Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday Book Review: Garlic and Sapphires

If you love food and need a book to listen to then Garlic and Shapphires is the book for you written by Ruth Reichl and read by Bernadette Dune. The books chronicles Ruth Reichl's life in New York City as the food critic for the New York Times. The narrator even reads the recipes and I never thought listening to recipes as a good thing but this was.

Ruth Reichl enlists the help an old friend of her mothers to disguise herself to eat in New York City's finest restaurants undetected. Her first incarnation is her own mother. She goes through many more and you get to travel along with her visiting fancy and not so fancy restaurants. The book includes recipes so if they sound good to you check out the book. I did and made the Spaghetti Carbonara, very yum.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

WIP Wednesday

I need to get centered here. I have too many projects on the hooks and needles. At that same time I'm itching to start some new projects. It has to do with current project angst or it could also be finished project remorse, when I finished my daughters mittens. When I finish a project I feel elated and sad at the same time. I could go and work on my wips but there is something so much more exciting about starting something new.

I digress and need not digress as I have much to do.

So here's the list:

  • I started some fingerless gloves for myself last night using some Paton's SWS leftovers in my stash.
  • A thread book mark I can't find the pattern to finish so I may just need to wing it.
  • A thread skull motif that my son could sew to a bag or shirt or something. Only the ends need to be woven in. I hate weaving in ends.
  • A thread ornament just the last round needs doing.
  • The Delightful Doily in Simply Delightful by Patricia Kristoffersen. I started few weeks ago just because. It's a bit fussy though because I'm using #20 thread and a size 9 hook and I'm not used to working that small.
  • A granny babyghan for one of my nieces who is pregnant.
  • Another Suzanne Sweater from Cool Crochet by Melissa Leapman for dear daughter. I'm almost to the shaping on the fronts and back then plan to start on the sleeves.
  • Autumn Lace Pullover for me.
  • A pair of socks I frogged the cuff so I cna re-do it and it will fit better.
  • A totoro hat, I need to redo the ears they are to skinny.
  • I just frogged the toes of my second pair of knit socks that was too short so I can make them longer and wear them.
  • The Big Sack Sweater from the Stitch-N-Bitch Hand Book. I'm to the shaping of the shoulders of the back and want to cast for the front, there will be cables involved.

What do I want to do instead?

  • Start on another baby blanket so I can test a baby blanket I designed. I want make a bib to match so I would work on that too.
  • Go buy some lace yarn and start my first lace knit project.
  • Dye the yarn I spun and make something with it.
  • My son would like that I start him a hoodie and I'd like that too.
  • Spin some more yarn. I did dome some this weekend. So maybe that's another wip.
  • I've seen some really cute holiday patterns for ornaments and decorations that I've wanted to do too. I haven't made any crocheted snowflakes this winter, very sad.
This is just my fiber lists of to do. This doesn't count what's left to do for the holidays and the laundry that needs doing and the dishes that need washing. If you are curious you can see what I got done on my list yesterday, the things I finished are in bold.

Today there are errands and and errands to do. I better get to work. Nah, I think I'll have a cup of tea first.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Just 15 minutes

Today, I could share about the mittens I knit for the kids but I don't want to take the 15 minutes it would take to take the picture of the ones I finished yesterday for dear daughter. So I went looking though my drafts on blogger to dig out some content so I would have something to share with you today.

I found this draft about 15 minutes that I apparently didn't want to take 15 minutes to write up. This strategy is used by the Fly Lady to help keep your house cleaner and more organized and it really does work. The trick is you "have to" do 15 minutes and a few of them during the day.

I forget to use this strategy to get things done around the house. Instead I look at the dishes strewn on the counter and groan and think this will take forever. When I remember to set the timer and wash dishes for 15 minutes I find that most of the dishes have been done and I even wiped the counters down.

So go for it. Set that timer.

My list of things to do today:

Fold Laundry and put swayaway
Gifts for Hubby
Dishes as always
Sort bins and baskets from general pick up yesterday
Dust in the Family Room
wipe down tables
Vacuum in play room
Filing (done)
make grocery list for winter solstice
take photo of Jade's finished mittens
work on fingerless gloves for me and jade's sweater

Monday, December 17, 2007

Fun was had by all, even me:)

It all started with a walk to the store to buy things from the sugar food group then we made these:



Mine too
Sadly my roof caved in.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sunday Book Review: MudBound

Now for some unknown reason every time I think of this book I want to say Mudblood which I know is just wrong, wrong, wrong. Because this story has nothing to do with Harry Potter not really.

