Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy 2008 Everyone!

This is the last Video and Entry of 2007. I want to thank everyone that is reading my blog and sharing with me on the Internet. Everyone has a place in this Great Internet World.

In 2008 there will be socks and sweaters, but scarves and hats will still be my main connection to the world of knitting and crocheting. Happy and Prosperous 2008 Everyone!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas 2007

Welcome to Christmas 2007 and to the close of a another great year. Here is my toast to the Holiday Season as we sit down to opening presents. We had some Panettone and coffee for breakfast. Panettone (Milanese: panetton classical orthography, panetùn other orthography) is a typical bread of Milan, usually prepared and enjoyed for Christmas and New Year around Italy, and one of the symbols of the city. Maltese nationals are also traditionally associated with this sweet bread.
This is a view of our Christmas tree before the opening of gifts, and before all the fun began lol!

We had some Puppies , and a Bear (made by Naomi )You can see the three Kings watching over the presents. I have two gifts that I will finish by the Three Kings days, or Epiphany, and I am working on them still. I did not have time to finish them due to wrist pains, but it will all work out.
So here are the puppies, Bu and Budder, time to let them loose and keep unwrapping presents. Some came from Big stores, some came across the country, some came from local stores and some where hand made. I got a beautiful Red cashmere scarf. I will have to go and get some nice cash-merino yarn and make a new Christmas Hat for Christmas 2008, but I will finish it to be able to wear for Thanksgiving 2008.

There were presents of all kinds and , presents for the house. Chocolates, DVDs, Music Cds. Clothes, shoes and I now have the complete Set of Deep Space Nine series on DVD so I am very happy. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (sometimes abbreviated to ST:DS9 or DS9) is a science fiction television program that premiered in 1993 and ran for seven seasons, ending in 1999. Rooted in Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek universe, it was created by Rick Berman and Michael Piller, at the request of Brandon Tartikoff, and produced by Paramount Pictures. The main writers, in addition to Berman and Piller, included show runner Ira Steven Behr, Robert Hewitt Wolfe, Ronald D. Moore, Peter Allan Fields, Bradley Thompson, David Weddle, and René Echevarria.

You should never leave puppies alone, this is the end product, lol. Thanks for allowing me to share with you my Holiday pictures. May your Christmas be full of Joy as well. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Duplicate Stitch and Weaving the Ends

Hope you enjoy this little Video, I am showing you my Gryffindor Scarf WIP and the DUplicate Stitch Technique. I hope this clarifies the stitch for you! The duplicate stitch follows any stitch on the wrong side of the garment. You are just weaving the tail of the yarn .Thanks for stopping by

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Shh! Santa is coming to town!

Well is kind of a Non-secret Secret you know. Did you see my sexy picture lol! I have been very busy, working on some of my projects this week. I was going to meet with two other bloggers , but it did not work out, maybe some other time. I sent all my Christmas Presents , they have been mailed, even though I could have waited for the Epiphany. The Epiphany is celebrated by both the Eastern and Western Churches, but a major difference between them is over precisely which historical events the feast commemorates. For Western Christians the feast primarily commemorates the coming of the Magi, while in the East the feast celebrates the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan. However, in both cases the essence of the feast is the same: the manifestation of Christ to the world (whether as an infant or in the Jordan), and the Mystery of the Incarnation.
Puertorricans love to party and Christmas and the Epiphany is another excuse to continue the celebrations. The "Octavitas" is one of the celebrations that it is still going on on certain towns throughout the Island. Prior to the reforms of 1970, the Roman Catholic Church (and prior to 1976, the Anglican churches) celebrated Epiphany as an eight-day feast beginning on January 6 and continuing through the Octave of Epiphany, or January 13. Many continue to use this calendar, celebrating the feast of the Holy Family on the Sunday within the octave.
Last Weekend we had our Men Who Crochet Christmas Soiree and it was fun, I will have some pictures later. Just dropped by to let you know I am alive and well and back to work. lol! Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

What is Polyamide Fiber made of?

A polyamide is a polymer containing monomers joined by peptide bonds. They can occur both naturally, examples being proteins, such as wool and silk, and can be made artificially, examples being Nylons, Aramids, and sodium poly(aspartate).


