Friday, September 29, 2006

I'm not going to make it.

I'm only on page 125 of Master of Souls and there are 176 to go. (link given to Waterstones for convenience but you should support your local independent bookstore if you can). So far it has taken me three weeks to read the first 125 pages - how much chance is there of me finishing it by Wednesday?

I'm finding it really difficult to read. Everytime I start to read it in bed I fall asleep. I just want to plot to move a bit quicker. There's an awful lot of explanation and loads of Irish words. I keep having to look them up in the pronunciation guide at the back. Actually that doesn't really help as Irish spelling doesn't seem to bear any relation to how it's pronounced and it just confuses me more. Sorry if this offends the Irish, but couldn't you use phonetic spelling or something. All these words with odd combinations of consonants are doing my head in.

But I hate abandonning a book half way through, especially when it's for reading group. I feel I have to at least try and finish. So the question is this - is struggling through 125 pages enough of a test to discover that I don't like this book (I suspect there are others out there who will love it for all the reasons that I don't - gentle pace, historical detail, Irish language and culture) when I just want to hurl it across the room and go read the new John Connolly?

The Juno cardigan continues slowly, but I've done the button bands and there are by my reckoning (always a bit suspect) only 1.5 pattern repeats to go on the collar. I'd show you a photo but there's not that much difference from the last one, just the collar strip is a bit longer.

I'll hopefully finish the knitting tonight and can block it on Saturday and finish the sewing up on Sunday. More photos of the FO then.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

How I became a knitter!

Progress has been sloooow on both the Juno cardigan and the Peter Tremayne book so I thought I'd tell you how I got back into knitting.

As I said before, I'm a second-hand book dealer so I go to a lot of general auctions to buy stock. At this one auction there were all these boxes of wool. Sealed packs of pure new wool, mostly Falcon and some Patons. Always looking for things to make a bit of money on, I thought "hey, wool is expensive, I bet I can sell those." So I bought 4 large boxes.

Well the wool sat around in the house for a little while and then I started to list it on eBay. And we sold almost all of it - just a few odd balls left over. I duly posted it all off to the buyers - but it was too late - the sight of all that wool stacked up around the office had worked its woolly magic on me. I started getting the itch to knit something. I hadn't knitted since my daughter, hereby known as the Evilpixie, was a small baby.

I was a working mother, running my own business, with hobbies (reading and writing) that I already didn't have enough time for. I wasn't looking for another hobby! But there was no escape. I wanted to knit something, I wanted really badly to knit something. And I didn't have anything - no needles, no pattern, nothing.

Off I trotted to the local charity shop where I bought a little selection of needles and I knitted a woolly hat. Then I started to look on the web for patterns and found the whole web community that surrounds knitting now - all the pattern sites, and the blogs and the stitch and bitch groups. I was completely blown away. I went in search of wool shops for more wool (because I'd sold all that great pure wool - what was I thinking!) and I discovered all the absolutely fantastic yarns that are available now. I was hooked.

A year ago I was quite happy, I didn't even know there was anything missing from my life. And now...I'm an addict. Are there any self-help programmes out there for obsessive knitters?????????

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Welcome to Mysterious Yarns!!

This is a blog about crime fiction and knitting (although not neccessarily in that order) as well as all the other stuff in my life.

I'm Pat and I live in the West Midlands of England with my husband, daughter and golden retriever.

I'm a second-hand bookseller by trade, and I love books, crime fiction in particular, so there will be regular updates on what I'm reading and what I think of it. I don't just read crime though, I also like historical fiction, and all sorts of other things that catch my eye as they pass through my hands as stock.

Knitting is the other obsession in my life so there will be similar updates on work in progress and finished projects etc. I'm not an expert knitter, having only recently come back to it after not knitting for about fifteen years, so you can expect much gnashing of teeth and frogging of erroneous knitting. I'm loving all the new, fantastic yarns available now and have already amassed a considerable stash and a growing list of projects I'd like to knit. More on that as we go on.

What I'm reading now -

Currently I'm reading Master of Souls by Peter Tremayne. This is the first Sister Fidelma book I've read, and I'm only reading it because it's one of the set books for my crime fiction reading group. Medieval crime is not really my bag, but I did join the reading group to make myself read things that were outside my normal comfort zone. I'm not really enjoying Master of Souls. It's taking a little while to get going - I'm on page 65 and there's a lot of explanation and not a whole lot of plot movement going on. Still, I shall persevere with it and perhaps it will get better.

What I'm knitting now -

I'm getting to the end of the Juno cardigan from Rowan Magazine 40. I'm knitting it in Rowanspun Aran, shade 962, as the recommended yard (Rowan Wool Cotton, knitted double) was just too expensive. (I'm a knitter on a budget!) . The Rowanspun was on special offer as it's been discontinued. I got it at Knit2together which is a wonderful shop in Wolstanton, Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Anyway, the body of the cardigan is done, which is a great relief as it was allover rib and very slow.
I just have the celtic cable collar to finish and the button bands. I'm really pleased with it so far, despite the soul-sucking rib (note to self: you hate knitting rib, please remember this in future).

So the end is in sight, which means I can start to think about what to start next. I've promised my daughter a beanie hat so I guess I should do that next, then the way is clear for Socktoberfest

This is first time I've signed up for a knit-along thing so I'll let you know how I get on. I'm looking forward to it. I just love to knit socks and I got the Lucy Neatby - Cool Socks, Warm Feet book last week at the Knitting & Stitching Show at the NEC and some great hand-dyed sock yarn so I'm all set.

Ok, I think that's it for now. Hope you enjoyed my first attempt at blogging!