WIP Wednesday for 18 October 2017

Well, I decided to keep the “Manly” Mitts. I love them too much. That means that I will be casting on another pair of gift mitts later. In the meantime, this is a short WIP Weds post because there has been progress on one WIP:

The Seeta Fingerless Mitts. They might not be as far along as I’d like, but progress is being made. I also got my currently OTN gift socks measured, so I can finish up sock #1 and start the second one.

There will probably be more knitting to report next week. In the meantime, have a great day!

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Top Ten Tuesday ~ Book Food

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday! Yay!

Top Ten Yummy Foods Mentioned In Books (Does a character eat something you’d love? Or maybe the book takes place in a bakery/restaurant that makes yummy things? You could also talk about 10 of your favorite cookbooks if you don’t read foody books.)

Hmm. I have a huge suspicion that Harry Potter foods are going to come up on these lists a LOT. I will admit, that’s the first set of book food that came to my mind. I have plenty of other book food items on my list too, but there will be at least a little Harry Potter food mentioned. Especially since I have been to the Harry Potter section of Universal Studios, and so have tasted something that approximates the food from the books. (Butterbeer. Yum. Especially the hot version.)

Okay, anyway, on with the list:

Top Ten Yummy Foods Mentioned in Books

  1. Butterbeer (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling) ~ I can’t help it. This will probably be on more lists than any other book food this week, but I’ve had butterbeer. And it’s so good.
  2. Lembas (Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien) ~ Long before I wanted to try any of the foods in the Potter books, I was drooling over the idea of lembas. It didn’t hurt that when I was young we did a lot of camping and backpacking. The idea of a food that tasted good and wouldn’t take up tons of space in our backpacks was really appealing.
  3. Butter chicken (The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken by Tarquin Hall) ~ I haven’t read this book yet (it’s on my TBR list) but I have made butter chicken. I love that dish, which is why I was drawn to this book in the first place.
  4. Hot chocolate (Sorcery and Cecelia: or the enchanted chocolate pot by Patricia Wrede and Carolyn Stevermer) ~ I love good hot chocolate. This was described as good chocolate, and served in a pretty set. And it turned out that the chocolate itself wasn’t even poisoned. Sounds perfect!
  5. Bakery goodies! (Wishcraft Mystery series by Heather Blake) ~ The magical people in this series each have a specialty. One of the characters can do magic with baked goods. I want to eat cookies made at that bakery. Yum.
  6. Klah (Pern series by Anne McCaffrey) ~ Klah is described as something that sounds like a cross between coffee and chai and cinnamon tea. It sounds fascinating, and I want to try it.
  7. Bubbly Pies (Pern series by Anne McCaffrey) ~ I loved baked goods, and these sound amazing – especially when piping hot.
  8. Pretty much anything from a Hobbit’s larder (The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien) ~ I’m not picky. It all sounded good (except the mushrooms).
  9. Brownies (Brownies and Broomsticks by Bailey Cates) ~ This is a “Magical Bakery Mystery.” So again – magical baked goods? Yes please! (As long as they aren’t designed to hurt me, which these aren’t.)
  10. Atticus’ teas (The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne) ~ Teas which stop aging and provide general well-being? Yes please!

Well, that’s my 10! What about you? Do you have any favorites that I’ve missed?

Misc Monday ~ in which there is a surprise FO

I have another knitting project that I haven’t mentioned on the blog yet. Since I forgot a WIP Wednesday in there, and this was a very fast knit, this particular project was an FO already by the time last week’s WIP post came around. Instead of adding it to that post, I decided to give it its own blog.

Without further ado, I present to you:

the Manly Mitts

Yeah, okay, the name is a bit silly. But that’s what the pattern is called, so there you go. The plan for these is to give them as a Christmas gift, but I might get too attached to them in the meantime. We’ll have to see.

I used Knit Picks Capra in Burnished for these. I didn’t knit the cuff ribbing as long as I could have, because I was concerned about running out of yarn, but I ended up with plenty leftover and should have knit the full 2 inches of cuff ribbing that was called for. Oh well. It doesn’t bother me enough to rip them out and start over. (Besides, the knitting gods being the way they are, doing that would guarantee that I’d run out of yarn on the second attempt.)

