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Qualified Perceptions
I haven't updated my reviews since May; I think I am going to post what I had the last time I wrote something down, rather than write down all the new books I've read. So this is rather belated, and we'll see how far caught up I can get quickly.

The Alchemy Wars (3 books), Carousel [Tides/Seas/Sun], 84K, Winter Tide, Stardust, The Synapse Sequence, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, Tell the Machine Goodnight, WitchmarkCollapse ) (comments disabled on LJ; enabled on DW) https://firstfrost.dreamwidth.org/250025.html

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 Project one: The Love of Spiders (a Charlotte's Web reference)

A shawl from a gradient kit that caught my eye in I think a Ravelry ad.   Ravelry ads are probably a good example of why I think I won't mind if advertising gets better at targetting me; I would really much much rather see ads for things that I would actually want, rather than ads for weight loss products because I'm female, or for all of the lamps ever because if you buy a lamp once then surely you must want to buy more lamps immediately after that.    I brought it to work to be my too-much-AC or oops-forgot-to-dress-for-the-change-in-weather backup layer - it is soft and comfy wool, and I love the look of it. 


A knit shawl in stripes alternating between grey-brown and light blue deepening to darker blue


Project two: Baby Belarus Sweater. 
I realized that a coworker was on paternity leave rather than vacation only when I saw it in our outages calendar, so I hurried to make this one.  He was back for a couple of days by the time I finished, but only because our company does not have very good paternity leave.  :(   He's from Belarus, and I noticed that the Belarus flag has what really looks to me like a knitting pattern as part of it.  It's actually based on a different textile tradition, the woven ruchnik, but it has the non-square-pixel characteristic that made it perfect to adapt to knitting.   This particular pattern always ends up too large for an infant, but newborns outgrow anything that fits them very quickly.   As it turns out, three-year-old elder brother of the baby just fits in the sweater now, so they can timeshare.    I have also apparently impressed  the baby's Grandma, who is also a knitter.  :) 

Small knit white sweater with a red and white patterned border


Project 3:
A pair of socks, for the Christmas pile.   I still generally prefer heel flap and gusset, but when it's self-striping yarn, I don't really like the effect there.  So short row heel and toe it is, and I've tried a bunch of them.  Ask me about all the alternatives to the standard wrap-and-turn in short rows!   :) .  This one is Fish Lips Kiss, which has a silly name but I think is probably my favorite.    

The picture is a little weird - I was trying to keep my shadow from falling on the socks, so it's from an angle.  The feet aren't really that much bigger than the ankles, it's perspective.  The yarn is from White Birch Fiber Arts, my other main source of Fabulous Stripey Yarns besides Twisted Stitches.  

A pair of striped socks, alternating between a red-and-yellow stripe and a black-and-grey stripe
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I finished this for [personal profile] mjperson just in time for the height of summer. Well, sweaters take a while. Eon gets one next, then Marleigh's might be done some time next year.

Bright blue knit sweater with a cabled design. (comments disabled on LJ; enabled on DW) https://firstfrost.dreamwidth.org/249372.html

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An Unkindness of Magicians, Children of Time, The Thief Who Pulled On Trouble's Braids, Gnomon, The Hazel Wood, Space Opera, Head On, The Watchmaker of Filigree StreetCollapse ) (comments disabled on LJ; enabled on DW) https://firstfrost.dreamwidth.org/249220.html

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These were a project to use up about half a skein of red-brown yarn that had been used in the two-color socks finished earlier this year.   The V-stitch is interesting, but fiddly enough that it required looking at for most of the rows.   No putting my hands on autopilot for this one - even more so than a two-color pattern, oddly.

It really was odd to cast on and go straight into the heel. 

The yarn (Skeinny Dipping's Mericash yarn - they're local, and Gather Here had some) has 20% cashmere in it, so it's very soft and comfy.   (As well as nylon, because socks. 

