Thursday, March 27, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Cover up

This week’s question comes from Julie, who asks:While acknowledging that we can’t judge books by their covers, how much does the design of a book affect your reading enjoyment? Hardcover vs. softcover? Trade paperback vs. mass market paperback? Font? Illustrations? Etc.?

I admit that the cover of a book will induce me to read it. I wouldn't say it affects my enjoyment of the book. If the cover doesn't live up to what I think it represents then I feel let down, yet it doesn't necessarily change how I enjoyed the book.

Yet, I can't think of any titles that the covers really influenced me or that let me down.

More answers here

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sunday Book Review: Black Like Me

I read Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin in highschool. Recently I listened to the the audiobook narrated by Ray Childs. It made an impact when I read it in highschool and even more so as an adult. Childs did a fantastic narration job.

Griffin finds a way to make himself "black" then he goes in to the deep south as a black man and tells the story. He shares how he has to walk blocks or miles to find a bathroom or some water to drink. Basic things we take for granted were not available to the black man or woman in the 1960's.

It's shocking really. I think it's a must read if only that so that this never happens again.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Finished Object Friday

A Dainty Doggie
This little Doggie was in Crochet Today! Dec 2006/Jan 2007
Doggie really didn’t take long to make but I got frustrated with sewing the ears on they just didn’t look right. So I let it all sit for a few weeks and finally finished her up. It still doesn’t look as good as I like. The main problem was I put eyes in too far out and maybe a bit high. Otherwise I think she looks very cute. I crocheted a collar and added a flower too.

Meet Valentino the Amigurumi of love. I got to test this for Clare on Crochetville. He is just so sweet! My son decided he needed a scarf so we made one for Val. I think he has stolen my heart but do me a favor and don’t tell dh. He might get jealous;) You can find the free pattern here.

Bookmarks form the sea
Fish from the Great Barrier Reef bookmarks designed by crochetroo. Check out here etsy shop here.

Fan bookmark
Fan bookmark also designed by crochetroo and it's free on her blog here.

Crinoline Lady Bookmark
Crinoline Lady bookmark. I followed a pattern from an old magazine that I can't find any more. She's supposed to have an arm reaching up to her bonnet but without the pattern I decided against freeforming it and left her armless.

Shell Bookmark
Shell bookmark is my own design.

Pineapple bookmark
Pineapple bookmarks is from a pineapple motif in Crocheted Lace through Pictures by Yoko Suzuki

A gecko and a snake
Australian Reptiles of the Land - bookmarks and motifs. I didn't do the lizard yet but you can see the snake and the gecko. Another pattern by crochetroo here.

Star flower bookmark made from a free pattern online I can't find anymore.

Heart Bookmark
Heart bookmark, I used a free heart motif pattern here, then added the chain tail and tassel to make a bookmark.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: The End

You’ve just reached the end of a book . . . what do you do now? Savor and muse over the book? Dive right into the next one? Go take the dog for a walk, the kids to the park, before even thinking about the next book you’re going to read? What?

(Obviously, there can be more than one answer, here–a book with a cliff-hanger is going to engender different reactions than a serene, stand-alone, but you get the idea!)

I suppose it does differ from the book and the mood I'm in too. Sometimes the dishes really do need to get done so I'm in the kitchen doing those. If I'm reading a good series and the next one is available I'm likely at the computer reserving the next book. If I have been reading a lot I might need a break from the reading and go play a game with the kids or watch some TV. Since it's getting nicer out I'll be in the garden some. If it was a disturbing book like some of Jodi Picoult's stories I might want a new book to get the icky taste from my mouth. (Yet I do like her stories but they just aren't happy ones.)

Want to see what others answered to this question? Go here.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What's Up Wednesday

Since I don't have many new wips to share about I thought I share what even been up to here at Chez Fiber Star.

Cool Thing One:
I haven't done the grocery shopping for the last three weeks. My dear daughter has been doing it. What I do I get to do while she shops? I drink a cup of coffee and have a scone. She enjoys the responsibility and I enjoy the break! Believe it or not she is better at sticking to the list than I am.

Cool Thing Two:
We learned how to play disc golf. I was terribly bad at it. The kids seemed to enjoy it a bit. I'd like to get a few discs to give it a try again.

Cool Thing Three:
We went swimming last week at our local indoor pool. We had the pool to ourselves pretty much. We might go again today or get out somewhere since the rain has finally stopped.

Cool Thing Four:
Corbin's been getting to the skate park more with the warmer weather. So I think and hope spring really has sprung.

Cool Thing Five:
The kids went bowling and got to hang out with the homeschool group yesterday. It was pretty loud there. I look forward to our community center meeting next month.

