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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Learning to Shawl and making Yogurt

As previously mentioned, I am knitting my first shawl.  This has turned out to be a learning experience because I have done things that make it look not-too-perfect to the knitter's eye.  I have tried several variations on increases so I could compare the "look".   But I will now pull it out.  This is not a true lace shawl, but is a Romney Kerchief at Brooklyn Tweed.  No use in continuing because I now know what I want to know about this design.  Yes, I found pix of this on the internet with very vague instructions -- not really a "pattern".  Now I can write a pattern that I will keep in my binder. 

Do others keep a journal or binder about their knitting?  I had started a binder with tabs for various sub-categories such as men's, women's, hats/mittens, techniques, etc.  When I was in my LYS recently, the clerk -- aware that I am a relative novice -- suggested that I keep a journal on my knitting.  I think my binder is my journal.  I put in the patterns that I like along with notes.  Now I need to add a tab for shawls.

Not to confuse you too much -- I started this a couple of days ago, and yesterday I went to the LYS and purchased enough of a cotton/linen yarn to make the aforementioned Romney Kerchief.  Yes, I did pull the test version out.  This time, the increases will all be uniform and look the way that I decided was "best" of test.  My LYS does not carry blocking wires because the owner has not been able to find a good wholesaler for them.  Does anyone have a recommendation for a wholesaler?

I am making yogurt today.  I have done this for many years because I am lactose intolerant, and commercial yogurts are not 100% fermented.  They also have too much junk added to them.  Mine is always mellow and creamy delicious.  Generally, I stick with a vanilla version, but I have made chocolate and other variations.  I have also made yogurt cheese (Greek yogurt).  Homemade yogurt is so easy to do, and so much tastier that it amazes me how many people still buy the junk sold in grocers.  My husband is one of those who must have his adulterated  commercial yogurt.

I also recommend kefir for the lactose intolerant.  I had never heard of it until a few years ago when a nutritionist recommended it.  It is better, healthwise, than yogurt because it has a greater variety of strains of bacteria than yogurt (10 to 3).  Not too many grocery chains carry it, but most health food stores do.  I have tried making it at home, but it is trickier to do than the yogurt is.

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