Monday, May 29, 2006

As I procrastinate writing my lit review by reading the first volume of Piled Higher and Deeper (thank you Alok), I remembered I promised baby blanket photos (more procrastination).
I actually blocked this project.
First step soaking it in the tub (wet and I didn't want the chance to ruin my camera). Next, dry/ring out it in a towel (also wet and I need to paint my toes).

After the soaking of my towel, next is to finally use the kitchen table to block.

Finally the proud display by the sun pillow I made when I was 17.

It's now all boxed up and at the post office waiting to be sent. Now back to the procrastination.
Currently on TV: Nothing I have a headache

Sunday, May 28, 2006

I will show photos of the baby blanket I promise. I finished The Princess Academy. I was left thinking it wasn't a good all age book. If you are interested get it from the library. It isn't worth a buy which is sad. I really wanted to love this book. I would definitely recommend it to an adolescent girl though. I found myself wanting to buy it for my sister who is going to be 12. It was a sweet story but it wasn't as good as Zusak or DiCamillo's work.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Grr Arrg
The Baby Blanket is done, and I am blocking it as I type. I know am attempting a knit 1 purl 1 scarf. It will be pretty. The problem is I can't purl. I think I get the hang of it and it turns out I'm just knitting in two different ways. When I try to purl the other way I end up with two fucking stitches. I have no clue what I am doing wrong. I've used both the Stitch 'N Bitch instructions and The Knitter's Companion. I'm going to leave it until tomorrow.
On TV: THe Bachester Chronicles Vol. 1
I just received the post today. My sock yarn in lemon (on the left) arrived. I ordered it Sunday night and on Saturday it was here from Boston. I bought it here.
I'm so happy with it.
On TV: Midsomer Murder's: A Worm in the Bud. (the post came)
Yesterday, I talked about the three books I bought at Mrs. Nelson's. I finished the last one, The Tale of Despereux, this morning. The Thief Lord was the one I picked up first. Cornelia Funke has yet to let me down. I am not sure she will ever win any awards over here (due to her books being translated from German and published over here later), but it says something of the quality of her work as well as her natural talent as a writer that she is being published in English. My copy of The Thief Lord has a special section in the back with conversations with the author as well as the tale of how the book became to be published. A young girl who was bilingual wondered why her favorite author wasn't published in English so she wrote to J.K. Rowlings publisher (addressed the letter to the Publisher of Harry Potter) and the rest is history. The book is a take on Oliver Twist with fantasy elements thrown in. I love how Funke set's her tales in real places so that the reader knows that they can travel there when you can't go to Middle Earth or Hogwarts.
Next, I read i am the messanger by Markus Zusak. I have become a fan and am glad the bookseller at Mrs. Nelson's handed me the book. I understand why it was one of the Honor Books of the ALA young adult prize last year. The ending was far fetched but the character grew from the first to the last page. It's always nice to see growth in a character and the explanation of why was fascinating. I also loved the character of Milla and how kind and loving Ed was with her. (Anyone who will read Wurthering Heights out loud just to be kind is a decent human.) The book has 5 parts to it dealing with the 4 aces in a playing card deck and a joker. All total there are about 55 chapters but some are long some short.
The last book I read was Despereux. I have heard nothing but positive things about this book (it won the Newbery) and was told it is a must buy in Hardcover. The binding is wonderful and the torn page affect is charming. The story is light and sweet and tells of the length's one will go to if one's in love or has been hurt and had their heart broken (this is why one must always be kind). The part about forgiveness was touching and I loved how DiCamillo wove in larger words and dictionaries. DiCamillo has a wonderful narrative voice and is golden in her touch. Despereux is her second Newbury award, and I personally hope she is honored in some way for Edward Tulane.
The next book in my reading list is a Newbury Honor book from last year by Shannon Hale. Amazon kept tempting me with it and I found a copy signed at Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena (another independent bookstore, but it feels like a BN). The cover is not very eye catching and the title isn't great, but the story is a new twist on fairy tale tropes. Also it was honored which means it's not horrible. (One of my favorite books growing up was a Newbury Honor, The True Confessions of C
Charlotte Doyle by Avi. I really need to pick that one up.)
For the rest of today my goal is to finish the baby blanket and block it. I'll post photos when it's done.
On TV: nothing the mail hasn't come yet

