Speaking of cool things, Valerie, over at her blog, nominated me for a Creative Blogger Award some time ago and I kept forgetting to mention it. Thanks for that, Valerie! I still need to swipe the button and post it on my sidebar.
The Summer Stash Swap is officially over and I can't wait for next year's swap! I had roughly fifteen amazing participants who displayed true generosity, creativity, and kindness through their swaps. I will definitely be doing this again next year so stay tuned for that. It was my pleasure to host the swap and become "swap mistress," as I was so thoughtfully labeled by one swapper. :)
- If you'll glance over at the sidebar, I've decided to be courageous and start progress bars for my Christmas knitting. I'm hoping it will keep me motivated and remind me what I need to get done as opposed to terrifying me into revolt, wherein I refuse to knit Christmas gifts.
- The Gentleman's Fancy Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks: New Twists on Classic Patterns, by Nancy Bush, are coming along quite well. I've had some time to work on them here and there lately and I have turned the heel and stitched my way through the gussets. I'm now working on the foot so, before long, I will have a pair of socks! Hurrah! I'll have photos of it soon...another artful photo of my pale-ass legs in handknit socks. Be sure not to miss that. :)
- The second test knitting project is coming along splendidly. They received my first project and gave me some constructive criticism for it, which it needed. However, I feel much more confident about this project, even though it too involves a number of new things for me. I can't show you the actual project so, instead, I'll show you the swatch. Here it is: *A note on stranded colorwork - I've found that the fabric created by stranded colorwork is much more even, in density and appearance, if you catch the floating yarn every two stitches or so, instead of letting them float over five stitches. There is also less likelihood that things will get caught on the floats when you put on the garment.*
- I was asked why I decided to frog the TaTa Tube and all I can say is that in theory, it was a good project. In reality, it didn't turn out so well. I may tweak the design, which I still kind of like, and change the yarn (which was wrong wrong wrong the first time around) to see what I come up with. The crochet edging I chose for it was also not the best decision I've made in a while.
- I've been talking mad, crazy designs and patterns with Christine and, between the two of us, y'all are going to be up to your eyeballs in knitting patterns. I've got some great designs (better than the TaTa Tube, I swear!) kicking around in my noodle for everything from socks to sweaters and a few home furnishing things so we can all look forward to those in the months ahead.
- I have only received two ideas (two good ideas, from Sharon and Allie, but still only two) for what to do with the bulky cashmere pictured below. I like them both but I would still like to solicit more ideas. If you have an idea for what I can do with it, leave me a comment. If I love it, I'll send you a skein of Wildfoote sock yarn in the Rock and Roll colorway. If I can't choose between two or more, I'll use the random number generator to pick a winner.
- As of late, we have seen Ratatouille (hilarious!! I nearly snorted while I was laughing, it was that damn funny), Hot Rod (stupid funny but still funny. Go have a laugh and see it), and The Simpsons movie. I am a hardcore Simpsons fan so I had eagerly anticipated the movie for a long long time. I was not disappointed. If you even remotely like the Simpsons, go see the movie. It is genius and hilarious.
- I'm reading The Nautical Chart right now (see sidebar) and it's fantastic. It's very layered and the story-telling is magnificent and vivid. I'm glad the author has written quite a few books so I will be able to work my way through them. It drives me bonkers when I find an author I really like only to find that they've only written one book and I can't read anything else by them. For the longest time, Vikram Chandra was like that. He recently put out Sacred Games: A Novel, which was seven long years in the making. I haven't read it yet so I have nothing to report about it. I'll let you know when I do, though, because I have very high hopes for it. If it's anything like his first book, Red Earth and Pouring Rain: A Novel, I know it will be an amazing read.
- We listened to Terry Pratchet's The Colour of Magic (Discworld Novels) on the way back from TN this time. It's not generally the genre that I read but it was SO MUCH FUN to listen to. It's really a fun, witty, imaginative book. Give it a listen while you are knitting and the time will just fly by. It seems to start off a bit slow but I think that is due, in part, to the fact that it is linguistically correct, which is something seldom heard today, unfortunately (don't get me started on language or linguistics. We'll be here all day). After you get accustomed to the rhythms of the speech and the language, it is thoroughly enjoyable. We aren't quite finished with it (half of one disc to go) so I'll hold off on giving it any sort of review until then.