My Adventures in Knitting, truly my Yarn-escape!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Technique Thursday- Knitting a Dishcloth for Beginners to Advanced Knitters

From the simple to more complex patterns for the beginner to advanced knitter (we all have dishes to do) these are lovely dishcloths to make the task easier and brighten our day. 

Also when assisting cooking classes we used dish cloths because they were more sanitary than a sponge.  When dirty just throw them in the wash.  From experience beware of garlic and fish- if you are cleaning up garlic or other very potent smells use old rags and discard.  I've added a garlic washcloth to my laundry- try underwear that smells of garlic!  Chefs like to mop up counters with cloths.  I growled at the next one who did that and I had a bag of old cloths under the sink just for that purpose.  I said: "Use the towel on garlic or fish and you get to take it home!"  He probably thought I was nuts!  (How to treat big huge important chefs like pussycats!)

Here's three simple patterns to start with if you are a beginner knitter-
The simplest one is only the Garter stitch with no fancy border, a very good place to start if you just began knitting.

The stripes are made by the variegated cotton yarn- so don't panic!

This needs a little more expertise following directions, but it is a Garter Stitch.

Here's a plain Knit pattern on the bias.

An experienced and daring beginner who wants to learn YO (or Yarn-over), knit 2 together and perhaps a bit of crocheting if you want the pretty border- all very good and useful skills.
                                                                   Grandmother's Favorite

For more advanced knitters-

A lovely scrubbing dish cloth.
                                                                Double Bump Dishcloth

 The April Showers Spa Cloth is a "pattern suitable for moderately experienced beginners." And the blog it's featured on is- Knittingwip.blogspot.

Another nubby design.

                                                                                           Kitchen Cotton Dish Cloth

Spa Cloths- ahhhh that just makes you want to indulge in a long soak.
                                                                           Spa Cloths


A really lovely bumpy creation- 
                                                                   Loganberry Dishcloth

A very interesting article changed my perception and approach to doing daily tasks- it's called Soji.  It's making cleaning almost like a meditative process- How to clean like a monk.  I recommend reading it.  Now when I clean the dishes I try to look out the window above and look at the lovely hillside right out my window with yucca and different grasses and sometimes a deer or two.  Look at the glint of sunlight coming through the window to shine on my dishes.  And from doing dishes sometimes hours on end for a Cooking class (Chefs make LOTS of dishes!) I've learned that there are rainbows found at the edges of glassware- and perhaps in life if we look for it.

Happy Dishwashing with your new cloths!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wednesday Yarn Along as Spring Slowly Peeps it's Green Leaves Underneath The Snow

Wednesday's Yarn Along hosted by Ginny at Small Things still finds me working on my Fearless Cardigan, but I seemed to have gotten caught up in my blogging the past week as I deal with being without my two oldest kids- sometimes I just miss them so much. Last week I said goodbye to my son who goes to college in Maine. He stays there around the year (working for the campus carpenter) and studying Sustainable Energy at an Ecology school in hopes of learning how to build sustainable homes for a living. He's having a blast- but I hadn't seen him for over a year and he just walked in the door with his oh-so-very-serious girlfriend (who I got to meet for the first time and is so sweet) after flying in from Boston. I had him for 2 whole weeks. My oldest daughter is on Spring Break but she goes to college in Vermont and stays with my brother's family back East on breaks. Sigh. I will get to see her (and hopefully my son) at her graduation in May.

Yesterday I blogged on my new knitting design I'm working on Tuesday's Eclectic Thoughts- Merging My Baking with My Knitting Adventures. Come check it out for a lovely new knitting pattern in progress and a recipe for Spring Vanilla Pound Cake. 

Last week I blogged on my reading, knitting and wonderful cinnamon rolls- come check those out! Yarn Along While You Sip Tea and Eat Cinnamon Rolls

Enjoy your week!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tuesday's Eclectic Thoughts- Merging My Baking with My Knitting Adventures

 Every Tuesday I want to talk about knitting, but also introduce one of my other blogs. They are more of a personal account of my varied interests- from cooking to baking and history.

 I assisted Cooking Classes for 8 years before Chefs Catalog's Retail store closed in Colorado Springs and I have a wealth of experience and a large stack of recipes. So from personal recipes to Chefs recipes I haven't tried yet (only watched and tasted- oh the tasting!) I'll create some fantastic desserts, breads and culinary treats and just some plain good food. 

Also I've challenged myself in other areas of my life that I've let lay dormant since college days- History and Art. I had a small studio once when the kids were very small to oil paint, but I need to get going again in that area. So over time I'll bring out another blog and share a recipe or a positive thought posted on my Today's Positive News blog or a personal thought on my Walking In Random Thoughts blog. Bear with me- this is one of those times where I'll see where this is going on Tuesdays- we'll see. I also want a space to introduce new knitting projects or a new stitch I learned.

     Today I want to dive into a new stitch I discovered this weekend. I wanted an fairly easy, mindless stitch that I could do a leftover ball of yarn into a scarf. I found the Chinese Wave stitch and I've fallen in love! Beautiful, easy and functional- it's thick and soft and will do up nicely for scarves with no curling at the edges. So I'm developing my first- officially my own- design called The Waves Scarf. First I'll use this leftover yarn then I want to get a feel for it in a nice wool I haven't picked out yet.

