Monday, July 9, 2007

Independence Day, plus four

Since July 4 fell on Wednesday this year, I took two vacation days to make it a five-day weekend. My objectives; rest, knit, cut and install door trim in living room.

Overslept the morning of the Fourth and missed the parade. First day in three weeks without rain! Went to the park for festivities with grandson Theo and family, but the humidity really zapped me. I couldn't wait to get back into my air-conditioned house. (Sam has all the pictures of Theo and the Petting Zoo - if he'll share I'll plug in a couple here.)

I spent more time reading and napping than I intended this weekend. The first day I couldn't seem to stay awake to finish a chapter.

On the New Book shelf at the library, I discovered an exceptional new author, Craig Johnson. His protagonist is a county sheriff in Wyoming, and the character development and imagery are wonderful. I read his first two novels in this series, Cold Dish and Death without Company, and have his third on reserve at the library.
Also read two William Tapply novels; I have long enjoyed his Brady Coyne novels, and he recently started a new series with character Stoney Calhoun, an amnesiac with, of course, surprising talents. Reminds me a little of that John Doe TV series that was on a few years ago. Was it Meet John Doe?

Both of Tapply's series are set in Maine and include heavy doses of fly-fishing information. He does some non-fiction in that field, but that doesn't really interest me.

You may notice a trend here; I like mystery/adventure/crime novels, whatever you call them, but in my favorites the people seem real, and the location is at least as important as the characters and the plot. The best authors are the ones that can make me feel like I've been there. Tony Hillerman has shown me lots of Arizona and New Mexico; Dana Stabenow makes me want to visit Alaska. Author Nevada Barr's character, Anna Pigeon, is a US National Park Ranger, and each novel is high adventure in a different Park.

On a lighter note, I've been reading the knitting mysteries. I read Maggie Seaton's A Killer Stitch this week. I'm not really a fan of the yarn-and-cat mystery genre, but they are sometimes fun for a change. I like comic strips too.

I try to always have a book-on-CD in my car for reading-while-driving and often for reading-while-knitting on my lunch break. This week I finished Nevada Barr's High Country, set in Yellowstone Park, along with my SixSoxKAL Horcrux socks. Gotta get another CD book.

My finished Horcrux socks are shown at left; the color looks a little washed out in this picture; the darkest shades are actually a deep cranberry red.
I don't really like or even agree with the name for this pattern, because of its connotation. The zig-zag in the leg of the sock may represent Harry's Potter's lightning-bolt scar, which was inflicted in an attack by an evil wizard, but unless the scar or Harry himself is revealed to hold a part of that evil wizard or his soul, I don't think the name is appropriate for the sock pattern. I've read the Harry Potter books, but if the scar was identified as an actual horcrux, I missed that part. Which is always possible; I'm not one of the dedicated HP fans that keeps track of everthing. I just love a good story (see previous paragraphs).

I really enjoyed Tuesday night's Mystery Stole knit-in at GY; it's wonderful to see how many different ways these creative ladies interpret the same pattern. It's also encouraging to see my own progress compared to others using the same (insanely tiny) yarn. You can see a bit of the rose-colored yarn in the center left of the shot at left, attached to one of the twist-tie bead hooks that I made to insert my #10 clear glass seedbeads into my project.
Double-click on the picture so you can see what's there.

I also started two alternate knit projects so I can rest my mind and eyes with something easier than those tiny fuzzy stitches; one pair of socks (on one circular needle) and one washcloth.
I frogged the socks after four or five rows; they looked more like baby hats than socks.

I'm trying to find just the right project for this beautiful skein of Wooly Wonka merino, DK weight, that I won in Kim Gibson's recent online contest, but even on size 1 needles, socks it is not.
This picture shows all the goodies that Kim sent me for my silly answers to her silly questions. I was amazed at the amount and quality of the loot. Thanks again, Kim!

My washcloth projects are still up in the air; I started a garter-stitch border but haven't settled on a stitch pattern. This may visit the frog pond for a restart too. I usually find it is better to have something in mind before beginning(!). Freeform knitting has not yet found its place in my hands.

Saturday evening was another fun time at Gourmet Yarn's as yet nameless fiber arts get-together. I squeaked by once more without winning Margaret's Problem Child award, but also did not win a food prize with my contribution of mayo for David's burgers. Oh well, can't win 'em all! I did have one of those credit card accidents - I now have yarn for my SixSoxKAL Victorian Lace socks. And some different washcloth yarn, at least one of which is from the sale rack.

I finally pulled myself out of my torpor; I set up the miter saw to cut the trim for the doors in my living room. I cut the uprights and the crosspiece for the front door successfully - woohoo! Then I measured and cut the uprights for the door into the hall, stood them up for a look, and one side is too short. Apparently I ignored the Carpenter's Mantra: Measure Twice, Cut Once and cut the miter the wrong direction - it angles down from the point I marked, instead of up. This means another trip to Home Depot. Darn my overconfidence!

Daughter Sarah dragged me out of the house Sunday afternoon for a shopping trip. She knows how I hate shopping, so she forced/helped me to pick out some summer clothes. What would I do without her!

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