Sunday, September 29, 2013

Books - Quarter 3 - Part 2

This is my second part of the books I have read recently.  I like to break it up into quarters throughout the year to have it semi-organized.  Last year I was trying to gain at least one bit of useful information from each book I read and I am sad to say that I forgot to do that this year.  Darn!

Here are links to my other Books posting for 2013:

I will resume my education through fiction books starting with my next set of books.  This was not that easy.

8. This is the start of the Kay Scarpetta novels.  This is actually book #2, where Post Mortem was the first novel.  I started with what I owned.  This was a very action packed murder suspense novel that involves the Chief Medical Examiner, Kay Scarpetta.  She gets very close to her cases to the point that she was next on her murderer's list.  Trace fibers from the victim has her and Detective Marino tracking down leads that seem to go nowhere and everywhere.  She heads to New York and even Key West and finds out the people she can trust are not the people she should be trusting and vise versa.  The victim was fleeing from a stalker that landed her in Key West.  When she returns, she is brutally killed.  The detectives find that she unarmed her alarm prior to letting in the killer.  If she was so scared of the stalker, why would she let him in?  The answer comes to Kay almost too late when she does the exact same thing that the victim did and almost was killed herself.  This novel was a hook for me where I definitely want to read this whole series. 
What I have Learned: It is hard to say what practical knowledge I have learned by reading this book, but will have to say simply that Bestselling authors are close to a sure way to know that you will enjoy the story.  I have been giving first novels a chance for about 2 years now and I am tired of not really enjoying them much.  I will try and choose more wisely.

9. This book marks a moment in history...this is my first eBook.  Yes, I have broke down and bought a tablet. I have explained my dealings with the tablet further after the book list.  This is the first book in the "Joe Pickett" series.  Joe is a game warden and he is stationed in Wyoming.  Needless to say, people are not necessarily following the law and things get "cowboy" real fast when an animal thought to be extinct has been seen and found in the area and even in Joe's own yard.  People in the area would rather see this animal stay extinct than have the government know that they are still alive.  What I have Learned: As for a practical learning experience, this was tough.  I could probably say that my attempt at going for Best Selling Authors has worked because I believe I will thoroughly enjoy this book series from this author.

10. It amazes me how many great books this man can write.  He never stops writing.  This was my second eBook, borrowed from the library.  I seem to read the eBooks in record time for me because the library only gives you 14 days to read them, then they expire and are inactive on the device.  So, I am reading under the gun.  This book is the first book in a series about a private investigation agency called Private.  Private has the edge in technology, having the best of the best PIs, scientists and doctors working  for them.  It's fiction, so of course they do.  Jack, Private's owner, has to solve his best friends wife's murder, a teenage-girl serial killer and find what his inner demons are trying to tell him.  It dives right into the first case and this book keeps running until the end.  Great story, drama, romance, suspense, right up to the end.
What I have Learned: Again, best-selling authors deliver a great story.  In addition to not really learning anything from a fiction story where everything comes out perfect in the end.  The type of problem-solving skills this books adopted are from unattainable technology that the police do not even have to use (due to a limit on government budgets).  It was an enjoyable story, but also, not very realistic.  Sometimes books are just a great way to escape and unwind and then you can go back to reality.  No harm done.

I intended to use the tablet as an eReader and if I had to look something up quick at home and did not want to fire up the laptop.  This experience was very frustrating to me for a couple of reasons:
  1. I had to download the library app so I could borrow eBooks, but had to renew my library card first, personally, at the library.  Once I had that in place, I logged onto the app to set my library up.  This app is not the greatest; it does not help you in anyway.  You need to know how to navigate through it on your own.  How nice. 
  2. Once I started searching, I realize that my library has a crappy selection of books.  The titles I searched for were either not listed at all or they only had a few copies and I had to get put on a waiting list.  One book, Dan Brown's Inferno I am on the waiting list as # 327.  Really!  You can have the book out for 14 days, so I could wait as long as a year for it.  Even C.J. Box's book, I had to wait for it and it is the first book in the series.  Not exactly new.  Anyway, I have not tried buying a book yet, so we shall see if that process is any easier.
After reading two eBooks, I like it, or I should say, I'm not against it anymore.  I do like the real book, so I will continue to read from my bookcase, because I have plenty of those left.

Anyone out there against eBooks or now love the eBook and never want to read a paper book again?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Powder Puff

This is a really silly project.  It took no more than 5 minutes; it will take me longer to type out this post than it did to actually sew.
My honey is a baby powder guy (probably TMI for those of you that know him...LOL).  As a joke-but-for-real gift, my sister bought him a 3-pack of powder puffs.  Vince is probably not the most delicate when he handles the powder puff, so as a result, the puffs are ripping.

The ribbon has been ripped off and there is a big gaping hole in two of them.  He still has one that is in pristine condition, because he has not used it yet.

I took a needle and white thread an sewed it up.  I did not worry too much about the thread being hidden because the puffs are fluffy and the thread was hidden anyway.

So, I did not get another satin ribbon, but the holes are now sewn shut.  No more foam sticking out.

I did not tell him that I sewed them up.  I will see how long it will take for him to notice or even if  he notices.  This was not a news-breaking fix, but sometimes it is the little things that matter. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Romance Shell - Part 1

I seem to start summer projects in the summer and winter projects in the winter.  Well, normally that would make sense, but since it takes me forever to finish a project, I really should do the opposite: Knit a winter item in the summer and a summer item in the winter.  That way it will be done in the correct season for wearing it right away.
Alas, I have a summer frilly shell that I have started at the end of summer and I won't be able to really wear it until the spring.  Well, in Florida, the seasons are screwy anyway.  Our "winter" is like 1 week of weather where a jacket is nice for the morning, but not really needed on the way home.  But truly, this shell is a summer item to wear.
This project is from Tahki Yarns Intermix pattern booklet.  The pattern is called Romance Ruffle Collar Shell.

Romance by Tahki Yarns
When I was looking through the booklet I fell in love with almost everything in there!  That is my downfall, is that I like too many patterns and have a hard time choosing only one.
This pattern is knit in a novelty yarn called Ripple (100% Mercerized Cotton) that is thick and thin.  Charming at first, then after awhile, not so much.  I chose to do it in the same color as the model.  I typically try hard not to choose the same color, but the other colors in stock at Brandon Yarn Boutique, I had plenty of garments in those colors.  Vince suggested that I pick a color I would not normally have in my wardrobe.  Okaaaaay......

I need 5 balls of the Ripple yarn.  Here is a close-up of the thick and thin characteristic:

Knitting a gauge swatch was a bit of a challenge.  I went down one needle size, so I am using a size 6, rather than a 7. 

I'm starting with one of the front pieces, because my size 6 circs are being used for another project, so until those get miraculously get freed up or I buy another set, I can knit the front panels on straights.

The interesting trait about this yarn is that it knits up with a unique texture; it gives a pebbly look.  The basic pattern is a k8, p8 ribbing, so it even makes that basic pattern interesting.
To be totally honest, I really do not like knitting with this thick and thin yarn.  Often the thick portion almost gets stuck when you go to do the next stitch.  So if you leave it, then the stitch is tight, if you "let it go" then the stitch is loose.  Not exactly something that I like, when I am trying really hard to keep gauge.
Good luck to me!