Monday, December 20, 2010

Partied Out, with Reading Report

Oy. It's been a long string of holiday events and parties. Every day, sometimes more than one per day, for a bit now. I'm tired. I'm ready to stay home and cocoon. And knit and spin and read and bake and try new recipes, of course. I'm ready for Winter Break.

Hasn't been a whole lot of knitting going on. I did start the lining for the second Fiddlehead mitten for S. I will get those to her after break. I failed at finishing them by the Winter Concert. Oh well. Other than that, it's been a row here, a row there of nothing much.

But! I did finish plying that enormous bobbin of singles that I finished spinning before Thanksgiving. I lost a little of it in some plying mishaps, but I still managed to get a nice long skein. I first started plying it on my Ashford, which has a jumbo flyer unit on it that can handle a lot of fiber. But it was acting wonky and frustrating me, so after just a little bit, I broke the single and moved back to my wheel of choice. Shortly after I started plying on that wheel, the single broke and I couldn't fix it. After that, however, things went along swimmingly.

I ended up with about 417/8 yards, chain plied. It's a little bit overplied, but hopefully not enough to have an effect on the project I will knit from it.

I chose a simple shawl, the Lacy/LazyKaty shawl (Rav link), and I wound the yarn into a ball:

I really want to start knitting this right now. Now! But I can't. I'm trying very hard to be good and finish up the mittens before I start working on this. We'll see how that goes. I also want to start another spinning project, but that may have to wait until after Christmas.
I have been reading, some good, some okay, some eh. I tore through Tana French's three books, mysteries/psychological mysteries set in Ireland over the last 20 years or so, encompassing some bad economic times, better economic times, and back again. The first one, In the Woods, was my least favorite, but still good. The narrator/main character of the book is kind of dumb and self-deluded, which made it a little frustrating. The rest of the book was great, but not liking the main character detracted a little from the experience. I would still recommend it. Her other two books were much more enjoyable. I found myself searching Amazon to see if she'd written any more, but no. I'll just have to wait for the next one.

I also read Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen. I enjoyed this book, too, however, I didn't think it was the Great American Novel that all the reviewers seemed to think it was.

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, by Charles Yu, was also well-reviewed. It definitely had a clever and interesting basic idea. Its focus on language and story reminded me a bit of some of Jasper Fforde's work in the Thursday Next books, but this book was more serious than those, dealing with a son's search for his father, literally and metaphorically. Unfortunately, there are long stretches of the book where I read it thinking "Is anything going to happen?" Then something would happen, leading to more long stretches wondering whether something else would happen. In the end, I'm glad I read it, but maybe a better editor could have tightened it up a bit.


We celebrate both Chanukah and Christmas, which can sometimes tax the imagination. This year's been particularly tough, between the early start of Chanukah (right after all the work I put into hosting Thanksgiving) and the kids getting to a point where the things they want cost more money and begin to bump up against our ideas of how much stuff kids their age should really get. If they had their way, they'd get multiple new video game systems and games, and Jr. Jr. would be getting an iPod Touch. Sorry, boys.

I don't feel like there are any real "wow" gifts for them, but at least they're getting some fun stuff. And in the meantime, we'll have our traditional Christmas morning Belgian waffles, and Sr. Jr. and I will try a bunch of new recipes. The guys are planning a Star Wars marathon, too. So it will all be good :)


Sharon said...

Happy New Year! Fantastic job on the yarn/spinning. I am very impressed! I would definitely pick some up if I spotted those skeins in a yarn store.

Hope you're well. I dealt with health woes most of December, which is pretty unusual for me. I think (and hope) I'm on the upswing, but definitely am feeling that I need to slow things down. Life is too hectic.

Am on page 625 of David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest and am dying to talk to someone, anyone, who's read it. You???? It's upsettingly brilliant.

Loren T said...

Hey, Sharon, I sent you a pm on Rav :)

Sorry to hear you've been ill -- horrible time of year to be down for the count.