Nylon is a thermoplastic silky material, first used commercially in a nylon-bristled toothbrush (1938), followed more famously by women's “nylons” stockings (1940). It is made of repeating units linked by peptide bonds (another name for amide bonds) and is frequently referred to as polyamide (PA). Nylon was the first commercially successful polymer and the first synthetic fiber to be made entirely from coal, water and air. These are formed into monomers of intermediate molecular weight, which are then reacted to form long polymer chains.
Nylon was intended to be a synthetic replacement for silk and substituted for it in many different products after silk became scarce during World War II. It replaced silk in military applications such as parachutes, flak vests, and was used in many types of vehicle tires.


There are plenty of yarn blends out there that may include nylon. Some are fancy, some are more crude, but it is up to us to create beauty out of these yarns. It is a favorite in blends for socks and for making stuff that needs some elasticity. I enjoy 100 % Nylon to make bath stuff, like scrubbers that will sustain the abuse of daily washing . All in all I wanted to share this online , because I did not know that Nylon was polyamide as well and when you see a yarn that is made out of this stuff or that has a percentage of it, you will know what is that polyamide !

This Berroco Bonsai Bamboo yarn has a 3 % nylon thread that keeps the bamboo from fraying. It did not take away from the feeling of bambbo, I believe Berroco went all out into making a great Bamboo/Nylon blend.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cuppa Fiber Swap and Holiday Napkins

The Cuppa Fiber was an Exchange/Swap that Naomi cooked up at The Twisted Skein. It was 200 yards of yarn, two handmade items and a pound of coffee or tea. Both my partners outdid themselves in goodies, I was blessed. I know how hard it is to make an exchange during the Holidays, but you don't want to miss in the fun. I am glad that I participated. The items below are from Betty, she really spoiled me. I even have a holiday apron, Thanks You So much!

From Betty

From Laurel

This is a Picture of the Holiday Napkins for those who are on dial-up, I have been there and well you will see them here without having to see the video. I wanted to make a video this time, as I could not make a video last time. I enjoyed both my partners swaps. I am not done with the Barcelona Trip blogging, so stay tune in the meantime there is always Christmas some weeks earlier. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Santa's Little Helper WIP 07

Just a Holiday update on my Works in Progress. There is another Video I want to do later this week , as I will have more time to do it, and I will show you a good way to store your circular needles. Sometime today I will have a chance to start setting up the Christmas tree. I have had some problems going to my yahoo mail, so be patient if I have not gotten to you. Here we have our Bu and Buder two chocolate labs that will be in our lives in remembrance of Buster Brown. I guess when we look at the ancient civilizations they may have done the same. These kinds of animals have been with humankind for so long. So here we have our new Chocolate Labs. I am glad the Holidays are here as it is one of my favorite times to enjoy life more than ever and to remember the other good times in life besides the present. I hope you like the video and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Honorable Gryffindor Scarf Cast On

Yesterday I casted on the Gryffindor scarf. I am using one of my patterns, you can find it under the label free pattern. At this time I made a cable cast on and I am liking this kind of cast on as it is very tidy. By the way there is more of Barcelona to come as you will see , but I wanted to share this project. I am also wanting to make a Gryffindor Hat as well. I have plenty of other projects on hand and on queue.

I will start a Hat sometime in the next week or so with Corn yarn. This is one of the skeins that I will be using. Corn yarn is different from bamboo, it is rougher and has a bit of a give to it, like a kind of elasticity. At my LYS Imagiknit , they have a very nice sock yarn made out of corn. The yarn I saw was something extremely beautiful and great for sock making. I don't think corn yarn will be doing as good as bamboo or cotton on the long run. Corn does not have the luster of cotton or bamboo, let's see when If when I block the hat that is in the ethers , it behaves nicely lol!
I am very excited about saving my wool left overs , I believe that if I have enough left overs I will be able to make a nice color stranded Hat or sweater with some nice wool yarn. Anyway I want to thank you for stopping by and stay tuned!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Barcelona Part 1

