jjmcgaffey's reading in 2023

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jjmcgaffey's reading in 2023

Editado: Abr 13, 8:33 pm

My eighth year in Club Read - looking forward to more discussion on my thread!

I'm Jennifer; I live in Alameda, CA, with my cat. My father died two years ago. My mother still lives down the street (about a mile and a half away); one sister in Reno, about 4 hours' drive away, and the other recently moved to Indiana. I'm a Foreign Service brat who grew up moving around the world (more or less literally); it's still strange to me to be living in the same house for the 18th year this year. I cook, garden, stitch, sew, weave, braid, program, fix computers (run a home computer repair business) - and oh yeah, read.

I read mostly genre fiction - primarily science fiction and fantasy, which get grouped together as SF (speculative fiction). Then romances, mysteries, animal books, children's books (which include examples of all the genres...). I also read a lot of non-fiction - biography, sciences, history, words, etc. And craft books and cookbooks, which don't so much get _read_ but do get used and referenced. I don't read horror, and I don't read literary fiction - in both cases, because I don't enjoy being depressed by my reading.

My goals last year were 200 books read, 50 BOMBs (Books Off My Bookshelf), and 50 discards. I missed all of them - I got close on books read, but the vast majority of them were new ebooks (or old ebooks...but that doesn't help me with all the boxes of books under my bed). I'll leave the goals where they are; I don't really care about achieving them (though I'm surprised I read so few books!), but it's good to have a goal to work toward.

I'm keeping the same rules - one BOMB read for each reread I want to do, and four BOMBs a month (try to actually _do_ this this year); try to match them with discards, but those are more variable. I'm not counting any other kind of book, even books for review (Early Reviewers, Netgalley, etc) - they'll count only if they're over a year old (and I have way too many of those...) and paper (ebooks never count as BOMBs or for discards). The primary aim is to deal with the literally thousands of paper books I own that I either have never read (picked up at a library sale or yard sale thinking "this looks interesting" and never looked at again…), or have read but so long ago that I don't remember them or what I thought of them at the time. Which means I can't get rid of any of them, because they might be wonderful - and because I pick them up used and randomly, it's unlikely I'd find any of them again.

Note that I will notice when I break a rule, but that doesn't mean I won't break them...I mostly use them as guiderails to help keep me on track.

Books Read

BOMBs Read (Books Off My Bookshelf)

Books Discarded

Jan 4, 4:51 am

Reading Rules

1 BOMB read for every reread; cannot read in arrears.

At least 4 BOMBs read every month (or read nothing but BOMBs at the beginning of the month until caught up).

Editado: Jan 4, 5:55 am

Read January-March

1. His Child or Hers? - # - by Dawn Stewardson.
2. The Tower at the Edge of the World - @# - by Victoria Goddard.
3. In The Company of Gentlemen - @# - by Victoria Goddard.
4. To End in Fire - @^ - by David Weber & Eric Flint.


Jan 4, 4:51 am

Read April-June


Jan 4, 4:51 am

Read July-September


Jan 4, 4:52 am

Read October-December


Jan 4, 4:53 am

I don't usually make any plans, because I then tend to dig in my heels and go read something entirely different. But I'm going to try the Terry Pratchett group read...I've been wanting to get into Discworld (I've read very few), and this may help. Or hurt, we'll see.

Group read:
February - Mort
April - Reaper Man
June - Soul Music
August - Hogfather
October - Thief of Time

Jan 4, 4:53 am

And done! Open for business.

Jan 4, 5:55 am

I've been so slow creating my thread that I've already read four books...and three of them are rereads. Sheesh. Not a great start to the year. But they're all good books, so that is a good start. We'll see how things go the rest of the year.

Books Read
1. His Child or Hers? # by Dawn Stewardson. Review - I just glanced at it and fell into the story...didn't mean to start with a reread. Still a good story.
2. The Tower at the Edge of the World @# by Victoria Goddard. Review - Still good. The more I learn (from the other books) the more I see here…
3. In The Company of Gentlemen @# by Victoria Goddard. Review - Love this - one tiny story, in the oceans of stories that could be told in this universe…
4. To End in Fire @^ by David Weber & Eric Flint. Review - I managed to read and I think understand, it without rereading the last two, or three, or dozen books… Makes the series much more readable, ongoing.

Currently Reading
The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory. And a bunch left over from last year, I may go back to them or just dump them. They're really not appealing at the moment.


I do have a discard - the first book can go, I got it as an ebook.

Three rereads and one new (ebook).

Not bad for the first week.

