Saturday, March 31, 2007

Shoes, Luck and a spring scarf

I just finished Alexander McCall’s latest installment of The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Blue Shoes and Happiness. This gentle, lovely series of stories (this was number 7) is such a charming, quick read, filled with lots of African details and purls of wisdom from one of my favorite chararcters, Mma Ramotswe. While I have read each of the books in the series, if you haven’t, you could easily pick up with this book.

Spring Reading Thing recap: 2 of 5

The Joy Luck Club is next on the pile. Funny, but when this book was first published, I picked it up and promplty put it back down--didn’t like it. But now 20 years later, with a far stronger apppreciation for cultures, mothers, daughters and families, I am captivated within the first 30 pages.

And finally, as if there isn’t enough knitting to do, I spotted this . . .

and then rifled through the stash to dig out some cotton fleece in caribbean blue.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Season 1 and 2

During season 1 of the sitcom, our knitter cranked out the cardigan in pink-a-boo (Brown Sheep’s) cotton fleece. The sweater seemed a bit too drapey, and the neckline a bit funny, but a good blocking would make all the difference, the knitter thought. Not so. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip went pink-chic.

Perhaps it just needs to be knit in the yarn called for, thought the knitter, not knowing that Lion’s cotton-ese was discontinued. Obsessiveness (often the case) sets in, and our knitter tracks down the exact yarn, in the exact color (thanks, Smileys!). Six skeins of bubblegum colored yarn shows up in a box and our knitter casts on. Knit, knit and then the sweater gets shelved in favor of other shows (er, projects). A real cliff hanger.

Season 2 opens with our knitter hauling out the pile of pink, only to find that the pattern (with all the notes!) is missing (a real mystery), not to be found. The mound of yarn amounts to two finished sleeve and the body within 2 inches of being ready to attach the sleeves, along with 3 unused skeins. Careful, but quick, calculations reveals where we left off in season 1. A little halt in production (due to the need to untangle the skein in use), and then 2 inches were added, and the sleeves are ready to be attached, with the saga of the yoke to follow.

Hoping for a smashing series finale in the coming week--will she finish? Will it fit? Will it be wearable??? Stay tuned. This feels like a mini-series, not a sitcom.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

. . . and one more thing + two more skeins

I finished my first Idol sock last night!

It was a big night for socks last night (see the post below), so this afternoon, in order to celebrate knitting 3 socks in March, I bought more sock yarn!!! Trekking LXX in browns (90) and purples (109)!

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

March Monkeys and Assassins

My March socks are finished, and can you imagine it is not the 31st? This pattern was an absolute delight---and I loved the yarn . . .

Cookie’s Monkey Socks Pattern
Mama-E’s nara-gansett yarn
size 1 bamboos

I am thinking of packing these away in the cedar closet, to be saved for a Christmas present--this is a shocking thought for me, as I am usually not planning ahead like this!

In other news, I finished Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin. While I was a bit confused in the beginning, I am so happy I stuck with it because it was quite a read! I feel like the 3-part story--Iris’s, the novel, and the documents weave such a fabulous tangled web of secrets, it is hard to decide who to believe, and how, exactly Iris navigated through her life.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Once Upon a Time

This year, I feel like I got a hold of my knitting life . . . more or less. Instead of joining, and swapping and acting like an out-of-control-I-can-knit-everything-I-love person, I have limited my goals to 1 sweater a season, 1 sock-a-month and a few other fun things which may stray in my path. Manageable and successful!

Now, I have said, dozens of times, there will never be enough yarn, books and time to knit and read. And I have joined, yet another reading challenge. But before you (or I!) roll my eyes and say, “another?” let’s just think of these book challenges as a way to broaden my repetoire of reading: classics, chunksters, spring-selections and now the Once Upon a Time challenge . . .

Book selections must be from the genres of Mythology, Folklore, Fairytale and Fantasy, as organized by Carl over at Stainless Steel Droppings. If not for this challenge, I might not of focused on these selections from now until June 21st----

1. Tales from the 1001 Nights translated by Sir Richard Burton

2. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

3. Aesop’s Fables Selections: at least 5

4. Grimm’s Fairytales Selections: at least 5

Add this to the Spring Reading Thing Challenge, and it ends up being 7 novels, and 10 short stories in 3 months + some knitting, taxi services to and from soccer, hockey, birthday parties, sleepovers, a cooked dinner or two, Easter, end-of-school activities . . .


Sunday, March 25, 2007

On Reading

I can't remember where I saw this, but I loved it so!


Saturday, March 24, 2007

It's Back!

The clap-is-back . . .
now. . .
just where was I?


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Happy Spring!

I got my free iced coffee (thank you, Dunkin Donuts) and the kids got their happy-spring- ice (thank you, Rita's!) so the first full day of spring is hopping right along. I wish I could say the same for my knitting. I am hopping through patterns, and making wish lists and knit to-do lists like a mad woman, but I can’t seem to get anywhere on any of my three socks. On top of that, I have some other things I want to yank out and finish (clapotis, sitcom chic) and more things to knit. As I was surfing the blogs, I saw a kal proposing 52 socks in 52 weeks---eeeeeeek! How does that happen? Tell me how that works in one’s life?!!?!?!

To celebrate spring, and my other passion, I have joined-up with the Spring Reading Thing. This, I am sure, is going to go much better than my feeble attempt at the Winter Classics Challenge (what was I reading, and why wasn’t I successful?!!?!). Between today, and June 21st, I am planning to read (at least) the following selections:

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (March’s KTC novel)
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan(April’s KTC novel)
Blue Shoes and Happiness by Alexander McCall
Ahab’s Wife by Sena J. Neslund (the last of my 3 Chunkster Challenge books)
Fever 1794 by Laurie Halse Anderson(my daughter said it was terrific!)

