WIP Wednesday - Week 37

Sep. 13th, 2017 09:16 am
kiwiria: (Hobby: Knitting)
[personal profile] kiwiria
It's been awhile since I did a WIP Wednesday post last, so I have a TON of stuff to show you this time.

Let's start with my finished objects. Only two of those, so may as well get them out of the way right away.

First, the McGonagall Cardigan for Nina. I posted photos of this once before, but have since then managed to get modeled shots, which is always better :-) Fortunately, though a bit snug, it seems to fit Nina very well :-)

Miriam asked if I'd knit her some "Dragon Gloves" (long fingerless gloves), and after sending a few (okay, a lot) of photos back and forth (I love modern technology!) decided on some lovely soft and colourful yarn. I haven't seen her since finishing them, but hopefully they will fit well :-)

Now WIPs. Somehow I have managed to knit a bit on a TON of different projects. Partly because I'm indecisive, partly because I like switching between obligation knitting and free knitting ;-)

For my travel knitting I'm currently working on some DesertVista Dyeworks socks. I didn't really get the hype about this yarn until I tried it for myself. Oh. Wow! So soft to the touch and awesome colours! If it wasn't for shipping + vat being so prohibitively expensive I'd buy heaps more of this yarn! I've finished the first sock and am about half-way up the foot of the second one. Love it! (left sock in the photo below)

Decided to pick up some old neglected socks as well, and finally finished the first of my Dalarna socks (right sock in the photo above). After having knit with DVD for awhile, Opal comes across as oddly rough on the hands :-P But I know it will wear well, and love the colours :-)

I'm ALMOST done with my niebling socks!!! Just 2 more heels to go! Oh, and then weaving in a billion ends :-P I have come to the conclusion that I am NOT a fan of afterthought heels, and I like true afterthought heels (i.e. where you cut the yarn for the heel instead of putting in waste yarn) even less. First of all, too many ends to weave in! Secondly, I don't think they fit as well as gusset heels or even short-row heels. Ah well - lesson learned. Hopefully the nieblings will like them though :) Miriam saw one of them last she visited, "But I already have a pair of home socks." "Have you seen the cuff?" "OH!!!!!" :-D

After all the recent obligation knitting I was in the mood to crochet and have once again stolen one of my nieblings as the intended recipient. I'm almost done with the traveller's poncho for Nora. Tried it on Rosa to check for length and she promptly asked me to make her one too! ;-) Fortunately I have more yarn left over (just on a different colourway), so I'll get started on that as soon as I've finished this one. Just have to do a bit of maths, as I'm making the largest size for Nora, and it's still too small for Rosa.

This past weekend Lars and I went on a tour around Zealand to go bus spotting. Though getting rather bulky I really wanted to put in some squares on my Cozy Memories blanket, and figured that the only person I'd be inconveniencing was myself, so why not? Why not indeed, and over the course of the day, I managed to get a total of 9 new squares knit! It still has quite a ways to go yet, but after hardly having touched it at all all year, it was great to bring it out again :-)

And finally, I'm working on a true comfort knit. While in Edinburgh I visited Ginger Twist Studio and bought some of the SOFTEST yarn you can imagine. Ginger's Hand Dyed Splendor, a merino/silk blend that is just a delight to work with. I only got the one skein, so had to find a suitable shawlette for it and soon decided on the Hogwarts Express Shawl which I've wanted to knit for ages anyway, and which helpfully comes with percentages of yarn used before starting the boarder, so I can use up as much of this delicious yarn as at all possible :-) Unfortunately (?) it's very potato-chippy, and though I only cast on last Friday, I'm almost done already, having just added the beads last night.

Hope to have at least the niebling socks and the shawl finished by next week's post :-)

Movies 51-60

Sep. 12th, 2017 02:28 pm
kiwiria: (Minions)
[personal profile] kiwiria
SEVEN new movies in this bunch! Very unlike me!

#51 Hotel Transylvania 2, Aug 25th, 3/5
Definitely not as good as the first one. It had its moments, fell flat in several places - unfortunately.

#52 How to Train Your Dragon*, Aug 26th, 4/5
Fun movie that I enjoyed just as much the second time around :-)

#53 How to Train Your Dragon 2, Aug 26th, 2.5/5
Again not as good as the first one. I didn't care much for the plot, and found aspects of it rather unrealistic.

#54 Men in Black 3*, Aug 27th, 4.5/5
One of my favourite movies. I love how you just forget K isn't played by Tommy Lee Jones for most of the movie. Josh Brolin did it REALLY well.

#55 Ghost in the Shell, Sep 3rd, 2.5/5
Seemed most of all like a mix between Matrix and Blade Runner. I wasn't terribly impressed. Also, even without having seen the original, I understand the complaints about whitewashing.

#56 Olympus Has Fallen*, Sep 4th, 4/5
#57 London Has Fallen, Sep 4th, 4/5
B-Movies both of them, and totally unbelievable in places (but - unfortunately - really not in others), but for some strange reason, this type of movie is totally my jam and I really liked both of them.

#58 Spy, Sep 6th, 4/5
Really, really funny! I laughed out loud on several occasions - especially at the very first shot fired :-D Usually I'm not too fond of Melissa McCarthy as I think she tends to go overboard on the method acting, but it really worked here and I greatly enjoyed it.

#59 Cars 3, Sep 9th, 3/5
Not as good as the first one, but probably on par with the second one and the homage to Doc in the end put a lump in my throat.

