Tuesday, July 04, 2017

New craft projects

I started to knit another baby hat for charity at the end of last week, then realized the pattern wasn't knit in the round. I'm fine with knitting preemie hats with DPNs and wasn't relishing having to sew a seam on a hat for a delicate head. My yarn was also much lighter than the pattern, so despite going up 1 full mm in size, I was still too small on gauge. I got cranky and said to myself, "I'm tired of knitting things I'm not enjoying." 

What I really want to knit is a sweater. I keep seeing a friend of mine knit sweaters, and I wear sweaters all the time in fall and winter. It's something I could make for myself that would be incredibly useful. The only thing holding me back is the fear of mistakes and failure. But I have a very skilled friend who is dying to see me try something more complicated. She has more confidence in my skills than I do. I have knit several blankets, so I have the patience to stick with a longer project. So it's time to spread my wings and try it, and get support along the way.

The sweater that caught my eye and really stuck in my brain -- to the point where I woke up Sunday morning excited to try it -- is a cardigan with an Estonian braid along the edge.  I wear cardigans at work constantly, so I knew if I picked a neutral color, I'd get a lot of use out of it.

Elda cardigan by Vera Sanon
On recommendation of my friend, I'm using Knit Picks Swish DK. It was on sale, and very affordable for something that needs 10 balls.
Knit Picks Swish DK in Cobblestone Heather
Since there was already a yarn sale, and if I added more to my cart I could get free shipping, I also picked up 9 balls for a pullover sweater.

Poema by Vera Sanon
Something about this garnet red really caught my eye. Both of these sweaters are top-down knits, so I can try them on as I go.
Knit Picks Swish DK in Garnet Heather
Last, but not least, while my MIL was here for Thanksgiving last year, I couldn't resist this fabric. Without a specific project in mind, I bought a couple of metres. Last weekend I finally picked up a skirt pattern. My MIL has assured me that sewing as many aprons as I have, a skirt should be not much different. Scanning through the pattern, it looks a bit easier in some ways. There is plenty of fabric here that I could make 2 skirts. So if I screw up, I can make it again. I also want to add pockets, which isn't in the design, so I'll need some advice there.

I'm on vacation this week, and since the weather turned to rain, and my yarn is on order, I opened up the skirt pattern. Only then did I remember that I hadn't washed & shrunk my fabric yet. Why is it every time I get motivated, I have to stop for this step?  I should be throwing these in the wash as soon as I get home from the store. At least this time, I washed both fabrics I had purchased, even though I only needed one.

I'll see how things go, but at least I'll be working on things for myself for a change.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Quotes from books - The Improbability of Love

"You'd have to be living in Nova Scotia with your head up a polar bear's bum to have avoided it."
Is this supposed to be funny because the author knows there are no polar bears in NS, or did she just choose a poor example?

Overall I was entertained by this book, despite its many flaws. Thoughts: *SPOILERS*

  • Too many characters. You could easily have cut out most of the minor players. Especially the Elton John-wannabe, Barty.
  • Too long. The extra players made the story drag on and on longer than needed. This was a 400 page meandering book that could have been cut down to 250 and been a tighter story.
  • Jesse's level of "instant love" for Annie felt, well, improbable.
  • Something about Annie just seemed... off. Despite explanations of why she was not looking for love, her reactions to and rejections of Jesse just didn't seem natural.
  • I did enjoy the first-person views of the painting. Giving it a voice and a personality was fun.
  • Aha. The author was being self-indulgent by padding the novel with the extra characters. At least, that's what I gathered from this article. It may be fun for the author and the art world, but as a general fiction reader, I considered it extra fluff.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

A snap I found

Snap that I found while cleaning up my camera card. Taken 2014-10-18 at the nature park.

Friday, June 03, 2016

Quotes from books - In A Witch's Wardrobe

In A Witch's Wardrobe by Juliet Blackwell

Don't you remember the old controversy over the backward lyrics in rock songs?
My brother and I tried to play Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust" backward, but we didn't hear anything (nor did I know what it was supposed to say). This article talks about backmasking and provides examples, including this song. IMO, you have too much time on your hands if you think Led Zeppelin is talking about Satan.

...it looked like I was going to have to get happy in the same pants I got mad in.
This just seemed like a funny quote.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Quotes from books - The Mermaid Chair

The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd

... that when a person was in need of cataclysmic change, of a whole new center in the personality, for instance, his or her psyche would induce an infatuation, an erotic attachment, an intense falling-in-love. He knew this. Every analyst knew it. Falling in love was the oldest, most ruthless catalyst on earth. But typically you fell in love with something missing in yourself that you recognized in the other person...
Do therapists get bored at seeing human nature repeat itself so often? To the patient, their lives are unique. To the doctor, it's just another in a stack of "same shit, different day?"

Quotes from books - Yes Please

I decided to start blogging the passages I highlight while reading. May not be anything significant, may just touch me in some way. I may choose to explain why I highlighted it, or I may not.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Decide what your currency is early. Let go of what you will never have. People who do this are happier and sexier.
Tell the story [of your birth] every year on your birthday until you know it by heart. (My husband loves for his mother to call him on his birthday and tell him the story.)
'Guilt is an intersection.' Getting out of it means making a choice and moving forward.
'Divorce is always good news because no good marriage has ever ended in divorce.' (Phil Collins may disagree.)
Gone are the days (hopefully) when you take everything personally and internalize everyone's behavior.
(Regarding rock concerts) Now I just want to sit down and have someone perform my five favorite songs while I eat a light dinner and receive a simultaneous pedicure.

10 months in a few lines

July 2015 was a turning point. I made some admissions, sought some assistance, and made some significant change. It did turn out ok and for the better, despite my worst-case scenario expectations.

I'm 9 months into a new job. Still getting comfortable with things, but happy to be in a much more positive environment. I laugh again. I am reminded daily that I am helping people, albeit in an indirect way. The end result isn't helping someone earn money to maintain their boat or buy a new SUV.

I'm able to think without being overwhelmed. This is big, and very relieving.

I can finally reach "calm" again.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Happy birthday from here

Today would have been your 40th birthday. Just wanted you to know I was thinking of you today, as I do often. It was always a point of pride (maybe that’s weird?) that we were only 1 week apart in age, and maybe we were baby buddies in the maternity ward.

I miss you, my friend. I miss your laugh. I miss your “that’s what she said” jokes. I miss one of the few people who also disliked Great Big Sea. I miss the guy who’d split the bottle of cream soda with me, and loved my banana bread. I miss your great sense of humor.

I started playing DnD this year, and I’m using your dice. I prefer to think of it as keeping them “warm” until your son is old enough to be interested, and then I’ll gladly hand them over. In the meantime, it’s nice to have that connection with you. Sorry I didn’t start playing soon enough for you to see. Wonder what you’d think of my character?

Halloween is coming up, and I’m going to miss seeing you at pumpkin carving.
It’s weird to look over at my calendar, where I’ve written everyone’s birthday, and to not see yours there. Maybe I should just write it in anyway?

Cancer sucks. I’m mad at it for taking you away. But I know you’re not suffering anymore, and have probably been enjoying all the non-liquid food you can since you arrived on the other side. ;)

Happy birthday. I’m sending your birthday hugs to the sky. I hope you have some way of knowing that I am thinking of you today.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

July 2015 photo - Day 13


Calm is not something I've been feeling these days, but a quick stop at the park on my walking route seemed like a good spot to exemplify this.

 Bonus shot of some new leaves on a red maple tree: