Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Blog Delayed Due to Technical Difficulties

This blog seemed to take forever to get to the web. My digital camera decided to be difficult and like everything it's done so far, it did difficult well too. At first I thought I just needed a new camera. I wasn't happy about that prospect, as I've had this one a bit less than two years. I checked at the camera store and described the problem. The manager suggested just getting a card reader because the camera appeared to be taking pictures.

Good guess, but wrong. The card reader worked about the same as the cable. Then it dawned on me that it might be the memory card. So after a number of trips to the camera store, the camera is now working and able to download the photos to the computer.

An interesting thing the manager of the camera shop mentioned, is that digital cameras do not last as long as the old fashioned film cameras. At least now, I have a head's up to save for a new one.

Off the Needles: Given the extra time between blogs I was able to finished two pairs towards the 52 Pair Plunge III. Pair No. 30 is the Embossed Leaves pattern by Mona Schmidt from Favorite Socks by Interweave Press. I used Good Grrl hand-painted yarn from Tempted in the Zombie Grrl colorway. Great pattern, great yarn!

Pair No. 31 is based on an Ann Budd infant sock pattern out the new Interweave Knits Accessories magazine. The pattern is written for double-pointed needles and since I do two-at-time I made some significant changes in the pattern. I used my own Sheepish Fibers Big Foot yarn in the Brock's Truck colorway. It's actually leftover from a pair I made for myself earlier in the 52 Pair Plunge Challenge. Also, off the needles is my moebius scarf. It's still a little shy and needs to have the ends woven in and a good blocking before it shows itself. This was made using my handspun and I am very pleased with how the color worked out. Photos next time.

On the Needles: Pair No. 32 is a derivation of a Wendy Knits pattern, Dead Simple Lace Socks from her book, Socks From the Toe Up. I've finally figured out that my feet are much smaller than most of the sock patterns, so I need to do a lot of adjustments to pattern stitches to make the finished socks wearable. I'm using the Festivus colorway in another skein of sock yarn from Tempted. Incidentally, I joined her sock club this year, after wondering what sock clubs are like. It was a good decision on my part as I've received some wonderful sock yarn, some fun patterns and great bags. I'm doing it again next year.

On the Wheel: I've been experimenting with color, as well as the creation of worsted yarn. Right now I have a fuchsia/royal blue blend on the wheel. I'm very pleased with the results and hope to have a skein completed by my next blog post.

Great Reads/Great Listens: I listened to the Mammoth Murders by Bill Crider from my Audible account this week. I wish I understood why I enjoy mysteries involving sheriffs from sparsely-populated counties, but this was another one. This one takes place in Texas and involves the possible finding of Sasquatch, feral hogs, archaeological digs and a long-missing child. Hopefully, that description was not a spoiler for the book. Probably not great literature, but good characters and a good plot.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

One Challenge Done/One to Go

Off The Needles: I probably should have worded the title the other way round as I'm covering the remaining challenge first. I finished Pair No. 29 in the 52 Pair Plunge III. They're made from Creatively Dyed yarn in a women's small. (That's Greta snooping in the packages.) This was wonderful yarn to knit with and the yardage was wonderful (much like my own Big Foot yarn!) It's still fun to try out yarn from other folks!

On the Needles: I'm currently working on a pair from Tempted at 3 am's Good Grrl in the Zombee Grrl colorway. I'm using the Embossed Leaves pattern by Mona Schmidt from the Favorite Socks book by Interweave Press. I've made some significant pattern changes to accommodate my smaller than average feet. Even so, it should still look like the pattern in the book when I'm done.

I haven't forgotten Herbivore, by Stephen West. It's still going, it's just going slow.

52 Books in 52 Weeks: I am finally done with this challenge. The final book was Cat Striking Back (A Joe Grey Mystery), by Shirley Rousseau Murphy. Joe finds a body in an empty swimming pool, but it's gone by the time the police respond to his report. Naturally, he has to prove there was a body and then find the person who perpetrated the crime. This installment of the series dealt more with the cats and their feral counterparts, than the humans. It seems like this series gets better with each installment. Highly recommend.

52 books in 52 weeks was quite a challenge for me. I'm looking forward to my future reading when I can choose what I want to read, simply because I want to read it and not because of the added factor, I could read it quickly. I have a Wally Lamb that calls out to me each time I pass the shelves. But because of it's size, I've been waiting to read it until after the challenge.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Finding Time

This week has been a struggle to find any time for myself. That includes even a short entry into this blog. I am looking forward to working regular hours in the coming weeks, even though every day has been interesting and certainly not dull.

Off the Needles: I finished the bamboo socks about this past weekend. These were made from On Your Toes bamboo/nylon sock yarn. It's a beautiful colorway, but I was not pleased with the quality of the yarn. I purchased this in a yarn shop and I paid a bit more than I like to pay for it. My biggest complaint? Huge knots, lots of them! The big advantage to getting a big ball or skein of yarn is so you don't have to do joins - or at least not a lot of them - but I had to with this yarn.
These are Pair No. 28 in the 52 Pair Plunge.

On the Needles: I'm still working on my Herbivore. I ripped back because I wasn't happy with it. The second time through it's looking much better.

On the opposite spectrum from the bamboo yarn is some one of the Monday Night Sock Knitters purchased from CreativelyDyed.com. I'm doing 2-at-a-Time Socks, toe up. I'm well into the leg of the socks and still no knots - nunca. Great yarn, great colorway. Can't wait to finish and photograph.

Recently, I've been intrigued by moebius scarfs and decided to give one a try. I'm using some of my own hand spun. More on this one next time.

52 Books in 52 Weeks: At long last, the challenge is winding down. I hoped to be done by now, but I'm moving right along.

Book 49: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Wonderful characters, great story. Nobody Owens escapes death at age 2 or 3 by toddling into a graveyard when his parents and sister are murdered nearby. He is then raised by the long dead inhabitants of the graveyard. As one might imagine, the person who murdered his family, really wants him dead and returns to finish the job when Bod is about 15. Considering the author, it's not surprising it has a bit of a comic-book flair to it. One of the best I read this year.

Book 50: Death by Cashmere, by Sally Goldenbaum. I wish I could say the same about this book, but I can't. The worst disservice done to this novel, is the blurb on the back summarizing the characters, plot was wrong. It had the owner of the knit shop as the protagonist, not the owner's aunt, who only knits occasionally. Very disappointed.

Book 51: A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. Fortunately, with this challenge one could re-read a book read previously. I lost track as to how many times I've read this one. This version was from Audible.com and was brilliantly read by Tim Curry.

I'm currently reading the Shirley Rousseau Murphy, Joe Grey mystery. I'm about a third through it. So, I'm confident it was be Book 52 - if only I can find the time!