Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A bit of this and that


The blanket for my wee niece is finished. I could not be happier with it. I will be bundling it up today with a cute pair of booties to mail, and then I can share it with you. I hope it is well received. Of course, my baby brother will tease me and tell me some major merchandiser sells blankets, but my dear sister in law will be kind.

After casting off the blanket, I let out a sigh of relief and then readied myself for something new. Does the end of a project sometimes drag on and on for you? I find myself dreaming about the next new thing at times.  The edging for the blanket was one of those never ending projects. No matter how many times I measured it still came up short. With it finished I excitedly cast on for a stripe study shawl. I am sure you have seen the designer as another of her patterns, the Color Affection shawl, is all the knitting rage. I am using a bit of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light. It is my first time knitting with it, and I like the result. I have six stripes done thus far. It is an addicting little pattern.

In addition to my knitting, I also have the crochet hook to occupy my hands. I finished the assignment for the first week and have three granny blocks to prove it. I am beyond tickled as my crochet skills are limited thus far to hats, flowers and ruffles for baby shorties. With such confidence, I even added a bit of crochet striping to the blanket edging. This week, Blair of Wise Craft, has asked for 10-14 small grannies. Those will be done today or tomorrow. The kiddos love picking out the mishmash of colors. I am loving the idea of a blanket done in small steps. I doubt I would ever knit a grand blanket without the challenge of small assignments and the knowledge that a group is working toward the same goal. (If you are a veteran or new crocheter, I suggest following along. She posts a lot of help. And there is even a revelry project for it).

As I mentioned in my weekend recount, while finishing the baby blanket, I listened to the end of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I really enjoyed the audio version as each character in the novel had his or her own voice for the narration. The book is setup as a series of letters between several individuals. I enjoyed hearing the story told from these different perspectives. I also finished Sheepish: Two Women, Fifty Sheep, and Enough Wool to Save the Planet. It was worth the thirty cent overdue fine to finish it. I enjoyed the author's tales of life on their farm as well as her transitions through life. It was a good read and went rather quickly.

With those two books complete, I began a new audiobook, Death Comes to Pemberley. Someone in the Ginny's Yarn Along mentioned this book, so I queued it. I am not very far into it, but enjoy it thus far. It is a continuation of Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice. For a printed book, my library hold on The Art of Fielding came up. I eagerly began it once the final page of Sheepish was turned. I am still in the setup of the novel exploring the characters and setting the stage. It is a quick read and enjoyable thus far.

With all that, what are you working on this week? Leave me a comment so I can take a look and get new ideas for patterns and books to read.

31 comments:

  1. Your weekend sounded lovely Heather...especially with your special visitor.

    I know how you feel about finishing a project. I was exactly the same when I completed my donegal tweed jacket recently. Although I love it and knitting up fairly quickly the wool hurt my fingers and I actually got a blister making it! So I was relieved to work with some much softer yarn. Merino wool is beautifully soft to work with...and it looks really good...enjoy knitting...
    Deb

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  2. Totally understand finishing a project! I think that is why I like knitting baby items so much, they are much smaller and faster to knit :-) I have heard of Death Comes to Pemberley, but haven't read it, I might have to pick it up!

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  3. I sometimes feel so bad about a project because when I cast on I am so in love with the project and excited to knit it, by the end I just want it done! That doesn't sound very nice does it? ;)
    I'm sure your family is going to love the baby knits!
    I have seen the CA shawl and almost cast one on before I went with the kerchief [are you sure we aren't related?]. I adore the color you are using Heather, very pretty.
    From one 'fiber freak' to another, I wish you a beautiful day!

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  4. I feel the same way about the end of projects too! And I know very well that feeling of measuring and thinking "It's not growing!" I'll have to check out the crochet along with assignments. I've never been able to master crocheting & tried making granny squares about a year ago but it was a disaster!

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  5. I know what you mean about having new project envy while slugging away on that project you thought was going to be the end-all of wonderful things to knit!!! Rarely, though, I find something that I love knitting on so much that I'm sad to see it finished. (I'm most definitely a process knitting rather than product..) I adore the purples you've chosen for the stripe study!!! and madeline tosh anything is heaven to work with---enjoy!!!

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  6. I agree about the end of projects. They just become tedious.
    I love the colors you're using for your shawl!

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  7. How funny your brother..those store blankets will not be bundled up in a baby box for the future because they are not the same as a blanket made with love. I knit a blanket for my little winter baby and I have hopes of making one for the family one day!! But it will take FOREVER!!
    Lisa

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  8. I love your shawl choice! Can't wait to see the progress. I have to admit that some big projects drag on and on but the end point is so rewarding! I know that your brother is only teasing and appreciates the effort and thoughtfulness :)

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  9. What a gorgeous purple yarn! That is going to knit up into a lovely shawl!
    I read TGLPPPS a year or so ago and really enjoyed it!

