The Knitting Nurse

Rambles and Travels

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On the Needles

Oh, I have precious little knitting time these days.  When I knit it is welcomed relaxation and watch PBS time.  Just finished Victoria. Have you seen it?  Here’s what’s on the needles:

I started Alieas in September 2017. Had I been monogamous she would be done by now as it’s really a quick knit. Isabelle Kraemer is a genius, folks, the construction method was entirely top-down – shoulder shaping, sleeves and all.  Today she had a warm bath, a spin in the washer and is blocking into a cohesive and fluffy hug of a sweater.

I passed my Microbiology final last night so I treated myself to a full morning of knitting. All is done on this except the button bands. I prefer to block before I put those on.

The wool is delicious, wooly, undyed and from Island Fibers’ Lopez Island sheep. I bought it at Madrona Fiber Arts Festival almost one year ago.  My goal is to get the button bands on and wear it to the festival this week to share with them.


On the train back from Portland I cast on a new fingering weight, Shetland wool Field Hat by Amy Christophers. I’m using a mix of Jamieson’s and Elemental Affects. I adore the Peerie Flooers hat I made last year. It is warm and soft. This one will have a double brim to protect my ears from wind.

Guernsey Wrap by Jared Flood has stalled for sweater ambitions. This behemoth will be a warm and light swath of fun. It’s a potato chippy pattern to make.  Just one more row is actually just one more pattern repeat. I was worried I’d not have enough yarn. I made it well past the halfway point before using up half the yarn.  It is Shelter by Brooklyn Tweed in the color Thistle.

And finally, I’ve been chomping at the bit to start a Telja by Jennifer Steingass.  I’ve queued up a few of her colorwork yoked sweaters. My LYS, Bazaar Girls, is doing a KAL for this beauty.  Getting Alias off the needles meant today could I cast on Telja.  I plan to knit the sleeve a ways up and block it for swatching information. The patterns calls for 5 SPI but I’d like to knit my Lett Lopi more around 4.5 SPI. We’ll see what happens. I’ve started on a size 6 for the cuff and a 7 above the colorwork. I have a feeling I need to pull back to the colorwork and use the 6.  I’ve never made a colorwork sweater for myself only for childrens’ charitable giving.  I also hope this style yoke fits me well.  We shall see!

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Not having a car in Portland is freeing. I had scant time to explore due to that class I took but still, I had time to explore and visit some favorite places.

The network of bridges and the river interest me.

Powells is an ENTIRE block of books, folks, a whole block. I spent plenty of time there on a rainy evening.

My last AM there I walked up the street to the Nob Hill area. new to me, this spot is famed for its boutique stores. I liked this small/local business slant. It made for a good walk which I craved after sitting in a class all day.

This is a lovely neighborhood with older homes and charming apartment (?condo) buildings.


The chocolate store.


I skipped Voodoo donuts this time. Found Blue Star instead and slowly savored a Mexican Hot Chocolate delight with strong coffee. There was a surprising kick of cayenne in that chocolate morsel.

Quirk.  Remember the movie?  Loved it.

Headed downtown.


Just miscellany glimpses.

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To Portland by train- views while traveling south

It wasn’t easy leaving an ailing Jane to attend a training out of town last week even though I knew she was in excellent hands.   I was thrilled to hear she’d regained her sight and appetite a day after I left.  Steroids to the eye reduced the swelling to near normal. About 25% of the eye is still clouded. Her sight’s restored and she is back to her usual antics including perching on me at night.  We had a helluva trip to the vet yesterday. Stepping into the office a cacophony of dogs barking greeted us. Her hackles went up.  The hissing commenced. As a result, the vet couldn’t recheck her BP or weigh her.  We return next Sat 15 minutes before they open to avoid that scenario.

Fingers crossed the BP is controlled, her kidneys rebound and there isn’t a repeat injury to her eye/s.  It’s good to have my girl back.

On to the trip.

I attended a training with the State of WA on RN delegation. RN delegation is assigning tasks to caregivers, that are properly trained, that require RN oversight (eg: clean wound care, catheter irrigations, administering insulin).

The training was in Vancouver, WA but I desired a Portland fix so I stayed very close to downtown. Sans traffic (hah!  not likely) it’s a 4+ hour drive from home.

