Quick WIP Weds

Just a quickie post today – I wanted to update you all on the Semele Shawl. This one shows the progress a lot better than prior pictures, because I folded it at about the half-way point (as close to it as I could get, anyway), and took the picture that way:

Semele Shawl progress

I’m glad I decided to take this photo – it’s really given me inspiration to get the shawl finished. There’s still a bit to go, but I’m hoping to have it done within a few weeks so I can wear it while it’s still spring weather. This is a lightweight shawlette, but it still wouldn’t do for a California summer. Hopefully I can still get it finished this spring.

Have a great rest of the week! (and the month, for that matter! By the end of the week, it will also be the end of the month. Yikes!)

Ten On Tuesday ~ Movies!

Can you believe it’s the last week of April already? I can’t. I know I say this every year, but time seems to be flying past faster than it ever did when I was a kid.

Anyway, it’s time for the Ten On Tuesday prompt!

The Ten On Tuesday prompt for Tuesday, April 26, 2016, is 10 Movies You Have To Stop & Watch When You Come Across Them While Channel Surfing.
Have fun!

Well, I can’t do this one exactly as written, because I don’t channel surf. That’s one problem with cutting the cable cord – yes, you get only the content you want, but you only get the content you go looking for. But anyway, there are still movies that I watch regularly, or that I have added to my watch list every time I come across even though I’ve seen them many times before. My list will be of those movies instead.

  1. Enchanted
  2. The Princess Bride
  3. Stardust
  4. Galaxy Quest
  5. Notting Hill
  6. Star Wars (The original – and I have the DVD version which includes the non-modified versions, so it’s still titled “Star Wars”. None of this “A New Hope” or “Episode IV” nonsense.)
  7. Star Trek 4 (I don’t see it on Netflix or the like very often, and we don’t own it, but I do watch it whenever I have the change.)
  8. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  9. Indiana Jones 1 & 3
  10. The Gamers: Dorkness Rising (I generally only watch this one when I’m home alone, because Mr. Wyrm isn’t a D&D player, and so wouldn’t get the jokes in the same way. He’d probably still enjoy it, but until you’ve played tabletop D&D with a “meddlesome strumpet”, it’s not quite the same. Anyway, this movie has become a solo tradition for me, and those are hard to break.)

Have a great day!

Friday Reads ~ Steelheart

17182126.jpgSteelheart: The Reckoners #1
2016 Book Challenge: A book by an author you’ve never read before
by Brandon Sanderson
narrated by MacLeod Andrews
(YA, superhero, dystopian futuristic)

This… is an interesting novel. I enjoyed it, don’t get me wrong. The premise for the plot is fun, and it’s a nice twist on the regular superhero genre – in this series, instead of the super-powered being good guys, or even split between good and evil, those granted super powers by Calamity turn from normal humans into evil tyrants. (Calamity isn’t very well explained in this first book, but since book 3 is titled Calamity, I’m guessing we’ll get more answers there.) That was an enjoyable plot development.

However, I wasn’t as enthralled with the rest of the book. Parts of it, yes. I enjoyed the final battle, and most of the action scenes in the middle section of the book. The parts of the book describing weaponry, though, I could have easily done without. It’s a gun. A really neat gun. I get it. And other than really minor characters, there are only two females in the book. Two. One of whom is a computer nerd and the other is the requisite Hot Babe.

So, yeah. This book has the definite impression of being written for teenage boys. Kinda in the way that the Divergent series (or at least the first two – I didn’t read the third book) gives the impression of being written for teenage girls.

Even so, it was an enjoyable read. The plot was interesting, and the twists at the end were nicely hinted at but still hidden. The narration suited the book well, but if I decide to read the sequels I probably will read paper versions for myself, since I can choose my own pacing that way. Andrews did a good job of pacing the book for the average reader, but for myself, I would rather have the ability to skim gun descriptions and get to the good stuff. That’s much harder to do when someone is reading the book to you.