Jan 4, 12:34 pm

Welcome to Club Read 2023, Jennifer. Not a bad first week at all!

Jan 6, 12:34 am

Happy New Year Jennifer. I’m curious how discworld treats you. Hopefully it brings a little touch of magic…along with a pinch of smart snarky wackiness.

Jan 6, 1:16 am

Hi, Jennifer! I've been planning to read Pratchett soon too, now that I have almost all the Discworld books. Probably won't be joining group reads (trouble committing), but may hover in the background.

Jan 6, 5:12 pm

>7 jjmcgaffey: oh Death is such a major character in discworld, The funniest parts is when sees something that humans are doing and he tries it himself, usually with disappointing but very funny resutls. I think these books for the group will give you a good feel for Discworld, and decide if you want to continue

Jan 7, 11:50 am

Happy New Year, Jenn! I'll be doing the discworld books too, but it will be a reread (several times over) for me. The Death arc is one of my favorites, especially books 2 and 5, so I hope you enjoy them.

Jan 7, 3:02 pm

I've read the first one (didn't like Rincewind, and was pleased to learn that some others don't either) and possibly read or started the second. I've also read a couple Tiffany Aching books. Other than that, it's cultural exposure but I know quite a bit _about_ Discworld... but I would like to actually _read_ the books.

Jan 8, 4:20 pm

Looking forward to following your thread again, Jennifer. We don't tend to read the same genres, but I enjoy your posts on everyday life in your neck of the woods.

Jan 9, 12:02 am

>15 jjmcgaffey: never cared for Rincewind either tho must admit to have enjoyed the adventures of his luggage with feet

Jan 11, 5:04 pm

>12 LolaWalser: Another Pratchett would-be reader here. Someday, someday.

Jan 30, 11:45 pm

Ouch. I have just, finally, caught up on all the threads I'm following...and picked up 8 or 9 book bullets in the process. 8 of them that I've checked out of one library or another (as ebooks) and possibly another that I put a hold on (you can't expect me to remember, that must have been half an hour ago!). I do love library notification emails...

Also dodged at least three BBs, because I already had them. Of course, that makes me want to read them sooner...

I'm kind of stalled out reading. I have finished some, but I've been reading very little - a chapter or two in this book and that one. I need to figure out what I've actually finished this year, make sure I reviewed them, and post...soon.

But my next book, day after tomorrow, is Mort by Terry Pratchett - I'm doing the group read at https://www.librarything.com/topic/347265 . I suspect that either I will get swept up and start reading through the whole Death subseries immediately (rather than waiting a couple months to stay with the group read) or will stall out and won't finish Mort by the time the next book comes up. Hopefully the first, or at least finish Mort.

Jan 31, 10:04 am

>19 jjmcgaffey: Gotta love book bullets...

Fev 2, 2:21 pm

Heh. I just discovered (what many/most probably already know, but I didn't) how to make/get to new series. I've been going to an unrelated series, and creating a new one from that page - works fine, except for having to find another book that's in a series and remember what book I wanted to put in the new series. So today I discovered that one book (ebook) I had, Amish Baking, consisted entirely of recipes that were in The Best of Amish Cooking which I also had. Deleted the smaller book, went to the main page for Best and searched for Relationships - finally found it...oh look, that's how you're supposed to add series! Now it's "Series and work relationships". OK, nice - logical, even. Marked Amish Baking as contained in Best of Amish Cooking, and now I know how to get to the add series page without involving going to another book.

Fev 15, 11:37 pm

Hi, I followed you over from 75 BPY!

>21 jjmcgaffey: OK, I don't think I've ever had to make a series, just depended on the kindness of prior LT creators. But then I've taken the past more trodden and well....

Fev 15, 11:42 pm

Yeah, I keep getting the first in a series and need to create a new one. And occasionally I find it's a matter of miscombination (or lack of combination), and I need to delete my series and combine my book into the one that's already in the proper series. But I have made a good many.

Fev 16, 9:44 am

Thanks for the direction from the 75 Book Challenge :-). I remember seeing Mort suggested many years ago and thinking it might be interesting. I might have to give it a shot.

Fev 17, 4:15 am

I actually managed to finish it - I'd stalled out in the tangle when Mort first got the Duty and met Keli. But today I decided I'd just finish it...and not too long after where I stalled out it got truly fascinating. I have no idea what was going on at the end but I like it. OK, on to the next (in a little while, just found a new series I need to read). I'll do a proper post soon - probably next week, this week is just mildly insane.

