Friday, February 27, 2009

30 (or so) books

Over at Alwyn's blog she had a meme for thirty books (or series of books) that you would crawl across glass(or similar) to get your paws onto.

So here are mine. I should add that this list should be in no way considered exhaustive, but is merely a snapshot which I though of at about 3am

1. Elizabeth Zimmermann - anything really, tart, dry and very amusing. One of the knitteing authors which changed from being a knitter to being a KNITTER.

2. Anything by Sheri Tepper - a great author for women and a great storyteller

3. The Bittermoon duology from Amy Lane - great story telling; do yourself a favour and get your hands on them - fabulous

4. Anything by Jane Austen - smart, witty, keenly observant, amusing - the best books ever.

5. But because Jane only wrote half a dozen books, how about some of Georgette Heyer's Regency romances - tongue firmly in cheek, meticulously researched and lots of fun.

6. Any Phaedon art book. Pick your three favourite artists and grab a Phaedon - beautiful erudite books.

7. Nigella Lawson cookbooks - starting with `How to Eat' and continuing through all the others' Food as prose and recipes for the time challenged and greedy.

8. The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. Laugh out loud funny and I adore Grandma Mazur

9. Anything by Terry Pratchett - funny, incisive, great characters and parodies. A tragedy of the highest order that he has early onset Alzheimers

10. The Song of Ice and Fire Series by George RR Martin. Politics, sex, intrigue and power - brilliant and ongoing.

11. Anything by Charles de Lint. Master of urban fantasy and incredibly poetic and musical prose.

12. Anything by Guy Gavriel Kay - The 3 books in the Fionnavarr Tapestry have been read and reread and rereread. Beautiful, moving and still brings me to tears.

13 The Earthsea Quartet by Ursula K Le Guin - hell - anything by Ursula - brilliant, fabulous wonderful - read them

14. Gerald Durrell's biographical books - especially `My Family and Other Animals'. Hilarious and one of the few families which made mine look nearly normal

15. PJ O'Rourke - one of the few Republican's I'd invite to dinner - hysterical, drunken and keen observer, but often seriously politically unsound

16. Steven Donaldson - everything

18. Bill Mollison's permaculture books. How to be sustainable and have fun.

19. Stephanie Alexander - the Cook's Companion. A book I really couldn't live without.

20. PG Wodehouse - all of them - seriously, an England which perhaps only existed in peoples minds. Stereotypical, class laden and funny.

21. Yates Garden Guide. There's an answer for most things in here.

22 Terence Conran's The House Book. Full of ideas and great visuals. Unlikely to happen while there are children around, but I can dream.

23. Winston Churchill - History of the British Empire. Brilliant

24. Seamus Heaney's poetry -especially the audio books of his wonderful Irish voice reading his poems.

25. Ray Bradbury - any collection of short stories

26. Potter's book of Glazes - and entire chemistry course in one small volume

27. H Rider Haggard - Adventure stories from a time when men were men and women were scary. The source of the expression `She Who Must Be Obeyed'

28. Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series. These get better and better as they go on, in direct contrast to Lauren Hamilton who started off great and turned into badly written soft porn

29. The King James Version of the Bible. Rolling thunder of archaic, badly translated text, but so poetic and wonderful

30. John Gardener, `Grendal.' and of course the book from the other point of view `Beowulf'. Try reading it aloud in the original Anglo-Saxon. And the read Grendal to see what the monster thought about it all.

31 And one for luck. A long out of print sci book called `From the Legend of Biel' - and anything by Patricia McKillip or Robyn McKinley. Or a stack of others.

That's the list for tonight. Tomorrow it may be entirely different. Thanks for this one, Alwyn.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

First. The knitting news'

The show off stranded socks are finished - a fun knit and I adore the Blue Monn yarn - Socks that Rock mediumweight - makes great boot socks ready for winter.

Next, a WIP

Cherie Amour from, in Shadow tweed from Wangaratta and what should be a bulky and quick knit. Folks, this took 5 tries - either I didn't leave enough tail in the cast on, or I couldn't count to 12 - 5 tries - Finally fixed the problem by using stitch markers. I like the pattern and I think it will be a nice autumn jumper.

This gorgeousness is the Shetland triangle (finally, you all sigh, better pictures!)

Isn't it gorgeous?

13 pattern repeats, Wollmeise 80/20 in Indisch Rot ran out of yarn halfway through the cast off! Had to raid the Christmas sock club yarn which was similar (though darker reds) - a very lucky save! I was not looking forward to frogging the edging.

Currently on the needles are 2 pairs of socks - the self designed toe ups in Lorna's laces (more details to follow at some point) the first of which is almost finished.

Have just cast on the Lighthouse Gansey Socks. I went to Princess's Milo cricket on Saturday WITHOUT MY KNITTING! Luckily I had both the emergency knitting and the car knitting, o I was safe, but it has made me a little paranoid.

I am about to cast on another pair of socks, the Blackrose socks, because I saw Bells version and fell hopelessly in love. I just happen to have some Thraven sock yarn wound into a yarn cake. Fancy that!

I also have a Gathered Pullover, for mindless stocking stitch knitting, a scarf and a stash. I think I need to knock over some WIPs. I want another Clapotis and the Long Lacey Summer is almost over. Most of my lace ahs been socks (apart fromt he Shetland Triangle and Cherie. There's always time for shawls over winter.

