Sunday, January 25, 2015

Two Berets

I refuse to use Picassa So Google Can Suck It  You will have to click for a picture.  I tried to open up rights entirely on the picture but flickr and blogger just don't play nice.

I made these berets, one for a 12 yr old girl, one for her American Girl Doll, from Berocco Comfort DK Print. I tend to wing it on hats a lot and use the kind of yarn that does the talking instead of a pattern.  I consider my hat method more of a recipe than a pattern since you are adjusting as you go.

This is how I do a beret/tam.  I guess the number of stitches to cast on from my Ann Budd book or free patterns on ravelry.  Then I knit a short 2x2 ribbed brim, An inch for the doll, 1.5 inches for the girl.  To increase I do a round of kfb, with a couple of  spread out kfbf  (if I need to) to get the total number of stitches to a multiple of 10.  I knit an inch and a half before decreases on the doll hat, I think 3 on the girl's hat.  At that point, I do 5 paired decreases, evenly spaced, every other row. Use stitch markers and you can't go wrong.  I use a K2tog on one side of the marker and a Knit_Return_Pass (that is my left leaning decrease since I am a mirror knitting lefty).  At 10 stitches remaining, I do a  round of k2tog all around then I turn the hat inside out and thread the tail through the stitches from the inside and pull to close.  If you pull too tight, you get a hat nipple, at that point, you either need to loosen it up or make a pompom.  I hate making pompoms, so I am pretty careful not to make a hat nipple.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Book 5

Book 5:  Daring Miss Danvers by Vivienne Lorret

I read this book in a little over a day of reading.  It clocks in at 212 pages on the nook.  I have to say, I rushed a little hoping there would be either some heat between the two characters or at least some sort of conflict that would make the HAE (happily ever after, for the n00bs) a little more rewarding. Ultimately, it was just a meh for me.   I don't think I will read the others in the series.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Books 3 and 4

Book 3:  The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian by Lawrence Block.

Bernie Rhodenbarr is at it again-- breaking, entering and neglecting to get a good alibi for the murder that is pinned on him.  So many twists as Bernie steals some stamps but is framed for murdering a tenant in the same building, who had paid ole Bern to appraise his book collection.  And worse yet, Carolyn (Bernie's BFF) gets a call that her cat is being held ransom for a rare, expensive painting by Mondrian.  Naturally, Bernie manages to clear his name, but it's a close call.

Book 4:  The Burglar Who Traded Ted Williams by Lawrence Block

This installment was published 11 years after Mondrian.  Bernie is still knocking about with his used bookstore and he and Carolyn are still BFFs.  In this adventure, Bernie is framed for the theft of some baseball cards, he finds a corpse in a locked room, and he has a dispute with his landlord.  It's all quite convoluted.  Ultimately, I found the end of this one less than spectacular from a justice standpoint.  I did like how the landlord storyline worked out though.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Books 1 and 2

Book 1:  Another Man's Moccasins by Craig Johnson

This is probably my favorite of the Longmire books so far, though book 2 was pretty  close.  When a young Vietnamese woman is found dead near the squatters camp of homeless, mentally ill veteran of the Vietnam war it stirs up the past for Walt.  While he works this case, he recalls his first case as an MP in Vietnam.  I will say that with this book it was apparent to me that the series does need to be read in order.  I found the ending to be a bigger surprise for me than it was for Walt.  Some mystery writers are good enough to tell a story without it being a surprise or a twist and Craig Johnson is one of those writers.


Book 2:  Sweet Disorder by Rose Lerner

I really liked In For A Penny by the same author.  This book left me a bit soured though.  The supporting characters were all unlikeable and the resolution of the story of the heroine's sister's problems was too easy and not very plausible.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2014 Knitting Summary

Well, I finished 14 objects last year.  7 of those were hats.  There were also 2 pair of socks, a shawl, a cape, a scarf and three blankets for cats (at the NE Humane Society).  All in all, I was a little disappointed in my own output.  If you compare the yardage I bought with the yardage I knit, I look like a doomsday prepper of yarn.  If you compare by weight, I knitted 2.1 Kg and purchased 2.5 kg, which is less bordering on mental illness.

I was most pleased with the socks I made.  They are nice and cozy and they are wearing well.




Sunday, January 4, 2015

2014 Reading Round Up

I totally fucked around during 2014 in terms of book updates.  I also blew off the entire idea of blogging about knitting.

My brother managed to read and review 11 books, just one shy of his goal.  It made me go a little easier on myself regarding my assumed failure to read 52 books in 52 weeks.  

