Monday, June 29, 2015

Reading Challenge 2015: Week 25

This week, I started and finished India Black, which is a summery ready - a fun romp set in the late 19th century, featuring a brothel keeper turned spy for Disraeli.  Toss in a British military officer with a past, some stolen documents and a couple of Russian spies, and this was an entertaining read.  Great literature?  No.... not hardly, but perfect for a warm summer weekend afternoon to be sure.

I then started All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (and ditched Andersonville, which was NOT something I was enjoying).  I am thoroughly enjoying this book.  It's not a light read, but I am loving the intertwining stories of Wener and Marie-Laure set against the backdrop of the end of the Third Reich.  Definitely a story about the power of human survival during bad times.  I'm in the final 20% or so of it, and expect I'll have it finished up by next week.

My reading buddy, Laura, sent me her copy of Before I Go To Sleep, which I may or may not start this week as it's an actual print book, and with the Tour de Fleece coming up, I'm planning on reading while I spin, which is easier to do on my Kindle, so I may hold off on that book and pick it up in August.

You may also note I've added in books for a few of the topics I was missing, and I've changed up a couple that I thought it likely I would rather enjoy reading versus what I had picked already.  (And I still have a couple I haven't decided on yet too.....)

WEEKS & TOPICS
1. a book with more than 500 pages: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. FINISHED.
2. a romance: Katherine by Anya Seton. FINISHED
3. a book that became a movie: The Hours by Michael Cunningham. FINISHED.
4. a book published this year: The House of Hawthorne by Erika Robuck.  FINISHED.
5. a book with a number in the title:  The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. FINISHED.
6. a book written by someone under 30: Eragon by Christopher Paolini. FINISHED.
7. a book with nonhuman characters:  The Greyfriar by Susan Griffith.  FINISHED.
8. a funny book: Bossypants by Tina Fey.  FINISHED.
9. a book by a female author: Fever 1793 by Laurie Anderson.  FINISHED.
10. a mystery or thriller:  Séance in Sepia by Michelle Black. FINISHED.
11. a book with a one-word title: East by Edith Pattou.  FINISHED.
12. a book of short stories:  Tapping the Dream Tree by Charles deLint.  FINISHED.
13. a book set in a different country: The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak. FINISHED.
14. a nonfiction book:  The Fossil Hunter by Shelley Emling.  FINISHED.
15. a popular author's first book: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.  FINISHED.
16. a book from your favorite author that you haven't read yet: Forests of the Heart by Charles deLint.  FINISHED.
17. a book a friend recommended: Botelo by Alyson Hagy. FINISHED.
18. a Pulitzer-prize winning book: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.
19. a book based on a true story: The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry.  FINISHED.
20. a book at the bottom of your to read list: Before I Go To Sleep by S.J Watson.
21. a book your mom or dad loves: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.
22. a book that scares you: The Blackhouse by Peter May.
23. a book more than 100 years old: Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte.  FINISHED.
24. a book based entirely on its cover: Twilight of Avalon by Anna Elliot.
25. a book you were supposed to read in school but didn't: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
26. a memoir:  Two Rings by Millie Werber and Eve Keller
27. a book you can finish in a day:  India Black by Carol Karr.  FINISHED.
28. a book with antonyms in the title: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt.
29. a book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit: Iceland by Betsy Tobin.
30. a book that came out the year you were born: Mary, Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser.
31. a book with bad reviews: Moon People?
32. a trilogy (the first):  Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clarke. FINISHED.
33. a trilogy (the second) Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clarke.  FINISHED.
34. a trilogy (the third)  Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clarke.  FINISHED.
35. a book from your childhood: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.  FINISHED.
36. a book with a love triangle: Muse by Mary Novak.
37. a book set in the future: Cinder by Marissa Meyer.
38. a book set in high school: The Small Rain by Madeline L’Engle.
39. a book with a color in the title: Scarlet by A.C Gaughen.
40. a book that made/makes you cry
41. a book with magic: Grave Witch by Kalayna Price.  FINISHED.
42. a graphic novel: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith.
43. a book by an author you've never read before:  My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira.
44. a book you own but have never read: The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro. FINISHED.
45. a book that takes place in your hometown: Magic America by C.E. Medford.
46. a book that was originally written in another language: Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende.
47. a book set during Christmas (or similar holiday): A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas.
48. a book written by an author with your same initials: Silver Lies by Ann Parker.
49. a play
50. a banned book: Beloved by Toni Morrison.
51. a book based on OR turned into a tv show: Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs.
52. a book you started but never finished:  The Heresy of Dr. Dee by Phil Rickman.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Weekending

We had a really nice, relaxed weekend here for a change!  D and I puttered around the house, cooked out on the grill and generally enjoyed our time together.