Mar 2, 1:40 am

Hi Jenn! Thanks for visiting my thread and inducting me into the benefits of vodka-based pastry - which immediately told me that here is where I need to be. (Sorry. Too much vodka?) I started Mort and found it very funny but then Life caught up and I had to leave Death for a bit, and didn't finish it in time for the end of February. Will get back to it soon.

Mar 2, 3:38 pm

>26 humouress: Hi, humoress - good to see you. You remind me I should be talking about cooking here too...

Well, next week didn't happen either - and I've got to run now. This week is noticeably less insane, though, so there's hope. For posts about books (which I _am_ reading) and about cooking, and gardening too. Later!

Abr 13, 8:18 pm

This week, for the first time this year, we have had actual warm weather (preceded by a couple weeks of rainstorms, extreme for here and this time of year). I think I may have been suffering from SAD this winter, as I suddenly have a lot more energy and ability to do stuff now that I get sunlight.

Today I finally got around to doing my taxes (about normal, really, for me). However, I started at 2 pm and at 4:30 pm...I'm done. No screaming fits of frustration, no totally missing information, no working until past midnight...wow. Of course I owe a chunk (I keep not doing the estimated taxes, which would help a lot...one of the few disadvantages of working for myself, no withholding), but that would have been true at any point. But that was possibly the easiest tax filing I've ever done, although I had the same weird setup this year as every year for the last couple decades. Nice!

The last several months my house has been filled to overflowing with plant starts - herbs first, then tomatoes. I'm supplying plants to two plant sales; one is happening this coming Saturday, the other isn't until early May. I'm working both. But the plants are out of my house, at others' houses where there's room for them to get hardened off and potted up and so on. My Aerogardens are _great_ for starting plants, but my small and crowded balcony does not work for the next step.

Oh, good news I think - if you followed me last year, you may remember that I spent most of it lamenting the something-or-other that was eating all my plants (squirrel, roof rat, racoon... something. Probably rodent). Well, they haven't shown up at all so far. I've been very wary of planting out on the porch, because once bitten twice shy, but various things have sprung up from seeds that didn't sprout last year, or plants that managed to set seed/fruits. Nothing has been chewed on. Whew! so now I need to get my tomatoes in, and I suppose garlic though it's very late. No point in trying snow peas, but carrots and spinach may work. I'll plant the snow peas in the fall - they can handle cold (and as it never freezes here, they can grow through the winter - but they die off when it gets warm).

And also, I have gotten a community garden plot. It's currently pretty well solid with grass and...stuff. Some oxalis, which I need to get after right away, and some dandelion relatives (I can never remember the name. The flowers are perfectly dandelions, including closing and opening again as grey poof, but they're on tall woody stems not dandelion's juicy ones), and a few other things I need to get at before they throw seeds (any more than they already have). I only got the plot yesterday. I want to plant my blueberry bushes out there, they're not happy in pots and I'm not happy with how much space they take up on my balcony. The community garden plot is pretty close to the same size, actually - but that means I have double the space I had day before yesterday. I'm going to do it as square foot gardening, because that works better for me than rows - partly because it makes it look/feel like pots, which is what I'm used to for the past couple decades. Not sure what all I'll plant there, besides the blueberries - I may pick up some more tomatoes at one of the sales. Some herbs (besides the mint that's already there). There's a clump of blackberry (or raspberry, not sure) canes on the plot, which I need to prune the dead ones and figure out how to contain them and allow them to stretch out so I can get good berries (while preventing them from turning the entire plot into a berry clump!). Oh, right, strawberries! I have an empty hanging pot on the balcony, so I bought some strawberries to put in it - but I had to buy a 6-pack, and there's room for maybe two in the hanging pot. So there will be a strawberry bed. There are a lot of bulbs growing - Harlequin flowers are blooming, not sure what the others are yet. They're so solid there's barely any grass on the plot. But I'm going to pull most of them, anyway; I'll see if I want to keep any but I'm not waiting until they bloom to clear the plot.

I have been reading, I've been tracking somewhat intermittently and not reviewing on LT at all. So book posts are still to come.

The big plan this year is that in mid-May, Mom and I will take the train and my middle sister will fly to a timeshare in Illinois; we'll spend a week there, with my younger sister as well, then drive with my youngest sister to her new house in Indiana for another week. It'll be almost three weeks total, with travel time. Should be a lot of fun (and we get to see the house!).

