Saturday, April 27, 2024

April project and exciting news

We have a completed project for April, folks - and something else that's fun. Are you sitting down?

My short story, The Canadians, has been shortlisted for this year's Best Crime Short Story from Crime Writers of Canada! It's such a compliment, especially since the other stories in this category are super strong. And this is the first time any of my published stories has been recognized in this way. I'm super excited, and so happy. 

The story is in Killin' Time in San Diego, the 2023 anthology from Bouchercon which features stories from crime greats Anne Cleeves, C.J. Box, and Naomi Hirahara. I've linked it to the Barnes and Noble page if you want a copy, but it's available from loads of other bookstores too.

I haven't celebrate yet. I found out yesterday and still ended up making dinner at home instead of dining on luxurious foods or just ice cream, and today I made a slew of French Toast to share also. Though that's a good thing really because I'm excellent at French Toast. 

Back to my newly completed Hatcowl, which the keen-eyed among you will notice hasn't been blocked yet. I'm still counting it as Done anyway because a/ I can just slip it in with my next sock wash and b/ I hab a code. Or the start of one, anyway. First cold in over four years! I know because I repeatedly tested the beloved family member who brought it home, and it ain't Covid. I guess that's another thing to celebrate?

I did extra deep ribbing on this one, practically to headband territory, because I wanted it good and snug around my ears and thought it'd look nice. It does, and it is, but I'm not sure I'd bother with all that if I made a fourth one. Mainly because I think three of the exact same hat is all one girl needs. Time to move on with a new shape.

I also went a little overkill on the braided drawstring, cutting the yarn four whole inches longer than my pattern specified. Not sure what I was thinking. This is a lotta drawstring! I ended up wrapping the string around the top before tying a nice bow, which solved the problem.

Okay I know this is a gratuitous number of photos of Killin' Time, but I just love the colours on it. Plus it's so matchy with my hat, don't you think?

And now: time for me to head back to bed with a very big cup of hot tea. Hope your weekend is lovely, entertaining, and tissue-free. Thanks for dropping by to hear my good news, and I'll see you next week!

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Enjoying Elizabeth Zimmermann

Lately I've been reorganizing my bookshelves and enjoying the opportunity to browse through my copy of Elizabeth's Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac. 

Also, making a tiny amount of progress on the Halloween Christmas Socks. There's no way these'll make it to be my April Knit. Also, they don't really count because I started them so recently - the point of finishing a knit every month is to clear out all my lingering unfinished projects. On the other hand, I'm not really excited about them, which does take them well into 'lingering' territory doesn't it.

I don't know whether you've read Knitter's Almanac but it strikes me as a year's worth of blog posts from an expert in her field. It's so chatty and practical, without condescension. Just an assumption that anyone reading it is perfectly capable of the work required. And of course, she's right.

The other thing I admire is that there's no assumption that a sweater must be flattering on a human body that features a few bulges. The patterns are pure math, for the sole purpose of keeping the wearer warm. And to me, they look so cool! This one's my favourite, for the pattern:

But I'm also intrigued by the shoulders on the so-called Last Minute Sweater, which she pitches as possible to complete in December, for Christmas:

And I do love an Aran pattern:

I'm not likely to knit any of these sweaters anytime soon as my personal goals for this year are to finish two more manuscripts and read Bleak House, but they've been on my radar for a while and I'm going to give in someday. Maybe I should knit one for fun as a mathematical project, and not worry about how long it takes?

Now there's a slippery slope. I couldn't do any of them without adding to my yarn stash. It's probably best if I stick to my (sock) knitting and don't go getting ideas.

Hope you've got a lovely weekend lined up with or without Elizabeth Zimmermann. Thanks for spending some of it with me - hope to see you here next week!

Saturday, April 13, 2024

What to do

Boy, this business of finishing a project every month is really motivational. Here's what was in one of the project bags I considered this week:

You'll be shocked to know it's another Hatcowl. Clearly I had a thing for them a few years back when I cast them on. And here's a shocker that's not sarcasm: I left it this close to finishing. What was I thinking?

Probably something like, "picking up a darning needle is too much trouble." Ugh. 

There is another big step after running in these ends, so it's not like it'd be an easy putt to make this hat the April Knit. And it's only mid-month. I could still pick the gift socks I'm knitting - actually knitting, a little bit almost every day, no less.

You'd almost think I like stripes, wouldn't you? 

They're probably a little far from finished to make it happen in two weeks, at the rate I'm going. Maybe for May. So, back to the hat, with a darning needle.

 Done! Except for that last step I mentioned. I still have to block it, and also, make a braided drawstring to run through the eyelets. And then actually weave it in. 

Maybe that's three steps. H'mmmm.

When I've worked my way through all the little bags of yarn on my shelf, I wonder if I'll become a one project at a time knitter? I mean I'm not even a one book at a time reader, so I'm not sure it's possible. Still, it'll be true for at least ten minutes, surely. And maybe I'll like focusing on just one thing, putting all my effort toward making progress on it.

Are you a solo project knitter, I wonder?

Whatever you're knitting, or otherwise doing to occupy your weekend, thank you for spending a little of it with me. See you next week!

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Happy skippy jumpy socks

I still haven't decided which project I want to finish this month, but while I've been thinking it over, I've been working diligently on the Christmas present socks. 

Nothing like taking that pressure off at the beginning of the year, amiright? Well, the first half, anyway.

Somehow, even though I've been mindlessly picking up one or the other while watching Murder She Wrote (ultimate escapist nostalgia) I've managed to get them both to almost the same point. Here, let me wrangle these monsters into a lineup position so you can see what I mean.

Realistically, they are nowhere near where they'd need to be for me to finish them as my April Knit. Back in the day I'd have finished one of them in a daylong movie marathon, but that's not on the cards for this busy work-filled month. Unless my subconscious detects a dare? That's also been known to happen. H'mmm. 

Okay guys, back to playtime.

Aren't they cute, all cuddled up like kittens? Or not. Instagram thinks I want to see kittens, and now everything looks like kittens to me. Except sandwiches, which always look like Delicious.

Spring is definitely coming our way now after another week of weird and windy storms, so I may not be pining for socks the way I have been so far this year. Probably just as well since I'm giving these ones away. 

I feel a bit badly about the gift knitting aspect because I can't decide whether I like these stripes together or not. I mean obviously Yes, because I wouldn't knit a present I thought was terrible, plus they are Vesper Sock Yarn, but for this time of year? I feel like they're ideal for early autumn, when the days are still warm (orange) and the nights draw in all shadowy (grey and black) and cosy (purple and red.) But if I wait till then to finish I will be super stressed in the holiday leadup, so Nopes to that.

Hope you're doing some seasonally-appropriate knitting right now, or at least something of the fun variety. As for me: tempting as the idea of immediate sandwich consumption might be, I'm ready for a nap, and I think these socks are too.

Have a great weekend and thanks so much for stopping by to spend a little of it with me, something I always appreciate. See you next Saturday!