Saturday afternoon, I pulled out my Tour de Fleece fibers and did a little prep work.  I had a batt in the group I wanted to get pre-drafted and ready to spin, and I broke apart one of the rovings I plan to spin as well, and did some pre-drafting on that (with a little supervisory help, of course - she's actually more interested in the plastic bag than the fiber itself).


I've got a nicely organized project basket ready to go for the Tour, which kicks off next Saturday. I've got several books loaded on the Kindle to read while I spin, and I'm ready to get started!


Friday, June 26, 2015

Spinning Friday: June 26, 2015

Next Saturday (July 4th), the Tour de Fleece 2015 kicks off.  If you aren't a spinner, this is a month-long event where spinners spin along with the Tour de France bike race.  Participants are encouraged to challenge themselves with various goals and there are a ton of teams you can participate in if that's your kind of thing.  (I'm in a few - I'm on Team Wooly Wonka obviously, but I'm also on Team Spin Your Stash, which is another Ravelry group I participate in year-round, as well as the Hansen minispinner team.)

This year, I'm going to try to stay focused on my Spin the Bin project, so I went through and earmarked fibers I'd like to try to get spun up during the Tour.


I've also set up a TdF project page if you'd like to see specifics of what each of the above fibers are. This will be quite a bit for me to spin up in a month, but I'm going to do my best to do that.  (And no worries if I do blast through all of these -  have a sweater-sized spin that's earmarked as my next do-to spin so it's not like I'm in danger of running out of fiber.  snort.)

My main goal for this year's Tour is to try to spin an hour each day. If I can sneak in a bit more, great, but if not, that'll give me 21 hours of spin-time in July to focus on these fibers.  My other goal is to HAVE FUN - that's what the Tour is all about and I do want to challenge myself, I'm going to try to not let my normal tendencies run rampant here and just enjoy having some time to spin during the month.

I think I'm going to kick off the tour with the pretty braid in the bottom right-hand corner of the mosiac.  That's the "Mermaids" blended roving from the Wooly Wonka Fiber Club - it's a super soft combination of merino and soy, and I think would be great as a shawl.  (In fact, almost everything I've picked is earmarked for a fingering weight or lighter yarn with the exception possibly of the first roving in the upper left-hand corner - so lots of yardage planned, which may mean not everything gets spun, but I know what I do get finished I'll actually use!).



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

WIP Wednesday: June 24, 2015

Sekret Knitting:  As per my weekend post, I finished up the Heroines shawl I had on the needles, so right now, I'm working on:
  • A colorwork yoke tee in Pandora pima cotton.  I started this this week, but even though it's on size 3 needles, it's a fairly quick and simple knit thus far.  I'm about halfway through the body and my goal for the upcoming week is to get to the point where I would need to put the body on hold and work the sleeves.
  • The next pattern for the Mythical Creatures club.  I started this on Tuesday during a scheduled power outage when I knew I couldn't get much else done except knit (not that this is a bad thing, mind you).  I'm about a third of the way through this project already, and my goal is to hit the 50% mark by the end of the week. 
Personal Knitting:  Nothing to report here.  Everything's currently on hold that's a personal project while I focus on my Sekret Knitting.  If I have time this week, I hope to at least get a few rows done on the Through the Loops Mystery Shawl for the KAL, but since I have 3 garments to design and knit samples for between now and the first week in October, those are my focus currently.

Monday, June 22, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge: Week 24

Apparently after weeks of NOT reading much, I'm now on an intensive reading kick.  Maybe it's the summer weather?  At any rate, this week I:

Read books 2 and 3 in the "Clockwork" trilogy, the Clockwork Prince and the Clockwork Princess.  I thoroughly enjoyed this series.  I was 110% engaged with the characters, and wanted to follow all the story lines through to the very end.  Even better?  This author has several other books that explore some of the minor characters she created in this trilogy, plus another trilogy set in the same steampunk-y London.  I am so happy I've been able to find a group of new-to-me authors during this challenge who I know will now be on the go-to list when I need something great to read.

