Reading has slowed considerably as I have plowed my way through The Great Influenza by John M. Barry, 461 p. (there are actually 546 pages in the book, but the last 80 some are resources, notes, index, etc.). If I'd been smarter and read a little of this tome every day, I wouldn't have had to consume 2/3 of it over the last two days. That sort of reading schedule would be okay with a work of fiction, but definitely not what I would recommend for a non-fiction work on such a depressing subject. Don't get me wrong, I did like the book and learned a lot, it was just the schedule I was forced into because the book was due yesterday and not renewable due to being on hold for someone else. If you are at all interested in the social history of the 20th century, WWI, or concerned about the potential of an influenza pandemic striking in your lifetime, this book is a must read--dry as toast at times, but tons of information. The amazing thing is that the pandemic that swept the world in 1918-1919 went largely uncovered in the literary work of the day--even though it killed up to 100 million people worldwide and I believe 5% of the world population at that time--the vast majority of those killed were between the ages of 15 and 40. Think about that in terms of today's population--the numbers are staggering! I have another book on the subject on hold at the library--I understand that Flu is a much better read....remains to be seen. I definitely need some lighter reading now.....back to Catering to Nobody a nice cozy mystery.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Saturday, June 24, 2006
I know that it's only a county fair, in the immortal words of The Teen, but hey, I won! Sure there were only a few entered in knitting, and around 15 in all of needlecrafts, but Best in Show is still Best in Show!!!!Mr. Fix-it is so proud of me! I did the Snoopy Happy Dance upon finding out the results--my first time entering my work in anything! Lots of compliments from the ladies keeping watch over the entries. Thanks so much to everyone who encouraged me to enter my shawl! It was a great experience. The Teen wants me to enter something in the state fair, and I'm considering it, but it for sure won't be my Sampler Shawl. Not after seeing knitted items which have won in the past.
It was blistering hot while we were at the fair, so we spent a good part of the afternoon sitting on the creek enjoying the breeze. Mr. Fix-it and Tiny Terror enjoyed looking at the boats. While I got some amazing shots of the sky. (How appropriate, since Saturday Sky started today.) The Teen and I enjoyed some cotton candy, because a fair just wouldn't be complete without cotton candy, while visiting the educational booths and tents that various businesses had set up. A good time was had by all, despite the heat of the day!
Thursday, June 22, 2006
#1 How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life by Mameve Medwed, William Morrow, Copyright 2006, 258 p. Finished 6/1/2006 If you like Antiques Roadshow, you'll love this book!
#2 Wish You Were Here by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown, Bantam, Copyright 1990, 242 p. Finished 6/1/2006. Mystery set in the town of Crozet, Virginia. Cats, dogs, mysteries, what could be better?
#3 Death by Darjeeling by Laura Childs, Berkley Prime Crime, Copyright 2001, 242 p., finished 6/3/2006 Another cozy mystery set in a teahouse in South Carolina.
#4 Dying for Chocolate by Diane Mott Davidson, Bantam Books, 1992, 287 p., finished 6/13/2006
#5 Marley and Me by John Grogan, Morrow, 2005, 291 p., finished 6/20/2006. Hands down the best book I've read in several years. I laughed, I cried, I gave my yellow lab a big hug and smooch after reading it. A must read for anyone who owns, or has ever owned, a dog.
#6 Midwives by Chris Bohjalian, Vintage Contemporaries, 1997, 372 p., finished 6/21/2006. It's been a long time since I've had the time or inclination to read a book in one 24 hour period, but this one pulled me in and kept me turning the pages. How in the world will I follow up the two books I've finished in the last two days?
Added June 23, 2006
#7 Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent, Scribner, 2002, 326 p., finished 6/23/2006. Excellent! Memoir of a midwife in California during the 1980s. She chronicles the highs (the norm) and lows (the exception) of her life as a midwife delivering babies in hospitals, birthing centers, and homes. I've had three great reads in a row~~definitely on a roll!
