A warm cloak.
A few words on WIPs.
The Icelandic bind-off.
Cabled hats are my current thing.
Dudes that knit: knitting behind bars.
Blue for 2020!
Just one more row…
Green text = hovertext.
Joining Kat and friends for Unraveled Wednesday.
…and what is the proper thing to do after finishing one pair of socks?
Both pairs are double-thick — two strands of sock yarn, foot knit on US #2-1/2 and ankle on US #4 — so should keep her tootsies nicely warm. Both pairs will hit the mailbox as soon as I finish the second pair, which should happen sometime this week. Double-stranded socks go fast!
Actually, in between the two pairs of socks I knit a couple hats.
The first one is the Mountain Trail hat, knit from Malabrigo Rios ‘Yerba‘. That yarn is just scrumptious to knit. All those cables went well; almost no unraveling needed. Rios is great for cables and textures. Its plump strands make them stand out beautifully. (Oops, I just saw that I blogged about that hat already. Oh, well, this photo shows the three-dimensionality of the cables better.)
The second one is Chunky Walnut (unblocked; the wonky stitches will even out (I hope)), knit in Valley Yarns Berkshire, aran weight from deep stash, and was more of a challenge. This yarn was also scrumptious, but the pattern chart left rather a lot to be desired. I marked up the chart to make it easier to follow (my printer made it too faint for quick reading) — yellow for yarnovers, pink for purls, white for knits, and blue for centered double decrease. If you look at the chart it looks like the columns of stitches alternate between two knits and two purls, but the photo of the hat in the pattern shows consistent columns of knits and purls. It took a couple tries before I figured that one out. No one else who had knit it mentioned having trouble with the chart; I guess it was just me. Then user error led to more knitting and frogging and more knitting and frogging, rinse and repeat. I could have knit three hats in the time it took me to do this one. But I persevered because I really liked the look of the hat in the pattern photo. Now it is done, and I am content.
Both of these are intended for a silent auction or a giveaway. Or something.
When I was halfway through the first sock of the second pair at top, my hands yearned for bigger yarn on bigger needles. So I cast on for another hat, this one for myself.
That is going to be a Gathering hat, knit from some Lion Brand Jiffy (acrylic!) that I inherited from a friend who died a few years back. I was browsing the stash for some yarn to make a hat and noticed the Jiffy in my non-wool bin. When I searched Ravelry for some hats of bulky yarn, just to find out roughly how many stitches to cast on, I came upon this free pattern. Score! I have been wishing for a red hat — score x2!
Quantum by Patricia Cornwell. I was hoping Cornwell had gotten over having such tortured protagonists. Nope, no such luck. I kept going and finished the book, but it was a bit of a slog. Particularly early in the book, a glance at any given page shows the reader prose with a generous scattering of acronyms and code numbers — not given to smooth reading, imho. I doubt I will read any more of Cornwell’s books. I leave them to others. 2-1/2★.
The Cove by Catherine Coulter. This is the first in a series about an FBI agent. I was hoping to find a juicy crime-fighter series, but I was disappointed. The obligatory romance turned me off. Give me crime, detection, thrills! I do not read for romance. 2-1/2★.
On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal by Naomi Klein. Elder Son reads pretty much everything this author writes; I think he may have recommended this one. My problem is that I have trouble reading non-fiction unless it is really, really readable, i.e., writing in a fictional style. This one was about to go back to the library unread, but I might give it another shot.
The Late Bloomers’ Club by Louise Miller. This one was for the book club sponsored by the library and held at a bar on Main Street. I started it but after about five pages decided it was too insipid to waste my time on. Snobby’R’Me. 2★
Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari. The one was a Christmas gift from Elder Son. He tends to over-estimate my capacity for intense non-fiction, having given me books like Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow and David Foster Wallace’s Consider the Lobster and Other Essays in the past. This book, however, has kept me reading every night. I recommend this one! (No insipidity here!) 4★.
Fascism: A Warning by Madeleine Albright. I think it was Kat who recommended this book, and she was absolutely right. I am listening to it — it is read by the author, which gives it an extra ring of authenticity — and have driven the long way home just to listen to more. 5★.
Santa’s reindeer, explained.
Santa’s other reindeer.
How to put the lights on your tree.
This hat is what I have been working on for the past week or so. Rios makes such lovely squishy cables! The hat is for a silent auction in February.
Why have I been working on a hat instead of the three sweaters I have OTN? Because there are two silent auctions in the first part of 2020, and I need to get ‘er done! I packed away the Fairfield and the Boxy sweaters so I wouldn’t be distracted by them. The Chaika sweater UFO has been frogged — that’s the yarn I used for the hat — because reality dawned; that was not a sweater I could visualize ever being flattering or easy to wear. Frogging it means I now have five skeins of Rios in a deep purpley-gray to play with (someday).
I finished GF’s heavy rainbow-toe socks. Now I need to package and mail them. She is visiting her daughters in Boston for three weeks over the holidays, so there is no rush. (No rush = permission to procrastinate) She saw the first sock and the beginnings of the second when we visited for Thanksgiving; her reaction was priceless — she knew immediately why I had designed the socks that way.
Now I am working on a project for a friend. She asked me to change the names on two Christmas stockings so she could give them to her grandsons. I nearly finished the first when I saw my huge mistake.
Yep. I duplicate stitched the name on the wrong, undecorated side of the sock.
There was much sweating and gnashing of teeth.
The new deadline to give her the socks is Thursday — will I make it? Hard to say…
Bloody Genius by John Sandford, This is #12 in the Virgil Flowers series. As with nearly all Sandford’s previous books, I enjoyed it immensely. Flowers is a Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent who wears band t-shirts and tows his fishing board along when he goes on a case. Sandford writes intelligent mysteries, and I love them. 4★.
Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam. This was my book group’s pick for this month. The author may be best known for his book Rocket Boys, which was made into the movie October Sky. Carrying Albert Home is his retelling of his parents’ stories about the time back in the 1930s when they took his mother’s pet alligator, received as a wedding present, back to Florida. There were varied reactions from different members of my group, varying from mine, It’s a lighthearted, funny book, to another’s, This was the saddest book I have read in a long time; it made my heart hurt. We could all understand each other’s reactions, as it was a funny book and it was sad. 4★.
The Topeka School by Ben Lerner. A story about parents and teenagers at a psychiatric facility in Kansas, presumably inspired by the Menninger Clinic. The author has also published several books of poetry and about poetry; this shows in his wonderful use of language. It was somewhat hard for me to read, and I got distracted by other shinier books on my TBR pile. However, I think this will be my pick for book club next May. The obligation to read and be able to discuss it may be what I need, plus I suspect it will spark a good discussion. (Kym, I read your Goodreads review; that is what gave me the idea to choose it for book group. Thanks!) ?★.