I also read Grave Witch.  It was a fun summer-type read, although I have read other books on witches/folks who commune with the spirits, and enjoyed several of those better.  A B- for me.  It was an easy, lite read, and entertaining, but nothing over-the-top great.

I started Andersonville.  I have to be  honest with you - I'm 4 chapters into it (and it's a LONG book), and I'm not sure I can finish it.  I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt for a few more chapters, but right now it feels very disjointed to me (with a billion and one characters tossed in there), and it's feeling a lot like work and not a fun read, so I'm not sure I can slog through the entire book.  I don't have an immediate replacement for it either for the topic, so I'll have to think about what else I would read in it's place.  Stay tuned on that one.

(I should note that while I am not on week 24 of reading strictly going by the list, I have finished 25 books so am sort of kind of ahead for a change.)

WEEKS & TOPICS
1. a book with more than 500 pages: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. FINISHED.
2. a romance: Katherine by Anya Seton. FINISHED
3. a book that became a movie: The Hours by Michael Cunningham. FINISHED.
4. a book published this year: The House of Hawthorne by Erika Robuck.  FINISHED.
5. a book with a number in the title:  The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. FINISHED.
6. a book written by someone under 30: Eragon by Christopher Paolini. FINISHED.
7. a book with nonhuman characters:  The Greyfriar by Susan Griffith.  FINISHED.
8. a funny book: Bossypants by Tina Fey.  FINISHED.
9. a book by a female author: Fever 1793 by Laurie Anderson.  FINISHED.
10. a mystery or thriller:  Séance in Sepia by Michelle Black. FINISHED.
11. a book with a one-word title: East by Edith Pattou.  FINISHED.
12. a book of short stories:  Tapping the Dream Tree by Charles deLint.  FINISHED.
13. a book set in a different country: The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak. FINISHED.
14. a nonfiction book:  The Fossil Hunter by Shelley Emling.  FINISHED.
15. a popular author's first book: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.  FINISHED.
16. a book from your favorite author that you haven't read yet: Forests of the Heart by Charles deLint.  FINISHED.
17. a book a friend recommended: Botelo by Alyson Hagy. FINISHED.
18. a Pulitzer-prize winning book: Andersonville by MacKinley Kantor.
19. a book based on a true story: The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry.  FINISHED.
20. a book at the bottom of your to read list: Before I Go To Sleep by S.J Watson.
21. a book your mom or dad loves: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.
22. a book that scares you: The Blackhouse by Peter May.
23. a book more than 100 years old: Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte.  FINISHED.
24. a book based entirely on its cover: Twilight of Avalon by Anna Elliot.
25. a book you were supposed to read in school but didn't: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
26. a memoir:  Two Rings by Millie Werber and Eve Keller
27. a book you can finish in a day:  India Black by Carol Karr.
28. a book with antonyms in the title: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt.
29. a book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit: Iceland by Betsy Tobin.
30. a book that came out the year you were born: Mary, Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser.
31. a book with bad reviews: Moon People?
32. a trilogy (the first):  Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clarke. FINISHED.
33. a trilogy (the second) Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clarke.  FINISHED.
34. a trilogy (the third)  Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clarke.  FINISHED.
35. a book from your childhood: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.  FINISHED.
36. a book with a love triangle: Muse by Mary Novak.
37. a book set in the future: Cinder by Marissa Meyer.
38. a book set in high school: The Small Rain by Madeline L’Engle.
39. a book with a color in the title: Scarlet by A.C Gaughen.
40. a book that made/makes you cry
41. a book with magic: Grave Witch by Kalayna Price.  FINISHED.
42. a graphic novel: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith.
43. a book by an author you've never read before:  My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira.
44. a book you own but have never read: The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro. FINISHED.
45. a book that takes place in your hometown: Magic America by C.E. Medford.
46. a book that was originally written in another language: Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende.
47. a book set during Christmas (or similar holiday): A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas.
48. a book written by an author with your same initials: Silver Lies by Ann Parker.
49. a play
50. a banned book: Beloved by Toni Morrison.
51. a book based on OR turned into a tv show: Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs.
52. a book you started but never finished:  The Heresy of Dr. Dee by Phil Rickman.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Weekending

I think my DH and I are finally both done with travel for a month or so - it's been crazy since about March, with one of us gone almost every week, and not a lot of downtime in between trips.  He flew in from a trip on Saturday, and was home mid-day.  So I worked in my studio on Saturday a.m. for several hours, so I could have the afternoon freed up to spend with him.  

