Category Archives: Reading

The rest of the (bib) story

I survived the switch upgrade, which didn’t finish until 5 am. I didn’t have to work yesterday, but I ended up only getting 3 hours of sleep because I had a plumber coming by at 9 am. At least I got to bed early last night and feel pretty darn good today.

Danielle won a big ol’ bag of yarn from Mason-Dixon Knitting and is celebrating by having her first contest! Leave a comment for her, guessing what she’s knitting (toadstools maybe??) before noon on Tuesday, August 29.

Norma’s gearing us up for the Red Scarf Project 2007, which will have its own blog this time around. Anyone who knits a red scarf to donate to the RSP and posts a picture to the blog will be eligible to win prizes, such as a skein of handdyed yarn from Scout! Both Norma and Scout have great explanations of how to save one of the many button choices to your own server and get it into your sidebar. That was something which completely mystified me when I started blogging, so take advantage of the info!

Cheryl’s having a contest to guess who will win the Wing of Moth shawl knit-off.

SRP Update
Mallets Aforethought by Sarah Graves, 294 pages. Another Home Repair Is Homicide mystery. I enjoy this series, but I’m not making any effort to read them in order – which I would if I felt passionately about them (like the J.D. Robb mysteries… mmmm… Roarke…). Anyway, I think this book had a relatively large “continuity” gap near the end. Hmm.

And now, the rest of the bib story alluded to yesterday…

“I can’t believe I fell for this again! The shame…”

“Nor can I bear to look at this thing… it’s so girly.

“Watch my fancy footwork as I begin my escape!”

“I am but a blur!”

“Whew, that was tiring…”

“Wait, it’s still there?! Not for long…”

“Ha! I triumph yet again!”

Moderne log catin

I might have to work on a switch upgrade tonight, which means working overnight. I won’t know until later today. But maybe I’ll have the chance to get caught up a bit on bloglines, trying to stay awake.

Thursday evening, I’m taking a class on combination knitting from Annie Modesitt at Creative Fibers. Hopefully I won’t get kicked out of class, since I’m taking the class with notorious troublemakers Amy and Deb!

SRP Update: Love You Madly by Linda Palmer, 307 pages. Book three of this relatively new series about soap opera writer Morgan Tyler continues to be enjoyable… and not just because she has a black kitten. 😉

In addition to the Regia Silk sock, I’ve been plugging away on the Moderne Log Cabin Baby Blanket. I’m about 2/3 done with the pair of intarsia blocks on the right. Then I just have another pair of narrow intarsia blocks (burgundy and olive) to add to the top before I can start the tan edging. Project Spectrum tan!

*sniff sniff* “Hmm, is there something under here?”



If you’re in the Twin Cities and you’re planning to attend the Mountain Goats concert at the Triple Rock Social Club on Thursday, September 14, please let me know! Right now I’m going alone.

A while ago, I asked if anyone was going to be at the Taos Wool Festival (October 7-8), as it will be one of my stops on the Knitblogger’s Fall Tour I have planned for myself. If you are on the path between Minneapolis and Albuquerque and going to be around from September 30 – roughly October 15 or so, please leave me a comment or send an email to chris at this domain. I’m trying to get my exact schedule and route figured out – currently, I have stops planned in Ft Collins, Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs, Albuquerque, and Taos (for the festival), although not specific dates yet.

SRP Update
He Huffed and He Puffed (250 pages), Good King Sauerkraut (214 pages), and You Have the Right To Remain Silent (249 pages) by Barbara Paul. These were the second, third, and fourth NYPD Lt Marian Larch mysteries. The second and third Marian Larch mysteries are described on the covers as “mysteries with Marian Larch” – she is definitely not the main character. In fact, in He Huffed and He Puffed, I wasn’t sure it was a Marian Larch book for the longest time! You Have the Right To Remain Silent is the first book in which Marian Larch is as important as the crime she’s investigating. This book could also be described as The Apostrophe Thief, part one.
Love Is Murder by Linda Palmer, 275 pages. This is the first Morgan Tyler (soap opera writer) mystery and even though I have absolutely no interest in daytime drama, I’m definitely enjoying this series (which I am unfortunately reading out of order). I’m about to start the third book in the series, which I hope will feature the black kitten she acquired in book 2. 🙂

Belated Saturday Sky… So belated that I took the picture Sunday evening! This is a view of downtown Minneapolis from the south shore of Lake Calhoun.

