Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Grand Delusions

Do you remember me saying last week that maybe I would finish Rainbow's Hyphen by the end of September? I must've been loopy, delusional, or just plain in denial of how many days were left in the month; needless to say, I did not finish it. I didn't even get close to finishing it. I did, however, get past the split for the arms and the body, so now I am in that mindless part where I just work back and forth on the body until it's long enough. The only real thinking I have to do is counting my garter ridges on the button band to put in the buttonholes and remembering to alternate my skeins (I'm doing it on right-side rows just after the buttonhole band). I did have Rainbow try it on over the weekend and it looks like it's going to fit perfectly, with even a little bit of positive ease so it'll fit her for longer than a few months.

My much more realistic goal for this sweater now is to have it done by October 28, when we have a photo shoot scheduled with a photographer friend for our holiday cards. We've done this once before, and Rainbow and I both wore sweaters that I'd made, so I guess it's become a bit of a tradition. It would be even better if I could have it done before Rhinebeck (oh yes, did I mention? Rhinebeck is a go!) so I could take it with me and buy buttons -- conveniently, there's a great button vendor in the booth right next to ours.

Meanwhile, I did spend several hours over the weekend working on the minis shawl, and I've now moved onto the second pair of minis -- a beautiful autumn gold and white with gold speckles. I did play of bit of yarn chicken with the first speckled mini, but I'm happy to say that I won that round.

I decided that I should be a good knitter with this project and weave in my ends as I go so I don't have them all to do at the end, so I spent some time doing just that on Sunday evening. This is going to be a big shawl, with lots of long rows, but most of it is pretty mindless, and I'm hoping I can get this done before Rhinebeck as well. There's no firm deadline for it, but I have yarn support coming my way for some new designs and I'd originally hoped to release this pattern by mid-October when I started it. Obviously ripping it out and starting over set me back some, but I'd like to get it done as soon as I can.

Oh, and if those two projects weren't enough, I also cast on a new pair of socks for me in handspun. I love them already.

Shall we talk books? While the knitting hasn't been going as fast as I might like, I'm still reading quite a lot, and I've finished four more books since I last posted about my reading:
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: I remember hearing a lot of buzz about this book when it first came out a number of years ago, but I never got around to reading it. So when I saw it was available from the library (I have a lot of holds I'm waiting on, some of which are rather long), I jumped on it. I absolutely loved this book. I thought the plot was very imaginative and the writing lovely. I gave it five stars.
  • The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America's Enemies by Jason Fagone: This is another much-talked-about book, and I was excited when my hold came up from the library. It didn't disappoint. It was a really fascinating look at the world of code breaking and a good portrait of an important (but largely unknown) woman who was at the center of it during the World Wars. As a result of reading this book, I'm on the lookout for others about the covert world of code breaking and counterintelligence of the time. I gave this book four stars.
  • Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #1) by Louise Penny: Kat has raved so much about the Inspector Gamache series that I really wanted to give one a try, so I figured it made the most sense to start at the beginning. I won't say that I didn't like this book, but I found it a bit of a struggle to read. I'm not sure if that was due to faults in the writing or by issues with formatting caused by the conversion to e-book format, but I had a few moments where I couldn't figure out who was speaking in some dialogue and spotted quite a few missing punctuation marks (principally quotation marks, which made it difficult to know if someone was speaking or not). I gave this book three stars, but I'm open to reading the next in the series to see if it's an anomaly. 
  • Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham: This was another library e-book, and it was a super quick read -- I think I read it in three or four hours total. It was light, fluffy, and entertaining, which is really what I needed last week in the wake of so much ugliness in the news last week. I gave it four stars.
I'm now in the middle of Still Me by Jojo Moyes, the third in the Me Before You trilogy. I read the first two as hand-me-downs from my mother, and I didn't even realize there was a third book until I went searching for available books on the library's app. I'm enjoying it so far, and it's great to be able to read on my tablet while knitting. While I still enjoy the feel and experience of reading a hard-copy book, there is great appeal in being able to read and knit at the same time!

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