Showing posts from March, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge: Week 13

This week, I read River of Doubt by Candice Millard.  Let me say first off, it's kind of hard to write a bad book about Teddy Roosevelt.  Bigger than life in everything I've ever read about him, this book does nothing to dispel that image.  The book tells the story of Roosevelt's journey down an uncharted tributary of the Amazon, and the hardships (and calling them "hardships" is really the tip of the iceberg here) the exploration party encountered during the trip. The group of explorers that went on this trip was probably the best suited to explore this area, in an era where no one got to pop off to REI for a nice lightweight canoe that folded up and army rations for food.  The twin leaders of the group Roosevelt with his larger-than-life personality, and the Brazilian explorer, Candido Rondon, a taciturn military man, are polar opposites about many things, but both of them knew a thing or three about seemingly unworkable odds for a good outcome of bad ventures…

2016 Reading Challenge: Week 12

I was under the weather this weekend, so I did a metric tonnage of reading while I knit on some plain vanilla stripey socks and couch potato'ed it.

I finished up Cervantes Street for week #15's topic: A book set in the past, more than 100 years ago.  Lots of information in this (fictional) account of Miguel de Cervantes's life - about which not much is known.  In theory the book purports to create the world behind the writing of Don Quixote but since there is so little known about the author that can be validated with extant historical documents, take it with a grain of salt.  I'll admit that my knowledge of mid-16th century Algiers and the Turks is limited, so I enjoyed filling in some of the gaps of that with the storyline of this book.  I had a hard time switching between the 3 voices the author used to advance the narrative: Cervantes's himself, a rival writer whom he knew in school, and a clerk turned spy hired by the rival writer to spy on Cervantes.  I found…

2016 Reading Challenge: Week 11

This week, I finished reading Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides.  This was for week #36's topic - an identity book and really, this one fit the week's topic better than I thought it would upon initially reading the first few chapters.  Yes, it's a book about a person who genetically is a man, but raised as a girl, and the complications that occurred when he reached puberty, but it is ALSO a story about family and how family shapes one's identity.  The main character, Calliope Stephanides, is the second child born into a Greek family living in Detroit.  The first half of the book, however, really focuses on her grandparents and their life in the Old Country, before immigrating to the US, their struggles to assimiliate into the American culture, and then how her parents met and the years during World War II when her father is in the Navy.  This is NOT in any way, shape or form, a sensationalistic telling of a transgendered person.  It's really a story about family and …

WIP Wednesday: March 9, 2016

And here's what I'm working on this week!

Sekret Knitting:

More by the skin of my teeth than I'd like, I got the final magazine deadline project out the door.  (And no, it wasn't overnighted but I have issues about paying the Post Office a gazillion dollars to ship something, so I just power knitted for 2 days and shipped it out Thursday a.m. so it would arrive Monday via regular Priority Mail.)  Whew!I've moved onto a design I'm working up for Jen at Spirit Trail Fiberworks for her booth at Maryland Sheep and Wool.  While I can't share the design details with you, I can show you the fantastic colorway she sent me to work with.  This is on her Sunna fingering weight, which is a 75/15/10 blend of superwash merino/cashmere/bombyx silk.  She will have some of this colorway (Angel's Trumpet) up on the website shortly if you don't have plans to attend Maryland and want to pick some up.  It's a seriously beautiful yarn and I'm thrilled with the desi…

2016 Reading Challenge: Week 10

This week, I finished up Margaret Atwood's Bluebeard's Egg, which fulfills week #17's topic for a book with a beautiful cover.  I loved the artwork on the edition I read.  The book is a collection of her short stories, and they are pretty eclectic, but all deal with human relationships - some good, some kinda in need of lots of therapy.  I enjoyed the handful of ones that were about her growing-up and childhood and her parents.  Some of the others I was more "meh" about, but in general I love short stories, so I read them all contentedly.  A very mixed bag of things in this one.

I've then started Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides for week 36.  This book isn't exactly what I expected - it's so far really more a historical fiction tale about his grandparents (and I've just started generation #2's history about how his parents fell in love), and less about the main character's transgender issues, which most of the reviews (and we all know you ca…

Spinning Friday: March 4, 2016

I've kind of lost track where I am in showing my spinning projects after the week-plus hiatus to and from Stitches West, so I'm just going to jump in with my most recently finished project (and if you want to see where I am in the crazy 52 spins in 52 weeks project, you can always go here.)

This week, I worked on a Spin the Bin fiber from deep stash.  This was 4 oz of mixed BFL from Funky Carolina in the custom colorway "Adler".  A moody-broody blend of dark pine green and a deep plum and herby greens.  The original roving looked like:

I split the braid in half, and then split each of those halves again lengthwise - one half I split into 4 pieces and the other into 8.  I then spun each of those halves into singles, and then plied them together for a 2-ply heavy DK weight yarn with 224 yards in the skein.

My grist was a little bit wonky on this one - I spun it in small bits of time this week (like 15-minute sessions) and it was much harder to keep a consistent size fo…

WIP Wednesday: March 2, 2016

The newest podcast, episode 6, is now live - which has lots of info about what I'm working on.

But for those of you who just want the facts, ma'am.... here they are!

Sekret Knitting:

SOOOOOO close to finishing my last deadline knit that I'm working on for Interweave.  The main garment is blocking and I have 1 piece left to finish, which I am off to do immediately after I hit "Post" for this. Lots of things in the up-and-coming list, but I'll worry about that once I get this March project done and off the needles!Personal Knitting:  None right now (see above).  But I have plans to cast on a new handspun shawl shortly and of course, I'm always knitting some stripey socks in bits and bobs of time.