And to prove that I actually do knit sometimes, here’s my charcoal grey Regia Silk waffle sock for Project Spectrum – now with more cat butt than ever!

Eye Candy Friday with Random Bits

Ok, although I’m not officially a part of Eye Candy Friday, I thought this overgrown motorcycle in our alley was pretty cool. It reminds me of a Charles de Lint story, maybe something from the Borderland

SRP Update
The Renewable Virgin by Barbara Paul, 215 pages. The first Marian Larch mystery (1984)! Bless the Minneapolis Public Library system for maintaining mystery series integrity. (Yes, Cute Library Guy was there, but I was too shy to talk to him… I know, I’m a dork.)

I’m liking the charcoal Regia Silk in the waffle pattern (two rounds of knit 2, purl 2 ribbing, then two plain rounds). Hopefully I make a lot of progress on it over the weekend so that it seems worth photographing. This probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone, but my Cabernet Adamas shawl is still a ball of yarn and likely to remain that way for a while, so no more Amazing Lace for me. And I still need to knit some Bitchin’ (baby) Mittens – yikes! Oh well, at least I finished the TrekAlong, right?!

In other personal knitting news, I had a pattern accepted by MagKnits for the December issue! All I’m going to say about it is that you can make the project from a single ball of Kureyon…

I still have a few more local purple architectural features to take pictures of, but to tide me over until I get around to it, Trek sent me this purple house from New Jersey. We should all forgive her for the slightly illegal action she took to get this photo, becase I love this house. Thanks, Trek!

And how could we end the week without a little Chaos, looking ever-so-sweet after his shenanigans of a few days ago… Have a great weekend, everyone!

“Whatever do you mean, Mom? I am the very soul of sweetness and innocence!”

Pretend this is a clever title…

I’m glad to hear that so many of you are enjoying the contest links! I like providing them for several different reasons. First, contests are just fun. Second, I think it’s an enjoyable way to discover new-to-you blogs. The only thing about blogging that makes me sad is that there are so many great blogs with only a few readers. I do my darnedest to comment on as many blogs as I can, but alas, I am only one blogger with a finite amount of time. So keep sending me your contest links, and keep checking out new-to-you blogs!

SRP Update
Case Histories by Kate Atkinson, 310 pages. I read Atkinson’s novel Behind the Scenes at the Museum quite a while ago for book club and remember it being compelling, powerful, and disturbing. Case Histories is all that, too. Atkinson skillfully weaves together the past and the present in this novel about PI Jackson Brodie who is working on multiple “cold cases.” (Jeanne, you can borrow my copy if this interests you!)
This Pen for Hire: A Jaine Austen Mystery by Laura Levine, 203 pages. A fun, very lightweight mystery about Jaine Austen (“no relation”), who writes brochures, letters, and personal ads for people. I liked the smart alecky style, so I’ll probably pick up the next book in the series.

I started a sock from charcoal Regia Silk (so Project Spectrum), but, after three inches of sock, decided I didn’t like the lace pattern I was using. Now I’m back to one inch of sock in a comfortably boring waffle stitch (and it’s far too dull to take a picture of yet). I’m also plodding along on my MDK moderne log cabin baby blanket. Has anyone else knit this? The directions for squares 9 and 10 (knit simultaneously using intarsia) are not correct (you would end up with a trapesoid instead of a rectangle), but I didn’t see it on the MDK errata page. Where the pattern says to pick up two sets of 54 stitches, you actually need to pick up two sets of 63 stitches.

I came home from work the other night to a fair amount of feline attitude.

“Remember, this is my place and I only let you live here because you have opposable thumbs and can open those darn cans.”

Further inspection revealed that something terrible had happened on top of the cd rack. The sort of neatly stacked books in front of the rack are part of my “to read” pile – the litter of cds, books, and “Girlfriend” is not how the living room floor usually looks.


“Why are you looking at me like that? I wouldn’t do something so naughty! Besides, it’s my place, remember?!”

My KSKS kit arrived!

Lisa is having a contest about the number of active projects you have going right now. Cut off is Tuesday, August 15th.

Chris is asking us to guess how much she spent at Stitches and what time she got home.

