Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Now that the Olympic fun is over, I'm looking for another knitting project. (I'm working on socks while I think) I still have the beautiful silkroad aran that I'd love to use next, but can't decide what to make with it....
While I'm thinking, I've got the stripey Olympics socks, and one embossed leaves sock to make. I also bought sock yarn yesterday, and more came in the mail..... no shortage of yarn here.
Last night was book group. I had fun and as I expected, the things that bothered me about the book either weren't noticed by others or weren't the annoyance to them that they were to me. It was fun to hear what everyone thought about it and pick another book for next month. We chose something completely different for next month. Laurie Notaro's We thought you would be Prettier, which I have wanted to read for a while. I actually bought the book to take to the Salado games, but I knit instead. I also finished She got up off the couch, which I loved.
I think I'll download Secret Life of Bees from Audible, because Sue Monk Kidd will be here at our Central Library April 1st. Everyone who has read this seems to love this book. I'm thinking I'll listen to it, but maybe I should just buy a copy to read, then I can ask her to sign it at the program.
It's a sunny, pretty day and I've got to get ready for work. It's supposed to be in the 80's today. crazy. Speaking of crazy, here is Scout on my sheepskin. She sometimes acts afraid of it, and sometimes acts like it's her mommy. Today, she was so focused on kneading it, she wouldn't even monster me while I was taking pictures.
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Here is the completed Olympic Sweater. Finished late last night, after days of just sitting there waiting for me to put it together. Photographed today in a sunny window (sorry about the shadows, I didn't want to go outside and shoot it).
Overall, I'm pretty happy with it, I liked the yarn, the pattern was simple and quick, but I doubt I'll wear it. It's just a little too bulky for me, and a little too close fitting. I tried it on late last night. DH thought it looked good, and it fits better than I anticipated and looks fine, but I don't like the feel of it on me. I think it's the combination of bulky yarn and the fit. I think it would feel better if it were a size larger, even though it might look sloppier. For the next knitting Olympics I'll try something in a finer gauge
I finished the pieces long before I thought I would and instead of just finishing the whole sweater, I worked on other things. I finished the second sock from a pair I started at the Scottish Games last Sept. I didn't include a picture because they are plain ribbed socks in a solid green. Not very exciting, but I'm glad I got them done.
Then I started another pair of socks and almost finished them too! They are just simple stockinette stitch socks, but I like the pattern in the yarn, how they fit and feel and wash. I made a similar pair for Lolly's socktoberfest in October and I wear them all the time. Socks are so much easier to throw in my bag and take with me everywhere. Portable knitting is good.
I probably won't work on them much today. I have a tiara to make for wonderful Annie and I think I'll make some raspberry chocolate truffles for my book group. I've only made truffles a few times. The first batch tasted great but looked like the dickens. The second batch tasted even better and looked a little more like actual truffles. I'm getting quicker with the dipping the cold center into the warm chocolate, so I don't end up with a lumpy melted mess. Today we'll see if the improvement trend continues.
I finished the Historian and I'm about finished with She got up off the Couch. I am really enjoying She got up off the couch. It's the sequel to Girl named Zippy by Haven Kimmel. They are both about the authors childhood in a small town in Indiana. She manages to convey exactly how life looked through her childhood eyes. I love the way she presents the picture of her life just as she understood it then, no adult understanding enters into the story. I also love the crazy characters, the craziest of which are her own family. It's wonderful non fiction storytelling like few other books I've ever read.
I struggled through the Historian, I liked the characters and the plot was interesting ( even though I'm not interested in Dracula) but there were so many points where the book made me grind my teeth, I would have put it down if it weren't one of my book group books. Too long for me, too plodding, too many huge convenient coincidences, too many 'she uncrossed her legs and looked at her watch' or 'removed her gloves' ... I just don't have the patience for a book that takes almost 700 to tell me when people cross their legs, but doesn't explain huge plot points that make absolutely no sense or worse, explains them as a stunning coincidence.
I also couldn't stand that while some of the non english speaking characters searched for common everyday words to express themselves, the next sentence they would use words like 'waxen' and say that someone was 'slighter' than someone else. I'm sorry, if you don't have a basic grasp of enlish, the word waxen won't cross your lips and slighter? sorry. no. smaller maybe, littler possibly, even tinier I'd believe before slighter. It's a picky little thing, but it bothered me to no end. I know at least one other person in my book group loved this book, so I know it's one of those personal taste things. There are plenty of books I love that other people thought were silly, simple or just plain bad. That's how personal taste works.
This is one of those things I love about books and talking about books. Two people can be in absolute agreement on many books they read and then there will be one of those books that throws them completely on opposite sides of the spectrum. Or two people who have nothing in common with one another, at all, and find they love the same author. It's just so odd how people's tastes overlap, I find the intersections of taste so fascinating.
Okay, enough rambling... here's Fannie Pie herself, sunning on a Booga Bag.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Well here are some old photos of projects that I'm finally posting here... some socks I made for my dad for Christmas.
Both made from Regia sock yarn that suvives both machine washer and dryer, according to my mom. (Hi Mom!).
I also have pictures of the tree I made for the Festival of Trees at Philbrook this year. I neglected to take pictures of it after I felted it, however, and I also didn't include anything that would indicate the scale. So you'll just have to take my word for it, it was big and I felted it and it got smaller.
I have made progress on the Olympic sweater, both front and back are done. I'm knitting both sleeves at the same time so they'll be exactly the same. I'll probably finish them tonight and block the pieces overnight so I can begin assembly tomorrow and pick up stitches for the collar. I don't see any real problems getting it completely done before the closing ceremonies next weekend, unless I just goof off and don't do it. I am almost done, I'm working on the sleeve caps, but it's really reallyboring.
