Tag Archives: dreaming of spring

Portuguese Knitting and Rhinebeck

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In my quest to find knitting techniques that are easier on my arms/elbows, I decided to try a method recommended by a couple of women at my local yarn shop.  Portuguese knitting has now become my go-to knitting technique, and I even prefer it over the continental knitting method.  I was having a really hard time with my tension when doing the continental method and I’m not having that issue with the Portuguese method.  Once I heard that this method was also good for those with some hand/arm issues, I was all over that.  After borrowing and studying some books and videos, I was really hooked.

The Portuguese knitting technique involves using a knitting pin, attached near your left shoulder, which the yarn is looped over and helps to tension the yarn.

Then, the main movement for knitting or purling is flicking the yarn with your left thumb to wrap it around the needle.  It’s really very easy and, unlike English or continental knitting, purling is EASIER that knitting.  No joke.  I utilized the Portuguese knitting technique to finish my Dreaming of Spring hat:

Dreaming of Spring

I’ll be teaching this hat as a class November 18 at The Spinning Room if you are interested!  At any rate, it turned out great and I love it.

I also used the Portuguese knitting method to make my Big Herringbone Cowl:

I modified this pattern to use a size 15 needle and cast on 250 stitches (as opposed to a size 17 needle and 220 stitches cast on).  I used Malabrigo Rios which I love, Love, LOVE knitting with. And it will be another class I’m teaching in December at The Spinning Room!

And I am currently using the Portuguese knitting method to make my 21 Color Slouch hat:

(that’s the pattern picture)

Yes, it looks inside out becuase I am knitting it that way so I can purl the body of the hat, instead of knit it.  (See aforementioned purling is EASIER than knitting.)  There will be a gazillion ends to weave in because of all the color changes but I love this hat so much, I will put up with it.  Or wear it with the ends not woven in.  Who would know?  Besides you.

I will be teaching basic Portuguese knitting techniques in the next couple of months at The Spinning Room if you are interested!

By the way, I was working on that 21 Color Slouch hat on our way to the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck!

It was the most beautiful fall day and we had a great time as usual….

Here is my haul by about 9:45 (gate opens at 9:00)….

(That is a fried artichoke/artichoke French combo in case you were wondering.)

And here is the end-of-day haul:

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Wonderful stuff I can’t wait to work with.

In cooking news, I finally made an apple crisp with apples from our local orchard Indian Ladder Farms:

It is so yummy – Paul and I can’t get enough of it.  Recipe is from my trusty Good Housekeeping Cookbook that my mom gave me when I moved into my first apartment in 1992.

Also, on the suggestion of my friend Sue, I’m testing out making my own vanilla extract!

(Great book, also given to me by my mom: Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: What You Should and Shouldn’t Cook from Scratch–Over 120 Recipes for the Best Homemade Foods)

It needs to sit in the jar for a couple/three months but I’m hoping to try and use some of it for holiday baking.  It is definitely MUCH cheaper to make your own than buy at the store.  And so, So, SO easy!

And finally, I got the new Smitten Kitchen cookbook, Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant and Unfussy New Favorites, from my sister-in-law, brother-in-law and niece for my birthday:

I love Smitten Kitchen and can’t wait to try some of these recipes!

So, as you can see, fall is in full swing here, including starting up the furnace and the wood stove! Bring on the cozy knitting!

 

 

 

 

This Row

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“Let me just finish this row.”  Does that sound familiar to you knitters?  I’ve said this countless times to Paul.  When he has asked if I’m ready to go somewhere, it’s “Yes, let me just finish this row.”  When he has asked me to help him with something, “Sure, I’m just going to finish this.” Or I’ve said it to myself: “When I’m finished with this row I’m going to bed.”  When I say it to Paul, I get the eye roll or the sigh and the resigned “okay.”

Well, the other day I asked Paul if he was ready to eat dinner and he said:

“Yes, let me just finish this row.”  The minute it was out of his mouth we both laughed!

And after that one more row and eating dinner and a few more rows….

Hooray!  We have a deck!  Railings will come next year.  I texted this picture to my sister and she said, “I think you might need a bigger table.” Ha!  Better furniture coming next year too.  We do have a gazebo-y thing to put up but that will go up sometime this week.

I immediately put the deck to good use…

In other news, I happened to be at Starbucks on THE FIRST DAY OF PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES!!!

Those are my jam!!  I love them. [The experience was only very slightly marred by the cashier at the drive-thru window telling me how much he also looked forward to the pumpkin spice lattes coming out but that inevitably a week before that happens, his lactose intolerance acts up. I kid you not.  He really said that.]

And speaking of fall when the PSL’s come out, so does the potential for frost:

We were prepared (actually, Paul was prepared) with this humongous tarp that happens to fit over the whole garden. My tomatoes are finally starting to turn color and my one, lone butternut squash is hanging in there and ripening.

Raise your hand if you took advantage of Craftsy’s free viewing day yesterday.  I did!  I watched a class on how to make bread.  I’m hoping to make sandwich bread and English muffins sometime soon.  For some reason I can’t find the exact class to share with but you can click here for a link to Craftsy Food and Cooking Classes. It was fun and very interesting!  I’m hoping to take the Handmade Sourdough: From Starter to Baked Loaf  class next.  Sourdough is one of my favorite breads – especially when it is toasted and spread with butter and jam.  Let me know if you viewed any classes and what you liked!