SRP update: Whew! I read up a storm this weekend. 🙂
The Math Instinct: Why You’re a Mathematical Genius (Along with Lobsters, Birds, Cats, and Dogs) by Keith Devlin (NPR’s “Math Guy”), 267 pages. Woo-hoo! I finished my second non-fiction book. This was a great book – it covered both the natural mathematics that our brains have evolved to do unconsciously (such as those involved in vision and perception) and the formal (“school math”) that humans have developed, along with the natural mathematics performed by cats, dogs, bats, owls, and more. If Trek’s Number Guy hasn’t read this book yet, he definitely should.
Murder Most Frothy: A Coffeehouse Mystery by Cleo Coyle, 257 pages. Featuring NYC coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi, this is the fourth book in the series and it takes Clare to the Hamptons for the summer.
Love Her to Death by Linda Palmer, 326 pages. Um, yeah, I only picked this up because it had a black cat on the cover… and then was surprised at how much I enjoyed it – enough to put the other books in the series on reserve at the library.
Spurred Ambition: A Pinnacle Peak Mystery by Twist Phelan, 265 pages. Featuring Arizona lawyer and former roadie turned rock climber Hannah Dain, I’m enjoying this series and look forward to tracking down the first book at Uncle Edgar’s sometime.
Fit to Die by Karen Hanson Stuyck, 292 pages. So far this is a standalone mystery (although obviously designed to be part of a series). It was perfectly adequate – I kept reading to the end, which I don’t always, should a mystery be particularly bad.

Last week, I received my KSKS kit from Elspeth. Mmmmm… purpley goodness!

Elspeth made a very cool felted bag that will be perfect for my grab and go projects. Plus she dyed this gorgeous purple yarn and made some purple stitchmarkers (they’re on the ribbon on the yarn). She included the pattern for Elfine’s socks – definitely on my list to knit!!

But that’s not all – Elspeth also included some lavendar lotion and bath stuff, purpley teas, yummy chocolate, a very cute sheep tape measure, and some of the new KnitPicks circulars in size 0 (which I was curious about and already trying out on a new pair of socks!). Thank you so much, Elspeth!!

Chaos contemplated the new things now available for him to try to destroy…

“Hmm, what should I try to get first? So many choices!”

Pretend it’s a Random Wednesday…

TB is having a contest in which you send her a picture of the weirdest thing on display in your house. Photos must be received by midnight, August 13. I don’t think she says what the prize is – hopefully not the weirdest thing on display from her house! 😉

SRP update:
The Apostrophe Thief by Barbara Paul, 247 pages. I’m reading the Marian Larch (NYPD) mysteries totally out of order – it’s an older series and the library doesn’t have all of the books.
A Deadly Yarn by Maggie Sefton, 259 pages. The third mystery about Fort “Connor” (Colorado) CPA and new knitter Kelly Flynn and her friends is another light and speedy read.

As part of my ongoing series of unusually colored Minneapolis architecture, here’s a purple house/business that I missed in July…

…and a house of a different color – you definitely want to click on this picture to get a better look!

The Crafty Modster held her final Project Spectrum mix giveaway and I won; actually, everyone who entered won something! Look at all those PS neutrals:

I’m all set, aren’t I? Thread, embroidery floss, tasty chocolate, a very cool flower pin (with the button in the middle) that now graces my cube…

…the mix, of course…

…and a card for Chaos! (Interestingly, that’s similar to a favorite Chaos pose that I haven’t managed to get a picture of.) Thank you so much, Anjo!

Speaking of Chaos…

“Good grief, there are other vegetables besides the Evil Zucchini Monster?! That’s just not right.”

At the Fringe of the Wacky Chicken Show

Don’t forget, today is the last day of my Official Blog Opening Contest! Leave a haiku comment before 6 pm CDT (um, that’s six hours behind GMT/UTC) to participate. Thanks for everyone who’s already left a haiku – they are witty and funny and wise and I love them all!

Knittymama’s greyhound happily models a bib…

I finished my first non-fiction book for SRP!
Downhill: The Life Story of a Gravity Goddess by Marla Streb, 326 pages. I really like to read about cyclists’ lives and inspirations. Altough I have absolutely no interest in mountain biking (I have a hybrid and prefer paved trails), I found Marla’s tale of leaving the safe life to follow her dream really resonated.