This is the Hotel Lobby, Hotel Grand Central on Via Layetana 30 or Via Laietana 30. Located in the centre of the city, next to Barcelona’s cathedral, with spectacular views of the entire Gothic district and the ancient city walls.
The Dollar was worth not much in Europe, but we were able to have a great time on a budget. We arrived to Barcelona from Frankfurt and got our 5 Day Barcelona Card. The Barcelona City Card features free travel on public transport and over 100 discounts and free offers at museums, cultural venues, entertainment, leisure attractions, evening venues, shops and restaurants. You can choose from 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 day passes! Every card comes with a FREE guidebook with helpful information on the establishments associated with the card, as well as a city map. We got it at the Airport at the Turism Office. It was the best deal in town.
Our Vacation Started by coming out of the Airport and taking the bus at the RENFE Train Station. We were left at the Sants Station where we took the underground to our Hotel . We had to change lines at Plaça Catalunya and take the Yellow Line as they know it and stop at Jaume I. This station was about a 2 minute walk from the hotel. It is about half a block from the statue that you see below. There is a museum,cathedral and towers, and there is also a wall that was built by the Romans during the 4th Century B.C.. Now that is the oldest building that I have ever seen and or touched in person.
Michael is standing besides the Count of Barcelona Ramon Berenguer III. This Gentleman, Ramon Berenguer III the Great was the count of Barcelona, Girona, and Osona from 1082 (jointly with Berenguer Ramon II and solely from 1097), Besalú from 1111, Cerdanya from 1117, and Provence, in the Holy Roman Empire, from 1112, all until his death in Barcelona in 1131. As Ramon Berenguer I, he was Count of Provence from 1112 in right of his wife. Born in 1082 in Rodez, he was the son of Ramon Berenguer II. He succeeded his father to co-rule with his uncle Berenguer Ramon II. He became the sole ruler in 1097, when Berenguer Ramon II was forced into exile.
During his rule Catalan interests were extended on both sides of the Pyrenees. By marriage or vassalage he incorporated into his realm almost all of the Catalan counties (except those of Urgell and Peralada). He inherited the counties of Besalú (1111) and Cerdanya (1117) and in between married Douce, heiress of Provence (1112). His dominions then stretched as far east as Nice.
Once you leave the Statue of Berenguer we embarked in a walking tour through the Barri Gotic of Barcelona. I felt like I was walking back in time and experiencing history as I was bombarded by so many views of the gothic times, the streets, the buildings and the feeling of being part of life. The Barri Gòtic ('Gothic Quarter' in Catalan; Castilian: Barrio Gótico) is the centre of the old city of Barcelona. Many of the buildings date from Medieval times, some from as far back as the Roman settlement of Barcelona. Remains of the squared Roman Wall can be seen around Tapineria and Sots-Tinent Navarro to the north, Avinguda de la Catedral and Plaça Nova to the west and Carrer de la Palla to the south. The Barri Gòtic retains a labyrinthine street plan, with many small streets opening out into squares. Most of the quarter is closed to regular traffic although open to service vehicles and taxis. There are little plaças or plazas everywhere you look.

We continued our tour through the small streets, a left at Plaça del Angel or Portal del Angel, toward La Boqueria. The Mercat de la Boqueria, or simply La Boqueria, is a large public market, with an entrance from La Rambla in Barcelona, Catalonia, not far from the Liceu, Barcelona's opera house. The market has a very diverse selection of goods.

We came here more than once and had the opportunity to have a great vegetarian Lunch for not much money. We also got some fruit , chocolate, toffee almonds,dry salami, ham and Mahon Cheese and home made bread. This will be part of our meals and snacks that will help us save our money for our great or not so great lunches and dinners. You have to see the market if you come to Barcelona. On weekends there are some other markets around where you can buy preserves and nougat from local artisans. For Americans the food is expensive, imagine that at one time we had fried chicken and potatoes for 2 for the bargain price of $50.00 and it was not in a gourmet Restaurant. lol!

The first mention of the Boqueria market of Barcelona dates to 1217 when tables were installed near the old door of the city to sell meat. From December 1470, a market selling pigs occurred at this site. At this time, the Market had the name Mercat Bornet or was (until 1794) simply known as Mercat de la Palla (Straw Market). At the beginning, the market was not enclosed and did not have an official statute, it was regarded as a simple extension of the market of Plaça Nova which then extended to the Plaça del Pi.

Officially, La Rambla is a series of shorter streets, each differently named, hence the plural forms Las Ramblas (Spanish and Les Rambles (Catalan). From the Plaça de Catalunya toward the harbor, the street is successively the Rambla de Canaletes, the Rambla dels Estudis, the Rambla de Sant Josep, the Rambla dels Caputxins, and the Rambla de Santa Monica. Construction of the Maremàgnum in the early 1990s resulted in a continuation of La Rambla on a wooden walkway into the harbor, the Rambla de Mar.

