern.
Finished: January 24, 2006

This is a great pattern. It’s clear and well-written, and once I figured out that it doesn’t mix well with bourbon, I did OK with it. It’s “knitted lace” instead of “lace knitting”, meaning that every row is a pattern row with increases and decreases. “Lace knitting” means that every other row is a plain row, either knitted or purled. I didn’t know that before. “Knitted lace” is really no harder than the other kind, it just means you don’t have that long easy row every other row to relax with.
The yarn is heavenly too, though spendy for anything more than a scarf. It’s fingering weight, so it’s a little easier to handle for someone relatively new to lace.

My next lace project (already started, but no pictures yet) is in “real” lace yarn, and I’ve already expanded my knowledge of swear words logarithmically.

And then there are those socks. Here’s a picture:

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If you’re thinking that it looks like I finished the first sock and that this might be the beginning of the mate, you would be wrong. I ripped the damn thing out and started over for two reasons. First, I decided that I liked the section where the contrast-rainbow color pops out better than the more subtle version. So I switched the yarn-hand-holding position when I restarted. So now the multicolor is in my LEFT hand. I like it better. The second, and more important reason, is that I think they were going to be a bit tight on my Bigfoot big feet, so I started over with the next bigger size on the chart.

Last, but not least, a little amusement, and a quiz. I always knew I was a nerd. Not bad for a biology major.

True English Nerd
You scored 89 erudition!
Not only do you know your subjects from your objects and your
definite
from your indefinite articles, but you’ve got quite a handle on the
literature and the history of the language as well. Huzzah, and well
done! The English snobs of Boston salute you.
My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 90% on erudition

Link: The Are You Truly Erudite? Test written by okellelala on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

OK, after some fiddling around, I still couldn’t get that to fit in the blog window, so it’s staying the way it is. I have zero patience for html crap.

Four Things:

I was tagged for this one by Gretchen!

Four Movies you could watch over and over:
1) Philadelphia Story. Or Cary Grant in anything.
2) Paint Your Wagon. You haven’t lived till you’ve heard Lee Marvin sing.
3) Lord of the Rings. Any of the series. One of the few movies I actually own.
4) Last of the Mohicans. I’d watch Daniel Day-Lewis just stand there for two hours.

Four places you have lived:
1) North Dakota (Edgeley, specifically)
2) Helena, MT; first in college, then for several years after med school
3) Irving,Texas
4) Lakewood, WA. My favorite of the bunch.

Four places you have been on vacation:
1) Spain
2) Tahiti
3) Costa Rica
4) France. It’s hard to pick a favorite of all of the places that we’ve been fortunate enough to visit.

Four TV shows you watch
1) Desperate Housewives
2) West Wing
3) Star Trek reruns
4) CSI, it’s got to be the Vegas version for me.

Four websites you visit daily:
1) Google
2) NY Times
3) Bloglines
4) Too many knitting blogs to list individually!

Four of my favorite foods:
1) Beans and rice
2) Macaroni and cheese, but only if it’s homemade
3) Roast chicken
4) Foie gras

Four places you’d rather be right now:
1) Uh, nowhere? I live in the best place on earth
2) With my sisters, with whom I actually get along. (And going to visit them in March!)
3) In France, eating roast chicken and foie gras
4) Anyplace where it hasn’t rained for the past thirty days straight.

Four bloggers I am tagging:
1) Nobody, I think I’m the last person on earth to do this. If you haven’t, have at it, and let me know in the comments.

Knitting Update in the next post! Stay tuned!

Viva Las Vegas!

We’re off again on another jaunt! No pictures this time, as I left the camera at home, but I figured that I was way overdue for a post.

This was a spur-of-the-moment trip, planned around Tom Jones tickets. That’s right, Tom Jones. He’s performing at the MGM for the next few weeks, and I figured that he’s just going to get older and fatter from here on out, so I better go to see him soon. We have tickets for tonight, and flew down for a few days of total decadence. Last night we went to see “Avenue Q”, which was hilarious. We are going to Cirque du Soleil “O” tomorrow night, then home on Thursday. Four days in Las Vegas is about all I can stand. I’ve already lost the requisite twenty bucks in the slots, which is about all I have patience for.

Once I finish this post, we’re off to In-N-Out Burger for lunch, which is a reason to come to Las Vegas all by itself. This used to be a great town to eat cheaply in, not anymore. A plain Americano at the MGM Starbucks was almost 5 bucks this morning. The flip side is that there are some marvelous restaurants here. We ate at an Italian seafood place at the new Wynn resort last night, Bartolotta. “Yum” is all I have to say. They specialize in great fish flown in daily, presented whole to your tableside, then oven roasted and served with a wonderful garlic-parsley pesto. We started with a warm seafood salad for an antipasto, then a vegetable risotto for our first course, followed by an impeccably fresh sea bream served with roasted peppers, zucchini, and roasted fingerling potatoes. I want to go back tonight, but we have reservations at Nob Hill at the MGM so we can make it to TJ on time!