And two more fiction…
Murder by the Glass: A Wine Lover’s Mystery by Michele Scott, 246 pages. Isn’t it a little amazing how many targeted mystery series exist? This series features vineyard manager and oenophile (i.e., wine lover) Nikki Sands, who does a bit of amateur sleuthing in the Napa and Sonoma Vallies. As per usual, our intrepid sleuth is torn between two handsome men…
Children of the Storm by Elizabeth Peters, 416 pages. I was actually looking to reread the first Amelia Peabody mystery, but it wasn’t on the shelf at the library.

Monday evening, my friend Lisa and her two kids took me to dinner at True Thai (yummy tofu pad thai!) and then to see The Wacky Chicken Show: Modern Vaudeville, which was part of the Minnesota Fringe Festival.

I finished turning the heel of my second Trekking sock while we waited for the show to begin. The Wacky Chicken Show was a mixture of slapstick silliness, magic, and poignant interludes about lost eggs. By skillfully not making eye contact, I managed to avoid going having to lay an egg onstage… You can see a video clip here, if you’re curious.

I loved the words on the fence at the the Playwright’s Center – here are a few more:

And I threw together a little collage of some of the postcards I picked up for other Fringe Festival productions:

Once again, Chaos held down the home front:

“A cat’s work is never done! Wait a minute – what do you mean, what work??!”

Wandering through Wednesday

Thanks for all the kind words about the new look! Things are mostly as they will be, although the banner isn’t displaying correctly in Firefox yet. Soon.

EDIT: I think it’s all set. If things look odd, please try hitting your reload button. If they still look odd, please drop me an email and let me know the details. Thanks!

The heat finally broke yesterday! It’s been raining off and on ever since. Hopefully the humidity breaks soon…

Scout’s challenged us to out our UFOs. *gulp* I posted about UFOs/WIPs back in December. Scarily, everything I mentioned in that post remains a UFO! Whoops… Sounds like I need to rip a few things out, doesn’t it?! And of course, I have new UFOs/WIPs, too. I’ll look around today and take some pictures.

SRP update: I made my fiction goal of 30 books! However, I still need to read two non-fiction books this month to meet my bonus goal.
Unhinged by Sarah Graves, 332 pages. Yet another Home Repair Is Homicide mystery! I’m not reading these cozies in order, but I’m enjoying them anyway.
Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter by Blaze Clement, 261 pages. This is the first (and only, so far) book about former sheriff’s deputy, now petsitter, Dixie Hemingway of Sarasota, FL. I’ll definitely be on the look out for additions to this series – it was more compelling than many such mysteries and kept me guessing up to the end.

I finally got a picture of the “Gateway to the North of Nashwauk” sign last weekend! What I find very interesting about this sign is that you see it when you are driving south, not north. Hmm.

I’m a sucker for amusing wine labels, so how could I resist this one?

Chaos apparently wonders why “smell no evil” wasn’t addressed in the pictorial proverb.

*sniff sniff* “I sure hope you weren’t hoping for great taste from this wine, Mom…”

Little purple houses for you and me

Bethe’s cat Pugsley was fine with wearing bibs – maybe because of the catnip bribe?!

SRP update: Wreck the Halls by Sarah Graves, 320 pages. Another Home Repair Is Homicide mystery – these are light light light, but I’m enjoying them anyway.

Ok, as promised and to finish off Project Spectrum purples right, I present two more purple houses. First, the less purple house – I’m particularly fond of how bowling balls are used along the sidewalk. (Click on the pictures see them larger.)

Next, the purple stucco two doors down, which is the most unapologeticaly purple house I’ve ever seen!

I couldn’t resist taking a picture of this utterly un-purple house on the next block, which I could have used during PS April!

Once upon a time, I owned a purple Escort station wagon. I loved that car. Alas, it rewarded my love by throwing a rod through critical engine bits (probably an important life lesson there, eh?). Here’s a very bad picture of me with the dead and dusty Escort, as I prepared to remove my stuff from it.

Speaking of cars, this auto repair place a few blocks from where I live has great purple signs. Sorry about the photo quality! I took this 6 am Saturday, as I headed out of town to the cabin. I wasn’t up to playing around with camera settings until after the caffeine took hold many miles later!

Chaos survived my being gone just fine.

“I demand popcorn to compensate me for the emotional trauma of worrying about you!”