My Adventures in Knitting, truly my Yarn-escape!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Yarns - Color Shifting Shawl Almost Done!

     I'm racing to finish my Color Shifting Shawl.  I am on the last color and hopefully, I can finish the lace and garter section today.  (More details on pattern and yarns used Wednesday's Yarns - Color Shifting Shawl ).  I get this itch to go on and in my basket peeking out at me is the yarn for my next project - West Bluff.  It's made with a selection of different Hawthorne yarns.  I've got a lovely purple, pretty grey with dark swirls in it, and a mix with turquoise in it called Abernathy (the pattern was made with Willamette which was out of stock at the time).

     On the reading front, I'm almost halfway through James Comey's book A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.  It has been a riveting read.  Maybe that's me, I love first-hand accounts of history.  But he's a good writer that makes the reading very interesting.  You feel like you're there with his descriptions.

     I just read about his time as the Assistant Attorney General.  His race to stop illegal surveillance which had been previously authorized by the Department of Justice.  With careful review, they realized these new methods were approved in a rush after 9/11 and they were not accurately lawful.  President Bush and men around him were pushing for its continuance. The Attorney General ends up in the hospital, in intensive care and his wife gives Comey the heads up that Bush's people are coming.  Comey races to the hospital, calling support from FBI agents and sits there next to his boss.  What happens has your jaw on the ground.  He stops it.  Similarly, he fights to end illegal torture.  This again was a case of a too swift and inaccurate authorization by the Department of Justice after 9/11 to some methods of torture.  While not allowing "extremely painful" torture, a debatable term, it allowed psychological torture, waterboarding, being hung by rafters, left naked, isolated, not fed much, and a combination of these types of tortures and so on.  He did not succeed here and ultimately quit the Bush Administration.  He was brought back to the government by President Obama because he thought he would make an independent and strong FBI Director in 2013 for a 10-year term.  Despite (I believe) his error in judgment towards Hilary's case in the Fall of 16' (the announcement of found emails and reopening the case) I think the country lost a very valuable asset in Comey.  But read the book and see.

     I'm into the second Longmire book - Death Without Company by Craig Johnson.  The first The Cold Dish was great and also a shocking reveal at the end.  Most of the book is a focus on characters, conversations (dry and witty, Western-style) and then it picks up in speed towards the end.  There are some amazing descriptions of mystical scenes with ancestral Comanches, protecting, leading, helping.  Unique narrative.

     The second book Death Without Company: A Walt Longmire Mystery (Walt Longmire Mysteries Book 2) starts two weeks later.  It does reveal the end and recaps quickly a bit of the first book.  This is definitely a book series to read in order.  I'm glad to be stuck in Longmire's world for a long while.  It's a long series.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Wednesday's Yarns - Adding More Color To My Color Shifting Shawl


     I decided to add more rows to my Color Shifting Shawl.  It was beautiful as is, but I know I had started with the intention of having a bright shawl.  A celebration of Spring, and while it was tempting to keep it with its grey tones and burgundy, I decided to forge on and add more color and length.  So I'm adding a beautiful rose, with peach tones and then I'm thinking of adding the lighter peachy-pink yarn that I started with.  I certainly have plenty of yarn left.  But that was intentional, I need a stash of fingering yarn to play with and my head is already filled with ideas of what I'll do with it.  Color and yarn are so inspirational!

     I'm still reading and loving Craig Johnson's "The Cold Dish" A Longmire Mystery.  And I have a stack of his next books to keep me happy.  He has a way with words and descriptions.  It's less the plot line or murder mystery that's unfolding but the portrayal of the man himself, the sheriff in this Wyoming small town and the landscape of Wyoming itself. 

     I'm having so much fun reading "A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership" (April 17, 2018) by James Comey.  I got it on Kindle and looked forward to reading it after a weekend of reading NYT's critiques.  I grabbed it first thing yesterday morning and I was pleasantly surprised how good it is.  The first half is a personal memoir that at times is riveting and is thoughtful.  It's much more than a tell-all book.  I also had to get beyond my anger at Comey for his actions of Fall 16'.  While I still don't agree with these actions I'm more understanding of the man, his actions I think were well-intentioned (just disastrous in its outcome).  In some ways, I feel bad for him.  Reading his accounts you realize he's more than that one decision and his whole life has been ruled by a pursuit of truth and trying to do the right thing.  He wrote his thesis in college about leadership having a higher morality leading their actions.  This isn't just a present-day philosophy he came up with because of Trump.  What seems sad is because of anger towards him many Liberals who won't read this account and like I said it's much more than a tell-all about Trump but this man's memoir and he writes valid points.  As a child, he was relentlessly picked on by bullies.  As a teen, he was found in a situation where a gun was leveled at his head, and he explains how these events influenced him.  Later he recounts the bosses he had and how they influenced him.  And how meeting, talking to mob bosses and prosecuting the Italian Mafia was like.  It's an interesting read and needful for today's situation.  We need leaders with a sense of right and wrong, a higher sense of morality to hold to.  And Comey defines this as either religious (his minor in college) or based on philosophy and reading of others and/or good mentoring.