Sanderson is a new author for me, and I have to say that this book didn’t win a convert. I’m not anti-Sanderson now, but neither do I have any reason to go to a bookstore and immediately buy more of his work. I think if I do read another Sanderson novel, before I pick up more of the Reckoners series I’ll try one of his epic fantasies first to see if his novels aimed at adults are more to my liking.

So: should you read it? Maybe. If you like guns and descriptions of such, all the better. And lots of action and explosions. If you want a highly diverse and well-developed cast of characters, maybe not. David (the hero of the book) is nicely developed. The rest of the cast, significantly less so. It’s worth picking up, though, if the premise interests you.

WIP Weds ~ the All The Things edition

It’s time for another WIP Wednesday! This week I will show you all the knitting projects that I am currently working on. (There are others on the needles, but since they’re not in the current knitting rotation, I’m skipping them for this post.)

This time, I’ve been working on the Semele Shawl quite a bit, so I’ll show you a pic of it even if it still doesn’t look like a ton of progress. I’m finally getting to the point where it feels like I’m starting to get toward the end of this project.

It’s really a fun shawl still, and I love the beading, but I’m ready to be done with it. It’s time to wear it, not to knit it.

I’m also still enjoying knitting the Lacy Entrelac Scarf.

It’s a fun knit, but my favorite part is (as with all entrelac) watching the color changes. It’s still great having the lace bits in the normally plain entrelac squares. I’m a little concerned about how it will block out when I’m done knitting. I want it to be flat enough to look great and not curl up at the edges, but not be so flat that it loses the texture of the entrelac squares. We’ll see how it goes. I’ll have to be extra careful when I wash and block it.

And there has been progress on the GAL Blanket! I have finished the “GAME OVER” square…

GAL blanket progress (4-17-16)

GAL blanket progress (4-17-16)

… and started the “Rayman” square!

I loved this original game when it first came out – and I do mean first came out. My sister’s boyfriend at the time was one of the beta testers, so I got to see it played before it was available to the public. So much fun! I was thrilled when new versions were released… even if I am a terrible platformer, and so do very poorly at it. I still love it. Fortunately Mr. Wyrm is a good platformer, so when we play together he can carry the team through the tricky bits.

Happy hump day!

Ten On Tuesday ~ Albums

Hi Everyone,
The Ten On Tuesday prompt for Tuesday, April 19, 2016, is 10 Albums You Love. As in, you love the entire album, not just a few select songs.
Have fun!

This is fun. Though I have to say, it seems to be more a product of my generation and older, instead of the younger generations. Now, with digital media being the way we consume music, I’m not always even aware of entire current albums. It’s rare that I’ve even HEARD the entire album anymore, yet I remember when I was younger, if we loved a song we had to buy the album in order to own it. (Singles were an option, but rarely a cost-effective one in my opinion.)

Anyway, I do know several albums that I love, so here’s my list of 10 albums I love, in the order in which I think of them. One note, though: Greatest Hits compilations seem like a cop-out, so I’m not including any of those.

  1. Weird Al’s “Mandatory Fun” – Okay, this is one of the few newer full albums I know and love. (And Mr. Wyrm got us tickets to see him perform live on this latest tour! Whee!)
  2. the “Aladdin” original Broadway cast recording – I enjoy the movie soundtrack as well, but the Broadway stage show music? SO MUCH BETTER. I LOVE the new songs!
  3. U2’s “Achtung Baby” – This was the soundtrack of my freshman year at college. It wasn’t a brand-new album at the time, but it’s what we listened to. A lot.
  4. Toad The Wet Sprocket’s “Fear” – This is one of my all-time favorite albums.
  5. The Waltons’ “Lik My Trakter” – Unless you’re Canadian, I doubt you’ve heard of this one. I have yet to meet anyone other than my Canadian friends who have heard of this band, but it’s one of the artists that my Canadian BFF introduced me to that I enjoy the most. Interestingly, even though I’ve never met another American who knows this band, I found this album in the “Used CD” section of my local record store (back at a time when there were multiple record stores…).
  6. The Barenaked Ladies’ “Gordon” – And speaking of Canadian artists… the Barenaked Ladies are quite a bit more American mainstream now. But I got to hear “Gordon” back before most of the US knew who they were, and this is still my favorite of their albums.
  7. Evanescence’s “Fallen” – I bought this album for the one song (“Bring Me To Life”) and ended up loving the album. I’m sure that’s every recording artist’s dream.
  8. Gin Blossoms’ “New Miserable Experience” – I’m not really sure what it is about the sound of this album that I enjoy so much, but I do enjoy it. I guess, for one thing, it feels like a cohesive album, rather than just a bunch of songs stuck on a disc together.
  9. the “When Harry Met Sally” soundtrack – Just a bunch of fun. Plus (IMO) Harry Connick Jr. at his best.
  10. Moxy Früvous’ “Bargainville” – Another Canadian band I don’t expect many Americans to know (but this time I know at least one other American who has heard of them without my introduction).