I'm hoping to get some of my house cleaned up, enough that I actually have room to move around. I'm not a hoarder, exactly, but I normally have a steady flow of stuff in and out (purchases, yard sale purchases, gifts in; gifts, crafts, charity donations, etc out) which got seriously disrupted in the pandemic. So my living room is solid with totes of...stuff, and my bedroom isn't a lot better (it's only a one-bedroom apartment, not a lot of room anyway!). There are paths to everywhere I need to go, but only paths, and I don't like it. I want space - not least because, in order to do some of the crafts that would use up some of the stuff I have, I need space to, say, open a folding table and work on it. So it's kind of a vicious cycle that I'm _trying_ to keep ahead of. Some of it would be easy if (repeated theme) I had the space to lay stuff out and get rid of the unwanted/unneeded things (old files, for instance). A little every day will help.

Abr 13, 9:46 pm

>28 jjmcgaffey: Yay for the community plot! Best wishes for steady clearing out of superfluous stuff. I hope your trip goes well.

Abr 14, 7:14 am

>28 jjmcgaffey: I love the update. It's still too cold here to plant (or normally it is, yesterday was 80F so who knows?), but I've started cleaning up the yard. The snow is almost gone. I have a few bulbs coming up which is heartening.

Abr 15, 1:14 pm

>28 jjmcgaffey:
I have the same problem with my house. I have plenty of room to get around in, but I have stuff stacked and need to get it moved out and around. That is especially true now that I retired and had to empty out my office. I need to go through those boxes and only save what I am going to need. I have accumulated stuff in the last four years and I need to go through it and return some of it to the thrift stores from whence it came.

I don't consider myself to be a hoarder either. I don't buy stuff unless I use it, and since I do so much cooking I use lots of stuff. However, now I am going to have to evaluate what I really need (what is hard to get in a hurry) and what I can borrow from friends so that I can get rid of some stuff. It will be a process and it is going to take time, but it needs to be done so that I am freed up to move at the end of the year.

I am also planning to take a trip to Illinois at the end of June. I will be going to the ALA conference for 5 days.

Abr 16, 11:12 pm

>28 jjmcgaffey: I'm jealous. My experience with TurboTax this year was so much "fun" that I may just order the forms from the IRS next year and fill them out by hand. At least 4 hours total - and I don't have a business, so my taxes ought logically to be easier than yours.

I also sympathize on the "stuff" front, and I do wish there wasn't such a huge list of things not to be put in the trash under any circumstances. The city has a web site with how to dispose of things, and in many cases they simply won't take them.

Abr 17, 12:47 pm

>32 ArlieS: That sounds like my normal experience with TT - though I've never been tempted to do it by hand, I do like their hand-holding (answer question. It puts answer here, here, and here...calculations automatic...etc). But four hours or more, a sore throat and a headache from screaming in frustration...yeah, that's more normal. I finished, and then rechecked everything, and then filed in considerable puzzlement - how did I do that?

BTW, it might be easier to get the forms from your local library than ordering them direct from the IRS. Don't know, I've never actually tried the latter. I've gotten some odd forms from the library a few times.

Thanks for visiting, everyone, I'll try to post more often now!

Editado: Abr 19, 1:36 pm

>32 ArlieS:
I get my forms from the public library. I fill them out by hand each year and put a stamp on them and mail them in.

The downside is that it takes longer to get the refund - usually comes in June, but I think it is worth and I get the satisfaction of doing them myself.

In the past I would file my taxes using the telephone, then the they stopped doing that. That was the easiest, as it would take me all of 15 minutes to file them that way. For those of us who only have a W2 from one place it was easy peasy. The state income tax was the hard part. But, like many of the convenient things, (like mail-in ballots) it came to an end.

Abr 22, 8:26 pm

>31 benitastrnad: I'm going to ALA too! Is there any kind of Librarything meetup happening?

Abr 22, 8:46 pm

Hi Jennifer!

Editado: Abr 23, 6:34 pm

>35 lisapeet:
I am not sure about what we are doing yet. I thought I would wait for a while and then plan one. Usually Mark and Joe attend - if they can get free passes. I usually contact LT to see if they can do free passes, but with the ProQuest/Clarivate merger there were no free passes for last summer at Washington, D.C. However, since that merger is on hold (maybe?) there is a chance there will be free passes to the exhibits.

I do intend to plan a meetup. We have done it on Saturday night in the past. That has been in conflict with some of the ALA events, so it is possible that we may meet on Sunday night instead. That would allow more librarians to attend because of the Sunday night being reserved for the Newberry and Caldecott banquet and that frees up everybody except the children's and YA librarians.

I will post the plans on several threads, so you should see them when we know more.

Abr 23, 10:11 pm

>37 benitastrnad: Excellent, thanks! I have no idea what my schedule's going to look like yet... June is so far away (I know it isn't, but I want to entertain that notion for just a little longer).

