Saturday, April 28, 2007

Dark hot chocolate -almost as good as coffee!

Today, happyness is hot dark chocolate, frustration with the NZ postal service, I'm knitting that corrugated ribbing, and showing you what mine looks like in photos and how I knit that (videos).

I'm so happy, I'm almost dancing around the house happy, this is back in town, dark, dark hot choc. Supplies are intermittent, so we stock up, 3-4 cans at a time and nearly cry when it is unavailable. The kids love it with hot or cold milk. We zap a cup of milk or water in the microwave and then wizz it in our plastic old milk shake machine and get foamy steamy hot choc, with froth so thick you can eat it with a spoon - magic. The kids get this, or water or plain milk, or honey in milk, no soft drinks, no fruit juice, and visiting kids suck this up like nothing I've seen. I take mine hot no froth-flat, dairy free with soy milk, and Bear has his with hot water and frothed. Double and Tripple Magic. And its good for the environment and other people :D. Can it get any better? You have to heat it up to disolve or use a machine to beat it into a liquid and its not like cocoa - it is more like dark chocolate. Liquid dark chocolate - heaven, this stuff is almost as good as coffee.

And this is officially a very dangerous good. Can you believe it? A new friend offered to do a really really nice favour, and which will cost her postage to me, from New York. A thank you was needed. I found these little cutie magnets, with a really cheesy slogan. Pauaful magnets, empaua your fridge. At this point I might need to explain that the shell used to decorate them was popular in new zealand in tourist, and kitch things but recently has become very much in fashion for art and contemporary jewellery and is called Paua. There is the cutest kiwi, a koru, gekco, bone fishing hook, and clematis, I thought it was a good 'from nz gift'.

New Zealand Post has a complete ban on dangerous substances like explosives, firecrackers, money and strong magnets. And oven cleaner!, it is listed on the banned substances list, tell me who, who, who in the world would post oven cleaner to any one? So Bear, as he works over a post office went off to post late last week. New Zealand Post are emphatic, these can not be posted. No way, Nadda, nitch, nein, not on your nelly. Still if magnets wipped my bank card magnetic strip in the mail - well I'd be more than a little miffed. Never mind - I've found something not knitterly but useful to a knitter that is confirmed new zealand post approved. And its winging away.

So I'm knitting on my Fana inspired Cardie, and well into the corrugated rib, shown here, front and back. No news of more yarn, but a girls gotta knit, and this is what I got to knit. It has only been 2-3 nights knitting so far - I could do that again if I had to. I think the variations in the spacing of the floats on the back are small inconsitencies in holding the red or purl yarn above or below the blue. I freely admit to not being at all perfect, but do want to improve where I can. Since noticing that I've tried to be more consitent. I love the way the floats across the back flatten the rib, and push the purls forward, it makes a nice texture that is not immediately recognisable as ribb.

First how to knit easy-peasy corrugated rib, or at least how I worked out to do this. Never being taught or seen this in in the 'yarn', only pictures and descriptions, this is what worked best for me when I tried. What I love about way this is that I just look and scoop the colour I need, no translating, colour to hand required. No "Red, that means the left hand, so move left hand, blue next, so thats in the right, switch hands and move the right hand". Me I'm left right confused, never can tell instantly which is which, always have to think about that. But it works for many, and I did knit a colourwork sweater once that way.

Begining with how I wrap the yarn around my left hand. The purl yarn has to go over the first finger and then the knit yarn over the 2nd finger. Never works the other way around.

and then a closer look at the knitting in progress. It is at this stage i was thinking that using fingering yarn might not have been the best stuff to demonstrate on - but thats what I'm knitting at the moment. And thanks for the nice comments, Suzzane and Wendy, and KathyR. It makes it feel not like writting to a large dark web void.

post script - latter that night
Having a little look around the web last night I found several on line videos where knitters knit close to how I knit. This one is the closest to how I purl, and Potansiyelariza's video. i know now I am not alone in my knitting like this, Wendy - the knit'n guru (could it be ???) left a comment that she knits just like me (not purl though), this video seems to make purl use as many fingers as they can - which is something I found difficult to do, although the first time I knit my cabled zippie cardie (- before I blogged), I knit it that way. At times I've got two left feet and maybe it follows two left hands?


Suzanne said...

You make the corrugated ribbing look so easy! Not ready for that one yet - still negotiating with my index about remaining immobile while I scoop the yarn. Such an unruly digit! Perhaps the luscious liquid dark chocolate is the secret. I'll have to see if we can get it somewhere around here (Central Coast California).

Tanya said...

Mmmmmm we love that hot chocolate too! I will have to go in and pick some up and if they run out well I know where to look.....
Your videos are great. I am going to have to try the way you hold your yarn. I am sloppy with my left hand, I still do rightie when I need to be neat, left when I can be wild, loose and fast. (yeah take that google!)

Suzanne said...

In response to your postscript: That Knittinghelp video does make continental purling look dashed awkward! My index is poised in the same manner (but closer to the work), and flicks downward to assist the right needle in securing the yarn to make the new stitch. I have no idea why she brings the medulla into play. Did at better emulating your method this morning, but got caught up in the moment and severely messed up the cables I was working on (took an hour to fix - I probably should have just frogged rather than doing a drop-down rearranging). Anyway, my question is: how do you manage cabling with the index finger firmly planted on the left needle? I find I can rearrange the stitches of pretty much any cable without relinquishing proper tension on the yarn just by lifting the index a little higher off the needle.

Stell said...

Susanne, i can cable this way, but now always do my cables in the round, and don't use a cable needle, i found a site on the web here
and here

my fingers 'low to the needle' come in useful to secure the free stitches while off the needle. Takes a bit of practice but very liberating. On my list to show, but got that lace workshop this weekend first.

Suzanne said...

I should have been clearer about my cabling method: I don't use a cable needle either, but prefer Wendy's 'rearrange and knit' method to Grumperina's 'knit half, then rearrange'. What puzzled me was how you grip the base of the stitches to be rearranged without messing up the tensioning of the two wraps around the index. I shall wait to be enlightened when you get around to showing us. Thanks for the reply. Have a fabulous time at the lace workshop.

Stell said...

Susanne - I'm in awe, I never even thought to do colour work with cables - so I have never tried to cable and tension two strands at once. I am now interested in how cables and colour work could be, imagining the possibilities .... yum.