Monday, April 16, 2012

Surrender The Wind

I spent a half hour in line at the post office today, mailing out tax returns for the law firm I work for. Since I didn't have my knitting on me, I finished a book I was reading on my kindle- Surrender The Wind by Rita Gerlach. Set after the American War for Independence, it follows Seth Braxton, an American who fought for independence, only to become heir to a wealthy British estate. A sense of obligation and a desire to see his sister again (who returned to England at the beginning of the war) drives him to England, and shockingly, it is the unexpected love of a woman who keeps him there.

This story starts off strong, but in my opinion falters from there. I kept reading only because I wanted to see if they would tie it all together. Each plot twist was too definite for my liking, ending as the next wave began to swell. While everything was brought together at the end, it was done too neatly. I would give this 2.5 stars (out of 5).

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Better Late Than Never

In January, I wrote about the sock monkeys I knit for my cousins' daughters. Well, I haven't given Jen's daughter hers, but Michelle's daughter received hers.

And, apparently loved it.

I received a hand drawn thank you note a week or so ago, and it tickled my icy heart. I hung it on my wall, because it's kind of awesome when a 7 year old (admittedly prompted) writes a thank you note. I'm sure many crafters have often experienced the disappointment when a handmade gift is given with nary an acknowledgement, or if there was one, a lackluster one.

I had also made my aunt (Michelle's mother) a tote- the Medallion Travel Bag. I had made one for myself one in the second half of 2010, and my aunt admired it, but said it was too big for her.

So at the beginning of this year, I decided to make one for her, holding the yarn single instead of double like the pattern calls for. The result? Perfect.

I had felted mine in my washing machine, which is a front loaders. Front loaders are not exactly recommended for felting, but I didn't know anyone with a top loader who was local and willing to let me monopolize it for awhile on an experiment. The result was unexpectedly uninspiring- it was wrinkly, like crocodile scales.

With this one, I felted it in the dryer. I soaked it, then put it in the dryer with a couple towels. After 10-15 minutes, I pulled it out and inspected my work, repeating until I was satisfied with the results.

My aunt was also satisfied with the results. She declared it perfect several times, and gave me several hugs. Her face lit up when I held it up, finished.

So I currently have some warm fuzzies over giving my handknits away. I need to hold onto this feeling for a little bit. Some certain people in my life have made me necessarily selfish over my knits- (I was essentially told that handknits don't count as presents) but seeing faces light up sure can change one's perspective.