Abr 25, 5:24 am

Pity we'll miss it - leaving Indiana June 2. I enjoyed the meetup we did, years ago, in San Francisco - and I got quite a book-haul from my exhibition floor pass!

And yeah, I waver between "mid-May, that's ages away" and OMG less than three weeks before we leave! Agh! Packing! Thinking about what the heck to pack! Train and plane...require very different calculations. And both are different from our usual vacations by car. And then I have to think about my gardens...

>36 quondame: Hi, Susan!

Good to see everyone!

(I seem to be in a very exclamatory mood. Possibly related to it currently being 2:25 am...)

Abr 25, 12:49 pm

I am also thinking of gardens. I cleaned out the flower bed under my kitchen windows and am now trying to decide what to plant. I think I am going to go with herbs, marigolds, and begonias. These are all easily maintained plants, and can be almost self maintained because I already know that I will be gone a whole bunch this summer taking care of my mother. I am working on getting my office boxes gone through so that I have room in my car for my patio pots. I am going to take them home to my mothers as it seems that I will be spending more time in Kansas than here. I am hoping that having them there will be some incentive for her to spend some time outside every day. I would love to have them on my patio here in Alabama, but it isn't right to ask neighbors and friends to come in and take care of them everyday while I am gone most of the time.

I am going to plant the flower beds because the house needs to look like somebody lives there - even if I am not at home most of the time.

I was thinking about planting a cucumber or zucchini plant as a cover crop to discourage weeds, but am afraid that it will take over and shade out any herbs or flowers I plant.

Abr 25, 12:54 pm

>39 jjmcgaffey:
We did have a good time in San Francisco. I enjoyed our meet-up. ALA is in the process of re-thinking the annual conference. I hope they continue it, as it is a great way to network. ALA says that they loose money on the conference and I can see how that happens, but then I look at the popularity of ComiCon and DragonCon, etc. etc. and that makes me wonder why ALA would be losing money on the conferences? Attendance Pre-Covid was high. Upwards of 20,000 at the last one in Washington, D.C. and even the one last year had an attendance of over 12,000. I don't think that attendance is the problem, but there has to be something that is causing the deficit.

Abr 25, 11:29 pm

>40 benitastrnad: Yeah, zucchini and most squash (probably including cukes, I haven't grown them) get _huge_, and the leaves are huge individually as well. I wonder what the Three Sisters squash actually was...though it may just have been a matter of tending it and keeping it from eating the corn and beans. The only cover crops I can think of either get huge without tending, or self-seed, so you can't get rid of them (fava beans, clover...). Oh, you might try marigolds - French marigolds are self-seeding and enthusiastic (at least here in the Bay Area), but it is possible to clear them out of an area. And they don't grow too huge (though over a foot, sometimes, depending on the dirt).

>41 benitastrnad: I wonder how many of those thousands had free tickets, though. There are basically no free tickets to a Comicon or SF con, unless you're a featured guest.

Editado: Abr 26, 1:48 am

>42 jjmcgaffey: I wonder what the Three Sisters squash actually was..

Here is a good explanation from our Native Seed coop

"The crops of corn, beans, and squash are known as the Three Sisters. For centuries these three crops have been the center of Native American agriculture and culinary traditions. It is for good reason as these three crops complement each other in the garden as well as nutritionally.

Corn provides tall stalks for the beans to climb so that they are not out-competed by sprawling squash vines. Beans provide nitrogen to fertilize the soil while also stabilizing the tall corn during heavy winds. Beans are nitrogen-fixers meaning they host rhizobia on their roots that can take nitrogen, a much needed plant nutrient, from the air and convert it into forms that can be absorbed by plant roots. The large leaves of squash plants shade the ground which helps retain soil moisture and prevent weeds.

the three sisters planting

Abr 27, 3:28 am

Yes, I know it's corn, beans, and squash. There are a _lot_ of squashes - zucchini? Crookneck, patty pan, delicata, other summer squashes? Or was it winter squashes, pumpkin (one of the many many types of pumpkin) or acorn or... probably not kabocha, I don't think that's native to the US? I'm just wondering _which_ squash they used, and if every Three Sisters planting used the same squash. Corn also varies but not nearly as much...there are probably as many varieties of beans as there are of squash, but it's mostly color and size of the beans themselves. They grow pretty similarly (I think - haven't grown beans much). Of course there's the question of whether they were green beans or shelling beans...probably the latter, though, harvested after the beans reach full size and then dried for winter/storage food. You can eat most shelling beans green, but I don't believe green beans work dried. Could be wrong about that, though.

