Tuesday, August 30

Trip to Buenos Aires III -Found, Bought and Gifted-

One of the reasons I like going to BA is a materialistic one... the low priced and varied stuff!

Found, Bought and Gifted

Found on sale: scraps of fabric and cooking books!
Bought: self healing cutting mat and wooden frame.
Bought in fairs: antique silver pin, jade necklace, porcelain bowls (for me and a set for my brothers), gems (for my mom and a friend, not pictured) a multi tool thingy and a thingy with a mirror and magnet which is very very useful when sewing... I drop a lot of pins on the floor and this thing makes it easier to catch them all!
Gifted: my aunt Ana gave me one of her pretty embroidery hoops and a small rotary cutter!, which makes me think I've never blogged about the rotary cutter I bought on Etsy last year!

Cute Bowls

My set of bowls, all greenish to match my China (Hah! I just had to say that, I don't think people use that word anymore, like disco or cool)

Friday, August 26

Trip to Buenos Aires II -Recoleta Cemetery-

 In this trip I visited Recoleta cemetery with my cousin for the very first time, and I have no idea why I've not gone there before, it's so beautiful and full of art and history! and cats! lol

Sleepy Cat in Recoleta Cemetery

I was about to take a pic of a kitten in a bench but then people sat next to him so I turned and saw this cutie naping behind me.

We took a guided tour throughout the place, it's huge and as I said, rich of history and rich, the guide told us it's not just "any" cemetery, high class families are buried there so tombs and mausoleums are fancy. Some of them are so big that got me thinking about the power of those families... more than power, love...

And talking about love, we have heard many sad and tragic anecdotes in the tour, but in my humble opinion none of those are as touching as the one I found out by myself.

When the tour was completed, my cousin and me stayed and kept on walking around... then I saw a cute kitten staring at me, it was kinda creepy but when I got closer, he ran so I followed him and found them:

Liliana Crociati Szaszak and Sabú at Recoleta Cemetery

Her name was Liliana Crociati Szaszak and her dog, Sabú. It's the only pic I took of a tomb, I don't know why and also I stayed there for a while... I felt really touched. The tomb didn't say how she died, nor if the dog was with her... there was a poem written by her dad that I didn't want to read because I knew it was going to make me sob.
 The statue doesn't look sad, she looks kind of calm, I've seen all kinds of statues in the cemetery but this was so simple.

When I got home I started looking up information about her, and I found many sites.
Turns out she died "recently" in the 70's, while she was in her honeymoon in Austria, she was really young, 24 (which somehow saddens me because I'm turning 23 next week). It is said Sabú passed away the same day she did. I found many myths about her, one being that a mysterious man visits her tomb with flowers on a specific day. other that the dress she is wearing in the statue was her wedding dress.

Anyways, I think these sites explain more:
· Afterlife: a blog with plenty information about the cemetery and the stories behind it.
· Cementerio de la Recoleta: Historias y relatos
· And I was surprised I found Liliana's tomb in Wikipedia.

 Leaving the sadness aside... after staying a while at Liliana's tomb, we were heading towards the exit when for some reason we stop to listen to another interesting tour which is about the love stories behind the tombs,  that is when a woman asks me with a slightly Portuguese accent where Evita's tomb is, and I still don't know why I talked back to her in Spanish, and I did study Portuguese, I guess I didn't want to act like a fool because she was speaking Spanish, I thought she wanted to practice :p.

Anyways, since the place is huge I forgot where the tomb was so I pull out my cemetery's map and start looking for it, and I kept saying "you can look for it if you want, I'm in no hurry" in Spanish and she was just looking at me and staring at the map, then I hear a 'click' and I slightly glanced out of the map... and turns out the other two men who were with the woman were taking pictures with professional cameras! In my mind all I was thinking "oh no, my hair, I'm not wearing make up, my face is going to look huge from that angle". After a few minutes of reading the entire list of tombs and not finding Evita's, my cousin and I told them to look around where we thought it was, which was near where we were, so they left.

 And then I kept on looking because I felt really frustrated, when I found it on the map, we went after them, and I tell the woman "hey I found it" (in Spanish again! I don't know why!!) and then I say "es la número 26" -pointing in the map, and they start mumbling and then one of them says "oh number twenty six", and all I could think of in that moment is "*facepalm" lol. I finally ask them where they are from and the woman says: Belgium!, and then I apologized for not speaking English before and told them to keep looking because they were sure going to find the tomb, in English, finally!, but I walked away because I was so embarrassed, years of speaking English... and I just comfortably stayed in Spanish.