We both are kind of worn-out and tired, so we spent a very quiet afternoon together.  I read and knit while he dozed and read the book he had started on the plane.  

We've been having hot and dry weather for the last few days, so I've been taking advantage of that and getting as much dyed as I can since it dries so quickly.  I've been working on several large wholesale orders, plus my normal club things right now.  This week I'm hoping to get one of the orders completely done and the other one mostly done, as I'm trying to clear my plate off as much as I can so I've got some time to spin during the Tour de Fleece. 

I was able to finish up the upcoming (September) Heroines shawl and get that blocked, and the draft off to my TE for review, and I started on a really bright and fun cowl that'll be a coordinating project for the simple tee I'm working up with a gorgeous Pima cotton.  I'm hoping to get the cowl sample done this afternoon and then I can cast on for the tee to start the week off.  I've wound up with several garment projects to design for this fall, so my plan is to try to focus on those and get one finished up each month between now and October 1st.  The tee is the first one that needs to go out the door for a September deadline (and I'm hoping it will be a fairly quick knit, all things being equal), so I've started with that one.


Friday, June 19, 2015

Spinning Friday: June 19, 2015

This week I have another finished spin to share!  I dyed myself up a braid of BFL/silk (75/25) in the "Wine Country" colorway, which was from last year's fiber club.


I divided the braid into equal thirds, and I then spun each third lengthwise, leaving one third intact, to spin end-to-end; breaking the second third into 2 halves lengthwise; and breaking the final third into fourths lengthwise for a fractal spin.


Technical Specs:
Roving:  3.6 oz of 75/25 BFL wool/silk roving in the "Wine Country" colorway from Wooly Wonka Fibers.
Ply:  2-ply.
Weight:  Sport.
Yardage: 289 yards.


Finished fiber is earmarked for a pair of socks.

Next Friday, we'll be at the 1-week mark before the 2015 Tour de Fleece starts, so I'll be back to show what I've picked to spin for the Tour this year!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

WIP Wednesday: June 7, 2015

This week I'm working on:

Sekret Knitting:
  • I've finished the body of the next Heroines shawl, and I've started the edging.  This is my priority this week, as I'd like to get it off to my TE and then on to testing.  
  • The Spirit Trail Fibers sweater:  No progress on this right now.
  • Summery cowl in Pandora pima cotton:  Started on this and I'm hoping to have it finished up in the next week, if I can get enough time after I'm done the Heroines shawl. 
Personal Knitting: 
  • The Through The Loops mystery shawl.  Finished clue 1 and clue 2, and clue 3 is now released.  I am going to try to work on this, but it'll take back seat to the other 2 priority sekret projects above. Details on my project page on Ravelry here.
  • Gradiant socks:  No progress on these currently. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge: Week 23

A bunch of books to talk about this week!  I finished up Anne Bronte's Agnes Grey.  This was not Anne's "masterpiece", but rather, the first book she wrote and it is heavily based on her personal experiences as a governess.  I suppose I had in my head that all of the Bronte sisters wrote very heavy, dark kinds of books, but this one is sort of "Bronte lite."   To be honest, not a lot that happens in this book either with plot development or character development.  Agnes starts out as a fairly sheltered but basically kind and good young woman and she continues to be both those things throughout the book, despite dealing with absolutely rotten and spoiled children. I was happy to see that Anne wrote Agnes a happy ending with her curate that she didn't have for herself.  I liked that this story ended on a positive note - I liked Agnes.

