Archive for July, 2007

Etc., etc.

July 28, 2007

So, I finished the very last Harry Potter a few days ago – so. perfect. Despite the expected tinge of sadness over it being the last one, I was fairly elated when I finished it. Really, she wrapped it up perfectly. I won’t go into details for those of you who haven’t read it, but really, I’m not sure if she could have ended it better. Yes, there were deaths – some more poignant than others, but deaths with meaning. And the resolution of one story line in particular – we’ll say for the character whose name rhymes with Drape – was most satisfying. I’m thinking about reading it all over again – the last two hundred pages in particular were so full of action and revealments that I really don’t think I got it all!

My husband and I were discussing the whole Harry Potter phenomenon recently, and wondering if there would ever be anything to equal it. I think not. Working at the party at my bookstore, I was struck (again) by the sheer incredibility of it all – all these thousands of people lining up – old and young – for a BOOK. Not for the i-phone, or to see a celebrity, but for a book. Being in line with those kids, and watching the joy on their faces as they received their book – trust me, any cynicism subsides. It’s pretty amazing, and an experience I’m glad to have been a part of.

Not much news on the knitting front – I’ve started KnitPicks Dappled Lace Cafe Curtain:

And as you can see, I’ve not gotten very far (although I am about four rows past what is pictured). I’m using the recommended yarn – KnitPicks Shine Sport, in the same color, even – it matches the room the curtain is intended for. The only change I’ve made is to go up a needle size from what is recommended – I’m a very tight knitter and generally have to do that. The pattern is simple – although I managed to insert an extra stitch at the end of a row somehow.

I’ve managed to contract startitis – I was doing pretty well for a while, not letting myself start new projects, but all of a sudden I keep getting distracted by other projects. I don’t know why I haven’t finished my Chocolate Creme top – I’m soooooo close. But then I start on that stockinette and do two rows before I get bored. One of these days…

Next weekend I’m going to Nashville with my two girlfriends – we take a long weekend trip every spring or summer, and Nashville is this year’s winner. We have previously gone to Chicago, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and D.C. It’s scandalously fun:

This is us in D.C. at an 80’s bar – a night of much imbibing. I think this photo was taken fairly early in the evening. We all look a little too bright eyed for it to be too late! This is a tradition I’m so glad we have carried on – I hope we do for the rest of our lives. It’s so fun to get away with the girls and gossip and shop and sightsee and yes, drink a little. I’m lucky enough to live in the same city with these awesome gals, so I see them pretty regularly, but it’s still great to get away. The one on the right is the one who is finally granting my lifelong dream to be a bridesmaid!

And planning for England continues – I’ve checked out Pauline Frommer‘s London guide from work, and I think it’s going to be extremely helpful. She’s got some great ideas to help cut costs, and notes some attractions that you might not necessarily think of. I picked that one because I met her at this years Bluegrass Festival of Books – she is super-sweet and her books sound just like her. It’s like having one of your (extremely well-traveled) girlfriends give you travel tips. So I highly recommend them – if you are going to one of the cities she’s got a guidebook for (they are listed on the website), get one!

Rule Brittania!

July 25, 2007

I’m going to England, people!

In just six short weeks I’ll be in the UK – I can’t wait!  This will be our second trip – we went two years ago for the first time and it was wonderful.  This trip will be great because we won’t have to rush around quite so much and be in such a huge hurry to see everything.

It came together pretty quickly – my husband and I have been trying to decide what to do for our vacation for weeks now, and England just kept coming up.  It wouldn’t even be an option if we didn’t have tons of hotel points and could stay for free.

Now it’s time to start planning – that’s almost as much fun as going!  Picking out all the stuff we want to see, places we want to eat, etc.  Some things that are definitely on the list:

1.  More museums.  We only went to the Tate Britain last time (I wanted to see the Pre-Raphaelites).  The British Museum, the National Gallery, Tate Modern – some or all of these!
2.  Sir John Soane’s museum, particularly – I’ve heard nothing but cool stuff about this place.

3.  Hyde Park – we went there before, of course, but it is beautiful and I want to go back.

4.  Dickens house – I’m a fan.

There’s more I can’t think of right now, but I’ll be hitting the travel books and asking for suggestions, too.

What should I take to knit?