 I had many opportunities to practice my English this year, a cousin who came from Lebanon who happens to had lived many years in London so his English was really good and then a Swiss guy my brother and sister in law met in Ecuador,  who came to visit for a few days, his English was not really good though, in fact I had to teach him some words, like cupboard.

Back to my cemetery experience, I wonder what the pictures are for, I wish I asked them, I was wearing my Copper-Chloride Flame Scarf so if anybody who reads this and lives in Belgium and happens to see me, please, let me know!

Thursday, August 25

Trip to Buenos Aires I

 I go to Buenos Aires once or twice a year, I just love the city, there are always new places to visit.

 This time I visited Tecnópolis, it's a huge technology fair, I was really impressed by everything, but still, there are pros and cons.
 Pros, everything was very... futuristic, a lot of touch screens, leds and fancy stands. Shows and new stuff to explore.
 Cons there were so many people that you could hardly take the time to read and inspect and enjoy it, also it was more like an encyclopedia, in my dad's words, I think it was aimed to people who are not looking for something specific, just a brief view of everything.

I took very few photos in this fair, from the few here are two which I think were worth to share here:

Teal car in Tecnopolis

Teal car!! :p if I lived in the 50's, I'd had probably longed for this car.


Lots of books! or "books" when I got closer they were just cardboard spines, But anyways, I'd love to have a floor to ceiling bookshelf!

There is a 3rd worth-to-share pic, I took a pic of my dad playing with a huge touch screen, which was a fish bowl and when you touched a fish, it would show you the description of the fish, I think it was really really cool and even more because my dad was born in the 40's and he always tells me how when he was a kid, a tv or camera was something futuristic and also the awesome stuff I'll see when I'm his age, that's the main reason why I wanted to go with him to this fair.

I also visited San Telmo, Recoleta artisan's fair, Recoleta Cemetery and some other non so touristic places.
Pareja Bailando Tango - San Telmo
The obvious snapshot when thinking about BA (well not really to me, when I think of BA, I always think of  Parisian buildings and low-priced stuff :p)
This was in San Telmo, a very antique (and touristic therefore expensive) neighborhood, there is an artisan fair here in which I bought a really nice Jade necklace.
And now that I remember, when walking through its streets I stumbled upon a Danish church, my polyglot me was so excited and even more when I read Danish lessons were given, well, too bad I don't live in BA, but maybe someday I will. Skaal!


Thursday, August 18

First stitches after 15 years...

First stitches after 15 years...

 I couldn't get out my head the beautiful work of my grandma Luisa, so I've decided to return to embroidery after 15 years* (I was 8 when I was taught how to, actually this is the same hoop I used back then)

At first my idea was to make an embroidered frame (to put Luisa's picture in it) with some pleats and peach roses (my mom's favorite), sadly I couldn't find the right dark colors to go with DMC 967, I didn't know it was such a tricky color, Anchor's are too dark but I think I'll figure something out.

 For this rose I watched Wendi's long & short video tutorial (among many many others, it's awesome how she explains everything) and also I had the help of Sarah's stem tutorial, she also has a great site, I didn't even know there were so many different stitches for a stitch family.
 The rose embroidery is based on a drawing I made years ago, I think I was 13, (hey it's here) I tried to make some shadows and light with different colors, I'm not quite happy with the whole rose but I do like the first petal I made, it's the bottom left one, I really like how the colors worked there and all the stitches are very close to each other. I also played a little with stem stich, half of the rose was made using stem stitch as an outline after filling and the other half, the other way around.

I already joined two stitch along projects so I'll see what happens.
First one is Feeling Stitchy's August Stitch-Along. I don't think I'll get this done on time but I think it's a great idea, I chose a sleeping mask I've made back in February and never blogged about, (woops) it has only 3 colors, white, dark teal and turquoise.
Second one is welovefrenchknots Sewing Room Sampler, actually I'm somehow 30% done, it's a very amusing project, I've learned a lot so far... but I gotta say, I hate french knots :p ... I think it's all matter of practice though.

