Sunday, August 14, 2011

McMurdo Station Winfly

Here I go again. With no plans to leave the western side of the Colorado Rockies at the beginning of this week, I am now almost packed and ready to leave home for 6 months. I begin my long journey South to McMurdo Station a week from today, Aug 21st. Tom will follow in October if all goes as planned. The fact that, at this writing, there is no icebreaker for resupply activities in late January/early February 2012 makes this an interesting deployment. We can only remain adaptable. Bend. Like the willow...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Road Trip!

Tomorrow I leave for the Sock Summit! So exciting...doing a happy dance. What if the roads heading to the NW are packed with vehicles carrying obsessed knitters? What if all airplanes are flying to the Portland International Airport with nothing but knitters on board? What do you mean not everyone wants to knit and be at the Sock Summit? I can't wait to get there. I've been looking forward to this for many months.

We're all packed. Except for the most important thing. Yarn. Which yarn to take? Big decisions to be made. Lucky for me, my hubby is doing the last load of laundry and other domestic chores while I ponder my wool choices. It's so important isn't it?

So ready to go! I even found time to check out the last Harry Potter movie with a girlfriend. I'm not organized very often so I'm a little amazed. I enjoyed the film and the company.

A good road trip is my fave but this one is going to be special.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Party in the Mini Cooper

Today I went to the Mesa County fair and I saw a pink Mini that wasn't so mini. There was a hot tub in the back and the inside was swank.

Dream Catcher Therapy

Tomorrow we are attending a benefit concert at the Botanical Gardens in Grand Junction for Dream Catcher Therapy and End of the Trail Horse Rescue. I donated these two hats to the silent auction. Three bands will be there, beer from Palisade Brewery and Mexican food. It should be a fun time for a really good cause.

The McMurdo Sign

Photo op

Monday, June 13, 2011

International Knit In Public Day

On Saturday, my friend Valerie and I packed up our knitting and took it to the lawn of the Mesa County Library where Jennifer Murrel, a librarian there, so thoughtfully set up Grand Junction's world wide knit in public gathering. It was a delightful morning getting to know another 25 or so friendly knitters in town.
Gretel Daugherty from GJ's local newspaper came by, interviewed several knitters, and took many photos. Vivian Ortiz,(see photo below) was one of the young women who joined us. She was a fun to talk to and I got to knit with her again tonight at Tangle, our lys. She was happy the men and women knitters of Grand Junction come in all ages. She said she imagined it might be like knitting with "old cranky ladies in the church basement" who didn't like her tatoos. This photo was taken by Gretel Daugherty. The article was written by Rachel Sauer and can be read online at the

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Los Ojos, New Mexico

Tierra Wools is in the picturesque village of Los Ojos and a fave stop of mine. It's been 5 or 6 years since our last visit and it was winter then. What a beautiful place, summer or winter.

Monday, May 23, 2011

How to Knit the Second Mitten...or Not

I wonder if the mitten in this photo will ever get its mate? It's been so long since I made the first one (we're talkin' years!) and I didn't write down the pattern as it spilled out of my head. There's a Ziplock bag with yarn in it (see there?) for knitting the other mitten that I so carefully squirreled away and didn't pillage for other projects. That was sometimes difficult, I recall. So why don't I JUST KNIT IT?? No pattern? uh uh, that's no excuse, sister. Look at the first mitten and count. No prob.

What will make me do it? Someone please jump start me.

In my defense, (sadly, I feel the need to justify), this is the way it used to be all the time with me. There was so much unfinished knitting in my closet that one day I was compelled to give most of it away. I mean c'mon. When I started knitting some of the items in there I was younger than my daughter is now! She's 37 so that means I kept unfinished knitting around for decades.

But I don't do that anymore. I usually begin and finish 3 or 4 items a week. I'm so good now. I'm an obsessed knitter. I'm a knitting fool. I never leave the house without knitting in my purse. I'm knitting all the time. Maybe I will knit a second mitten and not even notice.

Nah. I need a kick in the buttocks.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Looking back on Knitting days in Antarctica

Knitting group Winter 2002 at Hut 10, McMurdo Station

Lynn's lids for the craft show

More hats and some socks

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Liz Hat

In 2003 I knit this hat for Liz during the dark days of Winter at McMurdo.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Knitter's Bingo at McMurdo

This is my donation to the Knitter's Bingo for Charity several winter's ago. It was a fund raiser for the children's home in Christchurch. We are no longer allowed to raise money for charities as it is considered gambling by the company. Too bad. In the winter, 200 people once donated as much as money as 1000 summer folks did for several years in a row. It's the children that suffered when we had to stop giving. I don't understand some of the decisions that corporate makes.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cupcake Hat

Here's a hat I made for Lisa. She wanted pink and cupcake.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Homemade Hats for Heirlooms for Hospice

Tom sent me this article from the Grand Junction Free Press:

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Calling all knitters, crocheters, and other crafty people.