Brown anklet socks

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Today's random email, filed with the customer service page for Bombas socks.   Gender-based fashion marketing is probably the worst of places to try a crusade, but I really was disappointed. :) 

 

Having bought socks from you in the past, I get the marketing emails.  Today I got mail advertising bright new colors for spring!  Yay!    But when I clicked through to the site, it turned out that the new options are greys and beiges for spring, because the bright colors are only for "women", by which the site means "people with small or medium feet".   Alas.  It must be lovely to be a person with medium sized feet, because then one can buy socks in *both* bright colors (small and medium) and in taupes and greys (medium and large)

If you were a normal company, I wouldn't even bother to write in, but your program of giving socks to homeless shelters makes me think that you are socially conscious.   Is there a reason to stick to these categories?   Can men wear bright colors?  Can women with large feet wear bright colors?  What about non-binary people?  Does it matter which category of these I fall into if I want to spend money buying your socks?  Why not segment based on the characteristics of the socks, rather than the characteristics of the person doing the buying?   

Thanks for listening. 
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Socks of black and brown yarn, with a leaf pattern

One of my knitting resolutions for this year is to become more competent at stranded patterns in socks.  (I'm good at them in sweaters already, but socks require a little bit more stretchiness, which has been my bane in the past.)   This one seems to be a success, in that I could put it onto my foot.  Colorwork socks are always thicker than single-color, which may not be for everyone, but I'm pleased with how this pair came out.

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Agent of Change, The Delirium Brief, Arcadia, River of Teeth, Artemis, The Wonder Engine, The Abyss Surrounds Us & The Edge of the Abyss, Jade CityCollapse ) (comments disabled on LJ; enabled on DW) https://firstfrost.dreamwidth.org/248138.html

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I was working on these over Christmas, but didn't finish them until a few days ago.    First on the pile for next year!

The pattern was interesting, and I really enjoyed the yarn.  Cute colors (the colorway is named "Let's Go Fly a Kite", so the song from Mary Poppins kept getting stuck in my head), and a very nice feel.   

Turquoise knitted sock with smocking and mock cables  (comments disabled on LJ; enabled on DW) https://firstfrost.dreamwidth.org/248000.html

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Under normal circumstances, I run on insufficient sleep and have a comfy bed.  Bedtime involves reading a bit on the nightlight-Kindle until I'm too sleepy to keep my eyes open, and then falling promptly asleep.   Because of that, and also I assume because of generally good luck in how my sleep settings are configured, I don't have a lot of practice in trying to fall asleep, or getting back to sleep when in a half-awake dozy state. So when I'm getting sick, or in not-my-own-bed (or especially a combination of the two), this can be more tricky, and I can easily get stuck in those mental loops where you keep going around and around trying to think of the right thing.

In this case, on vacation, "work dreams" seem to have been the thing to get stuck in. Now, the thing about work is, very little of it involves general brainstorming. It involves looking at device logs or server logs, or putting together database searches, or answering emails, or writing python scripts, or reading other people's code, or - well, any number of things. But pretty much all of them require a computer. Device logs that I read in my dreams will not have useful content.

But when I'm asleep, I don't quite realize this (because in dreams, everything makes sense), so I go around and around trying to debug the thing or write the report SQL or whatever, and not quite realizing why it doesn't work. (This is very similar to another niche-genre of dream I can have, where I keep hunting for a bathroom and can't find one or the ones I find are all broken, or are toilets in the middle of a huge common area that I don't want to use (to continue this digression, I was quite shocked to see such a toilet in Kate's basement, it was like walking into a vaguely unpleasant dream...)).

Anyway, while I do not seem to be able to escape from this trying-to-get-work-done dream once I'm in it, once I figured out that I was getting stuck in them, I succeeded in setting myself a Rule before going to bed, that I was Not Allowed To Do Work While Asleep. So once I started trying to write the report-thing, I remembered that awaker, smarter me of the past had set a rule that I wasn't allowed to do that, so I went off to do something else like be asleep for real. That was kind of gratifying. :)

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