Saturday, January 28, 2012

Steady as she goes

I've been knitting on and off for the last week on two different, yet enjoyable projects. The first is this green Fern Lace Mohair Shrug from Ewetopia Yarn Shop. It's more of a mohair cocoon. First, you knit a central lace panel -

then, you pick up along the edges and knit two sleeves.

I've finished one sleeve and gotten about  halfway down the other.

It's mohair lace weight on size 13 needles so it has been going along quite quickly. And it feels so warm! I think it will be just the thing for wearing to hockey games.

When I don't want to be covered in fuzzy mohair bits, I'm working on a Lopi sweater for Youngest Child. It's a bit of a competition, you see. A "try something new" competition between friends.

GFMelissa is knitting an Evelyn A. Clark shawl design (the Prairie Rose Lace Shawl) and I am knitting a Lopi sweater.

The Hans sweater was meant to be knit in Monet blue but that color has been discontinued. Luckily, the ladies at Lila and Claudine's were able to help me find a substitute red/burgandy.

Outside of the knitting world, life in MN has been pretty quiet. Although a gang of us did give geo-caching a try last week in Como Park.

We found a fun peanut butter jar sized parcel which we checked out and returned. 

Hail the prize hunting crew!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Big city or small city?

As a belated anniversary present, my husband and I took a quick trip to New York City this past weekend.

We had a lovely time, walking and shopping and eating, visiting museums and seeing a Broadway show (Warhorse!) and even hitting up some yarn shops - Knitty City and The Yarn Company. 

A real highlight was this view from the top of the Empire State Building.

That little blue area? The skating rink at Rockefeller Center!

And then we came back to catch the last game of Youngest Child's outside Mite's hockey tournament.

Mite hockey tournament at Phalen Recreation Center in Saint Paul

It was just such a wonderful juxtaposition of winter experiences. 

I am starting another project that is a juxtaposition of sorts - the Teknika conductive thread glove pattern from The pattern calls for a solid yarn and a crazy, multi colored yarn and these are my picks:

CascadeYarn's Heritage sock yarn in mustard

Schoppel Wolle's Crazy Zauberball #1701
Yes, I'm still thinking about a Drapey Tam for Oldest Daughter and I really just need to tidy up some finishing on my Turn of the Glass cardigan but this just looks lively and fun! Now, remind me of that in about a month!

I'm also participating in Knittymama's Monthly Apparel project (make something to wear every month!) and the's Block of the Month quilting project , so it's time to get to work!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

One new challenge and a finished object

Last year I read 147 books in Book Chick City's 100 Books in a year Challenge. Well, I can never resist a challenge . . .

Meet 2012's 100+ Books in a Year Challenge!

Check it out here!

(I can just hear my husband groaning in the background . . .)

And meet the year's first finished object.

The Christopher Anderson Cap from Cottage Creations' Scandinavian Caps for the Guys.

Just call this "The Fall of the House of Gingerbread."

This is prior to blocking and the addition of ear flaps.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Not my last knit . . .

I'm getting ready to go out of town - it's just a quick jaunt but I'm bringing two knitting projects! - so I thought I'd leave you a little something to ponder while I was gone. 

This will be on the quiz!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Step away from the knitting and pick up a book!

Last year I participated in the . . .

It was a blast. 

Although I have been part of a book group for many years and read a lot on my own, getting over 100 books took a little time and dedication. I listed and reviewed all my 2011 books over on's 2011 Book Challenge Group (where I am also Humbledaisy) and got up to 147 books. 

What did I learn from all this reading? Some of the best books are "Young Adult" books. Not everyone has the imagination of Jane Austen. Sometimes, the silliest books have the best "morals." Charlaine Harris

 writes the best "small town" tales - no matter how crime-ridden or supernatural. Craig Johnson's western/mysteries are amazing! I never imagined I'd like a western. After reading many historical novels, I am so glad I live in the 21st Century! Antibiotics, vaccines, printed books and the right to vote - woot! Despite all that, I am a definite Anglophile. Knitting books are wonderful. 

My favorite book of 2011? A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Yes, it's a supernatural/mystery/romance but that lady can write a book! I read it two times in a row and then bought the audio book and loaded it onto my Ipod and I have the CDs at home.

Most surprising read of 2011? Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - Seth Grahame-Smith

. Yes, it's a mash-up of history and horror but oh, so funny and potentially believable. It's been made into a movie that comes out in June and I can't wait.

