terriko: (Default)
GSoC is, as usual, eating my life, but it's not so bad. If you're reading this and want to help mentor for Python, drop me a line, I have a project that needs help and is willing to train new folk.

But let's talk books in brief, since I've read a couple I enjoyed:



Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch



This title sounds like smut, and there's definitely some steamy scenes (The aliens look like supernaturally hot humans, because of course they do), but it's also a hilarious campy mashup of Men In Black combined with a romance novel, and it's *fun*. This one starts when protagonist Kitty walks out of a boring day of jury duty and sees a case of road rage turn into a savage and not-entirely-human attack. Thinking quickly, she jumps in to help... and in the aftermath, finds herself carted off to New Mexico by mysterious and hot government agents as a new recruit.

The weird combo of space-Judaism, code breaking, aliens and terrorists... well, you've got to read it to believe it. I'm particularly a fan of Kitty's mom, but I can't tell you why without spoilers. I've already got the next book from the library.



The Imager Portfolio (Series) by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.



The author's Recluce series marked the point at which I stopped asking questions about a friend's book recommendations and just started reading whatever he suggested. I haven't read all his other series, though, so I picked this up from the library because it was one where they had the first book. As I've come to expect, this one has fantastic world-building, politics and societal questions, characters I come to care about, and action to keep everything from getting too dense. I just finished the second book today.

This particular book is about a young man who starts his career at as a portrait painter, but as one might expect from the title, he eventually figures out that he has "imager" powers -- that's basically this world's version of a mage. Soon enough, he finds himself making powerful allies... and enemies. It's a serious study of power in the political/social arena, and while I do think it skirts the edge of being preachy at times, it's good enough that I don't mind, and I even found myself pausing to think about what the characters were saying more than once, and not just because I was knitting and needed to re-read passages if my mind wandered too much.
terriko: (Default)
This is crossposted from Curiousity.ca, my personal maker blog. If you want to link to this post, please use the original link since the formatting there is usually better.

Jimmy Beans Beanie Bags, January 2016


January 2016’s Beanie Bag was all about yarn construction. I got the purple version, which was really quite nice! This month’s notion was a shawl pin from Knitter’s Pride (I was so glad mine arrived intact — apparently a few got broken in transit!), there was the usual little package of wool wash from soak, a pattern coupon (I forget if I used this one or not), and of course the 4 balls of yarn.


Jimmy Beans Beanie Bags, January 2016


I just want to give a quick shout-out to January 2016’s bag: The snowflakes are so cute, and I was initially disappointed that the new zipper didn’t look as pretty until I realized that it also doesn’t seem to catch the yarn as much as the chunkier old ones. So score one for improved functional design!


Jimmy Beans Beanie Bags, January 2016


There are 4 samples. You can read about them on the Beanie Bags website for Jan 2016, but in short they were:

20 yds of Alpaca Lana D’Oro

20 yds of Highland Duo

20 yds of Cloud

20 yds of El Cielo


The last one is exactly the same, including the colour, as a sample I’d tried from YOTM, so that was amusing. I used it very differently in this project, though.


Jimmy Beans Beanie Bags, January 2016


The pattern was a simple kerchief, like a big chunk of granny square since I did the crochet version because I like crochet colour changes better. I’m not sure what I’ll use it for, but that super-soft edge is really nice. I’d never really worked on a project with 4 completely different types of yarn before. Kind of fun, and something I would totally do again.


20160115-IMG_9662.jpg


Just to do a quick compare/contrast, here’s the Beanie Bag yarns beside my Yarn of The Month yarns. The YOTM sample (on the left) has a broader variety of unusual yarns to try (a single ply with bright colours, raffia, and a gradient linen-cotton mix), while the Beanie Bag yarns although different are intended to go together. It’s kind of interesting how the strategy is different. Also, in case anyone’s curious, I weighed the yarns and the Beanie Bags samples came in a bit heavier than YOTM in January, but it’s pretty close.


Also, I had forgotten that Jimmy Beans does a 5% cashback on yarn, and that this applies to the Beanie Bags and was auto-applied to this bag because I’d gotten to the threshold of $1, so I got this bag for $9 instead of $10. It might have been fun to build up a larger discount over time and then treat myself, but this is so much more convenient and practical and I never forget to use it. Handy! Between this and the fact that YOTM has had to raise their prices a bit to $9.50 (from $9.25), the prices are even more close than ever for people who keep a continuous Beanie Bags subscription.


Jimmy Beans Beanie Bags, January 2016


Overall, I don’t think I learned as much from this Beanie Bag as I have from others, but it’s still a very nice bag! I got a usable project (although I don’t know how much I *will* use the kerchief as it’s started to become itchy as I wear it to write this… and I’m not sure which yarn I’m reacting to!), a nice shawl stick, a great bag, and a convenient travel size of wool wash.

terriko: (Default)
This is crossposted from Curiousity.ca, my personal maker blog. If you want to link to this post, please use the original link since the formatting there is usually better.

