Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Progress of all sorts

Finished sewing the pink border to the blue field of the 5 year quilt. Here's the cat using the quilt top as a bed. Next up, sewing on the yellow border, then shopping for orange fabric for the binding, something for the back, and the batting.
Here's the roll of blue Kaffe Fassett fabrics, partly laid out. Was watching Season One of Warehouse 13 while doing this.
Speaking of Syfy, I've really been into Alphas. I think I've mentioned before that I like how the show starts by just dropping the viewer into the story -- there are people with powers (called Alphas), there's a team of Alphas headed up by a non-Alpha that works for the US gov't, and they work to solve crimes that may or may not involve Alphas.

Part of the mythology is dangerous Alphas are sent to be imprisoned in a special facility in Binghamton, NY; the US gov't doesn't like that there are Alphas, and there's a rebel group of Alphas called Red Flag that is agitating for the right to live freely and not be hunted down by the gov't.

I've also been using MyFitnessPal app to track calories in, calories out. In the 3 weeks I've used it, I've lost 4 lbs, then gained back 2. Plus exercising more. Dang I'm tired. However, in the long run, it'll be good for me.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fabric shopping

I can see the end of the tunnel with piecing the 5-year quilt top. So I went to Intown Quilters to see if they do finishing work. They don't but did refer me to people who can.

Quilt shops are like yarn shops. All the colors! All the possibilities!

I first went to Hancock Fabrics where I picked up the quarters. I'm consistently drawn to bright colors. I thought about getting some different kinds of colors too, but none of them spoke to me.

Then I stopped at Intown Quilters and picked up the roll of 20 Kaffe Fassett fabrics bundled in 2.5 inch strips. I so want to start a new project and have many in mind. Once I get the 5 year quilt off for finishing....

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Winding wool

Spent some time today winding wool. I had wound up one skein of the Plymouth Kudo and started a summer scarf. Gonna try one of those infinity loops all the kids are wearing these days.

And for the fun of it, I wound up the other balls of Kudo yarn I got last week.

Then I wound up some fingering weight yarn I've had for a while.

The green is one is Toasty Toes by Numma Numma in the Pepper Jelly colorway. To be combined with the blue/green cashmere/merino blend of something or other. Lost the ball band.

The black/purple is the Raven colorway from ... forgot already. Possibly to be combined with the Madeline Tosh light in the Tangelo colorway.

Monday, August 1, 2011

New fave author: N. K. Jemisin

It started a few months ago. I saw a tweet by Felicia Day (a pop culture geek goddess, though I've only ever seen her Whedonverse work) recommending it, especially for the strong female characters. The first book of Jemisin's Inheritance Series trilogy, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, happened to be on sale as an e-book for about $3 so I bought it. See a tweet, download an e-book from home. I felt like I was living in the future!

Jemisin's created a very interesting world where there are gods, godlings, humans, power struggles, love, hate, action, wisdom. I guess it would count as fantasy, as there is magic, coming from the gods. In terms of plot, there was a war among the three gods that resulted in one god becoming dominant, another killed, and the third enslaved to the human ruling family.

Yeine, the heroine of book one, has been summoned to the capitol because she's in the running to inherit the ruling crown (not that there's a literal crown). She's been raised in another part of the country/ another kingdom where the women are the warriors. Her claim to the crown comes from her mother who left the capitol and married a man from a different culture. So Yeine has lots of challenges due to a different cultural upbringing, being the upstart, being the reluctant participant in the intrigues among the humans and gods.

Up to the end, it's not clear who's going to get the crown and what's going to happen to Yeine.

Jemison does a great job describing the different cultures and ethnicities of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (we only really see one), by describing hair texture and color, describing freckles, skin color. And I love that Yeine is a strong female character (as is Oree, heroine of the second book The Broken Kingdoms), and they don't resort to physical violence. Yeine, the trained warrior, uses her head first to figure things out, and to think about the consequences of using violence. I know! When's the last time you saw that?

Also, it's clear that Yeine is of a brown ethnicity and Oree definitely of African descent. Except that the Kingdoms aren't on earth, so there's no Africa.

NK Jemisin's website is really interesting also, with posts about gender and race in speculative fiction (new term for sci-fi/fantasy? I like it) and creating cultures for the books, and other stuff. It's right up my alley.

Stayed up late reading book 2, so happy book 3 is out later this year.

Now off to look up the manga and anime she references as her influences.

ETA: This morning I sent a tweet to @feliciaday, thanking her for the recommendation and tagged @nkjemisin in it as well. Then at lunch, I get a tweet back from FDay saying she's glad I liked the books, do I know when the next one is out? *squeeeeee!* So I looked it up on NKJ's site and wrote back to FDay. I may also have squeed a little. Fortunately in the tweet back saying thanks for the info, FDay overlooked the squeeage.