Thursday, March 26, 2009

Book Review: The Constant Princess

I finally finished The Constant Princess. It seems to take a loooong time to finish this book. I think partly because the book is almost 500 pages, but partly because I read the book in bits and pieces. Every time the next Twilight series book became available at the library I would interrupt reading this book to read Twilight first.

The book was recommended to me by one of my knit/blog friends, and is historical fiction. (I found it to be very detailed in the political ties of the time.) It follows the life of Catalina of Spain who became Katherine, Queen of England by her marriage to King Henry. It is written by Phillipa Gregory who is the author of The Other Boleyn Girl. (Of which I enjoyed the movie. I normally have trouble reading the book after I have seen the movie so I starting reading the Constant Princess, which is the first of Gregory’s novels if read chronologically by dates in the books.)

I’m glad I read this book as it sounded really good to me before I started, and after all the hype surrounding the movie I wanted to know what the author’s writing style was like. I haven’t ruled out reading more of Gregory’s books in the future, but I don’t plan on reading any of her books in the near future. There are just so many other books that I want to read before I venture into one of her books again

PS. While searching for a picture of the book I found that there are different covers for US books verses the UK books. (Who knew??) I must have read the UK book because above is what the cover looked like on the book I borrowed from the library.

Monday, March 23, 2009


So it turns out I can't start my sweater as soon as I thought. The last Zephyr pattern I knit using needles .5mm smaller than the pattern called for. Wicked calls for 4.5 mm needles. I thought that I could do the same with this pattern, but when I did a swatch over the weekend I was off by around half a stitch over 2 inches in the stitch count and close to 2 rows off in the row count. I don't own the 4.5 mm needles that the pattern calls for.

I won't be buying anything for myself until after Easter. This is what I am giving up for Lent. Lent is the 40 day period before Easter. Some people mark this time by giving up something that is difficult to give up. (I have friends who have/are giving up coffee, or facebook.) This is the first year I have tried to give something up for Lent, and for me it's as much for Lent as for the purpose of saving money.

So, Wicked is on hold. I am still working on the Booga bag. I've completed 48 of60 rounds. I'm getting a little tired of it, but I'll just keep on truckin'.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It arrived! It arrived!

Yesterday after work I checked my mailbox and inside was a large, soft package. I immediately knew it was my KnitPicks order. Yea! Once I got inside my house I open the package to see 10 skeins of Wool of the Andes in Spruce. Here's what the website says it looks like:

The above looks blue on my work computer (shhhh... don't tell the boss...actually she's on vacation :) The actually colour is a dark green with a bit of teal mixed in. Now I can start Wicked, my second sweater. Thanks to my Secret Swap Pal for the Knit Picks gift certificate.

Except I can't really start it yet because the needles I need are currently being used to hold The Cabled Rangoli Hat. Which I haven't been working on because I've done the increase row 4 times and it's still not right. I now know what I have to do to make it correctly. But as I put the link in I noticed that the original pattern called for it to be knit in Wool of the Andes, which I knew I would never get so I cast on using the Malabrigo that was gift to me (by the secret pal above). I have lots of Wool of the Andes now, so I think I'm going to:

1) frog the hat (hopefully the Malabrigo won't get damaged in the process, I'll be very careful)

2) knit the sweater

3) use the leftover Wool of the Andes to knit the hat.

Then I'll have a matching hat (and this will make me very happy!) The sweater has to be first as I almost ran out of yarn for my first sweater and I won't run the risk of that happening again.

This means that I'll have the Malabrigo yarn free to use for somthing else. Hmm... I'll have to peruse ravelry for new ideas. Suggestions anyone?

The project that I've been working on the most recently is the Booga Bag. I'm about half way done. I recently finished a dishcloth in this pattern (ravelry link), and I liked it so much that I've started another just like it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Book Series Review: Twilight

So, over the course of 4 months I read the Twilight series. Books 1-3 were read in about 3 or 4 days each (this is super fast for me!). I loved them and like many others before me I couldn’t put them down. Fantasy is never my first book choice but the first 3 books of the series eased me into the genre. I loved how Bella had doubts and insecurities and wasn’t a perfect person.

