Friday, January 25, 2008

Booking Through Thursday - The Late Edition

What’s your favorite book that nobody else has heard of?
You know, not Little Women or Huckleberry Finn, not the latest best-seller . . . whether they’ve read them or not, everybody “knows” those books. I’m talking about the best book that, when you tell people that you love it, they go, “Huh? Never heard of it?”

I know I'm late it's Friday, but I've been a but busy. For example I haven't had to time to dig out that prize for the mini-contest and take a picture for you all. Here's a hint (are you paying attention? good) in regards to the secret -- many knit bloggers are leaving their "home" like lemmings (yes I know the mass suicide thing is a myth), where are they going? This secret has been in the works for a while, but there are other before me who have done it, now it might be a case of Monkey see, Monkey do; however there are good reasons to have a new "home" Come on people there's more time to enter and you can have more than one guess (hint, Marsha it's not actual knitting, nice guess though :-D)

Well one is Song in the Silence by Elizabeth Kerner I did meet a fellow YarnWords member (ravelry group) who has liked and read it as well. There are two other books after this, but I can't seem to get through the second. I'm going to try again from the very beginning. I won't really give too much away, but I will say dragons!!!

The Oblivion Society by Marcus Alexander Hart. I was introduced to this book and author by an internet friend. It's a funny little trip to the end of the world as we know it. The new cover is so not the cover I have!! I have signed first edition, though the new cover is really cool!

The Shattered World by Michael Reaves What's not to like magic, intrigue, and dragons!! I'm not sure what the reviewer on Amazon was reading because I don't recall having any problems understanding the words in this book. I guess he just has a limited lexicon...

O-Zone by Paul Theroux - I'm always have been a bit found of reading dystopia fiction like Brave New World, Snow Crash, 1984, The Handmaiden's Tale etc.. this is one of them that never make the "must-read" dystopia fiction list. let alone the list at all!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Defeat the Winter Doldrums Dishcloth Swap Weekly Topic #`

Weekly Topic: Dishrag. Dishcloth. Face cloth. I've seen folks get all fired up in forums when someone refers to their knit or crochet creation as a dishrag, as that's somehow offensive to them! When you're working on yours, what do you call them? Also, is there a difference between a dishrag and a dishcloth? How bout a facecloth? Are they all really the same thing?

At first I thought dishrag, dishcloth, face cloth...hmmm same s#$t different pile. Then I really thought about it and I want a facecloth (washcloth) to be soft and gentle and a dishcloth (dishrag) should be a little rougher to help scrub things. Truly do you want to wash your baby's bottom with a scouring cloth?? I'd hope not, come one folks even if that sweet baby is wailing like a banshee you don't want to hurt that tender skin. I don't want to use something with just plain old rough cotton on my unmentionables as well! For face cloths (or washcloths) I use a softer cotton like Blue Sky Alpaca's Organic or Dyed cotton or Cascade pima cotton, sure it can pill a little but boy is it super soft on your skin. For the general all purpose kitchen cleaning cloths avoid using the soft cottons and usually use good old Bernat's kitchen cotton. Another way to think about it is would you use the dishrag that you just used to wipe that dog drool or baby puke off the floor to wash your face. Seriously, no matter how many times that dishrag is washed I can't bring myself to wash my face with it. There really is a difference if you look at it, seriously!!

I'm late as always, and a mini contest

Seems like lately I'm alway late for something. like meeting friends for lunch, knitting meetups, doctors appointments... However I have managed to stay on top of my knitting deadlines for swaps. I changed my mind yet again what I am making for my Loopy Ewe swap pal! Good thing is I'll make the deadline *wipes forehead* I am way ahead of schedule with my HSKS 4 pals bag, it's awesome!! I just need to finish the strap and get some fabric to line it. This is what I'm made in her house colours, LINK. I love fair isle! This is my first fair isle project and I finished the bag's body in less than three days!! I casted on late Friday afternoon and I finished it late Sunday night. What a fast and fun knit!! I really hope my pal likes it. I also have been making a whole bunch of knitted washclothes for me and my washcloth pal. I really, really wish there was more time in the day.