Here's the list if you are interested in looking up any of them:

January 2011:
Through the Children’s Gate - Adam Gopnik

Turkish Delight and Treasure Hunts - Jane Brocket
Shop class as Soulcraft - Matthew B. Crawford

East of the Sun - Julia Gregson
The Makioka Sisters - Jun’ichiro

Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes - Roald Dahl
It sucks to be me - Kimberly Pauley

Troubling a star - Madeline L’Engle

This Book will save your life - A.M. Homes

The dead travel fast - Deanna Rayburn
The Uncommon Reader - Alan Bennett
Sorcery and Cecelia, or, The Enchanted Chocolate Pot: 
Being the Correspondence of Two Young Ladies of Quality Regarding Various Magical Scandals in London and the Country - Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer

Bleeding Violet - Dia Reeves

Silent in the grave - Deanna Raybourn
Silent in the Sanctuary - Deanna Raybourn

Silent on the moor - Deanna Raybourn

February 2011:

The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien

Slice of Cherry - Dia Reeves

The Grand Tour, or, The Purloined Coronation Regalia: Being a Revelation of Matters of High Confidentiality and Greatest Importance, Including Extracts from the Intimate Diary of a Noblewoman and the Sworn Testimony of a Lady of Quality - Patricia C. Wrede, Caroline 

The Random House Book of Ghost Stories - Susan Hill

The Englishwoman’s Wardrobe (Twenty-Five Englishwomen talk about their Clothes) - Angela Huth

The Wee Free Men - Terry Pratchett

A Hat full of sky - Terry Pratchett

Wintersmith - Terry Pratchett

I, Lucifer: Finally, the Other Side of the Story - Glen Duncan

The shooting in the shop - Simon Brett

I shall wear midnight - Terry Pratchett

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie - C. Alan Bradley

Miss Happiness and Miss Flower - Rumer Goddard

Impunity Jane - Rumer Goddard
The Dolls’ House - Rumer Goddard

China Court - Rumer Goddard

March 2011:

Cowl Girls: The Neck’s Big Thing to Knit - Cathy Carron

The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag - Alan C. Bradley

The Wee Mad Road - Jack Maloney

Little House in the Big Woods - Laura Ingalls Wilder

The forgotten garden - Kate Morton

The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York - Deborah Blum

The distant hours - Kate Morton

Knit Your Own Dog: Easy-to-Follow Patterns for 25 Pedigree Pooches - Sally Muir & Joanna Osborne

The Attenbury Emeralds - Jill Paton Walsh

The House at Riverton or, The Shifting Fog - Kate Morton

April 2011:

Scary Stuff - Sharon Fiffer

Backstage Stuff - Sharon Fiffer

The Knitter’s Guide to Hand-Dyed and Variegated Yarn: Techniques and Projects for Handpainted and Multicolored Yarn - Lorna Miser

The Kitchen Madonna - Rumer Godden

A Red Herring Without Mustard - Alan C. Bradley

Busy Body - M. C. Beaton
The Geography of Bliss - Eric Weiner
Missing Susan - Sharyn McCrumb
The pms outlaw: an Elizabeth MacPherson novel - Sharyn McCrumb 

The Agatha Christie mystery - Derrick Murdoch
May 2011:
Staggerford: A Novel - Jon The Mysteries - Lisa 

The Red Garden - Alice Hoffman

Across the Universe - Beth Revis
The Pillow Friend - Lisa Tuttle

Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War - Drew Gilpin Faust

Dead over heels - Charlaine Harris

Last Scene Alive - Charlaine Harris

Spinning Around: Spinning, Dyeing & Knitting Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Classics - Jeannine Bakriges

Poppy Done to Death - Charlaine Harris

Why We Get Fat And What to Do About It - Gary Taubes

This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War - Drew Gilpin Faust

Meet the Austins - Madeleine L’Engle

The Staggerford Flood - Jon Hassler

Dead Reckoning - Charlaine Harris

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey - Jill Bolte Taylor
Mother-Daughter Knits: 30 Designs to Flatter and Fit - Sally Melville & Caddy Melville Ledbetter

Warm Knits, Cool Gifts: Celebrate the Love of Knitting and Family with more than 35 Charming Designs - Caddy Melville Ledbetter & Sally Melville

June 2011: 

Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There - David Brooks

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - Seth Grahame-Smith

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now With Ultraviolent Mayhem! - Seth Grahame-Smith

Lone Star Stalag: German Prisoners of War at Camp Hearne - Michael R. Waters

Galloway’s Book on Running - Jeff 

Writing Road to Reading 5th Rev Ed: The Spalding Method for Teaching Speech, Spelling, Writing, and Reading - Romalda Bishop Spalding

The New Woman : A Staggerford Novel - Jon Hassler
The Staggerford Murders and Nancy Clancy’s Nephew - Jon Hassler

Mummy Dearest - Joan Hess
The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance- Edmund De Waal

92 Pacific Boulevard - Debbie Macomber

1022 Evergreen Place - Debbier 

Gingerbread Cookie Murder - Joanne Fluke, Laura Levine, Leslie Meier

Queen of Kings - Maria Dahvana Headley
The Alice behind wonderland - by Simon Winchester

The Union Quilters - Jennifer 

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home - Rhoda Janzen

July 2011: 
About Alice - Calvin Trillin

Side Jobs - Jim Butcher
Hot and Steamy: Tales of Steampunk Romance - edit. Jean Rabe

