I've been away for 11 days and leave again tomorrow for another week. Imagine if you can...sandy beach, warm water gently lapping the shore, horizon that stretches forever, mountainous skyline. Yes, I am incredibly blessed to be able to spend time in this little corner of God's amazing creation. Add to that beautiful yarn and enough projects to keep me knitting for hours a day. It doesn't get much better than that.
My first vacation stint came up with a pair of slipper socks, three pairs of unfinished socks completed, and 4 dishcloths. Pictures to follow when I get back.
I won't list the projects I'm bringing this time. You'd think I was crazy.
Sometimes you start reading a book and for whatever reason, you quit. In my case, it's often the bad language. Certain words really grate on me, especially in an audio book, where you can't slip past them. A book has to grip me to keep me going - there's too many books out there to endure something that's boring or offending. So here's the most recent list of books that I began but gave a pass to. This was all in the same day, mind you.
A yarn that I have come to love is Cascade 220 superwash. Unfortunately, I can't get it locally. But wool-thyme.com has reasonable shipping, so I ordered a swack of the stuff to make slipper socks. The pair I just finished are going to a former pastor who just lost his wife. I hope that they will keep his feet warm in the winter now that she is no longer able to. The pattern is from tropicalyarns.com. The cool thing is that if you're on Ravelry and find projects for this pattern, the featured pair is mine! These are really easy to make with 100 grams of worsted weight yarn, which is knit doubled, so they work up quickly.
Do you know why they call it "220"? It's because there are 220 yards in the 100 gram skein. It took me a while to figure that out.
A while back I read and reviewed a book called "Shackleton's Stowaway", by Victoria McKernan. Her writing impressed me so much that I bought "The Devil's Paintbox". I tried to borrow it from the library first, but no luck. Once it came in the mail, the cover illustration was enough to convince me it is a book I want on my own library shelf. But that might just be rationalizing a purchase :).
This story is set in the late 1800's, as a wagon train sets out on the Oregon Trail. It was well researched and thoroughly fascinating as a brother and sister encounter page after page of new adventures and set backs. Three stars.
I forgot to mention in my last post on the bunny toy - a new technique I learned was double knitting. To do this you slip every other stitch on one row and then coming back you knit (or in my case, purl) the slipped stitch and slip the knitted stitch. This results in a double fabric. I did it for the bunny head and was then able to stuff the head in the pocket created. Cool! I see online that there are other ways to double knit as well that involve two colours, but I'm not there yet.
A few years ago I visited an art supply shop with my oldest son. They had a life-sized wooden skeleton for sale there that I almost splurged and bought. What stopped me? The price, of course. It was $600 and hard to justify. And where do you hang such an item? Skeletons do fascinate me, though, and I have a little Halloween one hanging on my bedroom closet door.
Boneman's Daughters by Ted Dekker was a murder mystery having a lot to do with skeletons. Or at least, the bones contained within human flesh. Having read a number of Dekker's books that had a Christian theme, I was surprised by the storyline of this one. But he didn't let me down. There was definitely a redemption message throughout the whole book. Boneman's Daughters is not a book for the squeamish. But it was a good read - a quick read by necessity, as it was only a 7 day loan from the library. I'll give it three stars.
My newest yarn choice was a sale item from www.elann.com. I had been wanting to try knitting linen and this yarn jumped out at me as the perfect fit for a woman I've been hoping to knit a prayer shawl for. She recently lost a friend who she was also the caregiver for. The shawl was easy to knit and there's enough left over to make another small one, so I may get one for myself. The pattern was a free one from Lion Brand - the easy triangle shawl. The yarn is Needful Yarns Geranium (acrylic, linen, rayon blend).
I have had a pro-life stance ever since I had occasion to view in-the-womb models of fetal development. That opened my eyes to the reality of the humanity of the unborn. Much later I became more involved with activism and through much reading and listening came to understand the heartache associated with abortion. Not only is a life lost, but the remaining lives are changed forever as well, and not in a good way.
So I was interested to read Jodi Picoult's book "Handle with Care", as I'd heard it took on this issue. And indeed it does, as it tackles the subject of wrongful birth. Early into the book I made the decision not to read it. The story threatened to be a heartbreaker and I didn't think I wanted to put myself through it. But...I was hooked and went to the end. You will find yourself moved by the struggles the characters go through as they try to make sense of tragic circumstances in their lives. Ultimately this book confirmed my prolife stance and I came away comforted by the reassurance that there is a God in heaven. He knows the beginning and the end and everything in between. Did Picoult state this? No, but that's the message I got and for that I'm satisfied to have finished the book. I'll give it three stars.
Lazy hours of summer-time knitting haven't arrived yet, but I did finish something. A cute little Bunny Blanket Buddy toy to add to a baby blessing basket being given to a new mom in a few weeks. It was a spur of the moment distraction that grabbed me after I saw someone else's version on Ravelry. I made it out of Lion Brand cotton-ease, so it's washable. I'm sure it will spend a lot of time in the baby's mouth.