I also started my Secret of the Stole ii lace project. I had to frog it yesterday when Mini-me came in to bug me after me telling her under no circumstances unless the house was burning down should she come and interrupt my knitting in any way or form. Well she did to tell me the time! May I add I was fully aware of the time and that I'd be running late but I just wanted to finish that row! So once I came home from a knitting meetup I casted on again and got to row 8! I'm using SWTC Infinity and it's not really stretchy at all so it's hard to work with, but you get used to it.

I promise tomorrow will be back to somewhat regular blog posts complete with pictures! I found my camera finally. The mailman has brought me some new knitting books as well as soon my Harmony interchangables! SQQUEEEE I can't wait. I love the metal ones, but the wooden ones are much better for a lot of the yarns I work with like silk!

As for the surprise I'm still working on it and it will be revealed sooner or later I promise really. I haven't said a word to anyone yet. Can you guess what it is? If you guess correctly I'll send you a knitting treat. This is a mini contest and my first so it's a mini one for now since I'm so busy. I'll update tomorrow what the prize will be, so stay tuned. Oh yeah feel free to tell your friends :-D

PS I almost forgot Hogwarts Sock Swap Three is taking applications! Yay it's my second year to get info on how to apply go here. Sign ups are a bit slow right now, so hurry up before more people actually find out it's happening because if you are directly looking for it or on Harry Potter Lovers on Ravelry there wasn't any real promoting! Here take my firebolt.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

This post is brought to you by Booking through Thursdays

I've always thought that I'd want to join in on Booking through Thursdays after seeing them on various blogs especially Marsha's, but never did go through with posting my answers. Well, it's a new year and here is my first Booking through Thursdays!

This week’s question is suggested by Puss Reboots:

How much do reviews (good and bad) affect your choice of reading? If you see a bad review of a book you wanted to read, do you still read it? If you see a good review of a book you’re sure you won’t like, do you change your mind and give the book a try?
I mostly ignore book reviews on books that I really want to read because well I really want to read them! As for changing my mind on a book due to good book reviews, I am guilty of being persuaded to read a book that has gotten a good review from friends or fellow bibliophiles. I won't have read His Dark Materials or even Harry Potter if I had not given into reading them, due to the fact that I was wary of disappointment. I thought that the raving was all due to mass hype and that I was going to be let down if I read them. I eventually did read them and they are some of my favourite books to read and re-read!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

"Defeat the Winter Doldrums" Dishcloth Swap Questionnaire

1. Do you knit, crochet, or do both? both

2. What types of needles do you enjoy using for making dishcloths? wooden, mostly bamboo but I can't wait till my interchangable Harmony needles arrive!

3. What types of cotton do you enjoy using for making dishcloths? Is there any that you've been wanting to try? my favourite cotton is blue sky alpacas organic and dyed cotton (but it's a little pilly and a bit expensive for dishclothes!), so bernat kitchen cotton and lion brand cotton. I'd love to get my hands on some more sugar'n'cream and/or peaches'n'creme I'm having problems finding either around here!

4. What color(s) are your kitchen and bath decorated in (if any)? the bathroom is an ugly peachy colour and the kitchen is off-white, I really need to re-decorate!

5. What are your favorite colors for yarns? Least favorite? red, blue, green, purple etc.. Least favourite colours are sickly pastels and orange. However in dishclothes, almost any colour goes usually though I prefer not pastels.

6. Do you like Winter, or do you count the days until it ends? count the days till warmth!!

7. What's your favorite way to brighten your day when you're down in the dumps? dark chocolate or vegan/lactose friendly baked goodies, good book, tea and nice hot bath.

8. What is your favorite treat to indulge in and when your down in the dumps? ginger molasses cookies and using my good china. Oh there is also the habit of book buying. Here's my book wish list on amazon and shelfari if you are interested.

