Compulsive Knitter

May 6, 2008

Ooh, a book meme!

Filed under: knitting — Marie @ 11:30 am

The perfect diversion for when I can’t post pictures of what I’m knitting and I should be writing papers! As seen on And She Knits Too!

What we have here is the top 106 books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing’s users. As in, they sit on the shelf to make you look smart or well-rounded. Bold the ones you’ve read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
Catch-22
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose (I tried reading this in German too, but gave up.)
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Ulysses
Madame Bovary (The heroine annoyed the hell out of me.)
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies (I might finish this once we unpack all of our books.)
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad
Emma
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Middlesex
Quicksilver
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
(Honestly, I don’t get what the big deal about this book is. Wicked, not The Canterbury Tales!)
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian : a novel (I loved this, my husband hated it. And he’s the historian!)
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
Middlemarch
Frankenstein
The Count of Monte Cristo
Dracula
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
1984
Angels & Demons (Oh, the shame!)
The Inferno (and Purgatory and Paradise)
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Oliver Twist

Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Dune
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present Cryptonomicon
Neverwhere
A Confederacy of Dunces (Had to read this once I moved to Louisiana.)
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Dubliners
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Beloved
Slaughterhouse-five
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel (Loved this book, although it freaked me the hell out.)
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Lolita
Persuasion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye (I wanted to smack Holden the whole time I was reading this.)
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

Kind of a weird combination of books, huh? I don’t know if you can tell from the list, but I’m really into 19th century lit (especially the gothic stuff) for some reason…

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May 5, 2008

Slow progress

Filed under: knitting, life in general — Marie @ 11:47 am

There are no major updates on the house just yet. My husband signed some sort of (executed?) contract, but I’m not sure exactly what it is because I’m still in Louisiana until the end of the semester, plus I don’t need to sign anything until we get to closing. So I’m a little out of the loop, but my husband updates me every night on the progress or lack thereof. We don’t have a closing date yet, but maybe there will be one today or tomorrow once the bank does its thing. As soon as the semester is over, I’ll probably get really impatient. It seems like it took long enough to find the right house, so now that that’s done, I feel like saying, “Get on with it!”

There has been some knitting, surprise, surprise. (Maybe I need the relaxation.) Since I don’t have much else besides sock yarn here and I wanted to quick gratification, I cast on for a sock with my stash of Wolle Rödel Sport & Strumpfwolle in a dark red tweed. I started out with a twelve stitch pattern from More Sensational Knitted Socks, but it just wasn’t working for me. Because of the large stitch pattern, I was kind of between sizes and maybe shouldn’t have chosen the smaller number of stitches to cast on. Plus, I wasn’t finding the pattern (Stansfield 304, I believe) all that relaxing to knit. I was clenching my teeth for all the M1 and M1Rs. (I know, I have issues.) So I frogged it and started the Stansfield 196 instead….ah, much better! I find it relaxing, pretty nice looking in the yarn I chose, and going by very quickly. No pictures right now, since my husband has had the digital camera in Houston since we started house hunting over spring break.

If you’ve stuck with me thing long, however, I do have another picture to reward you!

Here’s a shot of what will be (knock on wood) our master bedroom. See what I mean about the paint? I don’t have a problem with brown walls, but this is kind of dark and I think our dark-stained dressers might just fade into the walls if left as is. Isn’t that a kind of crazy corner? I’m thinking we’ll have to actually have a sitting area there. I’m having trouble concentrating on the last papers/exams I have to do this semester, since I keep decorating the house in my mind…

March 29, 2008

House hunting!

Filed under: knitting, life in general — Marie @ 9:58 am

Sorry for the quiet around here lately…I wanted to post a quick update before the end of March. It’s the end of my spring break and we’ve been house hunting in Houston, which is very exciting and a little bit terrifying. We’ve even made an offer on a house, although it is not likely we will get it. That particular house is big, ready to move in, and probably priced low to bring multiple offers/start a bidding war. We have another house that we loved when we saw it that we are prepared to make an offer on as well, should this one not work out. So this may be a moving/new house blog for awhile! I sneak in some knitting here and there, but it is not very exciting. Just a 62″ long 1×1 rib tie/edging for the lucky cardigan, which makes for good mindless knitting but not very exciting progress pictures.