I then turned to my "book based on a true story", The Wild Princess.  And when I say "based on", I mean VERY VERY loosely based.  It's the story of one of Queen Victoria's daughters, the Princess Louise.  The true story part is that she was considered a "wild child" in her youth, and she did attend an art school and rubbed elbows with bohemian artist types, and there was a plot to murder the queen during her lifetime (several actually, but specifically the one addressed in this book), but there's a lot of this book that definitely falls into the fiction category.  Louise did marry the Earl of Argyll, and they didn't have any children, but there was no actual proof he was gay and there certainly was no documentation that she had a dashing American military hero as her lover for 40+ years, nor is there any proof at all that she assisted said dashing hero with the investigation into the plot against Victoria.  Entertaining?  Yes, absolutely.  A fun summer read, but not one to pick up if you are actually hoping to learn a lot about the Princess that's fact.

And finally (I'm on a roll this week!), I started and finished  Clockwork Angel.  LOVED this book - all kinds of fun things I enjoy rolled into one.  A great heroine (Tessa), some steampunk things (like automatons), a secret society (a couple, actually), adventure, sword-fighting, secret runes and things not initially as they seemed.  This is definitely heavy in the fiction category, but a perfect travel book that kept me entertained in my hotel room in Texas this week when I was really too tired to knit. Having finished this one up, I've downloaded the next 2 in the series to complete my trilogy component of the challenge - which I'm looking forward to this week!

WEEKS & TOPICS
1. a book with more than 500 pages: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. FINISHED.
2. a romance: Katherine by Anya Seton. FINISHED
3. a book that became a movie: The Hours by Michael Cunningham. FINISHED.
4. a book published this year: The House of Hawthorne by Erika Robuck.  FINISHED.
5. a book with a number in the title:  The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. FINISHED.
6. a book written by someone under 30: Eragon by Christopher Paolini. FINISHED.
7. a book with nonhuman characters:  The Greyfriar by Susan Griffith.  FINISHED.
8. a funny book: Bossypants by Tina Fey.  FINISHED.
9. a book by a female author: Fever 1793 by Laurie Anderson.  FINISHED.
10. a mystery or thriller:  Séance in Sepia by Michelle Black. FINISHED.
11. a book with a one-word title: East by Edith Pattou.  FINISHED.
12. a book of short stories:  Tapping the Dream Tree by Charles deLint.  FINISHED.
13. a book set in a different country: The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak. FINISHED.
14. a nonfiction book:  The Fossil Hunter by Shelley Emling.  FINISHED.
15. a popular author's first book: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.  FINISHED.
16. a book from your favorite author that you haven't read yet: Forests of the Heart by Charles deLint.  FINISHED.
17. a book a friend recommended: Botelo by Alyson Hagy. FINISHED.
18. a Pulitzer-prize winning book: Andersonville by MacKinley Kantor.
19. a book based on a true story: The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry.  FINISHED.
20. a book at the bottom of your to read list: Before I Go To Sleep by S.J Watson.
21. a book your mom or dad loves: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.
22. a book that scares you: The Blackhouse by Peter May.
23. a book more than 100 years old: Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte.  FINISHED.
24. a book based entirely on its cover: Twilight of Avalon by Anna Elliot.
25. a book you were supposed to read in school but didn't: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
26. a memoir:  Two Rings by Millie Werber and Eve Keller
27. a book you can finish in a day
28. a book with antonyms in the title: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt.
29. a book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit: Iceland by Betsy Tobin.
30. a book that came out the year you were born: Mary, Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser.
31. a book with bad reviews: Moon People?
32. a trilogy (the first):  Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clarke. FINISHED.
33. a trilogy (the second) Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clarke.
34. a trilogy (the third)  Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clarke.
35. a book from your childhood: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.  FINISHED.
36. a book with a love triangle: Muse by Mary Novak.
37. a book set in the future
38. a book set in high school: The Small Rain by Madeline L’Engle.
39. a book with a color in the title:  A Cavern of Black Ice by J.V. Jones.
40. a book that made/makes you cry
41. a book with magic: Grave Witch by Kalayna Price.
42. a graphic novel
43. a book by an author you've never read before:  My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira
44. a book you own but have never read: The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro. FINISHED.
45. a book that takes place in your hometown: Magic America by C.E. Medford.
46. a book that was originally written in another language: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
47. a book set during Christmas (or similar holiday): A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas.
48. a book written by an author with your same initials: Silver Lies by Ann Parker.
49. a play
50. a banned book: Beloved by Toni Morrison.
51. a book based on OR turned into a tv show: Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs.
52. a book you started but never finished:  The Heresy of Dr. Dee by Phil Rickman.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Spinning Friday: June 12, 2015

I have a finished spin to share this week!  The last Spinning Friday post showed the FatCatKnits merino/tencel "Splash" fingering weight I spun up.  I wanted a complementary color to go with it for a 2-color shawl, so I dyed myself up 4 ounces in the "Serpent" colorway on a matching fiber base.


