The Knitting Nurse

Rambles and Travels


An end to 10+ years of this Blog-a new beginning.

Greetings friends, family, and followers of this blog. It’s time to close up shop. There are new life-changes in full-speed-ahead mode and I find I just can’t keep up with this mode of communication.

I’ve opened an Instagram account. My username is @hfrank007. Please find me there!  Some are already connected to me on Facebook which I will still use.

The big news is I’m becoming a business owner this fall. I’ll have an in-home Skilled Nursing service, similar to what I’m doing now, but different. Life is very full being in school full time, working and preparing for this adventure.

But I relish it all!

There are also two new fuzzy felines that arrived in our lives via good timing and we adore them. You can see them on the Instagram account at @hfrank007.  I spent a good amount of time this AM arguing with it.  Learning curve…I got this!

Seems a little odd to be signing off. I’ve had this blog for so long, in so many places, though so much change. You can teach an old dog new tricks, however, so I’ll just have to learn how to share via one photo at a time. Yeesh!

Here goes!

A heart-felt thank you to all of my followers over the years.



Leave a comment

The Fort Worden Rhododendron Garden

Each spring, the rhododendron garden at Fort Worden State Park  becomes a welcomed and much anticipated oasis of color. There are some monstrous rhododendron specimens and some new. I it was developed in 1986. 1200 species of rhodies call it home.  It makes for a lovely lunch break stop on a work day.

There’s a well thought out distribution of bloom times.  Some plants are now dropping their flowers and some have buds that are closed up tightly.  Smaller, newer plantings are in place to replace the older as they die off and also fill in spaces and the edges.

Moving to the Pacific Northwest introduced me to the delicious variety of rhododendrons. The scent grabbed my nose, leading me through.

Enjoy! There are a lot of photos –



Leave a comment

One of my favorite lunchtime activities

A walk on the Larry Scott trail, especially after having lunch at Jennifers Marina Café, is a great way to relax a bit on a workday.

Today is cool and cloudy and quietly beautiful out. Here is one of my favorite views of the bay. You can see numerous boats moored behind the stone jetty and birds enjoying a low tide.


Leave a comment

Eureka, CA. Murals!

Poke around Eureka, CA and you’ll find murals.  This surprised me.  Last time I was there I stuck to the water. Mostly.

The best lime-corncookie I’ve ever had comes from this bagel shop called Los Bagels.  I now have the recipe. I dreamed of reuniting with that cookie a second time so I planned my return route to ensure I stop on the way back north.

Leave a comment

Crescent City, CA – Battery Point Lighthouse

There’s something about the California Coast. The 199 down from Oregon deposits you in Crescent City, CA.  A Breakwater hems in one side of Crescent Beach. After perusing the working harbor (full of fishing boats) and a couple guest tall ships in the marina,  I made way to Battery Point to visit the sweet little Battery Point Lighthouse.

It was windy. The waves were active and impressive, swamping over the massive jetty which you see in the video below though in person it was much more impressive.

The tide was low, however, and the narrow isthmus one walks across to the lighthouse was free and clear.


I’ve visited this pretty little lighthouse before.  I missed the last tour of the day. The woman exiting the building shared her excitement at the frantic waves. Apparently, it’s been a quiet winter without much big- wave-watching.

This was one of the first lighthouses on the California coast. In 1855 Congress appropriated $15,000 for its construction.   The fourth-order Fresnel Lens was replaced by an automated, modern light in 1953.  Despite most of the town being destroyed, the lighthouse survived the massive tsunami from the 1964 AK earthquake.  Eventually, a flashing light at the end of a breakwater replaced the lighthouse’s beam. In 1982 the lighthouse was switched back on,  managed as a “private aid” to navigation. This means, I believe, that it a group of volunteers and people that stay for periods of time maintain the light as it is on navigational charts and must be reliably lit.

Interesting bits and pieces:

Someday I’d like to be a volunteer lighthouse keeper.

Tours are available to the public, tide-permitting, daily from April to September.  The last time I was there I had a wonderful docent who lived and breathed the history of the area and the lighthouse.  They will take visitors up into the tower.  I highly recommend this spot.  SaveSave

Leave a comment

Road trip! Hello again, redwoods. I’ve missed you.

I’m on a sort of sabbatical. I’m wrapping up a month-long school term break and some time away from work to untwist my brain and get my shoulders off my earlobes.

On the way to meet a friend in the Mendocino, CA area I stopped and spent time amongst giants in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.

It’s been a long time since I’ve visited these noble trees in the far north of CA.  I read that the park’s 10,000+ acres contain 7% of the worlds old-growth redwoods.  The park is managed by the National Park Service and California State Parks and is one of four that comprise Redwoods National and State Parks.  This park contains the Smith River, the last “major” undammed river in CA.  One of the groves includes the world’s largest (not tallest) coast redwood, which measures 20 feet (6.1 m) in diameter and 340 feet (100 m) tall.  Wow! 

See how these below are in a ring formation? They likely grew up around a felled tree.

Moss and lichen drape most everything in this ancient forest. 100+ inches of rain annually ensure a temperate, drippy climate. This feels like the forests back home on the Olympic Peninsula.

Wood sorrel-these lovely ground carpeting flowers will have pale lavender flowers. When hit with direct sun, the flower and leaves roll inward and point away from the sun. How I’d love to see that adaptation in action.

Here’s an example of a classic nurse log. The young tree took root on a fallen tree where germination has a higher chance of success.  The log nurtures its growth. In time, the log will decay away and the tree will form buttresses over where the log was.

Positively primeval looking ferns. They are ancient plants.

