Monday, June 26, 2017

Still sick!

It's five days later and I'm still sick. I've got a diagnoses of bronchitis exacerbating my (usually very mild) asthma. I'm meant to be back at work tomorrow, but I just walked down the street to get lunch, and thought about getting a pedicure, but it seemed like that would take too much energy. My first world problems are out of control!
So, you would have through that all this sick time would lead to some serious knitting, and I have done some. On Sunday afternoon we went to hear my father's U3A (university of the third age i.e. old people) choir sing. I don't normally knit during live performances, but we were sitting near the back, and three rows in front of us there was a stereotypical granny knitting - straight needles and all. I had such knit envy, I had to join in.
And then there has been lots of sitting on the couch, with Netflix and Stan. I've finished the Millwater cowl for Elise and started on some matching mitts. 
Please excuse the unblocked photos, I'm going to block these with the matching mitts, and I'll post new photos then.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Sick day

I had a fair idea earlier this week that I was getting sick. I couldn't stop coughing, my throat hurt and my head ached. In spite of this (or rather because of it) I ran ten k's before work, and over the course of the day did 32 thousand steps. Why? Because I'm participating in the Global Challenge and there was a mini challenge to beat your PB. So I did, because I can't resist a challenge. And then today (Friday) I really did get sick. Not because of yesterdays activities, but just because it was always going to happen. 

So I spent today moving between the bed and the couch in our new flat, finally having some knitting and reading time. It was the first day I've spent here, and, despite me feeling like crap, I felt so happy to be here. I didn't do much in the way of unpacking or organising, I just sat, and rested, and admired the view. At some point this won't be our new flat, and I'll probably forget how special the view felt, but the sunshine and the sky will always make my heart sing.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wednesdays are for books (IV)

And here we are again! The move has impacted on my reading time, as well as my knitting time. Last week I was about to start Robert Bennett Jackson’s City of Miracles, the third in the series. I’m really enjoying it, which is not surprising, since I really enjoyed the previous two books.  

It has made me think, in relation to the last few books I've read, that good writing is something I can read without thinking about the actual writing. Also, this book is urban fantasy, and has miracles in it, which seem totally believable, while the last book I read I could barely believe that she forgave her ex-husband. So, good writing is good. Which is not going to stop me reading trashy, poorly written books too, because I enjoy them in their own way.
 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sunday's post - on Tuesday

I really planned to write this on Sunday – after all, all I was doing this weekend was moving house. Hence the fact that I’ve only just managed to sit down and write it on Tuesday, surrounded by boxes and half built furniture.
On Saturday I set aside the Village Sweater Wrap again,even though it is going quite well:

Elise’s birthday is coming in three weeks, so I thought I had best get on with her birthday present. Last time I knit this cowl it took me three days. This time, not so much.
I’m probably half way through – I’m using 5ply yarn rather than worsted – I think I thought I was ordering ten ply, but didn’t, and 4mm needles. I’m not sorry about the mistake though, it’s a much airier, lither cowl, and I really like how it is coming out. The main reason it is taking longer than last time is I have boxes to unpack, cupboards to put together, cats to calm down and  generally a home to put together. It's bedtime, and I haven't knit a stitch today. Still, once everything is calm and put together, I look forward to sitting and knitting on this fun project.
 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Once in a Blue Moon...

i buy yarn. Ok, that’s a terrible pun. Elise is having a birthday, and mentioned something about bright colours and a cowl. I lent her my Millwater cowl, when she went to New York in winter a couple of years ago, so I thought she might like one of her own. I ordered yarn from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, because they are my go to yarn company when I want pretty colours. I had no idea what colour I was going together when I started looking, but eventually settled on “Leapfrog” in "Could Nine" an utterly delicious merino, cashmere, nylon base. 
They dye to order, so it normally takes about three weeks for a delivery to get here. When this one arrived, I opened it to this squishable yarn:
Winter and a lack of natural light did not help this photo!
After admiring it for a while, I realised it was quite similar to this yarn, that I dyed in 2010 (that’s a bit surprising to me. SEVEN years ago? Really?) I feel like they are quite a good match. So, I’m going to use the Blue Moon yarn to make a Millwater cowl. I should have loads of yarn left over, so I’m going to make matching mitts  and then, if I have time, I might “design” a pair of socks with a cable down the side, so everything can be matchy matchy. I should have time, after all her, birthday is not until the 7th of July, and that’s three weeks away. If only I can find my needles and ball winder in whichever boxes they ended up in.

  

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wednesdays are for books (III)

This week I read and reviewed my second NetGalley advanced reader copy, which was A Year of Second Chances, by Buffy Andrews. When I started it, it reminded me of Claire Cooke’s The Wildwater Walking Club,  another book where insipid characters make unrealistic life transitions, and I really couldn't have cared whether they did or didn't.

 
I finished it, but I found it really unsatisfying, shallow and frustrating. In my ideal world, instead of things being rated out of five stars or ten or whatever – I would give them a thumbs up, or a thumbs down. Basically, knowing what I know now, would I read this? Would I tell my friends to read this? And for this book, it would be a thumbs down.
 After two books that irritated me, I’ve started Robert Jackson Bennett’s City of Miracles. it’s the third in a trilogy, so I can be reasonably confident that I will enjoy it.
 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Well, that solved nothing

I finished the Mixalot socks yesterday. Despite switching from 2.5mm to 2.25mm needles for the second sock, the second sock is marginally bigger - it's underneath in the photo below, and you can just see it sticking out. Also, the extra length of the Karbonz got in the way.