Other news.

I finally get to see my dentist tomorrow after 5 weeks of intermittent agony due to biting down on something on the second day of our holiday and doing something nasty to a tooth. It would convice me it was OK until a weekend, or at night. i was glad to get home and call my dentist, but an emergency appointment was for 2 weeks in the future. I am tired of pain and painkillers and will be pleased to have it fixed.

Thanks to the positive vibes and good wishes of you all, the Accountant is OK. He needs to have regular 3 monthly check ups for a while, but I am considering him OK, for all intents and purposes.

The munchkins are back at school and enjoying it. Destructoboy loves kindi and the Princess is happy with the new male (gasp) grade 1 teacher.

We spent Sunday de-cluttering 1 room! So we are well and truly into the decluttering stakes. I have bought no yarn since my last post (although I have got 3 books incoming) and am continuing to find things to love in my stash. Alwen is right, all those yummy yarns inspire me no end and I remember all the plans I had for them. But like all addictions, I'm taking it day by day!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Most people I know, think that I'm crazy!

Let's just start by reminding people to give blood and plasma, and that you can donate to bushfire victims by clicking this link.

Some random things about the last month:

1. All the time we were in South Australia I had cold showers. The cold water was about the same temperature as our hot showers at home.
2. I don't like hot weather - but I managed to knit on regardless - socks don't make you as hot as knitting jumpers
3. I still remember the 1967 bushfires here in Tasmania. All my extra clothes, our extra sheets and towels went to help the victims. My dad had to drive to Hobart just after and said he could never get rid of the sight and smell of all the dead farm animals.
4. The country's response to the Victorian bushfires re-affirms my belief in the basic goodness of humanity. At least most of it. There are some people around I refuse to classify as human.
5. Arsonists usually have bed wetting problems until their late teens. Many also torture animals and are sexually dysfunctional. I often wonder if this were more widely publicised whether some people would be as keen to light fires.
6. A while ago there was a great kid's book about lies. My favourite was `Wine makes mummy clever'

I am not a big dreamer. I don't remember dreams often, and tend only to remember large technicolor numbers when I am hot. Except for when I was pregnant, dreams are an occasional thing. Last night I dreamed I was engaging in a new sport called `Extreme de-stashing'. You had to hunt down the yarn which had been de-stashed in inhospitable and difficult locations, like volcano craters, on the top of mountains, deep in the rainforests and so on. I was extremely good at this and was vying with Zephyrama and Bells for the championship title.

Do you think this was a premonition?

I have decided that this year, given the state of the world economy, the general suckiness of the Australian dollar and the state of my stash, I will be attempting to use my stash more, as a source of inspiration. I am going to stash down in 09. This is not a yarn diet (we all know how diets always bring on binges) but I will try and be increasingly mindful of purchases. There is also the fact that I am a member of several sock clubs to consider.

I know there will be 2 purchases from overseas this year, but I think I would like to limit my spending to those. As far as possible, I would like to be surprised by the non-stash - and most of this years planned projects are already mated with the yarn I have. Let's see how well I do!

I just thought I'd try an update on the `Seven things' thing - given that I've fallen woefully behind. Taph is being so good, but I rather fell by the wayside. This time I'm going to combine it with Rosered's stash honesty policy.

For January:

2 prs trousers
1 pr bathers
4 tops
1 skirt - Yes Jejune, you were right. I had a small falling down at the TS14 sale

12 skeins of Naturally 10 ply merino angora 70/30 (but it was on a sale table for $2.50 a skein and therefore could not be denied!)
Yarn as mentioned previously from the LYS closing down sale (lots)
1 sock club kit
1 Valentines present from MadMad with a skein of DB pure cashmere (and some other gorgeous goodies like notecards and a little bag and cuticle cream and soak) Thank you so much!

8 bags of clothes to Lifeline
2 boxes of toys to local childcare centre
about 300 old magazines and newspapers - recycling

Shake it all about
3 pairs of socks and 2 single socks

Total yarn in: 3.2kg
Total used: 400gr

Drat! I'll try to do better next month!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Honeeeeey!!! We're Home!

We're back.

Tasmania is back to it's normal sort of summer weather. South Australia was sweltering with 6 days in a row of over 40 and one of those days registered 49 where we were staying. That sort of weather would kill a brown dog.

I did however get time to both knit and drink wine - two of my favourite hobbies! Bleow we have (top to bottom) Waving Lace in Socks That Rock Seastone, Mojos in Yarn Pirate BFL and Circle Socks in Cerry Tree Hill Supersock Champlain Sunset. This was a chance to bring out my inner colour tart - not a difficult proposition.

I have 2 other socks also, but will post them when they have friends!

I have fallen behind on blogpost reading and am frantically trying to catch up. I'm also waaaay behind on Ravelry but am trying to catch up there too.

The Princess starts grade 1 tomorrow, a week behind the rest of the class, and Destructoboy starts kindergarten on Tuesday. My big grown up children.

The SILs pool was a very popular place while we were staying there - she and her partner are both incredibly patient and prepared to be assaulted by small people on a regular basis.

I go back to work on Tuesday, with new clothes from a certain incident involving a sale and will post more later. The cake is cooked and I am just about to do the next layer of a cassata!