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.