I have returned!

Now I'm sure that you're thinking that this will be the post where I unveil a perfectly knit cardigan top.

Well, um, uh, it won't be. Why? You know how I always say that I'll have tons and tons of knitting time on the plane? [Check the archives. I always, without fail, say this before I leave for a trip that involves an airplane. Always, always, always.] The reality is that I never, ever do a lot of knitting at the airport or on the plane.

Why? If I knit at all, it's usually while waiting at the gate and during the first few hours of flying. This time I arrived at gate just as boarding began. This is a rare occurrence for Subway Knitter, as I usually like to leave for the airport with plenty of time to spare "just in case". Well, I guess this was one of those "just in case" moments. Things did not start well: the PATH train was an agonizing 10 minutes late. As a result, I had to take a later bus from Newark. The bus crawled through downtown. Every traffic light was red. Every other boarding passenger needed to ask (only after boarding) "Does this bus go to IKEA?" and then had to get off. I will swear that every departing passenger could barely walk down those two steps at the doorway and needed the driver to lower the bus (and then could still barely manage). By the time I arrived at the airport, I was a humid, soggy mess. I took a few precious moments to try and fix things in the bathroom. I had limited success.

Upstairs, the line at security stretched for a mile (luckily I had already checked in online, and had only hand luggage). The screeners did, however, move relatively quickly, and it was reassuring to hear that those standing with me all had similar flight times. We distracted ourselves by sending silent "shut up" vibes to that group of giddy, singing Irish teenagers who had obviously spent the last month doing a little too much "bonding". They could not have cared less how long that line was because they were with their friends, and that was the most important thing. The rest of us had Somewhere To Be.

We then remarked how old we were getting when a group of singing teenagers could send us over the edge [And wasn't it only a few years ago that I was doing the same thing? No, it was more like 15. Oh.]

The line would have needed to be much longer to have caused me to miss my flight, but I hate that feeling of cutting it too close for comfort. Long story short: no knitting at the gate.

On the plane, those seats are cramped. Then, they turn out the lights about two hours into the flight. Your seatmates don't like it when you put on that overhead spotlight (they don't say anything, but they're secretly shooting you death rays). Then, it's hard to get an accurate measurement of something if you need for it to be, for example, exactly seven inches long. I guess that I find the idea of plane knitting to be a lot more appealing than the plane knitting itself.

I know what you're thinking: "But surely, Colleen, you did some knitting while you were there. I mean, it was a vacation, after all. You like to knit. You get to do things that you like on vacation, so surely you knit on vacation."

Um, no.

"What?! Why?"

Well, dear readers, the fact is that sometimes (and just sometimes) my life is not only about the yarn. I hope that all of you can say the same. Sven and I were in Germany for a friend's wedding.

I cleaned myself up, and put on a hat:


Between the eating, drinking, dancing, talking, eating, and drinking there wasn't any time for knitting. We were having too much fun celebrating the happy couple.


Besides, I had my hands full: I caught the bouquet! Somehow, Sven managed a brave face after this happened, but think that he's still processing the news.

Bouquet0703.jpg I got the bouquet through US Customs without a hitch. [Hitch, get it?] The question is, now that it's home, what do I do with it? I know that someone here will know of a clever tradition.

Here's Sven, smiling, all the while looking for his escape: SvenontheBoat0703.jpg

The next couple of days were a blur of boat tours, meals with friends, and a pretty German town. As an American I will always be impressed at the Europeans' ability to make modern life work in ancient towns like this. It's nice to be reminded that it can be done. Moelln0703.jpg

Canals in Hamburg. This was the view from our hotel room's balcony (!):


And watching the Euro Cup final. I was in Montreal in 2000 when France won the final (I know, Montreal is not actually in France, but that wasn't the time to have that discussion with the natives), so I felt as if I might bring the team some luck.

NoFootball0703.jpg Football playing not allowed? Try telling that to the locals.

On Sunday everyone, and I mean everyone, was doing this: FootballFans0703.jpg


The game was echoing in nearly empty streets as hundreds of televisions were simultaneously tuned into the broadcast. The restaurants that were open became impromptu sports bars. The remainder were closed.

