Friday, November 27, 2009

I usually do not share this kind of thing but....

My knitting has come to a halt! Just like that, my right thumb is injured and it hurts like the dickens! A turkey was involved, chopping and dicing was involved but it's not serious and will heal but I want to knit!

After cooking 4 turkeys and making enough stuffing for a whole division my hands are thrashed. Tackling turkey necks and gizzards and lifting these huge birds whew I’m glad this only happens once a year. Next year I’m seriously rethinking this big bird frying bit.

As delicious as fried turkeys are I’m not sure all this pain & weight gain is worth it all. I’m having a serious turkey hangover. I’m sure I gained a few pounds and my back hurts and I’m kind of groggy. Gee and we have the Christmas Holiday to go yet, if my family wants turkey somebody else will have to do the cooking and that involves the buying the turkey the getting it out of the car and opening it up and all the preparations. Not like my DH seems to think that he is the "maestro" and I am the assistant. Oh did I mention the state of the kitchen? It looks like a war zone? I must go now with rubber gloves on aching back sore thumb and all the kitchen must be cleaned up!

The dinner for L.A.P.D. Pacific Division went really well, each year we get more food donated and the officers love it all.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's that time of year again

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

Happy Thanksgiving !

I am chopping and dicing as I usually do for our holiday and yes we are frying turkeys. We usually fry several turkeys not because our family is so big but because I like to feed our police. During the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday a lot of restaurants are closed and it's difficult for the officers to get food. A group of volunteers take up the cause and we provide a feast for them and the roll call room turns into a buffet of delicious offerings. The turkey and stuffing and ham and the obligatory green bean casserole oh yes and the pumpkin pies ..... each year the feast gets better and better. And the officers love it, well let's just say a good time is had by all.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A time for a change.

I've had this blog since August 2005 and I've decided that I was tired of the "layout" so I've gone minimalist. White! Hope you like it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I'm teaching on a Knitting Cruise

Knit With Color

October 14, 2010
October 23, 2010

Prices start at $799
pp (taxes & port charges not included)
In addition, knitters will have a $100 Workshop fee to cover classes and goody bags!!

Come and Join us! Sign up here or
Call Patricia (our amazing travel agent & she's a Knitter!)
toll free 888-286-9827

We will be aboard Royal Caribbean's "Explorer of the Seas" an amazing and large luxury cruise ship. The cruise will be 9 days in length, October 14 to October 23, 2010, in time to see the beautiful fall colors on the east coast. We will be leaving from, and returning to, the Cape Liberty Cruise Port, New Jersey. The ports of call will be: Portland, ME; Bar Harbor, ME; Saint John, NB; Halifax, NS and Boston, MA. More about the ports of call click here.

We are in the process of planning some exciting shore trips and if there are any costs involved, that will be extra, and minimal. One of the stops that's been confirmed is visiting Lucy Neatby's studio when we stop in Halifax the capital of Nova Scotia. There is another stop in Halifax that will excite knitters that is in the works and will be announced later.

During our trip we will have three at-sea days in which you can take knitting classes if you wish. We are very lucky to have Cindy Fite (visit her site)"I Love to KNIT" and me (Ana Petrova) joining us. We are currently working on our classes and we'll list them on the cruise blog when we have more information. You can sign up for these later.

We both love to knit and teach knitting techniques and you will come away with exciting new ideas and skills. Don't worry if you're a beginner or very experienced, there will be something for everyone. Between us we have many decades of knitting, you will learn tips and tricks that you may never see anywhere else.

Of course, there will be LOTS of knitting time. The ship has many lounge areas, so all you have to do is sit and relax and knit with others, or have some quiet time to yourself.

We've started an email distribution list so that we can notify everyone when there is something new to learn about the cruise.

If you'd like to be added, email Joann Conklin who is organizing all of this fun at:

I almost forgot to tell you. If you'd like to arrive a day or two before the cruise starts, we will be arranging a group rate at a nearby hotel. More on that later when the details have been worked out.

We hope that you will come along and join in the fun. We are very excited about this trip and very much look forward to being with "our people" KNITTERS. We plan to do everything we can to make it fun for you!

You know I will be blogging about this in the next 10 months and 4 weeks but it's Monday and I have a thousand things to do........

Hope to see you on the cruise.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The "Weaver's Knot"

A sturdy tight and small knot to join two ends of yarn or string together. This is one of my new favorite knots it's very similar to a knot my mother showed me oh so many years ago but I think this one is easier to teach and is just as good or dare I say maybe better.

When I get a hank of yarn and have decided the project I want to make I usually wind it very carefully. I feel the fiber between my fingers as I wind the ball to be sure to catch any "factory knots" you know those nasty little knots that some yarn have. I always think that I'm being cheated a little because I don't expect to buy an expensive ball of yarn just to find some unexpected knots. This should be part of "quality control".