In knitting news, I am just a few rows away from completing that blue cashmere lace scarf. I nearly finished it on the plane, and will probably get it done later today. Then it will be blocked once I get home, and mailed off to the lucky recipient (not named here, as she may occasionally check out the blog!). No pictures until I get home though!

Peace Fleece Cardigan

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Specs:

Pattern: Plain cardigan, set-in sleeves, pattern generated by Sweater Wizard software.
Yarn: Peace Fleece, in the color Kamchatka Seamoss.
Needles: Denise circs, size 7 & 8.
Buttons: Purchased from Blackwater Abbey Yarns
Started: Late September, but I took a long break while we were on vacation to Spain.
What I learned: I started this one as the Everyday Cardigan sold as a kit from the Peace Fleece people. While I just love this yarn, I didn’t love the pattern. It’s a drop sleeve style, which isn’t what I had in mind, so I ditched it and made up a pattern with Sweater Wizard. So I guess the main thing I learned is to knit what I want, not just follow a pattern. I also learned how to do buttonholes a little less sloppy, and did a buttonhole stitch around them to neaten them after I finished them.
Verdict: I like this one a lot, and I predict that it will get a lot of wear. I would definitely make more just like this, and will definitely use the Peace Fleece again. It’s not one of those soft-against-your-skin yarns, but is a good, basic wool yarn in great colors.

Knitting Update

I finished that Norwegian hat. Here it is:

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I really liked this one, and it was a fast project to knit. Project specifications:

Pattern: Bea Ellis, her own design,  purchased as a kit here.
Yarn: Dale Heilo in red and white, and cotton sportweight for the headband lining.
Started: December 2005
Finished: January 7, 2006
Needles: size 3.5mm. (3mm for the lining)
What I learned: Two color-knitting is a blast. I practiced knitting with one color in each hand. This required that I polish up my continental style knitting, which was awkward at best.
Would I do this one again? Yes, ma’am. I thought it might be too warm to wear this where I live, but the Heilo is a sportweight yarn so it’s not too heavy. I really, really liked making the tassle!

I’ve also been working on my socks:

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This two-color stuff is big-time trouble for all the other stuff on my to-do list around here. I just keep knitting and knitting and knitting…

There was a question in the comments from the last post about the yarn for this one. It’s Lorna’s Laces sock weight yarn. The solid is red, of course, and the multi is her Rainbow color.

I’ve learned some things already. It does indeed make a difference which hand you hold each color in when you are knitting with one color in each hand, as most knitters knit with a different tension between the two hands. It’s a little hard to see in that picture, but the first half inch of the leg part (after the ribbing) shows that the rainbow stitches are more prominent than afterwards. I switched the yarn colors between the hands at that spot, and in person it is noticeable. I decided that I’m not ripping it out, but definitely learned the lesson for the future. Given my inability to remember simple things, I’ve made a note on the pattern itself which hand I’m carrying which yarn in for future reference. And in case I lose the working copy of the pattern with the notes, the multicolor is in my right hand on this one.

And in non-knitting pictures, I keep meaning to post this and keep forgetting:

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Yes, it’s a ladybug. I took this picture in my bathroom, where I have about a half-dozen ladybugs that have taken up residence. There are no plants there, but they move in around December every year and stay until it warms up a little. I have no idea why, or what they eat, but I find this somewhat fascinating. So do the cats, though they never catch one.

Here We Go Again

Finally, the last of the Spain travelogue photos. There were lots of them, but I’m getting tired of putting them up, so here are all the rest of them, in one big post. The knitting content is at the end of this post, so if you’re getting tired of them too, just scroll on down.

Your fearless Spain adventurers left you on the road to Arcos the last time. We stopped along the way at one of the little white hill towns, Grazilema. We took the very scenic route off the main road to Grazilema, with miles of twisty, hairpin-turning roads.

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I didn’t get much knitting done on this leg of the trip, as I wasn’t about to pry my hands off the dashboard to take up the sock. I did get one shot of the sock over the valley, though.

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And here a a couple of pictures of the town of Grazilema. This was the cutest little town; I’d go back here for a longer stay next time.