*15 years... sounds like a lot to me but I'll be 23 in exactly 2 weeks, I'm still young but time is ticking for all the stuff I want to get done before 25: au pair experience, trips, my translator degree *sigh

Thursday, August 11

Abuela Luisa: Embroidery from 1930 pt 4

  And this is the last (but not least) part of this series I've shared in honor of my grandmother Luisa. She also made and embroidered huge blankets, of course using wool instead of embroidery floss, someday I'll take pics of them.
Abuela Luisa: Embroidery

This is my second favorite of all, this rose was made with satin stitch and no idea how the grid is made, bt I'd love to learn how to, love the look of this.

Abuela Luisa: Embroidery

This chalice (is it?) was made with cross stitch, an easy one to guess :)

Abuela Luisa: Embroidery

I'm not sure about this fleur de lys, seems to be herringbone stitch.

Abuela Luisa: Embroidery

And the center of this flower is obviously made with satin stitch, not sure about the rest though.

Wednesday, August 10

Abuela Luisa: Embroidery from 1930 pt 3

Another sample of my grandma's, this looks so modern, specially the butterfly and the purple work at the end, let's see what I identify.
Abuela Luisa: Embroidery
This one was easy, different types of smock stitch.

Abuela Luisa: Embroidery
Curved pleats, leaf made with stem stitch, pretty butterfly made with french knots, satin stitch and stem stitch, I'm not sure about the brown stitch though. Edit Aug/12 I think the brown stitches are blanket stitches very close to each other.

Abuela Luisa: Embroidery
Those two blue lines are made with chain stitch and I have no idea about the yellow and light blue ones.

Abuela Luisa: Embroidery
No idea about these ones... I think my mom told me the last ones were called "fly stitch" but I looked it up and it's not the one, they look like bunnies to me :p

Abuela Luisa: Embroidery
And this is one of my favorites, it looks like a satin cord, I saw something like this at Shiny Happy World with the name of Couching


Tuesday, August 9

Abuela Luisa: Embroidery from 1930 pt 2

Yesterday I started talking about my grandma's Luisa embroidery swatches, this is a second part since they have so much detail and I'm still trying to figure out some stitches.

Abuela Luisa: Embroidery
Different types of buttonholes, different ways to sew buttons, then flowers and stems made with satin stitch, the other stem is made with stem stitch and that's how far I got to guess this part, I'd love to know how that grid is made, though. I will have to google this up.

Abuela Luisa: Embroidery
More pretty buttonholes, mending sample. Edit Aug/12 I think the buttonholes are made using blanket stitch so as the pink petals below.

Abuela Luisa: Embroidery
More of what appears to be french knots but I'm not sure, they are not that bumpy.

Abuela Luisa: Embroidery
The yellow line is chain stitch and that's all I know :p

Abuela Luisa: Embroidery
That orange line in the back appears to be satin stitch and then pleats and lace.


Monday, August 8

Abuela Luisa: Embroidery from 1930 pt 1

Abuela Luisa: Embroidery

 When I went back home a few weeks ago, I brought with me these embroidery swatches my grandmother Luisa made in the 30's (or that is what my mom told me, my grandma was born in 1913, she was still in school, so it makes sense) I'm amazed the colors are still bright and there isn't a single loose strand on the back... that's what I call a neat work! They swatches are wrinkled and with some yellow stains but I'd be scared to wash them or iron them even with a damp cloth. Actually I don't want to touch them so much, my idea is to put them on a frame but even so I'd not want the sun to ruin their color so I still don't know what I'm going to do with them. And I just saw at my dashboard that this is my post nº 100, I don't think there will be a nicer way to "celebrate" than sharing my grandmother's craft.

 I don't remember much of my grandma Luisa, only that she loved rocking me to sleep (I even have a picture of this), I'd really like to have her with me, I share so many things with her and my other grandma. Luisa was more of embroidering and sewing and my other grandma, María, liked painting, cooking and baking, and both shared the love for knitting and crochet, pretty much like me. I think in those years it was a must for women to have those skills but I think they would have done the same if it was today, they were skilled women with passion and perfection for crafts.

 I always wanted to keep these swatches, good thing my mom didn't let me play with them when I was a kid and liked (I still do?) to play with her sewing supplies and my grandma's clothing and suitcases.