Book 4 (Breaking Dawn) felt completely different from the rest of the series. The book was told in 3 parts. Part 1 told by Bella, part 2 by Jacob, and part 3 by Bella. I have to say that the middle part was the most interesting. I enjoyed the chapter titles by Jacob ie: The two things at the very top of my things-I-never-want-to-do list or Sure as hell didn’t see that one coming. I felt that a lot of Bella’s story could have been condensed. It seemed to drag on and on. However the last half a dozen chapters were really good, and reminded me of Edward and Bella’s time in Italy. I am especially intrigued with Bella’s shield and her growing control over it.

Overall I’m very glad I read the series and I am looking forward to renting the movie when it’s released on DVD later this month.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Getting to know your blogger.

I found this One Skein of Happiness and thought I'd play along. If you steal this please let me know so I can "read up" on you too. Thanks and enjoy.

1. Can you cook? What? Yes, I usually don't. I tend to do the "take from frozen state and put in oven for 30mins" kind of "cooking".
2. What was your dream growing up? To be a stay at home mom just like mine....and to wear high heeled shoes that made noise on the kitchen floor!
3. What talent do you wish you had? To speak more than one language.
4. Favorite place? Home
5. Favorite vegetable? Carrots
6. What was the last book you read? Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
7. What zodiac sign are you? Libra, but I don't pay attention to that. (don't read the "signs")
8. Any Tattoos and/or Piercings? 2 holes in each ear. (I almost got a bellybutton ring in my 20s but once I got to the store and saw the guy's spaced earing I freaked and decided no.)
9. Worst Habit? None, I'm perfect. mawahahaha
10. Do we know each other in real life? Nope
11. What is your favorite sport? Ummm, none really. If I had to participate in a sport I'd run.
12. Is a glass of water half-full or half empty? Half full.
13. What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me (after we called for help, of course)? Ask about your travels.
14. Would you share an embarrassing moment with me? By posting it on-line??? No way!
15. Tell me one weird fact about you: As my friend likes to remind me (just last night, again) : I turned down dancing with the hottest guy at a club one night. (I was NOT going to dance to Who Let the Dogs Out!)
16. Do you have any pets? Nope
17. Can you read a book upside down? Yes, but reallly slowly (but why would I want to?!?!)
18. What time is it where you are now? 4:20pm
19. Who was the scariest fairy-tale/children movie hero ever for you? The Disney movie Fantasia. I don't remember it but my dad says that we had to leave the theatre because I was so scared.
20. If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be? My fascial complexion.
21. Would you be my crime partner or my conscience? Conscience
22. What color eyes do you have? Green
23. Ever been arrested? Nope
24. A cop or a robber? Cop
25. If you won 10,000 pounds/dollars today, what would you do with it? Pay my land taxes, and the "special payment" my strata is charging us this year, then travel to somewhere in Europe.
26. What kind of bubble gum do you prefer to chew? Mint
27. Favourite fastfood restaurant? Wendys
28. Do you believe in ghosts? I hestitantly answer... Yes
29. Favorite thing to do in your spare time? Knit or read or watch TV
30. Do you swear a lot? No
31. Biggest pet peeve? People who don't use their signal lights when turning or changing lanes.
32. In one word, how would you describe yourself? Although I hate to be labeled this way I do think of myself as quiet/shy.
33. Will you repost this so I can fill it out and do the same for you? Sure

Thursday, March 5, 2009

FO: Green Gable Sweater

My first knitted sweater is now done! I feel so proud to be able to wear something that I've made. It was actually much easier than I thought it would be.

The pattern is for a short sleeved sweater but I lengthed them abit. Once the pattern ended I knit 3 rounds, then knit two together at the begininging of every three rounds. The sleeves are quite tight and I'd reccommend doing them looser. I fully used the 3 skeins of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece that I bought. I had only 68 inches of yarn left! If I knit this again I would do more waist shaping. In fact I will be knitting another Zypher pattern. My secret swap 13 pal swapped patterns with me. So I will be knitting Wicked next.

In addition she gave me a gift certificate for Knit Picks! I bought 10 skeins of Wool of the Andes in Spruce. This is 2 extra skeins than needed for the sweater so I shouldn't have to worry about running out this time! It's my first time ordering from Knit Picks and my order has already been shipped. I'm excited to get the package. :) If I have extra yarn I can knit a matching hat or scarf.