July 21, 2011

Summer is the season to read

This is my new Kindle cover!!!!

I confess, I have been eye-ing this cover for more than a year.  It's Kate Spade's literature series, they've got the Great Gatsby, the Great Expectations, the Importance of Being Honest, etc. The Great Gatsby is my favorite of all time, so my heart was set right from the beginning.

Right when I decided to click the "Add to Cart" & "Check Out" buttons, I found out that they had some issues with the design, and the cover somehow was interfering with the equipment.  So I gave up.
But they redesigned it and relaunched the cover!

The inside is black and white striped with 2 pockets.  It's light weighted.  And it's absolutely cute.  Thus, I am so motivated to read.

4th of July Rooftop Pictures


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Fireworks pictures were taken by my friend.  The sunset photos are perhaps me. 
In any case, it was such a gorgeous evening.


I have been ridiculed by my friends (except for one) and family members about my reading the series (repeatedly), using its German and French versions for studying the languages, and watching movies on the opening days, for more than 10 years, that I stopped caring what other people would think.
(I rather feel sorry for those who never enjoyed great fantasy and adventure novels, whether growing up or after becoming adults.  Most people I know have never read Lord of the Rings series, Arsene Lupin, the Eight, nor Earth's Children series... not to mention HP.)
I indeed went to the theater on the opening day, and the final and the last installment of the HP series was truly fantastic.

From my perspective, HP1 was really one of the very first movie that the motion picture version didn't disappoint the fans of the original fantasy/SF books.  Despite a lot of things and people appear in the story are totally fictional and no one has ever seen them in real, the movie producers and designers somehow managed to come up with the image that everyone agrees upon.
This is really ground-breaking, I think.
And this is the reason all the fans of the book rush to the theaters everytime a new installment comes out - NOT because the movies are as interesting as the books.

Even for the very last movie, story-wise, I was disappointed that the movie left out all the details and character depths of Snape and Dumbledore.  The parts that make readers wonder if the HP series is really for children.

If you have not watched the movie nor read the book yet, and think about reading it sometime in the future, I would recommend:
(1) Read the books rather than movies
(2) Try to endure the first 2 books, even though they are rather childish, because all the stories are inter-connected
(3) If you are a Japanese, DON'T EVER READ THE JAPANESE TRANSLATION. I am sorry for the translator, but she is not that good.

Anyway, this may be the last time I would write about HP, and thank you for bearing with me one last time.

Somehow, at the end of the Space Discovery era, at the end of the HP series, and what with the earthquake and radiation and all, it feels like this is the end of our dreams.
The dream that science can create a better future.
The dream that there are still wonderful world out there, waiting to be discovered.
The dream that future will be better than now.
The idea that we can invest in somethings we don't understand but seem to have potential.

This is why I feel so sad these days.  That it feels like people only believe in what they can see by their eyes (even though their brains may be tricking them).

July 20, 2011

Finished Knitting Projects

Project: Girly Purse designed by Naoko Shimoda
Yarn: Hanamaka Eco Andaria Pink and Red
Crochet hook: 3mm
Started a year ago, finally felt like finishing it.  Perhaps I will make another one in different colors.
Project: Fall Away Cardigan designed by Heidi Kirrmaier
Yarn: Madelinetosh Pashmina in color Mineral, approx.970 yards
Needles: US 3 & 4
Started in February 2011, finished July 17

 Project: Vest designed by Lutz & Patmos (From Vogue Knitting)
Yarn: Natural Fantasy Seta (silk ribbon) 2 skeins
Needles: US 15
Started and finished in July (took about a few days)
I have been looking for a suitable yarn for this project, finally found one in NY at School Products Yarn.  So happy to be able to knit Lutz & Patmos design by myself.
Project: Make Up Your Mind designed by knittedblissJC
Yarn: Nikke Victor Emerite in gray 3 skeins
Needles: US 6
Started and finished in July 2011 (took 1 week)
This was definitely a fun project.  I didn't like the 4th stitch pattern, but the design was very clever overall.

I have been digging up old projects and trying to finish one by one, while I started 2 new ones.  Although I want to work on half-finished wool sweaters, it's just simply too hot to touch wool these days.  So, a simple crocheted throw is a perfect project to work on.  Will post some photos soon... it's very beautiful.
Also, I will be test-knitting another new design from Veera (you can see her blog from my fav blog list on the right - 100% Rain).  So very excited.

One day, I would like to design my own garments.  I have a few designs I would like to try.  Right now I am very happy to learn different techniques and garment constructions by sophisticated designers out there.  One day.

July 09, 2011

Empire Waist Cardigan

Back from my vacation!
Now I am totally devastated and am thinking about quitting my job. Seriously.  How can I live in such a hot and humid place?  I am a winter person!

Anyway, this black cardigan was completed on the 2nd day of the vacation, and has been pretty useful during the trip.

Pattern: Empire Waist Cardigan by Pam Allen (from CEY New Harbor book)
Yarn: Pierrot Tsubaki Cotton DK in Black, 8.5 skeins (approx. 765 yards)
Needles: US 6 (4mm) circular needles
Raveled here - modification details

Since I didn't have enough yarn, I decided to make the sleeves slightly shorter and the skirt part less flared.  In the original design, the skirt part looked a bit too heavy.  I am very happy about the results so far.
The pattern is from this book, and it's actually the second time I knitted from this book.  There are still a few other designs I want to try, so the thin booklet is definitely a keeper.