Sunday, June 24, 2012

Happy Summer!

It's well and truly Summer, now. The Solstice was last Wednesday? Sometime last week. We've not only passed Memorial Day, which most people regard as the beginning of Summer, but it's now officially Summer by the calendar.


I've been busy with my latest resolution, which is to get one pattern accepted and off to Knit Picks each month. I'm on a push to get the last little bit of the knotted scarf completely finished and in the mail. I should actually be working on it right now.

When I submitted the proposal for this, I knew that I'd have to take photos and I'd need a model, but I had no idea how to find one. Submitting the prop was a leap of faith. I've decided I'm going to do this, and somehow I will get it done, even if I don't know how I'm going to do it right now.

Well, I put up an ad on CraigsList DC, and three young women answered my ad. One of them was exactly what I was looking for. Her name is Samantha, and here are some photos of her and the scarf (which I made in two different weights and in two colors so I could tell which was which).

Since this, and the next project, and most of the ones I want to do have a Celtic flavor, I was hoping for someone with strawberry blond hair and blue eyes. Samantha has green eyes, but really is perfect, and she has a very nice personality. I'm really delighted with her as a model and a possible new friend. She's wearing the worsted weight scarf in Wool of the Andes in Baltic Heather. The color is beautiful! and it looks great on her.

Here's the same scarf in one of Knit Pick's sport weight Wool of the Andes color Haze Heather. Both colors are made from blending different colors of wool before spinning and they are beautiful. If you examine them closely, you can see all the different colors of fibers.

Here's a closer view of the actual braided knot. The quality of this photo isn't too good, because I took it with my tablet, not a good camera. But you can clearly see what the knot looks like.

I plan to finish putting together the layout for it today, and tomorrow, go back over it and proof it and check it for all the things that Knit Picks requires of their patterns. I was going to say it's a long checklist, but it's actually two shorter checklists.

In the meantime, as you may have noticed since I have photos of finished projects, I've been working on my next project for Knit Picks. It's the shawl with the Saint John's cross in the middle, fringe, and a picot bind off on the top edge. I'm only partly done, but most of the cross is finished. I'm partly through the top part of the cross, after the interlacing ring. Here's what the cross looks like and you can see how far I've gotten.

That's being knit in Knit Picks' City Tweed in DK weight, and the yarn is just scrumptious! It feels great on your skin! I'm getting near the finish, but since this is a triangular shawl, knit from the bottom up, and each row gets another stitch added at the beginning of the row, each row is getting longer. There's still a lot of knitting in this! When I knitted the first one, it took me almost an hour and a half to bind it off! It uses a picot bind off, so there's not only a lot of stitches to bind off, but you keep casting on more stitches, which then have to be bound off, too. This shawl just eats up yarn at an amazing rate! It has a garter stitch background, fringe (each strand of fringe uses about 14 inches of yarn!), and the picot bind off, which is very pretty and adds a nice touch, but also really uses up yarn.

I've been watching the Jesse Stone movies on Hallmark Movie Channel all day. They're showing them out of order, which is very disappointing of them. There's a new movie at the end of all this (starts at 8 pm here) that premiered on network TV about a month or so ago. They're all very good.

I've been reading Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. These are really good, too.

It's based on the idea that right after World War II, a woman and her husband are taking a second honeymoon in Scotland, and, while collecting some botanical specimens, she walks between the two sides of a cracked standing stone in a henge and is transported 200 years into the past. The first book is Outlander, and it's first-rate!

I got my copy from the library, and hadn't looked for it on Amazon until I looked it up to put a link to it here so you could read a review of it if you wanted, and I'm stunned at the price for a used copy! I may have to buy the whole series for myself.

The second book is Dragonfly in Amber, followed by Voyager, and I'm now up to Drums of Autumn. Actually, I'm almost finished reading it. I'm really loving it, but the library doesn't seem to have the next book or two, just the final one. I'm either going to have to break down and buy the books or give up for the moment. It's probably a better plan to buy these and read at leisure, though. Drums is over a thousand pages, and it's printed in small type, which is why it's taking me a while to get through them. It's a fascinating story, and she makes me care about the characters, but it's a book that walks, as opposed to books like the Harry Potter books or the Twilight series, that just fly!

I plan to at least take a break from the series and switch to another one that I've really loved.

If you haven't met Odd Thomas, you really should read the books. There's a series by Dean Koontz all about Oddie, whose parents claimed to have intended to call him Todd, but left off the T by accident on his birth certificate application. Odd sees the dead. They don't talk to him, because to Odd, the dead don't seem to be capable of speech that he can hear. Ghosts come to Odd when they've been killed, in an effort to bring their killers to justice. But he sees other supernatural phenomena, too, like the dark, smoke-like creatures that gather preceding major catastrophes to feast on the negative energy. It's always a mystery for him to solve because although he gets clues, nobody can really tell him what happened, or, in some cases, what's about to happen.

There is a whole series of books about Odd, which I have read, and which you can find on Amazon, plus some graphic novels about Odd which I haven't read. The thing that's prompting me to go back and read the series (aside from the fact that I love them so much that I do that from time to time anyway), is that there's a new book in the series (Odd Apocalypse) coming out at the end of July. I can't wait!

Well, I've managed to delay the work that I should be doing by writing this as long as I possibly can, so I guess I'd better get busy and actually do it.

I hope you've been having a wonderful weekend and have a great week coming up!

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