Where I Spend Three Days Knitting and Reading And Finishing Nothing

Blog pix 2179....typically. I did pick up approximately 810 stitches, knit 27 rows and frog about four times, if anyone else is counting. And I finally got the letters I'm going to use in Mom's vest on Exel and charted. More or less charted. I may change a few things there as well.

Finished reading In The Shadow of the Throne: The Lady Arbella Stuart by Ruth Norrington and meant to read Jack Higgins new thriller but.....Bess of Hardwick: Empire Builder by Mary S Lovell insisted I hear her side first. Bess really did have an interesting life but her 4th and final husband sounds like he had his hands full with Bess, Queen Elizabeth and Mary, Queen of Scots. Wife, queen, prisoner. Prisoner who might be the next queen if the current one didn't make it. That sounds like a thrilling tightrope to walk.

Someone thinks she should be an outdoor cat again. Someone who rolled around in the dirt.

She was not amused.


At last! The Longest Ten Weeks of the Year Are Done

  Yay! Yay! And whew. 

Blog pix 1979 Another view from Mt Diablo - I think I was only 2200 ft up. 

Blog pix 1955I'm on the final border of my Curve of Pursuit!! Woot!(That's not my CoP, that's Monika's.)

I'm partially frogging/redesigning my Lace Edged Elegance - if a pattern calls for cotton - there might be a good reason. Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool is beautiful and feels wonderful but it's not a warm weather sweater and short sleeves are, ah, dumb, in the cold weather we've been having. It's getting long sleeves as we speak and I'm trying to think of what to do with the inset square neckline. A ribbed split collar, maybe.

All My Children & One Life to Live - cancelled! I'm in shock. I don't actually watch them anymore - me and apparently hordes of other former fans - but I was glued to them for a.......hmm. Couple of decades. Yowza. I'll still spot a cast member on other shows and squeal like a cousin made a TV appearance. They were family.

I'm at peace with Detroit 187 most likely getting cancelled - I love the show but the numbers are abysmal - it's been pre-empted umpteen times and the replacements did better in the time slot - ouch. It was quirky but compelling. Now I'm really hoping that Chicago Code makes it. New favorite. (Warning: The site talks but it took a minute).

Chris Jericho should win Dancing With The Stars this season. Maybe Romeo. Maybe.....

The Sex Life of My Aunt by Mavis Cheek was.....eh. Dillys is having her adulterous dalliance and adulterers and mid life crises evidently bore me but Mavis Cheek's writing kept me going. There was just enough personality and truth to the book to keep it somewhat engaging.

Time Spike by Eric Flint & Marilyn Kosmatka was his typical fun romp with semi-serious overtones - his out-of-place worlds - this time, a maximum security prison, conquistadores, Cherokees walking the Trail of Tears with the soldiers on duty and the Mound people of Missouri all end up in the Cretaceous period. It's pretty simplistic but they do try to address the wrongs that have been taken for granted over the years.

Hez sez "Who are you again?"

Monday Musings, Tuesday Twitterings, Wednesday Witticisms, Thurs-- oh never mind

Our library system offers ebook downloads. There's even a nice little app for it too.

So far I've spent untold hours trying to get an audiobook to freaking download.

So far, in vain.

Evidently it doesn't support WMA files but only MP3's. So why won't my MP3's download? And isn't the app supposed to support the WMAs? WTH is a WMA anyway? No, don't tell me. At this point, I do not care. Not that it matters, I have something like 400 unlistened to podcasts to listen to and 12ish hour work days for the next week but it's the principle.

Blog pix 1765 Elizabeth I is up to the armscye decreases on the second haf! w00t!No pix, they all came out looking yellowed and wonky. Fluorescent lights are not kind to Hempathy.

I managed to suck it up and weave up 3/4's of the middle back of the Tailored Jacket before I decided that it was way too much seaming and too darn hot outside - what happened to my nice cold weather? 90 today and 94 tomorrow? I liked the temp in the 70's. I need to move.

You can see how carefully I wove in the ends while I was knitting. I know you're supposed to block the pieces first and then seam but I made it intentionally too big so I could full it a bit for warmth and a cheat custom fit. It would probably be a good thing for the seams to shrink about the same amount as the pieces.

People have alternately been amusing and annoying me. Mostly annoying me. Learn. To. Drive. People. If you're lost, don't slow down and look for the address from the far left lane!!! Don't dive across three lanes (cutting me off) then dither about making the light so that we both miss it. It's possible that it's hormonal but it's also possible I'm going to smack a total stranger in the head with a 2x4.

