Blue Antler, Antler Blue

After a minor setback where I accidentally returned my library book half read and had to get another copy, I finished Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater. Being as how it`s Book 3 it`s hard to talk about the plot without doing a lot of spoilery summing up, but to me these books are all about character anyway. Yeah, stuff happens, something, something Welsh King, but surely the main point of the plot is to allow Blue and the boys opportunities to do stuff together and be awesome and cranky and complicated.

Also, as a knitter, I keep imagining Gansey having a fabulous collection of preppy sweaters. I don`t believe it`s ever mentioned in the book but a gansey is a kind of fisherman sweater. If I was an English major I might be looking for some symbolism. But since I`m me, I`ll just show you this appropriately blue Antler sweater that`s thisclose to being done.

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Buttons this weekend. Hold me to it, Internet.

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A Day Late And A Dollar Short

….Is how I celebrate Valentine’s Day.

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Cut price cinnamon hearts and red garter stitch. If that doesn’t say Romance I don’t know what does.

Happy Cheap Candy Day y’all.

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Bayside

Remember Christmas vacation? I knit most of a sweater during mine (in between cookie binges.)

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Because what makes for a lot of knitting without much luggage space? A fingering weight sweater! Top down is not my usual jam (decreasing at the yoke is so much better for my morale) but it’s good to be open minded, right?

I pretty much followed the pattern, except for lowering the neck slightly (it seems a bit strangly as written) and making the waist shaping a bit steeper. You can kind of see it here:

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(Fudging the gauge doesn’t even count as a modification right? 24 sts/4″ for fingering weight? No.)

I love this kind of sweater that’s simple and clean but not totally plain. Perfect!

Stats: Bayside Pullover knit in Louet Gems Fingering Weight. The colour is called Caribbean Blue, which I like to think takes the edge off a wintery day. Although probably not as effectively as actually visiting the Caribbean.

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In Which I Try To Be Romantic

I like to think of myself as a pretty wide-reading person who is up for pretty much anything book-wise. But then there’s Romance. I don’t read romance. Actually, I often skim the mushy bits (with maybe some exceptions for the more hilariously bad sex scenes out there.) Then every now and again I get this nagging feeling that I shouldn’t be so snobby and give a romance novel a chance. So many people with otherwise good taste like them. Surely they have some merits.

Yeah, you know from page one that they’ll get together but it’s not like I hate on other books because you know going in that murders will be solved, evil vanquished, quests undertaken, etc. And it’s not like I’ve never flipped to the end just to check how everything turns out.

So in the spirit of broadening my horizons I tried my hand at Rachael Herron’s How to Knit a Love Song on the grounds that it has knitting to keep me going if the romance part doesn’t work out. And I was grateful for the knitting because I still don’t like romance novels. I mean, I can kind of accept some romance around the edges and I can totally understand if you’re distracted with solving murders or vanquishing evil or whatever you might not get around to hooking up until the end. But if that’s the main plotline I want to shout at the characters to get over your misunderstandings and sexual tension already. Go knit or something instead.

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When’s The Next Vacation?

Y’all! How’ve you been? I’ve been back from Christmas vacation for a couple of weeks and am just now getting over my annual post-Christmas funk. (I have to go to work every day? Not in my pajamas? And there aren’t even cookies? Next year I must remember to plan something awesome in mid January to take the edge off.)

Anyway, while not at the day job I’ve been reading. Post-vacation book debrief:

Mind of Winter by Laura Kasischke: By random happenstance I read a Christmas book actually at Christmastime. It’s a slow kind of creepy where it’s sort of boring then it sneaks up on you that it’s sort of creepy.

The Empress of Mars by Kage Baker: There’s a bar! On Mars! What more could you want really? I continue to be disappointed that technology seems to be delivering us an endless plethora of Apple products instead of space travel. Or jetpacks.

Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst: Creepy again, this time with magic, a serial killer and the Witness Protection Program. I could have done without all the kissing though.

And I’m about to start on Blue Lily, Lily Blue. Oh, hey, something to look forward to.

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Loden

I finished that sweater fragment from the other day.

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Pretty, huh?

Specs: Loden knit in Lana Gatto Camel Hair that was sitting unassigned in my closet. Coincidentally almost the same colour as the original. Obviously fate. Pretty much stuck with the pattern except I knit the sleeves in the round.

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Dataclysm

I hear a lot about the dangers of all that personal data we’re feeding the internet these days and I’ve always been a bit perplexed. Sure, be careful what you put out there but it’s hard to imagine being able to pull much sense out of random clicks, let alone use it for nefarious purposes. (I have to concede it does work though. I see a lot of those targeted ads for craft stuff and travel. Y’all, the internet knows me creepily well.)

So I found Dataclysm by Christian Rudder fascinating. Hey, I guess you can get some sense from those random clicks. A lot of his examples are from OKCupid but there are also some from Twitter and Google. In case the prospect of online daters being representative of humanity worries you a little. (Not that I’m opposed to online dating; I think about it sometimes then I remember how many jerks apparently live on the internet.) And it’s a nifty change from all those coin flipping, dice rolling, card shuffling examples you see in most general interest math books. (A person could start wondering if all mathematicians have gambling problems.)

Seeing as I’m such a nerd, I kind of wished there was more detail about the data and methodology, but I suppose that would be wishing it was a different sort of book. It’s aimed at non-math nerds who aren’t sure how the internet is spying on us. Many charts and few equations.

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