The police were prepared for some serious shenanigans:


But why not watch the game until they happen?


On that day, my friends, I was a German Football fan. Germany lost. I have to say that the team didn't play extremely well. Whenever Germany had the ball, Spain managed to take it away. The disappointment was noticeable--for about 10 minutes. Then everyone resumed life. Ah, those efficient Germans.


[Note the little guy in the lower left corner with the self-made headband.]

And, here I am, back in New York. I'm back in my knitting chair, ready to continue. Tomorrow.


wow, looks like a fun time in germany! sorry to hear about your troubles getting to newark airport. the easiest way to get there (besides calling a car) is to take the NJ transit train from penn station and then take the airtrain from newark airport station. it's really convenient and almost always on time. no traffic.

i can't believe you caught the bouquet! how funny!

A rought start, but it sounds like an awesome trip - and fun wedding - the bouquet!! I always wish I lived in Europe after visiting those little towns.. love the pics, tks for sharing the whole yarn (sorry, couldn't resist....) Once again, I have my little button pak for you right here next to the computer and have LOST the address sticky. ugh. email me and I'll get it out today if you have time --

Sounds like a great vacation.

I wonder what the crazy looking bicycle is used for? Packages or people?

Welcome home and I hope you get some quality knitting time this week.

I seem to have the same issue when I'm traveling -- I take plenty of knitting with me, and rarely (if ever) pick it up.

Sounds like you had a great trip, though!

Ugh, Newark airport. I've done what Gleek described, and it was still a nightmare :(
Looks like you had a great time in Germany!!

I never get nearly as much knitting done on flights as I think I will either - I only knit while watching movies, and the movies lately have been terrible. I've opted to read myself to sleep instead.

But it looks like you had a fun trip! Congrats on catching that bouquet. No idea what to do with it (except leave it lying various places around the houst as a *hint*.)

Nice pictures! I am fascinated by the "old",too. Don't know if you want to tell Swen, but catching the flowers is not a guarantee that you will be "next". I have caught 2, and was not next either time!

My plan for Newark Airport is to just bite the bullet and pay a taxi. I know it's very California of me, but that's my answer.

Somebody makes a substance that you put flowers in to dry them. It's white and granular. Bridal or craft supplies should help find it. My cousin dried her bouquet that way and she still has it 35 years later! If nothing else, you will always have flowers in your home!

Ok, that might seriously be your best post ever, and with basically zero knitting content at that! Sometimes having no time for knitting is utterly fabulous:)

That boy of yours has some real geographic desirability. Go Germany!

What a wonderful post! I feel as though I went along on this whirlwind German escapade. Without catching the bouquet, though.

You slay me, with your, "secretly shooting you death rays." Coach flights are *never* meant to be comfortable - even the transatlantic ones. Glad you made it there and back safely.

By the way, Sven is a doll.

Wow! you're back already. Sounds like you made the most of your flying visit - despite the shaky start. Welcome back.

Ugh, teenagers. My flight to Israel was packed with them--and once we discovered that our flight was 1.5 hours delayed, they whipped out a guitar in the waiting area and, yes, commenced singing. Sigh.
But it looks like the rest of your trip was fantastic--and way to go catching that bouquet! Am impressed by both your luck and athleticism....

Welcome home! I'm glad your time in Europe more than made up for your 'lovely' Stateside departure experience.

Mmmm beer (and beautiful roses!)

Wow, sounds like a great trip! And you caught the bouquet, huh? Interesting.....

Aw, congrats on catching the bouquet~ that's's neat that the tradition is the same in Germany. Did you get to try out your language skills, or did people keep talking to oyou in English?

that picture of sven is classic.

i was in france during the last world cup when france made it to the final. and the streets were the same. those europeans sure love their football.

I, too, usually have grand plans for knitting on the plane that never actually pan out. Glad to hear/see that your trip was fun!

You do clean up well! It's the first time I have seen you in makeup.
And it is a lovely bouquet, regardless of what catching may or may not mean.

Word From Your last Home: If you get a minute, please consider checking this out:

A friend of mine is writing stories about handmade things to raise money for the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, and there is some yarn and some knitted things up for auction as part of it.



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