August 31, 2011

Book# 63 for 2011

Julian Comstock; A Story of 22nd-Century America by Robert Charles Wilson


In the reign of President Deklan Comstock, a reborn United States is struggling back to prosperity. Over a century after the Efflorescence of Oil, after the Fall of the Cities, after the Plague of Infertility, after the False Tribulation, after the days of the Pious Presidents, the sixty stars and thirteen stripes wave from the plains of Athabaska to the national capital in New York City. In Colorado Springs, the Dominion sees to the nation’s spiritual needs. In Labrador, the Army wages war on the Dutch. America, unified, is rising once again.

Then out of Labrador come tales of a new Ajax—Captain Commongold, the Youthful Hero of the Saguenay. The ordinary people follow his adventures in the popular press. The Army adores him. The President is…troubled. Especially when the dashing Captain turns out to be his nephew Julian, son of the falsely accused and executed Bryce.

Treachery and intrigue dog Julian’s footsteps. Hairsbreadth escapes and daring rescues fill his days. Stern resolve and tender sentiment dice for Julian’s soul, while his admiration for the works of the Secular Ancients, and his adherence to the evolutionary doctrines of the heretical Darwin, set him at fatal odds with the hierarchy of the Dominion. Plague and fire swirl around the Presidential palace when at last he arrives with the acclamation of the mob.

As told by Julian’s best friend and faithful companion, a rustic yet observant lad from the west, this tale of the 22nd Century asks— and answers—the age-old question: “Do you want to tell the truth, or do you want to tell a story?”

My Take:

4 out of 5 Stars. Interesting take on what could happen after our oil dependant society collapses and our government becomes a dictatorship.

August 30, 2011

Since last Tuesday was Hubbs birthday we headed over to the ocean for a couple of days. It was a very nice mellow weekend. The weather was cold and over cast both days.

August 29, 2011

Mondays are for...

Mondays are for catching up on the blogs that I follow...

Mondays are for finishing the laundry that I started on Sunday...

Mondays are for uploading the pictures I took over the weekend...

Mondays are for filling in my day planner for the rest of the week...

Mondays are for catching up with friends and family...

But most of all Mondays are for fun.

What fun thing do you have planned?

August 28, 2011


Since Waiting for Spring Sweater and Laar are both done, I needed a new project. I cast on for Almost Ovals.

Pattern: Almost Ovals by Anne Hanson

Yarn: Knitpicks Shadow in Vineyard Heather

Needles: US 4

It took me a couple of tries to get this cast on. I kept dropping stitches on the first row due to some SSK's but I finally got it. I did about a half of one repeat before I went to bed last night. I'm really looking forward to this finished object. I think that investing in a set of blocking wires might be advisable for blocking this.

August 27, 2011

Laar is Done!

Laar is done! And let me tell you it takes a long time to sew on 16 buttons, 2 hours worth of buttons.

Loved the lace pattern. So fun and easy to memorize which is always a plus.

Picot edging around the neck line is beautiful.

The buttons are perfect.

Pattern: Laar by Gudrun Johnston

Yarn: Knitpicks Shadow in Oregon Coast (4 Skeins)

Size: 36 1/2

Needles: US 4 & US 6

Mods: Added 1/25 inches to the stockinette section, added an additional repeat of the lace pattern before splitting off for the fronts & backs and added 16 instead of the 10 called for in the pattern.

August 26, 2011

A Finished Object!!

I finished Waiting for Spring Sweater!

I modified the neckline. The original had a high neckline but I can't stand anything tight against my throat.

Love the leaf detail running down the side.

Pattern: Waiting for Spring Sweater by Susan Demptster

Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease in Worsted Weight, Color is Dark Rose Heather

Needles: US 8 & 9 to get gauge (I never got gauge pattern said 4 stitches/inch, I got 5 stitches/inch)

Mods: I lowered the neck line to make a scoop neck by beginning the neck shaping at 16 inches from the cast on edge.

This was my first real modification to any project. Generally about the only thing I modify is the length of the sleeves. I was nervous about how it was going to turn out bu this is perfect. I still need to block it but once I get it blocked I'll add pictures to Ravelry of me wearing it. My dress form isn't exactly the same size I am so it doesn't really show what this looks like on.

