Field Expedient

It was early, really early, this morning. I can blame that, can I not? For heading off to work the day of our Change of Command with my backpack, camera and sock. The Serpentine Sock from Sockmania as a matter of fact. This is the S-Bahn trip that takes 1 hour 40. Or provides 95 minutes of knitting time, which ever you prefer.

Me, I wanted to knit. At 0605 there are not all that many people on board and finding a comfortable forward facing seat by myself was not an issue. Settling in, I pulled out the sock (first of the pair, mind you) and unwrapped the needles. There were only four needles. The rest of them are with Sockapalooza. Ok, go around the circle on three with the fourth in work. Right?

Wrong, this is a cable pattern. Simple 2 x 2 cables but still. This is freaking early morning, I had not crashed until shortly before 0200 and this is Tofutsie. It is skinny, it is slippery and it does not want to hold still to do cables. There is not a cable needle. There is no extra needle. Nada, gar nichts, nothing.

Going through my bag for alternatives, I am completely out of luck. Not only is this bag freshly cleaned out of paperclips (straighten them out and they work just fine), yarn needles (duh), and even stapled papers, there is not even a pen! Now a pen can be take apart and carefully used. Not so carefully if you don’t mind having ink stained fingers or yarn, but it works.

The bow on my glasses was too big and my fingernails are too short to hold lose stitches. Canceling the pattern was not an option, after all that was the point of joining the group. Hummph.

I ate my raisin roll and read. All the way to Landstuhl.

Change of Command

It is a military tradition, the formal passing of the colours represented by the unit guidon, when the commander of the unit changes. In the Army, commands are normally two years.

The weather this morning was not particularly friendly, cold and blustery without enough rain to drive the ceremony indoors. As a winged warrior, I was not in formation. It is really hard to look uniform, much less salute when you have your right arm in a sling.

On the field – the 76th Band, the Color Guard from LRMC, and our formation. More strangers on the field than there are military in our unit. We are a rather civilian heavy organization.


The Guidon is passed from the outgoing commander to the reviewing officer who hands it off to the new commander before it is returned to teh SGM.

Even having the narrator provide on going translation, the whole ceremony was not terribly long, ending with the usual (and this time actual) brief speeches. As it turned out, most of the words seemed to be saved for the CGs Town Hall and the Commander’s Call

Kauni Cardigan

Another square, a few more rows, I am working my way up the body with the side steeks started.


Ah yes, the trip home. On the train, armed with my trusty bent paper clip, I completed a few more rounds on the legs before heading down the heel flap. And then I was back to where I started out this morning. I had only four needles. I don’t like doing gussets on four needles, I want five – one for the heel flap, one for the instep and one on each side for the gusset with the last one in work. Complete with a stitch marker to tell me when I have decreased enough as I don’t like spending my life counting stitches. I picked up stitches for the one gusset, then was stuck. Back to my book. I can figure out a substitute for a cable needle, but a replacement for a 2,5 mm needles is not going to happen between Neustadt and Ludwigshafen.


Exhausted by her day at home, greeting me at the door and other wise racing around – Elena has crashed.


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About Holly

fiber person - knitter, spinner, weaver who spent 33 years being a military officer to fund the above. And home. And family. Sewing and quilting projects are also in the stash. After living again in Heidelberg after retiring (finally) from the U.S. Army May 2011, we moved to the US ~ Dec 2015. Something about being over 65 and access to health care. It also might have had to do with finding a buyer for our house. Allegedly this will provide me a home base in the same country as our four adult children, all of whom I adore, so that I can drive them totally insane. Considerations of time to knit down the stash…(right, and if you believe that…) and spin and .... There is now actually enough time to do a bit of consulting, editing. Even more amazing - we have only one household again. As long as everyone understands that I still, 40 years into our marriage, don't do kitchens or bathrooms. For that matter, not being a golden retriever, I don't do slippers or newspapers either. I don’t miss either the military or full-time clinical practice. Limiting my public health/travel med/consulting and lecturing to “when I feel like it” has let me happily spend my pension cruising, stash enhancing (oops), arguing with the DH about where we are going to travel next and book buying. Life is good!
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3 Responses to Field Expedient

  1. Kate says:

    …and that is the reason I knit Magic Loop! If there’s only the one circular, it’s way harder to lose (not impossible, of course, just harder).
    Love your Kauni, by the way. You’re way braver than me – I still can’t bring myself to chop into my knitting like that.

  2. Hi Holly! I love the colours of your kauni! I am just now catching up on your blog. Your dog is in exactly the same position as mine at this moment, and frankly quite often through the day. LOL Mine is an English Springer named Kora. Keep knitting. I am finally getting back into it.

  3. Sarah says:

    I have to add my vote for the Magic Loop method, too. I also find it is best for knitting on the go. Situations such as these are also a great reason to learn how to cable without a cable needle. Even if you learn and prefer to use a cable needle, you can keep knitting when no cable needle nor cable needle alternative is available. Your Kauni cardi is beautiful.

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