I've tried doing a Three Sisters planting but I think my timing was off. The beans clambered all over the corn and drowned it - it never got as much as a yard tall, and never set ears. The squash - I used sugar pie pumpkin - grew OK but never set fruit either. Clearly I was seriously off somewhere (maybe I needed to bury a fish in with the seeds).

Abr 27, 3:42 am

>44 jjmcgaffey: It is a winter squash I believe (I’m sure I’ve read that somewhere but no clue where - will try to find it tomorrow. Maybe one of the books I read about the Southwest?). It will also make more sense time wise than the summer squashes.

Editado: Abr 27, 11:39 am

>44 jjmcgaffey: sorry, misunderstood your question. Not sure the type of squash; wonder if it depends on what is native to the area?

Here you go
"What squash is used for Three Sisters?"

"Typically, Winter squash will work best. The traditional choice would be a Pumpkin, but you can also go with Spaghetti, Butternut, or any other vine-growing Winter squash that you prefer. "

Abr 27, 1:56 pm

So my sugar pies should have worked. I'm still pretty sure it was a timing issue - though it may have been climate as well (I'm growing in the SF Bay Area, which doesn't match either the Northeast or the Southwest climates (the two areas I'm aware of Three Sisters growing). Of course they don't match each other, either, so... Anyway. I don't really have room to grow useful amounts of corn (I'd have to hand-pollinate, I can't grow a big enough patch for them to wind-pollinate), so I'll stick with what I'm doing now.

Abr 27, 5:13 pm

>44 jjmcgaffey: It's likely that pollen studies have been done for early western continent agricultural studies, but that's not the sort of research area I know anything about.

Abr 28, 4:45 am

Heh. Makes me want to dive down that rabbit hole - I wonder if anyone's written a book on that subject. I love archaeological studies... I don't think I have access to papers, it might have to be a book. Though I could confuse Academia.com and look for that as well as fiber and clothing studies in medieval and pre-medieval Europe...

Abr 28, 4:13 pm

>49 jjmcgaffey: I do love the ancient bits of fiber that crop up on my FB groups - I'm struggling with the more irregular features of sprang lace just now - well maybe latter this afternoon if I can work myself up to it.

Abr 29, 5:21 am

I haven't yet actually made any sprang, though I've looked at it. I do tabletweaving and fingerloop braiding, among other crafts - learned both in the SCA.

Abr 29, 6:43 pm

>51 jjmcgaffey: I found fingerloop braiding easy to do and impossible to do right. Tabletweaving can be more forgiving. Nålbinding completely baffles me, which is annoying because it is the most portable, whereas sprang is less portable in some ways than tabletweaving - I have much more trouble spranging in public than tabletweaving even though the TW loom is bulkier. It's a counting thing and that after a bit TW errors show up instantly while sprang errors hide out more easily.

Editado: Abr 30, 2:29 pm

At this point - after years of fingerloop braiding, including teaching it at my local SF con for years - I can do my standard braids without thinking (after I get myself started). But yeah, I've got a lot of ...interesting...braids from early on (which I keep to show my students some of the ways you can screw up!). And learning any new braid is a lot of trial and error.
I have never yet managed to do a complete weaving of any length without a few errors - and usually, by the time I notice, I'm unwilling to undo enough to clean it up. I just say it proves it's handmade.
Someday I will try nålbinding and sprang - someday. Not today.

ETA - I mean pattern errors in tabletweaving - I like chevron variants and it's hard to remember where to turn to get them all the same size/shape/number. Turning too soon, so it doesn't form a diamond, is pretty obvious immediately - but "oops, I made three diamonds here instead of four" or "this one is a bit smaller than the ones around it" can escape my notice for several inches (or until they get out from under the tension bar and can be seen in their entirety). Way too much unweaving necessary at that point.

Abr 30, 4:42 pm

>53 jjmcgaffey: My issue with fingerloop is the tension over more than say 3 inches. It really is a 2 person sport. After teaching myself 3/1 broken twill from Collingwood I got very competent at seeing mistakes as they happened. I'd probably have to go through all that again at this point as the dust on my looms is thick thick thick.

Maio 2, 2:32 am

Heh. I once did a 4+ yard braid, by recruiting my Baroness who had to stay in the encampment. I fastened it down where she was sitting, sat on the other side of the tent, and every time I did an exchange I'd call out and she'd tap at the intersection. It took forever and I wore little slits in the sides of my fingers from pulling the strings so much/long - but I did it! Mostly I can do it myself, for pieces up to 45 inches long - either I fasten it on my toe and use the other foot to tap, or I half it (which is a pain, because you have to tie the loose ends to the perfect length in the correct loops). But I regularly do pieces 20 inches long or so - it's _great_ exercise for my pecs and arms! In fact...hmm, I should do some more in the next while (while I'm traveling). Arm exercises are always a good idea for me, most of what I get is walking.

