Monday, June 16, 2014

Afghan Stitch Knitting




The last few weeks I have been working on a new cowl using the Scrap-Yarn Afghan Stitch Barbara G Walker has in her knitting book, "A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns".  Below is the stitch pattern. I don't do ssk but prefer to knit 2 together through back loop (k2tog tbl).

Multiple of 12 + 3 Colours A & B.

Cast on with Color A and k one row.

Row 1 (RS): With Color B, k1, ssk, *k9, slip 2, k1, p2sso; rep from *, end k9, k2tog, k1
Row 2: With Color B, p1, k1, *p1, k4, (k1, yo, k1) in next st, k4; rep from *, end p1, k1
Rows 3 and 4: With Color A, Rep Rows 1 and 2 


You just need to carry the yarns up as you knit.  There are many great tutorials on YouTube for this.

As you can see below I'm having fun mixing colours right now!








It is a lovely stitch that could also be used to knit a scarf although the wrong side is not as neat as the right side.  The number of stitches needed totally depends on the yarn you'll be using and how wide you want your scarf or cowl to be.  Knitting a few rows to see how it looks will be the best thing to do.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

It's Easy Being Vegan and Sometimes It's Not

Go on any forum and you'll often find someone asking about how to be a vegan.  Some people will say it's easy and others will say they tried but found it too hard.  Some days I find it easy  and more of a hassle on other days.

If you look at the photo below; these are some of my favorite vegan products.  Missing from the photo are Daiya and Gardein products.  Just to be able to find these products I need to go to 4 different stores and 2 different online stores.  I just wish I could walk into one grocery store and buy all my stuff like most people.  Yes, I know I don't need to eat any of these products to be vegan but I love them!


Some of my favorite vegan products.
Also, companies that used to be cruelty-free are being bought by big corporations that do animal testing.  It can be discouraging at times, although never enough to stop being vegan.

And then there are days when I look at some yarns and wish I could find those colorways in non-animal fibers.  At times like this I remind myself why I became a vegan; animals are not here for my personal use. They are not here to feed me, clothe me, entertain me or test my products.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Some Fun Aspects of Being Bilingual

One of the fun things about being bilingual is how I think in both languages.   Earlier this year I saw an interview with the comedian Sugar Sammy and he mentioned how he thinks in English first and then translates to French. Depending on the subject I think in French and others I think in English.

Take knitting for example.  I taught myself how to knit using French books and one of them had the terms translated in various languages.  I was able to use it to work with English knitting magazines like Vogue Knitting. 

Although I started learning in French I have noticed I work more with the English terms except for counting.  The other day I was knitting the lace slouchy hat and realized I was counting my increases in French.  I thought it was just a one time thing but no; I count my rows and number of stitches in French.

Tha lace slouchy hat I was knitting.


Another funny aspect of being bilingual is when it comes to movies.  Don't tell me the French name of an American movie.  I wouldn't know which one you are talking about.

So, bilingual readers, what are some funny aspects you have from being bilingual?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Lunching with Gardein Beefless Burgers

Today's lunch was a sort of hamburger steak plate that I made using Gardein's beefless burgers.  I added mashed potatoes with some yellow and green beans on the side.  Mashed potatoes and Gardein burgers were topped with brown gravy.

Gardein beefless burgers with gravy
It's the second time I eat these beefless burgers and I liked them better today.  The first time I brought them to work so I ended up spreading some Maple Chipotle marinade on them and microwaing them.  They were okay but something was missing.

This time I sauted them in a pan and added some Montreal Steak spices by Club House.  That's what made them so much greater.  When I used to eat steak I would spice them up with a lot of Montreal Steak spices, I just loved the stuff!

This morning I spent some time knitting a few stitch patterns and I have found one that will be just perfect to knit an infinity scarf.  I just wasn't sure if I should go with the 2 knit stitch edge or a 1 knit stitch edge.  I think I prefer the 1 knit stitch edge.

Infinity scarf stitch pattern

You should be seeing the finished infinity scarf in my shop by next weekend.  I usually knit a lot during the week and do my photo sessions early Saturday and Sunday mornings when the lighting is just right in my living room.  Thank goodness my mannequin is always here and ready!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Hot Weather Supper - Greek Salad

It's been hot and humid this week which means I want simple meals especially for supper.  I don't feel like slaving over a hot stove at all.  I get home late from work and even weekends are lazy times.

For supper today I made a great Greek salad with a wonderful tofu we can buy here from Unisoya.

Unisoya tofu Greek Style


Making supper was really simple.  I just needed to cut the tofu in cubes, chop a tomato, some cucumber and onion; add Kalamata olives with a bit of lemon juice, olive oil and basil.  Ran out of oregano so added basil this time.  And voilà!  So delicious!

My Greek salad

What are some of your meals that you love to eat during hot weather?



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Preparing for the Christmas in July Sale

As I mentioned earlier I will be participating in the Christmas in July event happening from July 11th to July 26th.  The event actually runs from July 11th to July 21st.  I'm extending it to coincide with what some people in Quebec celebrate; le Noël des campeurs.  It's the campers Christmas!

I have noticed that a lot of my listings expired this week and last week.  I must have listed a lot at the end of March, early April.  So, if you don't see something that used to be there I should eventually list it or drop me a note about it.

To prepare I have been knitting a lot of scarves and decided to get a picture of them all together.  Aren't they just lovely colours?

A whole bunch of cable and lace knit scarves.


Looking at all these scarves it makes me want to see actually how many colours and lengths I have knit this pattern.  I remember knitting a few with fringe as well.  I have started an album on my Facebook Page to document all the scarves.  It could be interesting to see.

Cable and Lace Scarves on my Knits By Nat Facebook Page.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Meeting Some Vegans From the Internet

Last night I finally met 2 vegans ( Dino and Steve) I have known since March 2006 when I joined the Vegan Freak Forums.  Yes, they are people I met on the Internet.  It's funny how people will tell you friends on the Internet are not "real" friends.  It's true, some of them will just be Internet acquaitances and I consider them as such, not friends.  But others you can tell that one day you will meet and have fun! 

Steve is studying to be a minister and has a blog entitled RANTINGSTEVE.

Dino is a cookbook author and has a blog called Alternative Vegan (just like his cookbook).  I have the cookbook and love his recipes but was really looking forward to actually tasting his cooking!  It was amazing!

On top of what's pictured below, he also made scallion pancakes and fried potatoes.  The lentil soup recipe is available in Alternative Vegan.

Lentil soup, daikon and baguette.


Veggies and pasta.

They came to Montreal to visit the city and Dino has fallen in love with it!  He was even talking of moving here!  Wouldn't it be just fun?

I also met some friends of theirs from New Jersey and others here in Montreal.  I know for my part I had a wonderful evening filled with great food and interesting conversation.