December 13, 2007

Knitty review

Filed under: knitting — Marie @ 11:16 am

I know the new Knitty came out a week or two ago, but I’m just getting the chance to post my thoughts here. For the most part, I’m underwhelmed. It’s not that there aren’t great patterns, but none of them really are calling for me to knit them. That is a very good thing, however, since I’m on a yarn diet. Yes, no new yarn, even for Christmas…so sad. But if we get the chance to buy our first house this summer, it will be worth it!

So, if the yarn diet wasn’t an issue, what would I knit? I really, really like Jeanie even though all those dropped stitches look like trouble! It seems like it would be a nice challenge, but wouldn’t make very good brain-dead school knitting. The only similar wrap to this pattern that I’ve knitted was Clapotis, and that wasn’t nearly as challenging.

I also thought Cables & Bits was absurdly cute. If I had a little dog, I’d knit it in a minute. I have a friend with a dachshund, maybe I should knit it for her… 🙂 I’m teaching her to knit too, so I don’t think she would consider me totally crazy!

Finally, I think the Fair Isle Rapids pattern is lovely. One of these days I gotta try something (manageable) that involves stranded knitting. This may be a good candidate, although I already have others in mind. I gotta check my queue in Ravelry and see if I have them there yet…

December 11, 2007

Woo-hoo!

Filed under: grad school, knitting, life in general, UFOs — Marie @ 12:19 pm

I finished my last paper and emailed it in on Sunday (I worked until the very last minute on that one) and then graded all of the finals in my class Sunday afternoon. Monday morning, I calculated the final grades and sent them in. Woo-hoo, I am finished for the semester!

I am now enjoying the simple pleasures of domesticity: planning my cookie-making and holiday decorating. And, of course, more knitting. As I packed up in Lafayette to spend the next few weeks in Houston, I had to decided which of my many unfinished projects to bring:

1. Viennese shrug: I found this in one of my knitting bags while hunting for unfinished projects. I am almost done with the last sleeve on this, but I had gotten off on the lace at some point and started fudging the pattern. Since I don’t remember exactly how I was fudging the pattern and where I left off, I would probably have to rip back – or tink back, ugh – on this at least a little bit.

2. Cabled belt: This has been laying around unblocked and sans belt buckle for FOREVER.

3. Hoodie: I think this is in another knitting bag stuffed in a hutch in my kitchen in Houston.

4. Cable eight tank: This is stuffed into a box in my bedroom in LA, waiting to be blocked and seamed together. This project ran off the road when (after many attempts to find the right hook size) my attempts at crocheting the pieces together looked bulky and unflattering.

5. Lucky: I was chugging along on this project until I discovered I made the second front piece *way* bigger than the first. I frogged it and started re-knitting it, but abandoned it when sockapalooza 4 came around. This project probably deserves to be worked on monogamously so I don’t screw it up again!

6. Short row rib scarf: I finished knitting this, but the ends need to be woven in and I need to figure out how to make the fringe. And hopefully do it right the first time, since I only have a very limited amount of yarn left!

7. Bernadette: I am working on the second half already and knitting on this goes very fast, providing I am alert enough to follow the chart and/or instructions! I could probably finish this in a few days of concentrated knitting.

8. Drop-stitch scarf: I have no idea where this project is (maybe with the hoodie?) and it’s kind of boring to knit. I would just frog it, but I don’t know what else to do with the ribbon yarn… this is where I could probably get some ideas from Ravelry!

Whew, I think that is all of them. I also know some expectant mothers I’m thinking about knitting baby socks for, but I’m not counting that here because a) I haven’t started any, so they don’t count as UFOs b) I want to finish a few UFOs! c) That is they perfect kind of knitting to do during next semester: mindless, quick, rewarding. So what did I bring to Houston (providing that I could find it)?

I brought: Lucky, the short row rib scarf, and Bernadette. If by some miracle I actually finish all of those, then I hoping that the hoodie is somewhere around here. I figure the scarves will be pretty quick work and even if they don’t make it for Christmas, I can still send them off to family in Germany when it is still seasonal to wear them.

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