In fact, this whole sweater was pretty boring, and in addition to boring, it isn't going to fit me :-( I neglected to measure carefully ( or at all) and I picked the size that *should* fit me, based on the size sweater I wear.... but not based on anything that has a base in reality, apparently. Not to worry, there are plenty of people who could wear the sweater comfortably. The next sweater will be for me, and I'll measure first.
In keeping with the old pictures for the rest of this post here is Scouty.... from a week or so ago...
For more cute cat pictures check out www.catsinsinks.com and www.cuteoverload.com . I didn't realize there were so many cats that like sinks, I thought it was just Scout, but she's in good company.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
This is the progress after the opening ceremonies.... I've completed most of the back (up to the armholes) and used almost 2 skeins of yarn. I think I'm off to a good start.
I'm not sure how much time I'll have to work on this project, but it's possible that my project will be done with time to spare. When this realization hit me last night, I immediately started to wonder if I could complete two sweaters in 16 days. I'll just chalk that lunacy up to Olympic spirit.
I do think I'm knitting faster, probably the result of knitting practically all my non- working and non-sleeping hours. It's possible, although unusual, that I've underestimated myself. I'm not much for competition normally, it just seems so artificial. I usually prefer to just do my best at the time, with out contrived time restraints or circumstances, at least where knitting is concerned. Because of this, and the fact that I'm still learning and improving, I don't really know what I can do within artificial time constraints. But the Knitting Olympics? Just sounded like too much fun to miss.
The yarn for this sweater is GGH Savana, it's a blend of alpaca, wool and linnen. I ordered it from Knit Happens, and it's very soft and springy with the occasional slub of linnen. At first, I didn't like the irregular texture that the slubs created, but I'm growing fond of the bumpy, frosty look of it. It feels like alpaca with a backbone, lofty and strong. The color varies too, making it look more like a hand dyed yarn. The sweater will be a little warm for Oklahoma, but I think I'll wear it... depending on the fit.
I've also finished one lace leaf sock. No pictures yet. I love that sock pattern. I'll definitely be making more. I've set them aside until the Olympic sweater is done. No point in taking chances, even if I did finish 1/6th of the project on the first day. I also have to keep in mind the finishing. My least favorite part... in fact, the Manos sweater is done, and has been for over a week, but can I wear it? No, it's in pieces on the blocking table.
I'm off to work today so no progress until tonight.
Saturday, February 04, 2006
Embossed Leaves socks and birthday yarn...
Here is my birthday present from my sister. Lovely sock yarn, the colors are close but not exactly accurate. The pale green in the top left is Merino Gems in willow, the blue/purple/green is Cherry Tree Hill supersock and the pink/peach/purple is Koigu. The Cherry Tree Hill and Merino Gems are from Darn it Yarn! I'd have to say these are my three favorite sock yarns. All very very soft and they come in beautiful colors. Thanks Pam!
The light green is destined to be Embossed Leaves Socks by Mona Schmidt from the Interweave Knits Winter 05 magazine. I have been busy making sweaters of late, but haven't forgotten my favorite portable knitting, socks. The sock yarn arrived Wednesday night and by Thursday morning there was sock progress. I woke up early (thanks, Scout) picked up my sock yarn and needles, turned on Turner Classic Movies and found the Thin Man was starting. Wonderful yarn and one of my all time favorite movies, a great way to start the day.
Here is the progress on the embossed leaves socks, I started Thursday morning and worked on them a little Friday night. The chart is fairly easy to remember, I still keep it handy because I haven't knit enough lace type things to trust my memory yet... I still am amazed as the pattern appears before my eyes as I knit, although I'm starting to be able to see what should come next by the pattern repeat above. The simple combination of knits, purls, k2tog and ssk result in amazing overlapping leaves. It's a lovely pattern, and I think these socks will be for me, although I can see this being one of the sock patterns I knit over and over again. I have a couple different sock patterns that are my standard socks that I have memorized so I don't have to carry a pattern around with me.
Which reminds me, I need to find one of my simple patterns to take with me to a sock party! Some knitting librarians I work with want to make socks! I'm bringing my sock patterns to help get them started and they are bringing their sock stuff and pizza! What could be more fun than an excuse to get together with fun people and knit socks? I can't think of a thing.
Speaking of Librarians... have any of you looked at LibraryThing ? It's an online library cataloging service type thing. It allows people to catalog their own collections of books ( although I can already see using it for movies, cds, knitting patterns, Audible books, etc.) and also allows people to create their own tags for items. At first I didn't see the power of this idea, but LibraryThing allows you to see others collections that are similar to yours, based on real subject headings and your own descriptions of items in the tags.
After reading about the tag idea I found that the user tags are actually quite an interesting idea. People are creating their own 'subject headings' or descriptions of their books. Working daily with the DDC, and being fully aware of the limitations of controlled vocabulary and somewhat artificial official subject headings, I am falling in love with this idea. These tags don't replace subject headings, they enhance them. I have often wanted to be able to search our catalog for 'chick lit' novels, but that's not an 'official' subject heading, so you get nothing. Library Things' tagged collections could make searching for things like 'chick lit' so much easier and possibly more interesting since definitions of that term vary with the user. This direct, unpredictable, messy, small d democratic type of catagorizing really appeals to me. I even love the term that has come to describe it, folksonomy. I would not give up the precision of actual subject headings, but as an addition or enhancement, tags could be the frosting on the cake.
Too much librarian jargon? I'll close with a cute cat picture. Scout and sock yarn.