Knitting Notes

This is what I’ve been working on knitting-wise lately – Pookies, trying to use up more of my worsted weight scraps.   (I’ve got #5 on the needles at the moment.)    I really do like this pattern – it’s super easy, and they’re so cute.

The one thing I’m doing different with this batch is sewing up the beads in a little pouch inside them.    I got a little paranoid about having loose beads in something that could otherwise go to a baby.    So this batch is much safer, and I’m using up the random colored thread I’ve had leftover from various mending projects that was too long to throw away, but in colors it’s unlikely I’ll use again.


The Indoor Garden

My Grammie begonia (so named because the original slip came to us from my mother’s mother), is actually blooming.   It’s a foliage begonia, and I’ve only had one bloom one other year for me (in the ten years I’ve had one in the house – this one is a slip of the older one that originally bloomed).    I assume they probably bloom just as often in their native habitat as the begonias we buy for the flowers, but it’s different enough here for a special notice.

Craft Notes

This weekend’s project is a bit different and experimental for me.     I’ll preface this by saying, I’m not much of a jewelry girl.    I have stuff I wear, but it quite nicely fits in my (not so huge) jewelry box, and I can’t say I own anything of any real and impressive value.    Not to mention, I can easily go months without changing my earrings, and nine times of ten, I wear my favorite triskele necklace to work.
That being said, I’m a little sick of my current earring situation, which is one section of the top of my jewelry box.    They fit easily enough, but I have days where I spend an inordinate amount of time digging for earring #2.    With that in mind, I bought a picture frame, and some aida cloth (built in holes!), and I’ve done my best to glue in the aida cloth as tightly as possible, with a little bit of additional wooden support around the edges.    I have no idea if this will work, but if it does, I’ll be able to keep my earrings, organized by pair, where I can more easily see them.
Project #2 is something to put my pins on.    These are mostly novelty pins that I’ve had stacked up in my jewelry box drawer (the ones I actually wear with any frequency will be staying there).   I have a few I have fond memories of (the IT person in chains from college, etc), and it occurred to me that I should have those out where I can see them.    So that’s just a leftover quilt block, glued to a board backing, which I will slightly stuff.    Again, hopefully it’ll work out.
I also have some ideas for something to put my most used necklaces on, but that involves paint, so it’s further down on my list for the moment.

Tempest’s Legacy – Nicole Peeler

I once tried to describe this series as the Northeast equivalent of the Sookie Stackhouse books – there’s lots of supernatural people right under the nose of the heroine that she had no idea were there until she somewhat accidentally stumbles upon their world, but Jane swears like a sailor, which Sookie would never do.    But that’s the difference between a nicely bred young lady from the South, and a nicely bred young woman from up here.

Also, now that we’re into the series, it’s starting to get darker, somewhat like Sookie’s books (actually, more like the show), but I’d say it’s going darker than Charlaine Harris would ever go.    There’s some seriously dark stuff surrounding hidden labs using half-supernatural people to try and solve the full-supernatural fertility crisis, and Jane’s unfortunately right in the middle of it.   I’ll say, the main story line of this book was the least pleasant of the three to read.

Still, I like Jane – I like how she’s dealing with the seriously weird world she’s been thrust into, and I like the transition of her relationships a little more than I did Sookie’s.    I’ll definitely be keeping up with this series – I do need to know how the rather grim main plot is finally resolved.

The Diet Dropout’s Guide to Natural Weight Loss- Stan Spencer

I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this book – with the words “diet dropout” in the title, I wasn’t sure how much it would talk about food, and if not, what else it could possible talk about.

It did turn out to not talk a lot about food – other than some pretty commonsense advice about would be the best things to eat, and how to work towards including more of them in your diet.    But there’s also a lot of talk about changing habits, and it’s not just habits about food, but habits that cause you stress, or put you in other situations where you might end up eating more than you should.

The last chapter sums up everything, listing 56 things you can do to help you lose weight, and giving you an action plan of implementing some of them.    There’s actually a lot of good advice here, much of which I don’t think I’ve personally seen wrapped up together.   It was definitely a thought-provoking read, and I could see it being very helpful to someone that’s been stuck in a dieting rut, and realized they need to get out of it.