 These are practice swatches, they are so neat that I can't even imagine what was the real work like! I wish they would still teach this in school (actually I was taught how to embroider back in 3rd grade but it wasn't for real, just plain chain stitch on a printed piece of fabric and I wasn't good at it :p)

 I never get tired of staring at my grandma's work, everytime I find a new stitch.
A few days ago I started to embroider -"again" for real- to make a project for my mom, I'm still practising and who knows... someday my own grandchildren will stare at my own swatches, I hope the craft lineage will still run in their blood.

Anyways, here are some closer pictures of the swatches I brought.
Abuela Luisa: Embroidery
So far I could identified: pleats, zig zag and satin stitch and the others I'm still not sure about

Abuela Luisa: Embroidery
I think the geometric figures are made with french knots

Abuela Luisa: Embroidery from 1930 pt 2

Sunday, August 7

Mom's Garden

My ugly Fair Isle

I don't really like checking my gauge, but this time swatches were very important, to count the stitches, also for practice and to loosen the hand.
The first swatch was knitted using Endpaper Mitts Chart, not too bad, but I was obsessed with NapkinPoem's tapestry chart. Turns out both charts are made for fingering or sport yarn, my purple and cream are worsted so there are less stitches to knit, less fancy the design.

I tried drawing my own (didn't take pics, they are messy) but it's hard to get smooth curves and designs in so few stitches then I thought for a moment I had hope with a new chart I found, Ithilien Brocade, such a pretty name and it does look pretty.
 I knitted a swatch to practice (and also to check if the leafs were too big) but I get really confused with the "left cross (...)" and "right cross (...)" I can't "see" or notice when to make each. Sometimes I knitted it right, sometimes the cream went over the purple :/
 But oh well, I wont give up on fair isle, I have some sport yarn in my stash so I'll go back to try this again soon until I get it right.

Friday, August 5

Copper-Chloride Flame Scarf

Copper-Chloride Flame Scarf
I completed this a few days before I went home for holidays, 2 weeks ago now.

This Candle Flame Scarf pattern has become one of my favorites (if not my favorite)... the pattern is easy to follow and the scarf grows fast! After a few rows, I didn't need to follow the pattern anymore (well, just a few times to make sure I was doing it right)

Copper-Chloride Flame Scarf - In progress
{Yup, I use a clip to mark my rows :p}

At first I had some trouble figuring it out, specially the first row but once I did, the rest was cake. Other problem I had was the grafting but I found a great video which helped me a lot (I can't find the video I've used for this scarf but found this one: Kitchener Stich which I've watched to make my birds), actually grafting is so easy that I wanted to do more but the scarf was not too wide :p (while looking for that video I found a very interesting video about grafting a seam with knits and purls, I'll keep this link here since youtube search is not working very well)

I love the texture and great thing is that it looks good on both sides.
Copper-Chloride Flame Scarf

And of course I love the yarn, it's very soft and the colors... teal/green/grey/dark grey/black, are perfect.
Copper-chloride?... well after I checked the other projects for this pattern, some people used red/orange colors, hence the name, candle flame, since I had green I wanted to know if there was green flame... and indeed there is, found this great post Colors of Elements in a Flame and there it is... my beautiful Copper(II) Chloride flame:
 "A bright green color is imparted to the flame by copper(II) chloride. (...) Usually copper salts other than the chloride are emerald green and copper chlorides are azure blue, but in this case the chloride appears emerald green."
Nerdy, I know... but I can't help it, I'm curious!


Wednesday, August 3

This is me knitting with 3 mm dpns

                                                  Knitting by ~witchylana on deviantART

I changed my mind and decided to knit Endpaper mitts with Tapestry chart instead of Variamo.  I started to read the pattern with needles on hand and the beginning looked complicated  (the braid) for my skills (and brains, I had an exam today so I'm not really looking forward to think too much) so I decided to begin with Eunny's.

Yesterday I went to buy some 2.5 mm and 3 mm dpns, found some without the number so I had to go home and size them (and also ask for help because I didn't know how to measure "sizeless" needles, actually I didn't know if I was doing it right), it turns out they were 3 mm and 3.5 mm which is okay, they are already too thin, I've never knitted with these before, so it adds up to the challenge. I hope to finish these mitts before the heat comes :/
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