Calmer today.

As frazzled as I was last night, I didn’t talk about stuff that I did want to talk about, so you get a bonus Saturday episode!

One of the places I went to yesterday without mentioning was The Fiber Factory in Mesa.  I like going in there well enough, though not nearly as well as TYF, but I am physically incapable of being within walking distance of an open yarn store and not stopping in, and I was still recovering from my panic attack, so in I went.

Now, I’ve heard a lot of raving about Noro – the colors, the long repeats, the interesting combinations – and I’ve looked at it a couple of times, but I’ve always been turned off by how rough it is.  I’m a very tactile person, and the softness of the yarns is one of the things that draws me to knitting.  Well, in the sale bin at Fiber Factory were a few skeins of Noro Aya, which is a worsted-weight cotton-silk-wool blend.  I’m not sure which factor does it, but it’s the softest Noro I’ve ever felt.  Granted, this isn’t really hard, but it’s soft enough for me to work with, AND it was on sale, so I picked one up.  I’m thinking about a pair of mismatched fingerless gloves.

Tomorrow a friend and I are going to the Southwest Regional Alpaca Show, and I’m hoping to get some fiber.  I’ve never spun alpaca, but the yarn is so incredibly soft, and I’m very excited.  Doubtless I’ll have an exciting report tomorrow or Monday, with pictures.

Meanwhile, I’ve turned the heels on the butterfly socks, picked up the gusset stitches and started knitting in the round again.  This is my second pair of two-at-a-time socks, and the first time I’ve done them cuff-down, plus I’m basically translating a regular sock pattern.  They didn’t quite attack me, but they shoved me against the wall and said nasty things about my mother and demanded my lunch money.

The transition from working back-and-forth to turn the heel to working in the round again… kind of didn’t work right.  (I’m about to get really technical about what the problem was and how I fixed it, so if that sort of thing bores you, you have my permission to skip merrily past the next paragraph.)  I think I picked up the gusset stitches on one side of Sock B at the wrong time, which meant that my yarn was in the wrong place when I went to shift the cables.  My row – where sock B ended and I switched to sock A – was ending at the end of the heel stitches rather than where the gusset stitches met the instep.  This meant that the gusset stitches for sock B were on the cable when I was supposed to be knitting them.  I ended up doing something weirdly complicated that I can’t seem to mentally replicate, involving a second cable needle and a DPN, and shifting stitches around and knitting them in weird orders, but now my instep stitches are on one side, and my heel and gusset stitches are on the other, which is exactly how it’s supposed to be.  The more socks I knit, the more they interest me, which is how it starts, I suppose.  I really do prefer toe-up, just because knitting the leg gets tedious after awhile.  Maybe I just haven’t found the right interesting leg pattern yet to hold my attention.

In other news, I had put up a pair of fingerless mitts in a charity auction.  The auction closed last night, and they went for $20, which I’m totally thrilled about.  The bidding was up at $15 within a couple of hours of the post, and the additional bid was really nice.  It’s a good cause, and as I’ve mentioned before, I really like the pattern.

I’m probably the last person in the world to figure this out, but audio books while you’re knitting are fantastic.  Now, I’ve always been sort of hit-and-miss with audiobooks.  I mostly have listened to them while driving long distances, and the production values vary and the ability to hold my interest varies as well.  Most recently, (before now) I was listening to Stephen King’s new short story collection while driving to and from Las Vegas for Christmas, and there were parts that just absolutely dragged.  So I’d basically written off audiobooks again, and went back to knitting podcasts.  I still had several in my iTunes, and I figured that instead of just deleting them outright, I’d at least give them a try.

The one I started – and finished – listening to was His Majesty’s Dragon, by Naomi Novik.  It’s the first in the Temeraire series, which is kind of like Master and Commander with dragons.  If you like Victorian England, or the British Navy, or dragons, or well-told stories with strong characters (both male and female), you’ll dig this book.  Every night, when I’d stop listening, I thought about buying an ebook copy so I could continue reading even while I couldn’t listen.

What stopped me was the presentation.  It’s read by David Thorne, who has a gorgeous voice with an appropriately British accent.  His characters’ voices are distinctive enough to be instantly distinguishable, without being distracting or over-the-top or even sounding particularly like he’s “doing voices.”  His reading style reminds me a lot of Patrick Stewart’s reading of A Christmas Carol. I genuinely think that listening to him read made me enjoy the book even more than I would have if I’d just read it.  He brought the characters to vivid, entrancing life, and I was enraptured from play to stop.

The closest thing I have to an actual issue is the way the tracks are broken up.  I don’t know if this is the norm, but it looks like Random House just took the entire recording, divided it by nine, and split it into chunks of just over an hour.  The track breaks were really random, so I couldn’t just say, “Okay, I’ll listen to this track, and it’ll end at an okay stopping point and then I’ll go do this other thing.”  In one case that I noticed, a chapter ended and a new chapter began less than five minutes from the end of the track.  What it also meant was that I felt like I needed to leave iTunes up and running all the time, to save my place, and I normally close it when I’m not using it.  But “I didn’t like where the track breaks were” is such an incredibly minor problem that I feel bad complaining about it.  In any event, I highly recommend the book and the audiobook, so if you’re looking for something to read or to listen to, check it out.

No specific goals for this week; I’m going to focus on processing and see if I can figure out a better coping mechanism for dealing with other people’s abuse situations.  Probably a lot of spinning, because it’s soothing, and finishing the butterfly socks.

That’s my high points, at least.  How was your week?  Read anything good lately?


~ by Amber on March 12, 2011.

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