So. Things have been ensuing. Not exciting, not bad, just ... things. Yardwork (leave sucker upper guys came this past week), job, doctors appointments and so on and so forth. It sounds like so little when I put it down in print, but it seemed to take up an inordinate amount of time. Or maybe it's just that it takes me longer to get every blessed thing done these days. But I digress.
Over there to your right is one of the things I finally finished a few weeks ago. The pattern is called Barbados Tee. I don't know why, except that it's loose and comfortable so I suppose you could wear it on Barbados or another tropical-type place. The shirt is crochet from (I think I told you this before) fibranatura's Exquisite Bamboo, actually a blend of 77% bamboo and 23% Merino wool. Very, very soft and cozy, and I will definitely be making something else out of this yarn one day because it's so comfortable. I followed a pattern for the shirt, but did deviate slightly. I put just a bit of slope in the shoulders and worked that slight cut out in the back of the collar, both with a mind to how the shirt would hang on me. I'm really pleased. I might have to do another one of those some day.
Next up is the shrug pictured below. Not quite, quite finished, but close. And yes, it is spread on a pillow. Because it didn't look right on a hanger, okay? If it looks the way I hope it will, once it's finished, it might be a Christmas present for my sister. This was a quick project, a relatively easy pattern done entirely in single crochet, worked only in the back loop. Which means nothing to you unless you crochet. FYI, working in the back loop only is why it has that pattern of ridges. It also makes the fabric more stretchy. The pattern is really just a large "T" shape which is then folded and sewed together in a way I can't explain but which leaves arm-holes and an open, shawl-collar front. I'm debating doing some edging work on it, to give it a more finished look.
My next project is going to be a sort of wrap/shawl thing with pockets. I've chosen a yummy yarn named "Cashsoft" which is a blend of Merino wool, microfiber and 10% cashmere. Very yummy, very soft, very cuddly. A kind of bluish color. More on that later.
I've also been reading a lot in the last few weeks, more than I'd had the time or functioning brain cells to read for a while. A few more books and I might start to feel back to normal again. Delta read for a friend who's book shows a great deal of promise and which I'm really looking forward to seeing on the bookstore shelves one day. That was fun but also a wee bit scary since the point of Delta reading (beta reading for the rest of you) is to look at the story with fresh eyes as a reader - not an editor or critiquer - and help the writer to make the book the best it can be.
Also read the new J.D. Robb which was terrific and discovered to my delight that Harley Jane Kozak, the actress, can write. Her book, Dating Dead Men, was hysterically funny and I urge you to go find it at the library and read it for yourself. I don't know if her other books (yes, she has written more than one) are as good. I'll have to get back to you on that. Oh, and I was excited to discover at the library today that Suzann Ledbetter had written another book in her series set in the Missouri Ozarks. I read the five before this starting with East of Peculiar and loved them so this was a great find. They're good, fun mysteries with an endearing cast of characters including, but not limited to, the residents of the retirement community that the central character acts as resident manager for. Go get the first one, you'll thank me.
And, finally, here's something to help you get into the holiday season a little early. This is my Mom's Christmas cactus which started life nearly 20 years ago as one of those windowsill sized plants you can pick up at the grocery store. Needless to say, it no longer fits on the windowsill. I don't think I've ever seen another one quite this big that flowered this extravagantly.
And some years she'll get second blooming from it. What can I say, it's a happy plant. Hopefully it will stay happy because it's too danged heavy at this point to be repotted.
That's it for now. Let's not wait so long to do this again, okay?