viernes, 28 de septiembre de 2007

Nada Personal, Nada Especial.

"Nothing Personal, Nothing Special...." a song from one of my favourite groups, "Soda Stereo" from Argentina. I bought their latest compilation cd yesterday together with others like James Blunt newest album. It is wonderful to remember old times and still feel the vibe of the moment inspite of the years passed.
Today without trying to be to "personal" there aren't those many "special" things I can say about the knitting arena in Mexico. Perhaps this may be a bit of a shock to many of you but what seems to be a fashionable and /or a popular activity in, let's say the US it is quite different down here. This makes me remember about a time (2006) when I was in Toronto, Canada in a very interesting store named Romni Wools. A place where they have stacks of yarn from floor to ceiling, a place pretty much like a warehouse but a total feast to the eyes of a knitter. While paying for some beautiful and very cheap skeins of yarn from France the owner noticed I was a tourist and the moment I mentioned I was from Mexico she immediately said "It must be yarn heaven down there!". I just nodded because I felt both sad about knowing the truth and also because I did not want to spoil her cheerful attitude. This does not mean that there is no knitting in my country, on the contrary but it is an activity of almost a 100% folk art. This is, you need to take a plane out of Mexico City to find handmade skeins of yarn that are also hand painted. The best place to go is the state of Oaxaca, on the Pacific Coast, a truly "heavenly" place for folk knitters. In another day I will speak more about Oaxaca. Today I will focus on life for a knitter like me in Mexico City.
I am fortunate to live close to an area of the city pretty much of what Greenich Village or Soho are in New York. A very lively place where many artists live. This past year it has grown a bit more and for my luck two new yarn stores have opened! You can imagine my enthusiasm. One is called "El Club de la Araña" (The Spider's Club) and the other one "Tala". Now, these are new places that are starting and so still need to work on their costumer service skills but I am hopeful. About the merchandise they carry, 95% of it is composed of imported skeins from Spain, Peru, France, Italy, etc. and only 5% represents the only mexican brand that has a certain quality to standout: "Omega" yarns.
Because of the huge market competition due to globalization unfortunately many mexican fiber and yarn producers closed their activities. Only "Omega" has been able to withstand the competition, they mainly produce 100% cotton yarns with very nice colors. Mexico is not a real wool producer.
Last year I bought my first stash of "Omega" yarns that I used to knit a lace project. I am happy with the results.
Here is a picture of such project, I hope you like it.
In the meantime I say farewell and promise to keep on writing about Mexico and also clear out some myths while I am at it.
All the best, Marie.

miércoles, 19 de septiembre de 2007

Autumn Sweaters

I want to share with you a project that I finished some months ago. It is an up to the knee coat inspired by Pattern # 8 from Verena Stricken Herbst 2004 issue. It took me some months to finish but I really enjoyed working on it. The yarn I used is from Lanartus (Italy) 15% Wool 11% Mohair and 74% Polyacrylic. I used about 800 gr. One of the things I enjoy knitting with are cables, I just love the way they look according to the light, they sort of become alive!

Finally it is finished!
I named this short sleeved sweater "Basel" and it was knitted following the instructions for Pattern # 37 from the Vogue Knitting Fall 2006 issue. I used a different type of yarn, one that I found in Basel, Switzerland last Fall 2006 (400gr). It is a 75% Polyacrylic 25% Mohair blend that has a wonderful feel and easy to knit with such pattern. Eventhough the short sleeved cowl pattern is quite easy I liked that I was able to learn a new technique with it, the previously mentioned "Wrap & Turn" tecnique which added a beautiful flow to the sexy deep cowl. Don't you think it would look great worn with a pair of jeans and boots?

I look forward to wearing both of them this Fall/ Winter season!
See you soon!

martes, 18 de septiembre de 2007

A New Season and a New Technique.

Autumn, my favourite season of the year. A time when the soft sunlight reminds me that the end of the year is close but there is still time to achieve some goals. This season also puts me in a particular state of mind that brings fond memories back. I feel lucky that the rainy season in Mexico City has still allowed the sun to come out for my enjoyment!

To celebrate the season I am almost done knitting a short sleeved sweater that is a clear reminder of autumn, not only because of its colors but because I bought the yarn during autumn '06 in beautiful Switzerland. When I am done knitting it I will explain a bit more about the project. Anyway, just when I am about to finish it I encountered a new technique, one that in my many years of knitting had never heard of before: "Wrap and Turn". Interesting technique I should say, one that will allow the cowl collar not to become stiff when I bind the stitches off and will add a soft edge to my project. Check out for a clear instruction on how to achieve great results with it.
Here is a picture of my almost-done project (hopefully tonight!).........

.....and of my basil plants I got as a gift from my aunt this weekend. They are also enjoying the autumn sun like me. BTW have I ever mentioned that basil is not at all an ingredient used in mexican cooking? Yes, mexican cuisine, with its wide variety of spices and herbs does not include basil (!!)

See you soon!

miércoles, 12 de septiembre de 2007

Here I go again...

Hello again dear Blog!
It has been nearly impossible to properly startup my blog as I have been so busy with work and stuff. Still, it is my wish to start posting messages, pictures, etc. to make this a fun and interesting blog.
I know I started writing in spanish but being english the most used language in internet I guess I will keep on posting mostly in english. No problem.
For those who do not understand spanish "Hebras y Madejas" stands for "Threads & Skeins" the two things I love the most to work with.......besides food!

See you in a bit,