Saturday, July 24, 2010

Reading Roundup

Whoops...guess it's been a while since the last book update. I have 25 books to add to the list over there. Let me list some of the better ones.

Incarceron - A YA book, the first of a fantasy series that seems as though it's going to be pretty good. I'm looking forward to the sequel.

The Imperfectionists - This one has gotten a lot of great reviews, but I must have missed something because I thought it was sort of eh.

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand - I loved this book. It reminded me of Angela Thirkell. The only bad thing about it? It made me sad because I would have loved to have shared this with my mom. I think she would have liked it. And then I got sadder thinking about all the books I'm going to miss reading when I'm dead. La la...Not sure the author intended that sort of reaction.

A Murderous Procession - The fourth in the Mistress of the Art of Death series, this one takes Adelia out of England. I thought this one was great.

Under Heaven - I love Guy Gavriel Kay's fantasy. This one didn't rate a star in my seemed a little draggy. But it was still good...lots of intrigue and court machinations going on.

As Easy As Falling Off the Face of the Earth - A wonder YA book from Lynn Rae Perkins. I love her books. This one is about a young boy who ends up wandering across the face of the Earth...well, at least a chunk of the US...and whose family is equally astray...until they all come together at the end.

The Passage - A new take on vampires. At least that's what the reviews have said. Reminiscent of Stephen King's The Stand...good scary fun.

Stories: All New Tales - Great selection of stories, all with a touch of fantasy.

The Nobodies Album - Liked this one a lot.

The Devil's Alphabet - A creepy little story.

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet - I loved this book and I can't say exactly why...the setting was interesting, the characters real and well-rounded, the story exciting. Well, I guess that's why!

Kraken - Maybe not the best of China Mieville, but even so a haunting and eerie story, filled with beautiful and grotesque imagery.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Big Thrill

Oooh, oooh! I forgot to mention the thrill I got today. I was reading through my blog roll today and hit upon this post on Knitasha von Stashenskeins (I love her blog's name). And I was skimming along and saw that, hey! she's knitting the same shawl I am. And then I saw it...she mentions that she fell in love with it after seeing it on my blog! Whee! I think this is the first time I've seen my blog mentioned on another blog out of the blue like this!

Weekly Wrap Up

So, let's get this out of the way...the routine stuff. The new red socks are coming along nicely...I'm trying to decide whether or not to make the cuffs ribbed, or stockinette, or go to the trouble of working out some fancier pattern.

I like the way the heels are purkle and yeller...

I do like me a cheerful sock.

The July Red Scarf (version 2.0) is coming along, though it may not be finished before August rears its ugly head. I'm a quarter of the way along, though, so it's making progress.

I know...that picture's not much different than the last one. Trust me. It's longer.

The shawl is coming along....

Hmmm...I think I like it. But sometimes I look at it and think, "Dang. That's awfully purple and green. Purple and green....huh. Do I really like purple and green?"

I mean, it's really purple and green.

It also has a couple of problems. In the first place, despite the relative randomness of Noro yarn, some of these fans that have fallen next to each other are awfully similar. Like the uppermost point and the one right below that and the one down and to the left of that one...all look pretty much of a muchness. And right in there next to those matchy-matchy ones are two that are a darker green and purpley-brown that are pretty much the same. But that's just part, as I said, of the randomness of Noro. The following, though, is all my fault. See this.

It's missing the third ridge. Darn it. And when I spotted it, I was about nine fans past it and really didn't feel like ripping back. But gee. It sure is purple and green.

When I was up at The Black Sheep last Tuesday, I saw the pattern for Stephen West's Daybreak shawl...and I really like it. Sorry for the crappy picture. I guess I should have taken it out of the plastic sleeve. Anyway, it's a nice stripey shawl. So I ran around the shop, picking up yarn, holding colors together, trying other combinations...having an awful lot of fun. Then I saw a cabinet full of Elsbeth Lavold's Silky Wool...oh, such pretty colors. How about red and cream? Red and charcoal? Teal and turquoise? Denim blue and gold? My head was spinning. It was all so pretty.

And what did I end up with?

Huh. Green and purple.

Monday, July 19, 2010


You know you're having a bad day when you have less scarf on the needles after 40 minutes than you did at the beginning.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Off With The Old, On With The New

So the old July Red Scarf is gone...well, it's still sitting on the needles, but only because I haven't yet taken the time to rip it back. Meanwhile, a new July scarf is springing to life.

