Jul 31, 2009

A Day in July: Husband Edition!

My husband and I went to Northampton last weekend. It's a little town North of where we live, and between its lack of chain stores, beautiful architecture and fantastic restaurants (honourable mention to the Thai food), it's fast becoming one of my favourite towns.

We didn't go to Northampton for any particular reason. It was a nice day and Nick had heard on the radio that Northampton was holding its annual Sidewalk Sale, so we wanted to go see what it was all about. It was a lot of fun. There were a lot of people out, and the whole town just had a really great energy. All the vendors along the main street had set up stalls along the pavement, and there were some great deals. We found a place to print off some pictures of our wedding at a really great price.

On our way back toward the car, I decided to stop into Northampton Wools, the place where I picked up my Pom Pom yarn. I loved how my Baby Surprise Jacket (BSJ) came out so much, that I decided to see if they had any more on sale to make a hat, or some booties, to go with it. In a $5 bin, there were two skeins of pink and some other colours. I grabbed the pink ones and went to pay. The lady rang them up as only $3 each. I asked if she was sure, and she told me it was an extra reduction, because of the town event. I told her to ring up the rest and grabbed the remaining two skeins.

Now I have four skeins of Pom-Pom yarn. I haven't quite figured out what I am going to do with it, but it will definitely be used to make a set to complement my BSJ. Yippee!

Book Report: Dead in the Wool

Today, I'm going to hijack my own blog to give a book report. For my report, I read Died in the Wool by Mary Kruger, which I bought on-line. I picked it specifically because there's a "Pattern Inside Just for You". Kristine warned me that the patterns from knitting mysteries are riddled with errata. Nonetheless, I was excited. I love murder mysteries, I love knitting and I love free patterns... where's the problem?

When I received the book, there was no inserts or pull-outs, so I reasoned that it may be part of the story. Well, that's kind of fun. So, I set to reading it. As Murder-She-Wrote meets Elizabeth Zimmerman goes, the book was enjoyable! The writing style was pretty mediocre, as is often the case with cheesy murder mysteries. But, it was entertaining enough that you'll suffer through the repetitive and stilted dialogue, as you make your way to finding out just whodunnit.

Alas, as the pages were dwindling, there was no sign of my purchase-prompting pattern. I leafed through the remainder of book and didn't see any pages that looked like a pattern. I thought that maybe it had been lost at the warehouse. In my haste (and procrastination), I wrote a scathing customer review, which I have since edited.

Why the rewrite? The pattern had not been lost. What I had originally perceived to be the last chapter was actually the first chapter of the next book, and the "patterns", all three of which fit on a single page, were sandwiched between this and the final chapter. A flimsy "I'm not a knitting designer" disclaimer precedes the so-called patterns, proving that the author herself felt embarrassed about how lame these offerings were. To her credit, neither of the garter stitch fun fur scarves nor the garter stitch hanger cover had any of the errata of which Kristine had warned.

To say I was a little disappointed would be putting it mildly! Throughout the book, there were numerous descriptive references to a Norwegian Sweater. So many, in fact, that I was convinced that was the pattern we were going to get; maybe even hidden in segments throughout the narrative! It would have tied in nicely with the story, and been worthy of the "Look Inside for an Original Pattern Just for You" teaser on the back cover.

Bringing me to my next point. Fun-fur scarves are not "original" patterns! They are a dime a dozen, and they're not even patterns really. Cast on, knit until you get bored... ooh, can you repeat that?? It's a good bet that someone who is so new to knitting that they need instructions for a garter stitch fun fur scarf probably won't be drawn to a knitting mystery book in the first place!

Never mind! I have five more knitting mysteries to get through (some by different authors). Hopefully, there's a least one CO-worthy project to be found!

10 Things #6: Debbie (Short for ....)

I chose to do the pattern, Deborah, from Hot Knits. On a yarn shopping trip with Faith, I picked up some Cascade Ecological Wool, from under the bulky weight section (as the pattern called for). I thought it looked a little worsted, but who I am to argue with shelf labels? I started knitting, but the gauge seemed completely off. The number of stitches didn't come close to making the measurement predicted, but I was a couple of rows in and it's a drop-shoulder pattern, so I figured I could rework on the fly.

The pattern was originally for a big baggy cardigan, but with all the gauge excitement, I decided to make it hip length, as I was concerned that it being more "form fitting" make make it bunch if I had made it longer. I had to alter the sleeve stitch count, but other than that it was mostly painless. It also flew off my awesome new Addi Click set needles (thanks Faith!).

I then decided to post-CO dye it. It sat in my knitting bureau for a few week, until got a bee in my bonnet one Saturday. Unfortunately, I already had plans which left me about 30 minutes free to get everything set up and do the actual dyeing! In case you were wondering, that is not enough time!

Okay, so it's a little patchy. I prefer to call it "kettle-dyed-esque". It's not quite as garish as it looks here. I took the picture in my lab under fluorescent lighting. I may re-dye it someday, but, for now I am happy with the way it looks!

And more importantly....

That's Six!

10 Things in 1000 days

I decided to rationalize my impulse purchasing of knitting books by setting myself a personal challenge.
Here's how long I have left:

Quotation of the Day

This Day in History

Is There Anybody Out There?

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