So based on what I both bought and archived in my nook this year and  those that I ranked at the library, here is a record of books that I read for the first time 2014:

Girl With The Cat Tattoo by Theresa Weir
Geek With The Cat Tatto by Theresa Weir
A Gentleman Never Tells by Juliana Gray
Romancing the Duke by Tessa Ware
Bedding Lord Ned by Sally MacKenzie
Surprising Lord Jack by Sally MacKenzie
Wild Things by Chloe Neill
Tangled Threads by Jennifer Estep
Cat Daddy By Jackson Galaxy
A Girl Walks Into A Bar by Rachel Dratch
Lawfully Wedded Husband by Joel Derfner
A Duke Never Yields by Juliana Gray
Fool Me Twice by Meredith Duran
Stephen Colbert: Beyond Truthiness by Bruce Watson
That Scandalous Summer by Meredith Duran
Written on your Skin by Meredith Duran
Waiting On You by Kristan Higgins
Wallflower Gone Wild by Maya Rodale
Stone Fox by Greg Hargreaves
Nightshifted by Cassie Alexander
Lady Mercy Danforthe Flirts With Scandal by Jayne Fresina
Little Night Mischief by Emily Greenwood
Three Weeks with Lady X by Eloisa James
The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman
Loving Lord Ash by Sally MacKenzie
The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn
Rude Bitches Make Me Tired by Celia Rivenbark
The Ugly Duckling by Eloisa James
Orange Is the New Black by Piper Kerman
The Amazing Thing About the Way it Goes by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
The Enemy by Charles Higson
THe Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty
Moonshifted by Cassie Alexander
A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierly
The Escape by Mary Balogh
The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan
Blood Games by Chloe Neill
I'm the Vampire, That's Why by Michele Bardsley
No Good Earl Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean
One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean
Don't Make Me Think, Revisited by Steve Krug
Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep
Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep
Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep
Burglars Can't Be Choosers by Lawrence Block
What A Wallflower Wants by Maya Rodale
In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgans
The Burglar In The Closet by Lawrence Block
The Burglar Who Loved to Quote Kipling by Lawrence Block
How to Catch a Wild Viscount by Tessa Dare
Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur
The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza by Lawrence Block
How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days by Laura Lee Guhrke
A Death Without Company by Craig Johnson
Never Judge A Lady By Her Cover by Sarah MacLean
Kindness Goes Unpunished by Craig Johnson

FIFTY SIX! Yeah, bitches!

I am not going to count the 3 I can think of this year that I reread and I seem to have locked myself out of my amazon acct, so I can't tell what I read on the kindle app.  I may be just over 60 books for the year.






Sunday, January 26, 2014

Finished Item TWO!

Unfortunately, the evil empire of Google no longer allows me to link photos from the evil empire of Yahoo.  You'd think they'd form some sort of unholy alliance.

Chouette  The pattern had a chart and written instructions.  I would like to say this made me an adept chart reader but that would be a big fat lie.  Charts confuse me.  You would think they wouldn’t, since I knit left to right, as I read. I really struggled to reverse the topmost cable which made the horns of the owl.  There was a significant amount of frogging and swearing and do-over.  I think however, that I learned enough about cables for this to be of benefit in my next cabling project.  

A friend of mine had a rough year last year and shortly before Christmas/Solstice she put up a picture of Chouette on facebook and said facetiously “Who wants to knit this for me?”  Well, I DO!  I had never knitted cables before, and this is the classic owl cable so it seemed like a good starter cable. (SNORTY SNORT SNORT).  

There were some keystone kop-like antics in making this.  My kid spilled macaroni on the first skein of yarn.  Luckily I bought 2 because I thought 1 was pushing it with the yardage listed on the pattern. The yarn I used is Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky.  I’m not usually a fan of single plies because so often they pill if you raise an eyebrow at them.  This yarn, though, gave me a problem I had not encountered before.  As I cast it on, it unspun and broke. TWICE!  I ended up pausing  several times in the final cast on attempt in order to respin it against my leg.  I don’t know if this is peculiar to this yarn or peculiar to lefties knitting this yarn or if it is because I am a lefty mirrored knitter.  The yarn also sheds like crazy.  Fuzz everywhere.  Do not knit beige yarn in dark clothes!  I will say though that I don’t find this a scratchy yarn and I think once it has a little soak with some hair conditioner that it will be soft enough for anyone to wear next to skin.  I hope it is anyhow, or I will have to instruct the recipient to line it or mail it back to me for lining. 

I knitted this on 2 shorter circulars as I am not a fan of either DPNs or Magic Loop for hats.  Since the yarn is a wholesome oatmeal color, I used my Harmonies for ultimate contrast between yarn and needles.  I highly recommend that to others with powerfully corrected vision.