Adrienne Martini's SweaterQuest: My Year of Knitting Dangerously was interesting. I knit Mary Tudor and I didn't find it all that dangerous. She spent half the book questioning if she was knitting an Alice Starmore if she didn't use the wool Alice did originally, something that never occurred to me. If I changed the style (pullover to cardigan) or the shaping (waist shaped and set in sleeves) and used her charts, I'd still call it an Alice Starmore. Have you seen her colorways? Amazing. Now Alice might take one horrified look at the sweater and disavow it, but that's her perogative. Adrienne also seems to dislike her for her ferocious protection of her name and brand but even that makes sense to me, if slightly counterproductive. It's a cold cruel world out there. Filled with nice strangers. (And the occasional one with a 2x4 indentation).

Blog pix 1760 The Two Lives of Charlotte Merryweather by Alexandra Potter was cute, if a total trifle. Thirty one year old control freak Charlotte has a chance encounter with her 21 year old self over the course of a week (or possibly more, I admit it, I started skimming it when I realized it was basically Charlotte dithering over her choice of men and career, as if at 31 the whole game is over. Hardly). She tries to protect her younger self from bad decisions, her younger self teaches her who she was.

One Step Behind by Henning Mankell is a later outing in the Wallender series. I had just caught Kenneth Branaugh's version on PBS the night before I picked this up on Gale's reccomendation. Nice and psychologically driven.

Warrior's Don't Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock's Central High by Melba Pattillo Beals. Searing memoir is right. I've just started this so I'll say more on it later, but I'm only a few pages in and her life is making me cry in both rage and fear and sympathy. I cannnot believe what she and eight other teenagers had to endure just to go to a good high school in 1957. Unbelievable. Adults. Parents. Teachers. Students. Not to mention what she, her family and every person of color had to deal with on a daily basis.  I hope we've come a long, long, long way from there.


Mary Tudor, she is finis.......mostly

Blog pix 1139 Well, almost. She needs her buttons sewn on and I got bored weaving in ends before plunging her into her bath (I wove most of the ends in while knitting - except the sleeves. They have a lovely fringed effect)  but other than that? Done!!

Much thanks to Marina, who sent me a picture of a sample she knit of the mitered corner along with a chart - it turns out I'd neglected to do the picking up of stitches on BOTH right and wrong side rows. Thanks also to Joan and Lorraine for their help.

There's still one more update to come - when the buttons are on, but the knitting? She is done. I had a Blog pix 1142 bump on the road to progress when I put in nine buttonholes for eight buttons - I knew I shouldn't have picked her back up Saturday night while watching Suspicion, but oh well. It worked as a swatch for the buttonholes  - typically horrid - but serviceable. Too bad the mitered corner with the buttonhole is going to be the side that shows - it's wonky, but oh well. (Second picture of the corners is the buttonhole miter.)

TV: Law & Order: Criminal Intent and In Plain Sight on Sunday nights. The season finale of 24 tonight, which I'm going to miss because I'm going to see my niece unwillingly sing opera, much better than finding out how Jack saves the world this time, don't you think? The season finale of NCIS is tomorrow (Tuesday) night. Cross your fingers Ziva doesn't die or get deported and we're stuck with that flirty chick Jules. Even Abby fell for her! Feh.

Blog pix 1140 Chuck was renewed! Yes! The Dollhouse got the nod too. I really hate how CSI:NY ended, killing off one of the characters is getting so cliched. Like Lost. No one is safe.......unless it's Jack or Kate, the two I'd really like to see die. I didn't actually watch Gray's Anatomy closely enough to realize they did the "which one will die?" bit either until Opal filled me in. (Okay, I admit I was expecting Izzie to die and I didn't feel like bawling my eyes out so I basically had it on as background noise).

Wow, the big networks have dreck on their schedule for summer. Give me cable. The only thing that looks good to me is Glee, and I refuse to figure out why.

Reading: After The Periodic Table I thought I'd go for something light so I picked up Cattery Row by Clea Simon, one in the series about Theda Krakow, music journalist and Musetta's mom. Theda is on the trail of catnappers and kitten mills and it had a fabulous ending. She waffled too much about her love life - the proverbial struggle between the Good Man and the Bad Boy but that's probably aggravating just to me.

Blog pix 1144 Currently reading - and loving - 1632 by Eric Flint. It's the first in his Ring of Fire series, a small West Virginia coal town is flung back in time 400 years to 1632 and smack into the middle of the Thirty Year War in the Germanic principalities. I'm sorry to report that I know practically nothing about this piece of history even with my half German descent. I love that it's unabashedly pro United States and that we're the good guys. I also love that the originally rallying cry was for the United Mine Workers of America.

Hez sez: "Geez, you're finally done with my blanket? It's been exhausting watching you all these years. Wait. You're not casting on another member of the English royalty are you? I give up."