This was a really easy pattern, so I might make another pair. Regardless of the pattern name calling them “manly” mitts, I didn’t see anything about them that specifies a gender. I was looking for a good unisex pattern, and I think this is one of them. As long as you can get past the pattern name.

Capra is a lovely yarn. I can’t get over how much I love this yarn every time I knit something from it. And yet I haven’t ever made something for ME from it. I think it’s time to fix that. (Which is another reason why I might keep these mitts.)

Friday Reads ~ 13 October 2017

Happy Friday the 13th! I’ve always been partial to Friday the 13th and black cats, so today makes me happy instead of scared. Friday the 13th in the same month as Halloween is awesome. (And please tell me you haven’t fallen into the “this year Halloween is ON Friday the 13th!” MEMEs that are going around social media…)

Anyway. On with the books!

WHAT I READ

I finished reading Eddie Izzard’s Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens. (Sadly, the Jazz Chickens weren’t very prominent in the book.) It was a really neat look at how Izzard got to where he is now, and it’s not necessarily what you might think. I thought, as many others might have, that he got known as a comedian because he’s transgender. And maybe he grew some of his audience that way — but he got to be a stand-up comedian in the first place through sheer determination. He didn’t come up publicly about being trans until after he’d already gotten going in comedy. He goes into a lot of deeper topics than you might expect, though there are still threads of humor throughout most of the book. This was a really good read, and it’s a book I’m considering purchasing for both future reference and for family members to read.

I also finished reading the 4th Nancy Drew book, The Mystery at Lilac Inn. This was a fast read — though I’m sure it took me longer to read it when I was in the target age range. I can’t say about the series in general, but this particular one wasn’t too dated as far as gender stereotypes. Granted, the characters are all white, but at least the protagonist is a kick-ass girl. Given the age of the book that’s gotta count for something. (It was first published in 1930. WOW! I never realized it was quite that old. However, upon further reading, it was revised in the ’60s, so maybe they made it more PC at that time. I’ve only ever read the second version.)

And I finished listening to All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. (Finally.) This one was a hard one to read. Parts of it I liked a lot, other parts I couldn’t stand. I guess that balances out to a 3-star read (out of 5). Still, I’m glad to have read it. And quite possibly gladder that I’m done with it. There will be plenty of people who like this book better than I do, but I had no love for the detailed descriptions of how to deliver a calf, over and over again. It seemed the beginning of the book told the same story repeatedly with only minor differences. Also, I can’t stand Siegfried. I know people who are like him and never listen to what you’re saying (or remember anything inconvenient to them). There were times I thought I’d give up for good due solely to that character.

WHAT I’M READING

Still working on Robert Forward’s Dragon’s Egg. Because I’m back to my slow ereader pace, it seems.

I’ve also started the 5th Nancy Drew book, The Secret of Shadow Ranch. I’m guessing it won’t take me very long to finish this one. And I am also guessing that this will be my last foray back into Nancy Drew books for a while. I could read them one after another when I was a kid, but now… not so much.

And my new audio book is Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’m a Supervillain by Richard Roberts. I needed something completely different from All Creatures Great & Small, and I think this is that. I love the premise, but am not far into the book yet. Fingers crossed!

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT

Okay, I’ve kinda stalled out on The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston. That will be what I focus on finishing next, library books or no library books. (I’ll work on my library books again after I finish TWW.)

My next audio book will probably be either The Inexplicable Universe by Neil deGrasse Tyson or Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn, depending on whether I want fiction or non. I want to listen to books I’ve already purchased, so that I can take advantage of Audible’s return program if I find something I really don’t like.

Have a great weekend!

WIP Wednesday for October 11, 2017

Believe it or not, there’s not much on the needles for me right now. I have a pair of gift mitts, a pair of gift socks, a pair of socks for me, and the GAL blanket. And that’s it. Weird.

So we’ll just start right in with the pictures! Here is the progress on the socks for me, the Minecraft Socks:

I really like these, and decided that I want to keep them. (I wasn’t sure initially if they would be for me or for a gift.) One of the things that won me over was the yarn. Soft and squishy, and yet it still feels like it will hold up as socks.

And then the gift socks:

These are the Vanilla Latte socks, and they’re just waiting on a fitting before I either start the toe, keep knitting, or rip back to the place where I should have started the toe. We’ll see. I do like them too, and I love the yarn (Knit Picks Felici), so I may knit myself another pair later. They are a wonderful combination of simple yet not-boring which is great to find in a sock pattern.