     On Audible I'm listening to "True Fiction" (Ian Ludlow Thrillers Book 1) by Lee Goldberg.  A gripping thriller that has a humorous streak.  Massive fun while knitting.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Yarns - Color Shifting Shawl and Longmire


      I'm working with the last colors of my Color Shifting Shawl ( more details - Wednesday's Yarns - Color Shifting Shawl).  I replaced a repeat of the first color (which the pattern called for) with "Sweet Home", a pretty violet that went perfectly with the previous color Eugene, a deep plum.  Next, a few rows away I'll add a grey with a faint stripe of blue called Kerns.   At that point, I'll decide whether to end it or use the original pinky peach Burlingame which barely showed in the first repeat.  One comment on Ravelry said it was a small shawl (which can be nice), so I'll see.  Also, I need to see how the colors play.  Do I want it to end in a dark tone or will the pop and light of the first color give not only balance but more interest?

I'm finishing the Audible "The Woman Left Behind" by Linda Howard.  A really exciting audio.  Intense.  I'll be looking for more by Linda Howard.

     My book is Craig Johnson's The Cold Dish: A Longmire Mystery.  A great read, even better than the TV series, which I loved.  I like the details about Longmire.  The subtle humor going throughout.  The landscape.  A plus with this story is  I've got the familiarity of knowing the series where I can fill in the voices and faces in my head with the show's characters I like so much.  Usually, that's a frustrating feature of reading a book after seeing it performed, but I think the show's portrayal of the characters are done so well that overlaying the characters from the show onto the book add dimension, fleshes it out  But, so far the storyline and details are different enough it really is a new story for me.  Also Longmire not only is a grieving widow, like the series, in the book, there's more dimension to his character.  For instance, in the book his cabin is only an unfinished cabin with 2 by 4's struts, few walls and he lives in boxes.  Not the pretty cabin we see in the series.  What's amusing and touching is his friend Henry Standing Bear shows up to outline the four-point plan he has for him to reclaim his life and win point #3, a lady (but you have to be worthy of her, he is told).  I'm glad I've got a long series to explore in the future and keep me company with wonderful characters.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Wednesday's Yarns - Color Shifting Shawl & Longmire


      My Color Shifting Shawl is looking lovely.  The colors are fun to work with and the design interesting yet easy to memorize.  A real winner. (Last weeks post for details - Wednesday's Yarns - Color Shifting Shawl)

     I've started reading The Cold Dish: A Longmire Mystery by Craig Johnson.  The first in the Longmire series.  A TV show I absolutely love and I didn't know until last week that it was based on a book series.  (Thanks to As Kat Knits and her "Unraveled Wednesdays" where she shares her knits and books).  So far I'm loving it.  The descriptions of Wyoming are beautiful and are an important element of his books, that and the myth and reality of Western culture.  The character of Walt the sheriff grips you right away and is much like the series.  It's like getting into the series in a 3-D way.  The characters you love are more fleshed out.  The style of prose is one moment beautiful and then funny.  Walt has what I would have called a mid-west sense of humor, that dry, tongue-in-cheek way of conversing (especially over corpses).  I think of it as Mid-West because I once knew a Kansas couple who ran a funeral home.  I never met a funnier guy.  Almost as if death brings a stark reality that forged a unique, dry, humor that also tells it like it is.  Walt says as he's hovering over a corpse in a field that his humor increases when there's death around.  "There's a kinda cocksure attitude that overtakes a man in the presence of the dearly departed, a you're dead-and-I'm-not kind of perspective. There's something about a carcass of an animal like oneself, the post-shuffled, mortal coil that brings out the worst in me, and I start thinking that I'm funny." (Walt Longmire)

Big Horn Mountains, Wyoming

     I've already bought some of the following books in the series anticipating wanting to go on.  The books I think are pricey so I first checked my local used bookshop and there I got #1 and #2 - Death Without Company  The third book - Kindness Goes Unpunished I've got coming used (but new condition) through Amazon.  The 4th book (yeah!) that one is only $1.99 (for now) on Kindle- Another Man's Moccasins.  That ought to keep me busy for awhile and I anticipate my husband wanting to read them too.

          My Garter Stitch Shawl is finally blocked.  I set it aside figuring I'd wear it in the Spring (Wednesday's Yarns - Finishing a Book & a Shawl). I do tend to do that.  I have to finish tucking in the stray yarns on my Peace Shawl too for Friday night.  I want to show it off with this pretty tie-dye shirt and jeans.  I'm hosting a fundraiser for Rebuilding Puerto Rico.  We have local musicians (some professionals) coming to play at Jives Coffee Lounge April 6th in Old Colorado City at 7 PM - 9:30.  We give the raised funds to a missionary friend who goes in and helps rebuild homes.  Last time's donations helped an elderly woman who just lost her husband 4 days before the hurricane.  Her roof was torn off and the team used the funds we raised, fixed her second story to be a roof and refurbished her bathroom. Want more details because you're local leave a message.

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