Showing posts from February, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge: Weeks 8 and 9

While I was on the road and this past weekend, I finished up a few books from the list.

I took Adeline by Norah Vincent with me on the road to cover week #34 - A book with a title beginning with the 1st letter of your name.  This was a slow read for me.  I think I would recommend it - to a small pool.  If you don't immediately know who Lytton Strachey is, you will probably be lost throughout a lot of the book. (I could see my mum, who is an English major and ex-English Lit teacher liking it).  At any rate, this is a fictional retelling of Virginia Woolf's last hours, although the book jumps forward and backward to points in her life that are (the author feels) formative.  I think the author was attempting to write the book in a voice similar to that of Woolf's, with some stream of consciousness type writing, but on the other hand...Woolf suffered from some form of mental illness, so there are parts of the internal dialogue that are just plain confusing and rambling and ha…

WIP Wednesday: February 17, 2016

For all the details, please see the podcast, episode 5, which is now live:

Otherwise, for the drive-by version:

Sekret Knitting:
The only deadline project I'm working on right now is the final sweater due March 8th.  I'm about 2/3rds of the way up the body to where I need to cast off for the underarms and then shape the rest of the garment top.  I've got sleeve 1 started, and I'll get that and the body finished up for sure this week, and hopefully get sleeve 2 cast on (and done if possible), which will just leave the front bands/collar and finishing to do when I get home!

Personal Knitting:  The only things on the needles right now are self-striping sock yarn samples.  I'm cutting myself off from any other personal projects for a bit while I finish my deadline knitting with the carrot that I get to start a new handspun shawl project if I can free up those needles.

2016 Reading Challenge: Week Seven

I finished up the week #31: A YA fiction book - The Iron Thorn.  I liked this one a lot more than I expected to based on the first 4 or so chapters.  It kind of came into its own as the author gathered steam.  It has a strong female heroine in it, and I really enjoy anything with elves in it, so there was that too.  A bit of steampunk, a bit of mystery in the mists, and some great supporting characters.  I will likely read the others in this trilogy when I need some escapism fiction.  A fun, quick read.

This week I also read week #46, a crime story, with the novel The Cutting Season.  This is a murder mystery set on a Louisiana plantation in current day, but there is also a historical murder mystery underlying the contemporary one.  This was... okay.  I wished there were a little bit more going on with the historical murder mystery portion of it.  There were a few loose ends that the author just kind of dropped and tidied up quickly at the end that I wished had been given a little mo…

WIP Wednesday: February 10, 2016

Sekret Knitting:

I finished up the second Heroines Club shawl and blocked it.  I even shot photos for it yesterday and my tester is finishing up her version. I'm halfway up sleeve #1 of the current sweater project, and I've cast on for the body.  I had some detail at the bottom hem I needed to fuss with regarding numbers, but that was less painful than I thought it might be (easy in fact), and so I am now cruising along on the body.  This is my focus project for the next couple of weeks. Personal Knitting: I finished my Dewberry cowl and love it!  It's soft and drapey, and was a quick fun project that used up some handspun.  What's not to love?  My version used a sportweight yarn - the pattern was written for Aran, so it's a bit smaller than the original.  I'm actually thinking I might knit it again in a heavier yarn just because.
With Dewberry off the needles, I cast on a Quaker Yarn Stretcher with my recently spun Mirro Lake colorway BFL from Three Waters Farm. …

2016 Reading Challenge: Week Six

This week, I finished The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) for topic week #29 - an author who writes under more than one name.  This is a complete departure from Harry Potter.  It's most definitely not young adult type fiction - this falls firmly in adult mystery/thriller writing, but a bang-up job in this genre as well.  I could not put this one down.  The characters are well-rounded (but not necessarily loveable or engaging), and the plot was multi-faceted and layered.  The main character, Cormoran Strike, is the love child of a 1960s musician and a groupie, who is just back from a tour to Afghanistan as an MP, and is now back in civilian life with bad nightmares and a prosthetic leg.  He's in the midst of a nasty break-up and living in ths back room of his office.  He's hired by the brother of a famous model who is found dead in the street in front of her posh apartment to investigate - was it suicide or murder or an accident?   If you like this…

Spinning Friday: February 5, 2016

I've got 2 finished spins to share with you today!

First up is the December FatCatKnits club fiber, which was a swirl merino (dark and light merino blended together) in the Scarlett and Rhett colorways, the final installment in the Famous Couples Club offering this go-round.

The original roving consisted of two 2.5 oz braids.  The bright one is Scarlett (lots of red, royal blue, emerald green and purple) and the more muted one is Rhett (charcoal, black and a gray-blue).

I spun each of the colorways up into singles and then plied them together to yield a fingering-weight 2-ply with 530 yards/5 oz of yarn.

While I haven't decided for sure the grand plan for this yarn, I do have enough yardage for a decently sized shawl, and I'm eyeing Romi Hill's Artesian as a possibility.  This one will marinate a while while I decide on a final project to try with it.

I also spun up 4 oz of BFL from Three Waters Farm as part of the CTA first-quarter SAL in the CTA Ravelry group.  The …

WIP Wednesday: February 3. 2016

For those of you following along on the antics via the Podcast, Episode 4 is now live!

For those of you here for just a quick drive-by update, here ya go!

Sekret Knitting:

Sweater #2 of 3 is finished!  Sample is knit, blocked, buttons are on and it's ready for photography.  The draft is off in the capable hands of my TE for review as we speak.So I'm working on sweater 3 of 3.  Just started the first sleeve and I'll be working on the sleeves this week while I am finishing up the last bit of...The second Heroines Club Shawl pattern.  I'm in the final repeat of the biggest lace pattern, so hoping to have that off the needles by the end of the weekend and blocked!Personal Knitting: I finished my Hogmanay Shawl.  If you are interested, you can find all the details on my Ravelry project page here.  A very successful project - I love how the pattern worked up in handspun.  I was able to use just about every yard of the skein too - win/win! 

Having that off the needles, I cast on …

2016 Reading Challenge: Week Five

This week, I read Vienna Nocturne by Vivien Shotwell.  This is a fairly highly fictionalized account of the English soprano, Anna Storace.  Born in England and trained by a famous castrato to perform, Anna eventually winds up at the Austrian court, where her gorgeous voice and pretty looks earned her a paying position as the "lead soprano" for the Emperor's court.  A lot of the details of her life aren't known.  The author postulates that she was engaged in an affair with Mozart, and while she certainly knew the composer and sang things he wrote, there isn't a lot of historical basis for this theory - although it makes for a good story.

I did enjoy this book, although I think it could have used a bit more editing, and it would have been really nice to have a bit more of the historical information the author used to create the plot line. (I wound up hitting Google and Wikipedia since I didn't know very much about the central character.)   Enjoyable and easy re…