Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer days

Summer days are piling up on me.  One just becomes another and soon a week has gone by.  But I've been up to stuff.  Mostly knitting, spinning, baking blueberry pies, and reading with a short trip to Lake Tahoe in between.

Some time ago, I promised to put up the pattern for the coin purse that I designed for our beginning knitters in the after school knitting class.  And I finally fished it out of my files so here it is:

Garter Stitch Coin Purse
By Sandy Richards

Worsted weight cotton yarn, such as Sugar’n Cream by Lily
Size US7 needles
Button, ½ - ¾ inch
Tapestry Needle
Sewing needle

Cast on 15 stitches using short tail cast on or preferred method.
Knit 2 rows
Row 3: Knit 7, yarn over, knit 2 stitches together, knit 7
Remaining rows: knit

When piece measures 6 inches from cast on edge, bind off.  Weave in ends.  With right side facing, fold bottom of coin purse up about 2 ¼ inches.  Sew edges and weave in ends.  Turn purse right side out.  Fold closing flap over to determine the position of the button.  Sew on button.

Photo by Colleen Balough

I've been working on some other designs, a couple of scarves to be precise.  I'll post the patterns for those here as well as soon as I get good pictures of them.  

I've had some time to spend with my spinning wheel lately and have finished a fairly large skein of yarn.  It started out as pre-dyed fiber:
I spun this fiber into yarn.  I filled two bobbins with this single spun yarn:
Next, I spun these two 'singles' together.  This is called 'plying' and requires a larger bobbin onto which to spin the plied yarn:
Finally, I used a 'niddy noddy' to wind the yarn off the bobbin and make a skein:

I don't know yet what I'll make out of this yarn, but I suspect it will be a shawl or something lacy.

As for what I've been reading during all of this, it's been grown up books so far.  Mr. Richards and I listened to Infected by Scott Sigler together and then I went ahead and listened to the sequel, Contagious.  You can listen to these stories for free as podcasts, read by the author himself.  The stories are pretty compelling sci-fi/horror, though I'm not a huge fan of Mr. Sigler's writing style.  I am, however, fascinated by his business model.  When he got tired of getting rejection notices from publishers, he decided to put his stuff out on the web.  He began publishing his stories on his blog for all to see and he read his stories and put them out as podcasts for all to hear.  All for free.  He gradually began building a fan base by giving away his work and eventually, the publishers came to him.  Mr. Richards discovered him and has become a huge fan.  He listened to the free podcasts and liked his work so much that he went out and bought all of Scott Sigler's books in hardcover.  If you like science fiction in which the author does the research to get the science right, you might want to check out his website.  
I've also started reading A Storm of Swords, by George R. R. Martin, the third book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series which has been made into the HBO series Game of Thrones.  I've enjoyed the show so much and the books take you much deeper.  I'll be ready when season 3 starts!

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