Archive for October, 2009

Books unfinished

Friday, 30 October 2009

White tapestry crocheted bookmark holder, with a few bookmarks visible at the top.

I have to admit, the number of books I have listed as read, but haven’t yet reviewed here is a bit daunting, so I thought I’d make things a little less so by discussing some of the books I haven’t finished. Hopefully most of them will get added to the list and mentioned again reasonably soon…

This post will mention some crochet, though, since the bookmark holder I made yesterday would seem rather relevant! I’ve been playing around with Tapestry Crochet, with the leftover yarn from the sheep’s head I made for Rosh Hashana, since that is the only set of matching yarns with different colourways I have at the moment. I’ve been using the white as background and the variegated browns for the pattern, which works fine when the actual browns show. The ecru, though, is rather too similar to the white for full impact. The first thing I made so is a present, for someone who does read this blog occasionally, so I won’t show the pictures, but Ravelers can see it here.

What I made yesterday was for my DH, however, and he received it when he arrived home (about five minutes after I finished it), so I can show you that. I used a cross stitch writing tool from Stitchpoint, which I’ve mentioned on this blog before, but shouldn’t have chosen an italic font, since tapestry crochet adds to the slant, meaning that a non-italic font would have looked somewhat italic, and been far more legible. That and the clumps of ecru mean that my DH can’t actually read the text (having it all around the container doesn’t help either, but it was going to be far too tall done sideways), but he appreciates the item and its immediate value to us (he’s a bookworm too), so that’s okay!

I’ve never blocked acrylic (I’ve barely blocked anything), but if anyone has good ideas for how to make it stand straight I’d appreciate hearing them!

And now to the unfinished books (I would say the ones still with bookmarks in them, but I have the habit of leaving bookmarks in after I finish the book, so that would not be the correct category).

Jewishly, I’m reading Praying with Joy by Rabbi Daniel Yaakov Travis, as well as Anshei Hayil: Volume 1 by Rabbi Haim Levy, both of which will hopefully help me improve my tefilla. I’m enjoying both in small sections at a time.

In print non-fiction, I’m reading The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester, which I heard about when it came out, I think, but have never found before. Thankfully my lovely MIL gave it to my DH several years ago, so I get to read it now. It’s about the creating of the OED and two of the major players involved in the project. They were very different Victorian gentlemen, and it’s intriguing and apparently well-researched so far.

My DH and I are both reading a book my father gave him, What Did You Do Today, Professor?, edited by Eoin P. O’Neill, which is a collection of essays by TCD scientists about their research and what led them to this point, often with a particular emphasis on how mathematics is important to all the other sciences. It’s really interesting. I like learning about current research, and while this is written to be accessible to non-specialists, it isn’t dumbed down in the way some popular science is. I have to say I’m finding the Irish/Dublin/TCD references much easier than my DH, of course, but they aren’t stopping him enjoying the book.

The fiction is mostly audio at the moment, but I am occasionally dipping into Harry Potter agus on Órchloch (yes, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, in Irish, by J. K. Rowling, of course) just to see if I can… I amn’t getting through it very fast, but then I think I know the original well enough that it’s not very fun to read slowly.

From Librivox I’m most of the way through Agnes Grey, by Anne Brontë. I haven’t read this before, and am enjoying it. The protagonist seems very self aware, and though some of the other characters are somewhat one-dimensional, most of these are being pointed out as what happens when children are thoroughly spoilt. There are multiple readers, so far all (I think) women I’ve heard on other Librivox recordings, so obviously quality and pronunciations vary, but they’re mostly pretty good, and none had me wanting to turn the thing off.

Unfortunately the same can’t be said of the new recording of Dubliners by James Joyce. Part of the problem is just that I am a Dubliner, so it jars when placenames, intonations and phrasing are completely wrong in a series of short stories so specifically written to show the city and its people. I’ll admit I only listened to the first one-and-a-half stories, each read by a different (American) man, so the later readers might be better, but at the moment I’m severely tempted to just read the whole book myself for Librivox. Not that I could do all the accents for the different groups of Dubliners in the book, but at least I would know what the references were too. Perhaps I could do that in time for 2012, when the book will be out of copyright in the EU… (And no, I wasn’t in the EU when I downloaded or listened to this, and amn’t now. Copyright is important.)

Okay, I admit it, I’m a snob. It doesn’t bother me for very English or American fiction to be read by voices from all over the world, but it does when the voice should be a Dublin one, and isn’t. Still, it does help for any reader to check unfamiliar words for their pronunciation.

So that’s what I’m reading (or amn’t, but chose not to finish).

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Crocheting in Jerusalem

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Here, then, is the crochet I’ve been doing in the last couple of months, since arriving in my new home. It’s nearly all cotton, and all (including the hooks) bought from a little shop in the city that my DH found while we were engaged. I did, in fact, keep one half done project in my luggage the entire journey through four countries and three continents. It’s still in its bag…

Since I wasn’t online for much of the time since we arrived, I don’t have proper details of most of the projects (like hook sizes used or yarn details), but what I do remember is in my Ravelry projects. They are mostly things I felt we needed in the flat. In no particular order…

A sheep’s head for our Rosh Hashana table:
Crocheted sheep's head in variegated browns and white

One of several potholders I made, in front of one my SIL made several years ago, that my DH has been using ever since. It’s lovely, but we needed more! Also multiple tea towels (all but one returned to the cupboard after I took the picture) I crocheted hanging loops onto this evening. I don’t like such things falling on the floor.
crocheted kitchen items

The edging for a handkerchief I still have to get…
turquoise variegated deep lace edging

Hm, the next one would be a gift, and seeing as this blog is now copying to my Facebook page, the recipient might see this entry, so I’ll stall for now. Ravelers can see it here.

One of the cottons I got was this pretty variegated red and green, so I decided to play with the basketweave stitch pattern from the dishcloths and make a triangular tichel. It’s between an isosceles and equilateral triangle (ie the sides aren’t straight) in an attempt to reduce bulk, but that still wasn’t enough in this thick a fabric, so I haven’t worn this out of the house (it’s also heavy) yet, but I’ll work something out with it.
basketweave crochet in red and green

Next up are some bits and pieces for the bathroom. First a small pad for applying toner to my face:
Crochet circle
Next a washcloth/scrubber (and I promise, those marks on the tiles have been scrubbed at – though not with this!):
Crochet hyperbolic plane
And a hanging basket to hold a spare toilet roll without risking it falling anywhere wet. I did most of this in the dark one night when my DH was asleep, but I wasn’t getting so. I didn’t keep the hook with it, and when I went to finish it a day or two later evidently chose a smaller one, which is all to the good, as it pulled the top in, which prevents spillage.
Crochet netting

That’s most of the crochet I’ve done since getting married, but there is one more picture I have to show you. This is the first thing I saw out of my window, the first morning we were in America, and is scary, in my opinion. Every single person we met there was lovely, but this was still strange…
We sell guns! No ID required. No background checks. Criminals and terrorists welcome!

I’m back, a bit

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Bride's hands folded, with wedding ring visible, in front of dress

The wedding was wonderful in every possible way. There were a few special people who couldn’t come that we really missed, but those who were there did their part in making it a fabulous simcha, and I don’t see how either my DH or I could have enjoyed it more. We’re still blissfully happy, too!

I have a little crochet to show you, and several books to catch up on, but am starting back at this slowly. Thanks for the patience of anyone still checking this neglected blog.