Friday, December 13, 2013

What's on the Needles

I am a pretty monogamous knitter. I have learned that if you don't work on a project it never gets finished. Deep, I know, but true, nevertheless. I finished the back of my sweater, cast on the front, did the ribbing and am now about 1 1/2" above the ribbing. Not very exciting to see. I did start another project.

This is the beginnings of the Oaklet shawl. Normally I knit using the right hand flick method. I don't really throw but flick the yarn with my right index finger. I want to learn the left hand pick method aka continental knitting. I have watched numerous videos and practiced the technique on scrap yarn but never on a project. I decided that this would be a good project because there are a lot of knit stitches and an equal number of purl stitches with a few yarn overs thrown in for good measure.

I got a good start on it but when I tried to knit and walk on the treadmill at the same time (3.2 mph) the whole project went south. So I did a do over. That is something that is cool about knitting. You can have do overs. In quilting if you cut something wrong you usually can't reuse your mistake. You have to start with new fabric. Anyway I ripped it all out and began again. From now on if I walk and knit at the same time it will be at a lower speed.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Starts and Fits

I am working on my second Customfit sweater. My first was a classic V-Neck pull over which can be seen at the end of this post. I could hardly wait to start my second. I bought some wonderful Wollmeise DK yarn from Germany. I then decided that I wanted to do a classic crew neck cardigan based on  the Cypress cardigan in Amy Herzog's book Knit to Flatter.

I swatched up the yarn and got the information I needed. The cool thing about Customfit is that you don't have to hit a gauge. The program gives you a pattern based on your gauge and your measurements. I printed off the pattern and inserted the lace in the back. After about 10 inches I did not like how it was turning out. So I ripped it all out. I wish I had taken a picture of it before I did.

I then thought about what I really would want to wear and all of my favorite sweaters are pull-overs. I also thought of the Hermione's Everyday Socks that I had made. I really liked the texture the pattern had made. I swatched that up and really liked it. So I began knitting the back. After about 10 inches I did not like how it was turning out. To me it was too busy or something. I really can't put my finger on it. So I ripped it back to the ribbing.

I was looking for something similar in the pattern and texture when I came across the dot stitch in a knit stitch pattern book. I swatched that up and really liked it.

I am now about 10 inches up the back and I like it. I think this is what the sweater will be.



A little catching up

I am back home and have been for two months. It is so nice to be here with all my stuff. Mostly my creative stuff. I can live without it but I am glad I don't have to anymore.

I have a bit of an obsessive streak and right now knitting is my interest. I am quilting quilts for others and that is fun but I mostly prowl the web looking a yummy yarn. It is interesting that knitters talk about their stash (some have a very impressive stash), and where they are going to store it because they are running out of room, and how they will never be able to use it all up in their life time. All of this is so very much like quilters and their fabric. Some even talk about sneaking it into the house. This is stuff I can relate to and it makes me smile although I think my stash is a total of 17 skeins.

I want to share what I did while in Brazil. To have wonderful yarn I ordered some yarn and it was waiting for me when I made my quick trip home last March. When I went back I took about 16 skeins of yarn for socks. I figured that was something I could learn to do. So in my remaining 6 months I made 10 pairs of socks, one scarf and one cowl. It was really very fun.
I have found knitting is more portable than quilting, especially when I do all my quilting by machine. I know I can do stuff by hand, but basically I don't want to.

 After making socks I was ready to move onto something else. Sweaters! In October I bought yarn and began a sweater. I was able to finish it in about a month. Yea! And it even fits.Well, the sleeves are a little short but I am not redoing it.
So, if this blog becomes more of a knitting blog than a quilting blog, I am sorry. I think knitting has become attractive to me because it is something new to learn. There are new techniques to learn and master. After quilting for 30+ years so much of what I see now I think, "be there, done that." I went to a quilt show the other day and nothing sang to me. NOTHING! I couldn't believe it. I go into fabric shops and the same thing. About 10 years ago I took a hiatus from quilting for about a year and then I was ready to get back into it. Maybe the same thing will happen again. In the meantime forgive me if I dream about what I can cast on next.