August 25, 2011

Laar...One Step Closer to Done

Laar is done blocking and I got buttons for it today too.

I used Knitpicks Shadow lace weight yarn for this project and let me tell you it blocks beautifully. It's soft, has beautiful stitch definition and I can tell you based on another sweater I did a couple of years ago, it wears nicely.

Hancock Fabrics had their buttons on sale until the end of the month. I wasn't sure what I wanted but I found some buttons that I really liked, 4 to a card. I got all 16 buttons for $5.13 including tax. Now that's a deal. Totally worth driving all the way out to the north
side of Sacramento for Buttons. Soon as I get them sewed on I'll be sure to post pictures.

August 24, 2011

Something Almost Done and Something Begun

I finished knitting my Laar the other day and I ordered Almost Ovals by Anne Hanson but due to something or other with Hubbs Paypal account I wasn't able to get the pattern right away. I've been feeling really unproductive with everything lately and knitting seems to be only thing that I can get anything done so I decided to start on Waiting for Spring Sweater.

Wait, wait, wait...Laar isn't done but it is blocking. I just need buttons. Hancocks Fabrics has buttons on sale until the end of the month for 30% off. I didn't receive my sales flyer from Joanns so I'll stop in there before I head up to Hancocks to see if they have buttons on sale. Joanns is 15 minuets from my house and Hancocks is about 45 and not in the best area of Sacramento, so I always check Joanns first. Especially since I need like 15 1/2" buttons, it's worth driving to where the sale is.

Back to Waiting for Spring...

© SeeSuzSew

© SeeSuzSew

I picked up some Lion Brand Wool Ease Worsted on the cheap to start this sweater. Going from US 6 and lace weight yarn to size 9 and worsted weight make it seem like I'm working with rope and small trees to knit this sweater. But since it's mostly stockinette and knitted from the bottom up, it knits up quickly. However, I've run into a problem with it. I posted my question to the designer and hope to hear back quickly from her since I'm almost done with the body of the sweater. I'm planning on knitting the sleeves in the round, assuming that I have the right size DPNs.

I'm pretty sure that where I went wrong with with the arm hole shaping. I think I was supposed to do the shaping on both the back and front flaps and I only did it on the back. I assumed that when I put the front stitches on the holder that the armhole shaping for the front would happen at another place in the pattern. Honestly, even if I do the math that the pattern calls for for armhole shaping for the back I still have 19 stitches not 17 like the pattern calls for. Hopefully the designer gets back to me soon. I'm really looking forward to finishing this sweater.

August 23, 2011

Happy 30th Birthday to my fabulous husband!

I hope this birthday outshines all the ones that have come before and can't hold a candle to the ones to come! May you have only love and happiness your whole life through!

August 22, 2011

I finished another book, Book# 62 for 2011...

The Time Travelers Wife By Audery Niffenegger


When Henry meets Clare, he is twenty-eight and she is twenty. Henry has never met Clare before; Clare has known Henry since she was six. Impossible but true, because Henry finds himself periodically displaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. Henry and Clare's attempts to live normal lives are threatened by a force they can neither prevent nor control, making their passionate love story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable. The Time Traveler's Wife is a story of fate, hope and belief, and more than that, it's about the power of love to endure beyond the bounds of time.

My take:

3 out of 5 stars.

When I told people that I was reading this book everyone said I'd love it. That I'd cry at the end. But I didn't love it and I didn't cry at the end. The first part was good, I was really enjoying it but by the time that I got to the last few chapters I just wanted it to be over. I didn't feel any real connection to either of the main characters in anyway. It was just meh for me. Not something that I'd really want to recommend to anyone else, thus the mediocre rating of 3 out of 5.

August 21, 2011

When People Move On...

It’s funny how life works. Ya hate your job, your coworkers piss you off, your boss sucks, customers are rude…but in the end you find yourself making personal relationships with people. My job is a pressure cooker on its worst days and just crazy on its best days. I’ve been here a little over 3 years. I’d guess that most of those 3 years have been pretty awful as jobs go.

But the time has come for one of my coworkers to move on and I’m realizing that I’m really going to miss my friend. I came home from work one night last week really upset. It was a combination of pressure from a friend about ancient history, pressure from my boss and the realization that my work buddy is leaving. I actually got choked up about it when I was talking to Hubbs about it. I’m pretty sure that poor Hubbs was confused as to why I was upset.

