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. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

My Life in Stitches: Fixing my Fade

I fell in love with Find Your Fade the moment I saw it. I fell but didn’t buy. And I had my reasons. The huge yardage, the color selection, the fact that my knitter husband didn’t want to knit it with me. But then I had a huge come to Jesus moment about the amount of fingering I have in my stash and realized that this pattern would use 7 skeins. I bought the pattern and immediately cast

Everything thing was going fine until I didn’t like the yarn I used for the first color. So I started over. Liked my second choice so much better and blazed through the first five sections with minor problems.

Then I hit a brick wall. I could not get section six right. I ripped it out and tried again. I did the math and convinced myself that the pattern had an error in it. That was short lived because of the many knitters who had no problems at all with section six. I ripped it out one final time, ready to throw in the towel. I called my hubby into the room and told him I was about to give up on it.

He looked at me and calmly said, “Let me try.”

So I put the stitched back on the needles and handed it to him. And this sweet man quietly worked through the row while I continued to believe that there was something wrong with the pattern. I held my position…until he finished the row correctly.

And then I seethed at myself. I had blamed everything but my inability to keep track of the pattern. It was user error. I already knew I struggle with this kind of lace, shifting repeats and moving markers, but this was particularly bad.

While I berated myself, my hubby did something that is so him. Something that makes our relationship so great. He handed my knitting back and kissed me on the forehead and said, “I love you.”

And that’s why he’s the Wunderhubby. He fixes my boo-boos, kisses me and makes it all better