And now I’m off to finish several rows on my commissioned knitting project so I can show it to you in the next post!

 

 

Nearly There and FREE Craftsy Classes

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I’ve got two quick things to tell you about today:  A nearly finished knitting project and an opportunity to try Craftsy with some FREE Craftsy classes!

The Nearly There Knitting Project:

I am so excited to report that I am nearly done with my first (of four) commissioned knitting projects!  I haven’t finished a knitting project in more than three months so this feels like quite an accomplishment (she says optimistically, even though she is not completely done but nearly done).  I have been very slowly, a little each day, working on this one and I just had to show you how “nearly there” it is:

Amy Shawl by Romi Hill

Amy Shawl by Romi Hill

This has been a fun project and the edging was a great way of pacing myself.  I would do one 24-row repeat of 30 stitches each day.  Nice and manageable.  Stay tuned for the finished and blocked project pictures.  And it better be fun because my second commissioned project is to make another one exactly like it!

The FREE Craftsy Classes:

On Labor Day, Monday, September 4, Craftsy is offering FREE one-day access to ALL of their online classes. All you have to do is sign up with your email address and you can watch all day long!  They have all kinds of online video classes: cooking, baking, sewing, quilting, photography, home decor, knitting, crochet.  This is the perfect opportunity to see if you would like Craftsy and did I mention it is FREE???

I recently purchased the Knit Faster With Continental Knitting class and I loved it! I’ve heard that using the continental method (holding the yarn in your left hand and “picking”) can be more gentle on your hands/arms.  I have also heard you can knit faster with this method — who wouldn’t want to knit faster so you can knit more so you can buy more yarn to knit faster with?  My local yarn shop will be so appreciative!

The class was great video instruction with a great teacher.  You can pause and rewind and rewatch any or all of the class as many times as you want.  I am now practicing this method while working on my Dreaming of Spring hat:

Dreaming of Spring

By the way I also took the class Design Your Own Cowl with Laura Nelkin and as a result of that designed and published my Easy Cozy Cowl!

So, sign up here with your email address and they will email you on September 4 with a link to your free access!

One More Thing….

We’ve got one decking board in place…

Hoping to be done by the end of the year weekend!

 

(I am a Craftsy affiliate, which means if you sign up for something with links from this blog, I get a little kickback.  Please know that I only participate in affiliate programs and recommend products that I truly like.) 

 

 

 

While the Cat’s Away…

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Paul and his friend Rob went to a drag racing event in Ohio this week. So, while the cat’s away, the mouse…..

1) Watches him live streamed on the internet while planning a new knitting project and having an iced coffee!

(That’s him in the wagon on the screen!)

2) Works on the re-finishing of the 1950’s-ish desk found at the Habitat Re-Store:

….while still watching the live streamed drag racing event. (pay no attention to the recycling or the questionable electrical outlet…)

3) Does a little yarn shopping:

(… while still watching. I brought my iPad to the shop with me!)

You’d think I wasn’t limiting my knitting at the rate I’m buying new yarn.  But The Spinning Room put out their weekly newsletter saying they got in a big box of Malabrigo and I had to go browse. I just couldn’t resist this Malabrigo Rios.  I love, Love, LOVE knitting with this yarn.  And I have no idea what I’ll knit with it yet, so I bought four skeins to hopefully leave my options open.  It just won’t be a sweater or a blanket.

4) Gets takeout Japanese food including gyoza and shrimp tempura rolls with lots of pickled ginger. YUM.

5) Goes to some tag sales and finds this:

And some books:

LOVE Harlan Coben.  Like Joanne Fluke. (click down there to get on Amazon)

And sees this beautiful scene in Berne, NY:

5) Cleans the house and goes to the transfer station.  Booooooooo.  Who voted to do that????

Speaking of the new knitting project, I found this Dreaming of Spring hat pattern that I thought would make a great fall class.

It is knit with bulky yarn (mine is Azteca) and big (square) needles and is a small project, all of which should be easy on the elbows.  I am also attempting to knit it in the continental knitting style to see if that helps. But what is cool about this hat pattern is that it is knit flat, on the bias and then seamed.

Not your everyday hat pattern that’s for sure.  I like that about it and I think it will make a great class.

And speaking of iced coffee, if you haven’t noticed, I’m a bit obsessed with good beverage containers.  In case you are interested (like you need another recommendation for a beverage container)  I love my Lilly Pulitzer Insulated Tumbler.

It’s not quite like that one (click on that to see on Amazon) but similar.  Keeps things cold and doesn’t sweat on the outside.  And it’s pretty!

As promised in my last post, here are our eclipse photos:

My pinhole thing-a-ma-jig….

We also had Paul’s welding helmet…..

That’s not really what we saw.  We were actually able to see the moon in front of the sun.  It was cool.

I’ve got another 24 hours or so until Paul gets home.  That’s plenty of time to get into some more trouble!  I think I’ll  do something really crazy like make zucchini, carrot, apple bread.