Yeah, I haven't done any tabletweaving in quite a while. I just uncovered a little loom with a half-done piece on it...maybe I'll get around to working on that at some point. But it's not going on the trip (which is now less than 2 weeks away) - the loom is small but not that small.

BTW, have you ever seen the illustration of the braiding bench? Long bench with a stick at one end to fasten your braid, and at the other end a foot pedal that brought up another stick (at the far end) to hit between the handfuls. It is, I believe, a genuine medieval tool. It was an engraving - line art - but I can't find it now.

Maio 2, 6:05 pm

>55 jjmcgaffey: I've checked out just many devices for weaving and braiding - the ones braiding ones I'm most familiar with are Japanese though.

Then there's this one of an Algerian Card Weaver:

It looks like he's adding a border to a large fabric. And has a warp separator. I love this one.

Maio 3, 12:05 am

Huh. I wonder how that would work. There are indications that tabletweaving was used as cloth borders - but most of what I've seen about it assumes that it would be woven with long strings hanging out one side (each pair of wefts consisting of one long string, that passes through the warp twice (in and out)), and then the cloth was woven using those wefts as the warp. I don't know how you'd add tabletweaving to an edge after it was woven, as weaving (it could be sewn on, of course).

That's an interesting loom, too. Not sure what's at his left hand, but the right side with the warp wrapping around a bar and then going down to a (presumably moveable) stick, as a tension adjuster, looks both plausible and very useful. It would have to be very long to make a long piece, unless there's something to take up the warp...it could be wrapped around the stick but in my experience that tends to slip once you get past two or three wraps. And again, no idea what's at his left - the cloth is in the way of the structure.

Maio 3, 1:20 am

>57 jjmcgaffey: Oh, using tablets to weave edges onto existing fabric is a known thing. Basically the weft is the sewing thread. Go through one way, take a stitch, turn the cards, go through the other way, turn the cards. Or if you want a round edge go though, turn the cards, come around, go though, turn the card......
I've done it small scale with two clamps on a narrow 1/4" thick board. It makes a lovely edge on a purse.
To finish a woven piece the warp ends go through with a weft one way and back the other on the next turn and are trimmed close to the band.

Maio 3, 1:21 pm

Huh, OK. I may have to try that...sounds cool.

Jul 27, 5:44 pm

I will try to revive this thread...not right now, though. It's been a crazy year for getting so little done. I have been reading - quite a lot, though mostly light stuff. And tracking very poorly (thank goodness for Calibre Companion tracking reading dates! Start dates, at least...). I'm currently trying to get all my read books listed in my spreadsheet and marked on LT, and reviewing the ones I can remember. Someday I may yet post about them...

Jul 27, 7:29 pm

>60 jjmcgaffey: Well, come back when you can. I misread Calibre Comanion as Calibre Collision where our cars spent too much time before we found our current dent amelioration emporium.

Ago 1, 7:24 am

>60 jjmcgaffey: No need to pressure yourself to catch up if you just want to start fresh with where you are. What are you reading currently?

Ago 2, 1:04 am

Nah, I want to track what I've read - it's always been more for me than anyone else, anyway! It's fun seeing what I thought of a book. Less fun when there's been a big gap between reading and writing the review...but still useful.

I just finished A Discovery of Witches - wow. Next one I'm going to read is Dead Weight by G.P. Robbins - pen name of RJ Blain. That should be light and good - fun, for certain values of fun. I've got a lot of books I want to read and a few I want to reread, we'll see where I actually end up. Oh, also just finished Lies and Prophecy by Marie Brennan - I'll read the next one as soon as that comes from the library.

Point, though - if I can manage to track from here on, I can catch up with myself later. I may just skip numbers and do it that way.

Editado: Nov 19, 11:19 pm

Just dropping by to say 'hi!'. I'm afraid yarn crafts aren't my thing; the several times I tried to knit I ended up with more stitches on the needle than I started with plus I tend to pull the wool too tight. I doubt I ever got beyond eleven rows or so. I do have a hooked rug I started years ago that I thought I might finish for my new library.

And gardening ... though I'm interested, my success is hit and miss. I don't have a green thumb but nor do I have a black thumb. Apart from the tropical climate being quite different, I don't have space to grow edible foods. Mind you, my neighbour did it well for a few years. The sun must be different on the other side of the fence.

