Showing posts from May, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge: Week 22

Wow - you know what?  I NEVER put a book down - I make myself finish what I start - but The Biographer's Tale wins the prize for making me run screaming away from a book.  I couldn't even get through the first chapter.  A fairly dubious honor, eh?  I put in a hold for Circling the Sun at our library, which I had wanted to read and apparently should have just chosen instead of being impatient to start a new book.

So, in the meantime, I grabbed The Scribe by Matthew Guinn (for week #32 - a historical fiction).  Much better!  A murder mystery set in Atlanta during Reconstruction.  Lots of great historical back-story in this one and a decidedly creepy tale.  I zipped through this one in a couple of days while I was knitting stockinette.

On tap for the next week are 2 books:
The first is for week #6, the Goodreads highest rated to-be-read book, which is The Clockmaster by Betsy Tobin, who is the author of Iceland that I read last year and LOVED.  This one happens to be a short sto…

WIP Wednesday: May 25, 2016

This week's podcast episode is now live wherein I talk about all the things (and I mean ALL the things) that I've got on the needles right now:

For those of you just here for the drive-by version, I'm working on:

Sekret Knitting:

Fall 2016 design collection sweater #2: I've got the body just about done on this.  I have half the front to finish shaping at the neckline and about 14 rows to knit of the back.  Sleeve #1 is done, so I plan on working on sleeve 2 this weekend.Fall 2016 design collection shawl:  On the needles currently.  I just cast this one on (it's not even mentioned on the podcast!), but it's my focus project this upcoming week. Personal Knitting:  A caveat that I have several things at the 99% done stage - I'm waiting for Stash Dash 2016 to start on Friday (05/27/2016) to cast those off to be able to count the yardage. The Lizzie Shawl: I have 1 repeat of the knit-on lace edging to do and then this is done!Hermione's Everyday Socks:  I have …

2016 Reading Challenge: Week 21

This week, I finished up Lives in Ruins (for week 19).  This book wasn't what I thought it was going to be about.  I assumed from the tagline "Archeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble" that the book would cover interesting archealogical finds, things hidden in the everyday flotsam and jetsam that came to light in a dig.  Uh.  No.  This book is about archeologists in the 21st century; which is to say, this is mostly a book about being underfunded and having to do a lot of paperwork.  I "get" that today's archeologists are not Indiana Jones, all swashbuckling adventurers, but geez... there is SOME excitement in finding things undiscovered that tell you about a past society, or the lives of people who came before, isn't there?  Not really if this book is any indication.  I finished it.  That's all I've got to say about that.

Next up, I zipped through Entwined by Heather Dixon for week #1's topic: A book I meant to read in 2015, but…

Spinning Friday: May 20, 2016

I haven't had a spinning Friday post in a while - but here's what I've been up to most recently!

This past week, I've been spinning the singles from the May Wooly Wonka Fibers club, which are a lovely soft blend of 80% merino wool and 20% silk.  The colorway was inspired by Salvadore Dali's painting "Persistence of Memory".

I've spun up the first half of the singles, which I'm trying to keep fairly fine with the aim of producing a 2-ply fingering weight yarn from this.

I'm going to try to get the second half of the singles spun up over the weekend, and while I normally like to ply things up fairly promptly, I'm going to hold off on these and ply them after StashDash 2016 starts, so I can count the yardage.

WIP Wednesday: May 18, 2016

Happy WIP Wednesday, y'all!  If you want a bunch of details, you can pop into my podcast, Episode 14, where I talk about the things I'm working on here:

Show notes can also be found in my Ravelry group here.

For the short version, here's what I'm working on:

Sekret Knitting:

I've finished up the cardigan for the 2016 fall design collection.  That's heading off to my TE and testing shortly. I've cast on for the pullover for the fall design collection.  This is a DK-weight pullover and I've got one sleeve just about done (I need to finish shaping the sleeve cap) and started on the body.  I'm hoping to get through at least half the body this week so I can hopefully put in some focused time and have that completely done by the end of the first week of June.Personal Knitting:  In general, I'm gearing up for StashDash 2016, which kicks off May 27th,  and trying not to cast off very much right now, so I've got a bunch of things on the go! May self-str…

2016 Reading Challenge: Week 20

I finished up Gutenberg's Apprentice by Alix Christie for week #7 - a book about books. I guess I thought I knew about the basics of the first printing press, but I was wrong!  Tons and tons of the mechanics I hadn't thought about were interwoven into this story about Gutenberg and his apprentice, Peter Schoeffer, who later became one of Germany's foremost book printers/sellers.  I will say that it is helpful to have at least a passing knowledge of European history in the 1400s.  There are a lot of references to the Crusades and church politics that influence the events in the story and if you aren't at least basically up-to-speed on the overlying history, some of it might be a bit confusing (or at least send you off to look up some footnotes).  I really enjoyed this one - enough meat in the story to really sink my teeth into and I won't ever take the written/printed book for granted again having followed all the challenges I hadn't even thought of in getting e…

2016 Reading Challenge: Weeks 18 and 19

I really enjoyed the biography of Jack London, An American Life, for week #28's topic: A biography.  This was a well-written, extensively researched biography on the American writer, who died at 40, leaving behind a long list of novels and short-stories that appear on the "Must Read" list for a lot of American students.  London was really a man of his times - an adventurer, a self-made man, really the first writer to make a living specifically from his writing (and not someone who had money already in the bank that allowed him to write without worrying about a paycheck).  I always like a book where I learn something new and this one definitely was that.  I had at least a passing reference to London's exploits in the Klondike (and about which White Fang and The Call of the Wild were based), but I was unaware of how much time he spent in the South Pacific.  He was definitely a troubled soul - an alcoholic and subject to long bouts of depression.  He certainly had a dif…