The thick bark of the redwood protects it from fire damage. Many have fire scars.

It was rejuvenating to inhale the cool, foggy air and tune into the birdsong.



Janie’s Gone

My sweet Jane is gone. We had 6 years of companionship. Is it ok to say your pet is your friend?

After losing Annabelle, another cat I adopted at a senior age, I held off on getting another for a while.

Thank goodness my sis Karen nudged me into the pet shop the day the Marin Cat Connection Adoption Group was there.  I could hear Jane purring from far away. With a couple ear scratches, a nuzzle, and gazes from those green eyes the deal was sealed. She took one lap around my apartment and settled right in!

She was a sassy little thing, played a lot, and enjoyed her third-floor balcony back then.

In the picture above she is quite new to me. It’s striking how young she looks compared to her last few months of life.   I was told she was around four years old at the time of adoption.  Given her sequella of health issues the last four years the vet up here thought she was likely much older at the time of adoption.  Her auntie Anise made the mouse for her and snapped this photo.

She endured the move to WA and settled right into her new home.  I was warned, when adopting her, she did not play well with other cats so she ruled the roost.

I’ll miss her antics.  Before she lost sight in one eye we played laser-tag up and down the hall and she hunted bugs that landed on the outside of the window screens. The corner of my laptop she could not resist. A book or knitting on my lap yielded to her compact perch.  She was a spicy little redhead who had me well trained.  Lap. Pronto!  Breakfast.  Right away!

She always demanded the highest point to perch/sleep on (such as my knees below) when one napped or crawled into bed. Why do cats do that?

The crook of a hip – Never mind needing to roll over. How she adored sitting on Peter as he napped.

I miss her horribly.  How do those little buggers imprint themselves on you so thoroughly? And when will I stop glancing on the couch for her form or hearing myself say “Hey Janie” when I enter the house?



Leave a comment


Here are some pics from walks around town and the neighborhood the last week. I am so glad to see signs of spring.

These cherry blossoms smelled as lovely as they look.

Sweet little crocuses. I’d like to get a bunch in my garden this fall.

A neighbor’s early-blooming rhodie. 

Look at the leaf on this rhodie. I’m starting to note the variations in leaves more.


A wash of wee leaves-


Almost Lilacs. This shrub was a giveaway we scored last summer. Someone noted it failing in their shady yard so they dug it up and set it at the end of their road.  It has white blooms.

Must be a willow. Love the catkins.

1 Comment

A sweater! Alias is done.

This is my first me-sweater completed in quite a long time.  The last one I made went to my mum as it didn’t fit me quite right and it was smashing on her.  This pattern is called Alias by Isabell Kraemer.

It is a wooly-wool-hug of warmth. The light worsted weight, undyed yarn’s from a little farm on Lopez Island called Island Fibers. I can’t get their webpage to load up for some reason.

I tried so hard to have the sweater completed in time to wear to the Madrona marketplace to show the farm’s owner mid-February.   I didn’t have it finished.  Show and tell photos on the phone had to suffice.

I knit it to the pattern adding sleeve length. I could have a bit less room in the waist.  It fits great over the chest. I did not add bust darts like I thought I would.  I went down two needle sizes for the ribbing. When (yep, when) I reknit it I may go down three as I’d like the rib to pull in a bit more.

Isabelle’s use of little details makes her patterns special. The pockets are knit in, cute and a snap. I was unsure about the bind off on the rib, cuffs, and button bands.  Once I played around with it I rather liked how it defines the edge. She has you knit a row on the rt side and bind off in knit on the wrong side instead of the usual bind off in pattern.  I had to play a bit with tension on that to avoid flaring of the rib while allowing some stretch. I think it complements the casual look of the sweater and makes the buttonhole band feel more substantial.

The construction is genius!  You start at the shoulders and shape with short rows. You then add on stitches for the fronts and all are joined to work back and forth.

There are faux ‘cables’ along the sides, arms, back, ribbing and button bands that keep things interesting.

The collar is knit long and folded over and sewn down. Sooooo cozy. I love it!

A faux cable is incorporated into the ribbing.

The sleeve stitches are picked up around the armscye and knit in the round, down, using short rows. Brilliant!  I like a set in sleeve. They seem to fit my frame better than a standard raglan, this avoids seaming in a sleeve and is such a smooth line. This is my second time using this sleeve method.  I prefer it.

I am hooked on Isabelle Kraemer’s designs. Her patterns are clearly written. I have Daelyn printed out and the Swans Island All American Worsted yarn all set.   And then there’s Driftwood. Wouldn’t that be a smart, 4 season sweater (so needed in the PNW) in a linen/wool blend?  I have sweater fever, with numerous patterns purchased and in the Ravelry queue.  I’ll show you Telja by Jennifer Steingass, which is on the needles, in another post.  Its progress is being slowed by a looming Biochemistry final.

Have you watched the Fruity Knitting podcast?  I’ve subscribed and am a Patreon.  They recently interviewed Isabelle Kraemer. I enjoyed the view into her personality and mind frame around knitwear design.  Fruity Knitting is my favorite knitting podcast. Andrew and Andrea, an Australian couple living in Germany, go above and beyond the usual podcast with interviews of people involved in knitwear and fibers all over the world.  They have a Knitters Around the World segment where other knitters share a short video spotlight of themselves. They also hike in the UK a lot and I love drooling over the locations’ scenery while they take breaks to knit.That’s something I identify with as I always keep a small project in my backpack whilst I walk.

Consider becoming a Patreon if you enjoy and support their work. It is a full-time job for Andrea and will keep this delightful resource coming.