Added June 24, 2006
#8 Honeymoon by James Patterson, Little, Brown and Company, 2005, 390 p., finished 6/24/2006. Oh, a great page turner!!! Started last night around 10pm and finished around 11am this morning. Of course, the big margins, widely spaced lines, and short chapters help the reading just fly. But the story pulled me in and kept me from putting the book down!
Rod Roddy, who are the contestants for "Guess When Jenny Raye Goes Over 1000 Miles"?
Bob Jenny, we have 19 worthy contestants, although I think you threw many of them off when you stayed off the bike for 11 days. But here they are listed in order of date/time guessed:
Wednesday, June 7, 12:01, Deb
Thursday, (I'm assuming she meant June 8th since she guessed on Saturday, June 3rd and just said Thursday), 3 pm, Kimberly
Sunday, June 11, 10:15 am Jane
Monday, June 12, 1:35 pm Rise
Tuesday, June 13, 6:13pm, Joanna
Wednesday, June 14, 11am Chris
Thursday, June 15, 10:43 am Trek
Thursday, June 15, 6:42 pm, EC
Thursday, June 15, 7:34pm, Lynette
Saturday, June 17, noon Julie
Sunday, June 18, 4pm: Knitnana
Tuesday, June 20, 9:05 am Margene
Wednesday, June 21, 7:53 pm Tiffany (aka Tipper)
Thursday, June 29, 8:30 am Lauren
Friday, June 30, -----, Trish
Friday, July 7, 7:11 am, Aija
Tuesday, July 18, -----, Heather
Thursday, July 27, -----, Carla
Monday, October 16, Liza
Yep, I agree, looks like I threw some of you off! But I finally made it this morning at 9:55 edt.
And the winner is...........................Wednesday, June 21, 7:53 pm Tiffany (aka Tipper). She was just 14 hours off!!!!! Way to go Tipper!!!! You remember Tipper, right? The maker of these wonderful socks. She was my Sockapaloooza pal this year~~so, which will it be, my girl? I'll contact you by email, asap.
Thank you all for participating in my guess the date contest! Be looking for another in the fall for either the 2000 mile mark or my ultimate goal of 2500 miles!
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
My constant companion of the past month is finished. You've seen her in the previous posts. My fingers don't know what to do now that she is off the needles. No other project is satisfying them. In honor of her completion, I give you a cinquain. (Disclaimer: I an neither a poet, nor have I ever claimed to be. With me you get what you get.)
Monday, June 19, 2006
Last night the Sampler Shawl came off the needles and was blocked overnight after a hot, hot wash in Dawn, a hot rinse, and then another wash in Eucalan, and a spin through the washing machine. After blocking the beejeebers out of the depth so that it wouldn't be too long, this is the end result. A beautifully light and soft fabric that floats on the breeze. Let's get the details out of the way first:
Pattern: Sampler Shawl by Cheryl Oberle in Folks Shawls
Yarn: Colourmartuk 100% Cashmere 4ply, one 1150 yard cone with a bit left over
Needle: Size 4 Addi Turbo
Size: approx 21" deep and 67" wide--this was while it was still stretched with wire, may have relaxed a bit smaller
Start Date: May 22, 2006, cast on 401 stitches at SnB
Finish Date: June 18, 2006
Modifications: You know I can't knit anything without changing something. I added some repeats to one of the last patterns~~I think it was the fourth~~as it just seemed a shade too short in the depth.
Comments: Love the pattern! I may make this again for someone close to me, but it won't be in the near future as I have lots of other patterns I'd like to make, as well as try my hand at designing. I did find three mistakes while blocking and/or photographing the finished shawl. My shawl appears more airy than the model from the book. The author used a heavier weight yarn on a size 6 needle. This gave her version a more rustic look, imo. I am very pleased with mine, as I think I can definitely go dressy with it, which is what I had planned since it was knit for use around the holidays. However, I will definitely use it far more often than that.