I took the Amtrack. It was a blast! It was my first time. The train down was the Coast Starlight which was cush and comfy. Roomy!  I enjoyed the traffic-free time to knit, do homework and look out the windows at the sights. I can’t wait for my next train trip.

Here are some glimpses into the trip:

The King St. Station in Seattle-


It was gray and rainy-the scene was quite industrial close to the cities-

Approaching Tacoma-


Parts of the ride follow Puget Sound-

Farther south farms abound-

It was soggy-


Industry lines railways. Just north of Vancouver, WA-


Small towns dotted the route-


Centralia, a fun town to visit-


Crossing the Columbia River-

More on the trip back later-


Jane’s Update

It’s tough watching a pet age. Jane’s doing ok though we just stepped into a world of more involved care at home.

Here she suffers the indignity of a kitty BP cuff. The horrors! This cat morphs into a devil at the vets requiring a chill pill before going. She’s so sweet otherwise!

Her left eye went cloudy last week. The vet suspects her kidney disease, a result of a bum thyroid, has caused damage to that eye. Fortunately, the retina and cornea look good. A few years she received iodine treatment for her thyroid. We’ve been watching her kidneys ever since knowing they’d eventually succumb.

Since starting drops, BP pill and subcutaneous fluids on Saturday she’s perkier, the eye’s less swollen and she’s eating though not quite enough. Unfortunately a chronic eye infection in her rt eye now leaves her totally blind. I think she may see some shapes. It’s changed her behavior quite a bit. She no longer hops into bed with me to snuggle. It’s unknown if she’ll get her sight back.

I am on a trip to a training. It breaks my heart to leave her for a couple days but she’s in good hands.

I’ll keep you posted.

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A Winter’s Walk

I’m having a bit of a glum morning. Though I try to not let it drag me down the state of the world and the dysfunctional #$*’s in US politics has been magnifying everyday troubles and annoyances more than usual.

My cat Jane gazed at me two days ago with a completely clouded over left eye. Having impaired sight in her rt eye from a chronic infection, she is now nearly blind, walking into things.  We see the vet this AM. I hope this is a simple infection that can be treated.  It’s hard having a geriatric pet. Some days they look a bit stiffer or don’t eat very well – a reminder of their shortening lease on life.

A walk in a local park Thursday was just the ticket to lift the spirits.

Low tide was still high enough to make the beach route impassable.  A seal kept an eye on us like a para scope.  The clouds washed the sea in the prettiest grey-green.

Up the trail into the Madrones and young fir we walked.  It was very windy – the trees swayed.

Madrones – A favorite tree of mine – sculpted and sinuous.

I like how their curved lines wend around the arrow-straight fir.

There’s a coffee shop at Fort Worden we took full advantage of. Returning the way we came the sun made an appearance.  Hooray! Incredible how the color of the water changed so quickly and dramatically, now a deep blue.

The daylight lengthens. Tuesday it was warm enough to garden all day. A gift!

More later-

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Happy Holidays to all!

Greetings from Vancouver, BC where I’m having some quality time with my sweetie.  Off we went yesterday for a walk in Capilano River Regional Park. Snow fell in the last couple days making for a delightfully brisk, white-dusted walk.

This city has a great number of parks. This one lies far up in the northern section on the flanks of Grouse Mtn.   We appreciated the quiet retreat away from the buzz and chaos of the city.  It’s coastal rainforest up here. Which I just love-

My neck of the woods on the Olympic Peninsula sees snow maybe once or twice a year, never more than a couple of inches and it melts quickly.  I like retreating to snow when I miss it, walking in a fresh coating now. I’m glad to benefit from a marine climate the rest of the year.

It’s a real treat to have a stroll through white-dusted lichens, firs and such.

The Capilano River runs north to South through BC’s Coast Mtns and empties into Burrard Inlet. A massive dam and its reservoir provides water to the city, one of three primary sources.  A salmon hatchery was put in downstream from this damn to try to preserve the salmon runs. The famed Capilano Suspension Bridge is close by and run privately.  All lit up for the holiday it was stuffed full of visitors this weekend. We avoided it.  I’d like to see it another time.  I’d also like to return and witness spring snow-melt water levels.

The canyon we walked up has very steep walls. It’s astounding to imagine the flow and amounts of water that have carved out this pathway.

Check out this delightful fungus-

Such a pretty city retreat!

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Years to you and yours!