Friday, March 30, 2012

Aztec mitts

I love and miss all things Southwest, so occasionally  I go on designing sprees. I knitted these while I was sick. I was sick for a week and these kept me entertained. 

What I had forgotten was just how much work I had put into the wool. I have no pictures of the yarn after it was spun. But the lower picture tells the story of the wool. This wool was white BFL. First I mixed food dyes and tested them on some white yarn (that you can see in the center. Then I dyed the four different colors and carded them together to create different sets of colors (also shown in picture). Then I spun the wool long draw, and put it away in storage for a while.
I now live in Madrid, and a byproduct of living here means that all of my notebooks are graph paper. It is very hard to get lined paper here. So I had been fooling around with grafting out colorwork designs while I waited in my job. I combined those doodle charts, along with some of the birds from the Andean mittens from Folk Mittens and I got these mitts.

Project notes. CO 60 Stiches, everything devisable by 5 except birds, which are 59 sts. Start the birds with the thumb and use one st for the gusset. The thumb was increased to 17 sts.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Salamanca the third

Here is a view of the park across from our hotel. Just look at how many benches there are! Also for those of you ever wondering, when I had my doubts about moving to Europe, it was partly due to the fact that I thought that they did this to trees all over. They do not do that in Madrid thanks goodness, but they trim the trees heavily in Barcelona.

A quiet little side street, with charming walls.

Everything looks like a castle!

 Ok so, Salamanca is known for a frog. It is a very famous frog. You see it below.

The reason that it is so famous, is because they have made it a game to spot this frog in amongst the detail that this wall holds. (Click to enlarge.) See if you can find the frog there. This is part of the University.

A Roman bridge, still in use.

I LOVE the side streets here.

There was a marching band performance. They were practicing for playing during Semana Santa (Easter week). I just wish I had felt better, and that it had been above 6 degrees C.

The Storks, they were everywhere, especially on top of old churches with their big nests.

 The Storks were soaring as the band was playing.

We watched for a while but eventually has to find a pharmacy and then go exchange our train ticket for an earlier one. I definitely need to go again. I hope you enjoyed the small peak into Salamanca.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Salamanca 2

More Salamanca.

I highly recommend you click to enlarge these pictures. These pictures are just a small taste of what we saw, I guess we took over 300 pictures even though we were there only about 24 hours.

These were taken on the first day.

Just look at the intricate detail on this church!

I included this one because it portraits how the Spaniards live in these old citys now days, and to an American it is fascinating. Plus I like the light on the palm. Do not let the palm fool you, it was cold.

Carved details were everywhere!
 We walked down the street to the Left on the photo and turned around to behold this sight.

This city is a photographers dream. Check out the sky, it is getting darker.

A nod to St Patty's day (which this was). We did not go in, because the party had already started. There were people with tall stovepipe Guinness hats all over the place.

Plaza Mayor of Salamanca. Not to be Blasphemous but I liked this one better then the one in Madrid.

 Please look closely at the little guys carved in to the side of this balcony it is stunning.

 I love really old roundy churches.

 Sorry this is more picture heavy then information heavy, we did not really learn about the history. Maybe next time around I will feel better, and we will have more time.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Salamanca, the first

Last Saturday, the 17th, my husband and I headed out for a grand adventure, we were going on an overnight to Salamanca. Sure, I was a little sick, but that would not stop us. 

We would be fine,  after all I have worked with three years olds for a while now, and I seemed to be getting sick less. We were also ignoring the forecast for rain (finally) and below 0°C temperatures. We did have a good time (mostly) but as you can probably see, I am posting this over a week later. My Doctor did not allow me to work this week, and still wants to see me on Monday morning to make sure I am better, enough said.

So here we are a post, the first of many (I have a lot of pictures and mean to go back) about the wonderful Salamanca.

First we went to our local train station (not really but we live in the bario), and I saw this wonder shot of the four towers I just had to share.

I took several pictures of my new Jenkins Turkish "Jay" Spindle, and I got a lot of looks for it, unfortunately this was the best one. That is the dry scrubby area around Madrid and into Castle y Leon.

After a 2.5 hour train ride we were in Salamanca (so fun to say out loud)! And we were greeted by this statue of St George.

The first bar we saw was named after someone special to us, and it looks a bit like him too.

We stayed at the only five star hotel I have ever stayed at, and MAN it was nice, the picture below is a taste. If you ever go to Salamanca, I highly recommend that you look up this hotel, it was also a reasonable price, although we were probably there in the off peak season. A depressing note, we figured that this room and the bathroom was the same size as our entire apartment, AHH big city life.

Ok and here is a taste of what the next posts will bring to you (all of these photos were taken on my phone, the others were taken with a proper camera). This city is OLD, it has one the first University in Spain, founded in 1218, and every building is made out of this light colored stone with the most amazing details carved in them. I highly recommend that you click to make the pictures larger as you see these posts.

I also have not done much else this week other then knit and spin. I am knitting with handspun this week. Those pictures will be on there way soon too, for those of you that are interested. I designed a pair of fingerless colorwork gloves that I call my Aztec gloves, first colorwork out of handspun, they are gorgeous.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A day in Pictures

Last Saturday DH and I had a bumper day, doing a ton of errands and ending up the day in the museum, the Thyssen Museum of Art to be precise. 

One of the errands we had to run was in the Salamanca neighborhood, which I think that I have posted pictures of before but it just beautiful. From here we walked to the Goya shopping district.

Then after buying some clothes and eating the cheapest (but good) lunch ever, with food to spare, we hopped on the metro and took it to Retiro Park and then walked to the Thyssen (a somewhat scenic route).

I have wanted to see the Thyssen museum for quite sometime because I am a big fan of the impressionists, but there just never seems to be any time. I live in a city that is PACKED with museums, there are so many that I want to see. So following that advice of a podcaster I admire, I am going to go to at least one a month.

The Thyssen is a wonderful museum and way bigger then you'd think it is. They have a wide range of art, from classical renaissance to modern and everything in-between. You could spend all day wandering it's many halls, and we did not even get to the special exhibit. Their gift store actually had things that made me drool as well. You should check out the online version, you can order prints, on canvas none the less, for a reasonable amount.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Just a quick post, about the buildings in Madrid.
Most of Madrid seems to me to consist of fairly new buildings. At first, I thought that I would only be interested in the older buildings, but I have found that finding the architectural details in any huilding new or old has it's own charm.

For example, I love the way the trees and the roof compliment each other here.

 This building is something from a lego set. 

 This next building (sorry for the picture quality it was taking from the highway) kind of reminds me of a Rubik's Cube. (Click to enlarge.)

Even boring buildings can be enhanced by color.

Have a good Wednesday!