Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Consider This My Status Update

I don't have or want a facebook. Some of my friends get irritated by this as it means we actually have to talk to each other about what's  going on in our lives. I think social networking in some cases is dehumanizing society. It's so much easier to post it on your wall and walk away from the consequences,that people are starting to avoid  verbal conversation.

I realize that I am no exception to this. I often find myself texting things I'd never say out loud. I try to keep my posts here open and honest discussions though. After all, this is a form of expression and therapy for me. I just hope other people want to read it.

So, here it is, I am getting  divorced.

Its been quite the emotional roller coaster the last couple of weeks, but I think I am finally ok with it all.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Summer Reading

Lately I have been consuming books like oxygen. For the first time in as long as I can remember I was reading 4 books at the same time and managed to keep them all straight. I have also stepped outside of my literary comfort zone a bit and explored some the genres. So far there have been no disappointments, but these were mostly recommended by friends with good taste. 

First up, is Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series. I read the first book A Hunger Like No Other in a one day marathon and I am now on the sixth book, Kiss of a Demon King. This series averages around 400 pages a book, but is well written and intriguing so you just want to keep reading. The series follows a knot of supernatural immortals who in their long life have one fated mate and their adventures in finding and securing this mate. The Valkyries are really the main focus of the early parts of the series, but there are werewolves, vampires, demons, spirits and everything else you can imagine. There are some racy scenes as you can imagine, but nothing gratuitous or forced feeling like some Romance novels.

Next, I finished Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife, which I read as an audio book. Some other people who read the book told me they had some difficulty keeping the time line straight in their head. I don't know if the audio format helped, but I had no problems with it. The readers for the audio book were Wiilliam Hope and Laurel Lefkow who did an phenomenal job with the perspective changes as the occurred throughout the story. The story follows a man who time travels at random and without any control to places and times in his past and future and his wife. The struggles of living with someone when you don't know where or when they are or when they'll be back. The fear of ending up someplace hostile or somewhere you can't escape. Another recommended read from me.

With all of the hype, I couldn't help but want to read Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. I both liked and hated this book. Let me start this by saying I mostly blame her lack of an editor. It is the editor's job to tell the author what their mistakes are and get them to fix them. Authors are often so close to their own stories that they can't see their mistakes or overuse of language. So not to beat the dead horse, by Fifty Shades is full of repetitive language, poor punctuation and grammatical mistakes that'll make you cringe. I almost tossed the book across the room after the first 20 pages, but then the story got me. The story is actually interesting if you can forgive the writing. It doesn't go the way you expect it to, which I really appreciated. It follows young Anastasia Steele from meeting the young, wealthy CEO Christian Grey and their relationship with all the twists and turns from there. The BDSM factor is over-hyped and there is very little bondage play in the story. So if you are reading it for that, then I wouldn't bother. The sex scenes are quite racy and pretty gratuitous in the first book. Fifty Shades Darker was much better in my opinion, though parts of the it seem compulsory. All in all, I'd say check it out from the library if your not sure about this sort of story, which is what I did.

Lastly, I have been working my way through George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones. I am about 25% of the way through it (gotta love Kindle reading) and am really enjoying it. It's not an easy read like the other books, so it's slower going. However, it is exceedingly well written, descriptive, evocative and fantastic. I can see why these books were made into a TV series, the characters are well thought out and rounded. I won't even attempt to summarize an epic fantasy like this. I will say I highly recommend it though. 

Of course there has also been knitting as well, but I'll save that for another post.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

LYS Tour 2012

Let me start this off by saying it was really sad to see some of my favorite local yarn stores not on the tour this year. With Renaissance Yarns, Cultured Purls and Unraveled Yarn out of business and for some reason Weaving Works and Tricoter choosing not to participate I was a bit sad. I also found myself considering the rest of the shops for my regular business and carefully eyeing their standard stock. 

I managed to hit six stores today! We would have hit more, except that they all closed at 6 and we got started a bit late. Today's shops included The Fiber Gallery, Acorn Street Shop, The Knittery, So Much Yarn, Bad Woman Yarn and Tea Cozy Yarn.

Hand and Heart FO
First stop was The Knittery in Renton. The gal running the shop was super nice, helpful and friendly. It is always great to run into those kind of people amid the chaos that is an event like the LYS tour. Their pattern is the Hand and Heart Christmas Socking by Win Fisher. It's made using the very economical Lamb's Pride worsted. It does require 2 skeins, 1 for the main color and 1 for the contrast, but looking at it you could probably get at least 2 stockings from the pair of skeins. This is a really cute pattern for anyone wanting to get a head start on the holidays.

