Saturday, January 17, 2015

Street Art - ZUSA


I spotted the street artist's work about 4 years ago and since several places in the streets of Copenhagen. Then imagine my surprise, when I found out that I have actually met the person behind the art. Amazed as I would never had guessed that, as the artist behind the art is an  MSer and is very dependent on his wheel chair and helpers. In awe as many people with chronic diseases or handicaps could really learn a lot from him: pursue an interest that he is good at and adding a bit of life quality to life by doing it.

Today I am going to a movie theater to watch the premiere on the documentary "ZUSA STREET" about the artist - finding out how he was inspired to create the colorful street art.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

I Am Recycling Last Years Christmas

No I am not exchanging January with a repeat of December in my calendar, but I had to act fast for phase one, if I am was going to succeed.

At my job we get a lot of Christmas cards from connections, service companies, suppliers, organizations... you name it... and everywhere Christmas cards are standing on display during December. I decided to "rescue" some of them from my floor only when they were just about to be thrown out after the calendar page had turned to January and people slowly returning to their work space. Colleagues were confused as some Christmassy motifs were disqualified as I was more on the lookout for suitable patterns - however they did understand that it was for crafting purposes.

This evening I took the plunge and did some initial work on 2015's Christmas project - tearing, cutting, punching etc. resulting in a total of 188 objects (more than I had hoped for). Now my final project is not quite decided, so I will just leave the objects for a couple of months while an idea is brewing in my head.

A friend teased me a bit: "If you had just left that pile of Christmas cards on your crafting desk, people would think, that you were a hoarder of things - the piles of the objects tells a different story - your crafty mind is working overtime again!" :o)

I feel good about it - not only have I save a bundle on supplies, but have also reused something one more time instead of going directly into the paper recycling container (the unusable leftovers after today's cutting etc. have already gone to the recycling bin).

The Christmas cards I receive at home?! Untouched as they are stored in a box with those from Christmas past for keepsake an a trip down memory lane.

Today's batch of cards = 44 new objects

Monday, January 5, 2015

Knit-Lit Books

Knit-Lit - Read a lot of those the past years and still reading while my collection of them are growing. In 2014, 6 of them did not get a review on this blog though I did read them but the MS threw me of track for a while. Where a lot of knitters carry one of their projects in their bags at all times, I always carry a book - occasionally also a knitting project - perfect way of killing time during transport, waiting in line-ups etc. and one can often spot the envy in other people's eyes "Why didn't I think of that?!"

Murder in Merino by Sally Goldenbaum
The town's visitor Julia Ainsley quikly becomes a person of interest when a note with her contact details are found in the pocket's of a murdered citizen. Izzy Chambers and friends wants to find out if Julia is hiding something, as she is not only a murder suspect but extremely interested in becoming the owner of Izzy's cottage where the body is discovered in the backyard.

The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society by Beth Pattilo 

Welcome to the southern city Sweetgum, Tennessee where we find the Sweetgum Knit Lit Society - yes a knitting and knit lit society - where classic novels of childhood are read and discussed monthly while knitting. The selected book of the month is also the theme of the knitting of the month. The librarian Eugenie makes a troubled teenager, Hannah, join the group the make amends for bad behavior and hopefully be absorbed by the joy of knitting and books instead. What would you do if you are suddenly face to face with a person you were in love with after lots of years has past since then?

The Sweetgum Ladies Knit for Love by Beth Pattilo
We are back in Sweetgum, where Camille is struggling with rumors about her person and marriage - stress full when being a pastor's wife in a small city. The monthly reading theme is now great love stories in literature and some of the women in the Knit Lit Society are challenged in various ways with their love life.

Silence of the Lambs Wool by Betty Hechtman
"Sheep to Shawl" is the theme of Casey's latest yarn retreat and she is soon whirled into another murder mystery as the booked teacher, Nicole Welton, is found dead just as the class is about to start. The venue of the yarn retreat, Vista Del Mar, is going retro so new connect-to-the-world gadgets like laptops, mobile phones etc. can not work there along with manger Kevin St. John's continuous attempt to take over the formal planning of the yarn retreats - this gives Casey lots to think about while finding out who did it.

Spinning in her Grave by Molly MacRae
A lot of spinners gather for the annual historic festival of Sweet Plum making the Thank God It's Fiber group very busy with various projects. The Weaver's Cat becomes a crime scene during the reenactment when Reva Louise Snap is killed - a lot of people seems to have had a grudge with her making the mystery of her death very dangerous.

Plagued by Quilt by Molly MacRae
Kath Ruthledge is doing a workshop at the Holston Homeplace Living History Farm when bones are discovered in an archaeological dig - soon to be followed by a murder. She comes across the name Geneva - could it unravel something about her ghost's past or is it mere coincidence? The Spivey twins assist at the work shop's quilting lessons introducing Kath to a plagued quilt, that the Spivey's and Kath's ancestors made 100+ years ago - Kath gets a vibe when touching the quilt making her more eager to discover the true story told with the quilt.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

To Swatch ot Not to Swatch

It is not about watches but a knitted gauge swatch to ensure, that your gauge is correct for a project that needs to follow a certain pattern. A lot of knitters, that I have met, never make swatches, but when experienced knitters swear to them - and designers that are thinking up new patterns make use of them a lot, I have decided, that it might just be a very good idea to do swatches. OK I admit - did not do it with the scarf pattern, but mabve.... just maybe it would not have cause me fear/headache to change to a new skein halfway.

I was working on a UFO (UnFinished Object) when I eyed a skein of yarn that might be perfect for a similar project, but the stitch gauge for 10x10 cm are completely different albeit it feels like they have the same thickness:

Black yarn (the UFO): 
HOSUBAND from ISTEX - 80% wool 20% nylon
16 stitches - 24 rows on needles size 4

Red/greyish yarn: TOTEM from KAFIA - 100 % acrylic
12 stitches - 16 rows on needles size 6

The pattern are designed for the HOSUBAND yarn, so what if I used the same number of stitches and needle size for the TOTEM yarn? And if I was to use the suggested needle size for TOTEM I would have to calculate some changes to the pattern. I know that you should go up or down a needle size if your knitting gauge is more tight/loose as the pattern's required gauge - but these are two different types of yarn? 

It worked - above swatch met the required knitting gauge. Now I just need to finish the UFO before I start the red version.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Did I set the Bar to High?

Yesterday was about relaxing, but I also did some things that made me happy:

Finished reading the book "Plagued by Quilt" by Molly MacRae.

Baked some bread that I can bring to work as lunch.... It's buns with sunflower and pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries and sliced olives. They taste good just as they are, or with brie or peperoni or..... WHOOPS!! Watering mouth now just thinking of them :) I did not bake any Christmas cookies this Christmas - very unlike me - come to think of it: have not even baked since I came home from the boat trip late in July. Well need to bake some more during 2015!!

Getting some more stitches done on a scarf - did the dreaded part where I had to start using a new skein - normally that wouldn't scare me, if it wasn't for this delicate pattern..... oh well hope I did it ok so knitting away to complete the last part of the scarf.

Was I setting the bar to high by accomplishing above just in one day? Well I'd like to think of it as a good start of 2015.