Tuesday, January 22, 2008


In response to my "What are you reading?" question Valerie gave a thumbs up for The Space Between Us, by Thrity Umrigar and for Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen. I started Water for Elephants last year, right when my mother's health began to fail. I had to put it aside for a bit but when I picked it up again I found that it wasn't as sad as I thought - it was actually hopeful. I haven't heard much talk about Gruen's Riding Lessons or Flying Changes but I like that she donates some of the proceeds from her books to related causes.

Cathy put in a plug for James Gleick's Chaos: Making a New Science. By the looks of the summary I'll need to read this one, not listen to it.

Kim suggested The Blood of Flowers, by Anita Amirrezvani. Kim says there is lots of fiber and rug weaving in the story and the narator's accent just adds to the depth of the story. The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabron, along with Neil Gaiman's Nevermind and Terry Prachett's Making Money.

suggested John Sanford's Dark of the Moon. I've read all of the Prey books (there's a new one coming out in May) but this one slipped by me. It will be one of my February Audible downloads.

I finished My Sister's Keeper last week. What a fascinating story! I felt like I could see the characters emerge little by little as the story peeled away their facades, the whole time wondering "what would I have done?" I'm almost finished The Senator's Wife, which was described as having a Picoult-like ending. Hmmm...

Waiting in the wings are four more books by Picoult. The Tenth Circle, Vanishing Acts, Second Glance, and The Pact.

Since I'm listening I had my hands free to start The Minimalist Cardigan (artfully posed on a lovely hotel ottoman).


With nothing new on the fiber front, an update on my WIPS seems to be appropriate.


Eunny Jang's Tangled Yoke is nearing the end. Of course it would go a LOT faster if I wasn't reknitting each row 2 or 3 times! It's not the pattern, it's me - but at least I can see the beginning of the end. I also enlarged the graph and color coded it. I'd like to say that I didn't make a mistake after that - but I can't! I knit a few rows more after that picture and it's very cool watching the twisted stitches turn into the intended design.

I hope to finish the yoke before leaving for the weekend. The Minimalist Cardigan will be my traveling companion. I don't want to drag that whole sweater up there and work on the edging. That's a recipe for disaster.


I don't have any weaving time coming up for a bit but that doesn't stop me from thinking about the next project. I was inspired by K. C. Alexander's table runner, Warp Rep Craftsman Style, in the Jan/Feb 2008 Handwoven (p. 40). I'm thinking about placemats and a runner and using 8/4 carpet warp and 10/2 for thin weft. Here's hoping that Fiberworks soon becomes available for Mac.


I did get some time to work on my quilts before heading back to school and traveling. I can't seem to find the right fabric for the next, wider, border.

Nothing is doing it for me.

Even my much beloved green!

Can you say BLECH! It will be better as the backing. So on to the baby quilt.

It's small enough to fit on my cutting table. I used masking tape and binding clips. Thanks to Claudia for that tip!

It's all basted and ready to go.

I wasn't thrilled with the gold for the binding so I stopped on my way home Sunday and bought a brighter orange print. Looks much better.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Winter Break

This post has been sitting in my queue since 12/26. I thought I would update my works in progress, but that can wait. I'm starting a marathon work session. I'll be working every weekend until the middle of February and then it will be every other weekend until the end of April. It's self-imposed and working towards the goal of semi-retirement so despite the long hours it won't be too bad.

I've been uploading tons of audiobooks into iTunes in anticipation of my travels over the next few weeks. I used to go through all of this rigamarole - import the cd, use an mp3 joiner to create one or two files, etc. Then I found this nifty little program, Audiobook Builder. For a mere $10.00 it works with iTunes to join the tracks and make one or two manageable files. So what have I been listening to lately? Lots of Kathy Reichs (Bones). I finished Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult and have My Sister's Keeper up next. I was on a big Chris Bohjalian kick. I read Midwives a few years ago and this fall read Buffalo Soldiers, Double-Bind, Before You Know Kindness. Carolyn Parkhurst's Lost and Found was wonderful, as was Dogs of Babel, although it was a little difficult to get through as I was reading it when my mother died. Both of Khaled Hosseini's books were great, A Thousand Splendid Suns and Kite Runner, which he narrated himself.

What have you been reading/listening to?