#60 Sing, Sep 11th, 3.5/5
Really fun movie with lots of cool music. It didn't quite live up to my expectations (which - admittedly - were quite high), but came pretty close. I would have loved to see more music numbers though - thought the final selection extremely small compared to what I had expected.

2017 August Books

Sep. 5th, 2017 02:13 pm
hestergray: (Default)
[personal profile] hestergray posting in [community profile] christianreader
The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro 3/5
Right after finishing the first book, A Study in Charlotte, I started this second book in the trilogy.  I like this modern version of Holmes and Watson.  I didn't score this one as high as the first book because the end was super confusing.
The story takes place shortly after the end of the first book.  (The first book was pretty much their fall semester at boarding school.)  This book takes place during their winter break.  Charlotte and Jamie spend their break together, first at Jamie's house and then at Charlotte's.  However, while at Charlotte's house, her uncle Leander goes missing, and they must solve the mystery of where he is and rescue him.  Leander was in the middle of trying to solve his own mystery about art forgeries in Germany, so Charlotte and Jamie travel to Berlin.  They figure if they can solve the art forgeries mystery, then they'll also find Leander in the process.  Keep in mind these are 16-year-old kids traveling around Europe and doing detective work by themselves, but whatever.  It's fiction.
And now I have to wait until next March until the final book comes out.
Running with a Police Escort: Tales from the Back of the Pack by Jill Grunenwald 3/5
I stumbled on this while on a sub shift at the library.  I saw in the upcoming events booklet that "This Cleveland librarian will be talking about her new book..."  I was intrigued because she's a local author, and she's a librarian, and she's a runner who is usually one of the last people to cross the finish line.  I thought I'd like to read her book and go to the author event.  I did both!
I liked the book, but not enough to buy it and have her sign it at the author event.  She writes about what her life was like before she started running, and why she started running.  (Jill's sister had sent her an email expressing concern for Jill's unhealthy habits.)  She wrote about getting started with running and building endurance.  Then she wrote about each race in pretty much the same way.  "I couldn't believe I signed up to do a [5K, 10K, half-marathon].  I thought it was going to be really hard, but I trained anyway.  Turns out it was really hard, but I finished.  And I was in last place."  The races had some differences of course, but it seemed repetitive.
I think part of the interest for me was that Jill lives in a Cleveland suburb, so I was fairly familiar with all of the places and landmarks she referred to.  I also like how she doesn't worry that she doesn't look like a runner, or that she's so slow at running.  That part is inspiring.
The author event was cool.  Not huge - about 40-45 people.  Jill talked about her story of running, which I already knew from reading the book.  Then she read an excerpt, which was neat to hear in her voice.  The best part was the Q&A because people asked questions that weren't answered in the book.
A Mile in My Flip-Flops by Melody Carlson 1/5
In choosing another modern Christian romance, I guess I got confused.  I thought this was the same author as the really good one I liked last month.  It wasn't.  Lots of annoying things in this book, but I was still prepared to give it 2 stars until the end.  Then the ending was really stupid.
The story is about Gretchen, a 32-year-old kindergarten teacher.  18 months earlier, her fiance broke up with her four weeks before the wedding.  She still hasn't quite gotten over it.  Now it's the end of the school year and she decides to spend the first part of her summer break flipping a house.  She knows exactly how to do this because she watches HGTV all the time and her dad is a retired contractor.  Her dad has some health problems so it turns out he can't help her much with the renovations.  Instead, he recommends she hire Noah to help.  Noah is a carpenter and a single father.  Gretchen's dad tried to play matchmaker six months ago and get them together, but she wasn't interested because he's too gorgeous (?) and also divorced.
Annoying things about this book:
  • There are tedious conversations going over every detail of a plan.  And tedious descriptions of taking care of pets.  I don't need to know every time she lets her dog out or feeds her dad's cats.
  • The timing of events seemed way off at the beginning.  Like saying school ended in a week, and today is Wednesday, but later, school ended on a Friday.  And she has six weeks to renovate the house - the first week is clean-up, then she takes a week off (on such a tight deadline?), but somehow she still has five weeks left.
  • Gretchen buys Noah's daughter some clothes so she can help at the house without worrying about getting her nice clothes dirty.  The new outfit consists of overalls, a t-shirt, and flip-flops.  And Gretchen buys flip-flops for herself too.  Why are these people wearing flip-flops while renovating a house?
  • How does Gretchen not know what a circuit breaker is?  Even I know and my dad is not a retired contractor.
  • Gretchen is really judgmental.
  • Gretchen's response to new information is always, "Oh."
  • Gretchen calls her best friend Holly to come RIGHT NOW and look at this house she wants to buy.  Holly can't come right this second because she has plans.  It's her father-in-law's birthday.  Gretchen gets angry and jealous about this.  She's seriously mad that Holly isn't available at a moment's notice.
  • At this point, I'm sure none of you are going to read this silly book, so I'll tell you the ending.  Noah secretly puts in an offer on the house, but he has one condition.  Gretchen goes to the house to talk about the condition with her potential buyer, and she's surprised to find Noah there.  Then he proposes marriage and she says yes.  While I believe it's possible for a whirlwind six-week romance to result in many years of wedded bliss, that isn't exactly what happened here.  They weren't dating or romantic with each other during the six-week renovation.  They had one semi-date when Noah offered to escort Gretchen to a friend's wedding.  But she wasn't even considering it a date.  And a couple weeks later they shared one kiss.  And the next thing you know, they're totally in love and engaged?  That's pretty far-fetched.


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