Monthly Archives: June 2009

Accra Arrival

I arrived in Accra, Ghana’s capital, last night. It is so humid here. I generally have quite dry skin but I’m sensing moisturiser won’t be much of an issue here.

I’m staying with Barry’s friend at the British High Commission compound and it’s really quite lovely – internet access, air conditioning, panic buttons should we need help immediately (but the fear that you’ll accidentally hit one; there’s one right over the headboard of the bed), bomb checks of the car in and out of the compound – good stuff. Barry’s friend is absolutely lovely.

We had our first meal at this Italian place called Mamma Mia. Pizza and some lovely chianti. I’m looking forward to trying some traditional Ghanaian food – watch this space for photos and reviews ;-).

My last week in London, I was trying to sort out volunteer work over here and thankfully my ex-boss (before the new boss who came to revolutionize the team arrived and hastened my departure) knew someone in Ghana and gave me her information. She has been a godsend. She owns a guesthouse in Kumasi, another big city in Ghana, and has given me a great deal to stay there for the duration of my stay: There’s even a swimming pool – I can’t wait to start swimming again while training for the marathon. She also talked to a school situated a few minutes from the guesthouse and I can volunteer there. Everything is set – I’m so happy it’s worked out so easily.

Anyhow, I should be a bit more social and not sit obsessively on the internet.

Akwaaba (welcome in Twi) Accra!

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Crazy Caryl Strikes Again

So, last September I had to have surgery on my left leg and my running had to come to an end. I’m pretty much healed now but I’ve just not been able to get back to my running. So with all the million life changes I’m undergoing, I thought why not another. I’ve just signed up for the NY marathon. I’m going to run it for CAMFED – Campaign for Female Education. I’ll need to raise at least $3,500 so any blog lurkers – I’m counting on your help. I do plan to come up with some prizes. I just need to think some up – feel free to make suggestions.

As a training run, I’ve signed up for the Quad Cities Half-Marathon in Moline, IL. I’ll be doing that with a close friend and I’m really excited to connect with her again and do something we both love.

Cheers to me and running and finally conquering the marathon!

I’ve just created my fundraising page. I’d appreciate your support:

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Catching up

I haven’t blogged in a while…but I have a good excuse, I promise!

I’m getting ready to wrap up the UK portion of my life and start afresh. The plan is solid now (and should be since it comes into action on Saturday), go to Ghana for 7 weeks and then move to Madison, WI. I’ve been trying to pack this past weekend and crikey I have accumulated lots – lots of yarn that is. I can’t bare to give up any of my stash… I’ve started mailing myself stuff but there’s still so much…

Obviously my brain isn’t fully functional as I can’t seem to finish a sentence. I’ve been knitting as always and following will be an array of recent FOs.

Scarf-sized clapotis – knitted in Malabrigo Silky (2 skeins)

Minimalist Cardigan – knitted in 100% merino wool I got in Estonia. It was from a huge cone and a lot of that cone still remains.

Swallowtail Shawl
– knitted in Malabrigo Dos (3 skeins)

I’ve also been doing a lot of charity knitting but I’ll upload those pics another day.

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Knitters’ Day Out

6 June 2009 was the first annual UK Ravelry Day and I must say I was ridiculously happy to be there. I woke up at 6:30am (very early for me – I generally don’t wake up until about 8am most days) to get myself ready and head off to Euston station to get the train to Coventry – a place I’d never visited or even considered visiting. The weather in true English style was rainy, windy and altogether crappy.

Vendors set up at UK rav day:

But the weather did not deter us knitters. There were workshops to be worked, yarn to be stashed and Meg Swansen to be adored.

My friend and I hopped on the train and chattered happily while knitting our way to Coventry to the annoyance of probably many in our carriage. But who cares about them, how often do knitters’ get to have a day out to simply revel in our craft!

We arrived at the venue at 10am and you might think we went into the hall, had a cup of coffee, surveyed the goings on and you would have been wrong. No! First thing, to the yarn stalls, batman! (play batman music) Actually first to the cash machine. London-liver that I am, I didn’t think to carry cash so after a first abortive attempt at some yarn purchasing, it was to the cash machine and then up up and away, to shop our hearts out. I had an introduction to spinning class from 11-1, then Meg Swansen talk from 2-3:30 and I wanted to get my yarn before all the good stuff was gone.

It was quite nice to have so many locally-sourced vendors and I made sure to buy British all day.

I had my spinning class and I should add that I suck at spinning.

Points for trying?

Diane – our awesome spin sensei.

Here’s a pic of my first bit of spinning. Eek! Don’t quit my day job, right?

I plan to persevere though and even bought some tasty fiber to keep me inspired. Or one might argue that I’m just a shopaholic and I’ve found yet more crafty things to purchase…

Then we had the talk with Meg Swansen. That’s her at the book signing afterwards. She was absolutely lovely to everyone.

I found it a bit weird that she read excerpts from her mother’s book for her talk (I mean we could do that for ourselves) but I enjoyed the Q&A section. I kept asking myself though how she could enjoy being a representative for her mother when I think she is quite the knitter in her own right. I would have liked to know a bit more about Meg Swansen; I wasn’t there to revive Elizabeth Zimmerman in the guise of her daughter.

I did have a quick chat with Meg Swansen though. She heard my American accent during the book signing and then she started asking questions (what was I doing in England? Where I was from in the states? etc etc). Seems she lives in Wisconsin and often visits the Madison guild and seeing as I may move to Madison, it would be cool to hang out with Meg and even get an invite to see her sweater and stash warehouse. How amazing would that be!?!

Pic of myself and Meg. Eeep! I’m touching her…

And after that, more shopping… ;-). I got this lovely yarn to knit Maplewing by Anne Hanson. Can’t wait to cast on!

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