Cool Thing Six:
The dishes all got done last night and I didn't have a pile of them facing me this morning.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday Book Review: Twins

This is more of a shout out about a few books I've read recently about twins one fiction, the other non-fiction.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield and Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited by Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein

Both books share insight to the bond of twins. The Thirteenth Tale is a bit of mystery and is a bit like Jane Eyre in energy. There are reference to Jane Erye in the story too. Identical Strangers is a bit of Mystery as well. After the twins find each other they look for their mother and try to uncover why they were separated at birth. I listened to audio books for both books.

Bianca Amanto and Jill Tanner narrated The Thirteenth Tale and did superb jobs. The story took a few cds to get into but then I was hooked because I needed to know what the mystery was all about. It was like story within in a story.

Alma Cuervo narrated Identical Strangers and did a great job as well. I felt like I really got to know Paula and Elyse. I identified with wanting a twin or someone who you felt like really knows you and you know them.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Mittens, Mittens who's got mittens?

I do! I thought I had posted this but I had not.

A several months ago it snowed here in Kansas and apparently the mittens and gloves were in low supply so I got out the wools and told the kids to pick something out for me to make them some mittens.
Mittens for Corbin
I made these for Corbin:
I used the House Mittens pattern from Charmed Knits.
US 4/3.75mm - 32" cable needle for magic loop
Harisville New England ww wool

He loves them which just tickles me. He keeps saying how excited he is to have them and how he wants to show them off.

I made these for Jade


Same as above but I did knit the cuff a bit longer.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Finished Object Friday

I have more finished projects to share many were made last year and some more recently. I think this is why I have not blogged much. My hands are busier crocheting and knitting.

Skull Holders
Skull Holder from the Happy Hooker

Another potholder from using yarn from the stash:
Stashbusting Pot Holder
This is a free pattern you can find here

Diamond Dishcloths
Diamond Dishcloths
Another free you can find here.

A few more colorful dishcloths I call my Sunshine Cloths.
Stashbusting Dishcloths
I adapted the dishcloths design using the Sunny Spread square from Crochet Today! Jan/Feb 2008.

Stashbusinting Dishcloth

Mini-Mini Ball Bands
Mini Ball Bands
I made them thinking I would use them for small clean up jobs but they are he perfect size for a coaster.

Small Ball Band
More Ballband dishcloths
I have these set aside for impromptu gifts. I love making these they are so easy and it's fun to play with the colors.

Plastic bag holder
a bagholder
This was my own design. I used up bits and bobs of size 10 crochet thread. I use it in the kitchen to store plastic bags.

Stay tuned for next friday's Finished Object installment of amigurmi and colorful bookmarks.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Playing Editor and Cheif

How about a chance to play editor-in-chief? Fill in the blanks:

__________ would have been a much better book if ______________________.

In general I like a book or I don't like a book and sometimes I think it's a personal issue and less to do with the writing. There are a few books out there that I think needed some tweaking to be better reads.

I didn't care for For Give Me by Amanda Eyre Ward. There was a subplot story to the book that I never understood why it was there. So I think it needed to be ditched or maybe a story from that because I liked the subplot.

I like the Outlander Series. I wish there were a few less rape scenes in the story. I listen to the audiobooks now. That is the only way I can enjoy them now. These books are too dang big. So some size editing would be good too. I know other who love long books like this.

See more answers to the the questions here.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

WIP Wednesday

Another pair of mittens. I'm using the Basic House Mitten pattern from Charmed Knits and some cascade quatro in purple. Can you tell I like purple?

WIP: another pair of mittens

A granny ghan, I'm getting there. I was here just a few weeks ago
Granny Ghan

and now I'm here
WIP: granny ghan
I only have a few more rows to do and weave in some ends. Most of it was made using stash but then I bought more to finish. Now what to do with the yarn left over?

Autumn Romance pullover.
Romantic Pullover

Is actually a UFO, as in unfinished object, since I have worked on it for months. It's time to get on it. The spring weather will be perfect to wear it.

Since I am almost done with this cardigan I have the time.

This is the same pattern as my heathered purple cardigan. I made the neck a bit higher. I'm not going to add buttons but make a button clasp like the ones in Everyday Crochet by Doris Chan. I'm a bit disappointed with this as it's a bit too small. I'm planning to block it a bit more so hopefully it will grow a bit and dear daughter can wear it for more a than a few months.

