Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Thanks Mrs. Tanqueray for Giving Me an Edge

I really didn’t realize when I started my Sky Scarf 2013 what kind of knit-a-long project I was diving into. I thought, 5 minutes a day knitting the color of the sky, how bad could it be?  Well … the project sat out in front of my eyes everyday staring me down.  If it could talk, it would be saying this to me, “Are you seriously going to work on that project when you should be doing the past week’s sky? Oh … ok, you took notes but still I think I am more important than that project that you’re holding right now.”

How I kept up to date on my Sky Scarf

And I was really excited to work on the scarf because in 2012 when we moved here during the springtime, it was sunny and at the start of the summer there were these fantastic thunderstorms.  Then 2013 started and it was like Mother Nature knew that I needed these sky days and they all went out the window.  I had a friend made the comment about March being gray.  The nice thing about the sky scarf was that you needed to use 2 colors a day.  So yes, March had a gray strand in it but was the other color to be used?  If the sun came out, I used blue.  If it didn’t, then white was used with the gray. 

Re-reading this post, it reads like I’m complaining.  But I’m not!  For me, I always pay attention to the weather while living here.  But what I realize is that I actually pay attention to the temperature of the day rather that what is actually seen outside my window.  I actually enjoy the weather here, in Basel. Remember, I lived almost 8 years in Arnhem, The Netherlands.  Anything was going to be a step in the right direction after living there and seeing nothing but gray skies in the winter.  Side note: The Dutch say the same thing.  I think this is why they are so well traveled.

So my next comment might be viewed as negative, but bare with me as it ends in a positive. I didn’t like the carrying of the strands up the side of the scarf.  I didn’t really pay attention to this until Mrs. Tanqueray saw it and called it out; and I liked that she pointed it out because I took this as a challenge to improve my edge. But it was more than that. 

When I thought about how much the Sky Scarf kit was to knit (about $40) I thought this is too much money to have such an edge.  So even if I did walk away from the project I told Olive I didn’t know what project to use these colors.  Then Olive told me how she was doing her edges. Olive cut the strands and therefore as she has told me that she has to weave in the ends. I followed the directions, and Olive didn’t.... typical J

The Sky Scarf  edge before the crochet edge

So Mrs. Tanqueray had me thinking on and off throughout the year about how to cover these trailing strands. So I thought about different edges, like an I-cord.  But the thing about an I-cord is that it doesn’t hide the trailing strands; it lies on the edge like an attachment. So you would still see the trailing strands.  So I messed around with needles and yarn and then I went to Google.  I found a really nice book about crochet edges.  Though I like this book, Around the Corner Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman, and I even stuck it in my Amazon “shopping cart,” I decided to go with a simple crochet edged and it worked beautifully!  Naturally I picked the brightest color.

The new edge

Check out all that blue in the middle!
That was the summer and the reason why I like staying
in Europe in the summer months
But the best thing about this project, aside from Olive and I comparing our skies to each other, was that this project was started in 2013 and finished in 2013.  No carry over. Woo Hoo!

Upon completion
I was talking while Vermouth took the pic
I know, shocker!
Happy 2014!
The Martini Knitter

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tuesday’s Tin of the Week

In the spirit of holiday baking and gifts, I bring you this week’s tin of the week and it’s filled with my new favorite fudge – Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge. 

The Martini Knitter

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Yup! It's That Time of the Year ...

I know that most of you won’t be surprised to know that I am not even ½ way finished with my Christmas knitting I thought I would be by now but other things got in the way. 

What a lame excuse.  But like I said to Gin when about 2 weeks ago she asked how her sweater was coming along.  My answer was this: Is it December 24th already???

I was reading a blog post recently published by The Yarn Harlot where she says that she has worked out that she must knit 3.7 hours per day to meet her Christmas deadline.  I haven’t even got that far yet.  I just know that I am behind.

And speaking of The Yarn Harlot she was down in Raleigh last week doing a speaking engagement.  Olive and Boston-Red-Sox-Fan asked, possibly begged, her for a photo to taunt me with; but it’s all good though.  Taunt away, Olive, taunt away! But the best news is that I just I am on the radar of Stephanie – she knows who I am!

Left to Right: Olive, Stephanie, and

The Twisted Knitters with Stephanie - I know it's
blurry.  I think because they were having
way too much fun!

But back to my knitting procrastination ... I have been doing the usual holiday things and enjoying every moment of it: making peppermint bark, cleaning and decorating the house, getting ready for Gin’s arrival home from university, and of course drinking gluwein with my friends at the Christmas market in Basel.  Because to me, getting together with friends over this time, is my favorite part of the holiday season.

Me with the gang! Body Pump Wino Nut,
Canadian Yoga Girl,  Swiss Miss and
Mrs. Rocco

But here’s the topper - making new Christmas decorations for our home – which was never in the holiday plan.  Which should have been quick but no, it wasn’t.  They do look pretty though.  But Gin’s sweater is still not done and I have 2 other projects to cast on; albeit small ones, but still, nonetheless, it’s time to kick it up a notch. 

The wire came pre-made but the planning of the beading and the placement took between 30 and 40 minutes per ornament.  I made 16 – you do the math because I don’t want to know.  Then add another 90 minutes to making the hanging thingy, attaching ribbon and then the actual hanging of the snowflakes.

I really am off to knit now - but can I have a martini first? After all it is the season for joy and merriment …

The Martini Knitter