Mudbound is Hilary Jordan's first novel and it's another free early review book I received as a Librarything member. Pretty much once I started this book I couldn't put it down. I got to, for a time, be in the shoes of the main characters in the story and get a sense of what life was like for a few on a muddy farm in the south after WW II. I found a story about love, the ravages of war and racism. Mudbound is train wreck of a story showing what it was really like. How color got in the way of connection and how color and hate were hand in hand.

This kind of book has me thinking, should we write books about the past that shows such a limited view of what we, as humankind, can be? I think sharing the truth even in fiction is shocking. I'm reminded what we are capable of at our worst and that I would not want to be a part of world like that. At the same time I do not know the fear of being hated for the color of my skin. I could guess (definitely not know) that this book would be very hard to read and possibly discouraging as a person of color. This is where I was left wanting and expecting a different story. I expected seed of hope for a different world and there a were few but I mostly found was a stark account of the brutality of racism. Especially in light that so many men of color had died for our country in WW II. It was disgrace.

It has me wondering have things changed? I sure hope so. If not what do we do about it?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Socks and socks

I finally finished off my Sockotta socks about a month ago.

First toe-ups

I finally tackled those dang short rowed heel socks. This has a bunch of firsts for me: first pair of socks on magic loop, first short rowed heel and first toe up sock. It's my own pattern too. In the sense that I did a gauge swatch and figured out what I needed in gauge taking into account some negative ease then cast on and knit.

Other specs:
US 1/ 2.25mm 32" circs - I used two circ. needles with one sock on each using magic loop
Most of the ball of Sockotta

First Toe-Ups

About a week ago I finished off these socks. The main first for these is the color toes and heel and the fancier stitch pattern.

Twist sock pattern from Hello Yarn
cuff down/heel flap
ww cascade 220 heathers in purple and green from my stash
US4/3.5mm 32" cable needles for magic loop

Twist socks

These are for me and they keep my feet toasty! The only thing I wish I had done differently is make the entire toe part out of green. I like this pattern it's easy to get the rhythm of it. I'm sure to make more. I still have some sweater yarn and other worsted yarn that need using up.

Friday, December 14, 2007

It's yarn!

I made it myself about 300 yards of single ply fairly fine weight yarn. My plan is to dye it and then make myself some fingerless gloves or a hat.


Before I can do that I need get some acid dye and second I want to pick up a crockpot to use to dye the yarn in. So stay tuned some time in January I plan to start.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Spiral Shawl

Spiral Shawl

I started this one in April of last year. When the heat hit it went away. It's much to hot here in Kansas to crochet with alpaca. I'm so glad this is done now as it's keeping me very warm while I hangout in our cold energy conserving house.

  • Frog tree alpaca - 13 skeins - eep! In purple/lavender
  • crochet hook 3.5mm
  • Patchwork Shawl from Mon Tricot Knit & Crochet The Knitters' Basic Book Vol2. I'm pretty sure its also the Carnival Shawl that's in a Rowan pattern book. I lucked out and found the Mon Tricot mag at the thrift store a few weeks after someone shared her finished shawl on crochetville.
Other free options for the pattern:
  • I found this shawl pattern here that has a similar motif but done bigger but it could be adapted.
  • Another free option here that would also work.

Another view just before I added the fringe which shows how hard it is to get good color photos especially with purple. The one below gives better feel for just how beautiful this fiber is but the one above gives a bit better idea that this really is purple rather than blue.

Spiral Shawl

Someday I'll make this again without the fringe. Fringe is fun but it gets in the way.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It's about time!

Yes, yes I know I have been a way for a long time. Instead of giving you lots of no good excuses let's just say I've been Lazy with a capitol "L." So there it is. As far as my fiber work goes, I just haven't wanted to take the time to get pictures of all the things I have finished over the last few months. Tonight I had the energy, maybe it was the cappuccino I had at the coffee shop this evening.

So not only is it about time I post but it's also about time that I finished the Hemp Flower Necklace that I started last year and was supposed to be a gift for one of my nieces. She will get it this year!

Crocheted Necklace

Hemp Flower Necklace from Interweave Crochet, Fall 2005 - Ravelers can go here
Size C/2.75 mm hook
SWTC Bamboo