This afghan is done all except for the the ends that need weaving in. It will be for another niece expecting a baby this month. She's in the Navy so the colors are appropriate, yes?
WIP: Soft Blue Baby Blanket

A doily that hasn't been touched for months.
Delightful Doily
I got a question about the thread spool. I found it a kitchen supply store and it's a stainless steel meat pounder. It works great as a thread spool.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Meet Danielle

Danielle is our new kitty.

We adopted her from the animal shelter a few weeks ago. When she first arrived she was quite shy and would hide in the house. The first morning we woke up and were were worried she had some how escaped but I found here in our linen closet curled up in some blankets.

Now she makes herself at home and snuggles up with us in bed and like to play with my yarn. We think she's pretty sweet.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sunday Book Review: A Thousand Splendid Suns

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini is about war torn Afghanistan from the 1970's when it was occupied by Soviet Union all the way to current times. Showing the destruction along the the way through two women who lives become intertwined.

It's the kind of book I read and think how damn lucky I am to live where I do. Yes, we had a terrible tragedy hit the US. I still think the US is so safe in comparison. I can as a woman walk down the street with out fear that I will be beaten because I'm not wearing a burqa or that I am walking alone. I can be whatever I want to be. I can can get more education if I want it. My daughter also has that freedom.

It had me reconsidering our involvement in the Middle East. For the most part, I feel we need to get out. Yet when I think of the atrocities that happen there and that some of what we have done there has brought some stability. I'm not so sure. Because if anything is true to the story I just read if we leave, the fundamentalists will again take over and make things worse rather than better.

I highly recommend reading it or listening to the audio book narrated by Atossa Leoni whose voice was compelling. I warn you it's raw. There is good stuff in it because it is about people and there lives but there is death and destruction. It's war. There is love too.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Finished Objects Friday

I've been busy.

I finished this baby blanket for my neice who likes frogs:

Frog Blankie

Frog Blankie
Frog Blankie

The frog motif is by crochetroo who sells patterns on etsy.
Several Colors of Red Heart Soft and and I/5.0mm hook.
I wip stitched squares together and like how that looks.

Another pair of mittens, this ime they are for me.
Basic mittens

US 5 /3.75 mm circ needle to do magic loop
House Mitten Pattern from Charmed knits
Lambs Pride worsted in Chianti

Felted mittens for me too.
Felted Mittens

Double Cuff pattern from Knit One, Felt Too.

Patons wool in purple for the felting part
US 11 needles

Lambs Pride in turquoise for the cuffs and needle felted curlies. I which I had knitted the cuff a bit longer so it would go under the coat, without that there is a bit of a draft. The sure keep my hands warm. I did about 3 inches so I might do 6inches next time.

Frog tree alpaca in lavender and rowan silk spray in pinks used to crochet flowers that are needle felted on to the mittens.

Hermione Cable and Bobble Hat

My very first finsihed knit cables project and the first time I knit bobbles too. It turned out pretty good but I will need to work on my tension when doing cables.
Hat pattern from Charmed Knits
Knit Picks Andean Silk - 2 skeins - I love this yarn it is so soft!
US 8/ 5.0mm

Your Favorite Hero?

Booking Through Thursday

You should have seen this one coming … Who is your favorite Male lead character? And why?

This one is a bit harder than the heroine question:

Harry Potter of Harry Potter Fame.

Jamie Fraiser of the Outlander Series.

Daniel Stone in The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult. I thought it was cool how he embraced being a dad. Still a hard read. Most of Picoult books are for me at least.

A Blog Contest

Head over to Knit/Pickin' for a blog contest and you might win some yarn and/or a book.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sunday Book Review: The Great Influenza: The Great Influenza: The story of the deadliest pandemic in history

The Great Influenza: The Great Influenza: The story of the deadliest pandemic in history written by John Barry and read by Scott Brick.

I finished this audio book some time last year. It seems odd to say I enjoyed it, considering the topic. I learned quite a bit about bits and pieces of US history. Apparently during WW1 the president, Woodrow Wilson, was able control quite a bit about what got to the press. When he finally decided the US would enter the war he made sure only positive things got the press. Things went so far as you couldn't sing sad loves songs so men wouldn't miss their wives or girl friends. Newspaper's adherence to this mandate led to much misinformation about the pandemic.

I'm also feeling a bit conflicted about vaccines. We have not vaccinated our children for most things. Now I am reconsidering this. Although I don't think my kids or even myself need the flu shot as a matter of course. It does disturb me if we have another pandemic there is not enough flu shots to go around when I would want it. Apparently more that half of the flu virus serum is made in other countries. The places it can be made in the US cannot at this time make enough to help if we have another pandemic.

So I find myself a bit more aware about disease and a bit nervous too. I still recommend it the book if only for the bits and pieces of history dispersed throughout.