Suzi Potratz of Fruita organized a unique fundraiser for Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado by asking people to donate homemade hats of any size, shape, style and material to be sold Dec. 4-11, at the Heirlooms for Hospice store, 635 Main St.

Kathy Martin, Heirlooms regional manager, said the store sells a lot of hats during this season and thought this would be a successful event, according to Hospice development director Jacquie Chappell-Reid.

“We just want them to be handmade,” Chappell-Reid said.

Hats will be collected at Benges Shoe Store, 514 Main St., through Nov. 27.

Organizers are asking for hats to be dropped off at the shoe store as opposed to Heirlooms, in order to avoid mixing with the store's other donations, Chappell-Reid said.

All proceeds from the hat sales will go toward Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado's general fund.

Potratz had a family member who used Hospice's services.

“It's interesting how periodically we have someone call (it's called a third-party event) and organize a fundraiser and then simply donate the proceeds,” Chappell-Reid said.

A woodworker donated hundreds of dollars to Hospice earlier this fall from the sale of toy wooden spinning tops at the Fruita Fall Festival, she said.

For more information about the homemade hat fundraiser, call Potratz at 623-3913, or e-mail

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Winfly 2010

Let the pre-season begin at McMurdo Station, Antarctica! Winfly. Short for Winter fly-in.

Several people begin their long commute this week, first to Denver, then LAX, then New Zealand and after a night in Christchurch, on to McMurdo Station. They will be on the "Ice" in less than a week. Get ready all you winterovers who have been isolated there all austral winter. Here come the orange people. They'll be tan (orange), fast talking, fast walking, and full of goodies, libations and freshies. It's always good to see new faces and enjoy the new energy on station after a long, cold, dark winter with no outside contact from the rest of the world. Just think...MAIL! You get MAIL! Have fun. The Hamanns are thinking of you and wishing you the best as you deal with the masses.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Willa Wearing Her Sweater

Willa's mom sent me this photo of her beautiful daughter wearing the sweater I knitted for her back in May. Isn't she gorgeous?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The First Sock

Kristi finished her first sock and is thrilled. I love this woman. This sock is one of about a million things she did this day...just try to keep up with her. More stuff is accomplished in one normal day of Kristi's than most people do in a month! She made the leg short, anxious to get to the heel turning part of the work asap. Kristi is a free spirit that isn't interested in instructions. "JUST DO IT!" was invented by her. Here's what she wrote in her email:

"(instead of taking the time to learn the (kitcheners) stitch, I just strung the yarn through the last few stitches and pulled. :0 Do you always use the (kitcheners) stitch?

I don't feel like doing the second one now, since this doesn't fit so great,
and I had a few mistakes....but I guess I will just for practice cuz I NEED

HA! I know EXACTLY how you feel Kristi! Great job on that first sock.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Finished Wrap and Hot Weather

The collared wrap is complete. Now I'm on to the UFOs (unfinished objects) and something new, a brimmed hat. I'll try to stay focused but there are new flip flops calling for some knitted decoration also.

In need of a smaller project that doesn't lay in my lap in 106 F (41 C) weather, I am working on 2-at-a-time socks in addition to the above mentioned projects. (My attention span is short, hence many UFOs).

The heat is wonderful. I'm not complaining. Well, maybe I am a little but it can't be helped. On my morning walk with hubby at 8:30 a.m. it was already in the high 80s. Can I tell you how much I love my BreezAir swamp cooler (aka evaporative cooler)?! Thank you Australia for building the world this state-of-the-art wonder. We had a new cooler installed in 2006 when we bought our house.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Longest Collar

I'm about 4.5 inches from finished. I'm talking about my knit-along project with Val. I've been knitting for miles and miles on the last loonnng side, the collar side of this shawl and while I love to knit, can I just please be DONE with it so I can block and wear. Enough with the whine fest. I'm going to knit now.

Friday, July 09, 2010

The Art of Patrica Waller

Here's a website for all you crazy knitters. It's gory and unsettling and I love it. Consider the art of Patricia Waller. Here's a sample to entice you. Simply click on her name in this post for more of her creative knitted art. I first saw this a few years ago but today I saw it again. It was on Facebook as a link sent by one friend to another. It was a sign.

Nieces and Nephews

Another set of great looking kids to which I'm fortunate to be related.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Uh Oh!

My friend broke her fibula in two places. It's all my fault. If she hadn't been rushing out the door to come over to my house with her Carolyn Myss Archetype cards it wouldn't have happened. Oh!, those Sacred Contracts studies. I'm sorry Jude. I can't believe you sat at my kitchen table all afternoon with your foot on ice and all the time it was fractured, not twisted. OUCH! You're a trooper. I hope it feels better soon.

Monday, July 05, 2010


Our town put on a short but impressive fireworks display last night. Tom got some great photos of the show. It was a perfect ending to a perfect day of relaxing. Since we live only a mile away from Lincoln Park where the fireworks were, Valerie, Tom and I walked to and from the display by going through the Mesa State College campus. The place has really grown and it's looking really good. I like the feeling on campus and plan to take more walks there.

