2010 Knitting Projects

2010 was a year less of socks, and more of mitts, by the end. It was also the year I started in on lace knitting with a bit of a comparative vengeance. That will probably continue in 2011, as well as my quest to finish out the ends of yarn I already own.


Books Read 2010

It being the last day of the year, and having the plans that I do, I think I can safely say that I will not be completing any more books this year, so I can now safely publish this year’s list.

In addition, there were a few books I couldn’t finish, but they were definitely outshined by the ones I did get through.

Knitting Notes

In the spirit of New Year’s renewal, my final knitting projects for 2010 were to use up some of my endless supply of leftover sock yarn.

This lefover sock yarn baby hat was done in Malabrigo Sock Yarn in the abril colorway. This yarn is perfect for baby hats – so soft, you’d suspect it wasn’t actually wool. Sadly, I did not have enough left for booties, but will likely get one of two of the below project out of the remainders.

These left over sock yarn stockings were done in Mountain Colors Barefoot yarn in the Evergreen colorway (used for the first socks I ever made). I love this pattern, I can knock out three in a single weeknight evening if I’m feeling so inclined.

Naked Heat – Richard Castle

Castle is one of my favorite shows on television right now. Mostly because I love Nathan Fillion, and will probably watch anything he’s in until he’s old, gray and toothless.

Naked Heat was one of my Christmas presents. It’s the second book supposedly written by Richard Castle in the course of the “research” that keeps him by Detective Kate Beckett’s side. So, if you don’t watch the show, don’t bother reading this book. It’s a gigantic in joke for anyone that does watch the show. If you don’t have that background, the book would probably come across as a poorly written, derivative cop drama. But give it the right frame of reference, and it’s good fun.

Uncompleted Books 2010

I’m very much a completest, so it was extremely unusual that this year, I had not one, not two, but three books I started, but was unable to finish. Without further ado:

1. Keeping it Real – Justina Robson

I picked out this book after seeing it at Barnes and Noble. It takes place after some sort of dimensional explosion that’s opened up a rift between our world, and several others, including worlds peopled by elves and various other monsters. I made it about four chapters in. It fell into the “I could write better than this when I was 12” category of books I’m unable to complete. Eragon was another of these books. That book at least had the excuse of being written by a twelve-year-old.

2. The Mulberry Empire – Philip Hensher

I picked this book for the Booker Challenge. It’s set against Britain’s rather disasterous foray into Afghanistan during their colonial period. I was rather looking forward to reading it. I figured it would be some interesting perspective on a country I’m not that familiar with.

The first thing I didn’t like was the set up of a story of a girl back in England who falls in love with the geographer for this first trip to Afghanistan while he’s in England before the trip. Surely only angst and pining would follow. But, the POV was flipping through enough people I figured I could put up with that.

What stopped me reading was the chapter that set up the story’s villain, a man in the British Army who murders his way to AWOL-ness and wends his way up to Afghanistan. The man was truly repulsive. I don’t mind a good, evil villain now and then, but I draw the line at unrepentant pedophiles. The book went back where it come from the next day.

3. The Mirror Prince – Violette Malan

In this book, a prince of the fae has a lost a war, and has been exiled to the Shadowlands (aka our world), where his memory has been wiped, and only three fae guardians ward him until his exile is over.

Issue #1: prince with no memory = convenient exposition dump. I hate exposition dumps that convenient. Issue #2: the fae all have long Native American style names (i.e. Rides with the Dawn), and with the cast of thousands that was being introduced, it was getting really hard to keep track. I gave up four chapters in.

2011 TBR Lite Reading Challenge 1/1/11 – 12/31/11

I’m going to do the TBR Lite Reading Challenge again in 2011, because I have plenty of books that have been hanging around for far too long at my house, unread by me. I’m going to do level B again, which is to read 6 books throughout the year that I’ve had hanging around for at least three month, not preset list needed. That being said, I’m going to try to draw these books from either my Tote of Shame, or from BF’s books that I haven’t managed to read yet. You can access either of these as collections in my LibraryThing catalog.

Foodie’s Reading Challenge

Tis the season for signing up for next year’s reading challenges, already! Time certainly flies.

I saw The Foodie Challenge on A Novel Challenge, and pretty much had to sign up, based on some books I know are lurking my TBR Tote of Shame. I’m going to commit to the Nibbler level, which is to read 1 to 3 books for the year, but depending on what I get my hands on, I may be able to do more.

I currently have a book out from Booksfree that’ll fit this challenge, so I know I will read Nigel Slater’s Toast. Other than that, we’ll see as the year progresses.

Knitting Notes

Pattern: Crofter’s Cowl by Gudrun Johnston
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in the Vaa Colorway
Needles: size 8 circs

I know this doesn’t really look any different than the cowl I finished on Christmas, but that extra pattern repeat did really make a difference, and I know I’ll wear this one. So I’ll need to find a home for the other one I made.

Looks like I finished this just in time to wear as a layer for blizzard clean up this afternoon…

Through a Brazen Mirror – Delia Sherman

Through a Brazen Mirror takes on the familiar folk tale trope of a young woman wronged who disguises herself as a man and goes to work for the king.

In this case, it’s an evil sorceress that has done the wrong – killing Elinor’s husband and baby son. And so she takes refuge at the king’s court, having taken her husband’s name, and rises to be the Master Chamberlain. She and the king are ultimately able to defeat the sorceress, but with a twist at the end that one would not usually find with this story.

The fun about this book is the really authentic medieval touches to the king’s court, and Elinor’s home before her family is killed. This is a fantasy land, but the author clearly grounded it in the reality of that time period, and it makes for a rich story. Definitely a good read for a different perspective of a classic tale.

Knitting Notes

Pattern: Crofter’s Cowl by Gudrun Johnston
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in the Vaa colorway
Needles: Size 8 circs

Love this pattern. So simple. I probably could have done it in one uninterrupted day, no problem. The only unfortunate thing is that it’s a bit too tight on me for the normal size. Fortunately, I had enough yarn leftover to cast on with an extra repeat as suggested in the pattern, and that should do the trick.

The yarn: it’s Malabrigo. It’s soft, and the color is so me. I love them. They are gods among yarn makers. Don’t think I can really say much more than that.