When walking down La Rambla one can visit its many small shops or enjoy watching the various performances (actors, mimes and people that look like statues, that will pose with you or move for a Euro or Two etc.). There are also several vendors trying to sell paper figures they claim are capable of dancing and there are plenty to see. Cafes and restaurants on La Rambla often charge steep prices.

From the Ramblas you can Walk toward Plaça Catalunya, which is a large square in central Barcelona that is generally considered to be both its city centre and the place where the old city (see Barri Gòtic and Raval, in Ciutat Vella) and the 19th century-built Eixample meet.
Some of the city's most important streets and avenues meet in Plaça Catalunya: Passeig de Gràcia, Rambla de Catalunya, La Rambla or Portal de l'Àngel, in addition to Ronda de Sant Pere, Carrer de Vergara or Carrer de Pelai. It has an area of about 50,000 square metres. It is especially known for its fountains and statues, its proximity to some of Barcelona's most popular attractions, and for the impressive flocks of pigeons that gather in the centre. There are various underground trains and metros that meet here and the Aerobus to go to the Airport. It is also where we took the metro back to the Hotel Station of Jaume I. This is Plaça Catalunya station Metro underground station.

From there we went toward the Jaume I which is a station in the Barcelona Metro network, located under Via Laietana,( and a block from our hotel) and important avenue in Ciutat Vella, right between Plaça de Ramon Berenguer el Gran and Plaça d'Emili Vilanova. It can be accessed from Plaça de l'Àngel and Carrer d'Argenteria, on the other side of Via Laietana.
It currently serves Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona-operated L4, but was originally designed in 1926 as one of the stations of the first L3 service, a section of which became L4. The other L3 stations (Correos and Banco) located in Via Laietana are all closed nowadays.
Its two platforms, unusually for a downtown Barcelona metro station, are both located on the same level, with a wall between them dividing the station in two parts. They are each 94 m. long. Barcelona is a great city to walk and has one of the best Public Transportation Systems I have seen in my life, there are trains every 2.5 to 3.5 minutes all the time ( I think). I loved the fact that there was no part of the city I could not reach by Public Transportation. This is the part one of our Barcelona Tour I hope you enjoy the tour for this time and thanks for stopping by, there is more to come soon!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Bacalao A la Catalana

Welcome to December and with December 07 I am sharing one of my favorite personal recipes.

I grew up with a Roman Catholic Background and part of my family came from the Northern Part of Spain. My maternal grand mother used to make this dish sometimes, specially on Friday. It was special since we could not eat Red Meat because it was a Catholic thing. I enjoyed the Bacalao prepared this way ever since any day. The main dish is a Mediterranean dish , the side orders have a Caribbean flair, from sea to sea as they say.


Salted Codfish 1 pound
1 onion
1/8 cup of minced garlic
1 can of diced tomatoes, or 4 to 6 tomatoes diced even better
a small jar of stuffed Spanish olives (around 30 olives)
1/4 cup of Olive oil
1/8 cup of Vinegar (as natural as you can get it) , Apple cider vinegar is good as well
Laurel Leaves

Ground Pepper to taste

The picture that you see is of salted codfish.


1) You let it soak overnight in a deep pot full of water, then the next day you throw the water out and refill.
In the meantime you can slice some onions and green,red and yellow peppers julienne style.
2) You boil the fish for about 30 minutes and then decant the water once more. Let it cool.
3) Once cool , wash your hands well and start to debone the Cod by hand, you need to separate the meat with your fingers looking for bones, so make sure your hands are very clean. I look for bones twice, it is always safe. Once this is done then you will proceed to take about a 1/4 cup of olive oil and some minced garlic and let it simmer in low in a pan.
4) Once you get the garlic going in a low simmer you can add the codfish and stir the fish and the garlic with a wooden spoon, you can add the peppers at this time . In about ten minutes of this cooking you can add the olives with some of the juice from the olives as well, add the tomatoes and sprinkle the laurel leaves, mix well and cover. Raise the heat to medium high for about two minutes and turn it off. You can add the pepper later before serving.
This plate is accompanied by a side dish of rice and other vegetables if desired.

Gandules (Congo Peas)salad and sweet potato and taro root, Bon Appetite

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