Tuesday, July 1, 2008

July 2008 (BC)

Where to begin

Well, for a fairly complete rundown of our weekend, you can visit Ramblin's blog . It's the most ambitious we've been in weeks, and it's good to know that we can be rather industrious when necessary.

If you've wandered around the blogosphere, you were no doubt already aware that Cynical and Ragged are the proud owners of a lovely new home. I'm sure the cats think they are the owners, because that's just how cats think. I guarantee you ours were trying to figure out how to claim squatters' rights when we were on vacation so they could take ownership of the house.

While we were there, we got to know their town like the backs of our hands. Not saying we're ready to navigate the whole place, but there are a few streets we can cruise with confidence.

So, the top secret gift was gifted and well-received. (Ignore the paint-chipped concrete, that's ours, not theirs)

And the usual knitting has resumed, though not quite at a fever pitch yet.

Here's the fronts of the Printed Silk Cardigan:

Yes, there are some wonky gauges issues at work. I knitted one side, then took a break to knit Ragged's rug, then knit the other side. Amazingly, knitting two strands of worsted-weight cotton on size 10 1/2 needles will change how your hands work with fingering-weight cotton/silk yarn on size 4 needles. ;) Since the only potential fix would be to rip them both out and knit them at the same time, they are staying as they are.

And the Blue Moon River Rapids Socks are done.

Love these socks. Love 'em.

A finished pair of socks - you know what that means.

These are the mere toelets of the Impressionist Socks in African Grey Cherry Tree Hill. More sock soon, I promise.

And, I would be neglectful if I didn't share my latest Loopy Ewe purchase. Although, I'm almost afraid to, 'cause Chrisknits knows where I live.

That's seven, count 'em, seven skeins of Malabrigo in Stonechat. I've been enthralled with this one for a while, and it wasn't in Sheri's first posting of the Malabrigo. I thought I was safe. Then she posted it a couple of weeks later, and what could I do? It's going to become a Central Park Hoodie . I figure if 1437 people have knitted/are knitting it, plus another 2944 people plan to (according to Ravelry), why not?

And lest you think I've lost my mind completely

There, does that look more like the Needles you've come to know and love? Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio Sock in Truxton Circle.

How can it not be Friday yet?!


'A visitor' left this comment on 10 Jul 08
You've done a bad thing! You need to start looking over your shoulders!!!!! Well, at least not until after Saturday, I'm still in Florida.
'A visitor' left this comment on 10 Jul 08
Drool. Ma-la-bri-go. I played in that on Tues. at my LYS. I should really just buy it all and be done with it. lol
'A visitor' left this comment on 10 Jul 08
Coopie does love it; and he does love napping, so it's a match made in heaven.
'A visitor' left this comment on 9 Jul 08
Cooper assumes the rug was for him. I caught him napping on it today.

Weekend in Review

This past weekend was a great deal more slow-paced (read: lazy) than last weekend. Without friends to move to their lovely new abode, I was plumb slothful. But I enjoyed it very much.

First of all, I slept until after 9:30 Saturday and past 10:00 on Sunday. Ramblin visited with his friend on Saturday and Rudy on Sunday, so I spent that time knitting. This created much progress on the PSC.

You have no idea how difficult it is to stay dedicated to finishing this sweater when you have Malabrigo on the back-burner. But I am determined to stick with it.

As a side note, the sleeves, as you may be able to tell, are k1 p1 ribbing and utilize a tubular cast-on. I was nearly driven out of my skull by this, because the words were not, to my understanding at least, matching up with the pictures explaining how to do the cast-on. If you are going to attempt this, let me give you some words that would have been oh so helpful to me - stack your knits on top of each other, and slip the purls with yarn in front. That's all that would have been needed said. It's intuitive once you realize that, but the words do not result in that. At all.

Ravelry is having a little thing called the Ravelympics, and of course, I've got to be a part of it. One City Market is also doing a Knitting Olympics, and I'm all about that, too. I know I have to pick what project I'm doing for the Ravelympics, not yet sure for OCM. Since your project should be a challenge for you to complete in 17 days, I'm trying to come up with something that fits the bill. I have a crazy notion to get the Parrots roving spun up and design a celtic knot sweater. Hey, if it was easy, everybody would do it.

So, this notion has me back to spinning a bit, which I have not done nearly enough of. When I'm spinning, I'm thinking about getting more of the sleeves done. When I'm knitting the sleeves, I'm thinking about starting the Central Park Hoodie out of the Malabrigo. Sigh. And do you notice there is not even a mention of sock-knitting? Sad, but true.

We've also had some pretty good movie watching this weekend. Sci-fi had some of the "After Dark Horrorfest 8 Films to Die for" movies from a couple of years ago, Wicked Little Things and The Gravedancers. Not bad, as far as those movies go. I wouldn't say many of them hit cinematic excellence, but they are a pleasant enough diversion.

Another film was Mystic River. Clever writing, good twist. Now we have The Usual Suspects on, but won't finish it tonight. This is a movie much enjoyed by Ramblin, that I haven't seen in its entirety. TGFT (Thank Goodness for TiVo).