Beanie Bags, December 2015


December’s theme was “superwash” and it included 5 samples in worsted weight. This seemed like a perfect time for me to practice my colourwork, since “do a small fair isle project” is on my craft goal list for this year, and I need practice with colourwork.


Beanie Bags, December 2015


In addition to the yarns, there’s some pom-pom makers, patterns for wine bottle cozies, a packet of Soak wool wash, and a coupon for a discounted pattern (which I forgot about before it expired, alas!)


I took quite a few photos of this bag, but honestly when I’m looking for info on a bag I often wish there were more pictures rather than less, so if you’re curious, I put even more pictures up in my curiousity.ca/things I’ve made album on flickr.


Here’s some photo spam of the yarns:


Plymouth Worsted Merino Superwash


Beanie Bags, December 2015


This was the softest yarn of the bunch!


Beanie Bags, December 2015 - Plymouth Worsted Merino Superwash


Madeleinetosh Tosh Vintage


This has the subtle colour changes that Madeleinetosh is known for, although they aren’t super obvious in my photos of the little ball.


Beanie Bags, December 2015 - Madeleinetosh Tosh Vintage


Lorna's Laces Shepherd


Beanie Bags, December 2015


This is a nice woodsy variegated with a looser, squishy ply.


Beanie Bags, December 2015 - Lorna's Laces Shepherd


Rowan Pure Wool Worsted


Beanie Bags, December 2015 - Rowan Pure Wool Worsted


A pleasant heathered yarn. I particularly liked working with this one.


Beanie Bags, December 2015 - Rowan Pure Wool Worsted


Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted


Beanie Bags, December 2015


Another pleasant heathered yarn which was a great match for the Rowan.


Beanie Bags, December 2015 - Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted


My Fair Isle sampler


Overall, they all felt pretty similar, and it’s possible that difference in softness was a function of the dyes more than the yarn itself (although the different plying does make some difference). This was great for my purposes, since it meant they worked okay together!


Beanie Bags, December 2015


This detail shot shows you two important things: #1, the variation in colour in the madeleinetosh sample. #2, the lesson I learned about fair isle samplers, which is that you *really* need to work in some sort of border to anchor the colour changes. I’ll keep this in mind for the next time I do a colourwork sampler!


Here’s the whole piece:


Beanie Bags, December 2015


The patterns were taken from “Mastering Colour Knitting


I’m not sure how I’ll fit this long sampler into my blanket made of samples yet, but I think I’m at the point where I should start putting it together rather than filing all my samples in a binder!

terriko: (Default)
This is crossposted from Curiousity.ca, my personal maker blog. If you want to link to this post, please use the original link since the formatting there is usually better.

One of the Ravelry groups I enjoy runs a pi/e themed yarn swap and I decided to participate this year because seriously, how awesome is that? The deal was that you had to include yarn or spinning fiber, some edible goodies, a handcrafted item, and other goodies related to pi or pie. Target value was $30-40, which was actually hard shopping in all the yarn crawl stores with their beautiful handpainted, hand-made items! But I managed!


My swapee likes batman, so I made her a project bag which *might* have just been an excuse for me to buy some batman fabrics.


It’s reversible, so here’s the outside and the inside:

Batman project bag for Pi Swap

Batman project bag for Pi(e) Swap


I also made some papercraft pie boxes to fit the bag and some tea into. The lemon meringue one is a pattern from the silhouette store, and I modified it to make a blueberry pie one since I was putting blueberry tea inside:

Pie boxes for Pi(e) swap


I also made some magnets and a button, and a whole set of pretty stitch markers suitable for even bulky needles, but I didn’t take pictures of those separately.


Here’s two views of the whole package:

Pi(e) swap package


Pi(e) swap package


It included lovely yarn from Thoroughly Thwacked, a Brittany Crochet hook that my swapee was looking for, and some wooden buttons that I thought looked cool as well as the other things I mentioned. I hope it suited her!


And, since I’m sure you’re all curious, here’s the package I got from my upstream partner:


My Pi(e) swap package!


I see she noticed that I like tea :)


Also, check out the amazing little cherry pi pie charm:


Cherry pi pie charm from my Pi(e) swap package!


And the hat fits perfectly!


Super awesome hat from my Pi(e) swap package

terriko: (Default)
This is crossposted from Curiousity.ca, my personal maker blog. If you want to link to this post, please use the original link since the formatting there is usually better.

One more preview photo for today!


Yarn Subscription preview, February 2016 (Yarn of the Month and Jimmy Beans Beanie Bags)


These yarns have been sadly neglected in favour of Rose City Yarn Crawl stuff, but they’ll be coming up soon! I’m very much looking forwards to more teensy tiny sample knits.


Yarn of the Month is on the left, with that tempting stained glass pattern that might have me ditch the usual swatch patterns in favour of trying a two-colour affair. Jimmy Beans is on the right with the Eddie the Eagle-themed package. Apparently they yarnbombed the Sundance film festival in celebration!

Page generated May. 4th, 2016 07:20 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios