Thursday, May 15, 2008

Shetland Triangle: Almost There!

I am so close to finishing the Shetland Triangle. I bound off early this week, but I need to block it. I think I'm going to wait until I visit my parents next week to do that, because they have more floorspace. This picture is just a preview; I experimented with pinning the shawl on my ironing board to get a feel for what the final product will look like.

I have also started swatching for a sweater--another go at the Cable/Rib Cardigan from Vogue Knitting a couple years back. I have already knit this pattern once before, but the yarn I used (Debbie Bliss Cashmerino) is starting to look pretty ratty. So I pulled out some Classic Elite Patina I had in the stash and started swatching. I still need to wash the swatch, but I think I've found a gauge I like.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

A Couple Book Reviews

Have you seen this website Goodreads? It lets you create a list of books you have read, are reading, and are planning to read. Plus it stores your ratings and reviews. The site design is pretty nice too. I started my profile here.

And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander
I had been planning on reading this one for awhile, so I finally picked up a copy from Unfortunately, I wasn't thrilled with it. The story follows a young widow who, two years after her husband's death, finds out he may have been involved with some shady art dealers. The widow, Lady Emily Ashton, hardly knew her husband. She married him only to escape the overbearing influence of her mother, and he died shortly after their wedding. It's only through reading Lord Ashton's diary that Emily begins to realize how interesting her husband was. But this exploration also leads her to discover his involvement with art forgers. The plot itself was okay, but Emily as a character is annoying. She is selfish and quick to judge those around her. She doesn't even seem to be that smart, given that it takes her a long time to figure out what, to the readers, is the obvious answer to the mystery. Nevertheless, I'm considering reading the second installment in this series, if only because I've seen other series get much better over time (such as Stephanie Barron's Jane Austen series or Carola Dunn's Daisy Dalrymple series--though I did get burned by Marion Chesney's Edwardian Mystery series).

Captain Alatriste by Arturo Perez-Reverte
This was a short yet enjoyable book, which is part of a larger series about, you guessed it, Captain Alatriste. These books were originally written in Spanish, and are slowly being translated into English. This installment centers around "the adventure of the two Englishmen." Alatriste, a soldier-for-hire in 1620s Madrid, is given an assignment by a member of the Spanish Inquisition. Alatriste is told to kill two Englishmen traveling into Madrid. However, when the attack actually unfolds, Alatriste realizes that his targets aren't two nobodies, but rather people very important to the fate of England and Spain. And more intrigue ensues.... Overall, I was very taken with this book. It's not the most well-paced (there are some places that wander off on tangents about 1600s Spain), but the clear love Perez-Reverte has for Spanish history leads to some interesting writing. I'm already reading the second installment.