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After a lovely lunch, we continued on to Arcos. We stayed in one of my favorite hotels of the trip while there, La Casa Grande.  If you have a few minutes, go to their website and check out the photos; they are better than mine. The house is almost 300 years old, and very charming. We had one of the rooftop rooms, next to the terrace with a spectacular view. The only drawback to the place is that it is on a tiny street too narrow for a car or taxi, so we parked and walked, lugging our luggage the last few blocks.

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Arcos is only a short drive to Jerez, so we drove there the following day for a little horse-watching and sherry-tasting. Unfortunately, Jerez is one of the worst places in the entire world that I’ve ever navigated. There are absolutely no street signs, so a map is next to useless. We got hopelessly lost, though finally found our way after stopping several times and getting help from mostly non-English speaking locals. They couldn’t read the map, either, so I didn’t feel so bad. We missed the horse show at the Equestrian center, but made it to the Gonzales-Byass (the Tio Pepe people) sherry bodega with plenty of time to spare for our tour there.

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That last photo is part of a display of some of their original bottles and barrels. The new ones weren’t quite that dusty.

After the tour, we got to have a little tasting and eating, our favorite part.

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That tapas platter (and the bottle of sherry) was just for the two of us. They don’t believe in letting you go home hungry in Jerez. Probably this is because they know you will get lost and spend hours wandering around Jerez trying to get out.

We were back in Arcos for another night:

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Those two photos really give you an idea of how narrow those streets are. And here is our private terrace:

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After Arcos, we headed for Sevilla, another one of my favorite places in Spain. We had a walking tour of the old part of the city our first day, including a tour of the Cathedral, one of the largest in Europe. It’s hard to take a photo of it, as it is so huge. I didn’t get many good interior shots because of the vastness of the space.

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We also toured another Moorish palace/fortress, the Alcazar. Here are a few photos:

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And a fine example of rococo excess:

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This is one of my favorite photos of the trip. It was in a cave-like lower room, with a ground level pool. The arched ceiling reflects in the pool below.

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And a couple more Sevilla street shots:

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We stayed at the Convento La Gloria Hotel in Sevilla, another one of my favorite sleeping-places on the trip. As the name suggests, it is an old convent that has been converted to a hotel. The rooms were small, but the service was wonderful, and the family run restaurant downstairs was fabulous. There were dozens of paintings on the walls of the hotel, but this is the photo I found the most amusing. This is the fire-extinguisher box outside our room.

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I believe that was a commentary on the narrow streets of Sevilla. If there were to be a fire, there is just no way a fire truck would get here, so you might as well pray.

There was a little sitting area outside our room. I took advantage of it for a quiet knitting space.

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We ate at the hotel restaurant our last night in Sevilla. I think they must have heard about us.

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Sevilla was home to many more Don Quixote statues. Here are a few.

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There were several more in the train station:

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While we waited for our train back to Madrid, I did the usual:

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We took the fast (Ave) train from Sevilla back to Madrid:

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After our arrival in Madrid, we checked back into our original hotel for one more night before our flight home. We did a whirlwind tour of the Museo Del Prado and the Thyssen Museum. Without a doubt, my favorite museum of all time is the Thyssen. It would be worth a trip back to Madrid just to get a longer visit there.

Here is Sweetpea after a long journey. Sweetpea loved Spain, too.

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And last but not least, the last photo of the trip, from the plane over the coast:

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Knitting Content

The Jo Sharp sweater is still in time-out. I’ll get back to it later this week, as I’ve decided that I don’t hate the details of the pattern as much as I love the look of the finished sweater. I’ve gotten caught up in two-colored knitting this week. First is the latest sock pattern that I started.

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The pattern is from Sensational Knitted Socks, by Charlene Schurch. This is a great book, for all you sock-knitters out there.

The other one is a Bea Ellis hat pattern, using two-color Norwegian style knitting.

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The pattern is rather ingenious. Because it is relatively itchy wool, the first two inches or so of the hat are knit in a soft sport-weight cotton. Then you change to the wool, purl a turning row, and start the hat pattern. When you’re done, you turn up the cotton lining and hem it, so you have the soft cotton over your delicate little ears. I am a right handed thrower, so I’m learning how to knit continental style, so I can have one color in each hand and not have to stop and change yarns every couple of stitches. I’ve learned that I actually do continental much faster than the way I’ve always knit, though I’ve not been able to master purling and picking at the same time.

I’m also still working on that blue lace scarf. I hope to finish that one soon, so I can get some wear out of it this winter!

Merry Merry!

To all of you from the Knitting Doctor household:

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Merry Yule, Happy Hanukkah, Bright Solstice, Merry Christmas! Whichever tradition you and your family celebrate, here’s to a happy holiday and a very prosperous New Year for all! (And more yarn in your Christmas stocking than you can possibly knit in the coming year!)