Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Yarn Along - Nordic Trail Vest

Clever little name this vest has...
...for those of you that don't Nordic Ski, let me briefly explain the two different styles of this skiing discipline:

1.  Classic, or as it also know, Alternative - the skier has both ski's parallel, often in pre-existing tracks, and moves forward by alternating arms and legs - left arm right leg, right arm left leg.  Picture yourself running in a straight line but with skis on your feet and poles in your hands.  The trail you leave in the snow would look something like this...

2.  Skating, as the name suggests is a movement very similar to ice-skating or roller blading and leaves a trail much like this...

Put the two together and you've got the Nordic Trail Vest.
view of the back section
It's a seamless piece, knit on a long circular needle, with the shoulders finished off by a three needle bind off.
the 'classic' track pattern also runs up the front sides.
Hope a good blocking will show the pattern off a little better.
It's all gone great guns to here but now I've run into a little problem.  I'm meant to pick up 60 sts for the sleeves but no matter how many times I try it, I'm only coming out with 44?  I've knit up a sleeve anyway to see how it looks, it fits OK but feels a tiny bit too snug.  Any ideas how to pick up more sts that actually exist?  should I just make a few?
So the sleeves are on hold for the moment while I tackle the front bands and collar.  The pattern doesn't give a precise no. of stitches to pick up but suggest three out of every four, for 14 rows of 2 x 2 rib.  Fingers crossed I've got enough yarn, it will be a close call.  I'm using the Noro that was once my Shalom.

I've developed a Farley Mowat addiction. All other reading is on hold until I've finished these three (then I'll order myself some more!!).  I even skipped my book club meeting this month as I want no distractions.
To highlight just one - Never Cry Wolf is an amazing read...
'More than a half-century ago the naturalist Farley Mowat accepted an assignment to investigate why wolves were killing Arctic caribou.  Mowat's account of the summer he lived in the frozen tundra alone-studying the wolf population and developing a deep affection for these wild creatures (who were of no threat to caribou or man)-is today celebrated as a classic of nature writing, at once a tale of remarkable adventure and an indelible record of the myths and magic of wolves'.

Linking up with Ginny for Yarn Along if my computer will permit it.  Having IT problems again.  Think the (not so old) gal is on her last legs - there are already two wee vultures with screwdrivers, waiting in the wings to see just what she's made of.
So what's on your needles this week?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Reversible Shoulder Bag

Just completed my first real sewing project.
A reversible shoulder bag from Sac et Pochettes - mes carnet de couture.
I'm sure a more capable seamstress could whip this up in a weekend - lets just say it took me 'slightly' longer, but I got there in the end, mistakes and all.
I added the crochet flowers to cover my less than straight sewing!
The yellow side (the side from which I was sewing) came out ok but I just couldn't get the purple side to line up.  So cover up was the name of the game - you didn't see anything OK!


and my pleats at the bottom didn't quite line up either but that's not so visible...

I think I prefer the yellow side.  Maybe it's because whilst making it yellow was my 'main' color and the 'purple' was always just the inside? 
The bag was a gift for my friend Amy, who very kindly said she likes both sides!!

I'd love to try making a garment for myself next, any suggestions for a beginner-limited ability 'couturière' would be greatly welcomed (especially if there's a really detailed photo tutorial to go with it).

Monday, May 5, 2014

Slow Living Essentials Monthly 9 Link Up

Time to link up with Christine for this months Slow Living Essentials Monthly 9
Now that the Birch Sap has run dry we are foraging a little closer to the ground - nettles in our soups and delicious dandelion fritters.

And over on Sarah's  blog I found a new way of serving chick peas - roasted!!  They are a staple here too - can't believe I hadn't though of doing them like this before!!

Saw this great 'salad in a jar' on a Slow Living Essentials post last month (can't remember who's), and I'm liking it a lot.  I prepare a big salad for monday lunch and three or four jars for the rest of the week.  I eat at home every lunch time but I'm really appreciating not having to prepare (and clean up) salad veggies every day.
always the same order - sauce, raw veggies, meat/cheese/egg and finally lettuce.
Lots of crafting going on as usual - just loving this table that Richard made from some old wood that my f.i.l has be 'saving' for the last 40 years!!! Couldn't believe it was the same wood when he presented me the freshly sanded planks.

Stared some 'kitchen scrap' gardening with a celery root which is almost ready to go into the ground.  Outside the peas and corn are doing very well, despite last weeks snow, but the potatoes are yet to show any signs of life!

I've grouped these two together this month as I honestly can't think of anything new I've done in either of these categories!

I was very happy to participate in a meeting given by a group local youths - Bouch à Bouch - who have created an organization to promote, encourage and assist other youngsters with getting their projects off the ground.  Their current 'cause', Le Potager de Mon Pote Agé, aims to connect local young people, who can't afford to buy land, with older folks who own plots and are willing to 'lend' them out as vegetable allotments.  There is to be no money rent paid but the two parties can come to whatever 'barter' style agreement suits them.  The group has also be given some land by the Mayor, who full supports the idea, to use as experimental gardens for developing permaculture technics in the alps.  All produce grown in these test gardens will be donated to a local charity that plans to distribute it to families in need.
These youngsters really uplifted me with their zest for life and their great sense of community solidarity.

I also went to a very interesting conference hosted here in Chamonix on Dyslexia and Dyspraxia, where lots of helpful advice was given for assisting 'Dys' children at home and in school.  However, the evening took a turn for the worse when the local school nurse took the microphone and informed parents not to count on schools voluntarily putting into place any of the measures suggested!  It would seem that it is up to the parents to be fully aware of any help their children are entitled too and to be very vigilant in seeing that they are actually getting this help during he school day.

A family holiday - us four, the dog, s.i.l and nephew, to the Grand Canyon du Verdon.

The 6 hour drive home turned into a 9 hour one, as Rémi woke up in the morning with a horrendous stomach bug - need I say more!  And also we kept getting stuck behind camping cars....  I know for people in certain parts of the globe 9 hours travel is nothing but for us europeans it's quite an epic!!

Hope you had a great April and are enjoying a warm May.