September 29, 2010

Wow, guess I haven't done a book review in a while. Since I finished Needles and Pearls by Gil McNeil I've finished four more books. The Girl Who Played With Fire brings my total to 48 and counting for 2010.

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson was my most recent finish. I loved this book. Better then the first book, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Usually a second book isn't as good but this one was better, way better. More intrigue, more excitement...more everything. Loved it and highly recommend it even if you haven't ready the first one. I requested the 3rd one in the series from the library but it's going to be a while before I get it. I'm number 453 on the list for requesting this book and there are only 77 copies in the library system. I might have to break my "no buying books" rule and pick up a copy of this book. I can't wait to get my hands on it!

I also ready This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer. This book is classified as a Teen SciFi book by my library as were the first two in the series but I really enjoyed them. It was a quick read but I love post apocalyptic books. This one brings the main character, Miranda, from the first book and the main character from the second book, Alex, together for the third installment. Not as good as the first book, Life as we Knew it, but not too bad. I liked that I got to find out what happened to Alex and his sister since the second book, The Dead and The Gone, kinda left you hanging about what was going to happen.

The Black Death...not a bad book but not great either. It never left me dying to turn the page and find out what was going to happen next. Not sure I'd recommened this one to anyone but since it is a classic post apocolyptic book I'm glad that I read it.

Labyrinth by Kate Mosse. I liked this book and enjoyed that there were two different story lines that were interwoven. I picked up the second book and just started reading it yesterday. Labyrinth was a bit hard for me to get into but once it got going I really enjoyed reading it and was disappointed when my breaks were over at work. I have to admit that I pushed my breaks out by a few Min's on some days to finish up a chapter to find out what was going to happen. It's a big book and defiantly not a quick read by a good story all the same.

I'm really enjoying getting to read all these books for free and I have to give credit to the Sacramento County Library system and my local librarians at Marian O. Lawrence Library. They are so fantastic and helpful. Love those ladies! Thank goodness for the library and free services.

September 26, 2010

Since the Butter Cream Jacket is blocking and I'm working on the collar for Nora's Sweater, I thought I'd show off my Featherweight Cardigan that I finished a few weeks ago. Honestly, I'm surprised at how warm and comfortable this sweater is. I thought that a lace weight yarn would not be warm but I wore this to a baseball game a couple of weeks ago and even though the night was on the chilly side, I was very comfortable. Even Hubbs was surprised that I never opped to switch to a heavier sweater that I brought with me.


Raglan Increases

Pattern: Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig
Needles: Size 4 Knitpicks Harmony Wood Circulars
Yarn: Knitpicks Shadow Kettle Dyed in Grasshopper

The sleeves come to just above my elbow. I did the increases as instructed and then did the cuff. I knew I wanted short sleeves, not 3/4 or long sleeves so I figured I would just give it a shot and see how they came out. I really like the length because I'm not pushing them up above my elbow and I'm not trying to pull them down. I really love this sweater. And for once it's not a neutral color!
I finally got Jules Sweater seamed up. And oh my gosh was there a lot of seaming. I think I wove in miles and miles of ends on this thing. I'm a horrible seamer. I can't seam for the life of me. But I got it done. Now I'm working on the collar that will have to be completed in two pieces and then SEAMED (ugh) on to the sweater. But all and all I like the way that it is coming out. I think my mom will be really happy when she gets this for Christmas.

Back upper inset



I'm hoping have this finished in the next couple of weeks. I want it done, packaged up and gift wrapped before the next time my mom visits. She has a knack for finding gifts that I think are hidden.

September 14, 2010

Finished Gil McNeils book, Needles and Pearls last night. It's the follow up to The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club. While neither of these books may win any literary awards but the characters are all likable and realistic. I hope McNeil writes another one, I want to find out what happens to Ellen!
I haven't done any knitting this week. I didn't get much sleep on Sunday night which always leaves me to exhausted to move the next evening, so I watched a couple Episodes of Hoarders last night on TV. Let's just say that show is frightening and leave it at that.

September 11, 2010

If you're a horror fan...
I recommend Infected by Scott Sigler. This book kept me on the edge of my seat at every turn. There lots of gore and lots of suspense. Excellent horror novel. It reminded me a bit of Tommynockers by Stephen King. Really good. It was a quick read. I started in on 9/8 and finished it this afternoon.

September 9, 2010

Actual Knitting Content...