My buddy, Lu, is my rock. She’s the one that pulls me away from my computer when I’m going nuts. She’s the one that makes sure I eat lunch in a timely manner. She’s the one that I vent to. She’s the one that offers me advice and talks me down when I’m thinking about doing someone in due to stupidity.

So to Lu, I raise my company approved water bottle and toast…may your new job be calm and relaxed. May you advance in your career. May you find yourself surrounded by people as wonderful as you. But most of all I wish you all the happiness in the world. I’m going to miss you greatly.

August 20, 2011

Ok, That's Kinda Weird...

Not sure what to think when I checked my stats for the blog and found that one of the keyword searches that brings people to my blog is "hot girl cell phone mirror." LOL!

August 19, 2011

Bringing My Reading List Up to Date

The last two books to bring my reading up to date...

Book# 45 in the 50 Book Challenge...


A beautiful new trade edition of the original science fiction masterpiece that inspired the cult movie classic Blade Runner. By 2021, the World War had killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remained coveted any living creature and for people who couldn't afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep . . . even humans.

My Take:

2 out of 5 stars. I don't know why they say this book is classic science fiction. Not my cup of tea. Honestly, it was a waste of my time to read it, not to mention the time I spent carrying it around in my purse.


Lewis Crane lived through the devastating Los Angeles earthquake of 1994. He survived, but his family didn't—and at ten years old, his life was ripped apart.At the age of thirty-five, Lewis has devoted himself to the study of the most powerful force on Earth: earthquakes. He is the foremost expert in the field of seismology; and when he predicts a gigantic quake, everyone prepares for disaster. But to his relief and dismay, the quake never occurs, and suddenly Crane is the subject of ridicule from scientists around the world. Then he discovers a mistake in his calculations, and realizes that the "Big One" is just around the corner. The clock is ticking as he attempts to convince the world that this time, catastrophe is certain.Richter 10 is vintage Arthur C. Clarke—a fast-paced novel of ideas and near-future imagination, realized by McQuay's talent for characterization and ingenious plotting—and is the major science fiction event of the season.

My take:

3 out of 5 stars. It was ok. The plot was really slow and didn't pick up until the last 100 to 150 pages. Not great but not horrible.

August 18, 2011

A Couple More to Add to the List

A couple more to add to my list of books when I thought that I hadn't read anything lately. Neither of these books are part of my 50 book challenge. I was getting run down on the list, even though I'm so close to finishing and I needed a break so I just grabbed a couple of books that seemed interesting.


Nyx hates Zombies. Seriously. Hates. Zombies. Ever since she was a youngling, she's been haunted by them. And even though she's a big girl now—a half-human, half-Drow private eye, to be precise—Nyx bristles at the mere thought of the walking dead. Meanwhile, the corpses of humans and paranorms alike are turning up all over New York City. Now it's up to Nyx to find out who—or what—is behind this series of horrific attacks. But it's only a matter of time before Nyx is drawn deeper into her darkest fears...and her worst nightmare about meeting a real, flesh-and-blood-hungry, body-snatching Zombie comes blindingly to life. Or death...

My take:

2 out of 5 stars. Elves, zombies, vampires...not my cup of tea.


Shaun Mason is a man without a mission. Not even running the news organization he built with his sister has the same urgency as it used to. Playing with dead things just doesn't seem as fun when you've lost as much as he has.

But when a CDC researcher fakes her own death and appears on his doorstep with a ravenous pack of zombies in tow, Shaun has a new found interest in life. Because she brings news-he may have put down the monster who attacked them, but the conspiracy is far from dead.
Now, Shaun hits the road to find what truth can be found at the end of a shotgun.

My take:

4 out of 5 stars. I liked this one much better then the first book in the series, Feed. I found Shaun to be a more interesting character then his sister Georgia. Georgia still plays a big part in this book despite the fact that she died in Feed. I thought it was in interesting dynamic to have her as the voice of reason inside Shauns head.

August 17, 2011

Things I Love this Week

What I'm loving this week...

Baseball. It doesn't matter if its major league or AAA, I love it.

Waiting for Spring Sweater. Adorable.

This Nike running skort. Mine's hot pink.

And Knitted Bliss blog.