9. Do you drink coffee? Tea? Cocoa? coffee and tea, I make cocoa due to most contain lactose

10. If you could take a vacation starting tomorrow and go anywhere for one week and money were no object, where would you go and what would you do? trip all around Europe, but first I'd go somewhere warm before I start which would be somewhere in the Caribbean. Yummy rum and sun!

11. Do you have any allergies or aversions your pal should be aware of? oh boy there are a few bit of allergies, sorry... where to start all animal fibers of any percentage, lactose(milk and milk products - usually okay in baked goods in really small doses), lemongrass. a lot of perfumes (most smelling like flowers this includes soak and other laundry detergents I use non-perfume, non-dye soaps to make life easier), cats, dogs (saliva only, yes I know I have a dog; however she is a working dog plus I've grown an immunity to her), cigarette smoke (sensitivity), Petroleum jelly, almost all lip balms don't have issues with burt's bees only one that I haven't gotten chapped and annoyed lips from (funny it's got lanolin but seems fine), products with high glycerol/glycine content cause issues as well, feathers, dust, mold, pollens, beef ( have to be careful because beef lard is in some cookies!, vegetable shortening is my friend!) and there is more to the list but that's all you need to know really. Since this swap includes soaps I don't have any problems with olive oil, shea butter, and soy based soaps (glycine if low on the ingredients is usually fine) really strong smells especially flowers can be an issue, but mint, almond, lavender*, vanilla*, jasmine*, mango, coffee, hazelnut, eucalyptus, rosemary and a bit more. *if not overly strong or perfumey. I haven't had a chance to order from Sharon yet, but she makes soaps I'm not allergic to here's a link to her store.

A mild case of Startistis

Before I go into what's on my needles and such, I wanted to share with you a story that happened over the holidays. Well His Tallest knew that a swift was all I wanted for my Holiday gift and he didn't want to pay a lot of money for something that he could make and make it better (darn engineer.) He looked over plans on the net and all different types of swifts and then drove me bat shit with questions and mostly the same questions over and over (because he didn't "like" my answers!) Anyway on Christmas Eve he took mini-me with him to do some last minute shopping ( I had took mini-me to the yarn store about a month ago to show her where it was and what I wanted). I found out later this meant he decided not to make the swift after hours of droving me crazy not letting me get anything that I need to do done, and they were on a mission to get me a swift. Well mini-me couldn't remember where the yarn store was and they didn't want to ask me nor look on my blog or do a search on google -- that would be way too easy! Poor His Tallest and Mini-me ended up in Michael's of all places and the only knitter in the store had left an 1/2 hr before they had gotten there! So no-one in the store could tell them what a swift was nor where to buy one. I have taken both of them to the yarn store (three bags full) who sell the wooden swift I want, yet neither of them could remember where it was let alone the name. They did remember Michael's because I tend to get kitchen cotton there as well as beads and accessories. Sigh, so a long sorry short I didn't get my swift and I will be either purchasing it online myself or heading down to Three Bags Full hoping that they have one when I get there. Now if it would only stop raining and snowing for one day so I can get my butt there. His Tallest did redeem himself slightly though, he got me this. I love this book because there are so many tasty recipes that I can make and eat! Being allergic to lactose can cut out a lot of foods and sometimes you just don't want to take the chance substituting soy cheese or such. Yummy, yummy recipes and great info on what to stock in your pantry. Vegan, vegetarian or the occasional meat eater alike will love this cookbook. I've made a few recipes in here and I made a person who hates vegan food love the scalloped potatoes! Yay me and His Tallest for a great holiday gift even if it's not a swift. Meh.