Note to self: Get real blocking wires~~or at least the welding rods~~for blocking rectangular shawls and stoles.
More pictures of the various patterns up close, as well as a final photo of the finished shawl relaxing on my computer chair.
Blogger is having one of its tantrums again~~got the first two photos on this post loaded, but now it's not taking the rest, so I'm resorting to Flickr, which means I can't lay the spread out the way I would like. Sigh. But you get the idea. Here's the big finish.......
My question to you~~Should I go ahead and enter it in the county fair, even with the mistakes I found?
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
I'm still here, for those of you who were wondering. Was busy last week getting organized for the home educators' convention--books needed, curricula to take a look at, etc. Got home late Saturday after three days of intense workshops.....and shopping, and collapsed. Church on Sunday, long nap in the afternoon, and knitting on Sunday night. I am desperately trying to finish the Sampler Shawl so I can enter it in the county fair. I thought that I would have a leisurely knit on it since the fair is in August. WRONG! The fair is less than two, yes, two weeks away, not two months as I thought. I have lived in this county for 16 years and the fair has always been in August. No clue as to why it has changed this year. So, I'm busy knitting--29 rows left, then a good hot wash and block. Between knitting sessions I've been writing my preschooler's curriculum for next year--I work on one week's worth of lessons each day--takes a good two hours of work on the 'net for each lesson. The closet in the schoolroom is in the middle of a makeover to make room for all the preschool learning games and manipulatives I have picked up over the last few months. After The Teen hit around eight years old, I figured we were done with anymore kids, and so I got rid of all the preschool stuff. Guess I was wrong about that one, too. Now, I'm replenishing the shelves. This time I'll just save the stuff for the future grandkids.........
Oh yeah, for those of you anxiously awaiting the contest results. You'll notice that today is the first day I've ridden in 11 days. Rained out yesterday. I'm planning on getting in at least 100 miles this week, so we should know, oh sometime next week, who the lucky winner is.
Stay tuned for an update on the Sampler Shawl--I'll take preblocked pictures as soon as it is complete, and then post photos of the washed and blocked shawl. Can't wait!
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Time for a roundup of what's been going on here.
First, the contest is officially closed--19 entrants. Nope, I didn't peek, so I don't know what anyone guessed, nor do I have a clue when I'll hit the magic number myself. I intended to ride yesterday, but housework overruled that desire. Today.....for sure.
Currently active projects.......
Top of the list is the the Beaded-rib sock using the test yarn from Hill Country Yarns--details about the yarn here. I'm finally past the heel and heading for the cuff (toe-up, obviously). I LOVE trying on this sock. Easily the softest yarn I've made socks with--and that's saying something, since I have used STR and Lorna's Laces. Has a nice cushy feel under my foot. I'm not loving the pattern I chose, but that's not the fault of the yarn. Just don't like the movements involved, but it looks good, so I perservere. I keep checking the site to see if they have the Chocolate Covered Kisses in the regular Sweet Feet yet, so far, no. But that's just making it easier for me not to purchase sock yarn before the end of the SYAC in mid-June. I'll probably get The Teen some of the Indian Paint to go with her new Vans at the same time. Did I say how much I love this yarn?
ETA: Okay...two of you mentioned the heel. It feels fine--it's the same heel that I put on my cycling anklet socks (except I didn't s1k1 between the markers--forgot that). I think it may look different because of the way the striping falls when doing the heel turn. The thicker stripes right at the back of the heel are made by the short-rowing for the heel turn. Then the narrow stripes are the gusset decreases. Must be the oddity of seeing a toe-up with a heel flap worked with a striping yarn. Is it really strange looking?