Monday, May 20, 2013

I have found my banana

A little family history here. I was second to the oldest of seven children. I had an older brother and two brothers just under me. Then came three little girls. For the longest time I thought I had to compete with my brothers to show them I could do anything they could.

With so many in a family there were hardly any leftovers. If you wanted something you had better eat it then because it would not be around later. When bananas came into the house we ate them then and there. There was not waiting around for them to get ripe. So I grew up knowing mostly green bananas. A ripe banana is just yucky.....it tastes too banana-y. I like my banana just a little past crunchy. None of the soft mushy stuff.

With my Meniers disease I was put on a diuretic. The doctor told me I would need to eat more foods with potassium, bananas being a good source. I was complaining to one of the area docs about ripe bananas and he told me of a variety of banana here that doesn't ripen as fast as the variety we have in the states.

The most common variety here and at home is called Nanica. They ripen quite quickly. The other variety that ripens slowly, doesn't ever get soft, and still retains that almost dry feel in the mouth is called Prata. Generally they are a little smaller than the Nanica and sort of flatter, not as round.

The Pratas are on the left and Nanicas are on the right. I am in heaven. I can buy a bunch of bananas and they stay edible for me for a long time. I wish I had know about this sooner.

A Quick Trip Home

Around the middle of March the temple closed down for maintenance and we went home for two weeks. I went to a hearing and balance center to figure out what was causing my vertigo. Turns out I have Meniers disease. New diet and supplements seemed to have taken care of the vertigo. I am very happy about that.

I finished the Brazilian Butterflies quilt and gave it to the new baby. I had all the blocks sewn up so I put them together, added borders and then quilted it on my big machine. I was so happy to know that my skill was still there. Dang, that was fun. I love this picture of my mom holding the quilt with just her eyes peeking over.

One of the first things we did was go to Costco. I laughed at the things we had in our cart. Gotta have the basics.

We were able to meet out granddaughter. She was so cute and so much fun to hold and cuddle. I am so glad her mother takes a lot of pictures and shares them with us. We feel as if we are almost there.

We took a family group photo. One is how we would like you to believe is how we normally are.

This one is the truth.

One of my favorite pictures is of my dad, me, my son and my granddaughter. 

While we were home it snowed. I think the snow came to encourage us to go back to Brazil.

I also picked up a bunch of yarn to knit socks, a scarf, and maybe a shawl. That has given me hours of entertainment. Will do a separate post on my knitting accomplishments.

We loaded our bags with peanut butter,  chocolate chips, walnuts, crisco, deoderant and such to tide us over for six months. We gave our kids big giant hugs, our granddaughter lots of kisses and came back. It was fun to be home.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Easter eggs

I was amazed at the walls they had of Panettone in the stores at Christmas time but I am really amazed at the display of Easter eggs. The other day Mike and I went to the store (I think of it as our Super Target) for some groceries. When we walked in this new display was hard to miss.
These are Easter eggs in various sizes. They appear to be about 6-8" tall and wrapped in a very colorful mylar wrapper. They are then attached to an overhead arch. See the blue and pink arch in the photo above?

 They also attached the eggs to some frame to spell out Feliz Pascoa or Happy Easter.

 They also fashioned a rabbit. There were crates and crates of the eggs placed in the aisles.

 Here you see the barber pole style design. Someone took a red one already.

 Then down that aisle the eggs are suspended overhead forming a very long, very colorful tunnel.

 All along cards are hanging which list the price of the eggs.

 This is one of the higher end eggs. That is about a $30 egg. All over were signs stating that you could buy your Easter eggs and pay them off in 10 payments with no interest charged.

 The tunnel goes on for quite a ways. I found some Kit Kat candy.

 After the tunnel we turned down the aisle and noticed bars suspended at regular intervals with eggs attached.
 All in all it made for some very colorful shopping.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Back to the Top

In January Mike and I went back downtown to do some shopping. There is an area that has bulk food items for a good price. I wanted to make some homemade bread and needed some gluten. So while we were in the central city we went to the top of the bank and I got to have another 5 minutes over looking the city.

It still amazes me how big this city is.

It just goes on and on almost as far as the eye can see.

It was a sunny, clear day and visibility was very good.

I am glad Mike was able to see this glorious sight.