Whew--knit, read, read, knit. I love my life!

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Waiting for the first day of Spring

Tomorrow is the first day of spring, which is also Persian New Year! Happy Norooz!

PS: Free Rita's Ice and free iced coffee at Dunkin Donuts on Wednesday, the first full day of Spring!!!

Knitting content to resume soon!


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I am a baby

This hour time change has whipped me . . . truly. I am tired and foggy in the head. I can't get out of bed in the morning and I feel like everything's taking me longer. Everything was fine before we changed the clocks, and the weather didn't suddenly feel like June: 72 and sunny today.

I am plopping on my couch to knit, and I will not fall asleep . . . until later.


Monday, March 12, 2007

Blue Monkey 1

I am anything BUT blue over this monkey sock! xo

I'd write more, but I need to go cast-on so this monkey has a mate!


Saturday, March 10, 2007

More Socks to Knit!

I picked up my book . . .
How did I live without this? I love this book!

And on top of that, I signed up for Daily Knitting and in doing so, I received a free pattern, the Caspian Sea Socks . . .

These socks don’t make it as one of the 3. These socks require a long term commitment. Smmmmmoooooooch!
Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Rule of Three

There were the 3 bears, the 3 little pigs, 3 blind mice, 3 wise men, and the 3 socks. In my most humble opinion, it is a really good thing to have 3 socks going at the same time.

Sock #1--The Go-to-Sock
The Go-to-Sock is the sock that goes, with me anywhere, because I can knit a few stitches, a round, or 2 and stop anywhere (except perhaps the middle of the heel!), and conversely, pick it back up anytime without fear of having lost my place. The real Go-to-Sock is the one that I don't even need to have the pattern with me (except, for the heel!). Roza is my Go-to Sock (btw, Roza is one of those girls who looks for more beautiful in person, than in photos . . . unless of course she is being photographed for Interweave Knits!).

Sock #2--The Theme-Sock
This is a new addition in my rotation, and I have come to appreciate it so very much. The Theme-Sock only gets attention during a specific time of the week--in this case, while watching American Idol. I have been true to my pact with Karen, knitting only while watching the show, and then putting it away until the next installment. I am a bit impressed with the success by which this plan is working: I feel like it is easy to measure progress and I don't ever wonder if I should work on it, because I only do during American Idol. The Rock Star Socks are my theme- socks (btw: this yarn is fabulous!).

Sock #3--The Happy-Sock
The Happy-Sock is the sock I am smitten with at the moment. It could be that I am surprised with myself for being able to knit a particular pattern, in love with the yarn, or impressed with the yarn pattern combination. In any event this sock usually is a bit more complicated, and doesn't travel well; ie, I need to be thinking when I knit it, despite my adoration for it. The Pink Monkeys turned Blue, are my Happy Socks (btw: I am ready to turn the heel!).


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Blue Monkeys

I have come to my senses, or at least am trying to. It would seem to me that a beautiful yarn requires a pattern which showcases it. And a great pattern should be showcased by the most appropriate yarn. Alas, Pink Punk does not make for a great pink monkey. So, rummaging through my stash, I dug up some of Mama E’s narra-gansett, a yarn which I bought with absolutely no project in mind. Now here’s where the addict part of me emerges, yet again: I had to cast on, Sunday night, and repeat the whole pink monky process of before I went to bed.


Sunday, March 04, 2007

Pink Monkeys

I thought, hmmmmm, maybe I'll wind Scout's Punk Pink. Well it's like being and addict, because you can't just wind it. You have to cast on with it, and then work a little of the cuff, maybe the whole cuff. But you can't stop, because you really want to see what the pattern will knit up like with this yarn. Two pattern repeats later (that would be 22 rows on size 1s), you stop because, someone in your house needs you.

The yarn is lovely---it feels lovely, the colors are lovely and it knits up fabulous. The yarn pooled in the cuff--half is charcoal, the other half is pink. I am not quite sure if it is striping or pooling at this point. The pattern is so fun, Monkey Socks, found in the current Knitty. Not sure if the pattern is right for the yarn, but there's too much love on both fronts to stop now!


Saturday, March 03, 2007

PS: I read patterns, too

I came upon this meme which is currently floating around many bookworms' blogs, and thought hey--why not? So, tag you are it! Look at the list of books below:
* Bold the ones you’ve read,
* Italicize the ones you want to read (I italicized the one's that are on my waiting to be read
* Leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in.

1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According to Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte's Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Reading is only second to knitting for me. I have read two selections for the Chunkster Challenge so far. However the The Winter Classics Challenge is a bit of a different story--out of 5 classics I selected I read . . . . ummmmmmmm, 1. I think this might be due to the chunky books I read instead. Or maybe it was because of knitting the American Idol Socks, or maybe it was because February is so short . . . or maybe it was because I was reading the patterns of my wips as well as the patterns of my future knitting obsessions!


Friday, March 02, 2007

Fumbling around on Friday

Soooooooo, it is Friday. And I have fumbled through it. But let’s back up to Thursday: I missed a step as I was going downstairs, fell and twisted my ankle so badly that it is wrapped, and I am limping. I bought a new tote (aka knitting bag) yesterday, and this morning, my leak-proof coffee mug, leaked. All over everything in the bag. ugh. Love the bag, not loving the mug. I am noodling around with my American Idol Socks, feeling like they look to small--if that's the case, I consider that a major fumble. Roza socks are on the top of the list this weekend, along with the 2nd fan mitten: no fumbling allowed, please!