Next up--Glorianna. I've been working on it....a bit. Not as regularly as I would like. Blame it on the Summer Reading Challenge. Did ya notice? I've read three books so far....and have two in the works. My goal was to read 14 over the whole summer, may have to rethink that one. Lately, it's been taking me a month to finish a book, but I've sacrificed a little knitting time, a little sleeping time, and a little tv watching time since all my shows are in reruns until September, for reading. Back to Glorianna....she's a bit longer, maybe 20 inches long now--not yet halfway.
Last but, not least, Sampler Shawl. This is my favorite knit....has been since I started it. ( See close-ups of pattern 1, 2, and 3.) It's going really, really well. Every once in a while the stringiness of the unwashed cashmere scares me, but I know it will be beautiful and soft once put through a hot wash and rinse. I love the pattern. Love the short stitch repeats. Love the variety. Love that I can read the lace and pick up mistakes right away. Even love those long 400 stitch rows. I may do one more repeat of the pattern I'm in (16 rows) just to give me a little more depth. We'll see. When I bought the yarn for this, I did the math. Figured I'd need more yarn than was used for the original since that yarn was heavier. The cones came with 1150 yds. That was pushing it. Thought for sure I'd need two cones. Now, I'm thinking not. It looks like I've used half or less of what was on the cone. I may be wrong. If I have to break into the second cone, I don't think it will be for much. That will give me close to 1100 yards of cashmere for something else! I actually have a candidate in the wings--yep, that's off my list of rectangular shawls. I came across it last week. Perfect for a dear friend who is totally into Pride and Prejudice. Shhhh, she may be getting a cashmere shawl for Christmas. Once again a shawl designed for a heavier weight yarn, but I think it would be gorgeous in the cashmere. Stay tuned.
Projects that are lanquishing......
FLAK still lanquishing, first due to the heat we've had recently, but more so because frogging is required before I can actually begin the knitting again. I'm in denial about this one. It's almost as if I think it will fix itself while in its little bag. I'll think about it tomorrow.....or September.
Stora Dimun shawl--too heavy and hot to have piled in my lap now. Needs to be finished before say, late October. I'm worried about the amount of yarn this baby has already consumed....and the amount I have left. So. I. Stopped. Yeah, I'm the poster girl for denial. If I don't work on it, I can't run out of yarn, now can I?
Friday was The Teen's piano recital. Her playing was as beautiful as she looks.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Finally, I'm having a contest. I've been trying to come up with a contest for a while now cuz they are just such fun. Today while posting my bike mileage for the day it hit me between the eyes. Yeah, sometimes it takes me a while. My first contest will be:
Guess the date and time that I go over the 1000 mile mark on my bike for the year.
Please respond by sending your guess to jenny.raye at yahoo.com (you know the drill, remove the spaces and replace the "at" with @). Make sure you put contest in the subject line. The person closest wins. One entry per person. In case of a tie, the names of those who tied will be placed in a hat and one of my kids will pick the winner. I will take entries until 11:59 pm edt Monday, June 5th (just happens to be the 25th anniversary of my high school graduation). I WILL NOT look at the entries until after I go over the 1000 mile mark~~don't want to give anyone, even subconsciously, the advantage.
You can watch my progress at the top of my blog. Oh yeah--my regular riding schedule will be off next week, for those of you who follow such things--hi Chris :o)--I will be away Thursday through Saturday~~may ride Thursday before I leave, but it's doubtful, so take that into consideration when guessing.
That's about it.....
The prize, you say?
Of course, the very reason to enter--the PRIZE!
Your choice of one of the above: Trekking XXL in great varigated colors or STR Farmhouse (lightweight 360 yd skein)
Feel free to let others know....or you could keep it to yourself so you'd have a better chance, but would that be nice?
Remember you MUST enter only by emailing me at the email address above with CONTEST in the subject line. I don't want to read any entry guesses prior to actually reaching the 1000 mile mark. If any guesses are submitted without following these directions they will be deleted. Just trying to keep it fair. Comments are off on this post for this reason.