What do you love this week?

August 16, 2011

Have I read anything lately?

I was thinking that I haven't finished reading any books lately and it turns out that I've finished a few that I never posted anything about. Here's two of them...


Jonah Caine, a lone survivor in a zombie-infested world, struggles to understand the apocalypse in which he lives. Unable to find a moral or sane reason for the horror that surrounds him, he is overwhelmed by violence and insignificance. After wandering for months, Jonah's lonely existence dramatically changes when he discovers a group of survivors. Living in a museum-turned-compound, they are led jointly by Jack, an ever-practical and efficient military man, and Milton, a mysterious, quizzical prophet who holds a strange power over the dead. Both leaders share Jonah's anguish over the brutality of their world, as well as his hope for its beauty. Together with others, they build a community that reestablishes an island of order and humanity surrounded by relentless ghouls. But this new found peace is short-lived, as Jonah and his band of refugees clash with another group of survivors who remind them that the undead are not the only—nor the most grotesque—horrors they must face.

My take:

4 out of 5 stars. I really liked it. I know it's not intellectual reading but I love my zombie books. I wonder a lot what life will be like after the end of the word, granted chances are there won't be zombies but for some reason I love the books. This book was a fun, fast read. The main character Jonah was intresting and daring. Not a dull moment.

The Gone Away World by Nick Harkaway

Book# 44 of the 50 Book Challenge


A wildly entertaining debut novel, introducing a bold new voice that combines antic humor (think Joseph Heller and Kurt Vonnegut) with a stunning futuristic vision (ᠬa A Clockwork Orange and 1984, with a little Mad Max thrown in) to give us an electrifyingly original tale of love, friendship, and the apocalypse. There couldn't be a fire along the Jorgmund Pipe. It was the last thing the world needed. But there it was, burning bright on national television. The Pipe was what kept the Livable Zone safe from the bandits, monsters, and nightmares the Go-Away War had left in its wake. The fire was a very big problem. Enter Gonzo Lubitsch and his friends, the Haulage & HazMat Emergency Civil Freebooting Company, a team of master troubleshooters who roll into action when things get particularly hot. They helped build the Pipe. Now they have to preserve it—and save humanity yet again. But this job is not all it seems. It will touch more closely on Gonzo's life—and that of his best friend—than either of them can imagine. And it will decide the fate of the Gone-Away World. Equal parts raucous adventure, comic odyssey, geek nirvana, and ultra-cool epic, The Gone-Away World is a story of—among other things—love, pirates, mimes, greed, and ninjas. But it is also the story of a world, not unlike our own, in desperate need of heroes—however unlikely they may seem.

My take:

1 out of 5 stars. Horrible. So horrible that I couldn't get past the first 100 pages. I finally gave up and returned it to the library. I'm sure there are people out there that love this book but I just couldn't get into the story. The part I did read had no action and wasn't engaging at all. All I can say is that I'm glad it was a library book and not something that I wasted my money in purchasing.

August 15, 2011

Back on Track?

I got my first real run in on Thursday. I ran B210k Week 3, Day 2. My last attempt at this was on last Sunday afternoon and it didn’t go well. I had to pep talk myself out of bed and into my running gear but I finally did get up and out the door. I have to be out the door no later than 5am to have enough time to get my entire run in and still have enough time to get a shower, get dressed and have breakfast before I have to go to work. Sadly this also means that I have to give up my hour with my husband before I work but it’s only 2 mornings a week so it’s not too bad.

Since I dress in the dark so I don’t disturb my husband, I’m really glad that it’s really dark outside and not many people are out and about. I’m sure that if they were they’d be startled by the crazy looking lady in the pink running skirt with the wild hair. Get dressed, finger comb the hair and pony it. That’s the extent of the grooming before my run. In my defense, it’s 4:30am people! Too early for primping and I’m running, not entering a beauty pageant.

Normally I don’t see any other runners in the morning because it’s so early but this morning I saw two other people. Shocking. But nice to know that it’s not just me and the people who have to be at work at 6am.