I didn't do much to prep this lovely fiber blend - just divided the braid in half lengthwise, and then spun end-to-end.


Technical Specs:
Roving:  4 oz of 60/40 merino/tencel roving in the "Serpent" colorway from Wooly Wonka Fibers.
Ply:  2-ply.
Weight:  Fingering.
Yardage: 382 yards/4 oz.

I'm currently knitting up Kirsten's Through The Loops Mystery KAL shawl right now, but this project will be next on my personal knitting list once I've finished that. 

Next up on the wheel, I'm working on a 3-ply sock yarn with a BFL/silk roving that I dyed in the "Wine Country" colorway.  Details on that next week!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

WIP Wednesday: June 10, 2015

This week I'm working on:

Sekret Knitting:
  • The next Heroines Shawl project, which is not-quite halfway completed.  I'm taking this with me on the plane to Austin, so I'm hoping to have the main body finished and maybe even start on the edging. 
  • The Spirit Trail Fibers sweater, which I'm sort of waffling about the cable motif on the back, so this piece will likely get frogged and restarted.  
  • A summery cowl for The Yarn Guys in a super-soft pima cotton fingering-weight yarn, Pandora.
Personal Knitting: 
  • The Through The Loops mystery shawl.  I've worked thru clue 1, and clue 2 just released Monday.  You can see the details on my project page on Ravelry here, in case any of you are working on it and not quite this far along yet.  I'm using Wooly Wonka Arianrhod Sock in Azalea for the main color and Dusk for the contrast color.  (side note: I really want to make a sweater for myself from Azalea.  I should just get off my keister and dye up the yarn for it.)

  • The ongoing gradiant socks.  One is done - I need to knit another inch or so and then I can start on the heel flap of #2.

Monday, June 8, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge: Week 22

This week I read Botelo.  I am still kind of mentally processing this one, but let me see if I can summarize some of my thoughts on it.  First off, the writer either has trained horses or knows someone well who has.  She "gets" it.  I found myself nodding in agreement through a lot of passages describing Will, the young man, who purchases a young filly destined for bigger and better things. Will has grown up in a typical small ranch family, the youngest of 3 boys.  His mother has recently dodged a bout of breast cancer.  His father is unhappily working in town to make ends meet to pay for the ranch, and Will is philosophical about the fact that the ranch will be run by his older brother and he needs to find his own way in the world.  There were parts of this that reminded me of Pilgrim at Tinker's Creek - the writing is beautiful and the description of the Wind Rivers is very evocative. Will's a thinker too... so a lot of time is devoted to what's going on inside his head; this is definitely not an action-driven book.  

I'm still not sure how I feel about the ending of it.  The final third of the book takes Will and the filly to an expensive polo-training barn in California, where he hopes to learn skills beyond his ranch and rodeo ones to break into the better-paying world of polo.  (And he has purchased the filly with an eye towards training her up to play polo.)  He becomes friendly with, although not really a part of, the group of workers who are barn helpers at the polo barn.   In the end, he has to make a set of hard decisions regarding his family, the filly, and those workers.  (I don't want to ruin this for anyone who decides to read it by going too much into the specifics there.)  I'm not sure that I would make the same decision Will does.  I can admire him for his choice - I'm just not sure I'd do the same in his shoes.

Moving on, I've picked up Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte, and I'm about halfway thru that.  Mostly I'm learning that children of any era can be horribly spoiled and nasty.  (Not a news flash.)

