September 02, 2011

Summer 2011

I took a huge bag of books with me to read over the summer, but didn't get as many read as I planned to. I also ended up reading some of my mom's books.

Here were some of the books I read (links to my goodreads pages):
Incantation by Alice Hoffman 
Historical fiction, about the Spanish Inquisition and the "hidden Jews". I love historical fiction, so this was right up my alley. Alice Hoffman is a great writer too.
Beastly by Alex Flinn
Better than I expected, not great but if you like fairy tale retellings you'd probably like it. My sister and I watched the movie after I read it, and it was truly ghastly. I mean really, really bad. Don't watch it. It's too late for me...save yourselves!
Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Since I love pretty much anything dealing with religion as a greater part of society, and learning about other cultures, I enjoyed most of this book. By the end it was growing very wearisome and I think I just skimmed the last couple chapters or so. But reading about her upbringing in Somalia and Kenya was truly fascinating, as well as her immigration to the Netherlands and adjusting to living life away from home, on her own.
Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper
A cat story something like a disabled feline version of Marley & Me. Homer is found as a tiny kitten with a severe eye infection and his eyes were removed to save his life. But that didn't stop him from living life to the fullest. Funny and touching, I really enjoyed this one.

May 14, 2011

Spring 2011

Reading: Got some new books at the Library Book Sale and also a few of my wish list books on PaperbackSwap.com came up, so I now have a few new books to read - like I didn't have a pile sitting there waiting for me! I'm still slogging through Radical Homemakers, but I find the later half slower going than the first half. I've started The Mayflower & the Pilgrims' New World over spring break. A couple of weeks prior to that I learned from looking through my uncle's genealogy binder that we are in fact related to some of the Pilgrims. Constance Hopkins (later Constance Snow) was my 9th great-grandmother, and her father Stephen Hopkins also came here on the Mayflower, along with her stepmother and 3 siblings. So I found it quite thrilling to read about my ancestor! I also started reading Infidel a few days ago and found the first few chapters completely engrossing. I love reading about other places, cultures, religions. Lastly I also started reading The Betrayal of Work: How Low Wage Jobs Fail 30 Million Americans which is also engrossing. It reminds me somewhat of the Nickel & Dimed book I read a while back. It's really sad how in this country the rich keep getting richer and the poor just keep getting poorer, even though they are working so very hard doing difficult and demanding labor.

Creating: Working on something right now for Secret Pal. Won't reveal what it is right now though!

April 16, 2011

Winter 2010/2011

Reading: Re-read HP & the Deathly Hallows. So good, and this time I took my time and I think I followed it a little better. The first time I was in such a rush to find out what happened I don't think I really absorbed it. JK Rowling really is excellent at creating a complete world. I get really pulled in by her books and I think others do as well.

Am a bit more than halfway though Radical Homemakers. I agree with many things the author says, but being someone with a few chronic medical conditions I can't really swallow her ideas of no health insurance, but some of what she said in that section did make sense and from a few things she said it sounded as though she is a proponent of a state run health system like the rest of the free world has. Which I can certainly get behind.

Creating:
March was National Crochet Month, and during that month I worked very hard on various things for the CLF's NCM Scavenger Hunt on Ravelry. It was a lot of fun and I made a few silly things for points. I also made another v-stitch shawl, this time in a red/orange combo called Saffron & Wild Fire I believe. Not really my colors but she liked them. Still have to work on Amanda's. Hope I can do that during break. Also made some squares for Heartmade Blessings again, for Operation Purple Heart.

January 30, 2011

Pattern: V-Stitch Shawl

V-Stitch - (dc, ch1, dc) in same stitch

Row 1 - Ch 4. 4 dc in 4th ch from hook.

Row 2 - Ch 4 and turn. Dc in same st, skip next dc, (dc, ch1, dc, ch1, dc) in next dc, skip next dc, (dc, ch1, dc - v stitch made) in next dc. You should now have a small triangle shape with one "V" on each side and a "W" at the peak.

Row 3 - Ch 4 and turn, dc in same stitch. V-stitch in next dc, skip next dc, v-stitch in next dc, (dc, ch1, dc, ch1, dc) in next dc, V-stitch in next dc, skip next dc, V-stitch in 3rd chain of the ch4. You should now have 2 "V"s on each side and a "W" in the middle.

Continue the pattern - Ch4 and turn, dc in first stitch, then make V stitches up to the peak, make the "W" in the top DC, then make more V-stitches on the way back down, adding one V on each side on each row. Turn and repeat. Continue until shawl is as long/wide as you wish!

As far as I know, no one has written a pattern similar to this, I haven't been able to find one. I haven't really written a pattern before so I hope you understand my directions!
Close up detail
Shawl done in worsted weight Wool-Ease
Beginning of Shawl, done in Lion Brand Homespun, with J hook



Completed shawl with added fringe