Friday, May 26, 2006

So I have said that I'm a grad student, I'm a Master's Canidate at California State University, Long Beach. That only sounds mildly impressive in Southern California. I'm in the CSU system the stepchild of the UC system. Let's be honest I could poll my non-existent readers and they probably would never have heard of it. My thesis hours this semester were to be pass/fail only. My professor however gave me an A. This helped my GPA considerably. I did not nearly earn an A I may not have even earned a pass. I was also told this by the professor but I have an A. I don't know how I feel.
My future niece's baby blanket is still on the needles but there is light at the end of the tunnel. I am over halfway done with the last ball of yarn. I had to go to the dentist in Seal Beach. I live in Burbank so it's a bit of a drive and I left early. I had time so I stopped at Alameta Bay Yarn Company the Long Beach Yarn store. They have a good selection but I don't find the staff approachable or much help and their needle prices are way to high. I've only gotten yarn there at the store wide sale. I remembered why when I lived in Long Beach I traveled to Cayucus for yarn buying.
I went to Mrs. Nelson's today as well. If you are a children's book lover and are ever in LA visiting and have access to a car make the drive out to La Verne. It's a wonderful shop. I adore the manager and her knowledgable staff. I made it out of there with my total under $50 and got there promo card (every $100 spent you get a $10 gift certificate). I've spent more than $100 but was just offered the card. It must be a new thing. I picked up i am the messanger (got to love the e.e. cummingsness of the title and in hardcover) by Markus Zusak. His most recent work is The Book Thief a worthwhile read. I found The Tale of Despereaux (in hardcover) by Kate DiCamillo and a Newbery Medal winner. Her latest work is The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (an instant classic). I also finally picked up The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke (love her work and heared her speak at LA Festival of books).
On TV: Nothing I have a headache

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

This is becoming a habit, I'm procrastinating thesis writing by knitting and typing this. The baby blanket is still on needles. I finished The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak last night. It's a great young adult fiction set during World War II In Munich, Germany. The tale is based off of the author's mother's girlhood in German. It was a hard story to read. It was well written and well told. It is also brutally honest in it's portrayal of life in Germany during the war. It's a wonderful book that should be read by as many people as possible. The media blitz it's getting also is interesting to me. The author was on a speaking and signing tour with two other authors this past spring. He has been on Good Morning America and Weekend All Things Considered. Kopft (owned by Random House) is really pushing this book. It's plain to see why; it's that good. Charlie Gibson talked about being sent the book, picking it up at random and not being able to put it down. He then said it was annoying because he had no one to talk to about it. I recommended the book to Danielle as well. Hopefully, the library she works at will buy it. It really is worth a read.
Currently on TV: Daniel Deronda

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

First post, I'm a little bit frightened and fear I will have absolutely no eliquence. I created this so that I could comment on the podcast craft lit. It's wonderful all should check it out. So about me, I'm an anthropology graduate student who is almost finished with my masters. I just need to finish my thesis. In my spare time I knit, read and try to keep myself entertained.
I am planning on using this blog to bore people with tales of my knitting and my readings for fun. Currently on needles (because I am afraid if I do to many projects I'll never finish) is a baby blanket for my future niece. While I love the idea of being an aunt and all of the knitting opportunities this will bring, the blanket is boring. I can't wait to finish and block the thing. I'm currently on my last ball of yarn. The next project is a knit 1 purl 1 scarf in greens to teach myself how to properly purl (joy). Then I have a beautiful sock yarn coming which may tempt me into knitting up some socks. Who knows?
On the fun reading front, I'm looking at my bookshelf and reading all the books I've bought but haven't gotten to read yet. It's mainly children's literature and genre fiction such as sci-fi/fantasy and mystery's. This month for the Murder Mystery reading group, I just finished Aunt Dimity's Death. It was too cute and I want to try the oatmeal cookie receipe. Children's lit that I've been reading are The Children of the Red King series by Jenny Nimo. The series is great and the conclusion was worth it. If you can get past the first half of the first book which is similar to Harry Potter, you will find a fast paced series that is full of unique and complex characters who grow and change as the five books progress.
Also, Happy Belated Birthday Stephen. I promise next year Sean won't be in charge of gift buying.
Currently on TV: Who Framed Roger Rabbit