Today's knitting project consists of working on the collar of the collared wrap to finish it up for blocking.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

A Special 4th

Today is the 4th of July, Independence Day in America, a major holiday in our country. It's also a special day, personally. Six months ago today I took in a foster kitty from the Roice-Hurst Humane Society. I asked for the kitty that was most challenged adoption-wise. I was introduced to "Chloe", a beautiful blue-eyed Sacred Cat of Burma who was socially and physically challenged and had been there for over a year. She is thought to be about six years old. I planned to foster her and try to help her become adoptable since I work out of the country for at least half the year and it wouldn't be practical to have a permanent pet.

It was a success. She's adoptable. We are officially keeping her. Who couldn't love a kitty with a face like this? I especially like her "Clutch Cargo mouth" pose.

We want to follow the naming convention of Birman cats which involves names starting with a certain letter of the alphabet depending on the year the cat is born. We are happy to introduce the newest member of our family with her new name: Basia (pronounced BAH-shah). Thank goodness she wasn't born in a "Q" year!

Any pet sitters out there?

Happy Birthday Leza

Last year on this day Leza was with us in Ecuador celebrating a certain milestone birthday. It was wonderful having her there. Here's a photo of Leza hamming it up at the Ecuadoran equator. Happy Birthday Leza. I hope you have a fun celebration today and that your year is stellar.

What do Baseballs, Knitting and Recycling have in Common?

Yesterday while at Border's books with my hubby, sipping green tea and browsing a magazine named Belle Armoire, (July/Aug 2010, Vol.10, Issue 4) I was impressed with an idea by Cindy Shaffer.

What's inside a baseball? Good news for knitters. It's made of string and that string can be knitted or crocheted into a great little market bag. Now I know what to do with all the old baseballs that land in my backyard as a result of living behind the high school baseball field.

First thing I did when I got home was peel the "skin" from a baseball and get out my crochet hook. It's intriguing to see what's inside that ball of string. I'm almost at the end of a charcoal colored, 2-ply, sock weight "yarn" that feels like a cotton/wool mix. It even has a bit of sparkle with metallic threads here and there. I can see some white "yarn" underneath the charcoal. Who knew knitting/crocheting with a baseball could be so fun?! Many thanks to Cindy Shaffer for sharing her idea. Old baseballs will not be in the landfills and the market bag will reduce the use of plastic bags. Brilliant.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Melanie's Visit

We are enjoying a visit from Melanie, our "Ice" friend. She's a world traveler, currently heading to Denver after she leaves us for a BBQ party and then back to the fields of waving grain to pack for her trip to China. I can't wait to see photos of her travels.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

King Kids

Here's a great bunch of nieces and nephew!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Collared Wrap progress

The knit-along I'm doing with my friend Valerie is progressing nicely. I am almost done except for one more side, the collar side, of my wrap and Valerie is knitting for miles on her shawl too. This pattern is from Sally Melville's book, The Knitting Experience: Book 2: The Purl Stitch. It knits up fast and is really easy to do, a good take-along project. I recommend writing out the chart by the row as we got mixed up and had to continually rip out in the beginning when looking at the chart. The written instruction was easier for us. It's a combo of 3 stitches (stockinette, purl, and garter) in squares and then a 2x2 rib all around the edges, longer on one long edge to make the collar. My favorite thing is that there is no sewing. It's all one piece with picked up stitches along the edge for the the ribbing. My shawl is knitted in olive green baby alpaca from Peru and I'm really excited about soft and cuddly. I'll post a photo of the MY finished wrap soon but here's a photo from Ravelry, the knitter's social network online where you can see various finished collared wraps others knitted in the same pattern.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Traveler

One of the best things about living in Colorado is visits by friends we've met down under. Seeing them in the "real world" away from McMurdo Station is always a treat. Susie is here, sitting in my living room right now!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

What Happens in Vegas...

During the first few days of June, we embarked on an inexpensive road trip. In fact, we could probably win a prize for the least amount of money spent in Las Vegas. We drove the Corolla and it got about 36 miles to the gallon (with the air conditioning going full blast). We stayed at the Excalibur for a song, a family friendly hotel on the strip, ate THE BEST buffet at The Spice Market which is inside Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino (I highly recommend it) and had our fill of gambling, playing 5 cent Black Jack machines. That was interesting for about 10 minutes and then we had a great time enjoying all the free stuff we could find, including a trip to "The Attic" thrift store, a great place to pick up something wacky to wear. Yes, there was even knitting, mostly in the car on the way there and back. I finished making a penguin baby hat, 2 pairs of booties, and a pair of mitts to complete the set.

We visited the "old" strip now known as the Fremont Street Experience. We saw Elvis and Austin Powers. We took photos of old signs of Las Vegas. Only there can you see signs that say things like "Say I Do Drive Thru" or "If it's in stock, we have it!" (duh) or "Pawn Shop Open 24 Hours".