Knit Happened

Friday, June 29, 2007

Quick Knit-by

My week got away from me...might be from working 4 days at 11 hours each before I went on vacation...which we are leaving shortly.
So apologies to Lynette as I haven't had a chance to post yet on her fab hurricane sock pal kit.
Nor did I get a chance to do my promised Summer of Socks update...might also be because I only knit 6 rows on my Black Bunny Horcrux since Sunday.
But couple of big news items...I am one of the finalists in Jenn's Knitflix swap (along with Carrie who sent me a package). How cool is that...go check it out. Voting ends on pressure to log a vote (just saying it would be nice to win some Sunshine Yarn).
And I got my first Sundara Petal Collections kit...oooooh mommy! Glad I joined!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Summer of Socks Sunday

I decided to try to make Sundays my Summer of Socks update post. The KAL started on June 21 and there are quite a number of goings on during the course of the KAL, which ends on Sept 21.

So to start...I cast on yesterday for my second pair of Horcrux socks from Six Socks...this one for me in Black Bunny Fiber's Velvet Painting (who would have though since I have extolled numerous times here who much I love Black Bunny). I'm using two #0 KnitPicks circular needles. I was able to finish the heel yesterday and did the heel turn, gusset and now working down the foot on sock #1. This was the project that I brought to the new Fiber Arts yesterday afternoon, where I enjoyed the lovely knitting company of Alyson, Christine and Leslie.

I woke up today and hit my head because I've been very delinquent by not casting on for my Sockapalooza 4 sock for my pal. I had decided on Panda Wool by Crystal Palace in the Ultramarine colorway many moons ago but after getting advice yesterday I decided to knit the Brigit pattern from Socktopia. So I cast through the ribbing and a couple of rows of the cabled pattern on Addi #0 using magic loop.

Check out: The use of my new Zero Stitch Markers...these were the two extra markers that Aija included in my order. LOVE THEM!

Since we will not have Internet access when we are on vacation next Sunday I will try to update this Thursday before we leave for Georgia. Tomorrow...Hurricane Sock package arrival and another completed FO!

Friday, June 22, 2007

All Things Italian

I've been very remiss in posting all about my Knitflix package from Carrie and finally trying to give credit where credit is due. It was a very rough week after learning of my father-in-law's passing and flying up to Denver over the weekend for the funeral.

However, when E. and I strolled into the house on Tuesday morning at 2am, I had a lovely package waiting for me from Carrie. Jennifer organized this swap where you actually know the person who you are swapping this case, Carrie send me a package and I sent her one. We had to choose a DVD, yarn/fiber for a small project to knit up during the movie, and of course, a snack to go with it. To make it fun, Jennifer suggested theming the package.

So correct me if I'm wrong, Carrie, but the theme of my package was "All Things Italian." Carrie sent me 2 DVDs..."Roman Holiday" (I adore Audrey Hepburn and I missed watching the entire movie a couple of weeks ago) and "Too Beautiful for You" (romantic comedy...I love foreign films...although this is a French film and goes outside my theme theory); my fiber is Mountain Colors Ribbon in Thunderhead...a deep purple with shade of burgundy and blue...I only knew about their sock yarn...yeah they make other fiber); two different types of chocolate...mocha java and an extra dark chocolate (and believe it or not, they have not been touched...I told the boys we are saving it for our vacation up to GA in a week). And last but not least, Italy...a magazine for lovers of all things Italian and a beautiful hand crafted stone box with flowers on top. Thanks again Carrie for the wonderful job putting my Knitflix together!

And just in case you are wondering what I sent Carrie, you can check it out here.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Boy that 48 Hours Surely Went Fast!

Final stats for the 48-hour reading challenge:
6 books
1626 pages
22 hours
1 hour for reviews

Here are my final three reviews:
First, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (416 pages). This story had a flavor to it that transported you back in time to some classic mystery/ghost stories of the 19th century. Heroine Margaret is described very much like the classic spinster governess (think Jane Eyre which plays a role in the novel as well) and it is not surprising that she becomes so totally immersed in the life of Miss Winter and the intrigue that revolves around her true story. In a nutshell, Miss Winter (a famous writer with many novels to her name) decides after many years that she will share her true life story with no other than Margaret. Margaret travels to Yorkshire to sit with Miss Winter and listen to her history before the author dies. I really enjoyed the storytelling aspect of the tale and how Margaret pieces the truth together by listening between the lines. I have to confess that the book falls just short of the hype and I think that we will be done rather quickly with the review for reading group. I am sure that we will have a lively discussion about the comparison between this book and The Keep.