The Chinese Waves stitch-
A fairly easy stitch which is a variation of the Garter stitch- Knits and slipping stitches- that's about it. When you slip a stitch it's up to you whether you do it purl-wise or knit-wise, as long as the yarn is held to the back (for the loops of the waves). Slipping knitwise creates a twist in the stitch and creates a tighter, denser fabric. I opted for the purlwise slip finding it easy and fun (remember to keep the yarn in back!).

                                                          Chinese Waves Stitch
Cast any odd number on stitches on, for this scarf I did 21 on a #15 needle:
Row 1- Knit all Stitches
Row 2- Knit 1, * slip 1, knit 1; repeat from* to end
Row 3- Knit all stitches
Row 4- Knit 2, *slip 1, knit 1; repeat from* to last stitch, knit 1
Repeat all rows for stitch.

Having lost count a number of times and tried to unravel to where I was I have a few clues to knowing where you are if you lose count. It's easier to lose your place because it's not a familiar stockinette or easily recognizable pattern at first. Note the waves appear on the side you are doing just knitting, picking up the slips from the other side. Also note every other row you slip on is jogged to the right or left. In other words the scallops of the waves are staggered. If I get up- walk away or pause long enough I loose track of which slip row I'm on. So I have gotten into the habit of knitting a few stitches after I guess and turning the piece over to see if the waves are hitting exactly where the previous waves hit or are they shifted to one side. You'll see what I mean. Remember you want them staggered. Also end every row with a knit.

So I don't loose count of my rows anymore I just ordered an Ablet Knitting Abacus so I can keep track more easily. It works like an abacus keeping track of your stitches on your wrist and it doesn't shift. I have it on the left side this week as my featured knitting tool. I got the idea from GGMadeIt's blog this week and I'm so excited I'm getting one!

I opted for this scarf to leave the edges as they are- a bit rough because I felt it reflected the nature of the pattern with a garter stitch look on one side. It would be an option to slip the first stitch of each row to make that a smooth edge. Up to you. The edge is pretty straight and no curl. And a lovely thick springy texture-

 And my shared blog today is  SweetToBe where I have some  lovely treats beat up for you. Today I'm blogging on my simple Vanilla Pound Cake (which I make using a cake mix and the Cake Mix Doctor recipe I modified a bit). The previous blog is an amazing Cinnamon Roll recipe I finally perfected. Enjoy.

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and A Beat
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
 BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Today's excerpt pg 208
"The FBI laundered two million dollars in drug money for the Hawaiian mob and the Yakuza," Kate said.
"A key part of the con. We had to do it to draw in a real mobster and create a genuine threat."
"I know, but I still don't like it."
Come join me at Lovely Yarn Escapes or Sweet To Be to enjoy some great sweet recipes or learn some knitting techniques or look at some knitting patterns or see what's up in my knitting world.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Talk About Books- Musing Mondays

Musing Mondays is hosted by Jenn at Books and a Beat, come join us.
Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
Musing Mondays |
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Make a plea for your favorite book.
PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Musing Mondays post, or share your answer in a comment on the Books and a Beat Blog (link above) (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

I'll answer this week's question while I partially answer #2 question. I love the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, and I especially love the first book called "Outlander". I first picked it up and read it when it first came out in 1991 when I got it as a Book-of the-Month selection. It's woven it's way through my life and when my oldest girl was a teenager in 10th grade she insisted on reading Mom's books. I shocked her teachers at a local Bookstore celebration of one of Diana Gabaldon's new books. How could I let her read them when she was so young? Well it became a focal point of many discussions on sex to rape- you name it, and she was inspired to study Gaelic afterwards. She loves that time period. Last year my daughter got to meet Diana Gabaldon while she did a year at Oxford studying Medieval Studies. While an inspiration to my daughter the books come so alive the characters are seemly very real company. One delves into another world just as Clair "fell" into another time. I'm considering starting re-reading Outlander as I have the whole first season of the show available for the next few weeks until April 9th on Starz and I haven't seen the whole season since I don't watch TV or have cable. I'm so excited! Outlander overload. Starz- Outlander

And while I want to read Outlander I need to read something new and I want to get my nose into- Catherine Anderson- New Leaf.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday Fantasy Knits- Spring Shawl Parade

Today is Fantasy Friday- my most favorite day; not just because it's the end of the week, but because I'm prone to fantasies and dream personally. To me to dream is the first step in doing. If I can dream it, I can possibly do it. And this is with life itself. If I cannot conceive something in a dream first it rarely will come to pass in life also. So I dream. I know the Lord is good and I think he helps me achieve some of my dreams....Of course I'm the one who couldn't have children for over a decade and I dreamed, I hoped, I prayed and God is faithful. I have three children now. Two in College and one home. So for me big or small dreams can come true. 

So today I dream in color and light yarns.....

There might be snow on the ground here in Colorado and 2 days ago was a huge Blizzard, but I still dream of Spring and outside my window I can hear the Robins and Starlings have returned to sing their song. Don't you just love the sound of Spring? So while I try to warm my hands with a cup of tea, I dream of light Spring shawls and wraps and shawlettes to grace my shoulders for the warmer light filled months to come.

Stripy Spring Shawl

Color Affection

Spring Tide

Feel free to share your dream knits for the spring in the comments!
Happy Dreaming & Knitting.