From Renton we ventured up to Seattle and So Much Yarn. My companion for the trip had never been there and laughed at my description of getting into the shop being an adventure of itself. I don't think I'd been to the shop since they changed ownership. I was happy to find the selection to be as varied as ever. Their Fishtail Shawl offering by Julie Novak and Betty Clune was quite lovely. Though anyone who reads my blog knows my love of shawls is no great secret. This pattern uses two skeins of Manos del Uruguay Maxima. It even includes both charted and written instructions!!
Fishtail Shawl

Chevron cowl
Next stop was Bad Woman Yarn. I always like this shop as it is well stocked and has a fantastic mark down section. They also had some yummy snacks for the yarn browsing. They had a Crocheted Ruched Cowl and Reversible Chevron Cowl, both by Lee Burrow. The crocheted cowl (which sadly I didn't get a picture of) used Skacel Kid Seta and Mosco to create a very lovely effect. It gives the shine from the Mosco and the soft halo from the Seta, definitely something you'd like to have around your face and neck. The chevron cowl used Tosh sport which I was sure to pick up a couple skeins of to enjoy the discount. The other nice thing (IMO) about Bad Woman is that it is next to Trophy cupcake (can you say YUM!) and Trophy was offering 10% off for people with LYS passports!! So I may have indulged in some cupcakey goodness.

From Wallingford we ventured down to Ballard and Tea Cozy Yarn. Their pattern is a really unique double knit amigurumi, The Tea Cozy's Bella and Bernie Bunny by Patricia McHugh. They are designed to use Cascade 128 Superwash and the clothing is knit separate from the bunny, so you can even change out their clothes if you like. This is the first time in the three years I've been doing the LYS tour that I have seen an amigurumi or doll offering. I think it was a great idea!.

Slouchy Hat: Spciy
The Fiber Gallery was our next stop. Thankfully my friend doing the driving knew the area well as I would have made a total mess of things if left on my own. I really like the new shop location, it seems far less crowded and easier to navigate. I talked with Hannah a bit about it and she explained there is actually less space, but that the layout was much better thus giving the illusion of more space. Still no sighting of the Doubleknit Twins, one of these years!! They have both a knit hat and crochet scarf offering. The Slouchy Hats: Simple, Striped or Spicy uses 2 skeins of Amber, a main color and contrasting color. The CCCCC patterns calls for 2 skeins of Rowan Colourspun. Both are very lovely offerings 

Traveling Rib Cowl

Our last stop was Acorn Street Shop. Their pattern offering was a very practical Traveling Rib Cowl by Janet Charbonnier, using 2 skeins of Noro Silk Garden. They still had a lovely selection of colors given that is was the end of Saturday. 

A few observations from today. I think it's interesting that the tour changed from it's one skein format to a two skeins. I really liked all of the one skein patterns as that is often what I look for when I want to try something new. Also, I saw a lot of Knitters Pride Dreamz needles in shops, but I was hoping to see the Cubix in person. It was nice to see most of the shops choosing fairly economical yarns especially since you needed to by two skeins for the patterns. I am going to try and hit a few more tomorrow, so stay tuned!

Dusting this Off

With everything going on around me, to me and with me, I had sort of abandoned my blog. This was originally created as a sort of therapy and practice for writing. So it seems when I could have used it most I didn't. Now that things have settled I'd like to get back into it. Also, it's LYS time again so what better way to get back on the horse? Between today and tomorrow I am going to try  to hit 10 of the LYS shops and post pictures of the FO's and other information as I have done in years past. Then I am going to try to post at least once a week to keep things up to date and keep in practice.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Catching up

It's been a while since my last post and I've had a lot going on, so I thought I should catch up. I am using the blogger ap for my phone, so my apologies for any typos. You would have thought someone would have made a spell checker  for droid by now.
On the needles are my clapotis and a shawl I am test knitting. I am using 2 skeins of Fresh From the Cauldron, silk sock, in Athena for the clapotis. I am about 2/3 of the way through it.
For the test knit shawl, I am using my Liberty's Yarn, turn of the blue, in message in a bottle. I love the color! It's actually a pretty light fingering or heavy lace weight. Very smooth and easy to work with. It'll make a nice summer shawl.

I've also been knitting some amigurumi in preparation for my panel at Sakura-Con. I've finished Ysolda Teague's Smith the hedgehog as well as a micro mountain from the Knitting Mochimochi book.

I was also able to buy a spinning wheel, and I have been having fun playing with that. I picked up done lovely BFL at Madrona, it spins like a dream.

The only  other things going on are planning the convention and I've started Weight Watchers again. I'm down 6 pounds in 2 weeks!