Saturday, June 29, 2013

Where Intent Meets Real Life

 As you know, I spent the better part of the year working on spinning up the singles for my first ever drop spindle project.
 I recently wound the singles into a plying ball, and had every intent of using a spindle to finish the yarn.  I wanted this to be a start to finish skein of yarn made using my beautiful Golding spindles. 
 However, real life stepped in this afternoon, and I pulled out my wheel.
 The fact of the matter is that in less than 90 minutes I was able to ply the entire batch....a job that would have taken goodness knows how long on the spindle.
Which means now my spindles and wheels are free to move on to other projects!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The June Book Report!

First, the tried to reads:

1.  The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fford - which should have been just exactly my sort of thing, but was too precious for me.  I listened to about half before I lost interest.
2.  The Cat's Table, Michael Ondaatje - I tried both audio and print (Thank You Library!) and was bored with both.  Survived a couple of chapters.  It was well written, and no doubt amazing, but it was sooo very male.
3.  Torch, Cheryl Strayed.  Cheryl, I love you.  I just couldn't do a cancer book just now.

OK, on to the good stuff:

1.  The Woman Upstairs, Claire Massud - Ah.  Maze.  Ing.  (Although I hated the ending twist.....which I didn't see coming, and really felt like it took a bit of something away.)  Truth, I enjoyed it more as a character study than anything else.  The wasn't what counted.  As I read it, I felt so deeply the anger and frustration the main character was experiencing.  My guess is that Massud has touched upon something which is very, very common to the female experience...but just isn't talked about all that much. 

2.  Where'd You Go, Bernadette, Maria Semple (audio) - A different take on the angry/creatively frustrated woman story.  It was thoroughly engrossing, and highly enjoyable with an excellent mix of both high comedy and divine melancholy.  The fact that it was a modern epistolary novel made it even better!  I totally understand why this novel made so many best of 2012 lists.

3.  The Hormone Cure, Dr. Sara Gottfried - ahem.  The less said the better.  Good book, though, and an excellent resource for women wanting to learn more about women's health.

4.  Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn - She's a sick, sick writer.  I enjoyed it, but almost against my will.  This is probably the most disturbing of Flynn's books.  Have to say, I saw it coming. 

5.  Dark Places, Gillian Flynn - I enjoyed this one a whole heck of a lot more, but it's pretty disturbing as well.  When I finished both, I was also struck with how seedy my Missouri is in Flynn's books. 

6.  Winter's Bone, Daniel Woodrell - I can't believe that I enjoyed this book as much as I did.  Truth be told, I hadn't had any interest in reading it because of the movie (which makes no sense...but whatever).  I'm so glad I decided to try it.  If you are looking for an amazing female protagonist, Ree is it.  I also feel that Woodrell has pulled off the difficult trick of writing of a place and a people without any sort of judgement upon them - good or bad. 

7.  World War Z, complete audio edition, Max Brooks - If you are at all interested in this book, you simply MUST get the complete audio.  Each of the different stories that make up the 'novel' are read/performed by different actors (a rather impressive cast, I might add) and their different voices really add volumes to the text. 

8.  Wisp of a Thing, Alex Bledsoe - This is Bledsoe's second Tufa book, and it just came out this month.  I had preordered it after falling completely in love with Bledsoe's work a month ago when I stumbled upon the first book.  The bonus is that I discovered the music of Kate Campbell because of this book! 

9.  The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman - Go read it.  Go read it now.  That is all.  That and I totally agree with Gaiman about carrots. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Aeolian At Last

 Aeolian Shawl, by Elizabeth Freeman
in - Spring 2009
Claudia Handpainted Yarn - Silk Lace - 1 Skein, Jungle
US 4, 3.5mm Addi Turbo 36" needles
May 16-June 22, 2013
Modifications:  Due to yardage, I had to eliminate the last purl row and could only use a single strand for the bind off edge.  It makes for a slightly more delicate look around the edging flowers...but given that it's silk I don't have to worry about its fragility.  Given that, I literally only had two feet of leftover yarn.
I may write more about the project at another date...something on the nature of finally completing something I've wanted to do for a very long time....but for now, all I will say is that it is a truly lovely shawl, and I can't wait to wear it!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Gift

About a month ago one of my favorite baristas approached me while I was knitting away in my favorite orange chair at Starbucks.  I knew that Rachel was moving out of state soon...and as happy as I was for her new opportunity, I was going to miss her.  She's been a good friend to me for quite some time now....and she also is one of the rare people who has noticed how truly special my youngest child is.  (Tanith suffers a bit in being the younger sibling of a "perfect" first child.)  Rachel has always made a special fuss over Tanith.
My friend proceeded to tell me about the dollhouse that her grandfather had made for her when she was a child.  I could tell how much she loved and cherished her memories of playing with was clearly a treasure.  She then asked if Tanith would like to have it.  I was surprised.  I have my own grandpa made items, and I know how difficult it would be to part with them.  Rachel's dollhouse had been in storage for years, though, and rather than pack it along only to pack it away once again she wanted it to go to someone who would love it as much as she had.  
We visited Rachel in her home on Sunday, where she sat down on the floor with Tanith and told my girl all about the she used to play with it, which rooms she used for different purposes, what kind of decorating she used to do.  She gave us permission to do whatever we wanted with the house....she only asked that we posted photos on FB so that she could see the transformation. 
It is truly an amazing dollhouse....well built, and full of possibility.
For now, Tanith's lego friends have moved in, but we do have some ideas for redecorating and providing a few minor upgrades and repairs.   Tanith and I have talked curtains and rugs and quilts and visits to Hobby Lobby for goodness knows what to help us decorate.  We will be sure to share our journey along the way!
And thank you, Rachel, from the bottom of my heart. 
We love it, and I promise we will take very good care of your grandpa's dollhouse.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My First

 This morning I finished spinning the singles on my first ever spindle project...
which has been a very long time coming. 
(I think I started almost two years ago.  I don't remember for sure.)
I then wound the singles into a plying ball,
and promptly lost any and all coordination I had won through this project.
I might cheat and ply on the spinning wheel...we shall see.
Regardless, this has been an incredibly satisfying project...and was perfect for my mood today.

Monday, June 3, 2013

My Summer Preview

I thought you might like to see what I've decided to work on this summer!

 As I've already got TWO beautiful silk lace projects on the needles.....
 (One even with beads!)
 I thought I would just go ahead and carry on with the theme of silk for the rest of the season....
 As I seem to have...
 A fair amount of the wonderful stuff...
 In my stash already!
 Of course, if I'm going to be indulging in silk, I might as well carry that over into my spinning.
 After all, I've slowely been collecting a stash of silk and silk blend fiber as well! can I pass this stuff up?!?!  It's gorgeous!
I'll also be working socks - which are the perfect project for the worst summer heat.
But you don't need another picture of my sock yarns....right?