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  10. The colors you are using for your shawl are just beautiful. I can't wait to see it finished!

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  11. Wow you are reading so many wonderful things. Your blanket is beautiful. You should be proud. Why accept what a major manufacturer decides to offer when you can do your own thing. Sometimes I like manufactured stuff and sometimes not. Your niece has a treasure now! That shawl looks pretty already. Hmm I need to work with some Maddy Tosh. What to make I wonder?
    xo,
    Ang (peach coglo)

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  12. yes, i often feel the same way when it comes to finishing a project ;-)

    the crochet along...my yarn is supposed to arrive tomorrow...been checking tracking on ups!

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  13. I love that shawl! I have the Color Affection shawl in my favorites list, but I may have to add this one, too. That's the problem I have with yarning along...I can't stop myself coveting everyone else's projects! I am going to read Sheepish, I think, after I'm settled in the new house with a card for the neighborhood library; I'm hearing so many good things about it! xo

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  14. Great colors you've got on the needles for your Stripe Study! I can't seem to make myself work on any of my UFO's that are hot and woolie during our dreadful summer months (which begin in April ;( -- too hot here already. So, I've CO a Shale Blanket in cotton, and I'm also into cotton dishcloths and dish towels (a new obession).
    I'm listening to "The Guernsey . . ." at the moment, and I'm loving it so much! The narration is just perfect, isn't it? It's the first book I've really loved in an age.
    Blessings,
    G

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  15. Loved the Guersey book, too.

    I read Death Comes to Pemberley about a month ago and really enjoyed it. I hope you do, too. :-)

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  16. Oh the Color Affection stripe study shawl-- I love yours! Such an eye for color. I love the combos! And to have a crochet hook in your hands this week-I am truly envious. Thanks for the link on crocheting--I would love to learn. The Art of Fielding sounds like an interesting read- can't wait to hear your thoughts.

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  17. Thank you for sharing about the granny square project and the sheep book.

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  18. Your shawl is lovely, and your granny squares to too. I just picked up a crochet hook again last night, and I've been trying to teach myself from the Happy Hooker book. It is so addictive!

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  19. I have definitely experienced that feeling of a project dragging on and on. I think it's why I tend to usually knit small items but I'm being braver at the moment and cast on a cardi this week!
    I love the colour choices for your shawl, it's going to be gorgeous.

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  20. I read "Guernsey" as a paper book, and now you've made me interested in listening to it as an audiobook.
    Blankets done in patches are definitely the way to go, except that there's a very lovely cabled one that I want to do. It's done in strips, but I keep pondering doing it all at once. That will have to be a "next year" project because I don't have enough stash yarn to make it.
    You and your gang were missed at the end of the year pool fiesta yesterday.

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  21. Perhaps I should get the audio version of the Potato book and the Death book. I still have the Death book near my bed and have read nothing more in weeks. Audio might prove better? The shawl looks wonderful!

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  22. The purples in your shawl are looking lovely. Can't wait to see it finished. Jacinta

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  23. What a stunning colour that shawl is. Love it! I really would love to knit up a blanket one of these days. It's on my list of definity/maybes :)

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  24. Just stumbled on you blog, love the colours.

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  25. Veera has such beautiful shawl patterns - I'm excited to see more of yours! I love the purple. :)

    So many books to read. I really enjoyed Guernsey. Sheepish sounds like fun and Death Comes to Pemberley has been on my list for a little while now. Got to get moved so I can pick up a book!!!

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  26. Brothers just don't get it sometimes, do they!??! Looks like your hands and ears have been busy lately. I'll have to check out the granny square project. Crochet I can do... knitting, haven't ever tried. And from a fellow late book fine junkie... cheers to the thirty cents. :)

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  27. Heather, you inspire me to get myself set up for audio books. Has always fallen to bottom of my to do list but perhaps i can get that done! Silly, I know. Your shawl is beautiful :) and congrats on baby niece and the blanket!

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    1. I have an iPod, but mostly use an inexpensive Sansa Disk player. It works well with the library lending program. I bought mine online.

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  28. Audio books are a great idea while knitting. I shall be keeping my eye open now. I tend to listen to podcasts, like Craft Sanity. Love the look of your shawl. I think one day I will have more shawls than I can wear, but I'm not sure what that number is yet! :)

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    1. Agreed! I figure I need one in an array of colors, then I will worry!

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  29. how lovely your shawl is going to be and your blanket will be well appreciated i'm sure!

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