Monday, February 25, 2008

Reading - The Secrets of a Fire King

The Secrets of a Fire King by Kim Edwards

Many of the award-winning stories in this first collection feature strong, pragmatic women as protagonists, usually motivated by love in its broadest sense: A 19-year-old finds hidden strength after skydiving with an unstable boyfriend; a lonely, uprooted Asian woman makes a life in America; the cleaning woman of a famous scientist idolizes her employer despite suffering physically because of his experiments; a wife connects best with her husband during the time of their greatest challenge. Edwards utilizes her perceptual ability and keen eye for detail to delineate believable characters, many of whom are facing unique challenges. Their haunting situations are effectively complemented by unusual settings in Asia, America and Europe.

Reading - I Say a Little Prayer

I Say a Little Prayer by E. Lynn Harris

Chauncey Greer operates a successful card company in Atlanta, Cute Boy Cards, with a specialty line for bisexuals and homosexuals. His relationships are casual because he can't get over his first true love and the betrayal that broke them apart.

Chauncey decides to renew a dormant singing career, and his pastor asks him to debut at the church. Abundant Joy is a modest church that members fear may be on the brink of turning mega. Chauncey, like so many other members, fled Atlanta's mega-churches with their emphasis on prosperity at the expense of spirituality and decidedly anti-gay messages.

When the pastor asks Chauncey to perform at an upcoming revival, Chauncey finds himself caught between the guest speaker, Bishop Upchurch, a fiery minister who is running for the U.S. Senate on an anti-gay marriage platform, and members of his church, who oppose Upchurch's message. Chauncey learns through friends the myriad paths traveled and entanglements faced by other members of Atlanta's black homosexual community; and he learns that Bishop Upchurch is a figure with his own troubled past. As Chauncey struggles with these issues, he eventually makes peace with his past.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

FO - Cable & Twisted Tree Sweater

Before our Chinese New Year, I decide to finish my long wish project - Cable & Twisted Tree Sweater. I always want a cable sweater and it is lucky that it can be finished on time and happy that all the yarns are used up. I show off my new sweater to my friend when we celebrate the CNY, they like it very much.

Spec :
Pattern : my own
Yarn : Alpaca Superfine - 100% Alpaca (bought from Japan)
Usage : 10 balls x 50g (100m each)
Needle : 3.5mm needle

It is no difficulty in knitting but :
1. quite hard to choose the combination of cable patterns. After many tests, this cable and twisted tree stitches pattern are chosen.
2. another difficulty is to test the tension of each stitches pattern : the cable, twisted tree and double moss stitches. Have to test them one by one, a lot of patient is required.
3. to calculate the measurement . I have done a lot of addition and subtraction to work out the correct inches. This really makes me faint.
4. afraid that not enough yarn for the sleeves. I use waste yarn to cast on the 2 sleeves and start to knit from the upper arm upward. After that, only one ball is left. I knit the 2 sleeves downward at the same time to the wrist from the cast on row using the two ends of the yarn ball, until the last ball is used up. So it is a 3/4 sleeves sweater.

I love cable crazy and am planning a open cardigan. But I am just start a new project - open cardigan with no sleeve using deep purple yarns. You can't believe, these 6 balls of purple yarns are found by my mother under the bed drawer and quite surprise that the purchase receipt is still here, the yarns are bought at the year 1986. Let's celebrate the 20 years old of the yarns.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Stash for Scarves

I have 1.25 balls of the baby yarn left from my friend - AM's vest, 2 small scarves are crocheted for HS also. You know, I always like to make use all of the yarn stash.

This crocheted raffle scarf's pattern is obtained by one of the Chinese bloggers. At the first time, I misunderstand the pattern on how to make a hole to pass through the raffle tail of the scarf. The first step is to crochet the long scarf itself, then crochet a flower to attach to the one end of the scarf to form a hole. I also add 2 more rows of raffle to make a big wave. I don't know why my friend HS loves the raffle edge very much, so this raffle scarf is crocheted to make her at the Chinese New Year.

The belowed scarf is according to a Japanese crochet book that bought a few year ago. It is just long enough to round the neck once. I ask my friend HS try to find a hair pin or cuff links to fix one the scarf.

Reading - A Thousand Country Roads

A Thousand Country Roads by Robert James Waller

Did Robert Kincaid forget Francesca Johnson? Did she regret her passionate indiscretion with him? And what happened to all his photographs? In this epilogue to THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, Waller takes one more look at the couple famous for their adulterous affair in Iowa. Jim Bond offers a transparent portrayal of Waller's commentary, told in a style that resembles the Iowa landscape. Exaggerated characterizations of the more colorful bit players in the story heighten the solemnity of the main characters' emotional involvement, and their soul-searching reveries.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Reading - The Pumpkin Eater

The Pumpkin Eater by Penelope Mortimer

The narrator of this story is married to her fourth and excessively well-paid husband. This income only serves to highlight the emptiness of a life led by a woman deprived of the domestic trappings that have defined her. Without an existence centred around the kitchen, the shops, the children's nursery, the narrator's world is displaced and stripped of all direction. All that is left is a capacity for driven love, for pregnancy, and for seeing straight through the facade of the world of the modern middle-class.