Sunday Salon: London Bookstores Cont’d

Last Sunday, my internet was down and I could not do any work so I read and finished Sense and Sensibility, but was unable to post a Salon entry. Today, I am reading for school (of course), but I am going to try and squeeze in the first chapter or so of Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks.

Been very busy the last two weeks, but on Friday, I finally managed to take a long bus ride to Marylebone and headed to Daunt Books. Lovely, bookstore with a galleria of books by geographical location.

Project 253/365 - Daunt Books

Today, I also took a walk between the rainy periods to go to the Globe Theatre to buy a very tiny copy of Hamlet.

Mini Hamlet

Yes, my hand is small. It is bound in leather, unabridged, and only £4. I have a normal paperback sized copy back home in Canada, but this is a nice souvenir. It’s so small that I will have to take it with me everywhere. I’ve already read a couple of the first ickle pages, and it will offer some companionship in boring lectures perhaps.

The holidays are fast approaching which means more time to read again, and I think I will be buying copies of JKR’s The Tales of Beedle the Bard and A Christmas Carol. I have always wanted to read more Dickens, and being in England now, I think it’s essential he’s at the top of the TBR pile. Too bad, I left Bleakhouse back in Canada, but I will scour Charring Cross Road and Hatchard’s for some cheap Dickens in the coming months.

Have a good week.

Literary Links:

The Europeana site, Europe’s digital library, had to be shut down after its release this week, but will be coming back mid-December. I’m anticipating it.

Based on the Book – a listing of all books, plays, poes that have been adapted. The site also has some other good booklists.

BBC News had a piece for World Philosophy Day. While not very literary, still very interesting.

A page of other literary links.

Project 365: Birthday

Project 1/365: Birthday Brownie

In December 2006, I started participating in 365 Days, a self-portrait a day for a year. I had just bought my first digital camera after years of coveting and a flickr account to boot. I only managed to do 129 days of photos; it become too difficult to do after awhile and I became lazy in the summer. The photos that came out it or the creative process that forced me to take so many self-portraits resulted in some of my best photos. It was a large exercise in creativity.

A month go, I decided to take up Project 365 which is just a photo a day for a year. Aside from taking photos of my knitting, I was not picking up the camera as much as I had previously or wanted to. The project will allow me flexibility in photography because part of the difficulty of 365 Days was the self-portraiture. Though, I will take a lot of self-portraits I think because I sort of got use to being my own model and experimenting with versions of myself. If anything, I need to document my aging process since I dislike it when others photograph me. The reason I wanted to start this on my birthday was symbolic and would mark the beginning of an interesting twelve months. There may be some drastic changes in the next year, and if not, there will be some travelling.

The project will hopefully allow me to blog more photos here on the blog because for the longest time, I wanted to make a photolog. Wordless Wednesday will resume, and I’ll post more photos for the sake of posting photos.

About this photo: Sadly, I did not bake these brownies. They were a gift from a friend. It just goes to show you how easy I am to please. Some good comfort food and appreciative effort and care from loved ones is all one asks for. I am curious about what kind of birthday I’ll be having in one year.

Enjoy the ride 365 ride with me.

Yarny – First Noro

Noro Silk Garden #233

Some yarn I got in the last days of 2007. I don’t take a lot of pictures of yarn, but I can’t resist showing off my Noro Silk Garden. This is my first Noro purchase. It’s Silk Garden (55% silk 45% kid mohair 10% wool) in shade #233 which is discontinued. I practically stole it for 2 skeins of $12. I’ve seen the colours of this shade on Ravelry projects, and I can see why they would discontinue it. Still, I’m excited about using this company’s yarn. When I found the first skein, it felt very scratchy and twiggy. I hear it lengthens and softens up after a wash of the knitted product. I bought Eucalan the other day so I’ll use that for the Silk Garden scarf I intend to make. It’ll have to be a skinny scarf since I don’t have much yarn. Though the scarf won’t need to be that warm as it seems to be intended for a warmer season accessory. Am inclined to a drop stitch scarf pattern at present.

