Monday Knitting

My edit for this week isn’t arriving until tomorrow, so as long as I keep an eye on email, I can spend today playing with yarn. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me.

Yesterday, I finished the Close To You shawl, using Dream Smooshy With Cashmere (colorway Burr), and I love it. With the center in front, and the ends wrapped around the neck and draped over the front of my shoulders, it’s going to look great with a blue or rust-colored shirt. I have it on the blocking board now, but it didn’t need much beyond smoothing and defining the points a little.

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Close-up when it was in progress

 

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On the blocking board

Last night, I started the Reyna shawl, using a spectacular 50/50 SW merino/silk yarn in a colorway called “Tide Pools” from Blue Barn Fiber.

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It’s so soft and luxurious, and the color is stunning. Even better, the customer service from Holly was exceptional. She offers custom dyes on a wide range of bases, and she helped me choose the right base for what I wanted to do. I will absolutely buy more yarn from her in the future.

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As you can see, I’ve barely started the shawl. None of the stitches is especially difficult, but the switching from the garter to mesh sections every so often will keep it from being boring, while still being semi-mindless enough (as long as you keep count of those stitches!) to do while watching TV or keeping an eye on the work email account.

How’s your Monday?

I Have No Idea What’s Going On Over There Anymore

My gorgeous new yarn from Blue Barn Fiber is sitting in my mailbox, waiting for me to rescue it and ooh and aah over its glorious yarny-silky goodness, but I’m trapped in the house.

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Seriously, just look at that. It’s called Tide Pools, and I ordered it on a 50/50 SW merino and silk base.

But I can’t get near it because, as I figured, the Redneck Kid-Farm Rodeo is in full force out in their front yard. Last I counted, there were 8-10 kids from toddler to teen running about out there. I know they don’t all live there. It’s a 2-bedroom house, and my best guess is two of the older boys actually live there.

I have no idea who the rest of these assorted rugrats are. Cousins? Friends? Paying daycare customers? I don’t think they’re other random neighborhood kids, because I can’t think of any white kids on this street.

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As I reported in This Post (which contains photographic evidence of excessive kid-quota), there was one primary thing that might just put me over the edge. And (shudder) it appears to have happened.

What I wrote: “I’m really, really glad they don’t appear to have a dog, though. A dog running around out there would not be appreciated by my dogs–or by me.”

And…guess what. Yep. Dog. It looks–from my spying-spot in the dining room–like a little tan chihuahua. But it could be a puppy of something else short-haired that will be larger when it matures. I don’t know yet. So far, it’s been out on a leash, but I’m not optimistic it will stay that way. I picture it wriggling under my fence and getting eaten by the the Poodledactyl and Sir Mozzie the Swift.

For now, observation continues. They do seem to go a lot of places, and should the vehicles be gone when I check, I’ll need to make a dash for the mailbox. This is seriously impeding my usual practice of Immediate Gratification. Waiting sucks. But people suck more.

UPDATED: At latest count, four boys playing basketball. Three toddlers in a wading pool. One young boy going back and forth between the groups. Two teen-type girls watching the toddlers. AND…the dog. Looks like a chihuahua or maybe a chi-dachshund mix because it has a long back. If it’s not a puppy, it appears young. They keep putting it in the pool with the toddlers. It keeps jumping out. And, you guessed it…it’s no longer on a leash.

It’s gonna be a looooooong summer, folks.

Binge-Watching The X-Files

I recently started watching The X-Files for the first time. When it premiered almost 25 years ago, I didn’t watch much TV. But now, working at home and having access to c52a782d86e841116a324a1032dcfa74streaming video, binge-watching is one of my favorite things. Since I watch nearly every paranormal/supernatural show I can find, finally watching The X-Files was bound to happen.

Let me be clear about one thing. I do like the show. I’m into season 7 now, so obviously I enjoy it. I’m less clear about why it has achieved legendary status and a reboot. (I’m looking forward to the reboot seasons, though! Another week or so and I should be there.)

Since it premiered in 1993, I expected it to feel dated, and it does, a little. The cars, technology, wardrobe, even the on-screen graphics show it’s not a recent production. I was surprised to find the feel of the show felt dated even for 1993. Then I decided that’s what they were going for. Sort of a noir atmosphere, or a somber Twilight Zone tone. Fine. I can live with that.

But there are still some things that nag at me as I’m watching.

