Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Casting On Redux

The point of doing a gauge swatch is to make sure that the garment you are knitting will actually fit the person you are knitting it for. Most knitting patterns say something like "Needle size is not important, the correct number of stitches per inch is. Use the size needles necessary to get gauge."
is a
More often than not, that means that I knit a gauge swatch, carefully remove it from the needles and measure it, swear under my breath, rip everything out and start over again. It is an unseen, thankless task.

Sometimes I think sorting and packing is a thankless task - it certainly is not unseen! There is a mountain of empty boxes waiting on the front porch waiting to be brought in and filled - and another mountain of stuff waiting for us to decide what to do with. Do we take it with us? Do we pack it away and store it in the basement in Nashville (an option made possible due to the fact that my darling daughter Tory and her roommate Natalie are moving in to our house)? Do we try to sell it? Do we donate it or just try to give it away?

When you stop to realize that Bob not only had his lifetime of stuff, but inherited his aunt's and parents' stuff and that Brandy did likewise you begin to understand the magnitude of the situation, uh, disaster.

On the happier side, Bob and I met a delightful couple from Georgia who are also thinking about retiring to Panama. We all had dinner together on Tuesday and talked about "shoes and ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings", to quote Lewis Carroll. Gina is a knitter with about 10 times the experience I have, and who was also able to show me many of the ins and out of the amazing knitting website

I also discovered a great website called that has all sorts of information about our new hometown. I wasted, uh, spent much of the aftenoon browsing through much of it. (I did get another box packed, and gave away a big bag of books.)

As Bob is fond of saying "Softly, softly catchee monkey." He also reminds me that you eat an elephant one bite at a time.

I probably should go pack something...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Casting On - An Introduction

This is a first for me: blogging, that is. But it seems to be the 21st century way to keep in touch with lots of people at once, so here goes.

Our move to Panama is dragging out like a bad opera. Days have turned into weeks, weeks into months, and the months are adding up to a year and a half delay from my original departure target. Oh, well. It has been an exercise in patience (and I swore I would never pray for patience because that's when my patience would be tried!)

I remember learning in nursing school about the stages of dying: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. I have bounced around all five of them in the past 18 months, but I am at peace now, so I guess I'm at acceptance. This is good.

I don't think of moving to Panama as dying, but such a major change does require one to get through it in stages. In working on this move, there have also been moments of excited anticipation: Boquete is a perfectly beautiful little village in the mountains of Panama, the climate is eternally springlike, and the coffee is even better than I could have dreamed. (The beans from which the notorious "$15 cup of coffee" is brewed come from Boquete!)

As a knitter, I called this post "Casting On", and so it is. I'm not yet knitting the intended garment, but I am working on the gauge swatch, making sure I am using the right yarn and needles so that when the Postcard From Panama is actually from Panama, it will be a thing of usefulness and, perhaps, beauty.

As I learn more about this new "craft" of blogging, I'm sure I'll be able to add pictures and suchlike. Be patient. I'm not the fastest learner, but like the tortoise, I'll get there sooner or later.