Tuesday, April 29, 2008

April - just a little lame

Well, as is becoming a pattern around here, my big project is not done for the end of the month (although there is still a chance I may finish Sock #1 by the end of tomorrow, as I only have a couple of inches left on the leg. Still, Matt has two feet, so even then, it can hardly be called April's FO). In the interest of having a finished object for April, I tackled Annie's Going Green Coffee Cup Cozy even though I am very late for Earth Day. I used up the Silk Garden I had left from the beret that was a last-minute end-of-month project a couple of months ago :) I decided to make it 16-ounce size, so I just carried on for 8 extra rows in pattern before doing the final knit row. I had barely a foot of yarn left, so no crochet edging, which is just as well, because I'm not super with that anyway. I liked how it turned out.

Pattern details:
Pattern: Going Green Cup Cozy
Yarn; Noro Silk Garden
Needles: Size 6 dpns
Notes: After Row 32, I repeated rows 9-16 (adding knit stitches to the end of each needle). I thought this was a really fun little pattern, very quick and cute. It did occur to me, however, that while the cozy eliminates the need for those cardboard sleeves, it would be much greener to buy a travel mug to reduce consumption of the paper cups, but that wouldn't require any knitting :) This was on the long side for a 16-ounce cup, as you can see, so I think it would cover a fair amount of a 20-ounce as well, but I don't usually get one that big!

I forgot to post a picture of one of my birthday presents. My brother-in-law and his girlfriend found me this little bowl, a one-of-a-kind piece made from yarn. I've been using it to hold my Tiger Sock knitting. It's the perfect size. Isn't it cute?

Lilah and I are actually remote blogging from California, where we're visiting my parents and brother. We're having a great time, and I can't believe I'm actually posting on vacation, as I never manage to.


Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn: This is the first Daisy Dalrymple mystery, and I thought it was lots of fun. These are set in the 1920s England and Daisy is a Town & Country reporter, shocking her family (I think her father is a baronet or something). Anyway, Daisy is likeable and I think Dunn evokes 1920s England well, at least to someone who's seen Gosford Park. The plot is well done. Daisy is at a family's country house when an apparent accident takes place. Daisy's photography uncovers a suggestion that it might have been murder. I'll have to find the second in the series--I think there are 16 or something.

Duma Key by Stephen King: It's been hit or miss for me with recent Stephen King, but I had a hard time putting Duma Key down, even with 600+ pages. He's used his personal experience with recovering from a terrible accident and placed in on Edgar Freemantle, who loses an arm and scrambles his brain in an accident. His 25-year marriage ends, and when his doctor suggests "geographical therapy," Freemantle (randomly, he thinks) chooses Duma Key, an isolated island off the coast of Sarasota. He takes up painting with a vengeance, stunning gallery owners in Sarasota, and haunted by his phantom arm and the voices of the shells under his house, he begins to uncover the truth about Duma Key and its oldest inhabitant, Elizabeth Eastlake. His hired help, Jack, and Elizabeth's companion, Wireman (who has also suffered a head injury, as has Elizabeth), help him find the source of his talent. If any part of the novel dragged, it was pages 500-600 or thereabouts--the exciting conclusion was really kind of long. But I found Edgar's emerging talent engaging, and King did a great job of the terror gently creeping into the story.

Back on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber: I read the first of these, The Shop on Blossom Street, ages ago. It took me a while to get into this one. The intro in which Macomber basically explains everything that happened in the series so far was very long and dragged, but once I got into it, it was pretty fun. These are the most wholesome romance novels you've ever read, seriously, but they're also about the personal struggles of the various characters. She writes from the point-of-view of several, which is totally cheating, but it works for the stories she's telling. The prose is...saccharine is a good word to use here, maybe a really long Hallmark card is another way to put it. But if you're in the mood for uplifting, obviously telegraphed happy endings, and women solving their problems in a knitting group, this book is for you. I don't mean that as negatively as it maybe reads. I enjoyed the book, I did, it's just not particularly challenging and it's not my usual fluffy reading (very little sense of humor here). Anyway, Lydia owns a knitting shop and decides to have a class on doing prayer shawls. Each of the women in the class has a different problem going on, and everyone's happy at the end. There are really no surprises in this one, but it's pleasant and comforting.

Writing: Plugging along on Chapter 1 rewrites while Lilah naps or my parents watch her. Very pleased with how much better it is. As I've mentioned, it's set at a theater company, and I was cramming in everything possible about community theater. Now that I've pulled quite a bit back out, it's much more interesting.

Cooking: Not a thing. We're on vacation!


Holly said...

I love the coffee cup cozy!! I really should make one of those. I actually have a cloth one I bought. But you're right, it would be more earth-friendly to buy a travel mug. I keep thinking about doing that and I should. :-)

YarnThrower said...

Your coffee cup cozy turned out really nice -- love it with the pink Noro -- before I scrolled down, I was expecting it to be green, which is nice, too, but I like the pinks!

The other day, I paged through one of the pattern books based on a Macomber novel, and was thinking to myself, "I wonder if the books are any good." Thanks for your review -- Sounds like it's at least worth checking out of the library, and I enjoy reading about other knitters...

Have a great vacation!

Annie said...

Ah! I love it!!!! If it's too big, try giving it a hot bath. I did that with my first one and it tightened up just a smidge so that it fit the cup perfectly. Thanks so much for posting about the pattern. Its fun to see it knit up by someone else. YAY!!!!

I'd use a travel mug, but as it is I can't remember to put my knit sleeve in the diaper bag, muchless a whole mug!!! Oye.