  • Scully’s wardrobe. I know it’s 1993 business professional stuff, but were the suits really so boxy then? And collars up to the jaw? Because I’ve seen nuns and Amish grandmothers looking more stylish. I assume Gillian Anderson has a figure under there, but you rarely catch even the faintest hint. I’m not saying dress her up like she’s on The Bachelorettee, but c’mon.
  • Lack of facial expressions. I’ll probably catch hell for this, but I don’t think Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny are spectacular actors. They’re not bad. They’re just not…great. The lack of facial expressions is almost amusing. It’s like all their emotions are on a dimmer switch set to low. Even when they raise their voices, their faces barely move. It’s almost like a ventriloquist dummy. The mouth moves, and the eyes go back and forth, and that’s it. Sometimes it even looks like they’re trying to speak while moving their mouths as little as possible. Duchovny has at most three expressions. Neutral/brooding, alarmed or excited (which are the same) with slightly widened eyes and open mouth, and worried/angry/furious which involves a somewhat furrowed brow.

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  • Where’s the humor? I get it, it’s a serious show. But even the most serious, dark shows usually break it up now and then, or have the wacky best friend, nosy neighbor, quirky co-worker, running jokes…something to lighten the tone once in a while. As I’m getting to later seasons, it has improved. There are a few episodes where they break from the weighty story arc, like the time the shapeshifter guy locked Mulder in the basement and put the moves on Scully, or the one where they went to Texas and discovered vampires, and they were each recounting the case from their perspective to Skinner. Mostly, though, it’s dark, dark, dark and kind of oppressive. Oh, The Lone Gunmen? They’re awesome.

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  • Zero chemistry. Maybe it’s coming, or maybe it’s just never going to happen, but most shows which feature male and female leads usually bring them together eventually. Booth and Bones, for example. They didn’t get together until the start of season 7, but even before then, they had a lot of chemistry. I know, it’s not necessary for them to get together; it doesn’t change the point of the show. But, hey, maybe then they’d show some emotion. Not betting on it, though.
  • Are there aliens or not? At this point, I guess there are. There’s that fetus they’re passing around like a dead baby football and using to try to breed hybrids. But it could well turn out to be something else. First, it’s “the government is covering up the existence of aliens.” Then, “the government is pretending to cover up the existence of aliens so people will think that’s what they’re up to and not notice they’re really conducting human experiments.” Now I think it’s “all of the above, but there are actually aliens involved in the experiments.” Maybe. That could change in the next episode.

One thing I really enjoy is watching the list of guest stars after the opening theme. So many actors who have become favorites in other shows appeared on The X-Files back in the day. Mark Sheppard, Laurie Holden, Luke Wilson, Bruce Campbell, Willie Garson, Peter Boyle, Seth Green, Bryan Cranston, Donal Logue, Kurtwood Smith, James Pickens Jr., just to name a few.

So, what do you think? Are you a fan of The X-Files? What do I need to know, or what am I just not seeing clearly? I like it a lot. I’ll keep watching. But I don’t see me getting an “I Want To Believe” tattoo any time soon.

New Submission Call! #amwriting #romance

New submission call for our upcoming anthology! We did a call for “forbidden” stories and received so many professor/student submissions that we decided to dedicate a full anthology to the theme.

The Craving Chronicles

It's Back! (3)

New anthology theme announcement: Craving Teacher.

Crave Publishing, a division of Limitless Publishing, is accepting short stories for the contemporary romance anthology Craving: TEACHER. Completed stories should be 10,000 words (7,500 minimum, 12,000 maximum, with 10,000 as the ideal length).

There’s always that one teacher or professor, the one who’s a little too hot or looks at you a little too often. And there’s always that one student, who is as precocious in the bedroom as in the classroom. And we love those steamy, sexy, forbidden stories about how the rules don’t stand a chance against chemistry.

Your story should involve a setting of college or graduate school, with a student and a professor, thesis advisor, or other similar position. The student must be over 18. You might have a male student and female teacher/instructor, or female student and male teacher. High “heat” levels are encouraged, but please don’t…

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Summer Knitting, Having a Blast…

I’ve been a terribly negligent blogger lately! Life has been a little crazy, with eye and dental appointments, guests, outings…and an upcoming series of dental appointments that will take most of the summer to complete.

But I have been knitting! Time to catch you up on what I’ve done and what’s on the needles now.

I’ve finally completed the Holden shawl, using Dream Smooshy With Cashmere in “mermaid shoes,” which I got from The Salty Sheep Yarn Shop. I love this. It’s so soft and light! Check out the slideshow for all four gorgeous images!

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This is how I’ll probably wear it, though.

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Currently on the needles is the Close to You shawl, again using the Dream Smooshy With Cashmere, this time in the Burr colorway. I’m hoping this one is a little smaller and maybe can even be worn in the summer in the south.

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I still have two cakes of amazing yarn from The Wicked Knittah in “cottage shed,” and lots of patterns piled up, and I still want to learn cables. But I’d probably cable in a heavier yarn, and I’m really enjoying the indulgence of the luxury yarns right now.

Hope you’re enjoying your summer knitting projects!