Lately my knitting blog has turned into a book blog but I have been I don't have actual proof. But I have been. I cast on for the Buttercream Jacket from the Summer 2010 edition of Interweave Knits. I'm using Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool in Brown Heather. I picked up three skeins of this yarn a while back intending to use it for another pattern but I ended up hating that pattern and switching to this one. It's a waffle stitch pattern in a raglan style but the sleeves are set in. So weird to finish off the fronts by coming to a point at the top with only two stitches. I'm calling my version Coffee with Cream instead of Buttercream since my is a brown that looks kinda like coffee with some cream in it. Inventive, I know. lol

(pictures from Interweave Knits)

(Picture from Interweave knits)

I love the collar with the little interesting cable on it. I think this little detail is what made me want to knit this pattern. My Thermal is currently blocking (finally) and it's a similar waffle type of pattern so the Buttercream Jacket isn't much of a departure for me, it's pretty mindless for the most part as long as I keep track of the decreases and the increases when necessary.
I had knitted up the back and part of the front when I realized that even though I had swatched my gauge was off and it was going to be way small. I let it sit for a couple of days before I tried to decided what I was going to do. I finally, with Hubbs help, frogged the whole thing and started over. Hubbs got a real kick out of frogging the back section since I undid the bound off stitches and then hooked it up to the ball winder while he held on to it and then just wound it right off. We were both cracking up because it looked like a cartoon where someone is knitting and they end up knitting directly from the sheep and the wool just zips off of it.
I ended up going up a needle size from 4 & 5 to 5 & 6. I didn't bother to swatch it again even though I should have. I'm just going to let it go and hope for the best. Using the 4 & 5 I could have made it work but I wasn't liking how stretched out it would have to be to make the blocked dimensions. If it turns out a bit big that's OK, at least you can wear it. Too small is a whole other story.

September 8, 2010

Finished another one... This is my 42nd book of 2010. I've read a lot this year but being on planes and in airports more then normal has really helped. Plus finally getting my library card which gives me hundreds of books for free hasn't hurt either.

Now I love a good post apocalyptic book as much as the next guy (most likely more) but One just didn't do it for me. It left too much unexplained for me. I only gave this book two stars out of five on my ratings on Most everything gets a three unless it's a book that I just couldn't finish but One just didn't get me going or make me feel what the characters were feeling in the pit in my stomach. So two stars.

I finished the sweater that I started for my mom for Christmas back in June. Well, finished to the point where I need to block it before I can move on. I talked about it here. I just need to block it but right now I've got two sweaters that I finally finished that are currently blocking. As soon as they're dry I'll block this one. I need to get a move on it if I'm going to have it finished for my mom for Christmas. I'd hate to give her a bunch of unfinished parts.

September 7, 2010

More finished reading...again....
I started and finished The Dead and The Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer over the weekend. Thank goodness for long weekends...I got to spend three days doing nothing but reading and knitting. I have two finished items blocking currently, a third item that is in pieces but needs to be blocked and a fourth item that I finished the back and one of the front pieces. It was very relaxing but I desperately need to get my tail in gear and do some house work now. It looks like no one has done any kind of cleaning at my house in a couple of weeks...and that would be about the truth of it. I did clean up the kitchen and the laundry room and I did manage to find the coffee table but that's about it. All my house plants are in a very sad state and need some attention very badly but I just can't seem to find my ability to give a flying...well you get the idea.

So back to the book. I read the first book in this series, Life As We Knew it and I really loved it. But this one left me hanging at the end. The whole time I was waiting for the Mom to show up and help the kids but she never did. There was also no resolution at the end. It never tells you if they actually made it out of the city...not the best ending but most certainly not the worst I've ever read.

I requested the third book in the series from the Library this morning, The World We Live in. It seems to be a continuation of the first book while the second book was about new characters. Since these books are aimed at young teen readers, they are a very fast read.

September 2, 2010

More finished reading... Last night I finished The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. It wasn't heavy reading or deeply intellectual but it was a good mystery. The Thirteenth Tale is about a woman that gets an offer from a famous writer to write her autobiography. The story was good with lots of twists and turns but I didn't like that some of the characters had such similar names that I couldn't keep track of which one was which in the story. I also found the characters of Adaline and Emmaline to not be developed enough for me to be able to figure out which was which at times. Over all, I enjoyed it and would consider reading more by this author.

I started and finished this book over the course of my breaks at work yesterday. Again, this was very light reading but a good beginning to what seems like it will be an interesting story. The Walk is the story of a man that over the course of about 6 weeks loses his wife in an accident, has his business stolen from him by a trusted partner and then has his home foreclosed on. He decides to leave it all behind and walk from Seattle to Key West. I liked the idea and the story flowed nicely but my one complaint is that it was more like a teaser into the story then a whole book. It feels like it cut off just when the story started to get good. The next book doesn't come out until April 2011 and I think I will request to read that one also. I think this will be the story about the triumph of the human spirit. I'm looking forward to the next book but I'm hoping that I don't forget about it before the next book comes out.

September 1, 2010

What I'm reading...
I finished The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt yesterday while on my lunch break. My review is not favorable...snoozer. I'm not sure why I even continued reading. There was nothing in this book that grabbed me and held me wanting more. The characters were transparent, the plot was non-existent and nothing was resolved. Snoozer. Let's just say that I promptly went to the library on my way home and dropped it off. Done.

I picked up two knitting books at the library, Knitting in the Sun and Knit Cafe. I found three projects that I want to knit. One from Knitting in and two from Knit Cafe. Of course there are more things that I want to knit then I actually have time for. Picking the next project is always hard.