Have a good week!

Mitering Mary Tudor

I've joined a reading challenge! Eco-Challenge at Chris' Book-a-rama. I like that the rules say between 1-5 books and I can justify my choices with a spirited debate. Starts May 1 through Sept 30th.

I've gone from saying "Cool" to saying "Excellent." Not so much in a Ted & Bill Adventure way but more in a mad professor style. What I want to know is why? Am I going to start cooing  "darling" soon?

Blog pix 1120 In knitting news, stupid mitered corner. Evidently you're supposed to pick up the edge stitches of the body and miter the corner of of the buttonhole band while you're attaching it.

Somehow, I don't think this is right.

She has a "marked stitch" at the end that I read as it's knit together with a picked up stitch from the body but then I still have only the one marked stitch and I'm supposed to be adding five stitches to the band. Shouldn't there be slipping in there? And picking up of more stitches?

It's the mitering one side and picking up the edge of the already knit part that's confounding me. I can miter a corner while I'm knitting the whole thing but half done? Argh. Any suggestions? (Not including setting it on fire. I'm too close to being done).

READING: I've been reading The Periodic Table by Primo Levi - I ran across it in a used bookstore Thursday night and it’s just fabulous so far. It’s the semi autobiographical novel of his life as an Italian Jewish chemist up to and during WWII (so far) and he’s done the fascinating twist of sectioning off pieces of his life using various periodic elements as the anchor to those memories.


Is anything sadder than a train
That leaves when it’s supposed to,
That has only one voice,
Only one route?
There’s nothing sadder.

Except perhaps a cart horse,
Shut between two shafts
And unable even to look sideways.
Its whole life is walking.

And a man? Isn’t a man sad?
If he lives in solitude a long time,
If he believes time has run its course,
A man is a sad thing too.

–Primo Levi
January 17, 1946
From Collected Poems
Faber and Faber, London, 1988.

Flu & Tax Season - What could be more delightful?

Well, tax season is delightful to me, I enjoy doing them but the flu? Not so much, especially since this is my second round with it in something like 3 weeks and this time not only do I have the ever popular running-like-a-faucet nose but the slight fever that's causing massive body aches and chills and it's not like I can stay home and sleep the day away (but I'm not that sick anyway. Just icky feeling sick.)

Also? Whining.

I'd post a picture of the cute dishcloth and skeins that I won from  The Barefoot Cobbler's Resolution Contest (A resolution that I totally ---shhhh, have not even attempted yet) (The resolution was To Get a Jump on my Christmas Knitting/Presents, which I am so going to do. Later.) but I'm not really sure where I put my camera. (It's somewhere. Probably at home on the bookshelf). And then she nominated me as a You Make My Day blog! Along with The Fairy Godknitter, the lovely mrspao at mumblings and Knitted and Purled which leads me to believe that you are all very sweet but misguided. Snark! Gossip! That's me. OTOH, snark & gossip makes my day.....

I am completely wimping out on passing it on - I sat on my cat this morning, for Pete's sake. I am not to be trusted. (In my defense, she'd burrowed under the covers and I had no idea she went back to bed.) Hezekiah is fine, by the way. Fit as a fiddle. (Is it possible that this cold has morphed me into a hale and hearty 70 year old retired admiral from the 1800's? Because that's the voice in my head. Shhh. I'm blaming Jane Austen).

Oh, but I'd be really remiss if I didn't review the two (yes two! Two whole books!) that I'd read in January. Becoming Charlemagne by Jeff Sypeck and Unspeakable: The Story of Junius Wilson by Susan Birch and Hannah Joyner.

Unspeakable: The Story of Junius Wilson broke my heart. It's the story of a deaf black man born in the early 1900's and his lifetime stint in a mental ward in the South. His family, the medical staff, the law, the government, all had a hand in keeping him locked up for their own various reasons. I loved that I understood the logic and emotion behind all involved in the decisions, it scared me silly to think that it was so easy to do. We've come a long way, but have we really? I highly recommend this book.

Ooookay. Well, I do love breakfast. And pancakes.

Titleless Thursday

Booking Through Thursday

  1. Speaking of writing in books, what about writing the entire thing? Do you write? Aspire to write? Dream about writing? I used to. In fact, I assumed as a child that I would become a world famous novelist because I loved to read so much. It turns out that it in reality, it takes talent, ambition and a certain amount of luck. I will let you all decide which one I lack or if it's just one. 
  2. If you do write, do you do it for yourself, or because you hope to be published? (Or because you ARE published?)  If I do write, other than here, it is soooo for myself!

In other book news, 3M is hosting a 15 book/15 decade challenge. Sounds like a great way to stretch my reading horizons.