Second, Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (181 pages). This is one of the books E has to read for the summer so I thought I would read it first. I actually really enjoyed it and can definitely see why it was chosen. Thirteen-year-old Brian is flying up to spend the summer with his dad in Canada due to the recent divorce of his parents. In the beginning, he is very fixated on the fact that he knows his mom's secret...the true reason behind the divorce is that his mom has been having an affair...but it is truly background and I feel doesn't play too much into the general gist of the rest of the story. So the pilot in the single engine has a heart attack and dies mid flight and Brian loses transmission and crashes in a lake. His only tool for survival is a hatchet that his mom gives him before he leaves. I think that the survivors on the last episode of Survivor could have learned a thing or two from Brian on how to survive. He creates a shelter, starts a fire, figures out how to fish without a line, hunt grouse and rabbits, and he plans for the future by creating a fish pen. He also has runs in with a bear, a wolf, a tornado, and finally a moose than whips his butt. He survives for over 45 days out in the wild by himself! Truly a great coming of age book that defines Brian in his later years...he obviously appreciates the little things.

And last but not least, Shopaholic & Baby by Sophie Kinsella (358 pages). This is a quick and light hearted read that didn't involve a lot of thinking if you catch my drift. The whole Shopaholic vehicle I think has run past its course. I have read all the others in the series and after two the novelty has worn off. But nevertheless, Bex's antics still make me laugh and I hope that there aren't too many people out there that are truly like her. I have always thought that the series reminds me of an updated I Love Lucy and interestingly enough USA Today on the back of this book says as such. This story obviously revolves around Becky and Luke and the impending birth of her baby. She has not given up her spending ways...they are just now centered around the new baby and less on items for her. She manipulates Luke into agreeing to switch OBs mid stream as she learns about an OB to celebrities that specializes in holistic births including Thai massage. And it comes as no surprise that this OB just so happens to be the single former college girlfriend of her husband. And shenanigans ensue. If you want to escape and have no expectations of reading a Pulitzer prize novel, then this book is for you.

Again thanks to Mother Reader for holding the second annual 48-hour reading challenge. I put a nice dent into my summer reading list!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Almost half way through the challenge

Thought that I'd start the day off with an update on where I was with the reading challenge...since I'm less than 1 1/2 hours away from the halfway point (when I started this I'm at less than an hour). For some reason I took more breaks than I thought yesterday (I used a program that I still had on my computer TraxTime from my freelance days to track my hours). I'm at 10.1 excluding this post. I took a break last night to watch 2 movies with E...well finish "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and then watched "Labryinth" from the beginning (how did I miss this one when it first came out...and luckily DharmaFey dyes wool for the various characters).

So those are the hours so far and now for the total pages 735.

First up was The World to Come (313 pages), which I surprisingly enjoyed despite my friend Stephanie saying she didn't. It is about a recently divorced man named Ben Zizkind who write questions for a quiz show. At the prompting of his twin sister, he goes to a singles party at a Jewish museum and low and behold he sees a painting that used to hang in his parents home...a small Chagall. After everyone leaves to go to another part of the museum for the musical entertainment, he stays behind (he can't hear music as according to Jewish law he is forbidden within the year following a parent's death and his mom recently died). Something comes over him and he steals the painting. Now you might think that alarms go off and the video camera would capture the theft. is focused on preventing terrorists from harming the people inside. So needless to say Ben gets away with the theft until the very attractive museum director puts 2 and 2 together. The rest of the book tells the story of Ben's ancestry and how the painting came into the family (it truly is a Chagall). I have a penchant for novels that jump around in time and are also narrated from different perspectives. There is also a bit of history, art, poetry, short stories, and lots of talk about what happens after death. According to Rosalie (Ben's mom who is a children's writer...albeit a very dark children's writer if you ask me), she doesn't believe in reincarnation. What she believes is that there is a world to come where people who have passed teach and guide the future generation when they are in the womb. Definitely an enjoyable that could be enjoyed by men.

