Saturday, August 23, 2014

I took a bit of a dip in the yarn stash

I went looking for yarn for one project.  I found partial skeins of two dozen lovely wool yarns, inspiring the brilliant idea for a couple of stash busting travel bags.  Bags that would use lots of yardage while being a bit more distinctive and really easy to wash.  I started a large rectangular bag yesterday afternoon:
I've added about 6 inches to the sides since this morning.  I keep changing yarns, making the project rather addicting. :-)
In between knitting more toys, which can be rough on my hands, I cast on a really lovely lace shawl from Rosemary Hill called Brandywine.  The yarn has lost it's ball band, but I'm pretty sure it's from Verdant Gryphon.

It's turning into a really gorgeous piece.  The combination of yarn and pattern is wonderful!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Tonight is my twenty year high school reunion....

Despite all the people I would love to see, circumstances did not enable me to attend.  So here is me saying, "Hello everyone!"

As consolation, I am spending the evening knitting, watching Grosse Pointe Blank, and contemplating an occasion I could wear a man-eating plant dress.  Maybe my dad's upcoming wedding?

Friday, August 8, 2014

We may eat a bit of watermelon...

Watermelon salad actually; cucumber, red onion and tomatoes tossed with a ton of fresh mint and...watermelon.  Topped with herbed feta, it's amazing!

I serve it alongside the watermelon that didn't fit in the mixing bowl.  I've served it with herbed bread and various meats, but really, it's a stand alone for us.
 It's kind of blissful on a warm summer evening to have a dinner that everyone loves and doesn't heat up the house.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Solace in the written word

This summer continues to be a bit of an emotional trial; some were unexpected, some ongoing.  So, I do what I have always done.  I read. 
I read the first six novels in the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. Thanks Mom!  The seventh was released only a couple days ago, it will likely be added to the library shortly.  I also started The Edge series by the same author. Again, thank you Mom!  They are fun reads, with the Kate Daniels series being a bit darker in tone.  All are rather addictive reads.
I also read the latest Dresden novel. To say I am a fan of the Dresden novels would probably be an understatement.  They have become some of my favorite books ever. Thank you Jim Butcher!
All of these, plus a re-read of the entire Parasol Protectorate series  , have been palate cleansers in between chapters of The Song of Ice and Fire.  I am about a third of the way through the third novel, A Storm of Swords.  Engrossing novels! They are graphic, in many ways, so if you don't like that sort of thing, they may not be for you.  I still think you should give them a go though!
It's a few books. I also have all of these as e-books, so where the tablet goes, so goes the library (at least quite a lot of it).  This means I read everywhere, including while knitting, whenever there is a spare moment.  As much as I adore my paperback novels (which I still prefer to read when at home), the e-books are easier to cart around on a daily basis.

There have also been Game Nights; hosted one, went to another. I got to teach someone how to knit and how to make pie crust. There may even be a trip to Austin at some point.  Not thrilling, I know, but nice.

Every knitting project has seemingly become black holes of endless knitting.  This may be another reason I am getting so much reading done.  I did finish a couple of hats.  I left off the braids it called for, it seemed kind of overkill.  The "rivets" were my first go at making bobbles.
The other one is black lace that still looks unfinished because it needs to be blocked, hence the lack of picture.   It is the Rosewater hat from Handmade in the UK.
I hope to have a couple new pattern books to squeal about by next week.  Squid hat!



Monday, July 14, 2014

Yarn really does make me feel better

The last week and a half or so had been a bit stressful.  So I cast on a sweater.  Big needles, worsted yarn, and a simple, lovely pattern made for a perfect project.  It took me six and a half days to finish, that includes the two days of almost no knitting due to stress headache. :-(
Yes, it fits me (I realized it looks a bit small).  I made elbow length sleeves and shortened the body a bit.  It hasn't been blocked yet, but after trying it on, I already have plans to make a second one in charcoal gray.  The pattern calls for a yarn that, while recently discontinued, I happened to have rolling around in my stash...in the called for amounts...in two different colors.

I've also been working on an Etherial in Curio in the Victorian colorway (an antique rose).  The project is being kept in my favorite new bag.  It's from Fat Squirrel Fibers.  Her stock changes regularly and once a bag is sold out, that's it.  I feel very privileged to have snagged this one.

The rest of the household thinks it a bit garish.  I love it! The fabric makes me think of a steampunk themed wallpaper done in 1960's colors.  It just makes me happy.



Sunday, June 29, 2014

Suffering from a wee bit of lit-nerd upset

Let me state, I am a Tolkien fan. I have been a frequent visitor to Middle Earth since I found The Hobbit at the age of 10.  I even knit and hoard themed knitting patterns.
 I am a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings movies that were made.
I had heard some complaints about the current hobbit movies, but had yet to see them myself...till today.  I finished my latest re-read of the novel last week, so Husband suggested a viewing of the first installation of the Hobbit movies. 

I found myself complaining.

The rearrangement/ addition of situations made me twitch.  Did Thorin really need the extra angsty background?  I rather felt he had enough issues to deal with in the novel.  I disliked the way details were changed (there were lots), it shifted the tone of the story. Was it aimed to appeal to the populace at large?

The scenery was, of course, stunning.  The Eagles were amazing.  Rivendell, a joy as usual.  I loved the actors. I will put myself out there and say, I don't think the Dwarves were too attractive.  The attractive ones, in my opinion, were part of the royal line, shouldn't they be the slightly prettier ones?

All in all, I find myself rather lukewarm about An Unexpected Journey.  I love Middle Earth. I will see all the movies.  I am just a bit disappointed by their "improvements" to the story thus far.




Thursday, June 26, 2014

With a color name like that, it was a need.

I don't buy yarn without a project in mind much anymore, but Bat Sh#t Crazy from Miss Babs had to be mine.
I used the Wayfarer pattern from Doomsday Knits.  The picture really doesn't do it justice.  The simple lace works wonderfully with the highly varigated yarn.  The colors in the yarn are my favorites with a predominance of green (of course). A corset laced shawl? Fantastic!
The only sad part about this shawl?  I finished it in time for summer in Texas. :-(