Gedifra Volata Tweed

I have four 50g 100m balls of this German produced wool. It’s actually a new 100% wool by Gedifra which I bought 4 for $16. I took a picture because Ravelry didn’t have any photos of it. The colours and the tweed does look rather fetching. 400m would make a very warm winter scarf with fringe too. I am inclined possibly to make “My So Called Scarf”, “Scrunchable Scaf”, “One Row Handspun” etc. Lots of options for the coming seasons.

I am very tempted to also buy a skein of Malabrigo for the first time as early birthday gift to myself. Probably make tiny scarf out of it too. I seem to have moved from hat patterns back to scarf ones quickly enough.

What’s in my school/gym bag.

What's in my school/gym bag

I haven’t posted a Worldess Wednesday in awhile because I am too busy to take some serious photos. I was going to wait until Wednesday to post this, but I decided just to do it now while I have now.

Flickr has a very popular group called What’s in my bag? which is essentially people sharing the contents of their bag. It’s quite the portrait of people’s lives and can be rather addictive to see glimpses into what we carry in our bags. I’ve wanted to do it for awhile, but finally managed to do it today. I’m a bagaholic so I tend to rotate my bags for different outings and occasions.

This week, I decided to start going to the gym at school which makes my bag a lot heavier, but less than when I use to carry my laptop to school once in awhile. Click on the photo to go to the flickr page and see the items in more detail and explanation. Not pictured things including: food container+fork (which I carry some days), reading material (novel, this week it was Anne of Green Gables), and sometimes I’ll take my a personal journal to school (with a fountain pen).

Now that I’ve started this, I think I’ll be doing this periodically. It’s rather fun and allows me to organise bags such as this. What’s in your bag?

Shedir

Amidst the vines

Shedir, started July 22nd, 2007, finished August 9th, 2007
Pattern: Shedir from Knitty.com Special Fall 2004
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed (50% Merino Wool – 25% Alpaca – 25% Rayon/Viscose [50g / 191 yards]) – #153 Phantom – 1 ball
Needles: US3/3.25mm 16″ circ and DPNs (Boyle)
Modifcations: 4 repeats instead of 5, knit stitch through the back of the loop for stitch definition
Lessons Learned: Cabling without a cable needle (mini-cables with slip stitch method)
Cost of Project: $13 yarn + $7 for the circs + $6 for the DPNs = $26
Would I knit it again? Yes, but with yarn in a lighter colour and I may graft the top rather than cinch it next time.

Top of the world Cabled Crown

Pattern Notes and Comments: One of the reasons I took up knitting was to make a hat for myself because I’ve had trouble finding a winter hat to fit my slightly larger than average head and cover most of my ears. This hat doesn’t protect the ears as well as I’d like, but I think it will stay put rather than slip up on my head as the store bought ones have done. A lot of knit bloggers do only three repeats before decreasing since this hat is long, but I felt safer going with four due to aforementioned reasons. Five would have been too long for me. This hat may be too thin for the upcoming winter, but definitely will look good in autumn with all that tweed.

The yarn is very nice. I liked it right away; I’m partial to DK, and I’ve grown fond of tweed as well. It is also quite stretchy, and I always like alpaca and merino. Rowan wool is expensive around here, but the Felted Tweed is actually less expensive than the patterns’ recommended Rowan Calmer. Still, the most expensive yarn I’ve bought yet. The other gripe is that the wool may be a little scratchy for some people, but I’m usually not bothered by this in the long term. The Phantom colourway may have been too dark, but the cables still pop out. I’m glad I knitted tbl for this as I tried the first repeat with a DPN (lost my small cable needle) and most of the stitches not tbl, and it does look a tad better with the tbl.

Speaking of the cables, it’s almost necessary to know how to cable without a cable needle to make this hat move along faster. It did not take me a long time to actually make this piece, but it felt like it did when I was doing all those mini cables. I don’t frog or rip back things so my decrease cables are a little sloppy, but overall, I’m pleased. The ladies at the LYS were very impressed since I’ve only been knitting for less than 1 1/2 years. Won’t knit this again for awhile, but I like the result.