Thursday, January 21, 2010

How to Handle Winter

My big guy cat, Hans, has been very frustrated this winter. We're quite sure why, it may have to do with the change in the feeding situation here. He can't eat Greta's food because it upsets his digestive tract and Greta shouldn't eat his because of urinary tract problems. Long story, short: He and Greta have been feuding something fierce for the past week. Finally, he gave himself a time out in the bag. Both Greta and I appreciated the break.

Off the Needles: Pair No. 33 in the 52 Pair Plunge III (or maybe it's 34) a pair of Trekking Ribbed Socks.
As promised in my last post, I finally got a photo of the elusive moebius scarf from my handspun. I think I'm going to use it more as a cowl than a scarf, as it did not block out as wide as I would have liked. Even so, I'm pleased with my first attempt at this technique.

On the Needles: While I have kept my resolution not to sign up for anymore challenges, I have discovered knit-a-longs (KAL), particularly Mystery KALs. I have Clue 1 completed for The Enchanted Wool Shawl and have completed Clue 2 in the Girls Night Out Mystery Sock Knit Along. The Sock KAL is a mosaic and is a bit more challenging as I have to size it down. So, my finished socks will be a little different than the rest. Clue 1 of the shawl is to the left; Clues 1 & 2 of the sock are to the right. (Although you probably figured that out by now.)

Also, on the needles is the next pair of socks for 52 Pair Plunge III, made from the leftovers from the Herbivore Scarf. I'm going toe-up and am already on the leg portion.

After I posted last week, I realized I forgot to list what I've been reading and listening to. Since it's been so cold I have had ample opportunity to do both.

Lemon Meringue Pie Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery), by Joanne Fluke. This entry into the Hannah Swensen series involves Norman's purchase of property the dream house he and Hannah designed for a contest and won. Hannah's mother then finds the body of the last owner in the basement and then bank loot from an old robbery begins showing up in town. As you might expect, Hannah makes sense of all this with the help of her two suitors, her partner and her sisters. Another fun read.

Fearless Fourteen,
by Janet Evanovich. While this entry into the Stephanie Plum series includes all the great characters of the previous mysteries, Evanovich has added some new quirky characters. Of all I've read or listened to so far, I've enjoyed this one the most. I think there's even more humor and more outrageous situations.

Rumpole Rests His Case,
by John Mortimer. More short stories involving Rumpole's legal career. This was supposedly the last in the series as the last story has Rumpole arguing his last case from his hospital bed after suffering a heart attack.

That's it for this week. A quick update on the Hans/Greta feud. When I went upstairs to grab my book notes, they were ka-noodling on the top stair and looked a bit guilty as I rounded the landing.

Friday, January 8, 2010

"Snow" the Other Four-Letter "S" Word

We have snow - lots of it. I'm tired of it. It's cold, too. I'm tired of that as well. After that depressing note, let's go on to the fun stuff. If anything, this weather has given me plenty of time to knit.

Off the Needles: Pair No. 32 of the 52 Pair Plunge III is yet another pair of Dead Simple Lace Socks, designed by Wendy Johnson (aka WendyKnits) our of her Socks From the Toe Up book. I altered the pattern significantly to make a much smaller size than her smallest size - so these fit very nicely. The yarn is Festivus from Tempted which arrived as part of her sock club.

Moebius Scarf is being blocked as I write. It turned out a little narrower than I hoped; but I am very pleased with how my hand-spun looks in it. Hopefully, I'll have photos next time.

On the Needles: I'm still plugging along on Herbivore. I hope to have it finished by next week.

As one might well imagine, I have Pair No. 33 of the 52 Pair Plunge III on the needles. I just turned the heel, going toe-up, 2-at-a-time. I'm using Trekking, one of my favorite commercial sock yarns.

On the Wheel: I'm finishing up on a two-ply superwash and I'm hackling (is that a word) some of my hand-painted roving for an article on using a diz and hackle in the preparation of worsted yarn (as opposed to woolen yarn). If you're confused, I'll post the link when it is "on the net".