In the fall of 2011, Dick and I had the adventure of a life time planned. We were going to become "railfans" or people who love to travel by train. Our plan was to take the train to Chicago and from there to Los Angeles to San Fransisco and back to Chicago. The trip was two to three weeks with stops in New Mexico (Taos), Arizona (Grand Canyon), San Fransisco and Salt Lake City. (The trip we took in 2012 was the flying and driving make up for what we missed on this trip.). Dick had a ball planning the trip. Amtrak was great to work with and we were so excited as we had never experienced train travel and knew we were going to love it. We had our little sleeping room (well, it wasn't really a room) and we were all set for an adventure.
I decided with all of the time on the train, I would learn something new in the knitting department. I decided that double knitting was the thing, the Lucy Neatby bubbles scarf was the project and Kauni was the yarn. With this particular scarf you need a yarn with a gradual color change. You knit with two balls of yarn and start in a different place colorwise on each ball of yarn so that your background is gradually changing color and your bubbles are gradually changing color. Color! Color! Color! Both sides changing color, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. The tricky thing was holding two yarns at the same time without picking one yarn up knitting a stitch, dropping that yarn, picking up the second yarn, purling a stitch, dropping that yarn, etc. You get the slow, tedious picture. I had just learned two color, two handed knitting so I thought that would be my technique until . . .
See that little blue gaget? It fits over your finger and carries two or three different yarns while you knit. What a find! I practiced double knitting, discovered how I wanted the colors to stack and I was ready for train travel.
Our train got into Chicago about 11:00 a.m. With the Chief taking off at 2:00 p.m. for parts west. We were so excited! If you've never experienced train travel, it is so social! I loved it. People walk around, stop and talk. Many people stopped to ask what I was knitting, and I proudly showed them my double knitting project. Once you get the rhythm, it's pretty simple. Dinner was fun. Then it was time to go to bed. The conductor had to come and change our little space from a sitting area to a sleeping area. We had bunk beds, the first time since college. We slept by this huge window and could watch America and the stars slip by. I loved it.
The next morning when we got up, Dick complained of being dizzy. On our way to breakfast, he passed out, face down and I couldn't revive him. To make a long story short, we got off in Santa Fe, went to the ER and were on a plane home on Saturday. Our train trip had lasted almost exactly 24 hours. Dick had a slight concussion and a bruised kidney from the fall. He was experiencing the ugly combination of altitude and motion sickness. Our dream trip was over. The experience told us no cruises for Dick. But I did learn a new knitting technique and discovered one of my favorite patterns. I have made four or five for gifts and everybody loves them.