And then the mitts:

This pattern is Seeta Fingerless Gloves, and it says it’s based on the Leyburn sock pattern (which I have also knit). I really liked the Leyburn socks, so it’s no surprise that I wanted to knit these mitts, too. So far so good, but I’m hoping to get them to a good point for a fitting by this weekend. They aren’t for anyone close-by, but I’ll be visiting someone this weekend with a similar-sized hand, so I can get a good guess at whether they’ll fit the recipient.

And no picture of the GAL blanket right now. I’ll get more work done on this soon, but I keep finding more things I can knit for gifts, and so I keep procrastinating it. I’m considering doing another year of no knitted gifts next year, which would give me plenty of time to knit things for me. But… we’ll see. I love giving things I’ve made to people who appreciate them, so I may knit presents again next year. Or maybe I’ll sew gifts instead… hmm. Options, but I have plenty of time to make that decision.

Have a great rest of the week!

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Fall Books

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

This week started off poorly for me. There’s a fire going in the Napa area right now (which is worse for them than for me, and I hope everyone’s as safe as possible). Mr. Wyrm and I often leave the windows open on spring and fall nights, since the air is cool and fresh. However, this Monday I woke up around 3 am (after an already fitful night) smelling smoke. The smell was strong enough that I was convinced that a neighbor’s house had to be on fire and we were going to have to evacuate. So I got out of bed, ran around the house closing windows, and checked outside for fire. I didn’t see anything, and once the windows were closed the smell of smoke cleared up pretty quickly, so I went back to bed. Still… it didn’t make for a good night’s sleep or a good way to start the week.

Therefore, I’m quite ready to move on to this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic:

Ten Books With Fall/Autumn Covers/Themes

Note: I am choosing these books solely by going through my Goodreads “to read” shelf and picking them based on the covers. Some may be more obvious than others, and some may be based purely on how the colors on the cover make me feel. (Links should take you to the Goodreads page for the book.)

  1. A Mortal Song by Megan Crewe
  2. Omens by Kelley Armstrong
  3. A Brother’s Price by Wen Spencer
  4. Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone
  5. Daughter of the Sword by Steve Bein
  6. The Ripper Affair by Lilith Saintcrow
  7. The Autumn Castle by Kim Wilkins (okay, this one is based on the title as well as the cover)
  8. Missing by Kelley Armstrong
  9. The Gunslinger by Stephen King
  10. On Fire’s Wings by Christie Golden

Of course, just because these books’ covers make me think of autumn, that doesn’t mean I’ll be reading them in the autumn.

Happy reading!

Misc Monday ~ in which we wish our Canadian friends a Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, eh?

I was reminded by Lorraine that Canadian Thanksgiving is today. I always forget what day it is, since it’s a different day than Thanksgiving is celebrated in the US, but I knew that it was before Halloween. Personally, I would rather celebrate before Halloween too, so that Thanksgiving got its proper celebration without being eclipsed by Christmas. Oh well.

Hmm. Maybe I can find a way to celebrate both American and Canadian Thanksgivings, so that I get pie twice. Hmm. Must look into that.

Since I’ve never lived anywhere other than the US, I’ve only ever learned the American Thanksgiving traditions. You know, turkey, pilgrims, Indians*, stuffing, Snoopy, and toast. (What?) When I decided to write this blog post, I thought I’d look into it a little.

charlie-brown-thanksgiving5.jpg

Wiki says that Canadian Thanksgiving was a bit more flexible than I remember learning about, but I don’t actually know how long ago the American Thanksgiving dates and traditions and such were set. I do know that I like having it on a Thursday (US version) instead of a Monday (Canadian version) because this way we get more days off work.  😉

Then again, having Canadian Thanksgiving on a Monday means that there’s no Black Friday shopping nonsense afterwards. Maybe they do it the right way, after all.

There are other bonuses to having Thanksgiving in October. It’s still warm enough that you can spend the day outside without difficulty. It’s earlier in the year, so it stays light a little later. And it means you can put up your Christmas decorations right after Halloween without anyone complaining that it’s “too early”.

At any rate, Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends! May you have lots to be thankful for.

* not a proper term to use now, but that’s how it was when I was taught about Thanksgiving in school. I hope that schools these days use the more proper Native Americans / First Nations / Indigenous Peoples.