Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Meme for Me on My 30th Birthday

These are the top 106 books most often marked as "unread" by LibraryThing's users. As usual, bold what you have read, italicize what you started but couldn't finish, and strike through what you couldn't stand. Add an asterisk to those you've read more than once. Underline those on your to-read list (I don't know how to underline, so I am going to put two dashes before the titles on my to-read list).

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina*
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
--Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
Pride and Prejudice*
Jane Eyre*
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler's Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran
Memoirs of a Geisha
--Middlesex (but only because I had to return it to the library)
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
--Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault's Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible
Angels & Demons
The Inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver's Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela's Ashes
The God of Small Things
A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
--The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots, and Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northhanger Abbey
The Catcher In the Rye*
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakanomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainence: An Inquiry Into Values
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity's Rainbow
The Hobbit
--In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences (wasn't on to-read list until I read this list... sounds like my kinda thing)
White Teeth (I have this one. I don't know what to do with that information.)
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

Thank goodness for lots of literature classes in school, or this list would be a lot sadder. The funny thing is that there are so many books NOT on this list that I am proud of having read... I'm sad not to see some of them on there. I don't know what this LibraryThing thing is, but I guess a lot of the books that I'm proud to have read, others are proud to have read, and that's why they aren't on this list. Hmmm...

(I haven't even heard of some of these books. Is that bad?)

So. Today I am 30. Haven't I been 30 for a while? Seems like it. I feel good today, and I feel good about being 30, and I feel comfortable being the birthday girl. Celebrate me, and I shall happily join you. Most years I feel a bit self-conscious about my birthday. Not today. Let's party!

Here's my best present this year (so far):

The photo's not much to look at, but we saw so many precious little things. Topping the list: The bottom of the baby's feet. Heaven. Wish we had a picture of THAT!!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

A collection a baby things

In honor of my next doctor's appointment tomorrow, I thought it would be appropriate to share some of the baby knitting I've done lately. I plan to knit like a mad person for old Zuuly after we know whether it be ruffles or applique footballs, but in the meantime there are certainly plenty of universally adorable projects to satisfy my mom-to-be needs.

For example:

The Pinwheel Blanket from Knitalong. When I first saw this the day I bought the book, I knew I had to make one.

It's knit in Pakucho Organic Cotton in the sage colorway, though it looks like regular old grey in real life. It is SOOOO soft and affordable. I got mine from I used size 8 circular needles and 8 skeins of Pakucho. I added the garter stitch edge to combat a bit of edge curling I saw going on as I started casting off the first time. Much better now. I don't have an exact measurement, but I'd say it's about 3 1/2 feet in diameter, big enough to wrap up an infant or to lay on the floor for a slightly older baby to play on. I love this project!

Back when Zuul was still a secret, I began exploring my post-Barn-Raising-Squares sock stash and came up with the perfect gender neutral colorways for a pair of hats:

These are both Handle by Larissa Brown (it's a Stitch Marker kind of day today). Super simple and fast and fun and adorable. The yarns are both Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock in Watercolor (left) and Gold Hill (right)-- I think.

And what baby doesn't need a pair of these?

Baby Jaywalkers. There may be a pattern out there with the modifications for tiny feet, but I went on intuition and just cut down on stitch count. I forget now how many stitches per needle, but it's whatever total gives you three knit stitches between the kfb and the sl2k1psso. I hope that's clear. I think they are so cute! I think they should fit Zuul at around 6 months... but what do I know about baby feet... yet? The yarn is Claudia's Handpaint in Cabin Fever.

And here, finally, is the modelled photo of the Debbie Bliss Matinee Coat on baby Kelly:

It's a bit bunched up by the stroller, but you get the idea. One note from Kelly's mom was that she finds it difficult to get the second arm through because the join isn't stretchy enough. So perhaps a stretchier bind off at those locations would be good... or modifying the pattern to be a seemless join? I'm not sure I have the skills for that yet, but you might consider it if you do.

The yarn is Dalegarn Baby Ull (I think) in white on the top and Hand Maiden Casbah on the bottom-- I forget the name of the colorway. Sorry for being so vague... Miraculous to work with, though!! And both washable!!!

So that's that for now. I let you know how Zuul's ticker is working tomorrow!

The New "It" Sock?

I know there are some mega-popular sock patterns out there. I have knit a few of those myself. I would say I have two of the "it" socks. And I have loved them as you have. Oh the Jaywalkers! Oh the Monkeys!

But now I have to say quite emphatically OH THE FASCINE BRAID SOCKS!!! They are a newish pattern from Tiennie of TiennieKnits, and like Tiennie so often does with her knits, I plan to make multiples of these. They are beautiful! All the elegance of cabled socks without the cable hassle; a simple four row repeat that never seems to get boring; you can totally make mistakes and they don't really show (I like this in a pattern); a cute garter stitch detail at the sides of the heel flap; it's all very very good!!

You should try them!

And then when you do, try another pair!

I did have a bit of a mishap on the first picot edge...

See how my picots seem to be blowing in a stiff breeze? That's not supposed to happen. When picking up the cast on edge, I may have picked them up a few stitches to one side or another. I saw it happen, I knew I could fix it, but I chose not to. It illustrates the learning curve, which I have decided I think is beautiful in its way. Granted, on a sweater or something that would be much more visible and noticeable, I would have fixed a problem like this, but I consider socks a private project. And thus I allowed the mistake to stay. Besides, it makes the picot edge of the second sock look so much prettier:

I would love to see these socks take off and become one of "those" patterns. Take a gander and consider using some of your solid or semi-solid yarn for a pair of these lovelies...

Fascine Braid Socks
Dream in Color Smooshy
Colorway: In Vino Veritas (if you can't drink it, knit it!)
Size 2 DPNs