Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. It's right up there with Valentine's Day. I'm not sure why, because neither holiday was particularly important in our house growing up. Perhaps, it's because they're both low stress holidays for me - no big holiday dinners, no long list of presents to find, and I can wear what I want! So have a great one! I'm stocked up on candy, even though I'm not much of a candy person. But I figure most of it will go either from people stopping in the Center on Saturday or the Saturday night tricks n' treaters.
Off the needles: Pair No. 22 in the 52 Pair Plunge III/Amethyst Cable Socks. These are made from my Big Foot sock yarn in the Amethyst colorway. I'm switching to children's socks while a work to get a head of the curve in "the Plunge." Here's Pair No. 23 from some scrap sock yarn:

On the Needles: Pair No. 24 of Plunge Socks. Another pair of childrens' socks in more scrap yarn. Photo next time!

52 Books in 52 Weeks/Book 45: The Blueberry Muffin Murders, by Joanne Fluke. This is one of the earlier ones in the series so it filled me in a little bit more on the background of the characters. Fluke does a wonderful job of carrying a number of sub-plots along and tying everything together at the end. This one is about the murder of a TV cook/personality who is murdered in Hannah's pantry after eating one of Hannah's blueberry muffins.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Revontuli Shawl

I received the extra ball of Kauni yarn this week and finished up the Revontuli Shawl. Here it is still drying with the blocking wires in it. I ordered the yarn for this a few weeks ago, but received the wrong colorway. I started it anyway and was very disappointed about the use of gray and beige. Now that the extra ball arrived and it's finished, I'm very pleased with the way the colors turned out.

On the Needles: I'm still plugging away at Pair No. 22 of the 52 Pair Plunge. Now that I am once again a monogamous knitter, they should be done in no time!

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Book No. 45: The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I've been following this one on the Craft Lit Podcast . I am quite surprised by how differently I look at the storyline than I did when I read it last in high school. Well worth the re-visit!

I am currently listening to the Blueberry Muffin Mystery by Joanne Fluke and reading The Thirteen tale.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Knitting, Lifelines and Airport Security

I recently had to travel by air. That sentence is one that causes most knitters to cringe - myself included. We've all heard stories about the confiscation of knitting needles or damage to equipment and the like. Frankly, until my last trip, I hadn't run into many problems. I do carry a self-addressed, stamped flat rate priority mail envelope so that if there is a problem I can mail the offending piece of equipment home. I thought that might happen this time.

I have been working on Revontuli Shawls, designed by Anne M. I brought the first one which was about two-thirds completed along on the trip. My bag was set aside for additional scrutiny. The security officer (our sort of local airport has opted out of using TSA for that) set my bag on the counter and opened up the top-most compartment. He took one giant step backwards, "Oh, knitting," he gasped. He scored brownie points right away for correctly identifying the occupant of that compartment. He stepped a bit closer with his hand extended over it, as though he was hesitating to move it. It turned out that was because he was.

Still standing behind the partial partition so that I couldn't touch my bag, I sensed his caution. "It has a lifeline, so you can't hurt it," I told him. He released a sigh of relief. "Good," he said. "The first day on the job I pulled the needle out of some one's knitting by accident, and it wasn't very pretty - for me."

Off the Needles: The Revontuli Shawl shown at the top of my post. I also finished yet another pair of socks - Basketweave Socks that I started last time. This pair is No. 21 in the 52 Pair Plunge and is made from my own Sheepish Fibers Big Foot in the colorway Brock's Truck (periwinkle)

On the Needles: I am working on a second Revontuli Shawl using Kauni wool that has long color repeats in shades of purple. It should be done by my next post (unless I post tomorrow).
I am also working on pair No. 22 in the 52 Pair Plunge which is a pair of cable socks in the Amethyst colorway in Big Foot.

On the Wheel: I am spinning a blend of superwash wool and nylon. I've blended some greens, blues, turquoises and lavenders in to a three-ply.

On the Carder: My next spinning project is going to be a blend I'm working on of brown wool, tussah silk and Pokey the alpaca fleece.

52 Books in 52 Weeks: The real up side of travel for me is that I get some uninterrupted reading time. In the past couple weeks, I've made up some time in this challenge.

Book #41: Rumpole a la Carte, by John Mortimer. A whole book of Rumpole short stories. I few of them I remembered seeing on Mystery some time back - still enjoyable.

Book #42: Crewel World, by Monica Ferris. I think this one might be the first in the series as Betsy inherits the yarn shop after the murder of her sister. Some interesting characters some going with stereotype and some going the opposite direction, make this a readable series.

Book #43: Finnegan's Week, by Joseph Wambaugh. It's been some time since I read a Joseph Wambaugh book. I remembered them being better. Still, this wasn't too bad. The hero, Fin Finnegan is concerned about his acting career and turning 45, and about solving the theft of hazardous waste and it's deadly effect on a little boy in Mexico.

Book #44: Dying for Chocolate, by Diane Mott Davidson. This is another new series for me and it revolves around Goldie the Caterer who lives and works in a small town in Colorado, with her young son - and did I mention there's murders? There are a number of interest sub-plots as well as a love interest. I think I'll be looking for more in this series.