This is quite frustrating, I used to make socks that fit me on 64 stitches and 2.5 mm needles, and now I can't get them to fit me on 2.25 needles and 60 stitches. I think my best bet is to choose patterns with cables and ribbing, so they pull in more. these wll be wearable, but I like my socks tight, and these are not.

Friday, June 9, 2017

A Village Sweater Wrap Hiatus

I finished the top edging of the Village Sweater Wrap last night. While it feels like this project has taken forever, time is moving very strangely for me right now. The edging alone took three and a half weeks, but I also knit a pair of baffies  and most of a sneaker liner.
 
The good thing is I love it. Unfinished and unblocked, but I think it's going to be amazing.
How much do you think I'm going to miss those patterned floor tiles?

Before I unpick the provisional cast on and start the bottom edging I need to do two things.
Choose which of these three to use for the bottom border:
 
And I’m putting the project into a brief time out to finish my sneaker liners. They have been sitting around for far too long, and the bottom border of the wrap, while on the same number of stitches, is a simpler lace pattern. I’ve pretty much got it memorised, without knitting a single repeat. So I don’t need a backup public knitting pattern, and having these hanging around unfinished is doing my head in a bit.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Wednesdays are for books

Welcome back to Wednesday’s are for books, a weekly post where I talk about what I've been reading this week.
A couple of weeks ago, a blogger I was reading mentioned that the book she was reviewing was an advance reader copy from Netgalley. I’ve heard of Netgalley around the place, so I checked it out and joined up. I figured that, due to regional restrictions and other factors, I would not get approved for many books. So I clicked “request now” on four books. Three of which I was accepted for. Clearly because I am a tastemaker! Now I have to read and review those books. Lesson learned, in future I will request books one at a time. Although who knows, maybe no one will send me books free books, ever again, so I’m definitely going to enjoy these.
 
The first book I read was a romance by Aria Hawthorne Closer
 

And I guess, if I’m going to read ‘Billionaire Romance Novels” I won’t tear apart the entire genre. I really wanted there to be a “four stars if you like this kind of thing and two and a half if you don’t”. Awkward, and another lesson to me to choose carefully in the future.
 
This was my review: 
 
This was a pleasant enough read, and well quite written. The main female character Inez was wonderfully sassy and vibrant. I found Sven, the lead male character, rather one dimensional. I think I’m feeling a little bit cynical today, so their love at first sight felt a little shallow to me.
I think this book would benefit from setting aside cynicism, particularly in relation to the idea of psychologically induced sight impairment.
This is a good, solid romance novel. It has some sexual content, but I wouldn’t say enough to have it in the category of “erotic romance”. Nothing against the book, it just seems slightly miscategorised.

Let me know in the comments if you are reading anything good this week!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A bit on the side

 I have largely been knitting the endless edging on the Village Sweater wrap, but I did cast on a pair of sneaker liners in Rachel Coopey's Mixalot pattern, because sometimes it's just not appropriate to stare at a chart.


I've been knitting with my beloved Signature 2.5mm sock needles. A couple of Fridays ago I lost one. Or rather dropped it on the floor at my parents, and they didn't find it until they vacuumed. It prompted me to do something I'd been thinking for a while: go down a needle size for socks. Maybe I've become a looser knitter, or maybe I'm choosing to knit with finer yarn, but my last few pairs of socks have been a bit loose on me, and have lacked that nice, tightly knitted feeling. i bought Karbonz in 2.25mm. I like the Karbonz almost as much as the Signatures, and they are a third of the price. The only thing is, the Karbonz only come in a 6inch, and I love the shorter Signatures. We'll see how it goes.

In the meantime I'm finishing the first sock on the 2.5mm needles, and I'll do the second on the 2.25s, and then we can compare and contrast. 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Everything must be teal

I got up on Sunday after Good Beer week to find one of the cats has thrown up, quite enthusiastically, on my printed pattern for the Village Sweater Wrap. While I have expressed before how I prefer to use paper, this was one situation where electronic would have been so much better. So I threw out the revolto paper pattern, and worked from my tablet. It wasn't too bad, although I still find paper simpler. But I want to keep the option of taking my tablet out of my house. I took it to Thailand, without any sort of case on it, and really felt like some protection was in order. So, I bought a teal case.

I want everything to be teal, or mint as it is sometimes called. In fact, this blog might turn into an endless list of teal purchases!


Friday, June 2, 2017

Slowly slowly

I haven’t posted about my actual knitting for a while. This might be because not much has changed since the last time I talked about my knitting.
This is the edging of my Village Sweater Wrap: 



The picture fails to capture how much further there is to go. I'm just past the first arm hole, so just over a third of the way through. It’s 47 stitches of relatively simple lace. I’ve been knitting it since Monday two weeks ago. It’s quite pleasant, and slowly growing but I can’t quite work out why it’s growing so slowly.
One reason I know is that the first week I was knitting it during Good Beer Week, so I didn’t take it out and about with me. I knit other things, and when I’m knitting two things it makes everything feel like it takes forever.
But the main reason, I think, is that this is just a slow knit for me. I love the needles I’m knitting on (Karbonz of course) I love the yarn, I love the way the lace looks.

So really, what’s the rush? I’m not going to be cold without it, I’m enjoying the process, so I’m going to keep knitting and loving this for as long as it takes.