This is a nice yarn that was on close-out at Webs. It's Queensland Collection's Kathmandu, and is a mix of merino wool, silk and (yum) cashmere. Has a nice hand.

The color's a little truer here and you can see the stitch pattern better. The pattern's called Asherton. Not mindless, but I think it'll make a good scarf for a young man.

My Dark Side of the Moon socks are done and off the needles. And on the feet! I wore them to work yesterday, in fact.

I'm quite happy with them. The patterning of this yarn (another Web's closeout - Regia's Galaxy) reminds me a little of old '60s Formica patterns.

And look, there's a new pair on the needles already!

This is, yes, another Web's closeout purchase...another one in the Harlekin color line (like those pretty yellow-orange-white-blue ones I just did). Just barely gotten a start on this one. It may just be a simple stockinette sock...or I may look for a stitch to throw in when I get home this evening.

Yesterday I ran into the Black Sheep to pick up a forgotten needle (I had been there Tuesday evening, finishing up the latest socks and had **GASP** left one of my needles there so that I couldn't start this newest pair until today....what a tragedy!), and I decided to indulge myself a little. (I had just gotten a nice award at work and I had told Rachel to buy herself a video game she wanted as a why shouldn't I get a treat too?) I picked up a skein of --

Oooh, sequins! Beads!! Silk!!! So pretty. So shimmery. Only a bit over 100 yards, though. What am I going to do with it? God knows. Fondle it, perhaps. Name it.

Actually, it comes with a simple little scarf pattern that would make an amusing frippery to throw around one's neck in the winter. So I might do that. I should definitely check out Ravelry's database and see what others have done with it. I might have bought two of them...there were two of them there on Tuesday evening....but sometime during the day on Wednesday, someone bought one.

In other news...we have baby pears!

I'm thrilled with this, as the tree has only been in place one year and it has been so dry this summer. We'll see if any of these babies come to fruition.

And I'll leave you with some photos of some of our daylilies. They're about over for the year...but they sure are pretty while they're blooming.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Impulse Of Delight

The Black Sheep has been having its yearly sale and I was trying to be good and not go up there…what with recent trips to Webs, and a little splurge at The Loopy Ewe, I really don’t need to spend more money for yarn.
But then I saw this pattern:
I fell in love with this pattern and I have been developing the itch to knit a shawl. I don’t know why. I don’t know that I am the shawl type, really. But there are so many pretty ones and something about the thought of snurgling up in a shawl appeals to me….so….I downloaded the pattern. You know, for some day. Not too soon, I have too many other things to do. But someday in the not-too-distant-future I want to make this shawl.

I ran into the Black Sheep hoping to get some Noro Silk Garden Light for it. You have for the future. But I need seven skeins and, of the colors I loved (the colors with the blues and purples and turquoises), there were only three skeins of one color, four skeins of another, three skeins of the third. Dang it. But then Tracy, ever the enabler, pointed out that the Aya, a cotton and silk with just-a-touch-of-wool Noro, was also on sale. So I bought up seven skeins of this color.

What's that you say? You only see six skeins there? Really?

Um…I might have already started the shawl…

I just couldn't resist it.

I also bought these last four skeins of Silk Garden Light because I loved the colors. Wish they'd had seven skeins of this.

In other news, I haven’t mentioned the July Red Scarf for quite some time. That’s because it’s been marinating in my bag, traveling back and forth to work with me, while I’ve decided that I hate it. Sigh. So I think it’ll be unknit and I’ll start something else with another yarn. I don’t like this yarn much. At least not in this incarnation. So it's back to the drawing board...or knitting sticks....something.

I also got that Loopy Ewe order today. You see, there's this dyer, The Sanguine Gryphon, who dyes absolutely scrumptious yarns. She's located in Maryland, actually. On the Eastern Shore somewhere, I think. And her yarn is sometimes hard to get hold of...but I wandered into The Loopy Ewe at just the right moment and scored two skeins of her yarn. And then I decided to get some Madelinetosh as long as I was ordering. And in order to get free shipping, I threw in a lovely Ann Hanson pattern...

The top two are the Gryphon's -- the orange is "Orange Assassin Bug" and the blue-y green is "Arge Moth" (they are from her buggy series). And the yarn at the bottom is the Madtosh in the Georgia O'Keefe colorway. (Yes, I'm using the word "colorway" though there are plenty on Ravelry who think it's a pretentious word and hate it. I think it is a very specific and useful word and I use it often.)

Ahhhhhhh....those colors!