It seems weird to not include the Beatles or the Beach Boys on this list. However, I don’t know their music in album form nearly as well as I feel I should. I used to listen to their albums on vinyl, true, but I also listened to my parents’ 45’s, or mixtapes which – though they only contained the single artist – mashed up the albums into one “best of” cassette. I don’t really feel I know the Beatles’ or Beach Boys’ albums, even if I know many of their songs.

Have a great rest of the week!

FO Friday: Obessio Cowl

Did I ever show you the finished Obsessio Cowl? I don’t think I did, so here it is:

Finished Obsessio Cowl

It’s being modeled by Toothless because I didn’t have anyone available to model or photograph it for me at the time and didn’t want its FO pics to be selfies. I enjoyed the way this turned out. There was also enough wool content in the yarn (Patons North America Lace Sequin) to hold a decent blocking.

Finished Obsessio Cowl

(Suzy liked the way it turned out, too.)

The only problem I have is that this yarn isn’t the nicest to wear next to the skin. (I found this out AFTER finishing the cowl. Of course.) So I won’t likely be wearing it much as a spring cowl over a spaghetti strap top, as I had planned. It will get use in the fall and winter though, when I wear shirts with more fabric around the neck and sleeve areas.

Finished Obsessio Cowl

The detail of the lace pattern worked really well. It was easy enough to follow without being boring.

Finished Obsessio Cowl

Also, having the sequins as a part of the yarn meant I got the sparkly without having to add beads on myself. I like beading my knitted projects, but this was a nice change.

And this is all the yarn I had left when the project was over:

Finished Obsessio Cowl

I was getting a bit worried there at the end. I think you can see why.

WIP Weds for 4-13-16

I’m not feeling at 100%, so I think there will be lots of knitting in my future. My guess is that I caught a cold from a co-worker, though it could also be bad allergies. (I’ve never been officially tested for allergies, so I don’t really know if I am more prone to allergies in the spring, winter, or fall, and since cold and allergy symptoms are largely the same, it’s hard to tell which is which.) In any case, I’m hoping there will be a huge jump in progress between this WIP Weds and next week’s due to enforced idle time while I recover.

But in order to know that, we’ll have to have a benchmark to judge by, right?

Here’s the first WIP for today:

This is the state of my “Game Over” square for the 2016 GAL blanket. As you can tell by the picture, I am half-way done with this square. I’m really enjoying the way it’s turning out. Sadly I didn’t think to take a picture of the other side to show off the fact that the words will be legible on both sides of the square. Oh well. Next time.

Next up:

This is my progress on the Lacy Entrelac scarf. I had a lot of time in which to knit this one over the weekend, and made a huge jump I’m progress then. It’s going to be coming with me to work, since I realized this weekend how much better a travel project this is than the GAL squares (which had been my travel knitting). I had hoped to finish this while it was still cold enough to wear with the hat I knit out of the same yarn, but it doesn’t look like that will happen. Still, I intend to have it finished by the time I start wearing knit hats again this coming fall.

I am also working on the Semele shawl but progress pictures of it don’t look like much at the moment, so I don’t have a new one for you. Hopefully I’ll have made enough progress on it by next week to really show off how much work I’ve gotten in on it.