So I have started my Loop Ewe Swap pal's socks! I'm knitting the Master Sky Pattern from Cat Bordhi's New Pathways book; however I might frog them and knit some pretty ankle socks because my partner's feet are much, much bigger than mine and I think I might be over my head in the knitting large socks department because I get so bored easily knitting for my feet which aren't that big! I've also on the foot of my Maizy plain stockinette socks and man is it boring! The colour is pretty though. Pictures to come really! Oh that lovely garterlac dishcloth, frogged! I love the pattern, it's easy yet you have to pay attention, well at least I do because I seem to drop a stitch and it's so hard to fix! I'll try again when I have a big cup of coffee in front of me and I'm not so tired. (PS I finished mini-me's back-to-school U-neck vest I'll post about it sometime this week or next)

Due to suffering from a mild case of Startistis, I also cast on for the Koolhaas hat (by Brooklyn Tweed) from Interweaves Holiday Gifts 2007 edition

Silly me, I signed up for the Secret of the Stole ii and this time I'm going to make it. I've started my swatch in SWTC Infinity using KP Harmony 32" 2.50 mm (us 1 1/2) and it's going well I have had to frog it a few times though. I need to remember it's just a swatch as well as once I'm knitting the real thing I'll be using life lines! Come join in on the fun, sign ups are till January 17th.

Another swap I joined it the Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap and sign up are closing...what tomorrow hurry fast people before you miss out the fun. Oh course I got sorted into my proper house, can you guess?? That's all I'm going to say considering we have secret character blogs and I don't want to give any more away! More swap news, The "Defeat the Winter Doldrums" Dishcloth Swap opens for sign ups tomorrow, and the questionnaire is up for you to fill out and post to be all ready for tomorrow!

I have Harmony needles and Barbara Walker's Treasury - the complete collection - being shipping to me sometime soon! I'm excited I've been trying to find the Barbara Walker Treasury books for ages now in used books stores and decided after all that I want them new to avoid old dust (yep allergens yuck!) and such, so I splurged by ordering them from Schoolhouse Press. I had ordered some Harmony circs to knit socks with and to try out the circs and I'm in love, so I ended up ordering the set for myself. I will still use the nickel-plated ones, but for things like silk, bamboo and such the wood circs are a dream! Hey Monica you can get a set or a few in the UK, check it out.

Well I'm going to go work on that questionnaire and do some more knitting. I'm still working on the extra secret surprise and I hope that it goes smoothly... Happy Knitting everyone!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Putting the new in new year

Yeah I couldn't think of a better fitting title, sorry about the cheese. I decided after finished the last eye cord strap for an everlasting bagstopper that I'd try something new. Now I have been thinking of trying entrelac for a while now because I have been drooling over the Entrelac socks that Eunny Jang designed a few issues back in Interweave Knits (spring 2007). I recalled that Julia (bloggless but she is on Ravelry Juliabca ) was knitting an entrelac garter stitch washcloth at a meetup for a holiday gift. It that looked great and she said it was easy to do. So using my google-fu because I forgot that it's easy to just use Ravelry I found Jimmy Crickets' Garterlac Dishcloth. So I casted on with the remainder of my Butterfly 10 in Midnight from the bagstopper and yes Julia you are right it's easy :-D

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year Knitting Resolutions

So it being the first day of 2007, I thought I'd look forward to 2008 by setting some New Year knitting resolutions. Here we go

  1. Cut down my stash by using stash yarn and I'm only aloud to by new yarn if I finish a project with stash yarn and only buy half or less of what I used from my stash. I may look into this further and decide rules etc..
  2. Knit a more complicated lace project
  3. Finish a pair of toe up socks!
  4. Get out to more meetups
  5. All the yarn in my stash that is already reserved for things like my yarn for the Simple Knitted Bodice (tilli tomas pure & simple and rockstar in olive) must be knitted into this year into the chosen project instead of sitting in the stash.
  6. Knit more socks for me!!
  7. Finish all projects on the needles

I'm sure I can think of more, but this is more than enough for the new year for me.

What do I have my needles. Well I'm finishing up on my daughter's Back-to-School U-neck vest from Fitted Knits, I started a plain vanilla sock with some beautiful CP Maizy in Sailor Blue, I still working on the first sock on my upteenth pair of monkeys in CP panda cotton and I have to finish up on my second Sheldon the turtle. So much to do and so little time.

I know I haven't been posting much but I've been working on a secret project that involves knitting sorta. You'll see once I'm all done ;-)