Best of luck with the tracking and the reviewing.

(ETA: correct rug craft)

Nov 19, 1:24 am

>64 humouress: I had the more stitches than I cast on - and it was entirely cured by a class where the instructor waited until I did it and pointed it out to me.

Editado: Nov 19, 9:19 am

>65 quondame: I do know I pick up stitches and I've never been for a class - and now I'm definitely not going to - so that won't cure me. I think it's because I have it too tight on the needle, the yarn spreads apart and I'm worried about dropping stitches - so instead I end up picking them up 🤗

Nov 19, 1:33 pm

>66 humouress: Nope, that's not what was doing it.

Nov 19, 3:13 pm

Knitting front and back? That's a technique I've seen for adding stitches when intended.

I'm knitting, reading, baking, gardening, working, running around, playing games and wasting time, and not tracking my reading very well. So I haven't posted here at all. Still reading LT, though, and posting in others' threads.

Nov 19, 3:43 pm

What happened in my knitting is that I didn't keep the unknit length of yarn always to the back for knit stitch and to the front for pearl stitch. When the yarn is stitched into the wrong side an extra stitch can appear - especially at the edges.

Nov 19, 11:17 pm

I don't think I ever advanced to pearl stitch and I didn't intend to add stitches. Maybe I should just say that I did and my strip was supposed to get wider ...

Nov 21, 1:16 am

I'm too lazy to purl (never could get the tension right) - so I figured out that knitting left-handed on alternate rows produced stockinette (smooth on one side) without having to turn the work and purl that row. It works better for me. Useless for ribbing, or anything where you have purl stitches scattered among knit ones, but if you're doing full rows it works very nicely (well, I think so. It works for me).

What I knit, basically, is slippersocks - they're knit flat and then knit together into a tube. 13-15 rows (depending on size of foot) of stockinette, 34 rows of garter stitch (all knit all the time) with an extra strand in it to make a nice tough sole, then the same number of stockinette rows again and knit the ends together and sew the end of the tube. And then do it again for the other foot. Very simple (and I mostly knit in acrylic yarn, because I'm also to lazy to hand-wash stuff!). I think the quickest I ever finished one was two months, and I felt harried and pushed getting that done. I just finished a pair that I started at the beginning of July - so 4 1/2 months, not too bad. I've had some take a couple years...but that was because I _stopped_ on them for a while.

The other thing I do - I just started one - is knit dishclothes, in cotton or "Bamboucle" - cotton, bamboo, nylon and Lycra. All knitting except each row starts with knit 2, yarn over (just wrap it over the needle), then knit to the end of the row. It comes out with a rather nice spacey edge, holes just inside the edge. They work well as sponges and scrub-cloths.

Nov 21, 12:34 pm

>71 jjmcgaffey: I've thought about doing the left-handed knit back, but I'd learned perl about the same time as knit & my left hand isn't even in the same frame for dexterity as my right, so it remained theoretical. It's great to know it works.

Nov 21, 2:38 pm

>72 quondame: Pretty much how I feel about knitting in general ;0)

Nov 22, 7:59 am

I used to knit sweaters, despite the fact that the sleeves always came out too long. It's like my model was an orangutan. I would roll the sleeves up and wear them anyway. :-)

Nov 22, 11:57 am

>74 labfs39: You should have met my grandmother - she had an idea of where a sleeve needed to end - and it was always 1-2 inches shorter than anyone else thought it should be or preferred it to be... (if you are wearing a watch, the watch was not covered by them, they stopped just short of it -- which is a bit too short in my book, especially if you do not wear a watch). No amount of explanations made her change her mind (and she used to knit a LOT and she could do it well). :)

Nov 22, 12:54 pm

>75 AnnieMod: And so betwixt the two of them...

Nov 23, 2:36 pm

Pity you can't mix knits that way - it would have rescued a lot of attempts! (Not mine, I've only ever tried to knit one...vest, I think. It failed spectacularly and never got finished). Socks, especially knit-flat socks, are a _lot_ simpler.

Nov 23, 4:34 pm

Our great aunt knitted us slippers every year no matter how old we got And they all had a seam underneath so were unwearable.

Nov 29, 1:49 pm

I made the pattern for my slippersocks from ones my grandmother knitted. They were very nicely constructed and useful shape (though very long - knee-highs)...and made of...nylon I think? Hard (they'd wear well, if they were wearable), slippery-sticky, and completely non-breathable. Every time I put them on my feet would be swimming in sweat within minutes. I do mine in acrylic but I don't have those problems - don't know if plastic yarn has gotten better or she just used something I've never encountered as yarn.