WEEKS & TOPICS
1. a book with more than 500 pages: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. FINISHED.
2. a romance: Katherine by Anya Seton. FINISHED
3. a book that became a movie: The Hours by Michael Cunningham. FINISHED.
4. a book published this year: The House of Hawthorne by Erika Robuck.  FINISHED.
5. a book with a number in the title:  The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. FINISHED.
6. a book written by someone under 30: Eragon by Christopher Paolini. FINISHED.
7. a book with nonhuman characters:  The Greyfriar by Susan Griffith.  FINISHED.
8. a funny book: Bossypants by Tina Fey.  FINISHED.
9. a book by a female author: Fever 1793 by Laurie Anderson.  FINISHED.
10. a mystery or thriller:  Séance in Sepia by Michelle Black. FINISHED.
11. a book with a one-word title: East by Edith Pattou.  FINISHED.
12. a book of short stories:  Tapping the Dream Tree by Charles deLint.  FINISHED.
13. a book set in a different country: The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak. FINISHED.
14. a nonfiction book:  The Fossil Hunter by Shelley Emling.  FINISHED.
15. a popular author's first book: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.  FINISHED.
16. a book from your favorite author that you haven't read yet: Forests of the Heart by Charles deLint.  FINISHED.
17. a book a friend recommended: Botelo by Alyson Hagy. FINISHED.
18. a Pulitzer-prize winning book: Andersonville by MacKinley Kantor.
19. a book based on a true story: The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry.
20. a book at the bottom of your to read list: Before I Go To Sleep by S.J Watson.
21. a book your mom or dad loves: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.
22. a book that scares you: The Blackhouse by Peter May.
23. a book more than 100 years old: Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte.
24. a book based entirely on its cover: Twilight of Avalon by Anna Elliot.
25. a book you were supposed to read in school but didn't: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
26. a memoir:  Two Rings by Millie Werber and Eve Keller
27. a book you can finish in a day
28. a book with antonyms in the title: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt.
29. a book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit: Iceland by Betsy Tobin.
30. a book that came out the year you were born: Mary, Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser.
31. a book with bad reviews: Moon People?
32. a trilogy (the first):  Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clarke.
33. a trilogy (the second) Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clarke.
34. a trilogy (the third)  Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clarke.
35. a book from your childhood: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.  FINISHED.
36. a book with a love triangle: Muse by Mary Novak.
37. a book set in the future
38. a book set in high school: The Small Rain by Madeline L’Engle.
39. a book with a color in the title:  A Cavern of Black Ice by J.V. Jones.
40. a book that made/makes you cry
41. a book with magic: Grave Witch by Kalayna Price.
42. a graphic novel
43. a book by an author you've never read before:  My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira
44. a book you own but have never read: The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro.
45. a book that takes place in your hometown: Magic America by C.E. Medford.
46. a book that was originally written in another language: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
47. a book set during Christmas (or similar holiday): A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas.
48. a book written by an author with your same initials: Silver Lies by Ann Parker.
49. a play
50. a banned book: Beloved by Toni Morrison.
51. a book based on OR turned into a tv show: Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs.
52. a book you started but never finished:  The Heresy of Dr. Dee by Phil Rickman.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Weekending

Mostly just trying to get caught up on things this weekend, post-TNNA conference in Columbus. Elizabeth, my partner at Stitch Definition, and I decided to go to advertise our venture, and it was definitely a successful trip - we got a chance to meet several folks in person we only knew from emails, and to reconnect with a lot of other folks we hadn't seen in a while.  I would have really liked NOT to have been stranded in Denver overnight on the way home, but so it goes.

Losing that extra day coming back kind of threw my planned schedule into a tizzy... so.... mostly just trying to get caught up before I head off to Austin this upcoming week to teach and do a book signing/trunk show at The Happy Ewe in Jonestown.  I shipped class materials and samples out yesterday, and Misty ordered a bunch of book copies, plus yarn so I think we'll have a great turnout. Her shop is very fun and so welcoming - kind of hard to beat it!

After this tour out, I'm hopefully done with travel until September.  And honestly?  I'm tired and very ready for a break - this is more travel than I've done in years and with show prep, and still keeping up with dyeing at home - I definitely could use a few quiet(ish) months.

Finally, in this rambling update, I'm very excited as My Book with Interweave is in the final editing stages.  I will have a copy to review on Monday to make any final corrections or tweaks before it moves on to the printer next month.  I have to say my editor(s) have done a fabulous job of it.  The photo proofs I've seen and some of the preliminary layout pages are absolutely gorgeous, so I'm very excited to see the rest of the book!

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