My run was really nice for the most part. Left the house at about 4:45am. The marquee at the high school said it was 60 degrees and there was a slight breeze coming out of the west, just enough to help cool you off a bit. The part I didn’t enjoy was when the crazy lady in the blue car ran the stop sign and almost hit me. Thankfully I realized she was going to run the stop sign and I was able to stop myself otherwise she would have gotten me. I was just about to start my 2 minuet sprint when I saw her. She looked really startled as she went by me since I was screaming and cussing at her. I’m guessing it woke her up some and maybe a few of the neighbors too since I was yelling pretty loud. Oops.

Other than that and a little dog that I had to tell off, most of my run was pretty uneventful…just the way I like them. The good news was that I didn’t have any real aches or pains. I didn’t pass out and die because I forgot to breath. I even zoned out enough to make the run seem to slip by quickly. I’m really happy that it went well. I don’t feel like I ruined my training by taking a couple of weeks off. I missed it and I’m glad I’m back.

August 14, 2011

Always Late to the Party

Again, behind the times but in case you haven't seen it yet...the 2011 Fall Twist Collective is up!!! Lots and lots of really cute stuff. If you haven't seen it yet, be sure to check it out.

August 13, 2011

I know that I'm usually way behind the times. I like to discover whatever the general population loves about a month after everyone else moves on but have you seen this scarf?!

Photo by Knitspot

It's called Almost Ovals by Anne Hanson. I am smitten.

Photo by Knitspot

Photo by Knitspot

From Anne's website, Knitspot:

Distinct ribs of stockinette crisscross gently over a purl background, creating a deeply-carved pattern that is further accented by eyelet highlighting. The stitch pattern looks to be cabled, but is achieved with simple decreases and has a pretty reverse side as well. This project is a good all ‘rounder for beginning and experienced knitters alike.

Ravelry Link

The pattern is $6 and I think that as soon as I finish one of my current projects this is going to be the next thing I knit. I have two skeins of Shadow Lace in Vineyard Heather from Knitpicks left over from another project. The pattern calls for one skein of lace weight yarn 380 yards. Shadow is 440 yards. Since I have 2 skeins, I'm thinking one for me and one for someone else for a Christmas or birthday gift. I am so in love with this.

August 12, 2011

I've been lusting after Gudrun Johnston's Laar for a long time. I still have Larch on my needles but since I finished Alpine Glow I wanted to cast on for a lace weight sweater that I could wear during the summer and fall seasons. Last year I knitted Featherweight Cardigan by Hanna Fettig for the fall and I wear it a lot but it's green and I wanted something a little more neutral in color.

© Gudrun Johnston/Jared Flood

© Gudrun Johnston/Jared Flood

I love the lace on top with the simple stockinette stitch on the bottom. The picot edging is adorable too.

I cast for Laar on July 30th. I'm using Knitpicks Shadow in the colorway Oregon Coast. It's a tan-ish color with reds and blues mixed in. It's not variegated, it just has bits of color mixed in random places. It's really pretty.

I never noticed on the pictures of Laar but there are pleats in the front. I've done pleats in previous projects but this used a construction like the one Gudrun does.

Let me tell you, the picot cast on was time consuming. It took almost entire evening to cast on. Honestly I wasn't sure I wanted it and I wasn't sure it was going to look good but it came out really cute.

Right now I'm working on the first sleeve. I hate my 8" DPN's. I love Knitpicks Harmony needles. The points are very sharp, perfect for working with lace weight yarn but 8 inches is too long for DPNs in my opinion. I'm used to working with 7" needles or shorter. 8" is too long, they get hung up in the fabric, they get hung up in the sleeves my shirt if I'm wearing long sleeves. Ugh. I hate them so much.

The sleeves are picked up from the front and back and worked in short rows. It was really difficult to work short rows with 8" needles. Thankfully the sleeves are only 3/4 length so it shouldn't be that bad...I hope.

August 11, 2011

I actually finished a project during my time off. Amazing, I know. It was only a pair of socks but still.

Pattern: Alpine Glow by Stephanie van der Linden

Needles: 1.5 US

Yarn: Cascade Heritage in 5626

Mods: None, pattern was clear and easy to follow. Loved the finished project.

August 10, 2011


Things I am loving this week...

Of course this guy...

And Ravelry, I'm so addicted...

The Library? Without a doubt...

Sparkpeople, such inspiring stories and lots of encouragement from my spark friends...

And my latest obsession...Little Chief Honeybee, Such an awesome, fun blog.

So...what are you loving this week?