Hope everybody else's weekend was full of knitting. (Or you know, whatever it is you love.)

Where I prove I'm the worst-read English major in history

This was stolen from Farmwife's blog :

Apparently, the National Endowment for the Arts believes that the average American has read only 6 of the books on the list below.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline (or mark in a different color) the books you LOVE (mine would be in purple)
4) Reprint this list in your blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 and force books upon them ;-)

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (I’ve read the first story, if that counts)
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

See, I told you.

In my defense, since there are seven Harry Potter novels, that should count as seven. And if I was a person who had read the complete works of William Shakespeare, you better believe I would want that to count for more than just one entry

Still, this is a telling thing, because if I was all wrapped up in English like I should be, I would have sought out these books on my own, even if they weren't required reading. Note that the only one I have marked as intending to read is The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The rest - meh.

Which should also give me a great big clue as to why I have stagnated on getting my master's in English - I simply don't care. I can read and analyze the stories, but I have no great desire to do so. Since I've been pondering exactly what to do with the 16 of 31 hours I have, I think a departure from the English area is necessary. I could drag myself through literary critical reading for the BA, can't do it for the master's. Which isn't a bad thing. Having a different master's probably indicates you are not just a one-trick pony. I'll keep telling myself that.

On to the knitting, something I can actually see through to the end.

I love it, I adore it, I see one problem with it. See these buttons?

They are quite beautiful. They are also relatively heavy, and the yarn is a fingering weight cotton/silk blend. Hmmm, wonder what's going to happen there? It won't be pretty. I thought perhaps seam tape might be able to save it, because while I could find different buttons, I really don't want to.

Also, since the sweater was winding down, I allowed myself some sock time.

Wow, that's a bright picture. We've had plenty of sun (and humidity) around here. The closeup is equally sun-dazzled.

Now, what's interesting about these socks is they use a pattern with YOs and decreases every row, as opposed to every other row, getting a 'rest row' in between. Some people choose to designate 'lace knitting' as the every other row YOs and decs, and 'knitted lace' as the every row YOs and decs, but Eunny Jang couldn't find justification to do so , and that's good enough for me. However, the every row YOs and decs are a little bit more fiddlely, because of the YO needing to be worked into a dec, and sometimes, it just doesn't wanna.

You know this won't be my only project in progress, so I wonder what else I might start and what would I start it with ?

Stay tuned!


'A visitor' left this comment on 21 Jul 08
I think there were quite a few books left off that list...and quite a few added that seem odd to me. But then I'm not a member of the National blah, blah, blah.

That sweater is absolutely breathtaking. I hope you figure the button thing out, they are perfect for it.

'musicgeek' left this comment on 21 Jul 08
I second your opinion on the bulk of the list (meh). I'm a big Douglas Adams fan. The Hitchhiker's guide series is GREAT and I think it'll be worth your time. I've made it required reading for my kids.
'A visitor' left this comment on 20 Jul 08
I've read exactly 6.
'A visitor' left this comment on 20 Jul 08
I did a quick count and I read 37 of them. I agree Harry Potter should be 7. Shakesphere should be at least a dozen or so. I read books for enjoyment and never really figured out how to read for the meaning. I love the colors of those socks. and that sweater is georgeous. Good job.
'A visitor' left this comment on 20 Jul 08
Woo- only an associates degree here, and I've read 19 of them. 26 if you count the Harry Potters.


Why would anyone want to spin?


And this.

What this is, is the second skein of the Parrots roving, purchased at Greencastle in 2007. I'm a bit behind on my goal of getting all that spun up by Greencastle 2008, aren't I?

This was the first skein, spun up over a year ago.

And this is the second.

I wish I could say I was halfway there, but I don't think I'm even close.

In September, it will be the 10-year anniversary of me learning to spin. In honor of the occasion, I'm getting myself a proper tensioned lazy kate . My spinning wheel came with a bobbin box that can be used as a lazy kate, but not well. Yesterday's navajo plying convinced me there's no need for me to keep fighting with it.

In knitting news, I have begun the Central Park Hoodie.

That's a sleeve ribbing. I had grand plans of reverse-engineering it to be knit from the shoulders down, but then I decided that required too much of me right now.

And besides, I may need all my brain power soon. Remember the master's degree that I have whined about here for the past, oh, four years? Well, last Sunday's post was kind of the exclamation point on the statement that I just can't do an English degree. Clearly, I have no desire. So I went to the FHSU MLS web page , seeing if there was anyway to salvage the work I've done to this point, and I think there is. They now have a concentration in Instructional Technology, which is basically what Distance Ed is all about. Since I love the technology involved with my job, it seemed like a natural fit. Then, when I emailed the director about changing my major, he told me I could to a customized degree plan to use both my English courses and the tech courses. Sweet! Many thanks to Farmwife , who didn't even realize at the time she was giving guidance to a wayward student. Farmie, have you ever given any thought to becoming an Academic Advisor? :)


'A visitor' left this comment on 26 Jul 08
Glad you got that resolved. Life will be much sweeter now the monkey is off your back!