The Joy of Knitting ~

 

I was taught to knit around age 10 or 11 by my mother, who was an expert and avid knitter. So was my aunt. I can’t remember if I actually wanted to learn, but I probably did. I was an only child, growing up in the cold New England winters and my dad worked second shift. So after supper, etc. my mom knitted while we watched television together. Looking back, those were special mother/daughter times. Although, I’m sure I didn’t appreciate them as much as I should have.

So my mom taught me the basics of casting on, knit, purl, increase, decrease and binding off. I think I practiced a lot but can’t recall making anything. Fast forward to 1964 and I was pregnant with my first child. My mom was in a knitting frenzy knitting beautiful snowsuits, blankets, etc. for her first grandchild. She thought this was the perfect time for me to resume knitting. So she brought me to the local yarn shop in Salem for a refresher course. By then circular needles had become quite popular. And I did knit a little white sweater for Susan. But, although I went on to do fine needlework, hardanger, and various other crafts, knitting never called to me.

Not until about 15 years ago when I reconnected with my BFF, Alice. We’d known each other in high school and around 2002, found each other on the Internet and clicked. Unlike me, Alice had continued knitting all the years I had not. When she came to visit me in Florida and I saw the beautiful pullover she was making for her first grandson……..the rest is history! I was enthralled.  And when I began to discover the new fibers, colors, techniques, etc. I was addicted! And in these past 15 years, I don’t think a day has gone by where I haven’t knitted at least a couple of rows. (And most days, much more!)

So when Alice called me a couple of weeks ago to tell me about this new method (Portuguese knitting) of knitting that she discovered, I was curious. As I mentioned in a recent blog, I’m now hooked on this technique! I just love it. At the moment I’m working on the baby blanket in the photo above and also a top down baby sweater.  

As you’ll see in the first photo, the tension is controlled with my right hand. The working yarn goes around your neck or………you can purchase a proper knitting pin, which attaches to your left shoulder, (mine has a magnet)  to hold the strand. I tried the neck but ended up ordering a lovely butterfly pin and I find it easier to control the tension better with the pin. And then……I was a thrower knitter using my right index finger……..you flick the yarn to make a new stitch with your left thumb. That’s IT. It works up SO fast and apparently is much easier on your hands and wrists. 

I’ve loved knitting for quite a while now, but with this new technique, I love it even more!

See you here next time…………….

 

 

Netflix & Amazon Prime

Summer months in Florida are similar to winter months in New England. If I’m not out and about dashing from air-conditioned car to air conditioned store, restaurant, movie theater……you fill in the blank…….then I’m home. Soaking up the cool air.  And since I’ve never been one to JUST sit, I’m either reading or if I’m knitting, I’m also watching something on TV.  Or Netflix. Or Amazon Prime.

Except for MSNBC for my news updates and info, I seldom watch many prime time shows. But I love both Netflix and Amazon Prime for my go-to viewing.

I recently watched season one of The Collection on Amazon Prime and loved it! 

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The setting is Paris, France (big surprise that I love the series, right?) in the immediate aftermath of WWII.  The story centers around the Sabine family, a clan of couturiers trying to rebuild their fashion house. Toss in passion, gorgeous clothes, sibling rivalry, glamour, romance and you have a very entertaining series. Oh, and Meryl Streeps, daughter, Mamie Gummer, plays the sophisticated wife, Helen. I’m anxious for season 2 to be aired.

I watched a cute movie on Netflix, but the DVD is available on Amazon.

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I’ve never been able to resist Sally Field. Ever since her Flying Nun days, I’ve adored her. And as we both got older, I also admired and respected her as a woman and activist. So I wanted to watch, Hello, My Name is Doris.  It was cute. It was quirky. It was even sad in parts. But over all, I really enjoyed it. Field plays the part of a sixty-something woman who romantically pursues her younger co-worker. I felt the reality of the story was that so many people are lonely. They function. They go through their days. But they feel ignored, left out and alone.  And I just find that very sad. But the movie isn’t a downer. It was uplifting in parts and also very meaningful.

And a few days ago I began watching The Dr. Blake Mysteries on Netflix….and yes, I’m hooked. 

The Doctor Blake Mysteries

Dr. Lucian Blake has returned home to Australia after 30 years to take over his deceased father’s medical practice. He’s also the police surgeon in the town of Ballarat. He has haunting memories of his service time during WWII and must also deal with his own personal loss.  He’s unconventional and unpredictable, but he’s also ahead with forensic science. The other characters are also great and so far, I’m enjoying every episode. Just finished season one and began season 2. Apparently, the show has 4 seasons available and season 5 will be aired later this year. 

And for you PBS viewers you probably know Grantchester is now airing a new season.  I’m also watching the summer series, My Mother and Other Strangers, on PBS.  And I love it!

If you have any tips to share on good viewing, feel free to tell us with a comment.

See you here next time……………….

 

 

 

 

I’ve Been MIA ~

Where on earth do the days, weeks and months go?  Once again, time has slipped away from me. 

What have you been doing, you might ask.  Nothing spectacular.  Just those ordinary, every day kind of things.

Knitting, reading, lunching with girlfriends, more knitting, more reading, more lunching with girlfriends. Nothing that exciting. Just time consuming. And fun.

I began working on a cardigan for myself with the yarn I purchased at Colorful Stitches when I was in Lenox, Mass. last month.  And I’m also working on a baby blanket and sweater for my cleaning girl’s first grandchild who is due next month.  Photos will follow on a future post.

I’ve also taught myself the Portuguese style of knitting.  My BFF, Alice, called me recently and told me she discovered it and loved it. So I went to You Tube, watched some videos and thought, “yes, I want to try to this.” And……I’m hooked! I just love this style of knitting. It’s so much faster and my stitches seem to be more uniform.  It’s also supposed to be much easier on your hands and wrists.  I don’t have arthritis in my hands, but why tempt fate?  So if you’re a knitter, you might want to check it out.

And since I last posted, summer has arrived pretty much everywhere across the country.  Some areas are having excessive heat.  Florida is always hot and humid during the summer.  So the rain of the past few days has been a nice respite, bringing less humidity and lower temps.

If I’m home in the afternoon, I’ve been watching lots of Netflix and some PBS recorded shows.  I’ll save this discussion for a future post also. 

So that’s why I’ve been missing in action here………just enjoying the moments. 

And I promise to see you much sooner next time.  I do hope all is well with you……