Friday, July 26, 2013

No Place Like Home

After our two-and-nearly-a-half-week vacation to Sweden (visiting my husband's family + sightseeing), we've returned home, safe and sound.  True, there are some lingering symptoms of jet lag.  (Gosh, I hate that long journey across the ocean. Not fun at all.)  Yes, the grass is in dire need of mowing, I still haven't put away the luggage, and the sudden return to this heat and humidity is a bit of a shock to the system-- but we're HOME.  However nice the vacation, there's no place like home.

I spent some time crocheting on vacation, but (as expected) I'd packed much more yarn and thread than I needed.  You-- or well, we, at least-- don't spend that much time just sitting around, on vacation.  And much of the time that you are sitting around, it's just not convenient or polite to be crocheting.  But anyway, I did get to crochet a little.  I finished a couple of small/medium-sized doilies and a market bag (all finished except for sewing on the embellishments), and I nearly finished a cowl on the return flight across the Atlantic. (Photos and pattern details to follow, eventually.)

Crocheting on the plane was as nice as I'd hoped-- some of the time.  It really helped pass the time and soothe my nerves, when I could get into it, but on part of the way home, I wasn't feeling very well, so much of the time that I technically could have been crocheting, I just didn't feel up to it.  (You know you're feeling awful when you're not up to soothing crochet. Ugh.)

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Getting the crochet hooks through security was quite an interesting experience.  I'd packed my favorite hooks in the checked luggage, just to be safe, but had included a handful of other hooks in my carry-on, too.  One small steel hook (size 5, Boye, which I believe is 1.9mm).  One size G aluminum hook.  One of those plastic hooks that light up-- also size G.  And one more hook that I think is plastic... (If not, it's painted wood.  It came in a bag of thrift store crochet thread.  It's marked size H, but it looks smaller than my G hooks.  Strange!)

Going through our more "local" airport (Pensacola) was no problem at all.  No questions asked about the hooks, at all. 

Then when we arrived in Amsterdam, we discovered that our connecting flight to Gothenburg had been cancelled.  (*grumble*)  Eventually, we found the right place, explained/asked, waited-- and were told that we'd have to fly to Paris, and then to Sweden.  Which meant that we had to go through an additional security checkpoint.  (Don't ask why.  Airport security systems are befuddling.)  So we went through that security line-- and my bag was selected for additional screening. One of the things the security officer asked me about was my light-up hook, which threw me for a loop.  I'd expected the metal hooks might possibly draw attention, but thought the plastic (and very clearly plastic) hook would never get a second glance.  However, there she was, opening the battery compartment, taking a battery out, asking me what this thing was.  (g)  I explained, she showed it to the other security officer, and we were cleared.  (We almost didn't make it to the plane on time!)

So, next we arrived in Paris and (finally) located the shuttle that took us to an entirely different building.  Of course, because we'd had to leave the main airport to get there, we had to go through yet another security checkpoint to get to the gate.  (*grumble*)  Surprise, surprise-- my bag was flagged again.  This time, the security officer showed me on the x-ray the suspicious object that he was seeking.  There was no mistaking that shape; it was one my polymer-clay-handled crochet hooks.  I showed him one of them... then the other.  He at least knew what they were-- tried to tell me something (I recognized the word "plume"-- pen), but he apparently didn't know how to say it in English, and my French isn't that great, either. ;o)  In any event, he was friendly and didn't confiscate the hooks, but I was left wondering what he was trying to explain...(Was he indicating that he was doing me a favor by letting them through?  I hadn't checked rules for French airports or airlines, because I hadn't expected to be taking a whirlwind trip through Paris. (g))

Anyway.  Phew.  That was the last security check on the way over, and I made up my mind then and there that on the way home, I'd just make do with my plastic hooks-- and hope that no-one thought they looked suspicious.  I guess it worked, because I didn't have to step aside for a bag search. 

(Incidentally, I used the "Crochet Lite" hook to crochet most of a cowl on the long flight home.  It worked better than I'd expected.  I'd been worried that it might break or catch on the yarn too much, but there was no trouble at all.  I didn't use the light feature, though.  I think I tried it once or twice right after my husband gave it to me as part of a birthday gift, but the light seemed far too bright to me.  My first impression was that it could cause a headache, but maybe I'll give it another try, sometime.)

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The morning after returning home, I promptly printed out the pattern for the final clue for the Mysteryghan-- which is now revealed to the world as the Garden State Afghan-- and have settled into crocheting the last set of squares.  They're coming along nicely.  Soon, I'll be ready to stitch them together and add a border.  Because I used a thinner yarn than called for, my blanket will be a bit on the small side.  I considered making more squares, but... I just don't wanna.  (g)  So I'll be adding on a wider border than indicated in the pattern, probably.


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There are so many vacation photos to upload and go through that I'm kind of dreading it, but maybe sometime next week I'll manage to get a few photos ready to share.  I think there are several crochet-related photos I've been meaning to post (or even just take).  Also, there are a few craft-related souvenirs to photograph.  :o)