This is especially annoying when I'm knitting socks, even a small knot is a problem, socks I would like to have the same strand of yarn without knots! I think my tender little footsies will feel that knot, then there is the dilemma should it be in the bottom of the foot or the top of the foot? Yes folks these are my big worries of the day! Wow how lucky I am. I feel good and I'm off to my Sand and Sea Knitting Guild November meeting.

If yarn manufacturers read this please do not "slip" any knots in my balls.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'm on a "Jag"

From the dictionary:
Jag –noun
1. a period of unrestrained indulgence in an activity; spree; binge: a crying jag; a talking jag. (In my case a knitting jag.)
"Unrestrained"? It does seems like that at times that I just can not help myself. I have certainly have been on a "jag" with my XXX elongated stitch. Originally I was looking for a good edge for this sweater I've been working on for a while and I was just not satisfied with any of the stitch combination's I tried. I would put the sweater down and let it rest, thinking that it would come to me sooner or later. Then I remembered this old stitch and it worked perfectly for the edge, it lays flat it has just enough texture and it's easy to do.

Last winter I was doing a lot of felting and when I got tired of knitting things and felting them I decided to go to a thrift store and start buying old wool sweaters and felt them. What's the difference I knit it or somebody else knit it, the knitting police won't get me. I got this real nice wool man's sweater and washed the heck out of it and it felted really nicely, it's soft yet dense and it just had a really nice feel to it. I started to cut it apart to see what I could make out of it and suddenly had a vision.

I had this very nice sock yarn that looked harmonious with the colors in the original sweater and I picked up stitches right into the felted original piece. Like this:

It was a wee bit small on me so I added gussets, threw in a few short rows for shaping and here is what that looks like:

So this is what started my "Jag" with the xxx elongated stitch. Then I thought in case I forget how I do this maybe I'll just make a video and then post it on YouTube and that way if I ever want to do it again I can just watch my video.

elongated stitch XXX zig zag

I now have added this stitch to several other projects and it does not look like I'm stopping. I will show several other projects to you at a later post. Several people have asked me where I got this stitch? And I am not sure, what I am sure of is that I did not invent it because there is nothing new in knitting I am convinced that somewhere on the planet at one time or another it's been done by another knitter. Then I remembered this little sweater my aunt had and was showing me the stitch she used many years ago. Bingo! There it was the xxx elongated stitch and a whole sweater knitted in it. I guess she was on a jag too because she showed it to me all so many years ago when we visited her in Budapest.

I was teaching a class at Needle Points West the other day and showed a couple of projects with this elongated xxx stitch and my students wanted to learn it so my jag may be catchy.

Written instructions for the xxx elongated stitch:
It is done in all knit stitches (garter stitch) 6 + 1 = 7 stitches
(but you can also do it as 6+2=8 use your imagination. Maybe only cross 2 stitches instead of 3 and it becomes 4+1=5 or 4+2=6 etc.)

Set up row: (rs-right side or public side) Knit
Row 1: (ws - wrong side or inside) k3, *yo, k1,* to the last 2 sts. & k2.
(the first 3 and last 3 stitches are to stabilize the stitches but this is optional you can skip it or only do 2 sts. or as many as you would like, I was doing 3 sts. on each the beginning of the row and the end of the row)
You have now doubled the amount of stitches on the needle with all the k1, yo's.

Row 2: (rs) k3, drop the yo, *slip 6 stitches off the right needle dropping the yo's and making 6 elongated stitches. Slip those six elongated sts. back to the left needle purlwise (tip to tip). Knit the 4th st and lift it over the first 3 sts, knit the 5th st and lift over the first 3 sts, knit the 6th elongated stitch and lift it over the first 3 stitches, and knit the first three sts., k1*

Row 3: (ws) Knit
Row 4: (rs) Knit
Row 5: (ws) same as row 1.

And repeat.
If you don't get it watch the video on YouTube my user name is BananaKnits:

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Gauge is for "suckers" my mother told me so...

I absolutely love this YouTube video because it just proves my point about gauge. I believe this lady's name is Kelley Petkun and she is the owner of Knit Picks and a long time experienced knitter! In this video she claims that she knitted a gauge swatch and she was right on gauge. She is knitting in the round and cast on the amount of stitches that her gauge told her to do a 32" circle. She knits a few inches, 260 stitches I believe and if I may say that is already a lot of time invested! Then she takes the stitches off the needles to try it on. Great idea I am a firm believer in trying on but I would rather knit from the top down and make adjustments as I go a heck of a lot more efficient. Also my mother had a method to cast on what I call "gauge is for suckers" it is no swatching no gauge measuring any needle size any yarn size and it works every time. It's like magic! Each time I demonstrate this people are amazed.

In case you can not see this video here is the exact link: