Friday, August 1, 2014

Knitting up Cephalopod Yarns: Cinnie in Spanish Shawl

I no longer remember how I found out about Cephalopod Yarns. I was definitely in the grips of Handpaint Many Colors fever. I built up a stash in no time. I was determined to crank out projects from newer yarn at that time as well, and so dove right in and MADE something right off, with the first CY skeins I got. The colorway is called Spanish Shawl (named for a species of aeolid nudibranch) (a sort of sea-slug).

This is the nudibranch.

This is the yarn.

Since I have an endless appetite for lace cardigans, I went and made a lace cardigan, using a recently purchased pattern called Cinnie. I liked the construction: center back panel first, then pick up stitches to knit sides, fronts & sleeves, then pick up stitches to make the whole business as long as wanted. It works very nicely, as an alternative to the top-down raglan sort of cardi I'm otherwise addicted to.

The leftovers made terrific lace fingerless gloves too!

I'm very sorry Cephalopod Yarns had to recently close due to the illness of its owner. But I've got plenty of their yarn to keep me busy, at current rates of consumption, for at least another 2 years.

A 22-Week Reading Challenge...

So there are 22 weeks left in 2014, and I've set myself a new goal that is kind of already 2 weeks old: to read and finish a book a week.

Since I've got 39 books in my To-Read section on Goodreads, and lots more than that just sitting on the actual shelves of the actual house -- and a few on my Kindle-for-Android app for good measure -- this ought to be easy. Especially since most of them aren't Huge Thick Weighty Tomes, but a bunch of reasonable length novels. (Aside from Vernor Vinge's "Children of the Sky" and the final 6 books of Neal Stephensons "System of the World", that is.)

I do most of my reading while commuting, so that's about 40-50 minutes of reading time a day. Last year I somehow only read about 20 books, but then 2 of them were enormous Iain M. Banks novels, one of which I only got through as quickly as I did thanks to some plane travel.

So far this year I've managed to start AND finish a whopping 15 books of varying lengths: from quick-read graphic novels Saga #3 and Girl Genius #13, to short story collection "Her Husband's Hands" by Adam-Troy Castro, to weighty "The Monuments Men" (less than 2 weeks, yay). "Annihilation" and "Authority" by Jeff Vandermeer only took like 1.5 days each. "Emma" by Jane Austen took a week. I just finished the last of the Diana Wynne Jones Howl books, "House of Many Ways" in just a couple of days -- quite a fast read like most of her books. "The Ghost in Love" by Jonathan Carroll, though ultimately disappointing (and I love his work), was a quick 4 days.

I suspect, though, that my current choice, "Cloud Atlas," might just sink my efforts straight off. It's a big thick tome. It's kind of like reading 6 books at the same time.

And I haven't quite decided what's next after that. I've got some nifty contenders. Guess it depends how I feel once done with this one.