Friday, January 4, 2019

My Life in Stitches: Back to Blogging and KALs

(c) Dami Hunter
I didn't make new year's goals or resolutions this year. Why? Because I've done such a stellar job of keeping them (insert sarcasm). What I have do is noticed things that were missing from my life in 2018. The list was sadly too long, but two things were prominent on the list: blogging and Hubby KALs. Although both were a regular fixture in my life, I've fallen off significantly.

So I remedy both problems in one post. Announcing my first Hubby KAL: Salt Point (click here)!

Color 1: Neighborhood Fiber Co.
Truxton Circle
And to be honest, I miss doing KAL with the Hubby. Nothing strengthens a marriage like crafting with your spouse. It gets expensive sometimes, but it's nice to have another thing we can talk about. It's also nice that he gets me when it comes to knitting...mostly.

My husband has been on a cowl kick of late. Interesting since we have yet to see weather cold enough for him to wear a cowl. When I proposed a KAL, he suggested a cowl. Why not. I love cowls. Then came the fun part: selecting a pattern. This is always a challenge because our tastes are so different.

I mean, we are so different. He knits continental. I knit English. He loves to knit with laceweight and I would rather not. He lives for a complicated pattern with a chart and this girl just wants to have fun and save her eyesight. After several hours falling down the Ravelry hole, I found a pattern that we could both agree to and the stash dive began.

Opalessence Fiber Studio Gradient Merino SW

This pattern looks harder than it actually is. We've never done mosaic knitting before so it is nice to try something new. Here is a link for those who want to join us, Mosaic Knitting. And nice to get two skeins of fingering out of my stash. I started on New Years's Eve and hubby cast on a few days later. He's still going to finish before me, and I'm okay with that.

Here's to a new year and a new KAL.

What do you have on your needles/hook? Share in the comments.

Friday, August 24, 2018

My Life in Stitches: Finish Something

My knitting group has been having a WIP war. It’s not really a war. More like a friendly competition. The goal is to finish as many WIPs (works in progress) as you can. It was designed to organize and motivate. And you WIP war can be whatever you wanted.

My WIP war was to be waged against all the unsown ends so I could wear what I actually finished. I hate weaving in the ends. Things did not go the way I planned. I’ve ended up finishing more writing projects that knitting. But I felt frustrated about not finishing anything. So decided that I would finish the two most time-consuming projects on my needled: two sweaters.

The finishing work wasn’t hard. I needed to finish the sleeve on one and a pocket on the other. But for some reason I couldn’t motivate myself to work on them. That’s what it really boils down to, motivation. But I got a few boosts. First, fall is coming and I would like to wear theses sweaters when the weather changes. Two, there is a very specific event I want to wear one of them to. Third, I needed a mindless project to work on during my first Saturday knitting group. So the sweaters came out of hibernation.

As I picked up where I left off, I realized that my reasoning for putting them in hibernation weren’t legitimate. The pocket took less than an hour to finish. The sleeve took longer (I have long arms) but it was only 30 stitches in the round. I had made finishing them this big undertaking but it wasn’t.

The both turned out well. I still have to block one, but I can get away with a steam block. Now all I have to do is sew in the ends...sigh.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Tea & Read: A Study in Scarlet Women

Title: A Study in Scarlet Women
Author: Sherry Thomas
Rating: Three Cups of Tea (4 Stars)

With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society. But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London. 

When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name. She’ll have help from friends new and old—a kind-hearted widow, a police inspector, and a man who has long loved her.

But in the end, it will be up to Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society’s expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind.

I am normally a purist when it comes to my classic books. I am often frustrated by retelling/fan fiction because it is typically worse than the original. Or it takes away what you loved about the original.

A Study in ScarletWomen is not one of those books. This book is delightful.

It is a retelling of Sir Author Coyne Doyle's A Study in Scarlet, a Sherlock Holmes story. But the author adds to the story and makes it more interesting. First of all, Sherlock is a woman named Charlette. That only adds so much richness to the story. Thomas was able to deal with sexism and the limited opportunities of women during the Victorian age. So often in books set in this age, this topic is glossed over, but Thomas presents a different angle.

Also, Charlette has sisters. Her relationship with them shows another difference between the original and Charlotte Holmes. Unlike the original Sherlock, Charlotte is awkward but not calculating and unfeeling. There are other characters, including a love interest, that bring out different sides of Charlotte.

The pacing of the story moved at a manageable clip, even the backstory, and the audiobook narrator was amazing (the narrator can make or break a book). The case was another way it was different than the original. It was impossibly hard to figure out, but it also wasn't the center of the story. Charlotte and her relationships were the real drive of the plot.

Great read and I hope this is the first of many.

Tea pairing: Earl Grey, hot, of course.