Wednesday, August 23, 2017

{Yarn and Books} Super Scary Sock Fest and Some New Thrillers

After completely failing at Sock Madness this spring, I've got higher hopes for Super Scary Sockfest. The pregame pattern is out and this is all stuff I can do! 

It's the first time I've done a toe up sock with a gusset and heel flap...I think. It's absolutely the first time I've done a heel like this one. But I did it and now I'm working my way through the twisted stitches on the leg.

There's still time to sign up over on Ravelry if you want to join us in knitting socks inspired by scary movies. It's a competition, but you can knit at your own pace and pick which of the patterns you want to do, unlike some of  the other competitive sock knitting events.

99 Red Balloons by Elisabeth Carpenter

The intertwined stories of two missing girls kept me guessing, but there were too many different voices telling the tale. Three adult women, and a missing girl, and the man who took her... I managed to keep them all straight, but it was like watching the story unfold from a distance.  This is one of those books that makes you work to piece together exactly what's going on.

Lies She Told by Kate Holahan

There are two thrillers unfolding here, the one that Liza Jones is writing to meet a deadline and the one that she is living. Both stories kept me turning pages to see what would become of the characters. Chapters alternate between the fictional author's life and the book she's writing, but it was always clear which of the two stories I was reading and I didn't come close to figuring it all out.

Disclosure -- I was provided with an advance review copies by the publishers. All opinions are my own. This post is linked to Crazy Mom Quilts , Wrap up Friday iknead2knit, and  Frontier Dreams  

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

At the "Big Ass Manly Sale"

The signs for the Big Ass Many Sale looked like they'd been written by a woman. My husband and I both had the same thought, but we were out for a drive and it seemed like it was worth a little detour.

Most of the stuff spread out on the grass looked appropriately manly...although I know a lot of female bloggers who would have snapped it up...

The ladder would have been tempting if we didn't have one just like it in the barn already.

So what does a woman buy at a sale like that?

A water bath canner that may or may not leak, and vintage crayons. (I'm on a quest for a Prussian Blue crayon and couldn't remember what year they were discontinued because it's not my project.) I wasn't looking for the vintage coloring books, not really, but the answer when I asked what he wanted for the crayons was "They're yours!" and then he dug out the old coloring books from a box under the table and threw those in too. I'll find a use for 'em. Or find someone who had a use for 'em.

Hubby bought some mysterious metal things, and I bought a wooden ironing board for five bucks. It was in great shape and my daughter only has a rickety metal one. (Cosplayers, unlike the rest of us, actually iron their clothing.)

And my husband bought the bike from the first picture. I didn't ask questions, because I was bringing home ancient coloring books and he wasn't complaining about that.

By the way, if you convince your husband that wooden ironing boards are hard to come by outside of antique malls, that apparently means you'll find a second one a day later, also at a pretty decent price. We left that one for someone else to find and love.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Knitting Socks While Waiting for the Eclipse...

I thought I'd be knitting away on this pair the whole time I was counting down to the eclipse. Instead, I finished them seven days after casting on. That's not a problem -- I immediately cast on another pair of "eclipsey" socks to keep me busy. 

Pattern: Lazy Lace Socks (modified) 
Yarn: Knitpicks Hawthorne, Burnside

It was  the perfect combination of great yarn, a great pattern, and plenty of time to sit and knit. That lace panel that runs up the side of each sock was just fiddly enough to make me happy. The pattern is easy to memorize and easier to read just by looking at the row. So I could put down the socks at any point, even in the middle of a round, without struggling to figure out where I'd left off.

I'll absolutely be knitting this pattern again, and looking for more stockinette socks with a pretty decorative bit running up the foot and leg.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Waiting in the Path of the Eclipse

Are you in the path of the eclipse? Are you happy about this once in a lifetime experience?

I was excited about the eclipse when I first heard about it a couple of years back. There was another total eclipse here back in 1979 and they kept kids home from school so that we wouldn't blind ourselves. My husband says he saw it and that it was no big deal.

I want to see an eclipse, darnit!

Our backyard is in the path of totality. We've all got our eclipse glasses. The boys and I went and listened to lectures at the public library about how to safely view and photograph the big event. (Don't expect blog pictures from me because the methods for doing it without frying the camera are all way beyond my skill level.)

I'm still a little excited about the minute of total darkness. What I'm exhausted by are the rumors and predictions of doom and gloom. I've heard that the interstate would be closed during the eclipse...and that it won't. I've heard that the highway to Sisters would be closed...then that that was just a rumor...but now there's a fire and some of the mountain passes are closed.

That's the view of the fire we had when we were driving home on Tuesday afternoon,
 through one of those passes that's now closed. 

I really feel for the people who invested a lot of time and money into getting here for the eclipse. And the people who've been evacuated from their homes -- where are they going to go while the area is so crowded with tourists?

I'm still hearing that we're going to run out of gas and groceries...and that's the least of the doom and gloom they're predicting. Honestly, it's Y2K all over again.

Hubby and I drove over towards the coast for lunch on Friday and were entertained by the signs. $25 eclipse parking... $125 to spend the night in a restaurant parking lot. The local mall is renting RV sites in their parking lot... That part is entertaining, but I'll be glad when the whole thing is over.

Is there eclipse drama in your corner of the world?


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