Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Work in Progress & What I'm Reading Wednesday

I want to thank Tami at Tami's Amis and Other Crochet for sponsoring "Work in Progress Wednesday."

First off, I am happy to report that the Helix socks are no longer a work in progress! I finished them on Saturday!! Yay!! (follow the link for pictures)

Over the Labor Day weekend, I did some thinking about the other project I mention in that same posting, and I think I have some ideas. I think I'm going to slice those big hexagons in half, add in some other fabrics cut as trapezoids, and alternate those strips with the striped fabric that is at the far left of the "accompanying fabrics" picture. I have some tan and white striped fabric in my stash I could pull in as well. So, that's the plan I worked out while out walking in the overcast skies of Labor Day.

I spent Sunday and Monday afternoons making Peppermint Candy bigger. I started with making the green blocks:
and then I had to figure out how many yellow blocks to make. Don't laugh, but I have trouble counting. I get distracted part way through, etc. It's a real trial to me. Anyway, I came up with a number and then added a couple for insurance (because I have failed to make enough blocks in the past, hmm??). So, then, I had this set of fabric pieces:
I then chained the middle portion of the blocks:
I pressed those and added the green sides:
Then, I added the yellow sides and sorted into two sets so that both the green and the pink sides would have the same kinds of pale blocks:
I arranged the pale blocks on the green side, made an extra dark green block (I told you I can't count!), and here is where the project stands:
Next, I'll flip this around and start making the dark pink blocks for the other side. I know that a couple of my "pale" green pieces are not pale. I can see that. I may just run to a fabric store and get a quarter yard of whatever and fix that. grrrr

As to what I'm reading: I am deep in the middle of Robert Hutchinson's biography of Thomas Cromwell. I seriously had a nightmare this weekend related to this period. I think I need to step away from the Tudors for a while. I am at the part of the book where he is dismantling the monasteries and nunneries and grabbing all of the valuables for the king. Also, he is trying to find a fourth wife for the king.

When I was a freshman in high school, taking a course in Western Civilization, I realized that for me history was a big scroll with drawings on it. There are parts of history that have the thinnest, most cursory lines - I'm afraid that for me China has a few lines of migration pencilled in, with sketches from the Boxer Rebellion, a water color of the Rape of Nanjing, some drawings of The Long March, and then some detailed paintings of modern-day China where the people actually move around (it helps that I work with so many Chinese, and they have helped fill out the picture of modern China). In other words, though, the more I know about a period, the richer the pictures are on my scroll. Over the course of my life, I've been adding to my knowledge base so that much of 16th- and 17th- century Europe is at least water colors, sometimes oil paintings, and some sections having moving figures. US history between 1770 and 1820 is also that way. Anyway, when I am wondering which part of history to read next, I consult my scroll and try to fill out some of the sketchier areas. I have a book on my stack about European colonialism in Africa in the 1800s. I think it's time that book rose in the queue.

However, my next book will be a book I plucked off the bargain table at Border's. More next week.


Stacey said...

That's absolutely beautiful work!

Tami Klockau said...

Wow, you've been busy! First, I love how the socks turned out. Now your new project is amazing! Congrats.

Don't worry, you're not the only one who has trouble counting. Once I get to a higher number of stitches, I can't tell you how many times I get lost in the middle and have to go back and start over. If I could only have the time I count back, I'd probably haven't full extra days!

Vivianne said...

No, don't get more light green, leave it as it is :-) If you enjoy muder/mysteries, you might enjoy Dissolution, Dark Fire, Revelation and Sovereign by C.J.Sansom, set in the time of Thomas and Henry ....

Urban Exile said...

Here's what you need: An abacus! I use one when counting items comes into play and I find it absolutely irreplaceable.

Secondly, I know what you mean about Cromwell. He gives me nightmares too. As a matter of fact, so does that whole period of history.

Your bent is filling things in, isn't it? You see the world as a lot of spaces with possibilities, I think. Lovely quilt.

Suravi said...

WOW! The quilt is amazing! I've only dabbled with quilting a couple times but would love to get into it in the future. I love the colors you chose! Great job!!!!!

Marushka C. said...

Oh, no... first WIP Wednesday got me anxious to learn to crochet, now I feel like I want to be quilting, too! You do beautiful work. I also enjoyed your take on history as a scroll, that's a great analogy.

Liz in Ypsilanti said...

Urban Exile: I don't think I have ever thought of my thinking patterns that way, but you're right. Sir Isaac Newton said at the end of his life that he'd spent his life as a child at the edge of the ocean, turning over interesting shells and pebbles, while before him stretched the great vastness of knowledge. I would not ever put myself in his league, but I respond to his sense that the world is vast and interesting. When I'm devising ways to thwart the cat who wants to excrete places other than her litter box, I think, "I could be doing something interesting right now instead of this! There are so many other things to do!"