Next up, The Keep (256 pages). I originally read this last year and needed to re-read for reading group, which will meet next Monday. I was fascinated with it then and even more so now. There is a very big twist at the end that even reading a second time it was still hard to pick up on. Again Jennifer Egan reminds me of a female Chuck Palahniuk...think twist at the end of Fight Club or Invisible Monsters. Here is the general remise without giving too much away. Cousin Danny goes to work at a castle in Europe for his estranged cousin Howie. We learn that they are estranged as Danny and another cousin pulled a nasty prank on Howie at a family picnic...early on you find out that Howie was in a cave for 3 days...alone. Howie has overcome the past and become a very powerful man and invested in renovating this castle so that it can become a hostel oasis. Danny had to leave New York and is very self-centered and tech dependent. Interspersed throughout the book is another storyline about Ray who is in jail and the writing course that he is taking from his teacher Holly. Danny has some harrowing events of his own while at the castle. Everything comes together at the end in a way that readers will interpret differently. That's why I am really looking forwad to reading group next see what everyone else thinks.

Next...I decided to finish the last 102 pages of The Life You Long For. This is a story where I could identify with the heroine on one level as a mother but yet on another I wanted to throttle her. Grace is a mother of three with her youngest, Jack who is 3, having a rare condition known as mitochondrial disease. He is terminal and everyone in the family is dealing with the inevitable in their own way. The story starts out on Christmas Eve with Grace spending part of the day with her lover...a childhood sweet heart who has been carrying a torch for her for 20 years since she dumped him. Not long after...Grace learns that there has been an accusation of Munchaussen's Syndrome by Proxy against her. So not only is she dealing with Jack's illness but also the threat of him being taken away from her. But she relaxes as the Children's Protective Agency do not have enough to prosecute until there is a second complaint. This book definitely pulls on your heart strings. September 11th does have a major role in the plot but I won't say just makes all of the characters take stock. I will say that the family does have 2 traditions that I would like to adopt in our own...on New Year's Eve Day, as a family they put together a jigsaw puzzle. Then they have a jar with questions that they pull one a day and ask each other...for instance, if you were a color what would you be?

And right now, I am 64 pages into The Thirteenth Tale and can't wait to get back to it. More reviews to come.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Goodness gracious...twenty four times two redux

I actually posted about the 24-hour challenge on the summer of reading blog and just deleted it...I was so excited to start...

Here's what I wrote that I meant to write here:
In the hour between 9 am and 10 am the following will take place:
Start the 48-hour reading challenge with The World to Come!
More later. Now I'm about 130 pages into it...took a break to get a much needed deep tissue good that it hurt. Back to reading about how a family acquired a Chagall painting.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Summer of Reading and More

So my friend Jill pointing me in the direction of a gazillion reading challenges.

First off I signed up for the Summer Reading Challenge with the goal of not only getting the pile of books stacked to the ceiling off my nightstand but also reading the 4 books that I need to for the women's reading group that I belong to. The challenge started on June 1 and goes until August 1.

Here's my list of books that I'd like to complete by the end of the challenge:
1. The Life I Longed For by Maribeth Fischer
2. Peony in Love (Advanced Copy) by Lisa See
3. The World to Come by Dora Horn
4. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (reading group)
5. The Keep by Jennifer Egen (reading group)
6. Eye Contact by Cammie McGovern
7. On Beauty by Zadie Smith
8. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
9. Shopaholic & Baby by Sophie Kinsella
10. The Birth of Venus by Sara Durant
11. In the Company of the Courtesan by Sara Durant
12. The Diary of Anne Frank (reading group)
13. The Boy Who Love Anne Frank (reading group)by Ellen Feldman
14. And last but not least, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows by JK Rowling

And then today I learned of the 48-hour reading challenge...I was going to start tonight but since I was up at 4:30am to get hubby (I figured that I should probably start calling him by his nickname Coach Knit) to the airport for his flight to Tucson (my father-in-law is very ill) that I would start at 8am tomorrow instead of 8pm tonight. The basic premise is to read and blog as much as possible for the 48 hours after you start. However, I might start earlier if I'm up in the middle of the night and can't sleep. Yeah...that never happens in this house. So needless to say that there will not be a lot of knitting done over the weekend except tonight. Almost done with my chevron and need to start Coach Knit's tie for Father's Day. More tomorrow...