We Took to the Woods - Louise D. Rich

Little Women and Werewolves - Porter Grand

Here If You Need Me: A True Story - Kate Braestrup

Finger Lickin’ Fifteen - Janet Evanovich

The Pot and How to Use It: The Mystery and Romance of the Rice Cooker - Roger Ebert

A Turn in the Road - Debbie Macomber

The Cold Dish - Craig Johnson

August 2011:
The Gentle Art of Domesticity - Jane 

The Home-Maker - Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography - Rob Lowe

The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child - Donalyn Miller
At Mrs Lippincote’s - Elizabeth 

Forever - Pete Hamill

The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love - Kristin Kimball

A discovery of witches - Deborah Harkness

Sizzling Sixteen - Janet Evanovich
Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont - Elizabeth 

What Happened to Goodbye - Sarah Dessen

A Certain Justice - P. D. James

September 2011
A Man Lay Dead - Ngaio Marsh

Kidnapped - Robert Louis Stevenson

The Woman in Black - Susan Hill

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist - Rachel Cohn

Hell Is Empty - Craig Johnson

October 2011:

Counting My Chickens . . .: And Other Home Thoughts - Susan Hill & Deborah Vivien Freeman-Mitford Cavendish Devonshire

Growing, older : a chronicle of death, life, and vegetables - Joan Dye Gussow
Graveminder - Melissa Marr


The Devil’s Diadem - Sara Douglass
Wait for Me! - Memoirs - Deborah Vivien Freeman-Mitford Cavendish Devonshire

Louisa and the Missing Heiress - Anna Maclean

Travels with Alice - Calvin Trillin

November 2011: 

How to Knit a Love Song: A Cypress Hollow Yarn - Rachael Herron

How to Knit a Heart Back Home - Rachael Herron

Silver Borne - Patricia Briggs

The Greyfriar - Susan and Clay Griffith

The Knights of the Cornerstone - James P. Blaylock

No Plot? No Problem! - 
A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days
- Chris Baty

River Marked - Patricia Briggs

Lady Audley’s Secret - Mary Elizabeth Braddon
Her Majesty’s Spymaster: Elizabeth I, Sir Francis Walsingham, and the Birth of Modern Espionage - Stephen Budiansky

Mere Christianity - C. S. Lewis

December 2011:

The Penguin Book of Victorian Women in Crime
 - All the Great Detectives and a Few Great Crooks - Michael Sims

Pride and Prescience (Or A Truth Universally Acknowledged) (Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mysteries) - Carrie Bebris

Suspense And Sensibility -
Or, First Impressions Revisited - Carrie Bebris

Swallowing Darkness - Laurell K. Hamilton

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J. K. 
North By Northanger Or, The Shades of Pemberley - Carrie Bebris

The Matters at Mansfield
 Or, The Crawford Affair - Carrie Bebris

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows - Alan C. Bradley

Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor
The Intrigue at Highbury - Or, Emma’s Match
by Carrie Bebris

The Deception at Lyme or, The Peril of Persuasion by Carrie Bebris
What Would Madame Defarge Knit? - Heather  Ordover

That Holiday Feeling (Silver Bells / The Perfect Holiday / Under the Christmas Tree) -Debbie Macomber, Sherryl Woods, Robyn Carr

To paraphrase knitting guru Elizabeth Zimmerman, "Read On!"

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Another New Year? Way to go!

Although I love autumn the most - probably because I've always loved starting a new school year - I also enjoy the "start-itis" of New Year's. 

Time to start training for athletic events, time to start new knitting projects and time to start new plans of all sorts. It doesn't even matter if I don't ever get around to doing them - it's the planning that is the fun part!

It's like what Brenda Dayne calls "Imaginary Knitting." That's when you plan out knitting projects (and sometime even assign them yarn!) that you have no intention of starting. Fantastic lace shawls, cabled sweater-coats, complicated socks. I am free to chose any or all of them!

My knitting count for 2011 was a little scanty - only twelve finished items.

                                                      Originally uploaded by humbledaisy

I also managed to send a third child to college, volunteer at chess club (even though I can't beat anyone at chess!), start a walking club with friends from my book club, plan twelve different programs for the Minnesota Knitters' Guild, help Youngest Child with his training for the Miracle Kids Triathlon, swim 3,320 yards in an hour and read 147 books. That's enough for me!

On the home front this week, Christmas has been both very, very good . . .

(two knitting kits from Knit Picks as well as yarn, accessories and books!)

and very, very bad.

Wretched Dog Zelda got a hold of Youngest Child's Christmas stocking. It was knitted years ago - long before Ravelry. Time for a new one, I guess.

And on the knitting front - I've knitted Youngest Child's Anderson Cap three times so far! Gauge, gauge and gauge.

It's back to the hat for me and a 

Happy New Year for You!