Knitting Notes

Project: Quest by Laura Nelkin
Yarn: Quince and Co. Osprey in the Peacock colorway
Needles: Sizes 5, 6 and 7 circs, and Size 6 DPNs

My quest hat is done.    Again.    This time, I did the medium size, and it fits!

I really liked the pattern – the linen stitch was an interesting new stitch, and I really liked the shaping.

The yarn, per usual with Quince and Company yarn, was lovely to work with.    I really don’t think you can go wrong with Quince yarns.

The Universe Below – William J. Broad

For the first book I actually started reading in the new year, I decided I really needed to pull the oldest book out of the Tote (er, Bookcase) of Shame – made very easy by the sorting ability of LibraryThing in the Collections view.

I picked this book up in my used book store travels because it dealt with deep sea exploration – if you didn’t know, I have a Zoology undergrad degree that concentrated in marine ecology – I even did an internship in the benthic studies department of a marine lab in Florida.   I really liked this stuff, once upon a time.

This book was published in 1997, so I’m sure (heck, I know) there are lots more interesting things in the field that have happened since then, but it does have an interesting overview of what had happened in deep sea exploration up until that point.   The author wrote (maybe still does – I’m too lazy to Google) for the New York Times, and was looking into the subject after doing some stories about the deep sea submarines.   Naturally, the finding of the Titanic figures into the story (I was in college during this time frame, and actually got to see Robert Ballard speak – you could tell he was beginning to regret finding it at that point).

What I didn’t realize (but probably should have), was how much of a role the Navy played in the early days of deep sea exploration.     Once again, the Cold War certainly did do wonders for technology advancement.    (I had a few morbid moments trying to figure out what kind of “advancements” would come out of the current war on terror – definitely a depressing train of thought.)

This really is a fascinating realm, and so very open for study.     It’s been a few years since the book was written, and I know we do know more, and have seen more in the deeps, but there’s still so much out there to find.   Definitely science at its best.    Because the author is a journalist, it’s written very understandably.   If you’d like a good overview of the field, it’s worth a read, even if the book is a little old.

Knitting Notes

One skein of Quince and Co. Osprey yarn is exactly enough to make the large size of the women’s Quest hat.    I know this because I bound one off last night, and tried it on, and promptly looked like a three year old playing dress up with her mother’s clothes.

I guess I really should have known better, as I made the men’s version for my younger brother, and it ended up being pretty big, even for him, and he’s a big boy.

Fortunately, it unwound pretty easily with the yarn winder.    So back to the drawing board with a smaller size tonight…

Knitting Notes

Pattern: Annis shawl by Susanna IC
Yarn: Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud in the Tidepool Heather colorway
Needles: Size 8 and 10 circs


It’s fairly hilarious how bad this shawl looks unblocked.    And, I’ll be honest, I think I need to block it again, because it still doesn’t look like much.    But I also think I’m a little annoyed with this project.   The bind off is done over purl stitches, and seemed loose, so I ignored my gut, and didn’t switch to a larger needle size.    And even though I didn’t initially cut the yarn, when I then changed by mind and decided to pull out the bind off, it was impossible to tink back without losing stitches.    So, I blocked it to see how it would go (you can see the not woven in ends in the upper right).    I was prepared to rip the whole thing out, but I think with a wider block (along a straight blocking board path next time), it will block out more to my satisfaction.     Which I really hope it does, because I love this yarn – it’s pretty much my favorite color, and it was lovely to work with.

Sword of Ice – ed. Mercedes Lackey

This is the very first of the Other Tales of Valdemar series, where Mercedes Lackey opened up the world to other authors, and once I started it, I remembered I had in fact read it before, so it is a reread, though I had no memory of some of the stories, while remembering others.

Like pretty much any of these anthologies, I did end up skipping one story that just didn’t feel like it fit (at least it was written well – there are a couple of stories in the old Darkover anthologies that were just terrible…)

I confess that my favorite stories generally had Lackey as a co-author – she just gets the flavor right better than anyone else.    I think my favorite non-Lackey story was ‘Vkandis’ Own’ which presented an early in the career story about Solaris, the Son of the Sun that brought Karse back into the true religion, and made them allies with Valdemar.    I’ve always loved her as a character, and this story fit well with the rest of her cannon.