In which we discuss dogfighting, Harry Potter, and bridesmaid’s dresses

July 19, 2007

So while I’m playing with my dogs today, I can’t stop thinking about this Michael Vick dog fighting situation.  I understand he is innocent until proven guilty (although the deck does not seem to be stacked in his favor), but whether he is involved or not, SOMEONE tortured and killed those dogs, and they deserve to be locked away for a long, long time.  I have a such a hard time believing anyone would do such terrible things to another living creature – but someone did.  It literally makes me ill -I get nauseated when I think about it.  I look at my own sweet pups, and it just makes me want to cry.  How could anyone participate in such activities, or even know about them, and live with themselves?  I really think there is a special circle of hell for these individuals.

I have to change the subject, because I’m upsetting myself all over again.  Anyone else totally excited about the new Harry Potter?  I certainly am.  I’m reserving all day Saturday to read it.  That is, after I sleep incredibly late, since I’ll be working at my bookstore’s HP release party until probably about 2 a.m.  We were making plans for crowd control today, and it struck me again how awesome this all is – we have to make plans for crowd control for a book release – how cool is that???

And finally, I brought my very first bridesmaid’s dress today!  My girlfriend is getting married in December, and for the first time ever, I get to be in a wedding!  I used to joke with my friends I was always a bride, never a bridesmaid.  It’s a very pretty dress – cranberry satin, strapless, and tea length.  So no ugly bridesmaid dress jokes for me.  And to top it all off, I had to go down a size from last time I tried it on!  Goodness all around!

Hooray for the Interwebs!

July 18, 2007

I’ve recently placed orders for stuff I can’t wait to get. Interweave is having what is apparently an annual sale on slightly damaged books – 50% – 80% off, y’all. I managed to restrain myself and only got two – Folk Socks by Nancy Bush and The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd. To be honest, I would have gotten more, but by the time I could check out the website, they were sold out of a lot of titles.

And, just tonight, I ordered a bunch of stuff from KnitPicks – I love those people so much. They have totally spoiled me for buying yarn anywhere else. Anytime I go in my LYS, I finger all the yarns, and think, “I could get something just like this for half the price at Knitpicks.” Now, that’s not to say I never by yarn at my LYS, because I do all the time! They, too, are having a fabulous book sale – 40% off all titles. I ordered The Opinionated Knitter by EZ. Can’t wait to read that. Also, four balls of sock yarn (my new obsession), a set of DPNs, and six balls of Shine Sport to make their Lace Kitchen Curtain pattern they just posted. We desperately need a new curtain on our mudroom door – the one we have is beyond skanky – it’s barely hanging on the rod. All in all, just enough to get the free shipping. Yay, KnitPicks!

So I have pretty much blown my knitting budget for the next little while – but I’ll be having lots of fun!

And, a picture – my first House Elf sock (also known as Super Quick Baby Socks by Dilys Sutherland – great name, that). I knit a second one that greatly improved on the first, but didn’t get a picture before I had to take it to work. These are a great way for a novice sock knitter to practice. I think I get the whole picking up stitches thing now. You’ll notice the unsightly garter ridge on this one – I eliminated that on the second sock.

Maybe one day I’ll finish my grown up socks!

Well, now.

July 14, 2007

A blog. How ’bout that. We’ll see how this goes. This will be bare bones for a while, at least until I learn how to do some stuff. And figure out what I want to write about.

How about some dog pictures?

This is Petey. He’s a hundred pound Rottweiler- German Shepherd mix. He is the best dog ever in the history of ever.

And this is Ruby. Also a Rottie-GSD mix, with perhaps a little chow thrown in for good measure. My husband and I are fostering her for one of our local humane societies. She’s about half Petey’s size.

Now some knitting?

Here’s what I’m currently working on:

A sock! A Jaywalker (designed by Grumperina , to be precise). This is probably my fifth attempt at knitting socks, and for some reason, this one clicked. I had a lot of trouble with the dpns before, but that’s going better (the wooden needles help a lot), plus the pattern is great. Very clear and easy to follow, and great for a novice sock knitter. Thanks, Grumperina!

And:

A Chocolate Creme Top, from Knitting Lingerie Style, by Joan McGowan-Michael. It’s thisclose to being done – I just have to finish the straps on the back and then seam and pick up and knit around the neck and armholes. But I’ve been seduced away by sock knitting…(see above).

And, what I’m reading – currently The Shadow in the North, the second in the Sally Lockhart series by Philip Pullman. Sparked by seeing a preview for The Golden Compass, one of my favorite books. Normally, I’m not too excited about film adaptations of my favorite books, but this one looks. freaking. awesome. Inspired casting – Nicole Kidman as Mrs. Coulter? Perfect. Sam Elliot as Lee Scoresby? Even better. So let’s cross our fingers and hope it’s a good one and not another Chronicles of Narnia – yech.

All right, I think that may be enough for now. My first blog entry – woot!